on Committee A
Academic Appointments Policy
The year now ending has been marked by concern about the direction in which
the Bloomington campus is headed and the significance of the near-total
administrative transition that is underway.
To give voice to faculty views on these matters, the Bloomington AAUP
devoted its Spring Forum, held on January 30, to consideration of these
issues. Three colleagues initiated the discussion: Vic Viola
(Chemistry and Physics), Jeff Wasserstrom (History), and Don Gray (English). About
100 others joined the forum in the Law School Moot Court Room.
The initial themes addressed by
speakers included Bloomington’s disappointing position in this year’s
national rankings, growing divisions on campus, both generational and
disciplinary, and the effects on campus community of basic trends concerning
hiring, tenure, and faculty participation on the campus level.
Vic Viola focused on the issue of
rankings, and highlighted the gaps between our reputation, which remains very
strong, and persistent and growing problems that threaten to diminish that
reputation in the future. Among the problems Vic pointed to were, in the
research area, sharply declining federal grant funds, relative to inflation, and
a substantial net loss in prominent senior faculty; in the teaching area, Vic
pointed to high numbers of large classes and a student body SAT profile about
100 points lower than top-ten ranked public institutions, which would make this
campus seem far less attractive to outstanding potential applicants and their
parents. More generally, Vic noted that while state dollars to IU,
adjusted for inflation have not been declining, central administration
assessments on units to cover administrative and non-instructional service costs
have increased to the point where units are in deficit before the first student
enrolls. Vic also pointed to Bloomington’s unfavorable salary scale
for junior colleagues, relative to Big Ten institutions, and contrasted this,
and the low salary increments of recent years, with unusually high increments
for upper level administrators this past year.
Comments during and after Vic’s presentation
noted that Bloomington’s disappointing ranking in some key areas may be a
product of its unique profile as a campus with great strength in arts and
humanities, but without medical or engineering schools, units which typically
have large positive impacts on research funding and salaries.
Other points included the argument that central administration assessments on
units include substantial funds for tuition discounts designed to attract
out-of-state students, ultimately increasing unit tuition revenues.
High out-of-state enrollments may be a significant indicator that
Bloomington’s national reputation continues to be a strong draw for potential
applicants and their families.
On issues of salary and faculty raiding, it was noted that part of the
reason for low salary increments is aggressive retention offers to prevent the
loss of outstanding colleagues.
Jeff Wasserstrom, who came to Bloomington in 1991, noted that since he has
been here there has not been a single year where average salary increments
were significantly in excess of inflation; a “merit increase,” even for very
productive faculty, has come to mean little more than breaking even.
Moving up in salary has become tied to outside offers and negotiated
retention, at the cost of salary funds available for colleagues who do not
seek or receive outside offers.
This pattern reinforces a growing tendency in academics towards
individualistic professionalism and free agent attitudes, which undermines
loyalty to the institution and campus community, even for those who are
persuaded to remain, and creates sharp divisions among faculty.
Another area of division, increasingly important in Bloomington, is the
division between the pre-1989 “18/20 generation” and those who arrived on
campus too late to participate in the legacy of Herman B Wells’s policy of
To the degree that the security provided by 18/20 reinforced a
strong existing sense of campus community, that sense of community is weaker
for an increasing sector of the faculty.
Jeff went on to point to other sources of campus division, such as the
tendency of RCM to create or widen divisions between units.
Now that the living symbol of Herman Wells is not present on campus, it
will be much harder to encourage junior colleagues, who are
“professionalized” in their disciplines at increasingly early stages of
their graduate careers, to see the rewards of collegial participation on the
Don Gray came to Bloomington in 1956. He
contrasted the campus now with its features in the heart of the Wells era,
when faculty shared cramped offices with no amenities, taught four classes a
term to students passing minimal admissions standards, and earned truly meager
Despite these factors, the campus was entering an era of enormous
growth in student numbers and federal funding, and faculty were optimistic and
devoted to the community. Plenary faculty meetings on campus
issues were not uncommon; they were well attended and intellectually
substantive. Don pointed to some specific decisions – not
necessarily unwise – that are part of the background of the weaker sense of
community today, such as the decision to halve teaching loads and so double
Most central has been the change in tenure standards.
Where standards were once flexible, there is now less of a sense that
there are many ways to contribute to a campus like Bloomington.
The extreme difficulty of earning tenure leads us to protect our junior
colleagues by keeping them isolated from full campus participation, a type of
prolongation of graduate school. After ten or twelve years of
taking care of themselves, how reasonable is it to expect colleagues to be
ready and anxious to join a conversation about the campus? These
processes have contributed to a faculty “back on our heels,” overmastered by
the complexity of the challenges that face us in guiding the direction of the
campus. In restoring a campus space for faculty interaction and
discussion, Don stressed the important role of the AAUP, as the only
campuswide professional organization, and one that keeps in view that fact
that academics do many things, and are not simply researchers or teachers, or
The long and active discussion that followed responded to the
ideas of the speakers and also introduced new issues. A number of
colleagues questioned the current effectiveness of faculty governance, both the
Bloomington Faculty Council and BFC committees.
Others pointed out that if governance is weak, we are responsible for
that situation; the administration in Bloomington has a strong record of
responsiveness to faculty governance policies and decisions.
A number of comments focused on the need to create more forums for
campuswide debate among faculty and between faculty and administrators, whether
through a strengthened faculty senate, or through faculty meetings on key
issues. The fact that decisive initiatives, such as the
establishment of Informatics, have passed without such campuswide debate,
indicates that we have allowed campus divisions and increasing pressures of
research and teaching to loosen our engagement in the campus community for which
we are responsible.
Without a conscious effort to guide junior colleagues to do a better
job of rebuilding campus community than we have so far done, we are unlikely
to reverse these trends and prevent the complex issues we face from
Bob Eno, EALC
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on Committee A
advice and support to faculty with grievances that raise issues of academic
freedom and due process is one of AAUP-IUB's most important functions.
Committee A, the Committee on Academic Freedom, is the organ of the chapter
Executive Committee responsible for this task.
This has been a busy year for our Committee A; the number of
colleagues asking for assistance this year prompted us to add a third member
to the committee. The increase in faculty coming to Committee A for assistance
may be both a cause and an effect of our chapter's increased membership and
visibility. Our general approach has been to help colleagues
explore options for formal or informal mediation as a first path, and help
guide them through the often complex and stressful procedures of appeal, in
the event that administrative action makes that necessary.
In acting as advocates in appeal contexts, Committee A
protects structures essential to academic freedom by monitoring full
implementation of due process for faculty. Due process procedures are
important for fairness, and also for requiring administrators to account for
Our consistent monitoring of due process ensures that administrators
and departments will be less likely to take action against faculty on pretext
of misconduct where the motivation may really be the faculty member's
expression of views protected by academic freedom.
Committee A’s regular role in these matters establishes a safeguard
that benefits all members of the university.
Among the interesting and important issues that have arisen
in this year's cases are appropriate processes for handling misconduct charges
that arise in the context of promotion and tenure cases and the process due to
faculty in salary grievances. The chapter leadership is
interested in pursuing these sorts of matters beyond the specific cases, to
determine whether these experiences may allow us to help develop better
procedures or find ways to implement existing procedures that better protect
academic freedom. Our
role in an Associate Instructor's grievance last year has led, through the
efforts of colleagues in faculty governance, to proposals currently before the
BFC for improved standards for managing AI employment and grievances.
general, for better and worse, we observe that, while the new Bloomington
faculty misconduct procedures have yet to be formally invoked, they are in
mind and influencing behavior of faculty and departments as they manage the
grievances they have against each other.
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Policy Governing Academic Appointments
The University Faculty Council has
approved revisions in the policy governing academic appointments, with
particular attention to the structure of non-tenure-track faculty
appointments. The policy statement has been strongly recommended to the
Trustees by President Brand, and approved by the University Policies
Committee. It is
expected that the Trustees will act on the policy at their May meeting.
This is the culmination of five to six
years of work in the faculty affairs committees of the various faculty
councils. Bill Burgan led the efforts in the early years and Ed Greenebaum has
been instrumental in developing the current policy statement.
We are very fortunate to have colleagues such as these.
The main focus of the work has been to
create a home within the faculty classifications for those whose activities
are focused on teaching and service. This is done by creating a
classification and developing regulations for appointees in a lecturer
category, who would have access to long-term contracts following a
probationary period. The policy
also extends academic freedom protection to lecturers.
The policy requires faculty in each
school to specify the minimum percentage of tenured and tenure-eligible
faculty allowable on an FTE basis. This is a substitute for the
“cap” feature of the current clinical appointee policy. Irrespective
of this specification, in units where clinical and/or lecturer appointees
participate in faculty governance, the tenure-track faculty must retain at
least 60% of the voting weight.
In many ways, the clinical and lecturer
classifications are parallel, both focused on instructional and service
Given this, it is expected that units will make appropriate choices
when filling non-tenure-track faculty lines, reserving clinical appointments
for those cases where work is “primarily in the clinical setting”.
At present it seems that a number of the clinical appointments on the
Bloomington campus are questionable from this point of view.
final version of the policy should soon be posted on the University Faculty
Council website, at http://www.indiana.edu/~ufc.
Ted Miller, SPEA
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Members of AAUP chapters from five IU campuses
convened at the April meeting of the Indiana AAUP State Conference. Representatives
from IUPUI, Bloomington, IU-East, IU-Northwest, and IU-South Bend shared views
on a number of issues that have impact on membership across IU campuses. The
principal items concerned the still incomplete process of revising campus
provisions for faculty misconduct or post-tenure review and the draft IU
strategic plan for distributed education.
Post-tenure review issues remain unresolved on many campuses.
Currently, only Bloomington and IUPUI have adopted procedures that have
been approved by the Board of Trustees, and discussion focused on campus
specific issues that have delayed this process elsewhere.
The impact of distributed education will affect all our campuses, with profound
implications for matters of workload, compensation, intellectual property
rights, all with impact on our academic mission and issues of academic freedom. As the new
Office of Distributed Education’s planning document approaches Trustee
consideration, faculty on all campuses need to intensify their scrutiny of DE
decisions and decision making.
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