MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 7, 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 Educational 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.
Our next meeting takes place in three weeks – March 28, 2007 from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. in Mason Hall, D1.
Presentation to BOV: Rick will make brief presentation to BOV Faculty and Academic Standards Committee at its next meeting March 21st. Marilyn will also attend meeting.
Faculty Handbook Forums:
Fairfax: Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., Mason Hall, D3 A&B
Arlington: Monday, April 23, 2007 – 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., Original Building, room 257
Prince William: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 – 3:00 – 4:30 p.m., Bull Run Hall, room ____;
Discussion: Content of Forums – April 2007:
- To prepare a 5-6 slide presentation – similar to BOV presentation: committee members, emails, mark-up slide with ‘old/new” templates; minutes available on website.
- To use transparencies or power-point?
- To provide handouts of selected significant and substantive changes, as well as things added to existing Handbook. Committee members to give rationale; eventually will need to have it (in writing).
- AAUP Spring meeting takes place on campus – to show them as a dry run?
- Expectation will need to have a separate/special session with BOV members. Some may have a lot of questions; to have set of recommendations mid-late fall.
- Also to send recommendations to the Faculty Senate. Important to have their vote, although acknowledged you will never have unanimity.
- If old five year limit on renewal of term faculty moot; if people can be renewed forever; dichotomy that you cannot go beyond 9 year limit; if you do not put yourself up for promotion after the 9th year, you’re out?
- Does not define initial rank: assume hired as assistant – promotion to associate. Not intended to apply to those hired with associate rank.
- Is a year-to-year appointment available indefinitely if someone has not been promoted? Concern that dean would not want someone to say could not hire person if wished to do so.
- Criteria for promotion is a subject of much discussion in one unit; a lot of people say term faculty member should demonstrate genuine excellence in teaching for promotion to associate term professor. Current policy says (tenure-track faculty) must demonstrate genuine excellence for promotion (to associate) with tenure. To keep someone from year-to-year indefinitely; difficult to ask them to demonstrate genuine excellence in teaching. What we ask our term faculty to do year-in and year-out, makes this an almost impossible bar; won’t pursue promotion but wish to continue teaching.
- Unfair to demand genuine excellence in teaching as not in term faculty job assignments. The biggest difference between genuine excellence and high competence may be publishing and presentations made about teaching. Teaching-oriented term faculty not required to publish or make presentations about their work. May also demonstrate by showing impact on graduates – long time-frame, also applies to tenure-track, as they have an imposed time limit. Third element: program development/improving curriculum: but not as important, would have to be very dramatic (changes). Junior faculty are not at that level. Genuine Excellence in Teaching criteria would have to be elaborated quite a bit.
- If “high competence” in teaching not enough, to require a “plus factor” such as administrative work?
- AAUP revisions every three years – say everyone should have obligation for service, governance, and impact on overall excellence to institution and whole community, not enough to have student interactions. AAUP repeated concerns about part-time faculty, wants to make them full citizens in terms of service; not just at GMU, but all over the country. Part-time faculty often on the road between two institutions, doing too much and not able to contribute. AAUP Handbook (2006 edition) copy available at Faculty Senate Office.
- Is it advantageous to try to convert some adjunct faculty to term faculty? A financial question – term faculty receive benefits, adjunct faculty paid by course. Benefits to university to aggregate part-time faculty into full-time positions; do not want to discourage that.
- Not just instructional faculty, but also research faculty: soft-money people cannot be tenure-track. It makes sense to have more research term faculty for more research projects. To project/drive growth in term research and instructional faculty; 25% is too low, perhaps 33-35%. Others suggest limit of 20%. To keep 25% provided does not include research faculty? What is trend over last five years? To look at IRR statistics - are full time and part-time broken out? Are research faculty included? Perhaps to say no limit (on percentage of) research faculty? Are there any research faculty not on soft money? “Research Faculty” is a formal term of employment in HR terms.
- CHE article in December broke out totality of faculty of all types across the country of major research universities –astounding percentage of other types of faculty – much higher than 25-35% of university. If you are Cal Tech or MIT, not surprising; you’ll have a lot of research faculty.
- As a general concept, why would we want to limit multi-year term faculty contracts? Without some limit, financial flexibility watered down. Use of term as well as adjunct faculty because it’s so attractive budget-wise, comes out of hide of tenure and tenure-track.faculty.
- Where’s the harm of multi-year term contracts, especially with corollary of promotion? Tenure and tenure-track protected within 75%.
- Many term faculty do a very good job. In SOM term faculty are well-paid. How much to put on the table to make it attractive? Does it take away from (tenure-line) positions?
- AAUP would argue no role in faculty governance, curriculum development, you want all in university to be part of a community, with free speech protected by tenure.
- (Present policy) defines multi-year contracts as three or five-year; examples of two-year contracts exist, and have been renewed for two additional years based on how long grant is. Three years equal to tenure-track contract; might be a standard. To add other length contracts in special circumstances.
- What’s wrong or right about multi-year vs. single year within percentage of term faculty? Why to legislate that? To keep someone you want, to reward. Reward or entitlement? Some not in favor of legislating percentage among multi-year or single-year contracts. Suppose Provost says no to change from single-year to multi-year contract? Then you’ve lost faculty member you wish to retain.
- If faculty member does not hold doctorate, cannot have multi-year contract.
- Concern increase in multi-year contracts lowering distinction between tenure/tenure-track and term faculty.
- Some faculty prefer term faculty job description vs. tenure-track position.
- There is no cap on adjunct faculty. Some committee members prefer cap on term faculty; others prefer cap on number of adjunct positions, would rather have full-time term faculty. Noted that for adjunct faculty, not the way they earn their living. If you put a cap on adjunct faculty, will constrain growth of the university; loss of entrepreneurial capacity; growth of new degree programs. Sometimes new degree programs grow out of concentrations. Skepticism about new degree programs with no cost.
- If we have 25% limit, why do we have 35% (overall) limit? 25% result of a bargain reached with the BOV. Differences between needs of professional schools, large schools, and small schools.
- If you say you cannot have multi-year term faculty due to arbitrary policy limits, laying groundwork for equity complaint.
Clerk, Faculty Senate