Faculty Senate has announced changes to policies regarding pre-tenure review, course evaluations, and course syllabi, all of which will go into effect this fall.
Faculty Senate is comprised of 20 faculty members from all of the colleges on campus. They meet once a month with the purpose of identifying the concerns of the faculty and making proposals to the administration.
Dr. Agnes Cardoni, assistant professor of English, explained that the changes were for clarification.
According to Cardoni, the Rank and Tenure Committee, made up of eight faculty members, proposed modifications to pre-tenure review and course evaluations at the January meeting and approved them at the February meeting.
In the former policy, pre-tenure review documents could not include any appendices. Now, candidates for tenure must include an appendix containing a copy of his/her annual self-evaluation and copies of the respective chairperson’s and Dean’s responses to it. Also, the organization of the pre-tenure portfolio was changed from eight separate categories to three categories with the first divided into five smaller sub-sections.
Course evaluation forms were changed slightly as well. The question that concerns communicating with professors will now include other forms of electronic communication in addition to email. Another change to the form appears where it asks how much time a student spends preparing for a class. Instead of listing large chunks of time, it will now list shorter time periods to get a more accurate description of how the individual student prepares.
The Faculty Concerns Committee, made up of five faculty members and a student representative, approved a change in the Faculty Handbook regarding how professors should identify their grading procedures in course syllabi.
Nick Pesarcik, president of the Student Government Association and the student representative on the committee, said that the syllabi change had been discussed within the Student Government Association for years and they had been actively pursuing it for the past three years. “One of the issues that came up was that the grading was not transparent,” Pesarcik explained.
According to Section 3.5 of the Faculty Handbook, the policy on course syllabi stated that the syllabus must include the professor’s “grading plan.” The new policy states that syllabi should include “grading information such as the grading scale describing how grades are to be assigned at the conclusion of the course and a description of the method used to derive grades.” The update should be in the Faculty Handbook at the end of the year.