Senate of the Urbana-Champaign Campus

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October 29, 2001


(Final -Information)

FAC.02.01 2000-01 Annual Report to the Faculty

The Faculty Advisory Committee was established in 1951 to provide for the orderly voicing of suggestions for the good of the University, for affording added recourse for the reconsideration of grievances, and to provide a channel for direct and concerted communication with University administrators and academic units on matters of interest to the academic staff. Any member of the faculty may approach the FAC and is entitled to a conference with the Committee or any of its members.

The FAC meets twice a month throughout the year to consider items brought to its attention by faculty and administrators. We also meet once each semester with the Provost to discuss specific cases and underlying issues. These discussions have proven to be very beneficial toward creating mutual understanding of extenuating or unusual circumstances and for maintaining open lines of communication.

The questions that come before FAC year after year present recurring themes: tenure decisions, promotion reviews, salary inequity, and others related to administrative actions. Three cases were carried over from the previous year, and the Committee accepted four new cases during the 2000-2001 academic year. At the time of writing, three of the seven cases remain open. Additionally, faculty members frequently consult with individual members of the Committee to obtain advice on ways to resolve problems in a less formal manner. Twelve consultations were monitored this year, and three presently remain open on the Committee's docket.

This year, the FAC celebrated its 50th anniversary with an open house reception to commemorate the efforts of those who have contributed to the welfare of the University through service on this campus committee. Former FAC members, dating back to the mid-1950's, as well as staff who have assisted in facilitating the work of the Committee, attended the event. The occasion provided a time to reflect on the history of the campus and an opportunity to realize all the Committee has accomplished since its inception.

One of the Committee's primary goals may be achieved in the near future. It has long been the position of FAC that complaints and grievances are best heard and resolved as close to the source as possible. However, many units currently lack formal procedures for appealing administrative decisions related to promotion and tenure, salary, or other actions pertaining to tenure-track faculty appointments.

Last spring, anticipating implementation of Senate-approved recommendations for annual review of tenured faculty members, Provost Herman invited FAC to work with the campus Faculty Review Implementation Committee and the Council of Deans in developing a set of minimum criteria for bylaws-based grievance procedures. A subcommittee of FAC, chaired by Professor Lynn Barnett Morris, was appointed to assist in this process. The subcommittee reviewed existing college appeal procedures and consulted with the Provost's Office in devising a set of minimum criteria for grievance procedures. The FAC adopted the subcommittee's report and transmitted the proposal to Provost Herman for his consideration. It is expected that every college will develop its own formal grievance procedures to be in place by January 2002.

The Committee also continues to make recommendations as needed with respect to current University policies and procedures. As reported last year, our investigation of one case involving allegations of academic misconduct led to dialogue with the Provost on the potential for conflict of interest in the Policy and Procedures on Academic Integrity in Research and Publication. Section IV.B.2. of the policy calls for the dean of the college of a respondent accused of research misconduct to determine whether or not sufficient evidence exists to pursue an inquiry.

This year, FAC recommended to the campus Senate Council that an amendment to the policy be considered for cross-college cases in which the deans of both the grievant's and respondent's colleges jointly make the initial determination of whether to proceed to the inquiry stage. FAC also recommended that the policy include a provision for appealing this decision. Senate Council referred the proposal to the Senate General University Policy Committee, which endorsed the FAC's recommendations, and proposed that the policy be amended. The matter has since been referred to the University Senates Conference for its consideration.

Recent past Committee reports are available online.

The FAC Articles of Procedures are attached.

Respectfully submitted,

2000-01 Committee		2001-02 Committee
Jeffrey O. Dawson, Chair	Jeffrey O. Dawson, Chair
Roger E. Cannaday		Paul Gerding
Gerald J. Janusz		Gerald J. Janusz
Carl J. Jones			Herman Krier
Herman Krier			Laurien Laufman
Laurien Laufman			Guillermo Mendoza
Lynn Barnett Morris		Lynn Barnett Morris
Mary P. Stuart			Beth Sandore
Stanley Wasserman		Mary P. Stuart