Constitution and By-Laws

CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF

THE TENNESSEE TECH CHAPTER OF

THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS

 

[revisions by Mr. Andrew William Smith, Dr. Patrick Reagan, and Ms. Chandra Griffith Elkins, Ad Hoc Constitution Committee, October 2008—March 29, 2010 and presented to the members for a vote on April 16, 2010]

 

CONSTITUTION

 

 

ARTICLE I.  NAME

 

The name of this association shall be the Tennessee Tech Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).  This chapter shall be affiliated with the national organization and the Tennessee Conference of the American Association of University Professors.

 

ARTICLE II.  PURPOSE

 

The mission of the Tennessee Tech Chapter of the AAUP shall be the same as that of the national organization:

The mission of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is to advance academic freedom and shared governance, to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education, and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good. As a non-profit organization, we serve the profession, rather than individual members, and our services are available to all members of the profession, regardless of membership status.

The principal functions of this chapter shall be: (1) to consider questions of general interest to the professoriate; (2) to consider current local questions of academic method or policy, or of professional obligation and privilege; (3) to serve as a nucleus in initiating faculty action; (4) to take action upon specific matters of association business submitted to the chapter by the Council or the officers of the national or state organizations; (5) to cooperate with the officers of the national and state organizations in dealing with professional problems, in order that the AAUP may be as representative of the profession as possible.

 

ARTICLE III.  MEMBERSHIP

 

To be eligible for active membership in the Tennessee Tech Chapter of AAUP, one must be a member of the national organization. The types of memberships and the process for joining are as follows:

There shall be four classes of members:

  1. Active Members. Any person who holds a professional position of teacher or researcher or related professional appointment, including any member of an

 

  1. AAUP-represented bargaining unit in a college, university, or professional school of similar grade accredited in the United States or Canada, may be admitted to active membership in the Association.
  1. b. Graduate Student Members. Any person who is, or within the past five years has been, a graduate student may be admitted to graduate student membership. Graduate student members shall have all rights and privileges accorded to active members under this Constitution, including the right to hold office and to vote in national elections. Graduate student members shall be transferred to active membership as soon as they become eligible.
  2. Retired Members. An active member who retires may choose to be transferred to retired membership.  Retired members retain all rights and privileges accorded to active members under this Constitution, including the right to hold office and to vote in national elections.
  3. Associate Members. Any active member of this chapter whose work is or becomes primarily administrative shall be eligible for associate membership. Any person not eligible for one of the other three classes of membership may be admitted as an associate member, including members of the general public.

The admission of members shall require two steps:

  1. Application.
  2. Acceptance and Notification.

 

Chapter membership shall be for the academic year.

 

ARTICLE IV.  OFFICERS

 

The officers of this organization shall be a president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. These officers shall be elected annually at the last regular meeting in the spring and shall take office at the close of the meeting at which elected. All officers serve one year terms, with no term limits.

 

ARTICLE V.  EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

 

There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of the president as presiding officer, the vice-president, the secretary, and the treasurer.

 

ARTICLE VI.  COMMITTEES

 

This chapter shall maintain a standing committee on membership recruitment and retention.  Other standing committees may be created by the positive action of the chapter at a regular meeting, provided the establishment of such a committee has been discussed at least one previous meeting in the same academic year.

 

Ad hoc committees may be established by the chapter or the president at a regular meeting, or by the Executive Committee in session.

 

ARTICLE VII.  MEETINGS

 

Regular chapter meetings shall be held three times per semester during the academic year.  Special meetings may be called by the Executive Committee, provided written notice has been extended to the membership at least four days prior to the meeting.

 

ARTICLE VIII.  RULES OF ORDER

 

The rules of order contained in the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern the parliamentary procedure of this organization whenever applicable, except that the constitution and by-laws of this chapter and the constitution of the national AAUP shall take precedence in the event of any inconsistency.

 

ARTICLE IX.  BY-LAWS

 

By-laws to this constitution may be adopted as needed for the effective implementation of the provisions of this document.

 

ARTICLE X.  AMENDMENTS

 

This constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of the chapter by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting, provided that a copy of the proposed amendment has been sent to all members at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which the vote will take place, and further provided that the proposed amendment has been discussed at the previous regular meeting.

 

 

BY-LAWS

 

 

  1. DUTIES OF THE OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

 

  1. The duties of the president shall be to preside at the meetings of the chapter and the Executive Committee. The president shall call meetings of the Executive Committee and special meetings of the chapter at the direction of the Executive Committee.  With the advice of the Executive Committee, the president shall appoint members to standing committees and shall designate chairpersons.  With the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, the president shall appoint a member to complete the unexpired term of office should a vacancy occur among the officers or members of the Executive Committee.

 

  1. The duties of the vice-president shall be to preside at meetings of the chapter and of the Executive Committee in the absence of the president. The vice-president shall arrange public programs with the advice and consent of chapter members.  In the event of a vacancy in the office of president, the vice-president shall succeed to the unexpired portion of the president’s term of office.

 

  1. The duties of the secretary shall be to keep an accurate record of the meetings of the chapter and the Executive Committee and to conduct all correspondence of the chapter. Notices shall be sent to all members of meetings of the chapter and of any proposed amendments to the constitution or by-laws of the chapter.

 

  1. The treasurer shall receive all dues and assessments from the members, conduct other aspects of the financial affairs of the chapter, and make a report of the finances of the chapter at each regular meeting or at the request of the Executive Committee.

 

  1. The Executive Committee shall advise the president on all matters of concern to the chapter. In particular, the committee shall advise the president on appointments to standing committees, on appointments to vacant positions among the officers or on the Executive Committee, and on all public announcements and publications of the chapter.

 

  1. ELECTIONS

 

  1. At the first meeting of the spring semester, the membership of the AAUP chapter shall elect a Nominating Committee of three members who are not officers or members of the Executive Committee. At least two weeks prior to the final meeting of the spring semester, this Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate consisting of candidates for each of the offices of the chapter and shall submit this slate to the membership, along with the notice of the meeting at which the election of officers shall take place.

 

  1. Nominations may be made from the floor.

 

  1. Terms are for one year, with no limit on number of terms the can be served.

 

  1. The officers elected by the chapter shall assume their responsibilities at the close of the meeting at which they were elected.

 

III.  DUES

 

Each member shall pay annual dues to the national, state, and local organization of AAUP.  Members who are full- time faculty may elect to pay dues by payroll deduction.  For members who do not elect to pay dues by payroll deduction, chapter dues are payable at the first meeting of each academic year.  Chapter dues are $10.00 for the academic year.

 

  1. MEETINGS

 

  1. Regular meetings of the Tennessee Tech Chapter of AAUP shall be held three times each semester, on the first Thursday of September, October, February, and March and on the first Friday of November and April, except when other times and days are authorized by the Executive Committee.

 

  1. A quorum for the conduct of business shall consist of a minimum of eight members in good standing.

 

 

  1. AMENDMENTS

 

By-laws to the Constitution of the Tennessee Tech Chapter of AAUP may be adopted, or existing by-laws amended, at any regular meeting of the chapter by a majority vote of those members present and voting, provided that a copy of the proposed by-laws or amendments has been sent to the members at least two weeks prior to the meeting at which such action is proposed to be taken.

 

September 7 AAUP meeting agenda

Agenda
AAUP Meeting
September 7th, 2017
Henderson 205
 
 
I)                  Approval of Agenda
II)             Approval of Minutes  
III)            Committees: Reports
IV)             Old business
V)                New Business
  • What will our focus be, i.e. choosing which of our concerns that we want to prioritize and in what order.
  • List of tips for new/untenured faculty
  • Panel discussion on tenure/promotion?
  • Wali Kharif Award for outstanding service:  form a committee to set the guidelines
  •  By laws: form a committee to revise/edit
  • Fun/positive vibes: form a committee to come up with ideas

 

 VI)             Other Such Matters

 
A monthly AAUP member profile on our website, bowling or some other event maybe once per semester to which we can invite everybody. Initiatives that could get positive attention and draw new members.
Does anyone want to be in charge of the Facebook page?

Jon Jonakin Letters to the Editor

2/24/17

Letter-to-the-editor:

TTU Faculty and staff recently received more bad news from university President Phil Oldham. For the second year running, unplanned or unanticipated budget reductions were announced. For the current 2016-17 year the reductions amounted to over $3 million dollars and for 2017-18 they are reported to be $2.6 million. The cuts will be spread between instructional and non-instructional activities. The main reasons for the latest revenue shortfalls are said to be the continued decline in student tuition money (especially from declining foreign student enrollment) and excessive scholarship awards. The impact of these cuts on the university’s ability to teach and service its students has already been felt as academic and administrative departments have had to forego hiring while some administrative departments struggle with fewer staff employees. All of this has demoralized many faculty and staff and undermined the university’s core mission of providing effective education.

Greatly complicating TTU’s fiscal position is the fact that higher echelon administrative posts—those that come with large and growing salaries and questionable roles–have blossomed under the current administration. There is now at TTU a Vice President for Research and Economic Development who is paid $305,000; an Associate Vice President For Strategic Research Initiatives who oversees what was TTU’s Water Center (although this person has no background in water-related matters) and is paid$160,000; a Special Assistant to the President for Strategy who receives $174,700; and a Vice President for University Advancement that receives $200,000. The Vice President for Planning and Finance—TTU’s chief financial officer—receives $200,000, a salary that has increased by 55% (from $128,700) in about five years. Many have questioned what some of these positions contribute even as they represent huge, fixed administrative costs. Particularly difficult to justify is that substantial administrative raises have followed what many see as poor performance on the part of TTU administrators and as reflected in the continued and ‘unanticipated’ budget shortfalls. It is not likely that the foreign student enrollment decline—driven by students from largely Islamic countries—will reverse itself in the current climate; nor will non-foreign student enrollment likely surge given the access to free community college education. If belt tightening is called for, many TTU faculty and staff increasingly think that it’s high time to rein in administrative glut and redirect resources toward providing education instead of highly paid employment for multitudes of vice presidents.

Jon Jonakin, Emeritus Professor of Economics, TTU

 

3/24/17

Letter to the editor:

The latest, mass layoffs of 19 staff employees at TTU and the reassignment in lower-paying positions of an undisclosed number of others underscore the severity of the ongoing fiscal crisis of the university and, again, highlight TTU’s problem as unique among TBR schools. Something emanating from the management of TTU continues to plague the university’s ability to educate and service its students. At a moment when the state of Tennessee is awash in surplus cash, TTU is mired in deficits. The fiscal shortfall does not entirely lie with falling student enrollment and over-extended scholarships as the administration would have it. Huge salaries for increasing numbers of high ranking administrative officials contribute to the fiscal problem. Questionable business ventures such as the TTU ‘satellite campus’ in Lawrence County will drain resources from the core campus while the Golden Eagle golf course is believed to operate in red ink. A failed ‘Health Care Informatics’ center ran up deficits and gave evidence of serious conflicts of interest on the part of its former director. A public, non-profit institution, TTU is increasingly managed as a private, for-profit business, and a failing business at that. The mismanagement has become so acute that the TTU Chapter of the American Association of University Professors recently voted overwhelmingly on a resolution of ‘no confidence’ in the administration’s handling of the university’s business and fiscal affairs. The same resolution called for an outside audit of TTU’s fiscal accounts.

The human aspect of TTU’s crisis should not be lost in all the fiscal accounting woes. In a Nashville, WSMV, Channel 4 interview TTU’s President Oldham called the layoffs ‘gut-wrenching’. And indeed they are, but much less gut-wrenching for Oldham than for those fired. In what seems to be an instance of rewarding failure, Oldham was just awarded a raise of $35,700 and now makes $316,196. I spoke with some of the fired staff people. The vast majority of those let go are women and minorities (and this aspect of TTU’s problems also requires investigation). One of those laid off told me their spouse would now lose health care insurance. And this came from a person whose TTU job paid far less than Oldham’s raise. Such discriminatory impacts and anomalies rank as truly gut-wrenching and deplorable.

Jon Jonakin, TTU Emeritus Professor of Economics

 

4/26/17

Letter-to-the-editor:

Much of the blame for TTU’s on-going fiscal crisis and the related employee firings has been assigned to the over-extension of student academic scholarships and this according to President Phil Oldham. One casualty of this over-extension was the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management [AVP-EM ] whose office was charged with the actual award of such scholarships. Earlier, in 2014, the same AVP-EM had been asked by Oldham to develop a plan outlining options by which TTU would award scholarships and attract good students. The AVP-EM proposed various options on which to focus scholarship awards: transfer students, high performing students, and medium performing students. Oldham made the decision to pursue all these options, thus assuring that the scholarship pool of eligible, prospective students was ‘large’. In a subsequent meeting in 2014, Oldham, the TTU Provost, the Vice President for Planning and Finance [VP-PF], and the AVP-EM all agreed to pursue the composite of options and the ‘large’ pool. As a result of the new policy, the scholarships awarded in 2014 and 2015 resulted in larger dollar payouts than anticipated. In both years the VP-PF cut the checks needed to cover the costs and no red flags were raised regarding the unanticipated over-extensions. Then, in 2016 and continuing into 2017 there were yet more ‘unanticipated’ scholarship over-extensions. With a developing and now acute fiscal shortfall, funds were cut for academic and non-academic departments, hiring freezes were imposed, and finally job reassignments [to lower paying positions] and layoffs affecting around 20 people occurred. Among those let go was the AVP-EM who became the scapegoat for the whole scholarship affair.

Clearly, the wrong person was sacked. Both Oldham and the VP-PF—TTU’s chief accountant—signed off on the policy that yielded, year after year, the over-extended scholarships. The President and the VP-PF facilitated the problem from the beginning. Yet far from facing sanctions themselves, they were awarded raises in recent years that together have totaled over $90,000. A worrisome aspect of this turmoil is that the scholarship issue is but one component of TTU’s current fiscal problems and which have arisen as a result of generalized mismanagement occurring at very top of the administrative ladder. When the failures of the top-most administrators go rewarded, one understands that such administrators have begun to operate with the expectation of impunity and this is deeply worrisome.

Jon Jonakin, TTU Emeritus Professor of Economics

 

7/12/17

Letter to the editor:

The second meeting of the Tennessee Tech Governing Board meeting can be watched here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGtMprxWisA&t=4156sa) and it was eye opening. . Early on, the Board undertook a long discussion of whether TTU faculty and staff were deserving of a 3% raise mandated by the State. Several Board members appeared to agree that only those faculty and staff members who were “innovative” deserved even a 1% cost of living raise. One Board member insinuated that [many?] TTU faculty were simply slackers who were just “living another year” and collecting wages. Not only are these attitudes toward TTU employees disconcerting, it betrays an ignorance of what TTU Faculty do and do well. TTU faculty use cutting edge technology and teaching methods; they conduct research; and they are active in professional and community service. ALL faculty and staff deserve raises that at least account for the cost of living. There have been many years when faculty and staff have gotten NO raise. In addition, faculty and staff salaries at TTU are below the levels of comparative schools, or the ‘CUPA norm’. In fact, the only individuals whose salaries are generally above peer equivalents are TTU’s top administrators’, many of whom have received significant raises in the last four years.

When the discussion turned to whether President Oldham should receive a 3 % raise, there was almost universal agreement that he deserved yet another raise on an income of $340,000 given his “motivation” and “dedication”. Many were left wondering how these ineffable, (pandering?) tributes would be measured or clearly demonstrated. This discussion was all the more surprising considering that TTU is the only TBR university facing an acute financial crisis; one replete with large layoffs and all as a result of administrative mismanagement. Faculty evaluations of Oldham and high level administrators already exist but the administration refuses to allow access to them. A TTU-AAUP faculty survey resulted in a vote of “no confidence” in President Oldham in 2016. Before the Board begins evaluating faculty as slackers and denying them raises, they need to demand the release of administrative evaluations that already exist and the Board needs to consult with the AAUP on its existing survey. Morale among TTU faculty and staff is at rock bottom and will likely fall further if the Board and the administration continue to permit the kind of disparaging conversation and discrepant evaluative treatment evidenced in the second Board meeting.

Jon Jonakin, TTU Emeritus Professor of Economics