Updated November 8, 2016
Academic Senate Information
At the October 24, 2016 Senate meeting, Senator Peter presented AS 1632, Amendment B to University Policy S15-6: Appointment of Regular Faculty Employees - Composition of Recruitment Committees (First Reading) for the Professional Standards Committee. This proposed revision to S15-6 adds flexibility to the composition of faculty recruitment committees and permits departments (if they choose) to elect members from outside their departments to assist on searches. This option would assist departments with recruitment of faculty with interdisciplinary perspectives and would also support efforts to diversify our faculty. AS 1632 will come for a final reading in the Senate at the November 21, 2016 Senate meeting.
Senator Peter also presented AS 1633, Policy Recommendation, Adopting New SOTE and SOLATE Instruments. This policy recommendation adopts revisions to the SOTE and SOLATE instruments developed and vetted by the Student Evaluation Review Board (SERB). This is the first revision to SOTEs and SOLATEs since 2004. SERB proposed modest changes to the questions in the instrument designed to improve their clarity. In addition, SERB made a major improvement to the SOLATE instrument with the addition of a free-response section (bringing our laboratory evaluations in conformity with existing policy). The changes to the SOTE and SOLATE follow a two and a half year long effort by SERB to revise the instruments following widespread consultation and feedback from various constituencies. The new surveys may be implemented as early as this semester (Fall 2016) but no later than Spring 2017. This policy recommendation was passed by the Senate and the policy is awaiting approval from President Papazian.
Senator Shifflett presented AS 1621, Policy Recommendation, Department Voting Rights (First Reading) for the Organization and Government Committee. This policy recommendation is designed to clarify department voting rights for tenured, probationary and part-time faculty. The policy clarifies voting rights as they pertain to selection of department chairs and department curriculum decisions. It also clarifies voting rights of faculty on leave, FERP faculty, faculty with academic assignments in more than one department and interim chairs who may be on loan from another department. This policy recommendation will come for a final reading to the Senate at the November 21, 2016 Senate meeting.
Senator Shifflett also presented AS 1626, Policy Recommendation, Modification of Bylaw 6.13: Conversion of College Seats to at-large seats (Final Reading) for the Organization and Government Committee. This bylaw modification shortens the time frame in which college designated seats on operating committees revert to at-large seats open to the entire faculty. This will speed up the appointment process and ensure that committees have a full slate of members as soon as possible at the start of the academic year to make timely progress on their work. This policy recommendation was approved by the Senate and is awaiting approval by President Mary A. Papazian.
Senator Shifflett presented AS 1628, Policy Recommendation, Modification of bylaw 15 pertaining to Editorial Changes in Senate Documents (Final Reading) for the Organization and Government Committee. This bylaw change would permit the Senate Chair with consultation and unanimous consent from the Executive Committee to make editorial changes to policies after they have been signed and implemented. President Papazian expressed some concern that editorial changes should come back to her in writing for review and approval. Current practice is that if the Executive Committee approves the change (President Papazian is a member of the Executive Committee) then the change is implemented with no further action. Therefore, the resolution was returned to committee to work on changing the procedure, and/or language.
Senator Shifflett presented AS 1634, Constitutional Amendment, Modification of Senate Constitution Related to Membership (First Reading) for the Organization and Government Committee. This Senate Constitution change would remove the VP of University Advancement fromt he Senate and the Executive Committee and would add the Chief Diversity Officer as a full voting member of the Senate and Executive Committee. A constitutional amendment must pass with a majority vote in the Senate and then be voted on by university faculty where it must once again receive a majority vote prior to being sent to the President for her approval. This constitutional amendment will come to the Senate for a final reading and vote at the November 21, 2016 Senate meeting.
Lastly, Senator Shifflett presented AS 1635, Amendment A to University Policy S16-8, Selection and Review of Administrators (First Reading) for the Organization and Government committee. This policy recommendation seeks to provide some flexibility in the constitution of committees for the selection and review of administrators by enabling committees to be tailored to the particular position up for review or selection which in some instances could mean the replacement of the student seat with another faculty seat. After much discussion on the Senate floor and feedback from the administrators on the Senate, the Organization and Government Committee has withdrawn this policy recommendation and it will not be coming back to the Senate for a final reading.
The Senate received a university budget presentation by VP of Administration and Finance, Josee Larochelle on October 10, 2016. Click here to see the slides presented.
The Senate also received a budget presentation for Academic Affairs from Provost and Senior VP of Academic Affairs, Andy Feinstein on October 10, 2016. Click here for the Academic Affairs presentation.
Opportunities for University Service
- Serving on a Senate committee is an excellent way to get involved and we encourage you to find a committee focused on issues of importance to you, whether it be faculty affairs/professional standards, instruction and student affairs, research, facilities, or program development and assessment.
- Please check the list of current senate committee vacancies. If you are interested, please contact your college rep for the Committee on Committees to learn about appointment and/or election procedures.