Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes
Special Session to Discuss Faculty Evaluation
3 PM Friday, November 9, 2007
Brauer Room, Administration Building

Senators present: Rebecca Wheeler, Kip Redick, Jean Filetti, Lynn Lambert, Kathleen Brunke, Gary Whiting, Ming Zhang, Pete Carlson, Tim Marshall, Eric Duskin, Niazur Rahim, Leland Jordan
Senators absent: Nicole Guajardo, Nate French, Bob Hasbrouck

Guests present: Provost Padilla, Vice Provost Schwarze, Associate Provost Cartwright

President Whiting called to order at 3:03.

Guest Report: Provost Padilla, Vice Provost Schwarze, Associate Provost Cartwright

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss Provost Padilla's plan for a new faculty evaluation system. This change modifies when and who evaluates each candidate; it does not change the criteria for evaluation or the method of evaluation (eval-6 and dossier) which is currently being investigated by the senate.

The provost had several overriding principles when designing this new system:

The format of the document in the link is: schedule changes on pages 1 and 2, a flowchart for the order on page 3, and rationale and ramifications on page 4. This plan addresses assistant professor, probationary (tenure-track) evaluation order only. Processes for other candidates would be consistent with this detailed plan, but spelled out later. This plan does not modify the AR (annual report) process. The provost is open to combining the AR and evaluation, but that is a separate process and has its own complications (e.g., the AR process is chair-dean-provost; the probationary evaluation process is different).

The main changes from the current system are:

  1. Promotion to associate professor and tenure would be combined into one evaluation. Promotion before tenure would not be allowed anymore.
  2. Candidates would be evaluated in years 2, 4 and 6 rather than years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Contracts would be issued for three years, including an initial three year contract.
  3. Peer groups would change their name to "department review group" and would consist of the chair, 3-5 tenured members of the department and one outside member chosen from a list provided by the candidate. Department review groups would consist of tenured members only. Outside members will normally be chosen from within the candidate's division.
  4. The faculty review committee would consist of elected tenured members only (2 from each division). The provost would not appoint any members.
  5. The faculty review committee and dean would switch positions in the order so that the order would be: department review group, faculty review committee, dean, provost, president. The dean and provost would consult with each other, but would provide separate statements.

Senators had no overriding objections, but there was discussion on details. Senators seemed to be in broad agreement that an evaluation in years 2, 4, and 6 was better than the current policy. After discussion, the provost modified the document that he handed out based on senators' comments (the link is the updated version). Questions included:
  1. Senators felt that the deans should make a separate statement from the provost. The provost had no objection, so modified his draft which stated that the deans and provost would form a DPG (deans/provost group), and write a single statement.
  2. Senators felt that the outside member should be chosen from a candidate's list of choices. This idea was in the provost's plan, but the wording did not specify what would happen if the candidate's initial choices could not serve. The provost agreed that if none of the initial choices was able to serve, the candidate would be asked for additional choices.
  3. Senators asked if the candidate would be allowed to respond to each level: the DRC, the FRC, and the dean. This was not previously specified in the document, but the provost agreed that the candidate should be able to.
  4. There were clarifications about how the DRC would be chosen, but no major objections to changing peer groups to department review groups.
  5. There was discussion about the FRC's placement before the dean in the evaluation  process. Some senators noted that the dean's statements add valuable information to the FRC, especially in the case of chairs. Additionally, the FRC in its present position after the Dean can serve as the voice of the faculty in reconciling differences between the peer group and the Dean.

    Provost Padilla felt that his system gives the FRC a more central role; that the FRC will then react to the candidate's case and not to the dean's statement; that the new model keeps the deans from being stuck all by themselves (since the next administrator response is weeks or even months from the dean's); and that this will work only with a 2 college, not a 3 or 4 college model.

After answering questions, Provost Padilla, Vice Provost Schwarze, and Associate Provost Cartwright left. Discussion continued after the provost and his team left.

The faculty senate will have its first reading at their December 7 meeting. There will be brown bag lunches to solicit faculty feedback between now and that meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 5:15PM

submitted by Lynn Lambert, Faculty Senate Secretary