AAUP-CCU president Joseph Fitsanakis represented the chapter at the AAUP-South Carolina fall 2022 state conference, which was held on October 8 at Francis Marion University in Florence. The conference brought together representatives from nearly a dozen institutions of higher education in our state. They had an opportunity to compare notes about developments in their respective schools and to strategize about upcoming challenges facing higher education.
The leadership of AAUP-SC, headed by state conference president Dr. Shawn Smolen-Morton, provided several important updates about the size and strength of AAUP-SC, as well as about significant updates from all corners of the state. A major topic of discussion was the recent merger between AAUP and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which now effectively means that AAUP National members are also members of the AFL-CIO-affiliated AFT.
There were also significant legislative updates about developments in Columbia, where extremist legislators are preparing to renew their attacks on public education. AAUP-SC fully expects to face renewed attacks on tenure and academic freedom by these legislators, who appear to be more determined and better organized than the last time they tried to assault the core principles that AAUP was established to defend.