|American Association of
Since the Missouri Southern chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) was founded last spring, we have been asked by faculty, students and people from the community who we are, what we stand for and why we have organized our chapter. Put simply, we are a small but growing association of professional educators dedicated to preserving the quality and effectiveness of educational services to our students here at MSSU. Through our interaction with the administration and other interested parties, we hope to achieve goals that are important to all of us.
We want our institution to grow both in size and quality. We believe that offering our students a quality education will enhance our institution’s reputation, but when size and quality are in conflict, we believe quality is more important. Relatively small classes, taught by highly qualified, approachable faculty, have always been a strength of Missouri Southern and should remain so.
We believe a less selective institution like Missouri Southern has an obligation to offer effective developmental classes to those students readily identified as at-risk, to help make up for deficiencies in their background and opportunity and to provide them a fair chance for success at the university level. For that reason, we believe that reaching and responding to students in course settings that foster direct, personal interaction with professors should remain a high priority.
We believe in addressing the special needs of our constituent community, the Four-States area. Those needs include:
· the chance to obtain an affordable liberal arts education at a four-year public institution. We aim to serve students whose needs cannot fully be met by community colleges or private undergraduate institutions.
· special emphasis on today’s global community, striving for exposure to different world views, cultures, environments, and expectations. Preserving, developing and substantially funding Missouri Southern’s International Mission are crucial to meeting this need.
· resources to cover a larger proportion of the cost of attending classes and residing at a four-year university.
· opportunities for faculty and student travel and educational exchange. Professors and students should be encouraged to attend conferences and connect with faculty and students from other regions and other institutions. This means offering a reasonable number of sabbaticals each semester and financial support for academically oriented faculty and student travel.
· greater involvement in the community, supplementing local expertise and experience in dealing with the problems and opportunities our region is facing.Finally, we believe that an excellent faculty is vital to the university. We engage with students every day of their academic careers. We advise and guide students in the choices they make that will have profound consequences for the rest of their lives. We determine the curriculum and programs that bring students to the campus, and we provide the leadership that helps them through the challenges of their academic careers, helping them to become successful. Thus, we believe in hiring the best faculty available, and providing them the best facilities and work-environment possible. In practical terms, this means doing our utmost to see that we seek and support full-time, tenure-track faculty, because we believe that showing confidence in our faculty and investing in them will foster excellence in education for our students and better service to our community.
(By the way, if anyone needs it, the way to contact Missouri's Governor Nixon is http://governor.mo.gov/contact/ )
The campus of Missouri Southern State University