American Association of University Professors
University of Delaware Chapter

301 McDowell Hall, University of Delaware, Newark, DE  19716
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AAUP Executive Council Minutes
September 24, 2007
Room 302 McDowell Hall, 12:00 p.m.

PRESENT: Linda Bucher (presiding), Leon Campbell, Gerald Turkel, Danilo Yanich, Patricia Barber, Steve Dentel, and Kevin Kerrane (secretary)

Approval of Minutes: Minutes of 5/30/07 and 8/27/07 were approved with one correction: Jeremy Firestone is an Associate Professor not an Assistant Professor.

Regular Meeting:

Office Update: L. Bucher announced that Rita Girardi was given a full merit increase in salary of 4.25%, retroactive to September 1. Her compensation is now is equivalently $19 per hour. The maximum hourly rate for UD Level 6 employees is $19.62—L. Bucher will explore the definition/responsibilities/salary range for Level 7 and present at a future meeting.

Events: L. Bucher reminded members that Administration/AAUP Forum is scheduled for Thursday, October 25, from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Trabant Multi-purpose Room. The guest speaker will be David Breneman.

The AAUP reception for President Harker has been rescheduled for Wednesday, November 28, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Collins Room of the Perkins Student Center.

Fall Faculty Survey: Most of meeting was dedicated to a discussion of the draft of the Pre-Bargaining Faculty survey, starting with the question of whether the survey should be distributed electronically or as a hard copy. G. Turkel noted that mailing out hard copies might generate a higher response rate, and that the survey could be accompanied by information for non-members about joining AAUP. L. Bucher suggested that the electronic response rate should be at least as high—especially if prefaced with an e-mail explaining that completion time would be only about ten minutes—and that membership information simply could be sent out separately with flyers. S. Dentel noted that most faculty are comfortable enough with e-mail and the web, and are most likely to respond that way.

Discussion turned to the issue of voting privileges by non-members of AAUP on approval of a new contract. L. Bucher suggested omitting such a question from the survey and, at least for now, simply adhering to what the by-laws say: that non-members have no such voting privileges. S. Dentel commented that in affirming this position we are giving non-members an incentive to join. He added that a separate survey for non-members should (a) stress what the AAUP does on their behalf, (b) ask them about any reasons they may have for not joining, and (c) clarify their status as non-voters when the next contract is submitted for faculty approval.

Question # 1 on the draft dealt with areas of concern for the new contract such as Salary or Health Benefits or Retirement Benefits. D. Yanich suggested that respondents should be asked to use numbers to rank these concerns in order of importance.

Question # 2 on the draft dealt asked respondents to suggest an appropriate percentage increase for salaries during the next contract period. S. Dentel proposed that the question be reworded to: “What percentage above cost-of-living should AAUP seek in the next contract?

A proposed question might extend # 2 to ask what proportion of salary increase should be across-the-board and what percentage should be merit-based. G. Turkel commented that the question would not help the bargaining team, and that it was not on the last pre-negotiation survey of faculty. S. Dentel suggested that a question might simply ask: “How should any salary increase above cost-of-living be allocated?”—followed by a series of across-the-board vs. merit ratios which respondents could choose from.

L. Campbell emphasized that Questions # 3 and # 4 should be kept on the final version of the survey. These questions ask for an opinion about the clarity, and the fairness, of merit-pay policy within a faculty member’s own unit.

Additional questions were reviewed and L. Bucher indicated that she would incorporate all suggestions and distribute the survey one more time before the next Exec. Council meeting. Approval of final version is targeted for October meeting so that distribution can occur shortly thereafter. L. Bucher will register on SurveyMonkey in preparation for electronic distribution.

Recruitment: L. Bucher and G. Turkel will be visiting the Arts and Sciences Faculty Senate meeting today.

Respectfully submitted
Kevin Kerrane