Below is our Agenda for the All Faculty Senate Meeting on Thursday, December 16, where we will be talking about possible changes in our bylaws related to Faculty Senate membership. The attached document will describe the changes being discussed by the Nominations, Elections, and Governance Committee (NEG). The committee is seeking feedback from the College community before making its final recommendations to the Executive Committee. Any recommended changes will be voted on during the spring semester. Please join us at this open All College Faculty meeting to share your opinions with the NEG Committee.
December 16, 2004
Warshof Conference Center – Monroe A
2. Approval of Minutes from November Senate meeting
3. Standing Committee Reports
4. Old Business
· Ad Hoc Promotion Committee Interim Report
5. New Business
· NEG Presentation
SHOULD THE FACULTY SENATE BYLAWS REGARDING VOTING MEMBERSHIP BE REVISED?
The Nominations, Elections, and Governance Committee of Faculty Senate (NEG) was asked by the Executive Committee to prepare a report outlining problems and issues related to the current criteria for voting membership in the Faculty Senate. NEG filed its report with the Executive Committee in October 2004. What follows is a synopsis of that report.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEM
Membership Criteria under the Current Bylaws
Article IV of the current Faculty Senate bylaws defines voting and nonvoting membership status.
In Section 1 of Article IV the following are defined as “voting faculty:” all full time and part time personnel holding academic rank, all “professional staff,” and those with the titles of Director, Associate Director, Assistant Director, Associate Dean and Assistant Dean.
In Section 2 of Article IV the following are designated as non-voting members of Faculty Senate: the President of the College, Vice Presidents, Deans, the President of the Student Association or his/her designee, professional staff who report directly to the President, professional staff on the same level as the Vice Presidents on the MCC Organization Chart, adjunct faculty, technical assistants, advisors, personnel funded by grant, and Emeritus personnel.
Problem # 1: Defining “Professional Staff”
As the college has grown, it has become more and more difficult to interpret and consistently apply the “professional staff” voting membership criteria. There are a number of current titles (for example, “specialist” and “coordinator”) that did not exist when the bylaws were adopted. There is also confusion regarding whether some positions, which arguably may be characterized as “professional staff” but which have “management confidential” status, should be considered voting members. NEG personnel have been left with the responsibility of determining which job titles qualify as “professional staff,” with sometimes inconsistent results. The problem has become particularly acute in recent years because of the tremendous increase in the number of non-teaching professional staff.
Problem #2: Inequities Caused by Exclusions
The exclusion of technical assistants and advisors also creates inequities in membership status. The apparent premise behind excluding these two categories was that their positions required only an associate’s degree, and that therefore they did not have the academic credentials to become voting members. However, we have other non-teaching personnel (for example, some “specialists”) who have been added to the voting membership list; yet their academic qualifications may be no greater than and their job responsibilities no more complex than those of some technical assistants and advisors.
Concerns also have been expressed regarding the exclusion of other groups from voting membership, including grant-funded personnel and personnel from the MCC Foundation. (The Foundation’s Director of Alumni Giving currently is the only member of the Foundation staff to have voting membership. That position has been included as a voting member, because it is funded by the College rather than by the Foundation.)
Solution #1: Revise the bylaws to identify specifically what job titles are to be included as “voting faculty.”
The Faculty Senate needs membership guidelines that spell out specifically which job titles are included as voting members. The NEG Committee recommends adopting, with some exceptions, the membership guidelines of the Faculty Association (which spell out membership by job title) as a model for Faculty Senate voting membership.
Solution #2: Expand the existing definition of “voting faculty” to include currently excluded job titles.
Job titles that could be considered for voting membership status include technical assistants, advisors, grant-funded personnel, and Foundation personnel, among others.
Article VI Section 1 of the bylaws provides representation for each department or area as follows:
1 senator for 15 or fewer members
2 senators for 16 to 25 members
3 senators for 26 or more members.
Because the current bylaws limit each department or area to a maximum of three senators, it appears that expanding voting membership to include additional job titles would have little impact on the overall number and distribution of senators. Technical assistants and advisors would be added to the voting membership of the department or area in which they work. Grant-funded or Foundation personnel could be added to an existing area, or a new area or areas might be created for them.
Faculty Senate Office