West Texas A&M University

Approved Faculty Senate Minutes

February 24, 2006

 

I. Call to Order: President Pam Lockwood called the meeting to order at 12:15 p.m. Members present were Syed Tariq Anwar, Joel Babitzke, Rob Brammer , Sharon Burnett, Charles Chase, Harry Hueston, Mary Jarvis , Cloyce Kuhnert , Jenifer Kunz (substituting for Mo Cuevas) Frank Landrum, Pam Lockwood, Jessica Mallard, Amy Newman, Helen Reyes and Neil Terry .

 

II. Approved the minutes from the February 10, 2006 meetings.

 

IIII. Old Business: (All comments by President Lockwood unless noted otherwise.)

A. Tenure Guideline Recommendations

1. Format – Supplementary Folders & Primary Folders – Joel Babitzke brought a set of recommendations from a colleague concerning this matter (see Appendix A). Discussion was favorable concerning the recommendations. Harry Hueston made a motion to take the recommendations back to our colleges, have colleagues review, and send feedback to President Lockwood by Friday. Sharon Burnett seconded the motion, which then passed unanimously.

During this discussion Frank Landrum made the following motion “Establish 5 subcommittees to bring back expectations for merit”. After a lengthy discussion the motion was changed from 5 subcommittees to 4 (representing the current number of colleges rather than the Fall 2006 number of colleges). This amended motion was seconded by Rob Brammer . The motion passed with the following vote: Favor - 10, Oppose – 3, Abstain – 2.

2. Addition of Collegiality – Appendix B contains a handout concerning collegiality. The first conclusion shown in the handout has as an option to create a fourth category for assessing faculty. A vote was taken with the following results: Favor – 1, Oppose 14, Abstain – 0. After some discussion the following motion was made by Jessica Mallard: “Include the following statement in the Faculty Handbook – Collegiality and professional ethical behavior may be considered in evaluating the three areas of teaching, research, and service”. The motion was seconded by Helen Reyes and passed unanimously

3. Memo from Chancellor McTeer – Appendix C contains a message concerns modifying the tenure criteria to include collaborations with business and industry and to give a “time out” option in the tenure process in certain circumstances.

B. Teaching Load Policy - 4/4 and 3/3

The discussion centered around the requirements to be eligible for a 3/3 load (i.e. tenure-track faculty and tenured faculty with proven research abilities) and then to continue on the 3/3 load. In the discussion the differences between colleges and disciplines in administering both the 3/3 and 4/4 load was also brought up. Finally some expressed concern about the funding challenges involved.

C. Academic Dishonesty Policy – the following question was posed by President Lockwood – Can we set a uniform set of consequences for infractions? Harry Hueston stated that he has already developed a set of guidelines and will bring to next meeting.

D. The old Annual Professional Summary (APS) form was still on WTAccess and some department heads used it. Be sure new form is used - WTAccess is being corrected. Also remember the faculty member should receive a copy of the APS evaluation page.

 

Faculty Senate adjourned at 1:30 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Sharon Burnett

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Appendix A -

 

  Recommendations for Tenure Package

  from Dr. Jim Rogers Associate Professor

 

These are recommendations for the tenure package that is presented to the tenure and promotion committee.

 

(2) Retain the vitae-this should be well developed and detailed

 

(3) Drop the requirement for the expanded version of the Annual Evaluation of Faculty Performance and require that the applicant provide copies of the individual evaluations in descending order (most recent first) for review. This allows the committee to review each year independently and to track an applicant's progress.

(4) Retain

(5) Retain

(6) Retain the summary of alumni evaluations but drop the requirement for the raw data forms to be included in a supplementary folder. These should be available for review if requested by the committee.

 

(7) Delete the tabulation of the University-wide students evaluates and replace with the requirement that the applicant provide the summary forms for each class in descending order for review by the committee. This allows the committee to review each year independently and to track an applicants progress. Drop the requirement for the raw data forms to be included in a supplementary folder.

 

(8) Drop the requirement for supplementary folders. Expand the contents for the primary folder to include (a) at least three peer reviews of teaching effectiveness (b) i) a brief self evaluation summary of Teaching Effectiveness limited to two pages, (ii) a brief self evaluation summary of Scholarly Activity and Research limited to two pages and (iii) a brief self evaluation of Professional Service limited to two pages. Add a new section titled Special Recognition and Awards and have the applicant outline letters of commendation, awards and special recognition. Add a new requirement that the applicant provide at least three letters of support from non-academic institutions outlining contributions to professional service, research or teaching effectiveness. Add a publications section. The applicant will provide examples of peer reviewed articles, technical works, performances etc. (A supplementary folder including the full publications should be available upon request by the committee)

 

All of this material will fit nicely into one 2-3" binder.

 

I believe that this level of detail will provide the committee with the information needed to evaluate the applicant and reduce that amount of busy work. The supplementary folder option has little value without detailed instructions on required contents. Considering the gravity of the Assistant to Associate tenure decision, applicants have historically included everything, including the kitchen sink in the supplementary folders.

 

 (Note: numbered items above are based on the applicable portion of the Faculty Handbook.)


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Appendix B –

 Congeniality among Faculty

 

Foundation : The ability to work with peers is a necessary element of an effective work environment. It is important in teams (Pesut, Daniel J., 2004) and for work in general. Organizational cultures that place value on cooperation, collegiality, and mutual support create workplaces that are stronger and more resilient in ensuring the health, vitality, and productivity of their employees (Quick, Cooper, Nelson, Quick, & Gavin, 2003). Those who avoid congeniality, over time, are more likely to become resistant to changing their accustomed beliefs and practices (Sarason, 2003). I

 

Conclusion : Collegiality, at a very basic level, is an essential element of success.

 

Options:

 

1) Create a fourth category for assessing faculty; i.e., teaching, scholarship, service and collegiality.

 

  2) Find a way to incorporate collegiality into the existing structure.

 

The American Association of University Professors ( http://www.aaup.org/statements/Redbook/collegia.htm ) state, "Few if any responsible faculty

members would deny that collegiality, in the sense of collaboration and constructive cooperation, identifies important aspects of a faculty member's overall performance." But they also reach an important conclusion, "collegiality is not a distinct capacity to be assessed independently of the traditional triumvirate of scholarship, teaching, and service. It is rather a quality whose value is expressed in the successful execution of these three functions. Evaluation in these three areas will encompass the contributions that the virtue of collegiality may pertinently add to a faculty member's career."

 

Conclusion: Any evaluation of collegiality should be made within the structure of the current annual review. We should expect individuals to demonstrate collegiality within their teaching (e.g., peer reviews), scholarship (i.e., collaborations), and service. I would imagine everyone could agree with this.

 

Ohio State University summed it up this way:

 

"Citizenship, collegiality, or professional ethical behavior may not be established as a fourth criterion in promotion and tenure reviews independent of teaching, research, and service. The Faculty Rules provide solely for review of teaching, research and service in promotion and tenure reviews. Review bodies may consider collegiality and professional ethical behavior in the context of evaluating the three main areas of activity, but may not use that issue as an independent category.”

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Appendix C –

 

  Patents or Commercialization of Research–Policy

 

  As we all know only too well, the decline in the relative share of university funding provided by the state is likely to continue, and we need to get more serious about alternative sources of funding. I believe that more collaboration with business and industry will become increasingly important to sustaining or enhancing our overall funding, even necessary.

 

  To encourage .and facilitate that change over time, I have a modest proposal for modernizing our tenure criteria to provide an incentive for faculty collaboration with business and industry.

 

  Currently the TAMUS policy manual in Section 12.02.03 includes the five items listed below that should be considered in awarding tenure. I propose to add the sixth item to the list.

 

1. Teaching effectiveness;

2. Scholarly or artistic endeavor;

3. Professional growth;

4. Public and university service; and

5. Quality of patient care, where applicable.

 

[6. Patents or commercialization of research, where applicable.]

 

  Just as the quality of patient care in number five doesn't apply to all our members or departments, neither would research commercialization. It would more likely apply to departments like science, engineering, agriculture, business and medicine than to social studies or the humanities. Let me emphasize that I'm not suggesting that commercialization activities be required for tenure; just that they may earn credit toward tenure. I would make this clear in the text that I submit for the Regents approval. I would also hope to insert language that emphasizes teaching effectiveness as an important factor, even though it is already number one on the list.

 

  I don't regard this as a major change for the present since its applicability will be limited. I do regard it as laying a ground work for the future and signaling the increasing importance the System places on industry collaboration and commercialization activities. I'm sure it doesn't happen often, but I have heard of some of our faculty putting such activities on hold until after tenure is awarded. That should not be necessary in the new world we are moving into.

 

  If I bring this proposal forward, I may also want to take the opportunity to follow the suggestion of one of our faculty senate leaders to provide for the possibility of a "time out" on the tenure clock that is mutually agreed to by a faculty member and the university administration under certain circumstances. I'm told that is already possible under the rules, but I may want to clarify that.

 

  I see no reason why anyone would oppose these modest proposals, but in an abundance of caution and in the spirit of shared governance, I would appreciate your sharing this letter with your provost and the leaders of your faculty senate and other faculty members of your choosing.

I would be happy to respond to any questions you or they may have bye-mail or telephone. My phone number is 979-458-6000. My e-mail address is BobMcTeer@tamu.edu .

 

I would appreciate your prompt attention to this.

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