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Faculty Affairs Committee Minutes (02-21-08)

Faculty Affairs Committee

Date: 02-21-08

Present: Stacey Parker Aronson, Bart Finzel, Tom Mahoney, Argie Manolis, Pam Solvie, Timna Wyckoff

The meeting was called to order at 11:00 a.m.

Judy Kuechle, Education Division Chair: Job Classifications

As a follow-up to a previous meeting with the Director of Human Resources, the committee invited Education Division Chair Judy Kuechle to discuss some of the issues surrounding the complexity of the job classifications. She believes that job classifications are primarily budget-driven. She also believes that it is important to determine if the person is meeting the full definition of faculty (teaching, research, service). Given that a sabbatical replacement does not have these requirements, it does not seem unreasonable to not provide retirement benefits. She wondered if it is our responsibility to pay for people who will leave UMM for another position elsewhere.

Wyckoff asked if we have a responsibility to our students.

Kuechle noted that many institutions don’t provide retirement benefits for short-term faculty hires.

Finzel asked whether or not we could assign benefits without pay increases or whether or not we could give titles with out pay increases and/or retirement benefits. He noted that this poses problems with recruitment and retention of faculty.

Wyckoff questioned whether or not it was good for students and other colleagues to view a short-term hired as an equal.

Finzel noted that advertisements are tending to push for the titles of Lecturer or Teaching Specialist.

Kuechle agreed that UMM should be able to make categories to meet our needs.

Finzel asked where we could go to get that answer.

Kuechle suggested Human Resources in the Twin Cities.

Mahoney noted that retirement benefits used to be based on salary and faculty status, NOT title. He seemed to remember that the U Policy of fringe changed recently.

Solvie wondered whether the chart could be interpreted differently.

Mahoney thought that faculty got retirement benefits based on salary.

Kuechle thought that faculty got retirement benefits based on years of employment (3).

Mahoney agreed to locate the appropriate document to find out. He did not, that not all faculty automatically get retirement. The U took faculty out of the waiting period categories.

Kuechle thought that the job classification chart reflected our Director of Human Resources’ interpretation of the rules and it was related to retirement benefits. She noted that retirement benefits and title make sense for positions that are filled but not with a tenure-line faculty hire.

Mahoney and Finzel saw the need to clarify our list with respect to where retirement benefits are applied. We will ask the Director of Human Resources if it is possible to do that.

Kuechle suggested that #1-3 on the list probably have retirement benefits.

Wyckoff commented that with a sabbatical replacement, we should want to hire the best person.

Work-Load

Kuechle addressed the issue of work-load. For her it depends whether or a not a person is hired short-term or long-term. She believes that a short-term employee can carry a heavier load because there are no research or service responsibilities. She believes it is not inappropriate to hire a person to teach only with a 3/3 load.

Finzel wondered if that meant that we were doing best by our students. Preparing new classes entails much work, and the transition from graduate school teaching (TA) to a college or university is difficult.

Wyckoff noted that work-load is different under different job classifications. She wondered what we considered as full-time faculty employment.

Finzel remarked that this was a recruitment challenge. It is already difficult to attract good faculty given our geographic location, a 3/2 course load makes us more attractive and therefore more competitive.

Kuechle reminded him that although a 3/2 teaching load might be low, our overall work-load was not necessarily low.

Endowment Plan for Faculty Salaries

Finzel asked Kuechle if she knew what had happened to the Faculty Founders Fund, an endowment plan for faculty salaries.

Kuechle remembered that previous Chancellor Sam Schumann had intended that faculty receive that first pay out for the endowment. Kuechle told that committee that she had reminded Chancellor Johnson about the endowment and had encouraged her to disperse it. However, she didn’t know what the chancellor ultimately decided to do with the endowment. Kuechle assured the committee that the endowment would not have been used for other purposes.

Aronson volunteered to contact Maddy Maxeiner to ask her about the Faculty Founders Fund and whether or not funds had been dispersed.

Finzel reminded Kuechle and the committee that the dispersal of funds needed to be visible to faculty.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by

Stacey Parker Aronson

Chair, Faculty Affairs Committee