March 10, 2011

Senate squeezes in other business around continued policy discussions

by Erin Rosacker

Revisions to the early promotion and tenure review policy passed unanimously at the March 8 Faculty Senate meeting, but work still remains on two Faculty Handbook items that have generated lengthy debate since December.

The changes allow early reviews for faculty who have completed requirements for promotion and tenure. Previously, early tenure reviews were granted only with documentation of "truly exceptional accomplishments."

Related policies

Acknowledging concerns about the relationship of the post-tenure review (section 5.3.5) and conduct (section 7.2) policies, senate president Micheal Owen submitted an extensive clarification document to senators prior to the meeting. He also illustrated the connection between the two policies with a flow chart during his remarks to the senate. Both are available on the Faculty Senate website.

"We have a number of checks and balances," Owen said. "This is not an administrative decision policy. The opportunity for the faculty to weigh in on these decisions exceeds that which is described [by] the AAUP."

Senators approved two amendments during discussion of the post-tenure review policy, and then agreed to table the discussion and review the modified document prior to the April 5 meeting. Time constraints also postponed discussion of the conduct policy (unacceptable performance of duty), which was debated and amended last month.

Other business

Three new items were introduced in the final minutes of Tuesday's meeting. The motions, which will be up for discussion and a vote at the next meeting, include:

  • A requested name change for the women's studies program, to women's and gender studies
  • Proposed changes to the requirements for academic program approval
  • Creation of an outcomes assessment committee to review undergraduate learning and academic requirements