MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, June 20, 2007; Mason Hall, D5 – 12:00 – 1:30 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; 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: Kevin Avruch, Associate Director and Professor of Conflict Resolution, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution; David Rossell, Associate Provost for Personnel and Budget, ex-officio.
Congratulations to Marilyn Mobley on her new position as Provost of Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. It is one of only two all-female historically black colleges in the US. Linda Schwartzstein, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Vice President for Enrollment Services, will fill in for Marilyn on this committee; both will attend our next meeting July 11th.
New faculty receive the Handbook at orientation. Perhaps more should be said to emphasize its importance; unknown how many new faculty actually read it vs. use as reference guide. Key issue of peer review – in cases where committee members do not do their work conscientiously. Recent case won by AAUP, although lamented unfamiliarity of some committees and administrators with Handbook provisions.
Criteria for Evaluation of Faculty: Several universities require each college to come up with specific criteria for tenure, with the understanding that requirements differ among disciplines. Examples include journal articles vs. books, teaching – size of classes may differ widely. More information about selected universities policies to be distributed by email.
Ombudsman: In reviewing policies at other universities; ombudsmen do not function as overseers. They are not part of administration; supposed to be independent and neutral; serving more as mediators than advocates. They gather information from appropriate parties in order to effect resolution. This may be useful, but does it belong in the Faculty Handbook? To include under Grievance section of Faculty Handbook?
The Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost (hereafter abbreviated as Provost) is the chief academic officer of the University and is responsible for all educational matters. The Provost is appointed by the President and serves at the President's pleasure.
· Should other entities beyond the Executive and President’s Councils be listed? Example of the Budget Group, a subset of the Executive Council. Every organization has a formal structure and informal power; not (appropriate) to include in Handbook.
· Not to repeat Administrative/Professional Faculty Handbook (2004) here. Is there a compelling reason to include? President and Provost sections appropriate.
· After some discussion, decided to include link to organizational chart in a new Appendix.
The Board of Visitors provides for participation on presidential search committees by faculty who are elected by the General Faculty. The search and selection process includes opportunities for the General Faculty to meet with candidates who are finalists for the presidency.
The President provides for participation on search committees for a Provost by faculty who are elected by the General Faculty. The search and selection process includes opportunities for the General Faculty to meet with candidates who are finalists for the Provost position.
The Provost provides for participation on search committees for college or school deans by faculty who are elected from and by the faculty of the college or school in which the appointment will occur. The search and selection process includes opportunities for the college or school faculty to meet with candidates who are finalists for the position
The Faculty Senate will assist in conducting elections by the General Faculty.
The General Faculty
is responsible for faculty participat ion in governance at
the university level. All members of the University 's teaching and research community may attend
meetings of the General Faculty and participate in the debate of matters that
come before it. The voting membership of the General Faculty consists of all tenured and probationary
relinquishing the generality of its powers, the General Faculty delegates to
the Faculty Senate the responsibility for
participation in governance at the university
level (see Appendix B,
Charter of the Faculty Senate).
The General Faculty is required to meet at least once each semester. Meetings are scheduled by the President of the University, who serves as presiding officer. Additional meetings may be scheduled at the President's discretion. If at least 10% of the voting membership petitions for a called meeting of the General Faculty, the President is obliged to schedule it within thirty days, or within ten days if the purpose of the call is to modify the authority the General Faculty has granted the Faculty Senate, or to reverse specific decisions of the Senate, or to amend the Senate charter.
· “Faculty-at-large” used in BOV By-Laws; Senate charter very old.
· Librarians used to be part of the Faculty Senate; once had an elected senator.
· Everyone can attend Faculty Senate meetings, open to the entire community; consensus.
· Need to be careful – some who have permission to teach are not part of full-time faculty membership.
· To include everyone covered by Faculty Handbook: instructional faculty – full time and part-time; term faculty – both research and instructional faculty? At the college level, full-time term faculty are included.
· Faculty Handbook does not cover adjuncts at present. To include them would have implications in a wide variety of sections. Problem in reverse: that adjunct faculty would assert rights – such as filing a grievance. Must specify under what circumstances; or to have a separate section such as “Rights of Adjunct Faculty?”
· Need for statement about administrators with instructional faculty rank in event they seek promotion in rank, e.g.,from Associate to Full Professor.
· In development of Administrative Faculty Handbook, a committee circulated drafts to Associate Deans, etc over a six-month period. Issues raised were generally addressed; consultative process ad hoc; not much different from this Committee. Did all classified administrative faculty (have opportunity to) endorse it? No equivalent to the Faculty Senate.
Under powers delegated to it by the General Faculty, the Faculty Senate is the principal faculty advisory body to the President. It has particular responsibility for the formulation of university-wide academic policies and is the principal voice of the faculty in matters affecting the faculty generally. It advises the President and other members of the central administration concerning matters that affect the welfare of the University as a whole.
The principal function of the Faculty Senate is to
represent the faculty on all governance issues not internal to any single
school or college. This includes, but is not limited to, curricular matters,
matters concerning terms and conditions of faculty employment, and matters of
academic organization. In these matters, the Provost and Senate will consult
during the process of planning and implementing changes. To ensure timely
consultation about these and other matters, the Provost meets
monthly regularly with
the Senate's executive committee. Meetings with the President and/or other
members of the central administration occur as needed.
The Senate meets at least monthly during the fall and spring semesters. Meetings of the Senate are open to all members of the university community, who may speak to any item of business on the agenda. Only members of the Senate, however, may introduce motions and vote.
members of the Senate are appointed by its chair to serve as liaison
representatives to the Board of Visitors. They regularly attend meetings of the
Board and its committees and report to the Senate about them.
· The Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate meets regularly, not monthly with the Provost; often at discretion of the chair.
· “Matters of academic organization” needs further revision; a sore spot over the years.
· Faculty hired over there by educational foundation of Ras Al Khaimah.
· Huge implications for standards for accreditation.
· Do the RAK faculty work for GMU? As employees of the state of Virginia? Or do they work for another entity subcontracted to GMU?
· No faculty hired by RAK unless vetted through the appropriate unit. We don’t know if they hired someone or not as not in our budget; does not see how this works.
· Very important as RAK not likely to be last out-of-country located for GMU. Important to understand how it all works.
· To discuss with Provost questions raised; to what extent (the Faculty Handbook) applies to faculty in RAK. Is it a supplement? Does (new Vice President for Ras Al Khaimah campus) Sharon Siverts have other guidelines?
· Argument to exclude RAK from Faculty Handbook for three reasons: logistically impossible; lack of relevance; and lack of control; to limit to distributed campuses in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
· If above statement is true, then why include facade? Students to receive a GMU degree, should represent faculty consensus as a whole.
· Overseas operations need their own Handbook; which includes some elements of this Handbook; analogous to RAK supplement to University Catalog.
· Does BOV have ultimate say about RAK? Evolving campus – new Associate Dean for RAK to be presented at first BOV meeting (this year). Are full-time faculty at RAK approved by the BOV?
1.3.3 Colleges and Schools - proposed revisions:
The schools and colleges of the University are communities of teaching, learning, scholarship and service established by the faculty and administration and approved by the Board of Visitors. They house faculties and programs representing shared educational interests, and may or may not be sub- divided into departments. Colleges may also be subdivided into schools.
As an organizational unit the college or school meets four functional criteria: (i) it has a tenured and probationary faculty directly and specifically appointed to it or to its departments by the Board of Visitors; (ii) its faculty establishes degree requirements; authorizes the conferral of degrees; proposes, reviews and approves courses and programs; participates in decisions concerning the creation, reorganization and dissolution of units within the college or school; and plays a key role in faculty personnel actions such as hiring, promotion, and entenurement; (iii) it has an instructional budget that includes FTE-funds for the payment of its faculty's salaries as well as funds for goods and services in support of its programs; and (iv) its chief administrative officer is a dean who reports directly to the Provost.
The faculties of schools and colleges define their own voting membership. Together with their deans, they determine the processes and procedures of governance they will employ, but all schools and colleges, and if so sub-divided, their departments, must act within the following guidelines, which prescribe that they operate in a democratic manner and in accordance with the best traditions of the academic profession; adopt bylaws or standing rules that are made available to all members and that undergo periodic review; meet often enough to assure good communication and the timely conduct of business; hold meetings that follow an agenda distributed in advance; record the proceedings of the meetings in minutes that are distributed to and approved by the faculty.
· Why is there no undergraduate council? To have one big committee which handles both undergraduate and graduate levels as existed in CAS for a while?
· If we do not need an undergraduate council, then why do we need a graduate council?
· To check whether mechanism exists in Provost Office; occasionally, but not often matters (across units) surface in deans/directors council, primarily dealing with turf issues.
· Provost to consider in making decisions about restructuring; question has been asked elsewhere.
Clerk, Faculty Senate