President Carter’s career commemorated through new AAUP award


Photo by: Andrew Brain

President Carter holds award he was honored with during the 2022 AAUP conference.

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP), an organization focused on protecting and recognizing college and university faculty across the nation, held its Fall 2022 South Carolina State Conference on Oct. 8 in the Lowrimore Auditorium in the Cauthen Educational Media Center (CEMC). 

Hosting professors from across the state of South Carolina, the dual purpose of the conference was to have meetings to discuss policy and have a brief ceremony celebrating achievements. 

“The AAUP-SC Economic Status and Faculty Welfare Award recognizes the AAUP USC Aiken Chapter for their creation and implementation of Equity Week,” Shawn Smolen-Morton, professor of film studies and president of the state chapter of the AAUP, said during the ceremony. “This annual event raises campus awareness of and organizes action for faculty who do not enjoy tenure: working more teaching hours, receiving fewer benefits and worrying about job security.” 

USC Aiken professors David Bruzina and Amanda Warren were presented with this award for their Equity Week event and the work they put into publicizing it and making it a success. 

Another award was given to FMU President Luther Carter for his persistence in helping grow and support every workplace he has been a part of since he started his storied career in 1979. 

“As professor, director, chair, university trustee and president, you have facilitated, modeled and mentored the principles of shared governance to your colleagues and faculties,” Smolen-Morton said about President Carter. “In 2001, the faculty nominated you for the Ralph S. Brown Award for Shared Governance. In 2002, you received that award at the Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. accompanied by members of the AAUP-FM Chapter and the Faculty Executive Committee.” 

President Carter’s leadership is credited with bringing FMU into good standing with the AAUP.  

Since he started his presidency at FMU, President Carter has hosted a plethora of events for the AAUP including conferences, orientations, forums, breakfasts and luncheons. He has encouraged FMU faculty to read about and join the AAUP as well as helping instill the values of the AAUP on campus. 

For his continuous support of the AAUP and development of better governance on both his own campus and across the state, President Carter was given the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from the AAUP-SC, and the award shall henceforth be presented as The Luther F. Carter Lifetime Achievement Award in Shared Governance in his honor.  

“The purpose of the award is to recognize the work that USC Aiken and President Carter have done, but is also to use their example of hard work so that more people will imitate what they’ve done,” Smolen-Morton said. “We need more people in education to be proactive about defending shared governance, participating in shared governance and defending and understanding what tenure is.” 

The presence of the AAUP is one of great administrative importance on campus, with influence over the development of curriculum, setting criteria of student admissions and allocating research funds. 

“This organization has been the catalyst for establishing a new faculty constitution and bylaws, working with the administration and developing shared governance processes for the faculty,” President Carter said. “The campus organization has been a critical part of developing a lot of those processes over the years.” 

Not only does the AAUP advocate for the faculty, but for the overall improvement and development of campuses across the nation. 

“It’s a very practical and pragmatic organization in terms of finding ways for universities to run more effectively, more equitably and more fairly,” President Carter said. “The influence they wield over a university depends on the size of the chapter, how many faculties they can bring with the chapter and the relationship between that chapter and the administration. Those with good and close relationships are the schools where the AAUP wields enormous influence. In this university, the AAUP wields enormous influence.”