May 10, 2011
I look forward to working with everyone, and especially with the newly elected members of the provisional faculty senate, this coming year. We have important work to complete in the development of a faculty constitution, and faculty governance bylaws and structure that is acceptable to the colleges, the President, and the State Board of Education.
Given that most faculty are not on contract during the summer, the provisional faculty senate will be seated in the fall. I will call the first meeting at the beginning of the semester to discuss the charges to and scope of responsibilities for this provisional group. Within the next few weeks, however, I will provide the provisional senate members with a binder containing some background materials on faculty governance issues, much of it gathered or developed by the two previous faculty governance working groups. These materials are being provided so that all members have the same information.
Until such time as a constitution and bylaws have been approved, the Graduate Council, Research Council, and Curriculum Council will continue to function as planned – reporting to the Graduate Dean, V.P. for Research, and Provost, respectively. Minutes and action items from these councils will be forwarded simultaneously to the provisional faculty senate and to the Council of Deans as an informational item. The other councils of the former faculty senate will likely not meet regularly, unless there is pressing business that must be accomplished.
Also during this interim period while the provisional faculty senate is completing its work, faculty grievances will be addressed first at the chair and dean levels, and if satisfactory resolution cannot be achieved, then I will appoint a senior faculty member from outside the person’s college to assist me in reviewing and addressing the grievance. How faculty grievances will be handled once the provisional senate completes its work should be identified in the new governance bylaws approved by the President and Board of Education.
I hope everyone has a happy and restful summer. I believe we can work together in a respectful and professional manner to overcome the conflicts of the past few years.
Associate Provost and V.P. for Academic Affairs