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Faculty Affairs Committee Minutes (10-04-07)

Faculty Affairs Committee Meeting
Minutes for Thursday, October 4
11:00 a.m. Humanities Conference Room
Present: Stacey Parker Aronson, Bart Finzel, Argie, Manolis and Timna Wyckoff
Absent: Tom Mahoney, Alex Murphy and Pam Solvie

FYI regarding elections of Spring 08:

These positions will be up for re-election during the spring of 2008: 1 Social Science (2 years), 1  Math & Science (2 years), 1 P&A staff member (2 years)  and 1 non-tenure track faculty member (1 year; next election spring 09)

Finzel wondered if these position would still be elected positions after the Constitution revision.

Aronson noted that the issue would be settled by the spring semester before the elections are scheduled to occur.


Update on Backfill Fund Policy & Backfill Fund document

Sara Haugen, chair of the Commission on Women, has the document now and is sharing it with committee members and with Sarah Mattson, Director of Human Resources. Aronson will contact her to encourage her to put it on the agenda for Monda, October 15’s Commission on Women meeting. We are anxious to get it into the hands of the Chancellor and the Dean before the Campus Assembly meeting at which the Constitution Revisions will be voted on (thereby making the Faculty Affairs Committee a real committee).


Non-tenure-track contracts:

After briefly discussing this issue at our last meeting May 10, 2007, the committee members present decided to table discussion until this semester. Here are the minutes of our discussion for us to review.

I [Manolis] recently sent an e-mail to all the non-tenure-track faculty, as I had shortly after being elected to this committee, to see if anyone had any issues to bring up to the faculty affairs committee. After the first e-mail (about a year ago?), I got very few responses, and none of which seemed appropriate for this committee. This time, the result was quite different.

Without going into too much detail (about half of the respondents asked that I not name them), there seems to be a need for more clarity about how non-tenure-track contracts work. I realize that the point of non-t-t is that we have no definite job security--or else the position would be a tenure-track position--but it does not seem to make sense that there is so much variation in the following:

•  Whether we are reviewed on a regular basis, and if so, who completes the review

•  What we are asked to complete for our reviews

•  Course loads

•  Whether we receive support for scholarly research (eg, travel funding, etc.)

•  How much notice we must be given to be let go

•  Advising expectation

•  Service expectation

I wonder if the committee would support a statement of some sort to go to (CRPC? Consultative? The V.C. group? Assembly?) that requests more clarity about the nature of these appointments and points out the discrepancies w/o revealing individual complaints.

I am sending this now so that I do not forget to submit the item for discussion next semester. To be discussed: whether a statement of some sort is merited; if so, what information should be included in the statement; and if so, who should receive the statement.



Page suggested that there should be a broader discussion of different types of job classifications and the requirements for each. These discussions should take place on the level of the dean, divisions and disciplines. While a person's teaching load should not change mid contract, a 2/3 teaching load may not be appropriate nor fiscally responsible when there is no advising, service or research requirements. We should look at the language and general guidelines. What counts as a full load?

Mahoney reminded the committee that for students to be eligible for financial aid they must take "classes"and that what constitutes a "class" is inconsistent across divisions. He wondered whether the Faculty Affairs Committee could facilitate the discussion or be used as a sounding board by the dean, division chairs and disciplines?

Page suggested that the Curriculum Committee should consider the ramifications of such a discussion as it might affect curriculum.

Manolis noted that when she conducted her informal survey, no part-time music faculty responded. The responses she received were from temporary faculty, sabbatical replacements or one-year replacements.

Regarding the issue of "What we are asked to complete for our reviews," Page wondered if there were differences within divisions, while acknowledging that there would certain be differences between divisions? She wondered what the expectations are for temporary and contract employees.

Manolis suggested that the discussion be tabled until next semester so that she could have more time to prepare the data she gathered.

Page also wondered whether university expectations corresponded to written job descriptions? Do supervisors realize that they might be treating employees differently? She suggested that we should be more clear about job responsibilities and expectations as a trade off for the ambiguity inherent within the nature of the positions (no tenure).

At today’s meeting Manolis wondered how may different classifications actually exist and what they are. She suggested that we invite the Director of Human Resources to a future meeting so that she can inform us.

With respect to the issue of Job Reviews, Finzel suggested that, in accordance with Human Resources policies, reviews should generally be conducted more frequently at the beginning and then less frequently over time.

Wyckoff reminded the committee that if reviews are not conducted, then there is no legal way to fire a non-tenure track faculty member if s/he is not measuring up to expectations.
(Actually, a non-tenure track faculty member can be terminated without cause.)

Manolis said that the poicy should call for regular reviews. She believes that reviews are inconsistently conducted.

Finzel said that supervisors have played with these positions as a way to protect employees. The resulting confusion results more from good will than from malice.

Aronson will invite Sarah Mattson, Director of Human Resources, to a future meeting to try to clarify some of the confusion.

With respect to the issue of Course Loads, Manolis noted that College Writing Instructors have had a 3/3 load for some time now.

Finzel and Aronson remarked that their respective divisions typically asign a 3/2 load to temporary, non-tenure track faculty members.

Manolis wondered whether pay or degree (M.A.) figured into this discrepancy.

Finzel thought we should have a broader discussion of whether or not that discrepancy is heathly for the campus. He suggested that faculty should share the experience and contribute equally, regardless of tenure-track status.

Manolis suggested that we ask Mattson if there is a list of duties for each job classification. If there isn’t, should there be?

Finzel wondered whether we actually have higher course loads for non-tenure track faculty or not.

Wyckoff wondered whether or not there was a service and/or research requirement for non-tenure track faculty member.

Manolis noted that from her experience, service is implicitly expected, even if research is not.

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

Respectfully submitted,
Stacey Parker Aronson
Chair, Faculty Affairs Committee