1. The Executive Committee believes the interests of the University, its administration, and its faculty are best served by participation of the faculty in the selection process above and beyond mere nomination and comment. Faculty representatives at UTK and the other campuses of the University of Tennessee should be given the opportunity to review the credentials and interview final vice presidential candidates and then report their recommendations directly to the President before his decision is made. We take this position because according to the advertised position descriptions, the Senior Vice-President, "reviews proposals for new academic programs, recommends to the President policies governing academic and research programs, and provides staff assistance to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees." and the Vice-President for Assessment, "... assesses performance in achievement of goals and objectives ... and encourages appropriate program improvements. It is thus clear that these individuals will have important responsibilities for the academic programs of the University. In view of the Senate's important role in the process of defining academic and research policies and programs on the Knoxville campus, we feel strongly that the appointment process for these important academically related positions must build in a meaningful opportunity for faculty review and recommendation. While we recognize that the final decision is in the hands of the President, we believe that the process must provide for faculty opportunity to evaluate and recommend. We are saying once again that process, as well as outcome, is crucial to the maintenance of good relationships between the UT system administration and the faculty on its several campuses.
2. As with any Position search in the University the principles of affirmative action must be closely followed. We are gratified that the plan recently adopted by the Board of Trustees will be used in the searches. Even so, an important point is that affirmative action is best achieved via an open and widely representational process. While it is possible to obtain a similar result with an alternative process, we strongly recommend that these searches be organized according to step 1 of the implementation section of the Board's plan of September 1988. That step, although optional in nature, permits the appointment of "... an advisory committee.... If feasible, the committee shall include black, non-black, female, and male members."