University Senate - May 6, 2019 Meeting Minutes

Call to Order and Announcements

The University Senate was called to order at 3:30 p.m., in Room 111 Harrison Hall, Oxford Campus, on Monday, May 6, 2019.  Members absent:  Kenya Ash, Stacey Lowery Bretz, Marianne Cotugno, Bradley Davis, Annika Fowler, Jannie Kamara, Richard Keifer, Lei Kerr, Vahagn Manukian, Max Mellott, Molly O’Donnell, Michele Pactat, Chris Pirigyi, Ashley Pool, Vaishali Raval, Breanna Robinson, Joe Rode, Vince Smith, Caroline Weimer, Liz Wilson, Andy Zeisler, and Madeline Zinkl.

  1. Announcements and Remarks by the Secretary of University Senate, Phyllis Callahan

    1. Faculty Assembly will be held on May 7, 2019, in 102 Benton at 4:15 p.m.  Bob Applebaum and Julia Guichard will be giving an update on the Strategic Planning Committee.

Approval of University Senate Minutes

  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to approve the April 29, 2019, minutes of University Senate.

Consent Calendar

  1. One item was received and approved on the consent calendar.

    1. Governance Committee Minutes – April 19, 2019

A motion was made to reorder the agenda to allow more time for the discussion regarding TCPL continuing contracts.  S.R. 19-15 was moved to be first on the agenda.

Executive Session

  1. Appointments to Standing and Advisory Committee of University Senate

SR 19-15

May 6, 2019

Appointments to Standing and Advisory Committee of University Senate

BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate confirm the 2019-2020 appointments to open seats of the standing and advisory committees of University Senate; and

BE IT FURTHERMORE RESOLVED that Senate authorizes Senate Executive Committee to confirm remaining 2019-2020 appointments to the standing and advisory committees of University Senate.

SR 19-15 was approved unanimously by voice vote.

Old Business

  1. SR 19-13 – Miami University Faculty Plan – Keith Fennen, Chair, Faculty Welfare Committee

    1. The sense of the senate resolution was shown. It can be taken to the Board if Senate approves.

    2. Before open discussion started Professor Fennon stated that today’s goal is to either make minor amendments to the policy and have a vote, or for Senate to give the Faculty Welfare Committee clear direction on what needs to be changed. The proposal guarantees the TCPL faculty a cycle of contract renewal, unless there is unsatisfactory job performance, in which a year’s notice is given, or position elimination, in which 12 months’ notice is given.  The document provides guidance to the TCPL faculty about how to reach a promotion point and provides better coherence and communication.  This will force a paper trail to add coherence and consistency.  The Faculty Welfare Committee will provide oversight to ensure everything is completed.  It was noted that only about one-third of TCPLs have formulated a plan, and there are 68 people who need to have a plan.  Deficiencies usually have to do with service, not teaching. 

    3. The following summarized the main points of discussion:

      1. A concern was raised regarding that the first promotion point is mandatory. A comparison was made to the Tenure/Tenure Track process where there is also a promotion point to be tenured.  A suggestion was made that the first TCPL promotion point would not be mandatory, but there would still be one-year contracts.  This would need to be discussed with the deans.

      2. There were multiple concerns raised regarding the rationale for the timeline of having to apply for promotion in the fourth year and not the fifth. A comparison was made to T/TT faculty who were in their fifth year when they went up for promotion.  There was concern that there would not be enough time to establish a record of service in the four years.  T/TT faculty have six years; however, are required to build a body of research during that time.  There is research evidence that backs the 6 year time frame for tenure. There isn’t any research backing a time frame for TCPL, so any number is arbitrary.  However, someone has to start collecting data and then revisit in 4 years. If we don’t see people being successful because of the time, the time frame can be reexamined.

      3. Senators were reminded that the policy is written that if a TCPL does not get promoted, they have one year to reapply. The goal is to give more stability for this group.  Even with this said, there were still multiple concerns about it being ‘up and out’.

      4. TCPLs are often considered “continuing faculty” but they are not. They are temporary faculty. This piece was intended to be reasonable to demonstrate that they are successful, have met teaching and service requirements, and should be promoted beyond ‘routine sorts of work’ and advance careers.

      5. A question was asked about whether a TCPL could reapply for their position if they don’t pursue promotion. This would follow the same protocol as with tenure and would not be permissible.  The reason is that the candidate would not be competitive in the search.

      6. Senator Hahn asked that a friendly amendment be made to the proposed resolution to add the word ‘promotion’. The change was unanimously approved by voice vote.

      7. There was a concern why a plan for existing TCPL faculty can’t be a part of this. Robin Parker, General Counsel, indicated that this has to be grandfathered and codified and will be done at a later date.

      8. There was discussion about a sliding 4-7 years of development to give TCPLs time. Such a change would need to go to the Deans.  There currently are provisions to add an additional year due to circumstances such as care of a child or illness.

      9. Question regarding position elimination in a department where there are multiple TCPLs. How is the decision made?  It would depend on the instructional needs of the department and would be dictated by the Chair.

      10. There was concern that the load on Chairs is going to be high. Senators wanted assurance that the policy is going to be enforced in every department.

      11. There was concern about the phrase ‘and introductory’ in the first bullet point in Number 1. There was concern about the fact that there is no way to account for every discipline and research faculty are needed to teach upper level courses.  This phrase was removed from the document.

      12. There were questions about why ‘service’ is not defined. It varies by department.  The standards for service for T/TT faculty differ from that of TCPL faculty.

      13. Department chairs are concerned that they are less able to turn to lecturers to fill in gaps because they have to be treated more like T/TT faculty.

      14. Anyone hired this year will have the full time period to go up for promotion. 

        SR 19-13

        May 6, 2019

        Sense-of-the-Senate Resolution

        BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED that University Senate supports the Faculty Plan for Non-Tenurable Full-Time faculty, which outlines duties, appointments, promotion, termination for cause, and position elimination procedures.

        SR 19-13 was approved by voice vote with 7 Nay votes and 2 Abstentions


  1. A motion was received, seconded, and carried to adjourn the Regular Session of University Senate.