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Press Release Statement

Statement regarding administration’s response to anonymous op-ed

The Executive Committee of the LMU Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (LMU-AAUP) issues the following statement:

The LMU chapter of the AAUP is concerned about the administration’s public response to the anonymous article published by The Loyolan. The administration’s response (which is unsigned yet claims to speak for “LMU” as a whole) reads as a public attack on our own students, rather than as a contribution to discernment for the sake of the whole university community regarding our financial situation. By offering no new documentation or evidence, this response exacerbates the deep distrust felt by many in our university community. The only adequate response is the fullest possible budget transparency, which has been demanded both by our Faculty Senate and by the LMU-AAUP, in an open letter adopted by its membership in September, signed by nearly 100 members of the faculty.

—The Executive Committee of the LMU-AAUP

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Statement

LMU-AAUP Stands in Solidarity with #BlackAtLMU and Black Faculty and Staff Association Demands

Following the statement of solidarity issued by the Executive Committee of the LMU-AAUP in support of Black faculty, staff, and student demands at Loyola Marymount University, the membership of the chapter voted on Sep. 18 2020 to ratify and endorse this statement as the offiical position of the LMU-AAUP chapter:

We stand in solidarity with #BlackAtLMU and the LMU Black Faculty and Staff Association and completely support the demands which they have issued. We join their calls for LMU to move beyond words and act directly against racism and anti-blackness at Loyola Marymount University. We too are “impatient with the institutional inertia that is historically, consciously, and strategically used to resist change.”

Black Lives Matter.

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Meetings

Oct. 2: Teach-In on Academic Freedom & Political Economy of Higher Education w/ Isaac Kamola (Trinity College)

The LMU-AAUP is excited to announced our next discussion in a series with academic leaders and organizers! We will be hosting Prof. Isaac Kamola of Trinity College on Friday Oct. 2nd (Noon, PST).


Prof. Isaac Kamola

Prof. Kamola is currently the President of the Trinity College AAUP Chapter, and he was one of its co-founders. Trinity College’s AAUP chapter is relatively young, founded in 2016-17 by faculty at Trinity specifically to support DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) students on their campus and to ensure that the college would do everything they could to protect those students from deportation.

The chapter grew quickly, but was thrown into the national spotlight as they had to come to the defense of one of their faculty members, Johnny Wil­liams, came under national attack for extra-mural speech. They successfully fought for Dr. Williams’ academic freedom rights, and in the process revealed deeply troubling questions about university governance as Trinity. You can learn more about that case and the work that their chapter was able to do by already being organized here. 

And they have been leaders on their campus in laying out principles for faculty governance during Covid-19 and ensuring that their students and their faculty are well supported during this crisis.

Prof. Kamola is Associate Professor of Political Science at Trinity, and an expert not only in international political economy, but also in critical higher education studies. He has published widely on the various crises facing universities today, with a focus on how the political economy of higher education shapes and forms university’s commitments to principles like academic freedom.

All of which is to say: we can learn a lot from Prof. Kamola and the work of the Trinity College AAUP, and we hope you can take the time to join us this Friday, Oct. 2 at Noon to speak with him! 

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Meetings

General Assembly Meeting—Sep 18, 2020

Please join us for our monthly General Assembly Meeting of the LMU-AAUP on Friday September 18 at Noon (Pacific Time). This will be our regular open meeting for all current and potential members. All non-administrative LMU faculty and professional librarians of all ranks and contracts are welcome! Voting on any issues is restricted to current due-paying members. If you don’t have the zoom link in your email, contact the Secretary Treasurer for the link.

The primary business of the meeting will be to adopt and launch our campaign for a transparent and equitable budget at LMU, make concrete plans to build our membership (and power!), and to support demands being made by grass-roots campus groups to build a genuinely anti-racist university, moving beyond mere words.

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Statement

Statement of solidarity with #BlackAtLMU and the BFSA

The Executive Committee of the Loyola Marymount University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (LMU-AAUP) issues the following statement:

We stand in solidarity with #BlackAtLMU and the LMU Black Faculty and Staff Association and completely support the demands which they have issued. We join their calls for LMU to move beyond words and act directly against racism and anti-blackness at Loyola Marymount University. We too are “impatient with the institutional inertia that is historically, consciously, and strategically used to resist change.”

Black Lives Matter.

—The Executive Committee of the LMU-AAUP

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Statement

Response to Provost’s August 5, 2020 Town Hall

August 13, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

We found the Provost’s Town Hall on August 5th shocking and demoralizing. After all of the work we have done to preserve LMU’s future, under impossible conditions, it was dispiriting to hear that faculty and staff will have their compensation reduced by nearly 10%, and not receive this news from the President. It was dispiriting to be talked to, but not really heard. It was dispiriting to hear several major errors in fact and judgment from our executive leadership.

We would like to briefly address a few of them here:

  • The AAUP has defined and defended the principles and practices of shared governance in higher education for a hundred years. Shared governance is thus not, as was asserted by Provost Poon, “in the eye of the beholder.” LMU has an objective framework for shared governance as laid out in the Faculty Handbook, and through policies adopted by the Faculty Senate. Insofar as shared governance is in the eye of the beholder, if the beholder is executive leadership, too frequently it is viewed as merely optional or entirely unnecessary—as was indicated by the decision to bypass the University Comprehensive Benefits Committee, and thus abrogate the contractual requirements of the Faculty Handbook, in order to suspend contractual obligations of deferred compensation.
  • The Provost was mistaken in claiming that only executive leadership’s pay has been cut; this statement erases the immense sacrifice that has already been made of hundreds of staff who have been partially or fully furloughed, or who have been laid off entirely.
  • There seems to be significant confusion about the meaning of an equity budget. An across the board cut is not an equity budget. A flat rate cut is not an equity budget. These cuts are not progressive; they are regressive in effect, in that they harm those most vulnerable and protect those least vulnerable. This is not a matter of opinion, but a statement of fact. To mischaracterize publicly, and in written communications, these cuts as “progressive” is especially dispiriting at an institution of learning. Moreover, such an approach is not in keeping with our values as a university in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions.
  • And while it is the case that public universities have a higher degree of budget transparency than private universities, this alone is not sufficient reason for LMU to keep its faculty in the dark about the tough decisions we must make. There has been no meaningful effort to justify how and why these decisions have been made. The goalposts keep changing, the relevant decisions are always made elsewhere, and the faculty are told that we must cut educational resources, but grow management. Transparency is necessary for trust and for confidence in our university; increasingly, as a faculty, we have none.

We look forward to working together as #OneFaculty for greater budget transparency, an equity budget that accords with our values as a university and that preserves the educational mission of LMU, and for a stronger, more democratic governance.

With our respect and solidarity,

The Executive Committee of your LMU AAUP

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Press Release

LMU-AAUP distributes more than $20,000 to furloughed LMU Staff

Los Angeles, CA., July 17, 2020 — The Loyola Marymount University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) today announced that it has raised and distributed more than $20,000 to help support furloughed staff members during the ongoing crisis. Following the announcement in May of more than 230 full furloughs across LMU’s campus, the LMU-AAUP chapter began working with faculty and staff allies to find direct and material ways to support our furloughed colleagues. The chapter hosted an online fundraiser, raising a total of $20,350 from more than 200 individual donors. Current and former students, faculty, staff, family, and friends from across the country dug deeply. 

Working closely with the Latino/a Staff Association, the LMU Staff Senate, and Viernes por la tarde, the LMU-AAUP reached out with a bilingual application to all furloughed staff inviting them to apply for an equitable grant. Ultimately, nearly 70 grants of $300 per person have been sent out. While this amount of money pales in comparison to the lost wages, it is the LMU-AAUP’s hope that this tangible show of solidarity can be of some material help and serve as an indication of how deeply we value staff at LMU. 

The chapter has also issued a statement of solidarity with staff, adopted in June by the LMU-AAUP membership, urging the University to reinstate our colleagues and move the University to a transparent and truly equitable budgeting process now, and in the future. As more cuts loom, it is vitally important that any cuts be progressive and start at the top, trimming from the branches and not the roots. This is longer and harder work than merely donating funds, and it will call on all of us to stand united not only in support of the very principles Loyola Marymount University stands for— the encouragement of learning, the service of faith, and the promotion of justice—but also to struggle to realize these principles in practice.

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Press Release

LMU-AAUP Staff Solidarity Fund

As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Loyola Marymount University has chosen to furlough 230 of its staff. This will mean a significant hardship for many of them. In solidarity with these staff whose work is so crucial to our own, the Loyola Marymount University chapter of the American Association of University Professors is raising funds to help the staff who are most vulnerable because of the layoffs. This is a completely voluntary effort and is open to the public as well as members of LMU AAUP and the broader LMU community! As a personal gift, these contributions are not tax deductible; but any amount, not matter how small, is welcome and will be distributed to furloughed staff at LMU.  There are no shortage of ways you can help right now, but this is a way you can help right here at home. Please consider contributing.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/lmuaaup-staff-solidarity-fund

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Uncategorized

AAUP Statement on Reopening Campus

The AAUP has provided some guidelines for re-opening campus, emphasizing that the health and safety of faculty, students, and staff must be primary in guiding university decisions about re-opening. You can find them here.

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Uncategorized

Principles + Actions from Tenure for the Common Good

Tenure for the Common Good, a group that seeks to educate tenured faculty about casualization in higher education and organize the use of tenure for justice, has developed this sensible list of actions to protect contingent faculty workers, ranging from providing equitable technical support for transition to online teaching, to extending contracts, to establishing mutual aid sick-day banks. Check it out!