Faculty Senate Minutes



Return to Revised Minutes of 3-28-01


Present:M. Hanna, P. Hajela, B. Parsons, S. Derby, K. Anderson, S. Anderson-Gold, G. Korenowski, L. Kammerer, B. Peterson,

L. Caporael, G. Belfort, M. Embrechts, R. Leifer, J. Mitchell, J. Erickson,


Absent: K. Fortun, A. Dyson, P. Quinn, R. Gutmann, K. Craig, C. Breneman, P. Boyce


Guests:R Gutmann, G. Gabriele, J. Ackerman, R. Bizios. A. Kapila


Summary:1) Promotion & Tenure Committee Report

2) Discussion on New Structure for IT Education/Research


P. Hajela:Meeting called to order. Can we approve the minutes of January 31st & February 14th?Minutes approved unanimously

First item on the agenda Presentation on Promotion & Tenure Committee Report by R. Gutmann followed by a discussion

S. Anderson-Gold:What do you mean by poor communication in the appeal process? Do you mean cases are not fully developed or that cases weren't presented properly?

R. Gutmann:When I mention poor communications, it’s in terms of what the expectations are, going through the process. People who appeal feel clearly that they have been wronged.In terms of why people appeal, generally the cases rejected are due to poor communication between the candidate and their mentor, in their teaching, research and scholarly record; then poor handling by the department compounds the problem.


G. Korenowski: When you say one appeal case on average per year, how many dossiers go through the P & T Committee per year?

R. Gutmann:That varies from year to year. In my experience it can be anywhere's from 8-20.Appeals do not always relate to cases that have gone through the process as far as our committee; it could have been rejected at the department level, or the school level. Most of the appeals are cases that have been turned down at a lower level.

P. Hajela:Have you seen any significant changes in the cases presented this year to indicate that the bar is actually being raised, or has it remained more or less what it has been in previous years?

R. GutmannWhen you speak of raising the bar you have four (4) levels, dept level, school level, P & T level, provost, president and board of trustee level.In the cases presented this year I have not seen any differences in these cases from previous years.What I believe is that more discussions are taking place between the provost, deans and dept. heads about the cases that are coming up rather then cases just being submitted.What I've seen is both strong cases and some cases that are taking a longer time for deliberation.

S. Anderson-Gold:The metaphor "raising of the bar" is something that's external to the P & T committee but it's the faculty who are making the judgment, so it has to occur by being incorporated into their judgment.It sounds like you're saying by your judgment and your colleague's judgment that you have not viewed cases any different then in previous years.The most immediate concern about this metaphor comes at the lower level. I have heard discussion in the form of “..we have to be very critical in reviewing our cases as we will be criticized for weaker cases.” I believe this is a concern of faculty on what they might be criticized for.We need to incorporate that because it's an individual's own view of what a weak and strong case is.

R. Gutmann:I believe dept. heads and deans should always look at cases as carefully as possible. There is no other decision that they make that's more influential on the direction of the university than whom they promote and tenure.

S. Anderson-Gold:I don't think it's external, it something that we either internalize or incorporate, and it becomes something new to be done. If we think that the standards we've used in the last few years are appropriate standards, then the standards are not going to change. If we think they need some adjustment, then eventually they will change.

K. Anderson:Is their any other mechanism other then an appeal to address the fact that maybe weight and metrics being used in various levels maybe different.If the bar is not getting raised for the faculty that are coming up for tenure right now, then they definitely feel it is getting moved.The question being asked is, "Where is the Bar"?The information they are hearing is now very different form previous years. There is a sense that the bar may not be rising but is definitely moving. This is raising some concerns.

R. Gutmann:This is not a quantum accounting where you can add up numbers of this and numbers of that and come up with a score, and then the question of where is the bar is relevant to that score.In evaluating the conditions that are stated in the Faculty Handbook for tenure or promotion,a certain degree of judgment is required. One looks at the individual case and tries to reach some decision based upon the external letters, and what the individual has achieved; both individual and collective judgment is involved.Naturally everyone’s internal bar will be different at some level. There would have to be differences; these are judgments, its being done for the good of the department/individual and university.

R. Bizios:The concerns of the faculty are real and need to be addressed.Maybe the time has come for a certain section of the faculty handbook to be revisited, reviewed and rewritten.We should revisit these sections and make sure to the best of our understanding of where things are right now; this should be reflected in the handbook.

G. Korenowski:I think if a department makes a negative ruling on a case, then those tenure lines should fall back to the department.You don't want anything to jeopardize the department to send out a weak case.

B. Peterson:There is a policy in place that's been approved that describes the process of vacated faculty positions and what happens to those. The funds would automatically revert to the provost office for any vacated faculty position.We have now developed a process that describes how this can and should be done.It is explicitly explained in the policy that we don’t want to encourage in any way departments to make decision based on a concern regarding lost faculty lines.It doesn't state the lines will remain in the department but that is a consideration that will be entered in as part of the process.

P. Hajela:What about the legal implantations behind the appeal process?Appeals essentially go back to the same place where the case was originally denied.Has your committee been working with the provost office on this matter or is it something we as the senate should undertake?

R. Gutmann:Yes, it is something that the provost and myself have addressed in a brief conversation.I think that we should make the process as effective as possible for the faculty and departments and then hopefully get the lawyers to approve it, rather then looking at the legal implications first and then trying to develop a process that we can tolerate.

P. Hajela:You already stated that we have a process that works well but with some weakness.Are there legal problems with this?

R. Gutmann:I'm not sure. This is not my area of expertise.I have not had the opportunity to get the committee involved in that.

B. Peterson:I don't think there are legal problems with the procedure. Normally tenure/promotion appeals are decided based on procedural matters as opposed to contents. The appeal's process here reviews the contents of the entire packages.The norm in higher education is that the appeal is based on the fact that there was some procedural error or omission.I didn't mean to imply there was a legal problem; I just meant that at many other intuitions the appeal process is more like the appeal process in the legal system.

M. Hanna:In terms of the appeal it is my understanding that if a case gets turned down at one level, the candidate has ability to appeal which guarantees going to at least the next level?

R. Gutmann:If it's appealed, it is guaranteed to go through all levels.

M Hanna:If a negative recommendation were made in an appeal at any level, would it still proceed through the whole process?

R. Gutmann: It would be evaluated at each level and hopefully overruled.

M Hanna: Are you suggesting the flaw lies within the introduction process of new evidence/material?


B. Peterson:No, I'm not suggestion it's a flaw.I'm just saying its different.

M. Hanna: If the mentoring is as bad as most of us feel that it is, then the introduction of new evidence/material maybe a useful

mechanism until we decide on how to accomplish a better mentoring process.Especially if the person was not mentored properly and the advocate did not do their job as a mentor.

R. Gutmann:Junior faculty are still professionals and they have to take responsibilities for their own career and decision-making.They may take advice from various people but they must consistently make decisions in terms of what to pursue and how to proceed in their career.Part of the communication problem is in the dept and senior faculty point of view, and part of the problem is in junior colleague listening. We are now trying to separate where the difficulty is.The issue with the appeal is not on how they've received advice but how the case was put together.

L. Caporael:Could you please clarify the relationship between the performance plan and the P & T criteria?

Is it possible for an individual to be a potential contributor to the performance plan for the dept. and at the same time end up doing poorly in the P & T process because the performance plan covers a boarder range of activities then what is covered in the traditional P & T decision.

R. Gutmann: To some extent faculty are asked to do other things besides scholarship, education and a appropriate balance of service. There is a significant chance that any performance plan or a request from a dept or a dean can "overload" a faculty for the good of the university/dept in the short term.That's why we need good mentors who will be looking at the career of the individual as well as what good for the university.

Second item on the agenda discussion on New Structure for IT Education/Research

M. Hanna:In the memo I have two concerns:

· If the school of science will now be the home of the academic program for undergraduates, would the research program for IT program come under the vice president for research in terms of coordination?

·On the undergraduate level, most second disciplines are in various forms of management. I was wondering how moving this program into the school of science will impact that undergraduate program? Will it change it?

B. Peterson: The changes that are transpiring are:

·To create an interdisciplinary research center in IT

·Initiate plans to identify and co locate the faculty in the IT area and determine what type of infrastructure is required.

·Begin plans to transfer the administrative oversight from the vice provost to an associate dean that reports to the

dean of science.

How big are these changes I don't think very big. The lead person in IT now reports through the dean of sciences in some respects but the committee will still report to the provost office.What it does is give us a mechanism by which we can make rational decisions on how to allocate resources.

R. Parsons:Are the students going to have to follow the core in science?

B. Peterson:I don't believe so.

M. Hanna:If they're considered members of the school of science I see an educational issue.I think it raises an issue of how an interdisciplinary program which has been outside of the boundaries will comes within the boundaries of a school without creating havoc among the rules that are in place. This gives us an unruly structure where all the school administrators will have a say in how it should work, and with the school of science making sure that everything is functioning properly.

To maintain the interdisciplinary nature of the program by putting it in any school is going to cause some growing pains, particularly in trying to figure out how the rules and regulations will apply.I think this is going to be complex, but I not saying it can't be done.I would really like to see the faculty senate curriculum committee get involved in this along with the school of science curriculum committee and try to figure out a workable structure.

B. Perterson:I think that is why the memo talks about " begin plans to transfer".We have two other alternatives here:

·Leave it as it is - which has a lot of concerns especially how do you finance it

·Create a school for IT

R. Leifer:What happens to the career opportunities of our students if they a majoring in management but yet they come out of the school of science program?Will that preclude them from being competitive in a certain kind of position where the position expects to have a background that is consistent with the job that they are looking at?

B. Peterson:Where did the degrees come from before?

R. Leifer:Was a degree in IT, which is not bias by a discipline, but has the flavor of a second discipline..It would be much more manageable in the market place then a student who comes out with a school of science degree and tries to get a job in industry in a management program. I would like to suggest we do some data gathering on the output side to see what the perception is in the market place for students that come out with this kind of background.

B. Peterson:Is this a school of science degree or is it a degree in IT that's administrated by the school of science?

I don't believe there has been any decision made that states this will be a school of science degree.If they have to comply with the science core then that moves you towards the idea it is a school of science degree. Alternatively, it could be a degree that's just administered within the school of science.

R. Leifer:Having a manager that is a line manger is a good idea but we have to be careful to say it is not a school of science degree when in fact it is in the school of science.It's not a school of science degree but it is managed by the dean of science; the school of science will allow it to keep an IT identity.

B. Peterson:All the decisions have not been determined; they will be made over a period of time and after many discussions.


R. Leifer:I was involved when this whole program was being set up. I believe what was attractive to the students was the fact that it was going to be an interdisciplinary IT degree.I think if it starts evolving into discipline orientation we are going to lose some of the attractiveness in the market place.

B. Peterson:The memo clearly states the purpose of this IT academic committee advisory to the Provost and comprised of an Associate Dean from each of the five schools who have the responsibility for maintaining the interdisciplinary nature of the IT program, by drawing on all of the schools.The intent in not to make it school specific but to maintain interdisciplinary nature while giving it some sort of an academic home.If you look at the inside cover of the catalog, every single degree, even interdisciplinary degrees, are listed under an academic school except one that is IT.

P. Hajela:Are you saying there will be an associate dean for IT in addition to the associate dean for the school of science?

B. Peterson:As we start the transition Dr. Napolitano will function as the lead person until Dr. Engl arrives.

R. Parsons:I agree that IT needs a home and someone to take responsibility and ownership of the program, but I think we need to look to see if most students are really taking science as a second discipline or are they taking more management type second disciplines.

B. Peterson:We did look at the distribution of the second majors. I think we need to be careful because it could be counter productive to think that if a vast majority of the students have a second majors in the Lally School then IT needs to go there; then it starts to become a management degree.

The idea is to identify the core faculty group but this will change with time. We are going to try and locate them physically in an area that is close to computer science and computer engineering.

L. Caporael:That would include HS&S individuals?Does this also mean core faculty will have to go to two sets of departmental meetings, and all other meeting involved within this process?

B. Peterson:Yes, HS&S faculty would be included.In response to your second question, the answer is in some ways a yes, Individuals would have an academic home but we would also want faculty to have an vested interest in the IT program and have some input into the curriculum.

L. Caporael:I would like to make a suggestion that the Faculty Senate Curriculum committee and the Faculty Planning & Resources committee carefully review the B. Peterson memo because there is still lot of flexibility in what's being developed and that review may help to raise a series of question. As this plan is developed those question can be bought into consideration and then when more details are available, they could go through the Faculty Senate and Planning and Resources for input.

B. Peterson:I think that is a good idea.That question would be addressed to the committee of associates deans and the IT curriculum committee.There are many questions that still remained to be resolved.


Meeting adjourned 4:45 p.m.