Officers attending: Russ Marcks, President; Pam Chambers, Vice President; Fred Thomas, Secretary
Senators attending: Cindy Beckett, Frank Clay, Forrest Cope, Roxann DeLaet, George Hageman, Rick Jurus, Kenneth Melendez, Bob Reas, Ellen Rosengarten, Mike Smith
Not attending: Susan Callender
Others attending: Karen Blake, Barry Grady, William LeJeune, Laurel Mayer, Gary Tucker
Russ called the meeting to order at 2:32 in room 6142.
1. Minutes from Feb. 6, 2002
The minutes were approved as distributed.
2. Officers' Discussion with the Provost
Russ reported first on the Board of Trustees' meeting, held Feb. 12. Board members are deeply concerned about the impact of any tuition increases on students, particularly those working students who do not qualify for grants.
Russ also reported on a meeting held Feb. 11 between the three Senate officers and Steven Johnson. In that meeting, the Provost expressed concern that the Senate is spending too much time on trivia, such as the use of section counts vs. student FTE as a guide for faculty staffing decisions. The Provost would like to see Senate devoting more time to issues such as faculty workload and the effectiveness of Sinclair's developmental programs. He has proposed a retreat, which will include an opportunity for Senators to interact more closely with the Provost and all of the Vice Presidents.
Pam, Frank, Forrest and other Senators expressed their desire that the agenda for the retreat be focused on specific areas in which Senate and the administration can work together. Pam noted that similar retreats in 1992-3 and 1993-4 yielded "The Faculty Assembly Vision for 1994-1999."
3. Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Russ reminded the Senate that Ellen and Cindy were charged last week with drafting a set of revisions to the Assembly Constitution. They distributed a draft Proposal for Changes to the Constitution, (attachment 01) focused on (a) limiting Assembly membership to full-time tenure-track faculty, (b) deleting procedures for Assembly members who are not members of a specific academic division, and (c) revising the procedures by which issues regarding membership shall be resolved. The Senate reviewed the draft, and discussed possible changes in preparation for submitting it to the Faculty Assembly for a vote.
Regarding tenure-track faculty who are not assigned to a specific division, Senators noted that there is currently a very small group of people who hold faculty rank but who do not teach. Bob reported that when the Constitution was written, there were questions about possible Assembly membership for counselors and librarians. The Senate concurred with Ellen and Cindy's suggestion that the current Article III, Section 2 was obsolete and should be deleted from the draft.
Further discussion included questions about the titles used to describe faculty in the draft proposals. Senate agreed to use the terms "tenure track faculty" and "non-tenure track faculty."
With regard to procedures for resolving issues regarding membership, Fred suggested that the current statement should either be kept as an expeditious way to deal with future "borderline cases" or deleted entirely, rather than being replaced with a reference to the general procedures for amending the Constitution. Senate agreed to delete the section entirely from the draft.
Russ distributed the draft proposal he had prepared (attachment 2), specifying that membership in Assembly consist of tenure-track faculty and ACFs on nine-month contracts. He provided background on the draft by saying that he felt amending the Constitution to incorporate ACFs was more difficult than amending it to include only tenure-track faculty. He emphasized that ACFs are temporary full-time faculty hired to fill a particular need. In some cases, they may have continued to work for an extended period, but that was not the intent of the position. There are also some ACFs whose qualifications are not appropriate for a tenure-track appointment. A major difference between ACF and tenure-track appointments is that tenure-track faculty are expected to assume a leadership role while ACFs are only expected to teach.
Fred suggested that annually contracted faculty positions have not always been intended as temporary, and that the teaching role of ACFs is very similar to the role expected of tenure-track faculty with the rank of instructor. Russ and Fred agreed that there are important differences between the two positions in the expectations for future roles and in the level of support provided to encourage development.
Russ noted that the draft proposal would include only those ACFs on nine-month contracts, and that the planned elimination of special adjuncts may lead to an increased number of ACFs who are hired for only one or two quarters. Based on Cindy's suggestion, the wording was simplified to specify "non-tenure-track teaching personnel with nine-month annually renewable contracts."
Russ described the portion of the draft proposal that specified distinctive ways in which non-tenure-track faculty would vote and otherwise participate in the Assembly. After discussion, Senate decided that membership ought to be a "yes or no" question. There would still be specific criteria for some positions, for example requiring that some committee chairs be tenured.
Russ asked Senate to consider the question of whether or not there needed to be a change in the definition of a quorum if Faculty Assembly becomes larger by incorporating ACFs. Senate agreed that the quorum should remain 33 1/3 % of the Assembly membership.
Cindy and Ellen shared another draft proposal to the Constitution (attachment 3), which focused on (a) updating references to Academic Council and the Educational Improvement Committee, and (b) clarifying the voting rights in Senate for Senate officers. After brief discussion, the wording of the proposal was simplified somewhat with regard to voting rights of Senate officers. There was also discussion about the proposed stipulation that Chairpersons of all standing committees must have tenure and previous experience on the respective committee. The Senate agreed to keep the requirement as initially proposed by Cindy and Ellen.
Cindy and Ellen also distributed a draft proposal for changes to the Bylaws of the Constitution (attachment 4), dealing with the same outdated references to committees. The draft was accepted after brief discussion.
Cindy moved that the Senate go into executive session and Russ seconded. The motion passed, and Russ asked all those present who were not members of Senate to leave the room. Senate went into executive session at 3:25.
Senate reconvened at 4:15.
4. Open Forum
The meeting adjourned at 4:16.
Submitted by Fred Thomas
Approved by Senate, Feb. 20, 2002