Faculty Retention Report
Truman State University
I am happy to present the Faculty Retention Report completed by the
Truman State University’s Chapter of the American Association of University
Professors (AAUP). Quality professors are the heart of a successful liberal
arts education. Our report suggests that faculty attrition is becoming
a serious problem for Truman State University. AAUP would like to encourage
Truman’s administrators to take initiatives that address this issue in
order to build a stronger institution that will attract and retain talented
A liberal arts education is built upon two traditions, the tradition
of humanism and the tradition of science. Both traditions need to be present
and vibrant in order for a liberal arts community to thrive.
Unlike science, humanism is centered around the principle of care. Within
humanism care is seen as not only a compelling but also a necessary foundation
of human relations. Humanism cannot exist and, by implication, neither
can a liberal arts community, without a recognition of and a respect for
the principle of care. A persistent degree of faculty attrition threatens
a liberal arts community because it undermines the possibility of caring.
As the philosopher, Milton Mayerhoff writes, “Caring assumes continuity,
and is impossible if the other is continually being replaced.”
The greatest resource that Truman State University has is the good will
of its faculty toward its students. This study shows that many of its former
faculty had considerable good will toward the students here. Administrators
at Truman need to protect this important “social capital.” Otherwise, the
University will lose it. When good will is either taken for granted or
taken advantage of, it is destroyed. It is imperative not to deplete perhaps
the greatest resource that this University has. If such a thing happens,
it will become impossible for the University to grow and sustain its excellent
Typically, faculty select an academic career because the university
is not a business enterprise. Universities spring from a different culture.
Within a university, faculty are citizens as well as employees. Citizens
are different than employees in that they see their self-interest residing
within rather than outside the collective interest of their institution.
Citizens, in fact, contribute to and develop the collective interest of
their institution. With this report, we seek to remind ourselves of what
is essential to a liberal arts university and to preserve the traditions
that sustain such an institution.
To close, I gratefully thank the over-worked members of the Truman AAUP
Chapter who conducted this study and compiled this outstanding report.
In particular, I would like to thank Dr. Marc Becker, Assistant Professor
of History, for his courage to undertake this initiative and for his intelligence
in compiling the report. I hope this study leads to constructive changes
that generate positive outcomes for every member of the Truman community.
Dr. Keith Doubt
Associate Professor of Sociology
Truman Chapter AAUP President