August 19, 2017

AAUP – Presidential Perks Story: FT Faculty Response to Survey

As all of you know by now, the News 4 I-Team ran a story on the travel expenses of Dr. Pollard.  Based on the e-mails and phone calls that members of the AAUP Executive Committee received we decided to conduct a survey in order to obtain your comments on the report.  The survey results were sent, unedited, to Dr. Pollard this past Saturday.  We felt it was important for her to have the results prior to the Board of Trustees meeting that was held last night.  At that meeting the Chairperson of the BOT read a prepared statement which voiced their full support of Dr. Pollard.  Dr. Pollard made no public comment at the meeting about the report.

The Presidents of the three unions; AAUP, SEIU, and AFSCME, and Rick Penn, representing the Faculty Council, have been asked to attend a meeting with Dr. Pollard regarding the recent media report.  The meeting will be held on Wednesday afternoon (December 14, 2016).

The members of the Executive Committee would like all of you to have an opportunity to review the results of the Presidential Perks Survey.  The survey prompts, the I-Team report, Dr. Pollard’s contract, Dr. Pollard’s response to the report, and the I-Team follow-up report, are posted in the Survey section of the Chapter website.

Read the unedited and anonymous results of the survey.
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On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Zarin, Chapter President

Move to Online Evaluations?

Colleagues,
As you probably know, the deans have expressed an interest in replacing the course evaluations that students currently complete with an online tool. Presentations were made to the faculty councils and the Academic Assembly earlier this term, and the AAUP was also asked whether it would support this change. At the first meeting of the AAUP-Management Collaboration Committee this issue was brought up, and we agreed to bring the question to the faculty.

In brief, the advantages of this change, according to the administration, include:
> Large savings in time and resources needed to administer the evaluations,
> Much cheaper processing costs
> More classes could be evaluated
> The evaluations could be completed later in the semester and the results made available sooner following the term.

Some of the concerns we have heard raised include:
> Online evaluations generally receive significantly lower response rates
> The students may not take the evaluations as seriously (think RateMyProfessor)
> Concerns about the security of collected data

Should such a change be piloted, the deans have stated that they would explicitly recognize that a new baseline for interpreting the feedback would be needed, as the data may not be directly comparable to data collected in the current format. The language in the P&P could also be strengthened in its indication that personnel decisions are not to be made on the sole basis of student evaluations.