Meeting of the Truman State University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
2016 March 15, 4:30-5:45 PM, in SUB Georgian Room C
Present: Marc Becker, Sergio Escobar, Mark Hatala (vice-president), David Robinson (secretary), Matthew Tornatore
Next meeting: Tuesday, April 19, 4:30 PM at place TBA (Georgian Room?)
1) Discussion of national elections. Ballots have been sent out by mail. We noted that one Missourian was on the ballot for District 4 Council Member (Kathryn Kuhn, SLU); also the former Association Secretary, who has been a frequent visitor and great help to our state, is a candidate for an At-Large seat: B. Robert Kreiser (George Mason). Members are encouraged to read posted candidate statements and to vote for their own choices.
2) The annual state meeting is late this year: April 16, at Saint Louis University; details will be sent out soon. Joerg Tiede, the new Association Secretary, will be the special guest, participating in the program. Each chapter can designate two official delegates (to elect state delegates to the national meeting in DC, June 15-19), but all faculty are welcome, and all members attending vote on all other issues.
3) We discussed problems in several departments, some involving difficulties with chairs, others involving ‘disciplining’ faculty. We noted that Truman has no faculty grievance policy, short of the Tenure Committee for removing tenure. If faculty have problems with an administrator, the only appeal is to a higher administrator, and faculty participation in a grievance system comes in only in the most extreme case where termination of a tenured faculty member is ordered.
4) Follow up on the state budget issues: we noted with approval that chapter president Marc Rice has continued friendly correspondence with our local state representative. We did not think that broader pressure in the state capital would be possible at this time, since the majority-led committees are currently so hostile to higher education (especially to faculty). David Robinson reported from Missouri Association of Faculty Senates (MAFS), which met February 15-16. State education officials admitted that legislators are in a total uproar about the demonstrations in Columbia last November: they are determined to punish all of public higher education, instead of following the governor’s proposal to increase the budget. There is nothing faculty can do about it, until the legislators get past this fury.
5) For our ongoing campaign to increase faculty/staff salaries, there was consensus to keep up the pressure started last semester. This issue must remain top priority. President Paino has resigned, so we have to rethink the strategy. We noted the message sent from the president of our Board of Governors, March 7, which seemed to welcome faculty input into the interim and search period. Chapter officers should be prepared to contribute to this input, to remind the Board that we had been working with President Paino on the salary issue. Perhaps they can even contact the Board president directly.
Marc Rice, president
Mark Hatala, vice-president
David Robinson, secretary firstname.lastname@example.org (for confidential messages)
Kathryn Brammall, treasurer
Marc Becker, web editor