MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE

MONDAY JUNE 5, 2006 

MASON HALL, room D1, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

 

Present:  Kevin Avruch, Professor of Conflict Resolution and Anthropology, ICAR; Lorraine Brown, Professor of English (CAS) and President of the AAUP Chapter of George Mason University; Rick Coffinberger, Associate Professor of Business and Legal Studies, School of Management, Chair; Martin Ford, Senior Associate Dean, College of Education and Human Development; Marilyn Mobley, Associate Provost for Education Programs, Suzanne Slayden, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

 

Absent:  Dave Harr, Senior Associate Dean, School of Management; David Rossell, Associate Provost for Personnel and Budget, ex-officio.

 

Old Business:  State of Virginia language regarding sabbaticals to be provided by David Rossell.  Emeritus completed, to be placed into template form.

 

2.12.2. Grievances:  Revision Draft 2 (First draft discussed at May 30th meeting) - Rick Coffinberger

2.12.2.1 Policies Concerning Grievances

Each college, school and institute is required to have a standing committee charged to hear grievances concerning (i) alleged violations of academic freedom; (ii) other conditions of employment, such as work assignments, salaries, facilities, and support services (exceptions are those types of cases treated in Sections 2.10.2.2 and 2.10.2.3); and (iii) charges of unprofessional or unethical conduct brought by one faculty member against another. These committees are particularly charged to be alert to instances of inequitable treatment and retaliation against colleagues who have filed grievances.   In cases alleging discrimination in violation of federal or state law or University regulations, the committee must consult the University Equity Office early in the process.  The University Grievance Committee hears all grievances against Deans/Directors.

In addition to hearing specific cases, the committees may initiate, as they deem necessary, discussions with appropriate administrators about any matters that fall within the committees' purview. In the course of such discussions, however, they may not commit the faculties of their units to changes in grievance policy unless specifically authorized to do so.

At their discretion, academic departments may also establish grievance committees. Their procedures should be similar to those of the collegiate committees.

2.12.2.2 Grievance Procedures

In cases of alleged violations of academic freedom (except those related to matters of promotion and tenure, for which Section 2.9 applies), the following procedures apply:

1.   Before the grievance itself is considered, the petitioner must make a prima facie case to the committee.

2.   If such a case is made, the committee is charged to investigate the facts of the case and to make a recommendation to the faculty of the college, school or institute.

3.   The faculty of the college, school or institute acts on the recommendation by formal vote.

4.   If the grievance is against an administrator below the level of the Dean/Director, the recommendation is forwarded to the dean or institute director, whose decision in the matter is final.

5.   If the grievance is against a Dean/Director, Associate Dean/Director the University Grievance Committee’s recommendation is forwarded to the Provost, whose decision in the matter is final. If the grievance is against the Provost, the recommendation is forwarded to the President, whose decision in the matter is final. If the grievance is against the President, the recommendation is forwarded to the Rector of the Board of Visitors, whose decision in the matter is final.

The procedures to be followed in other types of grievance cases are the same, except that the committee forwards its findings and recommendation directly to the appropriate administrator for final action if the grievance is against an administrator. If the grievance is against a fellow faculty member, the grievance committee's decision is final.

In all types of cases, procedures will reflect the fundamental principle of due process that prohibits people from sitting in judgment of their own actions, if those actions are challenged, i.e., grieved or appealed. 

·                    Inclusion of prohibition against retaliation in first paragraph. 

·                    Discussion of grievance cases not handled at the department level for lack of a grievance committee in which the AAUP becomes involved.  AAUP does not have enough staff to do this as needs to be done at this level. When you get to this level, it’s quite a step. If a college grievance committee exists, why would faculty go to AAUP?  Lack of help or anything on the books to provide guidance.   Some departments may be too small to have all tenured committee.  Should grievance committees be mandated at the department level? After some discussion, consensus emerged they should not be mandated.  To do so would be a substantive change in removing discretion and would require follow-up re drafting of procedures etc. 

·                    Need for regularizing of procedures – folks become tangled in situations where administrators who are not trained do not handle issue systemically.  Problem that Banner cannot keep up with what needs are, to conform to what we want.

 

Study Leaves:  to redraft old “department leaves” on Provost website.  More programs, funding sources listed. 

 

Faculty Titles/Prefixes in Use:   Should new Faculty Handbook include research faculty as well as instructional faculty?  Human Resources says many of these terms are not used by anyone in the University.  Examples include:

·        Field Faculty (2.1.3 Other Types of Fixed Term Appointment)

·        Clinical Faculty used as a local title, no one is classified as such (2.1.3)

·        Visiting Faculty – a few people are labeled “Visiting”, not sure if term useful given Term Faculty Titles.  Have an appointment elsewhere, not to be used as temporary term (2.1.3)

·        Contract and Senior Contract Faculty used by COS, local titles, not official titles (2.1.4 Part-Time Appointment)

 

Issue of sensitivity at local level where courtesy appointments are made, prestige issue.  Members of the committee will check with CNHS, COS, and Matt Kluger regarding use of these titles.


Human Resources uses the following terms: Instructional Faculty, Research Faculty, Visiting Faculty, Adjunct Faculty, and Affiliate (unpaid) Faculty.  Part-time code is distinct from part-time adjunct.  Term faculty titles in use are:  Term Faculty (instruction oriented); Research Term Faculty, and Part-Time Term Faculty (instruction or research oriented)

 

Term Faculty:  Under new Term Faculty Rules, you cannot have a multiyear contract if a part-time faculty member.  A part-time contract can be renewed.  Full-time term faculty contracts can be renewed over and over to year five, then must go through university-level committees.  This policy went into effect about a year and a half ago with extensive guidelines; a very helpful guide for administrators.    See:  Procedures for Appointment and Reappointment of Term Faculty at  http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/documents/termfacguide.doc  (Addendum to the Faculty Handbook  7/1/03).

 

Is it possible to be employed as term faculty and then convert to tenure-track?  No, when hired as a term faculty member there is a standard paragraph stating it is not a tenure accruing position.  If a tenure-track position becomes available, you may apply for it.  Tenure clock begins only when hired as tenure track. There are cases where faculty with multi-year contracts applied for tenure and were turned down.  Impact on perspective of tenure – may fail due to research, but could be hired as term instructional faculty with no research requirement.  Good for university to retain great teachers in that way.  Problem of creation of second-class citizens in a two-tier system.  Some schools pay tenure-track and term faculty the same, some do not  - cannot legislate this in the Faculty Handbook.

 

Similarities and Differences:  9 month/12 month Faculty:  Other than time, what are differences between 9 month and 12 month faculty?  In salary data some instructional faculty have titles such as associate dean or assistant dean.   If your job is 50% instructional, you must be instructional faculty.  There are some 12 month instructional faculty whose job requires them to work through the summer; not a clear advantage as 9 month instructional faculty have the opportunity to teach for higher potential earnings.  Instructional faculty are supposed to be 9 month unless a specific reason exists in their job.  Do 12 month instructional faculty positions include administrative duties?  Issue of permanent vs. temporary:  if intrinsically temporary and not your basic job, could remain instructional faculty with temporary reallocation of duties.  12 month instructional faculty have the same teaching and research requirements as do 9 month instructional faculty, not that different from 9 month instructional faculty who may do research over the summer.  12 month instructional faculty must fill out attendance records as required by Richmond.  If they do not report their annual leave, they will lose it. 


Inclusion of following four sections from the Faculty Information Guide into Faculty Handbook to create a new section after 2.15 but before 2.16:

 

·ACADEMIC YEAR APPOINTMENTS (9 months)

For administrative purposes, the academic-year for instructional faculty is the 9-month period August 25 through May 24 . This is the period during which faculty are paid and benefits authorized. For academic purposes, faculty on 9-month appointments are expected to be present for work approximately two weeks prior to the beginning of classes until two weeks after the end of classes. Benefits are authorized provided the appointment is for one FTE and more than six months. Faculty on academic - year appointments who work less than the full 9-month period will be paid the appropriate percentage of the full 9-month salary. Faculty receive 15 days of sick leave. Annual leave is not authorized.

 

·FISCAL YEAR APPOINTMENTS (12 months)

Faculty who are required to perform duties year round are placed on 12-month or fiscal year appointments for the period June 25 through June 24. These faculty receive 24 days annual leave and 20 days of sick leave. Annual leave is not authorized for certain 12-month faculty appointments which are funded through special sponsored programs. Benefits are authorized provided the appointment is for one FTE and more than six months. Faculty on fiscal-year appointments who work less than the full 12-month period will be paid the appropriate percentage of the full 12-month salary.

 

·INSTRUCTIONAL/RESEARCH FACULTY Faculty on contractual appointments who customarily teach, conduct research or engage in public service activities as a principal activity. Instructional faculty usually work a 9 or 12 month year and may be full-time (1.0 FTE) or part-time (less than 1.0 FTE).

 

·ADMINISTRATIVE/PROFESSIONAL FACULTY Administrative/professional faculty perform work directly related to the administration and support of the educational and general activities of the university. Professional faculty perform professional work in education, research, athletic, student affairs and development activities. Administrative/professional faculty are usually on contractual appointments of 12-months duration and may be full-time (1.0 FTE) or part-time (less than 1.0 FTE).

 

Also need to include a line such as  “Instructional Faculty with administrative appointments are covered by the Administrative Faculty Handbook.  Do we need to clarify instructional and administrative faculty to distinguish the latter who also have right of return to instructional faculty?

 

Salary Adjustments/Stipends:  When faculty move from 9 month to 12 month position, they receive a salary adjustment.  When they return to 9 month position, readjustments not consistent. “Stipends” now defined in contracts to address this, a relatively new statement.  As an equity issue, there have been tremendous inequities created.  Perhaps to include this section from the Administrative Faculty Handbook:

 

3.  Conversion Factors  (p. 9-10 Administrative Faculty Handbook)

Instructional faculty who convert from a 9month contract to a 12 month administrative contract will receive an administrative stipend based on internal equity and external market factors. The stipend will remain in effect for the duration of the appointment. Appropriated salary increases that occur during this appointment will be based on the teaching base salary plus the administrative stipend. When the faculty member returns to a 9 month instructional contract, the new salary will be calculated in the following manner: the administrative stipend and its associated salary increase(s) will be removed. The base salary together with all increases associated to the base salary will establish the new 9month base. This conversion process becomes effective simultaneously with the adoption of this edition of the handbook.  Conditions in contracts for administrative appointments that predate this edition will be honored.

NOTE: Individuals serving for an extended term in an administrative/professional faculty position who were originally on a nine-month faculty appointment may be subject to additional external and internal equity considerations when they convert back to a nine-month contract.

 

Situations have arisen in the past where individuals received last minute raises, important to have this in writing.  No way to give justice to legacy issues; impact on colleagues’ morale.  On the other hand, opportunity cost occurs when some administrative faculty forego research and teaching in performing a different kind of service.  We need to include wording for official policy on stipends. 

 

1.3.4.3. Departments:  What is the definition of a department as asked by a faculty member in the Department of Psychology, which could be a department/school/college or even several departments. 

As disciplines develop may diverge between humanities and scientific aspects; can we legislate cultural change?    Internecine battles in the past included split of Geology and Geography. Biosciences might petition to be made into departments.  Positive example of Art and Art History:  Art went to CVPA, Art History and History Department a good match. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate