It’s time again to invite all faculty interested in improving their working conditions or in making their university run more effectively to register for the AAUP Summer Institute. Held this year in Chicago at Roosevelt University from July 26-29, the Summer Institute provides hands-on training in matters of academic freedom and faculty governance.
The Summer Institute isn’t just training for unionized faculty; it gives everyone the tools they need to participate actively in their university. In addition to workshops specifically on collective bargaining issues or on running an AAUP advocacy chapter, there are many workshops that would be helpful for virtually anyone:
- A Crash Course in Institutional Financial Analysis
- Diverse Faculty and Academic Freedom
- Understanding and Strengthening Faculty Handbooks
- Defending and Advancing Faculty Rights in the Face of Legislative Attacks
- Recruiting Diverse Leadership in Faculty Organizations
- Effective Faculty Governance: Action-Orientated Meetings and Parliamentary Procedure
- Developing Shared Governance: Increasing Faculty Participation in Academic Decision-Making
- The Nuts and Bolts of Lobbying
- Women’s Rights Are Faculty Rights
- Bridging the Gap between Tenure and Non-Tenure-Track Faculty
It has been brought to my attention that the notion of spending several days inside in July discussing faculty governance might have a limited appeal, but this work turns out to be critical to maintaining the independence and vitality of the professoriate.
While the Summer Institute has some core topics that it always has to cover, the AAUP’s Department of Organizing Services also tweaks the schedule each year to provide training that’s relevant. In recent years they’ve added workshops on working with media, social and traditional, and this year, there’s a fascinating new workshop on direct action sponsored by The Ruckus Society:
I’ve gone to the summer institute for the past four summers, and and can report that it always strikes an appealing balance between the practical and the inspirational. You should come!