Faculty Affairs Committee Charge, 2021-2022
The Faculty Affairs committee has developed and approved the following list of issues to address during the academic year, reporting to Council as appropriate.
Survey faculty about classroom safety, masking policies, and a possible vaccine mandate. Ensure that faculty are not being penalized in annual reviews for circumstances related to the pandemic. Work with the Provost’s office to develop long-term plans to help faculty, including possibly reconsidering tenure and promotion requirements to acknowledge the pandemic’s effects on research, teaching, and service.
Tenure and Promotion Process
Evaluate the success of the new RTP program and effects of changes to CRR and campus calls. Follow up on irregularities in the tenure and promotion process. Find strategies to make the process as transparent, expeditious, and humane as possible. Make sure that NTT and TT processes are equally supported, transparent, and fair. Monitor the covid-19 extensions and make sure that faculty are not being unfairly penalized for slowdowns to research caused by the pandemic.
Free Speech and Academic Freedom
Building on the 2020-21 presentations on Free Speech and Academic Freedom for MU Faculty and Staff, and working in coordination with the Free Speech Task Force: identify faculty concerns about their freedoms, rights, and protections, including when criticizing university policies and university administration. Make recommendations to publicize legal protections (such as the 1st Amendment) and also University Rules, Policies, and Procedures that provide protections and consider additional mechanisms for fostering an atmosphere that promotes speech (not just a “right”). Provide a guide to faculty and staff on free speech rights in the employment context and propose any needed changes to FC Rules of Order and Collected Rules.
Faculty Workloads and, with Budget Committee, Faculty Salary Reductions
Support faculty whose salaries have been reduced and/or workloads increased. Monitor the new workload policies as they are being developed to make sure that shared governance and transparency are central to the process and that policies are equitable. Work with other committees including IFC and the Budget Committee to improve policies, protect tenure and academic freedom, and reconstruct the motivations and timeline for implementing these significant changes. Study the use of metrics including AAU metrics and Academic Analytics in faculty evaluations and decision-making across campus. Work with administration and faculty to improve communication. Work with faculty to document concerns, find answers to questions, and ensure that faculty are not unduly punished for circumstances outside of their control.
Carried over from previous years:
Research Responsibility Committee/CRR 420.010
Review the University’s process for resolving accusations of research misconduct. Work with Michele Kennett (Associate Vice Chancellor, Research Compliance) to ensure that CRRs are revised with all attention to shared governance and transparency so that the Research Responsibility Committee can be constituted.
NTT Faculty Issues: In coordination with other appropriate committees, consider the process by which NTT faculty gain emeritus status. Work to improve transparency in promotion process and contract renewal process. Examine policies campus-wide for ranked NTT faculty workloads, ensure salary guidelines and raises are equitable. Examine NTT service expectations and work with colleges and the Provost’s office to make sure service, teaching, and research roles are clearly defined for NTT faculty. Clarify University policies protecting NTT faculty rights including academic freedom, right to due process, protection from retaliation, and free speech.
Faculty professional development support
Work faculty, the Provost’s office and individual colleges to better understand the types of research and teaching support faculty need. Make sure current programs are well-understood and fairly implemented. Document faculty morale and burnout and work with administration to develop strategies to better support faculty.
Understanding and improving the hiring process for adjuncts
Review the Jago report, share it with campus leadership and faculty, including especially adjuncts. Make recommendations in consultation with other stakeholders to standardize these processes across campus.
TFELT As a committee: follow up on TFELT report, continue to work on advocating for a fair use teaching evaluations in faculty annual reviews and the tenure and promotion process.
Dissolution of HES and other program mergers, closures, and realignments:
Investigate the processes for decision-making and communication in program restructuring including especially the dissolution of HES. Follow up with faculty who have been placed in new colleges or departments to find out more about their experiences and ensure they are being properly supported in their new institutional homes. Discuss with faculty, administrators, and other stakeholders what worked well and what did not succeed in the 2020-21 program restructuring process. Recommend changes to improve the process for evaluating units and, if necessary, closing or restructuring them in the future.
Faculty Council membership on committee:
Penny Jane Smith-Parris