The University of Oklahoma (Norman campus)

Regular session - November 10, 1997 - 3:30 p.m. - Jacobson Faculty Hall 102

office: Jacobson Faculty Hall 206 phone: 325-6789 FAX: 325-6782

e-mail: web site:

The Faculty Senate was called to order by Professor Connie Dillon, Chair.

PRESENT: Albert, Badhwar, Beasley, Benson, Blank, Dillon, Durica, Edwards, Egle, Eliason, Elisens, Emery, Engel, Friedrich, Fung, Gabert, Gilje, Greene, Gupta, Harper, Hillyer, Hobbs, Holmes, Joyce, Konopak, Laird, Lancaster, Livesey, Norwood, Okediji, Pailes, Palmer, Patten, Patterson, Rasmussen, Reynolds, Scherman, St.John, Stoltenberg, Thulasiraman, VanGundy, Vieux, Wahl, Watts

Provost's office representative: Mergler

PSA representatives: Elder

ABSENT: Butler, Gronlund, Murphy, Ratliff, Robertson, Schwarzkopf, Shaughnessy, Sipes, Warner




Graduate Student Senate resolution: instructional space and equipment 1

Issues and concerns identified by Faculty Senate 1

Post-tenure review 2



The Senate Journal for the regular session of October 13, 1997, was approved.


The Graduate Student Senate approved a resolution requesting graduate teaching assistants to behave in a manner that is professional, courteous, and respectful of the teaching assistants and faculty members with whom they share instructional space and equipment and encouraging faculty to engage in similarly courteous conduct (which the resolution defines as dismissing students on time, erasing chalkboards, and rearranging classroom furniture when it has been moved).

The following list of issues and concerns was identified by the Faculty Senate and will be sent to the president, appropriate vice presidents, and appropriate committee chairs for their information and possible action.

Faculty Salaries

Low faculty salaries

Proportion of funds going to administrator salaries versus faculty salaries

Compression and inversion

Funding Priorities

Inadequate support for research and libraries

Concerns about athletic department E&G support

Faculty Evaluation

Post-tenure Review

Unit criteria for evaluating faculty

Health Insurance


The proposed post-tenure review policy has been discussed at the September and October Faculty Senate meetings (9/97 Senate Journal, page 3, and 10/97 Senate Journal, page 2) and at a faculty forum held October 29. The proposed policy was mailed to all faculty September 12, and several documents are posted on the Faculty Senate web site under Current Issues--Post-Tenure Review. See Appendix I for the sections amended at this meeting.

Summary of issues raised at October 29 forum:

Will adopting AAUP principles along with this Post Tenure Review document serve as a vehicle for safeguarding academic freedom and due process? Concerns about who determines what directions we take in our career and using post-tenure review to effect programmatic change were voiced.

Pros and cons of a blanket versus targeted review were discussed. A blanket review does not single out a few individuals and a blanket review has the potential to provide the faculty with an opportunity to discuss career development issues with their committees A.' A targeted review reduces the associated workload.

Is Post-Tenure Review developmental or punitive? If developmental, how does the current policy address career development?

Should the policy refer to numbers (e.g. 2.01) that are not listed elsewhere in the document, or should the policy refer to criteria established by units?

Oversight committee to guarantee due process, review all plans or only review disputes; university wide or college.

Should the policy include a formal review of Post-Tenure Review process after specified time period?

Will Post-Tenure Review intrude on the proper sphere of self-direction in faculty roles?

Unit criteria may not be adequately defined.

Should the policy require periodic evaluation of unit criteria?

The motion to bring the following amendment proposed by Prof. Benson off the table was approved on a voice vote.

[1] Under section 3.X.8 of the policy, add the following statement at the end of the paragraph: "In tenure abrogation proceedings, the University retains the burden of persuasion to show sustained failure to meet institutional and professional expectations or other just cause of dismissal."

[2] Add the following sentence to section 3.9.1(i)(6) of the Faculty Handbook: "In abrogation of tenure hearings, the University has the burden of persuasion to establish sustained failure to perform or other just cause of dismissal."

Prof. Benson explained that the amendment would stipulate that the University has the burden of persuasion in tenure abrogation proceedings. He cited three reasons for the amendment: Assuming some policy will be passed, it will raise faculty anxiety. This will make clear where the burden of proof is. Failing the faculty development plan may be thought to change the rules of the game so that it looks like faculty have to prove they did not fail. This reinforces how the Faculty Handbook reads: The complainant has the burden of proof, and the University is the complainant. The amendment was approved unanimously.

Prof. Dillon asked the senate to look at all the proposed changes before voting on whether to adopt the document. Prof. Friedrich moved that the first sentence of the last paragraph of section 3.X.1 (Purpose) be revised to read: "The University's policies and procedures are intended to be consistent with the AAUP's Standards for Good Practice in Post-Tenure Review, which are included as part of this document." Prof. Benson suggested changing "document" to "policy." Prof. Friedrich agreed to the friendly amendment. When asked about the reason for the change, Prof. Friedrich said it was to make clear the document is consistent with AAUP standards. Following a clarification that the ten standards, not the full AAUP document, would be included, the amendment was approved on a voice vote.

Prof. Egle moved that the last sentence of section 3.X.1 (Purpose) be changed to read: "Post-tenure review must be based on the criteria for annual review approved for by the faculty member's unit(s)." Prof. Patten suggested that "approved" be changed to "established." Prof. Friedrich said if it read, "based on the approved criteria," that would imply approval by the dean and provost. Prof. Benson said that would leave it ambiguous. He suggested, "Post-tenure review must be based on the criteria for annual review established by the faculty member's unit and accepted by the administration." Following a brief discussion about the approval process, Prof. Benson proposed, "Post-tenure review must be based on the criteria for annual review established by the faculty of the unit and approved by the administration." Prof. Egle agreed to that change. The amendment was approved unanimously on a voice vote.

Prof. Fung moved that the following sentence be added to section 3.X.4(b) (self-appraisal): "This is required for faculty members whose five-year overall rating is below 3.01." He said many of his colleagues believe this whole process is an undue burden on them and a lot of paper work for faculty and Committee A. If the rating is satisfactory, there is no need to have all this documentation. Post-Tenure Review does not reward good performance, so the purpose is to help faculty who do not do well. Originally, he thought there was no need for Post-Tenure Review for faculty who rate better than satisfactory. At the faculty forum, it was pointed out that some other states have had pressure for this process, and an advisory committee of the legislature has suggested the abolition of tenure. Now he believes it is better to draft our own policy than to have it done for us. Prof. Dillon clarified that, with this amendment, a self-appraisal would be done by faculty with less than 3.01, but everyone would go through Post-Tenure Review. Prof. Norwood pointed out that a 3.0 means a good rating. Provost Mergler noted that a 2.01-3.0 means good, meets expectations. [Note: The faculty evaluation scale reads 5.00-4.01--outstanding; 4.00-3.01--very good; 3.00-2.01--good, meets expectations; 2.00-1.01--marginal; 1.00-0.01--unacceptable.] Prof. Greene said she agreed with Prof. Fung's argument. Another argument for this amendment is that each year faculty do a self-appraisal for the annual evaluation. It makes sense to exempt people with a rating above good. Prof. Stoltenberg said this additional self-appraisal seems redundant. Prof. Van Gundy commented that the implication is "good" really means "marginal." The underlying assumption is faculty might be slightly lower than the middle category. Prof. Palmer said she was not comfortable with that assumption. She would rather require the self-appraisal for those who are below 2.01. Prof. Norwood remarked that a 3.0 probably describes the largest category in a lot of departments. Prof. Fung said the intent was to eliminate some unnecessary paperwork. Prof. Patten said he did not like the idea that this would establish an elite University. In addition, the purpose is to reflect on what you will be doing in the future in the context of the unit's mission, rather than what you have done. It gives you an opportunity to ask, "Am I synchronized with my unit's mission over the next five years?" There is value to everyone going through this process even though there is paperwork involved. Prof. Hobbs said if the purpose is faculty development, then we need to build that into our evaluation process. Prof. Benson pointed out that the amendment would get rid of some paperwork, but Committee A would still have to write a letter for everyone. Prof. Durica commented that this could lead to rating inflation. If everyone has to do it and it is a reflection on where you are going, then maybe that has value.

Prof. Joyce asked what the faculty development advantages were except to clarify what we are doing, and we do that continuously. Prof. St. John asked whether the 3.01 is for one year or a five-year composite. Prof. Dillon said it would be the five-year composite. Prof. Norwood said he was not comfortable with the 3.01 because that is supposed to be a "good." Without knowing what numbers the departments are using, it would be difficult to propose a different number. Prof. Beasley observed that this section allows a lot of flexibility. It does not say that the self-appraisal has to be lengthy. Why not say it is an opportunity? Prof. Wahl remarked that in most of the document, the 2.01 figure is used. Prof. Hillyer said she rather likes the policy, but believes it will involve a lot of writing. Prof. Benson commented that the amendment is a nice compromise between blanket and targeted reviews. Prof. Scherman said we are talking about something that would allow us to look at our unit goals once every five years, so he could not see why this would be burdensome. Prof. Palmer said she thought post-tenure review was somewhat burdensome, but if we are going to have it, the self-appraisal could be useful. Requiring people below 2.0 to do a self-appraisal would be consistent with the rest of the document. Prof. Fung pointed out that the chair and two elected faculty would be evaluating the self-appraisal. They are not going to tell the faculty what they need to do the next five years. If faculty are performing at very good or excellent, they do not need to be told. They are self-evaluating every year. The reason for the amendment is to add as little burden to ourselves as possible. It does have a component for improving performance. Prof. Friedrich said the people who put this proposal together were trying to minimize the burden by using the annual evaluations. He asked, "Why not make the whole thing optional for everyone?" Prof. Palmer said her unit does not do self-evaluations every year. Provost Mergler reported that most departments do not have that as a component of their annual evaluations. When asked how many people a 3.01 would affect, Provost Mergler responded that the evaluation mean is over 4.0. A senator suggested that if most do not have self-evaluation, then this would be a good thing to keep. Prof. Norwood said he had been told we are under legislative pressure to enact some policy. He said he would like names of specific legislators who are calling for this. If this is being established under panic, a better step might be to establish better communication with the legislature. Prof. Stoltenberg said, if campus-wide, annual goals and objectives are not part of that process and the average is over 4.0, then it appears that our annual review process is a joke and he would be in favor of approving the proposed post-tenure review document. Prof. Hobbs noted that the University of Colorado newspaper had an article saying a Post-Tenure Review proposal similar to this was being considered by the Colorado legislature. She asked why a five-year review seems to have been chosen as the model. She said she trusts the president and provost to communicate to the state about what we are doing. We need some improvement in our evaluation process. Instead of getting something "off the rack," we should see what we need here locally. Is Post-Tenure Review a magic bullet that will fix everything? If the legislature and regents thought we were working on those issues and trying to fix things, we would have some room to think about it. Prof. Benson suggested revising the amendment to read, "..required only for... Prof. Fung agreed to that friendly amendment. The amendment failed 24 to 12. Following some discussion as to whether to substitute another number for 3.01, Prof. Dillon noted that fewer people would have to do the appraisal, but that would not change the number relative to Post-Tenure Review.

Prof. Livesey suggested that the Faculty Handbook be modified in a more general way. Section 3.11.1 would be revised to add the heading "Annual Review" after the first sentence and the language afterward would be numbered A new section called Post-Tenure Review would be added. He said this grew out of a comment made at the faculty forum. Specifics of annual evaluation are not in the Faculty Handbook. One option is to make the section on annual evaluation more specific. Another way is to adopt a more general Post-Tenure Review policy in the handbook and leave the implementation to a separate procedure subject to review by the Faculty Senate. He noted that the language in handbook section 2.8.1(i)(1-3) dealing with dean evaluations is also pretty general. When asked for clarification, Prof. Livesey said he was trying to distill some of the elements of the post-tenure review document into a more general policy. The document becomes detailed in a way we do not specify in annual review. Prof. Holmes said he would prefer that the policy be in the Faculty Handbook so it could not be amended on a whim. Prof. Livesey said he preferred that the document not be included in Faculty Handbook because it contains punitive language. Prof. Palmer said the senate had been told it is not meant to be punitive, yet the last section talks about sanctions. She suggested that the section be moved to the abrogation of tenure section of the handbook. Prof. Livesey said he was concerned about faculty protection. In annual evaluation, criteria are left to the units. His preference would be to leave Post-Tenure Review to the units. Prof. Holmes argued that it is left to the units because Post-Tenure Review for the punitive actions only clicks in if the numbers are less than 2.01. The Faculty Handbook is full of all kinds of nasty comments. Prof. Benson asked whether there was a difference in status between the Faculty Handbook and procedural policy. Does one require regents' approval or have more force? Prof. Dillon said she thought the Faculty Handbook was approved by the regents and was a form of a contract. Provost Mergler explained that there are sections that are regental, presidential, and provost level. Typically, we do not go into elaborate detail about how a policy is implemented. There is a general tendency not to put in the Faculty Handbook the implementation details, but there is no clear guideline on what is policy and what is implementation. Faculty may want more articulation on Post-Tenure Review. Prof. Benson asked whether there was a role for Faculty Senate in developing procedures that are not in the handbook. Prof. Mergler said she discusses any proposed changes with the Faculty Senate Chair, but no section in the Faculty Handbook alludes to that. Prof. Van Gundy said all the questions indicate that the issue should be tabled. Prof. Dillon asked Prof. Okediji if the University is more legally bound to the Faculty Handbook than to administrative procedures. Prof. Okediji replied that the Faculty Handbook reserves to the University the right to change policies. Administrative processes, because we are state employees, may give us some protection for purposes of a due process argument. But, neither one has a clear advantage in terms of employment security. Prof. Joyce moved to table further discussion of Prof. Livesey's proposal. The motion was approved on a voice vote.

Prof. Fung reintroduced his motion to amend 3.X.4(b) but to change the number to 2.01. Prof. Holmes suggested that the motion be delayed until next month. Prof. Okediji said she was concerned about reducing the number because if the document is going to have any legitimacy, then the number has to be 3.01, especially since self-appraisal is the heart of the process. If a significant number of faculty do not have to do it, you reduce this document to nothing. If we are facing external pressure, then the higher the number is, the more incentive we have to do better than satisfactory. Prof. Fung withdrew his motion and asked the senators to get input on this issue from their colleagues.

Prof. Patten commented that one of the interesting concepts that came out of the forum was the tie between criteria for evaluation and post-tenure review. If the criteria are not functioning well, then this whole process can go askew. He wondered what the mechanism was to assure that the process would work properly. Another senator added that we have a detailed policy for Post-Tenure Review but a wide variance in the evaluation processes, yet one depends on the other.

Prof. Beasley said he still was concerned about why are we doing this. He liked the idea of keeping it short and sweet. Prof. Dillon explained that a year or so ago, the Governor appointed a commission; and one of its recommendations was to eliminate tenure, although it has since backed off from that. There are calls from our board of regents to eliminate tenure. In Texas, a Post-Tenure Review was imposed by the legislature. Provost Mergler added that faculty accountability is a national trend that will come to Oklahoma. The deans' council and Faculty Senate Executive Committee thought the most prudent action was to put together a task force and proceed with a policy that fits our needs. Prof. Beasley said when he told his faculty that only one person would have gone through the development plan, they thought the legislature and regents would see through that. Provost Mergler said she has never been asked to produce to the public the average number for annual faculty evaluation. Prof. Friedrich pointed out that the review applies to everyone; it is just that only one or two individuals would have had to go through a professional development plan after two years. Prof. Beasley said that needs to be clarified. Prof. Hillyer asked for the names of the individuals who call for post-tenure review. Prof. Holmes said Regent Halverstadt calls for eliminating tenure.


The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m. The next regular session of the Senate will be held at 3:30p.m. on Monday, December 8, 1997, in Jacobson Faculty Hall 102.


Trent Gabert, Secretary


Sonya Fallgatter, Administrative Coordinator


11/97 (Appendix I)

Sections of Post-Tenure Review Policy Amended 11-10-97 by Faculty Senate

Proposed Addition to the Norman Campus Faculty Handbook Section 3

3.X.1 Purpose - Fourth Paragraph

The University's policies and procedures are intended to be consistent with the AAUP's Standards for Good Practice in Post-Tenure Review, which are included as part of this policy. Post-tenure review is not a reevaluation of a faculty member's tenure status, nor is it intended as means to effect programmatic change. The post-tenure review process must be carried out in a manner that is consistent with the University's policies on academic freedom and responsibility (Section 3.2 of the Faculty Handbook) and on faculty evaluation (Section 3.11 of the Faculty Handbook). Post-tenure review must be based on the criteria for annual review approved for established by the faculty member's unit(s) of the unit and approved by the administration.

3.X.8 Sanctions

Failure of the faculty member to meet the goals specified in the plan and to bring his or her performance up to the level expected may lead to the initiation of the Abrogation of Tenure process as outlined in Section 3.8 of the Faculty Handbook. The results of the professional development plan shall be relevant evidence in such a proceeding. In tenure abrogation proceedings, the University retains the burden of persuasion to show sustained failure to meet institutional and professional expectations or other just cause of dismissal.

Alternative actions, such as resignation or retirement from the University, may be negotiated and implemented with approval of the budget dean(s) and the Senior Vice President and Provost.

AAUP Standards for Good Practice in Post-Tenure Review

(See Appendix of Draft 4.1.)

Proposed Addition to the Norman Campus Faculty Handbook Section 3.9.1 (i)(6)

In abrogation of tenure hearings, the University has the burden of persuasion to establish sustained failure to perform or other just cause of dismissal.