AAUP Truman State University Chapter
Meeting Minutes, December 1, 2011
Members present: Marc Becker, Wolfgang Hoeschele, Peter Rolnick, Martha Bartter
1. University Conference, February 16
Marc Becker brought up that the University Conference is going to be held on February 16, and that it might be a good idea to organize a session around AAUP concerns of some kind. Wolfgang Hoeschele mentioned the idea he had had for an AAUP lunch forum, that is, what do we tell and should we tell students about the academic job market – especially to students planning on going to grad school? This idea was discussed and approved; Marc agreed to pursue this matter further with Marty Eisenberg.1 Peter Rolnick agreed to meet with Bob Nothdurft, who might give a perspective from somebody teaching at a community college.
2. Discussion topic for next AAUP lunch forum
The next lunch forum had been scheduled for December 15, but everyone present agreed that exam week is probably not a good time to hold it. For the first forum in the Spring semester, several ideas were discussed, but the one finally agreed on was to invite Kevin Minch to ask him about some of the initiatives of the Truman Institute, of which he is the director. It would be best to have this session before applications for summer incentive grants are due (which is January 16), so we decided to schedule this meeting for Thursday, January 12, 12:00 – 1:30pm. Peter Rolnick will contact Kevin Minch to check whether he can come at that time.
3. Domestic partner resolution
Peter Rolnick discussed strategy to continue pushing for domestic partner benefits through Faculty Senate. A previous resolution on this matter was addressed to the Missouri legislature (in support of a resolution of the MU Faculty Senate); one of the issues brought up in discussion of that resolution was, why don’t we bring a resolution directly to our Board of Governors? Those present were in support of doing this. There was some discussion about whether a resolution to include “sexual orientation” in Truman’s nondiscrimination policy should be included in the same resolution or pursued separately; the consensus was to pursue it separately. There was also some discussion about how we define “domestic partnership;” Marc found a website with California’s official definition (see http://dhr.lacounty.info/AB25%20-%20Domestic%20Partner%20Coverage.asp). He suggested a modification of that definition, as follows: “two adults who have chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring.” Note that, in contrast to the California definition, this definition would make no mention of either sex or age (apart from both being adult). Peter will work together with Cynthia Cooper, who has been pushing action on this matter, to prepare a resolution and will circulate it for input from other faculty before submission to FS.
1 The following is the description that Marc submitted on December 2: Truman State University prides itself on the high number of graduates who attend graduate school. But what do we tell our students about the dire state of the academic job market, which is often the end goal of graduate studies? This session will begin with a short presentation on the current nature of the job market, and include a discussion of what we can do in terms of advising our students on the realities of academic careers. Can and should Truman State University do more to prepare our students for such careers? What alternatives exist for those interested in following in the footsteps of their faculty mentors? This session will include handouts and a conversation to prepare students who are considering pursuing academic careers.