On April 17, delegates elected IUP’s criminology department chair Dr. Jamie Martin president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF).
Martin previously served three terms as APSCUF’s vice president. She was a member of the faculty and coaches’ negotiations teams in 2015-2016 and 2019-2020.
“I was honored and humbled when I discovered I was elected president,” Martin said. “I know we are in unprecedented times, but I feel I am well prepared. President Mash has been a remarkable president, and I certainly have big shoes to fill. I am thankful to have worked with him for six years and lucky to have him available to help with the transition.
“The outstanding Harrisburg staff and office managers will be of great assistance as I take over as president. The other officers elected today are dedicated, competent and hard-working. I am very lucky to be able to serve with them. There’s going to be a lot of work to do, but I am so lucky to have such a competent and dedicated staff at APSCUF. I know that I will need the help and support of all our members.”
She said she wanted to run for APSCUF president because she has been a member of APSCUF since she began teaching at IUP.
“I was aware of some of the issues that we face here, but when I became involved at the state level, I learned about issues that affect our 14 campuses,” Martin said. “I was fortunate to be part of the faculty and coaches' negotiations teams for the last two contract negotiations. After these experiences, I wanted to continue serving my fellow faculty and coaches.”
The challenges Martin is looking to tackle focus on providing students affordable and quality public higher education.
“I am looking forward to working with my fellow APSCUF members to fight for appropriate state funding for higher education, continuing to bring the issue of student debt to the forefront and combating the attacks on labor unions as a whole and on APSCUF specifically,” she said.
Elections took place during APSCUF’s legislative assembly, and like most business and education-related things, it took place over Zoom.
“APSCUF’s legislative assembly is where faculty and coach representatives from all 14 state system campuses convene three times a year for union businesses,” said Kathryn Morton, APSCUF’s communications director. “Typically, this happens in person, but during this atypical time, our regularly scheduled April assembly took place over Zoom. Dr. Martin ran unopposed, and she was elected by affirmation during the assembly.”
Martin is the second woman elected APSCUF president.
Pat Heilman was elected as State APSCUF president in 2004 and represented 5,500 faculty and 600 coaches across the 14 universities.
“I was the first woman elected as president since the union’s beginning in 1971,” Heilman said. “I had served as IUP-APSCUF president from 1998 to 2002, and I was on the statewide negotiations team from 2002 to 2004.
“IUP's faculty union has a long history of mentoring newer faculty into leadership roles. Because we are one of a few state universities to have term limits on IUP-APSCUF presidencies, IUP has churned out a significant number of state and local leaders.”
Heilman recalls Martin’s involvement with APSCUF before she was elected president.
“Jamie Martin served as a representative to our local council when I was state president, and I watched her career blossom at the state level, where she served as a delegate to legislative assembly and later as state vice president as well as a member of the state negotiations team,” Heilman said. “I am so proud of Jamie and the work she has done for the union. I know she will do a wonderful job as state president.”
Martin said she wants to raise awareness toward one of APSCUF’s biggest advocacy issues, which is making sure State System universities are properly funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
“When the State System began, the state funded about two-thirds of a student's education, and now that is flipped,” Martin said. “Pennsylvania ranks at or near the bottom, no matter how funding is measured, and as students, you've felt the pain of this in your tuition and fees.
“APSCUF speaks with legislators regularly about the importance of fair funding and the crisis of student debt. Students can speak up, too, by contacting your legislators and sharing your stories.”
For more information about where to contact legislators, visit apscuf.org/issues-and-advocacy/contact-your-legislators/.
Others who were elected on APSCUF’s board include: Dr. Chris Hallen of Bloomsburg University, vice president; Dr. Clifford Johnston of West Chester University, treasurer; and Dr. Michele Papakie of IUP, secretary, according to an April 17 APSCUF news release.
Delegates elected to the audit committee include Dr. Ellen Foster of Clarion, Dr. Eric Hawrelak of Bloomsburg and Dr. Mark Lepore of Clarion. Delegates elected to the budget committee include Dr. Michael Malcolm of West Chester, Dr. Michelle Amodei of Slippery Rock and Susan Drummond of IUP.
APSCUF represents more than 5,000 faculty and coaches at state’s 14 publicly owned universities, which include: Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.