Four-year AAUP president resigns

Isabelle Tavares

NMU American Association of University Professors (AAUP) chapter President Brent Graves resigned effective immediately on Feb. 2, 2020 due to not feeling supported by the executive committee. 

 In his resignation letter to members of the union, Graves, a professor in the biology department, said conflicts within the union’s executive committee and “efforts by some to undermine my ability to do my job” led to the resignation. 

“I do not have support of the executive committee. And frankly, it is getting to the point where I cannot support where they are headed. If I cannot be as effective as possible, I should not be in this position,” Graves wrote. 

Graves has served the chapter since 1997, working as bargaining council rep, information officer and chief negotiator for the 2003, 2012 and 2015 contracts, was contract officer for six years and has been president for four years.  

“I have learned a lot, had some significant successes during tough times, and contributed to a fairly positive atmosphere on campus that I hope makes all of our lives a bit less stressful and more successful,” Graves said. 

Graves will be replaced by the chapter’s vice-president Wendy Farkas, an associate professor in the English Department. Farkas will serve as the interim president according to the union’s constitution.

In a statement from Information Officer Dwight Brady, Farkas said the union is “extremely thankful” for Graves’ service.  

“His knowledge of the contract and institutional memory was a tremendous asset to the union, and we wish him well as he continues his career at NMU,” Farkas said in Brady’s release. 

NMU President Fritz Erickson agrees, and said good relationships will continue in the selection of the new president.

“I’m certain they’ll select someone that’s as great to work with as Brent,” Erickson said.