Clerk’s Committee Minutes, Wednesday March 14, 2018

Clerk’s Committee Meeting Minutes

Wednesday March 14, 2018

In attendance: Eva Lawrence, Dave Dobson, Don Smith (recording), Alfonso Mancheno, Jill Peterfeso, Jim Hood, Kathryn Shields, Frank Boyd, Darryl Samsell

  1. The meeting gathered in silence at 15:47
  2. Don Smith agreed to record minutes.
  3. We discussed possible meeting times that might work for all meeting members.  Wednesday afternoon seems to work for all, but that slot of course will not work on weeks when other events are scheduled.  There is no other obvious time slot when all members can participate. We agreed to cancel next week’s meeting due to the all-faculty meeting on Wednesday, and we will carry over business until the following week.  Pressing short-term issues will be dealt with via email unless there is a crisis that necessitates a called meeting.
  4. The minutes from the meeting of 2/28 were approved with minor corrections.
  5. As a followup to discussion from a previous meeting, we checked in on the issue of the timing of how adjunct colleagues are being paid.  They have been paid this semester, and the procedure has been adjusted for future semesters so that colleagues will be paid promptly at the first pay period at the beginning of the semester.
  6. Dave circulated the list of nominees for honorary degrees.  We discussed the history and processes behind the honorary degree (and how every year has been different).  We discussed the role and responsibilities of the Clerk’s Committee in this process and the limitations of the nomination format.  We elected to forward three nominations to the faculty for consideration. We discussed ways to encourage more thorough nominations in future years.  Keeping the list of nominations confidential is a somewhat challenging prospect, but we decided (following the procedure from last year) that Dave would only offer access to the file in response to specific requests.
  7. We learned that the president’s office has created a new committee in violation of faculty nomination procedures.  This committee was formed in response to criticism from SACS about publication of and employee access to policy. The charge of this committee has not been published yet, but its task will be to gather policies into one place and ensure consistency and clarity.  For example, institute-wide HR policies should not be in the faculty handbook, and this committee could move the information to where it belongs.  It’s not clear why faculty should be involved in what is essentially a HR project.  We recommended to the Dean and the President that this committee does not need faculty representation; the Clerk can consult with the committee as needed.
  8. Nominating committee has updated their proposal to incorporate our suggestions.  We approved forwarding this proposal to the general faculty meeting.
  9. Nominating is requesting that we modify the schedule for approving next year’s slate by postponing the March announcement until after we know how the slate will be changed to meet the demands of implementing the Edge proposals.  This will require compressing the schedule for publishing, reflecting on, and iterating the proposed slate to still meet our deadline for approval in April. We approved this request.
  10. Dave and Frank have developed several documents to guide the faculty as we implement the Edge plan over the next two years.  The core of the proposal is to establish an ad hoc committee to begin work this semester. Members of this committee will be released from other tasks, and Nominating will reduce the size of other committees as needed.  Dave requested our feedback on suggested committee reductions. Some of this will depend on who decides to take which form of compensation as described below.

    There are some fundamental questions that should be at least partially answered before this committee engages with their summer work.  This committee would be required to engage with serious work over the Summer of 2018 to return with proposals for faculty approval in Fall 2018 so the schedule could be built in the Spring of 2019 for implementation in the Fall of 2019.  Whew. The documents Dave and Frank have developed break the tasks down into smaller, possibly digestible, or at least less anxiety-inducing, pieces. There are tasks at the college, the departmental, and the program level that will need to be completed to adjust to the new calendar and the goals of the Edge.  

    We discussed the proposed compensation plan for the work ahead of us, and the balance between time and financial remuneration.  We wanted to encourage conversation among colleagues about appropriate and useful modes of compensation. We are committed to hiring temporary replacements to cover necessary courses for people who need time to spend on the Edge work.  The plan is that this funding would cover transition work over at least the next three years, but the specific form of compensation might change from year to year. Course release compensation would be on top of whatever other course releases we already have.  

    We approved sharing these draft documents (with minor revisions) with the larger faculty.
  11. We discussed the planned agenda for the faculty meeting of 3/21.  We will bring back the revised nominating proposal, the slate will be proposed, there will be a GUS presentation, we will bring the proposal for academic policy changes for approval, we will discuss the honorary degree nominations, and the remaining time will be devoted to discussing the Edge implementation proposal (not in that order).
  12. The meeting closed in silence at 17:10