CSU-AAUP’s work is transformative and life changing. That’s why we are taking a stand when our state and communities struggle under the weight of a pandemic to ensure our public universities continue to thrive and become even better places for all prospective students and families. Rather than untenable proposals focused on austerity that have been the chosen path of CSCU System President Mark Ojakian and former Governor Dan Malloy who appointed him as system president, CSU-AAUP calls for an emergency re-investment in public higher education to keep our system a thriving public good that offers a leg up to many working class and minority students and their families. Our students are Connecticut students who stay in Connecticut to raise families, start businesses, give back to our state and our communities. To support them and the future of Connecticut, CSU-AAUP identifies six signposts on the path to an exceptional CSCU system that can be realized by a reinvestment and commitment to the public good that is public higher education.
CSU-AAUP proposes six priorities to ensure the health of the CSU system, campuses, and contracts long after our current crisis is over.
1.) Family. We believe family-friendly educational and work-spaces promote student success and attract and retain the best faculty members. Our union accounts for the complexity of our home lives in the 21st century.
2.) Equity. We believe that equity must be foundational at all our institutions. Our union wants to ensure that everyone who works at a CSU institution is paid a living wage. Faculty workloads need to be recalibrated so students are exposed to current thinking in their fields.
3.) Inclusion. We believe that a healthy academic community includes all members in shared governance. Our union recognizes the work our non-teaching faculty do in support of student learning, health, and development outside the classroom.
4.) Diversity. We believe we must build on what makes us unique–serving those students who may have been marginalized for their race, gender, sexual orientation, age, economic status, and first-generation identities. Our union is committed to attracting and supporting diverse students and faculty.
5.) Free Inquiry. We believe in enhancing creative and scholarly activity within our institutions. Our union supports faculty research because it creates technological and social innovation. It’s how we open doors to a dynamic, creative future for Connecticut’s working and first-generation college students.
6.) Community Engagement. We believe our institutions must be embedded in the communities in which we exist. Our union wants the CSUs to establish meaningful relationships with the communities that we inhabit, recruit local students, and establish mechanisms whereby local concerns and issues are addressed.
As the CSCU system approaches its own fork in the road, CSU-AAUP will fight to make our system the best that it can be and to ensure that everyone who wants a college education has an opportunity to achieve one. We cannot allow a short-term crisis to be a pretext to downsize, gut and restructure our institutions and system.