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Report on AAUP Workshop, Faculty Voice in Missouri

Notes on AAUP Workshop

The Faculty Voice in Missouri

Washington University, Nov. 10, 2012

(compiled by S. Harris)

(This report is also downloadable here.)

The Missouri Conference of AAUP chapters has a website: <http://www.moaaup.org/>.  

Slogan: MO AAUP knows!

MO AAUP can provide speakers for addressing 

  • Faculty Senate
  • higher administration
  • Board of Trustees


  • These are recognized experts in higher education.
  • They are not beholden to anyone at the host university, so they can speak fearlessly.

Good relations between AAUP and a university:  AAUP trips are funded like any academic trip.  Upcoming events this might include: 

The AAUP "Red Book" (Policy Documents & Reports, a 300-page compendium of AAUP positions) is approved by scores of professional academic organizations

In particular, the 1966 "Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities" is endorsed by

  • American Council of Education (professional organization for university presidents)
  • Association of Governing Boards (professional organization for university boards)
    • (which SLU's Board of Trustees is oddly not a member of)

So this book--particularly the 1966 governance statement--is the professional gold standard of how best to run a university.

Among recommendations from the Red Book:

  • "It is also incumbent on the president to ensure that faculty views, including dissenting views, are presented to the board in those areas and on those issues where responsibilities are shared."  
    • (from 1966 governance statement)
  • The university faculty senate should have 
    • a Budget Committee
      • to examine independent financial analysis of the university
        • this requires access to 
          • past five years of financial statements
          • current and following-year budgets
          • detailed cash-flow estimates for the future
      • to consider university priorities
      • to monitor the university's budget decisions
      • to advise the university president
    • an Educational Planning Committee (our Academic Affairs Committee?)
      • to recommend policies on conducting periodic evaluations of programs
      • to make sure program closure decisions are 
        • decided by education considerations
        • determined primarily by faculty
        • not "data-driven" but driven by
          • comprehensive orderly reviews
          • the full profile of the curricular offerings of the university
          • sound, rational, justifiable determinations of
            • strengths of each program
            • weaknesses of each program

The closing of CEPS departments (still ongoing, as the VPAA is to act on self-studies by the affected departments, self-studies which were delivered in September), if it comes to that, would include the firing of entered faculty.  Therefore, this comes under the province of Committee A of the AAUP (academic freedom and proper university governance).  See the AAUP's RIR 4.c and 4.d

RIR = Recommended Institutional Regulations:


  • This should be included verbatim in the Faculty Manual.

"Faculty consultation" for these purposes (especially program closure) means study by a regular Senate Committee (i.e., not just a committee from the effect faculty, and not an ad hoc committee appointed by the administration).

Things members can do:

  • recruit more members:
    • This is most effectively done one-on-one:
      • Knock on office doors!
      • Leave literature (AAUP national can supply us with leaflets).
  • meet with state legislators:
    • The legislature controls state university funding.
    • State universities often set the pattern for private universities.
    • Legislators need to be educated on 
      • what professors do
      • how universities work
      • the size of the professoriate
        • 1.5 million nationally (large fraction are part-time)
  • make the case for tenure publicly:
    • Tenure is inextricably linked to shared governance:
      • You don't share governance with someone you can fire at will.
    • Shared governance is the only way to keep the experts influential.
    • Therefore, tenure is crucial to a successful university.
    • American style tenure is what produced the greatest bastion of intellectual endeavor the world has ever seen.
    • AAUP 1940 statement on academic freedom:
      • This is for the common good of society
        • not for the individual teacher 
        • nor for the individual institution.

post-tenure review:

  • AAUP principles:
    • aimed at faculty development, not accountability
      • (accountability is handled under dismissal for cause)
    • developed and carried out by faculty
    • not a re-evaluation of tenure
    • protective of academic freedom
  • What problem is it addressing?
    • Faculty should have primary responsibility for 
      • deciding whether this is a problem
      • designing and implementing it, if it's decided it's needed
  • Professional self-direction must be protected:
    • Development plans should be the result of good-faith negotiation with the faculty member involved.

Rudy Fichtenbaum (AAUP President) and Howard Bursis (AAUP Treasurer) gave a presentation examining finances of many Missouri institutions, including comparisons with peer institutions (as rationally defined).  They are available for consultation and help on doing what needs to be done for us.


a troubling case: 

Wash U. workshop report.rtf
Steven Harris,
Nov 29, 2012, 4:31 PM