Senate debates revisions to P&T voting, academic unit renaming policies

Several Faculty Handbook changes were introduced at the March 12 Faculty Senate meeting, including revisions to voting procedures for promotion and tenure review. Senators will vote on the handbook revisions at their April 2 meeting.

Proposed revisions to the voting policy (section 5.2.4 PDF) were first introduced in October, but the senate sent the motion back to the promotion and tenure task force for more work. Steve Freeman, chair of the task force, said the revisions are being reintroduced as new business due to the numerous changes made by his group and the senate's executive board. Revisions to the policy include clarifications of the "one person, one vote" requirement and conflicts of interest procedures.

"Since it is significantly different than what you saw in October, we did not bring it back as unfinished business," Freeman said. "There are some things that are clarifications, some things that are new and some things that are simply reworded."

Philanthropic renaming

To clarify the Faculty Handbook policy for renaming academic units (section 2.8 PDF), new language is proposed which adds an outline of the procedure for renaming an academic unit as a result of a philanthropic gift. In that situation, the faculty's role is advisory to the president's decision.

Discussion ensued, including arguments in favor of faculty consent -- rather than advice -- on renaming. Concern about the need for donor relationship-building and confidentiality also was discussed.

Other business

Three new academic programs sailed through with unanimous approval, including:

  • A master of finance (College of Business)
  • A bachelor of science in public relations (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences)
  • A minor in landscape management (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)

A bylaw change also was approved, exempting the terms of the past president and secretary from senate term limits. The change aligns those officer positions with the existing eligibility standards for the president and president-elect.