AAUP letter to the regents concerning their recent Cuts and Cancellations policy (the full letter is linked here).





January 23, 2021

All eyes in higher education are on Kansas, as the Board of Regents has unilaterally suspended tenure protections and long-established procedures of shared governance, transparency, and due process in order to ease the termination of faculty and staff. This extreme policy circumvents professional standards and violates our commitments as a member institution of the American Association of Universities (AAU). Procedures already exist to make decisions according to financial exigency as part of shared governance. The regents now allow administrators to bypass the established process and eliminate faculty’s structural role in it. The leadership at our fellow Regents Universities in Kansas quickly recognized that this move is at odds with our profession, and have stated that they will not implement it. Only at KU has our Chancellor not committed to shared governance and our professional integrity by refusing to exercise the policy.

KBOR’s policy blatantly violates two of the three core Academic Principles of the AAU– those pertaining to Shared Governance and Academic Freedom. Such actions place KU at grave risk of expulsion from this prestigious professional organization, which would inevitably impede the recruitment and retention of faculty and the securing of research funds, ultimately eroding the value of all degrees from the University of Kansas.

The AAU principles reflect widely held professional standards, laid out in foundational statements from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The 1940 Statement of Principles of Academic Freedom and Tenure holds that financial exigency must be “demonstrably bona fide” in order to justify termination, and must be considered by a faculty committee as well as the governing board. The AAUP standard does not provide for arbitrary administrative power over such decisions. The 1966 Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities calls for “joint planning and effort” among its constituents, in which faculty are to hold primary responsibility over matters of faculty status, including dismissal. In order to have a voice in institutional planning, faculty must be fully briefed on the specific budgetary matters in play. The regents’ policy allows administrators to make dismissals without formally declaring financial exigency. This is clearly out of step with the AAUP standard that university executives work “within the concept of tenure,” and “necessarily utilize the judgments of faculty” when addressing institutional challenges.

These standards speak to the role of the faculty, but to bypass them affects the entire campus. The new policy gives a blank check to the chancellor to make sweeping changes. The regents have asked us to trust the chancellor in a time of crisis, but our financial issues predate the pandemic. This recent experience suggests that accountability is in order. To annul shared governance and transparency instead degrades the working conditions of the entire university and the learning conditions for all of our students. 

The statements of core values and standard practices were composed during moments of extraordinary societal upheaval and unrest—during the worst economic depression and the deadliest world war—crises even greater than our current one. The hasty adoption of this policy strays from these long-standing professional standards. We agree with our representatives in the KU Faculty Senate, and the majority of the University’s department chairs, who find the regents’ action to be unprecedented and devastating to our professional standing as an institution.

Even as the regents affirm the value of faculty involvement in facing our grave financial situation, the new policy specifically neutralizes the form that such involvement already takes. Administrators at our fellow state institutions have shown leadership in recognizing the risk of grave consequences posed by unilateral action and have declined to exercise it. As KU stands alone in the state, and as an outlier nationally in pursuing the suspension of tenure and shared governance, it will become a much smaller and less prominent university. We refuse the inevitability of this, appealing to decades-old values of transparency, accountability, and shared governance in US higher education.

As faculty and staff at the University of Kansas, we demand that Chancellor Girod:

1. Join with his colleagues at the other Kansas Regents Universities in declining to pursue the new KBOR policy on suspension, termination, and dismissal; and 

2. Recommit in word and action to existing KU policies pertaining to shared governance, especially in matters of tenure, dismissal and financial transparency, as well as the long-established national standards that are their basis.

We further call upon our colleagues, students, alumni, donors, members of the public and all who would join us in defending core academic principles to show your support HERE (KU Faculty and Staff) or HERE (all other supporters)

Staff/Faculty Signatures

  1. Shawn Alexander, Professor and Chair, African and African American Studies

  2. Nazli Avdan, Associate Professor, Political Science

  3. Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, Professor, Aerospace Engineering

  4. Henry Bial, Professor and Chair, Theatre and Dance

  5. Marie Brown, Associate Professor, History

  6. Kathryn Conrad, Professor and Chair, English

  7. John Hoopes, Professor, Anthropology

  8. Ani Kokobobo, Associate Professor and Chair, Slavic Languages and Literatures

  9. Brian Lagotte, Assistant Teaching Professor, Global & International Studies

  10. Ari Linden, German Studies

  11. Craig Marshall, Associate Professor, Geology

  12. Araceli Masterson-Algar, Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese, Latin American Studies

  13. Ray Mizumura-Pence, Associate Teaching Professor, American Studies Department

  14. David Roediger, Foundation Distinguished Professor, American Studies and History

  15. Rachel Schwaller, History, Religious Studies

  16. David Smith, Professor, Sociology

  17. Sherrie Tucker, Professor, American Studies

  18. Marike Janzen, Associate Professor, Humanities

  19. Nick Syrett, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

  20. Brett Bricker, Associate Specialist, COMS

  21. Dorothy Daley, Professor,  School of Public Affair and Administration & Environmental Studies Program

  22. Shannon O'Lear, Professor, Geography & Atmospheric Science Department and Environmental Studies Program

  23. Purnaprajna Bangere, Professor, Mathematics (and Music)

  24. Robert C. Schwaller, Associate Professor, History

  25. Mabel L. Rice, Fred & Virginia Merrill Distinguished Professor, Child Language Doctoral Program

  26. Lua Kamal Yuille (in my individual capacity), Professor, School of Law

  27. Luciano Tosta, Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese

  28. Margot Versteeg, Professor, Spanish and Portuguese and Humanities

  29. Kathryn Rhine, Associate Professor, AAAS & G-AS

  30. Hannah Britton, Professor, Political Science and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

  31. Jacob Livingston, Communications Specialist, Humanities Program

  32. Marc L. Greenberg, Professor, Slavic & Eurasian Languages & Literatures, Corresponding member, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts

  33. Satyagopal Mandal, Professor, Mathematics

  34. Margaret Bayer, Professor of Mathematics

  35. Philip Barnard, Professor Emeritus, English 

  36. Joane Nagel, University distinguished professor, Sociology

  37. Devon Mihesuah, Cora Lee Beers Price Professor, Humanities Program

  38. Phillip Drake, Associate Professor, English & Environmental Studies

  39. Kelly Chong, Professor and Chair, Sociology

  40. Jay T Johnson, Professor, Geography & Atmospheric Science 

  41. James Moreno, Associate Professor, Theatre and Dance

  42. Margaret Marco, Professor, Music

  43. Sarah Gross, Assistant Professor, Visual Art

  44. Katie Batza, Associate professor and director of graduate studies, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

  45. David B Mechem, Professor and Chair, Geography and Atmospheric Science

  46. Darren Canady, Associate Professor, English

  47. Shannon Portillo, Associate Professor, School of Public Affairs & Administration 

  48. Ebenezer Obadare, Professor, Sociology 

  49. Tami Albin, Associate Librarian, KU Libraries 

  50. Greg Wood, Associate Professor, History 

  51. Stacey Vanderhurst, Assistant Professor, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies

  52. Gregory T Cushman, Associate Professor, History / Environmental Studies

  53. Randal Maurice Jelks, Professor, American Studies, African and African American Studies 

  54. Nicole Hodges-Persley, Associate Professor, American Studies and African and African American Studies 

  55. A. Townsend Peterson, University Distinguished Professor,  Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

  56. Lisa-Marie Wright, Assistant Teaching Professor, Sociology

  57. Corey J. Maley, Associate Professor 

  58. Santa Arias, Professor, Spanish and Portuguese

  59. Steven Maynard-Moody, Professor, SPAA

  60. Symantha Dawson, Instructor, Career Center

  61. Elizabeth Esch, Associate Professor, American Studies

  62. Kelsey Carls, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

  63. Giselle Anatol, Professor, English

  64. Brian Rosenblum, Librarian, KU Libraries

  65. Mary Jo Reiff, Professor, English 

  66. Jacob Fowles, Associate Professor, SPAA

  67. Rebekah Aycock, GTA, American Studies

  68. Ayesha Hardison, Associate Professor,  English and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

  69. Ward Lyles, Associate Professor,  School of Public Affairs and Administration 

  70. Anna Neill, Professor, English

  71. Akiko Takeyama, Associate Professor, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

  72. Margaret Jean Arnold, Associate Professor, Emerita English

  73. David Slusky, De-Min and Chin-Sha Wu Associate Professor, Economics

  74. Molly Zahn, Associate Professor, Religious Studies

  75. Margaret Jean, Associate Professor Emerita, English

  76. Alesha Doan, Professor, Spanish & Portuguese; School of Public Affairs & Administration; Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies

  77. Hannah Soyer, Graduate Teaching Assistant, English

  78. Jennifer Raff, Associate Professor, Anthropology

  79. Joanna Slusky, Associate Professor, Molecular Biosciences

  80. Hollie Hall, Graduate Student Body Vice President, Student Senate

  81. James Yeku, Assistant Professor, African and African American Studies

  82. Elizabeth Asiedu, Professor, Economics

  83. Rachel M. Krause, Associate Professor, School of Public Affairs and Administration 

  84. Ashley Muddiman, Associate Professor, Communication Studies

  85. Shannon Ryall, GTA, American Studies

  86. Renee Perelmutter, Associate Professor and Director, Jewish Studies

  87. Joyce Castle, University Distinguished Professor, School of Music

  88. Zach Parker, Graduate Teaching Assistant, English

  89. Geraldo Sousa, Professor, English

  90. Holly T. Goerdel, Associate Professor, School of Public Affairs & Administration

  91. Lorie Vanchena, Associate Professor, German Studies

  92. Samuel Hayim Brody, Associate Professor, Religious Studies

  93. Sylvia Fernandez, Public and Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Researcher, Hall Center for the Humanities

  94. Stephen Dickey, Professor, Slavic & Eurasian Languages & Literatures

  95. Laura Mielke, Dean's Professor, English

  96. Betsaida Reyes, Librarian for Spanish, Portuguese, Latin America and Caribbean Studies, Libraries

  97. Dan Gailey, Director of Jazz Studies/Professor of Music, Music

  98. Margaret Kelley, Associate Professor, American Studies

  99. Chris McKitterick, Faculty, CLAS

  100. Adrianne Kunkel, Professor, Communication Studies

  101. Corey Rayburn Yung, William R. Scott Research Professor, School of Law

  102. Rebecca Rovit, Associate Professor, Theatre and Dance

  103. William Staples, Professor Emeritus/Research Professor, Sociology

  104. Aimee Wilson, Assistant Professor, Humanities Program

  105. David Mahaffey, GTA, Religious Studies

  106. Germaine Halegoua, Associate Professor, Film and Media Studies

  107. Remy lequesne, Associate Professor, Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering

  108. Ximena, Dr., History

  109. Eileen S. Nutting, Associate Professor, Philosophy

  110. Antha Cotten-Spreckelmeyer, Associate Director, Humanities Program

  111. Sam Worley, Professor, English

  112. Annie Tremblay, Professor, Linguistics

  113. Jeremy Martin, Professor, Department of Mathematics

  114. David W. Congdon, Acquisitions Editor, University Press of Kansas

  115. Rebecca Swinburne Romine, Associate Research Professor, Life Span Institute at the University of Kansas

  116. Ignacio Carvajal, Assistant Professor, Spanish & Portuguese

  117. Marta Caminero-Santangelo, Director/Professor, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies / English

  118. John Kennedy, Professor, Political Science Department and Director of Center for East Asian Studies

  119. Bradford Cokelet, Associate Professor, Philosophy

  120. Andrew Denning, Associate Professor, History

  121. Marcy Quiason, GTA, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

  122. Josh Bolick, Assistant Librarian, Libraries

  123. Markus Potter, Assistant Professor, Theatre and Dance

  124. Emma Scioli, Associate Professor, Classics

  125. Eve Levin, Professor Emerita, History

  126. Jane Barnette, Associate Professor, Theatre & Dance

  127. Kristi Neufeld, Professor, Molecular Biosciences

  128. Sarah Robins, Associate Professor, Philosophy 

  129. Ben Caplan, Professor, Philosophy

  130. Ellen Collier, Graduate Teaching Assistant, French, Francophone & Italian Studies

  131. Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova, Associate Professor, Slavic and Eurasian Languages and Literaturess

  132. Frances Glazer Sternberg, Ph.D., Lecturer, Jewish Studies

  133. Anita M Superson, Professor, Philosophy

  134. Isidro J. Rivera, Associate Professor, Spanish & Portuguese 

  135. Mary Klayder, Assoc.Dir. UG Stud., Engl. Faculty Fellow

  136. Carolyn Caine, Research Development and Administrative Specialist, Institute for Policy & Social Research

  137. Sunyoung Cheong, Adjunct, Art

  138. Vincent T Francisco, Professor, Applied Behavioral Science

  139. Katherine Pryor, Director of Theatre, Theatre & Dance

  140. Amber Brown, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

  141. Vitaly Chernetsky, Associate Professor, Slavic and Eurasian Languages and Literatures

  142. Jeff Lang, Professor, Mathematics

  143. Amanda J Snider, Assistant Director, Center for East Asian Studies

  144. Tatiana Scanlan, Lecturer, Slavic Languages and Literatures

  145. Mie Hase, IT engineer

  146. Paul Outka, Associate Professor, English

  147. Berl R. Oakley, Irving S. Johnson Distinguished Professor, Molecular Biosciences

  148. Beth Bailey, Foundation Distinguished Professor, History

  149. Verónica Garibotto, Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese

  150. Ahmad Sobhy Mustafa, GTA, Religious studies

  151. Celka Straughn, Deputy Director for Public Practice, Curatorial and Research, Spencer Museum of Art

  152. Shima Fardad, Assistant Professor, EECS

  153. Alessandro Salandrino, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

  154. Don Haider-Markel, Professor and Chair, Political Science

  155. Whitney Baker, Librarian, Libraries

  156. Lena Hileman, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 

  157. Antonio Roberto Monteiro Simoes, Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

  158. Laura Hines, Professor, School of Law

  159. Xingong Li, Professor, Geography & Atmospheric Science

  160. Lindsey Stone, Assistant professor, Psychology

  161. Alexis Peterson, Administrative Associate, The University of Kansas

  162. Peter H Herlihy, Professor of Geography, Geography and Atmospheric Science

  163. David P. Jarmolowicz, Associate Professor, University of Kansas

  164. Christopher Forth, Dean’s Professor of Humanities/Professor of History

  165. Scott Jenkins, Professor,  Philosophy

  166. Yinglong Miao, Assistant Professor, Molecular Biosciences and Computational Biology

  167. Sakthi Kasthurirengan, GRA, Physics & Astronomy

  168. Elspeth Healey, Associate Librarian, KU Libraries

  169. Jessica Gerschultz, Associate Professor,  African and African-American Studies 

  170. Joan A. Sereno, Professor and Chair, Linguistics

  171. Philip Duncan, Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of Linguistics

  172. Jie Zhang, Professor

  173. Dr. Colleen Moore, Assistant Professor, History 

  174. Joey Orr, Andrew W Mellon Curator for Research, Spencer Museum 

  175. Nicholas Feroce, Graduate Student, Linguistics

  176. Seulgi Shin, GTA, Linguistics

  177. Jonathan Mayhew, Professor, Spanish and Portuguese 

  178. Tara Welch, Professor, Classics

  179. Hailong Dao, Professor, Mathematics

  180. Brianna Perez, GTA in Voice, Music

  181. Ben Chappell, Associate Professor, American Studies

  182. Vicky Unruh, Professor Emerita, Spanish and Portuguese

  183. Andrés Rabinovich, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Spanish and Portuguese

  184. Peter Ukpokodu, Professor, African & African-American Studies

  185. Caroline Jewers, Associate Professor, French, Francophone & Italian Studies

  186. Tanya E Hartman, Chairperson and Professor, Department of Visual Art

  187. Marshall Maude, Associate Professor, Visual Art

  188. Brad Osborn, Associate Professor, Music

  189. Bernard Cornet, Charles Oswald Distinguished Professor of Microeconomics, Department of Economics

  190. Seungjoo Lee, Graduate research assistant, Spanish and Portuguese

  191. Patrizio Ceccagnoli, Associate Professor, French, Francophone and Italian Studies

  192. Andrew Kustodowicz,  GTA, History

  193. Megan Kaminski, Associate Professor, English

  194. Megan Dennis, GTA, English

  195. Nils Gore, Professor, Architecture

  196. Lance Rake, Professor, Design 

  197. Robert Rohrschneider, Sir Robert Worcester Distinguished Professor, Political Science

  198. John Symons, Professor, Philosophy 

  199. John Gluckman, Assistant Professor, Linguistics

  200. Allison Kirkpatrick, Assistant Professor, Physics & Astronomy

  201. Robert Antonio, Professor, Sociology

  202. Alice Bean, University Distinguished Professor, Physics and Astronomy

  203. Christopher Fischer, Associate Chair and Director of Engineering Physics, Physics and Astronomy

  204. Alison Gabriele, Professor, Linguistics

  205. Hui Zhao, Professor, Physics and Astronomy

  206. Bruce Hayes, Professor, French, Francophone & Italian Studies

  207. Admin Husic, Assistant Professor, Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering

  208. Laura Moriarty, Professor, English

  209. Byron Santangelo, Professor, English and Environmental Studies

  210. Tristan Lindo, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Visual Art

  211. Marta Vicente, Professor, History and WGSS

  212. Hannes Zacharias, Professor of Practice, School of Public Affairs and Administratioin

  213. Dale Urie, Associate Teaching Professor, Humanities

  214. Samantha Bishop Simmons, Undergraduate Learning Specialist, KU Libraries

  215. Hume A. Feldman, Professor and Chair, Physics & Astronomy

  216. Faye Xiao, Associate Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures

  217. Charles Epp, University Distinguished Professor, Public Affairs and Administration

  218. Jason Johnson, IT Support Technician, IT

  219. Kevin Mullinix, Assistant Professor, Political Science

  220. John P. Ralston, Professor, Physics & Astronomy

  221. Ann Wierda Rowland, Associate Professor, English

  222. Alesha Pisciotta, Linguistics

  223. Mikhail Medvedev, Professor,  Physics and Astronomy 

  224. Brian Lines, Associate professor, CEAE

  225. Jason Slote, KPR

  226. Simone Cavalcante, Lecturer,  SpanPort - KU

  227. Nathan Wood, Associate Professor, History

  228. Mariana Farah, Associate Professor, Music

  229. Ilya Vakser, Professor and Director, Computational Biology

  230. Stephen Leisring, Professor, Music

  231. Andrea Herstowski, Associate Professor, Design

  232. Eric Stomberg, Professor of Music, School of Music

  233. Dennis H O'Rourke, Foundation Distinguished Professor, Anthropology

  234. Allard Jongman, Professor, Linguistics

  235. Yan Bing Zhang, Professor, Communication Studies

  236. Tingting Wang, GTA, Linguistics

  237. Christopher Perreira, Assistant Professor, American studies

See the full list of individual signers here 



OneKU is a grassroots organization of faculty, lecturers, librarians and staff who are committed to addressing the current and ongoing crisis at the University of Kansas.


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