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The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Faculty Council Minutes

November 19, 1998 Signal Mountain Room
University Center
Elected Members Present: Jim Avery, Tom Bibler, Boris Belinskiy, Marlene Bradshaw, Valerie Copeland-Rutledge, Joe Dumas, Fritz Efaw, Phil Giffin, Diane Halstead, Jim Hiestand, Charles Knight, Lenny Krzycki, Eileen Meagher, Jonathan Mies, Cliff Parten, Marea Rankin, Terri Salupo, Marsha Scheidt, Lauren Sewell, Mac Smotherman, Felicia Sturzer, Margaret Trimpey, Bruce Wallace, Randy Whitson, Mike Whittle
Elected Members Absent: Mike Biderman, Pedro Campa, Roland Carter, Gene Ezell, Deborah McAllister, Ann Stapleton, Vicki Steinberg, John Trimpey, Rick Turpin
Ex-Officio Members Present: Bill Berry, Sheila Delacroix, George Ross, Bill Stacy
Among the Guests Present: Valarie Adams, Deborah Arfken, Richard Brown, Monte Coulter, Neal Coulter, David Cundiff, Bob Desmond, Linda Fletcher, Bill Gurley, Tonia Heffner, Marilyn Helms, Lanny Janeksela, Jocelyn Sanders, Maria Smith, Tim Summerlin, Mary Tanner

Important Actions and Announcements

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*Council discusses first draft of Performance Review Policy Committee document

*Council passes Graduate Council proposal 24-0-0

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Call to Order

President Verbie Prevost called the meeting to order at 3:03 p.m.

Approval of the Minutes of November 5, 1998

Professor Jim Hiestand noted "standards" in the first sentence of paragraph three on page five should be "standard" and "criteria" in sentence four of the same paragraph should be "criterion." The minutes were approved as corrected.

Committee Reports

Performance Review Policy Committee:

President Prevost thanked the committee for submitting a draft early enough for discussion and comment by Council. Performance Review Policy Committee Chair Marilyn Helms said the committee attempted to translate the policy approved by the UT Board of Trustees into recommendations that could be implemented on the UTC campus, noting the draft dated November 4, 1998, was the most recent draft and the first one circulated to the campus. Once approved, the policies will become part of the UTC Faculty Handbook and will reflect how the Board policy will be implemented on the UTC campus, she said.

Professor Bruce Wallace asked if the final draft would go to the Handbook Committee. President Prevost said it would. Professor Wallace asked it the draft included language already in the handbook. Professor Helms said the current language in the handbook was edited and revised to reflect changes required by the new Board policy. Professor Wallace asked that future drafts, if possible, identify old, new, and revised statements. He also suggested listing the committee members on the draft or in some other forum. President Prevost said the committee members had been listed and announced in several forums. At the request of Provost Berry, the Executive Committee developed a list of possible committee members representing a range of colleges and departments and varying ranks and responsibilities. Provost Berry formed the committee from the Executive Committee list. President Prevost noted UTC has had significantly more faculty involvement in the implementation process than other UT campuses.

Seeking to clarify the purpose of the discussion, Professor Fritz Efaw asked if the document under discussion or a modified version would be going to the Handbook Committee to be reported back to Faculty Council at some point. President Prevost said it would; the committee simply wanted additional input at this time. The document is still in draft form and the committee is still working it, she added. She noted the hard work of the committee in pulling together a draft to meet the deadlines and still give faculty an opportunity to react to it. Helms emphasized the committee was taking notes at the meeting and would incorporate the suggestions into future drafts. President Prevost pointed out that, while suggestions contravening the Trustees policy would have to be ignored by the committee, the committee would welcome changes providing the best possible fit between the Board policy and the UTC campus.

Professor Efaw asked for a clarification of the phrase "outstanding performance" in the middle of page 17 of the draft, saying he did not think the Board of Trustees intended to limit outstanding performance rewards to individuals receiving the rating of Exceptional Merit. Dean Mary Tanner said the section referred to by Professor Efaw dealt with the annual performance review for each faculty member, adding the committee was not charged with making changes to that section of the handbook.

Professor Efaw reiterated his earlier statement, noting the 20% quota on Exceptional Merit ratings given in the Appendix to the handbook. Dean Tanner said she shared his concern but thought the issue should be considered when UTC reviews its EDO process. Professor Diane Halstead said she appreciated the limitations of the committee’s charge and saw no reason why Professor Efaw’s concerns could not be addressed by a future committee empowered to make those changes.

When UT officials Homer Fisher and Bob Levy and Board member Roger Dickson visited the campus last March, Professor Efaw said they described the cumulative performance review (CPR) and said specifically the intent was not to create quotas for the recognition of outstanding performance. Dean Tanner said she thought it would be possible for the committee to draft the language in the faculty handbook so it did not refer precisely to the EDO process.

Professor Efaw pointed out the performance review committee used terms like "exceptional merit performance" and "merit performance" which are the terms used in the EDO document appended to the handbook. Professor Maria Smith said the term "outstanding performance" came directly from the UT document and that the committee did not want to define "outstanding" or attach percentages to it. She said the committee felt they could not generate a document that conflicted with the current faculty handbook, adding the performance review committee could only recommend changes to the CPR portion of the handbook. Helms reiterated the committee was only charged with looking at the portions of the handbook affected by the Board policy.

Professor Efaw said he still found it curious the committee used terms found in the EDO document. Professor Helms said the committee chose to use those terms since they were already familiar on campus. Professor Hiestand said the entire discussion fell under section 3.7.1 of the handbook which deals with the EDO process. He suggested striking the sentence on page 17 of the draft which includes the phrase "outstanding performance" because it suggests a financial reward the university may not be able to provide. He noted he had twice gotten exceptional merit and received no financial reward.

Noting the two courses of action related to "Below Expected Performance" listed at the bottom of page 18 and the top of page 19 of the draft, Professor Efaw suggested replacing "part (a)" with a one-year remediation plan, saying no recommendations should go to the Chancellor unless the individual failed to successfully complete the terms of the one-year plan. He questioned whether the officials mentioned in "part (b)" were doing one report or individual reports. The committee said the intent was a joint report. Professor Efaw noted the absence in these paragraphs of concurrence by the regular faculty administrative relations committee and the departmental rank and tenure committee, pointing to the democratically-elected composition of those bodies.

Referring to page 24 of the draft, Professor Efaw said the "or" in the line beginning "Category A" and the "or" in the line after that should be "ands," adding an "or" gave department heads too much latitude to focus on one aspect of a faculty member’s performance. Professor Smith said that section was not one the committee could address under its charge. Professor Phil Giffin suggested deleting the second paragraph on page 20, saying it went beyond what the situation required and set requirements that might or might not be realistic.

Referring to the sentence on page 2 beginning "The award of tenure…," Professor Hiestand said it actually shifted the burden of proof for a faculty member’s "removal" to the university since, presuming good behavior, a faculty member would otherwise continue to serve. Noting the last paragraph on page 6, he suggested the phrase "individuals denied tenure" would be more accurate since some faculty seek tenure early, are denied, but are not precluded from being granted tenure later. He pointed out denial is different from failing.

Professor Felicia Sturzer said the cumulative review seemed to be redundant for faculty making satisfactory progress during annual reviews. Professor Bill Gurley said the CPR added the peer review component missing from annual reviews. Professor Helms added that two different bodies are doing the reviewing. Professor Tom Bibler asked if the policy on non-tenured faculty transfers was new. The committee said it was an existing policy and had not been changed by the committee.

Professor Giffin asked if the EDO process was part of the five-year review. He said his impression was that the Knoxville campus did not do annual performance reviews. He said, if that was true, he saw no reason to continue reviews on the UTC campus on an annual basis. Dean Tanner said it was true UTC was the only campus currently completing annual reviews, but the Board policy calls for all campuses to begin performing reviews on an annual basis.

Professor Efaw asked if the phrase "begin five years after each attempt for promotion" on the bottom of page 19 meant a new cycle was started at each promotion attempt. He suggested clarifying the statement since some faculty may apply for a promotion in several successive years before attaining it. He asked how the stipulations in this section applied to tenured department heads and other administrators who return to the faculty ranks. Will they be subject to this process? He observed faculty at UTC have been moving in and out of administrative roles with some frequency. When does your clock start as you move in and out of these roles? Are deans, department heads, and other administrators who have tenure going to be reviewed? Dean Tanner said her assumption was that department heads who go through tenure review would also go through CPR.

Professor Sheila Delacroix asked when the CPR process would begin. In January? In the fall? Dean Tanner said she thought it would begin in the fall. Professor Delacroix said the wording mentions January 1999. President Prevost said she thought the policy was to become effective as of that date but that January 1999 was not intended as an implementation date.

Professor Sturzer said the wording on page 20 was ambiguous as to whether decisions of the departmental rank and tenure committee could be vetoed by department heads and other administrators up the line. She said she also felt it was ambiguous as to whether the faculty member could bypass the departmental committee in favor of a department head or an administrator up the line. Professor Delacroix said the phrase "subject to review" seemed ambiguous to her as well. Professor Smith said the document generated by the peers was intended to be the main document. Department heads and other administrators could write additional comments, but the original document could not be changed. Several Council members said that was not clear on page 20. Professor Margaret Trimpey said the wording suggested it could be overturned at higher levels. Professor Smith said the wording came from the Board document. Professor Sturzer reiterated her concerns about the ambiguity of the wording.

President Prevost encouraged faculty to continue reviewing the document and forwarding comments and suggestions to the committee. She noted the committee’s excellent job in light of the short time frame. Provost Berry thanked the committee for their hard and careful work and for submitting a draft early enough for a preliminary consideration by Council. He encouraged the campus to continue refining and improving the document. He said it was an expression of UTC civility that the committee felt comfortable releasing a draft, knowing it could have been improved with a longer deadline.

Graduate Council:

Graduate Council Chair Tonia Heffner presented a proposal approved by Graduate Council clarifying the performance specialty in music. Professor Monte Coulter discussed the specific elements of the clarification. Council approved the proposal 24-0-0.

Executive Committee:

President Prevost said a Faculty Council member had requested the Executive Committee examine the issue of the Gideons distributing Bibles on campus. The Executive Committee felt it would be a restriction of free speech. Associate Vice Chancellor Richard Brown discussed the topic with the Executive Committee, pointing out the campus has a set of rules groups such as the Gideons must follow. As long as groups abide by these rules and do not interrupt or impede the progress of students on their way to class, they are permitted to be on campus. Current laws do permit a special area to be designated for such activities, but the Executive Committee did not feel it was necessary at this time.

Administrative Reports

Chancellor’s Report

Chancellor Bill Stacy noted three areas important to faculty that have received attention in recent days: the addition of another Chair of Excellence, the discussion of equity and merit adjustments, and an enhancement for the Guerry professorships’ endowment. He said he was appreciative of Provost Berry’s efforts to adjust salaries. He expects the approval of the McKee Chair of Excellence at tomorrow’s THEC meeting. He will lobby to see that the Engineering, Computer Science, and Math building becomes a THEC priority and is placed high enough on the list to be funded. Once the building is approved, the campus will be invited to a meeting to address parking and other site selection concerns.

Provost’s Report:

Provost Berry expressed appreciation to those of the campus community who joined in the early afternoon discussion of the university mission statement. He said the focus of the meeting was not to change the mission statement but rather to discuss how to translate it into measurable terms for the SACS reaccreditation. President Prevost and others will be compiling the suggestions so they can be circulated on campus for additional comments and suggestions.

New Business

Professor Boris Belinskiy said the fire alarm at Metropolitan had gone off two times recently, the last time being Wednesday night when he lost 30 minutes of class time. He asked what he was supposed to do if the alarm went off during a final exam.

Announcements

President Prevost again thanked the members of the performance review committee for discussing the draft with Council and encouraged continued examination of the document by all faculty over the next weeks.

Adjournment

President Prevost adjourned the meeting at 4:00 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Kathy Breeden

Faculty Council Secretary

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