Minutes, Truman Chapter of AAUP
December 5, 2008, 4:30 pm
Meetings are open to all university faculty members.
Faculty present: Betty McLane-Iles (presiding), Marc Becker (notes), Kathryn Brammall, James Harmon, Sylvia Macauley, Jason McDonald, Judi Misale, David Robinson, Lynn Rose
1) Holiday Cheer.
2) November minutes approved.
3) Discussion of Provost Troy Paino’s November visit to AAUP. It was a useful conversation, and we hope to have more such meetings in the future. We appreciate his concern for unequal work loads among faculty at Truman. We also discussed problems with the culture of a lack of documentation, for example there is no list of committees at Truman. We maybe should have a follow up meeting in the spring, and maybe with President Krueger as well. Proposal to hold town meeting to discuss faculty concerns with the president.
4) Board of Governors meeting on Saturday, December 6. An important meeting because of changes in administration. History Chair Steve Reschly asked to be on agenda to present some of our concerns and to know what is important to faculty. Blunt administration has done a wholesale change to the board because he was not paying attention to terms that were ending. Its important to educate the new board about what is happening on campus. Other universities in Missouri are similarly experiencing problems with their boards.
5) Report from David Robinson on November 22 State AAUP Officers meeting. State AAUP newsletter editor died, and David edited most recent edition. President and VP (David) releected for 2-year terms. Spring meeting planned for February 28 in Columbia, and everyone is invited. Plan to invite someone from national to talk about professional standards. State conference has several strong leaders and is in good shape.
Issues of intellectual diversity and MOHELA have brought a lot of people into Mizzou’s AAUP. They have serious faculty grievances that they are addressing; the problem seems to be most serious on the Columbia campus. Issue of having administrator representative on faculty grievance, but few faculty voted and proposal passed. Their AAUP membership is growing and includes a wide representation from medicine, engineering, etc.
6) Post-election political context in Missouri, and rumors of budget cuts. The state will probably be down $500 million, and Truman is in for a 5-10 percent budget cut. This has elicited fear of faculty cuts. Who is vulnerable? Mostly rumors; need better information. Can we cut administration lines that are very expensive but do not contribute much. We need to share information and find out what is happening at other schools.
7) State of the University survey. Judi has done some work on it, but it is a difficult time because we are moving through different people. Spring might be a better time when things are more settled, Paino has been here for awhile, and more information is available on presidential search.
8) Truman benefits, including health care for active and retired faculty. During the early retirement workshops, the $500/month health insurance incentive for retirement was proposed as a benefit HR “expected” to be similar to the subsidy faculty and staff receive for health care, with no tax liability to the employee. Unfortunately the actual determination was unknown at the time, but the inference was as stated, and the time employees had to decide was short. Well after the fact (after the first person on the plan retired), it turned out the money would be taxed as regular income, but all those who were affected were not notified of this ruling–and some have never been notified by HR. In short, it was handled poorly by Human Resources (Benefits), and it serves as another reminder that we need to know all the facts–and have them in writing–before we sign off on any proposals.
9) Updating aauptrum listserv. marc passed around list and will update listserv.
10) Membership recruitment. With talk about budget cuts, etc., we have a bigger need than ever for AAUP.
Adjourned: 6 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Marc Becker, secretary