SENATE From the Senate Office
April 16, 1999
The Senate Committee on the Faculty (CoF) considered the following issues in the academic year 1998-1999 as charged by the Chair of the Faculty Senate:
1. The Percent of Standing Faculty in the School of Medicine Represented by Clinician Educators
According to the Handbook for Faculty and Academic Administrators, the Clinician Educators (CEs) in the School of Medicine are limited to 40% of the Standing Faculty. Currently the CEs represent approximately 59% of the Standing Faculty in the School of Medicine. The major part of the 1998 sessions of the Committee on the Faculty (CoF) was dominated by deliberations on the resolution of this discrepancy. A broad representation of Standing Faculty of the University were interviewed or were part of the general discussions, including members from the School of Medicine, the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Dental Medicine, the School of En-gineering and Applied Science, the Graduate School of Fine Arts and the Graduate School of Ed-ucation. The history of the issue was studied and documents pertaining to this issue published in Almanac were reviewed (April 6, 1976; April 19, 1977; May 1, 1979; April 12,1983). While the CoF was studying this matter, the Faculty of the School of Medicine organized a comprehensive review, called Faculty 2000, of issues that concern the faculty of that school, among which is the ratio of CEs to tenure track members. The CoF has not received a formal request from the School of Medicine through the Provost and SEC to modify the Handbook. Therefore, the CoF recommends that SEC reconsider the issue after the conclusions of Faculty 2000 are known and the Medical School submits a formal proposal concerning the CE/tenure track ratio to the Provost. Nevertheless, the CoF reaffirmed that any recommendations on the resolution of this issue should not subvert or otherwise undermine the traditional principles and central importance of the system of tenure that is designed to protect the academic freedom of the Faculty.
2. Clinical Faculty in the Associated Faculty and Clinical Associates in the Academic Support Staff (Almanac April 13, 1999)
The Interim Provost referred to the Faculty Senate a Medical School request for a change in the Handbook to regularize the status of certain employees of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and the language in the Handbook that refers to these employment categories. A proposed Handbook revision was presented and approved at the April 7, 1999 meeting of SEC. Proposals from the Dental and Nursing Schools concerning clinical faculty or clinical associates will be considered when the Provost refers them to the Faculty Senate.
3. Copyright Policy
In accordance with a SEC motion of April 1998 to recommend a Handbook revision to bring into accord the tradition and practice of the University, the Committee has recommended language that incorporates the results of the deliberations of the 1995 Task Force on Intellectual Property (see below). The CoF considered the related issues of intellectual property and patents in connection with distributed learning and computer software and recommended continuing discussion.
4. Policy on Consultation
A Faculty Senate ad hoc committee translated the Policy on Consultation report into language for the Handbook that has been accepted by the administration and will be published "Of Record" in Almanac.
5. Extension of the Probationary Period for Faculty Couples for Reason of Family Leave
The CoF considered a question raised by a faculty member whether the extension policy applies to both parents. The CoF reviewed the action of the 1996-1997 committee and its interpretation. A revised section for the Handbook acknowledging that the policy does apply to both members of the Faculty was prepared [click here to view] and will be presented to SEC at the May meeting.
6. Faculty Involvement in Fundraising for Undergraduate Scholarships
SEC asked the CoF to consider the pros and cons and make a recommendation to SEC. The issue was discussed and the CoF agreed to recommend that SEC take no action on the matter. This will be presented to SEC at the May meeting.
7. Who Is Teaching Our Students? No actions taken.
8. Technology Transfer/Intellectual Property Rights in Sponsored Research
An e-mail inquiry from a faculty member about the Center for Technology Transfer procedures for exclusive licenses for patents was discussed briefly by the CoF and no action was taken.
9. Procedures Regarding Misconduct in Research
The Provost referred a revision of the procedures to the Faculty Senate and the revision will be considered by the CoF next year.
Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 30, April 27, 1999