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Message from the Towson AAUP / Faculty Association President

The AAUP is a nation-wide advocacy organization for university professors. Theorganization is committed to defending and preserving the ideals of tenure, academic freedom, and faculty rights, including the practice of shared governance. Shared governance is, briefly, the idea that governance of institutions of higher education should be shared among faculty, administrators, and trustees. The policy on shared governance in the USM (University System of Maryland) indicates that faculty have opportunities to participate in decisions that relate to mission and budget priorities; curriculum, course content, and instruction; research; appointment, promotion, and tenure of faculty; and selection and appointment of administrators (for more specifics, please see the Faculty Handbook, Chapter Two, section II).   According to the University Senate Constitution, our local AAUP Chapter is also the Towson Faculty Association.

Your local TU-AAUP/Faculty Association functions as an advocacy group for faculty and academic issues on the Towson campus. State law prohibits unions or collective bargaining for faculty in the USM (University System of Maryland). In some ways, this limitation provides us with a unique opportunity: we can engage in meaningful dialogue with our administration, voicing disagreement or agreement, and allowing any disagreement to foster a productive tension that can lead to a positive evolution of all elements of the Towson University community. BUT, having a meaningful dialogue depends upon a significant strength of voice on the part of the faculty, and that strength is primarily derived from numbers. The ability of our TU-AAUP to defend academic freedom and the academic profession at Towson depends upon having a large and broadly representative membership of Towson faculty.

 

The TU-AAUP/Faculty Association is a resource for all faculty—and you should utilize it as such. Please keep me and our other officers and members informed of important issues that you see arising at the department, college, and/or university level.

 

In addition, keep in mind that shared governance is a privilege, not a given; in the increasingly corporatized environment of academia, shared governance might well come to be viewed as an expensive luxury that may be cut, in pursuit of efficiency and effectiveness. In order to maintain our presence in the shaping of our academic community, we must all participate: by joining and actively participating in your local TU-AAUP, but also by serving on committees at every level of the university.

In defense of the profession as you’d like to see it at Towson, I hope you’ll go ahead and join the local TU-AAUP/Faculty Association. To join at the local level, just write a check for your $15 membership fee, made out to TU-AAUP, and send it to our Treasurer, Doug Pryor, in the Sociology, Anthropology & Criminal Justice Department. In addition, I hope you’ll consider joining the national AAUP organization, as well.

 


 

2008 Towson University