Our annual meeting was held by Zoom April 24, with 18 people present including all members of the executive board except Secretary Tom Miller, whose Internet connection had been knocked out by the evening’s storm. Following are my notes. Solidary greetings from LESLIE.
- New work arrangement: the executive committee/committee chairs will henceforth look at feasibility of projects proposed and taken on in these meetings, before we commit too hastily to large projects without personnel (as has happened in moments of Zoom enthusiasm in the past year). The first such project now underway: we need a post office box and letterhead/official envelopes. There are great benefits to increasing our visibility and enhancing our professional profile. We would like a post office box near the Capitol, in the 70802 zip code also used by lawyers and lobbyists.
- AAUP Redbook: Every chapter and every institution should have one. They cost $35 from JHUP with the AAUP member’s discount, and the state conference will reimburse chapters who buy them (it is suggested they be placed on reserve at the library).
- Membership: Leslie will resend the most recent roster to chapter leaders, so they can make sure all their members are on it. Some people have inadvertently let membership lapse, and transition to new membership software at AAUP national has apparently not picked up all renewals. We need more members, and every campus that has 7 members should create a chapter. There are great benefits to increasing our numbers.
- Membership: John Worsencraft pointed out that the AAUP national website is antiquated/difficult to navigate, and the e-mailing of rosters in Excel is insecure and so 20th century. Laura R. Adderley has knowledge of online membership software and is composing language to suggest to the national office that they get some.
- Faculty Handbooks: Jana Giles is looking at ways to compare language in these: should we aggregate them in a Google drive, or create space on the website to aggregate links to system policies and faculty handbooks statewide? Handbooks, it was pointed out, have a variety of statuses. Practices outlined in them may or may not be binding, and there is a difference between policy statements and handbook text. Hugh Wilson pointed out that the Faculty Senate at Grambling has not ratified the handbook, since it contains a version of the UL System policy on intellectual property that they do not agree to and will not support.
- HB 564: our letter on this bill has been circulated. Karissa Haugeberg reported that the Tulane chapter used this letter by having individuals write their deans on the problematic implications of the bill, so that deans discussed the matter with the upper administration which is now poised to interact with the state government on the matter. We should all adopt similar strategies, and it would be beneficial if students would also contact legislators.
- Our next meeting (by Zoom) is July 17. The agenda includes: a/ update and plans for post office box, letterhead, envelopes; b/ update on membership software; c/ interim policy on listserv, e-mail, and circulation of roster; d/ report from Leslie and Vipin, our decision re website management; e/ charge of Committee on Outreach and Communication; f/ use of resolutions on funding (let’s talk about why education should be publicly funded!) and faculty representation on higher education boards (students have representatives!); g/ fall organizing drive.