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Faculty Senate - 4/14/16

Faculty Senate
April 14, 2016 - 4:30am
Green Hall-Room 203

(This meeting may be electronically recorded.)


   I.       Approval of minutes from April 7, 2016

  II.      Report of Faculty Senate President

 III.      Discussion of Faculty Code

IV.      Old Business

  V.      New Business       





April 14, 2016–3:30–203 Green Hall


Approved as amended April 21, 2016

Clark said Rights 3 & 4 should read “no agreement reached” rather than “accepted except for impartial”. [Writer’s note: this necessitated the addition of The Senate disagreed with the administration’s change from “consistent and unbiased” to “Impartial”; Senate wants “consistent and unbiased” retained for the sake of clarity].  He also noted that Right 6 should be changed from “accepted” to “no agreement reached”, and the last sentence under Right 14 should read “owner of faculty code is claimed to be the Provost.  Pam Keller added clarification to the last line of page 1: the absence of the word “consistent” doesn’t mean you can’t use inconsistent treatment to show a standard something wasn’t rightly applied;

MEMBERS PRESENT: Faculty Tom Beisecker, Mike Williams, Mary Banwart, Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, Jim Carothers, Jay Childers, Jonathan Clark, Michael Davidson, Christopher Fischer, Andrea Greenhoot, Lynn Hancock, Joe Harrington, Kissan Joseph, Pamela Keller, Paul Laird, Jason Matejkowski, Amalia Monroe-Gulick, Bozenna Pasik-Duncan, Angela Rathmel, Geraldo Sousa;  Bill Staples, Dean Stetler, Belinda Sturm, Barbara Timmermann, Susan Williams, Lisa Wolf-Wendell


ABSENT: Philip Baringer, Kelly Chong, Chris Elles (excused), Charles Epp (excused), Pam Fine, Lisa Friis, Majid Hannoum (excused), Weishi Liu, Jonathan Mayhew (excused), Mario Medina, Steve Padget, Meagan Patterson (excused), Roberta Freund Schwartz


ALSO PRESENT: Maureen Altman and Kathy Reed, University Governance; Sara Rosen, Interim Provost; Mary Lee Hummert, Vice Provost for Faculty Development.   


Tom Beisecker called the meeting to order and announced that the meeting was being recorded. 


MINUTES for April 7, 2016 were approved with a correction.  In the first sentence the word “called” had been omitted. 



Beisecker reported that following the last Faculty Senate meeting he spoke with Mary Lee Hummert about the Faculty’s decision to retain “consistent and unbiased” rather than accept the administration’s “impartial”.  The administration does not approve; impartial is the language the administration approves in place of “consistent and unbiased”.



Pam Keller moved that the Faculty Senate move to a Committee of the Whole to go over the document distributed by Beisecker which is a side by side comparison of the current 1971 Faculty Code and the Faculty Code draft.  Mike Williams seconded.  Keller/Williams.  Passed with two nays.  Williams, who authored the side by side comparison document, explained that the left side of the document showed the 1971 current Faculty Code and the right side was an aggregation of the Faculty Code draft passed by Faculty Senate in April 2015 with all conversations with the administration.  Responding to Angela Rathmel’s question about the absence of color-coded changes which were in previous drafts, Beisecker explained that the right side of the document was an amalgamation of negotiated agreements, changes, FRPR input, etc., and was acceptable to the administration. 

The Senate continued discussion at Article III Right 3 where they had left off at the last meeting.  Since the administration’s substitution of “impartial” for “consistent and unbiased” occurred in other rights to be considered, discussion about that language ensued.  In response to the question of why the administration wanted “impartial” rather than “consistent and unbiased” Mary Lee Hummert said “impartial”, has a clear standard, is often used in promotion and tenure, and seems appropriate, simple.  Referring to the discussion of the last meeting, Jonathan Clark noted that while “impartial” is a good word, “consistent” can be applied across units; Sousa agreed that “impartial” was used on a case by case basis whereas “consistent” would apply across time.  Noting that finding the exact words is very difficult, Keller pointed out that since “consistent” could be used across departments it could be a concern, for example, Law faculty being judged in the same way as English faculty.  She also noted that “consistent” means nothing ever changes and there is no evolution over time.  Keller said that “consistent” is a difficult word in law and can be manipulated, adding that the absence of the word “consistent” doesn’t mean you can’t use inconsistent treatment to show a standard wasn’t rightly applied; inconsistency could still be argued without the word consistent being in the Faculty Code.  Clark suggested possibly proposing all three words impartial, consistence, and unbiased. 

The Senate continued item by item discussion.

Article III, Right 3.  No agreement reached

Faculty members shall have the right to participate in the determination of school, department, and University policies and procedures consistent with the principles of shared governance. Faculty members have the right to impartial treatment in the application of school, depart­ment, and university policies and decisions.

While “University policy/ies” remains contested language in many areas throughout the draft, Beisecker pointed out that in Right 3 the term is advantageous to faculty since it allows faculty to participate in the determination of University policies.  The Senate disagreed with the administration’s change from “consistent and unbiased” to “Impartial”; Senate wants “consistent and unbiased” retained.

Article III, Right 4.  No agreement reached

Faculty members have the right to participate in the determination of their teaching, administrative, and oth­er university assignments and responsibilities, subject to FSRR 5.7.1 and 5.7.2 and applicable school and unit pol­icies. This right recognizes that the proportions of time and energy devoted to teaching, advising, research, ser­vice, administration, and other responsibilities may vary from individual to individual, and for the same individual over time. Faculty members have the right to impartial treatment in the application of university policies and procedures for the evaluation of their performance of these responsibilities, including the right to participate in that evaluation.

The Senate disagreed with the administration’s change from “consistent and unbiased” to “Impartial”; Senate wants “consistent and unbiased” retained.

Article III, Right 5.  Accepted

Faculty members have a right to be informed about personnel files that contain information about them. Faculty personnel files are maintained by the Provost’s Office, Human Resources, the college/school or compa­rable unit, and the department(s) or comparable units(s) in which the faculty member is appointed. Subject to the provisions of FSRR 7.2, the faculty member shall have the right to examine the contents of such files and notify the Provost of any inaccuracies or missing informa­tion in the files.

Beisecker explained that the first and last sentences are essentially a retention of the language from the April 2015 Faculty Code draft.  The middle sentence is language from the administration designed to explain where files can be found.


Article III, Right 6.  No agreement reached

Faculty members have a right to be secure in their persons, offices, papers, and effects against unlawful searches and seizures.

Responding to the question whether this right included electronic files Beisecker said he would check with administration.

Action: Beisecker will ask the administration if this includes electronic files)


Article III, Right 7.  Accepted

Faculty members have a right to due process in all disciplinary matters. Faculty members have the right to peer judgment through the hearing process. The sanc­tions listed in Article VI of this Code may not be imposed upon a faculty member without notice of the charges against him or her and the opportunity to request a hearing before the Judicial Board or the Faculty Rights Board. The Judicial Board shall have jurisdiction if the recommended sanction is a “warning” or “restitution.” The Faculty Rights Board shall have jurisdiction in all other cases. If the faculty member requests a hearing, the University will stay imposition of the sanction pend­ing disposition of the request. The opportunity for a faculty member to request a hearing before the Judicial Board or the Faculty Rights Board is subject to Universi­ty Senate Code, University Senate Rules & Regulations, and Faculty Senate Rules & Regulations as applicable. The Office of University Governance can provide further information.

Beisecker explained that the administration agreed to retain “hearing” which they had changed to “appeal”.  Keller noted that “the right to peer judgment” is important.


Article III, Right 8.  Accepted

Faculty members, groups, and organizations may in­vite and hear any persons of their own choosing, subject only to the requirements for use of University facilities, the University policies on fundraising, political activity, and solicitation, the Board of Regents policies on politi­cal activity and solicitation, and other relevant policies.


Article III, Right 9.  Accepted

University facilities shall be made available for assign­ment to faculty members, individually or in groups, even though not formally organized, subject to University and Board of Regents policies on facilities use. Preference may be given to programs designed for audiences con­sisting of members of the University community.


Article III, Right 10.  Accepted

Faculty members, groups, or organizations may dis­tribute written or electronic material on campus without prior approval so long as the distribution is consistent with University and Board of Regents policy and state and federal law. The person or persons responsible for such material must be clearly indicated.


Article III, Right 11.  No agreement reached

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 compliance with applicable University and Board of Regents policies (e.g., travel, conflict of interest, leaves, class schedules, etc.).

Barrett-Gonzalez had concerns about “University policies”.  Geraldo Sousa felt that “University policies” was acceptable in this case.  Harrington noted that FRPR did not accept Right 11.  Barrett-Gonzalez expressed concerns about “conflict of interest” which he felt could be used in many ways.  Williams reminded Senate that Right 3 allows faculty to participate in the determination of University policies.


Article III, Right 12.  No agreement reached

Faculty members have the right to engage in a lim­ited amount of outside work, for pay or without pay, in accordance with state ethics laws and Board of Regents and University policy on commitment of time, conflict of interest, consulting, and other employment.

Barrett-Gonzalez expressed concerns about Intellectual Policy; Clark suggested we flag Right 12 for future consideration.


Article III, Right 13. Accepted

Faculty members have a right to legal defense as specified by the Kansas Tort Claims Act.

Carothers noted that the intention has been that links to the Kansas Tort Claims Act would be inserted.


Article III, Right 14No agreement reached.

Faculty members have the right to be evaluated an­nually according to University policy. Each faculty mem­ber shall receive from the departmental chairperson or dean a written statement evaluating his/her performance during the preceding year. Typically, the faculty member will be evaluated on teaching, scholarship, service, and/ or professional performance consistent with University and unit expectations, the position, and approved allo­cation of effort.

Concerns were again expressed about “University Policy”.  Hummert pointed out that in this right it was in the original draft approved by Faculty Senate; Reed added that it was language from FRPR.  In response to Clark’s suggestion that “according to the policy of the faculty member’s unit” be substituted for “University policy”, Banwart said that in some cases “University policy” offers protection in stating a clear policy when the unit doesn’t know the policy.  Clark asked whether the definition “University policy” is the aggregation of all policies or whether it concerns what is in the Policy Library.  He also expressed concerns that if policy is owned by the Provost, faculty would be subject to who the particular Provost is.  Rosen explained that the Policy Library is an amalgamation of all the policies passed by all units and every policy has an owner.  She further explained that all policies are not approved by the Provost, in fact several are not; Hummert cited the example of promotion and tenure policies which are approved first by the faculty and dean and then forwarded the Faculty Senate Committee on Standards and Procedures on Promotion and Tenure (SPPT).  Williams reiterated that Article III Right 3 which states that faculty can participate in University policy had already been accepted by Faculty Senate.  Clark pointed out that the owner of the Faculty Code claimed to be the Provost.


Article III, Right 15.  No agreement reached.  

Tenured faculty may be removed only for cause, in cases of program discontinuation, or in cases of bona fide financial exigency consistent with FSRR 6.1.2. The University will follow established policies and proce­dures in such cases.

Beisecker explained that administration has agreed to retain 6.1.2 which refers to promotion and tenure.  Clark said “burden of proof”, deleted by the administration should be retained; Sousa agreed.  Harrington expressed concern about what the “established policies and procedures” in the last sentence referred to, and asked whether the sentence should be deleted or if Senate could receive more precise information. Barrett-Gonzalez suggested adding, “as articulated in section 6 and section 7”.


Article III, Right 16.  Accepted

Faculty members have the right to utilize applica­ble grievance procedures without retaliation.

Beisecker explained that the only change from the April 2015 Faculty Code draft was that the administration deleted “fear of”.


Right 19 from the April 2015 draft

Faculty members may not be subject to punishment or reprisal for the exercise of such rights and privileges. 

Senate agreed that Right 19 should be restored.


Carothers asked when Senate will take up considerations of this document.  Beisecker said he hopes to take up considerations this week and report back conversations with the administration, as well as possible solutions, to Senate at next week’s meeting.



Jim Carothers asked about the status of Post Tenure Review.  Beisecker said the policy is in effect and explained that there is currently a Faculty Senate Ad Hoc PTR committee; Reed noted that the committee is currently conducting a survey. 





Geraldo Sousa thanked Beisecker for all his work on the Faculty Code.  Several members applauded.


No further business.  The meeting was adjourned at 5:05

Respectfully submitted,

Maureen Altman


Meeting Handout

Side by Side Code Comparison

1971 and April 16, 2016 Faculty Code (side by side)


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