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Association for Texas University Professionals
TACT Quarterly eBulletin

July/August/September 2002 Vol. LV No. 1

Texas Association of College Teachers ~ Defending Academic Freedom

President's Column
How TACT Works For You
by Dr. Larry King, TACT President

My last column was a response to a lapsed TACT member who was wondering why he should rejoin. In this column I want to respond to several faculty members who have asked, “Why should I join TACT and not another faculty organization?” At the outset, let me say that if you are not going to join TACT, I believe you need to join some faculty organization. Through these organizations Texas faculty work together for the betterment of our profession. However, I also believe that there are several reasons why TACT is the best faculty organization for you to join.

First, university faculty account for the nearly all of TACT members. Other faculty organizations in the state have more members from community college faculty and public school teachers than university faculty. This makes a big difference when it comes to some key higher education issues. For example, TACT has taken a clear stand against the transferrable core and the transferrable fields of study that were supported by many community colleges. Another Texas faculty organization has been silent on those two issues because it could not risk alienating its community college members. The interests of the university faculty members of that organization were sacrificed for the interests of community college members. TACT does not have to pick and choose between competing member interests because we represent only the interests of university faculty.

Second, TACT has a strong, responsive, and effective legislative program. One well known national faculty organization has no professional staff working to represent the interests of its members in the Texas legislature. TACT’s Executive Director, Chuck Hempstead, works closely with TACT members and officers to develop our legislative program. Every TACT member has the opportunity to give input into the legislative program, ensuring that we develop legislative priorities that reflect the concerns and interests of our members. Chuck also works closely with legislators and their staffs to promote TACT’s legislative program. A good example of Chuck’s effectiveness in the legislative process can be found in his actions in reshaping legislation on Post Tenure Review. Chuck worked with Representative Henry Cuellar and his staff to incorporate protections for faculty rights and due process in the Post Tenure Review Legislation. I have walked the halls of the State Capitol Building with Chuck on many occasions and on each visit it is clear that Chuck is well respected by members of the Legislature and their staffs. Not all faculty organizations have staff who are so well received at the Capitol. TACT is lucky to have Chuck on our team and as a TACT member you have Chuck working for you.

Third, membership in TACT is a bargain. Membership in one state faculty organization costs $264 for a first time member and then goes to $356 after the first year. Liability insurance is included in the membership for that organization. The well known national faculty organization costs $146 for membership and liability insurance. Regular membership in TACT costs just $90 and with professional liability insurance membership is just $139. TACT is your best value, and when you consider the benefits of a strong legislative program, regular legislative alerts, the quarterly bulletin, the annual ORP analysis, the Academic Freedom Defense Fund, and liability insurance then TACT membership is the clear choice.

As I said earlier, if you are not going to join TACT, you need to join some faculty organization. However, I believe when you compare faculty organizations you will find that TACT is the best choice for any university faculty member in Texas.
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