Statutes Committee

Annual Report for 2003-2004

Members: Ron Bohlander – GTRI (Chair), Russell Gentry – Architecture (Exec. Bd. Liaison), Jim Cofer – GTRI), George Johnston – Architecture, E. W. Looney (student), Jonathan Moore – OTL, Tim Strike – GTRI

During the past year, the committee addressed the following issues.

1.      The committee received a request from the Executive Board to review a proposed addition to the Faculty Handbook in Section describing the Ombuds program.  The Statutes Committee reviewed and approved the attached text.  The program was briefed by Dr. Ed Thomas, one of our Faculty Ombuds, at the Fall Meeting of the Academic Senate and Called Meeting of the General Faculty on Dec. 2003.  Due to an oversight, this addition to the Handbook was not formally proposed and adopted by the Faculty at that time.  A motion will be made at the October 14, 2004 meeting to rectify that.  This addition is simply a description of the existing Ombuds program and does not introduce any new policy.

2.      The committee received a request from the Executive Board and from the SACS Accreditation Compliance Working Group to address several requirements to cover issues in the Faculty Handbook that were identified as possible gaps; namely:

§         Assuring institutional effectiveness for all degree programs at all degree levels;

§         Verification of faculty qualifications (including part-time and adjunct faculty);

§         Formalizing faculty evaluations;

§         Training, and supervision of Graduate Teaching Assistants; and

§         Enforcement of the “18-hour rule,” which requires a GTA listed as the “instructor of record” to have at least 18 graduate semester-hours in the discipline.

The required changes were developed in collaboration with the Executive Board and SACS team and were recommended and accepted by the Faculty at their Feb. 24 and Apr. 20, 2004 meetings.  In the process a number of sections of the Faculty Handbook were also brought up-to-date.

3.      The committee began a project to update the format of the Faculty Handbook so that it would have a more pleasing visual appearance and a less complex numbering scheme.  A study of handbooks at peer institutions was made, best practices identified, and a set of requirements developed to guide our work.  This matter was set aside when the needs of the SACS team took priority, but has been re-scheduled for prompt action in 2004-2005.



Respectfully submitted on October 14, 2004,

Ron Bohlander, Chair, 2003-05