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Faculty Affairs Committee Minutes (12-2-08)

Meeting of the Faculty Affairs Committee

2 December 2008, 9:00am, Sci 2555


Present: Tom Mahoney, Argie Manolis, Eli Mayfield, Pam Solvie, Timna Wyckoff, James Wojtaszek

Absent: Leslie Meek


I. minutes

The minutes from 18 November 2008 were approved.


II. Old Business

As this was our last meeting of the semester, we tried to tie up some loose ends and plan for next semester.

A. travel funds: We revisited the issue of using travel funds for non-conference travel. Wojtaszek reminded us that the policy is quite clear about the use of the funds for conference travel. Mahoney reminded us that there are FREF funds for collaborative research-related travel. Wyckoff will communicate this to the person who brought this issue to our attention.

B. division chair appointments: We had agreed to somehow let faculty and staff know that Division Chairs are on 10-month, not full year, appointments. Wyckoff will write a memo to Dean Contant and ask her to communicate this in some way.

C. discipline coordinators: We will revisit this topic in the spring.

D. faculty lounge: We will revisit this topic in the spring, and plan to ask Engin Sungur of the Faculty Center to join us.


III. New business

A. Mahoney brought to our attention a new policy regarding sick leave for faculty and P&A staff. He would like HR to address whether faculty and P&A will be treated the same under the new policy. We all agreed to ask our Division Chairs for their impressions of the new policy and we may invite Sarah Mattson to a meeting in the spring.

B. A faculty member asked Wyckoff to bring up the issue of faculty applying for a course release in order to attend a course in another discipline in the interest of promoting interdisciplinary teaching. We will discuss this in the spring.


IV. Major Business

A. non-tenure track concerns: Manolis brought another document regarding non-tenure track faculty concerns, this time in response to comments made by administrators at a recent community meeting. After some discussion and revision, we approved her sending it in her capacity as a member of FAC.

B. spousal hiring Wyckoff opened the discussion with ideas about how to get at campus perceptions of spousal hiring at UMM. After some discussion we agreed to send an initial email to FACPA early in the spring pointing out that spousal hiring is an issue on all campuses, but is particularly significant on small rural campuses. We plan to add links to some articles about spousal/partner hiring at this point. Then, we will ask two simple questions: What are people's general perceptions of the benefits of spousal hiring? and What are their concerns? We will give people the option of responding by email to any member of the committee, or responding in an anonymous hard copy to Wyckoff, as chair of FAC. Wyckoff will contact the chair of the United Staff Association (USA), Carol McCannon, to let her know that we are doing this and USA may want to do something similar so that the Dean will get a balanced picture.


Minutes submitted by Timna Wyckoff, 5 December 2008