by AAUP National
June 22, 2022
The 2022 AAUP Conference and Biennial Meeting took place in Arlington, Virginia, from June 16 to 19. This year’s conference program included an opening plenary session with a panel of higher education reporters; presentations on the AAUP’s racial equity initiative and recent AAUP research on academic freedom, tenure, and governance; discussions on issues in remote teaching, on demystifying academic freedom and defending tenure, and on organizing across ranks to support faculty on contingent appointments; discussions for advocacy and collective bargaining chapters; a training session on government relations; meetings for state conference leaders and field staff; a question-and-answer session on delegate voting and the elections process; and an expo featuring AAUP programs and publications and a Johns Hopkins University Press table with books of interest to AAUP members.
The Friday luncheon featured a keynote address, “The Fight for Higher Education: If Not Us, Who?” by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. She spoke about the critical role of higher education in sustaining a strong democracy and stressed the importance of exercising “muscles of activism” and of harnessing the power of AAUP principles, shared governance, collective action, and active contract enforcement. Declaring that “when we do things together, we are better than the sum of our parts,” Weingarten outlined four key priorities for academic activists to focus on: protecting academic freedom; counteracting dramatic increases in non-tenure-track faculty positions and insisting that “one job should be enough”; demanding that higher education become more affordable and accessible; and advocating for free public higher education.
The awards and recognition luncheon on Saturday provided an occasion for the Association to celebrate this year’s award recipients and to honor its fifty-year members. It also featured an address by US Department of Education under secretary for higher education James Kvaal, following a short video with introductory remarks by secretary of education Miguel Cardona. Watch the video remarks from secretary of education Miguel Cardona.