The Voice

The Voice

The Voice is the official podcast of United University Professions, America's largest higher education union. We spotlight our hard-working members, and issues that are important to them and others who believe in a strong effective union.


August 30, 2023 53 mins

Somehow, diversity, equity and inclusion is under attack. 

 Pushed by a small but very vocal group of right-wing conservatives, attacks on DEI have escalated over recent months as they have been embraced by powerful Republican politicians. And more than a few have been directed at public higher education.

In Texas, the Republican-led Legislature voted in late May to ban offices, programs and initiatives to promote diversity...

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On this episode of The Voice Podcast, UUP president and host Fred Kowal talks state and national politics with Liz Benjamin, the former host of Spectrum News's statewide political program “Capital Tonight."

Benjamin, who spent 15 years as a hard-hitting political print reporter and columnist for the Albany Times Union and the New York Daily News, moved to Spectrum in 2010. In 2019, she became a managing director...

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On this episode of The Voice, UUP President Fred Kowal talks with former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, who for decades has been a champion for mental health equity and combatting substance abuse—and is recognized as one of the nation's most respected voices on mental health equity, parity, addiction and recovery.

Kennedy—the son of Sen. Ted Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robe...

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Central Brooklyn is the epicenter of New York City’s maternal health crisis—and has been for far too long. The community, home to Brooklyn’s only public teaching hospital, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, has the highest rates of severe maternal morbidity in the state. 

Longtime UUP leader Rowena Blackman-Stroud, who died in December 2022,  was dedicated to protecting the rights of every individual, regardless of age, race...

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul released her 2023-2024 Executive Budget proposal Feb. 1, which officially kicked off what’s known as budget season in Albany. 

In this podcast, Fred Kowal, UUP's president and podcast host, talks about the governor’s proposed spending plan, her 2023 State of The State address, and how SUNY and public higher education could fare in next year’s state budget with two good government proponents, Ron Deuts...

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In this episode of The Voice podcast, host and UUP President Fred Kowal talks about the American Labor Studies Center and its connection to female union trailblazer Kate Mullany with ALSC Executive Director Paul Cole and Jolene DiBrango, the chair of the ALSC’s Board of Directors and executive vice president of the New York State United Teachers.

Located in Troy,  New York, the ALSC works to promote teaching and learning ...

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In 2007, Congress enacted the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program as a way to attract talented professionals to careers in public service. Under the program, borrowers who work in nonprofit or government jobs for 10 years or more and meet other program requirements can get their remaining federal student loans forgiven.  

Sound simple? Navigating the PSLF program has been anything but easy.

Complex eligibility rules, m...

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From finding new homes for desks and other surplus items at SUNY to electric cars, New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and the federal Inflation Reduction Act, this episode of The Voice podcast is fully focused on the environment. 

Host Fred Kowal discusses the landmark Inflation Reduction Act and the positive impact it can have on the environment and how it advances environmental justice for low-income areas,...

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On this episode of The Voice, UUP president and host Fred Kowal discusses steps being taken to preserve and guarantee abortion rights in New York state just weeks after the  U.S. Supreme Court's June decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.  The court's 6-3 ruling nullified the landmark Roe v. Wade decision of  1973, which recognized abortion as a constitutional right. 

On the show, Kowal speaks ...

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From gun safety reform and protecting students and teachers in the classroom to women’s reproductive rights, public health care, and the environment, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten speaks truth to power. She doesn't pull punches and isn't afraid to say what needs to be said on these and other important topics. 

On this episode of The Voice, Randi offers some pointed opinions as she sha...

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June 21, 2022 62 mins

In this episode of The Voice podcast, host and UUP President Fred Kowal speaks with three leaders of Buffalo's Black community about systemic racism in Buffalo and the impact of the racially motivated May 14 mass shooting in Buffalo that killed 10 people, all of whom were Black, and wounded three others.

Our guests are: 

  • Janique Curry, vice president of the Buffalo chapter of the National Action Network 
  • Dr. Henry-L...
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Welcome to The Voice Podcast, the official podcast of United University Professions, the nation's largest higher education union.  In our debut podcast, UUP President Fred Kowal talks with past UUP President Nuala McGann Drescher.

McGann Drescher, who served from 1981 through 1987, is the union's first woman president.  A Distinguished Service Professor Emerita at the State University of New York College at Buff...

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