MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE

TUESDAY, JULY 25, 2006

MASON HALL, room D1, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.

 

Present:  Lorraine Brown, Professor of English, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and President of the AAUP Chapter of George Mason University; Rick Coffinberger, Associate Professor of Business and Legal Studies, School of Management, Chair; Marilyn Mobley, Associate Provost for Education Programs; David Rossell, Associate Provost for Personnel and Budget, ex-officio; Suzanne Slayden, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science.

 

Absent:  Kevin Avruch, Professor of Conflict Resolution and Anthropology, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution; Martin Ford, Senior Associate Dean, College of Education and Human Development; Dave Harr, Senior Associate Dean, School of Management.

 

 Revisions to Minutes of July 11, 2006:

LAU Professional Development Leaves, 3rd revision:  Faculty eligible for LAU Professional Development Leaves must be full-time tenured faculty.  List of other leaves at end to be deleted. 

Family and Medical Leave Act:  Impact on Tenure-Track Faculty: The tenure clock has stopped for both male and female faculty who have taken leave under the FMLA in order to care for children and elderly parents. Normally the tenure-clock is stopped for one year.  Similar instances occur when faculty called to active duty military service.  The policy is posted on the Provost Office website under Promotion, Tenure and Tenure-Track Procedures/Schedules/Templates at http://www.gmu.edu/departments/provost/documents/TenClock.doc; reproduced below:

 

THE TENURE CLOCK EXCEPTIONS TO STANDARD PROCEDURES

 

Under exceptional circumstances, a faculty member may petition to temporarily stop his/her tenure clock.  Petitioning is a formal process that must be initiated in advance of the requested stoppage.  Approval for the petition is required at several levels:  the Promotion and Tenure Committee and administrator of the faculty member’s local academic unit, followed by the Dean and Provost.  If a faculty member goes on leave without pay, the tenure clock does not automatically stop.  A formal petition must be filed for such stoppage.  No faculty member may change the tenure decision deadline by more than two years.

 

Petitions may be submitted for several reasons, one of the most compelling being family necessity.  In this case the faculty member must be required to provide substantial care for a dependent, care that must be rendered for a significant portion of the day during the regular workweek.   These provisions involve unpaid leave or reduced salary leave (where some teaching continues with a reduced workload) and are independent of any benefits under the Family Medical Leave Act, though some overlap may occur.  Petitions on the basis of family necessity must establish the faculty member as a primary caregiver.  The Provost, upon recommendation of the unit administrator and Dean, will determine if these conditions have been met.  Petitions must be submitted as expeditiously as circumstances allow.

 

Normally, a petition for stoppage, if approved, will stop the tenure clock for a year.  A second petition may be submitted, provided that two years have elapsed since the first leave.  A faculty member is not eligible for additional teaching assignments during the stoppage period.


 

Revisions to July 18, 2006 Minutes:

Draft Revision Texts …Section 2.1.2 Probationary Appointment:  to substitute “Tenure-Track” for “Probationary” appointment as latter term has a negative connotation.  Although it is unusual, in some schools promotions to associate professor/professor may occur before tenure received. Revised text:

2.1.2 Tenure-Track Appointment

An appointment for a fixed term in which service is applied to consideration for tenure. These appointments are issued for terms of up to three years. The University can, but is not required to, renew such appointments of additional terms up to a total of seven years of service. A faculty member in the final term of a tenure-track appointment cannot subsequently be given another tenure-track appointment but can subsequently be considered for another type of fixed term appointment. Faculty on tenure-track appointments may hold the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor.

 

Draft Revision Texts …Section 2.1.3 Other Types of Full-Time Fixed-Term Appointment:

 

Full-time instructional and research faculty on fixed-term, non-tenure track appointments are known as Term Faculty.  Service in such positions cannot be applied to consideration for tenure, although a faculty member holding this kind of appointment can subsequently be considered for a probationary or tenured appointment.

 

Term faculty whose assignments focus primarily on teaching are appointed as instructional faculty.  Term faculty whose assignments focus primarily on research are appointed as research faculty.  Some specific administrative or service functions may also be attached to the teaching or research focus. 

 

Term faculty may be offered single-year or multi-year contracts, with the maximum contract length being three years for initial appointments and reappointments at the same rank.  Such contracts automatically expire at the end of the contract period, and although they may be renewed, there is no guarantee or right to reappointment from one contract to the next, whether single-year or multi-year.

 

Term faculty appointments include appropriate academic rank as judged by the appointing local academic unit and subject to the approval of the appropriate Dean and Provost.  Multi-year term faculty must hold a terminal degree.  Term faculty with a terminal degree are eligible for promotion in rank after six years of service.  Multi-year contracts offered after promotion in rank may be for three or five years. 

 

Teaching-oriented term faculty may hold one of the following titles:  Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor.  Research-oriented term faculty may hold one of the following titles:  Research Instructor, Research Assistant Professor, Research Associate Professor, or Research Professor.

 

Term faculty on single-year appointments whose permanent employment is with another organization should be modified by the title “Visiting.”

 

 

Discussion:  Inclusion of Research Faculty into Faculty Handbook:  Who is covered by the Faculty Handbook?  Should research faculty be included as a subset of term faculty or are they separate?  Historically research faculty on fixed term (appointments). 

 

Next meeting August 22, 2006.  What to examine next, suggestions include:

 

Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate