RIT AAUP MARCH 24, 2006: 1:00-1:50 P.M.

In attendance: T. Policano, J. Naud, V. Serravallo, Jim Aumer as substitute for J. Worman, A Scully

1. Ombuds Office Update from President Policano

A committee of four Faculty/Staff are charged to develop an implementation plan to hopefully open an Ombuds Office by Fall 2006. (Note: this is a re-edit made 4/6/06 by TPolicano of the update given at the meeting)

2.  The New York Conference Governance Survey

The results of the New York State AAUP Conference survey are on the RIT-AAUP website.  We have shared them with the Mid-States Review Steering Committee.  We may also provide them to President Simone.

3.  Book and Film Discussion

Secretary Serravallo e-mailed Wallace Library to explore the possibility of having the Institute community read and discuss the book, Shakespeare, Einstein and the Bottom Line, by David Kirp.  The Library forwarded the e-mail to Lynn Wild of the Faculty Institute on Teaching and Learning (FITL), who expressed much interest and then passed the e-mail on to David Neuman in the College of Liberal Arts.  Serravallo will pursue this with Neuman.

Serravallo also proposed an Institute-wide showing of the PBS documentary, “Declining by Degrees” (aired in the summer, 2005).  As it is two hours long, we will consider two one-hour showings and provide sufficient time for discussion.  Serravallo will distribute an e-mail  inviting the RIT community to a showing to be held on a Friday during free hour, 12-1.  The e-mail will include a synopsis of the video, reference to the issues covered in the video that are pertinent to RIT (e.g., grade inflation, retention, pedagogy, competition for enrollments, teaching vs. scholarship), and will ask those interested to register for the showing.  The video could be shown both independently of and in conjunction with the annual FITL conference.

3.  Academic Bill of Rights

The Academic Bill of Rights was introduced to the New York State Legislature in January, 2006, and is now in the Senate Higher Education Committee.  Vice-President Guy-Naud informed Debra Stendardi of RIT’s Government and Community Relations.  In an e-mail of January 16th, Ms. Stendardi requested that we not contact legislators on RIT stationery until she obtains more information on the Bill’s background and intent, and until RIT formulates its position.  We have not heard anything more from her since then.  President Policano will announce the Bill as a forum topic on the Chapter website and pass on the State or National AAUP recommendations.  We may have an open dialogue on the topic without making an RIT-AAUP recommendation.

4.  First-Year Experience

Our issues discussion on the first-year experience is languishing.

5.  Salary Benchmarks

Vice-President Guy-Naud has been meeting with the Offices of Human Relations and the Provost on salary benchmarking, and has provided data for the period between 1992-93 and 2005-06.  These data show two findings:

First, due to revised benchmarking, salaries for all ranks at RIT are now in better standing with our peer institutions (American Association of Independent Technology Schools)—at the 50th percentile position (where half the benchmarked schools’ salaries are less, and half are more).  Since AY 1992-93, each rank at RIT had been well below the 50th percentile.  BUT, this improvement appears to be due not to higher pay but to recent comparisons of RIT with a new mix of benchmarked schools whose salaries are lower than the previous set of schools. 

Secondly, in order to maintain our current standing with benchmarked schools, RIT will need to increase its merit pool for all ranks well above the usual 2% increase; if we maintain the 2% merit pool, all ranks will drop below the 50th percentile position

Vice-President Naud will post his findings on the Chapter website, and will encourage faculty to inform their Academic Senators that the merit pool needs to be increased just to keep our ground.  We may also put the salary data sheet on the Chapter website.

6.  AAUP National Meeting

This year’s meeting will be held June 8-11 in Washington, DC.  Secretary Serravallo will request delegate forms from the National Office.

7.  Administration’s Research Contracts

RIT administration has written a contract document for anyone doing research at RIT, and it leans towards Institute ownership of the research.  This is a possible Issues item we may initiate.  President Policano will examine this and put it on the agenda for the next Chapter meeting.

8.  Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Worman, via substitute, reported that our Chapter get-together at MacGreggor’s last January cost $68.40.  We have a total of $574.61 in our regular share account in the 1st Priority Federal Credit Union.  Two members continue to deposit $5.95 for Chapter dues, a process which has been discontinued.  We decided to have Treasurer Worman inform 1st Priority to stop accepting the funds.

respectfully submitted 3/26/06, revised tba by V Serravallo