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Presidentís Message
By Michael Harkins


Last April, our Spring Conference at St. Augustine College in Chicago covered a number of important issues. Marty Kich of Wright State presented Corporatization and Online Education. Our current Board members noted the process of AAUP investigations and academic censure through a panel presentation. Many Chapter Chairs and members participated in this Conference. The response from our members attending the Conference was positive.

Over the next few months, we will consider re-offering the sessions to local Chapters or at regional meetings. This November the Officers and Board will meet to discuss and plan our Spring 2016 Conference. Since our last meeting the Officers, Board and Committees have been active in supporting higher education faculty in Illinois. Issues of shared governance, academic freedom and tenure continue to confront us at both public and private institutions.

I encourage faculty throughout the state to form AAUP Chapters at your institutions if one does not exist. For those with existing Chapters consider inviting state and national leaders to your campuses to discuss the issues we all face. Together as a collective our voices will be heard and contributions valued. Later this year and also next Spring, the Illinois Conference will offer a series of workshops for new and current Chapter leaders. These will be offered at different locations in Illinois. Alan Illiff of North Park University will be coordinating these workshops with the help of the current Board. Information about these workshops will be added to our website in the next few weeks.

Our membership in Illinois continues to grow. Work to add new Chapters and service existing Chapters is ongoing. As we move forward with this academic year we need to confront the corporatization of our profession and academic institutions. Recent national publications have addressed this concern. In addition to corporatization, hiring issues abound. The recent issue of the Journal of Academic Freedom volume 6 covers the most recent cases with special reference to Illinois. I highly recommend this issue to all faculty. Consider using the information as a basis for a Chapter meeting or special program.

In closing, I want to thank our Officers, Board, Committee A and all the other Committees and Chapter Chairs. These individuals provide expertise on a daily basis to our faculty in higher education. These outstanding educators insure our academic freedom, guard our professional standards and protect our system of shared governance.