November 25th, 2014
AAUP president Rudy Fichtenbaum issued the following statement on the situation of graduate teaching fellows at the University of Oregon:
The AAUP commends the University of Oregon faculty senate on its stand against the administration’s attempt to subvert faculty governance and weaken academic standards as means to undermine the potential Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation's strike.
In the 1966 Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities, the AAUP affirms that the faculty “has primary responsibility for such fundamental areas as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, faculty status, and those aspects of student life which relate to the educational process.” This standard is reaffirmed in the University of Oregon’s constitution. Decisions related to these fundamental academic areas must involve the faculty, through the appropriate shared governance body, and we commend the faculty senate for demanding that the administration adhere to these professional standards.
The university administration’s attempt to circumvent the shared governance process in order to break a potential strike by the graduate employees makes their action all the more troubling. The AAUP has long recognized academic unionization as both a fundamental right and an effective means of furthering AAUP’s core principles of academic freedom, due process, and economic security for all academic workers. We stand in solidarity with the GTFF and call on the administration to return to the table and to negotiate in good faith.