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10/4/23 Policy Committee Minutes

    Present: Richard Laugesen, David O’Brien, Robert Parker, Carol Symes, Carol Tilley, H. F. Williamson

    Guest: Wen Han

    The meeting began at about 1:34 p.m. with Symes presiding. There was a discussion of the problems that were occurring as individuals attempted to join the meeting by Zoom.

    1. Introductions. Symes welcomed the attendees on behalf of Kar who was unable to attend. She also welcomed Han as a Chapter member attending the meeting.
    2. Review of the Minutes for September 6, 2023, Meeting of Policy Committee. A motion to accept the minutes was made, seconded, and approved.
    3. Vice President’s Report.
      • Symes reported that she and Kar had a meeting with President Killeen and Vice President Jones. This was their first opportunity to meet with them in their roles as leaders of the Chapter. They reviewed some of the topics that had been covered in the meeting with these individuals last May and raised again the need and desirability of showcasing in positive ways what the AAUP’s advocacy enables when it comes to research and teaching. Both President Killeen and Vice President Jones were still very enthusiastic about these efforts. President Killeen also was concerned that AAUP membership, particularly among the STEM fields, was so low. Parker questioned whether Killeen knows what our membership is and noted that until recently we had a large proportion of our active members from STEM fields. O’Brien noted that this decline in STEM membership has been a trend nationally as well. Faculty members are more focused on their professional and industry links. As O’Brien noted, though faculty are glad we are here to respond when tenure gets threatened or shared governance is violated, they do not join whether due to the level of our dues or other reasons or both. He feels it would be possible to increase our membership through more activity across campus if individuals could take the time. He and Parker discussed other possible strategies including recruiting members not on the Policy Committee to participate. O’Brien expressed another concern that by devoting our efforts to issues of tenure and shared governance, we are less likely to attract individuals interested in a broader range of activities such as the Campus Faculty Association. It was agreed that campus leaders should continue meeting with us given the role that the AAUP plays nationally in addressing overreach by administrations and other decisions negatively affecting academic freedom. The discussion concluded by noting that the Chapter impact reaches far beyond its membership in terms of such activities as the Promotion and Tenure Panel and consultations with individual faculty members on promotion and tenure matters. Symes agreed that Killeen may have been challenging us to communicate what we do and why we do it to a broader audience. We need to encourage colleagues to join AAUP even if they don’t see an immediate, personal benefit to themselves.
    4. Schedule for Fall Policy Committee Meetings:
      • The remaining fall meetings will be held electronically at 1:30 p.m. on the following Wednesdays.
      • Wednesday, November 1 (1st Wednesday)
      • NOTE: New date – the meeting was moved one week earlier
      • Wednesday, December 6 (1st Wednesday); Reading Day is December 7
    5. Search for Part Time Web Manager
      • O’Brien posted a draft of the Job Announcement in the Chat for discussion. Williamson asked if we knew how we would pay this individual most simply. Tilley suggested that there are two alternatives: (a) we treat the Web Manager as a contractor whom we are hiring in that capacity who invoices us for their services or (b) we determine a total amount for the period (e.g., a semester) and pay that as an honorarium.
    6. New Business
      1. CFA Campaign. O’Brien reported on what occurred at the meeting at which the CCFA leadership discussed their five-year plans for their next union campaign. Symes noted that we will need to maintain our distinctiveness as an AAUP Chapter and to be sure we understand what is in the contract that they are proposing. Laugesen noted as background that there are unionized groups at the other two UI campuses and for the non-tenure track faculty on this campus, all of which are affiliated with the AAUP.
      2. Promotion and Tenure Panel. Laugesen pointed out that there will be a new component – the DEI component – for the promotion package starting in fall, 2025. It will important that this new component and the public engagement component are covered in the next Panel that we organize or as topics covered in a second panel. Tilley reported that she has returned to her role as Chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee and would be available if that individual continues as a member of the P&T Panel.
      3. Meeting with Administrators. We will contact the staff of the Chancellor regarding setting up a meeting for him with the Policy Committee during the spring semester.
      4. Planning for Annual Meeting. Williamson noted that Kar has asked that we start planning for this event as early as possible and to let him know if someone has a suggestion for a possible program. Williamson noted that it will be held May 7, 2024, if we continue to choose the Tuesday of final examination week.
      5. Guest Report. Symes thanked Han for joining us and asked if she had anything she would like to say. Han noted that though she was aware of AAUP activities nationally such as in Florida, it had been difficult for her to find out about the organization on our campus. She suggested that we consider using departmental-level communications to publicize the AAUP. Symes and Parker thought that would be a great idea and thanked her for her participation. We will pursue such a program once the web site renovation has been completed.
    7. Adjournment. There being no further reports, the meeting adjourned at about 1:30 p.m. As noted above, the next meeting will be at 1:30 p.m. on November 1, 2023