Visitors: T. Cochran, S. Browning, L. Dohse
II. Guidelines for Post-Tenure Review
Dr. Kormanik gave a brief history of the Post-Tenure Review document and explained that the Senate needed to consider the document to meet General Administration's August 31, 1998 deadline. He reviewed UNCA's "Comer Rule" which mandates that documents be distributed to the Senate under First Reading, with action taken on the document during Second Reading which generally occurs at the next meeting. Dr. Pons moved to waive the Comer Rule to consider the document. Dr. Bruce seconded the motion, which passed. Dr. Kormanik turned the meeting over to Dr. Ghidina.
Dr. Ghidina recognized the PTR Committee, Dr. Browning and Dr. Kormanik who significantly refined and incorporated changes in the PTR document.
Dr. Ghidina referred to the memo and two documents Senators received prior to the meeting. GA accepted the policy's basic principles, procedures and processes. Changes were requested in three categories: editorial corrections, rephrasing of a statement, and adding further explanation or clarification. Dr. Ghidina moved approval of FWDC 1: Policy on Post-Tenure Review (Revision of SD 2198S). Dr. Rossell seconded the motion.
Dr. Pons asked Dr. Kormanik and Dr. Browning to comment on the revisions as they had worked on the original document as well as the final revision. Dr. Kormanik deferred to Dr. Browning as he was most intimately involved with the process. Dr. Pons asked Dr. Browning if the document contained any significant changes. Dr. Browning stated that was a matter of judgment, and outlined four changes he felt were significant. First, the statement about faculty responsibility for their professional growth was a significant change in tone and also signaled a change of acceptance of responsibility by placing that in the hands of the faculty.
Second, the original document referred to guidelines on peer review process which had not been reviewed by the faculty governance procedure. In fact, they do not exist in any official document. Although removal from the policy does not change the core of the policy, he hopes faculty will eventually integrate into its personnel policies.
Third, the issue of recognition for someone who passes the post tenure review at a superior level was significant. This was a major concern for GA and the absence of this recognition in the original document was seen as substantial. To not recognize a tenured faculty member who is doing an excellent job, even if the recognition was a letter of commendation, was viewed as a bad policy. Adding a few words to the effect that the chief academic officer would make some written recognition and, if appropriate, the person might be considered for an award, would be a substantial change in attitude and philosophy from GA's point of view.
Fourth, the original document did not make reference to due process for faculty and the guarantee of due process. This was addressed in Dr. Browning's revisions. GA felt very strongly that faculty need to know they have access to due process and protection of their rights as tenured faculty. Supplemental items at the end of the document clarified definitions, and a section was added regarding challenge that may or not be interpreted as substantive, according to Dr. Browning.
Ms. McKenzie referred to the issue of "rewards, where appropriate" and asked if GA would make provisions so that rewards would be consistent from year to year. Dr. Browning replied that GA does not see that as their responsibility; it is the responsibility of the campus. Dr. Ghidina stated that there probably would not be consistency, depending upon whether it was a "lean or fat" year.
Dr. Cochran explained that specific amounts of money are used for tenure and promotion. There is some argument that over a ten year period adjustments haven't been made for inflation on those allocations. Although it has not been discussed, it is possible that a similar program could be instituted with PTR. Perhaps a fixed amount of money or a fixed percentage would go to someone who is successful in the PTR process. Dr. Cochran stated that the only thing that precludes this is when we have a zero salary increase year which has occurred once or twice in the last decade. When this occurs, the administration typically carries forward all tenure and promotion raises to the next year that the university has money to give. The one caveat would be predicated on money being available, if money was part of the award system.
Dr. Sabo stated that he preferred the original document which listed two categories -- yes or no. The current policy contains three categories and there are no guidelines to indicate what constitutes a "good" or "excellent" rating. Faculty have had little, if any, experience evaluating merit. Although some Chairs have done this, the final decision has always rested with the administration. Following discussion Dr. Sabo agreed to write a resolution directing the first PTR committee to develop standards and criteria and report them to the Senate or an appropriate body.
Ms. McKenzie stated that from an administrative standpoint the PTRC evaluation could cause problems. She asked if the PTR evaluation could undercut the department Chairs' evaluation. Dr. Pitts replied that if there is a significant divergence between how a Chair rates a colleague over a three year period and the way the PTRC evaluates this colleague, there may be reason for discussion. If the PTRC began to see patterns of significant differences among Chairs, that would be a matter for discussion with the VC.
Dr. Krumpe asked whether the reward system was redundant, given that faculty records and performance evaluations are submitted annually, with a decision made for some reward for this performance. He questioned whether faculty would be rewarded twice for the same performance. Dr. Sabo replied that this did not come up last year because it is a last minute change. He interpreted, from Dr. Browning's comments, that GA wants a more positive reward. The Senate has automatically interpreted this as a financial reward having to do with merit pay but this may not be the case. The new revision, which GA is endorsing, is a substantive change. This particular element was not discussed last year.
Dr. Ghidina stated that on the basis of this discussion it would seem appropriate to have a motion or resolution to look for consistency of reward standards, to ensure it is not redundant with annual merit raises. Dr. Browning read the following portion of a letter from President Spangler, which was the basis of GA's position: Item #1, page 1 referring to the purpose of PTR: "To support and encourage excellence among tenured faculty by 1) recognizing and rewarding exemplary faculty performance." That base guideline from President Spangler caused GA to expect some wording in each policy stating that there would be some recognition or reward for an exemplary or superior rating. It is up to the campus to determine the reward.
Referring to Ms. McKenzie's concerns, Dr. Bruce stated that the department Chairs have a substantial role in gathering and interpreting materials which is parallel to the tenure/promotion process. He suggested that perhaps the PTR Committee could have a check and balance function with the department Chair.
Dr. Caulfield made a motion to amend the fourth sentence on page eight, section 10.2.6 to read as follows: "No more than one member may come from any one academic department." The motion was seconded by Dr. Bruce and carried unanimously.
In response to Dr. Bruce's question regarding implementation, Dr. Browning replied that GA's guidelines are that each campus in the system will have a Post Tenure Review effective during 1998-99. The one exception is the NC School of the Arts which does not have a tenure system. By the end of this academic year, each campus will have completed one full cycle.
In response to Dr. Kormanik's question regarding implementation, Dr. Cochran suggested that the University continue with the PTRC election and not wait for GA's formal approval before proceeding.
Dr. Ghidina made a motion to amend the last sentence on page 4 under E2 as follows: "If a peer review form is used during class observation it may be appended to each summary report." Dr. Gupton seconded the motion. Dr. Rossell and Dr. Browning both indicated it would be a mistake to refer to a form that does not currently exist. After further discussion Dr. Ghidina withdrew the motion.
Dr. Ghidina moved to strike the last sentence on page 4 under E2. Dr. Pons seconded the motion. Dr. Kormanik stated that a document on Guidelines for Evaluation of Teaching has been written but the Senate has not had time to address it. Dr. Sabo called the question. The motion to strike the sentence passed unanimously. FWDC 1 passed unanimously as amended and became Senate Document 0198F.
Dr. Ghidina stated that the points raised earlier should be put in a formal motion or resolution. Dr. Sabo suggested presenting the resolution at the next meeting rather than writing the guidelines at this time.
Referring to Ms. McKenzie's earlier comments, Dr. Gupton stated that the annual evaluations deal with a one-year snapshot while this document looks at a five-year period. If the PTRC concludes that the faculty member isn't performing satisfactorily, and this rating is contradictory to the annual reviews, it raises questions of consistency and continuity in terms of how annual reviews are made for the entire campus. This also raises legal issues. Dr. Gupton questioned how the PTRC could fail an individual for their five-year review when the department Chair passed this person in their individual reviews. There needs to be consistent standards between departments. Ms. McKenzie stated that this was her concern. Dr. Pitts stated that Academic Affairs and department Chairs will need to discuss evaluation, and perhaps give examples on the narrative and coding categories.
III. Old Business
UNCA Foundation Board Election
Dr. Ghidina stated the UNCA Foundation Board election was overlooked last year. The FWDC nominated Joyce Dorr to the UNCA Foundation Board, which was seconded by Mr. Bowen. The nomination carried unanimously.
Dr. Kormanik adjourned the meeting at 4:00 pm.
Respectfully submitted by: Sandra Gravely