AAUP Truman State University Chapter
Meeting Minutes, October 6, 2011
Members present: Marc Becker, James Harmon, Wolfgang Hoeschele, Bonnie Mitchell, Steve Reschly, Peter Rolnick
I. Discussion items
There was no set agenda and no decision items today.
1. “Efficient teaching:” Peter Rolnick brought up the topic that there are efforts to promote what is called “efficiency” in teaching, for example by NCAT (National Center for Academic Transformation) by creating course that can be taken by hundreds of students via the computer, or by using TED talks (Technology, Entertainment, Design) available on the internet. This led to a discussion of what efficiency is, what the “outcomes” of education are supposed to be, about participatory teaching and its advantages (e.g., making students think through and thus really understand things) and disadvantages (e.g., it takes longer to cover a given amount of material), about what we want to assess at Truman, the role of “accountability” in an increasingly corporate mindset, and related issues. For our next open discussion meeting in two weeks, Peter will draft a discussion prompt to invite the university’s faculty to discuss these kinds of idea, and will circulate it among AAUP members to get feedback/make revisions before Wolfgang sends out the invitation to faculty.
2. Domestic Partner Benefits: There was some discussion concerning collaborating with other groups on campus to continue promoting this in light of recent developments at MU. Steve Reschly brought up an Amicus Brief by historians in Iowa that provides good arguments in favor of marriage equality for gays and lesbians; you can access it here:
(scroll down until you see Iowa Historians and Law Professors Iowa Supreme Court Brief and open the pdf file).
3. AAUP Survey of the Faculty: For years, Judi Misale ran this survey, which provided a time series of useful data of how faculty at the university feel about various issues at the university. The question was raised what has been happening with this, and who would be available to continue this effort after Judi’s retirement.