JANUARY 12, 2007, MASON HALL, room D5; 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.


Present:  Kevin Avruch, Lorraine Brown, Rick Coffinberger, Martin Ford, Dave Harr, Marilyn Mobley, Suzanne Slayden.


Absent:  David Rossell


FHC Presentation at next BOV Meeting (January 31, 2007):  Members of the committee have been invited to attend the next Faculty and Academic Standards Committee meeting of the BOV next week.   Rick will prepare a five minute presentation for review at our next meeting (January 24th).  Any committee members who wish to attend are most welcome.


Spring Term Meeting Schedule begins Wednesday, January 24th – 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. Please inform Meg if you are unable to attend a meeting.


Discussion:  “Demonstrating Genuine Excellence in Teaching” received from Laurie Fathe, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence re: Sections 2.4 Criteria for Evaluation of Faculty and 2.4.1 Teaching:

·        A great deal of scholarship and research about teaching exists.

·        To consider whether it should be included as an addendum or appendix to the Faculty Handbook; too long for inclusion in FH text; also noted that scholarship may evolve over time.  Perhaps to include an abbreviated version. 

·        Parallel to “Excellence in Research,” not all FHC members agree with this.  Not to use parallel wording with tenure and promotion – must be very careful not to unintentionally make these criteria; effective is good enough.

·        Use of “Genuine” seen as offensive and insulting; excellence should be good enough.

·        Does not include content – you may be a star performer, but what does that mean? 

·        Distance from those in the trenches – diversity issues in which a third of a class may be non-native English speakers; lack of resources at Writing Center to address their needs.  Not just to let them fail or pass with C’s; comprehension problems, poor reading skills in English although students may be working very hard.  Caveat about generalizations re international student diversity.  Often students in top of class are international students.

·        Fallacy of logical types:  may be a wonderful document to assess excellence in teaching, but is excellence in teaching a necessary requirement for tenure and promotion?  Not excellence, but effectiveness in teaching.  Warning if you use “excellence” in Handbook, will become a standard.


Teaching Track to Tenure

Suppose a department wishes to increase research, would they permit a candidate to pursue teaching track to tenure?  Department can define what genuine excellence in teaching and high competence in research are.  Caution to be careful in changing words – BOV history on this.  The BOV has asked to Provost to report each year how many cases in which candidates attain genuine excellence in teaching and in research as well. CEHD has 80% of genuine excellence in teaching documented; training run twice a year. 


New teachers encouraged to meet with Laurie Fathe to receive some training in pedagogy – some may have little teaching experience; can make a difference on a campus like this because of our diversity. Temptation to teach as you were taught; this may not work. 


Why do we need to reinterpret standards of excellence? It may be too simplistic on the teaching side.

How to factor in rigor?  Whether a faculty member is a high-grader or a low grader?  Several committee members disagree with Laurie Fathe’s assertion there is no correlation – often evidence does not surface for years after graduation when alumni identify courses useful to them in their careers.  The Provost wants a little research – either full sample data collection or representative selection of a larger group.  A very systematic process; most faculty don’t want to bother with this, a lot of work.  Six years is not a long time frame for alumni feedback.  Faculty must be good in both areas.


Direct Hires/Equity Issues:  Concern about direct hires not getting a second-level review – beyond department level.  Long history of problems re equity hires.   “Direct hire” means no search conducted; how much truncation of process can you tolerate?  At department level usually rare cases where someone brought in with tenure with no candidate search to dean.  Same problems whether search or waiver of search. – someone has to decide whether tenured or not.  Problem of going from department directly to dean, skipping department level promotion-and-tenure committee.  In old CAS departments, the only ones who decide on promotion and tenure are those who have tenure.  In votes on hiring decisions, both tenured and non-tenured faculty can decide.  Instructional faculty must have role in deciding promotion and tenure; expedience of time.  Not to rush through – if a good quality hire, should be able to get an existing promotion-and-tenure committee together for a high quality high.  Genuine search separate from tenure decisions.  Must check box for “waiver of search” on equity forms.  Useful to have equity office training for interviewers to avoided off-handed statements, etc. 


Next meeting:  consideration of 2.3.1Policies on Recruitment and Employment of Faculty and 2.4 Criteria for Evaluation of Faculty.


Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate