The Ohio University chapter of AAUP is very concerned about the uncertainty and lack of transparency that has accompanied the dismissal of delfin bautista from their position as director of the LGBT Center. The absence of any rationale for the decision and its bizarre timing have served to further alienate contingent faculty by undermining their sense of being part of the university. More egregious still is the betrayal of the trust of a vulnerable group of students that this action represents. Seemingly capricious decisions like this on the part of the university leadership drive a wedge between faculty, students, and administrators and negate the presupposition of good faith. We sincerely hope that the university, and specifically the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Gigi Secuban, quickly address the concerns of students and faculty with a full accounting of what has happened and what the future plans are for the LGBT Center.
The Ohio University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (OU-AAUP) today announces, in the renewed spirit of shared governance on campus, the release of a comprehensive white paper (attached) detailing its proposal to bring the university’s athletic academic support programs under the control of an academic entity. OU-AAUP makes this request to President Dr. Duane Nellis, Interim Provost Dr. David Descutner, Director of Athletics Jim Schaus, Faculty Athletic Representatives Dr. Ann Gabriel and Dr. Jim Colvin, and Dr. Heather Lawrence, Chair of the Ohio University Intercollegiate Athletics Committee.
OU-AAUP believes that in light of ubiquitous academic scandals in NCAA Division I athletics the faculty, as guardians of the curriculum and of academic integrity, must resolutely urge changes to how Ohio University manages athletic academic support and advising. These proposals do not intend in any way to impugn the integrity or motivations of anyone associated with Ohio University or the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics; rather, they are in line with trends across NCAA Division I athletics. The proposals are a necessary risk management measure to protect everyone on campus, most notably the athletes and academic advisors, and to prevent an eligibility driven culture from forming and undermining the university’s primary academic mission.
The changes proposed in these recommendations will prevent a range of problems, including limiting the freedom of our athletes to explore the full range of curriculum at Ohio University and subverting the integrity of the academic experience for the athlete and for the student body as a whole. The OU-AAUP is asking specifically that the supervision, financing, management, and control of the soon-to-be finished Sook Center cease to remain under the control of the athletic department in any way. Instead, we recommend structuring the center as an auxiliary service under the direct supervision and funding of an academic office. Separating advising from the Athletic Department will protect what is often called our “Front Porch” (the Division I athletics programs) by preventing scandals associated with athletics and preserving the academic reputation of Ohio University as a whole.
Finally, the OU-AAUP urges that every Ohio University student, athlete and non-athlete alike, receive full access to the Sook Center services as restructured in accord with our recommendations. OU students substantially support athletics through the hefty activity fees that they are required to pay. They therefore deserve full access to the Sook Center. Additionally, opening the new center to all students will help integrate athletes into the wider university community.
OU-AAUP held a press conference Tuesday, October 17th at 2:00 PM at Ohio University in Lindley Hall S338 to discuss the white paper and the proposals.
Click here to download the OU-AAUP White Paper on the Sook Center and Academic Advising.
The Ohio University Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) has created a Petition for Fairness and Dignity to solicit endorsements of its demands vis-a-vis the university administration. The GEO seeks to bring graduate employee policies in line and up to the standards of OU's peer institutions. Faculty members are encouraged to read the petition and considering adding their names.
[You can access the petition here.]
The Ohio University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors expresses serious concern with the recently announced interim regulations 24.014 and 24.016 governing the exercise of speech and assembly in university buildings and in outside areas on campus. Although these new rules do not prima facie violate principles of academic freedom they nevertheless impose undue restrictions on the capacity of students and faculty to express themselves freely. The public speech and protest of students and faculty are central to the mission of universities to cultivate the values and practices of democratic citizenship. They are also critical to instigating institutional change in situations of injustice. As a university we need to ensure the maximum capacity for free expression, including public assembly and protest, while guaranteeing such actions do not impinge on the rights of others to speak or protest in public and to be secured against physical harm.
The interim policy that has been enacted fails this test of ensuring maximal expression. It is too broad in its prohibitions. For example, it institutes a complete interdiction on any type of protest action—“demonstrations, rallies, public speech-making, picketing, sit-ins, marches, protests, and similar assemblies […]”—inside university buildings even in cases when the action is non-violent and does not disrupt other ongoing and educational activities. It also bans any action that would "deter” passersby. Yet, public speech and protest aim precisely to challenge passersby and to elicit their reactions. Would this count as deterrence? This process of challenge, verbal or silent, is part of the expression and exchange of ideas and positions. Universities are supposed to be places for robust deliberation on matters essential to a society and to the world as a whole. These new interim policies potentially undermine this important function.
For this reason, we urge the administration of Ohio University, in open deliberation with the wider university community, to review and revise the interim policy on expression. There is a need for reasonable limits on expression primarily to ensure the right of speech and assembly of others and to safeguard the right to security for all—for example, through the prohibition against "fighting words" and hate speech that provokes violence. But, these restrictions must be specific and they must conduce toward the creation of conditions for the maximal expression of speech.
Loren D. Lybarger, President, on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Ohio University AAUP
The Ohio University chapter of the Association of American University Professors (OU-AAUP) joins the numerous academic and community organizations around the country condemning President Donald Trump’s executive order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The order is discriminatory and xenophobic. Its implementation would further demonize immigrants, refugees, and especially those of Middle Eastern and/or Muslim identity – many of whom consider Ohio University home. Furthermore, the executive order directly threatens the academic freedom of those non-US-citizen faculty and students at Ohio University who fall under its purview. Among a number of measures, the executive order suspends entry into the United States of all nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, regardless of whether they hold a valid US work, student, or other visa. The order effectively bans overseas travel to the United States for non-US-citizens who hold one of the seven nationalities, whether their aim is to conduct research, participate in conferences, or return to the schools where they are enrolled, teach, or research.
Many students, faculty, and staff at Ohio University are actively protesting this order, even as judges and lawyers around the country move forward on judicial challenges to its constitutionality. OU-AAUP meanwhile calls on the Ohio University administration to ensure that affected students, faculty, and staff are properly advised of their legal, immigration, and faculty/student rights. We further call on the administration to enact policies that accommodate those international students, faculty, and staff who are unable to fulfill their responsibilities at Ohio University successfully as a consequence of the executive order. Whatever comes of the present order, we remain vigilant over challenges to academic freedom, research, and well being of all members of our university.
[This statement appeared in the Athens News in print on Feb. 9 and online on Feb. 13. Click here to read the statement as it appeared therein.]
On Wednesday Feb. 1, a group of students organized a rally in front of the Athens Court House calling on Ohio University to declare itself a sanctuary campus, providing specific definitions of the term. The rally eventually turned into a march, and subsequently approximately 70 people (primarily students) staged a sit-in in Baker Center. OUPD arrested the students amid what has become a controversial point for the Ohio University administration, resulting in faculty, undergraduate student, and graduate student senates all passing resolutions calling on the administration to recommend that charges be dropped. What follows is a set of links, in chronological order of appearance concerning the arrest and prosecution of the students, various responses from campus communities, and the end result of the trials:
Our chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is hosting a brown bag discussion next week:
Brown Bag Discussion: Freedom in the Classroom
12:00pm-1:00pm, Wednesday 18 January 2017
Alden Library Faculty Commons, Room 301U
All faculty are invited to participate. Please reply to this email or write Kevin Uhalde (firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com) with any questions about the event, joining the chapter, or being removed from this email list.
Ohio University's OU-AAUP, an advocacy chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), endorses the AAUP National Council's resolution condemning campus hate crimes, both physical and verbal. Evidence of a recent surge in attacks against African Americans, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, women, and people with disabilities is widespread and upsetting. OU-AAUP joins with other local groups and national organizations in denouncing such assaults as well as the climate of fear they inspire, which is contrary to the letter and spirit of academic freedom. OU-AAUP joins the National Council in urging university trustees and “administrators to take swift and firm action, consistent with due process rights, against those who have perpetrated violence and those whose menacing behavior threatens both the safety of members of our community and their sense of inclusion." For the same reason, OU-AAUP supports the movement for sanctuary campuses, which seeks to guarantee the privacy and safety of immigrant students. OU-AAUP calls on Ohio University's trustees and administrators to faithfully uphold its commitment to protecting all students, faculty, and staff regardless of racial, religious, gender, socioeconomic, or national identity.
The full resolution from the AAUP's national Council can be read at the following URL:
[Note: This statement appeared as a Letter to the Editor in The Athens News on Wednesday 7 December 2016.]
Join us for a Critical Conversation about “THE FUTURE OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM AT OHIO UNIVERSITY”
OU’s Faculty Handbook opens by invoking the American Association of University Professors (AAUP’s) principles regarding academic freedom and tenure. Tenure, according to these principles, is a means to academic freedom. And academic freedom is essential to the “common good” of the University and the “free search for truth,” whether in teaching or in research, in the laboratory or the classroom.
Our handbook and these principles apply to all faculty members, including those not on the tenure track. How is the principle of academic freedom guaranteed, especially for Group II faculty teaching full-time without the protection of tenure? We in the local AAUP chapter would like to host a conversation with faculty members about how to ensure academic freedom in the classroom for all faculty:
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 2pm
Alden Library Faculty Commons, 301U
This event is sponsored by the Ohio University chapter of the American Association of University Professors (OU-AAUP). If you have any questions, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
As concerned faculty, we endorse Athens News Editor Terry Smith’s call for a third-party investigation into the propriety of recent negotiations between Ohio University administration and local proprietor John Wharton.
We would like to believe Vice President Steve Golding’s statement “that all those involved with the gift acted in good faith and without any improper intent.” Yet reasonable people will wonder what President McDavis and Senior Associate Athletic Director Ryan White discussed “at length” at a basketball tournament on March 14. We can understand Mr. Wharton not wanting to comment publicly. But reasonable people will ask whether Wharton, a real estate agent, knowingly entered into an arrangement to sell his house above market value to the OU Foundation in return for major donations to Intercollegiate Athletics. The timing and substance of exchanges over both home and gifts are troubling. A neutral investigation that includes testimonies under oath from the parties involved would help to settle these doubts.
The best outcome for the University would be to exonerate the administration from lingering doubts about whether malfeasance took place, something that an internal investigation, however well-intentioned, can never satisfy. At the same time, as faculty who believe we have a central role to play in the stewardship of University resources and preserving the value of its academic reputation, we would hope that if something unethical or illegal occurred it would immediately be brought to light. Only then could we complete the task of restoring the trust of the Ohio University community—students, faculty, alumni, and staff—as well as the members of our local Athens community and the citizens of Ohio to whom our University belongs.
As members of a public university, we agree with Terry Smith that either the Ohio Inspector General or the Ohio Ethics Commission would be an appropriate body to investigate possible ethical violations and financial malfeasance. Such a body would have the credibility and the clout to get at the truth and, we hope, answer the serious questions that remain. We invite other faculty to add their names to this letter, which we will consider sending to state representatives if action has not been taken in the meanwhile, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We share the administration’s desire to restore the reputation of our University as a community that practices ethical behavior and responsible stewardship.
Kevin Uhalde, Secretary, and Joseph McLaughlin, member-at-large, on behalf of the Ohio University chapter of American Association of University Professors, together with the undersigned faculty.
Gene Ammarell, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Mark Barsamian, Associate Lecturer of Mathematics
Alyssa Bernstein, Associate Professor of Philosophy
Neil W. Bernstein, Professor of Classics and World Religions
Bonita Biegalke, Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences
Geoffrey Buckley, Professor of Geography
Larry Burmeister, Professor of Sociology
Diane Ciekawy, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Anne Cooper, Professor Emerita of Journalism
John R. Cotton, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering
Mariana Dantas, Associate Professor of History
Bernhard Debatin, Professor of Journalism
Robert DeMott, Edwin and Ruth Kennedy Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English
David Drabold, Distinguished Professor of Physics
Marsha L. Dutton, Samuel and Susan Crowl Professor of Literature
Sherrie Gradin, Professor of English
Judith Grant, Professor of Political Science
Gary Holcomb, Professor of African American Studies
Janis Butler Holm, Associate Professor of English
Jaylynne N. Hutchinson, Associate Professor of Critical Cultural Studies in Education
Sharon Inman, Associate Professor of Renal Physiology
Gregory R. Janson, Associate Professor of Child and Family Studies
Katherine Jellison, Professor of History
Greg Kessler, Associate Professor of Linguistics
Nicholas Kiersey, Assistant Professor of Political Science, OU-Chillicothe
Ray Klimek, Assistant Professor of Photography + Integrated Media
Robert Knight, Associate Professor of Mathematics, OU-Chillicothe
Laura Larson, Associate Professor of Photography and Integrated Media Program
Judith Yaross Lee, Professor of Communication Studies
Tracy C. Leinbaugh, Associate Professor Emerita of Counselor Education
Sergio R. Lopez-Permouth, Professor of Mathematics
Loren Lybarger, Associate Professor of Classics and World Religions
Nancy J. Manring, Associate Professor of Political Science
Vladimir L. Marchenkov, Professor of Philosophy of Art
Kevin Mattson, Connor Study Professor of History
Jaclyn Maxwell, Associate Professor of History and Classics and World Religions
Richard McGinn, Associate Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Southeast Asian Studies
Donald B. Miles, Professor of Biological Sciences
Damian Nance, Distinguished Professor of Geological Sciences
William Owens, Associate Professor of Classics and World Religions
Ruth Palmer, Associate Professor of Classics and World Religions
Daniel Phillips, Professor of Physics
B. David Ridpath, Associate Professor and Kahandas Nandola Professor of Sports Administration
Herta Rodina, Associate Professor of French
Willem Roosenburg, Professor of Biological Sciences
Stephen J. Scanlan, Associate Professor of Sociology
Louis-Georges Schwartz, Head Of M.A. Program in Film Studies
Miriam Shadis, Associate Professor of History
David Sharpe, Senior Lecturer of English
Joseph W. Slade, Professor of Media Arts and Studies
Carey Snyder, Associate Professor of English
Patricia Stokes, Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Barry Thomas, Professor Emeritus of German
Ingo Trauschweizer, Associate Professor of History
Julie White, Director of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Jackie Wolf, Professor of Social Medicine
This section features writings of OU-AAUP members related to questions and issues the chapter works on, as well as articles of interest that highlight national news related to those issues.