NMU Board of Trustees

Faculty Work Subcommittee

September 12, 2011


Members Present:

Mr. Richard Popp, Chair (via phone)

Dr. H. Sook Wilkinson (via phone)

Mr. Jon LaSalle (via phone)

Mr. Brian Cloyd (via phone)


Guests:  Dr. Ron Sundell, AAUP President, Dr. Brent Graves, AAUP Grievance Officer, Professor Michael Andary, NMUFA President, Professor Carl Peterson, NMUFA Past President


Mr. Popp called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and informed the committee he would need to excuse himself due to another commitment.  Mr. Cloyd asked Mr. LaSalle to chair the meeting.


Faculty Responsibilities:


Dr. Ron Sundell addressed the subcommittee regarding his perspective on faculty responsibilities:  teaching and assigned responsibilities; scholarship and/or professional development; and service.  Dr. Sundell said it is difficult to draw faculty to NMU due to location and salary/benefit issues. 


Promotion and Tenure:


Dr. Sundell said tenure allows faculty the freedom to teach and perform scholarship without being affected by politics and cultural pressures.  The tenure and promotion process allows faculty to fulfill the University’s mission.  Dr. Graves informed the subcommittee on how the service component is evaluated and quantified.




Professor Andary discussed the differences between the NMUFA and AAUP master agreements.  The two primary differences are that the NMUFA has 22 members and tenure and sabbaticals are not defined in the NMUFA contract. 




Representatives of both faculty unions stated the following are major hurdles/areas of concern:


·         Wage stagnation—making it difficult to attract and retain faculty.

·         Faculty shortages—represents a “cost” to students in terms of classes being too large

      and limiting “how” teaching is delivered.  When classes are not offered regularly, that       impacts whether students can graduate on time.





BOT Faculty Work Subcommittee

September 12, 2011

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·         Lack of time—a factor in terms of not having enough time for service, meeting with students, and negatively impacts our new emphasis on scholarship.

·         Increasing class sizes—creates a pressure on time demands and how teaching is delivered, leaving less time for service and scholarship.

·         The complexity of the curriculum and lack of flexibility—some possibility of relieving some of the problems listed above by relaxing curricular requirements.


Mr. LaSalle thanked the faculty representatives for their presentation.


The meeting adjourned at 11:05 a.m.