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January 19, 2017

Action delayed on consensual relations policy

Senate Council’s consideration of a new University policy on consensual relationships with students and among employees will be delayed until February to allow the University Senate tenure and academic freedom committee (TAFC) to review the latest revisions to a draft proposal and make a recommendation to Faculty Assembly.

Council had been expected to vote on the matter at its Jan. 25 meeting.

Faculty Assembly, which was prepared to consider the draft proposal as part of its Jan. 17 agenda, instead tabled the matter. Senate President Frank Wilson said the policy would be on Faculty Assembly’s Feb. 14 meeting agenda, following TAFC’s review on Jan. 25.

Wilson expressed disappointment at the delay, but was optimistic that faculty ultimately would endorse a policy strengthened through shared governance.

“It’s easy to see from version to version how the proposal has gotten better each time,” he said in his report to the Assembly.

The Assembly took no action on an initial draft presented last fall (Oct. 13 University Times) and last month voted down a revised policy amid faculty concerns over vague language and a lack of due process for those accused of violating the policy. (See Dec. 8 University Times).

The most recent revision spells out a process for appealing sanctions imposed under the policy, and adds language that discourages relationships between University employees and students that begin after the student has enrolled.


In other business:

• Faculty Assembly approved a peer group for benchmarking regional faculty salaries developed by the Senate budget policies committee. (See Nov. 10 University Times.)

• Wilson said an ad hoc group, made up of members of the educational policies committee and the computer usage committee, has nearly completed its examination of the evaluation of teaching. Its report and recommendations are expected to be on Faculty Assembly’s February agenda.

• Senate past-president Irene Frieze, chair of the ad hoc committee to investigate part-time and other non-tenure-stream (NTS) faculty issues, said the group’s final report is being drafted and may be presented in March.

• Robin Kear, Senate vice president, announced that Diana Hicks and Cassidy Sugimoto will be featured speakers at the Senate’s spring plenary session.

Hicks, a faculty member in Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Public Policy, is first author of the Leiden Manifesto for research metrics.

Sugimoto, of Indiana University-Bloomington’s School of Informatics and Computing, is a researcher in scholarly communication and scientometrics.

Additional details are posted at

As a precursor to the March 29 plenary session, Berenika Webster of the University Library System and Andrea Ketchum of the Health Sciences Library System are scheduled to make a presentation on bibliometric tools following Faculty Assembly’s March 14 meeting.

• Elections for Senate representatives and officers are coming in April. Wilson and Kear will be on the ballot for re-election; term limits preclude secretary Susan Skledar from seeking re-election. Nominations may be made to the Senate office.

—Kimberly K. Barlow 

Filed under: Volume 49 Issue 10

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