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Dec. 12, 2003
CONTACT: Pamela Young

Professors for a Democratic Union Sweeps EMU-AAUP Election

YPSILANTI - Running on a platform that called for extensive change, all six members of the group Professors for a Democratic Union (PDU) at Eastern Michigan University were elected to fill six vacancies on the executive committee of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) during a special election Dec. 5.

Elected to the executive committee were Sally McCracken, professor, communication and theatre arts, for president; James VandenBosch, professor, biology, for vice president; and Howard Bunsis, associate professor, accounting, for treasurer. Elected as members-at-large were Mark Higbee, associate professor, history and philosophy; Kate Mehuron, professor, history and philosophy; and Martin Shichtman, professor, English language and literature.

A proposed change to the chapter’s constitution, which states that only elected members of the executive committee have voting rights, also passed with an overwhelming margin. Previously, appointed officers were also allowed to vote on issues.

The new executive committee, which oversees the operations of the 650-member faculty union at EMU, takes office immediately. Their terms of office run through December 2004.

The vacancies occurred when four members of the executive committee resigned in June, citing frustration with their inability to effect reform within the local chapter. Two other members resigned around the same time.

The PDU, a group within the AAUP, was formed July 1, 2003 in response to a fiscal and leadership crisis within the local union.

EMU’s AAUP chapter has been cited by its national organization for its failure to pay national dues for the final quarter of 2000, all of 2001 and the first three quarters of 2002, amounting to at least $140,000.

The previous leadership also was cited for expenditures exceeding the chapter budget and for failing to provide adequate oversight of the chapter’s finances. An audit funded by the national AAUP began in January 2003, but auditors were unable to complete it due to missing documents and a lack of internal control.

Eastern Michigan’s local chapter of the AAUP was founded in 1974.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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