Statement on COVID Precautions: Surveillance Testing and Masking
September 7, 2021

While the UR chapter of AAUP recognizes that resources are limited, we would like to urge the University administration to reconsider COVID prevention policies on the River and Eastman Campuses. This request reflects the fact that understanding of COVID-19 Delta risks and transmission has changed since June of 2021, when predictions related to transmission by vaccinated people were considerably more optimistic, and continues to change rapidly. We therefore urge the University administration to:

  • Expand surveillance testing from only unvaccinated individuals to all students.
  • Clarify mask quality requirements (e.g, N95/KN95/KF94, surgical or multilayer cloth that fits tightly and completely and reliably covers nose and mouth), facilitate student mask wearing, and maintain a requirement for masks until COVID-19 vaccines are available for all members of the larger community (e.g., children). (Full text)

UR’s Obligation to Ensure the Well-being of Non-Tenure Track Faculty
December 21, 2020

On August 11, 2020, the AAUP’s Committee on Contingency and the Profession
released a public statement on “ Contingent Faculty and Global Pandemic .” At a time when many colleges and universities were proposing various measures to combat the pandemic’s financial toll on institutions, the committee cautioned that “removing contingent faculty with expertise and experience undermines student learning in the short term and the institution of higher education in the long term.” The University of Rochester AAUP chapter affirms the committee’s statement and endorses its recommendation “to extend the rehire or promotion process for a year for any contingent faculty member who wishes to make that choice.” (Full Text)

Statement on Caregiving
October 21, 2020

We live in a culture that does not invest in the care of children, nor adequately support their parents, caregivers, or educators. COVID has driven the crisis of childcare to a breaking point in our community. On August 4, the Democrat and Chronicle reported that the majority of public-school districts in Monroe county would not offer more than two days a week of in-person instruction at the elementary level. Since then, an increasing number of districts have opted against hybrid learning models for K-12, including the RCSD, where in-person learning has been completely eliminated for at least the first three months of the school year. There are approximately 105,000 public-school students in Monroe county, and since the University of Rochester is the region’s largest employer, these shifts in K-12 public education and widespread daycare shortages will substantially impact U of R employees across all units, divisions, and jobs. (Full Text)

Statement on Reduction in Choice in Third Party Administrators for Healthcare Insurance
October 16, 2020

While the UR chapter of AAUP recognizes that healthcare insurance costs have been rising and that employee healthcare benefits represent a significant and growing expense to the university, we nevertheless want to point out the problems that the university caused by abruptly announcing its decision to eliminate Aetna and retain Excellus as the sole third-party administrator of the university’s self-insurance plan. This decision raises many urgent questions about health care access and equity, as well as administrative due process and shared governance. (Full Text)

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