DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF COUNSEL ON ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
TO THE FACULTY COUNCIL
Janet Staiger (professor, radio-television-film)
submitted the following report on behalf of the Committee of Counsel
on Academic Freedom and Responsibility. The committee presented the
report to the Faculty Council at its meeting on March 18, 2002.
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF COUNSEL
ON ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY TO THE FACULTY COUNCIL
- Post-Tenure Review
In the fall, the committee sends out a letter reminding
faculty and administrators about the post-tenure review process and
procedures. We also monitor the results. After three years, the committee
has not observed any data regarding satisfactory or unsatisfactory
post-tenure review reports that causes us concern. 595 faculty have
been reviewed; 2% (twelve faculty) did not receive a favorable review.
In addition, some individuals due to be reviewed have resigned or
retired, but those numbers (about 25) also are not out of line with
We have been notified of more local omissions or additions to the
post-tenure process „ not showing a review to the faculty person before
forwarding it to the dean; a dean requesting information in a particular
way. No report so far concerns us deeply, but we will remind everyone
of the process again next fall in our annual letter.
- Mid-Probationary Review Policy
On March 8, 2000, the committee proposed a mid-probationary
review policy that the Faculty Council passed. The legislation included
nine features that it based on recommendations from the System's Committee
on the Status of Women and Minorities. These included opportunities
for the individual being reviewed to respond to the review prior to
its final draft and to meet with the chair and a member of the review
committee as part of the process. At this point, this legislation
is still in progress. The provost has declared that "most colleges
are in compliance with the proposed legislation" and that his office
would work to bring all of them into "accord with current best practices."
While several of the colleges and schools are establishing individual
policies, the committee notes that none of the policies established
so far have all of the minimal features in the proposed legislation.
Additionally, the committee is asking why the administration desires
to have individual school and college policies rather than a uniform,
easily accessed through the HOP, minimal best-practices policy. We
are working on this with the administration.
The committee worked with the administration to have
a reasonable document for faculty to read regarding compliance. A
two-page document was the result, and we thank the provost and administration
for supporting our concerns on this matter. The compliance officer
continues to phrase our obligations as completing "training" or "modules."
We want to emphasize that this means for faculty that faculty should
read this two-page document and indicate having read
it. About one-third of the faculty has done this; this is an easy
task, and the committee encourages faculty to take care of this matter.
The committee is concerned about some administrative
investigations of faculty actions which may not insure that faculty's
academic freedom and free speech rights are adequately protected and
that due process is observed during an investigation. The sorts of
investigations we are thinking about are those involved with sexual
harassment or racial (or other) discrimination.
We will be speaking with the provost about our concerns in the next
couple of days.
- Voting Rights for Probationary Faculty
The administration is proposing to begin selectively
hiring individuals at the rank of associate or full professor but
with their tenure to be determined within several years of their appointment.
Of concern is whether the individual will be able to publish in academic
venues and their teaching is strong.
The question of what should be the voting rights of the faculty has
been discussed. I am happy to report that the recommendations of the
Faculty Council Executive Committee and the CCAFR were followed. These
faculty will have full voting rights, except in the cases of salaries
and promotion and tenure, in which situations they will have the voting
rights of assistant professors who are also probationary faculty.
This report was posted on the Faculty Council web site
on March 21, 2002. Paper copies are available on request from the Office
of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.