SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Annual Faculty Rights and Responsibilities Report for 2018-2019
University policy AC-76 “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 faculty members and administrators who assert that he or she has suffered a substantial injustice resulting from a violation of academic freedom, procedural fairness, or professional ethics.
The 2018-2019 committee received fifteen petitions from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. Over the last five years, the committee has examined between seven and fifteen petitions per year. One petition was carried over to the committee from the previous year bringing the total to 16 cases.
Petitioners may claim any or all of the three categories of complaints in their petition. Three complaints claimed violation of academic freedom, six included complaints of professional ethics, and thirteen claimed violations of procedural fairness. Petitions could also list a complaint in the “other” category. These issues included contract renewal, administrative misuse of SRTEs, conflict of interest and changing expectations midway through tenure.
Of the sixteen petitions that were reviewed, the committee completed thirteen. Two petitions were withdrawn for ombudsperson consultation. One petition was reopened and will carry forward to the 2019-2020 committee.
According to AC-76, in the event that claims of bias or discrimination are a component of the case, the petitions are sent to the Office of Affirmative Action for a parallel review. Two petitions were sent to Affirmative Action for parallel review.
The committee voted to conduct informal investigations for five cases and document reviews of the full committee on three. The topics of the petitions varied widely. They included promotion and tenure processes, workplace climate, misuse of student evaluations, performance evaluation, revocation of contract, and problems with promotions.
The chair wishes to thank the members of the 2018-2019 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 contributions toward resolving conflicts and disputes at their colleges and campuses. We would especially like to thank the University Ombudsperson Mohamad Ansari who has worked to improve processes, ensure compliance with policies and training and support the unit ombudspersons in their work.
Additionally, the committee acknowledges the efforts of Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs, Kathleen Bieschke, who works with the committee to ensure fair processes for all petitioners.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON FACULTY RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES 2018-2019
- Lori Bechtel-Wherry
- Jacqueline Edmondson
- Deborah Gill
- Marie Hardin
- Barbara Miller
- Linda Musser
- Richard Robinett
- Keith Shapiro
- Gregory Ziegler, Chair