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Miami AAUP reflects on presidential search, looks toward the future

TO THE EDITOR:

The Executive Committee of the Miami University AAUP Advocacy Chapter has worked to promote the hiring of a new president who would commit to a set of objectives. As enunciated last August and approved by the membership, these include support for the hiring of a new president who will:

1. Provide intellectual and ethical leadership;

2. Reaffirm the university's primary financial and ethical commitment to its core mission: providing the highest quality education for our students;

3. Increase transparency and improve institutions of shared governance;

4. Help Miami compete economically to hire and retain top faculty, increase diversity of faculty and develop better support structures for underrepresented faculty and students;

5. Pledge to minimize the use of non-tenured and part-time faculty and improve conditions and pay for all contingent faculty, whether full-time or adjunct;

6. Increase the award of merit scholarships; and

7. Reaffirm the university's commitment to excellent faculty research and superior graduate programs in order to support the production of knowledge, permit Miami to attract and retain top faculty and give our students access to the latest developments in the field.

We also asked the Board of Trustees to live up to the principle of shared governance and transparency by bringing to campus at least the final two candidates. They have neither provided for a transparent process nor decided to bring the top two finalists to campus.

Despite the lack of transparency and consultation surrounding his appointment, we nonetheless look forward to working with the new president to promote the educational ideals we share.

At the same time, we are very grateful to the two faculty members endorsed by the AAUP, Dr. Linda Marchant and Dr. Ann Rypstra, for agreeing to serve on the presidential search committee and for upholding the principles laid out above. We are very pleased to see that the finalist is a distinguished academic with deep research and administrative credentials.

The person identified by the Board of Trustees as the finalist, Dr. Gregory Crawford, associate provost at Notre Dame, will be on campus this week to meet with many individuals and groups. Faculty and Open Forums are scheduled as follows:

Faculty forum: Monday, Feb.15th, 3:30 p.m., Oxford campus, Armstrong Student Center's Wilks Theater

Open forum: Tuesday, Feb. 16th 9:45 a.m. Hamilton campus, Wilks Conference Center, rooms A & B

Open forum: Tuesday, Feb. 16, 1:00 p.m. Middletown campus, Johnston Hall, Knoll Community Center, room 142

Open forum: Wednesday, Feb. 17th, 9:45 a.m., Oxford campus, Armstrong Student Center's Wilks Theater

We encourage faculty to attend these fora with Dr. Crawford and to provide feedback. We would request that you provide email feedback jointly to Dr. Ted Pickerill at pickerto@miamioh.edu and the AAUP Executive Committee at MUAAUP_Exec@googlegroups.com. We will not publish or use any of the individual comments, but will publish a collective sense of the responses.

Karen Dawisha, Co-President

Keith Tuma, Co-President

Cathy Wagner, Vice-President

Deborah Lyons,

Secretary and Membership

Matthew Gordon, Treasurer

Ann Elizabeth Armstrong,

Chair, Advisory Council

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