Governance Committee Year-End Report
2003 – 2004 Academic Year
The Governance Committee considered the following issues during the academic year. The recommendation(s) for each issue are listed as well.
Consistency in the application of tenure standards throughout the University.
Recommendations: Senator Hayward prepared a summary of the ambiguities in the wording of the tenure policy. The most notable of the ambiguities is in the standards that are applied for tenure. Departmental criteria may not list standards and corresponding ratings for tenure in the same way that promotion standards and ratings are detailed.
(2) The first sentence of item 4 in the Evaluation of Probationary Faculty Members section of the Tenure Policy may be interpreted as providing a de facto link between tenure and promotion in that it states, “Judgments regarding tenure shall essentially conform to the standards required in the departmental criteria for promotion and tenure from assistant to associate professor.” Therefore, and in the absence of tenure standards and corresponding ratings, the Governance Committee suggests adding the statement “No institutional review committee or individual may impose criteria upon a candidate in excess of those itemized in the departmental criteria” following the first sentence in item 4. This is the same statement that appears in the Promotion Policy (Departmental Criteria for Academic Rank, paragraph 1, sentence 5).
The adherence of the promotion process to current departmental criteria.
Recommendation: The Governance Committee met with the Professional Affairs Committee to discuss this issue. When the Professional Affairs Committee reviews the most recent promotion process, it is recommended that individual faculty members who went through this year’s process be interviewed in addition to promotion committee members, chairs, and deans.
Survey of faculty morale as required by the Faculty Senate Review.
Recommendation: The Governance Committee recommends that the same nationally-normed survey that was used in the previous faculty morale survey be administered as soon as feasible.
Change the name of the Faculty Senate Chair to Faculty Senate President.
Recommendation: The Governance Committee recommends against this change.
Increase the number of contested elections for Faculty Senate
Recommendation: The Governance Committee recommends that the Membership Committee provide earlier notification of vacancies to departments and faculty. However, the Governance Committee also believes that the number of contested elections for Faculty Senate will remain small until value is given to this type of service in the University reward structure.
Review the by-laws for the Grievance Committee and make recommendations for clarifying the charge and reporting process for this committee.
Recommendations: A. Recommendation regarding the case brought to the Senate’s attention on April 7, 2004. (Passed April 21, 2004)
1. All documentation be forwarded immediately to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.
2. On or before April 28, 2004, the Senate Executive Committee prepare a specific recommendation for resolving the case that is based on the Grievance Committee’s report, and the Senate Executive Committee communicate the recommendation to the appropriate decision maker(s) or decision-making body(ies) for timely action.
3. The Senate Executive Committee report to the Senate that steps 1 and 2 have been completed at the April 28, 2004, Senate meeting.
B. Recommendation for a change in the Faculty Senate by-laws
In the Faculty Senate by laws, the Grievance Committee’s charge be changed to the following.
To hear and make appropriate recommendations regarding complaints of individuals or of groups of faculty members concerning specific application of University policies, practices, standards, and decisions (e.g., academic freedom, tenure, and due process) or charges of actions implying malfeasance, moral turpitude, or incompetence that are believed to be damaging to the personal and professional reputation of a faculty member or administrative official. To prepare a written report to be forwarded to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, which within 20 business days shall frame a specific recommendation based on the Grievance Committee’s report to be communicated to the appropriate decision maker(s) or decision-making body(ies) for timely action.
One faculty member from each of the colleges, the School of Polytechnic Studies, and Kent Library.
C. Recommendation for the 2004 – 2005 Governance Committee
The 2004 – 2005 Governance Committee prepare procedures for filing, investigating, and resolving grievances that include timelines for action, options for action, and feedback that allows for appropriate and timely recommendations for resolution of a grievance.