Update: Faculty Council, May 12

Faculty Council met for the final time this academic year on May 12.

Council discussed a proposal to request a 4% increase to the salary pool for both faculty and staff in the next academic year; the preliminary budget only includes a 2% increase.  A 6.5% increase would be necessary to ensure that no employee has a reduction in take-home pay with the expected increase to healthcare premiums. Given that the increase to the salary pool last year was 3% and that the college appears to be on solid financial footing for the next fiscal year, Council agreed to draft a memo to the President and to the CFO requesting the 4% increase to the salary pool.  The memo will be approved electronically next week.

The Chair reminded Council that a decision needs to be made about how to move forward with the proposal to include the Chair and Chair Elect of Council on the A&P Sub-Committee of the Board. Council agreed that A&P should revisit the proposed language with particular attention to (i) the legality and implications of the term “member”, (ii) best practices identified by the AAUP and other relevant bodies, (iii) practices at our comparison institutions, and (iv) a rationale for the proposed change.

Lastly, Council discussed the Core Review feedback from the April 21 All Faculty Meeting, the role of faculty governance as the review process comes to a close, and the recommendations to the Provost as we begin to think about the implementation of a revised Core. The feedback from the All Faculty meeting suggests that roughly half of the faculty who were present at the meeting and participated in the discussion would favor investigating a smaller Core model if that model would also require students to complete a minor in the liberal arts.  Council discussed the validity of the data, the feasibility of requiring a liberal arts minor of all students, and whether the data consists of sufficient evidence to request a further review by the Ad Hoc Core Review Committee.  Council did not feel that it had enough evidence to warrant an intervention into the Core Review process.  Council concluded the discussion with an outline of the process moving forward and recommendations to the Provost.