FACULTY SENATE MINUTES

May 28th, 2003

Officers attending: Pam Chambers, President; Cindy Beckett, Vice President; Fred Thomas, Secretary

Senators attending: Jim Brooks, Susan Callender, Frank Clay, Roxann DeLaet, Kenneth Melendez, Jackie Myers, Nick Reeder, Shari Rethman, Ellen Rosengarten,

Senators not attending: Rick Jurus, Vann Rogers, Marsha Wamsley

Others attending: Laurel Mayer

Pam called the meeting to order at 2:37 in Room 9207.

1.      Minutes

Deferred.

2.      Announcements

None.

3.      Handbook Changes

Cindy distributed updated versions of the earlier proposals to change Handbook sections 2.7.3.1 (Criteria for Promotion to Assistant Professor), 2.7.3.2 (Criteria for Promotion to Associate Professor) 2.7.3.3 (Criteria for Promotion to Professor) and 2.7.5 (Criteria for Tenure). She also distributed a revised draft of proposed changes to the instructions and forms for promotion and tenure to be made available on the Sinclair intranet for use by faculty who are applying for tenure. (attachment FSMA030528-03a)

Cindy explained that the revised proposals had been further reviewed by the Academic Policies Committee and by Dr. Jacobs and that they incorporated suggestions made by Senate in its earlier discussion. Senate needed to provide final approval immediately if the proposed changes were to be submitted to the Board of Trustees in time for implementation in the 2003-04 Handbook. She explained that the intent of the changes was to clarify the instructions and to make the Handbook sequence and format more consistent with the application materials.

Jackie, Jim, Shari, Nick and others raised issues about the Critical Performance Areas (CPAs) that need to be addressed in an application for promotion. Applicants are expected to demonstrate potential contributions in the additional CPAs for their projected rank, as well as to demonstrate competence in the CPAs for their current rank. Jim and Jackie also suggested ways to make it clearer that the required narrative must be no more than ten pages long. It can be shorter than ten pages, and the ten-page limit applies only to the narrative itself not to the summary or the other components of the application. Cindy agreed to clarify those points with the suggested changes in wording. Cindy moved to approve the changes to the Handbook sections and the application materials as modified, and Shari seconded. The motion passed.

Ken explained the proposed change he distributed earlier to Handbook section 2.7.2, Operation of the Promotion and Tenure Committee (attachment FSMA030528-03b). Ken explained that the intent of the proposed change was to insure that the faculty applicant had an opportunity to respond to issues that might be raised by others within the Promotion and Tenure Committee meeting. In response to a procedural question from Fred, Cindy explained that these proposed changes were being initiated within Senate and had not yet been reviewed by the Academic Policies Committee or other groups; therefore they could not be submitted to the Board of Trustees in time for implementation in the 2003-04 Handbook.

There was extensive discussion about the proposed change to section 2.7.2. Frank, Ellen, Jim and others expressed their agreement with the need to provide additional assurances for due process within this important process. Fred also expressed his agreement, but he was concerned that some faculty may not want the reasons for denial put into writing as required in the proposed change. He suggested that a written explanation for denial should only be prepared when requested by the faculty member. Cindy and others emphasized the need for the Committee to function in a timely and efficient manner, without unnecessary steps. Ken moved that Senate give initial approval to the proposed change to section 2.7.2 incorporating Fred’s suggested modification. Roxann seconded, and  the motion passed. Ken agreed to prepare the proposal as a formal Senate recommendation, including a written rationale and data about the impact on Sinclair.

Ken explained the proposed change to section 2.7.5, Criteria for Tenure (attachment FSMA030528-03c). Rather than requiring every applicant for tenure to have earned at least one promotion, the requirement would simply be to have achieved at least the rank of Assistant Professor. After discussion about different potential situations, Susan moved to modify the proposal so that the requirement for a promotion would be removed only in the case of faculty members who are hired at the rank of full Professor. Shari seconded the motion, and the motion passed. Ken will prepare the modified proposal as a formal recommendation for further consideration by Senate and other groups.

Ken explained proposed changes to section 2.7.4, Tenure: General Information (attachment FSMA030528-03d). The change would remove the statement that “Contracts of faculty members who have not been granted tenure by the end of their seventh year of full-time contractual employment will not be renewed.” Cindy moved to grant initial approval to the proposed change and Ken seconded. After discussion, the motion failed.

Susan moved to clarify the statement in section 2.7.4 about faculty not granted tenure by the end of their seventh year by adding the phase, “as outlined in section 2.9.1.” Jackie seconded, and the motion passed.

Ken moved to delete the reference to AAUP guidelines from Handbook section 2.9.1, Failure to Achieve Tenure (attachment FSMA030528-03e) and Jim seconded. Ken explained that he felt the AAUP guidelines were cumbersome and not suited to the community college environment. Others felt the guidelines were useful in showing a link to national standards. After discussion, the motion failed.

Ken moved to add the phrase “have been eligible for tenure at least two years and” to Handbook section 2.9.1 (attachment FSMA030528-03e) and Jim seconded. Ken explained that a faculty member could now lose eligibility to apply for tenure, for example, by assuming temporary administrative duties, and should not be dismissed on that basis. Shari said that the proposed change could also lead to abuses, for example, by a faculty member who might decline to apply for promotion in order to avoid becoming eligible for tenure. Ellen emphasized the need to protect all faculty in any revisions Senate might propose. After further discussion the motion failed.

Cindy distributed a revised version of the proposed change to section 2.6.1, Faculty/Administrative Performance Review: General Information (attachment FSMA030528-03f). The proposal is intended to clarify the timing of FAPRs and other events for faculty hired to start during the academic, rather than on September 1. She explained that the proposal had been modified by Academic Policies Committee to incorporate concerns raised in Senate about the clarity of how unconventional start dates impact promotion, tenure and other key events. Under the revised proposal, an initial year that does not consist of three academic quarters would not count as one of the required years for promotion or tenure. Cindy moved to approve the handbook change, and Shari seconded. The motion passed.

Cindy moved to approve changes to section 2.8.3, Professor Emeritus (attachment FSMA030528-03g). The changes will improve the nomination process. The motion passed.

Cindy moved to approve changes to the application form for College-wide merit as recommended by the Merit Committee (attachment FSMA030528-03h). The motion passed.

Cindy moved to approve changes to section 2.4.5, Faculty Workload (attachment FSMA030528-03i). Paragraphs 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the section are being modified to reflect the limits on payload hours and the increased overload and summer pay rates that resulted from the recent FITs discussions. Nick said that paragraph 17 (numbered as paragraph 4 in the 2002-03 Handbook) seemed to be deleting the requirement that faculty grant their consent before being assigned additional overload. Cindy agreed to amend the motion by adding the phrase “with the consent of the faculty member” to paragraph 17.

Shari proposed another change, asking to combine special adjunct faculty and part-time faculty as having equal standing within the hierarchy of preference for the preparation of faculty schedules (paragraph 10-e). Cindy indicated that she would present this suggestion to Dr. Jacobs for consideration either this year or next. The motion to approve section 2.4.5 (including the amendment to paragraph 17) passed.

Cindy moved to approve changes to Handbook section 2.4.10.2, Department Chairperson’s Salary (attachment FSMA030528-03j), updating the chairperson’s stipend as specified in the FITs discussions. The motion passed.

Cindy moved to approve changes to Handbook section 2.4.10.1, Faculty Salary Ranges (attachment FSMA030528-03k), updating the salary ranges as specified in the recent FITs discussions. The motion passed.

Cindy noted that the previously approved policy on distance learning development does not fit within the Handbook’s current numbering system, and its insertion may change the number assigned to many Handbook sections.

4.      Elections

Pam summarized concerns about the election of Senate officers held during the 2003 Spring Faculty Assembly meeting. The combined number of Assembly members present and those submitting proxies fell a few votes short of the one-third of all members required for a quorum. Fred expressed his concern that Senate had declared at least one previous Assembly vote regarding membership invalid because that meeting lacked a quorum, and he felt Senate needed to be consistent in how it interprets its Constitution and Bylaws. Others noted that it has often been difficult to achieve a quorum for Senate elections and that the quorum requirement might be different for elections than it is for other votes.

Cindy moved to declare the previous vote null and void, and Fred seconded. The motion passed.

Cindy moved to call another Assembly meeting at which Assembly members can vote on a drop-in basis, and the motion passed. She and Pam will organize the meeting.

5.      Open Forum

5.1.           Pam said she was concerned that there may not have been a quorum when she was elected two years ago. Fred, Cindy and others expressed their strong view that Pam’s selection in an uncontested election two years ago was certainly not something to be reconsidered at this point. Cindy moved to re-endorse Pam as President and to thank her for her on-going service. The motion passed unanimously.

5.2.           Pam thanked all of the Senators for their service throughout the year and for their participation in one of the longest Senate meetings of the year.

The meeting adjourned at 4:45.

Submitted by Fred Thomas

Approved by Senate, June 4, 2003