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CSU-Pueblo’s American Association of University Professors hopes to improve and defend both professor and student rights

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by Kaitlin Bos

Tackling multiple issues on campus, including over 10 years of no salary adjustment for professors, the American Association of University Professors has been working on campus at Colorado State University-Pueblo since 2003.

The association working on campus currently has 11 members.

The AAUP is a national organization that has been around since 1915 and according to CSU-Pueblo history professor and vice president of the local CSU-Pueblo AAUP, Jonathan Rees, the AAUP is an organization meant to promote academic freedom across the country.

The AAUP stands to defend rights for professors in ways that will benefit the student population as well.

“The more academic freedom and respect the faculty and institution receives, the better the quality of education will be for the students,” said Rees.

The AAUP has been vocal when it not only comes to quality of education for students, but also with quality of professors salaries and experiences at CSU-Pueblo.

“The AAUP was very vocal in 2014 when the financial crisis struck because we were disturbed about the fact that the financial cut was too severe for everyone at CSU-Pueblo,” said Rees.

Another member of CSU-Pueblo’s AAUP chapter and professor at CSU-Pueblo, professor Jonathan Portiz, one major problem that professors at the university face is that there is no cost adjustments, which something that other universities tend to have nationwide.

“I’ve been working here at the university for the past 10 years and the university hasn’t had any cost adjustment for professors. This can cause problems because more universities, including our sister school in Fort Collins, tend to factor this into their budgeting,” said Poritz.

“This means that over the pas10 years, I’ve made the exact same number figure even though the price of living increases every year, so really, I’ve been making less and less as a professor the longer I’ve been here. This is something that we fight for with the AAUP,” said Portiz.

Poritz noted that this is something that can this is something that can cause controversy because usually cost adjustments are added onto student fees which can upset people.

Poritz also said that all though the AAUP is usually arguing against the CSU-Pueblo administration, the administration recognizes the importance of the AAUP and includes the group in important matters.

Both Poritz and Rees feel that it is important for CSU-Pueblo to have this organization because if your professor can’t each what they think is important due to politics within a university, the students are being denied of a quality education experience.

“Professor’s working conditions are student’s learning conditions,” according to Rees.

The AAUP tends to meet once a semester and the meetings are open to all facility on campus as well as any other supporters.

The meetings may be more periodic if they feel it is needed.

For more information about the AAUP as a national organization, visit www.aaup.org. To find out more about the AAUP specifically at CSU-Pueblo and what it does for both the students and staff, visit https://www.csupueblo.edu/calendar/2017/01/25-aaup-information%20.html.