Meeting of the Truman State University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
January 27, 2020, 4:30-5:47 PM, BH100
Present: Marc Rice (president), Mark Hatala (vice-president), Marc Becker (secretary), Anton Daughters (treasurer), Bill Alexander, Talie Alexander, Carlo Annelli, Heidi Cook, Taner Edis, Christine Harker, Joey Hubbard, Andy Kauffmann, Nina Smith, Audrey Viguier
1. Budget cuts. $1.2 million has to go. Enrollment dropping and can’t raise tuition. Rumors that we have to eliminate 20 positions. Encourage people to retire. Apparently president is against retirement incentives, but putting together a committee with Terry Olson who is an advocate of retirement incentives so it might be put back on the table. The biggest problem is bridging retirement with Medicare. Might be more creative incentives for retirement. Some departments are having informal meetings to spitball ideas as to how to keep positions. A possibility might be to collapse majors together.
What can AAUP do as a group? Can we brainstorm less bloody or novel ideas. Trim from the top. Faculty should not bear the brunt of cuts. Lack of transparency in faculty budget adjustments.
What role should faculty play in student recruitment and retention? Part of it is getting administration to understand and respect qualifications of faculty and use that to recruit students. Research is treated as a hobby rather than providing students with a quality education. Might be an opportunity to change culture because can’t just keep cutting. Are we slowly being turned into a community college? A problem is that many of the upper administrators don’t understand the liberal arts, or don’t value and will turn away from it in part because students don’t value it.
Problem is that we are overstaffed. But is that where the problem lies? Punch up.
What are we going to do as AAUP? Planned meeting with departments: do we have talking points? Go in by asking what are your problems? Soliciting feedback rather than telling departments what we want. Making people aware of our presence on campus. Important to be a resource to young faculty. Young faculty have fear of retaliation. Could have special meetings to talk about particular issues like budget cuts.
Set up a townhall meeting to address issues of budget and salary for Monday, February 17, 4:30:
Who can fire me
Protection for contingent and non-tenure track faculty
Where are the brunt of the budget cuts
Use meeting to assemble issues to bring to the administration. Bill will make a flyer and we’ll distribute.
Question of whether or not administrators should be present, or whether we should meet personally with president. One or two meetings? Report out from first meeting to personal meeting with president.
2. Question of rights for faculty who get in legal trouble. AAUP’s role is to be sure that due process is followed. We need to defend faculty rights or we are all in danger. Why are we not talking openly about these issues? We should reach out to faculty in trouble and do what we can to be sure procedures are followed.
3. State AAUP Meeting in STL Saturday, April 18 with AAUP president Rudy Fichtenbaum.