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FacEx-Faculty Senate Executive Committee 2/10/15

FacEx
February 10, 2015 - 3:00pm
33 Strong Hall
Agenda: 

Faculty Senate Executive Committee

FacEx

February 10, 2015 – 3:10 p.m.

Malott Room – Kansas Union

 

(This meeting may be electronically recorded.)

I.          Announcements

II.        Approval of minutes from December 9, 2014

III.       Report of Faculty Senate President Jim Carothers

IV.       Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct

V.        Old Business

VI.       New Business

Minutes: 

Minutes

Faculty Senate Executive Committee – FacEx

February 10, 2015 – 3:15 p.m.

Malott Room – Kansas Union

Approved: 02/24/2015

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Jim Carothers, Jonathan Mayhew, Tom Beisecker, Mike Williams, Katherine Clark, Lisa Friis, Jeremy Martin

ALSO PRESENT:  Mohamed El-Hodiri, AAUP; Amy Smith, Policy Office; Molly Mulloy and Kathy Reed, University Governance

The meeting was called to order by Faculty Senate President and FacEx Chair Jim Carothers.

MINUTES for 12/9/2014 were approved.

REPORT OF FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT

            Jim Carothers reported that the Faculty Rights Board (FRB) is currently discussing possible amendments to the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations, Art. VII, regarding due process in disciplinary actions involving lessor sanctions.  When FRB’s recommendation is forwarded to FacEx, we will consider incorporating the amendments into the Faculty Code of Conduct (as well as in the FSRR).

CODE OF FACULTY RIGHTS, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND CONDUCT

            Three documents were distributed to members for use in today’s discussion:  (1) a handout describing the remaining issues to be discussed and voted on by FacEx, with notes  explaining the various changes and/or unresolved issues according to FacEx, the FRPR Committee, and/or the administration, (2) a copy of the draft Faculty Code as of 11/18/2014,  with text approved by the administration in red/strikeout fonts, and (3) a clean copy of the Faculty Code as of 11/18/2014.  Carothers thanked Kathy Reed and Molly Mulloy in the Governance Office for preparing the handouts.

Carothers asked members to refer to the handout entitled “Items for discussion by FacEx 2/10/15” (copy attached to permanent minutes).

Art. III, Faculty Right 2

 Mayhew/Martin moved to insert the word “non-discriminatory” in place of the word “fair” that had been recommended by the FRPR Committee (Faculty Rights, Privileges, and Responsibilities). Passed. This article will now read: “Faculty members shall have the right to the application of unit/department, school, and University policies in a non-discriminatory manner.”

Art. III, Faculty Right 4

Mayhew/Williams moved to approve the administration’s alternative text shown in red font. Passed.

Clark/Martin moved to restore the final sentence, and to change the word “fair” to “non-discriminatory” in that sentence. Beisecker and Williams both noted that Art. III.2 has similar language and did not think there was a need to restore the final sentence in Art. III.4. Following discussion, the motion passed by a vote of 3-2.   The sentence will now read: “Faculty members have the right to fairnon-discriminatory treatment…. in that evaluation.”

Article III. Faculty Rights 7

            Discussion of this section was tabled until the recommendation is received from the Faculty Rights Board.

Article III. Faculty Right 11

Carothers reported that several faculty have said the phrase “best interests of the University” prompts the question, just “who” is the university? Referring to the administration’s text in red font, Clark/Mayhew moved to insert a period after the word “resources” and to delete the phrase  …“and the best interests of the University.” Passed. The sentence now reads: “Faculty members have the right to pursue opportunities for improving their skills and developing their talents related to their responsibilities as teachers and scholars contingent upon the availability of resources. and the best interests of the University.”

            Discussion ensued about the two deleted paragraphs  (“Faculty members have a right to support…on campus” and “Faculty have the right to maintain continuous… of the violation.”) . The FRPR committee had recommended that the paragraphs be restored.  However, Amy Smith pointed out that Art. I of the Faculty Code, which overlays the complete Code, includes this statement:  “This Code is based on the premise that both administrators and faculty share responsibility to create a climate suitable for scholarship…” and “…. no policy or action by the University or its faculty and staff may violate the rights, responsibilities, and standards of conduct established by this code.” Consensus of FacEx was to leave the paragraphs deleted and to not restore them.

Art. III, Faculty Right 14

            Members discussed the fact that the administration’s version includes the phrase “… the reason specified in University and Board of Regents policy.”  However, the FRPR committee recommends that the words “University and” be deleted. Carothers read an excerpt from the Board of Regents’ (BOR) policy manual entitled “Suspensions, Terminations and Dismissals, ” and FacEx  members subsequently agreed that the BOR’s policy was sufficiently detailed. Mayhew/Friss moved that the phrase “University and” be deleted; passed. Art. III.19 would now read: “Tenured faculty may be removed only for the reasons specified in University and Board of Regents policy. In these cases the University has the burden of proof to establish grounds for dismissal.”

Art. IV.1.e  Faculty Responsibilities, Teaching

            Carothers stated that many faculty, as well as the FRPR committee, would like to see an exception for illness or family emergency added to this section.  Mayhew/Williams moved to add the phrase “With the exception of illness or family emergency, a faculty member must make …” at the beginning of the 3rd sentence. Passed.

            Jeremy Martin explained that the FRPR committee would also like to delete the final two sentences: “Such approval will be granted only…by the faculty member.”   and “ Each department or school… publicize its definition.” Following discussion,  Mayhew/Williams moved to delete the last two sentences in this section.  Passed.

Art. IV. 3._Service

            Members discussed the administration’s new language that all members of the unit “share in the work necessary for the effective functioning of the unit.  Thus each faculty member has the responsibility to participate regularly and fully.” Michael Williams provided the example of a faculty member whose differential allocation of effort is 50% teaching/50% research and would therefore have 0% service allocation.  Amy Smith pointed out that this would be covered by the overarching first paragraph of this article, which states that “the responsibilities of the faculty as a whole are multiple and are not to be construed as limited to any specific list.  The same is true of the responsibilities of individual faculty members…”

            Williams/Mayhew moved to delete all of the text after the word “fully”  in the paragraph. (“participate…. operations of the academic unit.”) Clark proposed that the words  “in that unit” be added after the word “fully,” and Williams/Mayhew accepted the amendment. The motion, as amended, passed. The article now reads: “It is essential that all members of the academic unit share in the work necessary for the effective functioning of the unit.  Thus, each faculty member has the responsibility to participate regularly and fully in that unit.”

Article IV. 4 Professional Performance

            Members discussed the phrase “consistent with unit expectations and the position” inserted by the administration into the first sentence. Mayhew/Williams moved to change the word “and” to “for,” and to add the word “stated” in front of the word “unit.” Passed. The first sentence of this article will now read: “For library faculty and some unclassified academic staff with faculty equivalent rank, responsibilities include the performance of professional activities consistent with stated unit expectations and for the position.”

Art. IV.5. Additional Faculty Responsibilities, subsection h

            There was lengthy debate comparing the administration’s version to the version recommended by the FRPR committee. Regarding the word “intentional” in the FRPR version, Carothers observed that it may be hard to prove that behavior is indeed intentional.  Clark and several other members felt that the term “moral turpitude” was too vague. Williams quoted a definition of “moral turpitude” from an online source, and Amy Smith said the administration’s use of the term comes directly from a Law dictionary.  Beisecker suggested that a period be put after the word “position” in the first sentence, with the rest of that sentence deleted.

After much discussion, Mayhew/Clark moved that neither the administration’s version nor FRPR’s version be approved; rather, the language in the current online Faculty Code for this section (Current Art. V.7) be retained. The motion passed.  Art. IV.5.h would then state: Refrain from committing an act that involves such moral turpitude as to render the faculty member unfit for his/her position. As used in this section, conduct involving moral turpitude means intentional conduct, prohibited by law, which is gravely injurious to another person or to society and which constitutes a substantial deviation from the accepted standards of duty owed by a person to other persons and society.”

ARTICLE V. Administrative Leave Without Pay

            Mayhew/Williams moved that the words “without pay” be deleted throughout this section where it appears following the phrase  “Administrative Leave.” Passed.

            Carothers commended members on their excellent and collegial work today in addressing the remaining issues in the Faculty Code. The changes and version agreed upon by FacEx today will be forwarded to the Faculty Senate later this month for discussion.

KEY ISSUE REGARDING  FACULTY CODE ART. I

 Carothers reminded members that at the 11/18/14 FacEx meeting, members changed the word “consideration” to “approval” in the final sentence of Article I. The FacEx version now reads: “Substantive changes to this Code will be made only after consideration approval by the Provost’s Office and Faculty Governance Senate.”

However, when Carothers met with several administrators and a representative from the General Counsel’s Office this week, he was strongly advised that the word “approval”  should be removed from the last sentence.  The administration believes that word is inappropriate since Board of Regents’ policy gives the Chancellor final authority for the Faculty Code.

In the extensive discussion that followed, FacEx members agreed that unless faculty have a chance to accept or reject standards regarding their conduct, we do not have collegial or shared governance at KU. Mayhew asked why the administration would want to approve changes without faculty approval. If this happened, the Faculty Code would just be a Provost Policy. Friis recommended that FacEx express its support of Art. I in a separate written statement emphasizing the importance of shared governance and why we believe Art. I is so important to the faculty. Several members indicated that the wording of the final sentence of Article I is a “deal breaker.”  Clark stated that if the administration deleted “approval” in Article I, she would not be surprised if there were a “no confidence” vote of the administration by the KU faculty. She observed that the idea of a “no confidence” vote was in fact brought up by one of the HLC Commissioners as a way that is sometimes effective in getting administrations to take faculty concerns seriously. Not all members of the committee felt that a vote of “no confidence” would be warranted. Another member felt that there were other more effective ways to reach agreement with the administration.

Mayhew/Clark moved that FacEx strongly support its version of the language in Art. I  and support Carothers’ efforts to discuss this with the administration before the matter goes to the Faculty Senate this month.  Passed unanimously.

No further business. 

Respectfully,

Molly Mulloy

 


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