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Professional Affairs

Professional Affairs

Professional Affairs Committee
2007-08 Year-End Report
May 7, 2008

Members: Althaus, Chamberlain, Conway, Journet, Mims, Scott, Smith, Sofo, Speer, Zhang

The Professional Affairs Committee met ten times during the year, beginning on August 22 and concluding on April 9. Additionally, the Committee constituted a drafting subcommittee to develop draft versions of the legislation on the Promotion and Tenure policy and the Merit Pay policy. That group met approximately ten times, including Semester Break, Spring Break, a Saturday, and multiple Friday afternoons. Throughout the year, the Committee worked on these issues:

1. Promotion and Tenure Policy: The Committee developed and refined multiple draft versions of an Omnibus Tenure and Promotion Bill, combining the previous Handbook policies on Promotion and on Tenure. Revision and improvements to those polices were added, based upon the research conducted by the committee over the three previous years. The new bill combines tenure and promotion, revises the process for approving departmental criteria and for consideration of faculty member dossiers, and changes the makeup and selection process of the University Tenure, Promotion, and Sabbatical Appeals Advisory Committee. In addition, the bill incorporates the Post-Professorial Merit provisions from the previous Merit Pay Policy. The President has indicated his support for the final version of the bill, and it is anticipated that it will be approved by the Board.

2. Merit Pay Policy: The Committee was charged with making recommendations regarding the existing Handbook policy on Merit Pay, as that policy was due to sunset at the end of the Spring 2008 semester. The Committee developed a bill that essentially maintained the existing policy regarding the annual merit program for all faculty, and the separate merit pay program for non-tenure-track faculty. The provisions dealing with Post-Professorial Merit were removed from this policy and added to the new Tenure and Promotion policy. The bill created a process for establishing departmental criteria for non-tenure-track merit, and defined the process for consideration of non-tenure-track faculty dossiers. The President has indicated his support for the final version of the bill, and it is anticipated that it will be approved by the Board.

3. Intellectual Property Rights: Two members of the Committee were asked to serve on a Presidential Ad Hoc Committee on Intellectual Property Rights policy, chaired by Kent Library Director Ed Buis. That Committee met throughout the Fall and Spring semesters, addressing the issues raised by the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Intellectual Property Rights Task Force in its report to the Senate at the end of the Spring 2007 semester. The Buis Committee is developing recommendations that will be reported publicly at a later date, and that will be considered through various appropriate policy recommending bodies.

4. Emeritus Faculty: The Committee recommended to the Senate nine bills containing the names of eleven retiring faculty members eligible for conferral of Emeritus status. The Senate approved those bills unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,
Rick Althaus, Chair

(recommendations for 2008-2009 agenda on following page)

Faculty Senate Professional Affairs Committee
Recommended Agenda Items

To prepare recommendations to the Senate for implementation of the new Tenure and Promotion Policy, and to volunteer to inform various faculty groups about the new provisions.

As a part of the above, to constitute a working group, including various faculty from CSTL and elsewhere, to clarify what constitutes “best practices” and “sound statistical principles” for the voluntary reporting of Student Evaluation of Instruction data.

To study and make recommendations regarding possible changes to existing Faculty Development Policy.

To continue to monitor and advocate regarding the Senate's positions on the issues of Student Evaluation of Instruction and Nondiscrimination regarding Sexual Orientation

To continue the routine processing of recommendations concerning Emeritus status for retiring faculty.