Click here to download the white paper: "Ohio University Budget Crisis: Analysis and Proposals"
The Ohio University chapter for the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has today issued a white paper on the budget crisis at OHIO. While University administration has primarily emphasized declining enrollments, this white paper highlights a number of long-term trends and the decisions that facilitated them, pointing to important explanations and potential areas for solutions that OU-AAUP believes are not receiving adequate attention.
Click here to download the white paper: "Ohio University Budget Crisis: Analysis and Proposals"
On Thursday, November 14 from 5:00 to 6:00 PM in Porter Hall 103, the Ohio University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (OU-AAUP) will host an all-faculty forum on OU’s budget crisis. We will present an independent analysis of data that illuminates the University’s spending priorities, examines whether demographics are the primary reason for our declining enrollments, and offers fresh perspective on what our priorities should be as we work to turn things around. We sincerely hope you will join us to discuss OU’s present predicament and our central role as faculty in securing the University’s research and teaching mission for the future.
OU-AAUP Statement on Ohio University Administration's Terminations of Instructional Faculty ("Group 2")
The Ohio University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (OU-AAUP) calls on the Ohio University Administration to halt terminations of faculty of instruction (formerly known as "Group 2" faculty). Many of these faculty members are among the institution’s most successful and award winning teachers. Instructional faculty are indispensable to the ability of the university to deliver its existing curriculum, particularly the general education courses. Moreover, with the general education revision on the horizon, all indicators are that there will be a significant increase in the demand for general education credit. Yet reductions in instructional staff are scheduled to coincide with this increase in demand. OU-AAUP is cognizant of the severe financial strain the university is experiencing. We are also cognizant of the need to update general education with a revision that brings Ohio University into compliance with statewide expectations of public four-year institutions. However, it seems clear that our instructional faculty will be central to delivering much of the content required by this revision.
It appears that a crisis-driven decision-making process is requiring the thinning of faculty ranks and the loss of teaching power at exactly the time and often in exactly the curricular places where we will need it most. A core commitment to investing in the academic mission will strengthen our ability to deliver on the curricular revision. But this will require the administration to reconsider its responses to the university’s budgetary situation. Any legitimate response must prioritize and protect the academic mission and the curricular and pedagogical experience of our students. Instructional faculty members are critical to this mission.
Ohio University Chapter
American Association of University Professors
The Ohio University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (OU-AAUP) stands in solidarity with the faculty of Wright State University (WSU), who are striking to demand a fair contract.
We express alarm at the WSU administration’s decision unilaterally to impose a contract on full-time teaching faculty represented by AAUP-WSU.
The financial data that are publicly accessible indicate that WSU’s budget problems are self-inflicted. The problems stem primarily from the failure of the Board of Trustees to manage resources, competently. Compensation and benefits of the full-time teaching faculty comprise just 17 percent of the university’s budget. Expenditures on faculty hiring are not the source of WSU’s budget problems, and faculty should not be made to bear the brunt of fixing them.
The WSU faculty have nevertheless indicated a readiness to bear some of the burden of solving the budget disaster that the Board of Trustees and the administration have produced. They are offering a range of financial concessions.
The WSU administration has disregarded this offer to meet halfway and instead has forced a punitive contract on the faculty. The rationale provided is the very crisis that the administration and the Board of Trustees have created.
We urge the WSU administration to retract this decision to impose a contract and instead return to good-faith negotiations with the WSU faculty to achieve a just resolution.
We urge our OU-AAUP chapter members to post individual expressions of support to their WSU colleagues at the following links:
Loren D. Lybarger
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:
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.