Faculty Governance Committee
January 23, 2008
The meeting was called to order at 2:04:37 PM.
The minutes for December 12, 2007 were approved as presented.
Dr. Martinez reported on the January 9th workshop held for Personnel Committee chairs and unit administrators. The workshop was very well attended (there was standing room only). Dr. Sprague said that he was surprised at how little was known about ECU’s personnel policies. Three issues that came up during the workshop are: (1) Who is responsible for initial appointments with tenure, the Personnel Committee or the Tenure Committee? (It was concluded that the Tenure Committee is responsible). (2) Why should there be two separate lists for selecting external reviewers, a candidate’s list the Tenure Committee’s list? This topic was discussed for a bit. It was noted that “the idea is to provide a policy that is fair.” It was noted by Dr. Martinez that we need to revisit what unit codes need to contain as regards the relationship that may exist between the candidate and each external reviewer. (3) Is the cumulative evaluation of a tenure candidate before or after the Tenure committee votes? If after, its not an evaluation. How long should the evaluation be? Can a sub-committee write the cumulative evaluation? If so, who approves it? It was noted that the Faculty Governance committee originally recommended to the Faculty Senate that the evaluation take place prior to the vote. The present wording was inserted by a motion from the floor during the Faculty Senate meeting at which the requirement was approved.
The Administrator Evaluation policy from the Board of Trustees and the task force involved in producing it was discussed. It was noted that the policy requires that all names of all finalists (which was interpreted as all individuals brought to campus for an interview) must be sent forward by a search committee to whomever was responsible for making the hiring decision. Since this is so, the Trustees’ policy replaces some parts of Appendix L of the Faculty Manual. There was considerable discussion centered on this observation. The question of the relevance of the new policy to diversity hires was raised and discussed. A vice chancellor pointed out that there were numerous reasons why all finalists should be considered by the appointing officer, not just the relevance of this practice to diversity hires. It was noted that in some disciplines it is very difficult to get minority candidates. Some members of the Governance committee expressed concern that the Trustees were altering Faculty Manual policies without involving the Faculty Senate in the usual way. Questions were raised about what other task forces exist and whether or not their recommendations will impact on Faculty Manual policy. A vice-chancellor answered this question in the affirmative. The question of whether tenure policies will be decided by the chancellor was raised (presumably meaning without the usual input from the faculty). A vice-chancellor noted that this has not been discussed. The procedures followed so far by the Task Force on Administrator Evaluation were outlined. It was argued that the move by Governance to change the Muse policy was not a good move and that this move “set off a barrage of concerns” (presumably these were concerns held by the Board of Trustees). This observation gave rise to the question “what is the role of the Faculty Senate in writing the Faculty Manual?” The point was made that the Faculty Senate needs to be told what has happened to date (as regards the new Trustees’ policy and the role of the Task Force that had a hand in creating it) and what all this implies for the Faculty Senate’s (and its committee’s) future role in formulating policy. A vice-chancellor noted that the rational for a General Policy Manual needed to be explained to the Faculty Senate. The Chancellor did not provide any details when asked about this the last time that the Senate met. It was observed that in general, ECU has policies “everywhere” and that it is unclear what is what – unlike the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A faculty member commented that administrative policies are outside the scope of his faculty duties. It was claimed that there is a lack of agreement as regards what are administrative policies and what are faculty policies. To this it was added that there are administrative policies that impact the faculty. The question of how best to proceed as regards creating the needed implementation policies for the Trustees’ new administrator hiring and evaluation policies was discussed. It was noted that the faculty and Faculty Senate should be keep both informed and involved at each step and that whatever done should be done out in the open.
The question of fixed-term employment issues was discussed. It was noted that people teaching one term full time were not eligible for benefits. It was noted that some of the recommendations from the Fixed Term Task Force had not been implemented. The need to address existing revisions of Appendix C that apply to fixed-term faculty was affirmed by the Faculty Chair.
It was noted that the report of the Commission on Scholarship has not been addressed. In response, it was commented that we are making progress on Carnegie classification. It was suggested that the Commission’s recommendations should be implemented via unit codes, since it will take to long to implement the recommendations by changing Appendix C and the other relevant parts of the Faculty Manual. It was added that the recommendations do not apply to all code units.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:01:17 PM.