MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2007;

Mason Hall, room D1; 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

 

Present:  Kevin Avruch, Associate Director and Professor of Conflict Resolution, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution; Lorraine Brown, Professor of English, College of Humanities and Social Sciences; Martin Ford, Senior Associate Dean, College of Education and Human Development; Dave Harr, Senior Associate Dean, School of Management; Suzanne Slayden, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science.

 

Absent: Rick Coffinberger, Associate Professor of Business and Legal Studies, School of Management, Chair.

 

In the absence of Rick Coffinberger, Suzanne Slayden chaired the meeting.

 

Confirmation of changes made to Sections 2.12.2.1 and 2.12.2.2 at our previous meeting October 29, 2007:

2.12.2.1 Policies Concerning Grievances – BOLD = Revised Text; yellow = text deleted green – pending outside source

The university and each college, school and institute is required to have a standing committee charged to hear investigate grievances in a timely manner concerning (i) alleged violations of academic freedom; (ii) other conditions of employment, such as work assignments, salaries, facilities, and support services (exceptions are those types of cases treated in Sections 2.10.2.2 and 2.10.2.3); and (iii) charges of unprofessional or unethical conduct brought by one faculty member against another. Each college, school and institute will establish, publish, and disseminate these procedures.  In all types of cases, procedures will reflect the fundamental principle of due process that prohibits people from sitting in judgment of their own actions, if those actions are challenged, i.e., grieved or appealed. These committees are particularly charged to be alert to instances of inequitable treatment and retaliation against colleagues who have filed grievances.   In cases alleging discrimination in violation of federal or state law or University regulations, the committee must consult the University Equity Office early in the process.  In cases of research and scholarship misconduct (pending SS/RC/B Stevens).  The University Grievance Committee hears all grievances against Deans/Directors.

In addition to hearing specific cases, the committees may initiate, as they deem necessary, discussions with appropriate administrators about any matters that fall within the committees' purview. In the course of such discussions, however, they may not commit the faculties of their units to changes in grievance policy unless specifically authorized to do so.

At their discretion, academic departments may also establish grievance committees. Their procedures should be similar to those of the collegiate committees.

 

2.12.2.2 Grievance Procedures –  2007 Revision in progress:

 

The following procedures apply to all grievances:

  1. Before the grievance itself is considered, the committee must conclude that the petitioner’s case appears to have merit.
  2. If such a case is made and the grievance is against a fellow faculty member, the committee is charged to investigate the facts of the case and determine an appropriate resolution for the case.  The grievance committee’s decision is final.
  3. If the grievance is against an administrator below the level of the Dean/Director, the committee is charged to investigate the facts of the case and to recommend a resolution which is then forwarded to the Dean or institute Director, whose decision in the matter is final.
  4. If the grievance is against a Dean/Director, Associate Dean/Director the University Grievance Committee hears the case; its recommendation is forwarded to the Provost, whose decision in the matter is final.
  5.  If the grievance is against the Provost, the University Grievance Committee’s recommendation is forwarded to the President, whose decision in the matter is final.
  6. If the grievance is against the President, the University Grievance Committee’s recommendation is forwarded to the Rector of the Board of Visitors, whose decision in the matter is final.

In cases of alleged violations of academic freedom (except those related to matters of promotion and tenure, for which Section 2.9 applies), the faculty of the college, school or institute acts on its grievance committee’s recommendation by formal vote the outcome of which is final.

 

2.12.2.2 Grievance Procedures – 1994 Handbook Text – yellow = deleted; green = moved to 2.12.2.1

In cases of alleged violations of academic freedom (except those related to matters of promotion and tenure, for which Section 2.9 applies), the following procedures apply:

  1. Before the grievance itself is considered, the petitioner must make a prima facie case to the committee.
  2. If such a case is made, the committee is charged to investigate the facts of the case and to make a recommendation to the faculty of the college, school or institute.
  3. The faculty of the college, school or institute acts on the recommendation by formal vote.
  4. If the grievance is against an administrator below the school, college or institute level, the recommendation is forwarded to the dean or institute director, whose decision in the matter is final. If the grievance is against a dean or director, the faculty's recommendation is forwarded to the Provost, whose decision in the matter is final. If the grievance is against the Provost, the recommendation is forwarded to the President, whose decision in the matter is final.

The procedures to be followed in other types of grievance cases are the same, except that the committee forwards its findings and recommendation directly to the appropriate administrator for final action if the grievance is against an administrator. If the grievance is against a fellow faculty member, the grievance committee's decision is final.

 

In all types of cases, procedures will reflect the fundamental principle of due process that prohibits people from sitting in judgment of their own actions, if those actions are challenged, i.e., grieved or appealed. (moved to 2.12.2.1Policies Concerning Grievances)

 

Dave Harr and Martin Ford will discuss with the Provost Tenure Clock Exceptions to Standard Policy currently in the Faculty Information Guide. Meg will verify whether any remaining items not yet resolved identified as issues of concern by the Provost in his review of Handbook text.

 

Discussion:  Mason Care Program; Inclusion of term “Clinical Faculty”

·        Clinical faculty as a group of term faculty who are not teaching or research oriented term faculty.  In earlier discussions with Shirley Travis, did not (realize) that clinical faculty would be non-teaching, non-research, but whatever “clinical” implies.  Assume would be covered by Faculty Handbook as term faculty.

·        Term faculty deals with either teaching or research faculty.

·        Under older definitions, before Mason Care Program, clinical used to be a transient category, but now will be term faculty.  In sample term faculty hiring letters, is there a separate provision for clinical term faculty?  Would they be treated the same as research faculty – hired for a fixed term, with some kind of performance appraisal? 

·        What is (stated) in your contract is what you are evaluated on; eclectic cases in CEHD with teaching load and other duties half-time; 2:2 teaching load. Faculty are evaluated on these important assignments.  Assignment must be half-time or less, otherwise must be administrative faculty.

·        SOM matrix for instructional faculty evaluation: teaching, research, service – administrative piece falls into service.  Business minor coordinator doing in essence administrative work – striving to clarify. 

·        Need to review Handbook sections (such as 2.3.3 Procedures for Appointment and Reappointment of Term Faculty) either to add “clinical” after references to “instructional and research term faculty” or to remove “instructional and research” to have references to “term faculty”, example below in first paragraph :

 

Full-time instructional or research faculty on fixed-term, non tenure track appointments are known as Term Faculty.  At the discretion of the respective Dean or Director, and after appropriate faculty review, such faculty may be offered single-year or multi-year contracts that expire automatically at the end of the contract period.  There is no guarantee or right to reappointment from one contract to the next, whether multi-year or single-year.  If a multi-year appointment is offered to a faculty member whose position relies entirely or partially on non-state appropriated funding, then a multi-year contract may be established with the caveat that this funding must be available throughout the contract period.

 

·        Should paragraph four be changed to remove language?

 

Criteria for reappointment will emphasize strong performance in areas teaching or research, as designated in the initial contract letter.  The reappointment process outlined below is not applicable for Instructors without a terminal degree or postdoctoral appointments.

 

·        Would clinical faculty have different requirements than term instructional faculty?  Committee members broadly in favor of offering clinical faculty protection, should be covered by Faculty Handbook.

·        Reference to 1.3.1 The General Faculty, paragraph one – 2007 Revision

The General Faculty participates in governance at the university level. All members of the University community may attend meetings of the General Faculty and participate in the debate of matters that come before it. The voting membership of the General Faculty consists of all full-time instructional and research faculty.

·        are administrative faculty included in the general faculty?  to add “clinical”? to remove “instructional and research”?

 

Reference to 2.1.3 Other Types of Full-Time Fixed-Term Appointments – 2007 Revision (paragraphs 1 and 2, in which “clinical” is included):

 

Full-time instructional, research, and clinical faculty on fixed-term, non-tenure track appointments are known as Term Faculty.  Service in such positions cannot be applied to consideration for tenure, although a faculty member holding this kind of appointment can subsequently be considered for a tenure-track or tenured appointment.

 

Term faculty whose assignments focus primarily on teaching are appointed as instructional faculty.  Term faculty whose assignments focus primarily on research are appointed as research faculty.  Term faculty whose assignments focus primarily on clinical practice are appointed as clinical faculty.  Some specific administrative or service functions may also be attached to the teaching, research, or clinical focus. 

 

 

Mason Care is broader than just the health care arena, provides consulting activities.    Need to ascertain what is encompassed in Mason Care program; where would faculty actually fit?  Which units would have clinical faculty? Examples in accounting/finance/law: teaching very applied kinds of things vs. teaching broad theory, etc. Not sure why would need a new category if you are teaching, assumed it was more service.  Clinical may include instruction and other things.

 

Part-time Faculty:  Faculty Handbook does not cover part-time faculty of any stripe?  Not the same as adjunct faculty, whose contract is to teach a specific course.  Recent AAUP documented that 48% of faculty serve in part-time capacity. Part-time (separate from adjunct faculty) typically hired without a search, have no evaluation procedures. As written in 2006 Revision 2.1.4 Part-Time Appointment

Part-time term faculty positions are governed by the same appointment, rank, and title requirements as full-time term faculty positions except that the Dean is the final approval level and the maximum length of a part-time term faculty position is one year, with exceptions requiring the approval of the Provost. 

 as an informational statement yes, but contractual statement no.  General idea to devolve to local level.  Need for consistency and simplicity in language. If this is not a contractual document for part-time faculty; may need a separate Faculty Handbook; massive parts of Faculty Handbook do not apply to part-time faculty.  Some (GMU) colleges may have a large percentage of part-time fixed term faculty – in programs such as Continuing Education Program, or Physical Education Activity classes.  Many adjuncts are professionals who teach one course and have a full-time job elsewhere. How many adjuncts are full-time elsewhere?  No question the numbers are going up.  All concerned about how this transfers to FTE. 

 

Faculty Composition and Impact Upon SACS Accreditation:  very important to keep track of how faculty composition is structured in different units; percentage relative to number of full-time instructional faculty.

 

Topics to Discuss for Next Meeting:

·        Clarification of Mason Care questions

·        Chapter Three; needs for changes to 3.1 Salary Schedule in view of change in SCHEV peer group; revenue from combination of tuition increases approved by BOV along with general (state) appropriation; etc.  Perhaps to remove as a section but place pieces of it somewhere else. 

·        Very important to retain 3.3. Summer Salaries salary agreement negotiated by Faculty Senate with the Provost.

·        Any remaining Provost revisions to discuss?

 

Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate