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Southeast Missouri State University

Resolution 07-04 Response to President's Letter Concerning Promotion and Tenure

SENATE RESPONSE TO THE PRESIDENT'S LETTER
COMBINING PROMOTION AND TENURE FOR ONE YEAR

WHEREAS: The President has taken the unusual step in his August 23, 2007 letter of allowing the option of a single process for promotion and tenure, overriding current Faculty Handbook policies which were signed by the President and approved by the Board of Regents, and

WHEREAS: the Senate feels that this action is in conflict with the shared governance principles that appear in the Faculty Handbook, and that were agreed to by past administrations and the Board of Regents, and

WHEREAS: the Senate feels that occasional use of administrative discretion to make an exception to existing policy in order to bring about equity or justice may be reasonable and warranted when such an exception involves one, or very few, faculty; however, unilateral administrative action should not be used to change existing policy, and

WHEREAS: the Faculty Senate does not agree with the President that his one-year change is merely an exception to existing policy, but views it as an attempt to change the Faculty Handbook policy itself, and

WHEREAS: the Faculty Senate believes that the unorthodox method of changing policy in such a way could open the University to potential legal challenges, and

WHEREAS: the Faculty Senate is charged with representing the interests of faculty, including having a vigorous role in the policy process, and

WHEREAS: The Faculty Senate considered legislation combining promotion and tenure in 2003, and voted down the idea, and

WHEREAS: The Faculty Senate will vote on a bill relating to various promotion and tenure issues during the 2007-2008 academic year,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT: The Faculty Senate requests that the President rescind his letter allowing the option of a single process for promotion and tenure that is not described anywhere in the Faculty Handbook,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: any faculty member who missed the tenure deadline with the intention of taking advantage of the President's option must be allowed to turn in tenure papers within a reasonable time frame, without prejudice, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: The Faculty Senate requests that all parties follow the proper channels for policy change--as described in the Faculty Handbook—consisting of Faculty Senate legislation, duly approved by the Senate, forwarded to the President for his approval, then forwarded to the Board of Regents.

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