Chapter of AAUP
February 2, 2007,
Meetings are open
to all university faculty members.
Faculty present: Betty McLane-Iles (presiding), Martha
Bartter, Todd Coulter, Roger Festa, James Harmon, Diane Johnson, Sylvia
Macauley, Joan Mather, Judi Misale, Peter Rolnick, Steven Reschly, David
Robinson, Lynn Rose
1. Minutes of November 3 were approved. (The December
meeting was cancelled due to weather).
2. By secret ballot, as required by AAUP bylaws, the
chapter elected David Robinson to be delegate to the meeting of Missouri
Conference of AAUP, held on February 24 in St. Louis. Betty McLane-Iles is
3. David and Betty will draw up a short appeal for
membership and call on members to distribute it in their Divisions, along with
FOOTNOTES, a national AAUP newsletter.
4. We discussed broad agendas at this critical time in the
life of our university, to consider what AAUP should do. (Most of the weblinks
below are only available through the Truman network or proxy server.)
4A. Final report of Reorganization Committee
(along with a budget analysis)
http://reorganization.truman.edu The chapter discussed the process that
produced this final report and agreed that, though it was highly anticipated
document that could not possibly meet everyone’s desires and expectations, it
was nevertheless a useful, fair, and pretty thorough document. Our best
information is that President Dixon will make at least some preliminary
announcement(s) on academic restructuring very soon.
4B. Personnel Policies Committee of Academic Senate. Roger Festa gave
us an account of literally years of this Committee’s work and its recent
progress. He noted particularly the contributions of the chair, Greg Jones, and
of Amber Johnson, though it seems that the whole Committee worked diligently to
keep this policy study going.
Our chapter’s discussion noted that the policy recommendations have been
developing in the direction of AAUP best practices. In particular, the Committee
rejected the notion of “collegiality” as a separate item for faculty evaluation,
keeping it subsumed under the classical categories of teaching, research, and
service. Also, the Committee criticized Truman’s general failure to require peer
review in faculty evaluations. The Committee recommendations seem to be moving
toward an appropriate combination of clarity and flexibility, where the
requirements for evidence of faculty achievement are concerned.
Diane Johnson, who currently serves on Faculty Senate, noted that several
conversations involving senators, administrators, and Committee members have
made the process very deliberative. All AAUP chapter members seemed to agree
that, even in the face of administrative restructuring, the Faculty Senate would
be well advised to have fairly solid policies in place, as soon as they and the
Committee can iron out the details.
4C. Garry Gordon is
stepping down as VPAA as early as the coming June (apparently returning to
the Fine Arts faculty). All but a few of those who were Division Heads when
President Dixon arrived have likewise stepped down or retired. We have to assume
that restructuring is now forthcoming, and our AAUP chapter needs to anticipate
issues in governance changes (reorganized Faculty Senate, etc.)
4D. Contingent faculty, their use and their benefits. We heard about
how Drama, which has over 100 majors and many minors, is being staffed by
“temporary faculty” who are limited to “one-year contracts negotiated annually,
with a four-year limit.” We heard about similar issues affecting other programs.
Apparently, some contingent faculty have been hired recently to work full-time
for one or even two semesters, entirely without benefits and at very low
Since our chapter is very concerned about these developments, the chapter
president and secretary will prepare a letter to the University President and
Office of the VPAA, reminding them of standard practices supported by AAUP and
our peer institutions, and calling on them to assure fairness in working
conditions of all contingent faculty. We will circulate a draft of this to AAUP
members for comment, before sending it.
5. Celebrating landmarks. Chapter members offered
toasts that honored responsible faculty activity in all the important matters
discussed above, that pledged our constructive engagement in the administrative
changes coming soon to our university, and that remembered the guiding spirit of
our departed colleague, David Gruber.
6. Other plans. David Robinson will attend the
Missouri Association of Faculty Senates (MAFS), February 6, as liaison to
Missouri Conference of AAUP. He will also attend the annual meeting of Missouri
Council on February 24 (see item 2 above) and will be one of the featured
speakers in the program. Visit the recently updated website:
March 16, 4:30
(because the first Friday comes right before spring break)
April 13, 4:30
(because the first Friday comes right before the Easter break on the following
May 04. 4:30
(the last day of exams, early this year; we might want to cancel this one)
The chapter meeting was adjourned ca. 18:00.
Respectfully submitted by David K. Robinson, chapter