November 15, 2010



Proposed Revisions to the Departmental Budget Council Constitution and Authority in the Handbook of Operating Procedures (D 8456-8458).

Professor Janet Staiger (radio-television-film and chair, Faculty Rules and Governance Committee) reported her committee was recommending relatively minor revisions to the constitution and authority of departmental budget councils. She said University age-related retirement rules had changed some time ago, but the wording in the HOP had not been changed; therefore, the words “because of age” needed to be omitted from Chapter 2, Section 8 of the document.

Second, she said the Faculty Rules and Governance Committee recommended adding the word “hiring” to the authorized functions of budget councils because traditionally these councils or executive committees did make recommendations regarding hiring. Therefore, the word “hiring” in Chapter 2, Section 8, opening paragraph, and Chapter 3, Section 3.17, paragraph 3, of the HOP was added to make this authority explicit. In addition, she said authorization for recommendations by the councils for renewal and non-renewal of appointments was also recommended to make this function clear.

Professor Staiger said the placement of the language regarding governance of budget councils in HOP Chapter 3, Section 17 rather than in HOP Chapter 2, Section 8 was somewhat confusing and had likely resulted from document modifications that had occurred over the years. The Faculty Rules and Governance Committee thought it would be helpful to add the following sentence to the opening paragraph of HOP Chapter 2, Section 8 because this wording specified the authority of the departmental mode of governance as stated in Chapter 2, Section 17 :

Responsibility for preparing recommendations for hiring, salary rates, promotion, tenure, renewal of appointment, or non-renewal of appointment rests with the budget council (or other departmental governing body) and the department chair.

For the next recommended change, Professor Staiger explained that an existing executive committee on campus had wanted to modify its structure but did not want to revert back to a budget council. However, a careful reading of the HOP language indicated a lack of clarity as to whether or not this type of restructuring could actually occur without returning first to a budget council system. As a result, the Faculty Rules and Governance Committee had decided to propose wording changes to HOP Chapter 2, Section 8, paragraph 5 that would allow a department currently operating under an executive committee governance system to modify its executive committee without being required to return to a budget council governance system in the process.

Referring to the proposed changes as minor housekeeping ones, Professor Staiger said that the committee’s motion did not require a second before discussion could begin. Professor Phillip Barrish (English) asked, “What level of structural change to an executive committee would need to follow this procedure?” He said he was curious if there were minor changes that a department could accomplish without going through the formal process. Professor Staiger said she thought the department would have to make the determination itself. She said her department had wanted to add one person to the executive committee based on a departmental appointment and found that the existing language did not seem to allow this due to the delineation of membership composition on the committee. As a result, she said it was determined that a formal vote would be needed. Since there was no further discussion, Chair Neikirk called for the vote. The motion passed by voice vote with only one negative vote being vocalized.

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