MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, July 11, 2007; Mason Hall, D5 – 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Present: Kevin Avruch, Associate Director and Professor of Conflict Resolution, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution; 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.
Absent: Lorraine Brown, Professor of English, College of Humanities and Social Sciences; David Rossell, Associate Provost for Personnel and Budget, ex-officio; Suzanne Slayden, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science.
Provost Appointees: The Provost met with Martin Ford and Dave Harr. In addition to the departure of Marilyn Mobley, the retirement of David Rossell was recently announced. At this juncture, the start-up time for a new appointee would not work; therefore Martin and Dave will continue to serve as his remaining appointees without replacing the departing committee members. The Provost also reserved the right to add another appointee to the committee; impression conveyed that things going smoothly. He also thanked the committee for the work done so far.
Meeting Cancellation: As several committee members are unable to attend July 25th, the meeting will be cancelled. Our next meeting will take place Wednesday, July 18th from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. in Mason Hall, D5.
Fall Schedule: After some discussion, a tentative plan to schedule twice monthly meetings of two hours’ duration, tentatively for Tuesday mornings pending feedback from absent members of the committee.
Update/Discussion: Who is covered by the Faculty Handbook?
· Full time instructional and research faculty are covered; administrative faculty not covered.
· Should adjuncts be covered? Consensus in earlier discussions that adjuncts should be covered as well; there are many things in Handbook for which adjunct faculty are responsible. There are also many things which do not apply to adjunct faculty; good practice to be explicit, lest some complain they have employment rights which they do not have as adjunct faculty.
· Adjunct faculty offer letter the same as other offer letters. Without a contractual (adjunct faculty) handbook, rules which apply are scattered, may not be known.
· Committee has not yet examined sections of Handbook for applicability to adjunct faculty. Would require reworking of some sections already completed to make much finer distinctions.
· Are all part-time faculty adjuncts? In Human Resources they are, but they really are not. Prototypically, adjunct faculty hired to teach one course one semester at a time; have separate contracts for each course they teach. Part-time faculty can be hired for entire academic year, but may not be hired on multi-year contracts.
· Some things covered by University Policies distinct from Faculty Handbook. Do University Policies supercede Faculty Handbook? They should not be in conflict. Do Commonwealth of Virginia policies trump Faculty Handbook? Technically, they should not be in conflict.
· “Adjunct” means different things in different units.
· Need for separate adjunct faculty handbook discussed; to ask Provost’s view.
· Modifiers such as “genuine” excellence and “high” competency not popular, redundant.
· “Excellence” as validity, “Genuine” as reliability; consistent performance. To promote overall pattern of data for evaluation in six-year period; not just one outstanding year.
· Procedural changing of deadline from December 1st to November 15th to speed up appeal procedures.
· Nobody is clamoring for a university-level promotion and tenure committee as exists in large research universities.
· Distinction between full and associate professors – needs to be something bigger, such as national recognition. Faculty continue to do high quality work, may be doing new work; time for judgment of work by larger community of peers. “Associate” or “Tenured” sense of great potential and clear evidence of delivery. Letters and awards mean more for full professor, as does presidency of a major scholarly organization, or as editor of a journal.
· Each academic unit to send to provost for his approval their criteria for promotion and tenure; more precise language needed. May be impossible to come up with language to cover diverse disciplines. When a new leader hired, changes must go through governance process.
· Strong feeling, regardless of language used in criteria – after you go through all the hoops, an emergent sense of what decisions should be – the right thing will get done. If someone acts in bad faith, system will catch it. Should the Provost/President act in bad faith, a different problem. Even so, with one positive vote on appeal committee, then may go to BOV Faculty and Academic Standards Committee.
Clerk, Faculty Senate