AAUP Truman chapter meeting, October 15, 2013
Attendance: Marc Rice, Wolfgang Hoeschele, Mark Hatala, Margaret Edwards
1. Conducting survey of faculty concerning job and salary issues
Marc Rice has talked with Judi Misale, who still has materials from previous surveys conducted by the AAUP – every second year from 1998-2006. Past surveys show the same themes leading to frustration throughout this time period and never really being addressed. Dean DeCock in Statistics is ready to prepare graphs and charts to present the results of the data we collect.
Mark Hatala suggested we resume doing surveys of the faculty about how they see the performance of main administrators (president, provost, deans), which was taken over by the Faculty Senate some years ago – but the results are controlled by the administration, not the faculty.
To get the process going, we decided to start a document on Google docs on which faculty can provide inputs on the questions they would want to be included in the survey.
After the meeting, Marc Rice prepared a letter to the faculty as follows to implement this:
Friends and colleagues:
In the recent past, AAUP has conducted faculty surveys to examine issues of interest. As part of our efforts to address declining faculty resources, including our low salary ranking, AAUP will again be submitting a survey. The hope is that our findings will give us leverage to discuss compensation and other aspects of faculty resources with Administration and the Board of Governors.
We are now asking the faculty for input as we develop the survey. A Google Document has been established at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1H2D9zuMvdUw7egXrYDwoIqZCIhJqGG-SbFfe9uJWx34/edit?usp=sharing. I’ve added a few basic questions to get us started. By clicking this link you can submit questions that you would like to see on the survey, or give us other kinds of constructive feedback for the survey’s development.
At our November meeting (11/19, 4:30 pm in OP 2117) those in attendance will work with the submissions on this Google Doc to create the survey. The survey will then be distributed to the entire faculty, the results will be tabulated and put into meaningful charts and graphs, and by early Spring semester we will have a discussion of our findings with Administration. It is also hoped that we may be able to make a presentation at a future Board of Governors meeting.
The link is open now. Please, if you are interested in issues of compensation, faculty resources, improving communication with Administration, being competitive in the hiring of new faculty, and faculty morale in general, take a few minutes to submit a question, idea, or concern that you would like to see on the survey. And as always, the November 19th meeting will be open to all faculty.
Professor of Musicology
President, TSU chapter of the American Association of University Professors
2. Surveying faculty who left Truman in past few years
How can we get complete data about who left here? Wolfgang Hoeschele suggested using old phone directories to get a complete list of who is not longer here, then we can follow up and contact them. Mark Hatala is going to have one of his students collect this data, then we can proceed.
3. Communicating with the Board of Governors
Marc Rice summarized some key points from an article posted on the AAUP website: http://www.aaup.org/report/faculty-communication-governing-boards-best-practices. Among other things, the article mentions that communication between faculty and boards of governors tends to be very formal, ritualized and controlled, with few opportunities for informal interactions. However, opportunities for informal interactions can be arranged.
In our case, most of the BOG members do not live in Kirksville, making this more difficult. However, it is not difficult to get into a board meeting. We decided to request getting on the board meeting on April 12, at about the time that decisions will be made concerning faculty salaries, in order to present our findings from the surveys we are planning to do now.
One point we may need to get across: that it is vital for attracting students that we have a high-quality faculty – and start being competitive in how they are paid. This is in the face of a trend (reported on by the Chronicle of Higher Education) that faculty salaries are stagnating while administrators’ salaries are rising.