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Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate » January 10, 2008

Faculty Senate Minutes

2008 No. 627
January 10, 2008
 

The regular monthly meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order by President Lynda Ciuffetti on January 10, 2008 at 3:00 PM in the LaSells Stewart Center.  

President Ciuffetti addressed new Senators who were unable to attend the New Senator Orientation and provided the following information related to meetings:

  • Action Items indicate that a motion is on the floor and there is no need to make a motion prior to voting.
  • Senators are to sign in on the attendance sheet outside the meeting room.
  • Senators are responsible for finding a proxy to attend Faculty Senate meetings in their absence.
  • When speaking from the floor, Senators should rise and state their name and Senate apportionment unit, not department.

Meeting Summary

  • Action Items: Approval of October Minutes; Installation of Elected Officials and Senators; Approval of Parliamentarian; Policy on Mid-Term Reviews for Tenure-Track Faculty; and Status of OSU Faculty Salaries  [Motion 08-627 through 04]
  • Special Report: Interinstitutional Faculty Senate
  • New Business: None

ACTION ITEMS

Approval of October Minutes
The October minutes were approved as distributed; motion 08-627-01.

Installation of Elected Officials and Senators
President Ciuffetti introduced the newly elected officials and declared them installed:

  • President-Elect – Paul Doescher
  • Executive Committee – Stan Gregory, Carol Mallory-Smith, Deb Pence
  • Interinstitutional Faculty Senator – Lani Roberts

Ciuffetti then asked the new Senators to stand as their respective apportionment units were read and declared them installed.

Approval of Parliamentarian
Motion 08-627-02 to approve Michael Beachley as Parliamentarian passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes or discussion.

Policy on Mid-Term Reviews for Tenure-Track Faculty
Roger Nielsen, Promotion and Tenure Committee Chair, presented for approval revisions to the Policy on Mid-Term Reviews for Tenure-Track Faculty. Nielsen thanked the committee members for their work: Bill Braunworth, Paul Farber, Jim Liburdy, Dwaine Plaza, and Maret Traber.

Nielsen explained the rationale behind the revisions:

  • Mid-term reviews have the purpose of providing timely guidance to the faculty member.
  • The process also keeps the department informed regarding the faculty member’s progress.
  • Experience has shown the value of well conducted reviews, as well as problems created when reviews are not done, or done poorly.
  • Based on these experiences, the committee made several recommendations last year pertaining to the process that resulted in the proposed revisions.

Nielsen noted that many units have engaged in the process for many years, however, others have not. The process will save time in the long run and could save careers.

Specific issues with the current application of the mid-tenure review process:

  • No university-wide guidelines for what constitutes a mid-term review.
  • Individual units often have no guidelines.
  • Faculty within units are sometimes treated differently from year to year (i.e., change in chair or P&T committee).
  • Reviews take place too late in the process.
  • Lack of clarity as to who should initiate and drive the process, and where information from the review is routed.

General Considerations:

  • Revisions have been reviewed by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, as well as by the Provost and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.
  • The committee was intentional about the use of “must” and “will” versus “should” or “may” in order to provide flexibility where needed, yet provide the needed guidance to the units.

Specific components to the policy:

  • The review should be near to the mid-point between hiring and tenure. For a ‘typical’ tenure-track assistant professor hire, that would be the spring quarter of their third year.
  • Prepared P&T materials are similar to the P&T dossier format, with the exception that the new process specifically states that external letters will only be requested in extraordinary cases, i.e. where the unit doesn’t have the disciplinary expertise to make a decision.
  • Responsibility for initiating the process rests with the supervisor (normally the chair or head).
  • Review and development of recommendations is done through the unit P&T committee and supervisor.
  • Review and recommendations go to the college for affirmation or adjustment.

The committee’s vision of a ‘typical’ process:

  • At the end of the second year of the appointment, the department chair notifies the faculty member that they will be up for a mid-term review in the next year (approximately one-year notice).
  • The unit P&T committee is notified by the department chair at the beginning of the academic year.
  • The faculty member works with the chair or mentor to prepare the dossier, including information on teaching and advising.
  • In late winter or early spring of the third year, the faculty member submits the dossier to the department P&T committee and department chair.
  • The department P&T committee and department chair review the dossier; each write letters of evaluation, then collaborate on a list of expectations for the period remaining to tenure.
  • The faculty member meets with the department chair and P&T chair to discuss the results.
  • The letters, together with the dossier, is sent to the dean’s office where they are signed – signifying the college’s approval of the department’s plan – and returned.

Senator Gable, Science, questioned the use of external letters. Nielsen responded that, in general, faculty do not use outside letters, although some are allowed one letter.  His experience is that external letters are not requested in his discipline.

Senator Lee, Science, was not supportive of the policy, noted it addresses a problem not present in his unit, and felt it was an additional administrative burden. His unit does three-year reviews and the spirit of the information in the policy is transmitted to the junior faculty. Nielsen responded that was not the case university wide.

Senator Henderson, Liberal Arts, felt this policy would be helpful for junior faculty and noted that a review currently doesn’t occur across the college. Nielsen explained that the policy likely doesn’t change anything in the units currently conducting reviews, but the policy states that this needs to be done in the units where the review is not occurring.

Provost Randhawa stated that a number of P&T cases could have been avoided if the mid-term reviews had been accomplished. He addressed Senator Lee’s concern regarding additional administrative work and noted that there is an ad hoc committee looking at reducing the workload related to the Post-Tenure Review Process. Senator Trujillo, Liberal Arts, explained that the ad hoc committee is looking at ways to use existing structures to implement policies and looking at revisions to the Periodic Review of Faculty process.

Senator Marshall, Business, questioned if the committee had considered the liability that the university might incur if tenure is denied and the faculty member charges that the policy was not followed. Nielsen responded that the proposed policy has been reviewed by the legal office, and he felt that it greatly reduces liability by making the goals clear at the mid-point.

Senator Valentine, Veterinary Medicine, questioned whether one could declare that the review was done improperly if one element within the policy is not addressed, and whether the guidelines were binding. Nielsen responded that what was outlined is considered guidelines; however, it is the responsibility of the department chair and candidate to ensure that the process is followed, particularly with regard to where they are getting input.

In response to a question regarding how frequently lawsuits are brought after mid-term reviews, Nielsen stated that there are a significant number of cases each year where mid-term reviews create problems, but they don’t necessarily result in lawsuits.

Senator Lee questioned the intent of Guideline C (applying the process uniformly to all faculty). Randhawa stated that the intent is that all tenure-track faculty go through a third-year review. There may be differences in how things are applied, but the key elements in the process must be the same. The goal is to ensure the success of faculty and ensure they are getting appropriate feedback.

Senator Clough, Liberal Arts, felt that the burden was being put on the faculty member preparing the dossier. Nielsen responded that the goal is to encourage tenure decision makers to discuss the performance of the faculty member based on the dossier.

Senator Pence, Engineering, thanked the committee for their work and questioned whether the focus was too much on the symptoms and not the problem. She noted that the third year is more than half-way through the process since the P&T dossier must be completed by the end of the fifth year. She also suggested focusing on the mentoring system where there is a lack of support. Nielsen indicated that the third year is earlier than most institutions. The timing in the spring is meant to give time to focus on junior faculty and provide mentoring time since P&T has a fall focus. If mentoring has not occurred, the third-year review will force that activity prior to P&T submission, which is one reason why the dean is involved.

Senator Trujillo stated that some research indicates that the third year is too late. He is participating on a committee to determine what should be done annually to assist faculty with P&T or promotion; related documents should be available in the next few weeks.

Senator Curtis, Agricultural Sciences, suggested that the unit P&T Committee should be involved earlier and felt it was important to have someone other than the department head assist the faculty member and provide feedback.

Motion 08-627-03 to accept the Policy on Mid-Term Reviews for Tenure-Track Faculty passed by voice vote with one dissenting vote. President Ciuffetti noted that the document would be sent to President Ray, Provost Randhawa and Vice Provost Johnson.

 

Status of OSU Faculty Salaries 
Maggie Niess, Faculty Economic Welfare and Retirement Committee (FEW&RC) chair, presented for endorsement the Review and Update of the Report of the 2005 Faculty Economic Welfare and Retirement Committee. Niess expressed sincere appreciation to the committee members for their efforts in preparing the report, as well as support from administrators and Institutional Research.

Her background explanation included the following:

  • In 2000 an Issues Group on Faculty Compensation recommended:
    1. Faculty compensation should be increased to 100% of the mean of our peer institutions over the next three biennia.
    2. The salary increases should be applied differentially to correct for salary compression.
  • In 2004-05 the FEW&RC reviewed the progress recommended by the earlier group. They found that:
    • The situation, with respect to our peers, had worsened; and
    • They reiterated the four principles identified in the 2000 report and challenged that faculty salaries be given the top priority in the university. Niess noted that salaries have been a top priority, but acknowledged constraints.
  • The FEW&RC found that determining OSU’s peer group is problematic since four sets of peers are currently used (the purposes range from budgeting, strategic planning, and combinations of these); an analysis was completed on all four groups.
  • OSU is below the mean called for by the 2005 group. Assistant professors are close to the mean but the serious situation is with full professors, where there is a large gap. Niess noted that the figures include only salary and not benefits, which are more difficult to determine.
  • There are both compression and inversion issues.
  • Cost of living has not been maintained for faculty with fully satisfactory service.
  • The FEW&RC determined that OSU is not keeping up with inflation, making little progress toward the mean, and there is a serous problem at the full professor level despite the work that President Ray has done to focus on faculty salaries. Niess acknowledged that part of the problem is the way the State of Oregon is funded.

The committee is recommending that the Faculty Senate endorse the recommendations in the report:

  1. The administration shall endorse and promote the four basic principles relating to salary (identified in the 2005 report):
    • Average faculty compensation (salary plus benefits) shall be increased and maintained at a level of sustained competitive parity matching or exceeding the average for comparator institutions (peers as defined for OSU’s Strategic Plan), based on rank, discipline, and the nature of duties performed.
    • All campus-wide salary adjustments shall include a cost of living component.
    • The merit component of salary adjustments shall be based upon distinguished performance.
    • Faculty compensation shall address salary compression and inequities by rank.
  2. All salary increases shall contain percentages distributed among three aspects as a means of addressing serious issues with faculty salaries:
    • cost of living adjustments for fully satisfactory service,
    • merit increases for meritorious service, and
    • equity (compression and inversion, diversity, and gender).
  3. Faculty salary and benefit actions at OSU shall be more transparent. The committee found differences of understanding of the meanings of ‘merit’ and ‘fully satisfactory’ among both faculty and unit heads.
  4. The University shall embark upon a concentrated analysis of faculty salaries with the intent of proposing an extended plan for improvement. This task force shall consider all faculty salaries – instructors, assistant professors, associate professors, full professors as well as professional faculty. A task force and appropriate subcommittees shall provide extended, in-depth analysis along with recommendations that ultimately result in a proposal for a long-term plan for sustaining faculty capacity that strengthens OSU’s teaching and research infrastructure. At a minimum, the various subcommittees should consider issues that have been raised in this report:
    • Equity issues, including:
      • Gender;
      • Diversity;
      • Compression and inversion for the various professorial levels; and
    • Impact of reduction of full professors due to retirement. Typically it is full professors who attract outside funding.

 

Senator Gillies, Associated Faculty, noted that the report did not look at Faculty Research Assistant and Associates; Niess responded there was not enough time and that the intent was to include all faculty ranks.

Senator Alexander, Student Affairs, questioned whether there was an analysis of cost of living in all areas as compared to salary. Niess responded there was not enough time to do that, but that could be a component of the recommended task force.

Senator Field, Agricultural Sciences, questioned the perception of the legislature. Jock Mills, Governmental Affairs Director, noted that the legislature earmarked a total of $1 million for salaries at all OUS institutions in 2005; however, in 2007 the amount increased significantly to $8 million. Other people need to advocate for faculty salaries since faculty are not the best advocates – students are very good advocates. The local legislators understand the issues but have not previously been in a position where they could assist with change. There is not a deep appreciation of the problem by legislators who are not impressed by peer comparators from other states. OSU is still ranked in the low to mid-40’s nationwide in terms of per capita investments in higher education.

Senator Higginbotham, Engineering, suggested approaching the legislature with the economic impact to the state related to senior faculty leaving for higher salaries. Mills did approach legislators with a list of terminating faculty, but it was not compelling. Mills will again ‘buddy up’ faculty with legislators in 2009 so they will experience first hand classroom conditions and workload.

Senator Higginbotham questioned if the recommendations include having the task force look at alternate funding sources for specific targeted goals. Niess responded that the recommendations are broad enough to allow flexibility regarding the task force; the thought was to have a broad-based task force with sub-groups.

Senator Dorbolo, Associated Faculty, noted that he can provide statistics if legislators are looking for instances where faculty are working harder.

Tony Wilcox, Executive Committee, noted that compression, merit and equity issues are under our control, while funding is not.

Laurel Kristick (proxy for Chadwell), Library, questioned whether the data also included faculty not affiliated with colleges; Niess responded negatively.

Bob Becker, FEW&RC member, felt it was possible to address compression at OSU and noted the following faculty salary increases:

  • Faculty at EOU are receiving a 14% salary increase during this biennium;
  • WOU settled for 11.7% for the biennium; and
  • OSU is at 4%.

Senator Higginbotham questioned whether EOU was unionized. Mills responded that they are unionized, as is WOU, but EOU is laying off faculty to balance the funding equation. He also felt that Becker’s data did not draw a fair comparison since the dollar amounts for EOU were not included.

Provost Randhawa noted that, in the recent past, OSU’s salary increases have been self-funded. He felt we were in a better position this biennium and hopes to do better than 4% in January 2009. He has had a chance to look at salary aggregate levels: the minimum increase for satisfactory service was around 2%; other increases seem to be in line with parity or equity; however, he acknowledged that the 2009 guidelines need to be more explicit in terms of fully satisfactory service and merit. He noted that the percentage increase has been so little that it can hardly be justified to address all elements but, with additional funding in 2009, the intent is to talk about equity adjustments. He feels that OSU can begin making some progress.

Senator Roberts, Liberal Arts, noted that a problem with a percentage increase is that it accentuates the compression issue.

Senator McIntyre, Science, cautioned to be careful with benefits. Niess noted that benefits appear to have decreased, but are still better at OSU than most institutions.

Motion 08-627-04 to endorse the recommendations in the FEW&RC report passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes. President Ciuffetti thanked the committee for their hard work in a short time. Ciuffetti noted that the report would be forwarded to the president, provost, vice president for finance and administration, and the director of government relations.

SPECIAL REPORT  

Interinstitutional Faculty Senate
Kate Hunter-Zaworski, IFS Senator, provided a recap of the December IFS meeting. Her report included the following:

  • A quote from Senator Devlin, who visited with IFS, was “Education is an investment, not an expenditure.”
  • She thanked faculty for the unexpectedly large response to an IFS request for student preparedness in December. The underlying message was that students don’t know how to read, write or add.
  • IFS was asked by OUS to participate in the Lincoln Commemoration; Mina Carson (OSU) is taking on that responsibility on behalf of IFS.
  • Chancellor Pernsteiner announced six major target areas that OUS is working on, resulting in participation on committees by IFS members:
    • Constitutional Amendment – to include higher ed as a guarantee in the State of Oregon
    • Governance – looking at a relationship between OUS and institutions
    • Portland Committee – areas related to the Portland area, particularly PSU and budget issues
    • Student Success – struggles with K-12 student preparedness
    • Graduate Education and Research – recognition of economic value of, particularly, doctoral education and research; looking primarily at OSU and UO for input
    • Regional Institutions – issues related to educating students in rural areas of the state
  • In regard to faculty salaries, OSU is the only OUS institution to not deal with equity issues.

Senator Higginbotham questioned whether IFS was talking about EOU becoming a part of OSU. Hunter-Zaworski responded that the committee is looking at administrative restructuring for the regional institutions; however, there was no explicit discussion regarding branch campuses.

 

DIALOG WITH THE PROVOST
Provost Randhawa’s report included the following:

  • OSBHE approved eliminating most fees at OUS institutions by rolling them into tuition to create a base tuition rate, instituting differential tuition levels for different programs, or a combination of the two strategies. No changes will be made for fall 2008 since the tuition rate has been advertised and students have already been admitted; implementation is anticipated for fall 2009. The University Budget Committee is reviewing the issue.
  • The organizational structures for the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences will remain separate. The CLA dean search will be initiated immediately; a search firm will be hired; and a hire is anticipated by fall 2008 – the objective is to have a strong candidate, not just fill the position. Larry Roper and Sherm Bloomer are forming an Arts and Sciences thematic group.

Senator Huber, Engineering, noted that units now keep fees and questioned whether an equivalent amount will be earmarked for units once the fees are included in tuition. Randhawa responded affirmatively.

Senator Dreher, Agricultural Sciences, questioned whether the fee issue includes labs. Randhawa responded that it did not include course/lab fees, including TRF and university fees, other than matriculation fees.

T. Wilcox, in relation to the CLA dean search and commitment to graduate education, questioned what the thinking is about this in an accelerated atmosphere. Randhawa noted that CLA has been working to define its future. He would like to avoid going from one interim dean to another interim. The point is well taken for articulating graduate education, but recognizes that resources are extremely limited.

 

DIALOG WITH THE FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT
President Ciuffetti’s report included the following:

  • Faculty governance plays a key role in determining the university’s future. She noted that both Provost Randhawa and President Ray seek and consider guidance and input from the Faculty Senate. She hopes to begin a dialog with Senators to identify approaches to engage faculty to be actively involved in shared governance. There is a feeling among some faculty that all Faculty Senate does is cross the t’s and dot the i’s. She wants to start exploring ways of helping faculty realize that administration wants faculty to participate in shared governance.
  • She thanked Senators for their willingness to serve and their participation in shared governance.

 

NEW BUSINESS
None

 
Roll Call
Members Present:

Agricultural Sciences: Azarenko, Bolte, Curtis, Dreher, Field, Goddik, B. Jeter for Hartley, Herring, P. Dysart for Mallory-Smith, Sears, Thompson
Associated Faculty: Averill, deGeus, Dempsey, Dorbolo, Fernandez, Gaines, Gillies, Gomez, Greydanus, Halischak, Healey, Hemmer, Hoff, Leslie, Martorello, Nishihara, Pribyl, Ross
Business: Banyi, Caplan, Marshall, Neubam, Raja
Education: O’Malley, Ward
Engineering: Bell, Bose, Higginbotham, Huber, Hunter-Zaworski, J. Nason for Jovanovic, Momsen, Pence, Plant, Semprini
Extension: Angima, Godwin, McGrath
Forestry: Bailey, Leavengood, Sexton, Vandetta, Zahler
Health & Human Sciences: Acock, Braverman, Cardinal, Friedman, Gunter, Hofer, McAlexander, Porter
Liberal Arts: Bernell, Chappell, Chavarria, Clough, Daugherty, Edwards, Gross, Henderson, Orosco, Plaza, Roberts, Steel, Trujillo, Valls, Warner
Library: L. Kristick for Chadwell
Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences: Allan, Lerczak, Skyllingstad, Spitz, Ungerer
Pharmacy: Cui, Indira, Stevens
ROTC: None present
Science: Blair, Bogley, Bruslind, Escher, Fowler, Gable, Gitelman, R. Nielsen for Haggerty, Lee, Lesser, McIntyre, J. Pohjanpelto for Parks, Thomann
Student Affairs: Alexander, Davis-White Eyes, Prokey for Etherton, Thomas, Vina, Yamamoto
Veterinary Medicine: Bird, Estill, Valentine

Members Absent:
Agricultural Sciences: Anderson, Arp, Gamroth, Jepson, Ketchum, Parke, Pereira, Rao, Selker
Associated Faculty: Bruce, Oldfield
Business: No absences
Education: No absences
Engineering: Porter
Extension: Galloway, Tuck
Forestry: Freitag, Pyles
Health & Human Sciences: Hooker
Liberal Arts: Helle, Lunch
Library: No absences
Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences: No absences
Pharmacy: No absences
ROTC: Sullivan
Science: Edwards, Lajtha, Mason, Rajagopal
Student Affairs: Larson
Veterinary Medicine: No absences

Guests Present:
B. Becker, B. Johnson, M. McCambridge, J. Miller, M. Niess
 
Faculty Senate Officers, Ex-officios and Staff:
Officers: B. Boggess, past president; L. Ciufetti, president; P. Doescher, president-elect; J. Hale, past president
Ex-officio Voting Members: S. Gregory, S. Randhawa, T. Wilcox
Ex-officio Non-voting Members: M. Beachley
Staff: V. Nunnemaker

 

The meeting was adjourned at 4:49 PM.

Respectfully submitted by:
Vickie Nunnemaker
Faculty Senate Staff