Transcript Senate Meeting
May 4, 2010
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I’d like to call the meeting to order. I’d like to welcome everybody to the May meeting of the Auburn University Senate. Just like I always do, I’m going to remind you to if you haven’t already done so to sign the roster in the back of the room, if you’re a senator. And this is especially important because as you know we have a large number of action items, all dealing with changes in the Handbook. Changes in the Handbook require a two-thirds of the members of the senate to vote in favor for approval. Knowing that we have enough people here is going to be important.
If you have comments or questions during the meeting, we’ve got microphones set up at either side of the room and like to ask that if you have a question or a comment that you go to the microphones state you name and your unit and whether you are a senator or not, and then go through your comments. The rules of the Senate require that senators be allowed to speak first, but we do allow guests to make comments, ask questions. So if you are a guest and there are senators behind you, we’d like you to defer to them and then address your comments afterwards.
As always the first item on our agenda is approval of the minutes from the last Senate meeting, in this case, April 6. Dennis DeVries, the secretary has posted these minutes online and sent a link to all the senators. At this time I’d like to ask if anyone has any changes or corrections to the minutes? Hearing none the minutes will stand approved as written. At this point I’d like to invite Dr. Gogue to come forward and make some comments.
Dr. Gogue, president: Thank you, I’m delighted to be with you. I want to mention the budget first. Since we last me the budget has been signed by the governor. The budget that was approved was the current year’s budget prorated 7.5%. Remember that he prorated it on day 2 of the new fiscal year, so that was the amount that was approved. I’ve had questions about, will they prorate some more? Obviously we don’t know the answer, over the past weekend I think you may have seen that the general fund budget was prorated again and that amount was 12%. Discussions a month or so ago, if they prorated the educational trust fund which is where we get our funds from, they’d probably add 2.5% in proration, but those are speculative numbers as we go forward. In the election year, the new budget doesn’t start until October, so we’re really not sure on either of those.
The news that came out of the legislature that I think we tried to correspond and communicate had to do with PACT and our tuition was not capped as was the regional institutions in the state. I think you’re aware that the capping of our tuition at 2.5% over the life of the PACT Program would cost the institution 556.3 million dollars, so we fought very hard to not to have our tuition capped. Time will tell what happens with the entire program, but they did put enough funds in the PACT Program, I think it’s about 550 million dollars that should cover the shortfall that they have in the PACT Program.
Second thing I want to mention is, I really want to complement all of you for participation in the various dean searches that went on on campus. I know a number of you participated at the open sessions. I hope, I’ve tried to stay uninvolved with those searches, I hope that the Provost and those on the search committees feel that the searches were completely open. They were open to people internally as well as externally and that the process worked. So we look forward to some new deans coming this fall. [4:18]
Also want to mention today just around lunch time there was a group that honored the Leischuck’s. The Leischuck’s, I think in 2005, created an excellence in teaching award program and it’s called the “President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching” and a number of individuals that had received those awards were there. So if you see the Leischuck’s please complement and thank them. There will be a plaque with all the winners and a recognition with them in the Library on the second floor.
Don you need to come up here because we’ve got a question or two that I can’t answer. Remember the Health Care Bill was approved and in it, it has to do with dependants being covered up to age 26, so an increase in age. So the questions are, what’s Auburn going to do with that particular new Federal legislation, How are we going to implement it? Don.
Don Large, executive vice president: On the March 23 Legislation that passed there was that stipulation that said we can start covering dependants up to age 26 and gave some timelines. We are required to have that done January 1. One option obviously would be to do that during the open enrollment period that occurs when you send out the various forms, and are there any changes and are there additions or deletions to your insurance. The president wished for us to implement this earlier if possible, so we are looking at those options. Our first and big challenge is legislation without any kind of definitions or guidelines, so we don’t really know what a dependant at 24, 25 and 26 is. They didn’t change the IRS dependant rules, so they still end at 23 so you can’t depend on a tax return that now defines dependency. There’s eligibility requirements that may apply, one way versus another, do you have to pay half the support even if they are not an IRS dependant? [6:52] How do we know that you are? So a lot of little things that we’re going to have to work through, we’ve talked to PEEHIP, we generally try to follow most of what PEEHIP does because ultimately all of us that retire will go over to PEEHIP. They’re trying to implement on October 1, but they’re advantage on that is that their plan year starts October 1, whereas ours starts January 1, so their open enrollment would start a month earlier. So we’re learning, they’re trying to find out if we can implement by October 1 or earlier, we will do that. We just don’t have all the answers, but the message right now is, know the commitment is there to get there as quickly as we can. And we’re trying to determine what the cost is too. It’s not free to add a number of new dependants onto the plan, what we don’t know is what that number is even. We’re just dealing with a lot of unknowns, but we’ve got some good people in payroll and benefits and others looking into it. We’re trying.
Dr. Gogue, president: I think if you have a child that’s graduating from college and they don’t have a job, Don, what’s our response going to be, 60 days? Is that, how do they address that?
Don Large, executive vice president: You have in that case you are covered up to 60 days past that event, which would be graduation, but at that point you have to be on Cobra, so you have to go purchase a plan for that transition. Those graduating in May, I don’t know if we’ll have something in July, if we can we will. I’m just not sure yet. So if you’re impacted that way, you will have some Cobra and then not to mention the ones that are 25 and 26 that you may still be providing half the support, and I don’t know what you’re doing for insurance on those right now, but we may become another option. We’ll know more hopefully in a few weeks. [9:10]
Dr. Gogue, president: Thank you Don. The other thing I wanted to mention is I know you are going to discuss today a number of revisions to the Handbook and regardless of what you decide is good or bad, I just want to complement you for putting forth the effort to look at it. Our Handbook needs to be on an annual basis, looked at and modifications made on it. So I appreciate your work on that. I’d be happy to respond to questions. [9:40] Thank you.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Thank you, Dr. Gogue. I have a few comments. They’re going to really brief so we can spend most of the time on the rest of the agenda. The first one is that as some of you may remember several years ago the Senate worked very hard to get an ombudsman position established. We were successful at that. The initial guidelines stipulate that the term of appointment is for two years. Jim Wohl, who was selected for that position is in the last 4 months of that first two-year term and by the directions of the guidelines the Rules Committee is required to request nominations and applications for this position 3 months prior to the conclusion of that two-year term. So in June the Rules Committee will be putting out a call for nominations and applications. I just want to give you a heads up on this that this process will be beginning. It will be occurring over the summer in the same way that the initial hire did.
And we will be providing you with additional information at the June meeting and probably through e-mails prior to that.
At this time I’d like to invite Bruce Smith, who is chair of the Faculty Research Committee, to come forward. He’s going to give a very short update on some activities that should be of interest to a large number of you. [11:21]
Bruce Smith, chair of the Faculty Research Committee: Thank you Kathryn. I just wanted to bring you up to speed really quickly because I know you have a huge agenda today about some work that we’ve been doing with the vice president for research on the Intramural Grants Program. Most of you are probably aware that there were about 4 different programs that all sort of serve different needs, lots of issues with those. Those really haven’t been used for the past couple of years while Dr. Mason has been looking at his options. Dr. Pinkert, associate vice president for research, came to our committee and asked for input on what kind of a program we would like to see. We provided that sometime around December, since then we have been back and forth with Carl in designing this program. The idea now is that we are going to have a new single intramural grants program that will have funding that will be available. It will span all disciplines so this is not pure bench work scientific research, but any discipline that is looking for funding to support scholarship of any type should look at these programs. They start out at very modest levels of funding and the third and forth level are fairly substantial levels of funding.
As I said it spans all disciplines. The idea is that with this program there will be significantly more funding available to the faculty of the university than was available previously in the combination of all 4 programs. So this will be an increase of money coming basically to us, so that will be a good thing.
I have made photo copies of the draft grants program. They are on the table in the back and we would appreciate any comments, suggestions, and concerns. You can either contact me or if you want, Dr. Carl Pinkert.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Thanks Bruce, you get and “A” on brevity. And I’ll also ask if I can get an electronic copy, just in case people don’t pick one up, we’ll send it out to you. We also have Bliss Bailey, who’s executive director for OIT, and he needs to give a very brief overview of some upcoming changes to faculty e-mail. [14:00]
Bliss Bailey, Exec. Dir. for OIT: I wanted to let you know or bring you up to date on some plans that we have related to e-mail. I know there are a lot of rumors flying around and a lot of things that are being talked about, so I thought maybe I could clear things up a little bit.
Yes, e-mail is changing. We are moving to two new e-mail systems. One is going to be for students and it’s a product that’s provided by Microsoft, it will be branded as Tiger Mail Live, and it will be hosted off-campus by Microsoft. Then employees will be migrating to Microsoft exchange system that will be managed by Auburn University personnel on the Auburn University campus in our data center, but the basics stay the same. E-mail addresses will stay the same, the way messages are sent to students or to employees won’t change, and the way messages are sent to students from Blackboard will not change. So if you are accustomed to communicating with your students through Blackboard there will be no changes there. Everyone that’s listed in the e-mail directory today will continue to be listed in the e-mail directory during the transition period and after the transition is over, so you should still be able to reach everybody that you are accustomed to reaching no matter where you are or where they are in the process of transition.
Why change? The existing GroupWise system is about 7 years old, so we’ve stretched the life of that system about as long as we possibly can. We can’t handle the volume of e-mail in a timely fashion that we used to. We get about one million messages a day, 90% of that is junk mail, but we do have to handle and process about a million messages a day. We lack the storage capacity that users want, we lack the redundancy that’s needed in a reliable and modern e-mail system, we lack the flexibility that we need to allow folks to access the system in a secure fashion from a variety of different platforms. The current GroupWise system is a little bit orphaned in the market place and it doesn’t integrate well into other systems like voice mail, calendaring, and Web publishing systems.
Why two systems? Well the big item was cost, so Microsoft Live for students is free. It offers large storage quotas and lifetime accounts and other features that we couldn’t afford otherwise to provide to the students. And that means, we got about 40,000 e-mail accounts, over 30,000 of those are student accounts. If we move the load and the expense of managing those 30,000 plus e-mail accounts for students into the Microsoft Live environment, then that frees up a lot of resources for us and it allows to refocus those resources into the employee e-mail system.
The reason we chose this particular set of products, the Microsoft Live and the Microsoft Exchange really focuses on integration. It was really the only combination of systems that lets us tightly integrate a hosted e-mail system for students and enterprise style locally managed system for employees. About Exchange for employees, the things that are significant about it is, that it’s really the most widely supported e-mail platform that’s available. It integrates with all sorts of different packages. Any time you want to integrate any sort of third party package with e-mail, the first system that they make available is Microsoft Exchange. That’s the first integration that they do. It’s fast, it’s scalable, it’s redundant by design, it supports very large mailboxes and it has the broadest range of client support options. One of the things in talking with faculty members and other employees, we knew that access to the system was going to be key. So you will have access to a fat outlook client, very similar to the GroupWise client that many of you are accustomed to using. There will be a Web client that is far and away superior to the existing Tigermail client, so you will get a lot of real functionality out of the Web interface. Imap clients, if you are accustomed to using our current e-mail system, say you don’t use GroupWise but you really access that system from a Imap client like Thunderbird or Eudora and you’ll still be able to do that. The blackberry will still be supported. Macintosh will be supported natively, if you’re running Snow Leopard, which is the current operation system, you have native support, if you’re running an older version of the Mac OS then you can use the entourage client and get into it, and there’s excellent support for the iphone and the ipad as well.
The migration schedule for students: We’ve begun provisioning Microsoft Live or Tigermail live accounts for students. For the new students coming in this fall, this summer we will begin moving the current students into the system and we know that is going to accelerate and we’ll be doing a lot of transition this fall for the students.
For employees: really we’re still in the planning stages of the implementation. We know that we are going to have to depend heavily on the distributed IT providers. They are hearing about this as well and giving us feedback on the feedback they are getting from employees and faculty members. We’re also getting feedback from the Academic Computing Committee. We’ve met with them. They’ve given us very useful feedback on the sort of issues they expect to be important to faculty members in the transition. We’re going to be migrating early adopters this summer. So Office of Information Technology is going to take the plunge first. In current marketing parlance, We want to eat our own dog food, we really want to get ourselves into it first make sure we know what all the issues are that are involved in the migration and try to iron out those issues so we’ll be prepared to do it as easily as possible when we go to other departments.
There are some other early adopters that have expressed interest in other departments so we want to take their request into consideration as well. Based on the experiences of those early adopters, we’ll put together a realistic migration schedule. We know that during the migration process continuous availability is a high point. Nobody wants to be without their e-mail for a long period of time. So we’re really focusing on continuous availability of the e-mail system to individual users.
We know that college and departmental IT support is key, OIT cannot do this on our own, we’ve got to depend heavily on that local IT support. We’re bringing them into this process, we will be providing training for them as well, so we want everybody to be prepared for that. [21:20] We will migrate the existing mailboxes, your calendar information, your contact lists, and your GroupWise archives, they will all be migrated into this system. That’s all I have so far.
We recognize that there might be some questions and answers, but because of your agenda items today, I talked with Dr. Flynn, we think that it might be a good idea if we have an open forum or another forum where we can really talk about e-mail in detail. I’ll be communicating with Dr. Flynn, senate leadership and get you information about that.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I thank both of you for brief and useful comments. We are now going to move to our large action item list and that is a number of changes that have been suggested for the Faculty Handbook. Just going to give you a little background. These changes were suggested by a variety of different people, including, faculty, department heads and chairs, as well as deans. They were first brought to the Senate’s attention in January of this year. This was followed up by an opportunity in February to post online comments about each proposed change. We then had a special called Faculty Meeting later in February during which these changes were a focus. And so we are bringing them to you today for discussion and vote. The Faculty Handbook Committee has seen the proposed changes, they will see them again after the vote, and the P&T Committee and the deans have also had an opportunity to review these.
We are trying something new today because we have so many votes, we’re using the technology that we use for our students, many of us–I have to admit I am a semi-luddite and saw one of these for the first time today–but it looks pretty simple and Darrell Crutchley, who is a tech support person in the College of Liberal Arts has very kindly taken the time to set this up for us, and we would like to thank him as well as Anna Gramberg for allowing him to work on Senate business. I’d like to invite Darrell forward to give a very quick overview on using these.
Darrell Crutchley, tech support College of Liberal Arts: You all have the clickers in hand? The bottom button turns it on, the blue light will come on and it stays on for 30 minutes with no activity. So it stays on for 30 minutes and then it resets itself. You should get the blue light at the top. If you click any of the other buttons now it should be red because I don’t have it on where you can click.
When you vote, you see a little screen that comes up, polling has to be turned on first and what you want to watch for after you vote, the bottom light should flip green. It should turn green, that lets you know your vote has been received by the system and that’s your confirmation back. If it turns red, just vote again. If it keeps turning red, turn it off and turn it back on.
If you’re not sure how you voted, A, B, or C, just vote again. It remembers your last vote. What I’m going to do real quick is do a sample vote, I’m going to start it, now you can see the timer up there, as you click the numbers will start increasing. And you should be getting the green confirmation. You’re getting Red? Turn it off, turn it on. How many clickers do we have out there? (lots of chatter) So we have 63 so far. One other thing to try if it’s still turning red, hold down the power button until the blue light starts blinking and then just click AA, hit A twice. That will set the channel to be the channel we have in this room. So it should turn green, now we’re up to 65. Orange means you changed your mind, if you don’t click the same thing twice, it will give you a confirmation that you’ve changed you mind. Who still gets a red no matter what they do? Pick it up, we found that if it’s laying on the table somehow the antenna doesn’t go out like it’s supposed to. (Problems with the results) Claire, how many do we have, 68. Let’s start over. Let’s do it again. It should be taking your votes.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Okay, it’s possible that our experiment is failing and we’ll go back to low tech which will be stand up for yes, and we’ll do a head count. We’ll try this again. With that I’m going to call Russ Muntifering, who is secretary-elect, to come forward and present the proposals and we’ll do a head count as we do each one. [29:05]
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: Okay, we have a fair fare bit of work to do. This first proposed revision deals with changing the committee structure, this is the P&T Committee, such that each college and school has at least one representative on the committee. I call you attention to language over here on the left that refers to currently consisting of the Provost as chair and 11 faculty, at least 9 of which will be tenured… we have a change here consisting of the Provost as chair and 12 members at least 10 of whom must be tenured. This wording here, 3 new faculty; in the revised refers to 4 faculty as a result of the increase in membership that will come on each year. And then finally, we changed the plural form to the singular, Associate Provost and the Vice President for research and outreach shall serve as non-voting members. [30:40] Other than those changes, it is basically the language that exists in the Faculty Handbook.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Does anybody have any questions or comments? (non-mic comment) We’ll point out probably the significant difference, but…
Russ Muntifering: …not going to read the entire, but I will direct you to… (more non-mic comments)
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Could you go to the microphone? We’ll see how this goes. We’ve got a lot of them so we’ll just see how it goes. Does anybody have any questions or comments relative to the proposed changes?
Mike Stern, senator from economics: You say at least one member from each college or school? How many colleges and schools do we have?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: We have 12.
Mike Stern, senator from economics: 12. So when you say at least one from each college, that implies exactly one from each college Right?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Yes
Mike Stern, senator from economics: Okay, so is division by college in anyway representative of the faculty body? So if you take the College of Liberal Arts, for example, how many faculty members does it have in comparison to say the college of Forestry?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Well I think there’s a big difference, but if you look at the structure of Senate Committees that have memberships across all units, this is the model that we use. so are you proposing a change?
Mike Stern, senator from economics: Well, I’m just saying what is the purpose of, it wasn’t previously membership by college, right?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: It was, we did not have duplicate members typically.
Mike Stern, senator from economics: But there was no restriction under existing language. You could have two people from the same college, right?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: You could, yes.
Mike Stern, senator from economics: Okay, so obviously for a long time we have not had membership based on collegiate distribution here on this committee. We don’t have membership necessarily by collegiate distribution for instance on the Core Committee, we went through and modified the Constitution to make sure the distribution by relevant subject area to for instance the Core was probably represented rather then college.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: So are you proposing a change?
Mike Stern, senator from economics: Well I didn’t know exactly what the number is but if you want it to be exactly equal, one member per college or school, if you merge two colleges it would go down to 11 so then I can guess by this you could have two members from a college, but if the goal is to have a representative from a college it seems to me promotion and tenure the proper distribution is representative by a classification of subject matter. So like Liberal Arts is performing arts which is vastly different than the social sciences, or English, or philosophy or whatnot. If the goal is representation, like a distribution of expertise relevant to promotion and tenure, it’s unclear to me that college/school is the correct division for that.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Let me, one thing I will say because I’ve served on the Rules Committee now for 6 terms, I think, 5 for sure maybe 6, and the Rules Committee provides names to the president’s office. Our model has been to identify, because not all units were represented, the historical pattern, practice of rules, is to provide names from all of the major units, so that Liberal Arts always has a representative, Education should although there has been one notable exception, should always have a representative. The smaller units because we didn’t have every unit represented kind of rotated through, so Forestry might have a rep for 2 years or 3 years and then we would not for a year, and that’s been the practice because the Rules Committee has for the past few years felt that that was the logical way to do it. So that’s been the practice. Now we have had one occasion where there were 2 people from Education put on the committee, but they also went through a period of time when they had no representation.
So what I’d like to do for the interest of time is allow Andy to speak, and then if you have a proposed change…
Andy Whorley, senator from the Library: I’m just arguing my case here. I don’t have a proposed change, but I do hope to get an elaboration on one sentence here. “Tenure track faculty members must be tenured and should hold rank of professor.” It has in the past, we have had Library representation on the promotion and tenure committee even though the members were not of full professorial rank, in our case the Librarian rank, is this still going to be the case under this clause?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: That language did not change.
Andy Whorley, senator from the Library: Okay, thank you. [35:59]
Constance Hendricks, senator, nursing: I speak in favor of the proposed change. It does provide opportunity for every school and college under this university structure to be represented. How the school of college chooses to select or recommend their person for representation certainly is up for discussion, however we have been one of those schools that has been considered insignificant and small and often had no representation. So we are very pleased that at least with the proposed change, every school and college will have an opportunity to have a seat at the table.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Thank you. Does anybody else have any questions or comments?
These proposals are coming from the Steering Committee so they don’t require a second. So hearing no other questions or comments I’m going to call for those in favor to stand up so that we can count you. [37:10] (counting) [38:19] Thank you, the motion passed with 63.
Chapter 2.5.B 2nd paragraph
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: In this and all subsequent resolutions there will be a short caption at the top capturing the describing of the spirit, the concept of the change. This one deals with changing language on selection of department heads and chairs to reflect current practice. I call you attention to the current language. Chair head is selected by either departmental election or…we got truncated…by appointment following consultation. Appointment of department heads, this is the key change here, appointment of department heads/chairs are made by the president upon recommendation of the Provost. The proposed revision reads: Appointment of department heads/chairs is made by the Dean. [39:09]
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Does anybody have any questions or comments? Hearing none, I’m going to try a voice vote. If it’s clear-cut that we have a majority we’ll do a voice vote, if not we’ll do the stand-up. So all those in favor of this change say aye.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: All opposed, nay. We have one nay. The motion passes. Thank you.
Chapter 3.7, 3rd paragraph
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: this next resolution calls for inclusion of a copy of the Faculty Activities Report (FAR), the annual performance review instrument also be sent to the office of the Provost. As it stands the faculty member shall be asked to sign it as confirmation of having seen it, there is a subtle change here; if there are no objections the faculty member shall be required to sign it as confirmation of having seen it. Finally there is reference in the revision to a third copy is sent to the office of the Provost which is not included in the current policy.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Do we have any comments or questions on this proposed change? All those in favor say aye.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Opposed? Motion passes. [40:42]
Chapter 3.10, 4th paragraph
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: This one deals with a change in wording so that the dean sends a faculty member the letter of non-continuation on the recommendation of the unit head. The change specifically is located here, “in such a case the dean will send the letter of non-continuation to the faculty member on recommendation of the department via the unit head,” under the current procedure the department head notifies the faculty member with a letter of dis-continuation, so it puts the burden of responsibility upon the dean now.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Does anybody else have any questions or comments related to this change?
All those in favor say aye.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Opposed? Motion passes.
Chapter 3.13.D, 2th paragraph
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: This one deals with procedure for departmental faculty vote for emeritus status for faculty who have been working outside of the department for some period of time, for instance in the college administration. At the current time the department is notified of a faculty member’s intent to retire and that the policy is communicated to the faculty member by the Office of Payroll and Benefits. Under the proposed revision it is now incumbent upon the faculty member to request consideration through the unit head for consideration to be conferred emeritus status. [42:35]
I call your attention to this section here, “the faculty member may request consideration through the head or chair though normally the department head or chair with the concurrence of the dean of the college or school will provide information and a recommendation concerning the eligibility to the Provost.” If we go back now to the proposed revision there is a slight change in the wording here, reference to an appropriate group of peers determined by the dean would apply to those individuals who again have been away from their faculty responsibilities for a period of time as of in college administration [43:23] and have requested consideration for awarded emeritus status.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Questions or comments?
Mike Stern, Economics, senator: You give me another example where something is applied for through a department and your revision it says, you apply, if you go back to the previous slide, request consideration through the unit head, okay, now I assume that’s the department because that’s the way it’s normally referred to if I had a Handbook. If you apply for something through the department, what is another example of a departmentally applied award that is in fact associated with the department that does not have an advisory vote from that faculty department?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I’d have to go look. I…
Mike Stern, Economics, senator: For example, suppose you have an associate professor who has been working in college administration who wishes to apply to be a full professor through a department. He notifies the unit head, I want to be a full professor. Is the dean allowed because he is working in let’s say college administration at the time to select a group of people who will then rather than the department decide on whether he should be promoted to full professor?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I think there’s a fundamental difference there when you apply for a promotion, you are not applying based on administrative duties, you are promoted on the basis of academic and…
Mike Stern, Economics, senator: Emeritus is a title on the work professor, just like associate professor or full professor. It is a professorial status, you’re not an emeritus administrator, you are an emeritus professor so the issue should apply through the unit head.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: What this is, is a proposal that can either be voted up or down, so I don’t know how to answer your question. It will be for the faculty to decide if this is appropriate or not.
Mike Stern, Economics, senator: I don’t even understand what the basis for it is. If you want a professorial title applied through the department, only speak to the faculty in the department make it an advisory vote. Just like they do on every other professorial award that is going through a department. I don’t know what the impetus for it is.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Well, somebody proposed the change, I think we have a responsibility to bring proposed changes to the Senate body and people have the right to read it, discuss it, and then vote on it. And that’s what we’re doing.
Mike Stern, Economics, senator: But based on commentary on it, is it then modified before it comes to a vote, or it’s just passed through as a vote to the Senate irrespective of what commentary is on it? The Senate leadership and Rules Committee for instance processes this stuff and bring it for a vote, I just can’t walk up with any proposal and you’re mandated to put it to the floor for a vote?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: You can ask to have things put before the floor for a vote. If you…
Mike Stern, Economics, senator: If you say no, I’m not
Kathryn Flynn, chair: We have another senator behind you so I’m going…,you can speak again, but I need to give her a chance to make her comments.
Constance Hendricks, senator for Nursing: I call for a point of order. The comments are irrelevant and not germane to the fact.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Any other questions or comments? (pause) In that case I’d like to call for a vote. All those in favor say aye.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Those opposed.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Okay, I’d like to do a stand up vote in this case. Those in favor please stand. [47:10] Thank you. The motion received 43 votes, and the motion is defeated.
Chapter 3.15, 1st paragraph
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: This next item deals with a clarification in the policy language on appeals of notice on non-continuation prior to a tenure decision. I call your attention to about the middle, “appeal being made to an appellate body,” and in the proposed resolution it is explicitly referenced as the Faculty Dismissal Committee. (advance it just a little bit) this sentence here, “the Review committee shall not substitute its judgment…”, etc. is proposed to be deleted.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Any questions or comments on this proposal? If not, I’ll call for a vote. All those in favor say aye.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Opposed? Motion passes. [49:29]
Chapter 8.1, 3rd paragraph.
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: This suggested change merely codifies current practice. In the old language, “will receive 33.3% of their annual academic year’s salary,” this is for 9-month faculty doing summer teaching. And in the proposed revision, “a maximum of 33.3%.”
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Any questions or comments on this proposed change? All those in favor say aye.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Opposed? Motion passes.
Chapter 3.7, 4th paragraph.
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: This and subsequent resolutions deal with procedural process kinds of things in tenure and promotion. The first one dealing with 3rd year review to be performed before the completion of three full years of service, the rational being that this causes problems for some faculty and so there’s a proposal to change the name of the third year review. So we are proposing going from the current language here to this one: “This, (meaning the review), shall take place no later than spring semester of the forth probationary year.” As opposed to no later than 32 months or April 30 I believe in the third.
James Goldstein, senator from English: I’m going to argue against adopting this one. If we adopt this that could create a situation where some departments would elect to do it in the third year and others would elect to do it in the forth year, and I don’t think having inconsistency in this would be very wise for the institution. I think it’s also an advantage to have this process take place in the third year as it’s currently taking place. Sometimes these decisions have to be made, the sooner the better, and again there’s no promise that whether we do this in the third year or the forth year that the outcome of the promotion and tenure process is predetermined. I think the institution would be better served by having this decision made as it currently is in the third year.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Thank you.
Shawn Schooley, political science, not a senator: I just want a point of clarification and my senator wasn’t clear, these changes that we’re talking about today and voting on today and particularly this one are junior faculty members that are already here grandfathered in or does it start after a certain point? I know it’s probably a silly question, but nobody could tell me so far. It’s selfish of me. I’d have to respectfully disagree with Jim, for self-preservation purposes. (laughter)
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I think that many of these changes will probably apply immediately.
Shawn Schooley, political science, not a senator: Outstanding, thank you.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: That would be my…
Chris Corea, senator from the department of psychology: Just reflecting some of the input from some of the faculty from the department of psychology, we’re also not in favor of this resolution because the idea is that the earlier we can give feedback and the more time they have between that formal 3rd year review and their ultimate tenure decision, the more time they will have to correct any perceived deficiencies and those kinds of things, so we’re in favor of the earlier review or the currently stated.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Thank you. Does anybody else have any comments or questions? In that case I’d like to ask all those in favor of the motion say aye.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Those opposed say aye or nay.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I think the nays have it.
Chapter 3.9, 1st paragraph
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: Okay. This next one deals with tenure being the quote unquote, more exacting process as referred to in the current language in the Faculty Handbook. Currently we talk about the exacting nature and under the proposed revision the exacting nature leading to the statement, “therefore tenure is not possible if promotion to associate professor is not awarded.”
Eduard Duin, chemistry, bio-chemistry, senator: [54:52] The language is a little bit confusing because not everybody comes up for tenure, automatically comes up for promotion, some people come at a higher level, so I think this should be more explained example when it is not always this case.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Can you be a little more specific?
Eduard Duin, chemistry, bio-chemistry, senator: Suppose people come in as full professor and only come up for tenure, this rule doesn’t make any sense. The sentence doesn’t make sense.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I think if you came in as an associate professor, this wouldn’t apply to you, because this really deals with if you are not going to be promoted to associate from assistant then you would not be given tenure, but if you are hired in as an associate professor, you’ve already been promoted to associate so the only thing you would be considered for would be tenure. So I don’t think that this would apply in that particular case. This is a specific case.
Eduard Duin, chemistry, bio-chemistry, senator: Yeah, but in this case maybe the language should say that it’s an example not…instead of saying it’s more exacting, for example tenure is not possible, maybe that makes it more clear.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: So if we said tenure in fact is more exacting and therefore tenure without promotion is not possible. Is that what you’re saying?
Eduard Duin, chemistry, bio-chemistry, senator: I would like to scratch, and therefore, and say, for example.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: “…and for example tenure is not possible.” So you are making a formal motion to make that change?
Eduard Duin, chemistry, bio-chemistry, senator: Yes.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Does anybody have any comments to make on that proposal? Do we have a second? Larry Teeter, seconds. Any discussion? I call for the approval. All those in favor of this change say aye.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: opposed?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I think that the motion is defeated. So we are back to the main motion.
Norbert Wilson, senator for Agriculture and Rural Sociology: I appreciate the discussion of getting the language straight or the issue, however representing my faculty there was a concern about this idea. Not necessarily from all the faculty, but it was expressed that this possible change limits the possibility obviously for someone to be granted tenure even though they are not promoted that particular time, and the idea is yes there may be instances where granting tenure is appropriate, but not necessarily promotion. This is just a point of opinion and I realize that we are going to vote on this so I just wanted to give that comment.
Cliff Perry, but I’m actually hear as Steve Brown, political science substitute senator: Contrary to appearances my hair is brown and I’m much more mentally agile than you might suspect: Just a general question; the language in this proposed revision is exactly the same language that was published in 11-23-09 and I wanted to know whether or not, my senator wanted to know whether or not if there were comments that pertain to this and were those comments entertained by you all? What happened to them?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: There were…do you mean on line in February?
Cliff Perry, substitute senator for political science: Yes.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: There were a few comments and we did look at them. There were about, I’d have to go back and pull the numbers, but there were a couple of people who said, no this is a bad idea, and there were the same or a few more that said, this is a good idea and I support it. It was not a clear cut obvious opinion one way or the other, and so we felt that given the fact that there wasn’t a strong opinion one way or the other, and the fact that only a few people commented that it was legitimate to bring this forward and let the Senate as a body make the call rather than filtering it through the Senate leadership.
Cliff Perry, substitute senator for political science: So the standard was that if there were equal numbers of individuals who are pro this…
Kathryn Flynn, chair: No, actually what we did with the comments, and I did most of it I’ll be honest with you, was go through the comments and looked at how many people were opposed or not, and also where their suggested changes in terms of wording, clarification, that type of thing, but also then we felt that rather than let the 25 or so people who took the time to comment and were interested enough or whatever to comment online drive this process, that because these had been put out it was fair to let the whole body look at these and make a decision.
Cliff Perry, substitute senator for political science: Well someone made a comment that if you meant by difference in kind that the two were incommensurate with one another.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Different in kind?
Cliff Perry, substitute senator for political science: Where you say, decisions on tenure are different in kind from those on promotion. Well promotion and tenure are different in kind, apples and oranges, then how is one more exacting than the other? Unless you’re making a self-referential, which then wouldn’t make much sense at all.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I think that the reference to tenure is more exacting is how tenure is defined in the Faculty Handbook. There’s a distinction…
Cliff Perry, substitute senator for political science: Is it more exacting than the decision for promotion?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Yes
Cliff Perry, substitute senator for political science: When they are different in kind, they are not comparable. If they are not comparable how is one more exacting than the other, if you can’t compare them?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Tenure, according to Dr. Mazey because I’ve not served on the P&T Committee, but collegiality would be the difference. It’s considered in one and not the other.
Cliff Perry, substitute senator for political science: You’re making an explanation that makes it sound as if you are actually saying, they are not different in kind, one has more conditions to be satisfied than the other one.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I guess, in my mind if something has more conditions, it’s more exacting.
Cliff Perry, substitute senator for political science: Right, but it’s not different in kind.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: So are you making a suggestion that we change the wording?
Cliff Perry, substitute senator for political science: Well, I’m not but someone was. (laughter) I was just trying to be an advocate here.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: So I appreciate your comments. If you don’t have a suggestion for change I…
Cliff Perry, substitute senator for political science: If there not different in kind, you can leave that completely out. Tenure is just more exacting than promotion.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: So you’re making a motion that we take out, their different in kind, and have it read; decisions on tenure are different than those on promotion.
Cliff Perry, substitute senator for political science: Yes.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Okay, do I have a second?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: All those in favor
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Opposed? The motion passes. This is sort of like walking through a maze. James?
James Goldstein, senator for English: I’m going to argue against the proposed revision as amended, although I think in 99% of the time it would be bad practice to give someone tenure, but turn them down for promotion to associate professor. I think there can be times where that flexibility will be an advantage to the institution. Moreover if we pass this it would mean for the future we could never come back and consider the possibility of awarding tenure, for example to faculty who currently are non-tenured track faculty members who might teach in the core, and we could hit the jackpot and have enough money to feel comfortable to tenure instructors or lecturers, but if we pass this we would never be able to do that. The AAUPs documents on tenure and promotion stipulate that tenure has nothing to do with rank, the AAUP thinks that in principle people who are of any rank, and that would include instructor, should be eligible for tenure. I know we’re not going to will that battle anytime soon, but I think it would give more flexibility to the institution to leave it as it is.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Thank you.
Sanjeev Baskiyar, computer science and software engineering, senator: [1:04:43] I have concern relating to the full scope of this change. I think if we make this change then there are other places that change would be required for consistency. For example, I think to the best of my recollection the document says that we need a separate word for tenure and a separate word for promotion during T&P processes. If you just say that tenure in fact is more exacting, so then we just need one word for tenure not for promotion. So I guess there is more discussion that needs to into this particular change and the ripple effect of this change to other places so we perhaps need to rethink about it in a broader perspective with respect to other places in the document.
Also I have a comment, on the Web site one can download parts of the Faculty Handbook, but not the full handbook. Can it be changed so that one is able to download the full handbook so that one can read it fully if such things are in place? Thank you. [1:05:58]
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I’ll check on that and see if we can get that done.
Guy Rohrbough, senator from philosophy: I just want to point out that the language of the rest of the Handbook commits us to this very idea. The Handbook says, for promotion there’s a list of research, outreach, teaching, and then the criteria for tenure are all of those plus collegiality, right? So by the language of the rest of the Handbook unless we wish to change it, commits us to this very clarification. It seems like it’s that simple the idea of promotion without tenure is incoherent given what the rest of what the Handbook says.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Thank you. Any other questions or comments? If not, all those in favor of this change please say aye.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Those opposed
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I think we’ll do a stand up vote. All in favor please stand up. (counting)
We had 43 in favor so the motion is defeated.
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: The other evening I took the doc files for these current and proposed sections of the Faculty Handbook using strikeout for the old and yellow highlight for the new until I got to this one. Yea?
Cliff Perry, sub senator for political science: Since I worked so hard for someone is it possible to have the old language now changed, [1:08:32] because it says “different in kind”? This is sort of a hollow victory at this stage. (laughter)
Kathryn Flynn, chair: So you want to introduce a motion to change the…what we just adopted…no, excuse me, the current language, I see what you are saying. So you want to put a motion?
Cliff Perry: I would like to make a motion.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Okay and what is your motion?
Cliff Perry, sub senator for political science: That we eliminate “different in kind.”
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Different in kind? He’s a substitute senator. Do we have a second for this motion?
He is deleting “different in kind.” Deleting just “in kind,” do we have a second?
Sanjeev Baskiyar, computer science: Before this motion is voted upon I …
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Let me see if we have a second, because if we don’t have a second we won’t be voting.
Howard Goldstein, senator for music: Second.
Sanjeev Baskiyar, computer science: Before this motion is voted upon I believe as a result of the previous motion being defeated this motion has already been defeated. So there’s no reason to bring this motion again. In substance this motion has been defeated.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Any other questions or comments?
Cliff Perry, substitute senator for political science: It’s not defeated, obviously the current language still stands if the proposed is eliminated and the current would now reflect that which we all said we ought to eliminate in the proposed.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Any other questions or comments? If not, [1:10:41] call for a vote on the proposed change, the removal of “in kind.” All those in favor say aye.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: All opposed?
A few voices: Nay.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I think the ayes have it. Thank you.
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: Okay, like I said when I first started working with the doc files of these proposed changes I had nothing but strikeout and… you’re not going to let me tell my story Kathryn.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: You have a comment?
Mike Stern, senator economics: You said you had a majority vote to do whatever, but if that’s going to be a change in the Faculty Handbook that requires two-thirds.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: We can do a stand up count, but it sounded like it was only one or two people, but if you’d like a stand up vote on the proposed change, we can do that. All those in favor of the proposed change please stand. (counting) Okay, we need 58 for this to pass we had 56, so the motion to change the language does not pass.
And it might not hurt to do a head count of how many senators are still here. So if you’re a senator or a substitute please stand up. (counting) We’re good, we have 61 and we need 58. [1:14:23]
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: I won’t tell my story, but the point I’m trying to make is that the changes proposed for this particular section on collegiality are very, very sweeping to say the least and cannot be very easily referenced in terms of, this sentence out, this sentence in, etc. So I am going to proceed on the basis that you’ve had an opportunity to read this, review this, and I will ask Kathryn to open the floor for discussion. But this is a comprehensive revision of the functional definition of collegiality.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Comments?
James Goldstein, senator from English: I’m going to argue against adopting this change. I think that some of the language in the proposed revision adds a great deal of uncertainty and un-clarity to what this means. Respect for persons, I would hate to be on a promotion and tenure committee and have to get into a debate over what the meaning of respect is. Integrity of intellectual-inquiry, concerns for the needs and rights of students and clientele; the further I get into it the more uncomfortable I am with the proposed revision. I also would like to point out that the AAUP doesn’t think that collegiality should be a separate criterion for promotion and tenure in the Red book they think everything that we mean by collegiality is actually distributed among research teachings, service, and so on, but recognizing that our current Faculty Handbook has had collegiality in it for a long time, I think will do less damage leaving it as it is rather than adding a lot of unclear and in some cases ill conceived language to be added to it. Thank you.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Thank you, any other question or comments?
Sanjeev Baskiyar, senator for computer science: There are too many words associated with the proposed change with too many meanings that could be derived out of it in a discussion on T&P issues. I believe the existing language is fairly clear and there are issues such as bringing, I see a sentence saying, working with students or something? What’s the exact sentence? So in other words in an exceptional case if you have somebody from assistant to associate, can we bring up that portion with reference to the student too; “work productively with students” I think with faculty and colleagues and staff members is understandable it will become too wake the issue. I believe the proposed draft is going to be more open to interpretations than the existing language is. [1:17:44]
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Thank you.
Mike Stern, senator for economics: I raised this at the open forum and I don’t see any modification based on comments. This mentions faculty, students, colleagues, staff members, and constituents in all environments impacted by the university. Now seeing how this is a public university, receives federal money and everything else, I believe the constituency of Auburn University is every citizen of the United States. So apparently your interaction in regards to every citizen of the United States is relevant in consideration of your collegiality of your promotion and tenure under this definition. I don’t think you can regulate speech or interaction of an individual with regards to any citizen of the United States in regards to their employment status at Auburn University. I raised this concern before, but I don’t see any change to it, the constituency of a public university.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Okay, thank you. Any other question or comments? In the interest of simplicity, what I’m going to do is ask those of you opposed to this change to stand up. Okay, thank you the motion is defeated.
Chapter 3.10, 2nd paragraph
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: This next item if passed, would remove language that suggests that candidates, quote unquote, “normally considered for tenure in their fifth year, “and the operative change is here in the first sentence, “a candidate must be considered for tenure during his/her sixth year if he/she has not been considered earlier and has not waived consideration.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Any questions or comments on this proposal? If not those opposed to the change please stand up. The motion passes, thank you.
Chapter 3.10, 3rd paragraph
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: This next item is based on a perception on the person who volunteered this resolution, counting partial years toward a candidates probationary period is fundamentally unfair. The proposed revision then makes concession for that.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: do we have any questions or comments on this proposal? If not, all those opposed please stand up. Motion passes.
Chapter3.10, 4th paragraph
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: This next resolution will clarify that a faculty member waives the right to consideration for promotion and tenure that they basically do it forever. They waive it for all time.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Any questions or comments on this proposal? If not those opposed to this proposed change please stand up. We have one opposed, the motion passes.
Chapter3.10, De facto tenure
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: This is the suggestion for revision made by the local Auburn University Chapter of AAUP relative to de fact tenure. And you have before you the current policy of language as it exists in the Faculty Handbook and the proposed revision.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Questions or comments on this proposal, proposed change? If not, then all those opposed to this proposed change please stand up. We have two opposed. That would allow the motion to pass. [1:21:58] Thank you.
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: This change would add a requirement for external letters to the promotion dossier of an individual being considered for promotion to associate from assistant professor. We currently only require that for associate professors being considered for promotion to full professor. The salient change is summarized here in a comparison to the current language with proposed revision. And then down at the very end if I can go to the next overlay, a summary of each evaluator’s credentials will be included with the letters and the dossier.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I think you got there first.
Charlie Eick, curriculum and teaching, senator: One of the amendments we’d like to repose on this involving outside letters, where it says on this change that they can come from someone outside of equal rank or higher, my department feels strongly that the outside letters should come from people of higher rank for someone going up for a higher rank.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Do I hear a second for the motion to amend? Prabhakar Clement seconds. All those in favor of this proposed amendment? Oh, discussion, I’m sorry, do we have any discussion on the proposed change?
(voice not with microphone)
The proposed change is that where it says that the letters would come from a person of equal or higher rank, that it be of higher rank only if you are going from assistant to associate, and associate to full. [1:23:59] Higher than your current rank, yes.
Charlie Eick, curriculum and teaching, senator: that would be going from assistant to associate or associate to full, the external letters would come from individuals of higher rank not the same rank. We saw this, and we see things like, I’m going up for promotion and tenure to associate professor in my 5th or 6th year and letters are coming in from someone who’s in their first year as an assistant professor somewhere and that would be accepted under this current language.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Any discussion? [1:24:33] If not, all those in favor of the proposed amendment say aye.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Those opposed? Motion passes.
Mark Fischman, senator from kinesiology: I have a conceptual question about the nature of these external evaluations, and that is, I’m not sure that an external evaluator can comment on the tenureability of someone at Auburn. I would much prefer to see the external evaluations be related to the criteria for promotion. Mainly the research, scholarship, or outreach scholarship, but I don’t think you can comment on someone’s tenureability if you are not currently working with that person. The definition of collegiality is one of the distinguishing criteria for tenure, right? It’s different from promotion, and so I would not like to see someone from the outside advise us on whether a candidate in our department should be tenured. Promoted, yes, but tenured I think that’s different.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: So are you proposing an amendment?
Mark Fischman, senator from kinesiology: Well…If you took out the “and/or tenure” on the third line.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Just made it…
Mark Fischman, senator from kinesiology: Just promotion. When I’ve been asked to provide evaluations from other universities they specifically say, they request comments on the candidates scholarship, because if I haven’t worked with that person I really don’t feel comfortable making a tenure recommendation.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: So you’re making a motion that we take “and/or tenure” out and leave it just promotion?
Mark Fischman, senator from kinesiology: Yes
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Okay, do we have a second?
Prabhakar Clement, civil engineering, senator: I have a comment. This argument basically boils down to…
Kathryn Flynn, chair: First, we need a second, because if we don’t get a second we don’t have to argue. Do we have a second? We have a second with Charles Eick.
Prabhakar Clement, civil engineering, senator: This argument essentially boils down to arguing about collegiality and I would like to propose that it is possible that one would be working with committees at the national level and working fairly closely with a lot of senior people who can comment on collegiality. And it is possible that some person is really collegial, a person who can work with a lot of people, but due to some personal differences cannot work with a few people in the department. That is just fine they should still be promoted and tenured and they might have a strong viewpoint on certain issues which is good for the department.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Thank you, any other comments?
Mark Fischman, senator from kinesiology: My response to that would be, if you cannot work with the people in your department, if there are significant issues of collegiality within the department then the question is, should the department tenure that individual?
Prabhakar Clement, civil engineering, senator: It depends on the issue. What if I’m intellectually in disagreement with certain philosophies and some people don’t like it? I should have a right to and people outside can validate that. Working on national committees and I’m doing good work, a couple of people don’t like it so what?
Mark Fischman, senator from kinesiology: But the tenure vote is not…
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Let me allow another senator to speak.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: This is an option, I think it should be decided by department. Some departments maybe it is okay, some it’s not. It says and/or, so it provides you the opportunity, if you don’t want to ask the external evaluators to evaluate whatever you have that option. So if a certain department doesn’t want them commenting on someone, even if they do comment on it, you are free to ignore it. So what if the external letter guys write, “well I think he’s a great colleague” if you choose not to take their opinion, fine. It’s just someone’s outside opinion, there is no mandate what weight you give an outside person’s opinion. So to remove the option for a department to ask some external reviewer about the issue of collegiality if they want to, for instance if the department has something where they want to get set up with some external entity they might be interested in how well this person works with some of those outside people. The word colleague, I go to conferences and I introduce people that don’t even work at this university as a colleague, a fellow professional in the field. [1:29:44] So I don’t think collegiality is always necessarily restricted to a member of a department, so it’s just optional, you know, it says and/or, so what if somebody comments on it if you don’t want to take into account because it’s irrelevant then you are free to ignore it, right? It is an option as the way I see it.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Thank you.
Bob Locy, immediate past chair of the Senate: It seems to me, maybe my discipline’s different than everybody else’s, but I go off to national meetings and I see some pretty uncollegial behavior at national meetings. It seems to me that there is a role of external reviewers in providing information concerning the collegiality of this individual to the academy as a whole not just to the academy at Auburn University. I admit that I think that’s the most important collegiality, that to the university, but I think there’s more to collegiality than just treating your colleagues in your department correctly and properly and according to our rules of collegiality. So I don’t see anything wrong with the current wording.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Thank you.
Mark Fischman, senator from kinesiology: In light of the discussion I am going to withdraw my amendment. But I’m concerned that the overall Promotion and Tenure Committee is going to be reading letters that could be very, very different. So be it.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Thank you. With that, I’m going to ask that those opposed to this proposed change as unamended, please stand. We have four, the motion is defeated.
Chapter 3.11.E, 2nd full paragraph.
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: This next revision would limit faculty votes on tenure an promotion to one and one vote only at the lowest level that would usually be the department. In other words you couldn’t double dip and vote again if you served on a college or school committee. And another one I call to your attention is the first sentence in the proposed revision, “the department head would no longer vote to the extent that he/she provides a written evaluation of the candidate as well as a recommendation in a separate communication.”
Kathryn Flynn, chair: any comments or discussion? I will mention that this is one that got the most discussion at the special called faculty meeting.
James Goldstein, senator from English: I don’t know if we’re going to need to divide the question on this one. I support limiting people to only having one vote having clarity about which level that is. I don’t support disenfranchising a department head from being able to vote. That could lead to a situation in which the possibility of a tie-breaker might no longer be allowed to do that. So I don’t know whether it’s appropriate to make a motion to divide the question or not?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Are you making such a motion?
James Goldstein, senator from English: If that’s in order, that’ what I’ll do.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: It is in order.
James Goldstein, senator from English: I move that we have a separate vote on whether the department head should vote or not.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Do we have a second? Who seconded? Michael Stern. Okay do we have any discussion on this? If not, all of those in favor of separating the two issues say aye.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Opposed? Motion passes. Thank you, James.
Charles Eick, senator curriculum and teaching: Different issue. In my department we face this issue and maybe others have too, and it’s highly discussed as you mentioned, but we feel like the wording is still too vague in terms of departmental vote. If somebody is on a college committee or on a university P&T Committee it says that they should vote once that we agree with, but it gives them the option of where to vote and having that option puts ambiguity into the promotion and tenure process as opposed to clearly stating as we would amend, that the members have one vote at the higher level , whether that be at the college or the P&T if they serve at that level.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: So you are introducing that as a proposed amendment?
Charles Eick, senator curriculum and teaching: Introducing that as a proposed amendment. Just to clarify that language to vote at the higher level only for those individuals that are in those situations.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Does anybody want to second that motion? Jerry Davis, industrial engineering seconded. Any discussion? If not all those in favor of the proposed amendment say aye.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: All opposed? The motion passes. [1:35:19]
Someone: I was going to comment that it should be at the lower level. (laughter)
Norbert Wilson, senator from agricultural economics and rural sociology: How will we actually monitor this? There’s no language in this at least from what I can see to determine whether or not that person actually voted at the level they are supposed to vote. What’s going to prevent me from voting at all three levels if I get the chance?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Your ethical honesty? (chuckling) I would also assume that if you’re in your department and you’re also serving at the college level or higher, that people are aware of that service and it would be pointed out that you should not vote, it’s a process. That would be my guess.
Norbert Wilson: Thank you.
Prabhakar Clement, civil engineering, senator: It’s possible that you should reconsider Cliff’s suggestion that it should be at the lower level because I do see a conflict, let’s say one person got a negative vote at the department level and that person happens to be on the P&T committee, then you do have this powerful vote, so I think it should be at the lower level. [1:36:47]
Kathryn Flynn, chair: So are you introducing a motion to change the amended amendment? Amending the amendment?
Prabhakar Clement, civil engineering, senator: Yes. I guess.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Do we have a second? (I second, says Cliff Perry [not identified])
Do we have any discussion on this to change it from the higher level to the lower level?
Constance Hendricks, senator, nursing: Clarification and restatement please.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Let me restate this and make sure I’ve got it right. So instead of adding in there that the vote would be made at the higher level, it would be that the person who serves would vote at the lowest level, so it would be at the department level if they are on the collegiate P&T Committee; if they are on the collegiate college P&T Committee it would be and P&T they would vote at their college level.
I can’t hear you, I’m sorry.
someone: It’s just that it also as the Chapter note states, 3.11.E, 2nd full paragraph, it said, normally at the lowest level, so you recuse yourself from voting at the higher level.
Guy Rohrbaugh, philosophy, senator: I think lower level sounds like a less good idea because often for instance, you might be the sole representative from your college on the higher committee.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: You most likely will be.
Guy Rohrbaugh, philosophy, senator: yeah, I think the original idea was just to remove unclarity and it didn’t really matter too much which you did, but now I’m thinking that higher actually makes more sense than lower.
Charles Eick, curriculum and teaching, senator: I would also add that depending upon how many representatives on the university P&T committee have members that are up for being voted on. There could be a situation where a lot of people are recusing themselves from voting on the university P&T committee on individuals and then it’s not serving the function that it should be serving.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: That is a valid point.
Mike Stern: I thought it was current Faculty Handbook policy that if you are on the university P&T committee and somebody from your department comes up, you are suppose to recuse yourself. If you look under the language that governs the university…
Kathryn Flynn, chair: From you department? Yes.
Mike Stern: So you can’t vote at the higher level if you are in the department (of the person coming up) you have to vote at the lower level, or you won’t vote at all because if it comes from your department you can’t if you’re on it. If you happen to be on the P&T committee and somebody comes from your department, I think if you have a Handbook with you, you have to recuse yourself from the higher vote. [1:39:37]
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I think that’s right.
Mike Stern: So I don’t think… we will violate the Handbook if we say you must vote at the higher level.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Currently it says, “faculty members who serve in an advisory capacity at the school, college, or university level may vote at the department level, but at higher levels shall excuse themselves from decisions on candidates from their department.” So, from the department yes, but if you’re from your college and other departments there’s a…
Mike Stern: As we amended…I don’t know precisely what we amended, but if you say you have to vote at a higher level, I think it’s always been tradition that a university P&T committee that if somebody from your department is coming up you recuse yourself at the university P&T committee, so you have to vote then at the lower level or you get no vote at all. I think that’s it.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: You have a comment? Question?
Someone: I think we have lost track of what we are working on.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Okay, we have a motion that has been seconded that would change the vote from, at the higher level–where you would vote at the highest level that you can to where you must vote at the lowest level. That’s what’s on the table.
Heather May, senator from theater: It’s kind of a question/comment, but at the lower level for a very small department I think there could potentially be problems if they were forced to vote with the higher level if you have a very small number of tenured faculty members in the department.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Okay, these are all good comments, so now since there are no other comments we’re voting to change what we just amended to the exact opposite. You must vote at the lowest level, all those in favor of this change please say aye.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Opposed?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: This is not a change in the handbook so it only requires a majority vote so the motion passes and as it stands it is now that you must vote at the lowest level.
Now we have a split question, so unless there are other comments I am going to call for a vote first on whether the department head votes or not. So all those in favor of the proposed change, which would mean that the department head would not vote, stand up. All those opposed to this change please stand up. This would mean if you vote against this your department head can still vote. Okay the motion failed so the department head will retain (the) vote.
Now we are going to vote on the second part of this, which deals with the level that people must vote. As it currently stands they must vote at the lowest level. All those opposed to this change please stand up. The motion is defeated. So we will change the language in the upper part and retain the language in the second part. (commotion) Did I say that backwards? I’m sorry, they both failed. I apologize getting my procedure…so no change.
Chapter 3.11.E, 2nd full paragraph.
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: You folks are doing some good work you deserve an easy one. Immediate family members are currently excused from votes on tenure and promotion. And the proposed revision would also exclude them from discussion.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Comments, questions?
Eduard Duin, chemistry, biochemistry senator: We have several research assistant professors in our department that work directly for other professors and we like to include those that they are not allowed to vote on a person for whom the work for.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: So you are introducing a motion to add to this that those faculty members who directly employ, in this case it would be non-tenure track right?
Eduard Duin, chemistry, biochemistry senator: yeah.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: So it would be a vote on promotion, so that we add to this language that immediate family members and faculty members who directly employ non-tenure track faculty excuse themselves from voting and discussion.
Eduard Duin, chemistry, biochemistry senator: It would be faculty members that work directly for other faculty members, that work directly for the candidate.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Oh, I see from…let me restate that; So, if immediate family members and faculty members who directly for candidates for promotion. Do we have a second? We do have a second from Constance Hendricks. Any comments or questions or discussion?
All those in favor of the amendment say aye.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Opposed?
Kathryn Flynn, chair: We have a motion that has passed so we are looking at an amended motion now. Any other discussion?
Guy Rohrbaugh, philosophy, senator: I guess I understand the rational for not letting them vote but I guess that the rational for not hearing what any of these people have to say is lost on me.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Okay, does anybody have any comments, questions?
Mike Stern Economics, senator: This was raised at the open forum, I just don’t know if it’s been clarified or not, but somebody asked what the definition of an immediate family member is. Does Auburn University have a formal definition? Are these people who cohabitate, or these people that are married, or these people that are cousins or second cousins, what’s the definition of an immediate family member? I don’t know. It was asked, I don’t know if it’s been resolved.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: I’m not actually sure, I neglected, I have to apologize, to check on that. According to the parliamentarian we do have a definition of immediate family members in the insurance policy, and I guess that we could follow that. Any other questions or comments? If not then all those in opposition to this amendment please stand up. It has been amended, and it has been defeated.
Chapter 3.11.E, 5th and 6th paragraphs
Russ Muntifering, secretary-elect: Four more. This next one would codify the concept of a consensus report from the department not to entirely replace, but to augment letters from individual faculty because in the proposed revision faculty members still do have an opportunity to write individual letters that can be added to the packet, appended to the consensus report.
Kathryn Flynn, chair: Questions or comments? (pause) All those opposed to this proposed amendment please stand up. The motion is defeated.
I think, I am seeing people leaving, and I believe that we no longer have a quorum, so we do have three more changes but I don’t think that we can constitutionally consider them so I am going to suspend the discussion on action items. I would like you all to, first off I got to apologize to Jim Hanson, who I don’t believe is a senator, was on the agenda and has had a riveting afternoon, and we do thank you. We will have you back next month if you are available.
Please remember to turn in your clickers. I really appreciate all of your patience. I know this has been long and maybe painful, but we have made some progress, thank you. The meeting is adjourned.