I. Roll – The following senators were absent: Chavda, Dinapoli, Ferber, Gire, Harrist, Peshkova, Shannon, Shore, Simos, Veal and Woods. Guests were John Aber, Christina Bellinger, and Joe Gilbert.
II. Remarks by and questions to the president and/or provost – The provost said that he appreciates the actions the senate has taken to improve the financial situation at the university, including approving January-term, co-sponsoring the E-UNH forum, and helping to get Navitas started promptly. He thanked Christina Bellinger, Lisa MacFarlane and the rest of the members of UCAPC for their work on the schools policy issue. He said that he sees the new schools also as an opportunity to increase revenues. He added that the new schools proposals were initiated by faculty, not the administration. He said that he understands that one of the major concerns about schools is possible damage to the undergraduate curriculum but that he is very invested in the quality of the undergraduate program. Not only does it pay a lot of the bills, but it is very important to the university's mission. He said that the schools are not intended to damage the undergraduate program and that they should help the university in many ways. A senator stated that only today did the Agenda Committee finally receive the marine schools’ five-year budget proposal. Is the marine school a done deal? The provost said it is not. He added that the discussion with UCAPC members and other faculty has been very valuable and that the school proposals have changed as a result. In response to a question, the provost said that the university should consider a tuition increase next year, because in-state students pay a great deal less than the cost of educating a student for an academic year.
Responding to a question about central administration budget decisions, the provost said that the central administration has not yet dealt with its budget to the final end point. The amount to be reduced is less than the $8,000,000 which has been mentioned. There will be a retreat for the president’s cabinet next week to decide on the budget. An increase in funding for advancement is included, because it had been poorly funded in the past. Recent investment in advancement has resulted in a 12 percent increase in annual giving, showing that there is a return on this investment. In response to a question, the provost said that the deficit is in the $7,000,000 range; but that is the proposal and not the outcome. He said that he will tell the senate about the outcome next week. He added that the funds to solve that deficit should not come from the colleges in any way. He said that the colleges were told to put together budget projections, have met their parameters and are collectively on target. After the Separation Incentive Program (SIP), a central concern is how many new faculty members can be hired. The senate chair said that the senate’s Committee on Organization of Other Entities looked into the athletics budget and passed a motion about an examination of the athletics budget and a possible $1,000,000 increase. The provost responded that the proposed athletics budget included a request for that increase but that he does not yet know the final decision. The senate chair replied that the athletics budget is already subsidized by academics. A senator said that if the administration decides on a budget increase for athletics and a decrease for academics, many faculty members will be quite upset.
III. Motion on the teaching evaluation form – Today, on behalf of the Agenda Committee, Louise Buckley presented the amended motion on the teaching evaluation form as follows. The Faculty Senate accepts with gratitude the report of the ad-hoc Committee on Teaching Evaluation, presented by committee member Professor Robert Jerard on behalf of committee Chair Paula Salvio on April 23, 2012, and makes the following motion:
The Faculty Senate calls for the formation of an ad-hoc Teaching Evaluation Form Implementation Committee. The committee is charged with (1) ensuring that all academic departments review and comment on the evaluation form proposal (the senate will help expedite this process by circulating relevant materials immediately to all college deans, the Library Dean, the Director of the Thompson School, and department chairs for distribution to the faculty); (2) planning and conducting a pilot study using the form during fall, 2012; (3) providing and organizing for fall, 2012, a process for academic departments to propose questions designed to supplement the general form in view of particular, distinctive, pedagogical contexts within their curricular programs (e.g., evaluative questions designed to address lab courses, large enrollment courses) if departments so choose; (4) conducting formal review and revision of the general form, as well as proposed supplemental questions specific to particular pedagogical contexts during spring, 2013; and (5) planning for full implementation of the general form in fall, 2013.
The ad-hoc committee membership should consist of an elected senior faculty member from each of the six colleges and the university library, two Faculty Senate appointments, an administrative representative from each of the Offices of the College Deans, one representative from the Office of the Library Dean, one representative from the Office of Institutional Research, and one representative from the Office of Academic Affairs. The chair of the committee will provide a report to the Faculty Senate at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year.
The motion passed with 38 ayes and 1 nay.
IV. Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair said that the Faculty Senate had requested the E-UNH fora and is co-sponsoring them, but the senate is not taking a position on E-UNH yet. Two panels will be held on Wednesday, May 9. Some departments have expressed concern about a proposal to reframe university honors to include a service or engagement requirement in disciplinary honors, and those departments wondered if that was being done without prior consultation with the department faculty. However, the director of the Honors Program recently assured the senate chair that departments which do not want to participate in this change will not have to and that the ultimate decision will remain with each department. The Honors Program is applying for a grant to implement a service or engagement requirement in disciplinary honors in those departments which agree. Perhaps the director of the Honors Program could speak with the senate next year about this matter.
V. Minutes – The minutes of the previous Faculty Senate meeting were approved with all ayes.
VI. Report from UCAPC, on schools – UCAPC Chair Christina Bellinger presented the UCAPC analysis and recommendations dated April 27, 2012, regarding the “Policy on Interdisciplinary Schools at the University of New Hampshire” from the Provost’s Office, the 4/9/2012 version. The following are highlights of UCAPC's analysis. UCAPC affirms the university’s academic values of excellence, teaching, research, and contributing to the larger community. As an advisory committee to the Faculty Senate, UCAPC is charged with making recommendations on: (1) conflicts over ownership or principal residence of academic areas, (2) policy changes and apparent trends that affect or have the potential to affect academic quality, (3) the adequacy of the use of discretionary funds intended to support programs which are essential to the university’s academic mission but not necessarily able to be revenue generating or self-supporting, and (4) campus-wide curricular matters. UCAPC’s questions and concerns about the proposed Policy for Interdisciplinary Schools at the University of New Hampshire have centered on several key areas: (1) governance and organization, (2) implications for faculty, workload, and curriculum, (3) implications for undergraduate and graduate academic program quality, (4) funding and the impact of a school on college budgets, and (5) contingency plans should a school not achieve its intellectual and financial goals.
UCAPC recognizes the desirability of enhancing visibility, creating administrative efficiencies, and leveraging interdisciplinary expertise in graduate and undergraduate education. In 2011-2012 UCAPC had two related charges: to make recommendations on a general procedure for establishing any school at UNH and to make recommendations on a specific proposal for a School of Marine Sciences and Ocean Engineering. The first review deals only with the general schools policy document. The rationale for interdisciplinary schools is to provide a structure to support and encourage inclusive, interdisciplinary teaching, scholarship, and engagement at the university and to make existing interdisciplinary work visible to prospective students, faculty, and grant funding agencies. Schools are intended to be large interdisciplinary units, housed within one or more colleges or central administrative units; schools are intended to foster broad faculty participation and integration and to achieve administrative efficiencies. Schools will focus primarily on graduate education, research, and enrichment opportunities for undergraduates. Schools are not intended to detract from or reduce support for undergraduate programs. Tenure-track faculty who are affiliated with the schools will have their primary appointments in their home departments, not in the schools. Research and clinical faculty could have their primary appointments in the schools. Schools will have clear budget models based on RCM and other university-wide principles. Approvals of new degrees, certificates, and other academic programs will be done in accordance with the requirements of existing university procedures, including those of SAPC and the Graduate Council.
The establishment of a school as part of a central administrative unit, which is one option available under this policy, could lead to multifaceted conflicts between the administrative unit and existing colleges. Subsequent description of the school reporting structure and management in section III.B of the policy makes such conflict less likely but still possible. The division of graduate degree administration between a school and the Graduate School should be made explicit. In particular, the Graduate School through its Graduate Council and dean will retain the same oversight authority for graduate degree programs as is now applied to existing degree programs in colleges, as per SAPC guidelines. UCAPC affirms that schools must have clear budget models. The budget for a school established in a central administrative unit must be transparent with regard to use of funds derived from the administrative assessment applied to undergraduate and graduate net tuition revenues. UCAPC strongly believes that a school’s operating budget should not incorporate a continuing dependence on funds nominally set aside for the administrative functions of the university.
UCAPC endorses the policy requirements for the structure and content of a proposal for a school. The specific required components of a budget should be clarified for the benefit of proposal developers. The approval process should involve consultation with all relevant and appropriate university constituencies: the deans, the Faculty Senate, and the Graduate School. We recommend that, prior to the provost making a decision on the establishment of a school, he/she should request and receive recommendations from those bodies. We recognize that these recommendations are consultative documents. UCAPC feels strongly that the policy document should have a clear statement of where the schools are located within the university hierarchy vis-à-vis the colleges and institutes. UCAPC recommends that any proposal for a school include a statement about how its placement within particular colleges or central administrative units will help it achieve the goals of the school. The policy states and UCAPC affirms that the deans and chief administrators of RC units affected by the operations of a school should play a major role in the administration and oversight of a school through their positions on its Advisory Council. The majority of UCAPC strongly believes that tenured/tenure-track faculty positions should reside only in the departments and colleges, not in the schools. In accordance with existing university policy, the current proposal states that tenure-track faculty with joint appointments in the schools would retain their primary academic appointments in their home departments. UCAPC recommends that policy language allowing some tenure track faculty to reside in schools be removed from the policy for the reason cited above.
UCAPC affirms the policy statement that schools should not be separate RC units. In the instance in which a school is housed in and reports to a central administrative unit, UCAPC strongly recommends that the RCM allocation formulae for that unit not be automatically applied to the operation of the school. Where present, the financial support for a school through a central administrative unit should be clearly detailed in the budget portion of the school proposal. UCAPC has expressed concern about the lack of specificity in the policy document regarding the structure of a school budget. UCAPC recommends that the Business Service Centers in the appropriate RC units provide multi-year budget projections and that those be reviewed and approved by the VP of Finance. UCAPC further recommends that the multi-year budget include statements of projected income, including funds from the affected units and grant funds, expenses for people, space and equipment, and potential student enrollment whenever possible.
UCAPC understands that one intent of the schools is to increase university resources through research funding, partnerships with other institutions, new tuition revenues, etc. However, contingencies may affect a school’s ability to achieve its goals. UCAPC strongly recommends that there be a recurring five-year review of each school's progress toward its intellectual goals, financial sustainability and impact, including financial and curricular, on the colleges. We strongly recommend that, should any of those findings be negative and persist beyond a reasonable period, the school be required to adjust its activities to mitigate the shortcomings. Moreover, we strongly recommend that continuation of any school be dependent on continued financial viability without chronic support through one or more central administrative unit’s assessments against the university’s various revenue streams. The policy document places responsibility for the day-to-day governance of a school on its director and Executive Committee but retains oversight and approval authority for its Advisory Council. UCAPC recommends that this section of the policy document explicitly retain the oversight roles of existing college and university review bodies in addition to the school’s Advisory Council.
UCAPC feels strongly that all policies that govern faculty in the colleges should be applied to faculty affiliated with the schools. This is the case in the current version of the proposal. We include in that category the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the System Academic Planning Council (SAPC) Handbook governing the creation of all new academic programs, the policies of the Graduate School overseeing broadly the education and policies that apply to graduate students and the programs in which they work, and existing UNH and USNH definitions of faculty (including tenure-track faculty) and tenure. We affirm the current principles and practices, whereby new positions are the product of consultation, between the departments and deans with approval by the provost, and where clear memoranda of understanding must be in place from the outset to ensure a common understanding of how a faculty member’s time is to be allocated. We particularly believe this is important for junior faculty, for whom clear guidelines for successful promotion and tenure are essential. UCAPC recommends that assignments of tenure-track faculty to schools be limited-term appointments, renewable annually by mutual agreement of the faculty member, her/his department chair, and college dean. Moreover, we affirm the current principles and practices outlined in Article 8 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which states: “Faculty...workload assignments shall be made by the department Chairperson, subject to the approval of the Dean of the appropriate school or college.” UCAPC expects that tenure-track faculty will continue to engage in the undergraduate teaching mission.
UCAPC is concerned about the potential for erosion of faculty involvement in the undergraduate teaching mission. We believe this can be avoided, at least for tenure-track faculty, by adhering to Article 8 of the CBA on workload. UCAPC has expressed concern about the impact on departments of hiring faculty to work primarily in the schools. UCAPC is strongly opposed to the redirection of funds, obtained through faculty retirements and so-called “vertical cuts”, to the creation of new faculty positions that have only minimal, if any, involvement with undergraduate education in existing degree programs. UCAPC believes that undergraduate programs should, for the foreseeable future at least, reside in and across colleges, as they do now. The policy document affirms this sentiment. UCAPC has expressed concern about the burden on departments of replacing faculty who are partially appointed to work in the schools. UCAPC is particularly concerned about the long-term shift of tenure-track faculty, from their participation in existing departmental and interdisciplinary degree programs to their work in the schools, and especially about how and for how long departments will need to replace tenure-track faculty with contingent faculty. We believe that it is important to assure that the quality of courses will not be diminished through excessive use of adjunct faculty. We believe that, by adhering to Article 8 of the CBA on faculty workload, faculty members, the department chairs and the college deans will negotiate reasonable workload assignments.
UCAPC has expressed strong concern about the financial burden on the departments and colleges when tenure-track faculty members, whose salaries are paid by the colleges, devote substantial time to the schools. We recommend that memoranda of understanding, between the relevant college(s) and the school, address the financial impact of this arrangement equitably. UCAPC is opposed to hiring tenure-track faculty without stable, complete salary support. In the event that a tenure-track faculty member is partially supported through a school housed in a central administrative unit, the faculty member’s home college should be fully compensated by the school for that portion of her/his salary and benefits attributable to the school appointment fraction. UCAPC had many questions about the distribution of any revenues generated by schools, including but not limited to revenues generated by graduate tuition and external research grant “overhead”, i.e. F&A. UCAPC strongly recommends that a school budget proposal clearly present and justify its budget model for the distribution of revenues associated with external research grant F&A and graduate tuition.
Today the UCAPC chair said that many changes requested by UCAPC have been put into the policy but that not all the UCAPC requested changes have been accepted by the administration. A senator congratulated UCAPC on its work and accomplishments and asked that faculty carefully read the complete UCAPC report, which was sent to the senators on email. Although UCAPC would prefer that schools report directly to one or more college dean(s), some people say that reporting to two deans is too cumbersome and that it would be more efficient for the school to report to one entity with oversight from the two college deans. If that occurs, UCAPC wants that oversight to be a primary part of the school's oversight.
Next the UCAPC chair presented a review and analysis of the "Proposal for a School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering" (9 April 2012 version). Highlights of UCAPC's review are as follows. At the beginning of 2011-2012, UCAPC had two related charges: to provide recommendations on a general procedure for establishment of any schools and to make recommendations on a specific proposal for a Marine School. UCAPC decided to use the example of the Marine School as a test case for the template. Approximately 50 faculty members (representing departments in CEPS, COLSA, and COLA and including both research and tenure-track faculty) proposed the creation of an interdisciplinary school focused on research and graduate education in the area of marine science and ocean engineering. The proposed school would combine and reorganize several existing units: the Marine Program, Sea Grant, National Estuarine Research Reserve System, Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center (CCOM/JHC), Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, Chase Laboratory, Shoals Marine Lab, and the Judd Gregg Marine Research Complex, so as to coordinate and facilitate research efforts, increase visibility, and reduce administrative redundancies. The units to be combined currently have annual revenue of over $3,000,000. The school would offer selected graduate degree programs, primarily at the Ph.D. level. The faculty currently envision Ph.D.’s in Marine Biology, Oceanography and the currently existing Ph.D. in Ocean Engineering. The faculty also are interested in specialized masters programs and graduate certificates, particularly in areas where UNH has expertise and depth. Specific areas of interest include aquaculture, fisheries, safe navigation and exploration, marine coastal planning, climate change, invasive species management, and coastal and ocean energy. The school would offer enrichment opportunities for undergraduates (research, internships, employment) but not undergraduate degrees.
UCAPC recognizes that the faculty who work on marine-related topics constitute a significant strength at UNH. UCAPC further recognizes the desirability of enhancing visibility, creating administrative efficiencies, and leveraging that expertise in graduate education. UCAPC felt strongly that the school should be subject to oversight by the colleges. The current structure is designed to provide for that. The proposed governance structure of the school involves it reporting to the SVPR, with a director and Advisory Council. The school's Advisory Council will be chaired initially by the SVP for Research and will include the provost, the deans of CEPS, COLSA, COLA, and Cooperative Extension, the director of EOS, the chair of the Faculty Senate (or designee), and a representative from the UNH Foundation. The Advisory Council will meet quarterly to oversee the school’s direction, relationships with the colleges and departments, and budget. UCAPC discussed at length the merits of different administrative homes for the school, which is currently projected to report to the SVPR, and felt that no plan for this is ideal. An advantage of the proposal is that the Marine Program already reports to the SVPR, which limits administrative changes in the near term. A future possibility is to have the Marine School report to EOS, since EOS already has an administrative structure that could accommodate the activities envisioned by the school. UCAPC urges consideration of that option. Some marine faculty would like the school to be able to appoint tenure-track faculty; however, this is not possible under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which states that tenure-track appointments are restricted to departments.
UCAPC believes that the school, whatever other graduate teaching, research, and engagement activities it undertakes, could have a positive impact on undergraduate education at UNH. We strongly urge the faculty and leadership of the school to craft intentionally and comprehensively many enrichment opportunities for undergraduate students. Examples would include but not be limited to: partnering with departments, colleges and the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, to provide research funding and mentoring for undergraduates, internships, and employment opportunities in labs, on vessels, at the Isles of Shoals, and wherever else faculty work takes place. UCAPC strongly affirms that the creation of new academic programs follow all regular university governance policies and procedures. The proposal has no intention of doing otherwise, and indeed, cannot. All new academic programs are required to follow the SAPC process. SAPC (the System Academic Planning Council) governs the process by which new programs come into being at the university. The SAPC Handbook outlines a two-step process that includes research on projected student enrollments, overlap with existing programs, five-year budget projections, the availability of adequate resources including faculty, equipment, space, library and other information technology, student support, etc., and an external review of the program to ensure its academic strength and financial viability. All affected departments, colleges and, in the case of graduate programs, the Graduate School are required to use their regular governance procedures (departmental committees, college committees, the Graduate Council, etc.) to seek approval at all levels for new programs. New programs cannot be submitted to SAPC until all internal approval processes have concluded with appropriate approvals.
UCAPC recognizes that the school is intended to be financially self-sustaining. The combined FY12 budgets of the Marine PAU (the state's contribution to marine programs), Hubbard Endowment, and Sea Grant as the major revenue components total approximately $3,000,000. Combining existing revenues and expenses for the various separately-administered marine programs on campus would require no new financial resources from the university's funds and would achieve administrative efficiencies. UCAPC recommends complete transparency of the budget of the proposed Marine School, especially those sources derived from central administrative assessments against the university’s various revenue streams including but not limited to undergraduate and graduate net tuition and external research grant F&A (facilities and administration) funds.
In response to a question, today the UCAPC chair said that the provost should get a written recommendation from the Graduate School, about this proposal for a Marine School. She added that UCAPC has reported on a number of concerns about the school policy and that it is now up to the Faculty Senate to consider how to act on those concerns. The senate chair said that the 2005 UCAPC charter states that “UCAPC is intended (1) to serve as an appeals and fact-finding body to consider academic and curricular matters which have inter-college and/or campus-wide effects or which are likely to affect the quality or integrity of the realization of the university’s academic mission and (2) to advise the Faculty Senate on its findings and recommendations. The Faculty Senate will consider the UCAPC’s recommendations, act and forward the recommendations arising from the senate’s deliberations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.” On behalf of the Agenda Committee, Deb Kinghorn proposed a motion on policy on interdisciplinary schools at the University of New Hampshire as follows.
The Faculty Senate accepts with gratitude the report of the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee on the policy on interdisciplinary schools, presented by committee Chair Christina Bellinger on April 30, 2012. UCAPC flags important concerns and issues that should be addressed in any proposal for an interdisciplinary school. The senate resolves that any proposal for a school must address UCAPC’s concerns and issues as conditions for approval. Those conditions include but are not limited to the following. (1) Any school proposal must include clear, transparent, and thorough budget models in support of statements that address concerns and issues elucidated in the UCAPC report (Part 1.II, para. 3; Part III.C entire; Part III.D entire; Part 2.B, para. 2; Part 2.C, entire). (2) Any school proposal containing graduate degree programs must make explicit the “division of graduate degree administration between a school and the Graduate School” while retaining the oversight authority of the Graduate Dean and the Graduate Council (Part 1.II, para 2). (3) Any school proposal must contain an explicit statement that maintains “the oversight roles of existing College and University review bodies in addition to the School’s Advisory Council” (Part 1; Part III.E). (4) Any school proposal must contain an explicit statement, of the school’s location within the university’s administrative structure, that also explains how its location within or among other administrative units (e.g., colleges, central administrative unit, institutes) will enable furtherance of the school’s goals (Part 1; Part III.B). (5) Any school proposal must pursue hires according to “the current principles and practices, whereby new positions are the product of consultation between the Departments and Deans, and approved by the Provost” (Part 2.A., para. 2). The Faculty Senate further resolves that any proposal forwarded to the Faculty Senate or its committees, including UCAPC, must contain, in addition to items cited in condition (1), the budgetary details called for in senate motion XVI-M17 on budgetary details and that cluster hires cease until a requisite hiring policy is in place, as called for in the motion on that matter on April 23, 2012. The Faculty Senate further moves that any section of the collective bargaining contract is presumed in effect, without need for explicit statement, but that any details that may give rise to conflict about the document’s meaning get resolved prior to submission of a proposal (e.g., the nature and extent to which MOUs are used.)
On behalf of the Agenda Committee, Art Greenberg proposed a motion on the proposal for a School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering as follows.
The Faculty Senate accepts with gratitude the report of the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee on the proposal for a School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, presented by committee chair Christina Bellinger on April 30, 2012, and makes the following motion. The Faculty Senate moves against approval of the Marine School policy for the following reasons. (1) The idea of a Marine School was under discussion for at least four years. UCAPC and the senate's Agenda Committee requested throughout the 2011-12 session a complete budget including but not limited to details about projected revenues and costs over time. UCAPC received a response to that request on Monday, April 27, and the Agenda Committee chair first saw that budget on Monday, April 30. The senate cannot be expected to meet its responsibility for shared governance without sufficient time for reasoned consideration and discussion of complete budget proposals. Eleventh-hour responses run counter to meeting our responsibility for reasoned deliberation and, thus, impede adequate opportunity for shared governance. (2) Consistent with the budget issue addressed in (1), a proposal must be in complete and final form for proper consideration and not be a work-in-progress until the end of the academic year, so that there can be proper vetting of the proposal. (3) The marine proposal does not incorporate the budget discussed in (1) in its narrative and, thus, does not address the concerns raised by UCAPC about budgetary clarity, transparency, and thoroughness, as elucidated in the senate motion on interdisciplinary schools. (See interdisciplinary schools motion, condition 1.) (4) A review of the budget received on April 27 does not include provision of the impact of cluster hires on the colleges. (5) The practice of joint appointments and cluster hires that locates tenure track faculty in colleges creates the possibility, if not the likelihood, that those locations are mere “place holders” for faculty whose duties are primarily in the school. (6) The proposal’s statement that “Promotion and Tenure processes for jointly supported positions will follow existing policies” is questionable since circumstances for faculty whose duties are primarily in the schools but who are located in a department are different from those specified in existing policies. The practice elucidated in (5) leaves ambiguous how the usual promotion process will work according to existing policies, since the faculty members’ primary duties will occur outside the colleges and departments and, thus, leave the colleges and departments with minimal adjudicative roles in that process. (See item 5 and item 3 of the motion on interdisciplinary schools.) (7) The role of the Graduate School through its Graduate Council and dean in adjudicating graduate programs is conspicuous by its absence and, thus, does not address UCAPC’s recommendation on interdisciplinary schools as elucidated in item 2 of the motion on interdisciplinary schools.
The senate office will email these two motions to the senators. The senate chair said that the proposal for the Marine School is the first in a line of other schools and will act as a precedent. The senate chair said that approval of this motion means that the senate does not approve the proposal for the Marine School at this time. Those last three words might be added to the motion. The senate chair said that the work of the supporters of the Marine School is appreciated but that the senate must consider the proposal as written. He added that there is feedback in the two UCAPC reports and in the motion on interdisciplinary schools and the motion on the Marine School to suggest how the Marine School proposal could be improved. The two motions will be postponed until the next senate meeting, at which some senators may speak in favor of the Marine School. Senators should read the complete reports and motions and discuss them with departmental colleagues.
VII. Motion on cluster hires – The Agenda Committee presented a motion on cluster hires, which has recently been slightly modified via a friendly amendment. The amended motion is as follows.
Whereas current and anticipated rates of hiring new-tenure track faculty are low in view of ongoing budgetary restraints, and
whereas academic departments are unable to anticipate one-to-one replacement of tenure track positions that have opened due to retirements or resignations, and
whereas the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture hired seven tenure-track faculty as “cluster hires” during the 2010-2011 academic year, and
whereas the President’s Report on Internationalization proposes the hiring of twelve tenure-track “interdisciplinary” positions within five years, and
whereas the proposals for the interdisciplinary schools, such as the Marine School, call for tenure track positions that are placed within individual academic departments but whose duties are shared with a particular school, and
whereas academic departments have been directed by their colleges to privilege “cluster hires” over single department hires that serve the specific disciplinary teaching, scholarship, and operational needs of particular departments when applying to the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs for tenure-track lines, and
whereas the practice at UNH has long been that the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs approves or disapproves requests for tenure-track hires generated by departments and colleges, and
whereas there is no official university document that defines or describes the meaning of “cluster hires,” the criteria for proposing or authorizing them, and how that process relates to customary hiring practices of academic departments initiating hiring proposals in collaboration with the respective Offices of the College Deans, therefore
the Faculty Senate resolves that the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the six Offices of the College Deans, and the Faculty Senate collaborate in establishing a university policy document on cluster hires that includes but is not limited to (1) a definition of the tenure-track cluster hire, (2) clarification of criteria for proposing and authorizing cluster hires, (3) delineation of a transparent decision-making process that clearly designates which unit or units have the authority to propose or authorize cluster hires, (4) identification of safeguards or “tests” that cluster-hire proposals must meet that ensure they are not authorized at the expense of eroding the strength and quality of academic departments in terms of undergraduate education, curriculum, operational capacity, and scholarly programs (the University of Wisconsin provides an example of such a policy, based on fourteen years experience with cluster hires), and (5) establishment of a process for periodic evaluation and reporting of the effectiveness of cluster-hire activities in meeting the goals and objectives of the university, colleges, and academic departments.
The Faculty Senate further moves that the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs refrain in the future from privileging cluster hires over departmental hires until “cluster hires” are institutionalized within the framework of official university policy as prescribed above.
The Faculty Senate further resolves that the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs provide an annual report to the Faculty Senate, the six Offices of the College Deans, the Dean of the Library, and the Director of the Thompson School, that provides data on the number and type of tenure track positions proposed to that office (e.g., cluster hire, joint appointment, department hire), which college or other unit made the proposals, and which positions ultimately were authorized by that office.
In response to a question, the senate chair said that, if a department is already in process of getting a cluster hire, that could continue. A senator who was concerned, about how promotion and tenure would be included in the motion, could propose an amendment to the motion. The senate vice chair said that the default assumption would be that cluster hires would have to face the department's promotion and tenure procedures. A senator said that the reference in the second “whereas” to “one-to-one replacement of tenure track positions” is not realistic. Karsten Pohl moved and James Connell seconded an amendment to delete “one-to-one” in that phrase. The amendment passed with all ayes except for one abstention. A friendly amendment was accepted to add “and the library” after “six Offices of the College Deans” in the section beginning “The Faculty Senate resolves”. The amended motion passed unanimously.
VIII. Report from the Campus Planning Committee, on the Master Plan – On behalf of the Campus Planning Committee, its Chair Erin Sharp presented a motion, on Faculty Senate representation on the Campus Master Planning Steering Committee, as follows.
Whereas faculty representation in the campus planning process is essential in order to maintain faculty involvement, allow for faculty concerns to be heard, and minimize potential disruptions to academic and research programs and the educational mission of the university; and whereas faculty representation and input in the current planning process appears to have been limited, leading to much outcry and push back at various parts of the proposed revision to the Campus Plan; and whereas the Faculty Senate is the one body on campus that is intended and designed to be fully representative of the faculty, especially in matters pertaining to the university's academic mission; let it be resolved that the Faculty Senate will henceforth appoint two (2) faculty senators to the Campus Master Planning Steering Committee, in order to fully represent the voices and concerns of the faculty in the campus master planning process and to ensure that developments to the Campus Master Plan, which may have impacts on the ability of faculty to effectively deliver high quality research and academic programming, will be communicated in a complete and timely manner to the Faculty Senate. One of these faculty senators will be chosen by the chair of the Faculty Senate's Campus Planning Committee, while the other shall be chosen on an annual basis by the Agenda Committee of the Faculty Senate. Faculty Senate representatives should be kept fully informed by the Campus Master Planning Steering Committee chair and invited to attend all meetings relevant to the campus master planning process, including meetings that take place during the summer months.
This motion will be postponed to the next senate meeting.
IX. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned.