Faculty Senate Proposal

At our last meeting of the semester, the task force settled on the language below as our proposal for expanding the faculty representation within and faculty eligibility for the Faculty Senate.  The basic shifts are as follows:

  • Departmental size should be determined by the full-time equivalents (FTEs) of all faculty in each department or unit.
  • The faculty eligible to serve on the Senate should be any faculty members (still excepting some administrators) who have been on faculty at the university and have been benefits-eligible for the full prior academic year.

To compare the proposed language below to the current Constitution and Bylaws, please see those respective links.


Constitution

ARTICLE III: ORGANIZATION

Section 1.

The Senate membership shall be limited to faculty who qualify as Eligible Faculty. Eligible Faculty as used in this Constitution shall mean faculty employees of the University of Mississippi (excluding UMMC) on a tenure line or on one of these tracks: instructor/lecturer; clinical, instructional, or of practice; adjunct; visiting; or research. Excepted from Eligible Faculty are assistant or associate deans, deans, assistant or associate provosts, the Provost, vice chancellors, the Chancellor, or those holding other administrative positions outside of the academic departments or the libraries. Eligible Faculty must have been on the faculty at the University of Mississippi and have been benefits-eligible for the full current academic year.

Section 2.

The membership quota of the Senate shall consist of a minimum of one senator elected by each of the departments in the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Accountancy, the School of Applied Sciences, the School of Business Administration, the School of Education, the School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Pharmacy, the School of Journalism and New Media, the faculty of the University Libraries, and the Research faculty.  To account for variation in size of departments, additional Senate seats will be allocated based on full-time equivalents (FTEs) of the full faculty as follows: departments will receive an extra seat for each full standard deviation above the institutional mean FTE.  


Bylaws

ARTICLE III: ORGANIZATION

Section 1. Eligible Faculty

(a) Faculty employees of the University of Mississippi (excluding UMMC) on a tenure line or on one of these tracks: instructor/lecturer; clinical, instructional, or of practice; adjunct; visiting; or research.

(b) The definition of Eligible Faculty does not include the following:

Assistant or associate deans, deans, assistant and associate provosts, the Provost, vice chancellors, the Chancellor, or those holding other administrative positions outside of the academic departments or the libraries.

(c) Must have been on the faculty at the University of Mississippi and have been benefits-eligible for the full current academic year.

Section 2. Membership Quota

(a) References to the colleges and schools in the Constitution have been interpreted regularly to include the colleges and schools in which faculty are budgeted and thus do not include the Graduate School or General Studies.

(b) Senate representation will be determined by a census of the full faculty (listed by departmental affiliation) based on full-time equivalencies (FTEs) prepared by the Office of Institutional Research and submitted to the Executive Committee of the Senate by March 1 of each year. Using this data to derive the statistical mean for department size and the standard deviation from this mean, the Executive Committee will determine Senate representation by department (or other electing unit) for the following academic year, and by April 1 will notify each department (or other electing unit) of the number of Senate seats allotted to that department or unit for the following year.

Fall 2017 Information Sessions

The Task Force for NTTF & Shared Governance recently held 5 Information Sessions to share our work with the larger university community:

  • September 6, 2pm, Fulton Chapel
  • September 7, 4pm, Lamar 129
  • September 11, 12pm, Lamar 323
  • September 11, 4pm, Lamar 132
  • September 15, 12pm, Lamar 323

Thank you to those of you attended one of those sessions — either in person or remotely.

One of the repeated requests at those sessions was for a public website where information about our work could be collected and located, so we have created this site via our Edblogs@UM platform.

If you could not attend a session but would like more information about our founding, our research, and our goals, you can view the Prezi presentation from those sessions.  You will also find a number of links on this website that might be helpful:

If you are interested in joining the Task Force, please see our Meetings page.

Signatures Requested: Statement on Non-Tenure-Track Faculty and Shared Governance

The statement below was collaboratively drafted by two tenure-line faculty members and a member of the Task Force for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty & Shared Governance.

If you are a faculty member — of any rank or position: tenure- or non-tenure-line, full- or part-time — at the University of Mississippi and would like to add your signature to the statement, please fill out this Google Form.

If you don’t have a Google account, which is required to fill out that Form, you can email your full name, title, and department (or unit) to the Task Force Chair.


Statement on Non-Tenure-Track Faculty and Shared Governance

We are calling on tenured and tenure-track faculty (T/TTF) at the University of Mississippi to use their relative positions of power to actively support their non-tenure-track faculty (NTTF) colleagues who are advocating for full representation in the Faculty Senate. To do so means listening to, collaborating with, and amplifying the voices of NTTF faculty in our own departments and across campus, including the Task Force for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty and Shared Governance (formed in September 2016).

There are roughly 600 NTTF members at our university. Faculty Senate seats are currently allocated based solely on departmental T/TTF numbers, and NTTF are explicitly excluded from serving on that body. NTTF are thus the only people at the university who do not have access to shared governance.

While the university’s core values statement highlights promoting “inclusiveness in its student body, faculty, and staff,” fostering “a civil community of shared governance,” and honoring “the dignity of all employees,” the current exclusion of NTTF members from shared governance undercuts our ability to live up to our mission.

Nationally, about 70% of university faculty are in contingent positions. Our ratio is more balanced: NTTF and T/TTF each comprise approximately half of our academic personnel, though NTTF teach nearly 60% of the student credit hours on our Oxford, Jackson, and regional campuses. While we all share serious concerns about the eroding of tenure lines on national and local levels, the existence of NTTF at our university is our reality. Ignoring our NTTF — in terms of both their talents and their concerns — does not change that reality and only reifies their isolation and maltreatment.

Our continued exclusion of NTTF from shared governance also runs counter to our peer institutions: currently, 88% of public R1 universities include NTTF in some way in shared governance. Furthermore, the scholarship on shared governance is clear: a single, unified body that incorporates all faculty equally, including both tenure- and non-tenure-line and full- and part-time faculty, results in not only a stronger shared governance body with an established, united voice but also the dissolution of departmental and status-based silos that proliferate across universities.

The Faculty Senate recently heard a proposal from the Task Force for full inclusion of NTTF in its body. The comments offered in response to this proposal at the January meeting came from a small percentage of the Senators but were overwhelmingly negative. Additionally, the Senate’s current plan for drafting a resolution unequivocally removes part-time faculty from all considerations and appears to suspend substantive input from NTTF about their own university lives.

We believe that a truly united faculty body makes us a stronger faculty body. When we fail to practice genuinely shared governance, we undermine university values, exacerbate inequities that affect NTTF disproportionately, and render invisible the labor and talents of half our faculty members. Moreover, we should strive for a more civil and fair workplace for everyone at our university, especially our most vulnerable colleagues. We accordingly call on T/TTF, especially, to use their status to work towards the common good.

Studies have consistently demonstrated that faculty working conditions are student learning conditions; in particular, contingent faculty members’ poor working conditions negatively affect student retention and completion rates. We therefore hope that T/TTF across our university will rally to support the full inclusion of NTTF in a unified Faculty Senate. A step towards improving NTTF working conditions is a step towards living up to our highest principles.

The Undersigned University of Mississippi Faculty Members


Again, if you are a faculty member — of any rank or position — at the University of Mississippi and would like to add your signature to the statement, please fill out this Google Form.