SU professors demand more power in education decision making

On Tuesday evening [June 9], SU’s American Association of University Professors (AAUP) chapter held a faculty forum to discuss the administration’s planning for fall 2020. In our unprecedented historical moment of pandemic and financial threat to private higher education of the highest order, it is clear that SU faculty are unequivocally committed to assuring that our institution thrives and to doing what is best for our students, as we have always done.

At the same time, it is also clear that many faculty have grave concerns about administrators’ plans for the fall — both the substance of and process for decision-making to date. On matters of instruction, which is, properly, a faculty purview, according to longstanding AAUP shared governance principles, faculty must lead — not follow — any changes to instruction, including teaching modalities. Faculty are troubled by a lack of meaningful participation in these key decisions not just at SU, but across the country as a June 9 article in The Chronicle of Higher Education reported.

Faculty are willing to work with administrators to ensure the best possible experience in the fall for our students. We hope that, going forward, upper administration will show themselves to be more willing than they have been heretofore to benefit from the extensive experience of their own faculty by immediately recognizing that the faculty has the “primary responsibility” for institutional decisions about instruction, and respecting those decisions.

Crystal Bartolovich, President, SU-AAUP

Joanna Spitzner, Vice-President SU-AAUP

Matt Huber, Secretary SU-AAUP

Gail Hamner, Treasurer SU-AAUP

Jackie Orr, Member Representative

Katie Feyh, Member Representative

Daily Orange, June 11, 2020

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