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Posts Tagged ‘American Association of University Professors’

Chris Kelly, the democratic candidate for the 24th Missouri House district, said supporters of the university need to “throw down and fight” in the next legislative session. Kelly was invited to speak by the MU chapter of the American Association of University Professors, and discussed his plans for higher education in Missouri if he were elected.

Kelly spent 12 years in the Missouri House of Representatives, from 1983-1994.

“During that time I came to learn what it takes to make the university successful in the legislature,” he said. Kelly said a politically motivated faculty, a risk-taking administration and Board of Curators and a caring Alumni Association are all assets the university must have to find success in the state legislature.

Higher education funding, especially at MU, has spurred lots of scrutiny from faculty and staff in recent years.

Kelly said passing the Prepare to Care initiative, a plan to increase the number of medical jobs in mid-Missouri, would be one of his main goals in the General Assembly.

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Last week at the special MU faculty meeting, there were a couple of signs that the university’s American Association of University Professors chapter is looking to receive a kick-start from its relatively dormant last few years on campus. 

Victoria Johnson, an associate professor of sociology, was one of the drafters of the petition that kick-started the faculty meeting process. She said that even though there has been an AAUP chapter at the university for years, its active membership had been steadily declining until last fall.

She said that membership has steadily increased this past academic year, and that even more members were interested in joining after the faculty meeting.

On my way into the meeting Thursday afternoon, I saw mathematics professor Stephen Montgomery-Smith, another of the petition’s drafters, coming into Cornell Hall with a large stack of AAUP literature in tow.

Johnson said there are many concerns that faculty have related to state underfunding of higher education, relationships between administration and faculty and to attacks on the university faculty by some political officials.

She said the AAUP will join with several other departments at MU to present a one-day “Corporatization of the University” symposium designed “to educate, discuss and debate issues relating to higher education in Missouri as well as trends throughout the nation,” she said in an e-mail.

Johnson said she hopes to bring in political officials to present their views on funding higher education and will present panels on the economic impact of higher education and the comparisons of higher education models in European Union nations compared to the United States, for example.

The symposium will occur at some point this upcoming fall semester.

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