Meeting of the Truman State University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
2016 April 19, 4:30-5:30 PM, in SUB Conference Room
Present: Marc Becker, Kathryn Brammall (treasurer), Mark Hatala (vice-president), Marc Rice (presiding), David Robinson (secretary)
Next meeting: still to be set, next academic year
1) Report from Columbia and St. Louis, by David Robinson.
1a) Last week, April 14 and 15, David represented Missouri Conference in meetings with University of Missouri Columbia faculty (and their AAUP chapter) with a visitor from the AAUP office in DC, Joerg Tiede, Senior Program Officer. Joerg talked with Mizzou faculty about their multiple issues, including the March visit in Columbia by an AAUP Investigating Committee from Committee A (Academic Freedom and Tenure). Committee A is likely to recommend AAUP censure, our highest level of action, against University of Missouri Board of Curators and the UM-C administration, for improper procedure in the firing of Professor Melissa Click. Watch the AAUP website for announcements on this case.
1b) The annual Missouri State Conference (MOAAUP) meeting, April 16, at Saint Louis University. Joerg Tiede made the morning presentation, “Shared Governance—History and Current Challenges,” and discussion ensued, especially about how problems in US higher education over the past century are cycling through again today, and how academic freedom, tenure, and shared governance are so crucially intertwined and interdependent.
The afternoon business meeting of MOAAUP included these items:
- Report of Missouri Committee A, by its chair, David Robinson: about a dozen cases have been examined over the past year— a few of them were resolved, many are pending, a few are still at the level of confidentiality.
- Decision to fund Greg Comer (MOAAUP president, SLU), Kathryn Kuhn (MOAAUP vp, SLU), and Nicole Monnier (Mizzou) to attend the AAUP annual meeting in DC (June 15-19). If our funding allows, we voted to support Victoria Johnson and/or Melissa Click (both of Mizzou) as alternate Conference delegates (because there may be a membership vote to censure Mizzou, and Mizzou faculty would be asked to speak to the issue).
- Decision to fund one member, Jason McCullom of Missouri State University West Plains, to go to the AAUP Summer Institute (Portland, July 21-24).
- The 2016 David F. Gruber Leadership Development Award (the eighth annual one) was presented to David K. Robinson (who, incidentally, helped establish this MOAAUP award when he first became an officer of MOAAUP).
2) Ideas for a draft-letter to Truman Board of Governors President. We noted the email message sent to members of the university from the president of our Board of Governors on March 7; it seemed to welcome faculty input into the interim and presidential-search period. Marc Rice will draft a letter to the President of Board, expressing our hope that there will be meaningful faculty participation in the search process for the new president, that there might be more avenues of communication between faculty and the Board (more than the current, very restricted one). We want to remind the Board that AAUP held a very successful town-hall meeting in Fall 2015, emphasizing the roles of higher education in our region. We especially want to remind the Board about the AAUP Forum on faculty salaries last November, when we worked directly with President Paino to prioritize the salary issue.
3) On salaries, Kathryn Brammall reported that the administration plans to give faculty and staff a raise of 2% if the legislature approves at least that much increase in funding (as the State House budget does, at this point). If the legislature finally goes with the Governor’s and State Senate plans for a 4-6% increase in funding for higher education, Truman faculty/staff are still likely to be held at the 2% increase, with the excess going to “other expenses.” Even the 2% raise is no sure thing yet: the legislature adjourns in mid-May; the Truman Board of Governors meets to determine its budget, including faculty/staff pay, in June.
4) We discussed Truman Chapter officers for next year. We need a new chapter secretary, to replace David Robinson, and at least one more at-large officer. The other officers agree to continue, and formal election of 2016-17 officers can occur in the first meeting next semester.
Truman Chapter officers will prepare a presentation for incoming faculty in August, working with Dana Vazzana, Director of Academic Professional Development.
5) As David Robinson retires from the faculty to emeritus status this summer, he will no longer be a Truman Chapter officer, but will remain a Missouri State Conference officer for at least a couple more years. The chapter voted the following resolution:
The officers and members of the Truman State University local AAUP chapter would like to acknowledge with enthusiastic gratitude the long and devoted service of David K. Robinson. His example has both invigorated and humbled us.
Marc Rice, president
Mark Hatala, vice-president
David Robinson, secretary firstname.lastname@example.org (for confidential messages)
Kathryn Brammall, treasurer
Marc Becker, web editor