Minutes of the Special University Faculty Meeting
16 February 2010
Broun Hall Auditorium
Dennis DeVries, Secretary
for a complete transcription of the meeting, Transcript not yet available.
Call to Order:
Kathryn Flynn called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.
Remarks and Announcements:
Kathryn Flynn thanked everyone for attending. She noted that we will try to keep the meeting short, but still allow for discussion of the important items. She listed the nominees for Senate officers-- they are:
Chair-elect of the University Faculty and Senate:
Roy Hartfield, Aerospace Engineering
Ann Beth Presley, Consumer Affairs
Secretary-elect of the University Faculty and Senate:
Larry Crowley, Civil Engineering
Robin Jaffe, Theatre
She also noted that it is important for all faculty to vote during the time when voting is availble.
Resolution concerning officer terms (Bob Locy, Immediate Past Chair)
--The resolution is at
--There were no comments or questions.
--The resolution passed by unanimous voice vote.
Changes to the Faculty Handbook, Chapter 2, 1.University Faculty Constitution, Article 3, Section 2 (Bob Locy, Immediate Past Chair)
--The changes indicated by track changes are in the document at
--The motion was seconded by Tony Moss (Biological Sciences).
--Michael Stern (Economics) asked if this needed to be approved by the Senate or by the faculty. Kathryn responded that this was a change to the faculty constitution and needed to be approved by the faculty.
--There were no comments or questions.
--The motion passed by unanimous voice vote.
Proposed changes to Policies in the Faculty Handbook (Kathryn Flynn, Chair)
--The slides from Kathryn Flynn's presentation can be found by viewing the
pdf of slide presentation
--The files with the proposed changes are at:
--We will consider the changes one at a time.
--Chapter 2.5B, 2nd paragraph: Michael Stern (Economics) was unclear of the purpose of the change. Kathryn clarified that she had the wrong one on the screen, and re-started. Michael Stern (Economics) did not feel that changing to adopt to current practices was not a good justification for making the change. Then what is the purpose of the faculty handbook if it is not enforced? And he noted that it was dangerous for a dean to make a decision against the will of the faculty. Richard Penaskovic (Philosophy) said that the Department head serves at the will of the dean and noted that abuse does not mean misuse. Gordon Sacks (Pharmacy Practice) said he doesn't want Samford Hall telling us who to hire. It is not wise to push these decisions up where they will not know the departmental culture.
--Chapter 3.7, 3rd paragraph: There were no comments.
--Chapter 3.10, 4th paragraph: Michael Stern (Economics) said if letters concerning successful P&T candidates come from the President, then why shouldn't letters of discontinuation come from the President. Mark Fischman (Kinesiology) said that once a letter is sent from the faculty, then haven't they "resigned"? Why is there a need for the letter to the individual?
--Chapter 3.13.D, 2nd paragraph: Richard Penaskovic (Philosophy) is in favor of an alternative voting process; you can have a split department based on past experiences. Michael Stern (Economics) opposed this due to past experiences. If there needs to be an appeal process, then he feels that would be appropriate.
--Chapter 3.15, 1st paragraph: There were no comments.
--Chapter 8.1, 3rd paragraph: Michael Stern (Economics) does not like the current or new wording. He does not feel that there is a need to codify this. Jim Witte (EFLT) would like to see the removal of "maximum" as you can get distance learning that exceeds 33 1/3.
--Chapter 3.7, 4th paragraph: Tom Sanders (Library) Is this change linked to having faculty only come up once for P&T? Emmett Winn (Associate Provost) said that was not a reason for the proposed change. Tom Sanders said that this might be an issue in the Library where they are not tied to an academic year. He had heard that the upper administration may want faculty to only come up once for P&T. Michael Stern (Economics) said that the old version had very specific language and was likely needed for legal reasons.
--Chapter 3.9, 1st paragraph: There were no comments.
--Chapter 3.9, Collegiality: Michael Stern (Economics) said there is a need for a clearer definition of collegiality but that the proposed change does not do it (e.g., constituents in all environments impacted by the university); he recommends to eliminate this.
--Chapter 3.10, 2nd paragraph: Leanne Lamke (Human Development/Family Studies) suggested to remove the last sentence. Gordon Sacks (Pharmacy Practice) said we have this debate regularly and need some more specificity.
--Chapter 3.10, 3rd paragraph: There were no comments.
--Chapter 3.10, 4th paragraph: There were no comments.
--Chapter 3.10, defacto tenure: Steven Brown (Political Science) said if these are coming to the Senate and we want word changes, how will they be considered in the Senate? Will we vote them down if we don't like a word? Kathryn Flynn said they will be assigned to the appropriate committees and then come back to the Senate. Steven Brown asked if they would be action or information items. Kathryn Flynn said probably some of both.
--Chapter 3.11.3.D.1: Michael Stern (Economics) said we should mandate to send reviewers the P&T guidelines at Auburn so letter writers know what the standards are at Auburn. Allen Davis (Fisheries) asked about including ongoing research partners in the old verbiage needed to avoid conflict of interest.
--Chapter 3.11.E, 2nd paragraph (# of votes): There were no comments.
--Chapter 3.11.E, 2nd paragraph (family members): There were no comments.
--Chapter 2.11.E, 5th and 6th paragraphs: Kathryn Flynn noted that this generated the most discussion, with no particular direction. Richard Penaskovic (Philosophy) did not see that we needed a consensus report. Kathryn Flynn said that the word "consensus" may not be the best one, but that the letter should capture the pros and cons. Michael Stern (Economics) asked why we need letters at all if the new process means that the decision is made at the department level with the upper levels simply checking to make sure that procedures are followed? Bob Locy (Immediate Past Chair) said that all cases are not clear and higher levels need some additional information, and the P&T committee needs input.
--Chapter 3.11.E, last paragraph: There were no comments.
--Chapter 3.11.H, 4th paragraph: There were no comments.
--Chapter 3.14, 6th paragraph: Mark Fischman (Kinesiology) is opposed to this proposed change- if you are willing to allow new information for an appeal, then the department vote could have been different with that additional information; is the department allowed to weigh in again? Michael Stern (Economics) said the appeal should be based on the original facts.
--Chapter 2.3, P&T Committee: There were no comments.
--Conflict of Interest Policy: There were no comments
--Charles Eick (Curriculum and Teaching) asked for an update on the Lecturer/Senior Lecturer guidelines. Kathryn Flynn said that the amended action item was not legal, so the Steering Committee is considering alternatives, and they will pass it on to the non tenure track instructors committee. Charles Eick asked if it would be a modified document. Kathryn Flynn said there is a shortened version and we will consider the original unamended version and a streamlined version.
--Tony Moss (Biological Sciences) asked if the details from today would be put on the web. Kathryn Flynn said that a summary would, but not the original comments.
There was no unfinished business.
There was no new business.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:38 PM.