* NEW MEMBERS NEEDED *

The King’s AAUP needs your help! To preserve our chapter’s eligibility for critical support from local, state, and national chapters, our membership roster must include a minimum number of members who pay dues to the national organization and indicate King’s College as their institution.

You have the option to pay dues annually or monthly. Dues rates are based on your academic income. There are no separate dues for membership to the King’s College chapter. Your membership in the AAUP is always confidential.

To join AAUP: https://www.aaup.org/membership. (Remember to indicate “King’s College” as your institution – this will ensure that your membership counts towards our roster requirements.)

Once you join, please consider giving us a heads up so that we can update our records: kingsaaup@gmail.com. Thank you for your support!

Call for comments

The King’s College chapter of the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) invites you to share your concerns about the state of the College’s finances and the proposed reductions in teaching positions. We seek to provide a venue for faculty to raise their concerns outside of (but complementary to) formal faculty governance bodies such as Faculty Council.

Your responses are confidential; to ensure confidentiality we suggest that you contact us from a non-King’s email address.

Contact us at kingsaaup@gmail.com or click here: Contact

To learn more about AAUP’s role in advocating for faculty: https://www.aaup.org/about-aaup

Documents You Can Use: AAUP’s Annual Reports on the Economic Status of the Profession

Editor: We are sharing the AAUP’s annual reports “on the Economic Status of the Profession” for the past few years here for King’s AAUp members. The report gives an excellent, thorough, and national analysis of our profession as higher education faculty over the year indicated. We also include the appendices which list specific salaries, benefits, and more for faculty at colleges across the country, including at King’s College. This document can help members of our community understand and compare highly reliable data.

Documents you can use: King’s College 990 tax filings

Editor: Because King’s College is a nonprofit organization, its tax documents are open to public inspection. The King’s AAUP chapter has complied the last few years of 990 tax returns here. These documents can help members of our community understand the college finances, including revenue and expenses such as the most highly paid consultants and staff/faculty at the college.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness and King’s Faculty: AAUP launches new program to help members

Editor: King’s faculty members, do you have students loans? Did you know that the Department of Education opened up a new Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PLSF) program to help people working in public service (King’s is an education-sector nonprofit) to arrange loan forgiveness or to put their loan repayment on track? This program is intended to help public service workers to receive forgiveness faster and more easily after the mess that was caused by Betsy de Vos and her Department of Education policies. But the program is only in place until October 2022, so time is of the essence. This short article, republished from the AAUP web site, explains how AAUP members can access services to help navigate the complications of the PLSF application. (Original article published April 19, 2022 is at: https://www.aaup.org/news/new-program-help-members-navigate-student-debt#.YuC8dS-B1pQ)

New Program to Help Members Navigate Student Debt 

We are fighting on many fronts for a future free from the overwhelming burden of student loan debt, including in Congress, at the Department of Education, and on campus. We’re also doing something more immediate: giving our members access to the tools they need to cancel their student debt through Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

Thanks to a partnership with the American Federation of Teachers, AAUP members will now get free access to Summer, a trusted online platform that can help you navigate your student loan situation and simplify the PSLF application process. Summer was started by student loan borrowers who wanted to help others avoid bad information and bad actors in the student loan market. Summer harnesses the expertise of public policy experts to optimize borrower options, and it uses technology to make the process easy and secure.

In the past two years, AFT members have saved an average of $170 on their monthly payments and save more than $57,768 over the life of their loans. Using Summer’s online student loan management platform, AAUP members who enroll in this free member benefit can:

  • Enroll in income-driven repayment plans and other lower-cost options;
  • Complete the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification Form (ECF) and manage the PSLF application process;
  • File an application under the PSLF special waiver period to correct errors in servicing, count periods of payment under non-consolidated repayment plans, and achieve long overdue debt cancellation;
  • Find other options for loan forgiveness programs, including state- and occupation-based loan forgiveness; and
  • Talk through options with Summer’s borrower success team to understand how to maximize loan repayment and forgiveness options.

Access to Summer will be ongoing, but we’re especially eager for AAUP members to get personalized advising ahead of the resumption of federal student loan repayment in September, and the end of the special waiver period for PSLF in October 2022. (For more information about recent changes to PSLF, check out our November 2021 PSLF update.)

Ready to take control of your student debt? Click the button below (member login required)

 (Members who are in a joint AAUP-AFT chapter already have access through AFT. You can access those benefits here.)

Below is a webinar we hosted on April 20 with more information about PSLF, Summer, and loan forgiveness. Watch below. 

Documents you can use: King’s College Audited Financial Statement for 2020-2021

Editor’s note: Private nonprofits that work with Federal funding, including the vast majority of higher education institutions, make their financial statements public. Most universities post their audited financial reports on their web sites (see for example U Penn or Villanova); these reports are also posted publicly on the bond website https://emma.msrb.org

College as growth machine?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Harvey Molotch, who famously described the city as a “growth machine” existing not to house and organize communities, but instead to line the pockets of rent-seeking elites such as politicians and developers. In my pondering state, I stumbled across Andrew Ross’ piece that plays with the notion of large universities (NYU, for example) being key cogs in the urban growth machine. It’s worth a read in its own right, but it also led me to a slightly different question: is it fair to characterize the contemporary SLAC as a growth machine in its own right — that is, aside from its role within the urban landscape of justifying certain types of rent-seeking behavior — that increasingly exists primarily to generate revenue for senior administrators, external consultants, and contracted service providers? If nothing else, recent declarations of “too low” student/faculty ratios do nothing to dispel this notion. If we view the SLAC as existing to provide education, the notion that student/faculty ratios could be “too low” is ridiculous on its face; however, its a perfectly logical statement if we perceive the college as existing to justify the transfer of tuition revenue to a rent-seeking elite class, one to which most faculty do not belong.

Welcome back

To kick off the new academic year, the King’s College AAUP chapter will host a get-together in mid-September for current and prospective AAUP members from King’s and other local institutions; an official announcement is forthcoming, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, hope everyone’s semester is off to a good start!

Different language, or different priorities?

“No Margin, No Mission”: this unfortunate slogan, casually invoked by Creighton University administrators to synopsize their proposed strategic plan, is perhaps another example of what some have framed as an inevitable tendency for “miscommunication” between faculty and administrators in expressing institutional priorities stemming from trivial differences in occupational jargon. As I see it, there’s at least two dangers involved with this framing: 1) occupational/ disciplinary dialects develop to reflect and express occupational/ disciplinary preoccupations and priorities, and therefore should never be understood as purely incidental; 2) regardless of how they may understand institutional mission, academic administrators typically have greater (and growing) power relative to faculty bodies in mission articulation and implementation.

Given both the uncertainty and the high stakes involved, faculty should resist any and all efforts to pass off administrators’ communications, even if delivered on the spur of the moment or in less formal settings  (as is true, for instance, of those documented in recent minutes of the Faculty Benefits committee) as trivial. Saying something by accident doesn’t necessarily make it untrue.