Minutes May 2, 2005

  1. At 4:03pm the meeting was convened by Chancellor Wrighton. There was a video-conference from Seminar Room A in EPNEC at the Medical School and the May Auditorium from the Hilltop Campus, allowing the meeting to be run in two venues simultaneously. Professor Gerhild Williams ran the meeting in May Auditorium. Video screens allowed attendees at either venue to see and hear what was going on at the other venue. It was agreed that speakers should be chosen to alternate between the two venues.
  2. The Minutes of the December 2004 Senate Meeting were Approved.
  3. The necrology was read by the secretary.
  4. Chancellor’s Report:
    Chancellor Wrighton is concluding his 10th year as Chancellor of Washington University. Last Friday was the end of classes for many students, but finals will still be going on. The commencement speaker this year is Richard Gephardt.

    This year has had many highlights, such as the Presidential Debates in October. The fundraising campaign has come to a conclusion with over 100,000 donors, more that $1.5 billion in donations, and over 150 endowed professorships.

    Richard Smith chairs the search committee for the Dean of the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts. Jerry Sincoff will be the new Dean of Architecture. The new Dean of the Law School is Kent Syverud from Vanderbilt, the new Dean of the Business School is Mahendra Gupta, who has been a faculty member here for 15 years.

    The Ferrell Learning and Teaching Center is nearing completion, and a new office structure on top of Children’s Hospital Parking lot. On the Hilltop campus, two new buildings are under construction for the Sam Fox School. A new residential structure on the South Forty will be ready this fall. We are developing plans for underground parking on Hilltop. Also, we are developing plans for a new building for Economics and Political Science south of Anheuser-Busch Hall.

    The applicant pool for next year’s class was larger and stronger than ever. There were 21,500 applicants, and we expect about 1350 new students. Looking ahead, we will continue to improve undergraduate education, while strengthening graduate and professional education.

    We had a number of students interested in the lower paid workers on campus. Some students occupied the Admissions Office for a couple of weeks. Some of their concerns have been addressed.

  5. Report from Faculty Senate Council Chair, Linda Pike:
    This year the Faculty Senate Council has focused on two issues both of which will be discussed today. The first issue is the amendment to the tenure document to allow suspension of the tenure clock for family-related issues. The Faculty Senate Council began discussing this amendment almost a year ago and presented the issue for discussion at the December Faculty Senate meeting. The Faculty Senate Council subsequently adopted and endorsed the final language of the amendment that we will vote on today.

    The second issue that the Faculty Senate Council has been working on relates to changes in the Constitution and By-laws of the Faculty Senate. A committee, chaired by Marty Israel, was appointed to make recommendations to the Faculty Senate Council regarding changes in these documents. Some of these changes are straightforward and simply reflect changes in the number of Schools at the University. Others acknowledge changes in technology which make it possible to vote by electronic ballot on issues such as those we will be discussing today. The Faculty Senate Council will begin discussing these recommendations at our next meeting and we would appreciate your comments on these changes so that they can inform our later discussions.

  6. Proposed change to the tenure document.:
    The resolution adopted by the Faculty Senate Council reads:

    “In addition to such part-time leave, each school may establish other policies designed to ameliorate conflicts between professional responsibilities and family responsibilities or other exceptional personal circumstances. Such policies may entail suspension of the tenure probationary period and/or partial reassignment of faculty duties without recourse to part time leave. Requests for such arrangements must be initiated by the faculty member. Suspension of the tenure probationary period under such policies shall not exceed two years during the faculty member’s probationary period. Agreements for such arrangements shall be in writing and shall cover the period of the arrangement, the conditions on which the arrangement is granted, the faculty member’s salary and responsibilities during the arrangement, and other relevant factors. The faculty member and the appropriate administrative officers shall receive a copy of the agreement.”

    Diana Gray: I spoke to the Faculty Senate about this in December. This initiative was first proposed by the Gender Equity Committee at the Medical School two years ago. Tenure rates for women are lower than for men, and their representation at higher ranks is much lower than for men.

    A review of other Medical School policies showed 74% had policies to stop the Tenure Clock without invoking part time leave. In 2003, at the Medical School retreat, over 85% of faculty supported this. The GEC believes this is the right thing to do, and it will send a strong message about our university.

    Jim Buckley: As Chair of the Faculty Senate for Arts & Sciences, I propose an amendment to the resolution. The amendment is that the sentence, “Suspension of the tenure probationary period under such policies shall not exceed two years during the faculty member’s probationary period.” be stricken and replaced with “Limits on the number and length of suspensions of the tenure probationary period pursuant to this paragraph shall be established by each School in its policy.” The reason for this is that under the current Hilltop policy, various policies can lead to more and a two year suspension. This puts an unnecessary restriction on the Hilltop policy.

    Skip Virgin: I would suggest that the first sentence of the amendment already addresses this issue.

    Jim Buckley: Maybe it is just a matter of semantics but there seems to be a restriction on any policy introduced by the individual schools.

    Jose Bermudez : As a point of logic, the qualifier in the last sentence refers back to the first sentence.

    Motion on amendment to motion: Passed.

    Michael Kyriakos: I move that the word, “may” in the first sentence shall be replaced with “shall.” We have a problem, so if we are going to have a policy we should have a policy.

    Jody O’Sullivan: Many schools feel that they already have policies, and some of the smaller schools have been assured that they need not change their policies. The purpose of this amendment is to help the Medical School.

    Liz Childs: This does not force a change in policy, just in enunciation of them.

    Carl Smith: This was deliberately written to allow schools the freedom to act as they see fit.

    Michael Kyriakos: We are here today to force schools to change their policies. I move to change the amendment to strike the word “other.”

    Marty Israel: Many schools feel current policy using part time leave achieves this end, so to require establishing additional policies is unnecessary.

    Skip Virgin: I urge that people vote against this amendment, as other schools should be left free.

    Amendment: Defeated.

    Michael Kyriakos: I move to strike, “such policies may entail . . .” and replace it with, “including.”

    Patrick Burke: Would this not change the meaning of the sentence in an odd way? It makes it look as if suspension of probationary period would be an exceptional personal circumstance.

    David Van Essen: A huge amount of work has gone into the wording for the current document, including review by legal counsel, so we shouldn’t make minor changes.

    Amendment: Defeated.

    Main motion called. Paper ballots collected.

  7. Professor Marty Israel on proposed changes to Constitution and By-Laws of Senate:
    In January this year, Linda Pike, chair of the Senate Council appointed a five-person committee with the charge to examine the Constitution and By-laws of the Senate and recommend changes. The members of the committee are Randall Calvert, Professor of Political Science; Joseph O’Sullivan, Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering; Jane Phillips-Conroy, Professor of Anatomy; Margo Schlanger, Professor of Law; and myself, Martin Israel, Professor of Physics, as chair of the committee.

    Professor O’Sullivan is a member of the Faculty Senate Council, and is a past chair of that Council. Professor Phillips-Conroy is a member of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council (ECFC) of the School of Medicine.

    Early in our process we sent e-mail to the Faculty Senate mailing list indicating some of the changes being considered and soliciting suggestions. We received a few suggestions from various Senate members. Also, during our committee deliberations we were in contact with the Medical School’s ECFC and with the Faculty Senate Council.

    Our committee has formulated three resolutions, which we will submit to the Faculty Senate Council later this month for their review and possible modification. If the Council agrees, they will be brought for a vote to the full Senate during the Fall 2005 semester.

    Following is a brief summary of highlights of our three resolutions.

    One resolution makes a number of minor, and non-controversial, technical changes, and I will not take time today to describe these changes.

    The second resolution deals with the composition of the Faculty Senate Council.

    Currently there are nine divisional representatives elected by each school from among its own faculty — one each from Art, Architecture, Business, Engineering, Law, Medicine, and Social Work; and two from Arts & Sciences. With the merger of Art and Architecture into a single School of Design and Visual Arts, and recognizing that this new merged school will have a number of faculty members similar to the number in the next smallest school, Social Work, we are recommending that this new school have just one divisional representative. At the same time, recognizing that the School of Medicine has substantially larger number of faculty than any of the other schools, we are recommending that Medicine, like Arts and Sciences, have two divisional representatives. Thus the number of divisional representatives will remain at nine.

    Currently there are five “at-large” members of the Council, elected by vote of the entire Senate to two-year terms. We are proposing to change their terms to three years, to improve continuity and institutional memory on the Council. (The other Council members already have three-year terms.) We are also proposing a more fundamental change in the way these at-large members are elected.

    Under the current Constitution and By-laws, nominees for at-large seats come from all the schools, and the vote is by the entire Senate. The result has been almost invariably that the at-large members come from Medicine and Arts & Sciences. Typically three of the five are from Medicine, and two are from A&S. Once in the past dozen years, a faculty member from Engineering served a single two-year term. Never in the memory of anyone around has there been an at-large member from any of the other schools.

    In addition to their roles on the Senate Council, the five at-large members have another important role, established by the Policy on Academic Freedom, Responsibility, and Tenure (often referred to as “the tenure document”). The at-large members of the Council serve as the Advisory Committee on Tenure and Academic Freedom. The principal role of this Advisory Committee is to hear complaints regarding decisions not to reappoint a tenure-track faculty member, and to try to settle the matter by informal methods before it goes before a separately elected Hearing Committee.

    We think it appropriate, particularly in view of this Advisory-Committee role, that the at-large members be distributed more widely among the schools. We are recommending that candidates for election to two of the at-large seats be from and nominated by the Medicine faculty, candidates for election to two other seats be from and nominated by the A&S faculty, and candidates for the fifth seat be from and nominated by the other five schools. Election will still be “at-large” in the sense that each seat will be filled by vote of the entire Senate from among the candidates chosen by the schools.

    Also, in view of the role of the at-large Council members as Advisory Committee in matters related to the granting of tenure, we are proposing to require that these Council members be tenured faculty. In fact, at-large members have almost always been tenured, but we thought it appropriate to require tenure in the future. There has not been, nor do we propose a corresponding requirement of tenure for the other members of the Council.

    The third proposed resolution deals with procedures for Senate votes on resolutions:

    The current by-laws provide vote at a meeting of the Senate as the only mechanism by which the Senate can act to modify the Constitution or By-laws. For changes to the tenure document there are no written procedures anywhere in the Constitution, the By-laws, or the tenure document itself. The interpretation has been that the procedure for changes in the tenure document is the same as for the Constitution, and thus requires a vote at a meeting of the Senate. It has been argued that requiring presence at a meeting effectively disenfranchises some members of the faculty, for example medical faculty with clinical obligations at the time of the meeting. On the other hand, it has been argued that permitting mail balloting encourages uninformed voting, and opens the door to packing a vote particularly by the faculty of one large school.

    We propose to require vote by mail ballot on changes to the Constitution, By-laws, or tenure document. The ballot would occur after the issue has been discussed at a Senate meeting, and minutes of that discussion would accompany the ballots when they are distributed. Further we propose that matters voted by ballot require for passage both a majority of all votes cast by all members of the Senate and a majority of votes cast by members of at least two of the schools. (We leave it to the discretion of the Senate Council whether ballots are paper or electronic.)

    Finally, the question has arisen whether a resolution can reach the floor of the Senate without the approval of the Senate Council. We are proposing that the agenda of Senate meetings be set by the Senate Council, but the Council must include on the agenda any item proposed by signed petition of at least twenty-five members of the Senate.

    Jeff Saffitz: Why exclude senior non-tenured members, on the clinical track for example, from at-large membership?

    Marty Israel: The thinking was not to exclude them from being Divisional Represenatives, but just at-large members, because of their then membership of the advisory committee on tenure and academic freedom.

    Liz Childs: Art and Architecture will still be separate schools. It is unfair to deprive them of their representation.

  8. The Motion to change tenure document passed.:
    When the written ballots were counted, the results were:

    At EPNEC: For: 149 Against: 4 Abstain: 2
    At May Auditorium: For: 37 Against: 1 Abstain: 2

    The final version of the motion is to add the following as the last paragraph in Section IV.B.2 of the The Washington University Policy on Academic Freedom, Responsibility, and Tenure.

    “In addition to such part-time leave, each school may establish other policies designed to ameliorate conflicts between professional responsibilities and family responsibilities or other exceptional personal circumstances. Such policies may entail suspension of the tenure probationary period and/or partial reassignment of faculty duties without recourse to part time leave. Requests for such arrangements must be initiated by the faculty member. Agreements for such arrangements shall be in writing and shall cover the period of the arrangement, the conditions on which the arrangement is granted, the faculty member’s salary and responsibilities during the arrangement, and other relevant factors. The faculty member and the appropriate administrative officers shall receive a copy of the agreement. Limits on the number and length of suspensions of the tenure probationary period pursuant to this paragraph shall be established by each School in its policy.”

  9. Chancellor Wrighton: This year the university received 10 year reaccredidation from North Central review committee. The committee said that we have a credible case for being the most improved research university in the last 10 years, but have not made much progress on advancing women and minorities in leadership positions. We are committed to doing this. It would be a great way to distinguish ourselves as a premier university. This will be important going forward.

Meeting Adjourned: 5:14.