Faculty Policies Committee Minutes, October 6, 2003
Present: Tom Crute, Gordon Eisenman, Cliff Gardiner, Marc Miller, Jeff Heck (secretary), Bill Reese (chair), Katherine Sweeney, Donna Wear, Janice Whiting, Sabina Widner
Guests: Deans Bill Dodd, Richard Harrison, Ed Pettit, and Jack Widener
1. Student Evaluations – Academic Policies Committee returned review of the student evaluation process to the FPC. Cliff Gardiner invited Dharma Thiruvaiyaru, Sankara Sethuraman, Nabil Ibrahim, and Bob Reeves to serve on a subcommittee with him, and they have accepted. Other members of the FPC also are invited to join the subcommittee. The process is reviewed every five years.
2. Employee Benefits – Tom Crute suggested a wording change in the draft letter from Bill Reese to chair of the Employee Benefits Committee. The FPC approved the change and the letter.
3. Consideration of Free Speech Policy – Tabled until the next meeting.
4. Faculty Governance –
A. Letter promoting faculty governance:
Bill Reese distributed a letter addressed to Gina Thurman, for review by the FPC before next week’s meeting. If approved, the letter will be sent as part of the effort to boost faculty representation through the FPC.
B. Publication of Committee minutes and End-of-Year reports to the Web:
Marc Miller and Wendy Turner revised and Miller distributed a proposed amendment to the Faculty Manual related to committee reporting.
The purpose of the expanded Web publication of committee minutes is to improve faculty governance by allowing faculty to better track discussions and decisions of interest to them across campus.
The academic deans joined the FPC at to contribute to the discussion. Concerns raised included watering down of minutes because committees would avoid drawing attention through their minutes; problems with management of the committee list; enforcement; the value of having minutes more visible if they reflect action already taken; and, the work involved balanced against the benefit. Janice Whiting suggested that the Web publications be placed in a password-protected intranet location; the site would be reachable only by ASU faculty, staff, and the president of the Student Government Association. This approach will still meet open records guidelines. Bill Reese requested the deans let him know, on a separate issue, the names of any non-teaching faculty known to the deans. Reese also asked that the deans forward any further thoughts on publication of committee minutes in the days after the meeting.
Following the discussion with the deans, the FPC chose to focus on statutory and standing committees for Web publication of minutes and EOY reports, while promoting EOY report publication to the Web for all other committees; Bill Reese requested that the Miller/Turner proposal be further edited to reflect this focus and considered again at the next FPC meeting.
Other suggestions to improve tracking of committee actions included asking the Committee on Committees to distribute a letter indicating committee responsibilities shortly after Fall semester begins, and a suggestion to create a mailing list address so that secretaries of the committees could more easily submit their reports to all parties who should be receiving them.
C. Departmental Visits – Gordon Eisenman met with the Department of Teacher Development. Members of that department requested that the committee listed as “Education Curriculum” be removed from the Web list, as it no longer existed in that form due to state mandate. Cliff Gardiner will take this to the Committee on Committees.
The department also desired that proposed changes to the curriculum, (forwarded to a curriculum committee within each college) be required to be submitted electronically rather than in paper, to reduce distribution costs and ensure everyone could see the proposed changes. Tom Crute will pursue information on a previous effort in this direction.
Finally, the department questioned a policy practice. Currently, faculty who are hired and agree in their contracts to seek promotion or tenure in a short time after their hire (2-3 years), are judged based on their activities from their date of hire to the date of application. This can be a short time frame in which to produce publication and other indications of their value to the university. Jeff Heck will locate and distribute material on this question from the 2002-3 FPC.
1. Email Policy Placement in the Faculty Manual – Charles Jenks, Faculty Secretary, requested the assistance of the FPC in dividing and placing the email policy passed by the faculty into the Faculty Manual. Jeff Heck will forward the final version of the email policy to the FPC members, who will make suggestions by email on division and placement, prior to the next meeting of the FPC. Gordon Eisenman will ask Jenks to contact Bill Reese to discuss future plans for revision of the Faculty Manual as a whole.
All other agenda items were deferred.
Allgood Hall, Dean’s Office Conference room, within the N210 suite