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Sept 13, 1995 Minutes

Present: Bible, Caverly, Deduck-Evans, Ford, Glassman, Horne, Hunter,
Lyman, Middlebrook, Pascoe, Sawey, Stedman, Swinney, and Winek.
Absent: Weller.

Guests: Assoc. VPAA Patrick Cassidy; Profs. Lydia Blanchard (Chair,
English), Rebecca Bell-Metereau (English); Prof. Ruth Welborn (Health
Administration); Prof. Bob Habingreither (Chair, Technology); Mike
Moore, Sandra Akridge.


27 OFFICIAL OPPRESSION (Tarsitano Letter)
33 SENIOR FACULTY SYSTEM (Habingreither Letter)
36-125 FINAL EXAM SCHEDULE (Early Letter)

The meeting was called to order at 4:02, Chair Swinney presiding.

27 OFFICIAL OPPRESSION (Tarsitano Letter)

Prof. Tarsitano brought to our attention the State statute on "official
oppression" and raised some issues regarding the use of anonymous letters.
The Senate agreed in an earlier meeting to urge the Administration to share
this statute with administrators, and at this meeting adopted an advisory
opinion on the handling of anonymous complaints. Following is the
Senate's memorandum on these subjects to VPAA Gratz and President Supple.

"Over the past few weeks the Senate has been discussing, generally, two
subjects which are relatively obscure, but quite important. First, it was
called to our attention that there is a State law on "official oppression" which
comprehends academic administrators. Second, there was an inquiry
regarding the appropriate use of anonymous complaints by administrators.
Since we were unaware of the law on oppression, we assume that others may be
as well; thus, we are providing the text of the statute in computer-readable
format (see below) in the hope that you will facilitate its circulation for
information to deans and chairs. With regard to anonymous complaints, we
discovered that there is no University policy on the subject. Therefore, we
have drafted a Senate Advisory Opinion (also attached), which we also ask
to be circulated for information.

"The Senate recommends that both of these topics should included in any
administrator orientation program that might be developed in the future.


"Title 8, Section 39.03 Official Oppression

"(a) A public servant acting under color of his office or employment
commits an offense if he:

"(1) intentionally subjects another to mistreatment or to arrest,
detention, search, seizure, dispossession, assessment, or lien that he
knows is unlawful;

"(2)intentionally denies or impedes another in the exercise or
enjoyment of any right, privilege, power, or immunity, knowing
his conduct is unlawful; or

"(3) intentionally subjects another to sexual harassment.

"(b) For purposes of this section, a public servant acts under color of his
office or employment if he acts or purports to act in an official capacity
ortakes advantage of such actual or purported capacity.

"(c) In the section, "sexual harassment" means unwelcome sexual advances,
requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual
nature, submission to which is made a term or condition of a person's
exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power, or immunity, either
explicitly or implicitly.

"(d) an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.


"A faculty member brought to the Senate a question regarding the
appropriate use by academic administrators of anonymous complaints about
faculty An informal Senate enquiry reveals that there is no University
policy on this subject. Neither are there clear professional standards;
the AAUP "Red Book" has no statement on the subject. State law prohibits
the use of anonymous complaints against police officers, but not faculty.

"Anonymous complaints are evidence of absolutely nothing. They should
not be used in any way to discipline or evaluate a faculty member. Such
documents should not be placed in faculty personnel files at any level. The
undergirding principle of academic due process, the right to face and cross-
examine witnesses, is violated when such complaints become a basis for
administrative action.

"It is the Senate's considered opinion that the original copy of anonymous
complaints should be given to the faculty member for information and/or

"The handling of anonymous complaints is largely a matter of good
judgment, which cannot be legislated; therefore, we do not recommend the
adoption of a University policy on the subject. However, some discussion
of this topic, perhaps at CAD and in School Councils, might help increase
understanding of this issue."

33 SENIOR FACULTY SYSTEM (Habingreither Letter)

Some complaints have been made by junior faculty members to the
Council for Women that they do not feel included in departmental business.
While departments vary in their practices on this, the Faculty Handbook
states "[T]he chair relies heavily upon the advice of the senior faculty,
which is composed of tenured faculty members whose academic
assignments are half-time or more within the academic department. Also,
each senior faculty must include a representative from the nontenured
faculty who sits with the senior faculty or senior faculty committee . . .
as a voting member in all deliberations except those involving personnel
matters--hiring, terminating, tenuring, promoting, recommending merit
and performance or otherwise defining the status of faculty. This
representative is elected each spring to a one year term running from
September 1 to August 31 by the nontenured members of the department
whose assignments are half-time or more, excluding assistant instructors,
and is responsible for bringing the viewpoints of the nontenured to senior
faculty meetings," etc.

Prof. Habingreither noted that even a one-year probationary period on
voting would be preferable to a six-year exclusion from attendance at
departmental discussions of curriculum and non-personnel policy meetings.

After some deliberation (and it appeared that many of the departments
represented already included junior faculty, despite the wording in the
Faculty Handbook), a motion was passed to refer the question to the
Governance Committee (Prof. Hazelwood, chair). The Committee will be
instructed to examine procedures across the campus, consider how junior
faculty think about the possibility of being left out of the decision-making
loop for up to six years, and get recommendations back to the Senate by
December so that an new wording that may be agreed upon may be included
in the next Faculty Handbook.


Changes in wording of the PPS were distributed. Basically, changes
cut redundant paragraphs, deleted wording about no leaves within five years
of compulsory retirement (since the state law has been changed and there is
no compulsory retirement age), reports of leave activities should be made to
VPAA, etc. It was also noted that the policy in paragraph eleven (regarding
disagreements between Faculty Senate and CAD recommendations versus the
Administration, that the matter be brought back to those two lower bodies
for the submission of written opinions) is not being followed. The item
was RTA'd so that the suggested changes could be digested.


It has been suggested by VPAA Gratz and Pres. Supple that both
tenure and promotion occur together in the sixth year. There was some
opposition on the Senate regarding an "up-or-out" policy, since arguments
were made in previous discussions that junior faculty often have good
research and publication "in the works" which have not come to fruition by
the end of the probationary period. If policy changes, however, it must be
reflected in the Faculty Handbook. It was suggested that we find out what
other schools do on this.

It was moved and passed that the Tenure, Promotion, and
Compensation Committee, Prof. Bible, chair, examine this issue and make
recommendations to the Senate this fall and that we again ask VPAA Gratz
for data on: (1) How many people get promotions before tenure and (2)
How many get tenure before promotions.


Apparently in the past chairs and retiring faculty negotiated
agreements (voluntary modified employment, VME's) without much interference
from deans or higher administration. Now that so many faculty are asking for
modified retirement, the demand for dollars and office space, etc. are
mounting. Monies saved by cutting retired faculty back to part-time are
returned to administration (one-quarter of the salary salary reverts to VPAA,
one-quarter to the school dean), which moves monies around between
schools and departments. Late last spring the Senate briefly considered a
draft revision of the policy, UPPS 04.04.51.

After discussion, it was moved and passed that a Senate ad hoc
committee composed of four senators (Sawey, Lyman, Swinney, Middlebrook),
three chairs named by the Council of Chairs, and a dean (and perhaps
Assoc-VPAA Cassidy) be convened to make final revisions in the draft.
The length of the VME agreement is one of the issues, with three or
five years being most frequently suggested. The draft currently reads
"three." Prof. Bible and others pointed out that the retired faculty
have no bargaining power once they sign a VME agreement, i.e., before
one decides to retire one can reject the terms of agreement but after
that one can only accept the preferred contract, including dismissal,
whether one wants to or not. Prof. Deduck-Evans noted that those who
have gone on VME need to be polled on their experiences. Prof. Sawey
noted that the administration seems unduly anxious to embrace terms
for VME faculty while totally unwilling, to date, to accept the Senate's
recommendations of terms for chairpersons.

36-125 FINAL EXAM SCHEDULE (Early Letter)

The final exam schedule is very messy because of the nonstandard time
of so many classes. Prof Early indicated that there were over 500 distinct
time slots for classes--a far cry from the simple MWF one-hour of TTh one-
hour and fifteen minute slots. He suggested that class hours could be kept
during final week and exams given in two or three parts, effectively doing
away with a special final exam schedule. Alternatively, he suggested that
faculty could be allowed to give final exams during the last week of classes
to by-pass conflicts and/or Friday and Saturday night exams. The Senate
will call this issue to the attention of appropriate administrators and seek
information on current policy regarding the scheduling of classes.


The Senate authorized the Chair to proceed with the machinery to
secure the nomination and election of tenure-track representatives to the
University Council. Letters seeking nominations will be mailed to
departmental faculty representatives and chairs on September 18. Nominees
to replace Scott Slovic (English), whose term has expired, may be submitted
by departments in the schools of Applied Arts, Business, Education,
Health Professions, and Liberal Arts by October 9. Other tenure-track
faculty on UC are William Meek (Art) and Tod Amon (Computer Science).

As you may recall, the UC was created in 1992 to bring together higher
adm., deans, chairs, faculty senate, tenure-track faculty and staff in a
council to advise the President's Cabinet.


Likewise, the Senate authorized the Chair to proceed to solicit from
departments nominations for Piper Professor and the Senate's distinguished
teaching award. These nominations, too, will be due in the Senate Office no
later than October 9.


The meeting was closed for this topic. Senators Glassman, Bible, and
Swinney will serve as a nominating committee to recommend the Chair and
Dean members of this Committee. Dr. Chris Jorgenson, EAPS, will chair
the Committee this year.


Minutes were approved.


(1) Standing Rules of the Faculty Senate.

A copy of the standing rules of the Faculty Senate were circulated for

(2) Prof. Bill Peeler (Theater Arts) submitted a letter regarding the hit-
and-miss scheduling of classes at odd hours (particularly Mon. and Wed.
75 minute classes) which tie up classrooms for two standard time slots. It
also precludes students from taking other classes which conflict with odd
hours. [Note: This is related to the suggestions above by Prof. Early
regarding the complex final exam schedule and the 500 or so time slots each
week.] RTA'd for policy investigation.

(3) No PAAG meeting on September 27th. The President will be out
of town.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:05 p.m.
Ramona Ford