FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VIRGINIA TECH FACULTY ESTABLISH CHAPTER OF NATIONAL PROFESSORS’ ORGANIZATION
Blacksburg, Virginia, October 30, 2014 – Faculty at Virginia Tech have founded a new chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The organization serves all tenure-track and adjunct faculty, as well as graduate students.
The national organization’s mission includes promoting academic freedom and shared governance. It seeks to promote the economic security of faculty and graduate students, and to “ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good.”
The new chapter adopted a set of bylaws and elected its first officers. Chapter President is Barbara Ellen Smith of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies; Vice-President is Uwe Tauber of the Department of Physics, and Secretary-Treasurer is Marian Mollin from the History Department. The chapter also appointed an executive committee consisting of Wornie Reed (Sociology and Africana Studies), Steve Harrison (Computer Science), and Janell Watson (Foreign Language and Literatures).
Chapter President Smith commented, “It’s exciting to see Virginia Tech faculty mobilizing across colleges to promote our collective voice. Surprisingly, given practices at other colleges and universities across the U.S., meaningful faculty input has been missing from governance at Virginia Tech.”
Virginia Tech is undertaking a major revision of its general education requirements. Several academic units within the university, as well as the faculty senate, have called for a larger role for faculty in this and other academic policies. Several members present at the inaugural meeting of the Virginia Tech chapter mentioned their interest in promoting shared governance.