Greetings AAUP-FM Members,
The AAUP-FM has been busy with legislation in the Assembly via the AAUP-SC, the Fall and Spring Fora, issues concerning salary, equity for contingent faculty, the future of the Provost/Dean position in CLA, and a few confidential issues concerning faculty.
Bills Aimed at Higher Education
All of the pre-filed bills in both chambers directed at higher education are getting no traction and attracting only 105 sponsors. These bills included more anti-CRT, an attempt to make college campuses free speech zones (for any kind of speech by anyone), and another swipe at tenure. We suspect that these bills have a secondary purpose: to target moderate Republicans in the next primary.
DEI: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Attack
Earlier in the semester, a member of the SC House requested all spending in public higher education for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Some of the wording in this request was copied and pasted directly from the Manhattan Institute’s policy webpage, “Abolish DEI Bureaucracies and Restore Colorblind Equality in Public Universities”, authored by Christopher Rufo, Ilya Shapiro, and Matt Beienburg. See Proposal 1, C. 3-5. You might remember that Rufo ignited the anti-CRT attacks and was recently installed on the Board at the New College this January.
During our Spring Break, the Assembly was working to reconcile the budget. During those session, members of the Freedom Caucus tried to push several DEI provisos, using the recently submitted budget for DEI. All of these provisos were ruled “dilatory,” and may cause the moderate Republicans to pass a rule or legislation preventing the abuse of the legislative process. The FC is using reconciliation on the budget to introduce legislation that they cannot otherwise get passed. It’s not the first time.
The AAUP-SC has prepared a statement supporting DEI, but will not release it until a DEI bill is pre-filed. We do not want to give the FC any play.
Connecting with the NAACP at FMU
At the beginning of the semester, I gave a short presentation to the FMU Chapter of the NAACP. If attacks on academic freedom become more successful, our students can join our efforts by providing powerful testimony and networking with other chapters. The AAUP-SC currently collaborates with the ACLU, Anti-Defamation League, and the NAACP, among others, when our missions overlap.
More Anti-CRT in Public Schools
With 24 sponsors from the “Freedom Caucus”, H. 3728 is another gag order. In support of our K-12 colleagues, the AAUP-SC Conference submitted testimony during Spring Break against H. 3728 with the Orwellian title: “Transparency and Integrity in Education Act.”
On the Horizon for AAUP-FM
On the AAUP-FM Horizon, the AAUP University Introduction Seminar is tentatively set for September 8 at 4:00 pm. The Fall Forum is tentatively set for September, 13 at 3:45PM. We are still working on the details with the President and the Provost-Elect.
There’s plenty of good work to be done through our Chapter and the Conference. Please, join the effort and encourage our colleagues to do the same.
Hope to see you at the Spring Forum on March 30 in the Chapman Auditorium followed by a dandy Reception in Honors. RSVP Elizabeth if you have not already: Elizabeth Sadler Shefton [email protected].
As always, thank you for being an AAUP member. If you have any questions, drop by my office or shoot me an email.