MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE
NOVEMBER 10, 2006 – 12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m, Mason Hall, room D5
Present: Lorraine Brown, Professor of English, College of Humanities and Social Sciences and President of the AAUP Chapter of George Mason University; Rick Coffinberger, Associate Professor of Business and Legal Studies, School of Management, Chair; Martin Ford, Senior Associate Dean, College of Education and Human Development; Dave Harr, Senior Associate Dean, School of Management; Marilyn Mobley, Associate Provost for Education Programs and Associate Professor of English; Suzanne Slayden, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science.
Absent: Kevin Avruch, Associate Director and Professor of Conflict Resolution and Anthropology, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution; David Rossell, Associate Provost for Personnel and Budget, ex-officio.
Revision to Minutes of November 3, 2006: AAUP Statement on Professional Ethics was last updated in 1987, not 1984 as previously written; the direct link will be added to 126.96.36.199 General Policies at
Revision: 2.11.5 Faculty Availability – paragraph two: Fiscal Year Appointments (12 months):
To add sentence at the end: For academic purposes, instructional faculty on 12 month appointments are expected to be available for work approximately two weeks prior to the beginning of classes until two weeks after the end of classes.
Requests for new faculty appointments to allocated positions normally originate with the local unit administrator, acting upon the recommendation of the unit's faculty. In particular, the administrator seeks the assistance of the faculty in defining the requirements of the position to be filled and the qualifications to be sought in the appointee. Authorization from the appropriate dean and the Provost is necessary before a search is initiated to fill a vacancy or a new position.
The local academic unit establishes a faculty committee, possibly a committee of the whole to advise and assist the local unit administrator in carrying out a search. These committees handle correspondence; review the dossiers of applicants and make recommendations concerning them; establish the schedule and make other arrangements for the on-campus interview of finalists; and perform other search-related duties as necessary. All full-time faculty of the local academic unit will have an opportunity to meet with the finalists. The unit's faculty then evaluates the finalists and formulates a recommendation. The local unit administrator transmits the faculty recommendation, together with her or his own, to the collegiate Dean or to the Provost. A copy of the local unit administrator's recommendation is furnished to the unit's faculty. Faculty appointments to any local academic unit require the concurrence of that unit's faculty.
Before extending an offer of appointment, the local unit administrator or the chair of the faculty search committee must secure affirmative action clearance and the concurrence of the relevant Dean or Director and the Provost. All offers of appointment at rank above assistant professor must include the statement "conditional upon approval by the President of the University and upon election by the University's Board of Visitors." Offers of employment in any rank must include the statement "Contingent upon availability of funding for the position" and must be made and accepted in writing.
Tenured and tenure-track faculty receive initial letters of appointment; acceptance in writing of these letters constitutes a contract between the University and individual faculty members. Letters of initial appointment to tenure-track faculty also indicate the expiration date of terms of appointment. Tenured and tenure-track faculty also receive annual letters indicating salary.
· removal of phrase “usually by election” from first sentence of paragraph two.
· change “probationary” to “tenure track”
· capitalization of Dean and Director
2.6 Annual Evaluations; 2.6.1 Annual Review of Faculty; 2.6.2 Faculty Role in the Evaluation of Academic Administrators – the current text appears (in italics) with questions for discussion below:
2.6. Annual Evaluations
Universities have a long tradition of self-examination and improvement from within. That process includes the annual evaluation of faculty and administrators.
Faculty are evaluated annually by local unit administrators and/or committees of peers who report to the collegiate deans or the Provost. The criteria for the annual faculty review are the same as those listed in Section 2.4, except that the evaluation is based only upon the contributions of the preceding academic year and, where applicable, the succeeding summer. These contributions are to be evaluated in the context of the faculty member's long-term career progression. The results of the evaluation are discussed with the faculty member, who is also given a written summary. For purposes of annual salary review, faculty are evaluated on the quality of overall performance in terms of individual work assignments. Local unit administrators may average performances for years in which merit raises have not been available.
1. Should criteria from 2.4. be expressly articulated here? (research and scholarship; teaching and service; entrepreneurship)?
2. Keep the phrase that evaluation is ONLY based on contributions from the preceding academic year and the “succeeding” summer term.
3. What does sentence #3 mean and should it be kept as is or modified or eliminated?
4. Should the person responsible for discussing the evaluation with the faculty member be specified? (Local unit administrator or chair of committee of peers?)
5. What should the “written summary” include (at minimum) if the review is to be a useful tool for improved performance by faculty?
6. Now that “equity” adjustments are common, should the Handbook address them including the process and criteria?
7. Ditto for “off cycle” salary adjustments.
8. Perhaps we should develop a separate section on salary increments to better emphasize the distinction between development functions of annual reviews and their relationship to salary adjustments.
Academic administrators serve at the pleasure of the President. In reviewing their performance, the President should normally refer to the annual faculty evaluation of administrators, conducted under the joint auspices of the Faculty Senate and the University's Office of Institutional Planning and Research. The purposes of this annual evaluation are (i) to provide information regularly to the President and the Board of Visitors about the strengths and weaknesses of administrators as perceived by the faculty; (ii) to provide, over an extended period of time, a record of faculty opinion of the performance of administrators; and (iii) to provide individual administrators with specific suggestions for improving faculty morale and the operations of the University.
1. Is sentence #1 correct for all academic administrators from the Provost to the department chairs?
2. What process governs the removal of an academic administrator and how is compensation adjusted?
3. Should the annual faculty evaluation of administrators statement include ALL academic administrators from the Associate/Assistant Deans; program coordinators, and others; where (to) draw the line?
4. In recent years, academic administrators have been “encouraged” to provide an annual rep[ort of their accomplishments to inform faculty prior to the conduct of the evaluation; should this become a mandate?
5. I recommend a stronger statement regarding the use of these evaluations; “should normally” says nothing.
6. Isn’t reality that the Faculty Senate conducts these surveys and the OIPR merely provides staff support?
7. Is the list of purposes accurate? The results of the annual reviews are not currently reported beyond the year in question.
Discussion: 2.6.1 Annual Review of Faculty
· Very helpful to have redundancy of titles in Section 2.4.Criteria for Evaluation of Faculty – 2.4.1 Teaching; 2.4.2 Scholarship; 2.4.3 Professional Service; and 2.4.4 University Service
· Remove “succeeding” in front of summer – as some may be evaluated on previous summer work; cannot get evaluations in time for succeeding summers
· Some schools do summer/fall/spring; some look at July 1 – June 30 for evaluation of research and service.
· One school has devised a system to even out irregularity in work from year-to-year as well as pay irregularities. Faculty submit portfolios for three-year interval; provide annual update in intervening years. An elected group of peers conducts evaluations. Faculty like this – time consuming to do all each year – to evaluate 1/3 by portfolio each year. If a new /tenure-track faculty member has a big change of accomplishment, they may submit portfolio. Issue of not doing annual evaluation vs. process invented by faculty, not the dean.
· Should timing of annual review take place in late spring instead of fall? First month of academic year very hectic; many layers of bureaucracy in process. What would be a less stressful time to do this? Timing varies, departments vary.
· Annual review procedure as a developmental process – tied to salary adjustments.
· Need for common language in the Faculty Handbook; to take into account idiosyncrasies of individual units – spacing of publications; uprising in one class; nature of work itself.
· To keep, revise or remove sentence # 3 These contributions are to be evaluated in the context of the faculty member's long-term career progression. To retain – If someone was doing poorly and improved greatly, professional development should have weight in the process; rather than having publications every year, to give credit for submission to a high quality journal; also credit for submitting proposals for grants; stages in publication of books: finding a publisher, etc. To remove: If you are a full professor, need only annual review.
· The criteria for the annual faculty review are the same as those listed in Section 2.4, except that the evaluation is based only upon the contributions of the preceding academic year and, where applicable, the succeeding summer. To remove only? Some units may do other multiyear evaluations.
· Promotion and Tenure Process entirely separate process for review.
· Salary Committee different from Promotion and Tenure Committee. Should it be highly correlated?
· Post-Tenure Review requirements – if a faculty member has an overall unsatisfactory rating over time, then post-tenure review kicks in – required to report to Provost (David Rossell).
· To separate into two parts: -1- Professional Development; -2- Salary Review
· Written summary of evaluation – should the Faculty Handbook specify what written summary should address? Should specifics be included for tenure-track faculty progress toward tenure? The committee was divides on this issue. Chair should be mentoring assistant professor faculty. To set a floor, minimum to address? Not talking about pages, but something has to be written and used for guidance. Need to have language for person to get a fair hearing; some specificity to hold chair (accountable). To have feedback in teaching, scholarship, and service as a minimum if performance “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory”.
· Results: Who does the faculty member talk to? Procedures vary – some schools have very detailed written summary by committee of peers, or committee of tenured faculty, chairs, associate deans, and dean. Dean’s office may provide assessment if significant administrative duties carried out by faculty. Also situations in which chair may want to designate someone to discuss evaluation.
· Suppose faculty member receives a review and wishes to do better, for monetary or professional reasons? Probably would see committee of peers and/or chair – opportunity to discuss results should be in the Faculty Handbook.
· To insert:“Faculty members are required to have an opportunity to discuss the results of the evaluation.” “The results of the evaluation are given to the faculty member in writing.”
· Term faculty have no research expectation; some types of community work open only to tenured faculty – limited opportunities in some way; gets very complicated. How to structure process to provide opportunity? Very challenging operationally.
· Some colleagues publish papers in pedagogical journals – to count towards teaching or research? Arguments on both sides. Faculty members need to know – a perfect example where feedback is helpful.
· Bean counting, not sensitive to individual variations; holistic judgment by a group of professional people achieves a reasonable result.
Clerk, Faculty Senate