STATEMENT OF PRIORITIES
For 2020 and Beyond
Efficiency, Justice, Equity:
Priorities of the Fayetteville State University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors
As invested and concerned faculty, dedicated to fostering a positive work environment and cultivating the personal and collective health of the employees that sustain our university, the Fayetteville State University chapter of the American Association of University Professors (FSU-AAUP) has identified three categories of priorities that must be a focus of attention in 2020 and beyond. In order to fulfill FSU’s legacy as a Historically Black University and our collective desire to be a 21st-century institution of learning, the administration must demonstrate a renewed sense of interest in the retention, engagement, and holistic well-being of the faculty.
In recent months, individual faculty have identified specific problems that have negatively impacted their personal work environment, and they are eager to offer potential solutions to address them. Through engagement with our fellow faculty, the FSU-AAUP has found that all of these problems fall into three categories: inefficiency, injustice, and inequity. We offer examples here, and look forward to working with the administration on crafting win-win-win solutions to improve efficiency, promote justice, and restore the equity that is at the heart of our institution’s history and mission as an HBCU.
Inefficiency includes, but is not limited to, university processes that are outdated and convoluted (including grant execution, travel, promotion, and evaluations), exceptionally long on-boarding of new faculty (especially international faculty), overlooking recruitment opportunities afforded by Cumberland County and surrounding areas, meetings that are unnecessary or counterproductive (particularly when technology could be utilized), and inconsistency in how and when assessment is coordinated.
Injustice includes, but is not limited to, a failure to meet ADA requirements and promote accessibility online and on campus grounds, irresponsible spending on technology while failing to provide proper infrastructure to support the use of existing technology, failure to address wi-fi and cellular data inadequacies while selling a “21st century” brand, the use of faculty evaluations proven to disadvantage Black and other minoritized faculty, failure to consult faculty on decisions that impact Academic Affairs in general and our ability to teach effectively in particular, lack of fair representation when it comes to grievance procedures, and excessive and uncompensated service expectations.
Inequity includes, but is not limited to, inconsistent course loads, lack of communication (and therefore transparency) between units and between levels of administration, inadequate notification of important Board of Trustee meetings or dissemination of minutes from those meetings, a general and fiscal lack of appreciation for the contributions of non-STEM fields in a liberal arts curriculum, extreme disparities in faculty salaries, and a top-heavy organizational structure.
Each of these areas of concern affect faculty morale and thereby negatively impacts our greatest priority: students. We recognize that the issues introduced here are not new concerns, and indeed they have deserved our attention for far too long. We believe that faculty have failed to organize around these issues due to a general culture of intimidation and legalism that has defined our campus climate for many years. Despite a racialized history of inadequate funding for HBCUs in North Carolina and the current budget crisis, the FSU-AAUP believes that this particular moment, defined by a new Interim Provost, an engaged Interim Chancellor, and other significant structural changes, is an opportune time to work with the administration towards improving the campus climate. We welcome the participation of more faculty in this endeavor and the partnership of the administration in our efforts to make Fayetteville State University an even better place for all of us to work, to learn, and to grow.