Faculty Council elects new officers, hears update on non-tenure-track faculty

Editor’s Note: Amy Barkley, executive assistant to the CSU Faculty Council, wrote this article for SOURCE on key reports and discussion items at the March Faculty Council meeting. It is published here on behalf of the Faculty Council Executive Leadership. Details of the reports and presentations referenced below are available in the meeting minutes on the Faculty Council website once they are approved at the April meeting.

Faculty Council met via Teams on March 7 to elect its officers for the 2023-2024 academic year, hear an update on the contract and continuing appointment types from the Committee on Non-Tenure Track Faculty, and receive a report from the Administrative Leave Task Force.

Melinda Smith
Melinda Smith

Faculty Council elects officers for 2023-24

Faculty Council members elected Melinda Smith as the chair for the 2023-24 academic year. Smith is currently serving as Faculty Council’s vice chair and served as Board of Governors representative in 2021-22. Smith has also served on Faculty Council’s Committee on Scholarship, Research and Graduate Education, including several years as its chair. Smith is a community/ecosystem ecologist and a Department of Biology faculty member.

Joseph DiVerdi was elected as Faculty Council’s vice chair for next academic year. DiVerdi is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and has been a member of the University since 2003. DiVerdi has served Faculty Council in various capacities, including serving on the Committee on Non-Tenure Track Faculty and chairing the Committee on Strategic and Financial Planning, and he is a current member of the Faculty Council Executive Committee. DiVerdi has also served as the chair of the Retirement Plan Review Committee.

Andrew Norton was re-elected for a second term as the Faculty Board of Governors Representative. Norton is a professor in the Department of Agricultural Biology and has been with CSU since 2000. Norton has previously served as Faculty Council’s vice chair. Much of Norton’s work in the past year with the Board of Governors has included being on the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, helping review the strategic plan for the CSU System, and assisting with faculty feedback regarding the presidential finalist.

Joseph DiVerdi
Joseph DiVerdi

Update on contract, continuing appointments

Jenny Morse, co-chair of Faculty Council’s Committee on Non-Tenure Track Faculty, provided a five-year update on contract and continuing appointment types. Morse, a senior clinical professor of management, gave background on the appointment types, which were approved by Faculty Council in 2018 following an original report provided by the Committee on Non-Tenure Track Faculty in 2016. Morse also explained the differences between contract and continuing appointments. Despite the original goal of getting 90% of non-tenure-track faculty on contracts in that original 2016 report, Morse reported that currently only 128 of those faculty are on contracts, which has been available for use by CSU since 2012.

Morse posed a few questions to Faculty Council members, including why contracts are not being extended, whether the promotion to senior and master instructor should be more aligned with tenure, and whether CSU should create a teaching tenure system.

Faculty Council members discussed the importance of education around the differences between contract and continuing appointments, including within human resources areas. Other comments included the possibility of removing the continuing category to eliminate the confusion around this appointment type.

Andrew Norton
Andrew Norton

Administrative Leave Task Force report

Michael Antolin, chair of the Administrative Leave Task Force, presented the final report from the group following its work in fall semester. The task force was charged with looking into where involuntary administrative leave falls within state statute and policy. Antolin, a biology professor, reported on the process for examining administrative leave and the recommendations of the task force. The task force ultimately recommended three things. Two of their recommendations are that the University should develop specific policies around involuntary administrative leave, as well as who has the authority to enact involuntary administrative leave. Their third recommendation was to have the Faculty Council Committee on Responsibilities and Standing of Academic Faculty take up this issue to help clarify these policies.

Questions and discussion from members centered around the involvement of exclusionary orders with regard to administrative leave and who has the authority to activate administrative leave.

Other Faculty Council highlights

  • Norton is working with the Board of Governors to have its members attend Faculty Council meetings. Governors Nate Easley and Kenzo Kawanabe joined the March Faculty Council meeting, and more will attend the next meeting. The intent is to have them introduce themselves and provide an opportunity for them to get to know Faculty Council better.
  • Faculty Council approved Manual changes to both the Preface and Section E.10.5. The Preface was changed to clarify that a conflict with part of the Manual does not invalidate the whole document, and that state and federal regulations, along with Board of Governors policies, will always override the Manual. Similarly, the changes to Section E.10.5 were to clarify current policies and practices at the University.
  • There is a new feature on the Faculty Council website highlighting higher education news. Recent postings and the archives are available through the Higher Education News link on the Faculty Council website.
  • Faculty Council heard a presentation from Parking and Transportation Services about the Transportation Master Plan. Aaron Fodge outlined the plan and took time for questions and feedback. More information on the Transportation Master Plan can be found online in the 2023 TDM Master Plan Update.
  • The Administrative Professional Celebration will be held on Thursday, April 27, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Ballrooms A-B in the Lory Student Center.

The next Faculty Council meeting will be on Tuesday, April 4, over Microsoft Teams. For the schedule of Faculty Council meetings, approved minutes and agendas, lists of members of the Council and its committees and other information, visit the Faculty Council website.