USC Faculty Meeting
May 1994


GENERAL FACULTY MEETING
May 3, 1994

The meeting was called to order in the Law School Auditorium at 2 PM by
President Palms.

I. Correction and Approval of the Minutes.

The minutes of the Sept. 1, 1993 faculty meeting were approved as submitted with the correction of the meeting location to Belk Auditorium.

IIA. President Palms

The President made comments on the following topics:
  1. Faculty were urged to attend some of the many commencement exercises (2 undergraduate, graduate, law, and medicine). This term, for the first time, we are having a separate ceremony with hooding for the doctoral degrees.
  2. The committee on Sexual Harassment will submit their system policy on May 4.
  3. The budget process continues at the State House. At present, there is a 3.5% merit increase to start October 1.
  4. All faculty who have been identified by statistical analysis as being affected by the salary equity study should have received letters by now. In response to a question by Margit Resch (GSO), the President stated that the letters simply identified them as people whose current salary cannot be explained by their time at the University. This is primarily a racial and gender equity issue. The final report is expected by the end of May. Charles Mack (ARTH) asked for the source of the money needed to solve this problem. The President responded that the cost will be split between the deans and the administration. It may have impact on merit increases in those units.

IIB. Provost Moeser

The Provost announced the following emeritus citations:
Dean Emeritus 
                William A Mould, South Carolina Honors College
                George M. Reeves, Dean of the Graduate School
Distinguished Professor Emerita 
                Joan M. Altekruse, School of Medicine
                Louise Peake, College of Humanities and Social Sciences - School of Music
Distinguished Professor Emeriti
                Elmer L. Amma, College of Science and Math - 
                 Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry
                O'Neal Barrett, Jr., School of Medicine
                Robert S. Bly, College of Science and Mathematics - 
                 Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry
                L. Neuman Connor, Jr., College of Engineering - 
                 Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
                Colgate W. Dargan, College of Science and Mathematics - Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
                James B. Ebersole, School of Medicine - Dept. of Family and Preventive Medicine
                Ronald D. Edge, College of Science and Mathematics - Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
                J. W. Faust, Jr., College of Engineering - 
                 Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
                Herbert H. Hand, College of Business Administration
                John L. Kimmey, College of Humanities and Social Sciences - Dept. of English 
                John E. King, College of Education - Dept. of Educational Leadership and Policies
                William A. Mould, College of Humanities and Social Sciences - Dept. of French and Classics
                John D. Mulhern, College of Education - Dept. of Educational Leadership
                Richard B. Pool, College of Engineering - Dept. of Civil Engineering
                Charles B. Poole, Jr., College of Science and Mathematics - Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
                George M. Reeves, College of Humanities and Social Sciences - Comparative Literature
                Ignas K. Skrupskelis, College of Humanities and Social Sciences - Dept. of Philosophy
                Truman H. Teed, College of Humanities and Social Sciences - Dept. of Art
                Norimitsu Watabe, College of Science and Mathematics - Dept. of Biological Sciences
                Oliver G. Wood, Jr., College of Business Administration
                T. Howard Woody, College of Humanities and Social Sciences - Dept. of Art
                Opal E. Brown, College of Nursing
                L. Shannon DuBose - College of Humanities and Social Sciences - Dept. of Philosophy
                Cheryl M. Luke, College of Business Administration
                Francis S. O'Tuel, College of Education - Dept. of Educational Psychology
                Lois J. Widing, College of Nursing
Professor Emeriti 
                Jack D. Ashley, College of Humanities and Social Sciences - Dept. of English
                William H. Castles, Jr., College of Humanities and Social Sciences - Dept. of English
                Edward Hayes, College of Education - Dept. of Educational Psychology
                Robert R. Roberts, College of Engineering - Dept. of Civil Engineering

The Provost then announced the following special awards for 
teaching or research:
Amoco Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award Gerald Nelson, Department of Germanic, Slavic, and Oriental Languages Michael Mungo Teaching Awards Cynthia Colbert, Department of Art Robert Coleman, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Georgia Cowart, School of Music Helen Dorpinghouse, College of Business Administration Sandra B. Frick Helms, College of Nursing. Educational Foundation Award for Research in Health Sciences Louis Terracio, School of Medicine - Department of Developmental Biology and Anatomy Educational Foundation Award for Research in Humanities and Social Sciences John Skvoretz, Department of Sociology Educational Foundation Award for Research Among Professional Schools Billy Kiker, College of Business Administration Educational Foundation Award for Research in Science and Engineering Douglas F. Williams, Department of Geological Sciences Educational Foundation Graduate Teaching Assistant Award Holly Bolick Thompson, College of Business Administration Russell Award for Research in Humanities and Social Sciences Carol Myers Scotton, Department of English Russell Award for Research in Science and Engineering Jerry Odom, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
The Provost also reported that most of the searches for deans were nearly complete and that three finalists for Registrar have been identified.

III. Reports of Committees

University Committee on Tenure and Promotion, Jean Wood, Chair:
At the request of the faculty, a full transcript of the following discussion has been provided to the UCTP.
Jean Wood gave the following introductory comments for the committee. The material is presented for comments.
There is no plan to act upon the proposals at this meeting.
Last fall the Provost met with the UCTP and some of the previous chairs to share with us some of his ideas about how the process could be improved and how some of the procedures might be changed on campus and some issues also about criteria in some departments. He asked the current UCTP members to join with him in whatever we felt we could about that process of change. The committee identified 3 areas that it had felt it had a history of addressing across time and would like to participate in recommending some changes in and those 3 areas are what are addressed in your materials. If you look at Attachment 1, you can see that they are: (1) the need for a general statement about university tenure and promotion criteria to be in the Faculty Manual. I have been through the promotion and tenure process at the University level now twice and inevitably it has come up at one time or another the issue about why there is no statement about what constitutes University tenure and promotion criteria that apply across units and the fact that on occasion faculty or even units have misinterpreted materials that are in the Faculty Manual as having to be statements about those criteria. So, what we did was to review a large number of materials and to propose the insertion then of a fairly lengthy statement. Seven paragraphs in which the 3 general criteria of teaching, scholarship, and service are addressed as the 3 criteria of main concern to all University faculty, knowing full well that within each unit the unit defines specifically how those will be formulated and what weights will be given to them. So those issues that are not the weights are only generally touched upon. For example, there is a statement about the expectation that a faculty member will demonstrate some competence in both teaching and in scholarship. However, that might be defined within the unit.
So what you have here is an introductory set of paragraphs and a statement about the meaning, if you will, of the 3 major criteria for all of us. We would like to recommend that this material be incorporated in the Faculty Manual under a revised heading, which currently reads "Tenure and Promotion Procedures" to include "Tenure and Promotion Criteria and Procedures." Now, at this time, I am presenting these to you so that you can raise questions and discuss these recommended changes. But I know that there is no plan to act upon that today. So I would be interested in whether you have any questions about the material that we have recommended be included in the Faculty Manual.
Robert Patterson (HIST) said that he did not feel that many departments had decided what constitutes a national or international reputation when the UCTP states "...move to the rank of professor should be accompanied by evidence of attainment of national or international stature in a field."

Faust Pauluzzi (SIP) pointed out that although the committee states that teaching, research, and service are all important for T&P, the service aspect is devaluated in the rest of the document with statements that teaching and research are the primary basis for T&P. He further stated that it was most important to know what the assignments of the UCTP are and what problems you are attempting to resolve with this document. Prof. Pauluzzi then asked what was meant by the UCTP guidelines when it states that evaluators should act with due deference to unit criteria and UCTP guidelines.

Jean Wood stated (while showing a copy of materials prepared by UCTP and distributed as a guideline for tenure and promotion):

What the committee does is in every case that comes before it is to judge whether first of all the unit criteria speak to the issue of quality or quantity of performance. And, we certainly always in our review of criteria or our suggestions to the unit try to encourage them to be clearer about statements in that regard, because it is at the unit level that those judgments are initially made. And, it is at the unit level that faculty and colleagues and administrators communicate all the way up the line what guidelines they have used to make those judgments. There are also some general guidelines in The Faculty Manual and in here about the assembling of materials. About what constitutes appropriate materials to be included or not to be included. And, that is all that was referring to. But the primary responsibility for those judgments begins with the unit. Because it is only at the unit level that people really have the expertise to make the judgments about quality. However, having said that, I think that the committee members would support me in saying that it is a problem if the unit has not made that clear. And, that when materials go forward, there is no clear statement of what were the bases for those judgments.
Nancy Lane (FREN) expressed concern that new appointments made at the rank of Professor should have criteria that coincide with criteria obtaining for people asking for promotion to the rank of full professor.

Charles Tucker (SOCY) suggested we look at the University of Illinois where the proposed criteria are in effect -- only grants count.

The President and the Provost have made it very clear to all of us that they have a number of interests that are expressed in this proposal. One of the problems, in their opinion, has been that the standards and criteria that are used for promotion and tenure here at the University apparently aren't very good. And, they should be changed. These suggestions were seen by the Faculty Advisory Committee and it is that group that should bring it to the faculty's attention. The UCTP does not have making proposals such as these as one of its duties. Prof. Tucker stated that it was clear to him what the proposals intend. They will change this institution from a bottom up structure to a top down structure. The UCTP will, in spite of what is stated in its proposals, become a super committee. They will decide who gets promoted and who gets tenure with the suggestions, input, advice, comments, recommendations (you can put it any way you want to) of the faculty. So this I think is a very, very important issue that the faculty should carefully consider.
Patrick Scott (ENGL) asked why the items previously listed in the Faculty Manual to be considered for promotion were deleted. Jean Wood responded that they were often taken as inclusive rather than examples. Each candidate should refer to its own unitŐs criteria for the factors to be considered.

Robert Felix (LAWS) suggested that deans and unit chairs be used to assure that there is full faculty discussion before changes such as these are considered by this body.

Jean Wood pointed out that we must consider the issue of retroactive application of T&P criteria.

As the statement in the Faculty Manual currently stands no change in tenure and promotion regulations will be made retroactively if it is disadvantageous to the faculty member and the interpretation that has been made and applied fairly consistently is that people who were hired can come up for tenure and promotion review in utilizing the criteria in place at the time of their hire even if that was 20 years ago, 25 years ago, or 30 years ago. We continue to see cases of people coming forward particularly for promotion where they are using criteria of that age. We would like to recommend to you, and you may find this wording unacceptable, but we would like to recommend to you a way to intervene in that so that people are constrained from using criteria of that age and are encouraged to maintain currency of their own career and come up for promotion and particularly for tenure under criteria that are more current. Now what we have encouraged, or what we have stated here, is a cut off line. That after January 1st you would be held accountable - not you - but the people hired after January 1st would be held accountable for the criteria in place at the time that they go for promotion or tenure.
I was meeting to orient new faculty who are going up for promotion this morning and people raise some legitimate questions about that. Does that mean then that you were hired 4 years ago and in that time the criteria were changed and then you would be expected to go up under those new criteria? The way this is stated, yes you would. So we need to take that into consideration. Each of you needs to think and discuss with your faculty about that. Whether that is an inappropriate constraint. I think that I, and I would certainly be more than willing to hear from other committee members, but I think that we believe that it is inappropriate for people to be coming up for promotion under criteria that we sometimes see 20, 25 years old. At that point, it is no longer possible to judge. Many of those criteria are so vague. They speak about interest in research or whatever. They are so vague as to make it almost impossible to make a judgment that is anything but biased.
Don Weatherbee (GINT) expressed concern for those faculty hired say four years ago who are now suddenly told that the conditions for T&P have now been changed. Robert Oakman (STAT and member of UCTP) pointed out that it clearly says that if you were hired this year as an assistant professor and your department changes its rule in 3 years you will be judged for your first promotion and tenure on the basis of the rules that apply here today. Not what is done in 3 years. However, if you were then given promotion in 5 or 6 years the new rules apply to you for the next promotion.

Following a discussion (garbled on our tapes) between Brian Fry of the FAC and the Provost, the Provost suggested that rather than sending this back to FAC before reconsideration by this body, that it go to the individual faculties for full discussion as suggested by Prof. Felix.

IV. Old Business: None

V. New Business:

Provost Moeser moved that the cap on the Provisional Year Program be raised by 100 students (to 350 maximum per year) for the next two years. After that time, the limit would return to the current 250 per year unless the faculty took other action.

This proposal was made for two reasons.

  1. It will help the finances of the University. The demographics of our enrollment indicates a loss of total enrollment for the next few years caused by larger than normal graduation rates.
  2. There are sufficient applicants to fill at least 60 of these openings without lowering the standards. This fallŐs class in the Provisional Year is already full.
Robert Patterson (LAWS) asked if this didnŐt carry the appearance of a lowering of standards. The Provost replied:
I think that is a valid question and I think it deserves a serious response. First I have already made the point that we are not talking about digging deeper into a pool into the quality of the students remaining in that pool. They have the same quality as the students who have been admitted already. The door has been shut strictly on an arbitrary basis of only 250 students. When I came to this university, I came with a high degree of skepticism about this program. Not knowing much about it I think I started out with an automatic bias against it thinking that it was a program of lower quality, admitting marginal students, and I will tell you I confessed my bias after the fact. Having been through the University Future Committee process. I was prepared to go after this program with a vengeance. Possibly eliminate it. As I have observed it and come to know it and learned more about it, I have become a strong supporter of it because I have seen its success rate. We take students who are academically qualified. We are not an open admissions institution as some in this state are. But there is a slightly different floor for this program than there is for the rest of the University. And, it is as you say Rob, a controlled program. We monitor these students carefully and the students who do not make it are out. I am quite impressed as a matter of fact with the rigor by which the Director of this program, who is here and can speak to the issue, weeds out students who do not perform. But the facts are that the students in this program persist at a higher rate than the average University student. They persist to graduation and they do quite well. So in my view the Provisional Year is one of the University's success stories. Maintaining a door to access. There is a third point that I want to make that I will use as a counter balancing argument. Not only are we talking about slightly enlarging this program. We are also enlarging the South Carolina Honors College by 25 students. There has been a lot of discussion about whether that is a good idea. But we also believe that we can grow at the top as well. I believe that we are not only maintaining we are improving the quality of the undergraduate life in this University. I wish we had time to talk about the things that we are doing. That we have in place with regard to beginning with Welcome Week in August and working through the Fall semester with regard to enriching the quality of the undergraduate experience at the University. But I can tell you that I am very proud of the initiatives that have been taken by a number of faculty in this University in that regard. So I am really confident that we are not compromising ourselves. We are on the right track but I believe that this is a moderated step that we can take to help mitigate against what is otherwise a difficult budgetary situation for us. It won't eliminate that gap but it will help us deal with it.
The question was called and approved. The motion was approved by the faculty.

VI. Good of the Order: None

The meeting was adjourned at 3:35 PM.