A panel of three members hearing a case may include, at most, only one non-tenured assistant or associate professor. No non-tenured assistant or associate professors may serve on panels judging tenure denials. While clinician educators may serve on panels hearing any other kind of case, they are not eligible to serve on panels judging tenure denials or involving compensation of tenured faculty. All of this, together with the size of the original pool now designated by the Senate Executive Committee, the typically busy and sometimes unpredictable schedules of tenured faculty members and the need to constitute panels at unpredictable times during the semester, means it is often very difficult to put together a panel.
The hearings list should be expanded to include at least 60 faculty members' at least 30 of whom are eligible to serve on cases involving tenure and compensation disputes. The list should continue to be screened by the Faculty Senate Office for willingness to serve before appointment and prior to being submitted to the Faculty Grievance Commission.
There is a need to deal with the volume and complexity of complaints.
The Commission reviews all complaints faculty members bring to it each year. Sometimes, a single visit with the Chair is enough to resolve the matter. Sometimes, the Chair is able to work as a mediator to resolve disputes. On other occasions, however, the issues are so complex that the full Commission must ask for additional documentation and meet with the complainant before deciding whether to allow a grievance to go forward. Once that happens, large amounts of time are consumed preparing for and holding hearings. Hours are spent gathering and distributing confidential materials and then scheduling meetings among grievants, respondents, witnesses, panelists and Commission members. Further, the actual hearings themselves can take many hours and often days. Often, all of this causes long delays that are unacceptable in terms of the Commission's desire to provide reasonably speedy hearings. Finally, all hearings must be
recorded and, once the grievance is completed, large quantities of confidential material must be destroyed.
There is a need for procedures to govern the terms and conditions of employment for newly appointed and reappointed members of the standing faculty.
Typically, the Provost and Deans authorize searches, while the Provost, President and Trustees authorize hires. However, each school has its own method of doing searches, talking to final candidates, making offers and conducting renewals. Sometimes, what the candidate is told, hears and later discovers about the terms and conditions of his or her employment are at great variance. This can lead to serious misunderstandings which result in grievances.
The Provost and Deans in consultation with the Faculty Senate should develop standard procedures for making offers and spelling out the terms and conditions of employment for all tenure track appointments and reappointments. Among other things, these should cover salaries and whether they are based on 9 or 12 month periods, the duration of the appointment and expected dates for review for renewal as well as any special agreements about laboratory space, access to equipment, equipment purchase, and the like. There should be a letter that makes such terms very clear to each candidate. As part of approving appointments and reappointments, the Provost should review and authorize the letters of appointment.
There is a need for training and regular review of administrators of schools, academic centers and faculty members who head research laboratories. In the past, many grievances have arisen through the arbitrary and capricious behavior of deans, directors and heads of centers and research units. Indeed, some units appear to be places where employees, including faculty, have been particularly vulnerable to abuses of power. In part, this appears to stem from a lack of clarity about lines of authority and a lack of procedures for regular administrative review. In part, it also seems to arise from a lack of administrative experience on the part of faculty members: many faculty become deans, chairs, and the heads of centers and large research units without having had any formal managerial training.
Peter J. Kuriloff, Chair
Adelaide M. Delluva, Past Chair
Sol H. Goodgal, Past Chair
Seymour J. Mandelbaum, Chair-elect
Tuesday, November 21, 1995
Volume 42 Number 13