MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mason Hall, room D5; 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 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)

 

The Committee has received and reviewed a list of revisions suggested by Provost Stearns (which included some from Associate University Counsel Brian Walther) at a joint meeting held Thursday, July 31, 2008 in Mason Hall, room D107.  On Monday, August 4th, Brian Walther sent the committee a completed list of suggested revisions for consideration..  Lorraine Brown, past-president of the GMU Chapter of the AAUP, has also provided a list of suggested revisions/areas of concerns from AAUP consultants'  review of the  2009 Faculty Handbook revision template in its entirety.  The disposition of each suggestion (accepted, not accepted, revised/rephrased) made will be communicated to the Provost and University Counsel.

 

3. 1  Faculty Salaries:  Proposed addition (Provost) modified:  salaries plus other university benefits are listed on the Total Compensation Calculator on the Human Resources and Payroll website” 

 

·Reference to Human Resources and Payroll website already exists in 3.5. Faculty Benefits

·Faculty salary data not posted on Human Resources and Payroll website, posted on Faculty Senate website.

·To add phrase: “including Total Compensation Calendar” to 3.5. Faculty Benefits:

 

3.5 Faculty Benefits – 2009 Revision

 

As employees of the Commonwealth of Virginia, GMU faculty members are provided with health insurance, retirement plans, life insurance, and medical and child care flexible spending accounts. In addition, the University offers certain employee-funded benefits. All such benefits are described in more detail in the Human Resources and Payroll website (http://hr.gmu.edu/ ), including a Total Compensation Calculator.

 

Proposed addition (University Counsel):  replace “including” withwhich includesaccepted

Additional FHC edits: removal of “the” and addition of “and universities” in last sentence of first paragraph.

 

3.1 Faculty Salaries – 2009 Revision

 

State colleges and universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia do not have a common salary schedule. The General Assembly determines appropriations for state colleges and universities, which includes funding for faculty salaries.

The University attempts to be as competitive as possible in its recruitment and retention of faculty. The differences that are found among disciplines and departments with regard to salary ranges within a given academic rank partially reflect supply and demand in the marketplace.

Faculty salaries for the current academic year appear on the Faculty Senate website.

3.2 Salary Increases

Proposed addition (University Counsel) accepted/moved: add subject to the availability of funding to end of second sentence, second paragraph.  FHC moved phrase to beginning of first paragraph, replacing “when available to the university”.

Additional FHC edit:  remove “internal” before “equity” at end of second paragraph.

 

3.2 SALARY INCREASES – 2009 Revision

 

Subject to the availability of funding, salary increases are given annually. The annual salary increase is confirmed to the faculty member by a letter from the Provost.

Annual salary increases are based chiefly on performance.  All faculty with a satisfactory performance rating will receive at least a minimum salary increment.  Salary increases may also reflect efforts to achieve equity.

Faculty members who are dissatisfied with a salary increase normally seek recourse within their local academic unit. If dissatisfaction persists, grievance procedures outlined in Section 2.11.2 may be followed.

 

3.3 Summer Salary

The Provost included  revisions suggested by Renate Guilford (Associate Provost for Enrollment Planning and Administration/former director of the Summer School Program) which appear below in bold italics, deletions appear in yellow italics: subsequent revisions made by the FHC appear in bold:

 

3.3 Summer Salary – 2009 Revision

 

The University offers a summer program consisting of several sessions. If a Full-time faculty members assigned to teach a summer course shall be paid 3.33% per credit hour (10% per three-credit course) the pay rate shall be 10% of their annual nine-month salary per course, unless. If a course is valued at a higher or lower amount for workload purposes during the academic year, the summer payment will be assigned by the academic unit accordingly. Every full-time faculty member who wishes to teach in the summer shall be afforded an opportunity to teach one, 3-credit course (or equivalent) at 10% of their annual nine-month salary, assuming he or she is qualified to teach the course and that the course meets minimal enrollment criteria and appropriate scheduling, curricular, and pedagogical needs. Furthermore, full-time faculty should not be excluded from teaching additional courses at 10% of their annual nine-month salary when no demonstrated financial constraints exist. Grievances over what constitutes financial constraints should be resolved at the local elves; but if no agreement can be reached, then the Provost and the Faculty Senate’s Executive Committee will be the designated body to resolve the disagreement. Summer teaching is optional, and in no case may it be required of a faculty member. Faculty may be paid no more than 33% of their prior academic year salary for all summer work, regardless of funding sources.
 
Faculty members whose contracts end in the spring semester prior to the start of summer, or whose contracts begin in the fall semester after the summer semester, will be paid for summer teaching according to the salary matrix. Exceptions can only be granted by the Provost Office.
 
Faculty and department chairs on 12-month instructional contracts who teach during the summer do not earn additional pay for teaching.  Unless the teaching assignment is an overload assignment, overload teaching is paid according to the salary matrix and must be approved by the Provost.  

 

Discussion:  Important new paragraph establishes procedure where faculty members whose contracts end prior to beginning of summer or begin in subsequent academic year; in cases of retirement or departure after summer sessions ends, may ask for exception to salary matrix (payment). 

·Faculty sometimes decide to retire in August to retain 10% of academic year summer salary payment.

·Establishes rule; inconsistent practices in past, has clarity; favored by committee. 

In response to question raised why the Provost’s Office would grant exceptions and not deans/directors, summer session budget falls under Provost Office.  As long as money available; not an issue.  If unit goes over summer school budget, has to be paid back.  Summer School salary issue fought over years past.

·Concern expressed about appearance of favoritism should one faculty member receive exception and another faculty member denied exception.  . 

·Should faculty member go to another institution in the fall, arguably not to be treated as employee any more.  Likely to be implemented as budget based – those who leave on good terms may receive more generous terms..

·AAUP suggested replacement of “hire(s)” by “appointment(s) accepted–  language we use reflects on profession.  Replacement to be made throughout Handbook text..

·Removal of “instructional” in third paragraph as possible that research or clinical faculty member may teach course over the summer, given appropriate qualifications.

·Overload statement for 12 month faculty is already a university policy – unit cannot do unilaterally, requires Provost approval. 

·In response to question about establishment of precedent for highly paid faculty, everyone should be afforded opportunity to teach one course. 

·How is minimum enrollment criteria determined?  Clearly varies from unit to unit. Not to take right from academic units to set enrollment criteria.  Summer School Office not involved in this question.  In some cases, students may need to  take particular courses to graduate. 

·Funding/financial issues may also be unit issues at the local level

·  Grievance also a unit-level issue.

·In post-review of summer school funding, can request significant increment where have small number of classes taught by full-time faculty:  funding/FTE higher;  a logistics issue.

·If you can attain enrollment target, then budget works out. 

2009 Revision text so much better than 1994; reflects much work by faculty to change it over the years.

 

3.6.2 Leave Programs for Tenured Faculty:  The Committee disagreed with Provost’s observation that second section which describes LAU Professional Development Leaves unclear about exclusion of term faculty.

·About ten years ago, request for Professional Development Leave made by long-standing term faculty member sent to the Faculty Matters Committee of the Faculty Senate.  Issue did not go to the full Senate for a vote. Not to argue the issue here, policy not changed by Faculty Senate. 

·Easy for LAU to give Professional Development Leave to term faculty member by writing into contract. 

·If Provost wants to include term faculty, he needs to change HIS policy. 

·LAU Professional Development Leave rare in comparison to Provost Study Leave.

·FHC decided to make no further changes to 2009 Revision Text.

 

Chapter One

Preamble (p. 2) -pending BOV revision; proposed revision (University Counsel) to remove phrase “ an equal opportunity and affirmative action institution” from last paragraph accepted.  Last paragraph now reads:

 

George Mason University, an equal opportunity and affirmative action institution, actively supports the letter and the spirit of all fair employment policies of the Commonwealth of Virginia. For some documents pertaining to specific fairness policies, see Appendix A.

 

Preface – Pt 1 of 2 (p.3.)

Paragraph Two:  Proposed revision (University Counsel) to remove first sentence “The Faculty Handbook is a contractual document, binding on the University and on individual faculty members.” , and replace it  with “The Faculty Handbook is the University Policy which governments the employment of individual faculty members.” was not accepted.  A fundamental sentence; to ask University Counsel to explain how a document which governs contracts is not contractual? 

 

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to add “The Handbook sets forth the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of faculty members and of the University, and “  to delete  Insofar as applicable, its provisions are incorporated by reference” accepted. 

 

The Handbook Committee further revised the next phrase by removing “faculty” and adding “for full-time instructional, research and clinical faculty” and accepted proposed revision (University Counsel)  are governed by its terms.” to end of sentence.

 

Paragraph Two Revised:  The Faculty Handbook is a contractual document, binding on the University and on individual faculty members. The Handbook sets  forth the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of faculty members and of the University in all employment contracts for full-time instructional, research, and clinical faculty are governed by its terms. Faculty and academic administrators are expected to read the Faculty Handbook and to be familiar with its contents.

 

Paragraph Four:  Proposed revision (University Counsel) to replace “any of these entities” in first sentence with “the Faculty Senate or University administrators”  accepted.

 

Additional FHC edit to begin first sentence “Except as noted below,”  and to remove “however” from last sentence. 

 

Proposed revision (Provost) to add sentence “Arrangements must assume an expeditious meeting in cases of urgency.” accepted. 

 

Proposed revision (Provost) to increase membership of joint committee from 3 faculty and 2 administrators to 3 faculty and 3 administrators not accepted; present arrangement (since Summer 2007) of 4 faculty and 2 administrators has worked well.

 

Paragraph Four Revised:  Except as noted below, proposals to revise the Handbook originating from the Faculty Senate or University administrators will be considered by a joint committee of the faculty and the central administration consisting of three faculty appointed by the Faculty Senate, at least one of whom must be a Faculty Senator, and two administrators appointed by the Provost.  Arrangements must assume an expeditious meeting in cases of urgency. The chair of the Faculty Senate appoints the committee chair from the three faculty members.  It is not necessary to convene a committee for the following cases:

 

Paragraph Six:  Proposed revision (University Counsel) to add “however,” and delete “except that accepted. 

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to add “the conditions of award of tenure for faculty members already tenured” accepted; the FHC added “granted” and removed “d” from tenured.

 

Proposed revision crafted by FHC (at suggestion of AAUP) to add, “or who have formally initiated the tenure evaluation process.” to protect faculty in mid-process. 

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to remove “materially the substantive rights of any faculty member. For example, the conditions of employment governed by the Handbook may be changed prospectively and criteria for tenure may be changed for faculty who have not been awarded tenure but may not be changed for faculty already tenured”  was not accepted.

Paragraph Six Revised:  All revisions require the formal approval of the Board of Visitors. Each revision shall be incorporated, as of the effective date fixed by the Board, in all existing and future faculty employment contracts; however no revision shall operate retroactively to change materially the conditions of award of tenure for faculty members already granted tenure, or who have formally initiated the tenure evaluation process, the substantive rights of any faculty member. For example, the conditions of employment governed by the Handbook may be changed prospectively and criteria for tenure may be changed for faculty who have not been awarded tenure but may not be changed for faculty already tenured. Where no effective date is fixed for a revision, it shall become effective on July 1st following its approval by the BOV.

Preface Pt. 2 of 2 (p. 4)

Paragraph One:  Proposed revision (University Counsel) to replace “repealed” with “superceded” accepted, as was the inclusion of  in effect at the time of its adoption by the Board of Visitors.”  This also addressed Provost's concern about “the need for some language that limits repeal to policies in the prior version of  Handbook, making it clear that faculty are required as conditions of employment, to adhere to approved University policies otherwise save where necessarily inconsistent with the Faculty Handbook.”

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to delete “by-laws” was not accepted. 

Paragraph One Revised:  As of the date of the adoption of this edition of the Handbook, all prior policies with respect to matters covered therein are superseded. The provisions of this Handbook supersede all inconsistent bylaws, policies and procedures in effect at the time of its adoption by the Board of Visitors (including, if applicable, custom and usage) of any officer, person, body, or unit of the University, including but not limited to the President or other officer of the University and any college, school, institute, department or other faculty organization.

Section 1.1. The Rector and the Board of Visitors

Proposed revision (Provost) to remove specific names of BOV committees accepted, as they may change over time.  In lieu of names, “all standing committees of the Board except the Audit Committee (see below)” was added.

Proposed revision (Provost) to move sentence  The chair of the Faculty Senate sits as a non-voting member of the full Board.” before the voting membership of the General Faculty was accepted;

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to change “member of ” to “representative to” in the above sentence was accepted.

Proposed revision (AAUP) to change “bi-annual” to “biennially” was accepted. 

Discussion:  Faculty Senate chair as non-voting faculty representative to BOV comparable to non-voting DC representative to Congress (Eleanor Holmes Norton); verified faculty representation to all BOV committees.  Faculty representative to BOV Audit Committee needs particular expertise; and is now appointed.  To ask BOV to clarify qualifications needed , such as a CPA?  Conflict of interest questions with regard to faculty representative privy to inside information discussed at Audit Committee meeting; a situation not unique at all to BOV. 

One member of the Handbook Committee raised concern about term limits for faculty representatives; arguing that voters should decide for themselves.  Upon completing second consecutive term, outgoing faculty member not precluded from seeking election at future time.  Policy developed by Faculty Senate Executive Committee to encourage more faculty participation; importance of name recognition also acknowledged by the Committee.  Tradition of three year term limit for chair of the Faculty Senate; unknown whether term limits exist at local level.  Change proposed to change limit from “2” to “3” consecutive terms accepted by FHC committee. 

1.1.The Rector and Board of Visitors – Revised

 

Responsibility for the governance of George Mason University is vested by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Rector and Board of Visitors. Members of the Board of Visitors are appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth to serve fixed terms of four years. The Rector is a member of the Board, elected by the Board to serve as its chair.

 

Without limiting the generality of its powers, the Board of Visitors exercises its authority principally in policy-making and oversight.  With the exception of meetings convened in executive session, meetings of the Board of Visitors and its committees are open to the public.  The chair of the Faculty Senate sits as a non-voting representative to the full Board. The voting membership of the General Faculty (see Section 1.3.1) shall elect a non-voting representative to all standing committees of the Board, except the Audit Committee (see below).  To accomplish this, the Faculty Senate shall conduct elections biennially.  The candidates will come from the voting membership of the General Faculty.  The Faculty Senate will notify the Rector of the outcome of the election.  A separate faculty member may be selected by the Board to serve as a nonvoting, faculty liaison to the Audit Committee.   No faculty member may serve concurrently on more than one committee.   No faculty member can serve more than three consecutive 2-year terms, although subsequent reelection is permitted.

Section 1.2.2 The Provost (p. 12):  A new paragraph proposed by a member of the Faculty Handbook Committee with minor editing changes.  The Provost is also a member of the Faculty Senate; final sentence while not binding, establishes rhetoric for faculty governance; acknowledges some situations beyond the Provost's control.

New Paragraph added:  The Provost functions as the liaison to the Faculty Senate for the University Administration and has a primary responsibility to keep the Faculty Senate informed about new initiatives as well as on-going developments within the University.  The Provost implements this function in a manner that promotes the highest levels of Faculty participation in the shared governance of the University. 

 Section 1.2.3 Other Members of the Central Administration (p. 13)

Proposed revision (Provost) to change title as too vague.  After some discussion, FHC changed to“Executive Council and President's Council”. 

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to remove list of membership of both Executive Council and President's Council and to add “is” and “function” respectively. 

Proposed revision (Provost) to add “and to participate in discussions of basic policy.” to end of first paragraph describing President's Council. 

1.2.3 Executive Council and President's Council - Revised

 

The Executive Council

The Executive Council of the University is the President’s advisory group.  Members of the Executive Council have overall responsibility for monitoring University Projects and for sharing information about major developments.

President’s Council

The President’s Council's function is to keep members informed about initiatives and activities, and to participate in discussions of basic policy.

More information about organizational structure of the central administration is available on the Mason website at http://www.gmu.edu/admin/.

Section 1.2.4 Academic Deans and Directors as Members of the Central Administration (p. 14)

Proposed revision (Provost) to insert “academic” before institutes where occurs prior to definition of academic institutes in Section 1.3.4. accepted. 

Section 1.2.5 Faculty Participation in the Selection of Certain Members of the Central Administration (p. 15)

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to replace “a” with “the” before “Provost” in third paragraph accepted. 

Section 1.2.6 Faculty Organization (p. 16)

Proposed correction  (University Counsel) to update Section 1.3.4 to 1.3.6 accepted. 

Section 1. 3.1 The General Faculty (p. 17) – paragraph one.

The Provost asked whether the committee is comfortable with reference to term faculty, need to further define.  The FHC added “instructional, research and clinical” before “term faculty” .

Revised Paragraph One:    The General Faculty participates in governance at the university level. All members of the University 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 full-time tenured, tenure-track, and instructional, research, and clinical term faculty.

 

Section 1.3.2 The Faculty Senate (p. 18) – Paragraph Two:

 

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to insert “views of the faculty” between “represent” and “the faculty” was not accepted. 

 

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to add “in accord with sections 40.1-57.2 and 40.1-57.3 of the Code of Virginia” was accepted after a member of the committee reviewed and circulated the two sections referenced above.

 

Proposed revision (Provost) to insert “academic” before “institute” as described above in 1.2.4 completed.

 

Revised Paragraph Two:  The principal function of the Faculty Senate is to represent the faculty on all academic and governance issues not internal to any single school, college, or academic institute. This includes, but is not limited to, curricular matters, matters concerning terms and conditions of faculty employment in accord with sections 40.1-57.2 and 40.1-57.3 of the Code of Virginia, and matters of academic organization and institutional change. 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 regularly with the Senate's executive committee. Meetings with the President and/or other members of the central administration occur as needed.

 

Section 1.3.3 Colleges and Schools (p. 19)

Paragraph Two and “c. ”:   Proposed revisions (AAUP) to replace “hiring” with “appointments” accepted; to replace “entenurement” with “granting tenure”, and “assure” with “ensure” in “c.” accepted.  Proposed revision (University Counsel) to add “awarding tenure” superseded by AAUP recommendation above.

 

Paragraph Three:  Proposed revision (University Counsel):  to insert “each of” between “sub-divided” and “their departments” accepted.

 

Revised Paragraph Two:  As an organizational unit the college or school meets four functional criteria: (i) it has a tenured and tenure-track 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; actively 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 appointments, promotion, and granting tenure (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.

 

Revised Paragraph Three and “c.” 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, each of their departments, must act within the following guidelines, which prescribe that they

c.  meet often enough to ensure good communication and the timely conduct of business;

Section 1.3.4 Academic Institutes (p. 20)

Paragraph One:  Proposed revision (University Counsel) to add “academic” before “units” accepted.

Paragraph Five:  Proposed revision (University Counsel) to add “follow the guidelines applicable to schools and colleges” replacing “act within the guidelines listed”, followed by “set forth” accepted. 

 

Revised Paragraph One: An academic institute (or “institute” for short) is an organizational unit of the University that fosters interdisciplinary activities that transcend the disciplines based in any single college or school.  In addition to research and scholarship, and service activities, institutes offer interdisciplinary academic programs that do not duplicate those of other academic units. Academic institutes are also analogous to schools or colleges in that they have a nucleus of full-time faculty appointed directly and specifically to primary affiliation in them.

 

Revised Paragraph Five:  The faculties of academic institutes define their own voting membership.  Together with their directors, they determine the processes and procedures of governance they will employ, but all institutes must follow the guidelines applicable to schools and colleges set forth in Section 1.3.3.

 

Section 1.3.5 Graduate Faculties 1994 (p.21):  Provost proposed reinstatement of section deleted by committee.   (Long ago) organizational change which split faculty down these lines; local unit decision (if extant) today.  In looking at Section 1.3.8 The Graduate Council addresses issue adequately.  For example, you cannot just place someone without a terminal degree on a dissertation committee.  The committee did not accept reinstatement of section.

 

Section 1.3.5 Academic Departments 2009 (p. 22)

Paragraph Two:  Proposed revision (University Counsel) to add “follow the guidelines applicable to schools and colleges set forth” and deletion of “within the guidelines listed” accepted. 

Paragraph One:  insertion of “academic” before “institutes” as noted above.

 

Revised Paragraph Two:  Departmental faculties determine their own voting membership. Together with their chairs, they determine the processes and procedures of governance they will employ, but all departments must follow the guidelines applicable to schools and colleges set forth in Section 1.3.3.

 

Section 1.3.6 Definition of Local Academic Units (p. 23)

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to add “(LAU)” after title of Section accepted. 

 

Section 1.3.7 Schools, Colleges and Institutes Without Departments (p. 24)

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to add “and academic institutes” accepted.  To insert “academic” before “institutes” in title as noted above.

 

Revision:  1.3.7 Schools, Colleges, and Academic Institutes without Departments

Schools, colleges, and academic institutes without departments provide simultaneously for faculty governance at the collegiate level (as described in Section 1.3.3) and at the local level. In carrying out their function as local academic units, such schools, colleges, and institutes will operate analogously to departments (as described in Sections 1.3.4 and 1.3.5).

 

Section 1.3.8 The Graduate Council

As discussed earlier, in response to Provost's request (see 1.3.5 1994) the committee did not accept revision.  A member of the Committee discussed the text with a colleague currently serving on the Graduate Council to confirm its reflection of current practice; i.e. that the Graduate Council is never in involved in status/qualifications of existing faculty; or qualifications for graduate faculty.  FHC does not wish to create a potentially divisive category; should Provost feel change needed, should present his case to the Faculty Senate.  When a separate graduate division existed, Graduate Council had a different function. 

 

Section 1.3.9 Multidisciplinary or Interdisciplinary Programs

Proposed revisions (University Counsel) were accepted:

Paragraph One:  Replace “the local academic units” with “such units”. 

Paragraph Two:  Delete “of the” and “of the university” in second sentence, correct Section 1.3.4 to 1.3.6.

Paragraph Three:  Delete “would” in last sentence and add “s” after report.

 

Paragraph One Revised: Most academic programs are offered by local academic units and are therefore administered and governed by the faculties of such units.

 

Paragraph Two Revised:  Some multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary programs are offered by faculties drawn from more than a single local unit. These faculty members do not hold primary affiliation in those programs but rather, in one or more local academic units (see Section 1.3.6). For purposes of personnel decisions regarding appointment, promotion and tenure, these faculty members are evaluated primarily by their peers in the local units of which they are a part, but with the requirement that recommendations from the multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary program faculty with which they are associated will be given due consideration.

 

Paragragh Three Revised:  Academic programs which are not internal to a single local academic unit are administered by a program director. This director is regarded as the equivalent of a department chair and is therefore expected to possess equivalent academic credentials. Such program directors normally report to a dean or institute director.  If the program transcends the boundaries of a single school, college, or institute, the program director reports to the Provost.


Section 1.3.10 Centers

Proposed revision (University Counsel) accepted:  add “center's” before “charter” in next to last sentence in Paragraph One so that revised sentence  reads: Renewal of a center's charter, when called for, is subject to favorable review of a center's performance and accomplishments.

 

Section 1.3.11  Research Institutes

Proposed revision (University Counsel) accepted:  change “insure” to “ensure” in last sentence so that the revised sentence reads:  To ensure that this guideline is respected, the process for chartering a research institute must include opportunities for center directors, academic unit heads, and the Faculty Senate to review and comment on chartering proposals before a classification decision is made.

 

CHAPTER TWO REVISIONS BEGIN HERE

 

Section 2.1.1 Tenured Appointment (p.3.)

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to add “Election without term is referred to as “tenure” in this Handbook” followed by the removal of “This status is the contractual equivalent of tenure.” in the second sentence of the first paragraph was not accepted.  The committee requests a better reason to change statement as written. 

 

Section 2.1.2 Tenure-Track Appointment (p. 4) – Paragraph Two:

Proposed revision (AAUP) to state in last paragraph that “Credit for prior service means faculty come up for tenure after three years not six years” not accepted because there is no formal method to assign credit for service at other institutions; do not wish to restrict senior-level scientists, nor limit full six-year tenure track opportunity for faculty with prior service elsewhere.

 

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to remove conflicting statements in second paragraph” Experienced faculty hired on tenure-track appointments from other institutions will not normally be expected to serve a six-year tenure-track period,” with later statements about  Credit toward tenure may be given for prior faculty service at other institutions.  Such credit is manifested through consideration of accomplishments prior to employment at George Mason University, not through a reduction in the available six-year tenure-track period (assuming that the criteria for tenure-track contract renewal are met). 

 

After some discussion, the committee agreed to delete the second statement quoted., as well as add “at George Mason” after reference to sixth year of tenure-track service.

 

Paragraph Two Revised:  Faculty in their sixth year of tenure-track service at George Mason University stand for tenure at that time if they wish to retain their position beyond the seventh year (see Section 2.7.2 for policy on notification to faculty terminated for failure to receive tenure). Earlier consideration for a tenured appointment is possible. Experienced faculty hired on tenure-track appointments from other institutions will not normally be expected to serve a six-year tenure-track period, although there is no requirement that they stand for tenure prior to their sixth year of tenure-track service at George Mason University.   Unsuccessful tenure evaluations for faculty prior to their sixth year of tenure-track service do not reduce the six-year tenure-track period.

 

Section 2.1.3 Other Types of Full-Time Fixed-Term Appointments (p. 5)

The AAUP sees “not just one year contracts forever” as a serious problem, careful book-keeping is urgent. At Mason, most of the time faculty without terminal degrees limited to one year contracts; nor are they eligible for promotion. 

 

Proposed revision (Provost):  insertion of “normally” in fourth paragraph, second sentence accepted, so that revised sentence reads:   Multi-year term faculty normally must hold a terminal degree.

 

Proposed revision (University Counsel): (sixth paragraph)  removal of “should be modified by theand replaced with “hold title with the prefix of “ followed by “Visiting” accepted; so that revised sentence reads:  Term faculty on single-year appointments whose permanent employment is with another organization hold title with the prefix of“Visiting.”

 

Proposed revision (University Counsel):  removal of “ By agreement with the Board of Visitors and the Faculty Senate,” in (seventh) final paragraph accepted.

 

Proposed revision (Provost):  insertion of “instructional” in final paragraph, to comply with SACS accreditation; 35% university-wide, may vary across units. 

 

Seventh paragraph revised:  A maximum of 35% of all Instructional Term Faculty may be on multiyear contracts and a maximum of 25% of all full-time Instructional Faculty may be Term Faculty. 

 

Section 2.1.4 Part-Time Appointment: 

 

AAUP would like to have part-time faculty assigned for two years; most universities do not have term faculty structure as a mechanism for adjuncts or part-time faculty to move up. 

 

Proposed revision (University Counsel) objects to inclusion of third paragraph about affiliate faculty in this section, because they are not employees, but do have some of the privileges associated with faculty status. Different local usage may exist.  To return previously deleted 1994 Section 2.2.7 Affiliate Faculty as new Section 2.1.5 Affiliate Faculty”, renumber  present Section 2..1.5 Definition of Primary Affiliation as 2.1.6; renumber present Section 2.1.6 Academic Appointments and Fiscal Year Appointments to 2.1.7; deleting present Section Faculty Employees 2.1.7.

 

Section 2.1.6 Definition of Primary Affiliation (p. 8)

Proposed revisions (University Counsel) to add “a faculty member's” before “tenure” in first sentence accepted; to add “to a local academic unit” after “appointment” in third sentence; and addition of “local academic” before  unit” in fourth sentence, first paragraph accepted; as well as additional of “academic” between “local” and “unit” in second paragraph accepted.

 

Additional FHC edit removal of phrase “in this document” from third sentence, first paragraph.

 

Section 2.1.6 Definition of Primary Affiliation Revised:  Although a faculty member's tenure resides in the University as a whole (see Section 2.1.1), tenure-track and tenured faculty are appointed directly and specifically to one or more local academic units. Term faculty are also appointed directly and specifically to one or more local academic units.  The status established by such an appointment to a local academic unit is called "primary affiliation." Primary affiliation in one local academic unit unit does not preclude the possibility of additional   assignments to other local academic units.

 

An appointment to primary affiliation requires the concurrence of the faculty of the local academic unit to which the appointment is to be made and may not be transferred from one local academic unit to another except with the concurrence of the faculty of the unit to which a transfer is proposed. 

 

Section 2.1.7 Academic Year Appointment and Fiscal Year Appointments

Proposed revision (University Counsel) ACADEMIC YEAR APPOINTMENTS (9 MONTHS) :delete “contractually”  between Salary Authorization and “obligates” accepted, so that revised sentence reads:  For academic purposes, The Governor’s Consolidated Salary Authorization obligates faculty on 9-month appointments are expected to be available for work approximately two weeks prior to the beginning of classes until two weeks after the end of classes.” (other deletions based on FIG text)

 

Proposed revisions (University Counsel) FISCAL-YEAR APPOINTMENTS (12-MONTHS):

replace “special” with “certain” before “sponsored programs” and replace “the appropriate” with  proportional”. 

 

Section 2.1.8 Faculty With Governance Responsibilities (p. 11)

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to insert “local academic” into second sentence accepted, so that revised sentence reads:   Local academic units and collegiate units may also choose to extend voting rights to other faculty who are employed in those units.

 

Section 2.2.3  Associate Professor (p. 14)

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to capitalize title of associate professor not accepted.   Insertion of “to the rank of associate professor” after “New appointees” accepted, as well as the replacement of “the aforementioned criteria” with “such criteria” so the revised sentence reads:   New appointees to the rank of associate professor must have demonstrated equivalent qualifications which give reasonable assurance that such criteria will be prospectively met.

 

Section 2.2.4 Professor (p. 15)

Proposed revision (University Counsel) to capitalize title of  professor not accepted.   Insertion of “to the rank of professor” after “New appointees” accepted, as well as the replacement of “the aforementioned criteria” with “such criteria” so the revised sentence reads:  New appointees to the rank of professor must have demonstrated equivalent qualifications which give reasonable assurance that such criteria will be prospectively met.

 

Section 2.2.6 Distinguished Service Professor (p. 17)

Proposed revision (University Counsel): to insert “for granting the rank of Distinguished Service Professor” accepted; “should” removed and replaced by “includes”.

 

The FHC decided to split text into two paragraphs Section 2.2.6 Distinguished Service Professor – Revised:

Distinguished Service Professors are recognized as individuals whose careers have had a major impact on their field or on the university community that goes well beyond ordinary levels of service. Normally, such individuals are recommended by a dean or director and appointed by the Provost.  

Such appointments are normally reserved for full professors.  The criteria for granting the rank of distinguished service professor includes extraordinary level of impact; sustained contributions to the good of the university and the academic unit, and/or significant contributions to the field that extend beyond the boundaries of the university. 

Section 2.2.7 Emeritus Status (p. 18):  The Provost raised the possibility of a few remaining tenured assistant professors who were not eligible under the old system; no further changes to the revision text made. 

 

Section 2.2.8 Administrators Holding Faculty Rank (p. 20) 

Proposed revision (University Counsel):  to replace “must” with “may together” in the second sentence of paragraph one accepted, so the revised sentence reads: “An academic unit and the Provost may together confer academic rank beyond Assistant Professor.”

 

Proposed revision (University Counsel): In the third paragraph, first sentence:  to insert “when appointed to an administrative/professional faculty position, a faculty member”, replace “in that status” with “a tenure-track appointment”, and add “in that capacity” at the end of the sentence was accepted.  In the second sentence of the third paragraph, “In that case” replaced by “in such cases” was accepted. 

 

Additional FHC edit at Provost’s suggestion in the second sentence of the third paragraph, to replace “but must be formally requested” with “if a formal request is made.” 

 

Third paragraph revised:  “If on a tenure track appointment, when appointed to an administrative/professional faculty position, a faculty member may continue on a tenure-track appointment while serving in that capacity. In such cases, the tenure clock may be stopped during the term of the administrative appointment if a formal request is made in accordance with the guidelines available on the Provost Office website.

 

Proposed revision (AAUP):  To replace “their” with “his or her” in the fourth paragraph accepted.   

Additional FHC edit in the fourth paragraph to add “or clinical faculty”so that the revised sentence reads:

If on a term appointment, the faculty member has no automatic right to return to his or her previous instructional, research, or clinical faculty position.

 

2.3.1.1 Policies on Recruitment and Appointment of Faculty (p. 21)

Proposed revision (University Counsel):  To delete “affirmative action”  at the end of the first paragraph accepted, so that revised end of sentence now reads: “... and that  equal opportunity and fair employment practices are followed.”

 

Section 2.3.1.2 Employment of Family Member/Partner (p. 22):  pending receipt of review from University Counsel.

 

2.3.2 Procedures for Recruitment and Appointment of Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty (pp.23-24)

Proposed revision (AAUP):  replacement of “hires” with “appointments” as noted previously.

 

Paragraph five::Proposed revision (University Counsel)   replace “ seeking the faculty member’s consent   with “providing that such employment is “ with one modification by the FHC:  to replace “providing” with “stating”.  Proposed revision (University Counsel) to add “each”  before “ individual faculty membersaccepted.  Revised paragraph five reads:  All full-time faculty receive initial letters of appointment specifying terms of employment and stating that such employment is  governed by the administrative policies and regulations of the University (currently in force and as amended in the future).  Acceptance in writing of these letters constitutes a contract between the University and each individual faculty member. Letters of initial appointment for tenure-track faculty also indicate the expiration date of terms of appointment. “

 

Paragraph six:  Additional edits by the FHC:  To add  “when appointing term, tenured, and tenure-track faculty.” to end of first sentence.   Second sentence begins “Competitive searches” directly followed by insertion of  “for tenured, tenure track, and term faculty”.

 

Proposed revision (University Counsel) replace “should” with “must” in sentence above accepted;  His suggestion to remove sentence following (LAU) as unclear was not accepted by the committee. 

 

Revised paragraph six reads:  Noncompetitive or direct appointments are appointments in which the search process is waived when appointing term, tenured, and tenure-track faculty.  Competitive searches for tenured, tenure-track, and term faculty must be used except in very special circumstances.  These circumstances are normally limited to situations (a) when the candidate has already established a national/international reputation, the program has a unique opportunity to hire the targeted candidate, and the area of specialization complements those of faculty already in the program; (b) when the candidate is a spouse or partner of a candidate being appointed through formal search procedures and the university is attempting to accommodate her or him; and (c) when an administrator is appointed and is considered for acceptance in a specific local academic unit.  While an administrator is normally appointed using a competitive process at the administrative level, this policy applies because s/he is not part of a competitive process at the LAU.  Instructional term faculty may also be appointed without a search when classes must be staffed immediately due to unexpected instructional or other needs.  Waiver of a search in this situation is only valid for one year.

 

2.3.2.1 Awarding of Tenure at the Time of Hiring in Competitive Searches (p. 25)

Proposed revision (AAUP):  replacement of “hires” with “appointments”.

Proposed revision (University Counsel):  replace “develop” with establish and follow” in last sentence accepted, so that revised sentence reads:  Since such appointments may be made outside the normal annual promotion and tenure cycle, college, school, and academic institute promotion and tenure committees must establish and follow procedures for promptly reviewing candidates out of cycle.

 

2.3.3 Criteria and Procedures for Appointment, Reappointment  and Promotion of Term Faculty

(pp. 26-29)

 

Paragraph one (p. 26):  Proposed revision (University Counsel): replacement of “with the caveat that this funding must be available “ with “subject to the continuing availability of funding” in the final sentence of the first paragraph accepted.  The revised sentence reads:  If a multi-year appointment is offered to a faculty member whose position relies entirely or partially on non-state appropriated funding, then a multi-year contract may be established  subject to the continuing availability of  funding throughout the contract period.

 

Paragraph two (p. 26):  Proposed revision (University Counsel) at end of first sentence to include “whether” accepted.  The revised sentence reads:  Term Faculty appointments will be explicitly designated as such, and offer letters must clearly state the type and length of appointment, as well as the focus of the appointment, whether teaching, research, or clinical.

 

After some discussion, the committee agreed to replace “must” with “normally” in the last sentence as discussed at meeting with the Provost, in order to acknowledge exceptions may exist in some disciplines.  Safeguard that exceptions must be approved by the Provost in next sentence retained.  The revised sentences reads:  Multi-year Term Faculty normally hold a terminal degree, as defined by standards in the discipline.  Exceptions to either contract length or terminal degree requirements must be approved by the Provost.

 

Paragraph four (p. 26):  Proposed revision (University Counsel) to delete phrase from first sentence:  By agreement with the Board of Visitors and the Faculty Senate,” accepted. 
Additional FHC edit:  insertion of “Instructional” before Term Faculty.  The revised paragraph reads: 
A maximum of 35% of all Instructional Term Faculty may be on multi-year contracts and a maximum of 25% of all full-time Instructional Faculty may be Term Faculty.” (see next paragraph)

 

Multi-year Contracts “b “ (p. 27):  The Provost raised question whether five year term consistent with earlier (>35%) limit for all instructional term faculty.   Proposed revision (University Counsel) to replace “If the decision is made for reappointment, the faculty member may either receive a one, two or second, three-year appointment or a single-year appointment.” with “If the decision is made for reappointment, the faculty member may either then receive a one, two or second, three-year reappointment or a single-year appointment.” accepted.

The revised section b now reads:  If the decision is made for reappointment, the faculty member may then receive a one, two or  three-year reappointment.

 

Multi-year Contracts “c” first sentence (p. 27):  Proposed revision (University Council) to add ( i ) and (ii) accepted.  Additional FHC edits:  ( i ):  to replace “two or three year contract” with “up to five years” and ( ii) to replace “up to five years” with “up to three years” so that revised section “c”reads:  In the Term Faculty member’s sixth year or thereafter, he or she may be (i) considered for promotion, normally to the rank of Term associate professor, and reappointment to a two or three or five-year contract of up to five years or (ii) for reappointment to a one, two, or three-year contract of up to three years at his/her current rank.  It was further noted that if a term faculty member was rejected for promotion, would not receive five year renewal. 

 

2.4.2 Research and Scholarship (p. 32)

Proposed revision (Provost) to include after publications “relevant software” discussed.  Distinction between software programs and software as a medium of publication made.  Suggested edit modified to include software and media.  Revised sentence reads:  Scholarly achievement is demonstrated by original publications and peer reviewed contributions to the advancement of the discipline/field of study or the integration of the discipline with other fields; by original research, artistic work, software and media, exhibitions, and performance; and by the application of discipline- or field-based knowledge to the practice of a profession.

 2.4.3 University and Professional Service (p. 33)

Proposed revision (Provost) to include “professional or community service”as criteria was not accepted.

2.6.1 Annual Review of Faculty (p. 40)

Paragraph Two: Proposed revision (University Counsel) to replace “average performance evaluations over multiple years to compensate for variability in raises from year to year.” with “take into account performance evaluations in determining whether to award raises.” accepted.  Revised paragraph two reads:  Local unit administrators may take into account performance evaluations in determining whether to award raises.

2.6.2 Post Tenure Review (pp. 41-43)

AAUP recommends a hearing not just the Provost's review (4. and 5. p. 41); also referenced p. 43. gives too much power to discretion of the Provost; faculty should enjoy due process.  The committee noted that that process already exists as faculty members elected to committees; perhaps to use instead same appeal process as used by Promotion and Tenure Committees?  In a tenure case, with exception of external evaluation,  only faculty inside unit would have looked at case, unless you go to appeal process at the end.  Faculty member may also grieve unsatisfactory evaluation(s) along the way. 

Additional FHC edits (pp. 41-42) to insert “overall” as compensatory model.  Discussion of suggested revisions by University Counsel and Provost to be continued at next meeting (August 12, 2008).

2.6.3 Faculty Role in the Evaluation of Academic Administrators (p. 44)

Proposed revision (Provost) to insert “where relevant” into first sentence modified to insert “when available” so that the revised sentence reads:  Senior academic administrators serve at the pleasure of the President. In reviewing their performance, the President should refer, when available,  to the annual faculty evaluation of administrators, conducted under the joint auspices of the Faculty Senate and the University's Office of Institutional Planning and Research.

2.7.2 Procedures for Renewal (Reappointment) (pp. 49-50)

Proposed revision (AAUP)  questioned “timely portfolio” in “e”; faculty should get one year.  After some discussion, recommendation was not accepted.

2.7.3 Procedures for Promotion and Tenure (pp. 51-54)

Paragraph one, last sentence - p. 51:  Proposed revision (University Counsel):  to replace “ in the candidate's dossier not under the candidate's control” with “the University is required to provide for the candidate's dossier” accepted.  The revised sentence reads: The local unit administrator is responsible for ensuring that items the University is required to provide for the candidate's dossier are completed in a timely manner.

Paragraph A 3. - p. 52:  Proposed revision (University Counsel):  to replace “ the faculty to which the candidate belongs,” with “eligible faculty in the candidate's LAU” accepted.  The revised sentence (portion) reads:In non-departmentalized local academic units (i.e., schools, colleges, institutes) which are not further subdivided, the first level review is carried out by eligible faculty in the candidate's LAU...”

Paragraph A 4. - p. 52:  Proposed revision (University Counsel):  to delete “because it offers degrees which are defined by the Commonwealth of Virginia as "professional degrees," accepted.  The revised paragraph reads:  The School of Law is exempt from the provisions specified in paragraphs (1) and (2), but it is not exempt from the requirement for two-level review.

Paragraph D – p. 53:  Proposed revision (AAUP): to replace “hire” with appointment as noted earlier.

Paragraph F , first sentence – p. 54:  Proposed revision (AAUP):  to delete “on controversial or otherwise problematic cases,” accepted.  Additional FHC edit: to replace “will” with “may”.  The revised sentence reads:All relevant materials are reviewed by the Provost. Before making a recommendation to the President, the Provost  may consult with other academic administrators who have direct knowledge of one or more aspects of the candidate's professional performance. 

2.7.3.1 Tenure Clock Extensions for New Parents (p. 55):  Paragraph one:  Proposed revision (AAUP): questions the use of “extension,” conventional language is “stopping the clock” was not accepted. “Stoppage “ more forceful than “extension”.  Additional FHC edit :  to insert “tenure clock” before “extension” and to delete  “of the term in which she or he is currently employed” in first sentence so that revised sentence reads:A tenure track faculty member who becomes the parent of a child by birth or by adoption will be entitled to a one-year automatic tenure clock extension.

Paragraph two:  Additional FHC edit to add phrase “although a second extension of term may be requested for a new birth or adoption” to the end of the first sentence, so the revised sentence reads:A faculty member is limited to one automatic extension of term during the time she or he is serving in tenure track status, although a second extension of term may be requested for a new birth or adoption.

2.7.3.3 Tenure Clock Extension for Military Service  (p 57):  Proposed revision (University Counsel) to delete “ Any extension beyond two years would require further discussion with the appropriate department chair and Dean” because USERRA provides for extension for up to five years; accepted.  Revised section reads:

A tenure track faculty member who is also a member of the U.S. military and is called to active duty for a minimum of four months will be entitled to an automatic extension of the term in which she or he is currently employed.  The extension will last for the duration of the active duty assignment, rounded to the nearest year.  Therefore, an active duty assignment lasting between 4 through 15 months will earn a one-year extension, 16 through 27 months will earn a two-year extension. Any extension beyond two years would require further discussion with the appropriate department chair and Dean.  This extension will be granted automatically upon the faculty member’s notifying in writing the chair of the department or the dean/director of the college, school or institute in which the faculty member serves.  The faculty member should make the request prior to entering active duty and prior to September 1 of the academic year in which the tenure decision would have been made.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate