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Association for Texas University Professionals
TACT Quarterly eBulletin

July/Aug/Sept 2004 Vol. LVII No. 1

Texas Association of College Teachers ~ Defending Academic Freedom

President's Column
Where TACT is Headed
by Dr. James Puckett, TACT President

Being just past the middle of the two-year cycle as TACT President, it is time to take a look back and a look forward.

In the past year, we have striven to improve relations with other constituencies so that we will have a stronger hand in the legislature this coming year and lay the seeds for greater influence in the longer term. To that end, we have improved and solidified relations with the Texas Council of Faculty Senates and the American Association of University Professors. We have also begun to form alliances with the stateís Student Government Associations.

Also in preparation for the coming legislative year, the TACT State Board took input from faculty members at TACTís regional Spring meetings and distilled the legislative agenda down to five items:

1. Benefits should be maintained for faculty and staff; rescind the 90-day waiting period for health care coverage; rescind 10-year wait for retirement benefit accrual to begin.

2. Financial aid should be maintained for students.

3. Faculty salaries should be brought in line with state law.

4. Community colleges should not offer baccalaureate degrees.

5. A shared governance law such as Arizonaís should be enacted; and student and faculty representatives should be required on Boards of Regents.

While the problems facing state government may be serious and intricate, the coming academic year promises to be filled with opportunities to educate legislators as to what we need to function effectively as faculty members and what our universities need to function effectively as institutions. Opportunities to educate legislators exist through roundtable discussions (involving university, community, and legislative leaders); through inviting legislators to shadow faculty members as they go about their everyday business; and through media coverage in television and newspapers, to name a few.

TACT continues to work very hard and very efficiently to support you and support faculty interests in university education. Check with your chapter president or contact to find out how you can lend a hand.

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