MINUTES OF THE OPEN FORUM: REVISION OF THE FACULTY HANDBOOK
March 8, 2006 10:00 – 11:30 p.m.
The following themes were discussed at the forum, which was sparsely attended. A suggestion to hold subsequent forums in mid-afternoon to enable more faculty to attend was noted. The following themes were discussed:
Organizational differences among Schools and Colleges: In the College of Education for example, there are no departments and there are program coordinators and directors. A similar situation exists in the School of Management in which there are no departments; instead the School is organized into disciplinary areas with coordinators.
Promotion and Tenure Review Committees: The issue of whether Associate Professors should participate in the promotion reviews of candidates for Full Professor was discussed. It was noted that in some units, it may not be possible to exclude participation by Associate Professors because of the small number of existing Full Professors. The issue of whether one should be permitted to cast a vote in a promotion and/or tenure case at more than one level (i.e. at the department and school levels) was discussed. Apparently policies on this issue are not uniform throughout the university.
Criteria for Promotion and Tenure: The appropriate role (and weight) of service contributions in the promotion and tenure process is problematic and apparently inconsistent throughout the university. In some departments and schools service is expected for probationary faculty but this may be the case throughout the university. In some units the pressure to publish sometimes means that faculty receive tenure with almost no service. A problem also appears to exist with articulating the criteria and evidence required for a candidate to establish the he/she has achieved genuine excellence in teaching. Candidates should be advised to work with Laurie Fathe, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence.
Why are there so many tenured Associate Professors who do not seek promotion to Full Professor? Part of the problem may be that the reward is so small – salary increase of only $2,000 - $3,000 It was also noted that upon promotion to Full Professor, you are in a higher benchmark group for compensation and that some faculty wish to achieve the Full Professor designation for its own sake.
Appeals Process for Denial of Promotion and Tenure: The appeals procedure now defined in the Faculty Handbook may be rarely used, but it is effective. The problem of a long time lag in the appeals process may require the petitioner to find other employment of economic necessity. The dean and provost are not part of the appeals process; the president makes the final decision.
Institutes: It would not be practical to completely eliminate institutes, but it might be desirable to consider how they now fit into the organization scheme of the university and in the Handbook.
Clerk, Faculty Senate