Responses to Proposed Policy Memorandum Changes

Policy Memo I-15 - Authorization to Approve Personnel Actions.

This is a new policy that delegates authority on campus for personnel actions. My only concern is that it delegates the authority to demote to the Provost. I would assume that this does not violate any of the due process procedures available to the faculty under our present bylaws.

Policy Memo I-26 - UMR Salary Increase Distribution Policy

One definite concern, however, is the rationale for the discontinuance of the I-26 policy on "UMR Salary Increase Distribution". This has the potential to be quite significant! No rationale for discontinuance was provided.

Policy Memo I-27 - Affirmative Action

There is a typo in the paragraph beginning with "Affirmative action means..." In the later part of that paragraph, I believe "sec" should be replaced by "sex" in the document's description of the nondiscrimination policy.

Policy Memos I-29 and I-29a - Sexual or Racial Harassment

With regard to I-29, the only change proposed is in making the Affirmative Action Officer responsible for enforcing this policy rather than the previous listing of "administrators, deans, directors, department chairs, and supervisors". This change seems appropriate and in no way weakens the enforcement because the Affirmative Action Officer is responsible for informing and encouraging all employees to be familiar with the policy. There is no conflict with the Bylaws or other rules because of this change (at least no conflict of which I am aware).

With regard to I-29a, changes to the first paragraph appear to be aimed at simply requiring "all employees" to successfully complete the computer certification - previously the policy required that each hiring unit designate certain employees that must complete the certification. This change seems appropriate but, in my opinion, the wording of the proposed changes is a bit confusing and hard to read. I respectfully propose that the first few lines of paragraph one read as follows:
It is the policy of the University of Missouri-Rolla that all employees are required to successfully complete the Preventing Sexual Harassment interactive computer training. In this regard, each division will inform all employees of the sexual harassment prevention certification compliance requirement within three (3) days of being hired. Additionally, each division will provide the Affirmative Action Officer with a departmental listing of division employees semi-annually, on September 15 and January 30 of each calendar year. Employees may electronically access the Preventing Sexual Harassment interactive computer program at ..

Again, as in Policy memorandum I-29, the responsibility for this policy is changed to the Affirmative Action Officer.

Policy Memo II-10 - Qualifications for Professional Academic Ranks

The changes made to Qualifications for Professional Academic Ranks (II-10) do not appear to be substantive. The only change that may alarm some is that the wording is such to indicate a "normal" review period as being 6 years at a particular rank. Information regarding early review has been removed. I don't see this as a problem, since early review is not the norm.

Policy Memo II-11 - Appointments to Named or Endowed Positions

Relative to other proposed Policy Memoranda changes, the following comments are provided. II-11.B.1 and 4 changes are of concern. It is a significant change in the department responsibilities.

Policy Memo II-13 - Extra Compensation

II-13.5 is of concern. There is reason to suspect that a full time administrator has been getting extra compensation for teaching when it is denied faculty. There should be consistency in policy between the two categories. II-13.10 allows for up 1/8th extra compensation for teaching a 3 credit hour course and II-14 only allows 1/10 extra compensation for teaching a 3 credit hour course in the summer-BAD policy!

I do not believe that Department Chairs should get Extra Compensation. Therefore, I agree with deleting the Interoffice Memorandum on Extra Compensation for Department Chairs date October 18, 1995. It is not clear that Department Chairs are classified as full-time administrators (see item #4). A statement that Department Chairs are not eligible for extra compensation needs to be added. In the revision of item #5, a maximum compensation of 10% should be added. In items #15, 16, and 17, the amount of $500 should be replaced by $1000.

Policy Memo II-14 - Summer Period Compensation

I do not believe that teaching should be compensated at a different rate than research. Therefore, I would recommend that the one-tenth (1/10) limit be replaced by one-ninth (1/9) in items #5, #6, #7, and #10, and that the one-fifth (1/5) limit be replaced by three-ninths (3/9) in item #7. Likewise, the three-tenths (3/10) limit should be placed by three-ninths (3/9) in item #10.

I'm more concerned with the changes to Summer Period Compensation (II-14) since the document is very vague as to what is considered appropriate compensation, which means that a chairman could request that a faculty member teach a Summer course at substantially reduced rates. The previous document clearly stated that a 3 hour lecture course taught in the Summer session was to be compensated at a rate of 1/10 the 9 month salary. The document now states that it shall not exceed the 1/10 value. Thus, anything from 0 to the 1/10 is allowed. Perhaps we need this flexibility, but this may also lead to abuse of the faculty and reduce the ability of the faculty to negotiate for fair compensation.

Policy Memo II-17 - Consulting

It is difficult to adequately respond because I am unaware of the basis or justification for the proposal to delete the policy. Therefore my comments will focus on my experiences. As a teacher the opportunity to engage in consulting has been invaluable. The teaching of engineering is not simply presenting material from a text. The effective teaching of engineering involves relating the text material to the "real world". To effectively prepare my students to practice engineering I need to understand the state-of-the-art, and I can only gain an understanding for the state-of-the-art if I interact with engineering design community. In the December 2002 Prism, John Stuart discusses the need for universities to work with industry to prepare students to become successful practicing engineers. He states that one of the most important issues facing engineering schools is the increasing expectation that universities deliver "workforce ready" students. As an educator, I can not meet this expectation if I do not understand the practice of engineering. The opportunity to engage in consulting helps prepare me to help the student become "workforce ready".

Policy Memo II-18- Interim Policy for Video and/or Distance Learning Load and Compensation Determination

The Curators approved revisions to 100.030 (Copyright Regulations) of the Collected Rules and Regulations in September 27, 2002. The revised 100.030 does not specifically talk to Video and/or Distance Learning Load and Compensation nor does the extra compensation and work load II-13 Policy Memoranda talk specifically to this issue. It would be my recommendation that Policy Memoranda II-16 should be rewritten consistent with the 100.030 and other Policy Memoranda dealing with extra compensation. There is a real need for policy in the specific area of video and distance learning load and compensation to insure appropriate consistency.

Policy Memo II-19 - Policy for Graduate Students Holding Nationally Awarded Fellowship

II-19 is probably designed to increase income by collecting funds that were potentially available to us but we lost due to previous wording. It is conceivable that it could be used to reduce the funds available to a student but I doubt that would actually happen since the student would probably not come here if that were the case.

Policy Memo II-70 - Academic Dean Search Procedure

The Proposed Policy Memorandum II-70 is in conflict with the existing Faculty Bylaws concerning both the Chairperson and Dean Search Committees.

The Faculty Bylaws address the search for a Chairperson in Section D.1.a(3). The proposed policy is at odds with the existing bylaws concerning the following items:
1) In the existing bylaws, search committees are elected by departmental faculty; in the proposed policy, department faculty nominate candidates for the committee and the dean selects a subset of those nominated.
2) In the existing bylaws, search committees are composed entirely of departmental faculty; in the proposed policy, the dean may appoint faculty from other departments and an alumnus/ae and/or prominent citizen.
3) In the existing bylaws, candidates must be approved by a majority vote of the departmental faculty; in the proposed policy, the requirement is missing.

The Faculty Bylaws address the search for a Dean in Section D.2.a(2). Again, the proposed policy is in conflict with the existing bylaws concerning the following items:
1) In the existing bylaws, the Chancellor selects the new dean after formal consultation with a committee elected from and by the school or college faculty; in the proposed policy, a search committee is appointed by the Provost from a list of people nominated by the departments.
2) In the existing bylaws, the search committee is all faculty; in the proposed policy, the search committee may have an alumnus/ae and/or prominent citizen.

I would request you revise or eliminate these items of the proposed policy.