Volume 2006 No. 3

Winter, 2006


Minutes, Fall 2006 Meeting
of the Towson AAUP / Faculty Association

Wednesday November 15, 2006
4 PM - Linthicum 011

Meeting called to order at 4PM.

1. Welcoming remarks by AAUP president John McLucas. He noted that the Provost, to assist with “shared governance,” has agreed to provide various support services such as assisting with the administration of elections, online forms, an all-faculty email list among other things. He also asked that dues be sent to Jennifer Ballengee, Department of English (membership is due at the beginning of the academic year and is good for the academic year.) He urged those present to “become advocates for membership” and aim to exceed last year’s record membership.

2. Election of AAUP Chapter Secretary. Doug Ross, Department of Management, CBE, was elected by acclamation.

3. New faculty were introduced, and a farewell was made to Jo-Ann Pilardi (Professor of Philosophy and Women’s Studies ), who is retiring. It was noted that Towson has one of the oldest Women’s Studies programs in the United States, and the first one in the USM system.

4. Status of Women Faculty. “Committee W” is being re-juvenated with Ayse Dayi and Leticia Romo as leaders. Plans are to convene the committee and begin to study and develop positions on various issues.

5. Junior Faculty Committee of the AAUP. The AAUP represents all faculty and this committee exists to focus on issues and opportunities of junior faculty. Isabel Castro-Vazquez was introduced as the stand-in representative for that committee’s chair, Matt Durington, who was unable to attend.

6. Membership. It was recommended that initiatives be taken department by department to increase membership in AAUP particularly at new faculty orientation and with a presence in each college at the beginning of each semester. Especially low are members from COE, CBE and CHP.
It was urged that members also join the national AAUP as that organization acts as a national advocacy group for faculty, and provides specific benefits such as the thoughtful journal Academe.

7. Election of Newsletter Editor. Kimberly Katz, Department of History, CLA, was elected by acclamation. To contribute articles, news items contact: kkatz@towson.edu It was suggested that a column from the representatives to the USM council be included as many of the university system issues are relevant to Towson.

8. Salary Issues. A committee on salary issues was suggested but not acted upon. The “sense of the meeting” however was the need to link administration expectations of faculty with the overall workload for faculty (including teaching, advising, scholarly productivity, service, pursuit of grants and contracts and so on) particularly in light of projected enrollment growth. Several points were raised:

(1) Facilitating versus policing functions of administrators. It was felt that the proper administrative role is to facilitate and support functions such as advising and grant seeking.

(2) A broader question, with no clear answer, was raised: What do we want to become as a university? At this point we seem to be moving from comprehensive to metropolitan, from Carnegie II to research extensive (as opposed to a “research I” designation) and neither new category appears to be widely used. The turmoil surrounding unclear goals seems to be leading to various “disconnects” between what the president states and what gets passed through the chairs to the faculty.

(3) Rapid expansion is leading to greater rather than less reliance on contingent faculty with possible accreditation consequences.
Further, it was suggested that with respect to salary a report be developed on “progress toward President Caret’s goal of salaries at 75% of peer institutions.”

Several points were raised and discussed:

(1) Pres. Caret’s stated goal –salaries at 75% of peer institutions. Two points were made, first, that peer institutions can vary; and second, that the administration-developed comparisons consider as “peers” comprehensive universities that are non-union (which, it was stated, translates into salaries are 15% lower than at unionized comprehensive universities.) Thus real disparities of estimates of progress can occur.

(2) Salary compression. It was noted that salary compression had mostly affected senior faculty and a certain cohort of junior faculty. Thus last year compression money was allocated to those two groups. No word yet on actions for this year.

(3) Salary comparisons. It was suggested that comparative study of salaries –faculty and administrative—be undertaken.

(4) Stipends. The goal of increasing stipends to 10% of salary per course for summer, study abroad, international commitments need was discussed.

Adjourned at 5:10PM


© 2006 Towson University