AAUP Truman chapter meeting, September 17, 2013
Attendance: Marc Rice, Wolfgang Hoeschele, Mark Hatala, Taner Edis
1. Index Interview
Marc Rice reported about his interview with the Index. Certain points about our salaries he had wanted to check back with other AAUP members before going on the record about them as AAUP chapter president, and expected the reporter to get back to him about fact-checking before the article goes to press. However, so far he hasn’t heard back from the student. If they go ahead and publish without checking back, the report may not have a strong statement regarding salary issues at Truman.
Note: As of September 24, the Index reporter did check back with Marc Rice about the quotes. The article is due to appear in the Index on September 26, and will also feature the views of several university administrators.
2. Salary issues – How to go about bargaining with the administration?
Marc Rice brought up this question. How can we press this issue on the administration, on the basis that the strength of the institution rests on its faculty. How can we be the premier liberal arts institution of the state without supporting the faculty; we are not just interchangeable parts.
Taner Edis suggested that we can only make a strong case for higher faculty salaries if we can also point out where money could be saved.
Mark Hatala pointed out that so far, we don’t have salary compression here. At universities facing this issue, a much more powerful case can be made for raising people’s salaries. This situation may arise once business faculty start retiring, because it would be impossible to hire new business faculty at the prevailing salary rates. For example, at University of Wisconsin at Appleton, a new business faculty is hired at $90,000 compared to $55,000 at Truman – Truman is not even in the ballpark.
Wolfgang Hoeschele suggested that we need to communicate with the legislature too, because they decide about the budget that goes to Truman.
Mark Hatala mentioned that at Missouri Western University, the faculty bargained to have a reduced faculty with larger class sizes, for more pay. However, all of those present agreed that this would not be an option at Truman given our mission.
Discussion then turned to documenting how low salaries are affecting Truman. We can ask people who have recently left what role salary issues played in their decision to leave. Do a survey among Truman faculty about why they are here, whether they want to leave, whether they are looking for jobs elsewhere, and if they are looking for jobs elsewhere because of the salary issue. Exact questions of course would have to be formulated carefully. With the results of such surveys at hand, we could make a much more powerful case to the administration that real salary raises are urgent; we would not be arguing merely on the basis of anecdotal evidence.
Marc Rice will contact Judi Misale if she would be ready to work on such a survey. He will also contact Hyun-Joo Kim in statistics to help design the survey. We also came up with a partial list of professors who left Truman recently, to ask them questions about their decisions to leave.
Next Meeting: October 15