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Rules Committee of the General Faculty

The committee met twice during the academic year and conducted the rest of its business via e-mail. During this year the committee proposed two pieces of minor legislation to the Faculty Council. The first was “Addition of Faculty Council Chair-elect as Non-voting Ex Officio Member of the Committee on Committees.” The second was to change the function statement of the Faculty Welfare Committee. Both proposals were sent to the Faculty Council in fall 2006 and were approved.

The committee also examined the issue of voting rights for clinical faculty that was brought to it last fall. The committee gathered data on voting rights of clinical faculty in peer institutions and also obtained data on numbers of clinical faculty in various departments at UT. Although there was strong sentiment on the committee that no one should be needlessly disenfranchised, the committee decided after much discussion not to propose any change in the voting status of clinical faculty who currently do not have the right to vote. This is because there is wide disparity between appointment practices for clinical faculty across the University, and there is also a wide range of appointments. In pharmacy, for example, there are presently 165 faculty with clinical titles, 116 of whom have appointments at “No percent time,” and only 16 have appointments at 50% time or more. Conversely, nursing has 78 faculty with clinical titles with 64 having appointments at 50% time or more. There are 13 clinical faculty in law, and nine in social work. Most other departments had very few clinical faculty. Given the uneven distribution of numbers of clinical faculty and the disproportionate impact the proposed change would have on a few schools the committee felt that no change in voting rights of clinical faculty should be proposed, and any department proposing to “promote” lecturers or other academic titles to a clinical title advise the faculty concerned about the impact this would have on their voting rights.

Philip Varghese, chair