Minutes, Truman Chapter of AAUP
October 2, 2009, 4:30 pm
Meetings are open to all university faculty members.
Faculty present: James Harmon (presiding), Martha Bartter, Kathryn Brammall, Diane Johnson, Wolfgang Hoeschele, Sylvia Macauley, David Robinson
1) Minutes of September 9 meeting were discussed and approved.
2) Issues currently in Faculty Senate:
2a. Bill on method for choosing Truman’s honorary-degree recipients (some progress apparently)
2b. Faculty evaluation of university president (no progress apparently; maybe WE should take action)
In both cases we heard full reports from Diane Johnson, a senator, who filled us in on the process of Senate evaluation of administrators. After some discussion, we decided not to take any further AAUP actions on these matters.
[Since this chapter meeting Faculty Senate has opened a promising discussion of the process for honorary degrees (see Faculty Senate minutes online). Moreover, the evaluation of the Provost has taken place, and there are noises that an evaluation instrument for University President may soon be devised by a committee of the Faculty Senate and Board of Governors.]
It is long-standing AAUP policy, repeatedly pushed by our chapter in the past, that even the president (even an interim president) should be evaluated by the faculty. We think that such evaluations can be very helpful to presidential candidates and any incoming president.
3) Discussion of our initiative on expanding family benefits (F-plus). Please read this relevant article in the September-October issue of ACADEME:
[At the October 6 meeting of Missouri Association of Academic Senates (MAFS), David and Kathryn learned that senates in more than one state university have started to think about this; it is already an agenda item for the faculty senate of Missouri State University.] The committee, consisting of Betty McLane-Iles, Martha Bartter, Bonnie Mitchell, and David Robinson, will contact the AAUP officials who wrote the ACADEME study, and will also keep tabs on what is happening in MSU and other institutions in our area. We want the best advice on how to help roll out a bill, or establish a movement, to bring such changes that may best serve our colleagues, present and future.
4) General information/gripe session on medical benefits. We shared experiences and ideas on this very timely topic. Some of the worst surprises seemed to result, not from charges due to medical treatment, but from ambulance companies. Several people had good things to say about the help/advice they received from Lori Gray, in Human Resources. We have requests to keep this item open on the agenda for the November meeting.
5) Our semiannual State-of-the-University Survey has started. Judi Misale has sent out several reminders, and we await the results after the closing of the online survey, late October.
6) New business from members. Faculty Senators Kathryn Brammall and Diane Johnson encouraged us to take part in the upcoming survey on the report of the Curriculum Commission of UGC. We presume that this will be the final survey of this particular commission, which has sat for more than three years.
7) Meeting adjourned, ca. 6 pm.
FREEBIE of the day!
The AAUP national president has recently criticized SLU for cancelling an appearance by David Horowitz. Academic freedom can be a powerful concept!
Respectfully submitted by David Robinson, acting secretary