A Better University is Possible: The Official Launch of UMD AAUP

Dear Colleagues,

Are you troubled by the direction that the University of Maryland has headed in recent years? 

We are. 

In March 2021, we relaunched the University of Maryland Chapter of the American Association of University Faculty (UMD AAUP) because we believe a different university is possible. 

If you too believe in a more just, more compassionate, people-centered UMD, please join us for our first general meeting on Friday, April 16th at 3:00PM (meeting link below), and help us shape the future of the university. We invite all graduate student instructors and researchers, adjunct and professional track faculty, library faculty, and tenure-track faculty.

Right now at UMD, all major decisions on campus are made by just a few people, who are also making a great deal of money. The university is increasingly run like a business instead of as a public good.

You may have heard about the outrageously high salaries of UMD’s top managers. The top ten employees in the athletics department receive $5.4 million a year, the top ten administrators on campus earn $4.3 million a year, and the former UMD president has an annual consulting contract for $734,565

Meanwhile, graduate students at the University of Maryland have the lowest salaries in the BIG 10 by about $5,000, when adjusted for cost of living. The university has vigorously opposed their unionization. Some 2/3 of all faculty on campus are “professional,” not “tenure” track faculty, and face precarious working conditions—lower wages and term-limited contracts. Instruction and research are moving toward a model that gives administrators greater control over all aspects of the university.  

As we anticipate a return to campus, faculty and staff should be central to the planning. Over the last year, we have not been. For example: Over loud protests by the staff, UMD required staff to work in-person in the midst of the global pandemic, while refusing to bargain with them over safety measures

As we look towards the future of higher education, we should be central to that planning too. Instead, the UMD administration has proposed spending substantial sums to hire an outside consultant like McKinsey & Company (known for their aggressive advocacy of layoffs and program closures) to develop the next 10-year strategic plan. The University of Maryland has substantial expertise to develop our own vision for the future of this university.  

OUR VISION: We support a university that doesn’t just talk about  justice, and racial and gender equality, but that puts these values into action in its budgets and operations. We want a people-centered university that prioritizes the collective wellbeing of the entire university community, surrounding communities, and the State of Maryland. 

If you are interested in learning more about UMD AAUP, 

  1.  Please sign up here to learn more about UMD AAUP and stay up to date on our activities. 
  2.  Join us  on Friday, April 16th at 3:00PM (link here; Meeting ID: 920 3031 9323; Passcode: 20742). 

Sincerely,

The UMD AAUP Executive Committee

President: Tita Chico 

Vice President: Holly Brewer 

Treasurer: Karin Rosemblatt 

Secretary: Luka Arsenjuk 

Executive Committee Member At-large #1: Solomon Comissiong 

Executive Committee Member At-large #2: Louiqa Raschid

We are actively seeking members. Like to help us grow? Please email us to find out how!

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