American Association of University Professors
Minutes of the spring meeting, April 2, 2005
The spring meeting was convened at 10:30 a.m. at Washburn University, in the Vogel Room of the Memorial Union, Topeka, Kansas. Bill Roach introduced Ron Wasserstein, Vice President of Academic Affairs, who officially welcomed us to the campus.
The business meeting began with the conference president, Charles Merrifield (NU), presiding. The president presented the proposed agenda for the day, and it was accepted, without alteration, by the conference.
- The minutes of the fall meeting (October 16, 2004) 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. Our thanks to Joe Yanik (ESU) for taking the minutes in the absence of the elected secretary at the fall meeting.
- The treasurer's report was distributed to the members present. After the treasurer briefly explained the report, Rob Catlett (ESU), again, moved that the report be accepted; the motion was seconded, and it passed.
- Elmer Hoyer (WSU), Committee A Chair, was absent, so the committee report was given by Rob Catlett. Rob discussed a problem at Newman University regarding the development of a revised Faculty Handbook. He also discussed what seems to be a continuing and systemic problem at McPherson College. Rich Hughen (FHSU) moved that a letter be drafted by Committee A, signed by the Kansas Conference president and sent to National AAUP (Roger Bowen, Bob Kreitzer and information copy to Tom Guild) asking for an investigation of certain activities at McPherson College if said activities aren't corrected. After discussion the motion was approved.
Information on Kansas Conference Committee A (KCCA) activity can be found at the website http://aaup-in-ks.org/Committee_A/.
- The next item of business was the election of officers. Joe Yanik nominated Donna Potts (KSU) as the president (to complete her term which had been interrupted) and Brigitte Roussel (WSU) as the president-elect. The motion was seconded and there was ample discussion and no more nominations. The vote was unanimous.
The Conference also needed to elect or re-elect a secretary-treasurer. Joe Yanik nominated Rich Hughen. The nomination was seconded and there being no further nominations, Rich was re-elected to another two-year term. In a brief news conference after the meeting Rich said he was not certain if he was being honored or cursed by his re-election.
- It was tentatively decided that the Fall meeting of the Kansas Conference would be held at KU in mid-October, scheduled such as to avoid football or other notable events at KU.
- We heard Chapter reports from several universities, but not all, because lunch had arrived and the smell of the food made it impossible to have a rational discussion.
- After lunch we had a presentation by Dr. Tom Guild, Chair of the Assembly of State Conferences and officer of University of Central Oklahoma AAUP chapter. Dr. Guild described how the faculty at UCO convinced the Administration to approve a very liberal intellectual property policy. The key is to understand what is at issue and to persevere in one's position.
Dr. Guild's presentation was followed by a panel discussion regarding intellectual property. Tom Guild, Bob Kehle (PSU) and Rich Hughen were on the panel. Because of the informality of the meeting it turned into a round-table discussion. One item discussed by Bob Kehle was the status of the law suit filed by PSU against the Board of Regents as to whether, or not, KBOR can unilaterally alter the intellectual property rights of faculty. This legal action was heard by the PERB and Kansas District Court and Kansas Court of Appeals. The latter ruled that intellectual property rights are not mandatorily negotiable (i.e., Administration can do whatever they want in this regard). Although only FHSU and PSU have collective bargaining, such a ruling could ultimately affect all campuses and their intellectual property policies. The decision of the Court or Appeals is being appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court. National AAUP plans to file an amicus brief in support of our cause if and when the Kansas Supreme Court agrees to hear the case.
Our thanks go out to Dr. Tom Guild for his presentation and participation in the panel discussion.
- The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.
Rich Hughen (FHSU)