Jul 17, 2017

The manufactured free speech crisis

John Pat Leary's op-ed:

AAUP Files Brief in Case Involving Harassment of Climate Scientists

The AAUP submitted an amicus brief in support of faculty members who have been subjected to intrusive public records requests for e-mails related to their climate-science research. The AAUP brief, filed with the Arizona Court of Appeals in the case Energy & Environment Legal Institute v. Arizona Board of Regents, argues that the academic freedom to conduct research is essential to a vital university system and to the common good, and that this warrants protecting certain research records from disclosure.
The case arose from an extensive public records request that was made by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, which uses public records requests in a campaign against climate science. In similar past cases, AAUP briefs have been key to court decisions rejecting the requests.
In this case, E & E submitted public records requests that targeted two University of Arizona faculty members, climate researchers Malcolm Hughes and Jonathan Overpeck. E & E counsel said the suit was intended to “put false science on trial” and E & E vowed to “keep peppering universities around the country with similar requests under state open records laws.”
The current brief urges courts to "consider the best interests of the state to maintain a free and vital university system, which depends on the protection of academic freedom to engage in the free and open scientific debate necessary to create high quality academic research. Where the requests seek prepublication communications and other unpublished academic research materials, as in the case at bar, compelled disclosure would have a severe chilling effect on intellectual debate among researchers and scientists.”
We’ll update you on future developments and the continuing legal work of the AAUP. Do you want to support AAUP’s legal work? Donate to the Legal Defense Fund of the AAUP Foundation.
Aaron Nisenson,
Senior Counsel, AAUP

web link

Jun 23, 2017

Union Office Closure: Friday, June 23 - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Due to the installation of new carpeting in our suite, the Union Office will be closed from Friday, June 23rd, reopening on Thursday, July 13th.

In spite of the office closure, the Union staff will still be working remotely, so, hopefully, you will not even be aware of the inconvenience.

In order to reach us, you may call the Union Office telephone number, 313.577.1750, and leave a voicemail message. Your messages will be forwarded to the office@aaupaft.org email address. If you prefer, simply send an email to office@aaupaft.org instead. We have arranged for all office staff to receive messages at this address. We will, as promptly as possible, respond.

Any meetings that need to be scheduled during this period will be arranged at other campus locations. We are attempting our best at "business as usual" -- but, please bear with us.

If you are a Faculty member and have a contract question, you may email Rita Casey, the Union's Vice President and Faculty Grievance Coordinator, at casey.rita@gmail.com. If you are an Academic Staff member and have a contract question, you may email Ricardo Villarosa, the Union's Academic Staff Grievance Coordinator, at ab0151@wayne.edu. Of course, again, please feel free to contact the Union Office at office@aaupaft.org anytime. We are always happy to help!

We wish you a safe and enjoyable 4th of July Holiday!

Jun 10, 2017

Threats to agency fee a.k.a. Fair Share

On June 6, 2017, in a continuing attempt to undermine unions, the National Right to Work Committee filed an appeal with the Supreme Court seeking to have agency fee ruled unconstitutional for public-sector employees in a case called Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. We explain below the status of this case and give a summary of what chapters can do, with the help of the AAUP, to prepare for any decision.
Agency fee has been deemed constitutional since the Supreme Court’s 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. Over the last forty years, the courts have repeatedly found that the agency fee system adequately balances the interests of the employees and the state in an efficient labor relations system and the First Amendment interests of union members and nonmembers. However, in a 2014 decision, Harris v. Quinn, Justice Samuel Alito questioned whether Abood was good law and virtually invited challenges to the constitutionality of agency fee. In this opinion, Alito claimed that all agency fee arrangements in the public sector could violate the First Amendment as they compel nonmembers to pay for activities that may address matters of public concern and are therefore “political.” Anti-union groups took up Justice Alito’s invitation and have pushed a number of cases through the courts.
Last year, the Supreme Court took up such a challenge in Friedrichs v. Cal. Teachers Ass'n, 194 L. Ed. 2d 255, 136 S. Ct. 1083, 84 U.S.L.W. 4159 (U.S. 2016). Many organizations filed briefs on both sides, and the AAUP filed an amicus brief in support of the constitutionality of agency fees. While initially a majority of the Court seemed poised to find agency fee unconstitutional, the death of Justice Scalia left the Court equally divided, with four justices likely in favor of finding agency fee constitutional and four opposed. The Court issued a summary decision that did not address the substantive question. Unfortunately, recently appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch may side with the four conservative justices, and thus the Supreme Court could revisit the issue and could find agency fee unconstitutional, at least in the public sector.
There are a number of pending cases that could serve as the vehicle for the Court to address the issue. One case that may be such a vehicle is Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a challenge to agency fee for Illinois public sector employees. On March 21, 2017, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the union based on Abood, noting that, “neither the district court nor this court can overrule Abood, and it is Abood that stands in the way of [Appellants] claim.” Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, 851 F.3d 746 (7th Cir. 2017).
On June 6, 2017, the plaintiffs in Janus filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. Once a petition is filed, the Court must decide whether to grant the petition and thereby accept the case. If the petition is not granted, the lower court decision is final. If the petition is granted, then the Court sets a briefing and argument schedule. For cases on a normal schedule, the Court can take from several months to several years to issue a decision. In the Janus case, a decision on whether or not to accept the case will likely be made in the fall of 2017. In the event that the Supreme Court accepts Janus, or another case addressing this issue, the AAUP anticipates joining or filing an amicus brief in support of the current precedent that agency shop/fair share fees are constitutional.
If, as expected, the Supreme Court accepts the case, any decision holding agency fee unconstitutional would probably be issued by the time the Supreme Court term ends in late June 2018. If a decision is issued holding agency fees unconstitutional, it would likely be effective the day it is issued. There would probably be no waiting period or grandfathering of existing contracts, as there often is when there are legislative changes. Thus, agency fees could not be collected or retained as of the day the decision is issued, even if a collective bargaining agreement or state law is in effect.
This legal threat to union rights is part of a broader effort to weaken unions as effective representatives for working people. For an AAUP chapter, these efforts amount to a direct attack on the democratically elected voice of the faculty. As the leadership and staff of your union, you can defend your organization and the higher education labor movement by committing to constant organizing.
The AAUP is ready to stand with you. For more resources on organizing, visit the AAUP-CBC website or contact organizing@aaup.org.
Chapters should also prepare for the budgetary and other impacts of any decision. The primary defense against the elimination of agency fee is to ensure that the chapter has a high percentage of members. Generally unions have found that when agency fee is eliminated they often do not lose members, but primarily lose the agency fees they collect from nonmembers. Thus, maximizing the percentage of eligible employees who are members of the chapter is essential. Chapters should also carefully review the chapter budget and should be prepared for the possibility of losing the revenue received from agency fee payers.
At the AAUP/AAUP-CBC Summer Institute in Cincinnati July 27–30 we will present a session on Threats to Union Agency Fees and Other Challenges: How to Survive and Thrive. This session will provide an overview of potential threats, when they might be realized, and the legal and fiduciary obligations of union leaders to anticipate and address their impacts. We will also provide practical guidance on how chapters can build effective, member-led unions in the aftermath of these legal challenges. The Summer Institute will also feature multiple workshops designed to help you organize new members, engage existing members, and run effective campaigns. Learn more about the Summer Institute or register at https://www.aaup.org/2017-SI.
We will continue to provide information to chapters as the case proceeds.
Aaron Nisenson
AAUP Senior Counsel
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Jun 9, 2017

Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) System’s Basic Physical Self Defense Course for Women

To All Wayne State University Students, Staff and Faculty,

The Wayne State University Police Department will again host the Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) System’s Basic Physical Self Defense Course for Women in July 2017. 

This RAD Basic Self Defense Class will be held on two successive Monday and Wednesday evenings:  July 10th, 12th, 17th, and 19th, 2017. 
All RAD classes will be held at the Wayne State University Police Department. located at 6050 Cass Avenue at Burroughs, two blocks north of the Ford/I-94 freeway.
The Rape Aggression Defense system is a program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques for women. The R.A.D. System is a comprehensive course that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on self defense. The RAD program is taught nationwide and its widespread acceptance is primarily due to the ease, simplicity and effectiveness of R.A.D. tactics, solid research, legal defensibility and unique teaching methodology.
Our Basic R.A.D course is open to girls and women of all ages. In fact, graduates of our past R.A.D. classes ranged in age from 11 years old to 74 years of age.  Over 1,500 women have attended our Basic RAD program classes since RAD came to the WSUPD in late 1999.

Several male and female WSU Police Officers, who are also nationally certified RAD instructors, will teach each RAD session. The program is a 13 hour women’s self defense course that has been internationally recognized as an effective and easy-to-learn personal safety tool.  Each class consists of four separate sessions that cover a variety of topics; including personal safety and safety awareness, physical defense techniques, and aggressive defense measures, such as tactical ground fighting, to be used as options, available to the woman who is attacked. 
The last session (Simulation Night) allows you to test your new skills and techniques to defend yourself in three simulated attacks. 
All RAD classes are open to women only. Husbands, boyfriends or other males will not be allowed to attend or view this training. RAD classes are scheduled monthly and RAD Class announcements will be made via Campus Watch emails. If you are interested in taking our RAD classes, keep your eye on future Campus Watch emails for RAD class dates and times.
Additionally, the WSUPD has increased our RAD class offerings and we will be periodically scheduling Advanced RADRAD Weapons Defense, RAD for Men, RAD Key Chain Defense and RAD Aerosol Defense Options.
In June of 2015, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the University of Windsor released the results of a Canadian study on sexual assaults on three college and university campuses in that country. This 10 year study, the first of its kind in North America, showed that, "The chance of a woman being (sexually) assaulted during four years at a university is estimated at between 20 and 25 per cent over a four-year period".  (U.S. findings are similar with Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics indicating that 1 out of 4 women will be a survivor of rape or attempted rape between the ages of 14 and 25).

See the below link for the news story on this Canadian study and note the three related stories on the right side of the page after you access the below link

"Women Trained to Resist Sexual Assault Far Less Likely to be Raped" - 

Not familiar with the WSUPD Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Women's Self Defense program or not sure if it's for you? Well, WDIV/ClickonDetroit.com sent a reporter and cameraman to our November 2013 RAD class for a "Local 4 Defenders" news story. You can see that story at the following link:


If you make the time commitment, we will commit to providing you with some of the best women's self defense training available.
NOTE: WSU Students, Staff and Faculty members may also attend with, or enroll, one non-WSU woman as their guest. This would include non-WSU spouses, partners, girlfriends, Mom's and female siblings. Daughters and siblings 12 to 16 years of age may attend the RAD training program once a parent signs a Parental Consent Form. Because of the subject matter content, we highly recommend that the minor female attends the RAD course with a female parent or older female sibling.

This Basic Rape Aggression Defense course is very popular. Previous Basic RAD classes filled very quickly and were met with overwhelming success. If you plan on registering with a friend or relative, don’t delay.

The RAD course costs only $20.00 per participant for the four session class. Payment is required at time of registration. We can accept cash or checks, payable to 'Wayne State University Police'.

You must register in advance to ensure your enrollment. See below for registration details.

Monday, July 10th, 2017                  5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Wednesday, July 12th, 2017            5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Monday, July 17th, 2017                  5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Wednesday, July 19th. 2017            5:30 pm to 9:30 pm  (Simulations Night)
How to register for the July 2017 Basic RAD Class -

In order to maintain a high student to instructor ratio, class size is limited to the first 20 registered participants. To register for this class, please bring your $20 registration fee and your WSU OneCard ID, to the Records Section of the Wayne State Police Department located at 6050 Cass Avenue at Burroughs, two blocks north of the Ford freeway. (Feel free to park in the 'Police Only Zone' in front of the building as the course registration will only take a couple of minutes).

WSUPD Records Section Office Hours are Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.

Registrations for this upcoming Basic RAD class will be accepted until Friday, July 6th, 2017 unless the class fills to capacity before 
that time.


Crime Prevention Section
Wayne State University Police
6050 Cass Avenue
Detroit, MI  48202
desk: 313-577-6064

EMERGENCY phone: 313-577-2222
web: http://police.wayne.edu
email: campuswatch@wayne.edu