Approved by the: Faculty Senate - February 24, 2011
Administration - no action required*
Board of Regents - no action required
* I appreciate the dedication and commitment that our faculty and staff demonstrate through their active participation in governance and wholly support their participation in these activities. I will ask Vice President Kathryn Brown to encourage all managers and supervisors to consider and recognize that participation in governance committees and activities is included in annual reviews of performance.


Joint Resolution on Faculty Support for Inclusion of University Governance Activities in P&A and CS Annual Reviews


Professional and Administrative (P&A) and Civil Service (CS) staff play an important role in University governance through their service on Senate committees, participation as representatives to either the Council of Academic Professionals and Administrators (CAPA) or the Civil Service Committee (CSC), and the University Senate, as well as service within their own units or colleges.

CAPA, CSC, and the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs (SCFA) believe this involvement is a valuable component of the overall governance structure and wish to acknowledge this service. Contributions by these staff provide perspectives unique to their employee group and help ensure that governance continues to encompass a broad-based, University-wide perspective. This resolution further endorses the July, 2009 policy on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, Section II, which provides for the freedom "to speak or write without institutional discipline or restraint on matters of public concern as well as on matters related to professional duties and the functioning of the University."

Therefore, CAPA, CSC and the Faculty Senate urge faculty and administrators actively to encourage and support reasonable levels of such activities by their staff members. Support for participation in governance activities includes allowing staff to take time from their responsibilities to attend meetings and serve on committees free of concern that such activities will have an adverse impact on their annual performance reviews. Further, we strongly recommend that faculty members and administrators responsible for annual performance reviews take steps to ensure such activities are included in those reviews so that staff willingness to serve in support of the University's governance and mission is noted. Support for and recognition of these activities, included in the faculty review process, should be extended to P&A and CS staff as well.


COMMENT:

The Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs and the Faculty Consultative Committee have both considered this resolution since last year and, while we endorsed the sentiments the resolution expresses, we were concerned about staff who are paid 100% time on sponsored funds. In theory, these staff members are not eligible to participate in governance (or any non-sponsored project activities). We believe, however, that this represents a separate issue. Therefore both committees endorse this statement unanimously. We believe that the participation of our staff colleagues enhances the efficacy of the University's governance system and we warmly welcome their contributions to the discussions of senate committees and the senate, and through other institutional consultative mechanisms.

We have asked Associate Vice President Pamela Webb to consider whether the "de minimis" rule that applies to faculty members who are paid 100% on grants might also apply to staff, so that attendance at a committee meeting for 2-3 hours per month would not be considered a violation of federal rules. As an alternative, we ask that units with staff who are paid 100% time on sponsored funds consider providing a minimal amount of non-sponsored funds to allow participation in University governance by these staff.

We are aware that in some units there may be reluctance on the part of supervisors, or of faculty members who supervise P&A and Civil Service staff, to grant time for participation in governance. We urge unit leadership, faculty, and supervisors to consider the benefits of staff participation in governance activities, as well as the strong endorsement given by President Bruininks and these committees. We ask that they support such participation and that it be given due credit in the performance reviews of the staff who do participate.

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