Report on Fall Action Meeting, Sept 20

Thanks all for a great first meeting of the semester. Barely enough chairs! we will get a bigger room next time. In case you missed it, we covered:

– The budget crisis the library is facing because of significant cutbacks and fast-rising costs
– More generally, RCM budgeting’s harsh treatment of units that don’t generate income, including the graduate school, which has cut back graduate student health insurance, among other things)
– Report from the AAUP Summer Institute, which treasurer Amber Franklin and member Theresa Kulbaga attended. Amber spoke about how faculty working conditions are student learning conditions, campaign strategies and power mapping, and making sure diversity is a real value and isn’t just given lip service. Theresa (in absentia) sent in a report on the overuse of ad-hoc appointed committees and how they undermine good shared governance practices.
– Potential shared-governance problem related to newly issued departmental governance guidelines
– STRS & ARP benefits and an upcoming class-action lawsuit (a lively and divided discussion ensued)
– Our upcoming meeting with new university president Greg Crawford
– Preparations for our annual fall budget presentation, coming up October 19, when we’ll focus on health benefits and administrative salaries. We also hope to discuss non-tenure-line faculty salaries.
– Other member concerns included a discussion of the problems with the new faculty dining facility. It’s good news that efforts are being made to provide faculty with a space, but the current Bell Tower location is not going to work because students have not stopped using it. A real dedicated space is still needed.
– Planning a public protest action (join our Facebook discussion group to hear more)

Next public meeting is October 19. See you there.

What we’re all about and how to tell your friends

Do you want to know more about the work our chapter does, or would you like to share information about the chapter with colleagues? We’ve now got a sweet little handout summarizing why we are here and what we do. Speak with any member or write us at miamiaaup@gmail.com to get copies of the below handout to distribute to colleagues.

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Fall Action Meeting & New Faculty Welcome

Come on out to our first meeting of the year, Wednesday, September 21 at 5:30pm in 46 Irvin. Meet the new chapter leadership, find out what’s simmering and help decide our priorities for the year.
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Latest news from Senate

Here are our latest reports from University Senate.

August 29, 2016 report
Highlights:
– President’s and Provost’s priorities for the year
– new faculty dining area in Belltower (there have been some issues with the space, but we hear that Belltower is working on making sure the area is available only to faculty and we look forward to using the space)
– Benefits Committee minutes regarding the Out-of-Network Out-of-Pocket no-maximum issue
– Provost’s report on salaries and the incoming class

September 12, 2016 report
– upcoming faculty survey, the plans for which are not progressing as our chapter had hoped
report from the new director of the Howe Center for Writing Excellence on goals and new initiatives — do check the Howe website as many opportunities for students and faculty are available there.
– a new Global Miami Plan Writing Committee will focus on the Advanced Writing Requirement (a welcome innovation, though a member noted that the new committee may not have been formed according to best shared governance practices)
– Senate voted on which Senate Committees they most wanted to hear reports from this year
– Faculty Assembly Committee has been disbanded because there is no formal role for the committee specified in university governance (hopefully not also because the last Faculty Assembly meeting was contentious). Faculty Assembly is an important venue for shared governance. We aren’t convinced Faculty Assembly Committee needed to decommissioned right now, as there are other committees in existence that are not standing committees. But there’s a shiny silver lining here: given the opportunity, Governance Committee can clarify Faculty Assembly’s role and determine the best way for its agenda to be set.