The Faculty Senate approved changes to policies and guidelines for faculty position responsibility statements (PRS) Nov. 10 after months of discussion. PRS documents, described in the policy as "a tool that describes the range of responsibilities undertaken by a faculty member," are used in faculty reviews and evaluations.
The policy changes, developed from a February task force report, were introduced as a single motion in April. After continued senate discussion and consideration of submitted feedback from faculty, the motion was broken into four parts for Tuesday's senate meeting. The four motions included changes that:
- Moved the PRS procedures from the "evaluation and review" section (chapter five) of the Faculty Handbook to the "appointment policies and procedures" section (chapter three)
- Included all faculty, not just tenured and tenure-eligible positions, in the dispute mediation policy
- Provided guidelines for creating, reviewing and maintaining up-to-date PRS documents
- Required PRS to contain distribution or proportion of effort for each area of position responsibility
It was the final motion that task force chair Veronica Dark said generated the most feedback from faculty.
"This is the one that addresses the major points of contention in the comments we received and the major points of contention among the senate's executive board," Dark said.
"We have removed some of what the faculty have referred to as inflexibility," she said. "We list examples of areas of responsibility, but faculty and their chairs are free to describe whatever areas of responsibility they believe is needed for an individual's PRS."
Senators voted down multiple motions to delay a vote until December and passed each of the four PRS policy motions nearly unanimously.
Two academic items were introduced and will be voted on next month, including:
- A proposed interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in geographic information science, housed in the College of Design
- A discontinuation of the graduate program in botany, which has not admitted students since a 2003 departmental reorganization