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Meeting of the Faculty Affairs Committee

15 February 2010, 9:00am, Sci 2555


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


I. minutes

We approved the minutes from 8 February 2010. Wyckoff will send them to Wojtaszek to post.


II. updates

A. Wyckoff reported that she talked with Brenda Boever in Advising about the idea of students having two official advisors. Boever said that this is often a topic of discussion in her office but that as long as we have paper files, the logistics are complicated. When UMM moves to a fully electronic system, this might be much more straightforward, although some logistics will need to be worked out (e.g. will both advisors have to release holds?).

B. Bezanson will update us on what she has learned about the new grievance policy at a later meeting.

C. Wyckoff has not contacted Becca Gerken to ask whether Faculty Development is working on diversity training.


B. meeting with Division Chairs about leaves: After talking with the Division Chairs, we decided that in this financial climate, creating a fund to support replacements for leaves is unfeasible. The various divisions gather input from disciplines to different degrees when making decisions about granting and “covering” leaves. We are all concerned about the ramifications for our students (and obviously, thus, enrollment) if people go on leaves (as is their right, by Regents policy) but are not replaced. Wareham shared that no staff member at UMM has ever taken a professional development leave and that he feels that the lack of funds for replacement is a big factor.


III. new business

A. Bezanson asked for a discussion of the issue of salary compression at a later meeting.

B. Bezanson asked for a discussion of post-tenure review at a later meeting. Wyckoff said that Tracey Anderson (all-U Tenure and Promotion Committee) is willing to join us.


IV. agenda for meeting 22 February 2010, with Dean Contant

A. continuation of discussion about online courses: We will ask questions about the decision making process, and point out that direct communication could avoid the spread of rumors. We also have questions about intellectual property issues related to online course development.

B. role of Dean as the leader of the UMM faculty: We may start the conversation with the perception shared with us by many faculty that “Faculty Affairs” are a low priority in the context of the current challenges faced by our campus. Whether this is true or not, it is leading to extremely low morale. Wyckoff asked that everyone think about specific, constructive examples and suggestions.

C. update on faculty diversity discussions: We will share the outcomes of our conversations about faculty diversity, including the suggestion that more training of current faculty might be warranted.


Minutes submitted by Timna Wyckoff, 19 February 2010