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1/18/24 Policy Committee Minutes

    Present: Hadi Esfahani, Richard Laugesen, Robin Kar, David O’Brien, Robert Parker, Dana Rabin, Leslie Struble, H. F. Williamson

    The meeting began at about 12:35 p.m. with Kar presiding.

    1. Introductions. Kar welcomed the attendees. He noted that he would need to leave the meeting at about 1 p.m. so Carol Symes will assume the chair if she is able to attend. If not, he will ask another officer to chair. In the meantime, he will cover those items on the agenda which are most important for today.
    2. Review of the Minutes for December 6, 2023 Meeting of Policy Committee. Kar reported that these can be approved by unanimous consent and asked if anyone has an objection to that approval. There were no objections, so the minutes were approved by unanimous consent. He noted that if anyone has non-substantive suggestions or corrections, they should send them to him or Bill Williamson. There was one such correction in that the meeting began at about 12:35 p.m., not 1:35 p.m.
    3. President’s Report. Kar hoped that everyone had a wonderful break. He has been following up on a number of the items we discussed in the fall. Rather than presenting a report to cover them, he will discuss them as they appear on the agenda.
    4. Schedule for Spring Policy Committee Meetings: Kar noted that there were no changes in the schedule of the Policy Committee meetings.
      1. Regular Policy Committee Meeting: The meetings will start at 12:30 p.m. on the following dates. The meetings will be held electronically.
        • February 8: (second Thursday)
        • March 7: (first Thursday)
          • Spring Vacation starts March 9 and ends March 17
        • April 4: (first Thursday)
        • May 2: (first Thursday, this is Reading Day)
        • NOTE: May 7 is the Tuesday of final examination week, the day chosen for recent Annual Meetings.
      2. Meetings with Campus Leaders. (to be determined)
    5. Action Items
      1. Meetings with Campus Administrators. Kar raised two topics regarding our proposed meeting with the Chancellor this spring. First, he has talked with Associate Chancellor Christopher Span about the Chancellor’s availability to meet with the Policy Committee following the format we have used in the past. Second, he proposes sending a letter to the Chancellor about the issues facing the campus noting that we are available to consult if we can be of any assistance. There was a wide-ranging discussion of these proposals. There seemed to be agreement that we act on these separately. First, we invite the Chancellor to meet with us following the procedures adopted in the past. Second, once we know his response, we decide whether to send a letter and what the final content will be. Parker suggested inviting both individuals with the worst case being we would have to meet with both. Kar agreed.
      2. Other Actions. Kar indicated that before we discuss the Kilborn case further , we will want to have a copy of the amicus curiae brief prepared by Matthew Finkin. He also noted that he and Carol Symes have not had a chance to contact the AAUP leaders at Bradley to see if our involvement might help.
      3. Spring Meetings. Kar noted that the planning for the two key meetings this spring – the Promotion and Tenure Panel and the Annual Chapter Meeting – will be major items on the agenda for the February Policy Committee meeting.
      4. Report on Chapter Web Site. Kar thanked those who had responded to the request for ranking the different prototypes for the web site. He has given the web manager, Alex Fallaw, the go-ahead to start migrating the information from the old website. While doing this, Fallaw will build a list of links that are broken and other information that is needed and notes on what else needs to be done. Rob will work with him on other features that will improve the site such as choosing appropriate images to illustrate the text. They will then circulate the draft to the entire Policy Committee for its input before it goes public. He concluded the report with a discussion of the administrative procedures involved.
        • NOTE: At this point, Rob Kar stepped down as Chair and turned the meeting over to H. F. Williamson
      5. Status of Annual Chapter Dues for 2024. Williamson reported that the if he used past procedures to notify Chapter members of the dues increase approved at the December Policy Committee meeting, he would send an email to them with the request to pay be check made out to the Chapter and mailed to him by campus or U.S. mail. Before doing that, he wondered if a different format should be chosen in case dues could be paid differently (e.g., from research funds). Laugesen noted this might be feasible if we have an account number with the University since transferring funds from one University account to another is fairly straightforward. Williamson concluded by noting that he would work with Laugesen on a possible solution.
      6. AFT Resolution Supporting Ceasefire in Gaza, Palestine. O’Brien stated that whatever our personal views on this issue, he is reluctant to propose that the group take a position. Parker and Esfahani agreed and suggested that we express our concerns through other venues.
      7. National Day of Action. Parker noted that we hadn’t discussed the invitation we received proposing a National Day of Action. He asked that it be noted in the minutes to be sure it would be considered next month.
    6. Adjournment. There being no further reports the meeting adjourned at about 1:30 p.m. As noted above, the next meeting of the Committee will be at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 8, 2024.