Meeting of the Truman State University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
April 18, 2017, 4:30-5:30 PM, in MG1098
Present: Marc Rice (president), Marc Becker (secretary), Kathryn Brammall (Treasurer), Taner Edis (at-large), Mark Hatala (vice-president), Anton Daughters, Amber Johnson
- Evaluation of meeting with President Sue Thomas. Is she taking the university in a corporate direction, or is she working to increase enrollment and funding for the university? We face a problem of a culture of faculty resisting change. We need better marketing of the university.
- We also discussed our concerns with the President’s $12,000 salary increase for 2017-2018. Concerns centered on the optics of a 5 percent pay raise for the President given that students will be charged a $50 fee in 2017-18, and staff and faculty will likely receive no pay increases. The recent AAUP faculty compensation survey (https://aaup.org/ares) reveals that while average faculty salaries across the country only increased by 0.5 percent (after adjusting for inflation), the average presidential salary increased by 4.3 percent. Truman faculty salaries continue to lag at the bottom of the rankings for the state of Missouri (and for the country), even as the president is compensated on a nationally competitive level.
- Discussion of provost search. Who we have as the next provost is important, and we need someone with a vision. Problem of overreliance on temporary and adjunct faculty—focusing on the bottom line can be exploitative and lead to morale problems. In order to improve salaries, including for adjuncts, we need to improve budget situation. We need to stop buying students. How do we gain leverage to improve state funding. KB: state funding is never going to get better. A key question is whether education is valued, and in Missouri it isn’t.
- Amber: enrollment is our number 1 concern, and that has consequences for maintaining faculty lines. We need to recruit students in a more strategic way. A corporate model is the wrong direction—opposed to that model, because that is not what universities are about. Maybe adjuncts make sense in certain areas, but a university is not about the bottom line but creating spaces for learning and exploration. Full-time positions are important because of their dedication to the institution. Salary differentials between permanent and temporary are exploitative, and also shifts more responsibility for service and scholarship to tenure-line faculty. We have to be conscientious about how this shifts responsibilities, and distracts from what faculty do, which is to think and reflect.
- Marc Rice will go to AAUP workshop in Cincinnati this summer.
- Officers for next year: Marc Rice (president), Mark Hatala (vice-president), Marc Becker (secretary), Kathryn Brammall (Treasurer), Taner Edis and Anton Daughters (at-large).