General Faculty Meeting
Report of the Professional Standards Task Force
27 February 1998
3:00 PM, Bond Hall 165

1. Professor Hack Ezell, Vice Chairman of Faculty Council, called the meeting to order at 3:00PM.

2. Approximately 24 faculty members were in attendance. Prof. Ezell recapped the purpose and formation of the Professional Standards Task Force. Faculty Council had voted to postpone a decision on the report in order to involve the faculty in an open meeting. The document was presented also to Academic Board and was well received.

3. Prof. Ezell went through the document, noting minor changes in wording, grammar, etc. Changes were made on pages 1, 2, 8, 16, and 22. (Those changes are noted on the official copy of the document and kept with the minutes of the Faculty Council.

4. Prof. Ezell then addressed the 16 questions/comments he had received regarding the document. After all questions/comments were listed, faculty members commented and made suggestions.

5. Questions (questions/comments from faculty at the meeting are in bold:

1. AAUP statement on academic freedom was removed from this document and placed in the faculty manual because academic freedom applies to all aspects of academic life, not just promotion and tenure. It was recommended that an abbreviated state be replaced, with a reference to the longer statement contained in the faculty manual.

2. Post tenure review. Faculty Council Subcommittee B is charged with developing this document and plans to present it at the next FC meeting.

3. Relationship between college and departmental guidelines. Department guidelines are to be in compliance with college guidelines.
a. college document contains some minimum guidelines below which departments cannot go.
b. departmental guidelines should be appended to the college document.
c. this is usually part of the department head's discussion with FTPC.
d. departments are too different to set minimum guidelines.
e. include a statement that college-wide standards will be interpreted according to each department's standards.

4. Why is the appeals process different for tenure and promotion? This was designed so appeals are not made to the person who made the original decision.

5. Why is the timetable rarely followed? The timetable has been changed to make it more feasible.

6. Five-year vs. sex-year tenure process. Faculty members who were hired under the five-year plan have the option of choosing the six-year plan.

7. Vita should be included in each tenure/promotion dossier. Agreed.

8. Composition and appointment of appeals committee. Who makes recommendations? FTPC solicits a list of all eligible senior faculty members, then applies a "weighting" system to assure equitable representation.

9. Concern about the "weight" placed on student evaluation of teaching.

10. Concept of the "super prof"

11. ???

12. Faithful attendance at committee meetings. In the descriptions of service to the college, change "faithful attendance" to "attends and contributes" throughout document.

13. Concern that teaching criteria are "must" and scholarly engagement and service are "may". Teaching is not an option. Scholarly engagement and service are more discipline-related.

14. Concern over "supporting mission of the college" (p.?). Does not imply blind obedience. On page 22, C4, Dismissal for Cause, strike reference to "role model".

15. Clarify the fact that promotion to professor is more demanding than promotion to associate.

16. Request to include section on "tenure after one semester" at the Dean, Department Head, and senior professor level.

Concern was expressed that all information received in the tenure and promotion process must be made available to candidates (p. 16, par. 2). The candidate has the right to know all information being made available to FTPC. It should be clear that the candidate has that right, and not be pressured to waive that right. FPTC should have the right to solicit additional information, but the candidate should know this. It was suggested that the offer be made to the candidate to supply a list of names from which the department head can choose.

Other suggestions:
1. Page 5C. Rework wording to reflect "effective teaching.
2. Page 19, 4A, should read five "working" days.
3. Concern was expressed about FTPC decisions being overturned at higher levels with no justification given. Prof. Ezell said it is now built into the document that decisions cannot be overturned without justification.
4. Page 4, 2B. There was a question about what is more important. This is an example of a general yet comprehensive statement so that each department can tailor and interpret according to departmental standards. It was suggested to add, "as stated in departmental document". It was further suggested that it be made clear that departmental standards are available to FTPC, but that the committee cannot be bound to those standards over college standards.
5. Page 2D, last paragraph. Delete "generally".

6. The meeting was adjourned at 5:00PM.