Faculty Policies Committee Minutes
March 2, 2009
Members present: Ted Atkinson, Rob Bledsoe, Tom Crute, Paula Dohoney, Wally Evans, Jana Sandarg, Bruce Saul, Mike Searles, Robert Smalley, Steve Weiss.
1) Tom called the FPC Committee to order at 2:35pm.
2) Minutes from 23February were approved after corrections were accepted. They will be posted soon.
3) Rob gave an Election Subcommittee summary noting that the eligibility list was being compiled. More information will be shared next week.
4) Steve led a discussion about the Study Abroad Procedures Subcommittee’s recommendations. Topics included: Deans’ roles in the process; chain of contacts in preparing course; adherence to Board of Regents Policy; translation of “study abroad hours” into credit hours; preparation of a chart or time-line for clarity; and the course substitution process. More discussions will occur next week.
5) Tom provided a copy of the FPC Intellectual Diversity Statement proposal for final approval. After a few minor corrections, the Committee voted unanimously to send the proposal to the faculty. See attachment “a”.
6) Paula provided background for combining the Adopt-A-School Committee with a Service to K-12 Committee. In summary, ASU will be in compliance with Board of Regents Policy by making changes in committee structure and adding verbiage to our Faculty Role Model. After a few changes to the proposal, the FPC voted unanimously to send the document to the faculty. See attachment “b”.
7) Other items will be moved to the meeting on 9March09.
Adjourned at 4:15 pm.
Summary and rationale of proposed changes regarding Intellectual Diversity
The Board of Regents has demanded that each school protect intellectual diversity. Adopting policies that address this issue now may prevent a uniform policy from the BOR or legislature. In an ideal world an intellectual diversity policy would prevent an authority figure (faculty) from bullying students into accepting personal opinions, belief systems, and the like that are not an established part of the curriculum. Furthermore, students should not be penalized for not espousing their instructor’s personal opinions and beliefs that may be transmitted in classroom discussions. There are two parts to addressing this issue.
Faculty Policies has crafted a statement affirming the right to retain one’s opinions and belief systems while balancing this right against unlimited freedom to express these views in a classroom setting and also ratifying that course grades will be assigned based on a command of the relevant curriculum material. This statement does not prevent personal opinions from being expressed in the classroom, but it also does not guarantee that an opportunity to express them will be available to all.
The second part of addressing this issue provides an alternative first step in the formal grievance policy. This recognizes that some incidents, such as intellectual diversity disagreements, may involve deeply personal issues where emotions may run high. A student will now have the opportunity to initially bypass the instructor and meet with the instructor’s supervisor or a person outside of the department.
The BOR specifically recommends that in the grievance process the student have an avenue outside the academic reporting structure for initial discussions. FPC has proposed that the Dean of Students or her designee serve in this role. This person would be viewed as unbiased in the matter in a way that the department chair or academic dean may not. As such she may be able to diffuse a tense situation or ward off frivolous complaints. The Dean of Students’ role is one of an advisor and facilitator and does not replace the role of the chair or academic dean in the process. While any person in the academic chain of command may have a designee, a designee for the Dean of Students was specifically spelled out in the hope that student advocates may become routinely available through the Dean of Students’ office.
Inclusion of Intellectual Diversity and Critical Thinking statement
For inclusion in:
section 840 Intellectual
Diversity and Critical Thinking
(after “Faculty Grievance Procedures” and prior to “Student Grievance and Appeals Procedures”
Catalog- first section of “Student Rights and Responsibilities” prior to Academic Honesty
Student Handbook- alphabetically as Intellectual Diversity and Critical Thinking
ASU is committed to
nurturing intellectual diversity on the campus. While faculty members have the
responsibility to present in the classroom their understanding of current
scholarship in their fields, and at appropriate times should feel free to
express their personal opinions, they should create an atmosphere where students
feel free to retain their own beliefs, and should treat with respect dissenting
opinions which are civilly and sincerely expressed. However, faculty bear
responsibility for managing the classroom and are under no obligation to ensure
that all opinions are expressed or that opposing opinions receive equal class
time; faculty members may determine that some opinions or subjects—which might
be maintained and discussed elsewhere on campus—are inappropriate for
Students should not be rewarded or assessed according to whether they as individuals share their professors’ personal opinions; students should be appropriately assessed on their understanding of generally accepted theories and ideas current in the field.
Modification to Student Academic Grievances- catalog and faculty manual
Second paragraph of catalog and 850.3 of Faculty Manual
If the student wishes to initiate a grievance, he or she must follow the student academic grievance procedure as outlined below, keeping in mind the following principles:
outlined in Stage One below, except when the complaint is of the most egregious
nature or is related to intellectual diversity the student must start
with a sincere attempt to settle the dispute in an informal manner with the
instructor. In general
can initially hear the student’s concerns and refer him or her to this
document, but they will not discuss any specific grievance until the
appropriate procedural steps have been taken.
The Dean of Students or
designee may serve an advisory role for the most egregious incidents or those
involving intellectual diversity by hearing specific grievances and
facilitating the procedures outlined below.
Modification of Stage I- informal procedure of catalog (paragraph 3 of 850.4 in faculty manual)
I. Stage One: The Informal Procedure
Unless the complaint is of the most
egregious nature or is related to intellectual diversity, t
student should first
must make a sincere
attempt to settle a dispute in an informal manner with the instructor. If the
student is still not satisfied with the instructor’s decision, s/he the student may then discuss the matter with the
instructor’s department chair. If the problem remains unresolved, the student
may then discuss the matter with the instructor’s dean.
For the most egregious incidents or those involving intellectual diversity, the student may feel uncomfortable speaking to the instructor about the matter. In these cases, the student may elect to have initial discussions of the matter with the instructor’s immediate supervisor. Prior to meeting with academic personnel, the student may contact the Dean of Students or designee who may be able to assist in informal resolution with the academic unit but is otherwise not a party to the grievance process.
BOR review of teacher preparation has found ASU unacceptable for principle #5.
Regents’ Principles and Actions for the Preparation of Educators for the Schools
University System institutions that prepare teachers will support and reward all faculty who participate significantly in approved efforts in teacher preparation and school improvement through decisions in promotion and tenure, pre-tenure and post-tenure review, annual review and merit pay, workload, recognition, allocation of resources, and other rewards.
To meet this principle, changes to the faculty role model and University standing committees are proposed.
Role Model Changes
1. Speeches and presentations to community organizations
2. Consultation with community groups in area of expertise
3. Writing for local media in area of expertise
4. Guest appearances on media (TV, radio) in area of expertise
5. Representing the university in community planning
6. Performing special duties for the university in the community
7. Responding to community inquiries in area of expertise
8. Teaching CED courses
9. Participation in activities in K-12 schools
· 421.3.5 Conferences, seminars, workshops, exhibitions, and competitions Examples include, but are not limited to:
4. Conferences, seminars, workshops, and other activities designed to improve teaching and learning in K-12 schools.
Deletion of University Permanent Committee- Adopt-A-School
Creation of University Standing Committee- Service to K-12 Schools as section 204.22 with appropriate renumbering of the alphabetically latter committees. Proposed wording in Faculty Manual:
204.22 Service to K-12 Schools Committee
The committee shall consist of five faculty members (one member from each department in the College of Education, one from the Pamplin College of Arts and Sciences, and one from the Hull College of Business), a representative of the Registrar and Director of Admissions, a representative from Public Relations, two students, and one K-12 faculty member.
The committee shall (1) evaluate and report to the Vice President for Academic Affairs activities that contribute to improving teaching and learning in K-12 schools; (2) disseminate to ASU students, staff, and faculty information regarding opportunities for involvement in K-12 schools; and (3) make recommendations to ensure ASU supports and rewards all faculty who participate significantly in approved efforts in teacher preparation and school improvement.