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Meeting of the Faculty Affairs Committee

25 January 2010, 9:00am, Sci 2555


Present: Katie Barron, Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, Rebecca Dean, Athena Kildegaard, Pam Solvie, Roger Wareham, James Wojtaszek, Timna Wyckoff



I. logistics

A. We will plan to meet every other week this semester, but also to keep the alternate weeks generally open in case of “extra” business that we might need to attend to.

B. We agreed to invite Dean Contant to meet with us twice this semester. Wyckoff will extend the invitation. At the first meeting, we will plan to continue our discussion of online instruction at UMM and also ask questions about the staffing plan, particularly in light of a recent Campus Assembly announcement that programs may be cut as we continue to try to balance the budget.


II. old business

A. faculty diversity: Wyckoff reported that Sungur has withdrawn his request to meet with our committee. We agreed that we wanted to continue to address this matter as a committee. Specifically, we discussed ways in which we might go about relieving the extra service pressure felt by many faculty and staff of color. Solvie reminded us that the meeting at LaFave in December 2009 resulted in a list of ideas for addressing the issue of faculty diversity from several directions. We agreed to ask Hilda Ladner to come to a meeting soon to discuss that list so that we might identify some specific tasks for our committee take up. Wyckoff will extend this invitation.

B. replacements for leaves: As we decide how to best address this issue, Wyckoff suggested that each of us talk with our unit heads (e.g. Division Chairs) about the pros and cons as they see them of how leaves are currently negotiated and ideas they may have for improving the process. Specifically, we are interested in the role of disciplines in making plans for leaves (e.g. who decides what courses must be taught?) and what recourse disciplines might have when leaves result in excessive burdens on those not on leave.


III. new business

A. setting aside a time for campus committee meetings: Bezanson brought up the idea of having time(s) during the week set aside for committee meetings, i.e. times during the day when classes are NOT scheduled. Wyckoff is under the impression that this topic is on the Executive Committee agenda. Bezanson will draft a memo endorsing the idea for discussion at a later meeting. Once finalized, we plan to send it to the Executive, Curriculum, and Campus Resources and Planning Committees.

B. grievance: Bezanson expressed concern that the U of MN grievance policy has recently changed to be more centralized and that there is no longer an on-campus step to filing a grievance. Wojtaszek shared that SCFA discussed related concerns at a meeting last year. Bezanson will look for more specific information on the new policy and bring it to a later meeting. We may decide to share this information with FACPA since no one else on the committee was aware of the recent change.


IV. topics for later meetings

A. service workloads

B. Distinguished Research Award?

C. P&A issues?


Minutes submitted by Timna Wyckoff, 7 February 2010