Volume 2007 No. 1

Spring, 2007

 

 

Spring 2007 Newsletter > > Secretary's Report

Secretary's Report

Douglas Ross, Management

Minutes, Spring 2007 Meeting of the Towson AAUP / Faculty Association, April 11, 2007, Administration Bldg. 424, 4:35-5:50 pm. 

Announcements:

  1. September 28, 2007 6-11PM Auburn House Crab Feast/ Bull Roast.  Cost in advance: $25 (per person) which includes AAUP Chapter Membership fee of $15.  At the door $35.
  2. A Faculty Colloquium is being established in order to:

         Encourage interactions and exchange of ideas among faculty;

         Present research from across campus in lay terms;

         Provide opportunity for informal questions and answers;

         First presenter:  Terry Cooney, Dean, CLA

         Towson AAUP & Maryland Humanities Council plan to hold a forum for the parents of TU students featuring faculty research presented in non-specialists’ terms.

  1. Junior Faculty Committee. This committee was formed several years ago as a result of workload-related issues.  The main issue:  Are P&T standards moving targets?  The committee elects a chair each term.  Current Chair, Matt Durrington, requested members to encourage all junior faculty to get involved.  One feature is a meeting with the provost and president at least once a semester.
  2. State AAUP meeting 04.14.07 at Coppin State University.

Election of New Officers for 2007-08:

President: John McLucas

VP: Jennifer Ballengee

Secretary: Doug Ross

Treasurer: Isabel Castro-Vazquez

Summary of Conversations

Faculty Unity and Cohesiveness

John McLucas noted the need to move beyond parochial concerns and into a realm of unity and mutual respect among faculty and administrators.  He observed a need for senior faculty to deal with junior faculty in a nurturing, collegial manner.

Discussion on Collegiality. With respect to “collegiality” in P&T matters, it was noted that the term has both positive and negative connotations.  On the positive side, it deals with a “can-do” attitude, improves social ties within a department, and acknowledges that there are people who aid in the cohesiveness and productivity of the department.  It is however, incumbent upon responsible department leaders not to overload junior faculty.  As a possible negative, if collegiality seems to be an issue, under normal circumstances it should be possible to document such issues under service, teaching, and research.  The aim is to have departments be “on record” with any perceived difficulties so that no unwelcome surprises occur at the time of tenure-promotion.   

Discussion on Teaching Load.  The administration claims that it is “close” to having the numbers to support a 3:3 teaching load as a standard.  At this point, however, lecturers are counted to make the numbers. 

Background:  Currently there are 507 tenure & tenure track faculty; when the university had 5000 fewer students there were 530 such faculty.  Then-provost Haeger introduced the 3:3 load to meet competitive conditions with new faculty and to ease the administrative burden related to service needs.  Noted was the stealth system of increasing class sizes that appears to be emerging, as in “just take three more students” in your section. 

 General Issues

Salary compression.  Salary compression remains especially acute for senior faculty.  Often new hire salaries meet or exceed those of experienced faculty.  Thus another round of equity adjustments is needed.

Unrepresentative complaints.  It appears that complaints from very few get picked up by the administration for action.  Needed is at least a representative sample and clear documentation of what the issues-complaints may be and then to devise systematic responses.  “Advising” is an example. 

 Welcome to New Provost

The Towson University chapter of the AAUP unanimously approved the following statement:

 “We welcome and congratulate Provost Clements on his appointment and look forward to a strong working relationship in the coming months.” 

 


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