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The UNC Chapel Hill chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) meets regularly to discuss campus affairs relevant to academic freedom, shared governance, and other issues of concern to higher education workers.

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The UNC-Chapel Hill chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is opposed to the current policy of allowing the UNC System President to name a finalist candidate for chancellor searches at UNC campuses.

The Board of Governors’ recent appointment of Darrell Allison as Chancellor at Fayetteville State University—after a normal search had created an initial list of finalists that did not include him—demonstrates that the current system is in violation of the AAUP’s principles of shared campus governance.

See the full UNC-CH AAUP statement on UNC chancellor searches.

The AAUP national office has sent a letter of concern to the chair of the Board of Trustees at Fayetteville State University regarding their recent selection of Mr. Darrell Allison as chancellor. The faculty senate at Fayetteville State has passed a resolution urging the board to rescind the offer on the grounds that Mr. Allison “lacks the requisite academic experience necessary to serve as the leader of an academic institution.” See also this special report at NC Policy Watch. It appears that the UNC System is once again subordinating the principles of shared governance.

The state AAUP meeting will be held this Saturday, March 13, from 1 to 3PM via Zoom.

The meeting’s agenda will be to discuss how shared governance and academic freedom have fared at different North Carolina institutions during COVID. The plan is to have members of each institution represented in the state conference briefly address the following questions, which relate to issues of institutional governance during the pandemic:

  1. How would you characterize the decision to change course delivery methods in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

  2. How would you characterize decisions to reopen the campus during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  3. How would you characterize budget decisions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

  4. In general, how influential has faculty participation been during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to what degree has faculty participation changed since the COVID-19 pandemic?

  5. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, have academic programs, majors, or minors been eliminated, or have no programs been eliminated?

  6. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, has the administration or board declared a financial exigency or fiscal emergency, or has there been no such declaration? Have there been terminations of faculty appointments, including faculty layoffs, or have there been no such terminations?

  7. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, has the administration or board unilaterally declared existing institutional regulations, such as sections of the faculty handbook, as no longer in force?

  8. Have faculty at your institution faced any academic freedom issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic?

  9. What are other current concerns faculty have at your institution?

If you are interested in attending, please contact Michael Behrent at michaelcbehrent@gmail.com to request the Zoom link. It will be made available to any AAUP member or faculty member who requests it.

Our next chapter meeting will be Friday, March 5, from noon to 1:30pm EST.

The meeting link and agenda will be posted next week. If you would like to suggest an agenda item, please contact one of the officers by Monday, March 1.

In the meantime, here are some recent news items of interest:

  1. Daily Tar Heel article about our chapter's statement calling for the Chancellor to resign

  2. WUNC story about the statement

  3. Daily Tar Heel letter to the editor in response to the February 19 Faculty Council meeting

  4. Daily Tar Heel op-ed by UNC Reinvest, a group whose goals are aligned with the budget recommendations of Another UNC is Possible

  5. Daily Tar Heel article about Another UNC is Possible

  6. Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities from the the AAUP National office

Please invite any interested colleagues. Our meetings are open to all UNC instructors, and you need not be an AAUP member to attend chapter meetings.

Karen Booth karenmbooth@gmail.com

Michael Palm mwpalm@gmail.com

Jay Smith jaysmith711@gmail.com

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