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* < Faculty Governance Review

Letter from President Shirley Ann Jackson to the Rensselaer Faculty

March 4, 2008

Dear Colleagues:

I have communicated with the tenured and tenure-track faculty on our latest progress in reviewing faculty governance at Rensselaer. I now write to communicate this information more broadly.

I have shared the reports and recommendations from both the Faculty Governance Review Committee and the Palazzo-Kagan Committee with the Board of Trustees. In addition, Professor Jacob Fish, chair of the Faculty Governance Review Committee, presented a summary of that committee’s findings to the Board of Trustees at its recent meeting. A copy of Professor’s Fish’s presentation will be available Thursday, March 6, on the faculty governance review website at http://www.rpi.edu/about/governance/index.html.

The Board recognizes the hard work of both committees. To further guide the process to an effective conclusion, the Board of Trustees issued two resolutions designed to assist further deliberations. Those resolutions are attached to this communication, and may be referenced, as well, on the faculty governance review website.

I will meet with the active tenured and tenure-track faculty on March 19 to discuss the findings of these two committees. Meanwhile, members of the Faculty Governance Review Committee will be meeting with the academic deans and department heads to share their findings. The elected committee members will meet with the faculty of their respective schools to report on the committee's findings, and Professor Fish will meet with the School of Architecture faculty. I encourage all faculty to participate actively in these discussions.

A summary report of the Faculty Governance Review Committee will be posted to the faculty governance review website at http://www.rpi.edu/about/governance/index.html in the near future. The Faculty Governance Review Committee summary report is comprised of an assessment of best faculty governance practices at peer institutions. Likewise, the recommendations of the Palazzo-Kagan Committee for a revised Faculty Senate constitution will be posted to the Provost’s Website shortly.

We also have benefited from the work of the Clinical Faculty Committee, which has worked with the Provost and the Vice President for Human Resources to address the interests of our clinical faculty. That group’s role in the analysis of compensation, benefits, appointment and promotion processes, teaching loads, and opportunities for involvement in academic programming and faculty governance is making an important contribution.

I commend all of the committees for their diligence over the past few months. I also would like to thank each of you for your attention, involvement, and input during this process. I look forward to continued constructive engagement to resolve remaining issues related to faculty governance at Rensselaer.

Thank you for your involvement in, and your patience through, this process.

Sincerely,
Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D.
President

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