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 anger 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.

Miami & Your Money 2016



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.


• 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.




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.