11/6/20 AAUP Meeting, 4:00 pm
Present: Marc Becker, Bill Alexander, Christine Harker, Laura Bigger, Jennifer Jesse, Anton Daughters, Stacy Davis, Kathryn Brammall, Carlo Annelli, Enrique Pareja, Stephanie Russell, Craig Hennigan, Andrew Kauffmann, Daniel Mandell
COVID-19 Task Force Update
The active COVID-19 numbers went down from 23 to 16 over the past week but we have over 100 students in quarantine. We also have another anecdotal story of a student with poor quarantine conditions.
Adair is blowing up with COVID-19 with 40 new cases yesterday (November 5th)
The public schools just closed yesterday
Even if 2% of our students are positive we will be sending asymptomatic students home to their parents.
We didn’t do proper messaging to convince students to not go home through the semester.
Students probably would have gone home anyway.
But something like an honor code might have helped.
Based upon a campus-wide survey w three options, the spring schedule will be as it originally was scheduled.
The votes were probably partly informed by everyone’s exhaustion at the time the school put out the survey.
The failure of the Fall’s shortened semester (zero holidays and leaving before TG) to keep students on campus w/o traveling was undoubtedly also a factor
Christine and Kathryn commented extensively on the bylaws.
Bill has looked over the comments people made on the document.
We have to maintain AAUP’s rules in our own bylaws.
Question of banning administrators from AAUP leadership:
Do we really want to not allow chairs, former chairs, etc. to participate?
We could do an exception clause if you are elected by your faculty.
Marc – because chairs and administrators are technically faculty members then they should be allowed to be in AAUP.
Anton – it doesn’t seem like a concern that someone would try to infiltrate AAUP when they could more straightforwardly simply oppose us. There would have to be a coordinated effort of several people doing this to actually have a majority vote in the collective.
Bill will remove this component – any faculty member will be eligible to run to be on the AAUP leadership committee.
Do we want all eligible AAUP voters to vote for AAUP leadership? This would speak toward us representing everyone at Truman regardless of whether they pay AAUP dues. (Bill will double check the AAUP rules.) If everyone is allowed to vote it might create more buy-in. This was generally agreed to.
We haven’t had a conversation about what we want dues to look like. This is a separate but related conversation.
Local dues are distinct from national dues.
Local dues may be $20/year? Or was it $5/semester under Marc Rice?
National dues are based on income – approximately $120/year
We need to make sure we are in compliance with the national dues.
How do we feel about the tie-breaker procedure in the bylaws?
Anton and Christine like it.
It gives a finality to the process in the unlikely event that we would end up in that situation.
Have we done anything to address evals from the semesters
We haven’t done anything about this but were going to lump this issue with the pausing the tenure clock letter which has fizzled out. It seems like there wasn’t a lot of motivation behind the evaluation issue.
We were going to put a letter forward about pausing the tenure clock but we decided not to do so.
Do we know of anyone who is pausing the tenure clock?
Yes, some people had to because of research projects that were canceled.
We are in yet another round of retirement incentives, which seems to indicate a worsening financial situation.
The census numbers haven’t come out yet.
We haven’t gotten 1200 freshman in years
This year’s enrollment is down about 100 from last year, which was down 200 from the year before. It was not the recovery year they were hoping for.
With declining state revenue we are likely to get yet another budget cut from the governor. We might be looking at a 5 million dollar cut. The approved staffing budget is being reduced by 25%. There is no way to get there with attrition.
They’ve authorized 30 or 35 retirements so far. There are fewer age restrictions this year.
They still aren’t prepared to make recommendations on program prioritization.
Can we compel the administration to involve AAUP in this decision making? Can we participate in a creative way?
The least we could do is get Chapter 6 reverted to the old language so we at least give faculty more notice.
Many universities laid off or furloughed tenured or temporary faculty amid COVID but TSU managed to avoid that. They prefer voluntary separation but don’t have a means to incentivize that other than the retirement incentive.
It’s very unlikely that any requested hire will get approved
They will likely look at the retirements in relation to this, though.
Program closure may be a reality. The budget priorities group is still looking at data and have no recommendations at this point.
Philosophy and Religion is undergoing its 5-year review – they have their external reviewers on campus. In those meetings the provost indicated that they expect enrollment for the next five years to be stable and then to go off a cliff.
Kathryn: this is another demographic shift. They expect a cliff in about 5 years. They talked about this 15 years ago and didn’t do anything about it. Whether they make any strategic decisions that anticipate this upcoming cliff are unclear.
They lost someone in Forensics last year and Kevin Minch is actually designing the position with an eye toward recruitment. But the president announced that there were going to be no phase-two hires…
It is inappropriate for non tenure track people to be shouldering major curriculum development for a department.
Math required their non tt person to serve on UGC.
This type of thing is happening all over the University.
What can we do about the overuse/abuse of tenure track faculty
We should find out what is happening in departments.
Katherine happens to know about the math person because she chairs UGC. It’s important to know what is happening in different places.
Bill thinks we should go talk to people directly.
If we do this we might miss people, but we would likely miss people with a survey as well.
What if we sent out an invitation – with individual contacts that could chat with people directly over Zoom?
What if we attend a chairs meeting to remind people to be nice. This might be solvable at the chair level.
This problem can also be caused by a culture that is based by seniority in a department.
For now we can talk to our departments and colleagues.
We are starting a Google doc so we can do some initial research and use shared questions.
Anyone who wants access to this document can reach out to someone from AAUP.
NonTT folks didn’t necessarily know that AAUP cared about them based on the survey we put out.
-Meeting ended at about 5:15 pm
-Minutes recorded by Laura