Minutes

BCAAUP Chapter Meeting Minutes October 29, 2013

 

BCAAUP Chapter Meeting Draft Minutes September 21, 2012

Meeting began at 4pm with about 25 faculty in attendance, including BCAAUP Executive Board members Susan Michalczyk, Lynn Johnson, Michael Malec, Mike Kelly and Hiroshi Nakazato.

 

The meeting began with a review by Susan Michalczyk (BCAAUP President) of the summer’s activities and updates on correspondence from BCAAUP to various administrators on topics addressed during last semester: Belfast, status of adjunct faculty (Shea), BC finances.

Copies of the Faculty Compensation Committee Annual Report were also distributed at the meeting.

 

To date, the administration has not responded to follow up letters from BCAAUP.  AAUP also has copies of the correspondences, ready to become involved when BC faculty request assistance or further investigation. Contact info for the AAUP national office: academicfreedom@aaup.org and governance@aaup.org

 

Other summer activities included working on the Lou Montgomery project. BCAAUP contacted administrators, students and media throughout the summer and as a result, helped the family of Lou Montgomery and Mark Dullea to achieve some recognition at a ceremony on Sept 1st. BCAAUP continues to work with the family, Mark Dullea, students and alumni, to establish a scholarship for social justice in Lou Montgomery’s name. A special thanks to the two BC students, Mark Hertenstein and Austin Tedesco, whose efforts resulted in excellent coverage of the event and raised awareness about the scholarship.

 

BCAAUP Governance Assessment Survey: Lynn Johnson

 

Lynn Johnson (BCAAUP Vice President) provided a detailed report of the Governance Assessment Survey, which will soon be distributed to all BC faculty. The report summarizes a survey of 60 BC faculty who have served on four standing university committees during the past five years: the Provost’s Advisory Council, the Athletic Advisory Board, the Faculty Grievance Committee, and the Faculty Compensation Committee.  The report looks at the committees’ composition, leadership, agenda-making power, effectiveness, and transparency and finds serious problems among all of the committees in several of these areas.

 

The overall sense was that the committees were not effective as a faculty voice and that there was no faculty body to report back to, since BC is without a faculty senate. The report suggests that it is important to develop an effective and independent voice, though there are no simple ways to resolving the lack of faculty governance. Is a Faculty Senate the answer? What role does BCAAUP have to play in addressing the problematic governance structure at BC?

 

It was suggested by some members that a letter addressing the ramifications of a lack of faculty governance be drawn up by members of BCAAUP, and that once approved by the membership, it would be circulated among all BC faculty for their signatures. The plan: to publicize the issues in the belief that by doing so, with the support of many faculty, these important issues would be addressed and discussed openly. There was agreement among those in attendance and a committee has been formed to write a draft letter.

 

 

The serious problem of bullying, which has been raised at other meetings, was also raised at the meeting, in light of the fall-out of a recent episode of bullying by an administrator towards a student. Faculty, administrators, and the student’s parents as well as other students, are aware of the situation. BCAAUP is now aware of the situation and this matter will most likely be included in the letter that is being drafted, under the umbrella of problems that result from a lack of faculty governance and a lack of transparency.

 

The following list of topics for discussion, already sent to Judy Gordon, Chair of the Provost’s Advisory Committee was read aloud:

1. Faculty are concerned about financial transparency, such as prospective changes in benefits. In response to our (BCAAUP) request that Mr. McKenzie and his office review the March 2012 presentation by Prof. Howard Bunsis, so as to provide an analysis and discussion of BC’s finances with faculty, Mr. McKenzie suggested that we present this issue to the Provost’s Advisory Council (attached presentation for your review).

2. Another concern raised by faculty surrounds the policies of the School of Theology and Ministry, in particular the issues surrounding the case of Fr. John Shea: academic freedom, age discrimination and the status of adjunct faculty.

3. Lingering questions remain with regard to the Belfast Project and faculty continue to ask for transparency on this matter.

4. Another concern for faculty: the status of non-tenure track faculty (part-time and full-time adjunct, contingent) and changes in policies. When we first established our advocacy chapter, BCAAUP passed a resolution endorsing the professional status of all contingent faculty including the right to academic freedom, due process and procedural rights as outlined in the AAUP Policy Document on Contingent Appointments and the Academic Profession.

5. Faculty are also asking for clarity on the policy for Review of Deans as well as for clarity with regard to existing and evolving policies for peer review.
6. Another area of concern brought to our attention by faculty: the Faculty Handbook. In response to faculty concerns about changes being made by the administration to the Faculty Handbook, BCAAUP passed the following resolution:  It is essential that the Faculty Handbook reflect the concerns of the faculty. BC-AAUP shall establish a committee to review the University Faculty Handbook with the University on semi-annual basis. The administration has chosen not to recognize the BCAAUP resolution.

 

BCAAUP Faculty Survey:  Paul Gray, Hiroshi Nakazato

 

Paul Gray gave an update on this year’s Faculty Survey, asking that any questions, changes, comments be sent to him (paul.gray@bc.edu) within the next few weeks, with the goal of having this year’s BCAAUP Faculty Survey ready to be sent out to all faculty by early November. A copy of last year’s survey will be included with the Draft Minutes, for those interested in reviewing previously asked questions. This year, Paul and Hiroshi (Faculty Survey Committee), in response to a request from staff and librarians, will adapt a separate survey for their use. As in past years, all surveys will be anonymous and again this year, BCAAUP will make the report available to all faculty, the media and the administration.

 

Fall AAUP Conference/Meeting Dates:

 

The Fall meeting schedule was also discussed. All faculty will receive more details about these events and all faculty, whether or not AAUP members, are invited to attend.

 

Saturday, October 20, 2012 MA AAUP Annual Conference at Merrimack College

(morning and afternoon, ending at 2pm, more details to follow soon) with guest speaker Rudy Fichtenbaum, AAUP President, who looks forward to meeting with BC faculty, tenured and non-tenure track and to learning more about the concerns of all faculty at BC. Susan Michalczyk will also be participating in the conference. As a national officer, she is now able to speak with colleagues from across the country, members of the Jesuit network, and of course, the other officers and executive council of AAUP, all of whom are concerned about the lack of faculty governance at BC.

 

Oct 26-28, 2012: AAUP Shared Governance Conference in DC 

 The administration has agreed to fund two BCAAUP members to attend this year’s conference. We hope that the administration will also fund two BCAAUP members to attend the AAUP Summer Institute next July.

At this year’s AAUP conference, Susan Michalczyk will be presenting with colleagues from other Jesuit and Catholic universities on the challenges facing faculty at private universities with religious affiliations.

 

Nov 2012 BCAAUP Chapter Meeting on Faculty Handbooks with Tom Coffey (Creighton)

 

Although we are losing some of our colleagues to other universities, membership and interest in our advocacy chapter is increasing (with over 130 faculty as members and another 30 who are in contact).  Faculty were asked to provide names of new faculty in their departments in order to update the BCAAUP email list. Faculty were reminded of the importance of joining or renewing their memberships and encouraged to speak with old and new colleagues and graduate students about the importance of joining BCAAUP, in order to establish faculty governance.  Important reminder: please be sure to join officially at aaup.org. We (BCAAUP) welcome any and all faculty and grad students to join us at meetings and to contact us, whether or not they have paid membership dues to AAUP; however, increasing our membership increases our faculty voice and visibility. With changes in the Executive Board, we welcome those interested in taking a more active role in BCAAUP to contact us.

 

Meeting concluded at 6pm.

.                                                                       Susan Michalczyk

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BCAAUP Meeting with Students

November 16, 2011 (approved February 27, 2012)

Higgins 300, 4:30-6:00 pm 

Panel: Harold Petersen, Economics; Mary Troxell, Philosophy; Prasannan Parthasarathi, History

 

The meeting began with Susan Michalczyk introducing the panelists, providing some background on the reasons for the Faculty-Student Forum and then Prasannan Parthasarathi suggested that students introduce themselves and give a brief idea of what they hoped to get out of the discussion.

 

A student expressed a concern as to costs and how funds were spent on campus.  Another student said he/she came to hear faculty perspectives and learn how the faculty interacts with the administration.  Several were concerned with advising and others with the scope and availability of courses.

 

Faculty members on the panel spoke for about 5 minutes each.

 

Prasannan Parthasarathi spoke about the responsibilities of faculty, doing the main work of the university: teaching and creating new knowledge and administrators who should be there to assist in these two tasks.  Administrators generally neither teach nor do research.  He has 20-30 advisees, which makes it hard to do as good job as he would like.  The administration has recognized problem with advising and realizes something should be done, but appears not to know what to do.  He contrasted BC with Harvard, where his son’s advisor has only 4 advisees.

 

Harold Petersen was delighted that BCAAUP was opening a dialog with students. He noted that advising has improved in Cornerstone courses and following the establishment of the Advising Center. He noted that from the trustees’ viewpoint, BC has done very well in terms of quality of students and endowment.  He noted that the BC administration was hierarchical.   In the late 1960s and early 1970s, BC had a University Academic Senate (UAS), which included students, faculty and administrators, which Petersen characterized as an Athenian democracy that the administration did not like, subsequently abolished, and took over its responsibilities.  One effect of the UAS was the elimination of ROTC.  There was also a student strike over tuition in the 1960s.

 

Prasannan Parthasarathi noted that the History Department teaches 2400 to 3800 students/semester so that the department “brings in” about $40M in tuition, but costs for these courses are only about $5M.  Faculty would like to change courses to improve them.  He noted that other history departments often offer 2 undergraduate seminars and that the History Department would like to introduce a second undergraduate seminar, but resources are lacking.  In the department’s advanced electives there are approximately 33 students/class and the department would prefer 25 students/class.  He felt that BC should be addressing these issues better and that it may be time to review the undergrad curriculum.

 

Mary Troxell felt that students should take a hard look at what they are getting for their money.  She noted the attempts at course and departmental assessment by the university. Some aspects are easy to quantify such as student/teacher ratios, papers published, courses taught, etc.; but the effects on student development are harder to measure.  In particular, the quality of advising, helping students with coursework or career decisions, writing letters of recommendation, and talking to students, are not quantified and often not taken into account.

 

At the beginning of the overall discussion it was noted that there was no grievance process for students or contingent faculty.

 

A student noted that she was blocked out of classes as a freshman.  Since advanced placement fulfills part of the core for many students, at a point when they would like to begin taking advanced courses in their major or electives, they cannot get into upper-level courses.  She noted that departments don’t care about freshmen, but rather have the attitude that “We care about you as a junior”.  Another student remarked on the problem of the “dominant major”, which means they may not be fully informed by e-mails of the requirements, changes and courses in their “secondary” major.  There seems to be a rat-race to grab courses and resources, which would be more available if there were more faculty.

 

A student felt that the Academic Advising center was frustrating, particularly if one had questions regarding requirements or problems across multiple departments.  Students had to fight to get access and had to learn how to game system.  Finding out about honors, international studies major, study abroad, overload, and how to get the right courses in order to graduate on time were cited as problems.  The number of electives (4 electives in 4 years for this student) was cited as a problem.

 

A question was asked as to whether UGBC was working on advising with the administration.  Judy Shindul-Rothschild said that CSON was piloting an evaluation of advisement and that it was planed is to extend that across BC.  She also noted complaints about registration in CSON and that many courses close out early.

 

Parthasarathi felt that freshmen advisement had gotten much better since the Advising Office was established in Bourneuf House.   A student indicated that she did not get credit for one of two core history courses because she took them both in the same semester.

 

Petersen indicated that BC did not really have a Core, but rather a cafeteria selection of courses and that the University Core Curriculum Committee was beginning a review of the Core.  He suggested that mechanisms for input into Core evaluation were not clear.  He felt that the Core would be improved if there were aspects (such as several books) that could be referred to across the curriculum.  Mary Troxell suggested that while the Core may be bad, not having the options of a Core was worse.

 

A student said that the Core was not accomplishing what it should; the Environmental Biology course was not well-structured nor well-attended and that Core classes turned her off to what was taught.  Susan Michalczyk remarked that part of problem was increasing teaching loads.  Prasannan Parthasarathi felt that the core spanned too many courses and that there should be no more that 8 of the total number of 32 courses required, instead of the current 15 of 32 courses.

 

A student asked for faculty perspectives on administrative control of departmental budgets, particularly in the Arts.  Petersen replied that there was minor control through chair’s negotiations with dean and that departments have less autonomy than previously.

 

A student queried as to what was happening to make BC better and less hierarchical.  Petersen said that the Trustees think BC is working very well and that the trustees are working hard to raise the endowment as opposed to looking to student and faculty input to improve how the university works.  It’s like batting heads against the wall in terms of faculty and student input into decision making.  There was some discussion and clarification about the present situation of faculty which is becoming increasingly two-tiered (teaching and research).  Tenured faculty are often research intensive and may do very little teaching, so adjunct faculty are hired to do the heavy teaching load.  There was also a discussion about the future of Higher Ed, given the present reality and whether a teaching or research position would be worthwhile for those envisioning academic careers.

 

Betty Blythe (GSSW) spoke realistically about the challenges and rewards of graduate studies and taking on additional debt to pursue a graduate degree in Social Work. She spoke about ways in which professors work with their graduate students (MSW candidates) and their commitment to their students who have chosen this demanding career.  Betty offered some perspective to students who are considering the advantages and disadvantages of getting advanced degrees, letting the students know that professors are aware of the pressures that our students face.

 

A student felt that there was a problem of administrative decentralization, particularly in tracking down administrators who are responsible and can actually effect a solution to students’ problems.  Examples raised were:  the policy about when a roommate moves out and someone else is immediately moved in without consulting with the remaining student; outside scholarship funding is discounted by BC, so that students who receive no financial benefit; students had to commit to summer programs before knowing whether they could pay for them if scholarships could be involved and that there was a $500 fee for dropping out of a summer program.

 

Judy Shindul-Rothschild said that, in a recent meeting with CSON, the Provost indicated that applications and SAT scores were up in some schools and departments, but down in the humanities.   There is a plan for 50 new faculty members, but these will probably not go to CSON or humanities (A&S).  There was also a query as to the accuracy of the Provost’s assertion that 50% of classes at BC have 19 or fewer students, which did not (in the general consensus) appear credible.  It was suggested that the asserted figure may be counting discussion classes.  She also noted that the size of BC deficit is essentially same as the tuition-subsidy of sports, i.e. $11M.

 

Parthasarathi noted that the History Department does not use many adjuncts; but that rampant use is apparent in other schools and departments and that part-time faculty did not receive benefits.  He also felt that universities were in crisis because of declining federal funding, that the university did not adequately support the Arts and Humanities and concurred with Petersen’s remark about considering pursuing a PhD in the Humanities.

 

Michael Clarke asked whether students were aware that there was no right to student academic freedom at BC.  Students responded to this in terms of their freedom to choose course, particularly within the Core.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Michael J Clarke

11/24/11

 

 

Appendix – Heights ArticleForum Addresses Higher Education Issues, by Devon Sanford

www.bcheights.com/news/forum-addresses-higher-education-issues-1.2703287#.Ts5o5GAbG1s

 

On Wednesday evening, the Boston College chapter of the American Association of University Professors (BCAAUP) held a faculty-student forum in Higgins Hall.

Students and faculty met to discuss important issues in higher education. The attendees voiced their opinions on advising, rising tuition costs, and student-faculty relations.

The BC chapter of AAUP was founded in 2010 with goals to support policies of the national AAUP, defend academic freedom and promote increased faculty governance at BC. On Wednesday evening, the BCAAUP discussed different educational issues happening throughout the BC campus. The goal of the forum was to start a dialogue between faculty members and students.

Susan Michalczyk, BCAAUP president, opened the forum, introducing faculty members of the BCAAUP to students.

“This is our chance to speak openly, ask questions, hear from faculty and hold a dialogue between professors and students,” Michalczyk said.

After, students attending the forum introduced themselves and spoke about educational issues they have faced during their time at BC. Students discussed their concerns with the academic advising system, registration for classes, rising costs in tuition and the inability to communicate with faculty members.

“I’m really interested to hear the faculty perspective on educational problems,” said one BC student. “I want to talk about the rising costs of tuition and find out where the money is going.”

“I have a lot of issues with the administration,” said another BC senior. “I’m here to get an understanding about how much time professors, faculty, and administrators can afford for students and how much attention is really given to students.”

The faculty members of BCAAUP voiced their opinions on the education system as well. With the rising cost of tuition and the structure of the administrational power, faculty members worry that BC is losing students who cannot afford the school’s tuition. The faculty also discussed their lack of control within the education system. Many advisers are given 20 to 30 students per semester. Because of this large number, professors are unable to make a personal connection with the students they advise.

“The faculty needs to be more involved,” said Harold Peterson, associate professor in the economics department. “Advising has been a high priority here, and we have been working on it. I think there are some models that work, like the Cornerstone Program. In the Cornerstone Program I get to know students and they get to know me. So if we are going to be pushing [for more programs] we need to be pushing for the things that work.”

Students discussed their personal experiences with the BC education system. Many felt that there are serious flaws in the academic advising system and with class registration. Others said that they have been unable to build a strong relationship with their advisors or other professors because there are just too many students per class or per advisor.

“It becomes a rat-race,” said one student. “Students are forced to compete for the attention of professors.”

Other students felt overwhelmed with the core and are unsure where to turn to for advising help.

“I don’t know what classes to chose and I don’t have a close relationship with any professors,” said one BC freshman.

As one of the faculty members suggested going to the Academic Advising Center for help an upperclassmen laughed, and said, “I didn’t even know we had an advising center.”

 

 

 

BCAAUP Membership Meeting

October 27, 2011 Meeting (Approved February 27, 2012)

Cushing 001 4:30-6pm

 

The meeting began with announcements about the Fall Semester Meetings and Events:  Our next meeting scheduled for November 16 in Higgins 300, 4:30-6pm, will be a Faculty/Student Forum. The plan is to have a small faculty panel (perhaps 4-5 members) listen and respond to various concerns that have been raised by both undergraduate and graduate students since last spring. Any members interested in participating may simply contact Susan (michalcz@bc.edu). Topics include advising, class size, increasing costs, etc.

 

On December 3, BCAAUP will be hosting the MA AAUP Annual Meeting (McGuinn 521, 9 am-noon & lunch).  At the AAUP Summer Institute, members of the MA delegation expressed interest in BCAAUP concerns and have offered their support as we work for shared governance.  At the last MA AAUP Annual Meeting held at Curry College, there were about 30 faculty from MA universities and it was suggested that this would be a good opportunity for BCAAUP members to get to know some members of the MA delegation.

 

A brief update was given on National Conferences: the AAUP Summer Institute, held this past July in Boston, MA. Susan Michalczyk highlighted the various workshops:

Legal Matters, which included the Irish Oral History project at BC, Grievance, Higher Education Data & Research: Trends in Faculty Status, Compensation and Gender Equity, Media and Other Strategies.

 

Susan noted that as BCAAUP members attend these conferences, we continue to build on relationships with colleagues from other Jesuit Universities and learn about their approaches to shared governance and interacting with the administration.  The University of Scranton relies upon union and an advocacy chapter for shared governance.

 

Two upcoming conferences that may be of interest to our members are:

1) AAUP Shared Governance Conference (Washington DC, Nov. 9-11). Mike Malec will be representing BCAAUP this year and we look forward to his analysis at a later date.

2) Rosanna Demarco and Judith Shindul-Rothschild suggested that BCAAUP consider submitting a proposal for the August 2014 conference at Creighton University:  On Fire at the Frontiers: Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education.  Susan has written to David McMenamin (BC contact and member of the conference) saying that BCAAUP is interested in submitting a proposal (due May 2012).

 

A brief update was given on a few of the BCAAUP Committees. Lynn Johnson reported on the Assessment Committee, collecting data and preparing a survey for next semester.  Paul Gray reported on the revisions of the Faculty Survey.  There was agreement that additional questions need to be added to the survey and there was discussion about the purpose of the survey.  It was agreed that we are not redefining policy, and instead that we are collecting information and data.  A question first raised last spring at our meetings about the best ways to distribute the report and analysis to do about the results, came up again.  Last year’s Faculty Survey Report was only sent out to faculty.  A motion was made to send this year’s results to the administration, the Board of Trustees and the media (Heights, Gavel, Observer, Boston Globe). The motion and unanimously.

 

Prasannan Parthasarathi suggested that BCAAUP work with students on a Student Survey and Paul Gray has offered to mentor students if we send them his way.

 

Membership is increasing and all members were asked to encourage their colleagues to join. Membership is now at 115. Another suggestion: BCAAUP members speak within their departments and publicize meetings, etc.

 

The recent Tellus report on top administrative salaries in Massachusetts higher academic institutions was briefly discussed, as were concerns about Conflict of Interest, increases in teaching loads, pressures placed on non-tenured faculty and tenured faculty. There was a brief discussion about the recent Provost’s Forum at which a number of BCAAUP faculty asked questions of the Provost.

 

Bobby Wengronowitz, a graduate student in Sociology, presented a brief report on the Wisconsin Wave Tour, discussed their upcoming schedule of meetings and their goal of educating students about social justice. Members agreed to circulate the information among our BCAAUP and other interested faculty and to continue to work with and support our graduate students.

 

Martin Summers, Lynn Johnson and Prasannan Parthasarathi reported on BC faculty involvement with Occupy Boston.  It was agreed that BCAAUP would continue to send out information to our colleagues. Joyce Pulcini informed members of the needs of the Occupy Boston movement and the on-going collection of supplies at BC.  Both the Wisconsin Wave and Occupy Boston welcome solidarity, whether through participation, financial support or contributions of supplies.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Susan Michalczyk

BCAAUP, President

 

BCAAUP October 27, 2011 Meeting

                           Cushing 001 4:30-6pm 

The meeting began with announcements about the Fall Semester Meetings and Events:

Our next meeting scheduled for November 16 in Higgins 300, 4:30-6pm, will be a Faculty/Student Forum. The plan is to have a small faculty panel (perhaps 4-5 members) listen and respond to various concerns that have been raised by both undergraduate and graduate students since last spring. Any members interested in participating may simply contact Susan (michalcz@bc.edu). Topics include advising, class size, increasing costs, etc.

 

On December 3, BCAAUP will be hosting the MA AAUP Annual Meeting (McGuinn 521, 9am-noon & lunch). At the AAUP Summer Institute, members of the MA delegation expressed interest in BCAAUP concerns and have offered their support as we work for shared governance. At the last MA AAUP Annual Meeting held at Curry College, there were about 30 faculty from MA universities and it was suggested that this would be a good opportunity for BCAAUP members to get to know some members of the MA delegation.

 

A brief update was given on National Conferences: the AAUP Summer Institute, held this past July in Boston, MA. Susan Michalczyk spoke highlighted the various workshops:

Legal Matters, which included the Irish Oral History project at BC, Grievance, Higher Education Data & Research: Trends in Faculty Status, Compensation and Gender Equity, Media and Other Strategies.

As BCAAUP members attend these conferences, we continue to build on relationships with colleagues from other Jesuit Universities and learn about their approaches to shared governance and interacting with the administration. The University of Scranton relies upon union and an advocacy chapter for shared governance.

 

Two upcoming conferences of interest to our members:

AAUP Shared Governance Conference (Washington DC, Nov. 9-11). Mike Malec will be representing BCAAUP this year and we look forward to his analysis at a later date.

Rosanna Demarco and Judith Shindul-Rothschild suggested that BCAAUP consider submitting a proposal for the August 2014 conference at Creighton University:  On Fire at the Frontiers: Commitment to Justice in Jesuit Higher Education.  Susan has written to David McMenamin (BC contact and member of the conference) saying that BCAAUP is interested in submitting a proposal (due May 2012).

 

 

A brief update was given on a few of the BCAAUP Committees. Lynn Johnson reported on the Assessment Committee, collecting data and preparing a survey for next semester.  Paul Gray reported on the revisions of the Faculty Survey. There was agreement that additional questions need to be added to the survey and there was discussion about the purpose of the survey. It was agreed that we are not redefining policy, and instead that we are collecting information and data. A question raised last spring at our meetings about best ways to distribute the report and to whom, came up again. Last year’s Faculty Survey Report was only sent out to faculty. A motion was made to send this year’s results to the administration, the Board of Trustees and the media (Heights, Gavel, Observer, Boston Globe), the vote taken and passed unanimously.

 

Prasannan Parthasarathi suggested that BCAAUP work with students on a Student Survey and Paul Gray has offered to mentor students if we send them his way.

Membership is increasing and all members were asked to encourage their colleagues to join. Membership is now at 115. Another suggestion: BCAAUP members speak within their departments and publicize meetings, etc.

 

The recent Tellus Report (included as a pdf with this email) on administrators and increasing pay was briefly discussed, as were concerns about Conflict of Interest, increases in teaching loads, pressures placed on non-tenured faculty and tenured faculty. There was a brief discussion about the recent Faculty Forum at which a number of BCAAUP faculty asked questions of the Provost.

 

Bobby Wengronowitz, a graduate student in Sociology, presented a brief report on the Wisconsin Wave Tour, discussed their upcoming schedule of meetings and their goal of educating students about social justice. Members agreed to circulate the information among our BCAAUP and other interested faculty and to continue to work with and support our graduate students. For more information: http://wisconsinwave.org

 

Martin Summers, Lynn Johnson and Prasannan Parthasarathi reported on BC faculty involvement with Occupy Boston and it was agreed that BCAAUP would continue to send out information to our colleagues. Joyce Pulcini informed members of the needs of the Occupy Boston movement and the on-going collection of supplies at BC. Both the Wisconsin Wave and Occupy Boston welcome solidarity, whether through participation, financial support or contributions of supplies. For more information: http://socialphilanthropy.org/knowledge.php

Minutes submitted by Susan Michalczyk (subject to approval at the next meeting of the chapter)

BCAAUP 

Minutes April 21, 2010 (approved for posting May 7, 2010)

Attendance:  20

Place and Time: Lyons 202, 4:30 – 6:00

1. Susan Michalczk – President BC Chapter

 Introductions and request for more people to sign up for committee work.

 Sign up list circulated

2. Michael Malec – VP for membership

 Request for attendees to distribute membership information flyers to colleagues

 Information re. Scott Olivieri’s workshop on using BCshare. This Friday April

23rd at 9a

 Request for people to work on the 4 committees. Suggested 6-10 hours over the

summer. Purpose: informed articulation of position statements.

 Announcement about SEIU Workshop at 10:15a on Saturday April 24th.

Discussion about the ultimate purposes of position papers. There would be various

avenues of action. For example, we could deliver to the appropriate entities and ask for a

response.

3. Michael Clarke – Executive VP

  Update on governance committee. 3 sub committees have formed related to the 3

resolutions passed at the last meeting. The sub committee on resolution 1 met

Re. Resolution 1 BCAAUP supports the formation of an independent University 

Faculty Senate with the bylaws approved by the faculty in 2006. BCAAUP will sponsor 

the election of members of this Senate and continue to function as a voice of concerned 

faculty. 

General discussion. Questions about: 1) asking BC permission – last time

proving problematic – aborted the voting process, thus the institution of a

senate, 2) amending document to include contingent faculty who constitute a

substantial portion of the faculty body. While including contingent faculty

would be important it may be best to use the founding document from the

?2007 faculty senate proposal to hold a faculty election as this was what was

voted upon. The senate make-up should be amended later to include

contingent faculty. Currently the senate would be constituted of all standing

university committee members plus 12 at-large members.

No time for this has been set for this yet – but a letter could be sent to Bert

Garza to see if we could use BC’s listserve resource. If not then we could

use the AAUP resources.

Agreement that we need to be clear the senate would be an independent

body from the AAUP. The senate would handle curricula issues and the

AAUP would be about ensuring the principles of faculty governance are

maintained. 

Re. Resolution 2 BCAAUP will establish a committee to participate in the current 

Revision of the University Statutes and Bylaws 

Revision of the statutes are in process. Alan Lawson will convene a group to

address this issue 

Re. Resolution 3 It is essential that the Faculty Handbook reflect the concerns of the 

faculty. BCAAUP shall establish a committee to review the University Faculty Handbook 

with the University on semi-annual basis. 

Related to resolution 2 – need input into faculty handbook. Sub group will continue

work on this 

Re. Resolution 4 on the status of contingent faculty which was referred back to

committee at the last meeting .  Revised statement to read: BCAAUP endorses the 

professional status of all contingent faculty including the right to academic freedom, due 

process and procedural rights as outlined in the AAUP Policy Document on “Contingent 

Appointments and the Academic Profession”.

Resolution passed unanimously  (n=20)

Discussion re. the need to get faculty motivated and involved in the idea of governance.

Need to sponsor an event for contingent faculty – Summer or September.

Meeting Adjourned 6p

Recorder P.J. Grace

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BCAAUP Minutes March 24, 2010 (approved for posting April 21, 2010)

Attendance: N = 24

Place and Time: Carney 303, 4-6p

  1. Susan Michalczk – President BC chapter gave a brief report on the AAUP New leaders Workshop. Washington DC, February 25-26, 2010.

- Brought back resources and information including two AAUP manuals

- Colleagues expressed concern re. lack of faculty involvement in BC governance

- Throughout the US there has been a trend away from faculty input into university governance and a shift toward administrative dominance in decision-making

- Advised to try and achieve 5 person minimum on sub-committees for effective work

  • Committee interest sign-up lists circulated
  1. Mike Malec – VP for Membership

- Membership increased from 20 in September 2009 to more than 73 currently

- We have a goal for 100 members by commencement (May 24)

- Members encouraged to talk with others encourage membership

- New members can still receive a special rate ‘entrant fee’. Graduate students can get a reduced fee membership

  1. Tim Duket – VP for Communications

- Comment on status of knowledge about contingent faculty issues across departments – need more information

Audience question about what are the committees and what are the known issues within BC.

Four Committees are currently in the institution phase. Identified as important based on prior meetings. These can be expanded as the membership deems necessary:

1 Academic Freedom

2 Contingent Faculty

3 Faculty compensation and welfare

4 Faculty Governance

Examples of issues related to academic freedom, governance etc. given. There is currently no official voice of the faculty to support faculty or student concerns. BCAAUP formed to meet this need. Discussion about lack of transparency about many issues directly impacting faculty and curriculum. Discussion of various issues

  1. Michael Clarke – Executive VP

Led discussion of the history of previous faculty senate at BC.

- 1960′s Senate composed of faculty, administration, and students formed in response to a tuition crisis. Dissolved after a period of time

- Other attempts to institute a faculty senate unsuccessful

- Latest attempt developed to the point of election (2008). Election arrested by provost at the last minute over concerns that the board of Trustees should be granted the right to approve and they had not.

AAUP’s stance is that the faculty has the right to form as a group for the purpose of maintaining academic and curricular integrity and offers support in the form of services and resources for Chapters in this regard.

Incipient issues: need for faculty input into the university statue revisions, proposed amendments to the sabbatical policy.

  1. The governance committee has formulated four resolutions. Discussion of resolutions led by Michael Clarke followed by vote.

Resolution 1

BCAAUP supports the formation of an independent University Faculty Senate with the bylaws approved by the faculty in 2006. BCAAUP will sponsor the election of members of this Senate and continue to function as a voice of concerned faculty.

In favor 15

Opposed 0

Abstentions 2

Motion carried

 

Resolution 2

BCAAUP will establish a committee to participate in the current Revision of the University Statutes and Bylaws.

In favor 19

Opposed 0

Abstentions 1

Motion carried

Resolution 3

It is essential that the Faculty Handbook reflect the concerns of the faculty. BCAAUP shall establish a committee to review the University Faculty Handbook with the University on semi-annual basis.

In favor 18

Opposed 0

Abstentions 2

Motion carried

R esolution 4

BCAAUP endorses the professional status of all contingent faculty including the right to academic freedom and procedural rights as outlined in the AAUP Policy Document on “Recommended Institutional Regulations and Academic Freedom and Tenure”.

After discussion a motion was made to refer this to the Committee working on Contingent Faculty issues for review of current policies and ultimate refinement of the resolution as necessary.

In favor of referring to committee 19

Opposed 1

Abstention 0

Motion carried – referred to committee on Contingent Faculty

  1. Nominations for remaining one year Officer Position – Member-at-Large solicited

Judith Wilt nominated and agreed to stand

In favor 21

Opposed 0

Abstentions 0

6p Meeting adjourned

Recorder: Pamela Grace Secretary/Treasurer

***********************************************************************************

Minutes: February 3, 2011 BCAAUP Chapter Meeting

Results of the faculty survey were discussed and copies of the responses (without individual faculty comments) were distributed along with an overview of the main concerns referenced in the comments. A committee is preparing a more detailed analysis. Tim Duket gave a breakdown of the responses (264), significantly higher among full professors. The largest response was from A&S, with fewer responses from the professional schools. Among faculty who responded, there seems to be more satisfaction at the departmental level, with increasing dissatisfaction at the highest administrative levels of the university. Stephen Pfohl spoke about his experience as a member of the Provost’s Advisory Committee and the committee’s role in providing faculty input on the Faculty Handbook. A discussion followed on faculty representation that exists in present university committees. Paul Gray offered an analysis of the data and stated that it was an adequate and fair representation of the faculty. Karen Kayser also spoke about the validity of the data as representative of the larger group. (Susan Michalczyk led the discussion).

Results of the ballot questions and presentation of the slate for upcoming elections were presented by Michael Malec and Tim Duket. In the on-line vote, BCAAUP members voted to accept the statement as our official position on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

BCAAUP Statement on Academic Freedom and Free Speech

The Boston College chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is committed to the principle of academic freedom for all university faculty. Academic freedom is the freedom to discuss all relevant matters in the classroom, to explore all avenues of scholarship, research, and creative expression, and to speak or write without institutional discipline or restraint on matters of public concern as well as on matters related to professional duties and the functioning of the University. With this freedom comes the responsibility to faithfully perform professional duties and obligations, to recognize the standards of scholarly enterprise, and to make it clear that when one is speaking on matters of public interest, one is not speaking for the institution. This freedom and academic responsibility belong to tenured, tenure track, and contingent faculty (full-time and part-time) as well as graduate students involved in teaching. We agree with the AAUP that tenure is the chief bulwark of academic freedom for all. BCAAUP believes that academic freedom on campus must exist both inside and outside the classroom and that the freedom to teach and the freedom to learn are inseparable. Indeed, teaching our students to engage with controversy in a critically reflective and ethically attentive manner is part of our university’s Jesuit tradition and mission. This mission can only be achieved if students are permitted and encouraged to explore and debate ideas openly, including those emanating from other religious traditions and value systems. As teachers, advisers, researchers, and clinicians, faculty must be free to explore, teach, and train students in all relevant areas, even those that might conflict with Catholic Church teachings. Any attempt to censor what our students learn, to confine faculty freedom of speech to fields of specialization or to impede access to ideas or information diminishes the intent of the university’s mission. We support a speaker policy that provides Boston College students with the privileges and responsibilities of sponsoring speakers and intellectual events of their own choosing, and we encourage faculty to take an active role in mentoring students and student organizations. These activities further our students’ education and prepare them to be active and responsible citizens in a nation that protects First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly. Some sponsored speakers and events will inevitably prove more controversial than others. The BC chapter agrees with the national AAUP that those routine procedures required by an institution

before a guest speaker is invited to appear on campus should be designed only to ensure that there is orderly scheduling of facilities and adequate preparation for the event, and that the occasion is conducted in a manner appropriate to an academic community. While the administration is free to announce that it does not officially endorse a speaker or his/her views, the university should not cancel a speech or event because people on campus or in the community either disagree with its content or disapprove of the speaker.

Members also voted to recognize part-time and full-time non-tenured faculty as having professional status:

It is the position of the BCAAUP that full-time non-tenured and part-time faculty of all types (aka “contingent” faculty according to the national AAUP) have professional status. Professional status includes seniority based on years of service. Professional status also includes fair and transparent promotion procedures involving peer review, stability of course assignments and compensation, as well as titles that imply permanent employment and do not imply temporary status. Though this is not tenure or a call for tenure, professional status represents tenure rights when applied to non-tenured individuals.

Members also voted to amend the Bylaws of the Chapter, expanding the Executive Board to 11 members:

Proposed revision: Article VI:

Committees A. Executive Committee The executive committee shall consist of eleven (11) members: the elected officers of the chapter, the immediate past president, and six members elected at large. The at-large members shall serve for two years, in alternate terms. A majority of the executive committee (6 members) shall constitute a quorum for conduct of business of the committee. The executive committee shall assume responsibility for the chapter’s continuing effective presence at the institution, keeping all positions on the executive committee filled as vacancies occur.

Michael Malec noted that we will soon hold election of officers in accordance with our revised Bylaws. He invited nominations for all offices, especially for the Executive Board. We plan to send out the ballot before the March meeting.

Candidates for election (two year term):

President: Susan Michalczyk (A&S HP)

Treasurer: Marilynn Johnson (Hist)

Candidates for Executive Board

(4 to be elected for two years; 3 to be elected for one year):

Lisa Cuklanz (Comm)

Demetrius Iatridis (GSSW)

Michael Kelly (Phil)

Michael Malec (Soc)

Hiroshi Nakazato (IS)

Joyce Pulcini (CSON)

Continuing in office for one more year (to January 2012);

Vice-President: Michael Clarke (Chem)

Secretary: Timothy Duket (A&S HP)

Michael Clarke presented the status of the sponsorship of the faculty senate election, beginning with a review of past resolutions by BCAAUP and concluding with his detailed statement (below) and possible ways of proceeding with an election of a University Faculty Senate.

Resolved: (passed 3/24/10 by a vote of 15/0/2): BCAAUP supports the formation of an independent University Faculty Senate with the bylaws approved by the faculty in October 2006. BCAAUP will sponsor the election of members of this Senate and continue to function as a voice of concerned faculty.

Rationale for the Election of an independent Faculty Senate

Unlike more than 90% of research universities, BC relies almost entirely on administrators for decision making at the institutional level and has no formal arrangements for a faculty governing body that participates in university decision making. A University Academic Senate was established and ratified by faculty in March 1968 with a faculty/administrator ratio of 3/2 and 2 student representatives, with a mandate to propose change as well as discuss issues. While initially effective, it became less so in the mid-1970s and was disbanded. The 1980 revision of the University Statutes gives the power to the Board of Trustees “to authorize the establishment and disestablishment, or approve the constitution, of official senates, councils, boards or other organizations of administrative officials or members of the faculty or student body of the University”. Notably, this allows the Trustees to approve a body independently formed by the faculty as the official university faculty senate.

A move to do this was initiated in 2002 following a survey that revealed that more than 90 percent of faculty respondents viewed participation in shared governance as a worthwhile faculty responsibility, but that they reported little or no influence over institutional decision making in areas such as the university’s budget or athletics. 81 percent favored the establishment of a faculty senate. , Following this, an Interim Faculty Senate was formed that developed bylaws for a permanent senate, which were approved by a vote of the faculty. While this effort was coordinated with the Provost’s office, in December 2006 that office prevented a scheduled election for members of the senate to occur .2

The AAUP advocates university faculty senates as an independent voice of the faculty that can open lines of communication with the administration.

Tim Duket proposed Option F:

Strongly recommend an election without initiating a process. Commit the BCAAUP to work in every current university committee (through faculty chairs and members) towards transparency and full public disclosure of all proceedings through published minutes; push for consideration of BCAAUP proposals on the agendas of said committees; full publicity for these efforts when successful and unsuccessful; efforts to open membership and voting on all committees to non-tenured faculty. In short, forceful procedural steps in the direction of true faculty committees. [added by Tim Duket, Wednesday, November 30, 2010]. For example, the resolution on Academic Freedom should be urged upon the PAC, obliging it to take a position.

Members reviewed options and Judith Wilt spoke eloquently about the complexities of implementing the founding documents drafted by the Interim Senate, in light of the lengthy period of time that has elapsed since the initial planning of an election for a faculty senate. After serious discussion, members voiced unanimous agreement for a faculty senate, while also voicing agreement that our advocacy chapter must first increase in size and visibility and also demonstrate its effectiveness, so as to be able to sponsor a successful and meaningful election for a faculty senate. Members voted to accept Michael Clarke’s statement with the amendment, Option F.

(Minutes submitted by Susan Michalczyk)

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