We Stand on the Shoulders of Those Before Us
If you are currently a tenured faculty or a tenured track faculty in instruction, research, extension, specialist, librarian, or other faculty classifications, then you are a direct beneficiary to those retired and more than likely deceased UH faculty who have over the decades fought tirelessly and vigorously to protect and ensure your faculty rights under tenure, academic freedom, collective bargaining, and many other terms and conditions of employment. These former UH faculty members, who even before the Stateʻs recognition and adoption over collective bargaining rights for public employees in 1970, recognized the value of UHʻs unique classification system and the importance and significance of upholding tenure in order for the UH to continue to grow and prosper into the great research and instructional institution we have today.
The Current Battle is Nothing New
Attacks over UHʻs faculty classification system and faculty tenure by the ever evolving and changing Board of Regents (BOR) is not new nor will it ever cease. Moreover, significant and detrimental attacks occur after numerous decades have passed when those who were involved, and who can recall and remember, are no longer here with us. Recorded history will reflect that in 1967 the BOR hired an external consultant (i.e. Public Administration Service or PAS) to review UHʻs faculty classification plan and recommended abolishing the research and specialist classification and to reclassify them as either an APT or faculty but removing the distinction of researcher and/or specialist. Faculty rose in opposition and testified against the recommendations. The BOR did not adopt the recommendations and the research and specialist classifications remained intact and remained as faculty. One of the reasons why the BOR held off on taking action was the impact of individuals in these positions in regards to their loss of tenure and the impact of conversion to the APT classification.
The Benefits You Enjoy Today Were Won By Those Who Came Before You
The previous generation of faculty recognized and appreciated the importance of protecting faculty rights over tenure, academic freedom, collective bargaining, and other terms and conditions of employment, not only for the institution itself but also to help the UH flourish and excel in the areas of research, instruction, and extension. They put in the time, effort, work, and made the sacrifices necessary to ensure that the institution would continue to grow, thrive, and advance for the next generation and the generations to come by organizing and opposing the forces that threatened the cornerstones of academic institutions.
If It Can Happen To Them, It Can Happen To You
Unfortunately, on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, the University of Georgia Regents approved changes to itʻs boardʻs post tenure review policy against the objections of its faculty and its union, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), as reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education, which faculty and the AAUP criticized as a hobbling of tenure. The current threats to tenure across the nation, including public higher education institutions, will continue to be constant and relentless. It will require more advocacy, engagement, and solidarity of faculty and UHPA with not only the Board of Regents, but also the UH Administration.
Now it’s Your Turn To Carry The Torch Forward
Today, a significant threat and challenge has again reared itʻs ugly head . Faculty are again faced with dealing with BOR recommendations that will definitely change and significantly impact all faculty in a very harmful and negative manner, as well as, negatively impact the institution they serve.
It’s Time to Take Action NOW
The BOR is scheduled to hear, discuss, and possibly take action on the Tenure PIGʻs report and recommendations at its next meeting scheduled for this Thursday, October 21, 2021 (insert link here). Faculty across all ten UH campuses are calling upon each other to organize and take action by submitting written testimony as well as providing oral testimony over the Tenure PIGʻs report and recommendations. It is time that the BOR hears the voices of faculty across the institution.
Every generation faces their own unique personal and professional challenges. One thing is also certain: you have an individual choice and decision to voice your opposition to these recommendations or to remain silent. As the saying goes, no vote – no grumble. Your future as a faculty member and the future of other UH faculty will be up for decision. This is your moment, now, to take action and that means submitting testimony, preferably oral but at least written.
Submit Your Testimony Now
All written testimony on agenda items received after posting of a meeting’s agenda and up to 24 hours in advance of the meeting will be distributed to the board. Late testimony on agenda items will be distributed to the board within 24 hours of receipt. Written testimony may be submitted via the board’s website at this link, US mail, email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or facsimile at (808) 956-5156. All written testimony submitted are public documents. Therefore, any testimony that is submitted for use in the public meeting process is public information and will be posted on the board’s website.
Those wishing to provide oral testimony for a virtual meeting must register in advance via this registration link Given constraints with the online format of our meetings, individuals wishing to orally testify must register no later than the registration closing time as noted on the agenda. It is highly recommended that written testimony be submitted in addition to registering to provide oral testimony. Oral testimony will be limited to three (3) minutes per testifier. You will be provided a (1) minute warning bell to wrap up your testimony.
Individuals providing oral testimony at a virtual meeting will need to connect through the Zoom application. When signing up, please note that the name used upon registration may be included in the meeting minutes. After completing the registration form, registrants will receive an email confirmation with the necessary meeting information and connection instructions.
On the meeting day, individuals registered to provide oral testimony will be placed in a viewing room upon connection to the scheduled meeting. When called upon to begin their testimony, oral testifiers will be unmuted and have the ability to turn their video on. Microphones will be muted and video will be disabled upon conclusion of providing testimony.
For further assistance regarding testimony, please contact the board office at email@example.com or (808) 956-8213.
For disability accommodations, contact the board office at (808) 956-8213 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Advance notice requested five (5) days in advance of the meeting.