Professional Affairs Committee
2009-2010 Year-End Report
Members: Althaus, Christensen (Fall 2009), Journet, Lauder, MacLeay, McCollum, Olsen, Sofo, Sifferman (Spring 2010), Thorne (Spring 2010), Wang, Zhang
The Professional Affairs Committee met eleven times during the year from September 9, 2009 to April 28, 2010. Senator Althaus served as interim chair of the Committee for two meetings (October 28 and November 11, 2009) during Senator MacLeay's sick leave in the fall semester. The Committee worked on the following items:
1. Emeritus Status: the Committee processed 12 emeritus status requests forwarded by the Office of the Provost.
2. Student Evaluation of Instruction Taskforce: members of the Committee, along with members from Academic Affairs concluded the study begun in Fall 2008 on the use of evaluation data and a bill was presented on the subject which was approved by the Senate and the President. The bill awaits action by the Board of Regents.
3. Promotion and Tenure: the Committee spent a considerable amount of time to facilitate the implementation of the recently revised Tenure/Promotion Policy. In particular, the following actions were taken.
A. Senator Althaus facilitated forums during the fall semester as was done the previous year to provide information and receive feedback from faculty about the new process.
B. As a result of those informational meetings and the experience gained during the first two cycles of the new process, the Committee has drafted a bill to make minor revisions clarifying the policy.
C. The Committee studies all departmental criteria for tenure/promotion to determine compliance with the policy in the area of the use of student evaluation data. Sixteen departments were determined to need clarifications or revisions in their criteria. A memo from Chair MacLeay was sent to the appropriate departments, with copies to deans and to the Provost.
4. Faculty Development: the Committee presented a bill to Senate to revise the policy on distribution of faculty development resources in the colleges. The bill was passed by the Senate.
5. Retrenchment: the Committee gathered information on departmental guidelines for allocation of faculty resources during a declared financial exigency. This information, provided by the Provost's office, was made available to Committee members and served as a basis for discussions on various budget issues.
6. Travel Reimbursement: the Committee met with Dr. Randall Shaw and Ms. Joyce Becker to seek information and clarification of the policy on travel reimbursement for faculty teaching at satellite campuses.
7. Social Media Guidelines: Senator Althaus co-chaired the taskforce developing recommendations for social media guidelines. Senator MacLeay also served on the taskforce among several representatives from Faculty Senate.
8. Program Review: Senators Althaus, MacLeay and Journet, with Chair Chamberlain, agreed to form a working group to address revisions to faculty and academic policies in Chapter 2 and Chapter 5 of the Faculty Handbook in light of the 2003 Board of Regents motion establishing the review, the request by the Provost to integrate that motion into the Handbook, Board action mandating review of policies by the President, and Committee consensus that recent budget discussions and decisions required the active participation of the Senate in any action affecting faculty and the status of the Faculty Handbook. The results of the working group's efforts will be presented to the full Senate.
Agenda items for the next Professional Affairs Committee:
1. Follow-up with requested revisions to departmental tenure/promotion criteria.
2. Participate in the revisions of the Handbook according to #8 above.
3. Gather and study all departmental policies dealing with faculty termination or reassignment.