Professional Affairs Committee
The Committee met fifteen times during the 2004-2005 Senate year, beginning in July and ending in April. Those meetings included a joint meeting with the University Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Committee, participation in the Chairs and Deans Summer Retreat, and multiple meetings with various University leaders, including Provost Jane Stephens and Dean David Starrett. The Committee worked on the following issues:
1) Promotion and Tenure Policies: In response to an issue called to the attention of the Committee by the academic Deans, the Committee formulated Faculty Senate Bill 04-A-04, “Revision of Promotion Calendar Notification Provisions.” The Senate approved that bill unanimously at its October 20th meeting, and President Dobbins later agreed to it. The intended outcome of the bill was clarification of the procedures for candidates for promotion to be notified of the recommendations of the various administrators and faculty committees at each stage of the process. In addition, the Committee developed a Worksheet of issues regarding the Promotion and Tenure policies that it hopes to take up during the 2005-2006 session.
2) Library Faculty Issue: In response to the Administration’s proposal to change or eliminate the faculty status of librarians, the Committee reviewed information provided by Library faculty, studied AAUP statements and University Handbook content, and drafted a resolution that took a strong stand on behalf of faculty status for librarians. The Senate passed the Committee’s resolution (04-06) unanimously at its Dec. 8 meeting, and the resolution was passed along to the ad hoc Faculty Advisory Committee that had been reviewing program review. Later in the year, the Administration agreed to maintain faculty status for librarians and sought clarification of some promotion, tenure, and contractual issues relating to library faculty.
3) Student Evaluation of Instruction Policy: The Committee continued its work begun during the previous Senate year of conducting a formal major review of the Policy, as required by the original Bill, 99-A-03. After meeting with representatives of Student Government and the Administration, the Committee developed a faculty survey on the policy, and with the help of the staff of the Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning, administered it during December and January. The Committee analyzed the results, and reported them to the Senate, from which they were distributed to the faculty at large. The Committee prepared an extensive report to the Senate documenting its findings, making several recommendations, and drafting a proposed bill to amend the existing policy.
4) Non-Discrimination Policy: During 2001 and 2002, the Senate recommended changes to the University’s Non-Discrimination Policy, to include protection from discrimination based upon sexual orientation. The Administration refused to adopt the Senate’s recommendations at that time. Since then, the four campuses of the University of Missouri System have adopted a very strong statement about non-discrimination and sexual orientation. Including both Central Missouri State and Truman State, there are now six of the thirteen public, four-year campuses in Missouri that include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies. The Committee has continued to gather information on this matter, and will explore ways to provide this protection at Southeast.
5) Sabbatical Leave Policy: The Committee has been informed of at lease two issues regarding procedures/practices relating to applicants for sabbaticals. The Committee discussed the matter with the University Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Committee, and hopes to discuss it with the Provost next semester before bringing forward a recommendation to the Senate.
6) Emeritus Faculty: Consistent with Faculty Handbook policy, The Committee recommended multiple eligible retiring faculty to the Senate as candidates for conferral of Emeritus status.