Faculty Senate Minutes

10/24/00

 

Present: M. Hanna, P. Hajela, B. Parson, K. Anderson, C. Breneman, B. Peterson, L. Kammerer,

L. Caporael, K. Fortun, S. Derby, J. Mitchell, S. Anderson-Gold

Absent: M. Embrechts, G. Belfort, A. Dyson, R. Gutmann, K. Craig, P. Boyce, G. Korenowski, R. Leifer, P. Quinn, J. Erickson

 

Guests: C. McIntyre, M. Galbraith

 

Original Minutes of 10/24/00

 

Agenda

Approval of Minutes from August 29, September 12 and September 26 Meetings

Newly Created Faculty Senate Website

Discussion with Curtis Powell Vice President of Human Resources

Questions and Answers

Summary on Ad Hoc Committee on Planning and Resources

Adjournment

 

Approval of Minutes from August 19, September 12 and September 26 Meetings

President Prabhat Hejala called the meeting to order and asked for the approval of Minutes for the August 29th, September 12th and September 26th meetings.

 

Newly Created Faculty Senate Website

The faculty senate web site should be up and running by Oct 25, 2000. The meeting minutes will be posted on the site, but only accessible with a password. If you have any comments or changes please let us know.

 

Discussion with Curtis Powell, Vice President for Human Resources

Curtis Powell's Presentation, HR Mission and Key Initiatives.

 

Questions and Answers

L. Caporael: Do you have plans for upward elevations, where an employee can rate his/her supervisor?

C. Powell: Until a defined job description is in place we have no basis to elevate job performance on. Once we have code compliance for our managers, code compliance for our employees in place we then can start establishing that upward feed back from our staff.

 

L. Caporael: What mechanism will be used to measure whether people are respecting each other?

C. Powell: We could achieve this through survey's but the true measurement will come from interaction between each another. How this will be accomplished is by communication. (ex. Dr XX you embarrassed me in the meeting). We will have to formula other process as an alternative if communication does not work. Understanding how to do this will come through training, and staff development. Which is what I refer to as comprehensive training and staff development programs. These program are intertwined with each other you can't have one without the other.

 

K. Fortun: Criteria for elevating people, how will this be developed? . Who will develop these criteria? At what scale of the organization is it going to be established?

C. Powell: The employees should determine this process. Talking to the staff and asking questions should achieve the process: (examples)

What is it that you do?

What is the comprehensive training needed to do these things?

How would you like to be elevated?

After gathering all the information we would put it to an elevation form, then bring it back to employee, for discussion and their input.

 

K. Fortun: Will this be the same for faculty? (Ex. Authority of dean, authority of chairs) How will this work among researchers?

C. Powell: I think the key piece in making this work is with our administrative staff. If you look what has already occurred with faculty, we already know what's required for you to move from assistant to associate professor.

 

K. Fortun: No, I believe it has not. (ex. discussion in our dept is about whether salary should be pegged to funded research, which is practically delicate giving, we are not in the school of science or engineering) This is a major new elevation technique. Where does the decision-making authority rest?

C. Powell: I think you question is perhaps talking about how we tie comprehension-to-comprehension, verse the comprehensive to get from one level to the next. Is this correct?

 

K. Fortun: No, I'm talking about introducing, a whole different criteria for elevating people. Here among researchers their can many differences of opinion (example: some researchers publish articles, some publish books) what happens if a chair says only books matter, and researches say your only speaking for one side of the field? We need a process to be able to adjudicate, these difference of opinion?

C. Powell: Best way to achieve this would be a group of faculty discussing this matter, then bringing their recommendations to the dean (of the school), then to the faculty senate for their input, and then present it to the provost office where the final say lays.

 

K. Fortun: It sounds as if the staff job classification needs immediate attention, but with the faculty process of elevation, the greater transparence would be very good, it would be linked to what we 've talked often about "mentoring".

C. Powell: We started a process where I developed a grid. With this grid we will be better able to define the exceptions for each employee and faculty. We are not looking to change what's already in place but to define and add to each description.

K. Fortun: I think this should be part of the introduction to the institution. Informing new hires of how the promotion process works and what their exceptions are. I believe it would elimate a lot anxiety and uncertainty.

C. Powell: We are in the process of developing an orientation program. A critical piece of this process will be getting the deans and faculty involved in the orientation process.

 

B. Peterson: The orientation of the faculty is now done in four half-day programs.

Micro

History

Research

A fifth program is in the process of being developed: How to teach with new technology.

 

B. Parsons: Once job descriptions are in place, will we have access to these descriptions?

C. Powell: Yes, you will have complete access; as well as access to classification in use field criteria. This all will be accessible by go on line and look up a particular classification for a job.

 

B. Parsons: In essence the way your new staffing structure should work is that we will be able to give you a description of our needs, and in turn your will be able to give us the classification which will fit those needs?

 

C. Brenenan: How does this work for people whom stay on more then two years?

C. Powell: That is why we have a perforation of title, where as we call the position something entirely different then the job entails so that the compensation matches the job. Our compensation system is in need of immediate attention just for that reason. We are know in the process of requesting RFP for a consultant to come in an review our reward system and then make the proper mechanism to make us compatible with other university. What has happen over the years, is that we developed a pay structure but have never reviewed or adjusted it. If we review the seniority of the work force and then look at the salary plan, we would find that most people are at the end of their salary range. A consultant needs to review the pay structure, look at the market inter equity, then build a salary structure (salary administration) that will be adjusted yearly based on the consumer price index.

 

P. Hajela: Is your office going to be looking at all levels?

C. Powell: We will be working in conjunction with the dean and provost in this process. To achieve this we need to:

We need to look at retooling, faculty that are in the process of moving from one disciplinary to another. (Ex: Some individual's may elect not to accept the new responsibility, we now need to develop a process to transfer these individuals to another dept. or out of the organization all together.)

 

K. Fortun: When do you feel you will have data available, on this market analysis of salary?

C. Powell: To do this we must do some modeling (ex. associate professors) if we were going to model them, we would need gatherer market data and then we would need to look at all individuals involved. After reviewing all the data we would decide where should move individuals. This is the hard and complicated part of this process and we would also need to review the cost. (If this not done properly it could cost million of dollars). What we intent do is develop the primarily of this plan, and share it with those individuals that need to know. I'm hoping to develop a 2-5 year plan. This process should work in a way that we look at one group this year, another group next year, etc. This will have to be a long -range plan to be effective. When it comes down to how we administrate this plan and how it should be implantation, it will be fair and equitable across the board.

 

K. Fortun: In a presentation last year in the Senate meeting we were told that working on Faculty salary was not in the short term plan. My concern is how this will affect the retention.

C. Powell: Retention is very important to all of us, so I would never say that we are not going to look into faculty salaries. I would have say that we need to look at the revenue we are generating and the expanses and then decide what to do with the excess and how to reward our work force in the process. What I want to look at with the consultant is to go outside the box (which is every year we give cost of living raise only). I want to talk about some bearable pay and how to implicate rewarding individuals for a job well done.

 

K. Fortun: We heard an overview of the Budget from Ginny Greg. She said in the short term things look good, but that faculty salary wasn't in the short-term collection.

B. Peterson: I'm planning for the consultant to come in and do an analysis of where our faculty is in terms of compensation with our peers. There is certainly an exception for me. It is necessary for our faculty to be compensated, at a level that is competitive. If we want to be a top peer technical institute then we are going to have to pay salaries that are compliable to other top peer technical institutes.

 

K. Fortun: I bought the matter up not to dwell on it, but a statement like that will create the culture on campus.

B. Peterson: As I stated before numerous times in order to accomplish the goals in the Rensselaer plan we have to (C. Powell concern is with all the employee, as I am concern mostly with faculty) attract (new people), develop (transcending people, developing people whom are already successful here) and retention. These are all critical to our plan as is compensation. We can't just compensate the new people to attract them; we need compensate all faculty. We have a lot of legwork to do in terms of finding out what the compensatation level is at this point in time.

 

S. Derby: I'm glad to hear you say that, but from hearing people talking many are looking to leave within the next 6 months. If this process takes 18 months to come into affect it will be to late for some people. You have ESEC department in great disarray. They are ready to lose people. The dept. is in the middle of a chair search for over a year, losing two - three faculty a semester, rumor is that more are leaving, the direct quote is "we're getting off the sinking ship because our dept going down the tubes fast." The census is if you're not IT or BT you have no future here, it's time to leave.

B. Peterson: I appreciate the input. If you hear of people whom are unhappy, I would be happy to talk these individuals. Some of what you're say I am already aware of and are taking steps to try an elimate these problems as soon as possible. Theirs has been some flagging because of the uncertain of where IT is headed. I have total the deans and I will say it here. We need to pay people what their worth not what it takes to keep them.

C. Powell: I think what you are telling me is critical for us to be aware of. We need to go and address these issues quickly, and see how we can resolute them.

 

P. Hajela: We need to be careful of the lag in the system because there is going to be new hires made in the compensation plan, changes in salary and there are going to be people who find themselves that for what ever reason are not really the favor sons in this exercises.

C. Powell: B. Peterson and I talk constantly about new appointments, because we want to make sure we deal with inter equity. We need to look at the people, whom have been here for 5-10 years, the work they are doing, against the new hire, with less experience, less academic credentials but that person is making 10-20 thousand dollars more then the person who's been here. These are some of the challenges we are going to have to review while developing, the compensation fee plan. Once we build the exceptions and comprehensive plan, people will have clear directions of where they are in this process. What they can except in terms of compensation and promotions.

 

C. Brenenan: On the compression issue, over the last 10-12 years I know in our dept. that new hires have been hired in at exactly the same salary has the present associate professors. What will be done to correct this issue?

C. Powell: As I mention before we have not adjusted our salary scale with the consumer price index in a long time. We are reviewing this issue and realizing that we have to offer a new hire x amount of dollars to consider coming here, because they are making x at the present and in order to recruit and bring them here we need to pay them more. So, now the person already employed is maxed out on their present pay scale and the new hire comes in at a higher rate of pay. Now we have a compression issue. The salary consultant will review all these issues and a plan developed that will

 

M. Hanna: Pension, is there a way we can possible get a simple version we could understand easily.

C. Powell: Our define benefits program is a very complicated program. Yes, we need to come up with a simplicity way of identifying and sharing with the work force the basic of the benefit plan. Once this is achieve individuals will feel better about the plan they are in will give them the insight they need to make decision on what to do in the future in terms of their retirement, so they may maintain their standard of living when they retire. (ex. Tax shelter, move funds,)

 

L. Caporael: Is it possible for your office to obtain the phone number of some financial planner?

C. Powell: We will be sending out annocuments of seminar on Financial Planning. At the same time individuals from TIAA CREF and Fidelity will be available to talk to individuals on a one to one bases.

 

L. Caporael: Most individuals do not have the time to attend a seminar, but would be more than happy to talk to an individual that you recommended. Could you possible give a list of reliable financial planners?

C. Powell: You need to give us a feel of what you think is a good remedy on this? I sense that what L. Caporael is asking could this possibly become a staff position dedicated to explaining this information.

B. Peterson: It's difficult as an institution to recommended a financial planner. But we could prepare a list of those individuals that were accredited by the institution.

K. Fortun: Do you have an update on clinical faculty issues?

C. Powell: I don't have any specific answers, so I cannot stated this is the way it's going to be on concern of clinical faculty. One question is actually for the faculty to answer, do we allow clinician faculty to vote or do we look at their appointments (most are 1-3 years) due we increase this to 1- 5 years with the true definition of a clinical faculty, whether or not they get involved with research?

B. Peterson: The faculty senate will need to do what they need to do in terms of voting, but before we can figure out exactly who is clinical faculty, visiting faculty, or an adjunct faculty until we look at the grid A. Sanderson has completed and get a position description for each position, that actually reflect the positions so we can steam line positions.

K. Fortun: The reason I asked is as part of the faculty senate my job is to convey information both ways. I recently seen a proposal put forward to have a new program with no time to limitation run by a clinical faculty member. My sense is that is this is not going to be a feasibility way to staff a program in the new environment. What understanding of those positions is necessary not to make the problem worse, in the next stage of the planning?

 

L. Caporael: All proposals have to go through the faculty senate curriculum committee, we've seen many that are composed of clinical faculty and every single one has been declined.

B. Peterson: A big portion of proposals needs to be approved by the president, or have trustee approval. I myself have sent back 19 request for appointments, for clarifications on the position. Part of the performance plan process is developing of new programs; one of the things we are doing is trying to decide what directions are the schools headed in terms of tenure track, tenure clinical? We cannot worry about these things being multiply but concentrate on getting things in hand at the moment.

 

L. Caporael: Where was the term clinical faculty originated?

B. Peterson: This is not clear to me. I think the dean of faculties, created clinical faculty because the Institution was in transition mode and didn't want to allocate tenure track slots because their were though of as longer term. You as faculty senators need to look pass the titles when deciding on who gets to vote, but look at what kind of representation should we have on the faculty senate? Faculty whom are here for 1 year, 3 year?

S. Anderson-Gold: I agree we have to discuss it in terms of responsibility of representation.

P. Hajela: I believe it goes pass just the term clinical faculty, it also a concern that they have a different priority in whether they should have full voting representation, and full representation on the senate.

 

Summary on Ad Hoc Committee on Planning and Resources Curt Breneman

Curt reported that their committee was under the impression that there would be 18 new constellations. They were then informed it may be higher. In order to evaluate and prioritize, they need to know the number and know if this is additional new hires or replaced hires? It is his understanding that there will be more then 18 new hires due to replacement.

Changes: how to control the uncertainty and rumors of change. In order to do this the financial constrictions must be looked at.

The Committee can learn how much money we can spend and think of how to prioritize that.

The other way is to prioritize everything we wish to do and then later learn how much money we have to spend.

         Program: What happened to programs that are not directly related to IT and BT? The answers he received were that programs that exist now would be supported even if not directly related to IT and BT. New programs or seed programs that are not related would probably be things that we will not do or move away from.

Provost Peterson stated that plans are due December 2, 2000 and that the President and Cabinets will meet soon after to makes decisions on how to allocate funds so that the schools will know their budgets.

 

Adjournment

Meeting adjourned 4:00 p.m.