Clerk’s Committee Minutes from February 16, 2016

Clerk’s Committee Meeting Minutes

Tuesday February 16, 2016 1:00 pm

 Attending: Dave Dobson (Clerk), Gwen Erickson (Recording Clerk), Sarah Estow (Social Sciences and recorder for this meeting), Sherry Giles (Business, Policy, and Sports Studies), Sadie Hunter (Traditional Student representative), Lisa McLeod (Humanities), Alex Ricks (CCE Student representative), Beth Rushing (Vice President for Academic Affairs & Academic Dean), Steve Shapiro (Natural Sciences & Mathematics) and Kathryn Shields (Arts).

  1. The meeting opened in silence at 1:03.
  2. Approval of Minutes from February 9, 2015

The minutes were approved with minor corrections.

Dave will post a list of lost committee functions to the Moon Room

  1. Review of Faculty Forum on Feb. 10 – next steps?

The sense is that there was enough positive response to map out in more detail how the points policy would work as it relates to compensation.  There would need to be a list of what would earn points and how many points.  We probably don’t want to radically alter compensation in the first year.

LAGER members are all getting a course release, but this money doesn’t come from the pool that this compensation system would draw from.

Advancement fellows were supposed to get a course release each.  The FYS program may be under the purview of a faculty member in the future, but the Dean needs to work out the money.  The Writing Director position will be taken off the list because that isn’t a position that earns an extra stipend or course release as it’s a position held by a non-tenure track faculty member and the money she receives is really just her salary and the tasks she undertakes are just her job.

It needs to be made clear that we’re not radically shifting the role of faculty service by having a “floor” that must be reached before additional compensation can be earned.  The idea is still that faculty members are expected to serve.  And the issue of individual proclivities would not go away.  Fine-tuning differences in compensation for different committees can be problematic so the scheme will be tweaked and reworked as data are received.

One issue raised at the forum is conceiving of this scheme as part of a bigger picture and including advising, scholarship, and course loads, etc.  We already have a system in place for people who teach overloads and we have money for stipends for certain positions and it gets very complicated once we add in these other things that currently don’t have additional compensation.  Scholarship, in particular, is really difficult to assess in this way and isn’t always a successful model.

Our current system rewards people for teaching overloads at the possible expense of service to the College so maybe there should be in place a discounted teaching rate if they are below the service floor.

Moving forward, we’ll keep the model to be about service alone, Beth will tweak the point system plan, and Clerk’s will be presented with a rough draft of the plan next week. If Clerk’s is okay with it, we’ll bring it to faculty to approve for use beginning next year as a one-year pilot.

One issue with this scheme is that, while increasing equity and transparency, once points are assigned to tasks, it could negatively impact our culture. A concern was raised that people might become mercenary about joining committees rather than join them because of actual interest and investment, and then may coast while on the committee.  Committee reports may be a place that this could be addressed.

It was suggested that “writing letters of recommendation” be added to the “Would Not Count” column for calculating service points.

Some training sessions aren’t part of the duties of certain positions, so there was discussion about which of those should or shouldn’t count for service credits.

We’ll work on the language of the service credits policy and consider further what we think should and shouldn’t count for points.

There was no clear mandate about division structure in the faculty forum.  One possibility is to make incremental changes rather than starting from scratch.  Another is to ask people which groups they’d like to be joined with or allowing individuals to align with different areas while still maintaining departmental groups.

  1. For discussion: Staffing policy for departments and programs

The policy presented represents topics that have been discussed but this document would provide a written set of guidelines which worked well at Beth’s previous institution.  There is a tension between needs of strong departments with many majors that are understaffed (a.k.a., victims of their own success) and small departments/programs that are struggling to get students because they don’t have enough faculty members.  This topic will be carried over for discussion until next week.

  1. For approval: New committee proposal: Enrollment Committee

Approved.  This will be brought to the faculty for approval at the March faculty meeting to allow Nominating Committee time to staff it.

The meeting closed in silence at 2:25.