Meeting of the Truman State University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
2014 October 21, 4:30-5:50 PM, at the DuKum Inn
Present: Marc Becker, Kathryn Brammall, Meg Edwards, Mark Hatala, Jennifer Jesse, Sylvia Macauley, Marc Rice (presiding), David Robinson (secretary), Sue Thomas (invited guest)
Next meeting: Tuesday, Nov. 18, 4:30 at a place TBA
The entire meeting, held this time at the DuKum, was devoted to an informal and wide-ranging discussion with Sue Thomas, Truman’s new Provost and Executive Vice-President of Academic Affairs. We began with introductions, followed by a brief review of the history and function of the Truman Chapter of AAUP.
We proceeded to discuss the budget outlook and related planning. The Provost was aware of the state of salaries at Truman; she said that discussions were underway on how to address “salary inversion” and “salary compression”—the technical terms for what happens to academic salaries over time. The Provost also told us about discussions underway concerning post-full-professor pay increases, possibly based on triennial reviews of each faculty member, as future budgets free up money for that purpose. AAUP members admitted that such faculty reviews were currently spotty because of past administrative lapses and inconsistency across campus. We emphasized the role of peer review. In that connection we also discussed the structure and history of the sabbatical program at Truman.
We discussed the role and history of shared governance at Truman, funding for student research and faculty research, and other aspects of our liberal-arts mission.
The time went quickly because the discussion was so interesting and engaged. Faculty members that attended were impressed with Sue Thomas’s generosity with her time, and with her thoughts and thinking processes. We offered to repeat the meeting after some time and to cooperate on some future event.