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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.


<signed>
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 expectations.

    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.

  • Compliance

    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


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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.

  • Administrative Investigations

    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.