MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE

THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 2008

Mason Hall, room D1; 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

 

Present: Lorraine Brown, Professor of English, College of Humanities and Social Sciences; Rick Coffinberger, Associate Professor of Business and Legal Studies, School of Management, Chair; Dave Harr, Senior Associate Dean, School of Management; Suzanne Slayden, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science.

 

Absent:  Kevin Avruch, Associate Director and Professor of Conflict Resolution, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution; Martin Ford, Senior Associate Dean, College of Education and Human Development.

 

Discussion:  Faculty moving from one unit to another:  An email was received from a faculty member in the College of Science inquiring whether the Faculty Handbook addressed instances when faculty moved from one unit to another. There is nothing in the Faculty Handbook to prohibit such a change from taking place.  Those present did not feel this was an issue to be addressed in the Handbook, although they did not preclude its future incorporation.

 

2.8.2 Procedures for Renewal (Reappointment) 2008 Revision to implementation provision approved by the Provost and the Faculty Senate; effective July 1, 2001 supercedes the previous revisions to Sections 2.8.2 and 2.8.3 discussed in FHC Meeting April 10, 2008.  Additional revisions appear below:

 

Faculty in tenure track positions (probationary faculty) receive initial three-year appointments and are normally on a cycle of two three-year appointments.  Using the following procedure, probationary faculty will be evaluated for renewal during the third year of their initial appointments:

 

a.        Tenure-track Probationary faculty will be evaluated during the third year of their initial appointments, as described in the Faculty Handbook Section 2.8.2, and the Dean/Director will submit recommendations for renewal or non-renewal to the Provost by March 15th.

 

b.       Based on these evaluations, the Provost will act on the recommendation for renewal or non-renewal by April 15th.

 

c.       Faculty members will be advised of their renewals or non-renewals by May 1st of the third year of their initial appointments.

 

d.       If the decision reached is for renewal, then the faculty member will receive an appointment for a three-year renewal by May 24th of the evaluation year. (See below for exceptions to this procedure).

 

e.        If the decision reached is for non-renewal, the faculty member will receive a terminal, one-year appointment, following the completion of the initial three-year tenure track appointment.  The offer of a terminal one-year appointment is contingent on the faculty member having submitted an appropriate and timely portfolio of materials for the purpose of seeking tenure-track contract renewal. 

 

 

When a faculty member receives a three-year renewal, the next full evaluation will be that for tenure consideration.  Under exceptional circumstances, a faculty member may be renewed for one or two years, if the Dean/Director believes that an additional evaluation prior to consideration for tenure will benefit the faculty member.  Following the procedures outlined in the Faculty Handbook Section 2.8.2, A faculty member who is renewed for less than three years will be evaluated for subsequent renewal during the final year of his/her current appointment.  The time frame outlined above in the Faculty Handbook Section 2.8.3 will apply, using the final year of the renewed appointment rather than the third year of the initial appointment, until the faculty member reaches his/her sixth year.  In the event of non-renewal at any stage of this process, the faculty member will receive a terminal, one-year appointment following the decision for non-renewal assuming that an appropriate and timely portfolio of supporting materials has been submitted.

 

A faculty member in the sixth year of service will be notified in writing on or before July 1 by the President of a decision not to recommend for tenure, as described in the Faculty Handbook section 2.8.3(d).

 

If a faculty member is not renewed (reappointed), the appeal procedure outlined in the Faculty Handbook Section 2.9 may be used.

 

*The terms “reappointment” and “renewal” are used interchangeably throughout the Faculty Handbook.

 

·        One-year terminal appointment  – faculty member denied tenure no longer on tenure-track; to maintain consistency in teaching load.

·        Provost Office prefers usage of “reappointment” for tenure-track faculty and “renewal” for term faculty.

 

.2.2.9 Administrators Holding Faculty Rank – 2008 Revision to Text in Administrative Faculty Handbook:

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, they may 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/documents/TenClock.doc  .

 

If on a term appointment, the faculty member has no automatic right to return to their previous instructional or research position.    

 

·        To add section to Chapter Three to make reference to Administrative Faculty Handbook “Annual Salary Raise Process” and “Conversion Factors”?

·        Has to be teaching at least half time to retain an instructional faculty line.

·        Dean has tenure and currently is an administrative faculty member.  Should dean step down, could return to instructional faculty position. 

·        Human Resources says you cannot convert an instructional position into an administrative position, process is to establish an administrative position; request a search waiver from Equity Office which then begs the question about return rights if neither individual concerned is a tenured faculty member.

·        What is at stake for term faculty member?  Need for clarity – it’s as though you are establishing (administrative position) to get task (job) done – Equity to say it’s OK to do this, but if it were a conversion?  A subject for term faculty to negotiate, not automatic right to return.  Administrators must be careful in event no longer needed as a term faculty member a few years down the road; especially if a new dean hired.  Also what happens if department does not want them?  Want to be fair in all respects.  Should term faculty member not succeed in administrative position, could they return to instructional position? Situations in which term faculty have multi-year contracts?

·        Old issue in a department in which former dean returned to instructional faculty position as highest paid person in department; not because of scholarship.  Also issues of relevance when return to teaching after a long absence – times change, abilities change, has former administrator stayed current with literature? 

·        High level administrative faculty initially hired in one position with tenure rights in one school which did not have an opportunity to vote on this – in the future, will have to go through the unit before hiring.  Individual does not have a terminal degree in field; further limiting courses he can teach (could not teach graduate-level courses) and also affects SACS accreditation standards.  Based on the field in which he has terminal degree, right of tenure (should) lie in another school. 

·        High-level administrators returning to instructional faculty (may) cost (unit) a lot of money. 

·        Example of dean as tenured faculty in a unit other than the one in which now serves as dean.  Other examples of administrators serving in units other than those in which they have tenure rights.  Term faculty may be used as placeholders in such cases.

·        Most people who become deans either go somewhere else or leave near end of their careers; so unit gets a new line and money to its advantage (upon departure).

 

Discussion:  Additional criteria for promotion and tenure may not be imposed at local level:  A dean unsuccessfully tried to include “collegiality” as a fourth criteria for tenure – had to back down; also opposed by AAUP.  Now trying to include “civility” – colleges cannot add criteria for tenure.  The chair of the Faculty Senate has discussed this with the Provost, who agrees this is not appropriate; and will discuss again with him. 

·        A slippery slope; different perceptions – distinction between collegiality (working with people) vs. being a gadfly – someone who raises uncomfortable questions against existing policies may be accused of not being collegial.  Also could be challenged in terms of First Amendment rights; GMU is a state institution.

·        Need to include statement in Handbook that additional criteria may not be imposed by schools for promotion and tenure; potential for abuse.

·        Need also to include in by-laws at local level “to not contravene provisions of the Faculty Handbook.

·        A few years ago the BOV wanted to include “entrepreneurship” as part of criteria for promotion and tenure.  Guidelines on (Provost Office) website say you may include entrepreneurial activities but they are not required.   

·        Instances in which tenure-track faculty given credit for work elsewhere – application for tenure in less than six years, challenged by other faculty, who wrote to the Provost.  Permissive use – one receives just one bite at the apple, cutting time short if not successful by relying on prior records. Faculty need to be careful when choosing apply earlier for tenure.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate