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Summer AAUP-SC Meeting Minutes

The minutes below are posted but not yet approved. These minutes will be updated after approval at the next AAUP-SC meeting. Please send all requests for changes to Names of members and some institutions have been removed from this public document. Full minutes will be shared to AAUP membership email prior to the next scheduled meeting.

AAUP-SC Fall 2020 Conference (Zoom) Follow Up Meeting

July 17, 2020

In attendance: 19 Members from 9 institutions

  • The meeting opens at 2pm.

  • Smolen-Morton summarizes the situation since our last meeting on July 2.

    • The AAUP-SC sent a letter to Governor McMaster asking that he pass a mask ordinance. This letter received no response.

    • The AAUP-SC also sent a letter to leaders of South Carolina institutions of higher education. This received a quick response from President of USCC, Caslen, who insisted he was involving faculty in shared governance and asking if the conference had particular concerns. He also contacted the President of the USCC AAUP chapter, who contacted Blackwell and Warren.

    • AAUP-SC Executive is working with one SC university on their administration’s refusal to consult faculty about teaching conditions for the fall. Faculty are currently required to teach face to face and students are not required to wear masks.

    • In addition, Governor McMaster has charged Molly Spearman, superintendent of education, to turn down plans submitted by SC school districts that do not require full-time face to face instruction. Some school districts have refused to comply.

    • The AAUP-SC needs to decide on a reply to Caslen.

  • Attendees consider a draft of this reply while reporting on the situation at their institutions. It is clear that different institutions are implementing different rules and variously involving or excluding faculty from meaningful participation in decision making. Faculty at 3 institutions report concerns that faculty are being excluded. Faculty at 3 other institutions report good situations at their campuses.

  • An attendee worries that our reply to Caslen is missing the “big dystopian picture.” This member is concerned about the future of higher education and wants a big strategy similar to that being advanced by the SC for Ed movement on behalf of K-12. He wants to change the conversation, not just write letters.

  • Others agree. One member suggests the Administrative Oversight Portal initiative can be useful for this.

  • One member notes that Universities around the country successfully opposed President Trump’s proposals for International Students who were not taking face to face courses.

  • After some discussion, the conference moves unanimously to take a two-part approach to replying to Caslen. The Executive Committee will send a bland thank you. USCC AAUP chapter is charged with using contacts on campus to determine the extent to which Caslen is responsible for policies and procedures at other institutions affiliated with USCC. (One member notes we should not refer to the USC “system,” as the relationships between campuses are complicated.)

  • One member mentions that Coastal U’s president is retiring next year.

  • One member asks if other chapters have encountered telework agreements. No one else has. Attendees ask to see copies of the agreements. Warren agrees to post it to Slack.

  • Blackwell introduces the need to restructure the AAUP-SC leadership to ensure greater participation in decision making, stressing the speed with which membership has recently increased. Shawn proposes a committee to handle the restructuring. This proposal is not taken up. Blackwell moves that the executive committee send a revision of the bylaws to chapters for consideration. This motion is passed unanimously.

  • The meeting adjourns at 3:54.


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