UA response to letter received by national AAUP10/08/2020
Late Wednesday afternoon, the University received a letter from the national AAUP in response to the request by the Akron-AAUP leadership for an investigation into the University’s actions taken recently to resolve the serious financial issues related to the COVID pandemic (read the letter). The national AAUP letter makes numerous unsubstantiated accusations that the University is in violation of AAUP principles of shared governance, academic freedom and tenure. The letter demands a reversal of recent decisions to lay off faculty and threatens action against the University if this demand is not met. We will make our response available to the University community once it is prepared.
Not mentioned in the national AAUP letter is the important fact that an arbitrator, agreed to by both the Akron-AAUP and the University, affirmed the University’s invocation of the applicable provisions of the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement, previously agreed to by the Akron-AAUP and the University. The arbitrator’s binding decision affirmed the University’s actions as necessary to ensure the financial stability of the University in a global pandemic.
The University strongly affirms the AAUP principles of shared governance, academic freedom and tenure. Every action taken in this process has been in keeping with those principles.
We continue to focus on the future. This weekend we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of The University of Akron. We continue to work with students and faculty to plan a spring semester in uncertain times. The provost is working closely with leadership, faculty and staff to restart our strategic planning process, re-energize our enrollment approach and update our operations. And, we continue to expand our partnerships with the City of Akron, local business, education and the non-profit sector to do our part to help our community move through these uncertain times.
I want to thank everyone for their commitment to The University of Akron.
Gary L. Miller
The University of Akron