Faculty Rights, Privileges and Responsibilities FY2015

Committee Details:

Committee: Faculty Rights, Privileges, and Responsibilities
Committee Category: Standing Committees of the Faculty Senate
Fiscal Year: 2015

Committee Description

Faculty Rights, Privileges and Responsibilities (FRPR):This committee monitors the implementation of policies concerning faculty rights, privileges, and responsibilities, reviews and develops policy proposals on these issues, and communicates with faculty concerning their rights, privileges, and responsibilities.

Membership: members of the Faculty serving staggered three year terms.


Chair: Jan Sheldon, Applied Behavioral Science (2015)

Nancy Kinnersley, EECS, (2017)

Mario Medina, Civil/Environ/Arch Engineering (2015)

James Thorp, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (2015)

Kirk McClure, Urban Planning, (2015)

Amalia Monroe-Gulick, Libraries, (2016)

Rick Hale, Aerospace Engineering, (2016)

Laura Hines, Law (2016)


Approved by FacEx: June 3, 2014
Approved by Faculty Senate: September 11, 2014

  • For further information or to schedule a meeting with FacExto discuss charges or the committee’s work, contact FacEx Chair Jim Carothers at jbc@ku.edu.
  • Minutes of each meeting should be e-mailed to the Governance Office (govern@ku.edu) as soon as they are approved.  The minutes will be posted to the Governance web site.
  • If the committee is recommending a change to university policy or rules, FacEx must officially receive that recommendation by 03/31/15 in order to meet timeline requirements for full review by Governance.
  • Please send a report of the committee’s actions on each of the charges, as well as any recommendations the committee wishes to make concerning charges or membership for the following academic year, to University Governance, at govern@ku.edu. Please include the names of committee members and submit the report by April 1, 2015. If the committee still expects to conduct business after April 1, please submit a report by April 1 and later submit any addenda that may be appropriate.

Standing charges:

As circumstances require:

  1. Monitor the implementation of university policies related to the rights and responsibilities of the faculty, including the following general areas (1) appointments, promotions, granting of tenure, and non-reappointments; (2) merit evaluations, rewards and sabbatical leaves; (3) protection of the faculty’s right to privacy; and (4) intellectual property.Review all current policy statements regarding these matters to ensure that they are adequate, appropriate, and readily available to all faculty members.  Report issues, problems, and recommendations to FacEx (ongoing).
  2. Respond to inquiries and address issues regarding faculty rights, privileges, and responsibilities (as they arise). 
  3. Communicate with representatives of the AAUP regarding their concerns relating to faculty rights, privileges and responsibilities.  Report issues, problems, and recommendations to FacEx (ongoing).

Specific charges:  

  1. Conduct a survey to assess present faculty responses to the Core Curriculum and its implementation.
  2. Be prepared to consider subsequent recommendations for change in the Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, and make appropriate analysis, comments, and recommendations to FacEx.        
  3. Consider whether KU should adopt a policy concerning excused absences for university activities.  If the recommendation is to adopt such a policy, provide suggested language for the policy.  Report the committee’s recommendation and rationale to FacEx.
  4. Review and summarize current Institutional Opportunity and Access (IOA) programs and procedures pertaining to faculty responsibilities regarding sexual harassment and discrimination.

Meeting Minutes

September 30, 2014 (PDF)

October 7, 2014 (PDF)

October 21, 2014 (PDF)

November 4, 2014 (PDF)

November 18, 2014 (PDF)

December 2, 2014 (PDF)

February 16, 2015 (PDF)

March 2, 2015 (PDF)

March 23, 2015 (PDF)

Final Reports and Outcomes

FRPR – Actions FY2016

Faculty Code of Rights Responsibilities and Conduct

On September 24, 2014, Kathleen Levy on behalf of Professor Jim Carothers, Chair, faculty Senate Executive Committee, sent a copy of revisions to the proposed Code that had been suggested by the Provost’s office with responses from FacEx.

We discussed the Faculty Code that Jim Carothers sent out to all faculty.  We had a number of concerns:

  1. In the preamble, there is a statement that any changes to the Code would need to be approved by the Provost. Many FRPR committee members felt that this gave ownership of the Code to the Provost and that faculty were subservient to the Provost. This did not appear to be appropriate for a Faculty Code.
  2. Members felt that faculty should be notified of any change to their personnel file and that faculty should have access to their files.
  3. Members had concerns about the ability of the University to obtain restitution as a sanction.
  4. Members had concerns about the ability of administrators to impose Administrative Leave Without Pay without due process.

The proposed Code will be discussed at the Faculty Senate meeting on March 26th at 3:30. All FRPR members were encouraged to attend this meeting.

The Faculty Senate asked FRPR to review and comment on the proposed Faculty Code that has been approved by the Provost. We spent the meeting reviewing each section of the proposed Code and suggesting revisions. Jan will send these to FacEx and ask for their approval. 

The Faculty Code was approved by Faculty Senate on April 16, 2015.  After the 21 day review, it was forwarded to the Provost on May 14, 2015.  

Core Curriculum Survey

Amalia stated that there are approximately 1700 faculty, and she had received over 116 survey responses. She would like a reminder to be sent out asking faculty to respond if they have not done so already.  The report is attached.        

Excused absences for university activities

The committee continued their discussion of excused absences for university activities. Members reviewed the “Attendance Policy Research” that provided research and information on KU’s current policy as well as the policies from our AAU peers and other universities in Kansas. There was much discussion to ensure that we considered the relevant issues and concerns. The committee revised the statement that we had considered at the November 4th meeting to indicate a stronger statement that there should not be a policy that requires faculty to excuse absences for athletes or any student who is in a university-sponsored activity. We additionally added language regarding other AAU peer and in-state universities. Our statement to be sent to University governance is the following:

The committee strongly believes that requiring faculty to excuse absences for athletes or any student who is in a university-sponsored activity infringes on the faculty member’s academic freedom to determine how student performance in a course is evaluated. Requiring this overrides the faculty member’s ability to determine what constitutes an excused or unexcused absence. The committee feels that there should be no university rule that requires this. Moreover, the committee notes that the majority of KU’s AAU and in-state peer universities have reached the same conclusion. Additionally, the committee feels that athletes should be treated in the same manner as any student involved in a university-sponsored activity.

A FacEx meeting occurred during the week of December 8th, where Jim Carothers presented our recommendation to not institute a policy requiring instructors to excuse absences for university activities. After Jim Carothers presented our recommendation, no one opposed it, so it was accepted by consensus rather than on a vote.

Inquiry from the university community

Faculty have contacted FRPR committee members asking when the university community will be notified as to whether the Provost will be retained (following his 5-year review). Jan will ask University governance this question.  On behalf of an inquiry that came from a faculty member, Jan asked University Governance when the university community will be informed about the outcome of the review of the Provost. She was informed that after a 5-year review, no information regarding the outcome of the review is released.

Social Media Policy

The Social Media Policy will affect faculty, the FRPR committee will ask University Governance about whether the FRPR committee will be allowed to comment on this policy before it is approved. 

The committee proposed suggested changes. Additionally, the committee had concerns about the time periods in which the review panels/boards were required to make their determinations. A suggested change was proposed to address this issue.

 FPRP forwarded suggested revisions to the Social Media Policy Procedures. Jonathan emailed me the next day indicating that he and Jim had met with the Provost that day (February 26th) and that the Provost was open to some changes that would address the majority of our concerns.


Faculty responsibilities regarding sexual harassment and discrimination

The committee began discussions on our fourth charge: “Review and summarize current Institutional Opportunity and Access (IOA) programs and procedures pertaining to faculty responsibilities regarding sexual harassment and discrimination.” Jan provided some background information on this topic. In order to address this charge, the committee felt that we need the following information from University Governance:

An electronic copy of the current Sexual Harassment and Discrimination policy       

Any mandates that are given to faculty regarding Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

Are faculty mandated reporters?

Our committee is having difficulty understanding what we should be addressing with respect to this charge. As we understand the current policy, faculty are mandated reporters. We are not sure what additionally we should do if we become aware of a situation involving sexual harassment or sexual discrimination. Jan will email Jim Carothers and ask for clarification regarding this charge.

Jan emailed Jim Carothers asking for clarification of our charge regarding faculty responsibilities regarding sexual harassment or sexual discrimination. Jim at first responded that perhaps we should look at “frequently asked questions” that IOA may have received about this. He subsequently emailed saying that he had been interviewed by a UDK reporter regarding this issue and was reminded that he took an on-line training. He personally felt that if a student reported an apparent case of sexual harassment, he would encourage the student to report it himself/herself; he would feel that it was a violation of confidence for him to report it. Thus, he now believes that his response to our inquiry should be: “As all faculty were advised of the Sexual Harassment procedures by (method and date), there seems no immediate need for FRPR to review, etc. anything further at the present time.” The question still remains about whether faculty completely understand their reporting responsibilities even though they have taken the online tutorial.

Faculty Rights, Privileges and Responsibilities FY2015