|The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Faculty Council Minutes
April 16, 1998
Signal Mountain Room
Elected Members Present:
Elected Members Absent:
Ex-Officio Members Present:
Among the Guests Present:
Important Action and Announcements
*The UT administration has decided to develop a general policy on post-tenure review and leave the matter of implementation to individual campuses. The Council reaffirmed their resolution to recommend to the Board that they delay their plans to adopt a general post-tenure review policy in June. It will also be recommended that evaluation of faculty involved in the policy not be linked to the status of tenure. This issue will be discussed at the full faculty meeting on April 28.
*The Council approved new Handbook language on CECA and on who will preside at faculty meetings (see addendum).
*The Council approved an administrative General Education Implementation Committee to consider matters relating to staffing, Banner 2000, etc. (There will be a separate ad hoc faculty General Education Committee to consider implementation issues related to the curriculum.)
*The Council passed several curriculum proposals, and academic standards proposals relating to grading policies in Criminal Justice (see addenda).
*Final committee reports are past due from the Athletics, Budget and Economic Status, Classroom Technology, Convocation, Faculty Research, Honor Court, Publications Board, and Library Committees.
Call to Order
President Gene Ezell called the meeting to order at 3:15 p.m.
Approval of Minutes
Corrections of the minutes of April 2, 1998 were that "faculty" should follow "UTC" eight lines from the bottom on p. 2, and that "Director Judy Fry" should be replaced with "Professor Judy Miler" on p. 6. The minutes were approved unanimously as corrected.
Professor Bill Gurley moved approval of proposed revisions in the MBA. Professor Fritz Efaw stated that Economics 417 and 460 should be included in the Economics concentration of the proposal. Because there were questions about the Economics concentration that could not be answered at that time, Professor Gurley withdrew his motion. The proposal was tabled until the April 28 Council meeting.
Professor Mark Bryant presented a list of completed or near-completed Departmental Honors projects as an information item (see addendum). Professor Felicia Sturzer indicated that Ms. Stacy Oborn has already defended her honors thesis. Professor Bryant reported that there may be slight inaccuracies on the list, as defenses were still being held at that time.
Professor Steve White moved on behalf of the Academic Standards Committee that a minimum of C be required in all courses in Criminal Justice, and that the grading system of the Criminal Justice Internship program be changed from A-F to "Satisfactory/No Credit." Provost Berry asked if other internshsip programs used a S/NC grading system, and the answer was yes. Both motions passed unanimously by a voice vote.
President Ezell announced that UT officials have decided to develop a general post-tenure review policy and leave matters of implementation to individual campuses. Campuses will have one year to work on implementation language. President Ezell speculated that the present evaluation procedures at UTC might well be considered adequate under the new policy. The UT Faculty Tenure Advisory Committee (which includes President Ezell and Dean Mary Tanner) will meet on May 4, and a general policy draft will be developed at that time. President Joe Johnson has stressed that he does not need to be reminded that the granting of tenure is a contract. He has raised the issue of post-tenure review mainly to prevent a policy more damaging to tenure from being developed. The Governor has expressed an interest in post-tenure review, and the Board of Regents campuses are developing post-tenure review policies. Chancellor Stacy stated that the compromises made by the UT administration represented a good, solid victory for the faculty.
Professor Stroud asked of what the general post-tenure review policy would consist, and President Ezell replied that such information had not been provided. Professor Stroud then asked if our resolution to recommend that the Board delay their June action on post-tenure review had been presented to the Board. President Ezell indicated that his understanding was that the recommendation would be presented after the UTC full faculty had considered the issue. He would be happy to present the Council resolution immediately if the Council so desired. Professor Pedro Campa asked if the planned June action on post-tenure review were a fait accompli. Will the Board approve such a policy in June regardless of what campuses have to say about the matter? Will the policy still be named "post-tenure" review? When President Ezell responded that the policy would include post-tenure review, Professor Campa stated forcefully that our annual evaluation system should not be linked to the status of tenure. We must take a strong stand against any "post-tenure review" policy, whether or not it includes implementation procedures; the development of such a policy could well result in organized resistance and class action suits. Professor Verbie Prevost pointed out that tenured faculty could already be terminated for cause. Professor Campa replied that although tenured faculty can presently be terminated, they are not regularly and systematically evaluated in a way that could lead to termination. President Ezell offered that the UT officials are backing off the idea of evaluating everyone, and leaning instead toward a policy of "triggers" in which a series of inadequate reviews could lead to a cumulative review. Professor Richard Rice asked why our current triggers would not be adequate. President Ezell reiterated that our present evaluation system may meet the guidelines of the new policy. Professor Hiestand wondered why we should be compelled to adopt something that already exists at UTC. He noted that there is a difference between observing that professors are not doing their jobs and making an effort to look for warts. It is the UT system that needs more time to consider this issue, not UTC. He also pointed out that the problem of public misunderstanding about academic loads needs to be addressed.
Professor Sturzer suggested that "job performance review" be substituted for "post-tenure review." Professor Stroud agreed, observing that job evaluation should not be the same as tenure evaluation. Tenure is sacrosanct in academe, except in cases of extreme malfeasance; any efforts to compromise tenure should not be tolerated. Professor Ernst agreed that the evaluation procedures in the planned policy should not be linked to tenure in any way. Professor Campa reaffirmed this point, noting that linking cumulative review to termination of tenured faculty would be an unwarranted extension of the probationary period, with true tenure status never actually being reached. President Ezell promised to present this recommendation to the Board along with the Councils recommendation to delay. Professor Stroud expressed concern that our recommendation to delay action get to the Board in time to have the desired impact. President Ezell stated that he would forward the resolution on the following day. Professor Dumas stressed the importance of sending a recommendation from the full faculty later on.
Provost Berry noted that he also had significant problems with the policy originally proposed, and had argued extensively about the policy with UT Vice Presidents Homer Fisher and Bob Levy. He reminded the Council, however, that there are not longer plans to evaluate all tenured faculty systematically; only a series of inadequate evaluations would trigger a second phase of the review process. Further, President Johnson has gone out of his way to position himself between the faculty and the Board and to respond to concerns of the faculty, something many University presidents would not do. It is important for us to retain such an ally. In light of all this, the Provost suggested that the Council consider waiting until after the May 4 meeting of the UTs Tenure Faculty Advisory Committee to make our recommendations. Professors Prevost and Stroud pointed out that the faculty would not have a chance to respond as a formal body to any proposals developed on May 4. Professor Efaw felt it is important for UTC to be active rather than reactive, to take the initiative on the issue of post-tenure review. Professor Prevost indicated that other campuses are not as opposed to the proposed policy because they examined later drafts from the System. In response to a query, it was pointed out that as things stand at present, President Johnson definitely plans to have a post-tenure review policy passed by the Board of Trustees in June. Yet on an optimistic note, Professor Farhad Raiszadeh reminded the Council that the Board has not yet received our resolution. Professor Rice concluded the discussion by commenting sagely that tenure is like virginity: either you hve it or you dont. We dont deserve to have tenure [or virginity, for that matter] if we dont fight for it.
President Ezell reminded the Council that we voted at the last meeting to approve the faculty membership of the General Education Committee (with administrative members serving ex-officio). The regular General Education Committee is still intact and will continue to consider issues of certification. He asked Provost Berry to address the role of the administration in Gen Ed implementation. Provost Berry recommended that there be two separate implementation committees instead of one larger one: a faculty committee to consider curricular issues (What is "writing intensive?" What should be the shape of Western Humanities I and II?) and an administrative committee to consider issues of implementation (staffing, matters relating to Banner 2000, etc.). He proposed that the two committee chairs sit on both committees and communicate regularly, and that the two committees meet together occasionally as needed. He added that Associate Provost Jane Harbaugh and Professor Herb Burhenn have agreed to serve on an administrative Committee, and that he is awaiting responses from other administrators. Professor Stroud asked if the Deans Council could serve as the administrative committee. Provost Berry responded that the Deans Council is kept extremely busy already. Professor Hiestand felt that cooperation would be enhanced if there were only one "super" implementation committee. Professor John Trimpey asked what the functions of the various committees would be. The reply was that there would be an ad hoc administrative committee to consider issues of implementation, an ad hoc Gen Ed faculty committee (and various subcommittees) to consider curricular issues relating to implementation, and a regular Gen Ed Committee to certify courses. Professor Darken opined that the Provosts idea of having two separate committees was a very good one; she would not want faculty to have to sit through detailed discussions of administrative implementation.
Professor Doug Kingdon expressed concerns about the role of the Curriculum Committee in the development and certification of courses, particularly in view of the Fall 1999 implementation target. Professor Rice asked if the procedure for certifying courses would be more complex than it is at present. President Ezell responded that the interface between the Curriculum Committee and the Gen Ed committee would be the same; there would simply be a lot more proposals to consider during Gen Ed implementation. Professor Darken stated that the possibility of sending new or revised Gen Ed courses to the Gen Ed Committee before sending them to the Curriculum Committee was being considered. Professor Anderson wondered if acceptance by the Gen Ed Committee and Council would be sufficient for pre-existing courses revised for the new Gen Ed guidelines. Others stressed the importance of involving the Curriculum Committee in this process. Professor Richard Rice suggested that flow charts be developed that would indicate which courses should be sent to whom, where, and when. Professor Hiestand asked if closure had been reached on the issue of having two "implementation" committees. Professors Ernst and Trimpey moved and seconded approval of the Provosts proposal to have a separate administrative implementation committee, and the motion was approved by voice vote with one nay. Professor John Trimpey wondered to whom the proposed committees would report.
Professor Kingdon reiterated his concern about the 1999 implementation deadline and the impact it will have on the Curriculum Committee. It should not be assumed that Gen Ed proposals will automatically get priority over the Curriculum Committees regular business. He also pleaded with departments to get curriculum proposals in early (such as in September or October). Professor Trimpey asked if the Curriculum Committee could receive some sort of assistance during the Gen Ed implementation period. Professor Darken suggested that new Gen Ed courses will not have to be approved all at once; many courses will not be offered until the sophomore year or beyond, and will therefore not need to be certified next year. Professor Schlereth responded that the Curriculum Committee is concerned not only with courses but with programs. Even if curriculum proposals are phased in, an entire program must be developed before it is determined what courses are appropriate for the freshman level. Such programs will be extremely difficult to develop in one year. Profesor Darken replied that of the two departments that will be most affected by the Gen Ed changesEnglish and MathEnglish has already done and continues to do intensive work in preparation for the new program. What, she asked, has the Math department been doing to prepare for the coming changes? Professor Schlereth commented that he was not at the Council meeting as a representative of the Math department. Professor Steve Kuhn commented that the Math department has done less than the English department in this area.
Professor Sturzer asked if there would be any choice for incoming freshmen, when the new Gen Ed program is implemented, as to whether they could follow old or new Gen Ed guidelines. The answer was no; incoming freshmen will follow new guidelines. Transfer guidelines will be a significant implementation problem.
Professor Darken indicated that her new Gen Ed curricular "implementation" committee needs more members. President Ezell suggested that Professor Darken propose additional members for the Committee at the next Council meeting.
Due to the lateness of the hour, Professors Margaret Trimpey and Fleicia Sturzer moved and seconded that consideration of items 4, 6, 7, and 10 of the Gen Ed recommendations originally presented on March 5 be postponed until the next meeting. The motion passed unamimously. Professor Darken asked if there were any guarantees that these recommendations would be considered at the next meeting. President Ezell answered that the recommendations would be placed as high on the agenda as possible. (President Ezell noted sadly that the Chancellor had to leave the meeting before he could offer his presentation on planning, also originally scheduled for March 5.)
Handbook Chair Jim Hiestand moved approval of new Handbook language on who would preside at full faculty meetings, and of an addition of Handbook material on CECA (see addendum). After a brief discussion concerning what language relating to CECA was already in the Handbook and what language was new, the motion passed by a voice vote with two nays. Also relative to CECA, Professor Wallace expressed concern that there is no central agency to settle disputes between academic and administrative computing, CECA and faculty and student labs, etc.
Professor Gene Schlereth moved approval of the entire curriculum package (see addendum). The motion passed 20-0-1.
Since the Chancellor had had to leave, Provost Berry asked that the Chancellors report on "planning" ve placed near the top of the agenda at the next Faculty Council meeting. (President Ezell has recommended that the Chancellors report be placed after the "Call to Order" on the next agenda.)
Old and New Business; Announcements
Professor Efaw noted that there had been no movement on the issue of moving departments during the last four Council meetings. President Ezell will do his best to remedy this problem at the next Council meeting. Professor John Trimpey asked if Vice Chancellor Ross would present a budget report at the next meeting, and President Ezell indicated that the Vice Chancellor would be requested to do so. Provost Berry reminded the faculty that there are now budget meetings open to the faculty and staff, and Professor Prevost recommended that these meetings be attended. Professor Prevost noted that final committee reports are still needed from the Athletics, Budget and Economic Status, Classroom Technology, Convocation, Faculty Research, Grade Appeals, Honor Court, Publications Board, and Library Committees. President Ezell announced that Division elections for Faculty Council will be held immediately after the full faculty meeting on April 18.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:10 p.m.
Renee Cox Lorraine
Cartoon dedicated to campus bookstore