Announcement Letter to the Faculty

5-5-2015

Dearest Colleagues,

We are so very pleased to announce that faculty of the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota have recently formed an AAUP advocacy chapter.

It is imperative that you know this organization is NOT a union.  It is NOT an organization that should cause alarm among the administration and faculty at our campus.  The AAUP is a professional organization where leadership can flourish and faculty can discuss academic issues that affect them directly and indirectly.  In fact, the mission of the national organization and thus our mission is “to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, post‐doctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good.”

And with this mission in mind, our chapter will focus on a number of concerns faculty have shared over the past few years in addition to increasing faculty recruitment/membership to the chapter, creating faculty surveys to better understand and respond to the concerns of current faculty members, and developing a more open dialogue between faculty in hopes of boosting faculty morale at the college.

Please note that our chapter does NOT require dues for membership.  The only stipulation to joining our State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota chapter is membership in the national AAUP organization. We encourage both full-time and part-time faculty to read about the national AAUP at aaup.org and consider becoming a member of the organization so we can come together in the fall and begin work as a faculty unit. We are currently getting our chapter website together where we can showcase our bylaws, election process, and house our faculty newsletter, surveys and chapter activities.

Current officials of the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota AAUP chapter are president Courtney Ruffner, professor of Language and Literature; vice president Jeff Grieneisen, associate professor of Language and Literature; secretary Hyun Kim, assistant professor of Art, Design, and Humanities; and treasurer Jeff Laborda, associate professor of Natural Sciences. We have worked together to get the chapter started, but we need faculty who want to serve on the chapter executive committee as well as other pertinent committees.  As an aside, these committee seats are voted on by members of the chapter.  As we get our website together, we will begin posting openings for these committee seats.

We realize the commitment that the college’s faculty senate has had in the past, and we are not opposing that commitment.  In fact, the chapter’s secretary Hyun Kim is our conduit to the senate as he serves as secretary of the Bradenton Campus this academic year.

In a nutshell, let’s get together and talk. Let’s see where faculty concerns meet up.  Let’s see what direction we want to go as a faculty unit instead of as individuals carrying these concerns throughout our daily lives.

Have a wonderful summer, colleagues. We’ll send an update when we complete our website.

Respectfully Yours,
AAUP, State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota Chapter Officers

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