Category Archives: Announcements

2014 Member Survey

2014 Member Survey of Service and Contribution

member survey 2014

In April 2014, the Whittier College Chapter of the American Association of University Professors  (WCAAUP) conducted its first survey about its members and their engagement on campus and in the Whittier community.  The results show that WCAAUP’s membership is active, engaged, and has a positive outlook about Whittier College’s future.

WCAAUP members come from all levels of the professoriate.  Tenured, tenure-track and adjunct professors make up its ranks.  33% of the respondents have been at Whittier 0-7 years, 46% 8-15 years, and 21% more than 15.  About 1/3 of Whittier College faculty are members of AAUP.

WCAAUP Take an Active Role in Leadership
Service at Whittier is naturally a part of our job, but taking on the extra responsibility of chairing committees and bringing about change is largely voluntary.  The survey demonstrates the degree to which WCAAUP members contribute their time and energy, showing that our members far exceed the baseline expectations for service.  In fact, WCAAUP members are among the most generous and most active members of the campus community.  71% of WCAAUP members have chaired a committee, 67% have chaired a department, and 63% have brought policy changes to the faculty for approval.  In short, WCAAUP members not only believe in the college, they believe in making a difference.

WCAAUP Members Contribute
In addition to contributing their time and effort in exceptional ways, WCAAUP members have cumulatively donated more than 30 thousand dollars to Whittier College, and this number does not include estate planning or other planned giving in the future.   For those members that give regularly, the average yearly gift is 640 dollars.  In all, 50% of our members have given money, and 33% contribute annually.  It should also be noted that 65% of WCAAUP members report being active in the larger Whittier community.

Grants and Gifts
On top of personal donations, WCAAUP members have raised (or played significant roles in raising) money for external grants and gifts to the college.  25% of WCAAUP members report getting external funds over the last 7 years, raising a total of 1.97 million dollars in gifts and grants.  These monies go to funding salaries and the overall bottom line of the college.

WCAAUP Members Have a Positive Outlook
When asked how they feel about the future potential of the college, WCAAUP membership is overwhelmingly positive.  Though members had a somewhat critical stance about present circumstances, only 16% report a negative outlook going into the future. In fact, an overwhelming 84% of WCAAUP members believed that Whittier College is going to be as good or better in the future.  This positive outlook is probably highly correlated with WCAAUP members proven record in contributing time, effort and money to the college, and a belief in the potential to bring change.

Our first annual survey reaffirms both the description and mission of WCAAUP as an organization “dedicated to advancing the academic mission of Whittier College by supporting a sustainable model of education and shared governance.”

About the Whittier Chapter of AAUP
Re-established in September 2013, WCAAUP is a subsidiary chapter of the AAUP (the American Association of University Professors),  a professional organization established in 1915 for the purpose of protecting academic freedom, pursuing effective shared governance of colleges and universities, and advocating that colleges and universities provide adequate compensation to faculty to make the profession attractive.  These ideas and goals are spelled out in the “1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure,” which can be found in the Whittier College Faculty Handbook, Appendix 1.  Whittier College had an active AAUP chapter in the 1970s, and AAUP guidelines were instrumental in the establishment of key aspects of our faculty governance system.

Membership in the Whittier College chapter of AAUP is open Whittier College Academic Staff, Adjuncts, Librarians, Visiting Professors and Faculty.

Statement on Academic Freedom, Tenure, and the Whittier College Faculty Personnel Process

Whittier College Chapter of the AAUP

January 29, 2014

The American Association of University Professors was established for the purpose of expanding, protecting, and preserving the academic freedom of college and university faculty in their roles as teachers, scholars, and citizens.  Several axioms underlay that purpose.  The first is that ideas are powerful, and can be considered dangerous by established powers.  The second is that colleges and universities exist to serve the common good.  The third is that college and university faculty serve the common good by exploring, understanding, and questioning ideas about the way the natural and human worlds work, including the policies, practices, and priorities of the college or university at which they are employed.

To serve these ends, the AAUP has articulated policies and procedures that colleges and faculty should adopt to protect and support faculty and academic freedom, most importantly those articulated in the “1940 Statement on Principles of Academic Freedom and Tenure with 1970 Interpretative Comments.”[1] Key among these policies is the institution of academic tenure, or “continuous appointment,” an institution through which a faculty member has earned a right to a faculty position.  Whittier College aspires to these AAUP principles.

In the early 1970s, the Whittier College Chapter of AAUP worked to translate those principles into a faculty governance system that includes a rigorous faculty personnel process that includes tenure.[2]  In the Whittier College process, the Board of Trustees is the body authorized to grant tenure.  That Board action is preceded by a lengthy, usually six-year process during which non-tenured, tenure-track faculty hold probationary status and are subject to peer review based on criteria established by the faculty of Whittier College. Typically, non-tenured faculty hold annual contracts.  Unlike tenured faculty, non-tenured faculty during their probationary years do not have a right to their position beyond the contract period.  For a non-tenured faculty member, non-renewal of an appointment is not the same as dismissal for cause, commonly known as “firing.”  The rights of non-tenured faculty are spelled out in the AAUP document “Statement on Procedural Standards in the Renewal or Nonrenewal of Faculty Appointments.”[3]  Where faculty during their probationary years may have their appointment renewed or not renewed, following processes spelled out in the AAUP “Statement on Procedural Standards in the Renewal or Nonrenewal of Faculty Appointments,” tenured faculty may be terminated only for cause;[4] that is a significant distinction between tenured and non-tenured faculty, and gives weight and meaning to “tenure.”

In the Whittier College faculty personnel system, all faculty members, in consultation with their department chairs, have the responsibility for assembling evidence of accomplishment in the four areas designated as criteria for assessing a faculty member’s effectiveness: teaching, scholarship, advising, and service (see section III.B.5 of the Whittier College Faculty Handbook).  The peer review is undertaken first by the Faculty Personnel Committee, composed of five elected faculty members, the chair of the Faculty Executive Council (FEC), and the dean of faculty.  Non-tenured faculty typically submit to full FPC review in their 2nd, 4th, and 6th years.  By College policy, faculty personnel deliberations and discussions are confidential.

In a faculty member’s 6th year, FPC formulates a recommendation about tenure, based on its peer assessment of the tenure candidate’s dossier and its understanding of College standards for tenure.   That recommendation is then forwarded to the president of the college, who reviews and approves or disapproves of FPC recommendations.  If the FPC recommendation is favorable and the president agrees, the president brings that recommendation and backing materials to the Board of Trustees for action.  If the president disagrees with the FPC recommendation, the committee and the president meet to see if their disagreement can be resolved.  If not, the president’s decision stands and is brought to the Board of Trustees.  FPC may send a letter of dissent to the Board of Trustees.  The decision whether or not to tenure a faculty member rests with the Board of Trustees.

This lengthy, thorough, peer-reviewed process is designed both to protect the academic freedom of faculty members, and to enable the College to select the best possible candidates for tenure consideration.  Moreover, the faculty personnel process epitomizes the concept of “shared governance,” in which faculty, administration, and trustees have essential roles to play.

The Whittier College Chapter of the AAUP fully supports our faculty governance structure and system in general, and the faculty personnel process in particular.  All Whittier College faculty have a stake in insisting and ensuring that process is followed, and that a faculty member’s academic freedom is protected.  Should any faculty member have concerns about the faculty personnel process in general or in any particular case, our process does allow for those concerns to be directed to FEC, the dean of faculty, or the president of the college (see section III.B.10 of the Faculty Handbook).  If a faculty member has concerns that academic freedom has been infringed or violated, the Faculty Handbook also identifies the Faculty Executive Council as the “guardian of academic freedom” and as the grievance committee for the faculty (section I.D of the Faculty Handbook).   This process conforms to AAUP recommendations about the protection of academic freedom, and the investigation of allegations of its transgression.  In addition, the national AAUP may seek to investigate particular violations of academic freedom.

Should the Whittier College faculty personnel process not be followed in any particular case, that would be a matter of deep concern not just to the Whittier College Chapter of AAUP, but also to the entire faculty.  The same is true should there be any allegation or evidence of the violation of any faculty member’s academic freedom.  Should FEC receive either kind of case, we recommend that FEC consult the AAUP document “Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure”.[5]

That being said, the Whittier College Chapter of AAUP expresses full confidence in the ability of the faculty governance system to handle such issues should they arise.

[Statement on Academic Freedom, Tenure, and the Whittier College Faculty Personnel Process  (original document)]

[2] These criteria and processes are open to public access, and are spelled out in Sections III.B.1-10 and Appendixes 1, 3, 10,and 11 of the Whittier College Faculty Handbook  The Whittier College faculty personnel process as well has been amended to now include significant post-tenure, and post-promotion-to-full-professor review.

[4] The AAUP recognizes other reasons an institution may consider the termination of faculty with tenure, in particular a bona fide financial exigency or the discontinuation of a program or department.  In all cases, the AAUP has recommended processes that should be followed to protect faculty interests.

Letter Sent to Quaker Campus

To: The QC Editor

Re: “Adjunct professors begin to organize for unionization” (QC October 17, 2013)


As adjunct professors come to play a larger role in the Whittier College curriculum, the issues that they face become the issues that we all face.  Helping Whittier College be a place of employment that values adjuncts is also in all of our interests.  For these reasons, the Whittier College Chapter of AAUP supports our adjunct colleagues’ efforts to improve their terms of employment, which may include the formation of a union should they choose to do so, to voice and further their interests. We also invite all adjunct professors to join our Whittier College Chapter of AAUP.




Robert Marks

Acting President

Whittier College Chapter of AAUP


Faculty at Whittier College reconstituted an Advocacy Chapter of AAUP (the American Association of University Professors) after almost a thirty-year hiatus. The College had an active AAUP chapter in the 1970s and 1980s, and AAUP guidelines were instrumental to tenure and promotion policies and other principles of the Whittier College Faculty Handbook that remain in practice today.  One member of both the former and revived chapter, Joseph Price, Genevieve S. Connick Professor of Religious Studies, reflected, “More than thirty years ago when I accepted my first faculty position, two senior colleagues at Whittier encouraged me to join them as members of AAUP.  I did and benefited greatly, learning strong ways to work on behalf of faculty. Now that a Whittier chapter of AAUP has been reconstituted, I have enthusiastically re-affiliated with several long-time friends and a new generation of colleagues to promote faculty well-being.”

The Whittier chapter will support the policies and goals of the national association, including advancing the standards, ideals, utility and welfare of the profession. Robert B. Marks, the Richard and Billie Deihl Professor of History and Environmental Studies is serving as Interim President of the Whittier Chapter of AAUP and formally announced AAUP’s recognition of the chapter on Thursday October 3, 2013.  “Bob” Marks said, “The re-establishment of the Whittier College AAUP Chapter will bring positive attention to the college and focus on the strengths of the academic program. Faculty at Whittier College work incredibly closely with our students to produce global citizens but they also are productive scholars, fundraisers, and part-time administrators. AAUP recognizes the many hats faculty wear and the protections and benefits they deserve.”

Elizabeth Sage, Interim Secretary-Treasurer and Associate Professor of History agrees, “The changing higher education landscape presents us with unique challenges and also unique opportunities. It is imperative that faculty work closely with all members of the college community from trustees to adjuncts and staff to live up to the mission of the college.” The chapter is already very active with scheduled events during alumni weekend October 18-20. Please visit our website for upcoming events.

About the AAUP
The AAUP’s purpose is to advance academic freedom and shared governance, to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education, and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good. From:

Whittier College Mission Statement
Whittier College is a residential four-year liberal arts institution that prepares students from diverse backgrounds to excel in a complex global society. Through challenging, interactive courses, taught by accomplished professors, students learn to make connections across disciplines, understand cultural perspectives, and integrate learning with practical application. Inspired by a Quaker heritage, the Whittier education equips students to be active citizens and effective communicators who embrace diversity and act with integrity. From:


Join us for the conversation this Friday at 10 am

Quaker Values and Giving Back

Join us for the conversation this Friday (10/18/13) 

Please join Faculty, Students and Alums for two conversations on Whittier’s past, present and future.

Quaker Values and the Curriculum: 10 am in Hoover 004a

Alumni Speak, or “Why I Give”: 11:30 am in Hoover 004a