This annual letter summarizes our accomplishments over the past year and serves as a historical record.
Membership and Recruitment
Our dues-paying membership grew from 29 in April 2022 to 52 in April 2023. We now represent about one-third of Gallaudet’s approximately 175 full-time faculty.
Our executive committee met with National AAUP regarding recruitment, who advised that we should aim for a supermajority of 65% of Gallaudet faculty.
In 2022, we established a full Executive Committee of six members per our Bylaws by appointing Tonya Stremlau and Ethan Sinnott to the two at-large slots.
We performed analyses and released Open Letters regarding the salary issue. We also created a Faculty Salary Dashboard, an at-a-glance summary of the ongoing salary issue.
- Our salary analysis shows that Gallaudet faculty are currently underpaid relative to peers (April 27, 2022)
- Gallaudet has achieved gender pay parity for most faculty ranks (September 28, 2022)
- Gallaudet should not cut academic programs or faculty as a budget-balancing tactic (October 27, 2022)
- Gallaudet severely underpays its faculty while staff and administrators are paid fairly for Washington, DC (January 18, 2023)
- 2021 Faculty Salary Dashboard (February 14, 2023)
- Top administrator salaries have ballooned over the past two decades, while faculty’s have decreased. This is not fiscal austerity (April 24, 2023)
Gallaudet’s principal rationale for not giving regular pay raises over the past thirteen years has been that Gallaudet has been in a state of financial emergency. Manufactured financial austerity is a widespread problem at universities. In order to investigate this claim, we established a GoFundMe to raise $5,000 to hire Dr. Howard Bunsis, an expert in university finances. Dr. Bunsis, a former AAUP National officer, has audited Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland at College Park, and others, with great success. We raised $5,000 in just eight days, which became the subject of a Daily Moth interview. Dr. Bunsis is working on the audit and we aim to release the audit results to the public at the beginning of the Fall 2023 semester.
- Donate to Audit Gallaudet’s Finances (February 7, 2023)
- Gallaudet AAUP is in the Daily Moth (April 5, 2023)
Social Media and Outreach
We developed a website, gallaudet-aaup.org, which went live in January 2023. This website has replaced Google Docs and is our new central repository for all AAUP-related media and letters.
Since March 2023, at least two members of the AAUP Executive Committee have been meeting with Provost Jeff Lewis and Dean of Faculty Kubby Rashid biweekly. University Faculty Chair Billy Ennis and Vice-Chair Dani Thompson were invited to later meetings. These meetings have focused on gathering and sharing information regarding low faculty salaries.
During this academic year, the administration invoked the Program Discontinuance and Review section of the UF Handbook to close the Chemistry, Sociology, Spanish, and Philosophy programs. The administration did not provide the evidence of financial exigency that the UF Handbook requires. We, along with UF governance, assisted faculty in advocacy.
We also advocated in the UF Senate against specific proposed Handbook policies/language which lacked benefit to faculty and students and would give the administration too much power.
At the April 2023 University Faculty meeting, the UF Governance adopted language re-establishing the Salary & Benefits Committee. Likewise, the Dean of Faculty and Provost also announced paid summer faculty workgroups on various topics, including the Salary & Benefits issue. These critical steps show that the administration is taking the salary issue seriously.
Over the past year, we’ve advocated for three faculty members on personnel issues relating to Handbook actions and answered questions from numerous others. These names and cases are confidential. Faculty representation for individual cases is an essential function of our AAUP chapter and a major benefit of membership. The right to have a representative present at meetings with administrators is secured by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
Recommended Goals for AY 2023-2024
For the 2023-2024 Academic Year, we recommend that the Gallaudet AAUP focus on these priorities:
- Continue our advocacy efforts regarding lagging faculty salaries.
- Publish Dr. Bunsis’ external audit results.
- Recruit more members. Our Bylaws provide for a Membership Committee, which we have not firmly established. One idea is to host regular AAUP events, such as brown bag lunches and happy hours.
- Spread awareness of our AAUP chapter’s presence and activities.
- Build and establish an annual faculty climate survey.
- Revise our Bylaws, which are presently boilerplate. Revisions should clarify election and voting procedures, define and restrict potential conflicts of interest (e.g., can AAUP officers also serve as UF Governance officers?), and establish a channel for referendum voting by dues-paying members.
Gallaudet AAUP Executive Committee