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Proposal for Faculty Committee for Faculty Handbook

Proposal for Faculty Committee for Faculty Handbook

At the February 27, 2014 PAC meeting, on behalf of BCAAUP, Susan Michalczyk presented a brief statement on the relevance of a faculty committee for the Handbook and respectfully asked that the Provost Advisory Council acknowledge the need for a standing Faculty Handbook Committee (comprised of three faculty serving staggered two-year terms) and work with our BCAAUP advocacy chapter to establish such a committee in keeping with best practices at Research I universities for shared governance.

 

We believe that it is quite possible for BCAAUP, in continuing to collect information and monitor changes, to explore options with the existing faculty governance structure in CSON or the FCC, and eventually the A&S Faculty Senate (elections planned for fall 2014), so as to have an effective Faculty Committee for the Faculty Handbook. We (BCAAUP) have devoted a great deal of time reviewing best practices for shared governance at Research I universities, as well as researching the importance of having such a committee at Boston College, given the absence of a university-wide Faculty Senate. We include below some examples of standing Faculty Handbook Committees from colleagues at Jesuit and Catholic universities.

We encourage our faculty to consider the importance of a standing faculty committee and voice their support of this proposal to their PAC representatives before the March 27, 2014 PAC meeting.

Provost Advisory Council: faculty representatives

Katherine Gregory (CSON)
Danny Willis (CSON)

Betty Blythe (GSSW)
Linnie Green Wright (GSSW)

Lillie Albert (LSOE)
Laura O’Dwyer (LSOE)

Jim Gips (CSOM)
Sam Graves (CSOM)

James T. Bretzke, S.J. (STM)
Theresa O’Keefe (STM)

Mark Brodin (Law School)
Judith Tracey (Law School)

Anthony Annunziato (Biology)
Can Erbil (Economics)
Susan Michalczyk (A&S Honors)
Cy Opeil, SJ (Physics)
Devin Pendas (History)
Min Song (English)

BCAAUP Fall Update 2013

October 2013

We hope that this new academic year has begun well for everyone and send our thanks to so many of you who have been involved in advocacy for our faculty throughout the summer. We welcome our new members of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and our new colleagues at BC. BCAAUP welcomes any and all faculty: tenured and non-tenure track, grad students and retired colleagues, to contact us with your concerns and join us at our meetings.

After three years of collecting data about the concerns of faculty, we believe that the focus for the coming year needs to be on implementing those concerns. As a result, our fall meeting will focus on faculty governance the Faculty Survey Report, the Provost Search, and the petition on Senate and Faculty Handbook (a copy of the petition will be sent out with the PR for the October 29th meeting and we remain grateful to those of you who have already signed and trust that many more of you send along your electronic “signature,” so that we can keep an accurate count). BCAAUP will continue to sponsor Faculty Surveys; however we will do so every two years, rather than on an annual basis.

 

Last week, the BCAAUP Executive Board met with Interim Provost, Joe Quinn and Vice-Provost, Pat DeLeeuw, and discussed the faculty responses from this past year’s Faculty Survey Report. We also discussed the university-wide senate and a faculty standing committee for the Faculty Handbook.

 

As a result of our meeting with the Interim Provost, we are currently preparing a proposal for a faculty committee for the Faculty Handbook and recognize this as an important step in working with the administration for improved faculty governance.

 

With the Constitution in place for the A&S Senate and a faculty governance body in place in CSON, BCAAUP is committed to working with our faculty in all schools throughout this academic year, in our efforts to establish a university-wide Senate, encouraged by the enthusiastic responses to the 2012-2013 Faculty Survey, and counting on hearing from those of you who have expressed interest in participating in these important endeavors. If you would like to be a candidate for the A&S Senate election, or would be interested in serving on the Faculty Committee for the Faculty Handbook, please contact any of our Board members.

Including here some of your responses, indicating that BCAAUP should advocate for a university wide Senate and a Faculty Handbook Committee:

 

Sixty-Nine percent of respondents favor the establishment of a Faculty Senate. Only 7% of respondents opposed it.  If a Senate were established, 41% of respondents indicated a willingness to serve as a representation of their department or school.

 

The most significant finding concerning the Faculty Handbook was a consensus (86% of respondents) that an elected faculty committee should explain, evaluate, and publicize all proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook prior to posting. Faculty leadership should collaborate with the administration to plan this initiative.

 

Another step in the right direction for transparency and improved communication between administration and faculty: the willingness of the Co-Chair of the Provost Search Committee, Catherine Corneille, to invite suggestions for the new Provost from BCAAUP members and to meet with faculty, listen to their ideas and discuss the process for selecting the next Provost. We have scheduled this meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 29th, from 4:30-6:00pm in Fulton 230 and will begin with Paul Gray who will present the Faculty Survey Report, which will help focus and foster discussion about the Provost Search.

 

In response to faculty interest, we are planning one other meeting for the fall semester (date and location: TBA), a panel discussion with retired faculty, current faculty and the Faculty Compensation Committee, to address concerns about changes in benefits. If you are interested in participating, please contact any Board member.

 

Membership in the American Association of University Professors, along with participation in our Boston College chapter, brings recognition of each member’s professional status. Given the reality of the challenges facing our faculty, and in the absence of any recognized official faculty governing body, BCAAUP continues to make inroads in our commitment to academic freedom and faculty governance. We hope you will consider becoming a member of AAUP (aaup.org for information about membership) and joining our advocacy chapter, http://bcaaup.org/, and consider serving on our Executive Board. Elections will be held in the spring. We will continue our commitment to providing our faculty with information on a variety of issues: academic, religious and ethical, so that together with the administration, we can work to maintain the highest standards of integrity.

 

 

With best wishes for this new academic year,
The BCAAUP Executive Board

Susan Michalczyk     Marilynn Johnson      Hiroshi Nakazato       Michael Malec
     President                Vice President               Secretary                   Treasurer


Betty Blythe            Curt Dudley-Marling        Michael Resler     Mary Troxell
Board Member            Board Member              Board Member        Board Member

BCAAUP Fall Update Oct 2013

End-of-year update 2013

Boston College Chapter                                                

American Association of University Professors                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Thanks to all of you who have helped to address matters of Academic Freedom and Governance at Boston College during this academic year. As in past years, we would like to provide colleagues with information and updates on some matters of interest to you, based upon your responses to the Faculty Survey. We invite your comments and welcome your involvement during the summer or once the new academic year begins in September. In this end-of-year update, we are focusing on Senate and a few issues you have raised this year and trust that you will go to http://bcaaup.org/ for more information.

 As a result of all the efforts of so many: faculty, grad students and undergrads at BC, as well as our AAUP colleagues across the country, our petition for a university-wide senate and a faculty standing committee for the Faculty Handbook has been quite successful. For those of you who have not yet had a chance to sign the petition, we are attaching a copy of the petition (without including signatures already collected) and would ask that you send along your electronic “signature,” so that we can keep an accurate count. We continue to collect signatures in support of the university-wide senate and faculty committee for the Handbook to demonstrate the significant support of faculty from across disciplines and schools. As promised, we will not be circulating the list of signatures (approximately 200 at this time) and we expect to provide an exact number by the start of the fall semester.

And as we gather signatures for a university-wide senate with faculty committee for the Faculty Handbook, we have a very exciting update to share with our faculty: the A&S Faculty Senate with Constitution was ratified in 1984 (additional information and documentation can be found at http://bcaaup.org/ ). We are currently in the process of preparing for elections of the A&S Faculty Senate and remain grateful for everyone’s dedicated efforts that have resulted in affirming faculty governance by clarifying the confusion surrounding the existence of the A&S Faculty Senate. We look forward to working with the administration or with the national AAUP in sponsoring the election process. If you would like to be a candidate for the fall election, please contact any of our Board members. With the Constitution in place for the A&S Senate, BCAAUP plans to expand the existing A&S Senate and work with the other schools in order to establish a university-wide Senate.

As membership in BCAAUP has grown, so too has our presence on University committees. We continue to serve as a resource of information for faculty as we respond to your questions and concerns about healthcare, eroding retirement benefits and grievance policies, as well as variations in policies for individual situations, such as part-time status/benefits, retirement packages or issues facing married couples. We will continue our commitment to providing our faculty with information on a variety of issues: academic, religious and ethical, so that together with the administration, we can work to maintain the highest standards of integrity.  Some examples: requesting transparency with the Belfast Project, openly addressing status of non-tenure track faculty at BC and communicating policies of other universities (most recently Georgetown), raising awareness about the new Mission Statement on all summer school syllabi. In addition, in the interests of transparency and faculty governance, BCAAUP has asked to have representation on the Provost’s Search Committee.

We are also including a copy of this year’s Faculty Survey Report. After three years of collecting data about the concerns of faculty, we believe that the focus for the coming year needs to be on implementing those concerns. As a result, our fall meeting will focus on faculty governance (petition), A&S Senate elections and the Faculty Survey Report (status of non-tenure track faculty and also changes in benefits). BCAAUP will continue to sponsor Faculty Surveys; however we will do so every two years, rather than on an annual basis.

We hope that you will consider becoming more involved in our BCAAUP advocacy chapter, as well as connecting with colleagues from across the country at this year’s National AAUP Conferences (more info at aaup.org).

With best wishes for the summer,

 The BCAAUP Executive Board

Susan Michalczyk
President

Marilynn Johnson
Vice President   

Hiroshi Nakazato
Secretary         

Michael Malec                                                                    
Treasurer

            Board Members 
            Betty Blythe
            Curt Dudley-Marling
Michael Resler
            Dana Sajdi
            Mary Troxell  

Statement on Boston College Students for Sexual Health By BCAAUP Executive Board

The Boston College chapter of the American Association of University Professors is deeply concerned about the university’s recent letters sent to members of the BC Students for Sexual Health (BCSSH) threatening disciplinary action against them for distributing contraceptives in their dorm rooms. While it is the university’s right to distribute or not distribute contraceptives through the student health center, we believe that taking disciplinary action against students for lawful actions undertaken in the privacy of their dorm rooms constitutes an infringement of their rights. The issues regarding sexual health raised by BCSSH are important to the welfare of our students who come from a variety of faith traditions; taking disciplinary action against them on such matters of individual conscience sends the wrong message to the campus community, alumni, and prospective students.

-BCAAUP Executive Board

Approved March 27, 2013

Boston College Faculty Handbook

Notes on

The Boston College Faculty Handbook

(PDF Version of Oct./Nov. 2012)

http://www.bc.edu/publications/fachbk.html

 

The Boston College chapter of AAUP (American Association of University Professors) has compiled a print (pdf) version the Boston College “Faculty Handbook” (FH). This file is attached below.

We have compiled this handbook for two reasons.  First, some people prefer to read the FH in print, while others may value the fact that as an electronic file it is easily searched. Second, this version, compiled this past semester, now becomes a record of the FH as it existed as of dates certain.

The FH is a “living” document in that it is amended from time to time. A problem with this is that faculty members are not always aware of changes have been made in the FH.  BCAAUP proposes to monitor the online version of the FH and to alert the faculty to any changes as soon as we are aware of them.

BCAAUP has recently opened a discussion with the Provost’s Office to determine ways for faculty to have earlier input into the process by which the FH is amended. At present, the amendment process does include consultation with the Provost’s Advisory Committee, but we hope to have faculty input occur much earlier.

The FH is a lengthy document. We do not expect that you will read it in its entirety.  However, if you do read portions of it and if you see any language that is problematic, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the BCAAUP Executive Board. If you have any other concerns about the FH, please contact us.

Faculty Handbook