5th Annual AAUP
State of the University Survey
2002 ResultsWritten Comments
A great burden of faculty workload is the popularity of
oversized campus-wide committees that are poorly managed.
Faculty devote time to these and yet only a very few people are listened
to. Either the administration
should listen to faculty or not bother with the pretense of calling committees.
David Christiansens talents are not being used.
Put him in charge of a restructuring of the LSP.
He is aware of the major issues, fair, impartial, and talented.
He can succeed where VPAA has failed.
Now he has no authority to do much of anything.
Also, put funds back into the librarys book budget.
President Magruder has an extremely high salary but
faculty are underpaid and benefits are poor.
In general, real support for faculty at Truman is minimal. We deserve
We need to restructure the assessment program with a fully
trained director of assessment who has full administrative power to fit our
assessment program. And can
disseminate info. In usable form to those who need it.
The students and their parents are interested in majors,
not the LSP, WE, JINS, etc. Too
much emphasis and too many resources are put into these. The majors are not receiving the support they need.
Dr. Magruder and Gordon need to step down so new ideas can come in.
The attraction and retention of students will not improve until the
mission statement is revised to meet the needs of the students.
It has now been proven that a state univ. cannot function effectively as
a small liberal arts college. Lets
quit costing the taxpayers money on an idea that is a failure!
I recently applied for a position similar to the one I
currently hold. The school I
applied to is similar in size and mission to Truman and the cost of living was
equivalent. I applied to this
school because of my disillusionment with salaries at Truman.
I want to say here but that is becoming more difficult financially.
I see faculty in my division who do next to nothing and have done so for
many years, yet they earn nearly double my salary.
I have to put in extra time to fix the large problems they have created
by their failure to cove the material. Can
nothing be done to create a merit pay system?
Is it not possible to remove these money-sucking worthless teachers who
use up our resources but produce nothing? P.S.
I did not get the job I applied for, but I will keep looking.
We need to look at athletics as a model for student
retention, academic performance, and the direction needed for a large portion of
our departments and programs.
I have concerns about admissions. In a letter from Double G, Gordon stated that enrollment
numbers were projected to be 6500-6700 students.
Currently, we are at 5800. My
question is: How can we be off that much? Admissions
needs to be reprimanded for this. To this day, they hide behind academic numbers to deny
students admission. Our coaches
research and interview prospective students to see if they could fit, but our
admissions office spends about 2 minutes to instantly accept or deny a recruit.
In order to have more students, we must allow hardworking low 20s ACT
students in. The last I checked,
athletics had a better retention rate, cumulative GPA, and graduation rate than
the rest of campus. Why is that? Please
In response to the AAUP questionnaire, I’d like to say a
bit more about one point (I’ve filled out the questionnaire separately). This
point concerns implementation of the LSP, and the “liberal arts and
sciences culture.” I think there’s a problem here: too many requirements
for the students to fulfill. These requirements fill the 100-level classes with
students who don’t want to be there, which benefits no one. Most of those
students will not develop an interest in these subjects, the professors are
saddled with disinterested classes, and students express a lot of
dissatisfaction with the LSP courses once they graduate. This also is likely to
have the effect that professors get negative student evaluations for the LSP
courses. I don’t think this is a desirable result of a “liberal arts and
sciences culture.” To me,
“liberal” relates to freedom – freedom to explore without having to
fulfill all kinds of requirements. A student might wish to pursue two subject
areas at great depth and ignore all others (at least during the undergraduate
years). I think that should be OK. A student might want to try out several
different things and only then settle on a major – but that could be difficult
to do while also fulfilling the various requirements. There are many other
possibilities of an exploratory four years, which would not fit into the
structure of requirements that have been developed here. I therefore think that
we should seriously reconsider the number and types of LSP requirements.
Certainly, if there is any push to add new requirements, we should drop some
existing requirements in order to prevent an increase.
It is interesting that certain factions in the University
community feel that the place is going to Hell in a handbasket! It would appear
some faculty have too much time on their hands and feel they can run the place
better than those designed to do that job. At a time when most of the faculty
members are teaching less of a load than ever before and apparently doing a
poorer job of it, they have chosen to complain about the whole circumstance. We
have a lot of fanfare about a liberal arts package that no one can seem to agree
upon, that appears to be seriously overloaded in required courses and/or total
hours, and that is gaining a growing reputation that may be driving down student
applications and retention. When more and more students are confiding that they
have made it a point, on occasion, to go out of their way to tell visiting
students and parents not to come to this university, it might be time to
overhaul the program! While it might be nice to say that we have an elite
enrollment of 4,000 students, it will not work financially.
At the root of many of these problems appears to some
faculty that are not accomplishing their primary jobto teach and teach well.
Students complain that faculty provide poorly organized and presented classes,
require excess busy work, grade unfairly and indiscriminately, and are seldom
available to consultation and help. Obviously some student complaints have to be
taken with a grain of salt since stretching the frontiers of knowledge is never
a favored thing with them. But when the major complaint of many faculty is that
they will have to teach a full load at a university advertised as a student-oriented,
teaching institution, we may have a serious problem that is going to affect the
future health and viability of this University.
Low faculty morale and increasing faculty disengagement
from the University should not be attributed to the budget crunch, even as much
as persistent underfunding keeps us from excelling. What’s more damaging is that
policies that undermine an academic focus are being developed with a disregard
for faculty deliberation and commitment and without respect for faculty work:
summer school, absence policy, possibly the misuse of student evaluations ….
I support the dissolving of faculty senate as it is a
useless and annoying group.
Question 8: Who ever has enough time?
Not a university issue. We
are an undergrad institution.
Many questions are worded in a biased manner lead to a
I have difficulty getting books for my area of research, as
certain libraries refuse to loan our their books (which are no longer in print).