General Faculty Meeting
Open Forum to Discuss Faculty Handbook Changes
Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015
15 faculty members present
(including all six Faculty Senate EC members: Maniatty, Bystroff, Tichy, Peters, Akera, Hirsa)
Meeting Convened @ 4pm
(Incl. handbook change requests identified during meeting)
- Change request: Re: language on advance information about benefits changes: Speak with provost, possibility of strengthening language
- Change request: HASS proposed modifications will be put forward that would allow non-tenure faculty to serve as co-PI and doctoral committee members. Inconsistent language prohibiting lecturers from serving on thesis or dissertation committee would be removed.
- Antoinette will write to provost to ask for more information about conflict of interest disclosure process. See if they are requesting more information than is required. Guarantee that information will be kept confidential. This is separate from the handbook.
- Antoinette Maniatty provided a summary of the handbook change process to date. Changes were developed by Faculty Handbook Draft Committee and reviewed by the Faculty Handbook Review Committee. The Senate EC at the time then met with the Provost to look for a “common position” that was based on the work of the Review committee. Draft was advanced to HR and Legal Counsel. Changes were reviewed by the FSEC; FSEC requests clarification and made change requests. Most changes were approved and made.
- Summary of changes
- Changes in title, role of non-tenure faculty; lecturers are excluded from serving on thesis or doctoral dissertation committee.
- Inclusion of pre-tenure extension policy. Related to ADVANCE Grant (e.g. 1 year extension for new parents)
- Other “major” changes
- Grievance procedures handled through Provost’s office, not FSEC
- Sabbatical request due Feb 15 instead of April 1
- Course management: student learning outcomes and assessment; procedures for addressing violation of academic integrity
- Emphasis on information/decisions provided by administration in a “timely manner”
- Parental leave available to non-tenure faculty with a minimum of 2-yearappointment
- Input on admin appointments and evaluations limited to Tenure faculty
- New language about professional ethics and misconduct.
Discussion of Issues
- Re: Lecturers being excluded from serving on doctoral dissertation committee
- Cmt: This will affect Architecture
- Q: Why are research scientists mentioned in the faculty handbook:
- A: (Atsushi): It’s listed under handbook section on PI eligibility
- Cmt: HASS has a proposal about lecturers; says non-tenure can; and then says they can’t. Should be clarified.
- Admin. discretionary pre-tenure extension; should exercise discretion in awarding such extensions.
- How document places stewardship of institution placed more consistently in hands of tenure faculty
- Concern about not giving tenure faculty enough voice in selection of VPs.
- Some administrators are exempted from review by faculty; notably Vice Provosts. HR’s response is that faculty do not report to them, and that they are not on a fixed term. As such we don’t have righto provide input. They are appointed by provost; Provost has invited continuous input to him.
- Maniatty proposed that Faculty Senate conduct annual survey and provide input to Provost. These people impact our lives on a day-to-day basis. This is a role that faculty can take on. Should it be yearly? That’s something the FS should discuss.
- HR language on professional ethics and misconduct.
- There was nothing on sexual misconduct before. Likes that there is language.
- Benefits: Right to modify or terminate benefits
- Changed our dental plan without telling us
- Language says, VP HR will inform senate of changes whenever possible
- Change request: speak with provost, possibility of strengthening language
- Concern about conflict of interest disclosures
- There appear to be increasing requirements; UConn got into trouble because of this. Did not report consulting work that was clearly in conflict with research work. That risked all federal funding at UConn; millions at risk. RPI will tend to be risk averse.
- There is this 8 hour week; when you start, finish, etc… They probably have legitimate reason for asking, but can ask other way and accomplish? It’s a private matter. Should not have to be disclosed. Reporting is for entirely calendar year, because of potential conflict of interest.
- Antoinette will write to provost to ask for more information, see if they are requesting more information than is required. Guarantee that information will be kept confidential. This is separate from the handbook.
- Role of Non-tenure Faculty incl. Lecturers--Theory & Practice is not connected
- Considerable concern within HASS and Architecture. Lecturers serve an important role on doctoral committees.
- Vincent Munier: Also added that certain disciplines think of people’s positions differently; lecturers serve a critical role on doctoral committees; handbook needs to be amended appropriately
- We were discussing proposed wording that was presented on the Powerpoint slides (The presentation may be found on the Senate Website here.)
- Change Request: HASS proposed modifications will be put forward that would allow non-tenure faculty to serve as co-PI and doctoral committee members. Inconsistent language prohibiting lecturers from serving on thesis or dissertation committee would be removed.
- Other discussions: Department Chair to Department Head;
- Definition of Tenure / Reference Base Salary
- We did raise this concern. Taken out because it’s not clear what base salary is. Salary is at discretion of provost elsewhere in document.
- Tuition Benefit
- Language is incredibly vague; hasn’t been changed
- Not part of handbook issue, but it should be reviewed regularly
- HR suggests that they try to make this benefit “average”; may be a selective market basket.
- Faculty constitution is no longer an appendix to the faculty handbook. Is this a concern?
Meeting Adjourned, 5:16pm