September 18, 1998
Linda Rooda, Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m. The April minutes were approved as distributed.
Chancellor's Business--none. See Chancellor's State of the Campus Address.
Vice Chancellor's Business--J. Kroepfl
2. Freshman Early Alert. Please pay attention to this deadline.
3. Applications for Summer Faculty Fellowships, grants, and aid are due October 16th.
4. E-mail problems--VC Moran explained the problem and the two solutions being pursued.
2. President Brand is interested in having each campus review their general education curriculum.
3. Election. You are urged to participate in the upcoming election for a new UFC representative.
4. UFC Report. A complete, written report will be sent via e-mail. The majority of the session was the President's state of the university address. Other topics included:
b. President Brand is very concerned about credit transfers between IU campuses and wants the issue resolved this year.
c. Post tenure review plans are being formulated with the expectation that each campus will participate in the process.
d. A member of the Board of Trustees is interested in eliminating all part time faculty and appointing said group as full time non-tenure track faculty. The issue has been sent to UFC committees.
Fac: section 2.B.3 seems contradictory to section 2.C.4. regarding written reports from the Board of Review to any faculty member involved in an appeal.
Fac: that's a good point. The situations being addressed in sections B and C are different, and the wording should be clarified.
Fac: what is the difference between giving a report to the Chancellor and the "appropriate administrative official?"
Fac: the "appropriate official" would depend on the type of case under review
Fac: what about a complaint against the Chancellor?
Fac: that would be handled according the Academic Handbook
The motion to table the bylaws was moved, seconded and approved.
2. Motion from Constitution Committee--A. Rominger. The motion requesting the Constitution Committee to investigate the possibility of creating a Faculty Senate comes moves and seconded as a Committee Report. It was emphasized that the purpose of the motion was not to create a Senate, but rather to investigate the possibility of a senatorial style of government. Rationale for the motion was discussed and presented in a written document. The following is the spirit of the discussion:
Fac: the constitution has not been changed in twenty years, and the way the current constitution is worded makes changes difficult.
Fac: the idea of a senate is not new, it was discussed about twenty years ago and the idea rejected as a step away from direct participation in faculty governance.
Fac: what about creating a new constitution?
Fac: the constitution contains many contradictory passages, which would make a change to the whole document difficult.
Fac: unfortunately, a body of the whole is difficult to achieve. A senate might create some consistency.
Fac: I agree that a senate is worth looking into, however the resolution is very specific and presents only one solution
Fac: there are serious concerns that a senatorial form of government might result in the exclusion of minorities
Fac: this motion seems premature. Don't we first need a motion to agree that a change in the current form of government is needed?
Fac: this motion attempts to give the Constitution Committee some direction in examining the overall situation.
Fac: but this resolution is a specific solution.
The question was called. Since the resulting verbal vote was unclear, a hand count was conducted. The resolution passed 38 to 28.
3. Memorandum from Mark Sheldon. (See attached) The following is the spirit of the discussion:
Fac: there are serious legal issues involved here, but there seems to be an attempt by a particular faculty member to link misconduct with predatory actions. This implies that students are incapable of sexual consent, and does not fit the code of conduct currently in force.
Fac: the most recent action by said faculty member is issued on University/Departmental letterhead and gives the impression that the action is endorsed by the University/Department.
Departmental Dean: I was unaware that this was occurring and will make sure the situation is clarified.
Fac: the implication of the statement that faculty members should sign a statement regarding their past sexual conduct harkens back to the days of McCarthyism, and implies that those who do not sign are under suspicion.
Fac: I am insulted by the implications of this Professor's actions.
Fac: while the method may be questionable, the Professor is trying to clarify the issue of sexual harassment. These are issues of freedom of speech, academic freedom, and academic conduct which deserve further examination.
Fac: I am uncomfortable that this discussion is taking place in the absence of said faculty member, however said member chose not to attend today. The freedom of speech issue should be kept in mind.
Sheldon: this was not an attempt to reopen discussion on the University's policies regarding professional conduct, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct. There is concern that the faculty members actions are being met with silence.
Fac: is it in order to make a motion urging faculty not to participate in the actions advocated by said professor?
Parliamentarian: a motion may come from the floor
Motion: The Faculty Organization affirms its opposition to sexual harassment and sexual misconduct in the classroom, and urges Faculty to boycott the forms distributed in The Phoenix by said professor. Seconded.
Discussion on the motion:
Fac: again, it is very uncomfortable to discuss this in the absence of said faculty member. Also, I'm disturbed that the focus of the discussion is on the methods employed, rather then the greater issue of concern: how to end sexual harassment.
Fac: as a reminder, last year the administration conducted a vigorous educational program of required meetings, and each university employee was required to sign a form indicating receipt of applicable policy manuals. So there has been an effort to address the issue; there is always room for fine tuning, and the campus takes that seriously.
Fac: there is confusion over the issues of sexual harassment and misconduct because of the volumes of case law, university policy, etc. Do we really know the extent of the problem? If we do not address these issues further, we will be doing a great disservice to everyone.
Fac: We have to deal with this as a faculty, a university, and as individuals. Whatever happens, the situation should not end with this motion. If we stop at a motion, we have failed.
Fac: it seems possible that this is a personal feud, perhaps a legal feud which should be taken to the courts. We should table the motion and see how the situation develops.
Fac: the issue is current, the forms are in the student newspaper
Fac: the forms may not even be legal
Fac: this is part of the problem. It is possible that students will be mislead into some illegal action because of the efforts of said professor. There seems to be a good deal of misunderstanding. Perhaps a committee could be formed to create open dialogue.
Fac: again, this seems an inappropriate forum in which to be discussing these matters.
Fac: there is a perception that this issue has been brought before several bodies on campus and met with silence. If we do not respond in some way, the perception of silence will be damaging.
Fac: have these forms had any effect or been utilized?
Chancellor and Vice Chancellor: not aware of any negative effects from the forms.
A motion to table the remainder of the agenda due to lack of time was moved and seconded.
Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.
Submitted by: Ellen Bosman, Secretary.