MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Enterprise Hall, room 318; 12:30 – 4:30 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.     (*participated by teleconference)

Note:  Many of the changes suggested during this meeting were subsequently updated in the following two meetings; revised texts appear in minutes of June 16 and 21, 2008 respectively.  Some sections were renumbered to cover gaps created as sections were moved or deleted.

Distribution of Templates and Public Review: Once the committee has completed its revision, to send to President Merten, Provost Stearns, and legal counsel; requesting their input by mid-August.  Consensus emerged that public forums be held on all three campuses, then presented to the Faculty Senate at a special called meeting early in the fall term.  The committee will consider all inputs received.

The revised templates will be posted on the Faculty Senate website at least 2-3 weeks prior to forums/special Senate meeting to allow faculty sufficient time to review.  Important that President/Provost/legal feedback received and reviewed by committee prior to posting.

The AAUP has indicated it would look at selected sections for review.  After some discussion, the committee selected the following sections for submission: 

·        2.3 Recruitment and Appointment of Faculty (entire section)

·        2.6.2 Post Tenure Review

·        2.7 Procedures for Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure (entire section)

·        2.8 Appeal Procedure for Negative Decisions in Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Cases (entire section)

·        2.9 Policies and Procedures Relating to Termination (entire section)

·        2.10 Faculty Duties and Responsibilities (entire section)

·        2.11.2 Grievance Procedures

 

Should Faculty Handbook include position on gay and lesbian rights?  Chair Rick Coffinberger remarked that he has received several inquiries about revision progress, including whether the Faculty Handbook will take a position on gay and lesbian rights.  The university already has a policy on equity, fair treatment, and relevant issues; approved by the BOV a few years ago.  In the State of Virginia,  “sexual orientation” has no legal protection; cannot create new rights not recognized by state.

Discussion:  Conversion Factors (from Administrative Faculty Handbook, p. 9): 

·        Text in need of revision; has grandfather clause, does not appear to address faculty prior to October 2004. T

·        Historical concern when instructional faculty converted to administrative faculty positions, received large raises; if converted back to instructional position kept a large portion of raise, out-of-line compared to instructional faculty colleagues' salaries; stipend with more demanding (administrative) position should disappear.

·        Some committee members feel text fine as is, a tool making it easier to take those administrators out of positions who may not be performing well. 

·        Some committee members do not wish to include section in Faculty Handbook as it may seem like an endorsement.  If  included, leave as written in Administrative Faculty Handbook. 

·        Argument supporting inclusion in Faculty Handbook for consistency and parallelism.  Also informative for instructional faculty considering administrative appointments.

·        For internal salary increases, no funds from instructional salary raise pool may be used for administrative faculty raises; however funds for administrative faculty raises may be used for instructional faculty raises.  Not to limit raises for existing faculty, rather money raises associated with vacant positions or new (lower salary level) positions, a gray area.

 

2.2.2 Assistant Professor

·        Assistant Professor hired on promise, service not relevant. 

 

2.2.3 Associate Professor

·        Inclusion of criteria for tenured, tenure-track, and term faculty; verify reference points.

 

2.2.4 Professor

·        Inclusion of criteria for tenured, tenure-track, and term faculty; verify reference points.

 

2.4.2 Research and Scholarship

·        Add “Research” to title of section.

 

2.4.4 University Service – moved to Section 2.4.3.

 

2.5.2 Research and Scholarship and 2.5.3 University and Professional Service

·        Add “research and” to “scholarship” where found.

 

Section 2.3.3 Criteria and Procedures for Appointment and Reappointment of Faculty:

Need to prevent tenure-track faculty denied tenure/or about to be denied tenure to convert to term faculty position without input – an “up or out” decision.

 

2.6.2 Post Tenure Review – 2009 Revision Page 2 of 3

 

PROCEDURE

 

1.  Tenured faculty who receive an unsatisfactory rating during any annual review will establish, in consultation with the appropriate LAU administrator, a written plan of action.

 

2.   These consultations will include at a minimum:

a)       a discussion of the basis for the evaluation(s) that culminated in an unsatisfactory rating, with particular attention to stated deficiencies or areas of weakness;

b)       an opportunity for the faculty member to respond to negative judgments;

c)       an exploration of the concerns of the university for remediation; and

d)       the development of a plan of action in response to the judgment of “unsatisfactory” performance.

One copy of the plan will be retained by the faculty member; one copy will be placed in the faculty member’s personnel file in the office of the LAU administrator; and if the faculty member has received a second “unsatisfactory” rating in any four year period, one copy will be filed with the Office of the Provost.  Faculty members pursuing a plan of action for correcting unsatisfactory performance will be encouraged to avail themselves of university resources designed to assist all faculty in professional development.

 

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.  Instead, the Evaluation Committee will focus on whether there is evidence of sustained unsatisfactory performance (including incompetence and lack of appropriate expertise).

 

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. 

 

4.  Outcomes from the evaluation procedure may include:  (a) postponement of sanctions, with another peer review to be conducted within one calendar year; (b) a determination that no sanctions are necessary, with appropriate professional development recommendations; or (c) a change in the faculty member’s assignment that is better aligned with his or her strengths.  Outcome (c) may be recommended in conjunction with outcome (a) or (b).  Dismissal can only be considered by the provost if a majority of those making a recommendation to the provost vote to recommend dismissal.  If dismissal is recommended and the provost endorses this recommendation, the faculty member undergoing review must be given at least six months notice before termination can take effect. 

 

5.  The faculty member may submit an appeal to the President based on one or more of the following claims: 

a.        violation of federal and state legislation or university policy in regards to discrimination;

b.        denial of academic freedom;

c.        denial of procedural due process

d.        inadequate or faulty consideration of evidence presented in light of the procedures outlined in the post tenure review policy.

In case of appeal, the President makes the final decision. 

·        State of Virginia requires post-tenure review, best handled annually. 

 

2.7.3.3 Tenure Clock Extension for Military Service

·        Verified policy approved by the BOV at its May, 2008 meeting.

·        Assume BOV requested review by legal counsel

·        Need for discussion noted in individual cases as federal law evolves.

 

2.8.4 Procedures for Promotion and Tenure

·        Does not address what to do where programs are subdivided into smaller units.

·        CEHD follows same principle as department/program review – content review by those with similar expertise – problematic in cases where small programs.  Example of faculty member seeking tenure where no faculty member has tenure.  Identify a first-tier committee of three (not five) people.

·        By reducing from five to three faculty, may be detrimental to candidate.  CEHD faculty members consulted to see if they feel proposed committee members have appropriate expertise.

·        Role of external review; dean may select 60%, candidate 40%. 

·        Not exempt from two-level review, membership chosen in consultation with the candidate as practical; dean may also have input, as well as first-level review committee.

·        Concern about lack of protection from rogue dean; but difficult to codify. 

·        Multidisciplinary aspects – many CEHD faculty have primary and secondary affiliations.

·        Equity concerns may arise where some faculty have five member review committees; others only three member review committees. 

·        Some colleges/school have small departments, in contrast to non-departmental units.

·        Second-level review safeguard for appeal and reconsideration.

·        New Section 2.7.3 replaces 2.8.4.

 

2.8.1 .9.1 Formation of an Appeal Board

·        When should chair of Faculty Senate be informed?

·        New Section 2.8.1 replaces 2.9.1.

 

2.10.1 Resignation or Retirement  - section deleted.

 

2.10.2.2 Financial Exigency

·        Need to review wording as it affects term faculty. 

·        Non-renewal of term faculty different from dismissal for cause.  See Section 2.3.3.

·        Research faculty are also term faculty. 

·        New Section 2.9.1.replaces 2.10.2.2

 

2.11.1    Professional Ethics

·        Remove list of suggested policies, replace with link to University Policies on GMU website.

·        New Section 2.10.2 replaces 2.11.1.

 

2.11.4 Faculty Availability – deleted, see Section 2.1.6. Academic Year Appointments and Fiscal Year Appointments.

 

2.11.6.1 General Policies and 2.11.6.2 Policy on Copyright and Patent of Faculty Work – deleted.

 

2.11.9.2 Full Time Instructional Faculty Teaching at Other Institutions (Provost Office website)

·        Remove footnote paragraph at end as it references only research faculty; now included in revised Handbook.

 

2.15 Program Directors

·        Multidisciplinary circumstances in which faculty create new academic programs. 

·        Program director does not make individual recommendations for Promotion and Tenure – a local title.

·        SOM area chairs covered by local by-laws, not to address as Handbook issue

 

Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate

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