AAUP-SC Responds to Culture of Trump; Elects Officers
The Spring meeting of the AAUP-SC took place at beautiful Francis Marion with good attendance and good spirits. President Luther Carter rolled out the red carpet, with reception and welcome speech the following morning with great admonition to protect academic freedom and shared governance in the state. With this strong career fostering AAUP and strong leadership on these issues, members took heart in his words.
AAUP-SC President then spoke on the new concerns of the state in the political culture of Donald Trump. In addition to the years of decline in state funding, institutions now face the instability of a political culture that seeks to harm minorities, bully enemies (including educational initiatives at all levels, deemed "too politically correct), and encourage the destruction of higher education through the rise of for-profit and online-only and fake degree programs like Trump University.
Specifically in South Carolina, bills forcing guns onto college campuses, even private ones, were getting closer to the floor than ever before, and legislators were beginning to unanimously support bills that determine how subjects like Israeli-legitimacy should be taught. Kevin Bryant had also been promoted to Lieutenant Governor in the rise of Gov. Nikki Haley to the UN. Bryant had been the central force behind the censorship movement to have the SC legislature determine which books were of "good quality" to be assigned in college classes and programs.
The Executive committee saw the election of new leaders, including J. Mark Blackwell, and the decision to implement an Awards program in future years to inspire more best practices and publicity across the state on: gender and pay equity, strong administrative leadership, strong chapter building activities and shared governance on specific campuses.