Stewards Council

The URI AAUP Stewards Council members are here to help you. They serve as conduits between the faculty and the Executive Board, and attend Council meetings where they are informed about contract negotiations, grievances, and other Union-related activities and concerns. They engage in outreach to new Union members, and assist members who need help with difficulties. Council members serve three-year terms. Reach out to them. They are here for you!

Susan Brand

Professor Susan Trostle Brand, D.Ed., Education
702 Chafee Social Science Building

Why the union is important to me:

Referring to the mission statement on the AAUP website, the AAUP grants each of us academic freedom, as well as the benefits of shared governance and economic security. It ensures higher education’s contribution to the common good and brings professionals together for collective action when and if it is needed. It challenges the university when it violates norms of academic freedom, tenure, and shared governance. 

On a personal level, since I am undoubtedly going to reap the benefits of a union, now or in the future, I firmly believe that I need to do my share to support this organization. When I received an unfair and untruthful annual review letter several years ago, the union enabled me to challenge this letter, as well as the dean who wrote it, and quickly rectify the situation. 

As we face an uncertain political climate and related uncertain policies and procedures in academia, it is very reassuring to know that the union supports us with representation and, if needed, legal representation 

In my service as a new steward for the AAUP at URI, I look forward to consulting with faculty members when they encounter a question or challenge that may not merit their seeking advice or consultation with Jay Walsh, our URI union leader. I will advocate for fairness and equity for faculty members with whom I consult, answering their questions directly and referring them to a variety of university offices and services that will provide them with additional consultation on an individual basis.

Professor Elizabeth (Betsy) Cooper, Business
7 Lippitt Hall

Professor Timothy (Tim) George, History
Tim will be away during spring 2018 semester but will return to campus in fall 2018.
217D Washburn Hall

Tim George has served seven years on the URIU AAUP's Executive Committee and one year as its president. He has been at URI since 1998 and has studied, taught, or done research at ten other universities in the United States, Japan, and China. In Japan he headed a faculty association negotiating pay and working conditions with a Japanese administration for a mostly foreign faculty. This experience helps him see URI in a broader comparative context. He believes we must continue to insist that URI be operated and governed as a university. This includes preservation of faculty participation in governance and insistence that the university serves the state best by providing an education that enriches minds and hearts, not just pocketbooks. We must continue to press for equal treatment of women and for increased diversity at URI, and for salary parity with comparable institutions. These things can only be done by broadening and strengthening faculty participation in our union.


Professor James (Jim) Kinnie, Humanities Reference Librarian
123 Carothers Library

The Union makes us stronger! United we stand, divided we fall.


Professor Brian Krueger, Political Science
203 Washburn Hall

A healthy higher education system needs the AAUP. Because the union fights for fair treatment, pushes for higher salaries, and maximizes benefits, URI can attract and retain some of the brightest people.  And because the AAUP’s central and founding mission is to protect academic freedom, faculty can be free to take risks, ask thorny questions, and engage in research, writing, art and performance with innovation and confidence.

Professor Carole Miller, Economics
802 Chafee Social Science Center

Professor Joan Peckham, Computer Science
213 Carothers Library

The union has been important to me because it has helped to provide sound advice when there are bumps and kerfuffles in working with colleagues and administrators on campus. I have always gotten what I consider to be fair and reasonable advice.  I trust that information the union gets while working through such events with faculty is kept private.  Sometimes issues that arise on campus are the legacy of policies and practices that we should all step back and consider changing. The union is uniquely poised to work through points of friction around such policies on behalf of the faculty, but also with a sound understanding of the constraints that administrators face.  For me it all boils down to communication among different stakeholders. 

Teaching Professor Miriam Reumann, History
217A Washburn Hall

Miriam Reumann is a Teaching Professor in the History department and a member of the AAUP-RI Executive Committee. She views union membership and representation as important not only for shared governance and academic freedom for all, but as a vital resource for protecting faculty who are off the tenure track.  As a contingent faculty member, she is especially interested in hearing from and representing the interests of other lecturers regarding workload, URI’s promotion ladder, and any other contingency issues that they might wish to discuss with a steward.

Professor Martha (Marty) Elena Rojas, English
308D Swan Hall

Manbir Sodhi

Professor Manbir Singh Sodhi, Mechanical, Industrial, and Systems Engineering
230 Pastore Hall

Unions at Universities have a unique role. Unlike for-profit organizations, the performance of Universities cannot easily be measured. One dimension of a University's performance is the conditions it creates for its faculty - and the role of the Union in maintaining an enriching environment is vital.

Professor Jaqueline (Jackie) Sparks, Human Development and Family Studies
213 Transition Center

I believe that membership in the AAUP means safeguarding one of the most critical aspects of higher education—shared governance. Shared governance is unique, especially in today’s corporate world. It embodies the ideal of mutual partnership between faculty and administrators to promote the goals of the institution and academic freedom. It means that faculty can pursue their chosen interests and teach without political intrusion and constraint. Faculty activities are bound by codes of professionalism and ethics, defined by their fields and the institution, not by the agendas of those in particular positions of power. Without shared governance, higher education is in danger of being co-opted to promote the interests of dominant persons or social groups. The AAUP, in the spirit of our country’s historical unions, means unity with others. Together, we can preserve our critical ability to freely search for ways to better understand and improve our world.