Minutes of the Faculty Senate
May 10, 2001
Meeting called to order with a quorum at 7 PM
Present: B. Barkdoll, L. Bombelli, J. Bradley, L. Bush, W. Y. Chen, A. Cooper, C. Cunningham, K. Dellinger, C. Eagles, R. Ethridge, A. Fisher-Wirth, J. Ford, L. Foulkes-Levy, F. Gilbert, I. Labuda, P. Malone, D. Nagle, R. Oliphant-Ingham, J. Reid,W. Steel, K. Swinden, C. Taylor, M. Tew, D. Wilkins,
Absent: *M. Aiken, A. Ajootian, D. Chessin, W. Cleland,
P. Cooker, *J. Czarnetzky, *S. Davis, H. Gaycken, R. Haws, Gail
Herrera, E. M. Kolassa, F. Laurenzo, *K. McKee, *A. Mark, *J.
Martin, R. Riggs, D. Rock, C. Ross, *T. Verlangieri, S. Wolcott,
A. Plan for a "Freshman Convocation" - Faye Gilbert
A formal welcome for Freshmen is planned for the first Wednesday of the Fall 2001 semester.
B. Shortened semesters - Chair
Issues & Questions:
No proposed action on the floor re: the shortened semester; Chairperson Bush will speak with the Provost next week.
C. University budget status - Chair
No report on the budget status: IHL has deferred action on some aspects of the budget until its May 2001 meeting.
D. Fall 2001 Semester Faculty Senate Meeting Times and Places
September 13, 2001--7:00 p.m., Room 213, Conner Hall
October 11, 2001--7:00 p.m., Room 213, Conner Hall
November 8, 2001--7:00 p.m., Room 213, Conner Hall
December (date, time and place to be determined)
II. Old Business
A. Minutes of the April 12, 2001, Faculty Senate meeting
approved as corrected
B. Proposed changes to Tenure Review Policy- Academic Affairs
The text of the policy, with the proposed changes approved by the Senate, follows a brief history of this document subsequent to its approval by the Senate at its December 2000 meeting:
The University submitted to the IHL Board the Post Tenure Review Policy approved by the Senate at its December 2000 meeting. The text of that document may be found at Post Tenure Review 12/07. Subsequently, the Provost appointed a task force to review the policy, as a result of concerns expressed by several deans. The members of this task force were: Associate Provost and Interim Dean of the Graduate School Maurice Eftink; Interim Dean of the School of Business Administration Keith Womer; Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Glenn Hopkins; Senator John Bradley; Senator Ann Fisher-Wirth; Senator Mark Tew. The task force proposed several changes in the procedure, which were subsequently approved by the Senate's Academic Affairs Committee.
Discussion at the May 10, 2001, Senate meeting:
The University of Mississippi recognizes that the granting of tenure for university faculty is a vital protection of free inquiry and open intellectual debate. This post-tenure review policy defines a system of periodic peer evaluation that is intended to enhance and protect the guarantees of tenure and academic freedom. It is expressly recognized that nothing in this policy alters or amends the University's policies regarding removal of tenured faculty members for cause (which are stipulated in the Handbook for Faculty and Staff) or shifts the burden of proof placed on the University in such actions.
B. The following principles from the American Association of University Professors shall be considered a part of the University's post-tenure review policy, and all procedures developed and actions taken shall be in accordance with these principles.
1.Post-tenure review must ensure the protection of academic freedom as defined in the 1940 Statement of Principles. The application of its procedures, therefore, should not intrude on an individual faculty member's proper sphere of professional self-direction, nor should it be used as a subterfuge for effecting programmatic change. Such a review must not become the occasion for a wide-ranging fishing expedition in an attempt to dredge up negative evidence.
2.Post-tenure review must not be a reevaluation or revalidation of tenured status as defined in the 1940 Statement. In no case should post-tenure review be used to shift the burden of proof from the institution's administration (to show cause why a tenured faculty member should be dismissed) to the individual faculty member (to show cause why he or she should be retained).
3.The written standards and criteria by which faculty members are evaluated in post-tenure review should be developed and periodically reviewed by the faculty. The faculty should also conduct the actual review process. The basic standard for appraisal should be whether the faculty member under review discharges conscientiously and with professional competence the duties appropriately associated with his or her position, not whether the faculty member meets the current standards for the award of tenure as those might have changed since the initial granting of tenure.
4.Post-tenure review should be developmental and supported by institutional resources for professional development or a change of professional direction. In the event that an institution decides to invest the time and resources required for comprehensive or "blanket" review, it should also offer tangible recognition to those faculty members who have demonstrated high or improved performance.
5.Post-tenure review should be flexible enough to acknowledge different expectations in different disciplines and changing expectations at different stages of faculty careers.
6.Except when faculty appeals procedures direct that files be available to aggrieved faculty members, the outcome of evaluations should be confidential, that is, confined to the appropriate college or university persons or bodies and the faculty member being evaluated, released otherwise only at the discretion or with the consent of the faculty member.
7.If the system of post-tenure review is supplemented, or supplanted, by the option of a formal development plan, that plan cannot be imposed on the faculty member unilaterally, but must be a product of mutual negotiation. It should respect academic freedom and professional self- direction, and it should be flexible enough to allow for subsequent alteration or even its own abandonment. The standard here should be that of good faith on both sides--a commitment to improvement by the faculty member and to the adequate support of that improvement by the institution-- rather than the literal fulfillment of a set of non-negotiable demands or rigid expectations, quantitative or otherwise.
8.A faculty member should have the right to comment in response to evaluations, and to challenge the findings and correct the record by appeal to an elected faculty grievance committee. He or she should have the same rights of comment and appeal concerning the manner of formulating, the content of, and any evaluation resulting from, any individualized development plan.
9.In the event that recurring evaluations reveal continuing and persistent problems with a faculty member's performance that do not lend themselves to improvement after several efforts, and that call into question his or her ability to function in that position, then other possibilities, such as a mutually agreeable reassignment to other duties or separation should be explored. If these are not practicable, or if no other solution acceptable to the parties can be found, then the administration should invoke peer consideration regarding any contemplated sanctions.
10.The standard for dismissal or severe sanction remains that of adequate cause, and the mere fact of successive negative reviews does not in any way diminish the obligation of the institution to show such cause for dismissal in a separate forum before an appropriately constituted hearing body of peers convened for that purpose. Evaluation records may be admissible but rebuttable as to accuracy. Even if they are accurate, the administration is still required to bear the burden of proof and demonstrate through an adversarial proceeding not only that the negative evaluations rest on fact, but also that the facts rise to the level of adequate cause for dismissal. The faculty member must be afforded the full procedural safeguards set forth in the 1958 Statement on Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings and the Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure, which include, among others, the opportunity to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses.
A. Evaluation Criteria
C. Review Committees and Procedures
The department faculty may have a single committee for all candidates in a given year, or may choose to constitute several committees for this purpose. For faculty members with joint appointments involving budgetary commitments from more than one department faculty, members representing the secondary department faculty shall be included on the committee, but the primary department faculty will in all cases have a majority of committee members. In cases in which a department faculty does not have three tenured, non-administrative, academic faculty members, an outside member (or members) shall be appointed by the department faculty head, with the approval of the relevant dean.
Copies of all reports shall be kept on file in the departmental faculty office and shall also be forwarded to the faculty member under review, the dean of the appropriate college or school, and to the Office of the Provost.
In the case of an unsatisfactory review, the committee and
the faculty member's Chair shall (after consultation with
Faculty members who receive unsatisfactory post-tenure reviews
(and whose unsatisfactory reviews are upheld should they be appealed,
for which see below) shall be reviewed again using the above
procedure in the third year following the initial review. If
this subsequent review results in a satisfactory rating by the
departmental faculty committee, the affected faculty member's
post-tenure review clock will be restarted at the beginning
of a new 6-year period
2) University-level Appeal
Faculty who receive unsatisfactory post-tenure reviews from their departmental faculty committees may appeal these decisions to the University's Sabbatical Leave Review Committee. Such appeals must be filed, in writing, with the chair of the Committee on Academic Freedom and Faculty Responsibility within 15 working days of the faculty member's formal, written notification of a negative review.
The Sabbatical Leave Review Committee
The motion to make the proposed changes to the Tenure Review
Policy, by the Academic Affairs Committee, with Senator Fisher-Wirth's
friendly amendment, passed by acclamation.
Final copy with amendments available at: http://www.olemiss.edu/orgs/faculty_senate/resolutionREpost.html
III. New Business
A. Recognition of Senator Charles Taylor
At the suggestion of Senator Bradley, the senate recognized and applauded the work of Charles Taylor, who is retiring.
Senator Taylor thanked the Senate and spoke of his pleasure serving in faculty governance.
B. Announcement of Vice Chair Haws to act as interim Chair during the summer and encouragement of committees to continue their work over the summer.
Meeting officially adjourned at 8:30 PM