Retirees Association

DDN: Ohio senate bill concerns some local professors

AAUP in Columbus

Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News

A new bill in the Ohio Senate could make fundamental changes to Ohio’s 14 public universities and 24 public community colleges if it is passed.

Those changes include blocking unions at state-funded universities and colleges from striking, severing ties to Chinese government programs and requiring course syllabus to be posted online in a searchable database.

“I consulted with leadership at many of these institutions, and a variety of other experts, to make sure we have a plan that is both practical and ambitious, with the best interests of students as our top concern,” State Sen. Jerry Cirino, R-Kirtland, who sponsored the bill, said in a statement. “This sweeping and exhaustively detailed legislation is meant to ensure students get what they pay for – a world-class education that will give them top value in the workforce and the tools needed to help them succeed in life.”

Some other issues Senate Bill 83 covers include:

  • State-funded universities, like Wright State University and Miami University, would have to submit a statement to the Ohio Department of Higher Education committing to academic freedom and agree to not require diversity and inclusion courses for students and faculty.
  • Beginning in 2026-2027 school year, students would be required to take a class in American history that included reading the Constitution, some of the Federalist Papers, the Gettysburg Address, Declaration of Independence and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail.
  • An overall faculty evaluation for each professor would be public online.

“This bill is a bureaucratic, big government intrusion into the professional work we do,” said Bobby Rubin, English professor at Wright State and the president of the American Association of University Professors chapter at Wright State. “It is heavy-handed, onerous government regulation. It will create more administrative bloat, and it will cause universities to spend money on bureaucratic paper-pushing instead of on student scholarships and support.”