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National group recruits frustrated UNM faculty

Faculty members are doing more than just speaking out through their Faculty Senate about concerns with the University administration.

On Wednesday, before the UNM General Faculty meeting, the American Association of University Professors had a table outside of Woodward Hall to recruit new members.

AAUP is a national organization for faculty members at universities all over the U.S. Membership dues are $161 per year in New Mexico, according to flyers UNM AAUP handed out.

Les Field, professor of Anthropology and AAUP member, said UNM’s AAUP chapter was revived a year and a half ago. He said faculty members decided to unite through this program because of dissatisfaction with the administration, especially with President David Schmidly and the Board of Regents.

“To organize through AAUP really is a response to the crisis that this administration has brought about, and the continuing crisis is not going away,” Field said. “It’s fueled by the concerns, the real danger that people feel we’re in.”

Field said the AAUP can work in conjunction with the Faculty Senate, but they are different groups because the Senate works more directly with University administrators.

However, he said members of the Faculty Senate can also be members of AAUP.

Field said all faculty members should consider leadership positions in AAUP.

According to AAUP UNM flyers, nominations for officer positions including president and vice president of AAUP are due Nov. 25.

“I think what we’re trying to do is have leadership from across campus,” he said. “You don’t want people burning out when they’re having to work on both sides. You want to have leaders in AAUP and leaders in the Senate.”

During the Wednesday faculty meeting, AAUP members wore stickers which said how many days it would take for the head Lobo football coach, Mike Locksley, to earn their salary. Salaries ranged from one day to 35 days of Locksley’s $750,000 a year salary.
Field said it would take Coach Locksley 24 days to earn his salary of about $69,600 per year.

He said that the UNM chapter of AAUP is just beginning, but it will likely grow into a strong voice for faculty.

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“We’re revising the chapter here at UNM, and so the role of it remains to be seen,” he said. “We’re really in the beginning of resuscitating the branch here. I think a lot of people would like to see AAUP play an important role. We can work along side with the Faculty Senate, the Committee on Governance and the other institutions of co-governance.”

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