April 12, 2010


A. President Powers was unable to attend the meeting. Provost Steve Leslie indicated there was one formal question that had been submitted, and President Powers would provide his response at the May 10 Council meeting. Professor William Beckner (mathematics) asked if a decision had been made by the central administration regarding faculty and staff raises for the coming academic year. Provost Leslie said merit salary increases were still under discussion, and the Faculty Budget Advisory Committee would be consulted. Following a comment provided by Executive Vice Provost Steve Monti, Provost Leslie clarified that funding for merit increases from central administrative sources would not be available for the coming year. Provost Leslie added, “whatever decision is made in terms of a merit salary increase for next fall will be based upon reallocations from internal money.”

When Professor Beckner asked if there had been feedback from the colleges/schools on the directive, Chair Staiger said most of the colleges had agreed to meet the criteria. She said pharmacy had requested an extension to complete the process and communication had been hesitant in responding to her request. She went on to say that the president and provost had supported efforts to document the governance procedures for the colleges/school even though the Council’s request to officially establish the three minimum standards has not received official approval thus far. Professor Beckner said the chairs in the College of Natural Sciences had discussed the criteria and generally believed they had met some of the requirements. Chair Staiger responded that her judgment was based on the way documents had been submitted, and the colleges/schools had been asked to revise their documents if questions existed before posting occurred on the Council’s web site this summer.

When Professor Beckner asked if discussion of departmental governance had been discussed by the Faculty Council, Chair Staiger responded, “My view, but we could look at it if there’s some question about it, is that the procedures in the Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) regarding budget councils and executive committees means that every few years the internal system of governance in departments are reviewed by the departments.” Professor Beckner replied that he thought the posted document indicated that all instructional faculty members were to vote on departmental matters; he said the term “departmental matters” lacked precision in terms of its definition. Chair Staiger said she thought Professor Beckner was referring to the voting rights legislation, which is being rewritten for presentation again at the May 10 Council meeting. She agreed there was some ambiguity in the language and said any concerns regarding the language in that proposed legislation should be sent to her or to Professor Hillary Hart, chair of the Faculty Rules and Governance Committee. According to Chair Staiger, the HOP says that lecturers, who are full-time (100% on the budget), currently can vote on departmental matters. She said the proposed legislation would extend voting rights to clinical professors, many of whom lost their voting rights when their titles were changed from lecturers to clinical professors. Professor Beckner said he was aware of this issue, but his question pertained to the lack of clarity regarding how a “departmental matter” would be defined. Chair Staiger indicated the question was one the Faculty Rules and Governance Committee could address. In her opinion, she thought this matter would be an issue for executive committees or budget councils to determine when bringing items forward for departmental consideration. Although the executive committee or budget council only needs to vote in certain decisions, Chair Staiger said she interpreted this to be an issue involving departmental cultures and practices, which vary across campus regarding what is brought forward for a full faculty vote.

Chair Staiger again asked Council members to send in their questions and concerns regarding the forthcoming voting rights legislation. She added that it would be good to get these issues resolved for next year at the May 10 Council meeting rather than carrying them forward to the fall. After emphasizing the importance and relevancy of the questions that had just been raised, she asked that further questions to her be held until the “questions to the chair” part of the agenda at the end of the meeting.

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