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                          DSS News
                    D. J. Power, Editor
             June 19, 2005 -- Vol. 6, No. 14

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* Ask Dan! - Report from AAUP Annual Meeting Washington, D.C. 
* DSS Conferences 
* DSS News Releases 


Ask Dan! 

Report from AAUP Annual Meeting Washington, D.C. 

by Dan Power

From June 9-11, 2005, I was a delegate to the Ninety-first Annual 
Meeting of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in 
Washington, D.C. representing the University of Northern Iowa AAUP 
Chapter. Such a large representative gathering reminded me of all of 
the pluses and minuses of traditional structured, large group decision 
processes. In this trip report I'll summarize the meeting, but I also 
want to focus on computerized decision support for such meetings and 

My first activities were Collective Bargaining Congress functions on 
Thursday evening. Following an orientation for new delegates, we had 
dinner and then a business session. AAUP has 70 Collective Bargaining 
Chapters including very large Chapters from California and New 
York. At the business session physical cards were given out to 
delegates so they could vote on Friday morning from 7:30am-8:30am for 
Officers and Council. Given that all Chapters were not in attendance, 
it probably would have been better to have had web-based voting 
following the meeting. 

On Friday morning I took the subway into the Washington Court Hotel 
from New Carrollton where I was staying. The subway ride took longer 
than expected due to a mechanical problem and I didn't arrive until 
after 8:30am. I attended a TIAA-CREF Estate Planning Seminar and then 
a prescreening of the PBS documentary "Declining by Degrees: Higher 
Education at Risk". John Merrow, the correspondent, was at the session 
and responded to our questions and concerns. I recommend that people 
watch it when it is released June 23. We only saw a preliminary cut 
of the first hour of the 2 hour documentary. Merrow tried to present 
a balanced answer to the question "How good is higher education in 
America?" Sadly the response primarily dredges up all of the good and 
bad stereotypes of Higher Education. The first hour presents little 
that is new. The main problem we have is trying to educate too many 
students, some of whom are poorly prepared and only weakly motivated, 
in an underfunded, understaffed Higher Education System primarily 
created for selective admissions rather than broad-based public 
education. Clearly Higher Education must change, but how and with 
what resources remains unanswered in the documentary. The official 
website is . 

Lisa Anderson, Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs 
at Columbia University, gave an outstanding Plenary Luncheon 
address. Friday afternoon was focused on workshops. The Annual Meeting 
actually started Saturday morning following an open dialog with Roger 
Bowen, the General Secretary of AAUP. Dr. Bowen assumed his duties in 
November 2003. He served as president of the State University of New 
York at New Paltz from 1996-2001. Roger brings real commitment to the 
job and is a strong advocate for Faculty. 

The morning session involved recommendations to the delegates from the 
Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (Committee A). These 
recommendations dealt with removing and imposing censure on Colleges 
and Universities that violate Faculty Rights. An elaborate 
investigative process and committee review occurs before resolutions 
are brought to the Annual Meeting. There was no evidence of 
computerized decision support in the process, but there was much 
evidence of careful scrutiny, systematic data collection and serious 
deliberation. My guess is that email communications and word 
processing facilitated the process, but that was about all that was 
used and yet it was probably adequate given the number of complaints. 
If Committee A was evaluating 25-30 complaints each year, then a 
document-driven DSS with some web-based voting might be 
helpful. Delegates voted to place Virginia State University, the 
University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky, and Meharry Medical College 
in Tennessee on its list of censured administrations. We then voted to 
remove Wingate University in North Carolina and Southern Nazarene 
University in Oklahoma from the censure list. The delegates also 
endorsed a supplementary report on Benedict College in South Carolina, 
which is already on the association's censure list. I think the case 
of Benedict College especially deserves our attention. The Web has all 
of the details (check 
benedictam.htm ), but briefly the college's current president, 
Dr. David H. Swinton, decided that all faculty would weight effort as 
heavily as achievement in their grading of first- and second-year 
students. When two faculty members refused to comply with the new 
policy, Swinton dismissed them. Dr. William Gunn is the President of 
the Benedict College AAUP Chapter and he needs our help and support. 
The Benedict website is and you can write to Gunn or 
Swinton at Benedict College, 1600 Harden Street, Columbia, SC 
29204. The Benedict College administration was censured in 1994 due to 
deficiencies in official college policies governing faculty 
appointments. The censure remains in effect. 

Following lunch, Tariq Ramadan, a renowned scholar on the interactions 
of Islam with western cultures, addressed the annual meeting of the 
American Association of University Professors by video conference. 
Ramadan was not granted a US Visa to teach in the US or to attend the 
Annual meeting. Based on the video and a live question and answer 
session, I was much impressed by Ramadan. It is disappointing that 
he could not attend. 

In the afternoon we completed voting on a constitutional amendment on 
membership. A Call for a Proportional Vote would have wrecked havoc. 
AAUP has no easy means for letting delegates vote based on the number 
of members in chapters. Some computerized support could make 
proportional voting much easier. For many years the US Congress has 
had electronic voting because of the cumbersome nature of casting over 
400 votes in an assembly. When some delegates have 50 votes and 
others have 300, the casting and counting nightmare really escalates. 
AAUP has about 44,000 members and approximately 200 delegates were at 
the meeting representing the membership. 

Also, in the afternoon we voted on Resolutions from the Committee on 
Resolutions. Amendments and substitute amendments bogged down the 
process, and providing the secretary with a portable computer to 
display the amendments on the front screen would have improved 
the decision process. Ultimately we passed three resolutions 
supporting the right of graduate student employees to choose 
representation by a collective bargaining agent, expressing our 
concern over increased attacks on the academic freedom of teachers and 
scholars across the nation, and supporting the teaching of evolution. 

The annual meeting adjourned at 3pm and I attended the Committee on 
Contingent Faculty and The Profession session until 5:30pm. 
Universities need to reduce the number of contingent faculty 
and current faculty need to fight for more tenure and tenure-track 
faculty positions. The instability created by contingent faculty hurts 
Universities and those serving in such roles. Well-educated citizens 
are the foundation for maintaining freedom and democracy, we can't 
jeopardize all that we have accomplished in the past 225 years to 
create more staffing flexibility, to lower the cost per credit hour or 
other illusory benefits of contingent faculty. So what did I learn at 
the meeting? 

Although the processes of democratic organizations can be streamlined 
and in specific instances improved with computerized decision support, 
traditional large group, democratic decision processes work. Clearly 
the AAUP annual meeting could have benefited from technology to 
display resolutions and allow for editing them. Also, more web-based 
delegate or member voting prior to the annual meeting may actually 
increase member involvement. 

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." Decision support technologies can help members and staff 
accomplish this purpose. In the future, AAUP needs to do more with 
discipline-oriented professional associations to enact, evaluate and 
enforce codes of professional ethics and responsibilities. To support 
this effort, AAUP needs a data base repository of such information and 
AAUP should provide an ongoing evaluation of such codes. 

Also, the AAUP is becoming the AUP. AAUP is becoming a global 
Association of University Professors who share a strong commitment to 
Academic Freedom and Academic Responsibility. Computerized decision 
support can help maintain a democratic, participative organization as 
it "goes global". The web site address is 

Sunday, I journeyed back to Cedar Falls. 


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DSS Conferences 

Upcoming Conferences 

1. International workshop on context modeling and decision 
support will be held July 5, 2005 in Paris, France. 
Check . 

2. PACIS 2005 will be held July 7-10, 2005, Bangkok, Thailand. 
Check . 

3. Eighth International Conference on Decision Support
Systems (ISDSS'05),Trends in DSS Research and Practice, sponsored 
by AIS SIG DSS, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, 
July 12-15, 2005. Check . 

4. AMCIS 2005 with SIG DSS mini-tracks in Omaha, Nebraska, 
USA, August 11 - 14, 2005. Check . 
SIGDSS meeting Thursday, August 11 from 5:30 - 7:30PM. 

5. 2005 NPRA Plant Automation and Decision Support 
Conference, October 18-21, 2005, Gaylord Texan Hotel, 
Grapevine, Texas. Check . 

6. Call for Papers: ACM Eighth International Workshop on Data 
Warehousing and OLAP (DOLAP 2005), November 4-5, 2005, 
Bremen, Germany. Submissions due July 19, 2005. 
Check . 


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DSS News Releases - June 6 to June 19, 2005 
Read them at DSSResources.COM and search the DSS News Archive

06/17/2005 Business Objects announces 11th Annual International User 
Conference; "Business Objects Insight" aims to help organizations 
perform on an entirely new scale. 

06/16/2005 Dallas County, Iowa, selects Intergraph Web mapping 

06/16/2005 Executive Summit at Agile 2005 highlights growing support 
for agile practices by senior managers. 

06/16/2005 Microsoft taps OSI technology for coalition warrior 
interoperability demonstration. 

06/15/2005 New E-mail security mechanism for HIPAA and business 

06/15/2005 Poindexter Systems using SAS Enterprise BI Server to 
enhance online marketing campaigns; comprehensive BI platform creates 
'elegant' advertising reports, simplified data summaries. 

06/14/2005 features PriceMiner(TM) at eBay Live! 2005. 

06/14/2005 Business Objects to deliver trusted information throughout 
the enterprise for Vivendi Universal Games. 

06/13/2005 PlanReady(TM) announces new name, location and introduces 
their next generation solution - RescueConnexion(TM). 

06/13/2005 ProClarity teams with Microsoft to extend comprehensive 
scorecard application. 

06/13/2005 LoanCenter Consumer enriches Bangor Savings Bank's indirect 
lending; APPRO Systems, Inc. enables bank to auto-decision loan 

06/10/2005 ProClarity Analytics platform named Best of TechEd 2005 in 
Business Intelligence Solutions Category. 

06/09/2005 MicroStrategy Symposium in Chicago to highlight real-world 
business intelligence solutions July 18-20, 2005. 

06/09/2005 U.S. Mayors to glimpse new security technology; TechAlt to 
demonstrate new interoperability solutions for first responders. 

06/08/2005 NASA funds projects to develop decision-making tools. 

06/07/2005 For Your Eyes Only! American Academy of Ophthalmology 
explains iris scanning technology. 

06/07/2005 MicroStrategy tops peer group as preferred business 
intelligence product to standardize on, according to independent 

06/07/2005 BusinessObjects XI deployed at Turner Broadcasting. 

06/06/2005 Viewmark provides Frontier Airlines with usability lab to 
examine and improve its online ticket booking process. 

06/06/2005 Apple to use Intel microprocessors beginning in 2006. 

06/06/2005 Ballmer outlines opportunity for IT pros and developers to 
enable people to drive business success. 


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