AAUP Truman State University Chapter
Minutes, September 8, 2011 Meeting
Members present: James Harmon, Wolfgang Hoeschele, Diane Johnson, Sylvia Macauley, Bonnie Mitchell, David Robinson, Peter Rolnick
I. Discussion items
1. Diane Johnson reported on the search for a new Provost for the university, as she serves on that search committee. A lot of applications have been coming in; the deadline for applications is September 14, and the committee hopes to invite candidates for campus interviews in November. They have also received responses to an RFP for firms that will implement “due diligence,” meaning doing discrete background checks on applicants who have passed the first cut(s) (whether they have criminal records and whether their statements about their own careers are accurate). The job ad as well as meeting summaries are available on the website (http://provostsearch.truman.edu/).
2. Bonnie Mitchell provided an update on progress regarding domestic partner resolution. Peter Rolnick added his observations from the July Faculty Senate meeting. In May, the Faculty Senate had adopted a resolution that supports resolutions passed at UM-Columbia and St. Louis, “that same-sex partners of active [employees] be allowed access to all of the same rights, privileges, and benefits to which opposite-sex spouses are currently entitled.” At the July meeting, when asked whether he had followed up on this matter, Troy Paino stated that he was not concerned about the costs of such a measure, but that he is concerned about likely political retaliation at the state level if he does pursue such things as “employee plus one” benefits – he said that there is no quiet way of doing this. Thus, he has not asked insurance companies to offer proposals for these kinds of benefits for 2012. He also said that Truman would be alone on this because no other Missouri public university has pursued this.
There was some discussion about President Paino’s stance on this issue, how much we should push him on the issue, on Missouri politics on this matter, and on the process of getting items on the agenda of the Faculty Senate. Peter Rolnick has talked with Dana Delaware (President pro tempore of the FS) about the process of submitting agenda items. One point at issue is whether the Executive Committee’s role to set the agenda precludes members from putting items on “New Business.” It was suggested that the Sturgis rules should apply so we can consult them. Peter also suggested eliminating unnecessary reports from the FS agenda, but to make sure that the FS does get reports from the committee examining the university budget (which exists but has not recently reported to the FS).
As a related matter, there was also some discussion about the exigency policy, and whether we should put pressure on the President to move forward on this. David Robinson suggested that it’s not really important to have a policy on the books, because universities that encounter such situations will be pressured to more or less follow AAUP guidelines in any case. Peter pointed out that it’s important to address the issue of job security of contingent faculty.
3. Meeting times. There was some discussion about when best to schedule meeting times to make it possible for the maximum number of AAUP members to attend. One option is lunch-time meetings, perhaps have two scheduled each month – once for the AAUP Fora we got started last year, the other for monthly AAUP meetings. No decision was made, but it was decided to ask Marc Becker to send out a Doodle poll.
II. AAUP Chapter officer elections
New chapter officers were elected as follows:
President: Marc Becker
Vice-President: Betty McLane-Iles
Treasurer: James Harmon
Secretary: Wolfgang Hoeschele
At-large members: Sylvia Macauley and Peter Rolnick
David Robinson thanked Bonnie Mitchell for her work as chapter president for the past year, and especially recognized her for introducing new ideas and ways of doing things. Everyone present agreed with this sentiment.