AAUP forum on the future of the University of Washington police force.Video of Nov. 18, 2021, event on YouTube: https://youtu.be/tyhLmYpPTcc ================================================================================
Letter to UW President Cauce, Faculty Senate Chair Angotti, incoming Faculty Senate Chair Laws, Incoming Faculty Senate Vice-Chair Reddy, and the UW Board of Regents, dated 23 July 2021.
Recent communication (both on and off our listserv) from our UW-AAUP membership and list subscribers, alongside countless conversations we have held with colleagues in our units and networks, has made apparent to us the extent of faculty worry and dismay at the conditions of our planned return to campus in the fall. The UW-AAUP Executive Board joins our members and colleagues in affirming that the currently existing plans and guidelines for an autumn return are inadequate, as we do not have in place the measures necessary to ensure faculty and students have the safety and support we need and deserve. READ MORE HERE.And President Cauce’s response 2 August 2021, reassuring us the experts have things well in hand, no need for the faculty to be worried…READ HERE. And now our reply to President Cauce: With all due respect, it appears to us that your reply devotes considerable space to addressing concerns we did not raise – and leaves largely unanswered the many concerns we did. …READ HERE
July 2021–AAUP’s UW Board corresponds with Provost Richards on expectations for fall teaching. Read these letters here:
1) AAUP board’s original letter: Regarding instruction in Fall 2021, we have received guidelines only from the Center for Teaching and Learning (https://teaching.washington.edu/topics/preparing-for-autumn-2021/). Most of the CTL recommendations are open to a range of interpretations READ MORE HERE
2) Provost Richards’ reply:The intent was to provide suggestions – not directives – on ways to accommodate remote learning in an existing in-person course. These suggestions do not include creating two courses, but instead incorporating evidenced-based approaches to teaching that were already designed and incorporated by many instructors prior to the pandemic. READ MORE HERE
3) AAUP’s reply to Provost’s reply: Thank you for your reply to the AAUP board letter requesting clarification on expectations of faculty for delivering our courses simultaneously in both online and in-person versions in the fall. As you may be aware, the questions we posed in our earlier message emerged from our discussion on our faculty listserv. READ MORE HERE
https://docs.google.com/document/d/172MZX979FrdiXrSNARNr1I0-E3dnK495I3SshiDMywM/edit?usp=sharing University authorities generally acknowledge the principles of academic freedom, as laid out in the AAUP’s 1940 statement. However, the growing ranks of precariat faculty, the erosion of meaningful shared governance, and the increasingly managerial culture of the university all conspire to erode tenure protections for academic freedom. At UW, for example, administrators enjoy outsized power to impose arbitrary disciplinary sanctions, especially imperiling women and BIPOC faculty who speak out. A recent issue of the AAUP’s Journal of Academic Freedom explores the implications of a shift from the “governed” to the “managed” university. As we face a fresh round of austerity in the wake of pandemic, and as our Faculty Senate considers revisions to the Code regarding grievance and discipline, it seems particularly timely to revisit the question of academic freedom at our annual meeting. Emily M. Bender is the Howard and Frances Nostrand Endowed Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Washington, where she has been on the faculty since 2003. Her research interests include the societal impact of language technology and the interaction between linguistics and natural language processing. She is the founding faculty director of UW’s professional masters program in computational linguistics (CLMS), established in 2005. Rachel Chapman is an associate professor of Anthropology at UW, and adjunct faculty in the Departments of Global Health and Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies. Her research, teaching and service address the intersections of race, class and gender in the politics of health justice within and outside of the U.S. She serves on the governing board of the UW’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Kelly McElroy is an associate professor and the Student Engagement and Community Outreach Librarian at Oregon State University. She was a member of the bargaining team for the inaugural collective bargaining agreement for her union, United Academics OSU, and currently serves as its Executive Vice-President. One of the speakers on our annual meeting panel will be UW Linguistics faculty member Emily M. Bender, has collaborated with Dr. Timnit Gebru at Google on the ethics of AI research. Check out the NY Times piece on Dr. Gebru, linked here.
UW Faculty Senate adopts resolution on merit reviewsClass C Resolution adopted 25 Feb 2021; Language includes: “The merit evaluation system should provide more agency and flexibility to faculty to choose the work they believe illuminates their meritorious contribution to students, colleagues, their department, the university, and/or the community during times when the normal operation of the university, or their regular function as a faculty person are interrupted or compromised. In particular, departments, units, and schools should work with faculty to approve alternative structures/systems/procedures for student evaluation of teaching during these unprecedented times (as allowed under Faculty Code Section 24-57, Subsection A).” Read more.
AAUP’s reflections on the proposed new faculty grievance policies in the Faculty Code – 22 Feb 2021The Faculty Senate has been working on revising the sections of the Faculty Code pertaining to grievances and disciplinary processes. The current proposal for revising the Code around grievance proceedings makes some very valuable improvements, particularly with respect to codifying a structure of mediation that might, in many cases, forestall the need to proceed to a formal grievance. But UW-AAUP believes further changes are required to ensure the grievance process, and all related processes, repair harm and restore justice, rather than erode community and exacerbate injustice. This is a phased project: one portion of the work, in the form of a Class A resolution regarding grievance proceedings, is up for consideration at the Senate meeting this coming Thursday, February 25, at 2:30 at 2:30 (on zoom or dial 1.408.638.0968, agenda on line). If approved by the Senate, it would come to a faculty vote in Spring. Other portions of this work are still in progress, including faculty disciplinary processes. See more: UW AAUP statement on faculty grievance revisions Feb2021
UW’s Planning and Budgeting analysis for the current legislative sessionGovernor Inslee’s 2021-23 biennial budget assumes new revenue from the creation of both a capital gains tax and a tax on health insurers. The proposed budgets would increase state funding for the University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center, and would fulfill a number of the University administration’s priorities. Still, the budget requires furloughs and suspends regular merit increases for University staff throughout the biennium. The Governor did not propose any changes to the state’s current tuition policy. UW’s analysis here.
Announcing Scholars for a New Deal for Higher edhttps://scholarsforanewdealforhighered.org/our-work/ White paper: A TRUE NEW DEAL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION: HOW A STIMULUS FOR HIGHER ED CAN ADVANCE PROGRESSIVE POLICY GOALS
Austerity is not an option: some resourcesNational AAUP is organizing a New Deal for Higher Education campaign. Organizing meeting 1/16–stay tuned for reports. “Making the Invisible Visible” University Institutional Debt Research Workshop-January 13 from 1- 5 PM eastern = 4 – 8 pm Pacific. Register here. Nation article by Eleni Shirmer (part of the PHEW and Debt Collective): https://www.thenation.com/article/society/student-debt-university-credit/ Recorded webinar – The Neoliberal University: How to Defend Education, Programs, and Jobs – sponsored by Haymarket Books and Spectre. Chronicle brief on faculty burnout (in which UW faculty quoted). You can download it here https://connect.chronicle.com/CovidFacultyResearchBrief.html
Some other news clips and commentary:
How Covid-19 Exposed the Cracks in a Public-Private Housing Deal at a university: https://www.chronicle.com/article/how-covid-19-exposed-the-cracks-in-a-public-private-housing-deal?cid2=gen_login_refresh&cid=gen_sign_in
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren Pushes For Answers From Georgia Dorm Operator – https://www.gpb.org/news/2020/09/02/us-sen-elizabeth-warren-pushes-for-answers-georgia-dorm-operatorHousing Developer Pressured Universities on Fall Plans in Rhode Island – https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/08/07/housing-developer-reminded-universities-about-project-debt-they-mulled-fall-plans
Reopening Plans for Georgia’s Public Universities Are Under Fire from Students and Faculty – https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/georgia-public-university-dorm-covid-19-precaution-masks-distancing-corvias-1039809/
UW Faculty Senate Class C legislation, encouraging faculty caregiver supports, passes 3 Dec 2020This Faculty Senate Class C Resolution promotes measures to support instructors (part-time, full-time, graduate students) and faculty influenced by the COVID pandemic; it passed out of the Senate on 3 Dec 2020. Noted, of course, this is unenforceable without a collective bargaining agreement, which would require having a UNION.
1 Sept, 2020: AAUP calls for caregiver accommodationsUW can only continue to ensure excellence in teaching, research, service, and community partnerships if it provides sustainable, safe, and accessible assistance to caregiving faculty. We call for the following principles and action steps in achieving this goal: Equity is essential, Creativity is our strength, Policies alone are not enough, Lead from the top and Flexibility is key. See full statement: AAUP statement on childcare 2020Sep 1
UW AAUP Chapter signs on to Decriminalize UW Petition (September 2020)#GeorgeFloyd #Breonna Taylor #CharleenaLyles #JTWilliams #TommyLe #ShaunFuhr #MannyEllis As members of the University of Washington (Seattle) community, we call on President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Mark Richards to take immediate action to ensure the health and safety of people on campus, particularly Black and other persons of color, by protecting them from police violence by 1) the Seattle Police Department and 2) the UW Police Department. Specifically, we call on UW to break all ties (both informal and formal in the form of contracts, agreements, and MOUs) with Seattle Police Department by taking the following steps:
- Immediately stop handing over people detained by UW Police Department to SPD custody.
- Stop using SPD to respond to public safety needs, including referrals for welfare checks under the Safe Campus program.
- Stop using SPD for additional security for any events, including football games, concerts, and ceremonies.
- Disarm UWPD officers.
- Ban the use of police dogs, which many communities of color in the US associate with the terror of state violence.
- Publicly commit to not hiring former police officers with disciplinary records as UW Police Officers.