NEWSLETTER OF THE UMKC CHAPTER OF THE
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS
Vol. 3, Nos. 3-4
Faculty Governance Crisis at UMKC
AAUP Executive Committee Resolution
Faculty Senate and Extended Cabinet, by Stuart McAninch
AAUP Governance Symposium
Keynote address by Muriel Poston
Presentation by Phil Olson
Presentation by Gary Ebersole
Discussion: Questions for Muriel Poston
Discussion: Questions for the Faculty Panel
The Faculty by Race and Gender, by Pat Brodsky
Tenure Still Under Threat, by David Brodsky
SBS, Blueprint, and Chronicle of Higher Education
Letter from Dolores A. Potts
Letter from Brian Livingston
Letter from Ana Iriarte
Letter from Alfred Esser
Letter from Pat Brodsky
The Chronicle's editorial bias, by David Brodsky
KC Star on the Future of UMKC
Another Blow to Academic Quality, by Marino Martinez-Carrion
Dystopian Future for KC and UMKC, by David Brodsky
Food for Thought, by Pat Brodsky
University Of Missouri Albatross, by David Ormerod
Erosion of Core Values at MU, by Truman Storvick
News of the Chapter
UMKC Hosts Missouri Philological Conference, Feb. 2004
Faculty Governance Crisis at UMKC
At its final meeting of the fall semester 2002 the UMKC Faculty Senate passed a resolution which would have incorporated the entire Senate into the Chancellor's New Extended Cabinet. Below you will find the emergency resolution drafted by the AAUP Executive Committee and distributed to the chapter membership and all the Senators, and Stuart McAninch's update on this crisis in faculty governance.
AAUP Executive Committee Resolution: Maintain Faculty Senate Independence
December 16, 2002
At its most recent meeting the Faculty Senate passed a resolution requesting that the entire Senate be made members of the Chancellor's extended cabinet, which is currently being reconstituted. The Chancellor has accepted the proposal.
The Executive Committee of the UMKC-AAUP wants to express to the Senate its concern that this action represents both a conflict of interest and a danger to principles of independent faculty governance. We ask that the Senators consider our concern seriously, and we urge that the following actions be taken:
1. In order to protect the separation of elected, faculty bodies and appointive, administrative ones, and to avoid all appearance of a conflict of interest, the Senate should withdraw its request for membership on the extended cabinet, and refuse as an organization either to seek or to permit the inclusion of the Senate in any governance body controlled by or answerable to the administration.
2. The Senate should pass a resolution analogous to the one ratified by the Tulane University Senate outlawing conflicts of interest (see Faculty Advocate Dec. 2002, p. 9): to the effect that faculty are ineligible to serve on the Senate if conflicts of interests arise, such as sitting on the Senate and at the same time on governance bodies that mainly represent the administration.
By taking these actions, the Senate will be making clear to all that it exists to represent the faculty, and intends to defend the principle of faculty governance from becoming blurred or weakened.
Background to the resolutions
The Senate is an elected body which represents the faculty. The extended cabinet is a supposedly advisory body constituted and chosen by the Administration. The charge to the extended cabinet is clearly linked to the goals and methods of the administrative "Vision" (formerly the Blueprint).
The faculty did not elect the Senators to sit on the extended cabinet, but to represent us on the most important faculty governance body on campus. By seeking to be incorporated into a non-elected body that is not part of the official governance structure, we feel the Senate has gone beyond its mandate and is endangering the independent voice of the faculty. Individual faculty are free to join any campus body they choose. But for the faculty's elected representatives to belong simultaneously to an administrative entity, particularly given recent attempts of administrative bodies to make policy, places them in a position of double and conflicting loyalties.
A clear line must be drawn between elected bodies and appointive or voluntary ones, particularly when they emerge from two different constituencies and have different functions.
UM President Floyd's response on December 7 to the AAUP Executive Committee's welcoming letter stated: "I strongly believe in shared governance within the University." But without independent faculty self-governance, shared governance is likewise rendered meaningless. As Muriel Poston of the national AAUP office stated at our symposium on governance in October, when administration chooses the faculty who are to participate in decision-making, "that's not shared governance.... they don't represent the faculty. They represent their own individual faculty expertise, but they don't represent the faculty. Representation involves democracy with a small 'd'. You elect your representatives."
The Chancellor 's Extended Cabinet is a Blueprint project, and, as The Faculty Advocate reported (Dec. 2000), "the tendency of the Blueprint is to undermine faculty prerogatives and responsibilities in the areas of curriculum and governance." Also, "the Blueprint process is fatally flawed because it violates the principle of shared governance, which allocates to each component of the university primary authority and responsibility." And, "as the 1994 AAUP statement on governance warns, 'an inadequate governance system--one in which the faculty is not accorded primacy in academic matters--compromises the conditions in which academic freedom is likely to thrive'" (AAUP Policy Documents and Reports , p. 189).
The Faculty Senate and the Chancellor's Extended Cabinet
by Stuart McAninch
Dialogue and decisions in the Faculty Senate during the past four months concerning its proper relationship with the Chancellor's "New Extended Cabinet" (which apparently is a restructuring of the Extended Cabinet already in place) raise important issues concerning the nature of faculty and shared governance. While the Faculty Senate is the body elected by voting faculty to represent faculty in shared governance at the University level, the Extended Cabinet is an advisory body created by the Chancellor which is, according to an e-mail from the Chancellor's office identifying accountabilities of Extended Cabinet members, to "[p]rovide and model leadership in the context of our vision and values" and to "[s]trengthen and stabilize the emerging UMKC culture."
While it is not always clear to outside observers exactly what the concrete functions of the Extended Cabinet are, the statement of accountabilities does make clear its linkage to "the emerging UMKC culture" which was to come out of the transformation process initiated by the Chancellor through Gordon Starr's workshops (see Faculty Advocate Oct. 2001 for a description) and through the work of subsequent Blueprint groups.
At its December 3 meeting, the Senate passed the following resolution: "That the Senate as a whole be a part of the Extended Cabinet." After a call for reconsideration of that resolution, the Senate rescinded it and adopted the following one instead: "That the Faculty Senate recommends that in view of their commitment to serve as faculty representatives and the potential benefits of Faculty Senators having first-hand knowledge of and involvement in the free exchange of ideas contemplated in the Extended Cabinet forum, each duly-elected Faculty Senator should have, and is encouraged (but not in any way obligated) to exercise, the right to become a member of the Extended Cabinet at his or her option."
It is significant that AAUP Senators ourselves were divided in our voting on these resolutions. It is also significant (and I suppose that I write here as someone trained in the social-philosophical foundations of education) that dialogue in the Senate did not include an effort to identify value positions regarding faculty and shared governance which might have informed Senate action on this and other issues concerning the relationship between the Senate and the central administration. This is a critically important debate which needs to happen within both the AAUP Chapter and the Senate.
Proponents of the rescinded resolution and its successor made a number of arguments during both formal dialogue and informal conversation. It was argued, for instance, that membership of Senators on the Extended Cabinet would increase the faculty voice in that body. It was argued that the Extended Cabinet enables exchanges of ideas and networking between faculty and other employees of the University. It was also argued that important planning and dialogues occur in the Extended Cabinet, and that Senators involved in that body could report on significant ideas and developments to the Senate.
However, even if one concedes the obvious need, for instance, of exchanges of ideas and networking between faculty and other employees, is the Extended Cabinet the appropriate forum for such exchanges and networking? It is hardly an independent forum. Its work is framed by a particular vision of transformation of the University. Members are, according to the Chancellor's accountabilities document, to "[e]nsure implementation of actions that lead to results in the units." While such actions are to presumably be guided by a "shared vision", I have directly experienced being TOLD by Gordon Starr in a transformation workshop what that "shared vision" is.
Moreover, the greatest threat to faculty involvement in shared governance does not necessarily lie in a dramatic action by the Chancellor (ordering the Extended Cabinet to engage in a particular course of action or initiating an inappropriate vote of one sort or another for a non-elected body, for instance). Rather, the greatest threat may very well be more subtle and structural: the siphoning of dialogue and planning from elected and independent bodies. Descriptions of the Extended Cabinet I have heard from Senators cause me to think of Howell John Harris' description in The Right To Manage (U. Wisconsin Press, 1982) of the company unions common in the U.S. during the 1920s. Harris notes that those company unions in most cases were not all bad: they provided workers a forum to be heard by management and provided some at least limited improvement of working environments and/or standards of living (while ignoring more fundamental concerns, grievances, and demands). They also, though, enabled management to control worker-management dialogue and to head off (until the Wagner act) the organization of autonomous representative employee bodies.
An elected Faculty Senate independent of the Chancellor's agenda for change needs to be the formal body for interaction between elected faculty representatives, on the one hand, and the Provost and Chancellor, on the other. The Senate needs to be the center for faculty participation in shared governance at the University level--and for exchanges between faculty representatives and senior administrators. If promoting exchanges of ideas and networking between faculty and other employees is a desirable goal (and it is), then the Senate needs to take the leading role on the faculty side in doing this. And if the quality of communication between the Senate and senior administrators and the involvement of the Senate in key University dialogues and planning are problematic, then the problems need to be fixed in the Senate rather than in the Extended Cabinet.
A shrinking tenure-line faculty needs to set priorities on where to devote our energy and time. For Senators, that energy and time need to be spent working to invigorate the Senate as an independent deliberative body rather than being diverted into the Extended Cabinet. Developing, for instance, a strong budget committee in the Senate and an active role in the budget-making process will take a tremendous sustained commitment of energy and time. A meaningful voice for faculty in University governance can only occur in an invigorated Senate. It cannot occur within the Extended Cabinet.
AAUP Governance Symposium
The Faculty Advocate continues publication of material from the AAUP chapter conference, "Putting the Faculty back into Shared Governance," October 25, 2002. The following are edited and abbreviated transcriptions of the proceedings. See the December 2002 issue for the first installment.
by Muriel Poston
Shared governance is grounded in the principles of cooperation and collegiality, i.e. all components of the institution agree to their interdependence, to mutual communication, and to the effectiveness of joint action. The roles and responsibilities for governance are distributed among the three parties, faculty, admininstration, and the governing board. The main responsibility of the governing board is fiduciary and interfacing with the public. The administration is delegated leadership and managerial functions, such as planning, organization, operation, and representation of the institution. The faculty have primary responsibility for educational policy with regard to curriculum, instruction, research, faculty status, and those aspects of student life that relate to the educational process. Students, though transitory, form yet another core constituency of shared institutional responsibility and potential for academic leadership.
The voice of each of the three main components has a different weight depending on its delegated responsibility. For example, in matters of general educational policy the primary responsibility is vested in the faculty. Strategic planning often originates with the president. And selection of the president and other academic officers may start with the governing board. Faculty recommendations are subject to endorsement by the president and governing board and vice-versa.
Most significant for faculty, faculty participation in shared governance is not only a right but an ethical obligation of the profession [emphasis Ed.], as clarified in an AAUP statement on professional ethics. Faculty commitment to participation in governance may also increase the areas over which faculty can claim primacy, responsibility, or expertise. Expanding the faculty role in shared governance is key to our being able to maintain our proper role in the current governance of institutions, in the context of the public good and our stewardship of higher education.
Several interrelated factors weaken shared governance and undermine academic leadership. One is the failure of the administration, the governing board, and faculty to collaborate. Another is faculty apathy. A third is the perception of a lack of common interests and community in the academic enterprise.
The case of Francis Marion University
Francis Marion University is a public liberal arts institution in South Carolina. AAUP governance principles concerning faculty status, academic program restructuring, selection of academic administrators, and budgetary review were abrogated by the governing board and its newly appointed president. They were restored by the faculty, with the help of the national AAUP organization, which imposed sanctions on the Francis Marion administration. AAUP sanction occurs in the context of governance, while AAUP censure occurs when academic freedom and tenure processes have been abrogated. The principal force that turned Francis Marion around was not sanction, however, but activism by the university's faculty.
The governing board and president attempted to impose a new faculty performance evaluation process, including outside review teams, promoting administration sympathizers as "faculty leaders," and eliminating faculty or revoking the tenure of "those members who do not meet the requirements of the faculty and campus of the future." Other means to increased administration control were post-tenure review, mandatory student evaluations, and classroom visitations by academic administrators. The President also restructured the university, reducing the number of departments and imposing new departmental chairs. The Faculty Senate was not consulted and learned about the changes from a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
The Faculty Senate and local AAUP chapter voted no confidence in the president. In response to a request for assistance from the national office, an investigating team was sent to examine the status of governance on campus. Campus interviews were conducted, documents reviewed, and a report prepared with a recommendation for sanctions. The sanction recommendation was brought to the annual meeting in 1997 and approved.
Only two years later there was a new administration and governing board. Faculty activism changed the election process of the governing board, its composition was altered, and a new president was elected. The new President, Fred Carter, worked with the faculty to restore the principles of shared governance, academic freedom, and due process, and because the AAUP chapter noted substantial progress, the sanction was removed in 2000. In 2001 the President of Francis Marion and the institution received one of AAUP's highest honors, the Brown award, for institutions representing the best practices of shared governance.
[Poston recommended Fred Carter as a speaker the UMKC chapter might consider inviting, a president "who helped bring an institution back from the brink to sound practices."]
The main lesson learned from the Francis Marion experience is that faculty who demonstrate academic leadership and take responsibility for governance help to insure that there is a full diversity of expertise and interest that can shape the university. It also sends a message to other constituents that faculty are committed to furthering and supporting the quality of the academic enterprise.
Other effective strategies
Writing a faculty handbook is another way for AAUP members to become engaged in governance. It would include compiling regulations and policies currently scattered throughout various documents. And it would give an opportunity to reframe existing documents, and to be more proactive with the administration.
Faculty handbooks typically contain a section on the governance of the institution, such as the composition and authority of the Board, the administration, and the faculty, with inclusions of or references to the faculty constitution or how faculty governance is structured. Other typical components of a Handbook deal with: faculty appointments, tenure and promotion, evaluation of non-tenure-track and part-time faculty, and termination; academic freedom, ethics, sexual harassment, research policies, policies governing students; faculty grievance procedures (a most critical section) and due process; teaching and workloads. The Faculty Handbook not only collects the existing rules and regulations of the institution but also adds what is missing [emphasis Ed.].
Another useful governance strategy is to have faculty representatives on Board of Trustees. The faculty vote on the board is marginal. What is more important is getting access to the meetings in order to be able to ask key questions and raise issues about how various administrative functions are organized.
Sources for AAUP policies on shared governance: 1) AAUP 1966 "Statement on Government in Colleges and Universities," formulated jointly with the Association of Governing Boards and the American Council on Education, an association for 3000 College presidents; 2) 1988 AAUP statement on academic government for institutions engaged in collective bargaining; 3) 1994 AAUP statement that shared governance supports academic freedom; 4) 1997 issue of Academe (Bulletin of the AAUP), on shared governance, governing boards and academic searches; and 5) July-August 2002 issue of Academe , about the "critical state of shared governance," its extension to community colleges, and its strengthening on Black college campuses.
Muriel Poston earned a PhD in Biology from UCLA and a law degree from University of Maryland. A member of the Howard University faculty since 1980 and an active participant in its AAUP chapter and faculty governing bodies, she joined the AAUP national staff in 2002 and now holds a position with the National Science Foundation.
Faculty Need Organizations Representing their Interests
by Phil Olson
Olson began by reminding the audience of the key role the AAUP has played historically in advocating for academic freedom. Younger faculty may be unaware that without AAUP efforts to have concepts like tenure and academic freedom established nationwide these institutions would not exist. He cited the example of the 1922 AAUP censure of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, when the President, motivated by personal jealousy and conservative bias, arbitrarily shut down a meeting with an outside speaker which was organized by faculty and students. The speaker was Socialist Party member and anti-war activist Scott Nearing, who drew a much bigger crowd to his lecture than attended the President's own address scheduled at the same time.
Administrators have the opportunity to meet on a regular basis, to share information about how they "handle" particular situations, and to draw up strategies counter to faculty governance. They are looking out for their own interests and their travel is paid through public funding. Many corporate strategies and policies are disseminated at their conferences. Olson proposed that faculty have equal opportunity to participate in issues of faculty governance and receive institutional funding to attend meetings of organizations representing faculty interests. Without them faculty are at a disadvantage.
Phil Olson is a member of the Sociology Department.
The Administration Must Honor the Collected Rules and Regulations of the University
by Gary Ebersole
As you all know we are facing budget cuts, and after the election probably more cuts from state funding. These can be excuses for administrators to make drastic cuts and decisions on their own. In addition, since the present Chancellor arrived, she has run a Blueprint process on campus, which brings in administrators, faculty, staff, students, and some community people. There is some good that comes out of doing that. However, her repeated meetings with business consultants have been used by her as a way to circumvent ordinary decision-making processes and ordinary decision-making bodies and committees which, in fact, are required by statute. Priorities are being set that have a huge impact on the academic programs, with very limited faculty input.
The second mechanism or body that she uses is the appointment of the Cabinet. She has an executive cabinet which consists of the Vice-Chancellors and some Associate Vice-Chancellors as well as a handful of other administrators. The cabinet consists of 36 people, of whom one faculty member is Chair of the Faculty Senate, and the second is appointed by the Chancellor.
Last spring I was deeply offended by the fact that the Chancellor publicly announced that she would allow a faculty person, that is, the Chair of the Faculty Senate, to serve at the cabinet level. Her position was that she did not have to recognize the Faculty Senate as a legitimate body, unless a full 50% of the faculty voted. That's outrageous. Not only that, Oak St. campaigned for one candidate as somebody whom the administration could work with.
In light of what happened, I decided we needed to go back and see what the rules and regulations were. In this proposal to establish a budget advisory committee, on page one is included the following, lifted from the University of Missouri Collected Rules and Regulations. What I am suggesting as a strategy is, quote the law to them, because they are in violation time and again. Here's what the regulation says, it's section 140.020, entitled "Financial Planning."
It indicates that the university community is obligated to do the sound planning that would enable the university to avoid a bad budget situation. Or in the event of financial crisis, to preserve its essential educational functions to the greatest extent possible. Section B. of these Rules and Regulations say (I quote directly): "Primary responsibility for projections of fiscal resources and their allocation rest with the campus, with necessary support and coordination functions being provided by central administration offices. Hence, it's especially important that each campus have such a resource/planning committee or committees, each including a substantial number of faculty members designated by a representatively elected faculty governance body, to be informed by, and to be involved with, the chancellors and their staff in dealing with capital fiscal planning and allocation. Similarly structured advisory committees should also be considered within major campus administrative subdivisions." That is, faculty have the right to be on the budget committees of every unit on campus, in every administrative unit as well. In addition, "except for required faculty membership, the composition of such committees is a prerogative of the campus or subunit." That is, all kinds of appointments can be made to these committees. What they cannot do is abrogate this substantial faculty representation."
I want to challenge everybody here, every member of the faculty, that what we want is to get on the committees where policy decisions are made. Right now policies are set and campus priorities are determined and imposed on the faculty. When I sat on the Senate, we talked often of how the Senate was reactive rather than proactive. That's endemic to the situation when you are excluded from the decision-making process, all you can do is respond to the policies and decisions and priorities that are imposed on you. The faculty needs to quote Scripture, if you will, back to the administration. At every level.
I served on the extended cabinet for over a year and half. There's a cultic aspect to that, which I won't get into. But I was there defensively. I went back to my appointment book and counted the hours I put in last year. It added up to 160 hours of Blueprint meetings, committee meetings, subcommittee meetings. That's a chunk out of my life that I won't recover. Unless we get faculty representation, as the Rules and Regulations stipulate, say we should have, must have.
Here is a document handed out at the last Blueprint meeting that I attended and will attend. It's a list of UMKC goals, measures, actions, steps. One that should concern us is an announcement coming out of a Blueprint committee, not a faculty committee (faculty representation is usually 20% or less). It says: "By 2004 we [who the we is we don't know] will generate substantial changes to the promotion and tenure policy.' Once again a breach of what we have been talking about, fundamental faculty prerogatives. This is announced, this is what we will do, we may or may not consult faculty down the line about it.
I have a good friend and colleague, Chuck Long, who has been my inspiration for many years. Chuck is one of the few African-American scholars in my field, and he has shared with me and others this wonderful bit of wisdom from the African-American community. I point to them because I think the faculty locally is an equally discriminated against community, a repressed community. There's an African-American saying that goes: "Signifying is worse than lying." Signifying is the ability to name something, to label it, to characterize individuals and groups. Signifying is when a Chancellor says, "People who disagree with me are terrorists," or "obstructionists," or "trouble-makers," and so on. Signifying is worse than lying because it obfuscates reality, the real power relationships. It shifts the discourse without taking responsibility for doing so. Signifying is having a chancellor dismiss the Faculty Senate as a bunch of whiners.
Now, if I wanted to be aligned--and believe me, in 18-20 months of Blueprinting you have heard that all too often--quite frankly, if I wanted to be aligned, I'd go to a chiropractor. We need to recover a university that invites, that encourages, that rewards principled differences that are openly discussed. Instead, what we have is attempts to punish people for holding contrary or principled positions that differ from the administration's. We are signified upon. Chuck Long's other phrase that I like is, "it makes all the difference in the world if you get to signify, or if you're signified upon." Most of you have been signified upon.
Let me end by saying that I agree with our speaker today, Dr. Poston. One of the things we could do is to systematize the rules and regulations that guarantee, that should guarantee, faculty participation in the setting of institutional priorities, and the movement of monies from one place to another. We need to systematize that, we need to publicize it, we need to publish it, we need to get the word out that faculty do have power. It comes with responsibility, which I return to, serving on these committees. We have to do it, you don't get rewarded ... Never mind, we do get rewarded. [Holds up a plaque for participating in the Blueprint, great laughter from audience]. This is what I got for 160 hours of my life last year.
I'll tell you one other thing I got. We haven't spoken about this publicly before. We had an election for chair of the History Department in the spring. Reluctantly, I decided that I would stand for chair because it was a difficult time. I was unanimously elected by the faculty and approved by the dean and turned down by the provost at the chancellor level, with no reason given. Two months later, over a beer with the provost, I was told that he had spoken with several well-placed people on campus, who had told him I did not have the best interests of the campus in mind. I was actually happy not to have to serve. On the other hand, I couldn't believe that that was the real reason. My suspicion is that I've been vocal for faculty rights, for faculty prerogatives. We have to be. Every one of us has to go out and get other faculty members to recognize this. My historical knowledge tells me that the tenure of administrators is much shorter than the tenure I have and that some of you enjoy as well. We have to use the tenure that we do have to resist.
Gary Ebersole is a member of the History Department.
Discussion: Questions for Muriel Poston
1. What role should the faculty have in governance of research? Particularly on this campus the administration is using up a larger and larger fraction of economic resources, essentially diminishing what is available for academic programs.
Poston: There's an AAUP policy statement on that question: "The Role Of Faculty In Budgetary And Salary Matters." Faculty should participate both in the preparation of the total institutional budget, within the framework of the total budget, and decisions relevant to the further apportioning of its specific fiscal divisions: salaries, academic programs, tuition, physical plant and grounds, etc. So faculty do have some authority with regard to allocation between the administrative side and the academic program side.
In public institutions you can at least get some sense of the allocation of resources to personnel costs and academic program costs and administrative capital budgets, etc. But in private institutions you have access only to [Internal Revenue Service Form] 990s, which really aren't going to tell you anything more than large categories of operational budget. It does require background work on the part of faculty. The national office can provide training in how to look at the operating budget of institutions so that you can read them.
2. How do faculty deal with an administration that punishes them for disagreeing? Many of us are in the awkward position knowing in our gut that things are not right but trying to find ways to do it without sacrificing our careers.
Poston: It is a challenge. The more people in a movement, the stronger it is. 40-50% of the faculty belonging to a chapter lends a different kind of weight to the argument and to the kinds of protections that all faculty can receive than a relatively small cohort. In institutions where chapters are starting to build, it can be very difficult, but it is possible to be effective. The chapter at the University of Southern Mississippi, which has about 600 faculty, began when faculty were cut out of the process of selecting a new president, and it now numbers about 150. Even with that modest number, faculty managed to insert themselves into the selection process of the president. The Board declared the three finalists would come to campus for 20 minute interviews. So the chapter provide candidate evaluations in that 20 minute process. Faculty filled out forms, which were collected and analyzed and then published in the Hattiesburg Press. The candidate pre-selected by the Board--it was presumably an inside job all along--was appointed president. Because he was not supported by the faculty, the act of public evaluation engaged the local community. When he was installed as president, the first group he met with was the AAUP chapter.
The protection of individuals occurs by having solidarity, and being able to work together to solve those kinds of problems. We all stand up for what we believe in. I was Senate President when we voted no confidence in the president of Howard University. For an historically black college that wasn't easy. When you're out front like that you may get the label saying "You are the official troublemaker." But let me tell you, it's a wonderful shield. It can allow you to say things that some of your colleagues may not be able to say. Of course, I had 400 colleagues who voted overwhelmingly with us that the current leadership was completely unacceptable to the institution.
3. Could you speak not about the apathy of other faculty members but their resignation and how other institutions address it? E.g. faculty feel the situation is so bad there's no possibility to change anything, so they decide to do their own thing and hope to survive.
Poston: Here is the argument I make to my colleagues at Howard, and I've heard people make it at other institutions: "survival is not possible if we don't get engagement." We don't ask everyone to be an activist. But if you come and sign in to the meeting, then we've got a quorum. You may not be able to stay, but no one can question that there weren't 150 people in the room. The quorum allowed you to convene the meeting and take that particular action. So it's not all about being activists. The only way we're going to change the state of our institutions is if we participate in some modest way in changing them. You can engage people by addressing what is important to them.
4. Sometimes it is very easy for adminstrations to demonstrate shared governance or faculty participation by selecting those who participate.
Poston: That's not shared governance
Questioner: How do you deal with this situation? It is the mechanism that is used to demonstrate to the outside world, to the governing board, to the media the legitimacy of the system.
Poston: By saying they don't represent the faculty. They represent their own individual faculty expertise, but they don't represent the faculty. Representation involves democracy with a small "d". You elect your representatives [Emphasis Ed.]. Or you delegate the authority to elect your representatives to your elected body. Faculties have rejected appointed representatives, despite their expertise for the task at hand, to demonstrate their support for electing or selecting their own representatives. St. Louis University has actually encoded that principle now in their faculty handbook.
5. An effective dean starts from the assumption that he or she is a faculty member and speaks for the faculty. But the dean is also an administrator, that is, has a dual role. Our chancellor is taking the position that it's a 100% administrative job. The job of the dean is to keep the faculty in line, and you suspect the department chairs will do the same. Administrative power is moving farther and farther down.
Poston: It's symptomatic now of the corporate model. We are moving from department chairs, a position that used to be rotated among peers, to department heads, a position that can be held for an extraordinarily long time. Clearly in the selection of a dean faculty should be the majority of a committee, and they should be in that school or college. Their recommendation should be ignored only if there are extraordinary reasons, which should be provided to the faculty.
When a dean is recruited from outside the faculty still have leverage. Not too many deans will accept a job without retreat rights into a department [i.e. a tenured position in a faculty unit after their administrative term of service has finished]. But retreat rights imply there will be faculty peer review of that appointment. It is unusual for someone to get de facto administrative tenure as a dean. And that dean usually wants to move up the administration ladder and doesn't want that fact associated with his record. That's one way to make the process of deaconal selection have some responsibility to the faculty. In other words, departments may not accept the tenured appointment to the faculty of an imposed outside dean.
6. Concerning threats and intimidation, e.g. you must do this or else you will be dissolved as a unit. That happened here. What sort of recourse do you have?
Poston: That happened to my botany department. When you get edicts like that, it's a difficult challenge. As a department, you can either stand up and say we refuse to accept this, which we attempted to do in botany. Or you can accept it, but stipulate conditions under which faculty will shape the outcome. What we did internally--and this may not be a solution when it's an entire school--was to carve out how the curriculum was going to be transformed, in order to sustain some part of botany within a biology curriculum.
There are also AAUP policies regarding program restructuring when there is dissolution of an entire school. Faculty have responsibilities with regard to that restructuring. If you start the dialogue and state these are the principles by which we will agree to restructure, it can send an administration into a tizzy, because you have created the dialogue and they have to be responsive to you. That's one piece of being proactive. Think about a faculty handbook, also, as a proactive tactic.
Nevertheless, corporate restructuring can be quite destructive. For example, the Department of Plant Biology at University of California, Berkeley ended up being the Novartis Department of Plant Biology. But Novartis has just pulled out and ended funding. The department has lost its graduate support and 2-3 faculty lines. This is what happens when you hand over support for an entire department to an external corporate entity. It can be a salutary lesson to the rest of the world, because the department is left with all of these structures in place and without the resources to support them [Emphasis Ed.].
7. How do you overcome intra-institutional infighting, jealousies, etc. to get the faculty as a whole to see the bigger picture. E.g. at UMKC, they refuse to see that the entire faculty is at risk.
Poston: Tell them to look at who comes next: classics, humanities, foreign languages, etc. Foreign languages these days get morphed into: "we're going to teach language instruction, there is no culture or literature, because we don't have to worry about that. Just provide the language to the business school, because the corporate types need to be able to communicate on the golf course." Or it could be the College of Dentistry. If you look at the institutions that are dying on the vine at the greatest rate, it's Dentistry.
8. Most of these AAUP documents were written in 1940 and 1966. In the sixties we really did have faculty governance to a much greater degree, much more like those rules. They gradually eroded. What you just said is an astounding set of rules, mainly that we're in charge. That's mind boggling. How do you get that across to a younger generation that has never seen faculty governance? [Emphasis Ed.]
Poston: You know the scary thing about that younger generation: we educated them, they were our graduate students. It's really our reengagement with a bunch of principles that were important for our major professors in the 60s and 70s that might start to turn this ship a little bit. But the fact that the number of tenure-track lines has now shrunk below 50% is because in essence we said OK to those non-tenure-track contingent hires. How we're going to change that is to say, we won't hire that way any more. We're not going to teach those classes. At Howard, for example, the department chair and faculty said: "we're going to close down the number of sections of chemistry. We won't teach them any more unless you give us two more tenure-track lines." The students then got annoyed and they opened up two new lines.
The quality of education we are getting--and I'm sorry if I'm offending anybody--is undermined because we can't stabilize the contingent lines in our department and can't guarantee who is going to be there semester to semester. This erodes the quality of education. For public institutions, to me that ought to be a no-brainer. Because public taxpayers dollars are insuring that Joe and Joanna are supposed to get a quality education. What the California State University system just did--and I admit, they are under collective bargaining, and it's harder when we're not--is to declare they will add 1200 full-time tenure-track lines this year. They gave up the contingent faculty.
9. Ever since I've been here I've asked why there isn't something like a faculty and/or staff union. A place where people from different units can come together. This tends to be a very insular campus with different locations for schools. People rarely see others outside their own unit. I think this is really detrimental to creating shared commitment.
Poston: Offer different kinds of programs, different kinds of social opportunities to bring people together in different ways. Publish a a staff newsletter or electronic communication that tells what the issues might be on the staff side and a faculty newsletter or electronic communication that shares that same list. There are shared opportunities between faculty and students. One alliance AAUP should think about is between the Faculty Senate and the student government. Students are very powerful in shaping change. If it's an issue of having adequate resources for their academic program, that's something we care about and something they care about. Sometimes they can get the message to the administration when the faculty are ignored.
10. I'm speaking as a staff person, because I don't have the academic background. Staff and faculty have always been considered separate. You bring up Faculty Senate and student government but overlook staff government.
Poston: Part of the reason is because staff technically are part of the administrative structure. Many institutions don't have faculty councils or faculty senates, they have university councils which represent all of the constituencies: staff, students, faculty, and administration are voting members. And it works in some places. What happens in that structure is open communication and an opportunity to share around common issues. But when staff are not treated with the kind of respect and salary support they need to do their jobs, it's a domino effect, neither can faculty or students be served. In many places staff are more organized than the faculty. Staff have access to collective bargaining which faculty don't in some places. Faculty and staff looking at common areas allow staff to carry a message that faculty can't.
Questioner: shared ideas between faculty and staff increases power in numbers. It's sad they are now separate.
Poston: It's easy to be separate when there are enough resources. But there's nothing like shrinking economic resources to bring everyone to the same table.
Discussion: Questions for the Faculty Panel
I. Responding to Phil Olson's proposal for faculty organizations and conferences that represent faculty interests
Pat Brodsky: Such venues exist already within the AAUP structure. State and regional meetings include workshops and information sharing, strategy sharing, summer workshops at different schools around the country. Some of us have gone and we urge people to consider going each summer. The workshops include everything from putting out a newsletter to creating a faculty handbook to learning about collective bargaining and everything in between. There's a national meeting every year to which members are invited.
Olson: But they have to pay their own way.
Brodsky: There is some money. In fact this year we got a Konheim fellowship from the national to send a representative to the workshop in San Diego.
Olson: But no university money.
Brodsky: No university money, certainly.
Olson: That's what I'm pointing out, university money is for all the rest of them, but there ought to be university money for us.
Poston: There are conferences, too, like the AAUP governance conference, where faculty from a wide range of institutions attend, from research to small liberal arts colleges. There were 225 at the conference this past weekend. It's an opportunity to learn from each other in much the same way that faculty would if they were to have a national network of councils. I would also point out that all of us belong to disciplinary associations. It is another opportunity to network and to talk about ways in which the governance structures work. I raise this point because I am a member of the Ecological Society, which has not yet endorsed the 1940 [AAUP] statement [on Academic Freedom], and I have started prodding them to do that.
Brodsky: I was looking at the Modern Language Association program for the convention this December in New York and there is no AAUP table at the display at the exhibit hall.
Poston: That's something we have been talking about, I'll remind [AAUP General Secretary] Mary [Burgan] of that. She's a member of MLA. It ought to be something that we do.
Brodsky: We should try to put in requests to ORA for funding to go to an AAUP conference and see what happens, especially if we are giving a presentation.
Poston: We would be very interested in faculty offering to give workshops. I think it would be wonderful to have SBS come give a little chat.
II. Responding to Gary Ebersole's proposal to confront the administration with the rules, regulations, and state laws it has violated.
1: What do you do when a top administrator breaks the bylaws?
Poston: I assume you've censured [Gilliland] already.
Response: No, only SBS has.
Poston: I meant university wide. You have to build the political will for that. There is also the AAUP Missouri conference which includes many public institutions, it can be used as an example of solidarity amongst the AAUP chapters, because there's been a major violation of academic policy by breaking the bylaws. At a minimum, if you can't proceed to a campus-wide accountability, you could do it from like-minded chapters throughout the state. There are donors who would not appreciate knowing that the administration has violated principles of academic freedom, due process, and governance.
Get on the phone, talk to your colleagues, ask, "Did your President do this?" If the answer is no, then you can say, look, we really want to be compared to e.g. UC Berkeley, UCLA, etc. You've got the 88 institutions of the AAU, take your pick. Argue that administration policy at UMKC will keep us out of that ranking. You could also write US News and World Report yourself. Those are all public relations issues. And US News looks at how faculty are perceived on that campus and at how faculty value the quality of the academic enterprise. I would say: "by virtue of these actions we really would compromise the academic quality and the kind of education our students can receive. This is the kind of thing you might want to share with other college presidents when they're ranking our institution, because we care about the institution, we're the core of it."
2. Many SBS faculty wonder if it's really necessary to attack the institution in order to better a part of the institution? Is it fair to go out into community and belittle the university that is paying their salary, and that you should owe some allegiance to. Your argument and mine is that you also have allegiance to principles, to your discipline, to the greater good. In the end you'll make it better, but it could be a bitter medicine.
Poston: There are arguments that you cannot go against the institution because any negative statement harms the institution, but the issue is that the faculty are the core of the institution. And if the faculty's rights and responsibilities and ability to shape the curriculum and the mission of the institution, or the educational enterprise of the institution, are compromised then the institution can't maintain the quality that's necessary. The argument is that we are protecting it by saying that this is inappropriate behavior on the part of an administrator. The tension that occurs is that if we don't critique it, we can't sustain it. That is what we do, that is part of the academic [structure] that makes us the centerpiece of universities and colleges. We were there before most administrators came and we'll be there after they're gone. What we do--our scholarship, teaching, and service--provides the integrity of the academic enterprise. One word used a lot now is integrity. And you can turn that back on them.
3. I support Gary's comment that we need to quote the bylaws back to the administration. The Senate itself must read the bylaws. But the Senate is not the sole source for faculty governance. The bylaws of the various schools spell out faculty governance organizations. Our school [SBS] has a very strong one. I find it baffling and frustrating that in areas such as the request for mediation supported by an almost unanimous vote from the faculty of a particular school, the Senate essentially ignored it. They treat the governing body established in the bylaws of the school as if they don't matter, as if they are ad hoc. We don't just have to quote the bylaws to the administration, the Senate has to do a better job of being aware of the bylaws and respecting the province of a unit's faculty organization. Even if they don't agree, at least they should ask questions. The Senate appeared to do a better job in the case of the School of Education. With SBS I personally thought that the Senate really abrogated its responsibilities.
Brodsky: As we place more AAUP members on the Senate, one of the things that the members can do is to hold their feet to the fire. We're not a majority yet, but we can keep raising issues, as Gary has done. Be obnoxious about it, on issue X this is what the rules say.
Questioner: Read the bylaws to Senate members and confront them. You defend your complacency and complicity. Agree with our side or not, tell us why you aren't bothered by breaking the bylaws of the university system. Anyone who can't defend that position shouldn't be on the Senate.
Ebersole: We will get people volunteering for committees when the committees have clout. Until faculty become the majority on committees ... even then it's not a slam dunk they will support faculty interests, since faculty are contentious and obstreperous and disagree among themselves. But you can still use your position. I was the only faculty member on the budget committee, and I just kept pounding and pounding like a broken record, saying faculty have to be there. And now we have in the document justification for 8 of 19. I'm not happy with that, I really wanted 50%. But it's much better than previously.
Mirkin: I agree with you. But faculty representatives on any committee have to be selected by faculty. We are not doing ourselves a favor if we allow administrators to do the selection. From dean level all the way up, administrators say that "we have faculty, we appointed them, we appointed responsible faculty." Sometimes they do. But no one who is appointed can claim to speak for the faculty, at least not in a democratic society. To be a representative they need some kind of an election process.
Comment: I find it incredible for the Chancellor to say that I have so many faculty petitions coming across my desk I just don't read them.
Ebersole: We must regain control of the spin. They have a huge operation called university communications, they keep changing the name, but that's what it used to be called. It tries to control the image of the university. We need to talk to the Lynn Franeys and others, e.g. when an award for the Chancellor is announced for protecting faculty rights we can say this is a bogus inside job, this is spin pure and simple.
The Faculty by Race and Gender: How are we Doing?
by Pat Brodsky
Given the recent
to reverse the progress made in hiring thanks to the principles of
action, I thought it would be interesting to see how well UMKC was
and what sort of message we were thereby sending to our students and
community. My thanks to Susan Hartley of the Division of Academic
for providing data, from which I extrapolated campus-wide figures
as of December 2002. Analytical categories also come from this
|Native American/Alaskan Native||1||0.5|
|Native American/Alaskan Native||1||0.6|
Among tenured and tenure-track faculty, UMKC maintains a severe racial and gender imbalance, with 82.9% being white and 65.6% male. Among non-tenure-track faculty the gender balance is even, but the racial distribution is even worse, with 87.1% white.
The figures for race and gender distribution by rank show that 81.5% of full professors are male and 86.6% white. Both facts no doubt reflect the conditions prevailing when most of the people now at this rank were hired, but they still represent an inexcusable imbalance.
At the associate rank 58.8% are male and 84.5% white. And at the assistant rank 52.7% are male and 79.4% white. The relative gender balance for assistant professors gives some reason for hope, reflecting as it does University efforts in recent years to achieve affirmative action for women.
Finally, aside from race and gender, a crucial fact of note is that non-tenure-track faculty as of Fall 2002 outnumber tenured and tenure-track faculty 481 to 457 (51.3% to 48.7%). The number of tenure-line faculty could drop precipitously if the many VERIP retirements and others who have left UMKC recently are not replaced with an equal number of tenure-line positions. Figures from 25 years ago would surely show a different picture--as they do on the Columbia campus (see tables below ), indicating the rapid growth of non-tenured positions and comparable decline of tenure-track ones. That is, non-tenured positions have replaced tenure-track positions as a matter of policy.
The AAUP and many other faculty organizations have called for a reversal of this trend, which will effectively end tenure and academic freedom protections through attrition. It will also enshrine low paid and low or no benefit contingent labor as the norm in post-secondary education, that is, it will establish the academic sweatshop. A dramatic example of reversing the trend to contingent labor is the recent decision of the California State University system (which is under collective bargaining) to add 1200 full-time tenure-track lines this year and give up the contingent faculty (see Poston above ).
Thus we should urge UMKC and the UM system not only to withstand pressures to deemphasize affirmative action principles, but to step up their efforts in this area. For even with affirmative action, we're not even close to where we should be. Likewise, despite current budget crises, we should call for increasing the number of tenure-line positions in every discipline.
Tenure Still Under Threat: Revision of Curators' Rules Accomplishes Little
by David Brodsky
After the December 2002 issue of The Faculty Advocate went to press, the Editor was informed that, due to the work of the Inter-Faculty Council and other faculty from each UM campus, the UM Board of Curators at its November 2002 meeting somewhat amended its May 2002 revision of the Collected Rules and Regulations, which had de facto abolished tenure in the UM system. The latest text reads as follows (new added text is in italics):
The appointments of all officers and employees of the University, although made for administrative or fiscal purposes for a specific term, may be terminated at any time at the pleasure of the Board of Curators. Notwithstanding any rule, regulation or policy of the University of Missouri to the contrary, all such appointments are subject to the right of the Board of Curators to adjust salaries and other terms and conditions of employment, on a prospective basis only, at any time during the indefinite, term or continuous appointment of all officers and employees of the University, provided that: (a) any adjustments shall be for the shortest period of time and in the smallest financial purposes for which the adjustment is being made; (b) adjustments shall not be used to single out any given faculty, staff or administrator to be the subject of salary reduction; and (c) the foregoing shall not be deemed to abolish or abridge any right of academic personnel to academic freedom or any right under the tenure regulations of the University, except as to any perceived right, express or implied, to salary level and/or benefits under said regulations or appointment papers; provided further, however, the foregoing shall not be deemed to restrict the authority of the President of the University under any specific or general delegation of authority from the Board of Curators."
Faculty will notice that the added assurances of tenure and academic freedom conflict with the original wording, "terminated at any time at the pleasure of the Board of Curators," which still stands. Likewise, the new wording indicates that the Curators retain the right to violate contractual obligations ("salary level and/or benefits") at will. Nor is any mention made of consultation with duly elected faculty bodies in case of financial crisis, as required by AAUP guidelines. Faculty can be fairly certain that in a crisis the draconian rules passed earlier will take precedence over later reassurances ( see Ormerod below ).
While "adjustments" (reductions) are promised to be brief and small and not to target individuals, nothing prevents them from being drastic. For example, former President Pacheco was making public statements in June about the possibility of closing an entire campus, not to mention smaller but still sizable units. Even "brief adjustments" that result in several missed house or car payments, or lapses in health insurance coverage, can have severe consequences.
If the promises of "minor pain" turn out, as expected, to be euphemisms for major upheaval, there are many precedents and trends to refer to. In new capitalist paradises since 1991 it has become common not to pay the salary of public employees, including teachers and university faculty, for months or years on end, due to alleged shortfalls in public treasuries. Each non-payment of salary began as a "short" and "temporary" measure. And in the older capitalist paradises the project of privatization (destruction) of the public domain continues unabated, including increasing loss of health care coverage by employed persons and the weakening of pensions (like social security) or outright pension theft (Enron, WorldCom).
The guarantee of tenure is meaningless unless it protects job security. And job security is hollow if the faculty--even "temporarily"--are unable to pay their bills, or receive health care, disability, or pension coverage or benefits, etc. Thus the faculty must continue to press for rules and regulations without loopholes that can threaten the substance of tenure and academic freedom, and without window dressing that simulates protection while permitting business as usual.
SBS, Blueprint, and Chronicle of Higher Education
Piper Fogg's article, "Chancellor Says Transformation, Biologists Say Mumbo-Jumbo," which appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education (Nov. 1, 2002), is the first one to give a national hearing to the faculty voice at UMKC. It devotes considerable space to criticisms of the Blueprint and of the hostile administrative takeover of governance in the School of Biological Sciences. The Chronicle also published in November and December 2002 abbreviated versions of five letters in support of the article's critical aspect. The Faculty Advocate reproduces two below and includes the full uncut texts of three others.
Dolores A. Potts
It was with great satisfaction that I saw, not only in print but in one of the most highly regarded publications on higher education, Piper Fogg's article on the past and continuing parlous circumstances of UMKC. When one is on the inside, knowing how awful things are, one feels there's no one out there who knows or cares.
Dolores A. Potts
Kansas City, MO
Chancellor Gilliland's experiment in using the corporate model for running a university is a dangerous extension of a troubling national trend toward eroding independent scholarship at universities in favor of building ties to politicians and big business.
I was an early participant in Dr. Gilliland's blueprint process, and I was involved in it for close to two years. The blueprint used a populist, EST-based, feel-good approach to make marginalized university employees feel that they are deeply involved in decision making, while the chancellor removed all strong college and departmental leadership, consolidating all decision making in the chancellor's office. By doing this, Chancellor Gilliland is free to make the university what she wants it to be.... Unfortunately, academic excellence and scholarship have no place in her plans. The result will be an empty shell of a university, but a good steppingstone for Chancellor Gilliland.
Brian T. Livingston
Associate Professor of Biology
University of South Florida
The Chronicle's article regarding the University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor's Blueprint represents a partial exposure of a much greater crisis in American Education, the ideological transformation of universities to serve the interests of the corporate world. This trend is illustrated by the hiring of consultants and well financed public relations machines whose role is to make the CEO (Chancellor/President) look good in the absence of genuine accomplishments, the administration's subservience to local parochial interests, the disregard for employees' (faculty) rights and voice, etc.
The article hinted at all of the above, yet the reality at UMKC is even worse. The punishment inflicted by the UMKC administration on its most outstanding research unit in the life sciences, the School of Biological Sciences (SBS), has already caused the loss of several of its scientists and a considerable chunk of the federal research funds attracted by the School. And this flight is not over yet as the retribution continues. The Chancellor and Provost refuse to fund faculty lines they had previously promised to SBS and indeed approved. The SBS director of research (its former dean demoted in 2001) has been divested of budget and administrative personnel. The UMKC administration has completely ignored the SBS faculty's vote of no confidence and their repeated requests for mediation to solve the ongoing conflict. Even the complaints from both the UMKC chapter and national office of the AAUP about the trampling of faculty governance at this campus went unnoticed. Now the geographer who was imposed as an interim dean tells the faculty that the search for a permanent dean will not resume unless the SBS faculty pledge allegiance to the blueprint and the Chancellor!
As someone who came to this country believing in democratic principles of governance and the glitter of its academic institutions, I am stunned. Some of my colleagues who came from countries formerly with totalitarian regimes find it hard to believe that all these echoes of their recent past happen at a US state university. It certainly makes many of us wonder where the American University is heading. I am afraid the situation at UMKC is not encouraging for those pondering a future in academia or wishing to enroll in a campus with a vibrant intellectual atmosphere.
Associate Professor, SBS
Your report on the University of Missouri-Kansas City's 'blueprint for the future' is a timely and valuable reminder that the disciples and successors of EST founder Werner Erhard are still peddling their psychobabble through large group awareness training programs and raking in large profits. With the recent decline in funding by Fortune 500 companies for these brainwashing exercises, however, new sources for revenues had to be sought and public sector money became an attractive target.
Early attempts to gain access to governmental funds were thwarted by resistance from public officials and a vigilant press. For example, several articles in the London TIMES slowed attempts by Landmark Education Forum (the EST successor company) to transform public sector workers in Britain, and New Zealand's CONTACT newspaper exposed several Landmark development training programs that were funded at taxpayers' expense. (Interested readers can find detailed information on recent activities of the Landmark Education Forum in a collection of newspaper articles at: http://www.rickross.com/groups/landmark.html)
Chancellor Martha Gilliland has now provided the access to higher education dollars when she called on her old friend (and Mr. Erhard's pupil) Gordon Starr to transform an entire university despite the fact that he had never done this before. In addition to paying him handsomely at UMKC she is spreading the word and opening new doors. At the recent annual meeting of the Central Association of College & University Business Officers (CACUBO) she was featured to speak on "the transformation of higher education as an industry" while Gordon Starr was asked to show these college officers how to become leaders by progressing "from breakdown to breakthrough and turning obstacles into opportunities". The transformation process at UMKC has consumed a minimum of 20,000 hours in faculty and staff time at a cost that by now exceeds $3 million without generating anything of significant academic value. One can only hope that the Chronicle will continue to expose these follies and thereby spare other universities from such costly delusions.
Alfred F. Esser
I am writing to express my thanks to the Chronicle for publishing Piper Fogg's article on the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Despite some inaccuracies concerning the campus itself (our enrollment is close to 13,000, not 4000, for example) the main thrust of the article was accurate. UMKC is a campus under siege from its administration. The treatment of the School of Biological Sciences (SBS) is merely the most visible example thus far, but it is symptomatic of a destructive administrative agenda whose principal victims have been due process, faculty governance, and academic freedom.
The UMKC chapter of the AAUP has firmly backed Biological Sciences in defending its integrity, in part because we recognize the need for solidarity across disciplinary lines, and because the battle for SBS constitutes the front line for all of us.
In fact, I had hoped that the reporter would mention the central critical role of the AAUP vis a vis the Chancellor's "Blueprint" plan. Ms. Fogg spoke with several members of the chapter at great length, and I faxed her many pages of relevant material documenting the administration's plan to undermine and corporatize this campus.
I understand that you have received a number of letters supporting the Chancellor. This kind of organized response was only to be expected. But please be assured that there are large numbers of faculty (and staff) here at UMKC who reject both "transformation" and the outrageous attempt to destroy a viable program and its faculty.
Patricia P. Brodsky
Professor of German
Secretary UMKC Chapter AAUP
Note on the Chronicle's Editorial Bias
by David Brodsky
It is an accomplishment that the UMKC faculty voice has been given a national hearing in the Chronicle . However, the strength of that voice has been attenuated by the Chronicle's editorial bias. In preparing the letters it received for publication, it suppressed major passages and even bowdlerized linguistic usage, as textual comparisons between the full and published versions of two of the letters indicate. The faculty voice has been heard, true enough. But only after a number of its teeth have been knocked out.
In Alfred Esser's letter the Chronicle cut out his documentation of vigilant press reporting, which helped thwart access to public funds for Starr's Landmark Education Forum in Britain and New Zealand. Esser also included a website for further research. Such information is vital to public employees in all countries. By suppressing this paragraph the Chronicle aids and abets global corporate psywar. Likewise, it deleted Esser's documentation of Gilliland's sales pitch for Starr, and the Chancellor's reduction of higher education to an "industry". It also suppressed statistics provided by Esser showing the colossal waste of time and money generated by the "transformation" process.
In Pat Brodsky's letter the Chronicle removed her correction of its error grossly underreporting UMKC's enrollment (13,000 not 4000), thus maintaining the false image it projected of the university as a smallish place of minor concern to Chronicle readers. Normally, professionally edited periodicals make apologies for errors of fact when readers take the trouble to point them out. It also slashed her remarks that the article ignored the role of the AAUP chapter in exposing the Blueprint and the extensive documentation it provided. It should be added that suppression of the AAUP role extends to the Chronicle 's quoting seven chapter members by name (three of whom are officers) while failing to identify any of them as affiliated with the AAUP. The Chronicle even bowdlerizes Brodsky's diction. In place of the word "solidarity" it substitutes the innocuous term "cooperation", and replaces "the battle for SBS constitutes the front line for all of us" with the polite euphemism, "the school's fate will have consequences for all of us." The Chronicle of Higher Evasion, indeed.
KC Star on the Future of UMKC
The Kansas City Star devoted a long article by Bill Tammeus (February 22, 2003) to improving UMKC's funding, status, and community support. However, its frame of reference and proposals follow the KC Life Science Initiative and UMKC Blueprint/Vision. Thus it retraces old steps rather than opening up new paths. Marino Martinez-Carrion replied in the March 4 Star. His essay here is a revised and expanded version of the Star piece.--Ed.
Another Blow to Academic Quality
by Marino Martinez-Carrion
The weakness of the KC branch of the University of Missouri system is not as much an issue of resources as a combination of poor management, leadership and community support.
Chancellor Gilliland's strategy for the life sciences includes plans for an almost obsolete building and extravagant expenses in building up another layer of administration, at a time when many life scientists are voting with their feet. Ten professors from SBS have left since the administration's aggressive actions against the school's faculty.
The projected, but yet unfunded, Life Sciences Building (including about $1 million extra for annual operations) would further drain the educational resources of the campus and lead to no more of an advance in life sciences than another state-financed building, the so-called Science and Technology building, did for the physical sciences and technology just a few years ago.
The Chancellor's ongoing negotiations with soon-to-be-former Dean William Peck of Washington University to fill the Life Sciences Leadership position will lead to another waste of resources amidst a public relations barrage to counteract the obvious blunders of the UMKC administration and its inability to retain faculty talent.
In 1986, when I was interviewing for the deanship of the newly created School of Basic Life Sciences (later renamed School of Biological Sciences), I was promised such a building combining space with other UMKC Schools such as Pharmacy and Nursing. I judged the budget and the location of the building grossly inadequate for the standards of 1986! I worked with then-Chancellor George Russell for the School of Biological Sciences not to move into that building, as it could barely meet the needs of just the Schools of Pharmacy and Nursing. Furthermore, the location in the Hospital Hill area was (and remains) inadequate to serve the educational needs of the bulk of the undergraduate student population, separating the physical sciences and engineering programs from the life sciences by a three-mile gap. Yet, the UMKC plans have remained unaltered, while during the subsequent 15 years we built the SBS to the level of national recognition that was expected by those Curators who foresaw the need of strengthening Life Sciences in Missouri long before it became the mantra it is today. We recruited world-class scientists and established research facilities built with the assistance of competitive national grants.
On June 1, 2001, Chancellor Gilliland's actions damaged the confidence of those life scientists in the UMKC administration and their exodus began. So far, about one-third of the outstanding SBS scientists have left Missouri, and I can confidently say that by the end of this year, three to four more will announce their resignation. The departures to date have resulted in a loss to UMKC of about $2.5 million dollars in annual out-of-state research grants.
This brief summary begs the question: why press now for funds to build a facility for which there is no documented evidence (it would house essentially the same few scientists now present) that it would improve the quality of life sciences research at UMKC? Instead, why not demand a proper accounting of plans for life sciences beyond press releases prepared by expensive consultants of the UMKC administration? Why, during such financially difficult times, is there the urge to start an inadequate building at an improper site when scientists, not just from SBS, take flight from Kansas City to escape the Kafkaesque plans embodied in the Blueprint/Vision of the UMKC administration?
The Chancellor, ignoring levels of proper governance, is now negotiating for the hiring of another new administrator to supervise the weakened life sciences programs at UMKC. In the opinion of many, this ex-Dean from Washington University and his administrative staff may cost UMKC about half a million additional dollars per year. Which, when added to the flight of the research dollars of departed scientists, results in the loss of productive capital to UMKC of about $3 million per year.
Is anybody listening? Is nobody concerned that these plans are being made following a year of zero raises for faculty and staff and 2% prospects for the next? Does anybody perceive an administration-subsidized conflict of interest among the members of the handpicked so-called task force for the Life Sciences at UMKC headed by an ex-President of Washington University and the negotiation with the expensive retiring Dean of the same university as overseer for the Life Sciences at UMKC?
Why is there faculty silence in the face of planned additional layers of administration in life sciences at a time when the number of quality scientists diminishes? Has there been a request for accountability? Where is the voice of the faculty?
Many of us share a desire that UMKC be the university it could be. Yet, the community and Missouri taxpayers need to demand quality rather than pouring money into frivolous plans orchestrated by a never-ending string of consultants. Building a high quality university relies on attracting and retaining many competent scholars.
Those will not come when there is a vacuum of solid ideas and an atmosphere of mistrust. It is time that these simple, but difficult basics become the norm to build the university that Kansas City deserves.
Dystopian future for KC and UMKC
by David Brodsky
Bill Tammeus' article connecting the future of Kansas City to that of UMKC is plausible. But because its horizon is low and narrow and its proposals predetermined, it reads like another press release and free ad for the Life Sciences Initiative and Blueprint/Vision. UMKC is designated as the cornerstone of the plan to make KC "a national center for biomedical research."
The article also reads like a fundraiser. The citizens of the KC area, who already pay taxes to support UMKC, are encouraged to shell out private donations to fund the initiative and the university. Increasing the university's private endowment is the predetermined top priority, as the Chancellor has stated on numerous occasions. Restoring strong public funding to a public institution is deemed an acceptable but marginal goal.
Of course, most funding for the Life Sciences Initiative will come not from private money but the public treasury. This arrangement assures minimal private risk and maximum private profits for the big investors who are behind the Initiative and the Blueprint. Small private donors may get a small tax deduction. But defending the university as a public good against corporate pirates is off Tammeus' radar screen.
Tammeus alleges that the success of UMKC's "Blueprint" will improve the city's competitive standing. "Competitive" is a code word indicating an "attractive" corporate environment, provided by the city and the university to investors planning to feed at the public trough. The standard requirements are a docile, unorganized workforce eager for low pay and substandard, exploitative working conditions, and a citizenry content with low or no environmental standards. The models of "success" are familiar: the US South and "free trade" (i.e. sweatshop) regions in the Third World, starting at the Mexican border.
A public university "transformed" into a private corporation by the Blueprint is the linchpin of Tammeus' plan. "To put it starkly, Kansas City's future in many ways depends on UMKC. If the school achieves its vision, the city can move into the future with confidence. If it fails, the city is in trouble." The "city" is big investors, and the Chancellor recently spoke about "the transformation of higher education as an industry" (see above). But if the Blueprint succeeds in reducing UMKC to an academic factory, it will be the citizens of Kansas City who will be in big trouble. They will have been robbed of a public asset mandated to serve everyone, above all the future of the unaffluent, who have the most to gain from a good education.
Tammeus depicts success as "real academic muscle." What does this image suggest? Besides favoritism for athletic teams and ROTC it evokes the production lines of the new "industrial" UMKC. The socially engineered UMKC factory of the future will not mass produce brains but other, less intellectual and civic, body parts. These shrink-wrapped manufactured muscle-heads will become the envy of the "competitors" Tammeus mentions: Harvard, the North Carolina Research Triangle, University of California San Diego, Southern Methodist, Northwestern, Washington University, and University of Texas, Austin.
The appendix to Tammeus' article rehashes the dreary UMKC game plan. There will be ten privileged disciplines with a "nationally known faculty." They will supposedly receive big resources to recruit "stars," commodities that will allegedly attract grants and publicity. (But some fields designated as privileged have already seen an overall shrinking of resources instead of an increase; privileges for "stars" come out of colleagues' paychecks and workloads.) The remaining disciplines will play at best a supporting role, emptied of instrinsic value because they don't make money or produce prestige.
The College of Arts and Sciences, for example, will be reduced to a service function. "We're not going to have a great university without a great college of arts and sciences," Tammeus quotes [Dean] Le Beau. "We provide the basic education for all of the units." The Dean's defense of the College is praiseworthy. But his use of Blueprint lingo carries the risk of undermining its 16 independent, non-service disciplines.
In the future utopian UMKC "employees would love working there, because the school would value its staff." But we might ask why it hasn't valued its staff in the past, or why it doesn't start valuing it right now? Alas, because the reality of this future is somewhat different from the promise.
For example, in the future "great" college of Arts and Sciences, the majors and graduate programs in today's "ordinary" College will be cut down or eliminated. The current method is through attrition, aided and abetted by UMKC's tarnished reputation. Other unprivileged disciplines like education, the arts, public service oriented social sciences, and basic research in the natural sciences await the same trashcan fate, as we are forewarned by "restructuring" processes completed earlier at other universities (see e.g. Faculty Advocate, Oct. 2001, "Brain Wash," p. 8). With no need for highly trained professionals, remaining unprivileged faculty face a work life of drudgery, eventually part-time, offering "basic education" to the privileged disciplines that manufacture money and prestige. This is what "efficient use of current resources" really means.
But beyond UMKC and Kansas City the pipe dream of big investments pales before the sober reality of today's political and economic climate. Most potential funds (both public and private) for social services like education will feed the endless war and insecurity machine. And "higher" education dependent on and serving the military-police economy will differ in no essential way from basic training in boot camp. Such pathological policies augur a substandard future for UMKC and Kansas City.
Food for Thought
by Pat Brodsky
1. UM System Forced to Go Public
On April 2 the KC Star reported that after a lengthy legal battle the Star had won its case against the University of Missouri and been granted access to the University's internal audit documents. One wonders what the University has to hide? Why the absurd claim, rejected by the court, that it is not a public institution, and the reluctance to open its books to public scrutiny? The Star will soon be receiving and reporting on the internal audits for the last five years. The AAUP wants to form a committee of knowledgeable faculty charged with requesting access to the documents and doing our own analysis. Anyone interested in being part of this committee should contact chapter president Stu McAninch (firstname.lastname@example.org).
2. Problems at the Book Store Undermine our Mission
Once it was only math and science books, with their specialized symbols, that cost a fortune. Now even a thin little short story collection sets a student back $60. Anthologies have become increasingly rare and expensive, and to assign separate volumes feels irresponsible, knowing our students' income. Teachers of Cluster Courses, which approach subject matter from an interdisciplinary and non-traditional point of view, face special problems in finding relevant texts. For many of us over the years the ROO-Pak was the answer. These photocopied collections of texts compiled by the instructor and printed by the University Book Store were not perfect, but at least the ROO-pak made courses possible.
Now the Book Store no longer handles copyrighted materials for ROO-paks. Anything requiring permission is outsourced, thus making flexibility, quick decisions and face-to-face communication impossible and errors more likely. The situation is complicated by the steep rise in permission costs, in some cases reaching ludicrous extremes (e.g. $100 for each photocopy of an out-of-print Russian novel).
Over the years I have tried to work with new managers and employees to solve these perennial problems, and some of them (one in great embarrassment) have promised to set things right. While we may be tempted to assign the cause to managerial policy, or to employee indifference or incompetence, its source may lie outside the Book Store itself. Book Store managers and employees don't last long at their jobs, and the facility ever more resembles a dysfunctional place. And never mind that to get to the text book section, one must wade through shelves of candy and little blue kangaroos. Or that the elevator provided by law for the handicapped is located in the back wall.
Thus it may be high time for a UMKC faculty oversight committee to take a close look at how the Book Store is being run and demand that it serve its primary function: to provide academic and intellectual materials for our courses. Otherwise its dysfunctionality will continue to have destructive effects on our syllabi and sabotage our ability to give the courses we want.
3. Workplace of Choice?
We need to keep our eye on the issue of custodial staff raised recently in the Senate. While the new Manager of Building Services claims to be making positive changes, some staff members feel there are still problems. Providing uniforms "to help create spirit," removing chairs and tables from custodial closets to "encourage interaction," and moving workers around in order to "streamline tasks"* all have that familiar blueish ring of empty enthusiasm and micromanagement. I was also under the impression that the staff were unionized. What has their union done about these problems?
4. Thanks to a UMKC Staff Member
On a different note, I'd like to commend a staff member at UMKC who represents the kind of service we'd like to see everywhere in the university. In his responses to my recent questions, Ted Stahl of Human Resources has been efficient, friendly, accurate and proactive, going out of his way to provide the necessary information. Aside from one award a year, University support staff too often go unnoticed, except when something goes wrong. If any of you has a story about an outstanding staff member, please pass it along.
* Quotes are from Harris Mirkin's Senate minutes for Feb. 18/March 4, 2003
The University of Missouri Albatross
by L. D. Ormerod, MD
The future of our flagship state university is mired within its good-old-boy culture. Several generations of administrative mismanagement have undermined any claims that UM wished to advance beyond the national third rank of universities. Decision-making is paranoid and perenially hardball, intelligent disagreement is proscribed, and administrative goodwill is absent.
Few realize there are constitutional reasons for the lack of accountability of the UM Administration. In the early years of statehood, the Missouri legislature protected the curriculum from the frontier risk of political interference by creating an extraordinary constitutional status for UM that was parallel to the political entities. This 130-year-old concept has been corrupted to permit the UM Administration to be unaccountable to the People of Missouri, the governor, the legislature, students, faculty, and staff.
The only putative oversight is afforded by the Board of Curators and these appointees almost invariably have a tendency to become the poodles of University Hall. This constitutional anomaly mattered little in previous eras when the Administration was tiny, but the expansion to four campuses, the development of Extension Services, and the emergence of a separate "System" with a $60M budget of its own have led to rampant administrative "creep." Wherever one looks, there is an exponential overgrowth of administrators, repeated in myriad university departments--a modern priesthood that is inimical to academic excellence and is the preserve of our very own good-old-boys.
In six years, for example, MU Chancellor Wallace has increased the Jesse Hall administration by 45% at a time of stable student and faculty numbers, and UMKC Chancellor Gilliland has recently interposed a huge "cabinet" of cronies between herself and her constituencies. In these times of fiscal crisis, shouldn't this huge administrative pork in the System and on the four campuses be drastically reduced to size?
There is self-interest in shielding oneself within a non-teaching, non-researching, and non-producing, overpaid bureaucracy. If you believe that ethics in government is for simple folk and that the only thing that matters is "winning" at all costs, you need a legal heavy hitter and a dirty tricks brigade to support regulatory violation. For at least a generation, that role has been undertaken by the University Legal Counsels' Office.
Coincident with the emergence of a lawless, expedient administrative culture, faculty governance has been perverted by Counsel's perennial policy to defend administrative malfeasance with "hardball." The University Rules and Regulations are disregarded and faculty and staff are then blatantly challenged to go to court, an option the University well knows is beyond their financial means. Our Legal albatross threatens to undermine the fundamental integrity of our publicly funded university.
At the MU School of Engineering, there were 15 grievances in 1995-9 against the Dean and his administration for violations of the University rules and Regulations. As University Counsel is wont to say in private, "Don't worry, the Faculty never win them," and indeed all 15 were lost. One faculty member had all four of his successful grievances overturned summarily by Chancellor Wallace, the almost invariable final resting place of an MU faculty grievance. Provost Deaton has stated in deposition that Legal Counsel are involved at every stage of the grievance process. Quite. The Dean of Engineering survives, naturally, although the Kansas City branch made a unilateral declaration of independence, and his most successful Columbia Department, Nuclear Engineering, was spun off into its own Center to avoid further bloodshed.
A few months ago, UM lost a four-year battle with the Kansas City Star over its refusal to release documents under the Missouri sunshine laws. Judge Conley condemned the chicanery of the University pretence that established state law did not apply to them. Substantial costs were assessed to the Star.
The St. Louis judge who found UM guilty of unlawfully charging $475 million of tuition fees to Missouri residents concluded that the University President, presumably advised by his Chief Legal Counsel, had simply lied to the Court.
In my own litigation on a venue issue, University Counsel attempted to mislead the Court by claiming that UM was not a public corporation, although this is acknowledged in numerous University publications. We supplied a copy of UM pleadings to the same Court the month before (different judge) in which it suited UM to plead it was indeed a public corporation. Previously, a state court had rejected UM claims that they were a municipality and similarly exempt from venue concerns!
In the Bill Yelon/MU research nuclear reactor case that is before the courts, UM stands accused of employment discrimination after the University forced him into early retirement because of Dr. Yelon's complaints to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission--when his concerns over nuclear reactor safety had been ignored by the University. In a document apparently in the hands of the NRC, Chancellor Wallace states that he is opposing Dr. Yelon's return to the reactor to prevent the potential conduit of reactor safety concerns to the federal government! Nuclear unsafety regardless. A decision on the NRC violations is awaited.
And now, the University Counsel are claiming in Federal Administrative Court that the adverse findings of institutional discrimination made by OSHA/Department of Labor in the specific environment of a nuclear reactor are inapplicable. UM says that federal nuclear safety protections do not apply to a state institution!! Are we all reassured that Chancellor Wallace is in charge of the Columbia nuclear reactor, the largest such university facility in the US? At the beginning of this sad tale, Yelon's successful grievance had also been summarily overturned by Wallace.
When Bob Lunsford, a specialist technologist working at an experimental lead smelter at UMR, complained to the Environmental Protection Administration that his concerns for his own health were being disregarded by the University, he was summarily fired. The EPA fined the university $250,000 when two buildings and one hundred rooms were found dangerously contaminated with lead. The expense of the lead decontamination has not been revealed. Mr. Lunsford has nevertheless lost his job and is having to sue the University.
The School of Medicine had a secret policy of its own in the 1990s to leverage tenure-track faculty out of the University at will, despite the formal obligation for faculty adjudication that is integral to the tenure regulations. Several faculty fell victim. University Legal Counsel knowingly shepherded this illicit policy as it suited the markedly arrogant, good-old-boy culture of the medical school. When discovered, MU Provost Deaton reversed the policy in confidential documents, but has never revealed publicly what was going on.
I was issued with just such an illegal nonrenewal (Faculty Advocate Feb. 2002). The subsequent MU justification upholding this action was based upon the assessment of a Vice Provost who just happened, mirabile dictu, to be the spouse of the University Counsel involved in the original decision, then confirmed directly by Chancellor Wallace! Although the improper policy was reversed, the actions taken under that policy have not been.
In my own case, the outing of this improper Legal Counsel activity was compounded when I discovered further unethical actions of Counsel as they sought to achieve a result by any means.
University Legal Counsel authorized unilaterally the pay-out of a baseless medical malpractice claim without consent and deliberately left my name attached, ensuring I would be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank; I have established that no unilateral payment of a malpractice claim had occurred in 25 years!
Furthermore, coincident with the nonrenewal, I was faced with anonymous surgical quality assurance allegations in a corrupt procedure that violated 20 aspects of the controlling federal law. University Counsel advised the process. It was no surprise to discover that University Legal Counsel had failed to incorporate the physician-protections assured by this 1986 law into the University Hospital Bylaws; it is reasonable to presume after 13 years that this was purposive.
It took 2 years to discover that the author of the complaints had been a colleague with no personal knowledge who gained considerable income from my demise--he had been even selected to sit in peer review! An independent review by external experts showed absolutely no variance of care. With these three dirty tricks discovered early on, it was no surprise that Counsel was clearly determined to assure my demise and, given subsequent events, that deposition testimony shows that Counsel and their staff were the sole source of (dis)information to Chancellor Wallace, who checked nothing, even when asked. Indeed, all administrators avoided elucidating any facts from me for over 3 years.
University Counsel, attempting to defend my Chair's violations of Curators' Regulations regarding tenure, nonrenewal, and ethical misbehavior, were party to a 2-year secret campaign of disinformation, lies, and innuendo that I have repeatedly been prevented from answering.
I made a detailed Appeal with 11 concise pages of charges of due process and other regulatory violations.
On December 31, 2002, President Pacheco summarily dismissed the appeal as he went out of the door into early retirement. My grievance had taken 40 months, more than six-and-a-half times the maximum permitted. Now that the grievance charade is over, I have access to Federal Court, and the University must attempt to explain its numerous miscreant actions to a higher authority on September 8, 2003. University Counsel has much to answer for, but they cannot be held accountable in this venue.
Even the electronic copy of my extensive teaching materials was stolen by MU 2 years ago as part of its harassment. Deposition evidence suggested that my computer contents had unlawfully been downloaded wholesale onto a CD on the directions of University Counsel. I have yet to recover them, but after I charged the Counsel with theft, the materials belatedly appear to have resurfaced!
There has been little or no evidence of ethical norms informing UM behavior throughout this mess, and in the numerous other disgraceful events around UM. A University requires honesty and trust in the unequal relationship between the students, faculty, and staff on the one hand and the Administration on the other. By reducing that relationship to an opportunistic, amoral charade, UM betrays its future. The pervasive malfeasant culture is being buttressed by expedient dirty tricks emanating from or supported by the University Legal Counsel's Office in University Hall. Increasingly, this is recognized by the Missouri public. To fix the problem requires the passing of the guard from the cynical self-seekers to a new leadership motivated by institutional interests and by probity. The albatross needs to be cast to the depths. Is President Floyd up to the task?
L. D. Ormerod is ex-Associate Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia Medical School
Erosion of Core Values at MU
by Truman Storvick
Through 42 years of teaching at the University of Missouri I know I made the right career decision. The purpose and intellectual life of the university is its students and faculty. MU is a place where we work in fourteen schools and colleges with hundreds of disciplines tailoring thousands of individual students' degree programs every year. This system works when instruction is brought to the classroom, laboratory or studio by competent, dedicated faculty.
Success of an academic enterprise depends on good ideas supported by the discretionary resource allocations of space, services and money that must be approved at the top administrative level. It takes a deft administrative hand to bring freedom and cohesion to the classroom setting. An administrator can succeed if everyone from the top level down to the classroom is trusted to perform tasks with integrity and civility. The objective must be to use all resources to maximize educational opportunity for every student.
About 40 years ago, I read in Sir Eric Ashby's Technology & the Academics (London: MacMillan, 1958, p. 73):
Men with tidy minds are bound to ask whether universities could not be run more efficiently if their efforts were co-ordinated and directed from above.The MU Faculty Handbook appears to define the authority and responsibility of the individual faculty and the administration consistent with Ashby's model. In this model, the initiation and renewal of our teaching and research programs originate with individual faculty in our many disciplines.
The short answer is that a university is a society, not a public service or an industry. Its viability depends on the maximum opportunity for initiative being distributed among the maximum number of members of the society. You cannot issue directives for scholarship and you cannot devise assembly lines for research. Conformity, orthodoxy, and the party line are out of place in the academic world. Fortunately they are out of place in the scientific world too. The scientific revolution, far from superannuating the traditional system of university government, has made its preservation more important than ever. If a university, under some illusion of efficiency, yielded up its cherished mode of government, if it becomes an institution managed by an oligarchy instead of a society managed by its members, it would fail to survive.
Because education is expensive, money is the resource that dominates access to education. The rich can easily make this investment. Private investors demand a return in about five years, so they seldom invest in education except as philanthropists. The burden falls to appropriation of public funds to cover most of this investment, especially for those who come from families with incomes below the national average. Raising tuition provides funds for the university but it further limits access to those who can pay unless public funds are provided for financial assistance in the form of scholarships or low interest educational loans for students from lower half income families.
If the public support for education is waning, will the attempt to turn the university into a research profit center further erode our basis for public support? Private sector support of research will involve proprietary restrictions and sometimes secrecy agreements, limiting free exchange and criticism of the data and conclusion from the work. This can lead to "bad science" and certainly is a threat to the "intellectual commons," the place where discussion and criticism occurs among the scholars from many disciplines who teach and do research at the university.
A more recent development is the vulnerability of the academic research enterprise to the legal tangle presented by patent law and patent-holder liability. Rebecca Eisenberg ("Patent Swords and Shields," Science, Vol. 299, Feb. 14, 2003, p. 1018-19) ends her discussion of the interaction of science and law with this statement: "As universities have become increasingly aggressive as patent owners, they have compromised their claim to disinterested stewardship of knowledge in the public interest, leaving themselves vulnerable to patent infringement claims as defendants. With their large endowments and habits of documenting their activities in scientific publications, universities make easy targets."
Today, the university's contribution to society must be to teach the young and to provide and disseminate knowledge essential to culture, science, medicine, commerce and government. The research results are published, and the university becomes an intellectual commons where ideas and discoveries are criticized, modified and made available by scholars for the use and benefit of society. Industrial firms are designed to earn a profit and will rarely play this role.
There are signs of stress on campus that shows as an increasing "them" versus "us" relationship between faculty and administration. This separation shows in three examples below.
1. It has been observed at many universities that the number of tenured
faculty has decreased. The distribution of full-time
professionals at MU shows
we have had a significant shift away from support for tenure-track
|Tenure and Tenure-Track Faculty||1407||1181||-226|
|Executive, Administration and Managerial||175||573||+398|
Source of Data: Institutional Research, EEO-6/IPEDS S 2/23/00
These numbers show an increase of 565 total faculty but with a significant decrease of 226 tenure and tenure-track faculty. The category, Other Faculty, is really an increase of 565 temporary faculty appointments. Tenure and tenure-track faculty represented 50% of the total in 1975 and this has reduced to 21% in 1999. Such a remarkable reduction in tenure-track faculty over 25 years has resulted in disregard of its interests by administrative bodies.
2. Section 370.010 of the Board of Curators Collected Rules and Regulations provides a "prompt and efficient procedure for fair and equitable resolution of grievances." Since 1996, the grievance procedure has been used in more than 20 grievances at MU and it has been slow, inefficient and possibly corrupted. An unknown but significant number of faculty decided to leave MU rather than "run the gauntlet" of the grievance procedure.
3. The Faculty Bylaws (3.A.iv) state that the faculty has primary and direct authority, "including but not limited to such matters as tenure, promotion, termination, guidelines for responsibility." There are examples at MU where administrators have ignored these faculty guidelines in hiring practice. Appeals to higher administration have failed.
My experience tells me it is very difficult to get the faculty (all members, all disciplines) to rise and assert their collective authority and responsibility to oppose any administrative "overreach." The discretionary authority over resource allocation vested in administration wilts the resolve of individual faculty members. Individual critics of an administrative decision are often labeled "malcontents," isolated from participation in discussions and ignored. This can change if the collective will of the faculty is clearly stated and presented.
I believe the university will survive. How and what form it will take depends on the will of the faculty to make it the intellectual commons where ideas set the priority for budgets. Administrative support will then go to good programs where we find bright students and where young faculty members are drawn to join in the task. It is my hope that the future university will be configured according to the collective will of the faculty.
Truman Storvick is Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia
News of the Chapter
In the last few months a number of chapter members distinguished themselves as scholars and writers. Glenn Penny and Mary Ann Wynkoop published books, Objects of Culture: Ethnology and Ethnographic Museums in Imperial Germany, and Dissent in the Heartland: The Sixties at Indiana University, respectively. Among those who received awards from the UM Research Board during the Fall 2002 awards cycle were two chapter members, William Everett, Conservatory of Music, and John Laity, School of Biological Sciences. Also in 2002 chapter member Mike Plamann, SBS, was the first recipient of the Beadle and Tatum Award for his "exceptionally important contributions to the scientific community." Congratulations to all for their productivity and dedication to research.
The chapter has met twice since our last Faculty Advocate appeared. On December 14 Drew Bergerson hosted a well-attended holiday party that provided a welcome distraction from finals. At the chapter meeting following the festivities, there was spirited discussion of the Senate's controversial vote on membership in the Extended Cabinet (see above).
On April 6 the chapter met at the home of Rafael Espejo-Saavedra. In addition to (optimistically) celebrating spring with wine and goodies, the attendees discussed a number of issues, including the need to increase the AAUP presence on campus governance bodies, and the importance of developing relationships with legislators in Jefferson City. John Laity reported on his progress in setting up a chapter internet discussion group, where participants can post messages and engage in discussions about issues of interest to them. The site, which is open to AAUP members, is now ready. Members received an e-mail on April 9 with instructions for signing up. If you did not receive this message, or have questions, contact John at email@example.com . Your participation is strongly invited.
Chapter President Stu McAninch reported on the annual meeting of the Missouri State Conference of AAUP Chapters in Jefferson City on April 5, where he represented UMKC. Discussion there focussed on the budget crisis which is impacting all public institutions in Missouri. At that same meeting Stu was reelected to the Missouri State Conference Executive Board.
A propos increasing our presence, we urge AAUP members to get involved on chapter, departmental, and campus committees. Yes, I know that new university policies, budget constraints, VERIP and other resignations have stretched all of us thin. But that makes it all the more imperative that we develop a strong voice in governing our own professional lives. Areas where volunteers are needed include the AAUP grievance committee and the proposed AAUP committees to investigate the University Audit document and to look into the use of VERIP money. For more information or to sign up, contact any member of the Executive Committee (Stu McAninch, Ed Gogol, Pat Brodsky, Marino Martinez-Carrion, or Susan Adler). Members are also urged to run for College and other offices, including the Faculty Senate.
One last item of interest is thanks to member Mary Ann Wynkoop. She reports that the Organization of American Historians at their Memphis meeting this past week voted in support of a public statement against the war in Iraq.
UMKC Hosts Missouri Philological Conference February 2004
At the end of February 2004 UMKC will host the annual conference of the Missouri Philological Association. The AAUP chapter has accepted an invitation from MPA Executive Secretary William Vaughn to co-sponsor the 2-3 day meeting, which will have as its focus labor, particularly academic labor. One day will be devoted to traditional philological panels on literature, language, and linguistics, while a second day will focus on labor issues. It will include panels on labor culture, working conditions in higher education in Missouri, and other pertinent themes. A third day of activities may be added, to focus on organizing strategies for GTA's and Part-Time Faculty.
As host the chapter will be responsible for arranging for meeting rooms, accomodations for visiting participants, and a certain number of meals. We also need to contact and solicit departments, organizations, institutions and individuals to sign on as co-sponsors. Primary co-sponsors provide financial support, but secondary ones can add their names as non-financial supporters.
In addition, we need people interested in setting up and/or chairing panels and presenting papers, for the philological and labor sessions. We also need people to suggest and contact potential participants (conveners and presenters from the academic and labor communities). Participants from outside Missouri are welcome.
We will need help doing local PR (creating and distributing flyers, e-mailings, posters, doing radio spots or interviews, contacting the press). And finally, the AAUP chapter as host is asked to elect a vice-president to the MPA. The vice-president is the person officially in charge of the 2004 conference.
If you have ideas, experience, or suggestions, or can commit even a little time to any of these tasks, we would welcome you to the organizing committee. This is a great opportunity to meet academics and others concerned about the direction Missouri, higher education, and labor in general, are headed.
Please join us in making this an exciting and significant conference!
The entire contents of each issue of The Faculty Advocate (except for public domain material) is copyrighted. The Faculty Advocate, April 2003, Copyright 2003 by the UMKC Chapter of the American Association of University Professors. All rights returned to authors upon publication. AAUP chapters, state conferences, and the national organization have permission to reproduce and distribute. Permission for other non-profit publishers is a formality, but UMKC AAUP asks them for the courtesy of requesting it. Contact the Editor, Patricia Brodsky: 816-235-2826, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
AAUP Dues Information
Membership requires payment of both local and national dues
Local UMKC chapter dues
$10 per academic year.
Send payment to Treasurer, Ed Gogol, BSB 415, 816-235-2584, or GogolE@umkc.edu.
Please make checks payable to "UMKC-AAUP Chapter."
Also please send Ed your preferred mailing address(es), phone(s), and e-mail address(es).
(varies by job classification and state)
New members who sign up for automatic bank debit of their
national dues receive a special discount:
half-price for first-year membership.
Go to the AAUP chapter home page-- http://cas.umkc.edu/aaup/ and click on the direct link to the national dues web page; or go to the national dues page--http://www.aaup.org/membership/03dues.htm .
Please note that National dues also cover Missouri State Conference dues (but not local UMKC dues)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 1 (September 2000)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 2 (December 2000)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 3 (February 2001)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 4 (April 2001)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 1 (October 2001)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 2 (December 2001)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 3 (February 2002)
The Faculty Advocate,Vol. 2,No. 4 (April 2002)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 5 (June 2002)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 3, No. 1 (September 2002)
The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 3, No. 2 (December 2002)
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