American Association of University Professors
Minutes of the spring meeting, April 8, 2006
The spring meeting was convened at 10:30 a.m. at Wichita State University in the Linquist Hall Board Room - room 200. An official welcome was offered by WSU President, Dr. Donald Beggs.
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 with the recognition that new business items would, of course, be allowed.
- The minutes of the spring meeting (October 29, 2005) were distributed to attendees. The minutes have been available at the Kansas Conference website for a number of months. Rob Catlett (ESU) offered a motion that the minutes be accepted as presented. It was seconded and the motion passed.
- 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.
- Elmer Hoyer (WSU), Committee A chair, reported on committee activities since our last conference meeting. He reported on recent activities of the committee especially two recent hearings. There was a lengthy discussion regarding these hearings and the various issues raised by them.
Information on Kansas Conference Committee A (KCCA) activity can be found at the website http://aaup-in-ks.org/Committee_A/.
- Next item of business was to discuss our delegates to the AAUP 92nd Annual Meeting to be held June 8-11, 2006, in Washington, DC at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. At the fall meeting we elected four delegates and two alternates: Joe Yanik, Brigitte Roussel, Donna Potts, and Rich Hughen. The alternates selected were Chuck Moore and Elizabeth Behrman. Joe and Brigitte reported that they could not attend, so our delegates now will include the two alternates. As a result of a motion by Bill Scott (KU), it was agreed that the Kansas Conference will offer a total of $1,500 (to be divided evenly among the delegates as needed) for travel expenses, and the conference will pay the registration fees. Rich Hughen said that he is willing to cover his own travel expenses, and so he will get whatever is left over from the $1,500, if anything. The conference also agreed to send two representatives to the AAUP Summer Institute to be held July 27—30, 2006, at Portland State University. The summer institutes are extremely useful for faculty members who are new to AAUP and want to assume a leadership role in the future. Our guest speaker, Tom Guild reminded us that there are awards available to help defray the cost of attending the national AAUP meeting - the Hopper Award and the Konheim Award. Our president, Brigitte, will contact Eizzie Smith of National AAUP to get more information on how to apply and the deadlines involved. The ASC Chair may also be able to get financial assistance for two of our members who attend the summer institute.
- It was decided that the Fall meeting of the Kansas Conference would be held at either ESU or Washburn. The date was tentatively set for Saturday, October 28. An Executive Committee meeting this July will finalize the place and time and the topic. The topic will probably be “Academic Bill of Rights,” “No College Left Behind,” or “The Patriot Act and Academic Freedom.”
As new business, Bill Scott (KU) offered the motion, “Resolved, that the Kansas Conference of the AAUP takes a neutral position in the election for President of the Association and urges members to make their individual judgments on the merits of the candidates.” The motion was seconded and it was approved by the Conference.
Chapter reports were delayed until after our guest speaker this afternoon.
- After lunch we had a presentation by Tom Guild, who has spoken to the Kansas Conference several times over the last few years. Several years ago he was the representative of the Oklahoma AAUP to the State legislature – functioning something like a lobbyist, and he is, incidentally, presently a candidate for National office. Tom’s topic was “Professors at the Statehouse: Essential to Preserving the Academy.” He offered a number of helpful suggestions for us to consider in our attempts to have an impact of the Kansas legislature.
- Sending e-mails is easy but less effective than face-to-face contact. The harder approach is usually the more effective approach. Having two or three people with you is good, but ten or twelve is very powerful.
- Important qualities -- It takes a lot of patience, you need a high tolerance for frustration, and one needs the ability to delay gratification.
- Take a position paper with you that summarizes your view in case you are not able to meet face-to-face with the representative(s). A good one-page summary with key points is best. Hand-written notes also add a personal touch.
- Tom explained how you can use a page and call a legislator off the floor during a session if it’s that important to talk to the individual.
- Leaving a number of voice mails can be helpful, especially if the caller(s) is from the voting district of the legislator.
- It is very helpful to find a senior legislator that will take up your cause and carry it to others.
- It is always best to try to kill a bill earlier (in committee) rather than later on the floor, etc.
- The right attitude: Don’t talk down even when you want to, Don’t threat, Don’t get emotional, and do your best not to get off the subject.
- Follow up with a handwritten thank you note. Use personal or AAUP stationery, but not university.
Tom Guild’s presentation was followed by a question and answer period, and Chapter reports.
- The meeting was adjourned at 2:45 p.m.
Rich Hughen (FHSU)