Faculty Affairs Committee
April 26, 1999

To: Faculty Senate
From: Bob Glenn and Ray Mundy
Subject: Report of the Faculty Affairs Committee

The 1998-99 members of the Faculty Affairs Committee are Dewey L. Bunting, II (Biology), Don R. Cox (English), Joan L. Creasia (Nursing), Melinda D. Davis (Law Library), H. Paul Denton (Plant & Soil Science), Catherine A. Faver (Social Work), Robert S. Freeland (Agriculture Engineering), Bonnie K. A. Gould (Theatre), Roxanne Hovland (Advertising), Joan Paul (Education), Betsy C. Postow (Philosophy), Lori A. Swanson (Speech Pathology), and Mark T. Windham (Entomology). The co-chairs of the Committee are Robert W. Glenn (Speech) and Ray A. Mundy (Marketing). The Provost is a member ex officio of the Faculty Affairs Committee, and the Chancellor and the Faculty Senate President are members ex officio of all standing committees of the Senate.

The Committee was charged in September 1998 by Senate President Mark Miller with the responsibility to examine the new procedures on tenure and faculty evaluation, adopted in June 1998 by the UT Board of Trustees, "with regard to due process and faculty rights and responsibilities." The Committee met on November 5, December 2, December 11, December 14, and January 7 to develop a report on the tenure procedures. That report was distributed to the Senate on January 18, 1999, and is available at and as Appendix B in the report of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Tenure Policy.

Many of the Committee's recommendations were endorsed by the Senate in resolutions adopted at its meeting on February 1, and were subsequently incorporated in the new tenure section for the UTK Faculty Handbook.

The Faculty Affairs Committee will need to monitor implementation of the new tenure and evaluation policies in the coming academic years. In particular, the Committee should study:

  1. The development of the "service" section of the new Faculty Evaluation Manual. Service has historically been neglected at UTK, one consequence being that faculty participation in university governance has been discouraged. That in turn has an effect on campus policies which concern academic quality and academic freedom. The Faculty Affairs Committee should work toward an enhanced regard for "service" as part of the faculty workload at UTK.

  2. The development of the "appropriate interaction" section of the new Faculty Evaluation Manual. A new criterion for determining eligibility for tenure is that probationary faculty demonstrate the "ability to interact appropriately with colleagues and students." The Faculty Affairs Committee recommended that the standard be described objectively and with respect to assigned responsibilities in teaching, research, and service, so as to discourage bias. The Committee should review the proposed Evaluation Manual next year and make appropriate recommendations to the Senate.

  3. The management of disciplinary and grievance procedures. The Trustees' new tenure policies expand the categories for initiating disciplinary measures based on allegations of adequate cause or misconduct, and in some extreme cases remove the due process protections that have always preceded imposition of sanctions. The Faculty Affairs Committee should be vigilant in monitoring the procedures followed across campus in disciplinary matters, and should anticipate that the new policies may give rise to grievances.

The Faculty Affairs Committee has the responsibility under the Faculty Handbook to provide mediation--through fact-̃nding and informal consultation or through formal grievance procedures--in employment matters such as "work assignments, performance evaluations, salary adjustments, imposition of discipline for misconduct, promotion and/or tenure with regard to procedures, and termination of employment." It is the happy case that the Faculty Affairs Committee has not been asked in 1998-99 to mediate any employment disputes.

Senate Directory
Governing Documents
   Senate Bylaws
   Faculty Handbook
   Tenure Policy



Senate Home

To offer suggestions or comments about this web site, please click here.