Assembly Roundup

Ways to enhance the importance and recognition of teaching, review of the principles of faculty involvement in governance report, evaluation of the impact of regular faculty reviews of deans and working with the Academic Program Group on a recent retreat are among the activities undertaken this year, some on a continuing basis, by the Academic Affairs Advisory Committee (AAAC).

Committee chair Sheila Feld, professor of social work, reviewed the group’s activities at the Nov. 16 Senate Assembly meeting, noting that more than 50 percent of the members are new this year, necessitating a bit of a break-in period. She said that the group provides “a good representation of faculty perspectives” in its advisory role to Provost Nancy Cantor, and includes individuals from the Dearborn and Flint campuses as well as an undergraduate student. Members meet twice a month, one of those meetings with Cantor.

The group is working to develop a set of principles with regard to recognition of teaching that would be reviewed with the provost and then sent to the Assembly and finally to individual units for review. Feld said the principles would be broad in nature, with units able to tailor them to their unique needs.

In the governance area, the committee is working on two reports. One will focus on unit governance, particularly the function of executive committees and how their work relates to the principles set forth in the May 1997 report “Principles of Faculty Involvement in Institutional and Academic Unit Governance at the University of Michigan.” The other will focus on the role of faculty in admissions.

Procedures for the evaluation of deans by faculty were established in 1994 and the AAAC now will take a look at this activity with an eye to determining whether the goals of the project—regular, constructive review of administrators with input by faculty and documentation of achievements as well as shortfalls—are being met.

The retreat on the future of the professoriate—“Issues at the Intersection: The Future of the Faculty and the University”—was held Oct. 27 (see the Nov. 9 Record). The AAAC now will take a look at the best ways to follow up on the ideas generated in that meeting, which included 70 faculty and academic administrators looking at several broad issues affecting faculty. Feld said the group will focus in particular on issues related to teaching and supplemental faculty and the question of “Can we do it all?”

In other business at the meeting, Chair William Ensminger announced that:

• Review of the proposed grievance procedures has reached the unit level, with responses expected within three months.

• The new Faculty Handbook is available on the Web.

• Those who were unable to attend the Oct. 27 faculty forum on “Research Universities and the Undergraduate: Designing Education for the 21st Century,” can obtain video copies from the Faculty Senate Office, 6048 Fleming Building.

• Jackie R. McClain, executive director, Human Resources and Affirmative Action, has advised the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs that no M-CARE preference initiative “is planned in the foreseeable future,” and that the “HR/AA staff would continue to work with M-CARE leadership to identify ways in which the M-CARE product could be enhanced to be more attractive to University employees.”

• Assembly members were encouraged to attend two upcoming meetings.

The Dec. 7 Assembly meeting will be held at Pierpont Commons on North Campus and feature Susan Feagin, vice president for development; Robert Kasdin, executive vice president and chief financial officer; and McClain.

A special open meeting of the U-M Chapter of the American Association of University Professors at noon Dec. 2 in the Koessler Library, Michigan League, will focus on “Discrimination and Affirmative Action Law: Challenges for the Next Millenium.” Law Prof. Theodore St. Antoine will moderate the program, featuring speakers Jonathan Alger, legal counsel, national AAUP, and Elizabeth Barry, associate vice president and deputy general counsel.


You can always drop us a line: