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

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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.

Miami & Your Money 2016

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Chapter Director of Research David Walsh, with the help of co-president Cathy Wagner, gave an in-depth and fascinating presentation tonight sharing new data gathered by the chapter and giving a faculty-view perspective on salaries, benefits, and staffing at Miami.

Highlights:

• Large administrative raises over the last ten years as compared to faculty raises (some eye-popping figures)
• The question of why Miami spends so much on benefits when other institutions are spending less for similar benefits
• Trends in tenure-line staffing versus non-tenure-line staffing
• Gender and race trends in faculty employment and in salaries

If you had to miss it, download the Miami & Your Money 2016 slide presentation. You won’t have David’s contextualizing comments and questions, but the slide show is still very much worth reading.

We hope to see a large and well-informed turnout for the administration’s budget presentation on Monday, November 7, 2016 at 3:35 in Benton 102.

Report on Fall Action Meeting, Sept 20

Thanks all for a great first meeting of the semester. Barely enough chairs! we will get a bigger room next time. In case you missed it, we covered:

– The budget crisis the library is facing because of significant cutbacks and fast-rising costs
– More generally, RCM budgeting’s harsh treatment of units that don’t generate income, including the graduate school, which has cut back graduate student health insurance, among other things)
– Report from the AAUP Summer Institute, which treasurer Amber Franklin and member Theresa Kulbaga attended. Amber spoke about how faculty working conditions are student learning conditions, campaign strategies and power mapping, and making sure diversity is a real value and isn’t just given lip service. Theresa (in absentia) sent in a report on the overuse of ad-hoc appointed committees and how they undermine good shared governance practices.
– Potential shared-governance problem related to newly issued departmental governance guidelines
– STRS & ARP benefits and an upcoming class-action lawsuit (a lively and divided discussion ensued)
– Our upcoming meeting with new university president Greg Crawford
– Preparations for our annual fall budget presentation, coming up October 19, when we’ll focus on health benefits and administrative salaries. We also hope to discuss non-tenure-line faculty salaries.
– Other member concerns included a discussion of the problems with the new faculty dining facility. It’s good news that efforts are being made to provide faculty with a space, but the current Bell Tower location is not going to work because students have not stopped using it. A real dedicated space is still needed.
– Planning a public protest action (join our Facebook discussion group to hear more)

Next public meeting is October 19. See you there.

What we’re all about and how to tell your friends

Do you want to know more about the work our chapter does, or would you like to share information about the chapter with colleagues? We’ve now got a sweet little handout summarizing why we are here and what we do. Speak with any member or write us at miamiaaup@gmail.com to get copies of the below handout to distribute to colleagues.

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Fall Action Meeting & New Faculty Welcome

Come on out to our first meeting of the year, Wednesday, September 21 at 5:30pm in 46 Irvin. Meet the new chapter leadership, find out what’s simmering and help decide our priorities for the year.
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Latest news from Senate

Here are our latest reports from University Senate.

August 29, 2016 report
Highlights:
– President’s and Provost’s priorities for the year
– new faculty dining area in Belltower (there have been some issues with the space, but we hear that Belltower is working on making sure the area is available only to faculty and we look forward to using the space)
– Benefits Committee minutes regarding the Out-of-Network Out-of-Pocket no-maximum issue
– Provost’s report on salaries and the incoming class

September 12, 2016 report
– upcoming faculty survey, the plans for which are not progressing as our chapter had hoped
report from the new director of the Howe Center for Writing Excellence on goals and new initiatives — do check the Howe website as many opportunities for students and faculty are available there.
– a new Global Miami Plan Writing Committee will focus on the Advanced Writing Requirement (a welcome innovation, though a member noted that the new committee may not have been formed according to best shared governance practices)
– Senate voted on which Senate Committees they most wanted to hear reports from this year
– Faculty Assembly Committee has been disbanded because there is no formal role for the committee specified in university governance (hopefully not also because the last Faculty Assembly meeting was contentious). Faculty Assembly is an important venue for shared governance. We aren’t convinced Faculty Assembly Committee needed to decommissioned right now, as there are other committees in existence that are not standing committees. But there’s a shiny silver lining here: given the opportunity, Governance Committee can clarify Faculty Assembly’s role and determine the best way for its agenda to be set.

Budget debacle hurting students up the road

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Ahead of the terrible Wright State budget cuts, their AAUP Chapter gave some wise advice to the board that every board in the country (not to mention the US presidential candidates soon to debate one another at WSU) should hear:

“We are concerned about the opaque way in which the budgetary issues have been presented, starting with the fact that no one has been at all clear on exactly how large the needed budget cuts actually are. Likewise, we are concerned about the decision to address these issues at the very end of the academic year…

“We…recommended a fairly large number of alternatives to making substantial reductions to the instructional budgets of the colleges…The faculty senate’s budget priority committee’s…recommendations largely reinforce the AAUP’s recommendations…

“We believe that it is a self-defeating strategy to make reductions to the instructional budgets…

“If the increased allocations to public services, student services, and institutional support, all cost centers within the university, had been equivalent to the increases in instructional spending, the savings over the last 14 years would have amounted to $9.2 million. Moreover, beyond the $86.4 million in budget subsidy that has gone to intercollegiate athletics, over the same time period, intercollegiate athletics has had expenses in excess of revenues totaling $6.3 million with $4.3 million occurring since 2009…[T]he idea that making cuts to the instructional budgets of the colleges will somehow be less painful than reducing the allocations to the other cost centers seems a very skewed perspective…”

A full list of the chapter’s (excellent, and ignored) recommendations is here. The chapter has also submitted an open records request on WSU spending.

What’s happening at WSU is also happening in Illinois and elsewhere, the result of years of skewed priorities at both institutional and state levels. Let’s turn this ship around.

Miamians, you’re paying more than Ohio peers for health coverage

 

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Here’s our latest working paper—Part II in a series on Miami’s health plans. (The earlier paper focused on gaps in coverage, such as the fact that there’s no limit on out-of-network costs for Miami employees.) In this paper, you’ll find out that

  • Miami employees generally spend more on health insurance coverage than employees at other Ohio public universities and public employees in Ohio overall.
  • Miami employees pay a considerably larger share of the cost of health plan premiums than Ohio public employees overall and Ohio college/university employees.
  • For Miami employees earning $75,000/$125,000, the premiums under both of Miami’s health plans are uniformly the highest. Employees at these salary levels pay hundreds of dollars more per year for individual coverage under both plans and thousands more for family coverage than employees at peer institutions.

Miami employees, generally changes in our benefits (usually reductions, these days) are announced over the summer. Watch your email.

“A very good business opportunity”: the Ohio higher-ed giveaway

An ITT Technical Institute for-profit college location in Chantilly, Virginia on July 6, 2014. Photo Credit: Kristoffer Tripplaar/ Sipa USA
An ITT Technical Institute for-profit college location in Virginia. Photo Credit: Kristoffer Tripplaar/ Sipa USA

This is a complicated story but it’s important if you care about higher education in Ohio and higher-ed trends across the US. University of Akron’s President Scarborough had/has a bold plan to expand the university into satellite campusus—some outside the state—by taking over ITT Tech (the for-profit failure). How would he run them? By outsourcing the work and slapping the U of Akron name on the label.

Now it looks like the outsourcing plan involves a contract with Pearson (just as Ohio public schools abandon Pearson’s crazy-expensive and unpopular PARCC tests after only one year) and that state players at the highest levels—Kasich’s office, Ohio Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger, President of the State Senate Keith Faber, Attorney General Michael DeWine, John Minor who heads up Jobs Ohio, Senators Portman and Brown and Akron’s Congressman Ryan—consulted in the “transaction.” Vinny Gupta, head of the Ohio Board of Regents, “referred to the deal as ‘a very good business opportunity for all the partners at the table.'”

Kasich and these other politicians supported a deal in which Akron, a school in scary decline after huge cuts by its new president, would invest in a sketchy business proposition to take over failing for-profit campuses. And Kasich appoints the members of all Ohio universities’ boards of trustees.