Saturday, June 14, 2008

AAUP Restructuring Vote Passes

By a nearly unanimous vote, the AAUP approved its restructuring plan this afternoon. With one dissenter (who unsuccessfully tried to amend the resolution to require all of the Council and elected leadership to resign), the AAUP voted to approve the plan to divide the current charity into three parts: a professional association (which would continue the AAUP name and existing structure), a collective bargaining unit, and a charitable foundation. With any luck, this will get the IRS off the AAUP's back and remove any last excuses for its inaction.

The IRS will have to approve the plan, which may further delay its implementation. But the passage of restructuring makes the future of the AAUP, as did the news that 3,000 members were added, putting total membership at 47,000, the highest it has been in several decades.

Unfortunately, the AAUP members also rejected (by voting 94-37 to send back to committee) a resolution mildly criticizing Israel for its policy of banning Palestinian students in Gaza from leaving to pursue higher education. Many speakers objected to singling out Israel. Oddly, these same people raised no objection to singling out Iran for criticism in violating academic freedom, a resolution that passed unanimously. It was a sign of how powerful the fear of controversy regarding Israel is, that it extends even to the membership of the AAUP.


Anonymous said...

The AAUP would be a much better advocate for education and academic freedom if they would focus on their mission. There are plenty of other organizations that are better suited for addressing the Israel and Palestine issue. The AAUP should stick to education.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the AAUP should "stick to education" but it also has a sacred obligation to protect and nurture academic freedom. I fail to see the reason for 94 people voting to table the discussion until more needed information be provided to be out of fear instead of, perhaps, enlightenment? The case against Iran was one where a government was denying some of its own people access to education because of their religion which was not the case for the denial of visa's at the time they were denied to Gazan's by Israel (which is no longer the case). Equating the two situation is not based on an all-things-considered approach. Perhaps it is more appropriate to advocate that the AAUP refrains from refereeing between waring factions. And, perhaps, this is why the resolution did not pass, let alone pass resoundingly.

Anonymous said...

As the AAUP "sticks to education" it must also protects and nurture academic freedom. I am not sure exactly why the vote of 97 to 37