MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 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; 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; Suzanne Slayden, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science.

 

Spring 2008 Meeting Schedule:  The committee will meet every Thursday afternoon from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. beginning the first week of the semester (January 24, 2008) through May 1, 2008  if necessary, with the exception of spring break week (March 13, 2008).  Committee needs to push ahead and present a full revised draft for consideration, rather than circulating changes in pieces; which may hinder progress. 

 

Dissemination of revised Faculty Handbook: After the present committee's work is completed, need to develop process to receive feedback from administrators, university counsel, and the Faculty Senate, before final submission to the BOV for its approval..

 

A complex document – as with approval of various research policies, need to be open to amendment.  Once draft finished, anyone can offer feedback. Handbook Committee minutes posted on Faculty Senate website.

 

Proposal for Future Amendment/Revision: After the work of this committee is completed, a Standing University or Faculty Senate Committee should be established to examine Handbook-related issues, such as carryover issues or new issues.

 

Discussion: “Mason Cares” draft plan – definition of clinical faculty; inclusion in Faculty Handbook:

·        New category of clinical faculty as term faculty; as source of professional expertise.  Some clinical faculty appointed to do other things, whose main job is neither instructional nor research.  Should they be covered by Faculty Handbook?  In the same way as other term faculty regarding promotion, rank, etc?  Consensus that full-time term faculty specializing in clinical area to be included in Faculty Handbook and not be treated differently than other term faculty. 

·        Clinical faculty could be hired to focus on service such as  field work; outreach-oriented work.  There are a sizable number of clinical faculty in law schools who are teaching-oriented; also example of physicians teaching in medical schools. 

·        In development of “Mason Cares” policy, suggestion was made and rejected to use title “Service Assistant Professor”.  Need to use generic term, local titles are a different model.  No one has come up with an appropriate generic term yet; idea to use some adjective in from of usual labels, such as research professor.

·        Would clinical faculty be covered by the same rules for promotion as other term faculty?  Could be a big deal in evaluation where must be highly competent, but not have genuine excellence in one area.  Definition of locus control?

 

 

2,.3. 3 Procedures for Appointment and Reappointment of Term Faculty –2007 FHC Revision Completed.  Revision text based on ADDENDUM TO FACULTY HANDBOOK 7/1/03:  PROCEDURES FOR APPOINTMENT AND REAPPOINTMENT OF TERM FACULTY on Provost Office website at: http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/documents/termfacguide.doc (page one of three)

 

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.

 

Term Faculty appointments will be explicitly designated as such, and offer letters must clearly state the type and length of appointment, as well as the focus of the appointment, either teaching or research.  Some specific administrative or service functions may be attached to the teaching or research focus.  Multi-year appointments will be made at the rank appropriate to the credentials of the individual, often at the rank of Term Assistant Professor with an initial contract period of three years.  Multi-year Term Faculty will hold a terminal degree, as defined by standards in the discipline.  Exceptions to either contract length or terminal degree requirements must be approved by the Provost.

 

By agreement with the Board of Visitors and the Faculty Senate, a maximum of 35% of all Term Faculty may be on multi-year contracts and a maximum of 25% of all full-time Instructional Faculty may be Term Faculty.

 

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.

 

·        Need to include in contract letters specific areas; to have someone defined with responsibilities other than teaching or research would also have to be included in contract letter.

·        Not too productive to focus on self-supporting action, majority of clinical faculty are not this way.

 

Clinical Faculty already included in 2.1.3 Other Types of Full-Time Fixed-Term Appointments – 2007  Revision (part 1 of 3)

 

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. 

 

Term faculty may be offered single-year or multi-year contracts, with the maximum contract length being three years for initial appointments and reappointments at the same rank.  Such contracts automatically expire at the end of the contract period, and although they may be renewed, there is no guarantee or right to reappointment from one contract to the next, whether single-year or multi-year.

 

Term faculty appointments include appropriate academic rank as judged by the appointing local academic unit and subject to the approval of the appropriate Dean and Provost.  Multi-year term faculty must hold a terminal degree.  Term faculty with a terminal degree are eligible for promotion in rank after six years of service.  Multi-year contracts offered after promotion in rank may be for three or five years. 

 

Teaching-oriented term faculty may hold one of the following titles:  Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor.  Research-oriented term faculty may hold one of the following titles:  Research Instructor, Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor, or Research Professor.  Clinical-oriented term faculty may hold one of the following titles:  Clinical Instructor, Clinical Assistant Professor, Clinical Associate Professor, or Clinical Professor.

 

Term faculty on single-year appointments whose permanent employment is with another organization should be modified by the title “Visiting.”

 

By agreement with the Board of Visitors and the Faculty Senate, a maximum of 35% of all Term Faculty may be on multiyear contracts and a maximum of 25% of all full-time Instructional Faculty may be Term Faculty. 

 

1.3.1 The General Faculty – 2007 FHC Revision Completed

The General Faculty is responsible for faculty participationes in governance at the university level. All members of the University's teaching and research 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 tenured, tenure-track, and term tenured and probationary faculty and professional librarians.

Without relinquishing the generality of its powers, the General Faculty delegates to the Faculty Senate the responsibility for participation in governance at the university level (see Appendix B, Charter and By-Laws of the Faculty Senate).

 

The General Faculty is required to meet at least once each semester. Meetings are scheduled by the President of the University, who serves as presiding officer. Additional meetings may be scheduled at the President's discretion. If at least 10% of the voting membership petitions for a called meeting of the General Faculty, the President is obliged to schedule it within thirty days, or within ten days if the purpose of the call is to modify the authority the General Faculty has granted the Faculty Senate, or to reverse specific decisions of the Senate, or to amend the Senate charter.

 

·        Removal of earlier revision to encompass clinical faculty. 

·        Addition of  tenured, tenure-track, and term

 

2.1.2 Tenure-Track Probationary Appointment – 2007 FHC Revision Completed

 

An instructional faculty appointment for a fixed term in which service is applied to consideration for tenure. These appointments are issued for terms of up to three years. The University can, but is not required to, renew such appointments of additional terms up to a total of seven years of service. An instructional faculty member in the final term of a tenure-track probationary appointment cannot subsequently be given another tenure-track probationary appointment but can subsequently be considered for another type of fixed term appointment. Faculty on tenure-track probationary appointments may hold the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor.

 

2.1.7 Categories of Faculty University Employees – 2007 FHC Revision Completed

 

INSTRUCTIONAL/RESEARCH /CLINICAL FACULTY

Faculty on contractual appointments who customarily teach, conduct research or engage in clinical practice public service activities as a principal activity. Instructional faculty usually work a 9 or 12 month year and may be full-time (1.0 FTE) or part-time (less than 1.0 FTE).

 

ADMINISTRATIVE/PROFESSIONAL FACULTY Administrative/professional faculty perform work directly related to the administration and support of the educational and general activities of the university. Professional faculty perform professional work in education, research, athletic, student affairs and development activities. Administrative/professional faculty are usually on contractual appointments of 12-months duration and may be full-time (1.0 FTE) or part-time (less than 1.0 FTE)

·        Deletion of “public service activities” because clinical faculty, by definition, are serving and helping someone.  If you are performing service which does not fit into clinical category, you should be professional faculty. 

·        CEHD has about 40 professional faculty, who work in training and assistance centers, to help in special education, to help teachers, parents, and training social workers. 

 

Discussion:  Full-time administrative faculty who hold full-time appointments.  While this does not include all administrative faculty, should those who hold full-time appointments be excluded from this definition?  Are they covered only by administrative faculty Handbook?  Cannot be covered by administrative and faculty handbooks at the same time.  But no provision for administrators who want to get underlying tenure appointment – would not Faculty Handbook apply for those aspects not covered?  When issues are decided by the general faculty, are they eligible to vote?  Example of person who may take on low-level responsibilities – not to lose faculty rights.  By rule, all administrative faculty have rank.  Some senior administrative faculty who did not meet the criteria for tenure may not have been given tenure. 

·        Suggestion made to add sentence such as “Administrative faculty who meet the criteria for tenure may be appointed with tenure in their local academic units”.  Does this fail to recognize those who received tenure as instructional faculty, but later became administrative faculty?

·        If administrators are not members of the Faculty Senate (deans/president/provost/and university librarian are ex-officio members with the right to vote), how can administrative faculty be included in the general faculty? 

2.2.9 Administrators Holding Faculty Rank – 2007  To include Administrative Faculty Handbook Text below without revision?

C. Faculty Rank

Each person appointed to an administrative/professional faculty position is assigned an academic rank. Initial appointment will normally be at the rank of Instructor. Individuals holding a terminal

degree may be appointed at the rank of Assistant Professor. An academic unit and the Provost must confer academic rank beyond Assistant Professor. As exceptions, certain senior administrative positions will be assigned the rank of Associate Professor in keeping with the executive status of their position. Assignment of rank must be in accordance with The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Consolidated Salary Authorization for Faculty Positions in Institutions of Higher Education, 20012002.  (The assignment of rank to administrative/professional faculty does not confer, nor does time assigned to administrative/professional duties contribute to, tenure.) Instructional or research faculty who are appointed to administrative faculty positions, if tenured, retain their tenured positions while so serving or, if on a tenure track appointment, continue in that status while so serving. In the latter case, the tenure clock may be stopped during the term of the administrative appointment, but must be formally requested in accordance

with the guidelines outlined in The Tenure Clock Exceptions to Standard Procedures, available on the Provost Office website (http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/geninfo.htm).

 

 

2.1.4 Part-Time Appointment – 2007 FHC Revision Completed (new revisions in red)

 

Faculty who are appointed to part-time positions with the sole responsibility of covering the teaching, advising, and instructional supervision responsibilities associated with a specific course (or courses) are called Adjunct Faculty.  Adjunct appointments are for the duration of the assigned course(s).   

 

Faculty who are appointed to part-time positions with assignments that go beyond those associated with adjunct faculty positions are known as Part-Time Term Faculty.  Such assignments may include research, service, clinical practice, administrative program development, or instructional responsibilities that go beyond the boundaries of specific courses.  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. 

 

Faculty with significant teaching, research, service, or administrative assignments who are not on the University payroll may be designated as Affiliate Faculty with an appropriate academic rank.  Recommendations for affiliate faculty appointments are recommended by a local academic unit and must be approved by the Provost.

 

Grievance rights and responsibilities of faculty on part-time fixed term appointments are at discretion of local academic units.

 

Part-time faculty are not considered voting members of the General Faculty and are not covered by the provisions of this Handbook. 

·        Part-time faculty must be in permanent position (greater than .5) to get privileges; eligibility for health insurance, life insurance, etc. at .8.  This applies to very few people. 

·        Need for separate handbook for part-time faculty to protect their employment rights.  Section 2.1.4 Part-Time Faculty  seen as informational, does not address grievance rights

·        Need to include in preamble which categories are governed and protected by this Handbook, other categories are not. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate

 

 

 

 

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