Minutes

     

ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
RIT AAUP
DATE: Wednesday August 12, 2009: 12:00-2:00 P.M.
LOCATION: GFH-1500

Officers in attendance: T. Policano, J. Aumer, P. Swartzfager, C. Monikowski
Call to order by President Policano
Minutes of 7/8/09 previously approved by email

OLD BUSINESS
Update on New Faculty Majority

  • Not much happening
  • No info about RIT “orientation for new adjuncts” – what happened with that? Part of the goal for that orientation is for us to help adjuncts understand what they can/cannot ask for in their positions. Should we investigate an anonymous forum?
    •  Green and Sustainability group here at RIT (GRIT) uses a yahoo group where “approved members” (2 moderators allow only RIT fac/staff) can post anonymously; once approved, members can sign up with any emai. Our AAUP forum works the same way, even though we’re “in house”. People are always concerned so maybe we should consider this option. Also, AS wants a better system and will be launching an “e-zine”.
    • ACTION– investigate outside communication forum for ALL faculty and insure confidentiality and anonymity if desired.

AS Standing Committee Charges
RIT Academic Senate: Our AS is composed of elected reps from all colleges (depending on # of fac in each college). All members of AS Executive Committee are faculty; some administrators serve and vote in AS: President, Provost, rep from Staff Council, rep from student body, several other VPs. However, non-tenure/research/emeritus/visiting are not included. We continue to discuss how to get rep for Lecturers.

  • Maybe we can propose two additional Standing Committees: one for Lecturers, lead by a Senior Lecturer with a vote and one for Adjuncts with no voting privileges; they could create their own charges. This would be a philosophical shift for AS because they are based on “function” rather than “title” (although there is a precedent with staff and student reps). Everyone should have a “voice at the table”.

University Policy Review and Development (UPRD) Activities
President Policano is on the task force that will revise and update our Policy & Procedures (see minutes from 7/8/09 for who’s who). Significant changes will be brought to AS for approval; will all faculty read/see all the changes? This requires diligence on the part of those on the task force.

  • President Policano has advocated for – but is not sure if it has been accepted –all P&P revisions to be archived so all can see dates, changes, spirit of changes, etc.
  • EDF – unclear on their title; it may be helpful to have a forum with them to see what they want, how they fit, etc.; perhaps grandfathering them in and future positions can become Lecturers?

NEW BUSINESS
RIT AAUP Action Plan AY 2009-10 (see summary at end of these minutes)
For next meeting, President Policano will send an “action plan” to all faculty, including contingent; that list is supposed to be updated every quarter by HR. President Policano will check on that and report at next meeting.

Fall faculty social – Secretary/J. Aumer
Traditionally, we’ve gone to MacGregor’s; we’ll check into Lovin’ Cup for future but for this one:

  • Friday Sept 18, 4 – 6 (our meeting is same day, 3-4PM) @ MacGregor’s

New Faculty Orientation – Membership/P. Swartzfager
Banner and brochures – P. Swartzfager will make a “postcard” with info from our webpage (purpose, FAQs, etc.).

  • Thursday August 27, 11:30 – 12:45 in WML

OTHER ISSUES
RIT says only tenured/tenure-track faculty can apply for grants – is this in the P&P?

  • Many adjuncts have a history of bringing in $$ but wee need more specifics if we’re going to make a case. For example, Provost doesn’t believe that adjuncts are writing curriculum. ACTION – get specific examples of things non-tenure faculty are doing and not getting credit for so we can improve support and recognition. Can we talk to faculty, privately, and see if we can use their stories? Lots of anecdotal info about different people. ACTION – President Policano to have meeting with Provost about adjunct situations that are confidential and anonymous but real. Be careful…not to become a grievance.

Merging technology services with WML – was this ever discussed with faculty or was it an administration decision?

  • Teaching and Learning lab is now closed to faculty except by appointment for “training”. Drop in/help services are closed; faculty need these hours.

Payroll had a problem this summer and adjuncts got 6 paychecks (the old system), but they were informed and it will go back to 5 in the fall.

RIT finances – no raises but there seem to be 30 or 40 new positions being advertised but not faculty positions. This ties in to “administrative bloat”.

  • ACTION – review administrative bloat at RIT as suggested by President Destler.

Adjuncts – we need to continue to work on this.

  • ACTION – look at seniority for re-hiring adj, some kind of policy??

Distinguished colleague – we need to continue to work on this.

  • ACTION – continue to investigate this possibility.
    • Service, scholarship, or teaching
    • Three/two/one years at a pay rate better than adjuncts
    • Age 65 or more OR 70-year formula
    • Would free up tenure positions but keep valued faculty

COLA Writing Center – new Director from U. of California/Chico
Things have improved some; there will be 33 sections of Writing Seminar per quarter, in an attempt to spread these sections over all quarters…which has a direct impact on non-tenure positions (although some of these sections are taught by tenure/tenure-track faculty). There is continued effort to standardize this course.

COLA – movement forward on Lecturer policy which removes “at will” for the longer term contracts (not tied to budget and/or enrollment but rather, to performance review).

  • AS has charge to discuss “performance review”. Criteria for promotion from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer is still “at will” but the multiple-year contract is not.
  • Criteria for Senior Lecturer needs to be explicit.
    • Terminal degree should be required so individual is qualified to do scholarship and could then move into a TT position as a long-term career path PLUS trying to take back some of the TT positions because we’re saturated.

Meeting adjourned.
Next meeting Friday September 18, 3-4PM @ MacGregor’s (prior to Social).

 

ACTION PLAN summary – not ranked in any order:

1. better communication with our faculty – who we are, what we do, what we can offer

  • Begin with “membership info” at New Faculty Orientation (“postcards” with upcoming social event and meetings, several FAQs, statement of purpose); plan for a more organized “membership campaign” during the year.
  • investigate outside, anonymous online communication forum for ALL faculty
  • chronicle our accomplishments
    • Better communication with all faculty
    • Perhaps a “summary” when announcement for next meeting is distributed?
    • Send announcement out earlier?

2. gather specific examples of activities that non-tenure faculty are doing; can we help them credit/recognition for this work?

3. President Policano will meet with Provost about adjunct situations that are confidential and anonymous but real

  • we do need to be careful and consider the “chart” (for Reporting Concerns about Unethical Conduct, Harassment, or Discrimination) so the individual maintains control over any issues.

4. review “administrative bloat” as suggested by President Destler

  • We could have “town hall” kinds of events and make an effort to reach out to faculty. This also ties in with our goal of “better communication” (see Action Plan #1 above).
  • how do we open up the conversation? This would be a real benefit to RIT and to AAUP. We need to DO more to clarify our reality, more visible.

5. develop a plan for hiring adjuncts

  • Not “last minute” quarter by quarter but perhaps some kind of long-term plan (e.g. annually)
  • What about seniority?

6. continue to investigate possibility of “distinguished colleague” positions

  • Service, scholarship, or teaching
  • Three/two/one years at a pay rate better than adjuncts
  • Age 65 or more OR 70-year formula
  • Would free up tenure positions but keep valued faculty

respectfully submitted C. Monikowski, 8/14/09, revised ______

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