The University Record, March 22, 1993


By Mary Jo Frank

Editor’s Note: The following topics were presented or discussed at the March 15 Senate Assembly meeting.

Editorial Advisory Board named

Senate Advisory Committee for Uni-versity Affairs Chair (SACUA) Ejner J. Jensen announced that the new Editorial Advisory Board for the Faculty Perspectives Page to appear in the Record will be chaired by George J. Brewer, professor of human genetics and of internal medicine.

Also serving on the committee: Richard W. Bailey, professor of English; Bruce Oakley, professor of biology; Leslie W. Tentler, professor of history,

U-M-Dearborn; and William G. Weissert, professor of health services management and policy.

Brewer told the Record that the advisory board, which met for the first time March 15, will meet once a week. The advisory board plans to have the first Faculty Perspectives Page ready for publication by the end of April.

Brewer said he hopes the page will stimulate views and counterviews on such important issues as interdisciplinary programs, the harassment policy and discriminatory harassment issues.

“We hope to do a little bit of investigative reporting, looking into areas and reporting on their status, hoping that this will stimulate interest and letters,” Brewer said. This reporting would include data on areas that are important to the faculty but may not have come to their attention, he added.

Faculty proceeding with evaluation processes

The Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, headed by John H. D’Arms, will be the first executive office to be reviewed under a new evaluation procedure created by the faculty, according to Jensen.

In December, the Assembly approved a resolution recommended by the Task Force on Evaluation of Administrators that called for reviews of executive

offices every five to seven years.

Jensen reported that SACUA is in the process of appointing a faculty evaluation committee.

A second evaluation system—also new—will be discussed at the April meeting when the faculty’s Academic Affairs Committee reports on its progress in developing an instrument to be used to evaluate deans and Executive Officers. Jensen said the faculty are looking for an instrument that will meet faculty needs and be sufficiently flexible to work in different units.

At its December meeting, the Assembly approved the idea of an annual evaluation of administrators, as proposed by physiology Prof. Louis G. D’Alecy.

Changes in academic calendar will be considered

Jensen reported to the Assembly that in consultation with Provost Gilbert R. Whitaker Jr., SACUA will appoint a committee to look into possible changes in the academic calendar, including whether fall term should continue to commence after Labor Day.

Roy Penchansky, professor of health services management and policy, said an increasing number of faculty are giving final exams on the last day of class instead of using the study and examination periods at the end of the fall term. By not following the exam schedule, faculty are shortening the term, he noted.

A variety of questions, many of which focus on the fall term, need to be addressed, Jensen said.

Wilfred Kaplan, professor emeritus of mathematics, asked “Is the trimester sacred?”

Jensen predicted that the trimester system will be among the issues the committee will discuss.