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A group of Webster University faculty members concerned with local, national, and international trends in higher education recently re-established a local chapter in the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The Webster Chapter’s immediate goals are to rebuild membership and educate the local Webster community about AAUP’s purposes and goals. The University had an active chapter until sometime around 2003.

 

The mission of the AAUP since its founding in 1915 has been “to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, post‐doctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education's contribution to the common good. Founded in 1915, the AAUP has helped to shape American higher education by developing the standards and procedures that maintain quality in education and academic freedom in this country's colleges and universities.”

 

Membership in the new AAUP is open to all faculty—retired, status/status-track, and contingent/adjunct. University administrators can join the national organization, but there are restrictions on the participation within local chapters.

 

Dan Hellinger, Professor Emeritus of International Relations and chapter president says that: “AAUP is a professional association that reinforces the best practices of universities, which includes academic freedom, shared governance, equity for contingent faculty, fairness, conducting ethical research, among other facets of faculty employment.” Hellinger continues: “AAUP supports the right of faculty to unionize if they choose; however, AAUP is not a union. It does not seek to replace the role of faculty governance, but rather reinforces the right of faculty to participate in university governance.”

 

Subsequently, AAUP seeks to complement faculty governance institutions, such as the Faculty Senate, a body currently consisting of 15 elected faculty representing the University’s colleges and schools as well at faculty elected at large. AAUP endorses shared governance as a bedrock principle of American higher education that is supported by, among others, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) and the American Council on Education (ACE). The local Webster AAUP will provide faculty with an additional voice and a forum for discussion about issues facing the University and higher education in general.

 

The new chapter is comprised of a seven-member executive board that includes emeritus, contingent/adjunct and status/status-track faculty. Executive board members include: Gary Renz (Vice-President), Terri F. Reilly (Secretary-Treasurer), Kelly-Kate Pease (at-large), Julie Setele (at large), Kim Morse (at-large), and Allan MacNeill (at-large).

 

For more information on AAUP, visit the national website, at https://www.aaup.org/. For more information on the new Webster chapter, contact:

Dan Hellinger, hellindc@webster.edu, 314 968 7064

Gary Renz, renzga@webster.edu, 314 246 5062

Terri Reilly, reillyte@webster.edu, 314 616 3347

 

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