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Faculty Affairs Committee Minutes (10-7-08)

Meeting of the Faculty Affairs Committee

7 October 2008, 9:00am, Sci 2555


Present: Argie Manolis, Tom Mahoney, Eli Mayfield, Leslie Meek, James Wojtaszek, Timna Wyckoff

Absent: Pam Solvie

Guests: Janet Erickson, Mike Korth, Pareena Lawrence


I. implications of 10-month contract for Division Chairs

Wojtaszek opened the discussion by sharing that someone had brought to his attention the fact that Division Chair contracts are for 10 months and that this means that Division Chairs are not completely available in the summer months. He asked if the Division Chairs had concerns about this.

The Division Chairs agreed that much of their work needs to happen in the summer (salary letters, hiring, budget, planning, orientation of new faculty). However, they also agreed that the flexibility allowed by the 10-month contract is appealing. There was some discussion of the possibility of 11-month contracts; given the current budget climate, this seems an unlikely change.

We all agreed that communication to the higher administration and to faculty and staff to clarify Division Chair duties and expectations in the summer months would be helpful.

Outcome: FAC will include this issue on a memo to faculty and P&A in the future.

II. consistency across campus of duties and terms for discipline coordinators

Wojtaszek asked whether policies existed, or should exist, that would make duties and terms for discipline coordinators clear and consistent across campus. The Division Chairs said that there are Division documents that spell out (with various levels of detail) these policies.

Erickson made the point that discipline coordinators are coordinators ; they are not in a position of administrative power (and do not appear on the organizational chart of UMM hierarchy). Korth said that various people and units across campus have different ideas about the expectations for work from discipline coordinators.

There was some discussion of various models that disciplines use (e.g. coordinator has short term, but many responsibilities or coordinator has longer term, but delegates several responsibilities, such as course scheduling). People expressed several concerns, including the idea that disciplines get “stuck in a rut”, the issue of whether untenured faculty should serve in this position and the challenge of balancing experience (long terms) with the input of new ideas and fairness (short terms).

We agreed generally that allowing disciplines some flexibility is good, but that perhaps more guidelines would be helpful.

Outcome: FAC will continue to discuss this issue. We will look at the Division documents and perhaps suggest some changes.

III. other

Lawrence asked that FAC look into workload issues, especially how teaching for Continuing Education “counts” toward teaching load. Erickson added that expected teaching loads for non-tenure track faculty are unclear and perhaps inconsistent across campus.

Erickson asked whether FAC had considered issues surrounding phased retirement and the sabbatical supplement policy.

Outcome: Our current focus on workloads, non-tenure track faculty issues and phased retirement will cover most of these issues. We will consider adding the sabbatical supplement policy to our agenda.

Minutes submitted by Timna Wyckoff, 8 October 2008