Boston College Chapter
American Association of University Professors
Thanks to all of you who have helped to address matters of Academic Freedom and Governance at Boston College during this academic year. As in past years, we would like to provide colleagues with information and updates on some matters of interest to you, based upon your responses to the Faculty Survey. We invite your comments and welcome your involvement during the summer or once the new academic year begins in September. In this end-of-year update, we are focusing on Senate and a few issues you have raised this year and trust that you will go to http://bcaaup.org/ for more information.
As a result of all the efforts of so many: faculty, grad students and undergrads at BC, as well as our AAUP colleagues across the country, our petition for a university-wide senate and a faculty standing committee for the Faculty Handbook has been quite successful. For those of you who have not yet had a chance to sign the petition, we are attaching a copy of the petition (without including signatures already collected) and would ask that you send along your electronic “signature,” so that we can keep an accurate count. We continue to collect signatures in support of the university-wide senate and faculty committee for the Handbook to demonstrate the significant support of faculty from across disciplines and schools. As promised, we will not be circulating the list of signatures (approximately 200 at this time) and we expect to provide an exact number by the start of the fall semester.
And as we gather signatures for a university-wide senate with faculty committee for the Faculty Handbook, we have a very exciting update to share with our faculty: the A&S Faculty Senate with Constitution was ratified in 1984 (additional information and documentation can be found at http://bcaaup.org/ ). We are currently in the process of preparing for elections of the A&S Faculty Senate and remain grateful for everyone’s dedicated efforts that have resulted in affirming faculty governance by clarifying the confusion surrounding the existence of the A&S Faculty Senate. We look forward to working with the administration or with the national AAUP in sponsoring the election process. If you would like to be a candidate for the fall election, please contact any of our Board members. With the Constitution in place for the A&S Senate, BCAAUP plans to expand the existing A&S Senate and work with the other schools in order to establish a university-wide Senate.
As membership in BCAAUP has grown, so too has our presence on University committees. We continue to serve as a resource of information for faculty as we respond to your questions and concerns about healthcare, eroding retirement benefits and grievance policies, as well as variations in policies for individual situations, such as part-time status/benefits, retirement packages or issues facing married couples. We will continue our commitment to providing our faculty with information on a variety of issues: academic, religious and ethical, so that together with the administration, we can work to maintain the highest standards of integrity. Some examples: requesting transparency with the Belfast Project, openly addressing status of non-tenure track faculty at BC and communicating policies of other universities (most recently Georgetown), raising awareness about the new Mission Statement on all summer school syllabi. In addition, in the interests of transparency and faculty governance, BCAAUP has asked to have representation on the Provost’s Search Committee.
We are also including a copy of this year’s Faculty Survey Report. After three years of collecting data about the concerns of faculty, we believe that the focus for the coming year needs to be on implementing those concerns. As a result, our fall meeting will focus on faculty governance (petition), A&S Senate elections and the Faculty Survey Report (status of non-tenure track faculty and also changes in benefits). BCAAUP will continue to sponsor Faculty Surveys; however we will do so every two years, rather than on an annual basis.
We hope that you will consider becoming more involved in our BCAAUP advocacy chapter, as well as connecting with colleagues from across the country at this year’s National AAUP Conferences (more info at aaup.org).
With best wishes for the summer,
The BCAAUP Executive Board