Category Archives: Higher Education

WCAAUP Publishes “Bill of Right to Know”

WCAAUP is happy to announce the “Bill of Right to Know.”  This document reflects the long-term goals of AAUP members at Whittier College and their desire to build a solid foundation of functional shared governance so that Whittier can strategically and effectively harness its full potential as an institution of higher learning.

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.

Summary
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.

AAC&U Documents Liberal Arts Success

A new AAC&U report by Debra Humphreys and Patrick Kelly provides ample evidence of the role and value of a liberal arts education.  Here is a quote from the forward:

In How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment: A Report on Earnings and Long-Term Career Paths, Debra Humphreys and Patrick Kelly address the concerns about whether college is still worth it and whether “liberal arts” majors provide a solid foundation for long-term employment and career success. Responding directly to the recent assaults on the humanities and social sciences, this report compares earnings trajectories and career pathways for liberal arts majors with the earnings trajectories and career pathways for those majoring in science and mathematics, engineering, and professional or preprofessional fields such as business or education. Readers who value the liberal arts will, we believe, find the results reassuring.

There is a much larger case—beyond the purely vocational or economic case—to be made for study in the humanities and social sciences, of course. These fields build the capacity to understand our collective histories, ideals, aspirations, and social systems. They are indispensable to the vitality of our democracy and to the future of global understanding, engagement, and community.

A number of interesting key findings point to the short-term and long-term economic viability of the liberal arts degree:

Liberal Arts Majors Close Earnings Gaps—Earn More than Professional Majors at Peak Earnings Ages

  • At peak earnings ages (56-60 years) workers who majored as undergraduates in the humanities or social sciences earn annually on average about $2000 more than those who majored as undergraduates in professional or pre-professional fields. These data include all college graduates working full-time, including those with only a baccalaureate degree and those with both a baccalaureate and graduate or professional degree.

Unemployment Rates are Low for Liberal Arts Graduates—and Decline over Time

  • The unemployment rate for recent liberal arts graduates is 5.2 percent. The unemployment rate for mature workers with liberal arts degrees (41-50) is 3.5 percent—just .04 percent higher than the rates for those with a professional or preprofessional degree.