MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, February 28, 2007; Mason Hall, D5 – 8:30 – 10:00 a.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; Marilyn Mobley, Associate Provost for Education Programs and Associate Professor of English; Suzanne Slayden, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science.
Absent: David Rossell, Associate Provost for Personnel and Budget, ex-officio.
Correction to FHC Minutes February 21, 2007: Replace “these” with “this” and changes from plural to singular usage in second paragraph, second sentence, 2.3.2 Procedures for Recruitment and Appointment of Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty so that the revised sentence reads: After receiving appropriate training from the Office of Equity and Diversity Services, this committee reviews applicant credentials and makes recommendations regarding potential finalists for the position.
Noncompetitive (Waived Search) Hire Policy was approved with some changes by the Faculty Senate at its February 21st meeting; the approved policy was distributed to the committee and is reproduced below:
Noncompetitive (Waived Search) Hire Policy – Motion from the Faculty Matters Committee as amended and approved by the Faculty Senate 2-21-07
Policy. In keeping with Section 1.3 of the Faculty Handbook that states, “In accordance with the best traditions of American universities, the faculty plays a primary role in…faculty personnel actions,” the faculty role in noncompetitive hires is equal to that in competitive searches and hires. This policy concerns all noncompetitive hires of instructional term, tenured, and tenure-track faculty.
Noncompetitive or direct hires are hires in which the search process is waived. When hiring term, tenured and tenure-track faculty, competitive searches should be used except in very special circumstances. These circumstances are normally limited to situations (a) when the candidate has already established a national/international reputation, the program has a unique opportunity to hire the targeted candidate, and the area of specialization complements those of faculty already in the program; (b) when the candidate is a spouse or partner of a candidate being hired through formal search procedures and the university is attempting to accommodate her or him; and (c) when an administrator is hired and is considered for acceptance in a specific local academic unit (LAU). While an administrator is normally hired using a competitive process at the administrative level, this policy applies because s/he is not part of a competitive process at the level of the LAU. Instructional term faculty may also be hired without a search when classes must be staffed immediately due to an unexpected resignation, death, or illness of a member of the teaching faculty. Waiver of a search in this situation is only valid for one year.
Procedures. Faculty in the LAU review the credentials of any individual who is a candidate for noncompetitive hire using the same procedures as review of competitive hire candidates. These include at a minimum the opportunity to examine a curriculum vitae, meet with the candidate, attend a job seminar or formal presentation by the candidate, and review letters of reference. The LAU faculty then vote to accept or reject the candidate. The hiring process moves forward only when a majority of the LAU faculty who are eligible to vote accept the candidate.
If a candidate for noncompetitive hire is to be tenured upon hiring, s/he must be reviewed by both the LAU faculty and the college- or school-level promotion and tenure committee. The LAU review requires a majority positive vote by eligible faculty for tenure in addition to the vote to accept the candidate into the program. If the LAU faculty vote is positive and the chair approves of the candidate, the dossier is then sent to the college or school promotion and tenure committee. As with all tenure reviews, independent external letters from recognized experts in the candidate’s field must be obtained in a manner consistent with other tenure reviews, and candidates are held to the same standards as other candidates in that LAU. Since noncompetitive hires may be made outside the normal annual promotion and tenure cycle, college and school promotion and tenure committees must develop procedures for reviewing candidates out of cycle.
Employment of Family Members – draft policy: Rick shared with Jim Sanford our discussion about the draft policy at our last meeting; the draft will be distributed later today as part of the Faculty Senate agenda for March 7, 2007 meeting. Rick has also looked at policies in other Faculty Handbooks, in particular the draft policy under consideration for the William and Mary Faculty Handbook, which uses “consensual amorous relationship.” An outdated Sexual Harassment Policy statement is contained in Appendix A of the present Faculty Handbook; a more recent brochure was published in 1998. Some committee members supported its inclusion in the Faculty Handbook. some support alternative suggestion that we point directly to the 1998 booklet and/or Equity Office for more information, as it is a rather volatile area in employment law. The law is also volatile because uneven in its use now as relates to relationships – who can be married. When you sit on search committees, people with partners (heterosexual or homosexual) want partner to come. Consensual amorous relationships not recognized by law. Even if declare as partners and not recognized by law, can have legal ramifications in the Faculty Handbook. The committee will look at Equity Office policy.
Code of Ethics Policy Requests/Research Misconduct Committee: Rick recently received a listserv email request to share code of ethics policies among schools which have them. Are the AAUP Guidelines sufficient? They will also be sent to the Research Misconduct Committee.
Concerns about continuity and sharing of data were expressed. When you hire a full-time faculty or staff member, you must use the E-Work system, in which applicants are asked (but not required) to provide demographic data. The IRR has lots of data and a new head, Chris Smith. They take snapshots of demographic data all the time; difference between not having data and not analyzing data you have. Data exists now, very complete, systemic. Equity Office has been understaffed, only recently hired replacement for employee dismissed in 2004; and only recently began training for search committees. In fairness to Equity Office, (they) complain bitterly and repeatedly about lack of interest and communication in the University community; there is not a lot of support for what they need to do.
2.3.3. Procedures for Recruitment and Appointment of Other Faculty: Recommended to delete everything in this section of the current Handbook and substitute with Procedures for Appointment and Reappointment of Term Faculty (Addendum to the Faculty Handbook approved jointly by the Provost and the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, effective 7/1/03) – copied below. Suggested deletions appear in yellow; additions in red.
Addendum to the Faculty Handbook (approved jointly by the Provost and the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate).
Procedures for Appointment and Reappointment of Term Faculty
Full-time faculty, whether instructional or research, on fixed-term, non tenure track appointments are will be 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 within colleges, schools, or institutes may be Term Faculty.
Criteria for reappointment will emphasize strong performance in 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.
Term Faculty on single-year contracts will be evaluated annually for reappointment and notified in writing by March 1st in the first year of their initial contracts and by December 15th in reappointment contract years. In the fifth year of five consecutive, single-year contracts, a Term Faculty member must be evaluated using the procedure outlined below for Term Faculty on multi-year contracts in the final year of their initial, three-year contracts, and must be notified in writing of the decision to reappoint or not to reappoint.
Term Faculty on multi-year contracts will be evaluated for reappointment during the final year of their initial appointments. (See Attachment # 1 for the required materials.)
Term Faculty not recommended for promotion in their sixth year may be recommended for another three-year term at their current rank. They then may be recommended for promotion in their ninth year, but may not remain on multi-year appointments if not promoted at that time.
Candidates for promotion must demonstrate at least high competence in the focus area (teaching or research) and by the standards (such as service) developed locally and approved by the Provost.
To continue discussion next week.
Clerk, Faculty Senate
 Since Term Appointments also apply to Research Faculty, the George Mason University Research Personnel Policies and Procedures will also be updated to include these procedures.
 Term faculty cannot move to a tenure track position without prior approval of the Provost and after appropriate faculty review. Normally this must involve a search process. Conversely, tenure track faculty cannot move to a term position without prior approval of the Provost and appropriate faculty review. This procedure will be exceptional.