American Association of University Professors
University of Delaware Chapter

301 McDowell Hall, University of Delaware, Newark, DE  19716
Phone: 302-831-2292; Fax: 302-831-4119; E-mail:

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AAUP Executive Council Minutes
Monday, April 28, 2008
Room 302 McDowell Hall, 9:00 AM

PRESENT: Linda Bucher (presiding), Gerald Turkel, Danilo Yanich, Sheldon Pollack, David Smith, Steve Dentel, Pat Barber and Kevin Kerrane (secretary).

The meeting began in Executive Session with a report from the Grievance Officer, David Smith.

Regular Meeting:

 L. Bucher announced an addition to the Agenda: request by the Retired Faculty subcommittee (of the Faculty Senate) for a meeting with a representative of the AAUP Executive Council.

Minutes for the March 17 meeting were approved with two cuts (from the last paragraph on p. 1, and the first on p. 2), both revealing specific details in the ongoing contract negotiations.

Office Update: L. Bucher announced that materials were being prepared for members to vote on the new contract once negotiations were complete, and once the Steering Committee had met and approved the proposed contract. She also mentioned that Quick Book training for Rita Girardi still needs to be arranged.

Treasurer’s Report: S. Pollack announced that the chapter had lost $12,000 on investments since January 1 because of downturns in the market.

AAUP Voice: G. Turkel said that the new issue, to be distributed within the week, would include information about the change in the bylaws restricting eligibility to vote on the ratification of the contract to AAUP members. In addition, the chapter would be providing such information on-line. He noted that the by-laws do not specify how information is to be conveyed, other than requiring an open meeting for the members.

The May-June issue of The AAUP Voice will include full details of the contract as well as news about the fall election of AAUP officers. L. Bucher noted that the Grievance Officer and Contract Maintenance Officer will also need to be formally appointed (or reappointed) in the fall. She requested that each member of the Executive Council and the Grievance Officer and Contract Maintenance Officer think about their individual plans for continued service or succession.

Old Business:

 L. Bucherannounced that chapter members had approved, by a 206 to 15 vote, a revision of bylaws that would restrict voting on all proposed contracts to members of the UD-AAUP.

 Update from Bargaining Team: G. Turkel summarized these key points in the current negotiations:

  • On the article dealing with the appointment or reappointment of department chairs, the dean on the administration team (Bobby Gempesaw and Tom Apple) saw no problem with language proposed by the AAUP. According to Maxine Colm, the provost is agreeable, but also wants the language to be included in the Faculty Handbook.

  • Maxine told the AAUP team that an across-the-board salary component of 2% would not work because the administration wants increments increasingly based on merit. The AAUP had countered that this policy would increase the number of grievances, and that in any case the new contract should be viewed as transitional.

  • The AAUP had also argued that this bargaining position could have—and should have—been announced by the administration earlier in the process, when full attention might have been directed to Article 12.4, and to anomalies in ways that merit increases are calculated in various departments. As our Grievance Officer, D. Smith, has observed, most grievances are about merit, and it is in the interest of the administration and the AAUP to minimize avoidable conflict.

  • The administration is adamantly opposed to increasing its 11% contribution to the retirement plan, but might prove willing to increase the multiplying factor (now 2%) for calculating the one-time payout at retirement.

  • When the administration returns to the table with its own proposals on salary, the AAUP need not make an immediate counter-offer.

  • At the Steering Committee meeting scheduled for May 7, the bargaining team could report on the state of negotiations without recommending acceptance of contract terms. A quorum of 17 would be needed to move the contract forward, but only 15 would be required to approve the acceptance of proxies.

  • All terms of the contract, and all problems with it, would be up for discussion at the General Membership meeting scheduled for May 12.

After this summary, D. Smith suggested that the AAUP’s proposed agency fee, which the administration opposes vigorously, might be finessed by asking for an additional course reduction, which could free the Grievance Officer to pursue cases on behalf on the whole faculty.

 New Business:

National AAUP: G. Turkel explained the organization’s new tripartite structure, and said that the surprising outcome of the recent election is likely to weaken the Collective Bargaining Congress. Some of the larger chapters seem poised to put their resources into the Foundation while leaving the Congress (which is dominated by smaller chapters) and affiliating with AFT.

The final issue—the request from Robert Taggart and Judy Van Name for a meeting with AAUP officers—led to a discussion about how the AAUP could bargain on behalf of those who are no longer part of the faculty. L. Bucher said that she and P. Barber would attend the meeting.

The lastExecutive Council meeting of the semester is scheduled for Monday, May 19, at 9:00 a.m.

 Respectfully submitted,