THE FACULTY ADVOCATE

NEWSLETTER OF THE UMKC CHAPTER OF THE
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS

November 2005                                    Editor: Patricia Brodsky                               Vol. 6, No. 1-2


CONTENTS

University Wins Task Force Battle, War on Higher Education Continues


Cluster on Blue Ribbon Task Force Battle


Task Force Chronology Since April

The Real Agenda: Testimony by the Task Force and its Promoters, by David Brodsky

Task Force Sales Pitch: Business as Usual ,  by Pat and David Brodsky

The Task Force Courts Communities of Color, by Pat Brodsky

Testimony Defending the University, by Pat and David Brodsky

Support Public Higher Education in Missouri, by Patricia P. Brodsky

AAUP Testimony at June 24 Hearing, by Patricia Brodsky


Strategies for Community Involvement, by Pat and David Brodsky

"Time to Get it Right": Task Force Final Report ,  by Pat Brodsky

Blue Ribbon Task Force Final Report: Another "White Paper" for UMKC, by Alfred Esser



Cluster on "Academic Bill of Rights"

"Academic Bill of Rights" Wrongs Academic Freedom, Privileges Right-Wing in Higher Education, by David Brodsky

Academic "Rights" Bill Will Only Stifle Debate , by Keith Hardeman

What's Really Behind the "Student Bill of Rights"?, Commentary by David Bacon



Institute for Urban Education Off to a Promising Start, by Stuart McAninch

Executive Committee Meets with New Chancellor

National AAUP Elections Coming Up

AAUP Chapter Loses a Friend: David Gruber

News of the Chapter

Two Important Meetings: Please Attend!

Copyright Notice

Dues Information

Back Issues




University Wins Task Force Battle, War on Higher Education Continues

        At the present moment, UMKC and the UM system appear to have won their battle to retain institutional autonomy, integrity, and authority.  The first cluster of articles in this issue of Faculty Advocate documents the Blue Ribbon Task Force campaign and the successful university and community fightback against it.  Victory was achieved because all university constituencies came together opposing plans to sever UMKC from the UM system and to weaken or terminate the system itself.  Great credit is due to the indispensable support of the broader Kansas City community, which rallied behind the university, the Curators, the President, and the UM system. 

        But the war on higher education has not abated.  The Kansas City Star and the Business Journal waxed enthusiastic over the final report of the Task Force, which still recommends establishing a local governing board for UMKC that would be controlled by big business interests.  And the Business Journal has repeated its vow to see UM Central Administration and President Floyd removed.  In addition, we can surmise that much back room dealing has been underway since the public expressed its strong opposition during the summer.

        Thus the battleground may be shifting to Jefferson City.  The final report of the Missouri State Government Review Commission (MSGRC) has yet to be published as of this writing, and its known recommendations don't appear to directly concern UMKC or the UM system.  It did recommend creating a new post of Secretary of Higher Education, to be appointed by the governor.  The Secretary would replace the current Commissioner appointed by the Coordinating Board on Higher Education (CBHE).  The new post would increase the governor's power over higher education policy for nine non-UM system campuses.  But nothing prevents the legislature from extending the new Secretary's authority to the University of Missouri. 

        The legislature could also adopt numerous destructive proposals not approved by MSGRC.  This has been the strategy of 20 state legislatures and Congress when writing legislation based on the "Academic Bill of Rights" (ABOR), a legislative template which would do the opposite of what its title promises.  In most cases, drafts of actual legislation have been more destructive of academic freedom (or more candid about their intentions) than ABOR itself.  Although ABOR has yet to be introduced in Missouri, its author, David Horowitz, has spoken at UM Columbia and UMKC, and an op ed in support of its rationale by an otherwise respected first amendment authority recently appeared in a Columbia newspaper.  Thus, in preparation for an eventual ABOR campaign, a cluster is being devoted to it in this issue.

        Other bills likely to be introduced in the next session of the Assembly, which starts in January, pose multiple threats of their own.  The worst is the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR).  TABOR is a constitutional amendment limiting growth on state spending, and it would devastate funding for public programs, particularly when combined with the Hancock amendment, which restricts growth in state revenue collections.  TABOR has effectively hamstrung state government in Colorado, where higher education has suffered the most.  For example, the state appropriation for the University of Colorado (CU) now totals 7.5% of its FY 2004-5 budget, the lowest figure for all AAU research institutions in the US.  Tuition and fees, by contrast account for over 35% of CU's FY 2004-5 budget (http://www.colorado.edu/pba/budget/bor/bor05.html).  Since higher education in Missouri receives what is left over after other programs have been funded, it is certain to bear the brunt of TABOR's devastation.

        Proposed bills that would indirectly harm higher education include: a flat income tax, which would reduce state income and thus appropriations by reducing taxes on the rich; and biennal budgeting by the legislature, which would give the governor more control over state spending.

        Proposed legislation directly impacting higher education includes: eliminating judicial review of education funding, which would prevent the courts from overturning unconstitutional legislative or executive actions; college tuition vouchers issued directly to students, which would result in reduced state appropriations and impair institutional budget planning, since income would not be known until students registered; and mandating the teaching of intelligent design in public school science classes as an alternative to evolution.




Task Force Chronology Since April

        May 2: a few days after a UMKC Faculty Senate meeting with the Task Force, faculty warn that its "study" of the university could be a pretext to remove it from the UM system.

        May 2-6: Task Force members tactfully schedule meetings with students and faculty during Finals Week.

        May 4: AAUP chapter leaflets faculty meeting with Task Force.  Besides warning of severing and privatizing UMKC, the leaflet states: "The Task Force represents outside interference in internal university affairs and an assault on public education."

        May 18: In KCUR interview Task Force member James Duderstadt falsely claims that faculty, not the Task Force, first raised the issue of severing UMKC from the UM system.

        May 20: First hearing of MSGRC in Jefferson City.  Benno Schmidt, R. Crosby Kemper III, Woody Cozad, and Alan Atterbury testify in favor of Task Force and business interests.  In testimony for the AAUP Gary Ebersole notifies the Commission that the Faculty Senate, student government, and President Floyd have all rejected separation of UMKC, and he confirms that the idea originated with the Task Force, not the faculty.

        May 21-June 8: five newspapers in Kansas City and Columbia report on the hearing, focussing on Schmidt's separation proposal and Floyd's rejection.  Two papers in Columbia actually give space to anti-Task Force opinions.

        May 26: Schmidt addresses the UMKC Trustees in a meeting closed to the public, hinting at corporatizing and privatizing UMKC.  UMKC student journalist Kevin Lujin is turned away.

        May 27: Associated Students of University of Missouri issue statement opposing separation.

        Late May: Inter-Campus Student Council issues a statement of support for UM system and opposes separation.

        June 2: AAUP decides to mobilize campus, community.

        June 8: AAUP contacts State Representative Beth Low, who opposes separation and privatization and agrees to testify at June 24 hearing.

        June 9-14: AAUP chapter issues appeals to campus and off-campus groups to speak out and attend the June 24 hearing.

        June 10: AAUP meets with State Senator Charles Wheeler, who says that separation and privatization are non-starters and that local business wants access to public funds.

        June 11: SBS Dean Lawrence Dreyfus publishes op ed in Kansas City Star defending UMKC's record of scientific research disparaged by Schmidt.

        June 14: AAUP press release, "Support Public Higher Education in Missouri," sent to Missouri Press Association

        Mid-June: Associated Students of University of Missouri op ed distributed by Missouri Press Association.

        June 17: article in Business Journal, "UMKC faculty bristles at efforts of civic task force."

        June 18: Bill Onasch editorial on kclabor.org website, "Blue Ribbon Bosses Seek Cash Kangaroo."

        June 19: Star article, "Government Reform Panel Hears Arguments for More Local Control; UMKC town-gown split grows; University system lacks accountability, trustees say."

        June 23: Task Force meeting at Paseo High School, audience is skeptical.

        June 24: MSGRC hearing in Kansas City.  Schmidt and David Welte testify for Task Force, 13 testify against.  Audience of several hundred shows support for UMKC and UM system.

        June 24: Business Journal prints letter from new alumnus Tom Kernan voicing student opposition to Task Force and defense of Curators and President Floyd.

        June 25: Star prints letter by Larry Kirkwood, UMKC alumnus and president of a neighborhood association near campus, showing that public funding far surpasses private support for UMKC.

        June 26: Star publishes full page of letters pro and contra Task Force.

        July 7: Professors Gene Wagner and Pat Brodsky interviewed by Judy Ancel on her program, "Heartland Labor Forum" (KKFI Community Radio).  They discuss the Task Force, privatization, and Edison Schools Corporation.

        August 1: Panel of seven participates in KCPT roundtable discussion of Task Force.

        August 2: Star publishes op ed by Al Page, professor of management and a former dean of the Henry W. Bloch School, arguing that students have better judgment than outsiders in evaluating and proposing changes to the curriculum.

        September 22: MSGRC fails to approve any Task Force recommendations and rejects Erdman's last minute proposal to "decentralize" UMKC through bypassing the President and Central Administration, thereby making them expendable.

    September 30: Business Journal continues to attack President Floyd and UM Central Administration as hindrances to local prosperity, praises Erdman's proposal to bypass them.

        October 4: Pat Brodsky gives a talk entitled "Selling our Schools," mostly about the Task Force, at a Tent State University teach-in.

        Octber 19: Task Force issues Final Report.

        October 20 and 21: Star and Business Journal praise Final Report, its predictions of prosperity for Kansas City generated by the biotech industry, and the need for a business-controlled governing board at UMKC.

        Late October: Star continues to caricature UMKC faculty as whiners.




The Real Agenda: Testimony by the Task Force and its Promoters

by David Brodsky

        The Missouri State Government Review Commission (MSGRC) was established in January by ultra-conservative Governor Blunt, who appointed its 20 members.  Its mandate was "to restructure, retool, reduce, consolidate, or eliminate state government functions" to make them "most cost-effective."  "Cost-effectiveness" was an opportunity to cut, eradicate, or harness to right-wing agendas public programs, including education, that serve the majority of the citizens.  Task Force backers hoped to further their own agenda through the Commission.

        The following summaries and all quotes come from the printed testimony and recorded transcripts of the May 20 and June 24 hearings of MSGRC issued by the State of Missouri. 

May 20 hearing

        The May 20 hearing took place in Jefferson City.  Besides Schmidt, three UMKC Trustees promoting the Task Force testified: R. Crosby Kemper III, Woody Cozad, and Alan Atterbury.  Gary Ebersole testified for the AAUP chapter.

        MSGRC co-chair Warren Erdman, likewise a UMKC Trustee and Task Force promoter, presided at the hearing.  Although he asked witnesses to focus their testimony on structural changes in state government, he allowed Task Force enthusiasts to range far beyond the Commission's purview.  Erdman admitted that the coordinated timing of the Task Force and the Commission was intended to influence the UMKC chancellor search, pretended to "disclose" that he was a UMKC Trustee, and posed as a disinterested party "with an open mind."  In fact, the May issue of Faculty Advocate , distributed several weeks before the hearing, "disclosed" his conflict of interest and his strong support for Gilliland and her Blueprint.  His favoritism for the Task Force emerged in his last minute proposal to the Commission to bypass the President and Central Administration.

R. Crosby Kemper III

        The first Task Force spokesperson was R. Crosby Kemper III, a Yale graduate like Schmidt, and member of the ultra-conservative Federalist Society (see online version of D. Brodsky, "Academic Bill of Rights").  Kemper set the tone by dismissing as "mediocre" all public universities in Missouri without exception.  He faulted the Coordinating Board for Higher Education (CBHE), which oversees nine institutions, as well as the Curators of the four campus UM system, for permitting low "achievement" and recommended doing away with CBHE altogether.  "Mediocre" turned out to mean absence of a high "national ranking."  "Competitiveness" became a weapon to discredit quality programs and to gentrify selected public universities into finishing schools for the managerial class.  However, when challenged by Commissioner Steele, a rural graduate of UM Columbia (MU) and a former Curator, Kemper had to backpedal and acknowledge some of MU's merits.

        To impose the corporate agenda on higher education, Kemper recommended the "value-added assessment model."  This is biz-speak for high profit, private, standardized testing regimes ("assessment"), which he wanted to see inflicted upon the liberal arts core curriculum from pre-school "through grad school."  Outside testing, of course, comes with ideological strings attached.  Requiring such tests for undergraduate and graduate education would usurp faculty responsibility for the curriculum, stymie critical thinking, and enforce ideological compliance.

        Brandishing buzzwords like "higher standards," "higher expectations," "accountability," and "excellence" (a la Blueprint), Kemper applied them "especially in inner city and rural areas."  Then he faulted liberal arts and school of education faculty, rather than starvation budgeting, for K-12 shortcomings.  Thus he dismissed per pupil expenditure figures as meaningless (since Missouri ranks near the bottom) and recommended "substantial private sector involvement" as "the key to success".

        Like his colleagues, Kemper cited private Washington University in St. Louis as the regional model public universities should emulate.  But private models would transform public land grant universities serving everyone into privatized institutions serving the elite.  Kemper accurately noted that the national average in US student performance was lower than that of European and Asian countries.  But his elite private school solution by definition could not raise the national average (all students), it could raise only the national profile (elite achievement).  Raising the national average would require generous public funding, the incentive of quality jobs for everyone, and affirmative action for the most disadvantaged.  But education and jobs as universal human rights, and public institutions as their provider and guarantor, are certainly not on the right-wing agenda.

        Kemper recommended to the Commission establishing a new state post of Secretary of Education, appointed by and accountable to the Governor, as well as "local governance" boards at each campus, which would report directly to the Secretary.  UMKC and UMSL were to be separated from the UM system.  Kemper's proposals would have coordinated business dominated local governing boards with an ideologically like-minded state Secretary, thus ending the current institutional autonomy of the campuses.  The key to "successful reform," in Kemper's opinion, was "one person's vision" (the Gilliland model), supported by the Leader's "board of directors and trustees."

Benno Schmidt

        The second witness for the Task Force, Benno Schmidt, promised that his Final Report would be issued in August, and admitted it was meant to influence the deliberations of the Commission.  In fact, the report appeared in mid-October, after the Commission had ignored its proposals.

        Schmidt's crude civic boosterism recycled the inflated rhetoric and grandiose claims of the discredited Blueprint for the Future: "no city can aspire to greatness" without "a first-class comprehensive urban research university."  Hypocrisy dictated his insistence that the the city must offer everyone "opportunity and democratic justice," precisely the opposite of his actual policies at CUNY.  But his main argument was the neo-liberal mantra of globalization, human capital, and, above all, "unforgiving competition between cities, states and nations."

        While UMKC, in his view, had promise to become a "first rate research institution," only private money would do the trick.  Washington University was the model and Stowers the key.  The smooth collaboration with Stowers of already privatized KU Medical Center was the stick with which he beat recalcitrant UMKC, identified as the major obstacle to Kansas City's becoming "one of the top life sciences research centers in the world" (emphasis DB).  Schmidt soon scaled back his circus hucksterism to "the most exciting ... in the history of Kansas City" (emphasis DB).  "Continuity of leadership" meant installing someone like Gilliland who would stay the course.  Coming to the point, he stressed that only radical solutions could rescue the city.  "Incremental tinkering" was unacceptable and "the status quo is not a viable option."  Urban UMKC was to become the second "flagship campus" of the UM system, complementing non-urban MU.  Restructured UMKC was also the rationale for restructuring "governance, system architecture and financial underpinning."

        During the question period, Schmidt was challenged by a commissioner: "I thought UMKC was a research institution....  Why did you so quickly come to the decision that another university structure is needed?"  To the question whether new UMKC would be a private institution, Schmidt answered hesitatingly in the negative.  New "system architecture" would feature public governance for undergraduate programs and university-provided public services, and private governance for lucrative graduate and research programs.

        Schmidt's carelessness with facts did not arouse confidence.  He stated that CUNY has 500,000 students, while in reality its maximum enrollment was 270,000.  As Chair of the CUNY Board for the past five years, his vague image of the institution he heads indicates the degree of his commitment.  He exposed comparable ignorance when he said that KU Medical Center was "located near the geographic center of Kansas City".

Woody Cozad

        The third witness for the Task Force was former Curator Woody Cozad, who unequivocally recommended autocratic university governance.  Cozad objected to academic due process because it prevents eliminating programs at will to "save money."  Tenure and shared governance were even worse.  "The department head is not selected by the dean, whose command over his school is reduced."  Tenure likewise hindered administrative "command."  "Chancellors come and go every 5-6 years.  People down at the bottom of what we call the military chain of command can outwait the chancellor."  The university lacked "accountability because the chain of command is broken at every level".  Thus in academia "you can't issue an order at the top and expect that down at the bottom it will result in any action." 

        Cozad was resigned to the fact that "it's never going to be a military organization or a business organization."  As compensation, he favored long administrative tenure (for the President, Chancellors, Curators), which would enable authorities to rule with an iron hand.  The empowerment of deans to appoint and remove department heads, Cozad believed, would motivate philanthropists to increase their support for higher education.  That is, the weakening or abolition of shared governance would provide a favorable climate for investment.

        The UM system, he argued, is now expendable because its only reason for existence was to save the University of Kansas City from bankruptcy.  Thus he called for decentralization and guaranteed, level state funding for each campus (an incentive for a business takeover).  Cozad's public funding principle stated: "the discipline comes from [withholding] the money," and the holder of the purse strings is entitled to make policy.  The onus was placed on the institution to raise its own funds, and additional public money would be forthcoming only if a campus obtained private support or federal grants.  Thus he warned, "don't come here [Jefferson City] expecting to get any money."

        Like Schmidt, Cozad was statistically challenged.  He claimed there are 10,000 institutions of higher education in the US (the actual total is about 3,000), and that only 10-20 can be regarded as top research universities.  In fact, 60 top research-intensive institutions belong to the Association of American Universities, an organization Cozad mentioned later in his testimony.  MU, he insisted, should aim for the top 20.

        During the question period Cozad recommended eliminating the UM system and replacing it with local governing boards.  CBHE could be left in place because it has no policy-making authority.  He also supported Kemper's proposal for a Secretary of Education, who he envisioned would assign institutional missions and control "incentive money."  Local governing boards would initially remain nominally public, but when funds were raised from local taxes or private sources, "governance could change".  If a donor were to give, for example, $300 million, it could "buy you a couple of board seats....  Those who give money should have some say in the way things are run."  Neither patronage, nor corruption (board seats for sale), nor the shakedown of public institutions starved for funds seemed to register on his ethical screen.

        In closing Cozad noted that, since the constitution says nothing about the number of campuses belonging to the university, the legislature might to able to add or remove campuses statutorially.  This was not an idle threat, since entire campuses were being considered for elimination by system-wide committees in spring 2002 (see "University of Missouri Curators De Facto Abolish Tenure," Faculty Advocate 2.5. (June 2002); http://cas.umkc.edu/aaup/facadv9.htm).

Alan Atterbury

        The final Task Force witness was Alan Atterbury, Chair of UMKC Trustees.  Atterbury's testimony was devoted to cheerleading for the Task Force ("a dream team"), the UMKC Trustees ("iconic names"), and the largest businesses and philanthropies in Kansas City ("awesome potential").  He refused to make specific governance recommendations to the Commission, instead deferring to Schmidt's final report.  But he did insist on local financing, changes in local and system governance, and local "accountability" (to big business), which would attract large private donors.  He also discredited President Floyd and the Curators as untrustworthy.

        While acknowledging that the Trustees "have no governing authority," Atterbury did note that they manage large endowments for the university and operate a real estate program that tries to "keep [UMKC] from being landlocked."  This Lebensraum policy recalls the Trustees' plans for territorial expansion blocked by the neighborhood association south of campus, when the university proposed razing half a square mile of residences in order to build parking lots and a soccer field.  The Trustees' real estate program is distinguished by other failures (the old dorm which precipitated UKC's near bankruptcy, north campus business park, Twin Oaks), and development maintains a prominent place in their vision of UMKC's future, such as Zimmer's plan to move the Law School downtown.  A leading research university, after all, requires considerable new construction, as well as eminent domain seizures of land on which to build.

        Atterbury's claim that the Trustees "unanimously, enthusiastically and wholeheartedly" supported the Task Force was false.  As UMKC faculty later discovered, it was opposed by a significant minority among the Trustees.  He also falsely claimed that the Task Force engaged in an "inclusive and open process."  This assertion particularly stirred the ire of the students, who were given a one hour meeting with the Task Force in the middle of finals week.  Atterbury also made the interesting statement that the UMKC Trustees are "the same organization that once governed Kansas City" (not the University of Kansas City).  This slip may reveal, intentionally or not, the ambition of Task Force backers to make urban policy through the university as its major economic engine. 

        A commissioner challenged Atterbury during the question period: "Why has KU been so successful without local governance and UMKC is less successful?"  Since he had no answer, Atterbury simply repeated that UMKC's structure stood in the way of substantial donor commitment, and that there should be "accountability of the local institution to the community."  A second skeptical commissioner tacitly criticized Atterbury's exclusively corporate depiction of the UMKC Trustees: "all presidents of the Board of Curators are honorary members of the UMKC Board of Trustees, so you have that, you have a representative in the Kansas City area.  All curators are heavily involved with all campuses.  It gave you a broad representation...  frankly ... I don't understand what your objective is." 

        Instead of addressing the question, Atterbury tied the knot between Blue Ribbon and Blueprint even tighter.  "I don't like to dwell on the events of last year" (the ouster of Gilliland).  UMKC and the business community "are in this terrible period right now when we don't have our leadership defined and agenda set forth" (i.e. UMKC lacks a business chancellor and a business agenda).  But the unimpressed commissioner stated that there has been "much progress since 1963.  You have a medical school and engineering and law and pharmacy and nursing.  These are tremendous strides in that length of time."

June 24 hearing: Benno Schmidt

        While Task Force promoters dominated the May 20 hearing, only two, Benno Schmidt and David Welte from the Civic Council, testified on June 24 in Kansas City.

        Schmidt's testimony offered his first concrete governance proposals.  "Fiduciary and executive governance" would be rooted "firmly" in Kansas City, while the state level would handle "coordination, accountability, and oversight of academic strategy."  The mission of the university would be corporatized, producing "a highly responsive academic marketplace in Missouri" and enabling "the university to compete for substantial philanthropic investment."

        Due to unacknowledged public pressure, Schmidt's June 24 report abandoned earlier proposals to privatize and sever UMKC from the UM system.  But the repressed returns, and during his oral testimony Schmidt's tongue made a revealing slip: "We absolutely do not suggest that UMKC should be reconstituted as a public institution ... as a private institution."  He also proposed "a reduced level of executive authority" for the UM system, extending the Curators' authority to all higher education in the state, and, as compensation, "the president of the system [would serve] simultaneously as the chancellor of the flagship campus."

        In an addendum to his written report Schmidt reduced higher education to its economic and entrepreneurial functions.  "Knowledge ... drives economic development," and "capacity for extension into the marketplace ... [is one of] the hallmarks of great, entrepreneurial research universities."  The advancement of knowledge irrespective of commodity value was nowhere in evidence.  UMKC's new mission would be technological development and marketing, to the greater glory of the Stowers Institute.  Further, what's good for Stowers would be good for the state of Missouri as well, which would be "catapult[ed] ... into the front ranks of life sciences research and the knowledge economy worldwide."  Nevertheless, he downgraded UMKC's health sciences, which would "play an important role complimentary [sic] to the KU Medical Center," not an equal or leading role.

        UMKC's secondary mission would be to solve local social problems.  Schmidt gave Kansas City an ultimatum: adopt his proposals, and the city can reach "unprecedented heights," ignore them, and face shame for "civic irresponsibility" and erosion of the city's "economic prosperity and social cohesion."  The latter referred to communities of color.  "But the lack of educational opportunity for African-American and Latino individuals in Kansas City is especially acute and this will have more and more calamitous effects as good jobs dry up for persons lacking education."  But good jobs do not intransitively vanish.  In fact, neo-liberal policy has deliberately degraded and destroyed them, as in academia, where insecure contingent faculty labor has become the norm.

        Dismissing public opinion, Schmidt's final appeal was to the right-wing state government: "Our task force believes that the restructuring of UMKC and UM system governance we recommend will not come about without strong political leadership by the Governor and the Legislature."

David Welte

        The next witness, David Welte, Chair of the Higher Education Task Force of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, described the Civic Council as "a membership organization of the top executives of Metropolitan Kansas City's largest companies."  Its Higher Education Task Force "over the last 18 months" focussed on UMKC's "level of interaction with the business and civic community."  Instead of research capacity, the Council attacked UMKC's undergraduate programs as "uncompetitive" and falsely claimed that "the university appears to lack a strong culture of interdepartmental and community collaboration."  Its "remedy" was usurpation of faculty responsibilities through outside evaluation of student performance. 

        The Civic Council submitted its February report to MSGRC, President Floyd, and the Curators, but not to UMKC itself, which was regarded as a passive "beneficiary" (victim) of Civic Council "support" (interference).  The Council presumed its judgment took precedence over the judgment of the university community and established its own evaluation criteria, which defined "problems", claimed they needed "correction," and offered self-interested "solutions."  Its master plan for UMKC was to invest in well-funded units with profit potential and to hire big name faculty, policies which shortchange the majority of faculty, students, and programs, whose underfunding subsidizes resources diverted to big names and privileged programs. 

        "Seek transparency" was the Council recommendation that won the double-standard award.  The Civic Council refuses to list its own members and their businesses on its public website, but it wanted the university to "share its data about standards and performance" and "outcomes of a particular program."  Transparency, then, obligates only the university, not the businesses that intend to make university policy.  The Council demanded "data about standards" in order to impose its own, thus violating the professional norms of accredited institutions. 

        The Council's insistence on outside standards recalled Gilliland's "viability audits," a pretext for arbitrary administrative assaults on targeted programs.  Hence the Council's final recommendation, "reward performance and collaboration," meant that the university should be "willing to ... eliminate a program based on its performance."  A hostile takeover of institutional evaluation, then, necessarily entails outside control of all faculty responsibilities--curriculum, research, and faculty affairs.  What Welte's testimony omitted was business plans buried deep in the Council's February report to privatize specified units at UMKC.  This, after all, is what the circumlocutions, "excellence," "strategic investment," and "reward performance" would lead to.

Questioning of Schmidt

        During the question period, Schmidt was treated with much less deference than on May 20.  Commissioner Steele said he saw very little difference between the UM model and the California one, which Schmidt had recommended.  In reply, Schmidt falsely claimed that there is a "Board of Visitors in California" "at each campus."  In fact, for the 10 campus University of California system, there is only a statewide Board of Regents, while the 23 campus California State University system has only a statewide Board of Trustees.  Neither is called a "Board of Visitors."  Those Boards can be found at half a dozen, mostly southeastern, institutions, and there are also non-governing bodies called Boards of Visitors which act in an advisory capacity to academic programs at various institutions.  In the course of the hearings Schmidt established a pattern of carelessness in his utterances which raised doubts about his "expertise."

        Commissioner Rust asked Schmidt whether he would recommend that the other three campuses "come out from under the umbrella" of the UM system.  Schmidt replied, "I haven't studied that question but I probably would."  Rust added, "to be consistent."  Schmidt's answer totally contradicted his assurance a few minutes before that the UM system would remain intact and UMKC would remain in the system.

        At this point the lights in the auditorium went out, but the sound system on stage kept working.  The audience began laughing and applauding, and someone on stage with a mike said: "Time's up.  I believe lights out on your recommendation."  Redoubled laughter, hooting, and prolonged applause showed that the majority of listeners supported UMKC and the UM system.




Task Force Sales Pitch: Business as Usual

by Pat and David Brodsky

        The Blue Ribbon Task Force allegedly was commissioned to study higher education in the Kansas City region.  It was hired by a corporate non-profit, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, funded in part by the Kauffman Foundation, and endorsed by the majority of the UMKC Board of Trustees.  The Trustees are another corporate non-profit whose legal mandate is to provide private financial support to the university.  They have no power to make policy or to govern UMKC. 

Corporate Takeover Still on the Agenda

        There is no doubt that the Task Force represented big business interests in Kansas City.  One need only look at a list of those who testified on its behalf at the MSGRC hearings: R. Crosby Kemper III, former president of United Missouri Bank; Woody Cozad, former chair of the Missouri Republican Party; Alan Atterbury, CEO of a loan corporation and President of the UMKC Trustees; and David Welte, General Counsel for Stowers and President of the Civic Council.  Warren Erdman, Chair of MSGRC and Vice President for Corporate Affairs at Kansas City Southern Industries, also belongs to this group.  The Stowers Institute, the Kauffman Foundation, and Zimmer real estate companies are represented on the UMKC Board of Trustees, and all were involved in unsuccessful attempts to privatize units or programs at UMKC under the Gilliland administration. 

        The Task Force reported to its employers and to MSGRC.  While it somewhat mitigated the message in its final report (see articles below), in early statements it essentially called for a corporate takeover of the university.  Business interests would have a decisive voice in running the institution and would make academic policy by controlling funding.  The last issue of [IT]Faculty Advocate[NM] points out the Task Force members' support for corporatization and/or privatization of public education. 

        The neo-liberal policy of privatizing education is making inroads nationwide and abroad, and has even been recognized as a problem by the [IT]New York Times[NM] (Dillon).  It defines education as a commodity that can be bought and sold like any manufactured product.  A February report by the Civic Council supported "the full or partial privatization" of "the Medical, Nursing, Dentistry and Pharmacy Schools", as well as "partial or full privatization" of "the Center for Entrepreneurism at the Bloch School of Business and Public Administration."  It also noted that "other groups are considering issues such as the partial privatization of UMKC."

        Because of public resistance to full privatization, intermediate stages are proposed.  In one model, public institutions nominally remain publicly owned and continue to receive public funding, but control and management rest in the hands of private businesses.  Called Public-Private Partnership, this model is being adopted by Canadian provincial governments.

        Privatization is one aspect of the larger project of corporatization.  Corporatization has several motives.  The first is economic: access to public funds and new markets, and growth in income, profits, size, and power.  The second is ideological control, the kind that is exercised in the corporate owned mass media.  The third is replacing academic culture with corporate "culture": shared governance and faculty control over faculty affairs are eliminated; teaching and research are income-generating commodities; students are trained for menial mental labor; deprofessionalized teachers and researchers are contingent employees hired and fired at will and obey managerial commands; institutions are branded; monopoly contracts are awarded for campus services, etc.  In his May 20 testimony Cozad recommended a "military chain of command" governance model for higher education.  A book written by two Task Force members recommended a corporate chain of command.

        Due to strong public opposition, as early as the June 24 hearing the Task Force retreated to the model of Public-Private Partnership.  But it retained its recommendation to establish a local (business controlled) governing board.  Its ultimate goals remained the same.

Just How Lucrative is Public Education?

        Almost ten years ago Lehman Brothers Investment Firm targeted education as a lucrative market.  In 1996 the K-12 education market in the US had an estimated potential value of $350 billion.  In 1999 the world education market was valued at $2.2 trillion.  According to the Task Force, the big money in Kansas City is expected to come from expanded life sciences industries, led by the Stowers Institute.  The Civic Council recommended privatizing all the health science units at UMKC.  These schools were built with state tax money, and now that they are potential cash cows, business leaders want to milk them for all they are worth.

        Lehman Brothers envisioned public education under the control of Education Management Organizations, or EMO's.  EMO's were invented as a counterpart to HMO's, the organizations that have cheapened the quality of health care while raising its costs.  HMO's cheapen quality by cutting corners and denying coverage for necessary services, that is, by denying care.  EMO's would do the same for education: lower quality at higher cost.  In privatized education, as in any business, the main way to increase profits is to lower labor costs.  In academia this means a mostly part-time workforce, which at UMKC earns less than one-fifth of starting full-time pay and receives no benefits.

        In his June 24 testimony Schmidt promised prosperity for Kansas City and Missouri if UMKC becomes an "entrepreurial" institution under business control.  The "entrepreneurial" university would be corporatized and forced into the private marketplace, like any other business.  UMKC would become UMKC, Inc., a research factory manufacturing patented inventions for profit ("translational research").  It wouldn't even necessarily become a trade school preparing students for skilled jobs, because education and preparation of students would not be its primary goal.  Biotech-students, for example, could become underpaid or unpaid labor, doing menial work that keeps the research factory going. 

        At UMKC, Inc. undergraduate education would be shortchanged to fund research, which would occur mostly at the graduate level.  All fields that weren't potentially lucrative would be marginalized or eliminated: the humanities, the arts, the social sciences, and social service oriented fields.  Lawrence Soley, a professor at Marquette University, points out that "corporate dollars are used to buy access to the results of ... research--at just a fraction of their actual cost ... particularly in the fields of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.  Corporations have been able to shift part of their research-and-development costs to universities, thereby increasing corporate profits" (Soley, p. 10).

        Kansas City is all too familiar with false promises of prosperity.  For example, Warren Erdman predicted that hundreds of jobs would materialize from the transformation of Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base into a trans-shipping terminal, with funds flowing from the city budget (e.g. taxes).  Nothing of the sort happened.  The Task Force's final report still recommends making Kansas City a national leader in life sciences research.  It has merely shifted attention to KU Medical Center and reduced the role of UMKC to conducting clinical trials for profit.

Double Talk about Donations and Voodoo Financing

        One of the claims of the Task Force and its employers is that charitable foundations and investors hesitate to give to UMKC because of its lack of local involvement.  This is inaccurate on several counts.  First, the University is already deeply engaged in the community.  Secondly, Kansas City businesses and philanthropic foundations do, in fact, have a forty-year tradition of supporting UMKC through generous private gifts, and the university would hardly object to the continuation of that tradition.  But private gifts in the form of Trojan Horses amount to a shakedown of the university.  A frequently asked question was: if they really want to give more, what's stopping them? 

        One answer is sour grapes.  Some business leaders are still angry over the ouster of the Gilliland administration, which primarily served their interests, and want to reinstate and continue Gilliland's policies.  Faculty voted no confidence and President Floyd accepted Gilliland's resignation because of the harm her administration was doing.  Nevertheless, a [IT]KC Star[NM] editorial last month favored going ahead with Task Force plans, anyway.  But the main reason business leaders suggested a boycott of donations was the opportunity to leverage the power of money to buy influence.  Cozad's testimony on May 20 was quite explicit on this score: "those who give money should have some say in the way things are run."  Very large donations could "buy you a couple of board seats" (MSGRC May 20).

        Before issuing its final report, the Task Force sidestepped the issue of funding, resulting in a kind of voodoo financing scenario.  High powered research universities, after all, are expensive to build and maintain.  The Task Force assumed that state funding for UMKC would remain more or less level, as if the budget slashing of the past four years had not happened and would not recur.  But big research programs are financed mostly with public money, since private entities rarely are able or willing to put up that amount of cash, much less sustain such a level over the years.  A person familiar with the Kansas City philanthropy scene told us that current resources are inadequate just to sustain projects that are already in place, much less the kind of major undertaking recommended by the Task Force.

        Another reason private donations would not suffice is because business leaders expect a large return on their investment.  The promise of high returns, in fact, is the major selling point in the final report.  In his June 24 testimony, Schmidt continually used the term "philanthropic investment," a contradiction in terms.  Thus the Task Force proposed new local taxes to expand research capacity at UMKC.  But new taxes would put an additional burden on all Kansas Citians, who already support UMKC through state taxes, while research expansion would mainly benefit the businesses promoting it.  Since new taxes are not likely to be popular, to help make up the shortfall, expanded biotech research would have to cannibalize the budgets of other programs, the ones marked as non-lucrative and unworthy of financial support.  This is what the White Paper planned to do.

        Although the Task Force ruled out raising tuition, higher tuition typically is one of the main ways to fund research expansion at universities.  Soley writes: "Tuition-paying students ... have been forced to subsidize projects that benefit multinational corporations.  High research costs, which arise from the need for expensive, state-of-the-art research laboratories and from reduced teaching loads for faculty researchers, have caused tuition to skyrocket."  In addition, "increased tuition costs have had the greatest impact on the poor and minorities" (Soley, p. 11).

Bad Business

        The final report of the Task Force presents the long-awaited budget for life sciences expansion in Kansas City.  Total one-time investment costs for "facilities" and "new faculty" would be "$645 million" (Blue Ribbon, p. 42) "over the course of a decade" (Ibid, p. 43).  And the return on investment is predicted to bring "an additional $600 million a year in R&D expenditures into the community" (Ibid, p. 43).  Marino Martinez-Carrion, former Dean of the School of Biological Sciences, did a reality check by generating his own cost analysis and confirming it with a biotech specialist from San Diego.  Martinez-Carrion wrote that "the cost is 5 to 8 times the amounts mentioned here and time frame half of their estimate."  In addition, the prediction of a return on investment of $600 million a year is based on shaky assumptions, since "there are no guarantees ... the rest of the country is not standing still in this extremely competitive area."

        In other words, the main justification for business control of UMKC governance and mission, and for the demolition of the UM system, is a flawed business proposal.  The projected amount of investment is too low by a factor of at least five, the time frame is too long by a factor of two, and the rosy forecast of return on investment ignores the "extremely competitive" reality of the biotech industry.  Making UMKC, Kansas City, the UM system, and Missouri nationally and globally "competitive" is the main Task Force argument justifying its proposals.  But given that flawed game plan, this is a contest that none of these "competitors" would be likely to win.

Sources Cited

Blue Ribbon Task Force.  Time to Get it Right: A Strategy for Higher Education in Kansas City.  Kansas City: Greater
    Kansas City Community Foundation, October 2005.

Dillon, Sam.  "At Public Universities, Warnings of Privatization."  New York Times (October 16, 2005)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/education/16college.html?th=&oref=login&emc=th&pagewanted=print

Missouri State Government Review Commission.  Audio Recording of Public Hearing, Task Force E, Senate Lounge, State
    Capitol, 1:30 p.m., May 20, 2005.  Disc 2, Track 1.

Soley, Lawrence.  Leasing the Ivory Tower: The Corporate Takeover of Academia.  Boston: South End P, 1995.




The Task Force Courts Communities of Color

by Pat Brodsky

        As part of their strategy, Schmidt and the Task Force tried to win over the African-American community.  He claimed that UMKC is not doing its part because it is not significantly engaged with minorities.  His June 24 testimony stated, "Greater Kansas City faces an acute challenge in providing all its citizens with justice and opportunity.  The City has a long history of racial isolation and lack of educational opportunity for its African-American and growing Latino communities."  These are truths no one would deny.  But the price for "help[ing] turn around Greater Kansas City's greatest historical challenge" was the business restructuring of UMKC.  The corporate university would bring increased educational opportunity, workforce preparation, and improvements in housing and public safety.

        In fact, UMKC already has significant partnerships with at-risk communities.  One project provides technical assistance to neighborhood associations in the form of research, grant writing, consultation on conflict resolution and effective ways of achieving neighborhood objectives.  In another, UMKC is a research partner for the Project Safe Neighborhood Task Force for the Western District of Missouri, focusing on ways to reduce gun-related crime in Kansas City.  The US Attorney General has recognized this group as the "outstanding task force" nationally.  The Center for the City's Students in the City service learning project places them with community organizations to help solve community problems.  The School of Education's exciting new Institute for Urban Education will prepare teachers for inner city schools (see "Institute for Urban Education off to a Promising Start").  The FOCIS program, working with the Circuit Court of Jackson County, counsels parents and children in divorce cases.  And the Empowerment Program works with with Jackson County Mental Health to serve refugee and immigrant women.

        Behind Schmidt's rhetoric is the promise of jobs for communities of color.  But the flawed Task Force game plan (see above) exposes such promises as whistling in the dark.

        We must also look at Schmidt's track record when it comes to providing opportunity to people of color.  The last issue of Faculty Advocate treated his involvement with Edison Schools and the City University of New York, where communities of color have been deeply harmed by his policies.  For example, Edison has failed to keep its promises to Black people in Chester, PA, an impoverished industrial city south of Philadelphia with a large African American population and "the third highest child poverty rate in Pennsylvania."  After four years of privatization and mismanagement by Edison, of which Schmidt is CEO, ten schools in Chester cancelled their contracts with Edison, citing "book shortages, teacher shortages,... [schools] infested with rats and contaminated with asbestos" (AP story posted on CNN website 6/1/05).

        Schmidt's job as Chair of the CUNY Board of Trustees has been to privatize parts of the CUNY system and to end its traditional commitment to accessible education for lower income New Yorkers.  The system's enrollment is close to 270,000, making it the largest public urban university in the country.  70% of its students are non-white, one half the first-time freshmen were born outside the US or in Puerto Rico, 25% of all undergraduates have children to support, and fully 50% of undergraduates live at or below the poverty line.  Its relatively low tuition and free remedial courses once made it accessible to the population it is mandated to serve. 

        The report Schmidt was hired to write about CUNY became the source of the policies CUNY has pursued under Schmidt's regime.  CUNY has ended free remediation, raised tuition, and instituted tough entrance exams, which have combined to close off access to a growing number of poor people and people of color.  Remedial courses have been outsourced to a variety of private corporations, and students are required to pay for them out of their own pocket.  Strict admission tests, a money-maker for private companies which administer them, keep out students with substandard college preparation, substandard because poor people in the US are denied a good college preparatory education.  If CUNY denies them admission, some students are forced into lengthy commutes across town, for which they have neither the time nor the money (one-quarter have children to support).  A professor at CUNY summed up Schmidt's policies when he stated that they are "taking education away from people of color and giving it to middle-class white people.  This is a tremendous reversal of civil rights."

        Schmidt's sales pitch for his policies at CUNY was based on the promise of making CUNY competitive with Ivy League schools.  This amounts to gentrification of an institution that serves non-elite students.  His sales pitch for UMKC--"excellence" modelled on Washington U. in St. Louis--would have had have similar results. 

        Fortunately, many residents of Kansas City remained skeptical.  When the Task Force held a public meeting at Paseo High School on June 23, the racially mixed audience tended to distrust its promises to low income students.  The next day the director of the Kansas City branch of the NAACP spoke against the Task Force at the MSGRC hearing, and, in an article in the June 24-30 Call, Gwendolyn Grant, President of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, opposed the Task Force's takeover plans.

        Grant framed the issue as one of "structural racism involv[ing] Dr. Elson Floyd."  She argued that local business and civic leaders characterized Floyd's "determination to fully exercise presidential authority to the same extent as his white predecessors as 'irresponsible leadership'.  Some may think the effort to put Dr. Floyd into 'short pants' for exercising his authority is bigotry but not necessarily structural racism.  They would be wrong.  When influential people use their power to oppress the authority of an African American leader they consider a threat to the privileges associated with whiteness structural racism is at work....  this is not about protecting any one individual.  It is about shining a light on the practice of institutional racism that so easily can be masked in illusions of change and progress."

        Thus Black Kansas Citians were not taken in by Task Force ballyhoo.




Testimony Defending the University

by Pat and David Brodsky

        Because MSGRC invited public comment, many witnesses testified at its hearings in defense of the integrity of UMKC and the UM system and recommended maintaining their current governance structure.  Some also presented evidence of UMKC's deep and varied community engagement.  Since the Commission's mandate was to recommend the "most cost-effective" measures, a repeated argument against a new local governing board was the inefficiency of adding an extra layer of bureaucracy.

        At the May 20 hearing Gary Ebersole testified on behalf of the AAUP chapter.  He began by reminding the Commission that the Missouri constitution mandates that "the general assembly shall adequately maintain the state university."  But state support of public education has been anything but "adequate," and cuts in government funding have brought about destructive results.  His testimony ended by pointing out the overwhelming opposition within the university community to suggestions of separation from the system or to the establishment of a local governing board.  He also flatly rejected the claim by James Duderstadt, a member of the Task Force, that severing UMKC had been a "faculty generated idea."

        Unlike other witnesses, Ebersole was treated discourteously.  While the Chair allowed Task Force promoters to drone on well past their time limits, he cut off Ebersole before he was finished, and a Commissioner who posed a hostile question interrupted him when he tried to reply.

June 24 hearing

        Thanks in great part to intensive AAUP organizing, the June 24 hearing, held just blocks from the UMKC campus, attracted several hundred people, most of whom came to support UMKC and the UM System.  Only two witnesses testified in favor of the Task Force, while 13 defended UMKC, the UM Curators, the President, and the UM system.

        The first witness in UMKC's defense was state Representative Beth Low of the 39th district, which includes UMKC's main campus.  Low, a member of the House Committee on Higher Education, stated: "My constituents have been vociferous and consistent regarding the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force.  They strongly oppose, and I share their position, any effort to privatize the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Further, I believe that they will stand beside me in saying that, although the recommendations released last night fall short of recommending full privatization or removal from the University of Missouri system, they nonetheless move in that direction.  They provide an extra layer of bureaucracy between the state system and the University of Missouri campus, providing a sort of separate but equal status."  Low added that the Higher Education Committee, which has a Republican majority, is "moving toward greater state governance of the UM system, not lesser state governance.  I believe that any effort to enforce an additional layer of bureaucracy will not be warmly received."

        The testimony of AAUP chapter President Patricia Brodsky is can be found below .

        Theodore C. Beckett, past president of the Board of Curators, noted that the Curators had already addressed many points raised by Schmidt.  Beckett pointed out that Kansas City Curator Angela Bennett, current Vice President of the Board and next year's President, is not a distant and disengaged figure but a knowledgable and strong advocate for UMKC.  Beckett asked the university to prepare a "UMKC Facts" brochure, and he reviewed some of its contents for the Commission.  Besides budgetary figures, the brochure covers the university's mission, history, academic divisions, major investments, statistics on students, faculty, and staff, accomplishments, local partnerships, and contributions to the region and its economy. 

        Student test scores that fall in the average range for Big 12 institutions, Beckett noted, indicate that Task Force claims of inferior undergraduate education are unfounded.  He pointed out that the UM system is not meant "to attract the very top students" but to serve most of the people in the state.  He praised the current governance system as efficient and effective, and, replying to Task Force proposals for strict extra-mural accountability measures, stressed that each chancellor is responsible for the campus' performance.  The "chancellors are not robots.  They are outspoken people who fight strongly for the benefit of their own campuses."  Finally, he reminded the Commission that "the university is a repository of knowledge and inquiry."

UMKC team

        The next panel consisted of a "team" presenting joint testimony and representing UMKC faculty, staff, administration, students, and alumni.

        Sandy Joy, President of the Staff Council, emphasized the benefits to workers of belonging to a multicampus system: "Our structure not only helps to avoid costly duplication of programs and services, but strengthens the state's ability to attract the best and the brightest staff by allowing our campuses to offer attractive benefits packages.  These include substantially lower health insurance costs and secure retirement benefits."

        Alan Weber, Chair of the Alumni Board of Directors, focused on the benefits UMKC brings to Kansas City.  Besides contributions to the city's cultural life made by the Conservatory, the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and the Theatre Department, UMKC has the only public Dental School in the state.  Its unique contributions include training 70% of the state's Dentists and providing over $1 million worth of free dental treatment to the uninsured.  It also has trained 75% of the licensed pharmacists in Kansas City.  Most of the 70,000 UMKC alumni live and work in the Kansas City area, and 13 of them serve in the state legislature.

        Medical student Matt Treaster stressed the benefits of collaboration among multiple campuses, and the University's "commitment to removing barriers of access to higher education for those we serve--most especially ... students of color and first generation college students."  Treaster explained that UMKC's urban character attracted him by offering him "partnerships in the community [and] a diverse experience and training."  Benefits provided by the UM system range from cost efficiencies achieved by the University's unified purchasing program to collaborative research opportunities for students and faculty.  Like many other students, Treaster pointed out that "the imprimatur of the University of Missouri is important to me ... We want our degree to be from the University of Missouri, an established system with deep roots in public higher education."

        Linda Edwards, Dean of the School of Education, listed many cooperative projects which UMKC maintains with the urban community, and reminded the Commission that UMKC's "responsibility to partner with Kansas City ... is what we do each and every day."  The crucial mission of the newly formed Institute for Urban Education is to "produce teachers who are highly skilled and prepared to teach in an urban setting, helping us bridge the achievement gap that greatly concerns us all".  Projects in other units range "from the Tax Clinic at the Law School, to the 1,400 participants in the Students in the City."

        Finally, Jakob Waterborg, Chair of the Faculty Senate, refuted charges that UMKC lacked local control, asserting that the university has considerable autonomy in running its affairs.  "Many people are not aware that the Board of Curators exercises only broad direction over the individual missions of the four campuses and our local resources.  For example, UMKC keeps all of its own tuition dollars and we choose how best to use these resources to enhance academic programs in order to meet our local, regional and professional educational needs ...  [P]rivate gifts given to UMKC are invested directly [in] the campus to meet the academic priorities set by UMKC in conversation with the donor ...  Our current structure provides this ... autonomy."  He also cited the administrative savings gained from central oversight and investment of the endowment, and from "avoiding costly duplication of programs."  In conclusion, he stated that "we continue to seek ways that we can streamline our operations without compromising the quality of teaching, research and delivery of services."

Other witnesses

        New UMKC alumnus Tom Kernan, who worked with the Curators and Central Administration as Chair of the Intercampus Student Council, countered accusations that they were distant and uninvolved by providing examples of the accessibility and engagment of the Curators and President Floyd.  He also noted that Task Force statements have been "divisive and ill-informed," and that UMKC is an institution for the entire state and "cannot solely serve the needs of this city and region." 

        UMKC student Andrew Culp expressed ethical concerns about the effect on the university of "courting more private funding, and changing the structure of UMKC [so] as to highlight those departments that can attract more funding."  He gave examples of universities and departments elsewhere that had been compromised or subsumed by corporate "partners."  He also cited cases in which universities had withheld publication of vital research findings to protect proprietary information, or allowed corporate connections and profit to override ethics.  Thus Culp urged caution in our partnerships with business and industry.

        Jean Paul Bradshaw, an attorney and MU graduate who described himself as conservative, lives close to the UMKC campus and regards the university as "an important part of our community [which] makes substantial contributions financially and culturally."  While praising the Commission and the Task Force, he thought their goals could be realized within the current governance structure and saw no need for change.  He stated that creating a second major public research university in the state, in addition to MU, would risk promoting "rivalries for limited state funding," which would be "unwise and poor stewardship of state funds....  any action that serves to weaken the primary research university in our state, after all the investment in that mission, makes no sense."

        Anita Russell, President of the Kansas City branch of the NAACP, declared that the local NAACP is opposed to "the recommended change in governance of the University of Missouri at Kansas City by the Blue Ribbon Task Force.  The NAACP is a strong supporter of public education, K thru 12 as well as Higher Education."  Rebutting Task Force claims that UMKC does not serve minorities well, Russell stated, "The University of Missouri at Kansas City has provided an excellent opportunity for minorities to complete a college education.  In addition, these graduates hold some important positions in our community."  Thus "the NAACP believes the current system of governance should continue.  The NAACP also supports President Elson Floyd and the current Board of Curators for their leadership.  If UMKC is to be a successful urban university, it needs the support of the [IT]entire[NM] [emphasis in original] community.  Our definition of community includes the citizens of Kansas City, community leaders, as well as civic and business leaders."

        Engineer Don Flora, President of the Kansas City Chapter of the MU Alumni Association stressed two points.  First, Missouri is 47th in the nation in per capita spending for higher education: the Missouri figure is $155, the national average is $227, and the Kansas amount is $264.  Second, education is a public good that serves families and students with modest incomes.  Due to reduced public funding, public institutions begin to resemble private ones, until today "education is seen as a private rather than a public good....  decreasing respect for education as a public good ... is responsible for the erosion of state supported post secondary education."  Thus he asked the Commission to treat higher education from the point of view of the public good.

        A letter to Flora from Richard B. Schwartz, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at MU, was attached to his testimony.  Schwartz opposed "calls for programmatic efficiency involving the reduction of progams and the expansion of class sizes (or their elimination)," and asserted that "trading of quality in the interest of cost cannot be a long term strategy unless the long term goal is mediocrity."  The Dean's watchwords were "access, affordability, and quality."  Flora's testimony ended with an appeal to the Commission: "your reaffirmation that higher education is a public good deserving of respect and public support will do more to improve our Great State of Missouri than any other act of public service you can perform."




Support Public Higher Education in Missouri

by Patricia P. Brodsky
President, UMKC Chapter
American Association of University Professors

On June 14 Pat Brodsky sent an op ed to the Missouri Press Association, which distributed it to over 300 newspapers.

        The framers of the 1875 Missouri Constitution gave us a great gift when they established the University of Missouri and its Board of Curators and charged the state legislature to "adequately maintain the state university."  The Constitution calls public education "essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people."

        Today the University of Missouri system has campuses in Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla, and St. Louis, which provide undergraduate, graduate, and professional education in a host of areas.  Their mission remains the same: to serve the people of Missouri through the discovery and sharing of knowledge.

        However, the UM system has recently come under attack.  A "Blue Ribbon Task Force," commissioned by a group of Kansas City businesses and paid for by a non-profit foundation, is questioning its very existence.

        The stated mission of the Task Force is to examine higher education in Missouri with a focus on UMKC.  But it is considering recommending the removal of UMKC from the UM system, which, it claims, is hindering UMKC's development.  It also suggests that, once severed, former UMKC will benefit from heavy investment by local businesses, which will propel it into "excellence."

        The Task Force will present its preliminary report to the Missouri State Government Review Commission in Kansas City on June 24, and its final report will appear in August.  It will also report to the UMKC Chancellor Search Committee, in an attempt to influence the selection process.

        Task Force claims have little basis in fact.  In reality, the UM system promotes the development of all its campuses.  Advantages of belonging to the system include economies of scale and efficient sharing of scarce resources.  These economies make higher education accessible and affordable.  The system also sustains high academic standards among its members and is accountable to the public.  Students benefit from the availability of a wide variety of programs and easier transfers between campuses.

        No consortium of Kansas City businesses would be able, or would agree, to maintain over the long haul the level of funding that the state currently provides to UMKC.  Large local tax increases and a steep rise in tuition would be needed to make up for this shortfall.  Thus many qualified low income students, whom the UM system now serves, would be priced out of attending an isolated Kansas City campus.

        But since a stand-alone campus would have higher operating costs, it would still be underfunded in spite of tax and tuition increases.  To balance the budget, severe cuts would have to be made to existing programs, and academic standards would sink.  The university's reputation would suffer, driving away good faculty, students, and administrators.  Instead of developing toward excellence, a severed UMKC would regress toward irrelevance.

        Dismembering the UM system would not only harm UMKC.  It would also damage the remaining UM campuses in much the same ways.  Finally, it would set a bad precedent for public higher education in Missouri, encouraging attacks on other state supported universities as well.

        Faculty, students and administrators, including UM system President Floyd, have gone on record opposing the Task Force's suggestions.  Staff, alumni, and the broader Kansas City community plan to join them.  UMKC, the UM system, and public higher education must remain affordable, accessible, and accountable.  If you support the tradition of public higher education in Missouri, please write your state legislators and the Missouri State Government Review Commission (http://review.mo.gov/comment.htm).




AAUP Testimony at June 24 Hearing

by Patricia Brodsky

Testimony at the hearing was subject to a 5 minute limit.  The complete version, reproduced here, was entered into the official state record.

        Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak to the Missouri State Government Review Commission.  My name is Patricia Brodsky, and I am a Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures at UMKC.  Recognition of my work includes the N. T. Veatch Award for Distinguished Research and the University of Kansas City Trustees Faculty Research Award.  I would like to express my gratitude to the business community and the UMKC Trustees for these awards.  And I think I can safely say that everyone at UMKC is grateful for their long-term support of the university and desire to help make UMKC a world-class institution through increasing private donations. 

        Today I'm speaking as president of the UMKC chapter of the AAUP, the American Association of University Professors.  The issue to which my recommendations respond is the attempt by certain local business leaders, who may not be representative of the business community as a whole, to acquire a decisive role in the governance of UMKC and the University of Missouri system.  They also insist that private generosity depends on their self-serving model of governance.  And they show utter disregard for the faculty and their governance authority.  The faculty perform public service every day, through their teaching, research, and work in the community.

        When I refer to business leaders, I include under that term the CEO's of large firms, their non-profit philanthropic foundations, their civic and other organizations, their media, the Blue Ribbon Task Force and other spokespeople, and the UMKC Board of Trustees, on which they serve. 

        My first recommendation is that the current governance structure of the University of Missouri system should be retained.  As mandated by the state constitution, the Curators, as well as the President whom they appoint, should retain their legal authority to make and enforce policy, and to delegate authority directly to the administration and faculty of the individual campuses.  No additional layer of governance should be established between the Curators and the individual campuses.

        My second recommendation is that UMKC and the other campuses of the University of Missouri system should remain full members of the four-campus UM system. 

        My third recommendation is that the University of Missouri system and all its constituent campuses, including UMKC, should remain fully public institutions and should not be privatized, as a whole or in part, for example, through private management or private acquisition of core university and academic functions.

        A February report by the Civic Council, an influential organization of local business leaders, supports "the full or partial privatization" of "the Medical, Nursing, Dentistry and Pharmacy Schools", as well as "partial or full privatization" of "the Center for Entrepreneurism at the Bloch School of Business and Public Administration."  It also reports that "other groups are considering issues such as the partial privatization of UMKC" (Higher Education Task Force, Final Report, Presented to Civic Council Membership February 24, 2005).  The main motive for privatizing is the opportunity for its beneficiaries to derive increased income and profits from public funding sources.

        Business leaders insist that their motivation is purely civic minded.  However, their linking of private donations to private control, and their implicit call for a boycott of donations unless they control the governing board and university policy, discredit their claims of disinterested public service.  Real philanthropy does not come with strings attached.  The legal definition of charitable giving, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service, is a gift "made without getting, or expecting to get, anything of equal value." (Publication 526, "Charitable Contributions," p. 1).

        My fourth recommendation is that the state of Missouri should provide an adequate level of state funding to higher education, as mandated by the state Constitution.

        My fifth recommendation is that the model of university governance operative at the state level should promote four specific outcomes at the level of the individual campuses.

        a) I recommend a model of governance which preserves and strengthens the cardinal AAUP principles of academic freedom, tenure, due process, and shared governance.  Shared governance means delegation of authority directly to the faculty, who are qualified to make decisions because they are rigorously trained and rigorously peer evaluated professionals.  Faculty have a decisive voice in teaching, research, and other faculty affairs, and a major voice in institutional budgeting and priorities, and in the hiring of administrators at all levels.

        AAUP principles currently govern all successful universities in the US, including, of course, the world-class ones held up as a model for the Kansas City region.  AAUP principles are an integral part of the Collected Rules and Regulations of the University of Missouri system, that is, their operation at the state level of governance supports their operation on individual campuses. 

        Business leaders and members of the Blue Ribbon Task Force, however, have recommended autocratic and oligarchical models of governance which totally bypass the faculty's authority, thereby undermining all AAUP principles and demolishing the promise of a local world-class university.  Few talented faculty would apply for jobs at such an unprofessional institution, and the best current faculty would leave as soon as they could.  Indeed, many of the best have already left since the onset of the Gilliland administration, which specialized in governance abuses.  They continue to leave, as business leaders who strongly supported that administration attempt to reinstate an analogous regime.

        b) I recommend a model of governance which preserves and strengthens disciplines at UMKC not directly associated with the life and health sciences and with local economic development.  Economic development is important and necessary.  But the example of world-class institutions shows that it is not the only, or even the major, purpose of higher education.  Each discipline has its own justifiable reason for existence.  Cooperation and cross-fertilization between disciplines must be voluntary, originate with the faculty, and preserve the autonomy of each discipline.

        c) I recommend a model of governance which preserves and strengthens the teaching, clinical, and community service missions of the life and health sciences.  The growth of the research mission in these disciplines must not relegate their other missions to a marginal role, or subordinate them to the imperative of economic development.

        d) I recommend a model of governance which strengthens racial, ethnic, and class diversity at the university, by encouraging the admission of low income students, including place bound commuters, and the provision of sufficient economic and academic support for them to overcome their income and preparation disadvantages.

        My sixth and last recommendation is to request that co-chairman Warren Erdman recuse himself in the work of the Education Task Force of the Missouri State Government Review Commission, due to conflict of interest.  Mr. Erdman is a member of the UMKC Board of Trustees, which has endorsed the Blue Ribbon Task Force, and also the co-chair of this commission, which will evaluate the Blue Ribbon Task Force's recommendations.  Conflict of interest is a governance issue, to which a commission on governance should be particularly sensitive.  Recusal would help reassure the public that its interest is being served.

        The university governance model which this commission recommends at the state level will have great consequences for the individual campuses.  Again, on behalf of the AAUP chapter and the faculty of UMKC, I would like to thank the commissioners for the opportunity of addressing you today.



Strategies for Community Involvement

by Pat and David Brodsky

        The resistance to the Blue Ribbon Task Force and the forces behind it developed a variety of tactics on short notice to inform the community of what was afoot, and the community responded enthusiastically.  At the numerous strategy meetings of student and faculty groups, including the AAUP chapter, it became clear that changes of the magnitude being suggested would have an impact far beyond the campus.  It was also clear that the community constituted our natural allies.  Contrary to claims in the business press of a town-gown split, UMKC does have roots beyond the campus, and most of our graduates still live and work in Kansas City.

        The AAUP chapter was centrally involved in developing and implementing mobilization strategies.  Chapter members spoke with representatives of neighborhood associations near campus and alerted the local media.  They met with state Senator Charles Wheeler and state Representative Beth Low to sound them out on the issues, and Representative Low, a member of the House Education Committee, agreed to testify at the June 24 hearing in defense of UMKC.  In preparation for her testimony, the AAUP chapter provided Representative Low with considerable background information.  Senator Wheeler told AAUP he thought the Task Force agenda was not privatization but access to public money for private gain.  As subsequent events have clarified, it appeared to be some of both.  AAUP members also testified at two public hearings, attended a community meeting, sent out a mass mailing to campus and off campus recipients, wrote op eds, letters to the editor, and a press release, spoke on a community radio program, and reported on the Task Force campaign to students and faculty at Tent State University.

Community Outreach

        In a battle of this magnitude, the AAUP decision to reach out to the community was crucial to its success.  One of its first actions was to devise a cooperatively written sample letter, which was included in a community outreach mailing sent the second week of June.  Besides campus recipients--AAUP members, the faculty in seven academic units, the Staff Assembly, and activist students, the mailing reached the UM Interfaculty Council and Intercampus Student Council, UMKC retirees and alumni, and over a hundred individuals and organizations in the community (neighborhood associations, religious and other affinity groups, community leaders, supporters of the university).  The AAUP appeal was also sent to the over 200 members of the Education for Democracy Network list, half of whom live in the greater Kansas City area or teach in Missouri and Kansas.

        The text of the appeal focussed on the threat of removing UMKC from the UM system, and on university privatization schemes promoted by and favoring local big business interests.  It asked recipients to speak out before the June 24 hearing:

        Faculty and student organizations as well as administrators have already expressed public opposition to the possibility of a corporate takeover.  Please join them by raising your voice against the dismemberment of the University of Missouri System, the isolation of UMKC, its downgrading to an underfunded, third rank institution, and the erection of financial barriers shutting out low income people and communities of color from higher education. 

        The mailing requested recipients to contact selected officials, to attend the June 24 hearing, to forward the message to potentially like-minded persons and organizations, and to notify the AAUP that they had taken action.  The appeal evidently had resonance beyond the Kansas City region and the state of Missouri.  Among those who wrote letters and notified the AAUP were residents of Arizona and Luxemburg. 

        Included in the mailing were the sample letter and contact information for President Floyd, the Board of Curators and Kansas City Curator Angela Bennett, five potentially sympathetic UMKC trustees, the Education Task Force of MSGRC, Missouri and US House and Senate representatives for UMKC districts, the Chair of the UMKC Chancellor Search Committee, and the Missouri Commissioner for Higher Education.  The appeal ended with a thorough background summary for those unfamiliar with the issues. 

        The sample letter read as follows:
I am writing to express my strong support for the tradition of public higher education in Missouri, which insures that college and post-graduate education is accessible and affordable for the citizens of the state.

UMKC must remain a fully public institution and full member of the four-campus University of Missouri system.  I oppose suggestions made by the Blue Ribbon Task Force that UMKC should be removed from the UM system or that it should be privatized, in whole or in part.

The University of Missouri as currently governed sustains high academic standards throughout the system, coordinates efficient sharing of scarce resources among campuses, and promotes public accountability.  The governance structure of the UM system, with its oversight by the President and Governor-appointed Board of Curators, should be retained.

To maintain its tradition of accessibility, affordability, and accountability, I strongly urge that the state of Missouri provide an adequate level of public funding to higher education, as mandated by the state Constitution.  This is an investment in the future of our children.
Media Outreach

        The AAUP focussed considerable attention on the local mass and independent media.  Local mass media editorials and news reports consistently favored Blue Ribbon Task Force proposals, a bias that has yet to change.  Faculty members met with the editorial board of the Kansas City Star to provide them with the faculty point of view on events reaching back to the votes of no confidence.  Contacts were made with the local minority press, including The Call and Dos Mundos.  The AAUP issued a press release pointedly titled "Support Public Higher Education in Missouri" (reprinted above), which was distributed to over 300 newspapers statewide through the Missouri Press Association.  Papers that picked it up ranged as far afield as Independence and Cape Girardeau.  The faculty and public points of view were also heard in independent news articles about the controversy in the Columbia Daily Tribune, Maneater (MU student paper), Southeast Missourian , and Springfield News Leader.

        Lawrence Dreyfus, Dean of SBS, published an op ed in the Star June 11 objecting to Schmidt's May 20 report, which denigrated research at UMKC.  "Had Schmidt and the task force done their homework, they would have readily discovered that outstanding research activity already exists at UMKC.  The assertion by Schmidt that UMKC lacks both the scope and quality of research programs is unfounded when you consider the success attained by the School of Biological Sciences, not to mention other academic units engaged in life sciences research on our campus."

        UMKC students issued their own press release, "Students and Taxpayers are Talking, But Who's Listening?," which was signed by Shawn Gebhardt, student member of the Board of Curators.  It reminded readers that in the 1960's the private University of Kansas City was rescued from impending bankruptcy by the University of Missouri, which assumed all its debts.  Gebhardt noted that the entire state benefits from a "first-class public research university with a statewide mission and statewide accountability."  He underscored the unanimity of oposition on campus, and pointed out the Task Force's indifference to student and community opinion.

        Bill Onasch, webmaster of the kclabor.org site and a member of the Education for Democracy Network, titled his June 18 editorial about the Task Force, "Blue Ribbon Bosses Seek Cash Kangaroo" [UMKC mascot.--Ed.].  Onasch described the AAUP chapter as "indefatigable," posted AAUP background material on his website, and urged readers to "pitch in with support to their struggle to save UMKC as a public institution accessible to the working class."

        On June 26, the Sunday after the hearing in Kansas City, the Star published an entire page of letters on the Task Force controversy.  Letters in favor of "local [business] control" were somewhat murky in their grasp of the issues, citing the fall of the Berlin Wall and "Big Brother" in their arguments for separation.  Some letters argued for compromise: stay with the system, but spend more energy on promoting our local identity, or create a local advisory board to forward recommendations to the Curators, who would still make final decisions.  Letters supporting the current governance system warned of the special interest business agenda, underscored the role of statewide taxes in supporting UMKC, and stated that "a university's mission should go beyond local needs."

        Letters supporting public education appeared in other issues of the Star and even the Business Journal .  The June 24 Business Journal ran a letter by Tom Kernan, a recent graduate.  Kernan replied to an article in the previous week's issue that framed the dispute as a simple contest between faculty and the business community, miscontextualizing short quotes from Pat Brodsky and Alfred Esser to illustrate its point.  Kernan mentioned "the outrage of students and young alumni, like myself," because the Task Force "serve[s] the narrow agenda of a select few" and has no interest in student input.  Kernan stated that "this is not a battle between faculty and a small portion of the civic community.  This is an attack on affordable public education."  The proposal for local business control of UMKC "is a slap in the face to the many students from St. Louis, Joplin, Hannibal and all other Missouri towns who attend this university.  UMKC is not a minor regional campus, which is what would happen if we shift decision-making to a group like the trustees, who live predominantly in the same handful of upper-class ZIP codes."  The June 25 Star published a letter from Larry Kirkwood, a UMKC alumnus and President of the Rockhill Crest Neighborhood Association.  He questioned the economic wisdom of privatization, and suggested that Kansas City had far more pressing problems and realistic projects that a task force might look into. 

        On July 7 chapter members Judy Ancel, Gene Wagner, and Pat Brodsky discussed the Task Force, Schmidt's Edison Corporation, and privatized education on Ancel's program, the "Heartland Labor Forum" on community radio station KKFI.  One listener's response to the show was, "I had no idea what is behind the Blue Ribbon panel at UMKC.  I should have known..."

        The Task Force continued to receive critical media attention well after the June 24 hearing.  An August 2 Star op ed by UMKC professor of management Al Page criticized the proposal for local business-oriented control of UMKC: "[T]hese community voices seek to redirect the activities of UMKC toward specific short-term goals of their own."  It pointed out that if the businesses had their way, "resources would be redirected towards off-campus construction or on-campus research and think tanks in areas of their choosing, largely staffed by individuals who spend little time in the classroom," thus detracting from our core mission of teaching."  Page also argued that curriculum change depends to a great extent on student needs, which are better guides than the out-of-touch notions of outside forces.

        On August 1 a seven member panel debated the Task Force proposals on Ingram's monthly KCPT show, "Kansas City @ the Crossroads," and a summary of the discussion appeared in the August issue of Ingram's ("Kansas City's Business Magazine").  Jack Cashill, executive editor of Ingram's, and former UM Curator Woody Cozad spoke in favor of the Task Force, while UM President Floyd, former Curators Mary James and Ted Beckett, Professor Ray Coveney of the UMKC faculty, and Kevin Lujin, President of Bloch School Student Association, remained unconvinced.

        The Business Journal of September 30 continued to promote a "decentralization" proposal by Commission Chair Warren K. Erdman, which the Commission as a whole had had the good sense to reject overwhelmingly.  The proposal was the latest sortie in the war against Floyd since he accepted Gilliland's resignation a year ago.  Erdman's conflict of interest, pointed out by the AAUP, unambiguously raised its head in his vendetta against Floyd.

        The Task Force occupied a prominent place in Pat Brodsky's presentation entitled "Selling our Schools."  It was given October 4 to a teach-in session at Tent State University on the UMKC campus.  Finally, both the Star and the Business Journal praised the final report of the Task Force, which was released in mid-October. 

        All told, the strategies of mobilizing the campus and local communities and of engaging the media can be regarded as a great success.  They kept the issues in public circulation, raised a strong oppositional voice in the otherwise monopolized public discourse of Kansas City, motivated the community to act and to turn out in large numbers to show public support, and persuaded the Task Force and local big businesses to rethink and ameliorate some of their destructive proposals.  Our strategies appeared to have had the most beneficial effect on the Commission, which was persuaded to make no recommendations at all concerning changes to UMKC and the UM system.




"Time to Get it Right": Task Force Final Report

by Pat Brodsky

        The final report of the Blue Ribbon Task Force, published in late October and entitled "Time to Get it Right: A Strategy for Higher Education in Kansas City," makes interesting reading.  It is a combination of perceptive assessments, misconceptions, and an ill-concealed agenda.  The statements that Kansas City is plagued by divisions and has a troubled history of race relations still reflected in the condition of public education, or that Missouri is currently a "miserable funding environment for higher education," are no surprises to anyone who actually lives and works in Kansas City.  On the other hand, the Task Force's initial assessment of UMKC's inadequacy and its reduction of the university to a business engine persist.  Thus the report continues to insist that UMKC lacks "creative faculty and graduate students who generate discoveries, patents, and business opportunities and are the foundation for a city's entrepreneurial energy" (p.24).

        Given the report's sponsors, it is hardly surprising that it continues the public relations effort of many years duration promoting life sciences industries as the growth area that will put Kansas City on the map.  There is repeated praise for KU Medical Center and the Stowers Institute, and the suggestion is made that the bulk of "philanthropic investment" (sic) should be centered on KU Med, with its greater research capacity and willingness to collaborate with business interests.  UMKC's role in the life sciences bonanza is now seen as fairly modest, limited to the bone biology program at the School of Dentistry and collaboration in clinical research at area hospitals.

        At UMKC only a few programs come in for strokes, but these are the same ones mentioned in interim reports: the schools of Dentistry, Medicine, and Nursing; the Bloch school, particularly its entrepreneurship program; and the arts.  Not even lip service is paid to the core mission of undergraduate education or the core role of units like the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, and School of Biological Sciences, where much of that education is centered.  The report contains several sets of recommended criteria that UMKC must meet before it can hope to fulfill its potential as a "world-class urban research university."  These include a three phase, twenty-year plan of improvement, beginning with changes in governance and leadership and the development of a strategic plan.  It also emphasizes repeatedly that UMKC should focus on working to improve public education in Kansas City, with special attention to expanding educational opportunities for African American and Latino populations. 

        While the report clearly recommends corporatizing UMKC --that, after all, is the meaning and purpose of a large entrepreneurial research institution--it does not contain overt proposals for privatizing the university or severing it from the UM system.  The quiet abandonment of its former threats is due to the groundswell of opposition it faced from all constituencies of the university and from many sections of the larger community.  Accordingly, the Missouri State Government Review Commission, to which the Task Force reported, voted 13-4 to reject  a proposal supported by Commission co-chair Warren Erdman and echoing the Task Force agenda, that would have weakened UM system governance by having campus chancellors report directly to the Curators instead of to the President, whose office, along with Central Administration, would have become superfluous and expendable.  However, the original goal of isolating and controlling UMKC has not changed in any essential way. 

        It takes on a distinctly bullying tone in such statements as "UMKC needs Kansas City's support, but it will get it only if it embraces balanced governance that gives the city a strong voice in the university's governance" (p. 54).  This is reiterated even more forcefully in the statment, "In our opinion the leadership, the philanthropic investment, and the political support that UMKC requires if it is to become a strong urban research university will not be forthcoming unless there is a significant change in UMKC's governance" (p.55).

        Two possible courses of action are outlined.  Either the Curators must delegate authority to a local, publicly constituted UMKC board of governors.  Or one or more private 501(c)3 boards with fiduciary control over endowments and philanthropic investments would be added to the current governance structure.  "By directing the flow of endowment income and new philanthropy, such private boards can have a strong voice in institutional governance without displacing the constitutional or statutory authority vested in public boards" (emphasis added).  In other words, forces outside the university would control the purse strings and thus affect internal academic decisions, precisely the arrangement against which AAUP and others have warned. 

        Not only that, the report attempts to rouse the public against UMKC and to deepen the rift the Task Force has attempted to create between the university and the community: "taxpayers ... should not only welcome but demand the changes we recommend ... the benefits are of a magnitude to justify the inevitable controversy that any such changes will entail."  Thus the Task Force report, despite its generally reasonable tone and its apparent concern for the future of higher education in Kansas City, merely repeats the original agenda of its employers: to weaken current governance structures, undermine public education, and position themselves to feed at the public trough on the state funding that the university receives.

        If Kansas City big business wants to "get it right," it might consider a return to the traditional principle of philanthropy: giving to benefit the recipient without expectation of receiving benefits in return.




Blue Ribbon Task Force Final Report: Another "White Paper" for UMKC

by Alfred Esser

        The Blue Ribbon Task Force headed by Benno Schmidt finally released its Final Report, commissioned by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.  Describing strategies to strengthen higher education in Kansas City, like the infamous administrative "White Paper" leaked to the faculty in mid-2004, the Task Force recommendations would ultimately transform UMKC beyond recognition.  Schmidt had already presented a preview of its recommendations to the Missouri State Government Review Commission on June 24, 2005 in Kansas City.  At that time he advocated a "community rooted governance" for UMKC.  The university would gain a large degree of autonomy while still being a part of the University of Missouri System.  As he explained, "in [this] approach, the Curators would delegate considerable authority to a publicly constituted UMKC board of governors, appointed by the appropriate public authorities and confirmed by the legislature.  This board would work with faculty, students, alumni, and staff of UMKC, and would reach out to all elements of the Greater Kansas City community to create the strategic vision for UMKC that best serves Greater Kansas City and the State.  This UMKC board of governors must be inclusive and diverse, representative of the metropolitan area."

        Although a large majority of Commission members rejected Task Force recommendations at the final meeting in September, one had to wonder whether this would have any impact on the Task Force.  As expected, Schmidt and his Task Force members did not accept defeat and continued to advocate a more autonomous governance for UMKC, although not in the form of a private university, as originally suggested.  "The task force believes that there are three critical elements, now largely lacking at UMKC, which must be in place in order for UMKC to achieve its aspiration as a 'model urban university.'  The first of these is a broadening of UMKC's governance to give the Kansas City community a fiduciary role in the university.  The second element is leadership, both academic and civic.  With governance that has roots in the community, and with effective leadership, UMKC can develop the third critical element: a compelling institutional strategy."

        Who is the "Kansas City community" that should run UMKC according to this plan?  The Task Force made a small concession by declaring, "It is clear to us that the current Board of Trustees at UMKC is not the logical place to delegate this authority."  While the Task Force made no specific recommendations as to who should have the authority to appoint the governing board, it did insist that the philanthropic community should commit funds, for example, for programs in the Bloch School, "so long as the philanthropists are made partners in the strategy, [and a] satisfactory governance is in place."  In other words, if the philanthropists are not empowered to direct the fate of university programs, then it is the university's fault if such contributions are not forthcoming.  Thus, in essence nothing has changed with respect to the UMKC governance format from what was presented earlier.  As a matter of fact, the fiduciary responsibility of the University System would be further curtailed by removing UMKC endowments from its portfolio.

        Considering Schmidt's track record and history in university fund raising, it comes as no surprise that he would advocate such a model.  While president of Yale he led the university to hope the Bass family of Texas would make major gifts--reported to be in the 9-figure range--to the university's endowment.  However, after his resignation, as reported in the Yale Alumni magazine, "the University endured a major embarrassment, when a $20-million gift from Lee Bass '79 to establish a new program in Western Civilization was returned under controversial circumstances.  Publicly, Yale acknowledged it had 'mishandled' the gift, although administrators also said the money was returned because the University could not grant Bass's belated request for final approval of faculty for the new program." 

        This pattern of donor-directed use of philanthropic donations also permeates the recommendations that the Task Force prescribed for UMKC.  For instance, it specified that a 6-million dollar endowment for the theatre department should be used "to hire a playwright-in residence, and three scholars in English specializing in Elizabethan drama, American drama, and modern European drama."  Other recommendations spell out in great detail which programs in the Arts should be fostered and who on the faculty in the Bloch School has passed muster and is worthy of support.  One can only wonder whether such a massive intrusion into UMKC's curriculum supervision will meet the same fate as Yale's.

        Aside from the Bloch School and some programs in the Arts, the task force found not much else at UMKC that could contribute in elevating the reputation of higher education in Kansas City.  In the much-ballyhooed life sciences "the university has to demonstrate that it is capable of joining with the important elements of the Kansas City community to fashion a strategy."  But it threw in a bone by recommending a strategy for the KC area life sciences that includes building "basic research capacity at KUMC, with the bone biology group centered at UMKC's excellent School of Dentistry [as] a strategic partner."  Instead, UMKC is urged to "create and implement attraction and retention programs that will lead to further improvements in the enrollment and graduation rates of African American, Latino and other underserved populations."  But first, its new leadership team must demonstrate that it is capable of fashioning "a plan for serious engagement with urban K-12, a plan to expand educational opportunity for the African-American and Latino communities, a serious approach to workforce preparation, a plan for an Honors College, and a plan to take the Law School to the next level."

        The good news is that the task force believes that "UMKC can come together around strategic planning for these objectives."

    Who would have guessed it?




Academic "Rights" Bill Will Only Stifle Debate

by Keith Hardeman

Nat Hentoff, identified in the Columbia Daily Tribune (August 21, 2005) as "a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights," does not refer to Horowitz's "Academic Bill of Rights" by name.  But he accepts its specious rationale and falsely implies that AAUP supports it.--Ed.

        Nat Hentoff's Sunday column, "Conservative voices muted at colleges," says students shouldn't "be disadvantaged or evaluated on the basis of their political opinions."  I couldn't agree more.  Professors who've been proved to base their course grading on a student's political views should be reprimanded for such unprofessional conduct and, if it persists, ultimately terminated.

        However, Hentoff's bandwagon contention that all college professors are nothing but an intolerant, liberal bunch who, as a whole, oppose intellectual diversity while continuously persecuting conservative students has no factual merit.  It is behind this fundamentally flawed reasoning that he and others such as conservative activist David Horowitz push the misnamed and misguided "academic bill of rights."

        As a 25-year veteran of college teaching, I'm not much concerned with student political affiliation.  Whether I agree or disagree, I've always welcomed diversity of opinions in my classes.  My only stipulation is that students who voice their ideas, however conservative or liberal, should also be responsible for defending them with evidence and rational logic.  So when a student asserted in one of my classes, for instance, that the Holocaust never took place, I believed it was my educational responsibility to challenge that viewpoint, as did most students in the class.

        Was it intimidation or perhaps disrespect to ask that student how he reached his conclusion, especially when mountains of evidence exist to the contrary?  Hentoff apparently believes so, especially if there is a remote possibility for a challenge to what he sees as conservative thought.  Two words, "prove it," if used by both faculty and students in college classrooms, will promote lively, informative and useful discussions.

        Unfortunately, the two words Hentoff and Horowitz are trying to legislate onto college and university professors are "shut up."

        Versions of the "academic bill of rights" have been introduced in more than a dozen state legislatures alleging the "protection" of students from professors ostensibly forcing their liberal views on them through intimidation.  However, the reality is that all colleges and universities already have policies and procedures for students to file grievances in the event of faculty impropriety, harassment or intimidation.  And there is simply no authoritative evidence whatsoever to suggest these policies en masse aren't working.

        Since student protection can't really be the issue, the actual hidden purpose of this legislation must then be one or both of two things: Hentoff either wishes to governmentally force particular viewpoints on college professors, whether or not those viewpoints are factually valid, or he wants to prohibit faculty from challenging any government-endorsed thought, all disguised in the name of "objectivity."  In any case, it is a clear attempt to censure knowledge.  If objectivity were truly the driving force behind this bill, it seems logical that Hentoff and Horowitz would also be targeting U.S. business schools that freely advance one-sided, conservative, pro-business and anti-labor philosophies.

        Needless to say, they're not.

        Accusations of "liberal indoctrination" and political intimidation are quite common these days.  As we all know, however, accusing and proving are two quite different courses of action.  I'd like to think the 25 lives lost in false accusation during the Salem witch trials of 1692 demonstrate the absolute necessity of putting the burden of proof squarely on the shoulders of the accuser.

        Virtually all of these charges trumped up by conservative activists against college professors have been shot down one by one when such cases have come to hearings, and for very good reason: blatant lack of evidence.  This spring, for example, the College Republicans of Santa Rosa Junior College accused 10 professors of teaching and advocating communism in the classroom.  When pressed to cite even one specific example at a hearing, the College Republicans could not.  Apparently, the accusing students involved had little or no interaction with any of the targeted professors before the charges were made.  Therefore, it is highly likely that many critics of college faculty rely far more on selective perception and hearsay than on actual encounters with professors.

        America's colleges and universities are the envy of the world, and for good reason.  In spite of how Hentoff bloviates, the "academic bill of rights" would suppress, not enhance, opportunities for faculty and students to introduce and fully explore certain issues, ideas or perspectives in class simply because they might challenge some students' ways of thinking.  But faculty introducing new perspectives and new ways of thinking certainly is not a recent phenomenon.  It's what the college experience has always been and should continue to be all about.  After all, wouldn't an education investment of $40,000 or more be wasted if professors only reaffirmed what students think they already know?

        And, finally, Hentoff and Horowitz are likely giving professors just a little too much credit for their persuasive powers in their classrooms.  For if these types of influencing abilities existed, wouldn't it also be reasonable for faculty to see other fruits of that tree as well?  Wouldn't we also experience vast increases in the numbers of students who come to class every day, who complete all reading assignments before class, who follow all assignment directions, who screen and edit papers for errors before turning them in, and who always hand in assignments on time?

        You'd think, which, apparently, is what Hentoff doesn't want college students doing much of these days.

Keith Hardeman, Assistant Professor and Chair of Communication and Fine Arts at Westminster College in Fulton, is Vice President of the Missouri Conference of the American Association of University Professors.  This article was first published in the Columbia Daily Tribune, August 23, 2005, and is reprinted by permission of the author and Columbia Daily Tribune.



What's Really Behind the "Student Bill of Rights"?

Commentary by David Bacon

"Student Bill of Rights" is the title of California legislation based on the "Academic Bill of Rights."--Ed.

        An older generation of teachers may remember the days of loyalty oaths and red scares.  During the McCarthyite early 1950s, educators accused of being Communists or harboring leftwing views were driven from the state's school system.  Today, witch-hunts seem once again on the rise.

        The latest attempt to return to the time of red-baiting is called -- ironically -- the "Student Bill of Rights."  Despite its fine, democratic ring, the phrase is being used to restrict teachers from introducing controversial or provocative ideas into their classrooms.

        The argument goes like this: Conservative students are offended when "liberal" faculty try to force them to consider ideas they don't agree with.  Political science or sociology instructors, for instance, who support the benefits of living-wage laws for workers, should be stopped from advancing such liberal biases in class.

        This may sound far-fetched, but 13 states already have introduced bills that would ban such liberal "indoctrination."  These bills, a project of ultraconservative ideologue David Horowitz, aren't aimed at the many prestigious business schools where students aren't only taught that making profit is necessary and virtuous, but also that they should learn to do so as efficiently as possible.  Instead, the bills are aimed at teachers who question such established ideas.

        This spring in Santa Rosa, conservative students backing the state's own version of the Student Bill of Rights showed where their effort is headed.

        On February 25, leaflets quoting Section 51530 of the Education Code were posted on the doors of ten faculty members at Santa Rosa Junior College.

        Quoting the code, the leaflet says: "No teacher ... shall advocate or teach communism with the intent to indoctrinate, inculcate in the mind of any pupil a preference for communism."  Such "advocacy," the code says, means teaching "for the purpose of undermining patriotism for, and the belief in, the government of the United States and of this state."  Fifty years ago, when leftwing teachers were hounded out of the state's schools at the height of the Cold War, this code section was rushed through the legislature to make the purges legal.

        A later press release by the Santa Rosa Junior College Republicans claimed responsibility for the leaflets: "We did this because we believe certain instructors at SRJC are in violation of California state law."  The same day, a news release titled "Operation 'Red Scare'" ran on the California College Republicans' website, saying the leaflets targeted "10 troublesome professors."  The group's chair, Michael Davidson, told blogger John Gorenfeld, "A lot of the college professors are leftovers from the Seventies -- and Communist sympathizers."

        Writing to the campus newspaper the Oak Leaf, Molly McPherson, SRJC College Republicans president, explained that "The instructors I 'targeted' were not selected at random ...  There have even been accounts of JC teachers openly advocating Communist and Marxist theories ... [which have] been outlawed in the classrooms of a country with the strongest free speech rights in the world."

        When the campus Republicans couldn't document the massive teaching of Communism at the junior college, they retreated to general complaints of "leftist bias" by faculty members.  Evidence to support charges of biased teaching seemed just as scarce.  In a forum on the controversy, student trustee Nick Caston pointed out, "I have been on the Board of Review (the last step of the grievance process) for three years and have never heard a complaint about bias in the class room."

        "I've never even talked with any of the students who were involved in this," says red-tagged professor Marty Bennett.  "But I do teach a lot of labor history in my social sciences classes, and I'm identified in the community as someone involved in the labor movement.  That's probably why I was chosen."

        Other instructors also had had little or no contact with the young Republicans.  Bennett says that because of the incident "some teachers were reluctant to take up more controversial subjects.  But it pushed others towards an activism they might not have considered before."

        McPherson says the leaflet was "just in time for one of our senators introducing the academic bill of rights in April."  That bill, SB5, pushed by Sen. Bill Morrow, R-San Juan Capistrano, said, "faculty shall not use their courses or their positions for the purpose of political, ideological, religious or anti-religious indoctrination."

        Horowitz's website charges that "all too frequently, professors behave as political advocates in the classroom, express opinions in a partisan manner on controversial issues irrelevant to the academic subject."  At a time when Governor Schwarzenegger has gone to war with the state's teachers, Horowitz's admonitions would silence protest against him.

        SB5 failed to pass the Senate Education Committee on April 20.  McPherson and her club mates also fared poorly in late April student body elections -- the slate they backed lost by a 2-1 majority.

        Nevertheless, bills similar to Morrow's have been introduced in 13 other states this year.  Defending one in the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio state senator Larry Mumper warned that "card-carrying Communists," are teaching at universities.  He defined them as "people who try to over-regulate and try to bring in a lot of issues we don't agree with."

        So what about the free market of ideas?

David Bacon's book The Children of NAFTA was published last year by the University of California Press, and his photodocumentary on transnational communities, Beyond Borders, is coming next year from Cornell University/ILR Press.  This article first appeared on Pacific News Service, June 10, 2005.  Reprinted by permission of the author.




Institute for Urban Education Off to a Promising Start

by Stuart McAninch

        In August, eleven freshmen began work in the Institute for Urban Education, a program developed by UMKC faculty.  The program was developed mainly by members of the Education and Arts and Sciences faculties, but Bloch School and Biological Sciences faculty also participated.  The Institute has the particular support of the Deans of Education and Arts and Sciences, President Floyd, Interim Chancellor Lehmkuhle, and three urban school districts (of Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City, Kansas, and Hickman Mills).  Students in the program agree to teach in one of the three participating school districts for four years in exchange for full scholarships.  While a proposal for funding submitted to the Kauffman Foundation in September 2004 was not accepted, Southwestern Bell provided a $20,000 capital planning grant and Sprint is providing $450,000 over three years (which will be matched by the University of Missouri) for an endowment to fund scholarships.

        The intent of the program is to provide one stream of highly qualified new teachers for urban school districts in the Kansas City metropolitan area.  The goal is to admit 20-25 freshmen for the Fall 2006 Semester, 25-30 freshmen for the Fall 2007 Semester, and 30-35 freshmen for the Fall 2008 Semester.  While the eleven current students are all preparing for teaching in elementary schools, the intent is for those preparing for secondary school teaching to be included as the program expands. 

        The curriculum was planned by a curriculum Design Committee during Fall 2004 and Winter and Spring 2005.  The initial membership of the committee consisted of faculty representing a wide range of expertise in the humanities, social and natural sciences, mathematics, teacher education, multicultural education, and the social-philosophical foundations of education.  As planning progressed, other faculty members from Education, the Arts and Sciences, and Biological Sciences were drawn into the committee's dialogue and work.  Curriculum planning is an ongoing process.  Currently, the curriculum includes disciplinary and interdisciplinary course work in the natural and social sciences and humanities as well as work in teacher education stressing critical study of issues in urban education and communities.  The work of the Curriculum Design Committee, however, will continue as courses are assessed and subsequent revisions in curriculum are debated and made.

        The governance structure for the program is a work in progress.  Ed Underwood, a member of the faculty in the division of Urban Leadership and Policy Studies in the School of Education, was appointed director in May; Jennifer Waddell, a faculty member in teacher education, was appointed associate director shortly afterwards.  The current policy-making body is an executive committee (chaired by the IUE director, reporting to the Interim Provost and Deans of Education and Arts and Sciences, and composed of administrators and faculty as well as one member drawn from outside the University).  An advisory committee, chaired by the Interim Chancellor, presently includes corporate, philanthropic, civil rights, religious, and public school officials.

        The IUE represents a significant step forward in collaboration between the faculties in Arts and Sciences and Education.  Hopefully, the joint work of the two faculties in planning and implementing the program will lay the groundwork for further major faculty projects which cross unit boundaries.

        One ongoing issue for the IUE pertains to curriculum development.  Designing and implementing a curriculum which simultaneously provides a strong liberal arts education, enables critical study of urban teaching and schools within a social and cultural context, and prepares for action as effective practitioners and change agents within schools is hardly an easy task.  A second issue pertains to funding.  While the initial grants and matching University of Missouri funds have provided significant seed money, scholarships and other program expenses will require that substantial additional funds be located. 

The Faculty Advocate plans to publish an in-depth analysis of the IUE in a future issue.--Ed.




Executive Committee Meets with New Chancellor

        After a national search, Dr. Guy H. Bailey, currently Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas at San Antonio, was offered the job of Chancellor of UMKC.  His term officially begins on January 1, 2006, but he has travelled to the Kansas City campus numerous times since accepting the position.  During these visits Dr. Bailey has spoken with a number of campus leaders, including the Senate, as well as members of the Kansas City community.

        A linguist by training, Dr. Bailey has been described as a good listener.  The newly engaged and energized UMKC faculty will certainly have much to tell him about our hopes for UMKC's future.  One of the abuses under the previous chancellor was our relegation to a position of anonymity, silence, and irrelevance, which in turn drastically curtailed our role in governance.  A chancellor who wants to know, talk with, and listen to his faculty will be a welcome and constructive change.

        At its meeting with him on October 27th, the chapter Executive Committee was gratified to hear that Dr. Bailey does indeed want to hear from his faculty.  He asked each member of the committee about his/her research interests, and has plans to meet with individual units beginning early next semester.  This hands-on approach arises not only from the fact that Bailey considers his primary identity to be that of a "faculty member"--he still teaches and publishes--but also because he feels it will be easier to "sell" the public on the University if he can give them concrete details about our work and our needs.

        The Executive Committee presented Dr. Bailey with a list of faculty concerns compiled from suggestions generated by the chapter.  Responding to questions about administrative titles and salaries, Bailey indicated that his primary concern is that everyone, including administrators at all levels, is "doing his job, serving the university."  He plans to "look at each person in terms of performance," and "will be examining the entire administrative structure," with the help of the findings of the COSCO Committee.

        Asked about the Blue Ribbon Task Force report, he indicated that he believed the business community considers the drastic models of change in governance previously proposed for UMKC a "dead issue."  "No one was interested" in the report, "there were no questions," he said of his recent conversation with Civic Council members.  AAUP officers pointed out that we still need to be on guard to prevent a revival of interest in those models.

        Bailey indicated he is very familiar with AAUP principles.  He agreed to meet with the chapter Executive Committee at least once a semester, and stated he would be happy to work with the chapter as necessary. 



National AAUP Elections Coming Up

        Every even-numbered year elections are held for four national AAUP officers plus ten district positions on the National Governing Council.  To be eligible to vote in the 2006 election, you must be a paid-up member as of February 1, 2006.

        The ballots, accompanied by biographical information about the candidates, will be mailed out on or about March 1, 2006, and must be returned by Monday, April 17, 2006.  The counting will begin on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 and will continue until completed.

        For a list of candidates, go to the national website at http://www.aaup.org/aboutaaup and click on Elections.  Candidates for President are Tom Guild, University of Central Oklahoma, and Cary Nelson, University of Illinois-Champaign.  You are urged to visit both presidential candidates' web sites, at http://www.tomguild.com and http://www.cary-nelson.org .

        Many policies are made at the national level, and it is there that public statements on current issues in education are drafted.  Get informed and participate in the elections. Reminder: a good way of getting to know the issues is to participate in an AAUP summer workshop.  Please consider attending one!  Information is available from the national website, http://www.aaup.org .




AAUP Chapter Loses a Friend: David Gruber

        On August 3, 2005, the AAUP lost a dedicated activist, and the Missouri Conference and the UMKC chapter lost a loyal friend with the death of David Gruber, professor of philosophy at Truman State, at age 47.  It was largely thanks to Dave's advice and support that the UMKC chapter was reconstituted in 1999.  Dave was an engaged and hands-on leader.  As a member of the national Council and national executive committee and chair of the Missouri Conference, he kept up a steady stream of e-mails to the membership on important issues, as well as news about funding sources, travel support, lectures, and legislation.  He visited Kansas City a number of times, for state and regional meetings and to participate in the 2004 Missouri Philological Association conference on academic labor, cosponsored by the UMKC AAUP.

        Dave devoted enormous amounts of energy to the rights of adjunct faculty.  He was a member and later a consultant to the national Committee on Contingent Faculty and the Profession, and drove all the way from Kirksville to attend an AAUP-sponsored Part-Time Faculty Rally for a living wage held at UMKC.

        In April 2005 the Missouri State Conference created a leadership award in honor of David Gruber, and later in the year the Assembly of State Conferences awarded him the Tacey Award in recognition of his service to the Missouri conference.                                                    




News of the Chapter

        The chapter has met twice this semester.  Members spent a pleasant afternoon at the house of Ed Gogol, Biological Sciences, on September 16.  There was a working meeting on October 28 following the COSCO Committee report to the faculty at large.  Discussion on October 28 dwelt on the importance of chapter members running for office, plans for a chapter recruitment campaign, and a report from members of the Executive Committee on their conference with incoming Chancellor Bailey. The major effort of the chapter since the last issue of Faculty Advocate was its intense, four-month-long campaign opposing the Blue Ribbon Task Force, a campaign documented throughout the current issue.  In addition, AAUP members have been busy.  Chapter members David Atkinson (committee chair), Bruce Bubacz and Loyce Caruthers completed their work on the Chancellor Search Committee with the naming of Guy Bailey as the new Chancellor of UMKC.  Chapter members have also taken on major transitional roles in governance.  Charlie Wurrey, Chemistry, is currently serving as Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences, while Bruce Bubacz, Philosophy, was appointed Interim Provost.  A national search for a Provost is currently underway.

        Once again the chapter co-sponsored Tent State University, a week-long series of events focusing on issues such as free speech on campus and the First Amendment, labor after Katrina, a living wage for university employees, and the corporatization of education.  Chapter members Judy Ancel, Labor Studies, Bob Gamer, Political Science, and Pat Brodsky, Foreign Languages, participated in teach-ins, and Scott Baker, Foreign Languages, staffed an AAUP information table.  This semester's successful TSU culminated in a talk by educator, organizer, and co-founder of the Black Panther Party Bobby Seale. Seale's address, which related the history of the Panthers and urged students to get involved in the political process, drew an enthusiastic crowd estimated at 450 people, including many from the community.

        Congratulations are in order to several chapter members.  Gayle Levy, Foreign Languages, gave birth to a son, Morris Terrell (known as Moss), who has already attended his first faculty meeting.  Drew Bergerson, History, and Doug Cowan , Sociology/Religious Studies, received tenure and promotion.  Cindy Jones, History, was the first recipient of the new Dean's Outstanding Teaching Award for Part-Time Faculty.  Doug Cowan will be returning to Canada at the end of this semester, to take up a tenured position at the University of Waterloo, Ontario.  We wish him success, but will certainly miss his collegial presence, his high standards, and his refreshing wit (who else signs his e-mails "a moose-hugging Canadian"?).  Chapter member Moira Ferguson, English/Women and Gender Studies, has also "gone home," retiring to her native Glasgow, Scotland.  We wish her a happy retirement.



Two Important Meetings: Please Attend!

        1. Tuesday, November 22, 11 AM, Pierson Hall
            Chancellor's Town Hall meeting on UMKC budget and higher education financing

        2. Monday, December 5, 7 PM, Katz Pharmacy Building, Room 201
            Representative Beth Low's Public Forum on Higher Education.  See page 1: "The battleground may be shifting to Jefferson City."  
            The panel will include Low, state Senator Charles Wheeler, Professor Gary Ebersole, and student Andrew Culp.



The entire contents of each issue of  The Faculty Advocate (except for public domain material) is copyrighted.  The Faculty Advocate , November 2005, Copyright 2005 by the UMKC Chapter of the American Association of University Professors.  All rights returned to authors upon publication.  AAUP chapters, state conferences, and the national organization have permission to reproduce and distribute.  Permission for other non-profit publishers is a formality, but UMKC AAUP asks them for the courtesy of requesting it.  Contact the Editor, Patricia Brodsky: 816-235-2826, e-mail: brodskyp@umkc.edu



AAUP Dues Information

Membership
Open to all faculty
Full-time tenured and tenure-track
Full-time non-tenure track
Part-time
Graduate teaching assistants

Membership requires payment of both local and national dues
 

Local UMKC chapter dues

$10 per academic year.
Send payment to Treasurer, Alfred Esser, BSB 417, 816-235-5316, or essera@umkc.edu.
Please make checks payable to "UMKC-AAUP Chapter."
Also please send Alfred your preferred mailing address(es), phone(s), and e-mail address(es).

National dues

Varies by job classification and state--click this link for up-to-date information

Discounts on national dues for following categories

50% off
a) Entrant: Nontenured full-time faculty, new to the AAUP, for first four years of membership
b) Joint: Full-time faculty member whose spouse or partner is a full-time member
c) Retired
75% off
Part Time: Faculty paid on a per course or percentage basis


$10/yr

Graduate: Person enrolled as graduate student at an accredited institution; five-year limit
Please note that national dues also cover Missouri State Conference dues (but not local UMKC dues)



Back Issues

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 1 (September 2000)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 2 (December 2000)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 3 (February 2001)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 4 (April 2001)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 1 (October 2001)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 2 (December 2001)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 3 (February 2002)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 4 (April 2002)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 2, No. 5 (June 2002)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 3, No. 1 (September 2002)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 3, No. 2 (December 2002)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 3, Nos. 3-4 (April 2003)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 4, Nos. 1-2 (December 2003)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 4, Nos. 3-4 (April 2004)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 5, No.1 (August 2004)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 5, no. 2 (October 2004)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 5, no. 3 (February 2005)

The Faculty Advocate, Vol. 5, no. 4 (May 2005)






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