Minutes

     

ROCHESTER INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
RIT AAUP
DATE: 12:00PM - 1:00 PM Friday, March 8th, 2013
LOCATION: SAU Clark A

Officers in attendance:  President T. Policano; V. President:  Jack Beck; Secretary:  H. Nickisher; Treasurer:  A. McGowan

  1.  CALL TO ORDER  -- New email header is good:  American Association of University Professors – Academic Freedom for Faculty.  Our goal is to provide RIT faculty an organized voice through which to discuss concerns and communicate issues.  An honest effort is made to serve the interests of all without hostility toward any.  All welcome! We are not a union or attempting to unionize...

  2. Approval of Minutes 2/8/13

  3. OLD BUSINESS

    • Academic Affairs Policy B2 Charter of Academic Governance

      Discussion ensued over what happened at recent Academic Senate (AS) meeting (3/7/13).  One AAUP member (and college senator) stated that initially he had concerns about lecturers having institute-wide vote – mainly, had to do with those lecturers on short-term appointments.  B2 Motion 17 was minor, 18 passed, 19 had word changes, 20 (about subcommittee formation) and 21 (re reduction of current number of standing committees from 14-6) tabled.  In proposing this latter motion, the Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) was interested in being more efficient but Senate discussion included a lot of pushback, although some concerns voiced understandable.  FAC met after Senate meeting and agreed to return to original language – for the time being.  Again, the FAC argument is that there seems to be a proliferation of standing committees:  the Office of Diversity has asked for one and so has the Innovative Learning Institute.  And then there are the oddities like the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies (CMS).  Their curriculum committee was approved at AS but was it voted on by the RIT faculty?  FAC is going to clarify all this.  President Policano subsequently proposed a change from 14 to 8 – it’ll be a charge for FAC next year. And B2 will have to go back to faculty again!

      This proposal recommends the following composition:  (1) Faculty Affairs Committee; (2) Academic and Students Affairs Committee; (3) Graduate Council; (4) Intercollege Curriculum Committee (ICC), assuming the General Education (GEC) and Institute Writing Committees (IWC); (5) Nominations Committee; (6) Resource Allocation and Budget Committee (RABC); (7) Environment and Long-Range Planning Committees combined as one; and CMS curriculum committee could probably go under ICC as a third subcommittee, if they need their own.  Voiced concerns at Senate were about more work for FAC to write into policy how each of the subcommittees would be formed.  Standing committees have the right to make up their own subcommittees but it’ll need approval from AS.  If GEC formulated as having one representative from each college, then it’ll stay that way.  Likewise IWC, if membership is to be equal representation from all colleges, then that stays the same, too.

      FAC is trying to organize the work of the AS Executive Committee, which has become increasingly inefficient.  Way behind in redoing the policy & procedures manual.  Just about all the policies related to faculty, especially with regard to semesters, need to be changed.  There’s been no moderation; no clarity about bringing closure, no one really understanding Robert’s Rules of Order… it’s a kind of free for all.  And the current Executive Committee has a tendency to make their own requests about issues being discussed.  Executive Committee sets the agenda and facilitates discourse but currently they they’re acting like senators first.  FAC trying to assign functions to Executive Committee positions.  For example, the Operations Office is to be the parliamentarian; Communications Officer is responsible for the minutes.  Adding a charge to Vice Chair of AS that s/he is to be responsible for managing the transfer of policy changes to manual, and then annually summarizing all changes made and present that to AS.  Right now, FAC is having trouble finding documentation of some of these changes.  It’s kind of sloppy out there.

      Q:  Is it the chair’s concern to do the agenda and keep things moving?
      A:  No, it’ll be the Operations Officer.  Andy Phelps is taking minutes now.  That’s a lot to do – watch the clock, know Robert’s Rules of Order and take minutes.  Should spread that out. 
      Q:  Per the approved minutes that were just sent out, was happened to motion 6?  Was it tabled for next time or indefinitely?
      A:  There was discussion at 3/7/13 Senate meeting about getting through the remainder of outstanding B2 motion before coming back to motion 6.

    • Salary Adjustments for Promotion

      2012-23 increments are as follows:
      Associate Professor to Full = $5000
      Assistant Professor to Associate = $2,500
      Lecturer to Senior Lecturer = $2000

      There was a recent review but what happened to it?  Did not result in any increases.

    • Policy E24 Faculty Grievance.  FAC were ready to go forward with this but were asked by the Administration to postpone a year.  Same goes for Dismal For Cause (E23) and Discontinuance of Programs – or at least the first two for sure.  President Policano has suggested that none of these policies should exclude lecturers.

    • Policy E23 Dismissal For Cause.  For example, this policy would include anyone on contract or appointment – not just tenure-track faculty.  Hope to be able to defend that but will have to wait and see what happens when it gets to AS.  No big deal for a one year lecturer but for a longer contract, there should be rules.  Also looking at E6 again, the policy that handles all the ranks.  Want to clarify all the notifications (timeline) of lecturers re renewal of their contracts.  And then clarify any promotions – senior or principal – require either an initial three or five year contract AND stipend.  Again, however, there’s been push back…  the usual about no money, blah blah blah.  In other words, want to clarify what benefits those ranks come with and guarantee them.  So you’d at least have one year, whatever the contract’s going to be.

    • D&C Article on Rochester Adjunct Faculty.  No word yet as to what came of it.

  4. NEW BUSINESS

    • The other big policy to be reviewed is E7 – the plan of work (or Annual Review of Faculty), http://www.rit.edu/academicaffairs/policiesmanual/sectionE/E7.html
    • Need to evaluate people on distribution of merit.  There were proposals that one writes a plan of work for three semesters with the last one getting revised.  It was remarked that in COS, faculty has been told that they’re going to a calendar year assessment.  President Policano responded by emphasizing that that is practice, not policy.  Therefore, working to define what POLICY should be.  Also working on policy that has plan of work and tenure strongly linked. 
      Q:  What about getting blind-sided at mid-tenure review?

    • CMS being restructured/forced out of CAST.  Undergoing substantial reorganization.  One faculty member currently manages graduate program but there’s no job description for that responsibility.  That in itself is controversial in Grad Council.  CMS faculty are not in a college and have no representation.  Implications for the Institute are significant with respect to B2!  There are a number of things that need to be redressed.  President Policano remarked that it would have been addressed this time but the Administration doesn’t want restrictions on defining units.  All faculty must be associated or affiliated with a college.  The Administration, upon hearing this movement, said that it was too strict for them; that they need to be more nimble.  Colleges = centers and departments; Institutes (business entities) = centers and departments.  Did that with Golisano Institute of Sustainability (GIS) and are trying to do it with CMS – of course it’s an anomaly.  Tenure-track faculty in CMS unit will not be replaced but tenure-track faculty that there is is affiliated with CAST.   Theoretically, therefore, CMS faculty does have representation through CAST.  Originally, the College of Health, Sciences and Technology was an institute but made into a college. The idea for a “university college” was proposed – a virtual college – for these orphan entities that are not easily relatable.  Again there was throwback from some about not wanting that name as part of their official designation.  (E.g., “What does that mean?”)  GIS got the exception to be an “Institute” and will get one representative at Senate. Therefore, that’s why the effort to try to roll CMS Curriculum Committee into ICC.  Need to have some kind of career trajectory and security.  A lot of work still to be done!
respectfully submitted 3/11/13 by Heidi Nickisher

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