University of Minnesota Morris


UMM Home > Committees > Faculty Affairs > Minutes > 09-21-06

Faculty Affairs Committee Minutes (09-21-06)

Members Present: Stacey Parker Aronson (Chair), Janet Ericksen, Bart Finzel, Tom Mahoney, Pam Solvie, Timna Wyckoff

Members Absent: Argie Manolis

The meeting began at 4:00 P.M.


Upcoming FAC Meeting with Chancellor Johnson

We discussed our upcoming meeting with Chancellor Johnson, to take place on Thursday, October 5, 2006. We decided to send her a list of questions and/or issues we wish to discuss with her so that she can feel more adequately prepared. The letter we sent is included below:



Response to Dean Kuechle regading the revised Tenure & Promotion Code

The Dean had requested FAC input on the proposed revisions for the Tenure and Promotion Code. We summarized our discussion in a letter to her which is included below:

September 22, 2006

Dear Judy,

The Faculty Affairs Committee wishes to express its appreciation for your seeking our input in the revised Tenure Code documents. We do have a few concerns of which you, as Dean, should be aware.

(1) First of all, please take a look at the two sections related to the tenure and promotion of Associate Professors and Full Professors.

According to section 7.11 General Criteria,   "The basis for awarding indefinite tenure is the determination that the candidate has demonstrated and will continue to develop a distinguished record of academic accomplishment that is the foundation for a national and/or international reputation ..."

Now, according to section 9.2, "The basis for promotion from the rank of Associate Professor to the rank of Professor is the determination that the individual has a very distinguished record of original scholarly or creative work and has an established national and/or international reputation."

Perhaps the correlation between these two sections is appropriate. However, it is our opinion that the proposed revision of the Faculty Tenure Code seems to suggests that only faculty with the potential to meet the criteria to become full professors should be tenured at all. The correlation between the criteria for promotion to Associate Professor and the criteria for promotion to Full Professor is problematic at best, may not be in our best interests as an institutie and may not be consistent with our mission here at UMM.

  (2) Now, please consider Footnote number #5 related to "Teaching" under the revised section 7.11. It states that "'Teaching' is not limited to credit-producing classroom instruction, It encompasses other forms of communication of knowledge (both to students registered in the University and to other persons in the community) as well as the supervision or advising of individual graduate or undergraduate students."

There has been concern expressed from among some members of the FAC committee that this definition of teaching could lead to a faculty member's refusal to participate in the supervision or advising of students, a faculty member who has otherwise exemplary classroom teaching evaluations.  

If this new revised Tenure Code is adopted throughout the university, what are the implications for UMM? Is it consistent with our mission, at least as that mission is currently expressed in the UMM Strategic Plan? In actuality, there is absolutely no mention of tenure in the UMM Strategic Plan. How does or should our UMM Strategic plan promote or facilitate this? We believe that this revision warrants much more discussion, most appropriately within the current committee governance, namely Campus Assembly, and any and all pertinent Assembly committees.


Stacey Parker Aronson

Chair, Faculty Affairs Committee

The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 P.M.

Submitted by: Stacey Parker Aronson (Chair)