- Check out #2017CEW resources on the One Faculty, One Resistance site.
- See Carolyn Betensky’s essay in the recent issue of AAUP’s magazine, Academe: “Tenured Allies” and the Normalization of Contingent Labor. It’s time for tenured faculty to address the elephant in the room.
- Take action: A group of tenured, tenure-track, and contingent faculty is circulating an open letter to the editors of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges Ranking system proposing that the magazine consider adjusting the “faculty resources” section of the rankings in order to reflect more accurately current academic realities. Add your name to the letter here.
- Join us! The UWM AAUP fall annual meeting is Friday, November 17, 2017 at 3:30pm in Lubar 110. David Vanness (Madison) will be our guest of honor and will be giving a talk titled “The Right to Silence: UW System’s Policy on Protest.”
Instructional Academic Staff are valued members of the UWM campus community. Many are veteran instructors who consistently teach a 4-4 load, often representing the core of lower-level course teaching in many departments around the university. And like tenured faculty, they meet with students outside of class, write letters of recommendation, work with students in developmental courses, teach first year seminars, participate in Living Learning Communities, and focus on intensive advising and retention strategies that are so critical in lower level or developmental courses. Instructional Academic Staff are often the “face” of departments for first year students.
Yet far too often, these folks get the short end of the stick at UWM, and at universities around the country. These instructors, many who have earned their PhDs, have committed their professional life to serving their students and programs. Yet often they must perform their professional work with paltry levels of compensation and non-existent job security. We should not tolerate a contingent, disposable workforce on our campus. Instead, we must strive for better integration and support for these staff within departments and colleges, and the reduction of tiered systems of privilege on campus. As the UWM AAUP chapter, we support the One Faculty campaign movement which is addressing this issue at UWM and on university campuses across the country. AAUP regards all who have taught at 50% time or more for 6 or more years as deserving the equivalent of the protections of tenure.
We therefore present an Instructional Academic Staff Bill of Rights at UWM:
- The right to academic freedom, which rests on economic security and due process protections.
- The right to job security and paths to tenure after a period of time of continuous employment and demonstrated effective teaching such as probationary status leading to indefinite status–the academic staff equivalent of tenure. AAUP national policy considers any faculty who have taught for six years at 50% time or more as effectively tenured. UWM policy in chapter 104.02 states that after 3 years of teaching at 50% or greater, fixed-term appointments should be converted to probationary leading to indefinite status.
- The right to fair employment contracts; semester to semester fixed-term contracts should never be used for employees who are long-term employees; instead, the use of multi-year and rolling horizon contracts should be utilized when not covered by probationary contracts or indefinite status appointment.
- The right to equitable compensation that addresses salary stagnation and the increasing divergence from faculty salaries.
- The right to participate in shared governance and have a voice in those decisions that directly affect one’s working conditions.
- The right to promotion tracks such as going up for senior lecturer or probationary status leading to indefinite status; the right to earn the full security conveyed by “indefinite” status; if there is demonstrated need within departments and a history of full-time employment, indefinite status should be set at 100% appointment level.
- The right to fair workload policies such as what constitutes full-time employment or the number of new course preps per semester; to be compensated for administrative work that is beyond the scope of regular teaching appointments.
- The right to be free from reprisal or capricious dismissal or reassignment; the right to due process protections.
- The right to not be singled out and targeted for budget cutting within departments and Colleges; to be able to access unemployment insurance and UWM’s Priority Referral Program when budget cutting, program restructuring, or enrollment downturns require major reductions in instructional academic staff employment.
- The right to be treated as a valued member of one’s department and program teaching faculty; to be welcomed and integrated within departments; to have equitable access to those amenities and resources afforded to other faculty; to have opportunities to participate in department discussions and decision-making; to be acknowledged and honored at those routine professional milestones such as publications or retirements, etc.
We, the UWM Chapter of the American Association for University Professionals, state our unequivocal condemnation of the immigration and travel ban enacted by President Trump on January 27, 2017, and affirm our support for our students and colleagues affected by it. We recognize the ban as part of a broader agenda that threatens the university and the very spirit of the Wisconsin Idea.
Many colleagues, graduate and undergraduate students at our university are citizens of the seven countries affected by this executive order. In Fall 2016, 104 graduate students from these nations attended UWM. Many other students are citizens of other Muslim-majority countries of the Middle East. All these people are full members of the university community; the university belongs to all of us. The travel restriction interferes with their studies, their work as intellectuals, and their freedom of movement as people.
We affirm that public universities are places of free inquiry and collective endeavor for all people, regardless of race, religion, sexual identity, or national origin. We are a nation of immigrant entrepreneurs and refugees, travelers, slaves and indigenous occupants; at UWM, our diversity is our strength in research, teaching, and community service.
We likewise affirm our support for the many students, faculty, and staff throughout the UW System and across the country, facing discriminatory and exclusionary migration policies. We reiterate AAUP-UWM’s advocacy for the rights of our undocumented students to security and privacy. We call on our university leadership to speak out whenever and wherever possible on these pressing issues.