At this busy time of the semester, I wanted to quickly call your attention to a couple of events.
First, at the Delegates Assembly meeting this Friday at 1:30 in the B/H Library’s Dean’s Conference room, topics for discussion include possible responses to the urgent ongoing issues about cuts and budgeting at UVM, planning ways to keep the community engaged as we prepare for the fact finder’s report next month, and more. Delegates and Representatives are of course encouraged to attend, but DA meetings are open to all members, so if you are a UA member wanting to find out what’s going on and what you might do to get involved, please feel free to show up; your presence will be welcome.
Second, next week, on Wednesday April 18th sometime between 1:00 and 4:00, I hope to testify briefly to the Vermont Senate Education Committee (chaired by Senator and English Prof. Phil Baruth). The committee will be holding a hearing on proposed legislation to create a higher ed “free tuition” system for Vermont. Several states around the country (e.g. New York) have or are working towards systems for their citizens, and this hearing represents the beginning of a public discussion on doing this in Vermont. The idea is ambitious and complicated, will likely take years to implement, and is possibly of great importance to UVM faculty and students in the future.
I plan to make the case that UVM is important to Vermont, it should be taken very seriously in these plans, and that higher education needs to be understood as a public good. UVM faculty contributions to this discussion in the coming months and years could be key in the development of this legislation, so please let me or Katlyn Morris know if you would like to attend the hearing or otherwise contribute.
Best wishes for the last weeks of the semester.
President, United Academics
United Academics is the union of full- and part-time faculty at University of Vermont, with over 700 members from departments and colleges across the campus. We represent faculty in negotiating and upholding contracts, and we advocate for fair labor practices within and beyond our academic community. We are a member-led union committed to academic freedom, shared governance, social and environmental justice.