Note: For a more comprehensive history of labor activism at Miami, check out this story in the Miami Student.
Fall 2014: A group of faculty on the Regional campuses meet over beers and french fries with leadership from the Ohio Conference of the AAUP. The faculty are worried by top-down decisions to transform the Regionals. A couple of professors from Oxford who share their concerns drive down to join the meeting.
Around the same time, Professors Karen Dawisha and Matthew Gordon invite full professors in Oxford to meet to discuss concerns about recent decision-making by Miami leadership. The Oxford professors fill a history department meeting room in Upham to bursting and the meeting lasts nearly two hours.
April 2015: Miami’s AAUP advocacy chapter formally launches with the support of roughly 100 faculty. The launch features a speech by AAUP National President Rudy Fichtenbaum, who addresses a crowd of about 200 people. Karen Dawisha, professor of political science, and Keith Tuma, professor of English, served as the first co-presidents of the chapter.
July 2015: At the AAUP Summer Institute in Denver, chapter founding members Karen Dawisha, Deborah Lyons and Cathy Wagner discuss the potential for unionizing Miami with AAUP President Rudy Fichtenbaum and leadership of the Ohio Conference of the AAUP (director Sara Kilpatrick, President John McNay and Vice-president Marty Kich). The consensus: Miami would benefit from unionization, but faculty are not ready.
November 2015: Responding to regional faculty concerns, Miami AAUP petitions for a yes/no vote by all regional full-time faculty on a proposed restructuring. University Senate votes to restructure Miami’s regional campuses. Miami’s AAUP chapter launches too late to have much impact on the transformation of the Regionals, but quickly turns to other issues.
February 2016: Miami’s Board of Trustees unanimously votes to confirm Gregory Crawford as the university’s next president. Throughout the secretive process, Miami AAUP advocated for an open search.
April 2016: Miami AAUP stands in solidarity with the local chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) as they prepare to negotiate their next contract.
December 2016: In response to the posting of white supremacist flyers at Miami, Miami AAUP organizes a Fierce Love Flyer Fest to spread messages of solidarity around campus.
February 2017: In response to faculty and staff concerns, Miami AAUP calls on the university to commit to retaining important protections established under the Affordable Care Act.
March 2017: In light of immigration restrictions and increased levels of hate-related activity happening on campus, Miami AAUP releases its statement on diversity and calls on the Miami community to affirm and protect the rights of those experiencing increased vulnerability.
October 2017: Miami AAUP hosts a panel of contingent faculty to discuss how precarity affects all members of the Miami community.
April 2018: The chapter's beloved first president, Karen Dawisha, the first Walter E. Havighurst Professor of Political Science, founding director of the Havighurst Center, renowned Putin scholar and strong advocate for shared governance, passes away. Rest in power, Karen!
May 2018: Miami AAUP backs changes to the university’s statement on academic freedom in support of reducing faculty precarity. Administration did not present the changes to the Board of Trustees for a vote.
September 2018: Miami AAUP, in an effort led by a group of non-tenure-track faculty, distributes recommendations to chairs and program directors on how to support them.
June-July 2019: Miami AAUP organizes a petition to defend two professors unfairly threatened with termination in relation to the presence of an Iboga plant in Miami’s research conservatory. The effort was successful; both professors were reinstated in 2020.
September 2019: With the support of Miami AAUP, over 300 faculty turned out for a Faculty Assembly to put the university’s “Reporting Arrests” policy on hold and send it back to University Senate.
November 2019: Miami AAUP calls on the University Senate to consider the nuances of abolishing the TCPL cap. While AAUP is in favor of hiring more TCPL, supporting the “teacher-scholar” model entails a simultaneous commitment to reducing overall faculty precarity.
February 2020: When the Board of Trustees makes changes threatening faculty’s appropriate role in determining tenure policy, Miami AAUP protests.
April 2020: Hundreds of non-tenure-track faculty are abruptly "non-renewed," raising concerns among faculty. Miami AAUP sponsors a petition calling for the administration to provide more budget transparency and work through shared governance to save jobs and mitigate damage to the educational mission. The petition gathers over 800 signatures.
October 2020: Miami AAUP organizes around the Resolution on Shared Governance and Budget Transparency. The resolution called on Miami to abide by guidelines outlined in the Statement on Governance of Colleges and Universities, and add two non-voting faculty members to the Board of Trustees.
December 2020: The Resolution on Shared Governance and Budget Transparency passes in the Faculty Assembly, with 95% of faculty voting in favor of the resolution.
February 2021: In spite of overwhelming support from Miami faculty, Miami’s Board of Trustees refuses to add faculty as nonvoting members.
April 2021: Chapter members vote unanimously for a resolution listing practical recommendations in support of non-tenure-track faculty. The resolution was shared with department chairs and incorporated into governance in a number of departments.
August 2021: Miami AAUP circulates a petition calling on the university to require all campus community members to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The chapter is pleased when the university announces a vaccine mandate, but disappointed in the “reasons of conscience” exemption.
December 2021: Miami AAUP organizes a testimony-writing workshop for faculty interested in expressing opposition to HB 327, which prohibits “teaching, advocating, or promoting divisive concepts.”
February 2022: Miami AAUP officially announces its union campaign and reveals the name of the union: Faculty Alliance of Miami, or FAM.