Minutes, Truman Chapter of AAUP
March 3, 2009, 4:30 pm
The meeting was called to order by president Betty McLane-Iles at approximately 4:30 p.m. at the University Club. Members reviewed President Krueger’s remarks fro the last meeting, including the preparations for potential budget cuts. Diane Johnson moved, James Harmon seconded that the minutes be recommended for approval at the next meeting, since there was no quorum at this meeting.
Martha Bartter, Betty McLane-Iles, and David Robinson attended the state AAUP meeting in Columbia. Betty and Martha shared their impressions from the meeting. They noted that there were a substantial number of professors from the University of Missouri-Columbia who seem very dissatisfied with the current leadership at the university. It is well known that the Board has granted the University President the authority to put faculty and staff on furlough in response to the current fiscal crisis. The grievance speaker focused on the 1940 AAUP Statement of Principles and the grievance procedures in the Red Book and discussed various horror stories (e.g., universities in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina). The point was quite clear that grievances must be decided by committee, not single administrators. The burden of proof lies with administration in grievances. The faculty committee has the ability to call for a preliminary hearing, conduct a review, and then convene a formal hearing. The recommendation of the faculty committee is not binding but should be respected. The example of Clark Atlanta University was discussed. Because of an enrollment crisis, the administration dismissed 70 faculty members (25-35% of whom had tenure). AAUP will take up their cause. Generally, the statewide meeting was useful.
Our representatives felt that there was not enough material on contingent faculty. They pointed out that AAUP does sanction colleges and universities, that AAUP makes referrals to lawyers who have expertise in grievance situations. The national office will do letters to express concern in cases, and can start an official AAUP investigation.
Martha and Betty reminded the group that there will be a Summer Leadership Conference for AAUP in St. Paul, Minnesota from July 23 through 26. Some financial assistance is available from the Gruber fund for those who may wish to participate. If you are interested, get in touch with Betty. They further noted that Truman has an active chapter in the state and thatDavid is right to encourage us to work with other chapters in the state.
Under old business, we discussed the State of the University survey. Judi and Claire were not in attendance so the group suggested that Judi bring something to the next meeting. We are interested in continuing the survey in order to keep that cycle going and to provide a certain amount of moral suasion. However, we must face the fact that Judi is retiring and someone will have to take charge of this particular project.
A discussion also ensued about officers for next year. Approximately 20-30 people are on the list as having paid dues. We need to get more of those people involved actively, and we also need more people in the organization. Jason McDonald noted that every new faculty member goes through orientation at Truman. He suggested that it might be helpful to do something as part of orientation.
We agreed that having the meeting dates and times posted in Truman Today is helpful.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 6:00 p.m.
Diane Tobin Johnson
Secretary pro tem (in Marc’s absence)