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Faculty Senate Meeting Summary 5/2/24; Promotion and Tenure Legislation

Faculty Senate Meeting Summary 5/2/24; Promotion and Tenure Legislation

Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing with a report on the Senate meeting held on 5/2/24. As always, full text of remarks and reports can be found on the agenda. Of particular and timely note is revised Class A legislation on promotion and tenure (see below), which will be discussed at a special meeting on 5/14. Senators have received a document explaining the legislation and recent changes: please engage them with any questions or concerns before the vote on 5/14.

Senate Chair’s Remarks:

Chair Dougherty gave updates on many initiatives, including: the faculty wellbeing survey has closed with over 800 responses, and results will be presented in the 5/30 Senate meeting. The dispute resolution taskforce is finalizing new suggested processes intended to problem-solve before “25-71” disciplinary procedures. Recent listening sessions with Sally Clark (Vice President, Campus Community Safety) on faculty safety across our three campuses are summarized in the slides in Exhibit L. There will be a webinar with Pen America providing tools for “robust conversations in the classroom”, held on 5/16 from 12:00-1:00.

UW President’s Remarks:

President Cauce shared thoughts on the Palestine liberated zone on campus, recognizing the protestors’ commitment and pain, and their free speech rights. She spoke to the complexity of financial divestment demands, and indicated that prohibiting members of the UW community from scholarly partnerships with Israel would violate academic freedom. She urged faculty who might be working with students in the movement to help them stay safe.

Election Results:

The following colleagues will serve in Senate leadership roles in 2024-25: Professor Aarti Bhat as Vice Chair of the Senate; Professor Jacob Vigdor as Faculty Legislative Representative; Professor Amanda Kost as Deputy Faculty Legislative Representative.

The Senate Executive Committee considered four nominees for Secretary of the Faculty, to serve from 2024-29. One name was forwarded to the Senate, who will confirm by vote.

Unfinished and New Business.

Class B Legislation– Registration Priority: Class B legislation on registration (first Senate consideration on 4/11) was disapproved by the President, whose letter is in the agenda.

Class B Legislation – Majors: The Senate passed legislation to migrate academic major criteria into Scholastic Regulations, with the understanding that this is just a first step to codification. The legislation will be distributed to faculty in a Class B Bulletin.

Class A legislation – Transparency in Retention Raises. Senators gave second consideration to this legislation, addressing presidential concerns around units’ rights to determine their own policy. A version was passed that reaffirmed these rights, and sought to balance transparency with privacy in retention offers. It will be distributed for a full faculty vote.

  • Class A Legislation – Expanding Candidates’ Rights in the Promotion Process. Senators gave second consideration to this legislation that would increase candidates’ rights to see, and in some cases respond to, documents gathered for their promotion files. There was Presidential concern on the initial legislation mostly related to impacts on timeline. The Senate Executive Committee presented the Senate with hypothetical amendments to address these concerns. Discussion in the Senate quickly revealed that both the SEC alternative proposal and the original Senate legislation would need to be fine-tuned in order to receive Presidential approval. Rather than attempt to fine-tune in real time at that meeting, the Senate voted to refer the legislation to FCFA (Faculty Council on Faculty Affairs) allowing time to think carefully and choose the right words. FCFA now have a revised proposal which has been sent to senators and will be discussed on 5/14.
  • Class A Legislation – Voting Timelines. The Senate passed this non-controversial change to the Code that helps steer legislation through the pipeline by June 15th each year, and exempts breaks from voting timelines.

Faculty Senate business is always most impacted at the end of the year, as councils move legislation they’ve been working on during the year, and we acknowledge that it feels like a lot all at once. I hope these updates help, although they do not replace full, formal minutes. Please reach out with any questions.


Louisa Mackenzie, Vice Chair, Faculty Senate