MINUTES OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK REVISION COMMITTEE
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2006

MASON HALL, room D5, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

 

Present:  Kevin Avruch, Professor of Conflict Resolution and Anthropology, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution; 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; Martin Ford, Senior Associate Dean, College of Education and Human Development; Dave Harr, Senior Associate Dean, School of Management; Marilyn Mobley, Associate Provost for Education Programs; Suzanne Slayden, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science. 

 

Absent: David Rossell, Associate Provost for Personnel and Budget, ex-officio.

 

Schedule/Division of Handbook Sections for Review:  Rick will go through the Handbook to identify what remains to be done and will sent out a schedule assigning sections for review; to be subsequently discussed in a group.   

2.11.2 Faculty Work Assignments – 1994 Handbook Text:

Faculty work assignments consist primarily of teaching and scholarship, normally in a ratio of 3 to 1. Service to the University (as described in 2.4.4) is also a component of the full-time faculty work assignment.

 

Each local academic unit prepares and maintains a plan for the equitable allocation of teaching and scholarly activities which will be components of the individual work assignments of its faculty. For the purposes of meeting institutional needs while ensuring fairness and equity throughout the University, the plan of each local unit is prepared in consultation with the appropriate collegiate dean, and/or the Provost. The 3:1 ratio referred to above may be altered by various factors: e.g., research, supervision of BIS or MAIS projects or their equivalent, university service assignments of a particularly time- consuming nature, or significant service to the profession (see Section 2.4.3).

 

Faculty may use their unit's grievance procedure to address disputes about work assignments. If the grievance is against the chair, the unit's grievance committee is advisory to the dean.  If the grievance is against the collegiate dean or institute director, then the appeal will be to the Provost or his/her designee. In all cases, the Provost's decision is final.

 

·        Provost’s views on one course minimum teaching load not yet ascertained.  Even if it is his policy, may not wish to place in Handbook as could change from provost to provost; also variations by school, discretion of deans.  Nor do we wish to get into the habit of “buying out” of system.

·        Does implied minimum teaching load also imply maximum teaching load? 

·        Faculty have different assignments, is it productive to say numerically? 

·        Is 3:1 ratio unreasonable as equal weight to teaching/scholarship for tenure-line faculty?  Also irrelevant for term faculty?

·        Remove “normally in a ratio of 3 to 1.” from paragraph 1; remove “The 3:1 ratio referred to above may be altered by various factors: e.g., research, supervision of BIS or MAIS projects or their equivalent, university service assignments of a particularly time- consuming nature, or significant service to the profession (see Section 2.4.3).” from paragraph 2; add “director” and  or director” after dean in paragraphs two and three where not included.

·        One of big differences between previous and new edition of the Handbook is we’re trying to become a research university – metrics for judging professors changing and will continue to change more. 

·        Needs for safeguards stressed – not to legislate, nervous about interpretations.  More devolved to culture; appropriate LAU with safeguards; equitable concerns cleared through Provost. 

·        Pressures on deans/directors to push faculty to raise money from outside grants/contracts are ferocious.  Not to take a particular model, e.g. School of Engineering, to impose on Arts and Sciences. 

 

Suggestion Revision 2.11.2 Faculty Work Assignments: 

 

Faculty work assignments consist primarily of teaching and scholarship.  Service to the University (as described in 2.4.4) is also a component of the full-time faculty work assignment.

 

Each local academic unit prepares and maintains a plan for the equitable allocation of teaching and scholarly activities which will be components of the individual work assignments of its faculty. For the purposes of meeting institutional needs while ensuring fairness and equity throughout the University, the plan of each local unit is prepared in consultation with the appropriate collegiate dean, director, and/or the Provost.

 

Faculty may use their unit's grievance procedure to address disputes about work assignments. If the grievance is against the chair, the unit's grievance committee is advisory to the dean or director. If the grievance is against the collegiate dean or institute director, then the appeal will be to the Provost or his/her designee. In all cases, the Provost's decision is final.

 

Discussion:  University and Professional Service: 

2.4.4 University Service – 1994 Handbook Text

Decisions on reappointment, promotion and tenure will also be influenced by the extent of the candidate's service to the University. All full-time faculty are expected to participate as part of their professional responsibilities in governance and operational activities outside the classroom. Required university service includes, but is not limited to, such activity as attendance at faculty meetings and participation in faculty personnel matters and curriculum development. University service beyond that which is required of all faculty members will be given positive weight in personnel decisions. Each local academic unit will make known in a timely manner its requirements concerning the minimum acceptable level of university service and its policies concerning positive weight to be given for intramural service in excess of that minimum requirement

 

·        2.2.4 University Service states that participation in service is required.  Locus of decision making indicated as LAU (local academic unit), not to exclude university service, but to use inclusively.

·        Should distinction be made between service to the university and service to the LAU?   University service may include service to unit, college, or university.  Minimum service at department level.  Need to better define university service above and beyond the LAU?  There are not enough service activities university-wide for all faculty to do. 

·        How to interpret professional service?

·        Two major categories of service as standard for business schools faculty reporting:

1.      internal service – department/area, college, university

2.      professional (external) service – for your discipline, editiorial work, etc.

·        Is it in the best interest of the university to allow LAUs to say faculty can do their service locally? To partake of service at all three levels, not all at one time/year; some at each level over time?

·        Do not include too many details; Handbook not a document to lay out optimal faculty profile.   Impossible as faculty are so diverse; a team, some will have different and important service.  Not specifics, but in the spirit of what a university is, particularly in service.

·         “Required university service includes, but is not limited to, such activity as attendance at faculty meetings and participation in faculty personnel matters and curriculum development. University service beyond that which is required of all faculty members will be given positive weight in personnel decisions.”  Suggested change:  Required university service includes/encompasses service at department/college/school level.” Doesn’t see going to a faculty meeting as service, but as a required item.  Question of citizenship – lay person would see service as voluntary.

·        Some committee members like that LAUs make known service requirements; annual faculty report lists department, college, and university service.   Concern that younger faculty may feel exempt, that current language covers it.

·        Colleagues express concern that loaded up with service activities.

2.4.3 Professional Service – 1994 Handbook Text:

Professional service is demonstrated by contributions to recognized societies and associations that promote scholarship; by consultancies and cooperative projects that make the faculty member's discipline or field-based knowledge available to individuals, groups or agencies outside the University. Local academic units will develop and disseminate in a timely manner (i) specific discipline- or field- based expectations regarding the types of professional service which will be considered appropriate as evidence in promotion and tenure cases and (ii) the criteria to be used in assessing the quality of this service.

·        Objection to professional service equivalent to scholarship.

·        Differences (including cultural) between schools, departments in tracking service – how to change Handbook to bring them up to standard?   Emphasis university-wide on publication will not change – need to develop elevation of service at local, grassroots levels.

 

Final Exams – Catalog Language:  Catalog language focuses on undergraduate program, consistent with Faculty Information Guide.  General agreement that it should remain in catalog, does not rise to level of Faculty Handbook.  

 

Respectfully submitted,

Meg Caniano

Clerk, Faculty Senate