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Faculty Senate - 02/11/016

Faculty Senate
February 11, 2016 - 3:30pm
Green Hall-Room 203
Agenda: 

I.         Approval of minutes from December 3, 2015

II.        Report of Faculty Senate President Tom Beisecker

III.       Discussion of Faculty Code

IV.       Discussion of FRB changes to FSRR 7.3 

V.        Old Business

VI.       New Business

Minutes: 

MINUTES

FACULTY SENATE MEETING

February 11, 2016 – 4:00 p.m. – 203 Green Hall

 

Approved March 3, 2016

MEMBERS PRESENT: Tom Beisecker, Mike Williams, , Philip Baringer, Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, Jim Carothers, Jonathan Clark, Michael Davidson, Chris Elles, Charles Epp, Christopher Fischer, Lisa Friis, Lynn Hancock, Majid Hannoum, Joe Harrington, Kissan Joseph, Pamela Keller, Paul Laird, Jason Matejkowski, Jonathan Mayhew, Amalia Monroe-Gulick, Steve Padget, Bozenna Pasik-Duncan, Meagan Patterson, Angela Rathmel, Roberta Freund Schwartz, Geraldo Sousa, Bill Staples, Dean Stetler, Belinda Sturm, Susan Williams, Lisa Wolf-Wendell

ABSENT: Mary Banwart (excused), Jay Childers, Kelly Chong, Pam Fine (excused), Andrea Greenhoot (excused), Weishi Liu (excused), Mario Medina, Barbara Timmermann (excused)

ALSO PRESENT:  Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little; Mary Lee Hummert, Vice Provost for Faculty Development; Maureen Altman and Kathy Reed, University Governance; Sara Shepherd, LJ World.

Faculty Senate President Tom Beisecker called the meeting to order.  Beisecker announced a change in the agenda.  Amendments to FSRR 7.3 cannot be discussed until notification goes out to the faculty.

MINUTES for December 3, 2015 were approved as amended.  Jonathan Clark corrected the third paragraph under the section on James Tracy which read “Tracy disagreed with Jonathan Clark who felt that there isn’t much attention given to the humanities.”  It should read, “Jonathan Clark said that he completely understood Tracy’s time being taken up with the natural sciences since that’s where the money is, but asked how the humanities could more effectively engage with that world of money raising.”

REPORT OF THE FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT

Tom Beisecker noted that the majority of his report had been given at the University Senate meeting.  He added that FacEx continues to monitor KUAAP and announced that FacEx has invited representatives from KUAAP to their next meeting.  He will report any new information to Faculty Senate.

DISCUSSION OF FACULTY CODE

Beisecker explained that last September the Provost Office sent a revision of the Faculty Code that the Faculty Senate approved last April and it has been discussed since in FacEx and FRPR.  Jonathan Clark motioned that the Faculty Senate now embody in the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations Article VII Section 1 (FSRR 7.1) the code as passed unanimously on the 16th of April 2015.  Ron Barrett-Gonzalez seconded the motion.  Barrett-Gonzalez added that this is a chance to put the matter to rest before the appointment of a new provost, and sending it to the Interim Provost will provide a chance to test the system.  Bozenna Pasik-Duncan asked for a summary of why the April 16, 2015 was not approved.  When Beisecker began to give an explanation of the process since last April, Clark said that according to Roberts Rules of Order the person in the chair does not speak to the merits of the case but is in charge of running the meeting; he then if asked if he could speak to the motion.  Clark recommended that since FRPR has already given a report on the April 16, 2015 code and Faculty Senate had unanimously approved that code, there is no need to go through the code line by line and that it is time to vote to put the document in the FSRR in the section designated 7.1 (pending).  Mike Williams felt this is pre-mature and that there should be discussion of the code.  He said that what is in front of the senate now is the best we have, and that the code is never really finished.  He pointed out that a lot of work has been done by the Faculty President, FRPR and the Vice Provost and that it would be to Faculty Senate’s benefit to allow today’s discussion of the distributed documents [the administration’s September 1, 2015 code, and Beisecker’s comments on the code] which reflect good-faith negotiations and address almost all the issues.  Carothers commented on the point of order saying that he thought Beisecker was still reporting to the senate; Beisecker agreed that was his inference.  Carothers went on to express that he did not understand why the body should not consider moving forward to something they can generally endorse.  Another member agreed that she did not infer Beisecker was advocating for or against the motion but said she wanted to be informed about what had happened from the time the April 16 code was approved until now in order to make an educated vote.  In the discussion that followed some of the senators asked for clarification of the distributed materials.  Reading from the University Senate Code Harrington said that Clark’s motion could not be acted on today since there had been no notification.  However Beisecker explained that the process had been fulfilled earlier.  Amalia Monroe-Gulick felt even if the code was gone through line by line, that the most problematic point was still Leave Without Pay, which needed to be discussed, adding that she had found in studying other policies no other regent school used Leave Without Pay punitively but rather referred to KBOR policy which talks about doing research at another institution. 

Mayhew’s moved to consider Clark’s motion.  Passed.  Clark’s motion that the Faculty Senate now embody in the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations Article VII Section 1 (FSRR 7.1) the code as passed unanimously on the 16th of April 2015 passed by a simple majority 16 to 11.

Carothers expressed that Faculty Senate is telling the administration that we aren’t considering any change but just sending it back, and that senate should consider looking at the code.  Monroe-Gulick felt the code should be sent back since there are core issues she doesn’t think Faculty Senate should give in on.  Harrington suggested looking at Beisecker’s comments; Beisecker added his disappointment that senate choose to not go through them.  Kathryn Clark reminded the senators that they had just voted to accept the April 2015 code, the matter was done and it was time to move on.  Expressing concern that the body will be shortchanged by not discussing the code today, Williams moved to circulate the document to the body and discuss the code at the next meeting.  Pam Keller seconded the motion.  In the discussion that followed Clark stated that the body had voted, and expressed disappointment that the vote was not being accepted.  Beisecker relinquished the chair to Keller so he could speak.  He explained the reason the senators hadn’t received September 1 code returned by the administration or his comments on the code earlier was because he was still negotiating with the administration yesterday.  He asked the Senate to look at his comments pointing out that most resolutions had been accepted and that there was a suggestion regarding Leave Without Pay.  Some senators expressed confusion and suggested the code be discussed.  There was a call to vote. 

Williams moved to circulate the code and Beisecker’s comments to the body and discuss at the next meeting.  Pam Keller seconded the motion.  Passed

OLD BUSINESS

None

NEW BUSINESS

None

No further business.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:15

Respectfully submitted,

Maureen Altman

 

MEMORANDUM

To:          Faculty Executive Committee

From:    Faculty Rights, Privileges and Responsibilities Committee (FRPR)

Date:     November 1, 2015

Re:         Comments on the September 3, 2015 Provost Office Recommended Changes to the Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct (FCRRC) as Passed by the Faculty Senate on April 16, 2015

 

FRPR has met and reviewed the changes that the Provost’s Office proposed for the FCRRC as passed by the Faculty Senate April 16, 2015.

FRPR is concerned that the changes proposed by the Office of the Provost (Memo from Vice Provost Hummert to Faculty Senate President Beisecker, September 3, 2015) represent:

  • A significant diminution of faculty rights,
  • A significant increase in the authority of the administration to unilaterally set policy and take disciplinary actions against a faculty member, and
  • A movement away from shared governance of the University.

Power over faculty rights

Issue:  Article I addresses those laws or policies that can override faculty rights.  The provost added “University policy” to the list of legal provisions that can override faculty rights. 

Recommendation: FRPR recommends that these changes not be adopted. 

Rationale: “University policy” as a generic abstraction currently can be set by the University administration without participation of University governance.  The Provost’s proposed language, in its use of this terminology, therefore permits the administration to override faculty rights by the simple adoption of a University policy. The University Policy Program in the University Policy Library identifies the hierarchy of policies from the law at the top, to KBOR policies next, and University policy next.  A code of faculty rights is needed to protect faculty members from University policy overriding those rights. http://policy.ku.edu/university-policy-program.

In addition, the Process for Developing a University Policy does not explicitly state that University Governance be included in the development of University policies.  Therefore, a code of faculty rights isneeded to articulate and affirm the collective acknowledgement of the need for shared governance of the University.  http://policy.ku.edu/policy-development-process

The proposed addition appears in the preamble to Article I, the preamble to Article III, Article III Section 10, and Article III Section 11. 

Changes to FCRRC

Issue: Article I details how the FCRRC can be changed.  The Provost’s office has introduced new language that makes changes to the FCRRC subject to approval by the Provost and Chancellor. 

Recommendation: FRPR recommends that these changes not be adopted. 

Rationale: Changes to faculty rights should be a matter for the Faculty Senate alone.  The AAUP informs FRPR that “Such Codes in other U.S. Universities do not give their Chancellors the power of changing their contents.” (Memo to FRPR from AAUP, March 28, 2015.)

Enumerated faculty rights

Article III enumerates faculty rights.

Right 3: The right to participate in the determination of policy

Issue: Right number 3 states that faculty members have the right to participate in the determination of school, department and university policies and procedures.  The Provost’s proposed language dilutes this right from that of determination of policy to that of having input in its determination by the administration.

Recommendation: FRPR recommends that these changes not be adopted.

Rationale:  The changes proposed by the Provost reduce the faculty’s rights to share in the determination of policy to only the right to participate in the development of policies and procedures.  Of concern is that this change privileges the administration to assume the authority for setting policy without full faculty participation in the determination of policy. If both the administration and faculty are to operate from a position that upholds the standard of shared governance, then faculty members – via faculty governance – should have the right to participate in the determination of school, department, and university policies and procedures.  (See comments above on the shortcomings of the current University Policy Program)

Right 4: The right to participate in the determination of assignments and responsibilities

Right 4 states that faculty members have the right to participate in the determination of teaching and other responsibilities.  The changes proposed by the Provost reduce the faculty’s rights to the ability to provide input. 

Recommendation: FRPR recommends that these changes not be adopted.

Rationale:  The proposed changes invite abuse as administrators can assume the authority to set assignments and procedures without meaningful faculty participation in the decision. This raises a similar concern as Right 3 above, in that this change privileges the administration to assume the authority for setting assignments and responsibilities without full faculty participation in the determination of these assignments. Again, if both the administration and faculty are to operate from a position that upholds the standard of shared governance, then faculty members – via faculty governance – should have the right to participate in the determination of teaching and other responsibilities. 

Right 5: The right to know about personnel files

Issue: Right 5 established the right of individual faculty members to know about personnel files held on the individual faculty member. The Provost proposes to strike this right.

Recommendation: FRPR recommends that these changes not be adopted.

Rationale:  This section expresses the fundamental right of any faculty member to be informed of any files that the administration holds upon the faculty member. 

Right 7: The right to due process in all disciplinary matters

Issue: Right 7 states that all faculty members have a right to due process in all disciplinary matters.  The Provost’s proposed changes eliminate the faculty right to due process, in essence replacing a peer review process with an a priori presumption of guilt in all matters of potential disciplinary action. 

Recommendation:   FRPR recommends that these changes not be adopted.

Rationale: The right of a faculty member to a hearing has been struck and replaced with a right to appeal a decision after it has been made and a sanction imposed.  Due process should apply to all aspects of disciplinary proceedings, not just to appeals after the fact. This is inconsistent with current language in the Faculty and Unclassified Handbook which calls for due process for all faculty in any dispute resolution (See page 37.) http://policy.ku.edu/sites/policy.ku.edu/files/FacultyandUnclassifiedStaffHandbook_20150406.pdf.

Right 17: Reduction of compensation

Issue: Right 17 states that faculty compensation may be reduced only as specified in University and Board of Regents policy or state law.  The Provost’s proposed changes eliminate this right entirely.

Recommendation:   FRPR recommends that these changes not be adopted.

Rationale:  If this right is eliminated, the administration has few boundaries on its ability to reduce compensation for tenured or tenure-track faculty. See Policy Statement: Limitations on the Reduction of the Salary of an Exempt Employee http://policy.ku.edu/human-resources/exempt-salary-reductions

Administrative Leave

Issue: Article V sets the standards under which a faculty member may be placed on administrative leave.  The Provost’s proposed changes alter the Article to administrative leave without pay and reduce a faculty member’s rights to only a right to appeal the process after administrative actions have been taken.

Recommendation:   FRPR recommends that these changes not be adopted.

Rationale: Article V originally set limits on the ability of the administration to impose administrative leave.  The Article limited such leave to situations where the conduct of a faculty threatened the safety of members of the University community.

The Provost proposes to revise the Article so that it can impose administrative leave without pay.  This sanction can be imposed when the administration views “a faculty member’s failure to perform a primary job responsibility amounts to abandonment of duties.” With the many and varied commitments on a faculty member’s time in matters of teaching, scholarship and service, such a singular accounting for the threshold of abandonment could likely be arbitrarily applied to any faculty member at any time, and for any length of time. Administrative leave requested by the faculty member and granted by the administration, as allowed by Boards of Regents Policy, can be mutually beneficial for short term activities outside of the normal expectations in teaching, research and service. In contrast, administrative leave without pay imposed on a faculty member by the administration is a tangible sanction, and a faculty member should not have leave with or without pay imposed without due process.  It should be imposed only in the most serious circumstances where conduct threatens the safety of a University community member.  It should be imposed only after proper notice, findings of facts and hearings.  The faculty member should have full rights before the imposition of the leave and these rights should not be reduced to the right to an appeal after the administration imposes the leave.

Sanctions

Issue: Article VI specifies faculty rights when sanctions are imposed as part of disciplinary action.  The proposed changes by the Provost removes the faculty member’s rights to due process and the right to a hearing, in essence replacing a peer review process with an a priori presumption of guilt in all matters of potential disciplinary action. 

Recommendation:   FRPR recommends that these changes not be adopted.

Rationale: Faculty members must have full due process rights during any disciplinary action including the right to ask for a hearing before the designated faculty body; faculty members must not wait until after a sanction has been imposed to gain rights.  These due process rights are part of the Faculty and Unclassified Staff Handbook, see page 37. http://policy.ku.edu/sites/policy.ku.edu/files/FacultyandUnclassifiedStaffHandbook_20150406.pdf.

 

Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct - 9/1/15 Draft

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 


 


 


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