November Mini Newsletter
Welcome to an occasional
newsletter from the Truman State University chapter of the American Association
of University Professors. AAUP is
committed to advancing academic freedom and shared governance, to defining fundamental
professional values and standards for higher education, and to ensuring higher
education’s contribution to the common good.This issue of the newsletter focuses on principles of shared governance.
The Truman State University chapter of the American
Association of University Professors urges our colleagues across campus to
support the work of our elected Faculty Senate toward being the primary point
of decision in establishing the structures by which faculty evaluation, tenure,
and promotion decisions are made. We
need to encourage our Faculty Senate colleagues in their firm insistence that
the representative body of the faculty should deliberate and largely decide the
mechanisms by which these decisions are made.
In addition to the tensions resulting from budgetary
troubles, there are many topics under discussion that are of immediate
importance to faculty interests and professionalism: long-term planning,
research grants, the proposed absence policy, a proposed revision of the summer
program, the use of student evaluations, and the formative third-year
review. Under principles of shared
governance, the facultys deliberative bodies should be concretely involved at
each stage of discussion and decision.
It is not adequate to a healthy culture of shared governance that the
faculty and Faculty Senate would be only consulted early in policy development
or given reports after decisions have been made. The process by which the recent proposal for revamping the summer
program emerged cannot inspire confidence in the level of respect for faculty
The summer program does have budgetary and scheduling
implications as well as implications for faculty effort and planning; however,
decisions about the processes by which we will evaluate faculty and make
personnel and status decisions must be based in the faculty and its
representative councils. Along with the
curriculum, there is no arena of university activity that is more at the core
of faculty responsibility than the composition of the faculty, the judgment of its
performance, and its determinations as to tenure and promotion. Obviously, A.A.U.P. principles support
careful and deliberate evaluation of faculty performance by professional peer
review; the faculty, speaking through its governance structures, must be
intricately involved in formulating and approving the system by which faculty
For excerpts from A.A.U.P. documents that more eloquently
state these principles, see the end of this newsletter.
For more information on A.A.U.P. principles and statements
on sound shared governance, faculty priority in faculty hiring and status
decisions, and academic freedom, see the A.A.U.P web site, http://www.aaup.org.
SUPPORT THE WORK OF A.A.U.P.
Federal and state educational lobbying; assistance for
individual faculty members; chapter development and leadership training for
effective faculty citizenship; vigilance on accreditation, intellectual
property, and distance education; the salary surveyit wont happen without a
healthy AAUP. Take the first step to
fulfill your responsibilities for academic citizenship: join the AAUP. For membership information, or to join
Join us in the work of the Truman State University chapter
of AAUP. Visit our web page at
http://aaup.truman.edu. The Truman
chapter of AAUP meets at the Washington Street Java Company, on the south side
of the square.
Wed., December 12, 8:00 A.M.
Thurs., January 17, 8:00 A.M.
Thurs., February 14, 8:00 A.M.
Thurs, March 7, 8:00 A.M.
Thurs, April 4, 8:00 A.M.
Wed., May 8, 8:00 A.M.
Truman Chapter officers
Jan Saffir, President, Fine Arts
Jan Grow, Vice-President, Education
Marc Becker, Secretary, Social Science
James Harmon, Treasurer, Fine Arts
A.A.U.P. Policy Statements.
All A.A.U.P. principles flow from the 1940 Statement of
Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure.
Excerpt from the Statement on Procedural Standards in the
Renewal or Nonrenewal of Faculty Appointments http://www.aaup.org/rbrenew.htm
Any recommendation regarding renewal or tenure should be
reached by an appropriate faculty group in accordance with procedures approved
by the faculty.
Excerpts from the 1966 Statement on Government of
Colleges and Universities
This statement was jointly formulated by the American
Association of University Professors, the American Council on Education (ACE),
and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB). In
October 1966, the board of directors of the ACE took action by which its
council “recognizes the statement as a significant step forward in the
clarification of the respective roles of governing boards, faculties, and
administrations,” and “commends it to the institutions which are
members of the Council.” The Council of the AAUP adopted the statement in
October 1966, and the Fifty-third Annual Meeting endorsed it in April 1967. In
November 1966, the executive committee of the AGB took action by which that
organization also “recognizes the statement as a significant step forward
in the clarification of the respective roles of governing boards, faculties, and
administrations,” and “commends it to the governing boards which are
members of the Association.”
Joint effort in an academic institution will take a variety
of forms appropriate to the kinds of situations encountered. In some instances,
an initial exploration or recommendation will be made by the president with
consideration by the faculty at a later stage; in other instances, a first and
essentially definitive recommendation will be made by the faculty, subject to
the endorsement of the president and the governing board. In still others, a
substantive contribution can be made when student leaders are responsibly
involved in the process. Although the variety of such approaches may be wide,
at least two general conclusions regarding joint effort seem clearly warranted:
(1) important areas of action involve at one time or another the initiating
capacity and decision-making participation of all the institutional components,
and (2) differences in the weight of each voice, from one point to the next,
should be determined by reference to the responsibility of each component for
the particular matter at hand, as developed hereinafter.
The faculty has primary responsibility for such fundamental
areas as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, faculty
status, and those aspects of student life which relate to the educational
Faculty status and related matters are primarily a faculty
responsibility; this area includes appointments, reappointments, decisions not
to reappoint, promotions, the granting of tenure, and dismissal. The primary
responsibility of the faculty for such matters is based upon the fact that its
judgment is central to general educational policy. Furthermore, scholars in a
particular field or activity have the chief competence for judging the work of
their colleagues; in such competence it is implicit that responsibility exists
for both adverse and favorable judgments.