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THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES

April 26, 1994
Grote 129

ELECTED MEMBERS PRESENT: Valarie Adams, Jim Avery, Tom Bibler, Martha Butterfield, Ken Carson, Neal Coulter, Lloyd Davis, Robert Duffy, Jack Freeman, Nick Honerkamp, Larry Ingle, Doug Kingdon, David Levine, Loretta Prater, Mike Russell, Edgar Shawen, Clint Smullen, Jim Stroud, Jeannette Vallier, Terry Walters, David Wiley, Sally Young

ELECTED NEW MEMBERS PRESENT: Betsy Cook, John Lynch, Anna Panorska, Katherine Rehyansky, Margaret Trimpey

ELECTED MEMBERS ABSENT: Will Bertin, Monte Coulter, Susan Davidson, Aniekan Ebiefung, Fritz Efaw, Howard Finch, Clifford Parten, Ossama Saleh, Greg Sedrick, John Garrett, Larry Tillman, Joe Trahan, Ling-Jun Wang, Carolyn Wiley

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS PRESENT: Jane Harbaugh

AMONG THE GUESTS PRESENT: Renée Lorraine, Leland Robinson, Barbara Wofford

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 1:04 p.m. by President Tom Bibler.

He announced that since we did not cover the entire agenda last time, we would begin with those committee reports which were to be heard and then go on to the new agenda.

Committee Reports

Report of the Student Rating of Faculty Committee

Professor Terry Walters, chair, said that his committee had felt that the appointment of another committee to evaluate teaching made his committee of little use. His committee did not want to write another student rating of the faculty document. Members wanted to look at what the other committee did first. They believed that if they did write a new form, they would not be able to improve on the old one. They have no recommendations.

Professor Martha Butterfield noted that the Student Rating of the Faculty Committee had been charged with coming up with a new form. Dr. Richard Gruetzemacher had provided information to them that the current rating system had been used long enough. Because students were familiar with it, it was losing its effectiveness. She wants the new Student Rating of the Faculty Committee to come up with a new instrument.

Professor Butterfield moved and Professor James Avery seconded the motion to charge the new committee with coming up with a new instrument.

Professor David Wiley said that his 92-93 committee came up with recommendations of how the instrument will be used. Wiley is concerned that there was no carryover from 92-93 to 93-94; thus, the committee did not have the benefit of the previous year’s experience. He sees no need to reinvent the wheel each year. Some members should be continued.

Professor Bibler said that the Committee on Committees cannot always provide carryover because people ask to be assigned elsewhere.

Professor Wiley said some appointments should be for two years.

Professor Ingle asked why the Council did not ride herd on this committee if they were not doing what they were supposed to do. He wonders what will happen next year. How can Council be sure the committee will do as charged?

President Bibler noted that the Executive Committee did talk to them. They said at first that they were not sure of their charge. We reassured and recharged them. It is difficult to make people do what they do not want to do.

Professor James Stroud asked why they did not do what they were charged to do.

Professor Walters said that they did not want to write a teaching evaluating document when they did not know what the other committee was doing. They wanted a teaching philosophy from the other committee.

Furthermore, some members of the committee did not like the idea of teacher rating using such an instrument. The committee chair himself does not like such a rating system.

Professor Ingle asked if Council could be sure that the next committee would do anything.

President Bibler said that the other teaching committee will have made their report; there will no longer be that concern.

Professor Honerkamp said that the new report says nothing about teaching evaluation forms.

President Bibler remarked that the committee had been informed of that at the beginning; it did not seem to matter to them.

Professor Stroud asked if we could ask for a formal report from Walters as to why this charge was not followed.

Professor Mike Russell said that not all universities require evaluations each semester. He would like the committee to explore the idea of not having evaluations of tenured or full professors done each year.

Professor Butterfield said that such a study was done when Professor David Wiley was on the committee two years ago. At that time, Faculty Council voted against it. We can resurface it, but it was defeated recently.

Professor Ken Carson, a new member of the committee, asked if the new committee could decide that the current form was as good as it could get.

President Bibler said that it would be surprising, but all right.

Professor Wiley reminded him that Dr. Gruetzemacher has already shown that it does not prove very much. It should be changed or even dropped. It no longer differentiates.

The motion passed with a voice vote.

Report from the Evaluation of Teaching Committee

Professor Martha Butterfield reported that the idea for this committee started two years ago when Faculty Council began looking at rating of faculty. They wondered if there were ways to evaluate teaching other than the one we were already using. Provost Walker appointed a committee to study the matter. The instrument produced by the committee is not prescriptive; it simply offers additional or alternative methods of evaluating teaching. It gives deans and department heads some suggestions for rewarding teaching.

The committee’s report has been submitted to and discussed with deans and department heads. A sub-committee will write a grant for the Teaching Resource Center (TRC) and submit it to the UC Foundation. Such a center would have available new teaching techniques, videotaping and multimedia teaching. The TRC will be a major implementation if we get the money. The committee received a 60% return on their questionnaire. When the results are known, Professor Butterfield hopes departments will discuss the student rating of the faculty data within departments and determine acceptable ratings between lower level and upper level courses, for example.

This report should not threaten anyone because it is not mandated; it merely provides alternatives.

If a teacher decides to work on test development, for example, the EDO should not be required that year. UTK does not have evaluations each year.

Professor Nick Honerkamp believed that any emphasis on teaching is to be lauded. Are UTK faculty eligible for merit raises if they do not have an EDO each year? How are department heads supposed to make judgments with dissimilar evaluations being done?

Professor Butterfield did not have a specific response. It is an issue that should be discussed within departments.

Dr. Jane Harbaugh complimented the committee on a wonderful job. She sees much that needs to be followed up on. Specifics need to be fleshed out. She sees the report as an excellent beginning and would like to see more detailed procedures.

Packets on tenure and promotion, for example, do not require much. She thinks we ought to submit current syllabi and course materials in addition to the expected materials.

With regard to the EDO, President Bibler says that UTK negotiates the basis for awarding exceptional merit even without an EDO. The faculty report on their own terms, not an EDO.

Professor Honerkamp said it still sounds like an EDO.

President Bibler said it takes the form of a one-page narrative.

Professor Butterfield reiterated her hope that Faculty Council members will go back to their departments and talk about the document.

Professor Ingle asked how the committee was constituted. What is Faculty Council supposed to do?

Professor Butterfield responded that Council is not being asked to do anything. The Committee was called together by Provost Walker, who called members.

Professor John Lynch asked if there had been much discussion of objective measures of learning. He believes what he does in class is not important; what he gets his students to do is important. We should not be shooting for customer satisfaction!

Professor Butterfield agreed. We can develop our own evaluation forms.

President Bibler said that the report of the Committee will be attached to the minutes.

Report of the Committee on Sexual Harassment

This is the beginning of the discussion of the document.

Professor Barbara Wofford, who is not a member of the Sexual Harassment Task Force, told Council what she does as an Affirmative Action officer. First, she sees that the policy is known. It is in the Faculty Handbook and Student Handbook. The usual procedure is that first the employee or student has a conference with her and they try to resolve the complaint informally. If the person decides to complete a grievance form, then the Affirmative Action officer investigates the situation. If the grievance is not resolved, a hearing is held with a body appointed by the Chancellor. The hearing body sends a recommendation to the Chancellor. If the person making the complaint is not satisfied with the decision, he or she may appeal it to the President of the UT System.

If a student comes, Dr. Wofford must do something by law, even if the student does not want her to do anything. She tries to settle most informally.

When she gets second-hand complaints, she cannot do anything.

Often it is not harassment; it is a misunderstanding.

Professor David Wiley asked Dr. Wofford if she still responds to Title VII complaints, too.

Professor Wofford answered yes.

Professor Wiley wondered if a person could feel harassed because he is a veteran.

Professor Wofford had one such case.

Professor Wiley asked if there were other complaints besides sexual harassment.

Professor Wofford had a complaint from a person who was not offered an interview here and claimed it was because of age. The State Human Rights Commission looked at the case and found in UTC’s favor.

Professor Anna Panorska asked if a teacher could be harassed by a student.

Professor Wofford answered yes; the complaint should be made to her office.

Professor James Stroud asked how confused people were about what constitutes gender harassment as opposed to sexual harassment.

Professor Mike Russell is concerned that there will be cases that cannot be settled easily. Perhaps there should be more investigation.

Professor Wofford said a person has to file a grievance to proceed further.

Professor Ingle asked if the pamphlet which was distributed to Faculty Council members contained the UTC policy.

Professor Wofford said no. The Faculty Handbook does.

Professor Renée Lorraine reported that she has been reading court cases; her committee has been advised not to have a hate speech code.

The Sexual Harassment policy has been revised because universities have become more liable in recent years. Institutions are being held liable for sexual harassment by employees.

She complimented the committee for being concerned for the rights of all those involved.

The EEOC definition will be used. Harm may not be intended, but it could interfere with the job anyway.

Behavior must be severe enough to interfere with job performance or learning.

The policy does not forbid but does discourage consensual relationships between students and faculty.

The policies are meant to allow academic freedom for everyone—faculty, students and staff.

A discussion followed concerning what to do if you are sexually harassed. The Committee suggests that a record of harassment be kept and that you tell someone. Write a letter to the harassing person and send it by registered mail.

They will recommend a committee on sexual harassment that has five responsibilities.

Professor Wiley asked when the written out part would be submitted.

Professor Lorraine said that the committee is finished with its report except for talking to the lawyers. The lawyers have had it since last August. The committee members are giving their report today on the advice of the Provost. The policy will be available to read as soon as the lawyers have decided it is all right.

Professor Ingle asked how the committee was formed and who was on it.

Professor Lorraine said that the Provost had appointed the committee on the advice of Professor Martha Butterfield. The committee included non-exempt staff and men.

Professor Stroud asked if most sexually harassing behavior is compulsive.

Professor Lorraine responded that many harassers are alcoholics.

Professor Wiley is concerned about the academic freedom question. In the development of case law, especially those cases involved in the arts, there is concern about how outside censorship affects a teacher’s ability to show movies, for example. Would professors have to issue warnings about sexually explicit scenes?

Professor Lorraine explained that she deals with controversial material in her classes; if students object to these materials, she provides alternate readings.

Professor Wiley agreed that her solution was fairly easy to accomplish in humanities and the arts. What about others who insist on content?

Professor Lorraine said their insistence would probably result in lawsuits.

Professor Mike Russell said that the person from the EEOC he had talked to had never had a complaint about course material.

Professor Lorraine agreed that context, ultimately, is everything.

Professor Ingle asked if Council was to vote on anything related to the matter today.

Professor Lorraine said no. Council must see the report before they vote on it.

Professor Leland Robinson emphasized that the outline is not an official document. It was part of the development material for new department heads. Some procedures may be changed upon advice of the legal staff or Faculty Council.

The distinction between informal and formal complaints has become blurred. That is perhaps why the legal staff has had the report for so long. Some of the suggestions in the informal procedure (such as writing a letter) might lead to a more formal procedure.

Professor Wiley wondered if "respondent" could be substituted for "accused."

Professor Lorraine said yes, but the Committee wasn’t sure it would be as clear.

Professor Wiley said that there is a fine line because "accused" suggests guilt. Perhaps the one making the charge should be called an "accuser" if "accused" is to be used. "Respondent" is more neutral.

Professor Butterfield said that "respondent" could be defined.

Professor Wiley has some concerns. This procedure would substitute for the status quo which reflects AAUP procedure. He is concerned that lawyers look at it carefully. He worries about the nature of the hearing because of the respondent’s ability to find out about it, face the accuser, etc. He is also concerned about the four-year rule in case the respondent wanted to take the matter to civil court. He believes the respondent might suffer injury and file suit. Confidentiality is extremely important. A fairly large number of people can learn about the case during the informal grievance procedure in this new system.

Professor Lorraine said only two people would know, one person on the committee and the Affirmative Action officer.

Professor Wiley asked what happened if a person goes to the Provost.

Professor Lorraine said that then the Provost and his staff would know.

Professor Wiley questions whether there was an assumption that sexual harassment happens in the academic area only.

Professor Lorraine said yes. They thought the staff should develop their own policy.

Professor Honerkamp said we need to hear the report because the current policy puts us at risk of litigation.

Professor Lorraine said we do not have a feminist presence on campus, so we do not get many formal complaints. Most students do not want you to tell or to go farther.

Professor Wiley asked if we were not being asked to substitute a system which does encourage "telling."

Professor Lorraine said not really. Handling the problem yourself is still encouraged.

Professor Ingle asked how we could know that the current system was not working. He would like to know why the policy is not working.

Professor Lorraine said that she gets about six complaints annually now, but there are currently no records kept. Lawyers have encouraged keeping of records, including those found in favor of the University.

Professor Butterfield noted that the committee was instituted in part by Faculty Council because of her suggestion to the Provost.

Professor Mike Russell noted that an EEOC lawyer had said that often the same person gets multiple complaints. There is a legal responsibility to initiate action on the part of the line officer if the grievance seems serious. Faculty has the responsibility to report sexual harassment a student tells you of.

Professor Lorraine said that may be an interpretation. Only the line officer or Affirmative Action officer has to do this. If you tell students they must take action, students will stop talking about it.

Professor Honerkamp said that if a student tells you not to do anything, then UTC can’t be sued for non-action on the part of UTC.

Professor Stroud said the accused should be protected as well as the accuser.

Before proceeding with the agenda of the organizational meeting, Professor Ingle made a motion for a five-minute break. It was unanimously approved.

(At the end of the break, newly elected member Katherine Rehyansky acted as secretary while Sally Young fulfilled a duty related to the Dean Search.)

Introduction of Members

New members were introduced: Jocelyn Sanders, Katherine Rehyansky, Betsy Cook, Nick Honerkamp (re-elected), John Lynch, Anna Panorska, and Doug Kingdon (re-elected). The Schools of Business and Engineering have not yet elected their members.

Election of Officers

Election of new officers was the next order of business. Greg Sedrick was nominated for First Vice-President. The nominations were closed, and Professor Sedrick was elected by acclamation.

Professor Nick Honerkamp was nominated as Chair of the Handbook Committee. He was elected unanimously.

The current secretary (Sally Young) was renominated and re-elected.

Election of Committee on Committees

Faculty members were nominated for the Committee on Committees. Five people were nominated: Jocelyn Sanders, Mike Russell, Neal Coulter, David Levine, and Jim Avery. The slate was elected by acclamation.

(At this point, Professor Young resumed secretarial duties.)

Election of Handbook Committee

Five members were needed for the Handbook Committee. David Wiley, Margaret Trimpey, John Lynch, Doug Kingdon, and Fritz Efaw were nominated and unanimously elected.

Election of Graduate Council

Two members were elected for Graduate Council. Larry Ingle and Robert Duffy were nominated and unanimously elected.

Election of Honor Court

The Honor Court needs three members and three alternate members. Marea Rankin, Anna Panorska, Judy Miler, Monte Coulter, Richard Rice, and Jeff Morin were nominated. Professor Doug Kingdon moved and Professor James Stroud seconded a motion to have the first three names be regular members and the second three be alternates. The motion passed unanimously. After being told that past chair Marea Rankin would prefer not to serve in that capacity again, Professor Judy Miler was nominated by Professor Avery to chair the Honor Court. Professor Honerkamp seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Election of Grade Appeals Committee

The Grade Appeals Committee needs three faculty members and two alternates. Loretta Prater, John Tinkler, Terry Carney, Ron Moore and Bob Stanley were nominated. Professor Butterfield moved that the top three be elected as regular members and the second two be alternates. Professor Stroud seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Professor Honerkamp said that although the Dean of whatever college the appeal is made in is chair, the committee does need someone to write the report. He nominated Loretta Prater for this position, and she agreed to serve.

Appointment of Parliamentarian

Professor David Wiley was appointed parliamentarian.

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

Professor Honerkamp moved that Faculty Council express strong objection to only one mail delivery per day. Professor Ingle seconded the motion.

The resolution protesting a policy of a single mail delivery passed unanimously.

Professor Martha Butterfield said that a problem has surfaced concerning faculty rights in the classroom with respect to students who disrupt classes or threaten teachers. Faculty can ask students to leave class.

Dr. Harbaugh is researching a statement which can be put on the syllabus with respect to student conduct in the classroom.

Professor Wiley asked if faculty could "dis-enroll" a student.

Professor Butterfield said no. But if you send a problem to the dean, he may give the student a choice of attending and being quiet or disenrolling. The student has paid fees.

Dr. Harbaugh will have an answer by fall.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 3:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sally Young

Secretary

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