March 27, 2006
Annual Report to the Faculty
2004-2005The Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) is established by the University Statutes, Article II, Section 4; its members are elected by the faculty at each campus. The FAC provides for the orderly voicing of suggestions for the good of the University, affords added recourse for the consideration of grievances, and furnishes a channel for direct and concerted communication between the academic staff and the administrative officers of the University. Any faculty member, current or retired, may voice a suggestion for the good of the University or submit a request for consideration of a grievance to any Faculty Advisory Committee member. The FAC reports to the Chancellor, the President, the Senate, and the faculty.
The following is the Annual Report to the Faculty of FAC actions for 2004-05.
Meetings and Membership
The members of the Faculty Advisory Committee are agents of the University, concerned first and foremost with the best interests of the institution. The committee serves as an advocate for fairness with respect to the application of campus policy and procedures.
The FAC meets twice a month each month of the year to consider issues brought to its attention by faculty and administrators. Additionally, the FAC periodically meets with the Provost to discuss specific cases and other academic issues. At UIUC, the FAC is comprised of nine tenured faculty; three are elected each year for three-year terms.
Consultations and Cases
The Faculty Advisory Committee is authorized to make findings on matters involving the application of procedures and policies and does not make judgments related to the evaluation of scholarly achievements and activities.The FAC distinguishes between consultations and cases. Grievances are first received by the FAC as consultations. If the FAC determines the matter to be within its scope, the committee may assign case status and conduct an investigation. With respect to cases, the Faculty Advisory Committee reviews its findings and (a) returns it to a subcommittee with appropriate instructions, (b) arranges a meeting(s) of the committee or subcommittee with the parties concerned, (c) takes up the matter with appropriate University authorities, (d) takes any action it deems desirable in the best interest of the faculty member involved and of the University, (e) communicates its conclusions to the faculty member and to appropriate administrators and others, or (f) dismisses the matter.
The nature of complaints that come before the FAC vary. Consultations and cases for 2004-05 were categorized as follows:
Description Consultations Cases
Promotion 4 1
Administrative Action 7 1
Salary 3 1
Promotion & Tenure Process 1
Total 22 5
The sources of the consultations and cases for 2004-05 were categorized as follows:
College Consultations Cases
Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences 1
Business 1 1
Communications 6 1
Fine and Applied Arts 4
Liberal Arts and Sciences 4 2
Other 2 1
Total 22 5
With regard to the disposition of the five cases receiving formal investigations by the Faculty Advisory Committee in 2004-05, the FAC made a recommendation to the campus administration for further action in three cases, referred one case to other avenues of appeal, and dismissed one case.
With regard to the disposition of the 22 consultations they were either carried over into 2005-06 (5), referred to other avenues of appeal (3), resolved by the grievant after consultation and advice from the FAC (11), or declined by the FAC for further review(3).
This statistical breakdown does not provide a complete representation of the types of problems faculty encounter on the UIUC campus, since many faculty choose not to pursue their grievances to this level. Moreover, in conducting its investigations, the FAC at times discovers underlying issues that go beyond an individual grievance, and these may not be fully reflected in the statistics.
Issues and Recommendations
Following is a list of issues of a recurring or systemic nature that the FAC identified in the course of its investigations in 2004-05.
Composition of Promotion and Tenure Appeals Committees
In fall 2004, then Provost Richard Herman initiated a process of review and revision to the language of Communication No. 10, Guidelines and Procedures for Notice of Nonreappointment for Nontenured Faculty Members. New language was adopted and, while the FAC is pleased that Communication No. 10 provides the option to use a newly constituted appeals committee, we feel that the revised language did not go far enough in guaranteeing a fair reconsideration to nonreappointed faculty members. The Faculty Advisory Committee continues to advocate that the committee used to reconsider a negative tenure and promotion case should be a specially constituted committee consisting of persons who did not participate in the original decision.
The Faculty Advisory Committee continues to witness problems associated with the lack of bylaws-based grievance procedures at the unit and college level. In 2001-02, a subcommittee of the FAC worked with the Provost’s office in developing a set of minimum guidelines for bylaws-based grievance procedures. On September 5, 2001, then Provost Richard Herman wrote to college deans and directors concerning unit bylaws, stating that, “in development of Communication No. 21, Annual Faculty Review, each unit will provide a bylaws-based grievance procedure.” The Faculty Advisory Committee was assured in May 2005 that the Provost’s office would request confirmation of the establishment of grievance procedures. The FAC continues to encounter units and colleges that lack such mandated procedures.
Minimum Procedural Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure Review
In the course of investigating denial of tenure grievances, the Faculty Advisory Committee observed units and colleges following procedures that may have allowed for the operation of bias in the evaluation of the candidate. Examples of questionable procedures include departmental votes cast without a meeting of the voting body to discuss the candidate’s record, or decisions based on factors extraneous to the candidate’s dossier. The Faculty Advisory Committee recommends that the campus adopt minimum procedural guidelines for promotion and tenure review as expediently as possible.
Access to Information Pertaining to Promotion and Tenure
The Faculty Advisory Committee has long taken the position that individuals grieving nonreappointments will be able to make more informed decisions about their appeal when they are provided access to information. In 2003, University Legal Counsel concurred with this position. We continue to advise grievants as to which documents are disclosable as outlined in Communication No. 9, Promotion and Tenure. Customary practice did recognize this right of access, and we note that grievants have been permitted to inspect these documents only with difficulty. We continue to informally monitor progress of grievants in their efforts to obtain this information. The Faculty Advisory Committee suggests reviewing the following:
Illinois Personnel Record Review Act
Communication 9: Promotion and Tenure
This report and previous annual reports of the Faculty Advisory Committee can be found at www.fac.uiuc.edu.
2004-05 Faculty Advisory Committee 2005-06 Faculty Advisory Committee
Mary P. Stuart, Chair Billie Jean Theide, Chair
Paul Gerding (r. Fall 2004) Sandra L. Kopels
Sandra L. Kopels Craig Koslofsky
Craig Koslofsky (e. Fall 2004) Herman Krier
Herman Krier Lynn Barnett Morris
Lynn Barnett Morris Jan Novakofski
Jan Novakofskinbsp; Ann Reisner
Ann Reisner Beth Sandore
Beth Sandore Mary Stuart
Billie Jean Theide