At the behest of the University Senate, Senate Vice-Chair John Verano and the Office of Academic Affairs extended an invitation to all faculty senators to participate in the process of rewriting the Faculty Handbook during the 2012-13 (and beyond) academic year.
Approximately 15 faculty senators attended a preliminary meeting on September 24, 2012 to discuss the process and the more salient issues to be addressed in the rewriting. A major concern is that the Handbook, written in the 1970s, was originally written to address primarily ladder rank faculty on the uptown campus. Subsequent revisions and additions over the years have generated many inconsistencies and imprecise definitions and language (for a brief summary, see Faculty Handbook Revision Topics). All agreed that the University needs a leaner, more precise, and usable document that simultaneously encompasses the complexity and diversity of the University. The group agreed to establish two subcommittees to address different types of issues. One group would help discuss and draft issues having to do with legal matters, the other, issues having to do with faculty status, tenure, etc. (noting that there would be overlap among the work to be done and that the committee as a whole would have to review all the work).
Each subcommittee met once during the Fall 2012 semester. The “Legal Issues” subcommittee discussed (with the participation of the General Counsel’s office), the problems with the grievance process as currently outlined in the Handbook, the imprecise and conflicting descriptions of leaves of absence, as well as the lack of a notice provision for the termination of non-tenure track faculty. The “Faculty Issues” committee discussed the problems with the current section of the Handbook that outlines faculty titles: the problematic “special” vs. “regular” faculty distinction, the need for clarity about postdoctoral appointments, the proliferation of “clinical” titles, and the limitations on instructor titles. Both subcommittees reviewed and tentatively approved (in principle) the new “Faculty Handbook Proposed Structure.” They also agreed that their role should be to review and debate revisions and new material as it is produced, not to draft it as a committee. The Office of Academic Affairs undertook the challenge to generate new materials and revisions for the committee’s review.
Accordingly, the Office of Academic Affairs presents a drafts of new chapters, below, for review by faculty senators and others and welcomes comments and suggestions from all faculty.
Chapter 7: Faculty Grievances (11.22.13)
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