The University Record, October 11, 1999

Assembly Roundup

By Jane R. Elgass

Senate Assembly members were apprised of their new Web site at their first meeting of the year on Oct. 4 and briefed on the major issues its leadership hopes to tackle.

The new, “hospitable” Web site has two goals, explained Sherrie Kossoudji, chair of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA):

  • To effectively communicate with the entire faculty on issues that affect their lives.

  • To make it possible for the faculty to communicate with Senate Assembly and SACUA. Kossoudji noted that several “hot” topics—faculty compensation and parking—already have been established on the site’s conferencing element.

    The site also contains meeting information and minutes, this year’s meetings and events schedule, and reports.

    Key issues that have been identified by SACUA include:

  • Faculty compensation. Kossoudji explained that the Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty worked last year to develop a transparent Universitywide process for reviews for merit raises and other types of compensation. The group’s recommendations are being reviewed by the Office of the Provost.

  • Tenure vs. non-tenure appointments. The importance of this topic is fueled by an increase in non-tenure-track appointments. Kossoudji said that SACUA and the Academic Affairs Advisory Committee are discussing the topic with the provost and have asked for data “to get a sense of the nature of the growth in these appointments.”

  • Joint appointments. There are at least 365 faculty with joint appointments, with many patterns developing. While the use of joint appointments appears to be a strength, there is some question as to how well those holding the appointments are being served with respect to resources and tenure review.

  • Electronic privacy. While the Standard Practice Guide has two policies that relate to electronic privacy, they do not address the legal side of the issue. SACUA hopes to initiate discussion of this.

  • Parking and benefits. There is no committee within Senate Assembly dealing with parking, no systematic way of looking at the issue. SACUA Vice Chair Lewis Kleinsmith is the “point person” for the issue, and will try to determine if there really is a problem, particularly on Central Campus.

    Citing the large increase in Blue Cross Blue Shield rates for the coming year, he indicated that SACUA will work on appointing a committee to meet with the Benefits Office director.

  • Intellectual property rights. The current policy, Regents Bylaw 3.10, is well publicized, but contains potential loopholes. “We need to think carefully about this as scholarly output becomes more ‘monetized,’” said Kossoudji, who noted she’s now being paid to write book chapters, which she considers “part of my job. The ownership of the product is becoming more important.”

    1999–00 meetings

    SACUA: 1:30 p.m., Regents’ Room, Fleming Building

    Oct. 11 & 18

    Nov. 1, 8 & 15

    Dec. 6

    Jan. 10, 17 & 31

    Feb. 7, 14 & 28

    March 6, 13 & 27

    April 10 & 24

    May 1, 8, 15 & 29

    Senate Assembly: 3 p.m., Assembly Hall, Rackham Building

    Oct. 25

    Nov. 22

    Dec. 13

    Jan. 24

    Feb. 21

    March 20

    April 17

    May 22