MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE
DECEMBER 1, 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; 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; Rick Coffinberger, Associate Professor of Business and Legal Studies, School of Management, Chair; David Rossell, Associate Provost for Personnel and Budget, ex-officio.
In the absence of Rick Coffinberger, the meeting was chaired by Suzanne Slayden.
2.6.1 Annual Review of Faculty – further revisions:
· Need for written record. What should the written summary include to be a useful tool? Consensus emerged that contents of written summary not be specified.
· Opportunity to discuss results of evaluation must be specified.
· In CEHD governing structure, there is a Professional Development Committee (PDC) separate from (faculty) evaluation committees and separate from the Promotion and Tenure (P&T) committees. To ask an evaluation committee to do professional development fundamentally is not realistic. Nor are words to use for this purpose in the Handbook imaginable.
· Inclusion of sentence such as “Faculty should be appropriately and equitably paid.” in the Faculty Handbook. Differs from unit to unit, can’t say much more than that, a matter of principle.
· What happens when a superstar rests on his/her laurels? Trajectory in terms of professional development? Why include long-term career progression? Allows discretion for evaluators: difference between assistant professor and long-term full professor.
· Progression not always a straight line; research often doesn’t happen that way; also applies to service and leadership. Intent to talk about progression in all of these areas – more complicated.
· Variations among units in dealing with practical/operational aspects: SOM uses a range of weights – sum of relative weights equals 1.0. In CEHD, if your job is heavily in one area compared to other faculty, based on what your job is – cannot just arbitrarily pick a weight – must fit with assignment.
· To replace “long term career progression” with “goals and assignments.” Balance between what you are trying to do and what you have to do – a natural tension. If someone didn’t publish much, and received a grant – the goal to obtain grant has some impact. Goals and assignments different from criteria – how this mixes depends on individual cases. Also gives administrator a way to say: You didn’t do what you were assigned to do. Three year plan very different for tenure-track faculty compared to tenured faculty.
· Merit raises may not be available or amount may change from year to year (Blackout period 2000-03 for raises). Averaging over years probably a good idea, revision to last sentence suggested; needed to provide permission and to provide faculty options: Local unit administrators may average performances for years in which merit raises have been variable.
2.6.1 Annual Review of Faculty – 2006 Proposed Revision
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 Criteria for Evaluation of Faculty: Teaching, Scholarship, Professional Service, and University Service except that the evaluation is based upon the contributions of the preceding academic year and, where applicable, the summer. The results of the evaluation are given to the faculty member in writing. Faculty members must be afforded the opportunity to discuss the results of the evaluation. Faculty are evaluated on qualitative overall performance and in the context of their goals and assignments. Local unit administrators may average performances for years in which merit raises have been variable.
2.6.2 Faculty Evaluation of Administrators –1994 Text
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
· remove “normally”
· Add sentence at end: “Faculty are expected to participate in the evaluation of academic administrators.” – while not a legal requirement, faculty have an obligation to participate.
· From a timing perspective, annual evaluation of administrators coincides closely with annual review of faculty. For purpose of salary adjustment, is Senate process too late? Faculty Evaluation of Administrators Survey mailed in early September. Deans submit annual report to Provost by mid-September for period July 1 – June 30th . To discuss timing in the Faculty Senate.
· Reference to Administrative Faculty Handbook language regarding how compensation is adjusted.
Proposed revision: 2.6.2 Faculty Evaluation of Administrators
Academic administrators serve at the pleasure of the President. In reviewing their performance, the President should 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. Faculty are expected to participate in the evaluation of academic administrators.
Discussion: 2.4. Criteria for Evaluation of Faculty and 2.4.1 Teaching – 1994 Handbook Text:
Recommendations on matters of faculty status (e.g., initial appointment, renewal, promotion, the conferral of tenure, and dismissal) are in large measure a faculty responsibility. The faculty's role in these personnel actions is based upon the essentiality of its judgment to sound educational policy, and upon the fact that scholars in a particular field have the chief competence for judging the work of their colleagues. Implicit in such competence is the acknowledgement that responsibility exists for both adverse and favorable judgments. An additional reason for the faculty's role in these matters is the general competence of experienced faculty personnel committees with a broader charge that encompasses the evaluation of teaching and service.
Recommendations in these matters originate through faculty action in accordance with established procedures; are reviewed by senior academic administrators; and presented to the Board for final approval. The administration and the Board should overturn faculty personnel recommendations only when it is clear that peer faculty have not exercised high standards, or when the University's long- term programmatic needs are an overriding consideration. Such judgments would presumably be reached only in rare instances. In such cases both the candidate and the faculty bodies participating in the decision-making process are entitled to know the reasons administrators give to the President in recommending that faculty judgment be overturned. Only in extraordinary circumstances and for clear and compelling reasons should administrators substitute their own judgment of the value of scholarly accomplishments for judgments made by professionals in the discipline.
Candidates for reappointment, promotion and tenure will be evaluated in light of the missions of the University which are teaching, scholarship, both theoretical and applied, and service (as defined in 2.4.4). Although candidates are not expected to have equal levels of commitment or equal responsibilities in each of these areas, high competence is expected. Genuine excellence must be exhibited in the areas of teaching or scholarship and high competence must be exhibited in both. The primary consideration in the evaluation of the candidates' achievements will be the extent to which these continue to improve the academic quality of the University. Peer review plays a central role in the evaluation of individual achievement in each of these areas.
Levels of expectation will vary with the type of decision. While probationary appointments will, to some extent, recognize perceived potential rather than achievement, appointment without term or promotion in rank will be based on achievement rather than potential. Appointment without term should leave very few doubts, if any, about the candidate's value to the University over an extended period.
As stated above, candidates need to exhibit levels of competence and excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service as defined above. If a candidate's strength is sharply concentrated in only one area, then the candidate's achievements in that area should have some significant impact beyond the boundaries of this University. If the primary strength is teaching, there should be evidence that the candidate's contributions have influence beyond the immediate classroom; if in theoretical or applied scholarship, there should be evidence that the candidate's contributions have significant influence on colleagues at other institutions in this country, and where applicable, abroad.
In addition to specific academic qualifications and professional competence, evaluation for promotion or tenure should consider the candidate's concern for professional ethics and responsibilities. For purposes of promotion and tenure, the total period of service to the University will be evaluated.
Effective teaching is demonstrated by the clarity, appropriateness, and efficacy of course materials, methods, and presentations. Contributions to teaching include the development and implementation of new courses and programs; the development of instructional materials, including applications of new technologies; the training and supervision of teaching assistants; mentoring graduate students; clinical and field supervision of students; and student advising.
· Suggested additional sentences at end of 2.4.1 include “Genuine excellence in teaching includes research and scholarship related to pedagogy in the discipline/field or in relation to other fields.” and “Demonstrating Genuine Excellence in Teaching requires dissemination of one’s pedagogical work, including educational research in the discipline/field, through scholarly publication and presentations.”
· To request information from Center for Teaching Excellence distributed to faculty for further discussion.
· Huge issue – whether to count publications as research or teaching.
· Term faculty either instructional or research faculty – must be judged high competency in either teaching or research.
· Impact on accreditation.
Clerk, Faculty Senate