The Tennessee Conference of the American Association of University Professors

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Implementation of the Complete College Act of Tennessee in 2010 and the Tennessee Promise Act of 2014 resulted in a drop in admissions to many 4 year universities as predicted, but a crisis is already apparent in 2016-17 as overall enrollment numbers have dropped at most 4 year universities and even in 2 year community colleges. Fall 2016, as I write, budget cuts are being imposed within our public community colleges and universities already not well-funded by the state. With funding based now, after the Complete College of Tennessee Act, on enrollment and retention rates, public universities and community colleges are vulnerable to unpredictability in funding provided by the state.

Other concerns include the proliferation of well paid administrators while faculty salaries remain stagnant; the reduction in tenure track hires in favor of adjunct, or contingent, faculty positions; and the institution of the Lecturer position, which undercuts tenure though in many ways improves on the unsatisfactory status of adjunct or contingent faculty members. Disparities between the salaries of males and females in academia continue, and underrepresentation of women and minorities on faculty at most Tennessee public institutions also continues.

We hold two Conference meetings each year, one in the fall and one in the spring, which are rotated around the state. We also publish an online newsletter that you can access under this page's navigation bar (above). If you teach at any institution of higher education in Tennessee, public or private, then there is a place and a need for you in the Conference. You can join the national AAUP (see "Links" above) and you will automatically become a member of the Tennessee Conference. Not only does your membership support the important initiatives of the national AAUP, but you also support your TN state Conference of the AAUP with your membership. AAUP offers many professional development opportunities, such as the annual national conference of the AAUP in Washington, D.C., the shared governance conference in the fall, and other workshops and regional conferences. If you are interested in becoming involved in initiatives of the Tennessee Conference or have concerns regarding specific actions or policies on your campus, then feel free to contact me or any of the other Conference officers.

Josephine A. McQuail
President, Tennessee Conference, TN AAUP
phone: (931) 520-0449

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