Appendix S



Annual Report for 2015-2016


University policy HR76 “Faculty Rights and Responsibilities” establishes the Senate Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities and defines the committee’s scope and operation. The committee may review petitions from a faculty member who asserts that he or she has suffered a substantial injustice resulting from a violation of academic freedom, procedural fairness, or professional ethics.

The 2015-2016 committee received six petitions, a number similar to recent years. Over the last five years, the committee has examined between seven and nine petitions per year.  Two of the six petitions claimed violations of procedural fairness. Two petitions claimed violations of procedural fairness and professional ethics. One petition claimed violations of professional ethics, and academic freedom. One petition claimed violations of professional ethics.

Of the six petitions, one fell outside the scope of the committee, and was not reviewed further.  The committee voted to conduct informal investigations for the other five cases. One case was not completed by June 30th and was referred to the 2016-2017 committee. Two petitions related to denial of tenure. The other cases related to workplace climate, annual review processes and research space, respectively.

The committee found sufficient evidence in one petition to recommend the remedies sought by the petitioner. Provost Nicholas Jones and Vice Provost Blannie Bowen accepted the committee’s findings and directed the appropriate administrator to implement the recommended remedy. For the other four cases, after investigation, the committee determined the claims were without merit or fell outside the committee’s defined scope of purview.

The chair wishes to thank the members of the 2015-2016 committee, each of whom devoted significant time and thoughtful consideration to each petition. The committee members express our appreciation to all ombudspersons across the University for their important contributions toward resolving conflicts and disputes. Additionally, the committee acknowledges the efforts of Blannie Bowen, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, to improve awareness of the policies and procedures related to promotion and tenure. These combined endeavors provide thoughtful and responsive support for faculty members and administrators and help to resolve disputes before they result in petitions submitted to this committee.


Changes occurred in membership throughout the 2015-2016 term of the committee. The list below includes all members who serve all or part of the term.

  • Larry Catá Backer
  • Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry
  • Dawn G. Blasko, Chair
  • Christian M. Brady
  • Marie Hardin
  • Jonna M. Kulikowich
  • Timothy Lawlor
  • Linda R. Musser
  • James M. Ruiz
  • Karen Wiley Sandler
  • Kim C. Steiner