By Michael Harkins
We will celebrate 100 years of Academic Freedom, Shared Governance and Tenure at our Annual AAUP Meeting this June in Washington, D.C. Conferences and Chapters across the county will sponsor events and programs commemorating this achievement. I would encourage every Illinois Chapter to devote a specific meeting to the history and contributions of AAUP at the national level. Higher education is stronger today because of those AAUP members who for 100 years established and fought for the principles of our profession. To celebrate this event, National has undertaken the revisions and updating of our Redbook. The new 11th edition is now available through the Johns Hopkins University website. The additions to this handbook include 18 new reports that are timely and relevant to the issues we currently face in higher education.
Since our last issue of Academe, the Illinois Conference has been actively engaged in issues facing our higher education faculty. Committee A continues to assist faculty members with issues of academic freedom, hiring and the use of social media. Our Legislative Committee continues to follow major state and federal proposals that impact our day to day teaching, faculty rights and pensions. Our officers and board members continue to meet with our Chapters and assist faculty members throughout the state. As more challenges confront us, it is important to establish new Chapters to help faculty protect our academic freedoms. Effective Chapters and Conferences linked with our National office can respond to requests and provide needed support and expertise. During this 100 year celebration, please encourage your colleagues at other institutions who do not have Chapters to start one. The state Conference can provide support to both new and existing Chapters through grants and regular on-site visits. For grant specifics, please check our website (ilaaup.org) or contact one of our officers or board members.
Recently, the Conference received two grants from the National office. One grant will support workshops for our existing Chapters. The second will concentrate on membership outreach and also helping faculty start new Chapters. Alan Iliff, our Conference Treasurer, worked on the grant applications and will provide specific information at our Conference this April. Details for Chapter participation will be posted to our website in early May.
Our 2015 State Conference and Annual Meeting will be held April 25 at St. Augustine College in Chicago. The program will feature Professor Rudy Fichtenbaum, our National President. His presentation will focus on the Corporatization of Higher Education. Leo Welch and Linda Brookhart, Conference Board members, will present an in-depth review of legislative issues affecting higher education. Part of their presentation will cover the use of social media. Our afternoon session will feature a panel discussion moderated by Professor Jerry Kendall, John Marshall Law School. The panel will discuss the process and outcomes of AAUP investigations and censure. Our Annual Meeting and election of officers and board members will be held after the panel presentations. For details and to register for the Conference, please check our website.
Our National meeting and 100 year celebration will take place in Washington, D.C. June 10 through June 14, 2015. The Association of State Conferences will meet on June 12. Please join us in our Capitol this summer as we celebrate the past and plan for the future.
In closing, I would like to thank our officers and board members who, on a daily basis, serve the higher education faculty of Illinois. These professionals have made a significant difference in the lives of our colleagues. Finally, I want to recognize our outgoing Secretary Lee Maltby. Lee has served the Conference as an officer for a number of years. His commitment, dedication and loyalty to the principles of AAUP cannot be duplicated. To a friend, colleague and tremendous supporter of Academic Freedom, Shared Governance and Tenure - all the best!