We hope that this new academic year has begun well for everyone and send our thanks to so many of you who have been involved in advocacy for our faculty throughout the summer. We welcome our new members of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and our new colleagues at BC. BCAAUP welcomes any and all faculty: tenured and non-tenure track, grad students and retired colleagues, to contact us with your concerns and join us at our meetings.
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 the Faculty Survey Report, the Provost Search, and the petition on Senate and Faculty Handbook (a copy of the petition will be sent out with the PR for the October 29th meeting and we remain grateful to those of you who have already signed and trust that many more of you send along your electronic “signature,” so that we can keep an accurate count). BCAAUP will continue to sponsor Faculty Surveys; however we will do so every two years, rather than on an annual basis.
Last week, the BCAAUP Executive Board met with Interim Provost, Joe Quinn and Vice-Provost, Pat DeLeeuw, and discussed the faculty responses from this past year’s Faculty Survey Report. We also discussed the university-wide senate and a faculty standing committee for the Faculty Handbook.
As a result of our meeting with the Interim Provost, we are currently preparing a proposal for a faculty committee for the Faculty Handbook and recognize this as an important step in working with the administration for improved faculty governance.
With the Constitution in place for the A&S Senate and a faculty governance body in place in CSON, BCAAUP is committed to working with our faculty in all schools throughout this academic year, in our efforts to establish a university-wide Senate, encouraged by the enthusiastic responses to the 2012-2013 Faculty Survey, and counting on hearing from those of you who have expressed interest in participating in these important endeavors. If you would like to be a candidate for the A&S Senate election, or would be interested in serving on the Faculty Committee for the Faculty Handbook, please contact any of our Board members.
Including here some of your responses, indicating that BCAAUP should advocate for a university wide Senate and a Faculty Handbook Committee:
Sixty-Nine percent of respondents favor the establishment of a Faculty Senate. Only 7% of respondents opposed it. If a Senate were established, 41% of respondents indicated a willingness to serve as a representation of their department or school.
The most significant finding concerning the Faculty Handbook was a consensus (86% of respondents) that an elected faculty committee should explain, evaluate, and publicize all proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook prior to posting. Faculty leadership should collaborate with the administration to plan this initiative.
Another step in the right direction for transparency and improved communication between administration and faculty: the willingness of the Co-Chair of the Provost Search Committee, Catherine Corneille, to invite suggestions for the new Provost from BCAAUP members and to meet with faculty, listen to their ideas and discuss the process for selecting the next Provost. We have scheduled this meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 29th, from 4:30-6:00pm in Fulton 230 and will begin with Paul Gray who will present the Faculty Survey Report, which will help focus and foster discussion about the Provost Search.
In response to faculty interest, we are planning one other meeting for the fall semester (date and location: TBA), a panel discussion with retired faculty, current faculty and the Faculty Compensation Committee, to address concerns about changes in benefits. If you are interested in participating, please contact any Board member.
Membership in the American Association of University Professors, along with participation in our Boston College chapter, brings recognition of each member’s professional status. Given the reality of the challenges facing our faculty, and in the absence of any recognized official faculty governing body, BCAAUP continues to make inroads in our commitment to academic freedom and faculty governance. We hope you will consider becoming a member of AAUP (aaup.org for information about membership) and joining our advocacy chapter, http://bcaaup.org/, and consider serving on our Executive Board. Elections will be held in the spring. 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.
With best wishes for this new academic year,
The BCAAUP Executive Board
Susan Michalczyk Marilynn Johnson Hiroshi Nakazato Michael Malec
President Vice President Secretary Treasurer
Betty Blythe Curt Dudley-Marling Michael Resler Mary Troxell
Board Member Board Member Board Member Board Member