Faculty Affairs Committee Minutes (12-13-07)
Faculty Affairs Committee
Present: Stacey Parker Aronson, Bart Finzel, Tom Mahoney, Argie Manolis, Alex Murphy, Pam Solvie, Timna Wyckoff
The meeting was called to order at 11:00 a.m.
Sarah Mattson, the Director of Human Resources, requested our input on the following position description for a Wellness Coach. She sent to Aronson the following e-mail:
I (Sarah Mattson) have received notice from UMTC Wellness Program that they are willing to fund a 1/2 time Wellness Coach for the Morris Campus, plus a budget, for this position. UMD has a comparable position.
This is a Temporary (Posted) Position for one year, with duties of providing unbiased up-to-date health information to assist individuals with the development of a personalized wellness plan to effectively change behavior. The coach will assess the interests and needs of the individual, share the program options and resources available, and help to set realistic goals. The primary focus is to counsel and guide the individual through their healthy living choices in order to be a more active and informed participant in the healthcare process. We are considering having this position assist Crookston with some of their programming - they have not become as involved as we have at this point. This is reasonable to me and fits with the strategic plan (to share resources).
As chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee I wondered if you had any comments or concerns about moving ahead with this position. Please let me know your thoughts.
Finzel explained to the committee members that when we split from the state health plan, the intention was to bring in a Wellness Coach to serve the needs of faculty and staff. After discussing the position description, the members divised a number of questions Aronson then forwarded on to Mattson. The questions are as follows:
- Is this position different than that of a Personal Trainer? Will this position compete with the personal trainers at the RFC?
- How feasible will it be to hire someone for a one-year position at 1/2 time? Might this position be combined with an already existing position?
- Where will this position be housed? RFC? Health Services?
- To whom will this person report?
- Will UMM be expected to fund the position (or the 1/2 position) in subsequent years?
- Will this Wellness Coach be available to students as well as to faculty and staff?
Here is a description of the Faculty Affairs Committee as stated in the revised Constitution.
Section 4. Faculty Affairs Committee
The Faculty Affairs Committee consists of eight members, including four faculty (one from each academic division), the UMM representative to the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs, one P&A staff member, one student, and one ex officio, non-voting member, the chair of the Commission on Women.
The Faculty Affairs Committee develops, reviews and recommends policies and procedures that influence the professional and personal welfare of the faculty and P&A staff and recommends improvements in the design and implementation of personnel policies, including such matters as tenure and promotion, workload, salary and benefits, and hiring and retirement alternatives. It also monitors any legislation and other policies affecting faculty and P&A staff welfare and procedures.
When Aronson pointed out that Manolis’s position had essentially disappeared from the membership, Manolis stated that she thought that her position— one at-large, non-tenure-track faculty member, who is eligible for assembly membership (defined as teaching at least one-third of a full faculty load)”—was very important and should not be eliminated.
Solvie wondered why there needed to be representation albeint ex officio-non-voting representation from the Commission on Women and how this met needs that we are not already addressing.
Wyckoff wondered if the Commission on Women chair sat on all Campus Assembly committees.
Finzel suggested that we look once again at the job classifications provided to us by Mattson.
When committee members wondered to whom we should address these concerns, Murphy said that he believed that the Executive Committee now had the Constitution revisions. Aronson sent these concerns to the Executive Committee as follows:
December 14, 2007
To: Executive Committee
From: Faculty Affairs Committee (Stacey Parker Aronson, chair)
There are two issues the members of the Faculty Affairs Committee wish me to bring to the attention of the Executive Committee.
(1) The committee members are concerned that the Faculty Affairs Committee will have no representation from what is termed in the original bylaws as “one at-large, non-tenure-track faculty member, who is eligible for assembly membership (defined as teaching at least one-third of a full faculty load)” under the new proposed Constitution. We feel strongly that non-tenure track faculty members need representation. We urge the Executive Committee to add this representative to the list of members for the Faculty Affairs Committee. Perhaps the designation “P&A staff member” could be broadened to included one P&A staff administrator and one P&A teaching staff member?
Conceived of in the fall of 2002, the Faculty Affairs Committee was originally approved at Campus Assembly on May 4, 2005. Given that the Faculty Affairs Committee ceases to be authorized at the end of next spring semester 2008 unless it is included in the new Constitution whose timeline is as yet uncertain, the Executive Committee asked the Faculty Affairs Committee to request reauthorization by the Campus Assembly. Several committee members expressed concern that to do so appeared too self-serving. We requested, instead, that the Executive Committee request our reauthorization on our behalf. We sent to the Executive Committee the following:
(2) The members of the Faculty Affairs Committee are not comfortable requesting reauthorization from the Campus Assembly, given that to do so appears too self-serving. We request, instead, that the Executive Committee request our reauthorization on our behalf. We are happy to help you draft the request but believe that it should come from the Executive Committee. Conceived of in the fall of 2002, the Faculty Affairs Committee was originally approved at Campus Assembly on May 4, 2005.
Here is some text you can perhaps use:
Justification for existence of the Faculty Affairs Committee
- While the policies decided at UM-TC may, and at times do, affect UMM, the existence of our own Scholastic, Campus Resources and Planning Committee, Consultative, and Executive Committees, as well as Faculty Affairs Committee, attests to the fact that we also have concerns distinct to this campus.
- UMM has a similar structure to UM-TC, which also has a Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs.
- The Faculty Affairs Committee is the only policy-making committee concerned exclusively with issues regarding faculty and P&A staff members at UMM.
Since our inception, we have been engaged in a series of initiatives, as indicated below:
- Served as sounding board for the Chancellor, the Dean, the Faculty Development Committee, the Morris Academic Staff Association, the Faculty Center for Learning and Teaching as well as Search Committees;
- Gathered input on unfunded faculty research and creative activities;
- Provided input for the revised SOTS based on a survey we conducted with faculty;
- Advocated in favor of an individual discipline in danger of being eliminated;
- Defended Faculty and P&A interests to the Strategic Planning Task Force;
- Authored a section of the Strategic Plan dealing with Faculty Scholarship to ensure faculty representation in the Strategic Plan and to guarantee that all research and creative activity be recognized, not only that research conducted with students (p. 11, last two bullet points);
- Collaborated with the Commission on Women to recommend to the Chancellor and the Dean the creation of a Backfill Funding Policy and a Backfill Fund to hire replacements or to fairly compensate colleagues who fill in for colleagues in the event of a Planned Leave (maternity or parental leaves) or an Unplanned Leave (illness).
The meeting was adjounred at 11:45 a.m.
Respectfully submitted by
Stacey Parker Aronson
Chair, Faculty Affairs Committee