May 26, 2018

AAUP discussion of CHE?




As I take part in discussions with colleagues I am growing increasingly nervous about the SC Commission for Higher Education (CHE)'s intentions. In the town halls that have been held by the CHE around the state, the group seems antagonistic towards higher education faculty, staff, and administration. While the focus on lowering costs for students seems admirable at first, they have implied that their cost cutting may be tied to a demand for only "useful" classes (for some measure of "useful" dictated by CHE itself). That looks to me like a target painted firmly on the back of arts and humanities. Am I wrong about this? What have you heard? How worried should we be about this turn the CHE has made? Will they attempt to dictate what state money can or can't be used on? Could they extend their power into shaping courses and curriculum? How could it affect academic freedoms? I have already heard rumors that the clause that demands "teaching excellence" in their student bill of rights has lead to discussions about including creationism in science classes. Is this the same fight that has always existed between institutions and the government body holding the purse strings, or is it something more? And should the AAUP be looking more closely at news coming from the CHE?

New Posts
  • AAUP of SC
    May 26, 2018

    http://www.unkochmycampus.org/ Although political donor investment by the Koch Foundation to SC schools has been minimal according to the unkochmycampus website and has centered on only four private universities it may be a good idea to discuss donor influence in SC and consider what stance the AAUP of SC may want to establish regarding donor influence. Let's use this thread as a central location to discuss issues, compile resources, and track stories related to donor influence on higher education.
  • sarahy
    May 30, 2018

    Hi to members at USC-Aiken and to members at any other chapters who may have helpful suggestions. USC-Aiken members may have heard about the recent, surprise announcement that the training stipend for attending the Critical Inquiry (CI) Summer Institute will be reduced from the expected $600 amount to $300. It is my understanding that any instructor who teaches CI at USC-Aiken is required to take the training to teach the CI class. Many of the CI instructors are adjuncts, and this sudden reduction in expected pay could really place them in a bind. Also, other faculty not scheduled to teach the CI class can take the paid training for professional development purposes. While budget constraints may make it necessary to adjust the amount of the training stipend at times, it is important for the administration to communicate such changes with proper notice. Next year, it may be appropriate to offer a lower stipend, but for this year, those of us who enrolled with the expectation of a $600 stipend should get it in full. (My two cents.) Does anyone else have comments or suggestions on this issue?