Senate Minutes

Feb. 3, 2015

1051 McNeil Hall

President Lugo presiding

Call to order: 2:04

 

Quorum confirmed

 

I.                    President�s opening:  Thanks to all for the quick response to the survey regarding President Ross.  Our responses have been forwarded.  Lugo read a statement outlining the pressing reasons for our need to respond to the news about President Ross, entitled �Higher Education and NC under Attack.�  His statement emphasized the university system as a public good, denounced the defunding pattern for higher education in NC as an attack on our ability to educate all citizens, as per the state constitution, and delineated the losses to shared governance that have ensued in recent years, which Ross helped to combat.  �It is time to speak.�  Enthusiastic applause followed this statement.  The petition with 400 signatures was also forwarded to the BOG.  There has been no response as yet.  The moderate proposal already considered by UNCW faculty is being circulated now at other campuses.  After allowing some time for response, we�ll speak more loudly if needed.

 

II.                  Special order of the day - continuing review of the Faculty Handbook.  The Policies of Academic Freedom & Tenure, recently approved by the Senate, have been forwarded o Academic Affairs.  A few points may need further clarification, but the hope is that we�re close to finalizing that document.  We will vote on the PTR Committee�s recommendations at the next regular Senate meeting.  If passed, those recommendations will be added to the Policies document.  These are our primary governing policies and will have been explicitly approved, so any discrepancies in the Faculty Handbook must be corrected.

 

a.       Taking up where we left off, the first action needed is page 93.  The subheadings of IDEA categories to be reported need to be revised, to match current IDEA report categories (i.e., Summary Evaluation., Progress on Objectives, and Overall Rating).  A motion to substitute the new headings was made and seconded.  Discussion included the points that the new categories are believed to be stable, and that our reported comparisons should be with respect to the national data set (vs internal comparisons only).  The question was called; there were 42 votes in favor, and 2 against.  (It was noted that a few votes were missing, but a quorum was confirmed.  It was also noted that all references to OIR should be removed with respect to IDEA; the Office of Undergraduate Studies now handles IDEA matters, and has hired a new staff member to help.

 

b.      Regarding the issue of external evaluations, it was noted that the text should include reference to Associate Professors who were hired without tenure.  It was further noted that text should clarify that any external reviews solicited would be utilized (and not discarded).  There were no objections to moving forward, with the understanding that the text would be modified for consistency.

 

c.       Regarding Guidelines for Chair�s Recommendations:  the Dean will recommend when the individual being considered is a chair.  There were small changes to the required subcategories for the Chair�s recommendations, and a suggestion that the wording under 3A be altered, to remove the implication that FMLA involves a variation from our standards (which it does not).  The suggested alternative was that chairs describe �any special circumstances that are relevant to the candidate�s application for reappointment, tenure, or promotion.�  Special circumstances could include factors such as FMLA or hiring expectations to design a new program.  There were no objections to these changes.

 

d.      Regarding Certification, the evaluating officer shall report votes, including the number of votes for and against the candidate�s reappointment, tenure, or promotion.  The understanding is that senior faculty must vote for or against; there should be no abstentions. This was voted on previously; there were no objections.

 

e.       The Application Format was considered next (a proposed format was attached with the meeting agenda).  We will eventually be moving to paperless submissions, but paper versions should not be rejected at this point.  Suggestions on limiting the materials submitted have been included.

 

                                                               i.      To clarify, faculty are not required to include a CV as part of the dossier.

                                                             ii.      Content for the Candidate�s Statement has been clarified � the statement should target the relationship between teaching, service, and scholarship rather than repeat information from other sections.

                                                           iii.      The Chair�s annual evaluations from each year since the last UNCW personnel action are to be included.  IT has indicated that a secure RTP website is doable.  The issue of who will have access needs attention, as the composition of senior faculty varies across departments.

                                                           iv.      Language regarding OIR needs to be changed under #3 of teaching materials.

                                                             v.      For now, engagement is to be included under Optional subcategory.  This may need to be revisited, depending on outcomes from the current Task Force on Engagement.  We may decide to highlight this category in some other way.

                                                           vi.      Concerns were expressed over the direction to include a given activity only once.  DIS, for example, can include teaching and engagement.  It was pointed out that the narrative was intended as the place to highlight such synergies and that many concerns have been expressed regarding the length of RPT dossiers, and the degree of overlap within them.  Workshops for chairs and junior faculty could address appropriate placement of each kind of activity.  A motion was made and seconded to delete the sentence advising that something be included in only one place.  The question was called:  Votes were 26 in favor, 20 against.  The motion passed and the sentence will be deleted.

                                                          vii.      There were no objections under Service.

                                                        viii.      Chairs responsibilities � replicated from the Policies.  Reference to OIR should be removed from #1 and 2, and the language on �2 years� should be aligned with previous decisions.

                                                           ix.      A quorum was called at 3:15:  with 39 responses, the quorum was lost.  Polls rather than votes were taken from this point on, with poll results to serve advisory function.

                                                             x.      There was discussion over the issue of instruction that results of the RPT deliberation be emailed to the candidate, given the sensitive nature of the information.  Legal counsel suggested that as long as the email involved all due confidentiality and just a yes/no statement, without elaboration, there would be no problem.  The intent was to make communication clear and timely for the candidate, and email is an official mode of university communication.  A motion was made and seconded to substitute, �communicate in writing,� and remove explicit reference to email.  A poll on the motion showed 18 votes for, and 18 against.  This recommendation is not binding and will be discussed further.

                                                           xi.      Under Chairperson�s evaluation of candidates, the wording on �variations in standards� should be amended to reflect earlier discussion on the same.

                                                          xii.      Under Certification, there was discussion of the meaning of �virtual presence.� �For example, email would not be sufficient, as it does not provide for equal participation.  There was hesitance to specify any particular medium (e.g., Skype), and it was noted that the current wording specifies �being present.�  �Virtual presence with synchronous communication� was suggested as an alternative.  Senators were asked to consider the best wording for our next meeting.  The issue of whether to allow proxy votes was also postponed to our next meeting, given the sensitivity of the issue and the lack of a quorum.

                                                        xiii.      President Lugo thanked Senators for meeting twice a month and for their important service.

 

 

Motion to adjourn:  3:40