MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
OF THE FACULTY SENATE
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2007
MASON HALL, room D5; 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Present: Lorraine Brown, Phil Buchanan, Jane Flinn, David Kuebrich, Robert Nadeau, Jim Sanford, Suzanne Slayden, Cliff Sutton, Susan Trencher
Approval of Minutes: Suggested revisions to the minutes of January 12, 2007 will be made and resubmitted to the committee for approval at our next meeting (February 26, 2007).
General Topics for Discussion:
Academic Policies – Cliff Sutton: four members of the committee are working on separate items. One is catalog-sensitive: Linda Miller (Faculty Athletic Representative) suggested wording re attendance policy in order to include wording about GMU-related activities, beyond present scope of religious observances. Doesn’t create a problem for most faculty, but sometimes creates problems for adjunct faculty. Would not change wording of what faculty should or should not do, but expands coverage. Draft text will be distributed to Executive Committee.
Budget and Resources – Phil Buchanan: No action items, hope to announce salary data posted; may have more reports from Donna Kidd.
Faculty Matters – Jim Sanford presented Draft of Noncompetitive (Waived Search) Hire Policy developed by the Faculty Matters Committee:
Policy: In keeping with Section 1.3 of the Faculty Handbook that states, “ In accordance with the best traditions of American universities, the faculty plays a primary role in…faculty personnel actions,” the faculty role in noncompetitive hires is equal to that in competitive searches and hires. This policy concerns all noncompetitive hires of term, tenured, and tenure-line faculty.
Noncompetitive or direct hires are hires in which the search process is waived. When hiring term, tenured, and tenure-line faculty, competitive searches should 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 close family member (spouse, parent, child or sibling) of a candidate being hired through formal search procedures and the university is attempting to accommodate the family member; and (c) when an administrator is hired and is considered for acceptance in a specific local academic unit (LAU). While an administrator is normally hired using a competitive process at the administrative level, this policy applies because s/he is not part of a competitive process at the level of the LAU. Term faculty may also be hired without a search when classes must be staffed immediately due to an unexpected resignation, death, or illness of a member of the teaching faculty. Wavier of a search is this situation is usually only valid for up to one year.
Procedures: Faculty in the LAU review the credentials of any individual who is a candidate for noncompetitive hire using the same procedures as review of competitive hire candidates. These include at a minimum the opportunity to examine a curriculum vitae, meet with the candidate, attend a job seminar or formal presentation by the candidate, and review letters of reference. The LAU faculty then vote to accept or reject the candidate. The hiring process moves forward only when a majority of the LAU faculty who are eligible to vote accept the candidate.
If a candidate for noncompetitive hire is to be tenured upon hiring, s/he must be reviewed by both the LAU faculty and the college- or school-level promotion and tenure committee. The LAU review requires a majority positive vote by eligible faculty for tenure in addition to the vote to accept the candidate into the program. If the LAU faculty vote is positive and the chair approves of the candidate, the dossier is then sent to the college or school promotion and tenure committee. As with all tenure reviews, independent external letters from recognized experts in the candidate’s field must be obtained in a manner consistent with other tenure reviews, and candidates are held to the same standards as other candidates in that LAU. Since noncompetitive hires may be made outside the normal annual promotion and tenure cycle, college and school promotion and tenure committees must develop procedures for reviewing candidates out of cycle.
If a faculty member or administrator is in a position to hire, supervise, evaluate, or make personnel decisions about a family member, that family member’s contract could be one in which the faculty member or administrator has a “personal interest”. The employment of family members is permitted, provided that an employee does not exercise or appear to exercise any control over the employment or employment activities of the member of his or her immediate family and is not in a position to influence or appear to influence those activities. In the event the employee is in a position to influence or appear to influence the employment or employment activities, the Board of Visitors will be apprised of such. The Board may approve the employment of the family member after expressly establishing appropriate safeguards that avoid any and all actual or apparent conflicts of interest.
Clerk, Faculty Senate