American Association of University Professors
Minutes of the fall meeting, Saturday, November 10, 2007
The fall meeting was convened at 10:30 a.m. at Ottawa University (Ottawa, Kansas) in room 102 of the Ward Science Building. Our conference was welcomed to the campus by the Ottawa AAUP chapter president, Shannon Dyer and Ottawa University Dean, Barbara Dinneen. Dean Dinneen explained the unique character of Ottawa University with its affiliation with the Ottawa Indian tribe and the American Baptist Church.
Call to order: Rob Catlett, President
1) The minutes of the spring meeting (April, 2007) have been available on line at the Kansas Conference website for a number of months. Shannon Dyer (OU) offered a motion that the minutes be accepted as they appear on-line. It was seconded and the motion passed.
2) The treasurer's report was distributed to the members present, and they too were available on-line for about one week before this meeting. After the treasurer briefly explained the report, Elmer Hoyer (WSU) moved that the report be accepted as presented, the motion was seconded, and it passed.
3) Elmer Hoyer (WSU), Committee A chair, reported on Kansas Conference Committee A (KCCA) activities since our last conference meeting, especially three recent cases. Two of these from the spring semester resolved themselves, but one continues on. There was a lengthy discussion regarding the latter, which has resulted in affirmative action proceedings, but there are important academic freedom issues that remain. It was recommended that the serious nature of the violations of academic freedom warranted taking it to National AAUP for their advice and, perhaps, their involvement.
Information on Kansas Conference Committee A (KCCA) activity can be found at the website http://aaup-in-ks.org/Committee_A/.
Several items on the agenda for the morning meeting were delayed until the afternoon due to the time running out and the smell of food from the other room.
4) After lunch we had a presentation by Donna Potts (KSU) on Chapter Building. Below are a few of the items that were mentioned and discussed.
- It is helpful for a new chapter to host a Kansas Conference meeting to help conjure up interest.
- It is also useful to get a list-serve so that you can readily communicate with the member and potential members.
- It is best to get faculty from various departments/colleges around the campus to serve as chapter officers and to serve on the executive committee.
- It is good to find a way to tell new faculty members about your organization. This might be through new faculty orientation, with letters, special meetings etc.
- It helps to strengthen your local chapter if some of your officers get involved at state and national level activities.
- The item above would also, and especially, include Kansas Conference activities such as Higher Education Day with the state legislature.
- It is useful to have a chapter website and newsletter.
In the ensuing discussion, Joe Yanik (ESU) said that it is important that your AAUP chapter not be viewed as negative force on campus. He mentioned how the ESU chapter sponsored several panel discussions on important topics and included top (or is that bottom?) administrators to serve on the panel.
A discussion of the above led to a discussion regarding shared governance. One faculty member present asked about how collective bargaining changed shared governance on a campus. Rich Hughen (FHSU) explained the difference as it relates to his campus. As a result of this discussion, I have attached a copy of the definition of procedural due-process that is part of the memorandum of agreement (MOA - contract) at Fort Hays. This might be an item for discussion at a future Kansas Conference meeting.
5) Next item of business was to discuss our delegates to the AAUP 93nd Annual Meeting to be held in June, 2008, in Washington, DC. We elected four delegates: Donna Potts (KSU), Rob Catlett (ESU), Chuck Moore (KSU) and John Scheinman (KUMC). We will pick two alternatives at the Spring meeting. We will continue our previous policy of the Kansas Conference offering a total of $1,500 (to be divided evenly among the delegates as needed) for travel expenses. The conference also agreed to send two representatives to the AAUP Summer Institute to be held in July 2008. We tentatively plan to send two faculty members from our newest chapter, Ottawa University. They will give us the names in a couple of weeks.
The summer institutes are extremely useful for faculty members who are new to AAUP and want to assume a leadership role in the future. There used to be two awards available to help defray the cost of attending the national AAUP meeting - the Hopper Award and the Konheim Award. Our president, Rob Catlett (ESU) will contact Eizzie Smith of National AAUP to get more information on how to apply and the deadlines involved - if they are still available. The ASC Chair may also be able to get financial assistance for two of our members to attend the summer institute.
6) Joe Yanik (ESU) asked each chapter to send him a brief write-up on the activities of their chapters for the Kansas Conference Newsletter. Each chapter agreed to do so, or that is, no one stated that they would not do so - after Joe offered a menacing smile. He needs the descriptions within ten days or so.
7) It was decided that the Fall meeting of the Kansas Conference would be held at KSU-Salina, if the details can be arranged. The spring meeting is usually held on a Saturday the first couple weeks of April. Later, the Kansas Conference Executive Committee will finalize the place and time and topic.
There was not much time left for chapter reports so we discussed primarily some organizational problems at KU and some procedural due-process issues, especially regarding dismissal policies, at KSU-Salina.
8) The meeting was adjourned at 2:40 p.m.
Rich Hughen (FHSU)
Taken from FHSU-AAUP MOA, Article XV, Tenure.
6. Procedural Due Process
- All faculty members have a right to due-process regarding terms and conditions of employment, especially in those situations that could lead to the termination of employment. Below is a general description of what is meant by “procedural due-process” in promotion, tenure and merit procedures.
- In the tenure, promotion and merit procedures, the starting point for a faculty member is the criteria established at the department level and approved by the Dean. The expectations and the criteria are not likely to be the same for all departments. However, the criteria of all departments will reflect the general expectations of the university as well as the specifics of the department and college. The candidate is expected to work toward meeting or surpassing such criteria in preparation for tenure and/or promotion (and for merit raises) and the evidence for such must be placed in the candidate's tenure/promotion file.
- Procedural due-process also requires strict adherence to the procedures specified in the MOA regarding tenure and promotion (and merit, although the procedure is quite different). The timelines and sequence of events, including the notification schedule, must be followed. The candidate should be able to add items to his or her file at the department level, and nothing should be altered or removed from a candidate's file without the candidate's knowledge and consent, unless such action is authorized by the MOA. No individual reviewing the candidate's file should alter the file in any way, including pencil marks, circling words, highlighting sentences etc.
- Due-process also includes the following general expectations and considerations, but should any of these items conflict with other specific provisions of the MOA, the more specific provisions would prevail: 1) The various levels of review must use the approved criteria to decide if the candidate has met the standards for tenure, promotion or merit raise; 2) No faculty member or administrator should act as a reviewer at more than one level of review; 3) There should be no hidden or secret criteria used to evaluate the candidate; 4) Normally, no factors beyond the candidate's control should be utilized during the review process; 5) The decision of the reviewer or committee must be communicated to the candidate in writing, making it clear how the candidate fared regarding the tenure/promotion/merit criteria; 6) The candidate must be allowed to respond, in writing (and in person, if so requested by the candidate) to the evaluation, and the written response by the candidate must be placed in his/her promotion/tenure file in a timely manner; 7) FHSU-AAUP may assist the applicant, by request, regarding procedural due-process, to the extent allowed by the MOA, including provisions contained below.