Organizing for Change: Moving the AAUP Forward

Four Candidates for AAUP Offices

Four candidates with shared beliefs regarding the future of AAUP running for re-election for key national AAUP offices. We invite you to view our platform immediately below and also biographical information about us, available via links in the table under “Slate of Candidates” below. Here is a list of individuals who have endorsed our slate.

We ask for your vote in the upcoming AAUP elections.

Why We are Running for Reelection

Two years ago members of the Organizing for Change slate -- Rudy Fichtenbaum, Hank Reichman, Susan Michalczyk, and Michele Ganon -- were elected behind a pledge to refocus the AAUP on organizing and providing service to members and chapters.  As we wrote:  "Everywhere our profession and its values are under assault.  Attacks on collective bargaining rights and shared governance, the abuse of non-tenure track faculty (both full-time and part-time) and consequent erosion of tenure, the misplaced priorities of politicians and many university leaders, and assaults on the free expression rights of both faculty and students are increasing. To meet these challenges . . . .  AAUP needs to become a more powerful, articulate, and energetic force committed to organizing and mobilizing faculty in a broad variety of ways to fight for our profession."

To this end we have:

  • Engaged in an internal strategic planning process, clarifying priorities and goals
  • Completed our restructuring by creating: AAUP, a professional association; AAUP-CBC, a union; and AAUP Foundation, a charitable organization
  • Hired Julie Schmid, an experienced organizer with both AAUP and AFT, as Executive Director
  • Created a new Department of Chapter and Conference services
  • Hired new regional organizing coordinators serving the Pacific Northwest and California and the Southwest
  • Initiated searches for new organizers in the Midwest, the national office and soon the mid-Atlantic
  • Stabilized finances with a 2014 budget that includes funding for five additional staff positions and establishes a reserve of several hundred thousand dollars
  • Won CB organizing victories at Bowling Green State, University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Oregon, Cleveland State (law faculty), University of Connecticut Medical Center, and Wright State (NTT faculty) and completed a successful card campaign at University of New Hampshire (NTT faculty)
  • Seen significant membership growth and revived activism in many advocacy chapters –  Pennsylvania State, Purdue-Calumet, and Santa Clara are examples -- and the establishment of new advocacy chapters, including five in California
  • Begun discussions of affiliation agreements with United University Professions at SUNY, Council of University of California Faculty Associations, and Faculty Association of the California Community Colleges
  • Assisted  chapters and conferences fighting major assaults on academic freedom and faculty rights, most recently in Colorado and Kansas
  • Raised our public profile through op-ed pieces, public statements, interviews and legislative testimony, significantly increasing AAUP-related media citations
  • Oversaw a dramatic increase in contributions to and readership of the Academe blog
  • Supported major expansion and revision of our Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications policy and initiated a new edition of the Red Book.
  • Filed amicus briefs in several important cases to protect academic freedom and give faculty the right to organize
  • Began preparations for a major public relations and fundraising campaign around our 2015 centennial      
The AAUP is moving forward, but we need your continuing support as we intensify our organizing efforts, provide greater services to our chapters, and strengthen our ties with other organizations. 

Response to Buck and Nelson from the Organizing for Change Candidates

Candidate statements have now been posted online for the upcoming AAUP national elections.  The joint statement issued by the four officers running for reelection as the Organizing for Change slate – Rudy Fichtenbaum, Hank Reichman, Susan Michalczyk, and Michele Ganon -- highlights our accomplishments over the past two years and offers a positive direction for the Association.  But our statement eschews criticism of our opponents and predecessors.  Statements posted by Jane Buck (President) and Cary Nelson (Second Vice-President), members of the opposing “Unity” slate and both former Presidents of AAUP, however, are more negative.  They express “a profound concern for the organization’s future” and raise fears that the current leadership aims to “weaken our historic commitment to academic freedom, shared governance, and tenure” (Buck).   They suggest that under our leadership the AAUP Executive Committee has somehow “lost its commitment to serious discussion and debate” (Nelson).  It is, of course, hardly a surprise that candidates seeking to unseat successful incumbents would “go negative.”  But the level of falsehood and distortion in these statements is so great that the charges cannot go unanswered. 

Here is a link to our complete response to Buck and Nelson.

Report to the Supporters of Organizing for Change

Here is a link to a detailed report that discusses what has been accomplished over the past year and a half and what still remains to be done.

Slate of Candidates

To achieve these goals, we are standing for re-election for national offices of the AAUP Council.




Rudy Fichtenbaum, Economics, Wright State University

1st Vice President

Hank Reichman, History, California State University, East Bay

2nd Vice President

Susan Michalczyk, Honors Program, Boston College


Michele Ganon, Accounting, Western Connecticut State University