MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE

THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 2008

Mason Hall, room D1; 1:00 – 3:00 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; Provost Peter Stearns.

 

Suzanne received a letter from the President requesting a status report on the progress of the Faculty Handbook in response to a question raised at yesterday’s Faculty Senate meeting. A report presented to the Provost on behalf of the committee by Martin Ford and Dave Harr earlier this term will be updated.  A list of sections not yet addressed will be distributed to the committee before our next meeting.  To send draft of revised 2.6.2 Post-Tenure Review policy to Provost for his approval, with following correction in final sentence under Procedures, 3. replacing “faculty” with “failure”:

 

3.   The LAU administrator and the Office of the Provost will address relevant issues in subsequent annual evaluations during the rolling five year period. Tenured faculty members who receive three “unsatisfactory” ratings in a five-year period will be required to submit a summary of activities and accomplishments in teaching, research, and service, as appropriate, during the five-year period, along with copies of annual evaluation results for that five-year period to the school/college/institute Promotion and Tenure Committee, serving as an Evaluation Committee.  The Evaluation Committee will not use the standards associated with the awarding of tenure and promotion to conduct this evaluation.  There is no limit on the amount or type of documentation the faculty member may submit.  Submitted materials will be reviewed by the Evaluation Committee to determine if the faculty member under review has discharged the duties associated with his or her position conscientiously and with basic professional competence.  Failure to submit these materials within a reasonable period of time (one calendar month) will result in immediate dismissal.

 

Institutes – Provost Peter Stearns

Provost Stearns thanked the committee for the opportunity to discuss a special issue.  The existing Faculty Handbook Section 1.3.4.2 Institutes has perfectly sensible language on institutes, with no problem as applied to ICAR or Krasnow.  New institute(s) may be created which would require further revision.  Two situations could overlap or exist discretely:

·        Potential donor wishes to establish an institute for cancer research distinct from a center.

·        An activity needing input from a variety of existing academic units big enough to need nomenclature (distinguished from a center), such as the Kellar Institute. 

·        Existing definition assumes that institutes have full-time faculty appointed directly; director analogous to dean.  Need for dual definition to address new situations. 

·        New dual definition to be submitted to the Faculty Senate and then to the BOV for approval. 

·        To distinguish research institutes (new) from academic institutes, with modifier used to denote research institutes only. Only the director of an academic institute (ICAR and Krasnow) would have status as dean.

·        Only an academic institute would have faculty assigned to it as their local academic unit.

·        Important to include criteria and an approval process for research institutes.  Size may be one criteria – e.g. the Kellar Institute has 40 employees and a large budget, although other situations may exist where funding not the main criteria. Research institutes differ from centers by size, activities, and amount of extramural funding. To require approval of the Provost (or President?), Faculty Senate and BOV.

·        To use “Guidelines for Chartering and Renewing Charters of Research Centers” as a model (posted on Provost Office website at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/documents/recharter.doc ) Everyone had to be re-chartered in 2003.  If you were a center in name only, would cut down the number of centers by a good percentage.  Normally a one-person center does not work. 

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·        Research institutes do not function as autonomous local academic units; may or may not be interdisciplinary.  Concern that centers may wish to become institutes.

·        Important to include in Faculty Handbook statement such as “When “institute” is used in the Faculty Handbook, it always refers to an academic institute unless specifically prefaced as research institute.”

 

 

2.13 DEPARTMENT CHAIRS

 

Department chairs serve in a dual capacity: as representatives of their faculty colleagues to the administration and as spokespersons of the administration to their faculty colleagues.

Normally, chairs serve on twelve-month instructional administrative faculty appointments and are subject to all university policies pertaining to twelve-month appointees, including annual leave policies. Their specific responsibilities, including teaching assignments, are negotiated with the administration at the time of appointment. The term of appointment for a department chair is four years; appointments are renewable. Chairs who serve two or more consecutive terms receive at the end of their last term a study leave equivalent to one-half year's pay for a full academic year's leave or full pay for a semester's leave. If they elect to take such a study leave, however, they may not succeed themselves in an additional term as chair.

During an unforeseen vacancy or during illness or temporary absences of an incumbent chair, the dean or Provost may appoint an acting chair to serve until such time as the regularly appointed chair assumes or reassumes the position.

·        Department chairs are instructional faculty with administrative responsibilities, not administrative faculty.  Serve in a dual capacity.

·        After devoting eight years (two consecutive terms), presumably study leave as opportunity to re-tool, recharge, get back into the mainstream.  If faculty member wished to continue as chair beyond two four-year terms, would not receive additional study leave.

·        Some chairs may be nine-month instructional faculty, do not wish to become twelve-month instructional faculty.

·        After some discussion, decided not to include related appointments such as program chairs. 

2.13.2 Policies on Appointment and Renewal

 

Department chairs are appointed by the Provost President on the recommendation of the departmental faculty and the collegiate dean or director in accordance with the following guidelines:

  1. Since department chairs function in a dual administrative/faculty capacity, their selection requires substantive involvement of both the administration and the department faculty. Except under unusual circumstances, the final candidate must be acceptable to both.
  2. Procedures for the selection of department chairs therefore foster joint faculty/administrative appraisals of candidates.
  3. Similar criteria for reviewing incumbent chairs and searching for new chairs are applied, with the following clarifications:

i.         Incumbent chairs under review for renewal are kept fully apprised of the methods adopted by the review committee and are supplied a copy of the committee's report at the time of its submission to the dean. Chairs have the same rights with regard to their personnel files as other faculty members.

ii.       An acting chair is considered as a possible candidate for a vacant position rather than as a candidate for renewal of his/her term.

iii.      Incumbent chairs who are not reappointed by the Provost President because of negative recommendations and action at the department, college, or university level will receive a prompt account in writing as to the reasons for this non-renewal, if they request it.

2.13.3.1 Search Procedures

 

Search procedures are initiated after the incumbent chair has declined to seek reappointment, or after the Provost President has notified the incumbent chair that he/she will not be reappointed, or when the position is vacant. A search committee is constituted no later than December 10th. This committee consists of five persons: (i) a chair, appointed by the dean, from among the faculty of the college but not of the department; (ii) two persons, of whom one may be on tenure-track probationary appointment, appointed by the dean from among the faculty of the department; (iii) two persons, of whom one may be on tenure-track probationary appointment, elected by the faculty of the department from among its own ranks. The department elects its members of the committee after the appointments by the dean have been made known. All members of the committee will have taught full-time for at least one year at this University; if this condition cannot be met, the dean will appoint an appropriate faculty member. The search committee:

  1. consults with the faculty of the department and other persons it deems appropriate about the qualities to be sought in a new chair;
  2. seeks qualified candidates from inside or, if the dean has given notice that external candidates can be considered, from outside the department;
  3. requests dossiers, including references, from candidates outside the University, when appropriate;
  4. consults regarding fair employment practices with the Office of Equity and Diversity Services  University Equity Office (see Appendix A).
  5. evaluates qualifications and dossiers of candidates;
  6. supervises departmental discussion of candidates and balloting to determine the wishes of the department faculty; and
  7. submits to the dean reports including a general assessment of the several candidates, a summary of departmental discussions, the results of departmental balloting, and its own recommendations.

The dean reports his/her recommendations and supporting arguments in writing to the Provost, including in that report the full report of the committee. If the committee and the departmental faculty are not in agreement or if the dean does not endorse the majority recommendations of the committee and/or the department faculty, the dean meets with the committee and/or the faculty to seek an identity of views before submitting the report to the Provost.

 

The Provost reports his/her recommendations and supporting arguments to the President, including in his/her report the full reports of the committee and the dean. If the committee and/or the departmental faculty and the dean have remained in disagreement or if the Provost does not endorse the joint recommendation of the committee and the dean, the Provost meets with the committee and the dean to seek an identity of view before submitting the report to the President.

 

The Provost President acts upon the recommendations received and apprises the dean, search committee, and the faculty Provost of his/her decision. The decision is transmitted to the dean, the search committee, and the members of the department faculty as promptly as possible. Upon notification of the Provost’s President's decision, the dean extends a formal invitation to the person chosen.

 

If the vacancy is not filled nor an offer extended by May 1, the Provost President, after consultation with the dean, the Provost, and the faculty of the department, appoints an acting chair and so notifies members of the department by July 1.

 

·        Faculty Senate has not received complaints about department chair search procedures

·        Fiscal year begins July 1st – twelve-month instructional faculty appointment would begin on this date.  Should chair be a nine-month instructional faculty member not be available over the summer, a summer chair may be named.

 

2.13.4 Recall by the Faculty/Removal by the Provost President – combination of former sections 2.13.4 Removal by the President and 2.13.5 Recall by the Faculty.

 

The faculty of a department, under extraordinary circumstances, may petition the dean or director President to remove a chair who no longer enjoys the trust and confidence of the faculty. A petition of this type will be conveyed to the dean or director President only if supported by at least three-fourths of the tenure-track probationary and tenured faculty of the department. Upon receipt of such a petition, the dean or director President, after having inquired into the circumstances which have resulted in the petition, will make a recommendation to the Provost whether or not the decide if removal of the chair is in the best interests of the department and/or the University. The Provost will make the final determination.

 

The Provost President, under extraordinary circumstances, and in consultation with the dean or director and the faculty, may remove replace a chair who is failing to perform at an acceptable level. The President will necessarily utilize the judgment of the faculty, but may also seek outside evaluations by scholars of acknowledged competence in the discipline(s) or field(s) represented by the department. Advice from outside experts in college administration may also be sought. The Provost President will give the chair twenty-eight days notice of his/her intent to remove.

 

·        Department chairs report to dean, not the president.  Dean has to make his case to the provost, not the President.  Insertion of dean or director – not good to exclude dean from process.

·        Applies to removal during department chair’s term, not non-renewal or non-reappointment in which search procedures would apply.  

·        Not applicable to grievance/appeal procedures as chair has dual role; removal as chair does not mean removal from the faculty. 

·        If administrative faculty are terminated, unless tenured, they lose their job.  If department chair terminated, doesn’t lose job or salary. 

 

Discussion:  2.14 Institute Directors – section deleted

·        Institute directors equivalent to dean, governed by administrative faculty handbook. 

·        In older era, there were institute directors who were instructional faculty. 

·        Important to say elsewhere in Faculty Handbook that directors of academic institutes are the equivalent of deans – see paragraph three 1.3.4.2 Institutes

 

2.14  5 Program Directors of Academic Programs Spanning More Than a Single Academic Unit

 

Administratively, directors of programs which are not internal to a single local academic unit are regarded as the equivalent of department chairs. They have the same duties and responsibilities as department chairs except that, since faculty members are not appointed to primary affiliation in a program faculty, they do not make primary evaluations of faculty for purposes of reappointment, promotion, and tenure, and they do not make primary annual reviews for the purpose of recommending salary increases.

 

Policies on appointment and renewal are the same as those described for department chairs in 2.13.2. Procedures for appointment and renewal are the same as those described in 2.13.3, but they may be simplified as appropriate to the size and complexity of the program to be directed. Program directors are subject to removal by the President and recall by the faculty in accordance with the provisions set out for department chairs in 2.13.4 and 2.13.5.

 

·        Section renumbered as 2.14.

·        Program directors not at level of department chairs, less formal.

·        To keep as local level issue, not to push up to contractual level.  

·        Some academic program directors such as Women’s Studies require interdisciplinary coordination.

·        Program directors are not literally supervised by a dean, although there are exceptions, such as the director of African-American Studies Program.  

·        Administrative definition – not inside local academic unit.  Suppose an academic program within a school decided to become autonomous from that school – would need a director.  Whom would the director report to?  If unit construed within one school and collaborated with others outside the school, has more flexibility outside the box; academic departments inflexible.

·        In cases where provost makes recommendation and president makes decision, change to provost makes decision to reflect practice.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate