Statement on the US Presidential Election

By University of Washington chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP)

and UW Faculty Forward (SEIU affiliate union)

21 Nov 2016

 

On November 8, 2016, voters in the United States, after a tumultuous campaign season, elected a presidential candidate whose campaign rhetoric reflected hostility toward people from many walks of life, and proposed policies that would erode human, civil and labor rights. Since the election, the President-Elects appointments have included individuals who have advocated for white nationalism, denied climate change science, opposed civil liberties for minority voters, and opposed human rights for Muslims, among other concerns, suggesting some campaign rhetoric will become policy.

 

The University of Washington AAUP Executive Board and the UW Faculty Forward SEIU union respond to the rhetoric of the election and its divisive aftermath by reaffirming AAUPs and UW Faculty Forwards principles and goals with action statements to make progress toward our associated goals. These shared principles and goals include: academic freedom, redressing gender and racial inequities, preventing the casualization of faculty labor, fostering open communication among faculty, and giving faculty venues and support for stronger, more engaged voices on issues of concern.  

 

     UW faculty are committed to inclusivity and equity for all in our UW community, including undocumented immigrants, people of color, the LGBTQ community, women, and those in otherwise precarious positions.

ACTION: UW AAUP and UW Faculty Forward urge the UW administration to commit to becoming a sanctuary campus system that will 1) actively refuse to comply with immigration authorities regarding deportations or raids in the campus, 2) guarantee student privacy by refusing to release information regarding the immigration status of our students and community members to any government agency and 3) ensure our campus, classroom, and community environments are free of hostilities, aggression, and bullying regarding immigration status, race, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation.

 

     Education is a public good that serves the interests of democracy, not a commodity for private consumption, a subsidy for corporations that employ college graduates, or a privilege for the wealthy.

ACTION: We endorse a Washington State capital gains tax to fully fund higher public education in the state. We further call on federal agencies to step up funding on a robust science agenda that includes academic researchers.

 

     Academic freedom is essential to a strong democracy and to the mission of pursuing the public good. ACTION: We call for vastly expanded faculty job security, expressed through tenure protections and clarified criteria and more fair processes for lecturer promotions--all aimed at ensuring all faculty may speak out, conduct evidence-based research, and sustain meaningful mentorship relationships with students. We call for reaffirmation from the UW administration and the UW Faculty Senate that all faculty, regardless of rank, be protected under the rights and responsibilities of academic freedom, as laid out by the American Association of University Professors for university teachers.

 

     Faculty are a force for progressive change, and not just in the realm of university life.

ACTION: We call for renewed commitment to building coalitions with labor unions, civil rights movements, environmentalists, student activists, grassroots community organizations, and others committed to our shared principles We will join demonstrations opposing the erosion of civil rights, labor rights, human rights, public health and peaceful relations with other nations, including by supporting walkouts on Inauguration Day, Friday January 20, 2017.