Winter 2006 Newsletter >
Execitive Reports > President's Corner
John McLucas, Professor, Modern Languages
Towson AAUP President
I want to begin this column by expressing my
thanks to our superb newsletter editor, Doug Herman (Geography &
Environmental Planning), who is taking a leave of absence from the University.
He will be passing the torch to Kimberly Katz (History) and Michael
O’Pecko (Foreign Languages - German); thanks to them as well!
Doug has done wonderful work in this and other areas. Best of luck,
Doug, and keep in touch... you will be sorely missed, not only for your
eccentric taste in socks, but also for your energy, insight, wit, and
I hope all of you have had a productive and
rewarding fall semester. As usual, I am going to encourage (ask, beg,
entreat... ) you to renew your Faculty Association/TU AAUP dues if you
have not already done so. Our dues are paid at the beginning of each
academic year. Please look at your check stubs since the beginning of
this semester; if you have not sent a check for $15 to “TU AAUP,”
c/o our Treasurer, Jennifer Ballengee (English), please do so. Jennifer
will describe elsewhere in this newsletter how you may also pay your
dues to the national AAUP to support its critically important work in
defending academic freedom, shared governance, and faculty rights in
Here are a few events, achievements, and priorities
I want to highlight:
We began the academic year with a very successful
membership event, the first annual “Faculty
and Friends Crab Feast/Bull Roast.” A great group of people
turned out for the party. We didn’t talk shop, we did significant
damage to some defenseless crabs and bulls, and we had a great time
– a few valiant souls even danced to the tunes of our TU alumnus
disk jockey. Please mark your calendars now for next year’s event:
Friday, September 28, 2007, 6-11 pm, Auburn House Pavilion. Details
to follow as the date approaches.
Our Junior Faculty Committee requested last
year that a third-year review process be instituted for junior faculty
as they advance towards tenure. The AAUP took this request to the University
Senate, and the University Promotion & Tenure, Review and Merit
Committee has produced a proposal that we believe will ensure consistency
and coherence in the mentoring of junior faculty.
We were active supporters of the Senate’s
decision last year to give partial health-benefits to contingent faculty.
Much work remains to be done in this area, but we are proud of what
has been accomplished so far. A future issue of this newsletter will
focus on the concerns of contingent faculty.
We continue to be a powerful voice in the conversation
about salary compression. This year’s budget addresses the issue
for two populations particularly affected: faculty coming up for tenure,
who have experienced some salary-freezes since they came to Towson University,
and senior faculty, who have been through several cycles of salary-freezes
during their long service to the University. Again, our work on this
issue is far from finished.
We have been active participants in the development
of policies on work-load, attempting to balance teaching load, service,
and scholarship. It is important that these issues be dealt with through
procedures which respect faculty, and that the policies that result
be equitable, realistic, clearly communicated and implemented.
We asked the Senate to mandate the creation
of an all-faculty email list, with access limited to the President,
Provost, University Senate Chair, and Faculty Association President.
This list will greatly facilitate communication on campus and enhance
collegiality. Many thanks to the talented administrators who are making
For details on these and other chapter priorities,
please read the articles in this newsletter. I want to thank all of
the gifted and dedicated colleagues who have taken leadership roles
in our various committees and activities. Our system of shared governance
can seem cumbersome and time-consuming. However, our rights as faculty
also entail responsibilities. Each of us must consider how we may serve
to carry on Towson University’s historic commitment to shared
governance. This principle must never be taken for granted: many prestigious
research institutions, to whose status we might aspire in some ways,
have very little active faculty involvement in academic decisions. We
must work hard to remain faithful to our traditions in these areas.
A large, active and engaged membership is important
for the effectiveness of our Faculty Association. My conversations with
senior administrators carry more weight the larger the group for which
I speak. It is important that all of us work in solidarity with one
another. At TU AAUP, we work hard to ensure that faculty of different
generations, status, ranks, and disciplines, respect and support each
other’s work. I urge each of you to take an active part in this
ongoing undertaking. If you are already a member, please remind your
colleagues to join and to become active in the chapter. United we stand!
P.S. Pay your dues!