Fred Kowal

Fred Kowal: What Not To Cover

Sep 19, 2018

When President Donald Trump began staging his campaign-style rallies soon after he became president, the decision to air those events live was a no-brainer for cable news networks like CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel.

Fred Kowal: Guns

May 24, 2018

Another school, another shooting.

Last week, eight students and two teachers were gunned down at the Santa Fe High School in Texas. Arrested was a 17-year-old student, who police say taunted and terrorized his victims before his capture—after a 25-minute shootout with police.

Fred Kowal: The Why Was Justice

Apr 5, 2018

Yesterday, Americans remembered the day fifty years ago, when our nation lost a prophet. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of freedom and equality, with a dignity and persistence that caused him to be beloved, and the target of vile hatred and violence. It was the latter that led to his death from an assassin’s bullet in Memphis, Tenn. on April 4, 1968. He was just 39 years old. His young age stuns me. I have a son who is already 31 years old. He seems so young, and yet he is only 8 years from the age when King was lost to us. Martin’s youth belied a wisdom and grace that is timeless. His commitment to a better nation and world for all cannot be denied, even today, decades after his death.

Fred Kowal: A Hero For SUNY

Feb 20, 2018

I knew it was going to be a lean year for SUNY, especially after the governor began talking about a $4.4 billion budget deficit, and how it was going to be a financially difficult year.

Fred Kowal: Here To Stay

Dec 20, 2017

One of the toughest jobs in 19th century America was that of a laundress. Although machines were used in the commercial laundry process, this was still dangerous, backbreaking labor performed almost entirely by women in sweatshop conditions.

Fred Kowal: The Endless War

Nov 21, 2017

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the United States undertook military action in Afghanistan, with the stated intent of removing the Taliban regime from power and apprehending or killing those responsible for planning the heinous strikes.

Fred Kowal: A Republic, If We Can Keep It

Oct 27, 2017

In a story often told about the Constitutional Convention of 1787 – the gathering of our country’s founders that produced the blueprint of our great democracy – someone reportedly asked Benjamin Franklin if the delegates had just crafted a monarchy or a republic.

Fred Kowal: President Trump And The Press

Aug 3, 2017

It’s one thing when a candidate attacks the media on the campaign trail, or a politician isn’t pleased by—or is critical of—a news story or report.

Fred Kowal: Starting The Conversation

Jul 6, 2017

You can sometimes tell a lot about a person just by talking to them on the phone. 

Fred Kowal: Silence Is Not An Option

Jun 20, 2017

As the nation’s largest union of higher education professionals, United University Professions strongly supports the search for truth based on scientific facts and exploration.

Fred Kowal: NIH Budget Cut

Apr 20, 2017

In the flurry of attention being paid to questions surrounding the role of Russia in our last presidential election, the rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and in Syria, and endless attention being paid to President Trump’s Twitter adventures, what has been lost is a necessary focus on the President’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. 

Fred Kowal: Hospitals and ACA

Mar 28, 2017

You’d think that public hospitals that treat 1.3 million patients every year, graduate many of New York’s primary care physicians and perform groundbreaking medical research would have a secure future.

It’s budget season in Albany and higher education issues are getting lots of attention.  It’s about time. 

Fred Kowal: Standing Rock

Dec 29, 2016

One hundred and twenty six years ago, on December 29, 1890, the US 7th cavalry gunned down over three hundred Lakota women, men and children in one of the worst massacres in the long history of violence perpetrated by the United States against Native Americans.  It is vital that we all remember that day and that history. 

Fred Kowal: I Will Not Be Silent

Dec 13, 2016

Stunned? Shocked? Disbelieving?

I’m sure many of us shared that same reaction in the wee hours of November 9 once it became obvious that Donald Trump had won the presidential election. So how did we get there, and what do we do now?

Fred Kowal: A Better Future For All?

Nov 3, 2016

Like most of you, I have heard many disturbing statements during this year’s political campaigns.

Fred Kowal: SUNY Under A Microscope

Oct 25, 2016

Corruption. Fraud. Bribery

A bid-rigging scandal that involved SUNY Polytechnic Institute and other upstate nanotechnology development projects. The result: federal charges leveled against nine people, including Alain Kaloyeros, the now former president of SUNY Poly.

The Treasury Department’s recent announcement to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill drew a quick response from Donald Trump, who called it unbridled “political correctness.”

Fred Kowal: Funding SUNY Hospitals

Apr 19, 2016

The three teaching hospitals operated by the State University of New York provide vital health care to more than a million New Yorkers each year. Our medical schools graduate more doctors than over 40 states. Every year.

Fred Kowal: RETA

Mar 15, 2016

A teacher shortage isn’t looming in New York.

It’s here. 

Fred Kowal: Adjuncts

Feb 18, 2016

Rebekah Tolley is an artist whose works have been displayed at the National Library of Quebec, and art galleries in the U.S., France, China and Japan.

Fred Kowal: Friedrichs

Jan 7, 2016

A historic moment in America’s struggle for economic and social justice is upon us, though few Americans are aware of it.  On Jan. 11th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association, the latest attempt by political extremists to turn back the clock on social progress in the U.S.

Fred Kowal: 2016 UUP initiatives

Dec 24, 2015

Last December, UUP proposed a series of legislative initiatives that we pursued in 2015. We focused on student debt relief for recent SUNY graduates, and maintenance of effort plan so tuition increases aren’t used to pay basic costs like lights and heat. 

Fred Kowal: Skin Deep

Sep 10, 2015

There’s this great song written by blues legend Buddy Guy called “Skin Deep.” He sings how people are much more than what they appear to be and that despite our differences, underneath we’re all the same.


Fred Kowal has been reelected unanimously to a second term as president of United University Professions, the union says. The voting took place among representatives to the union of college professionals' Spring Delegate Assembly. Kowal is an occasional WAMC commentator. 

Fred Kowal: Making SUNY Whole

Mar 5, 2015

Let me start by saying that United University Professions would like nothing more than to work with Gov. Cuomo to ensure that SUNY continues to deliver an accessible, affordable, quality education to New York’s students.

  When I became president of UUP in 2013, I promised our members—and myself—that I wouldn’t simply be a voice opposing SUNY proposals that detract from the University and our union.

My priority is to come up with our own plans. We would offer viable alternatives to promote access, affordability and quality at SUNY.

And that’s what we’ve done.

Since 2010, SUNY has been forced to deal with hundreds of millions in state aid cuts, years of virtually flat state funding, and the ever-increasing expense of higher education for our students.

The New York state Education Department acted irresponsibly last month when it took the unlikely step of publicly releasing college-specific data on the state’s new teacher certification exams.