The production and distribution of this poster has neither been initiated by nor sponsored by AAUP-WSU–though it is very clear who has inspired it.
It demonstrates that there are many ways in which we can inspire our students in very meaningful and substantive ways.
Even more importantly, it demonstrates that our students understand what the institutional priorities of a university ought to be. They understand that a university that makes non-academic initiatives and enterprises a higher priority than academic programs is failing to meet its fundamental mission.
The critics of the AAUP-WSU leadership have sometimes claimed that we are not concerned enough about our students, as if concerns about the degradation of faculty working conditions can be divorced from concerns about student learning conditions.
Over the past several weeks, someone has been tearing down AAUP-WSU posters in buildings across campus.
If the vandal–and if one calls these actions what they are, this vandalism is very clearly the antithesis of professional behavior–if the vandal starts tearing down these posters, I think that it is fair to question his or her support for students and to wonder whether that ostensible concern for students is simply an empty talking point that serves to mask agendas that have very little to do with any real concern for students.