American Association of University Professors
Minutes of the fall meeting, October 29, 2005
The fall meeting was convened at 10:30 a.m. at Kansas State University, in room 213 of the Student Union. The official greeter was unable to make it, so instead our own Donna Potts welcomed us to the campus.
The business meeting began with the conference president, Brigitte Roussel (WSU), presiding. The president presented the proposed agenda for the day, and it was accepted, without alteration, by the conference.
1) The minutes of the spring meeting (April 2, 2005) were distributed to attendees. Rob Catlett (ESU) offered a motion that the minutes be accepted as presented (and as shown on the Kansas Conference website). It was seconded and the motion passed.
2) The treasurer's report was distributed to the members present. After the treasurer briefly explained the report, Bill Scott (KU) moved that the report be accepted; the motion was seconded, and it passed.
3) Elmer Hoyer (WSU), Committee A chair, reported on committee activities since our last conference meeting. He reported that the committee had recently investigated and/or assisted faculty members regarding four complaints identified as #26, #28, #30, #31 on our website. As a result of our discussions regarding these activities, it was decided that Brigitte Roussel, Kansas Conference president, will send a letter to each of the faculty senate presidents at Regent's schools requesting a copy of their written campus policy regarding “chronic low performance” (post-tenure review). Our conference will then compare these policies and see if we can make suggestions that might help to improve some (or all) of these policies.
The question was also raised regarding how many faculty members lose their jobs as a result of the application of post-tenure review each year in Kansas. No one was certain if such statistics are available with the KBOR or elsewhere.
Information on Kansas Conference Committee A (KCCA) activity can be found at the website http://aaup-in-ks.org/Committee_A/.
4) The next item of business was the election of delegates to the AAUP National annual meeting in Washington DC. Following the new guidelines passed by the Assembly of State Conferences (ASC) last summer, four delegates and two alternates were elected to ensure the Kansas Conference would be represented at the ASC meeting next summer in addition to the national meeting of the AAUP. It was understood that our conference could probably not afford to send more than two, or perhaps more if full funding of travel expenses was not required for each. It was also noted that having six persons elected would allow for flexibility next summer when unpredictable contingencies whittle away at our list of delegates and their availability to attend the annual meeting.
The delegates from our local chapters nominated six individuals. Secret ballots were then used to select which would be delegates and which would be alternates. The delegates selected, in reverse alphabetical order, are: Joe Yanik, Brigitte Roussel, Donna Potts, and Rich Hughen. The alternates are Chuck Moore and Elizabeth Behrman.
5) It was decided that the Spring meeting of the Kansas Conference would be held at WSU. The date was tentatively set for Saturday, April 8, 2006.
6) After lunch we had a presentation by Rep. Sydney Carlin of the Kansas House of Representatives. Her topic was to discuss with us the best way to get legislative support for higher education, but first, she talked about legislative trends and some things that concerned her. She noted that the decline in legislative financial support for state universities had been referred to as “de facto privatization.” She is bothered by this trend, but says that the impact on our state by the Kansas tuition jump was not too significant since surrounding states had similar tuition fee increases. She was also concerned by TABOR (Taxpayer's bill of rights). Governor Owens of Colorado claims that it has been a disaster for his state.
But, what is the best way for the Kansas Conference to get the attention of legislators when we want to communicate with them? Rep. Carlin had several recommendations. a) Remember that legislators receive a lot of mail and other communications, so a one-page document is best, or perhaps a one-page summary with attachments. Use of color helps to focus attention on key items. b) She reported that she, and other legislators, can't possibly read all of the e-mails they receive. But, she tries to read the communications from her constituents in the Manhattan area, so placing the word “Manhattan” in the title of the e-mail will get her attention. Other legislators probably use similar ways to sort through their e-mail. c) The best time to contact your legislator (during the legislative session) is probably the first two weeks of the session or the last few weeks after the budget has gone to the Appropriations Committee. d) Rep. Carlin stated that one of the key ways that your legislator can help us (Kansas Conference) is to direct us to the key members of the Kansas Legislature regarding our concerns - such as certain members of the Higher Education Committee or the Appropriations Committees.
Her presentation was followed by a question and answer period.
7) The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 p.m.
Rich Hughen (FHSU)