AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions


WHEREAS, the representation of racially and ethnically underrepresented groups in the ranks of college and university faculty is disproportionately low compared with the general population and with the demographics of the undergraduate and graduate student populations, who are the training pool for higher education; and

WHEREAS, leaders of the American Federation of Teachers higher education unions are deeply concerned, both as educators and as unionists, about the pace of efforts to diversify higher education faculty and staff; and

WHEREAS, faculty diversity is a union issue and the process of effectuating a diverse faculty and staff is an essential element in achieving a greater measure of economic and social justice in America; and

WHEREAS, the AFT higher education program and policy council issued a report in spring 2010 concerning the ways in which higher education unions can promote faculty diversity, in terms of broadening educational pathways for racial and ethnic minority students and increasing the recruitment and retention of higher education faculty from minority groups:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers encourage AFT affiliates to promote the findings and recommendations embodied in the AFT higher education program and policy council's report on faculty diversity, entitled Promoting Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Faculty: What Higher Education Unions Can Do; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT, in accordance with the recommendations of the report, encourage local higher education affiliates to: (1) conduct an in-depth inventory of diversity activities on campus; (2) form a diversity committee to coordinate the union's efforts; (3) develop achievable plans of action for pursuing these goals; and (4) incorporate diversity activities into the collective bargaining contract; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT encourage local higher education affiliates to engage in activities that promote the hiring and retention of faculty from underrepresented groups on their campuses. These include:

  • Working with the administration to develop and implement a campus-based diversity mission and strategic plan;
  • Promoting collaboration with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), tribal colleges and other community advocacy groups serving underrepresented populations;
  • Creating and/or strengthening coalitions to educate the public about the importance and value of affirmative action;
  • Education institutional hiring committees about the institutional diversity mission and plan and establishing protocols, through collective bargaining whenever possible, for the search and hiring process;
  • Utilizing the AFT Faculty and College Excellence (FACE) campaign to promote better faculty jobs on campus through political advocacy and collective bargaining;
  • Promoting the inclusion of members from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in union activities, leadership and governance; and
  • Focusing attention on helping members from underrepresented groups succeed professionally;
  • Facilitating completion of degree programs by underrepresented racial and ethnic graduate students and their entry into full-time faculty positions; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT encourage local higher education affiliates to engage in activities that broaden pathways to educational success for racial and ethnic minority students. These include:

  • Initiating interchange between K-12 and college faculty around curriculum and advisement;
  • Strengthening connections between two-year and four-year college and university faculty members;
  • Creating incentives for undergraduate students to pursue graduate programs;
  • Providing students with the support and resources they need to successfully complete their studies; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT redouble its efforts to oppose legal attacks on affirmative action by educating the public about the value and importance of affirmative action and strengthening partnerships with organizations dedicated to defending affirmative action.