Chapter of AAUP
September 8, 2006,
Meetings are open to all university faculty members.
Faculty present: Betty McLane-Iles (presiding), Martha
Bartter, James Harmon, Diane Johnson, Sylvia Macauley, Judi Misale, David
Robinson, Peter Rolnick, Lynn Rose, Tom Stewart
1. Minutes of May 5 meeting were approved.
2. Confirmation of officers: Since Mark Nordstrom died
suddenly, soon after our May 5 meeting, we need a new secretary (and webmaster).
David Robinson has agreed to step in for the interim. If no other member steps
forward, he will serve for the academic year. [As no one stepped forward, David
will continue in this capacity for the academic year. Also, our chapter is
planning to send a representative to a memorial being planned for Mark, here on
3. Brief treasurers report from James Harmon: current
balance is $368.48. We expect more dues to come in from the national office; a
written summary was given to president and secretary.
4. Discussion of the best meeting-times for this semester.
We settled on first Fridays, 4:30, at the University Clubhouse. [Turns out, we
had to make one exception, for October.]
Meeting times this
semester: September 8, 4:30 pm, University Clubhouse
October 4 (a Wednesday), 4:00
pm, University Clubhouse
November 3, 4:30 pm, University
December 1, 4:30 pm, University
5. Ideas/ambitions for this academic year:
a. Our nearly-annual State of University Survey was
completed last spring, but the results have yet to be circulated. Judi Misale
wants to polish the summaries and analysis, then present the survey to President
Dixon and circulate it to the faculty. Judi will try to schedule a time when a
small group (our officers perhaps) can have a conversation with the president
about the results (maybe together with the VPAA). We hope to accomplish this
within the next month or so. We could also offer this information to division
deans or divisions, if they are interested.
b. How do we see the role of our chapter, this year? In
general, we should look for opportunities to remind the administration that our
AAUP chapter is informational and consultative, advocating for the faculty
position and for more complete and timely exchanges of information. For example,
as the Personnel Policy Committee makes progress toward its final report, AAUP
policy recommendations should be closely considered. We are adversarial really
only in rare instances, such as when we defend a faculty member who has been
disciplined, mistreated, or dismissed. Betty McLane, our new chapter president,
suggested that we also look into the possibility of socializing, setting up
informal meetings with administrators and broader faculty groups.
c. In the past we have held town-hall meetings, and we have
had smaller meetings with administrators. We are still worried about the culture
of secrecy at Truman, the fact that deans still meet in secret, etc. One hopeful
sign: the Personnel Policy Committee is meeting the presidents challenge to
require more peer review, as proper professional standards (and certainly AAUP
policy) recommend. Also, President Dixons speech at the convocation that opened
this academic year made a strong point that we must always know who is
accountable for the decisions that are made in this university. We heartily
applaud this sentiment.
d. We can poll our members, using the list-serve. Are there
fires that need to be put out, or are there wide issues that we should discuss;
how can we facilitate broader discussion? We want to keep searching for better
ways to advocate for the faculty.
6. New business. Announcements.
Last semester a Student Senate resolution came before Undergraduate Council,
calling for a ban on any meetings or classes involving students on Reading Day.
UGC received the idea with some reservations, but Faculty Senate never voted on
it. Greg Siewert informs us that foreign language faculty are now
being told by their dean that their capstone courses can no longer use Reading
Day for student presentations, which creates serious problems for these capstone
courses. Our chapter officers will consult UGC and Faculty Senate records, and
also foreign-language conveners, to see if AAUP needs to assist on this issue,
or if we should refer the interested parties back to UGC and Faculty Senate.
We were reminded of the various upcoming activities on the
topic of the death penalty, scheduled in conjunction with the appearance of
Sister Helen Prejune on September 14. [These activities, Betty M-I reports, were
very successful, with impressive attendance.]
7. Adjournment, ca.
submitted by David Robinson, secretary