Statutes Committee

Annual Report for 2008-2009

 

 

Members: Paul Griffin, TyAnna Herrington, George Ray (student), Jud Ready, John Stein (Exec. Bd. Liaison), Timothy Strike, David White

 

During the past year:

 

The committee met on 3 September 2008 to select the 2008-2009 Chair (Timothy Strike) and to discuss results of the task group on Hiring & Promotion Guidelines for Professional Research Personal.  The Statutes Committee had a representative on the task group and a proposed change to the handbook was presented, discussed and unanimously voted to approve.  The committee also discussed the potential of a major revision effort based on the results of the task force that was put together by Andy Smith and chaired by Monique Tavares to review the entire faculty handbook.  It was agreed by the committee that once a proposal was made we would take a serious look at implementing as many of the changes as possible during the 2008-09 academic year.  The committee also selected a good time to meet through the end of the calendar year should a meeting be necessary.  The proposed changes for Hiring & Promotion Guidelines for Professional Research Personal was briefed to the Executive board and subsequently at the initial General Faculty meeting, was approved and recorded in the minutes of those meetings.

 

The task force that was put together by Andy Smith and chaired by Monique Tavares (changed to Carol Moore in the Spring) to review the entire faculty handbook continued to look at specific sections and suggested edits based on BOR policy changes as well reducing redundancy in the faculty handbook.  The task force stayed in touch with the Statutes Committee via email so we could monitor progress and plan any major revision efforts.

 

The Use of Facilities changes that were placed on hold in 2007-2008 while the task group working that issue completes a proposed document for the Statutes Committee to evaluate is still on hold and no contact was made with the Statutes Committee during the 2008-09 academic year.

 

Timothy Strike was asked to participate on a task force to work on redefining the definition of membership in the General Faculty.  This task force was initiated by the Executive Board and was created in response to the change in the law for retirement benefits and the large number of changes to the handbook in the past to include a variety of titles added to the faculty ranks.  The concept is to develop a better definition of faculty titles that comply with the BoR definition and no longer requires a yearly change to the Faculty Handbook.  This task force met many times over the past calendar year and a proposed change will be presented during the 2009-2010 academic year.

 

The committee met on 25 March 2009 to discuss upcoming issues and to get a start on reviewing the potential impacts to the handbook.  The issues discussed were the draft changes to Section 46 Educational Guidelines and Evaluation, the Dead Week Policy and the Smoking Policy.  The Dead Week Policy and the Smoking Policy were still in their formative stages and we are waiting on input.  The Dead Week Policy was discussed at length and the Statutes Committee recommended that this not be a change to the Faculty Handbook but would be better in the Student Regulations.  The Smoking Policy being worked by the Welfare and Security Committee was too vague at this time for the Statutes Committee to take any action.  The draft changes to the Educational Guidelines and Evaluation were discussed and agreed to in principle but the committee delayed final voting until some final tweaks were completed.

 

In April the final changes to the Educational Guidelines and Evaluation were completed and distributed to the committee members via email for comment and voting.  The changes were unanimously approved.  The proposed change was briefed to the Executive Board and subsequently at a General Faculty meeting, was approved and recorded in the minutes of those meetings.

 

The Statutes Committee was informed that a decision was made to include the proposed definition change of Dead Week into the Student Regulations.  The Statutes Committee took this action off of its action list and will not propose a change to the Faculty Handbook. 

 

The Smoking Policy proposed by the Welfare and Security Committee was distributed to the Statutes Committee.  There was a good bit of email traffic and issues that developed as to the proper authority to implement such a change.  The HR department policy on smoking on campus takes precedence and as such the Welfare and Security Committee prepared a proposed change to the policy for discussion at the next General Faculty meeting.  Once again the Statutes Committee was not required to take action and this effort was dropped from the active action list.

 

No other requests were received or considered by the Statutes Committee during the year.  All committee business was completed and there were no outstanding actions to carry over to the 2009-2010 academic year.

 

Respectfully submitted on 20 October 2009

Timothy Strike, Chair, 2008-2009