How contingency affects all of us

For our first fall meeting, the chapter hosted a panel of Miami contingent faculty. They contributed valuably to our discussion of contingency, an issue we hope to make a focus this year.

Whether you are a tenured or tenure-line faculty member, a student, a visiting assistant professor or instructor, an adjunct, or just a citizen, contingency at universities harms you. Find out why in these slides, which contain notes from the panel and a summary of contingency’s harmful effects.

AAUP denounces DACA decision

Today’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) will cause massive insecurity, difficulty, disruption and harm for hundreds of thousands of innocent, hardworking people—many of them our students. (The majority of people with DACA status are university students). Miami AAUP urges faculty and students to call their legislators to express support for DACA. We urge Miami University leadership to publicly denounce the DACA decision and to pledge to do their utmost to support and protect DACA and other international students.

Here is AAUP’s statement on the DACA decision:

“The AAUP denounces in the strongest possible terms the decision by the Trump administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). This decision marks a continuation of the anti-immigrant racist policies that the administration has supported from the start.

“Many of our members come from families that immigrated to the US. Their forebears came to the US for the same reason that today’s immigrants do, for a better life for their families, especially their children. But the Trump administration, feeding off the fears and insecurity of many Americans, has used the issue of undocumented workers, along with racism and anti-Semitism, to divide people and disguise the real causes of the declining standards of working people, including working people of color.

“DACA, which provides renewable two-year work permits for immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, was created by President Obama after the Republican-led House of Representatives refused to act on immigration. About 1.9 million undocumented young people are eligible to apply for the DACA program. Nearly 800,000 had their request for DACA status granted in 2016. Of those who have DACA status, about 576,000 are enrolled in college. In other words, an overwhelming majority of those granted DACA status are our students.

“One of the major factors that makes American higher education a world class system is the diversity of our faculty and students. We owe it to these students and their families, as well as to other undocumented young people, to speak out against this action in the strongest manner possible. We call on our members to urge Congress to act immediately to undo President Trump’s action and allow these young people to remain in our classrooms.

“We also urge Congress to enact a comprehensive immigration reform policy that will welcome immigrants to our shores–those fleeing political persecution and violence as well as those who simply seek a better life, regardless of their race, religion, or national origin.”

Rudy Fichtenbaum
AAUP President

September 5, 2017

Miami AAUP’s Statement on Diversity: A Call to the Miami Community

At a galvanizing and moving chapter meeting on February 15, the leader of Graduate Students from All Nations, Ancilleno Lewis, urged all of us present to ask our departments and programs to make statements in strong support of students from other nations. Lewis and others reported disturbing details about hate-related activity happening on campus. Some Muslim students are staying home out of fear of being mistreated in the streets. We heard reports of women in hijabs being verbally abused; in one case at Lane Library in town, a community member tried to pull off a woman’s hijab.

Amber Franklin, AAUP chapter treasurer and a member of the police community council, explained that it is possible to call for police presence when verbal abuse is happening; police do not make arrests in such situations, but they will stand by. She also noted that Oxford police have issued a statement explaining that they do not enforce federal immigration laws, only state and local laws; however, they will serve federal warrants and assist federal agencies when requested. We realize that some members of our community, given the history of policing in this country, may not feel comfortable calling the police for protection.

During a discussion of creating a more welcoming atmosphere for international or undocumented students and faculty, issues beyond safety came up. It was suggested that all of us consider diversity of background, access, and religion when planning social and other events for students and faculty. If your event can’t be arrived or departed from without a car, or if your event serves alcohol, you may unintentionally be excluding or discouraging someone from joining you.

It’s clear that the times are calling on all of us to work harder to protect our students and faculty and to create an atmosphere in which all of us can learn and thrive. Here is our chapter’s statement (also posted on our “About” page):

In the wake of recent presidential orders concerning immigration and transgender rights, and as part of its advocacy for the educational mission of the university, Miami AAUP Advocacy Chapter affirms its unequivocal support for the right of all members of the Miami community to have space and time to pursue learning in safety and with full freedom of movement.

We condemn acts and words that denigrate and/or discriminate against members of our community on the basis of national origin, religion, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

We encourage all departments, programs, and individuals at Miami to explore the many ways that diversity strengthens our community. We call on all parts of the community, including Miami leadership, to commit to doing everything in their power to affirm and protect the human and civil rights of members of the Miami community—such as Middle Eastern, Latinx, Jewish, and transgender students—who may currently be experiencing increased vulnerability.

Rudy Fichtenbaum on RCM at Miami

Our chapter meeting tomorrow night features a talk on RCM by National AAUP President Rudy Fichtenbaum, who is Professor Emeritus of Economics at Wright State University. RCM, or Responsibility Centered Management, is a budgeting model that’s swept higher education, a decentralized management model that rewards revenue generation and cost efficiency in academia. Do the risks of turning academics into entrepreneurs outweigh the rewards? How can competition between programs and divisions help and harm the academic mission?

See you there, 5:30–6:30pm in Shideler 32! Rudy will be glad to answer questions, and we’ll be going out for some social time afterward.

On the immigrant question: a love letter

For all my friends in the university community and elsewhere who are more vulnerable under the new order—and for all those who are not their friends:

Whatever your feelings about the increasingly anti-immigrant efforts of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it’s worth considering another period of our history when our democratic future hung in the balance: Reconstruction, after the Civil War.

How at that point, as W. E. B. Du Bois explains, there was an opportunity for an unfairly exploited labor pool (in that case, enslaved people) to gain democratic citizen’s rights that they had not been able to enjoy, despite their backbreaking work building this country and building wealth for others.

How 150 years ago, commodity prices were artificially cheap because the workers that produced them were paid zero or (after emancipation) very little. How that and the fact of competition from unpaid labor kept downward pressure on wages for all workers (so more profits went to the bosses).

How similar conditions exist now.

How today, immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, do valuable hard work in many industries, work that benefits all of us and builds wealth. Work doing scientific research, picking pesticide-laden fruit at risk of birth defects, making art, writing journalism. doing care work, teaching, feeding people.

How while immigrants’ work has obvious value, profits are higher when wages are low. How racism, because it creates a vulnerable, despised class of workers, is the secret ally of of the bosses, of capital, of the rich.

How if exploited white and even-more-exploited black labor had managed to join forces back during Reconstruction, their joint power would have increased their wages and living standards and political clout.

How if exploited white and even-more-exploited brown and black labor join forces now, especially if they link arms across borders, they (I mean we) will have power against corporate control of our government and will be able to demand increases in wages, living standards, climate justice, and political agency right now. How we could work together toward a sustainable future for all of us.

How big-money interests back during Reconstruction, seeing that their power was at risk, exploited racial identity categories that had been invented for their use. How even if Trump had lost the election, he would still, in a sense, have won the election for big business, because he successfully increased divisions between racial and ethnic and religious identities. How his tactics are swerving people away from working together for their own benefit.

How big-money interests, aided by friends in government, used law and violence to enforce divisions between identity categories. How the Trump administration is doing the same today.

How the pool of “freed” labor was terrorized and effectively re-enslaved—imprisoned, hired out as cheap labor. How undocumented workers face a similar fate right now (a fate black people have faced for over 150 years). How by singling out a mostly-brown group for “extreme” treatment, the government encourages mistreatment (sometimes violent) of brown people by their fellow humans on the street.

How democracy could have been democracy for all of us. How it still isn’t.

How the detention system that served private interests during and after Reconstruction has gotten bigger, and privatized, and metastasized.

How the prison system is about to metastasize far beyond its Arizona dreams, as Homeland Security diverts taxpayer dollars toward private companies such as GEO for the construction and management of more and more immigrant detention centers.

How the production of fear is an industry that serves private interests. How it has done so for a long time. How not very long ago, irrational fears of miscegenation produced brutal violence in the form of lynching. How such fears were exploited to recruit white people for the policing and terrorizing of black people. How terrorized people are less likely to make demands for political and economic justice. How hate serves the interests of the rich—even when neither the haters nor the rich realize it.

How those of us who are not likely to be targeted need to use our power strongly in support of those who are. How we need to tell stories that are not being told, stories of ecological destruction (abroad and at home) at the hands of private interests, how it breeds social unrest and famine and sparks immigration. Stories about underreported US aggression abroad, how it disrupts societies and families and spawns hate that is then viewed in the US as irrational. Stories that draw on the wisdom of those who have understood all this for centuries because they and their families have lived it. Stories about people who have the strength to be loving and strong, stories about connections across difference.

How we need to be producing a lot of documentation right now, and not the kind that Homeland Security is demanding.


Protest against Trump's executive orderOur international students, staff, and colleagues, regardless of their immigration status, are part of our community. Our community must make every effort to keep them safe, free, and able to pursue their studies. Please join our chapter in support of international students and in protest of Donald Trump’s recent executive order.

What you can do:

• Watch this space: AAUP Miami is reaching out to the Miami/Oxford community to organize sanctuary possibilities for at-risk students in case such measures become necessary. Please follow us on Facebook or Twitter to stay informed.
• Sign AAUP National’s #NoBanNoWall petition
• AAUP Miami has also drafted a petition where faculty can pledge not to participate in recruitment activities until Miami has issued a clear and robust policy to protect international students as far as it can under settled law. We are holding the petition back until we gain clarity on Miami’s current policy, but it can be viewed here.

Action Alert: “Guns Everywhere” Bill


Members and friends, we hope you will call your Senators to tell them *NO on HB 48*, the “Guns Everywhere” bill allowing concealed carry on campus. The bill was not passed this week as expected, but will likely be passed next week, perhaps with amendments that would make it impossible for institutions to reduce the impact of the bill by making their own regulations about campus carry.

House Bill 48, known as the “guns everywhere” bill, would reduce the offense for unauthorized carrying of a concealed handgun on the premises of an institution of higher education from a felony to a minor misdemeanor, if the offender produces a valid conceal/carry license within ten days of arrest. This is the equivalent of a first time speeding ticket or failure to register a dog.

The bill in its present form would allow Ohio colleges and universities to develop a policy for allowing conceal/carry of handguns on campus and grant institutions immunity from liability caused by a conceal/carry licensee bringing a gun on to campus.

Here’s what you can do to help:

1) Call the offices of the Republican members of the Senate Committee and ask them to vote NO on HB 48. You may also click on their names below and send e-mails through their contact forms. Phone calls are more effective, though.

-Chairman Bill Coley: (614) 466-8072
Bill Seitz: (614) 466-8068
Troy Balderson: (614) 466-8076
Dave Burke: (614) 466-8049
Kris Jordan: (614) 466-8086
Frank LaRose: (614) 466-4823
Larry Obhof: (614) 466-7505
Tom Patton: (614) 466-8056
Bob Peterson: (614) 466-8156

2) Contact the State Senator that represents you — either by phone (more effective) or by using our online form — to tell them you oppose HB 48.

-Click here to find your Senator’s phone number.
-Click here to use our online form to send a message to your Senator.

More information on this issue:

The Ohio Conference AAUP consistently has opposed any measures that would open the door for conceal/carry on campuses. At our 2015 Annual Meeting, the membership unanimously approved the following resolution:

Resolution #3 – Opposition to House Bill 48
Whereas the Ohio Conference AAUP has a commitment to the safety and welfare of its members and their students, and to the educational missions of its members’ institutions;

Whereas Ohio House Bill 48 would open the door for conceal/carry permit holders to carry their weapons onto public and private college campuses;
Whereas the National AAUP passed a resolution in 2008 which stated:
College and universities closely control firearms and prohibit conceals guns on their campuses because they regard the presence of weapons as incompatible with their educational missions. The Ninety-fourth Annual Meeting of the American Association of University Professors endorses the reliance of colleges and universities on trained and equipped professional law-enforcement personnel to respond to emergency incidents. We call upon state legislative bodies to refrain from interfering with decisions that are properly the responsibility of the academic community.

Be it resolved that the Ohio Conference AAUP opposes Ohio House Bill 48 and other efforts that would allow firearms to be carried onto college campuses.

*Note: We understand that not every member of our association opposes this legislation or agrees with the position statements we have passed on the issue. However, just like everything the Conference decides to support or oppose, this matter has gone through a rigorous discussion and democratic process that involved our state leadership and membership.

Ohio Conference AAUP
137 East State Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Sign Petition to Miami Community: Solidarity Against Hate

Faculty, students, staff, alums—please sign the below petition now to support, defend and stand strong for all those among us who may already be suffering from the normalization of hate. Let’s build not walls but bridges of love across all parts of the Miami community.

Text of petition:
To the Miami University Community:

We strongly condemn the recent posting of white supremacist flyers at Miami and all acts that threaten vulnerable and valuable members of our community. We urge the university administration to condemn publicly these expressions of hatred, and to continue robust support of free intellectual inquiry in an atmosphere in which all members of our diverse community are made welcome, safe, and supported.

We look forward to partnering with faculty, students, staff, administrators, and our whole community in active, vigilant solidarity against hate on our campus. With colleagues at universities around the country, we pledge to support, defend and stand strong for all those among us who may already be suffering from the normalization of hate: people of color, LGBTQ people, women, the differently abled, immigrants (including undocumented people), and Muslims, as well as those of other faiths. Further, we pledge to get to know our neighbors so that we can better work to support and care for one another. We pledge to build not walls but bridges of love across all parts of our community.


Solidarity Against Hate

The AAUP Advocacy Chapter at Miami University strongly condemns both the recent posting of white supremacist flyers at Miami and the growing national “watchlist” of faculty members with a supposedly anti-American agenda. We look forward to partnering with our colleagues and students in active, vigilant solidarity against hate on our campus. We urge the university administration to condemn publicly these expressions of hatred, and to continue robust support of free intellectual inquiry in an atmosphere in which all members of our diverse community are made welcome, safe, and supported.

The AAUP’s National Council approved a resolution today condemning campus hate crimes and supporting the campus sanctuary movement. Sign up here for information and updates about the campus sanctuary movement. Below is the Council’s resolution:

The Atmosphere on Campus in the Wake of the Elections

Sign up here to receive more information about this issue in the coming months

Since the election of Donald J. Trump almost two weeks ago, the US has experienced an unprecedented spike in hate crimes, both physical and verbal, many of them on college and university campuses (see here and here). These have been directed against African Americans, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, women, and people with disabilities. In some instances the perpetrators have invoked the president-elect in support of their heinous actions. The AAUP national Council unequivocally condemns these attacks and calls on college and university administrators, faculty, staff, and students to unite against them. Violence, threats of violence, and harassment have no place on campus.

To fulfill their missions, colleges and universities must ensure that all members of their communities may seek knowledge freely. In our 1994 statement On Freedom of Expression and Campus Speech Codes the AAUP declared: “On a campus that is free and open, no idea can be banned or forbidden. No viewpoint or message may be deemed so hateful or disturbing that it may not be expressed.” But threats and harassment differ from expressions of ideas that some or even most may find repulsive. They intimidate and silence. The free exchange of ideas is incompatible with an atmosphere of fear. Colleges and universities must be places where all ideas and even prejudices may be freely and openly debated and discussed, but such discussion cannot happen when some members of the community are threatened or excluded. Our goal must be to provide safety for both ideas and for all those who wish to engage with them.

We therefore call on college and university administrators to take swift and firm action, consistent with due process rights, against those who have perpetrated violence and those whose menacing behavior threatens both the safety of members of our community and their sense of inclusion. We urge administrators to make clear to all on the campus that such assaults will not be tolerated and to encourage frank and respectful discussion instead. The call issued by administrators at Villanova University, where a violent assault on an African American student rocked the campus, urging faculty members to take time in classes “to ensure that silence on this issue is not misinterpreted as indifference or, even worse, tacit agreement with malicious actions,” is worth emulating.

We also call on AAUP chapters and state conferences and all faculty members to speak out against these assaults and to support all efforts to ensure that campus communities are welcoming and inclusive of all groups and ideas. During this difficult time the faculty voice needs more than ever to be heard loud and clear. At UCLA more than five hundred faculty members have signed a petition “pledg[ing] to stand up for, support, and defend the most vulnerable among us, those deliberately targeted in the lead up to the election, and those who are now victims of hate in its wake.” We encourage faculty members at other institutions to issue similar statements.

Of special importance is the status of those among our students who are undocumented, many of whom have been in this country since early childhood. Concern for the welfare of these students has already prompted a rash of petitions calling on colleges and universities to become “sanctuary campuses.” We support the movement for sanctuary campuses. While colleges and universities must obey the law, administrations must make all efforts to guarantee the privacy of immigrant students and pledge not to grant access to information that might reveal their immigration status unless so ordered by a court of law. Nor should colleges and universities gather information about the citizenship or immigration status of people who have interactions with the administration, including with campus police. College and university police should not themselves participate in any efforts to enforce immigration laws, which are under federal jurisdiction. Faculty members should join efforts to resist all attempts to intimidate or inappropriately investigate undocumented students or to deny them their full rights to due process and a fair hearing.

Finally, we call on president-elect Trump to reconsider his appointment of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist and to more vehemently denounce the hate crimes being committed in the president-elect’s name and act to ensure the safety of members of threatened communities and the freedom of all to teach, study, and learn.

Publication Date:
Tuesday, November 22, 2016


“Bottom line: Less than 33 cents of every dollar spent is for faculty pay”

On November 11, Vice-President David Creamer and Provost Phyllis Callahan gave the second annual Senate Budget Presentation. (We hope the administration will continue this tradition.) We received a response to the presentation from James Brock, Moeckel Professor of Economics at Miami, and he’s given us permission us to share it. The main takeaway:

“The information…create[s] the impression that faculty pay represents a massive share of Miami’s budget…But it doesn’t…Bottom line: Less than 33 cents of every dollar spent is for faculty pay.”

In fact, that 33 cents includes other stuff besides faculty pay. The category is called “instruction & other.” We don’t know what “other” might include, but AAUP chapter figures show that instructional salaries and benefits account for significantly less than 33 cents on the dollar: only a little above 26% of the total university budget goes to instructional salaries and benefits.

Here is Professor Brock’s full response:

For what it’s worth, I’ve reviewed the budget presentation to U senate last week.

I’m struck by the way the information is presented to create the impression that faculty pay represents a massive share of Miami’s budget.

But it doesn’t, and the impression to the contrary is created by the fancy, colorful pie charts and the order in which they are presented:  The first couple of charts get attention, while I think people’s eyes glaze over when the later, more telling ones are reached (I know mine are).

So Fig. 3 indicates that “personnel” represents 71% of the budget, but faculty are only ONE part of all personnel, and it’s 71% of only ONE part of the university’s overall budget (the E&G portion).

Go to Fig. 5, which indicates “instruction and other” expenditures of $225 million.  This understates the faculty-only portion, because God only knows what the “other” includes (it’s interesting that a faculty-only figure is not provided anywhere in this presentation).

This same Fig. 5 indicates that “instruction and other” represents 59% — but 59% ONLY of the E&G part of the overall budget.

However, the overall total budget is obtained by adding the pieces of Fig. 1,  which represents the total of ALL Miami spending on the Oxford campus of $691 million.

So “instruction and other” expenditures of $225 million represent only 33% of ALL Miami spending on the Oxford campus — in other words, only one-third (not 70+%) — and, again, this 33% figure is overstated by inclusion of the “other” category.

Now to compare spending on faculty (which, remember, is understated because the $225 million number includes undefined “other” as well) with administration personnel spending:   Add all the categories in Fig. 37 of salary for all administrative permanent staff to get $95 million — compared to (an overstated) figure of “instruction and other” spending of $225, and what do you find?  Spending on administrative salaries that is fully 47% of spending on “instruction and other” — and even higher than that if a faculty-only figure were available.

Bottom line:  Less than 33 cents of every dollar spent is for faculty pay.

And as I say, for what it’s worth, take it or leave it.