AAUP Truman State University Chapter
Minutes, October 1, 2010 Meeting
Attendance: Marc Becker, Betty McLane-Iles, David Robinson, Bonnie Mitchell, Martha Bartter, Wolfgang Hoeschele
1. Bonnie Mitchell presented the Treasurer’s report by James Harmon (who was not able to attend).
2. Faculty + 1 benefits. Troy Paino has responded to Bonnie Mitchell’s reminder that we were waiting for a response from him; he will discuss the matter with the President’s Advisory Council and with the Benefits Committee. He will also come to our December 3 meeting in order to discuss the matter.
Meanwhile, David Robinson will do a survey of what other universities are doing for our reference. 3. Financial exigency. At the last Faculty Senate meeting, James Guffey stated that he would send comments from the faculty about the draft financial exigency policy on to the administration, but the matter was not discussed in the FS, nor did the FS pass any resolution on the matter. The materials that Guffey sent on presumably include a statement for the AAUP sent by Bonnie Mitchell, which was the same as Ray Barrow’s statement that he had drafted for the Department of Society & Environment. Bonnie Mitchell will ask Guffey about the decision-making procedure from here onwards, since this was not very clear.
4. AAUP banner. Such a banner, for example of 6 by 3 feet, was considered a useful thing to have in order to advertise ourselves at appropriate events. Bonnie Mitchell will check with the national organization whether such banners are available; if not, we will have one made locally. There was some discussion what it should look like; the groups supported “AAUP” in very large letters, with smaller print size to indicate “Truman Chapter” and “Academic Freedom for a Free Society.” Bonnie will talk with a printer about possible designs, including color.
5. AAUP Chapter Awards. The option of making such awards was discussed, but there was no decision made.
6. Topics for October 27 and November 17 AAUP lunch fora.
October 27: Gary Jones, Universities, the Major Battleground in the Fight for Reason and Capitalism, Academe July/August 2010 .
November 17: Lisa Colletta, The Ultimate Utility of Nonutility, Academe September/October 2010.
Next February, we provisionally decided to discuss Scott Jaschik, The Faculty and the Fourth Estate, Academe September/October 2010. Since the article discusses relations of the university to the press, Bonnie Mitchell will talk to Heidi Templeton to see whether she could attend this forum and offer her insights.
7. Report on the AAUP Summer Institute (continued), Bonnie Mitchell. Today’s report was on discussions about contingent faculty. The AAUP’s recommendations include that a probationary period for faculty should not exceed 7 years; the 7 years should include all full-time work (including at previous institutions). Tenure should be offered for teaching as well as research-intensive positions, and can be offered at any rank. In the case of faculty who have been retained in contingent positions, the “best practice” is to convert the contingent appointments into tenurable ones without a nationwide search; that is, not to do the conversion at the cost of the persons currently working in those positions. Finally, even when tenure is not granted formally, beyond the first seven years it is the AAUP’s position that faculty should have protection equivalent to tenure.
In this context, it was mentioned that the AAUP is conducting a nation-wide survey of contingent faculty, that can be accessed here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VNNNRVS. Bonnie Mitchell has asked the Provost for a list of contingent faculty at the university so that we can send them the survey and maximize responses from Truman. David Robinson has already sent several contingent faculty whom he knows information about the survey.
1. President’s environmental sustainability initiative. Wolfgang Hoeschele is a member of the newly formed President’s Sustainability Action Committee; talked a little about this and answered questions. This body has met several times, and is currently assessing where the university stands regarding such things as energy and resource use, environmental education, and the like. This assessment is intended to be complete by the spring semester, and follows procedures developed by AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, to which Truman now belongs) which will help assess where and how the university can do better.
2. Proposed AAUP student scholarship account. Bonnie Mitchell raised the idea of establishing a modest scholarship (e.g., $500) for one student each year. It was discussed whether this should come out of current revenue or whether a capital fund should be created (which would have to be at least $10,000). The latter option was considered unrealistic for reasons of the bureaucratic process as well as the amount of money that would have to be raised; Bonnie Mitchell will look into the other possibility further.
3. Strategic Planning Workshops. There will be two opportunities for faculty to express their opinions to the Strategic Planning Committee: Thursday, October 7, at 4 pm at the SUB 3204, and Wednesday, October 13, at 3:30 pm in the SUB Alumni Room. We need to have as many AAUP people there as possible to get our voices heard!
Next Meeting: scheduled for November 5