MINUTES, Truman Chapter of AAUP
November 4, 2005, 4:30 PM
Meetings are open to all university faculty members.
Faculty present: David Robinson (presiding), Martha Bartter, Roger Festa, James Harmon, Tom Marshall, Joan Mather, Mark Nordstrom, Lynn Rose
1. Minutes of the October 13, 2005, meeting were approved.
2. Town Hall Meeting.
The Town Hall Meeting will be next Tuesday, November 8, 5:30-7:30, Violette Hall 1000. The preparations have gone smoothly. We have circulated FOOTNOTES, along with “Reflections” (our chapter newsletter for 2004-05, now on our website) and a poster for the Town Hall Meeting.
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David Robinson’s report (as reported to MO State Conference newsletter):
AAUP Town Hall Meeting, November 8
“The Budget and FTE Ratios”
About 35 people gathered from nearly all divisions across campus. The event began with a dedication to David Gruber. Truman chapter treasurer, James Harmon, presented a check for $770.00 to chapter president, David Robinson. This is our memorial contribution to the David F. Gruber Leadership Award fund of the Missouri Conference of AAUP.
Candy Young, chair of the Faculty Senate Budget Committee, presented the current budget situation and warned of looming crises. She explained how it has become inevitable that the student:faculty ratio, presently about 15:1, will soon be raised to 16:1. Many classes will have to become at least a little larger. Participants’ questions and comments reflected the need for more details, as well as their fears about what such pressures might do to the quality of our courses. There was some lively give and take with two administrators in attendance: Vice President Garry Gordon and David Rector, the Budget Director.
Since the town hall format is open, many participants commented on President Dixon’s recent proposals for administrative restructuring. Some voiced concerns about costs and changes to our culture; others wondered if such changes might actually help us face the budget challenges and might also increase levels of peer review and faculty self-governance. Participants left with some satisfaction that we were at least talking about the problems, facing the future together. A video and transcript of the event is in preparation.
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3. President Dixon’s open meetings on reorganization.
These will end next week. Most of the people present had attended one already. Some were concerned about what to expect. Others welcomed the president’s initiative to try, at least, to shake up the administration, which has been so unresponsive, even moribund (at some levels, anyway).
4. Reorganized University Faculty Club.
Our chapter voted to support this reorganized body by designating a representative. Lynn Rose has stepped forward to represent AAUP on the new council of the University Faculty Club. The chapter president has forwarded this information to Chet Breed, who is handling the transition from the old organization to the new.
5. Adjournment, ca. 6:00 PM