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Administrators on Senate Committees

U N I V E R S I T Y   O F   C A L I F O R N I A
 
 
OFFICE OF THE ACADEMIC SENATE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, MERCED
RULES and ELECTIONS
MARTHA CONKLIN, CHAIR
 
 
November 29, 2007
 
Formal Ruling
 
Divisional Council Chair Conklin requested a formal ruling on whether persons holding administrative appointments may serve as regular members of UC Merced Academic Senate committees. Additionally, Chair Conklin asks whether full- or part-time administrative appointments are treated in the same manner.
 
I. Academic Senate members with administrative appointments serving on Academic Senate committees.
 
Merced Bylaws do not prohibit appointment of academic administrators who hold Senate titles to Senate committees. Senate members include the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Provosts, Deans, Directors of academic programs, the chief admissions officer, Registrar, and University Librarian at Merced. In the absence of specific language in Merced Bylaws, there is nothing to prevent appointment of administrators to Senate committees. However, there are inherent conflicts of interest between the work of some Senate committees and the responsibilities of some administrative positions. For example, persons with administrative authority over merits and promotions should not be appointed to serve on the Committee on Academic Personnel, which is formed to advise the Chancellor on personnel matters. This restraint should apply to deans of schools and colleges who recommend faculty for appointment, merit, and promotion actions. Administrators with authority over discipline matters should not be appointed to serve on the Committee on Privilege and Tenure. Administrators with budget authority should not be appointed to serve on the Committee on Academic Planning and Resource Allocation. While these appointments are not expressly prohibited, the Committee on Committees should exercise care in appointing administrators to committees with these inherent conflicts. Individuals who accept an administrative appointment while a member of a Senate committee with a conflict should resign the committee service, although they may not be forced to do so.
 
The Committee on Rules and Elections (CRE) has examined policies and practices at the UC system-wide level and at the other Divisions. We recommend that the Merced Division consider the adoption of similar policies.
 
The University of California Senate Bylaws and individual Division Bylaws have provisions that speak to membership and committee appointments on committees of the UC Academic Senate and on Divisional Senate committees; examples include:
 
UC Senate Bylaws
SB.128.H.
 
Members holding an administrative position higher than department chair may not serve as members of Assembly committees. However, Department Chairs may serve on Assembly Committees, with the exception of the Committee on Academic Personnel, the Committee on Academic Freedom and the University Committee on Privilege and Tenure.
 
Davis Bylaws
28. General Provisions
C. No member of the Division holding an administrative title of Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Provost, Vice Provost, Dean, Associate Dean or titles with equivalent levels of administrative responsibility may serve as a member of a divisional committee or as a representative of the Davis Division to any taskforce, committee, or agency (except in a non-voting, ex officio capacity.) These restrictions do not apply to chairs of academic departments or programs. (Am. 06/01/06).
 
Irvine Bylaws
Chapter III: Organization/Section 5: Standing Committees
Bylaw 48. Academic Personnel, Council on
 
(3) No Dean or Department Chair shall serve on the Council. In addition, no Associate Dean or other administrative officer whose regular duties include participation in the academic personnel review process shall serve on the Council.
 
Bylaw 115. Planning and Budget, Council on
(3) No administrative officer whose regular duties include the initiation of resource plans or budgets shall serve on the Council. Such officers include, but are not limited to, Deans, Associate Deans, Department Chairs and Vice Chairs, Directors, and Assistant Directors. Exceptions to the exclusion of persons holding one of these titles may be made at the discretion of the chair of CPB upon verification that the individual in question does not have titular duties redundant with the role of CPB. Such exceptions will be limited to individuals having the title of Vice Chair, Director, and Assistant Director.
 
Santa Cruz Bylaws
13. Committees
13.4.2 When the Chair of the Santa Cruz Division, the Vice-Chair, Secretary, Parliamentarian, or any member of the Committees on Academic Personnel, Privilege and Tenure, or Planning and Budget accepts an administrative position with the University at the level of Dean or above, he or she shall immediately vacate the Academic Senate position. No Chair of a department or program of study may at the same time serve as Chair of either the Committee on Academic Personnel or the Committee on Privilege and Tenure. This is consistent with Senate Bylaw 330A. [DLI 1998.5A] (En 9 Nov 93; Am 25 Oct 95; CC 31 Aug 98, 31 Aug 06; EC 12 May 97, 31 Aug 99, 21 Aug 06)
 
UC and Divisional Bylaws agree that Senate committee members above the level of department chair (or equivalent administrative appointments) may not serve as Senate committee representatives. The individual Division Bylaws differ regarding whether department or program chairs may serve as Senate committee representatives, with some committees specifically excluded with inherent conflicts of interest.
 
Currently at UC Merced, departments (or equivalent programmatic units) have not yet been established, although creation of academic units of this type is eminent. Faculty organized in Schools are fulfilling the normal functions of departments on other campuses (e.g., making faculty appointments and promotions; establishing and delivering academic programs and curricula; consulting with the School Dean on budget and academic resource issues). The academic personnel manual (APM) defines the titles and duties of academic deans, provosts, and department chairs:
 
APM 240-4 Definitions
a. An academic Dean or Provost is head of a Division, College, School, or other similar academic unit and has administrative responsibility for that unit. This includes fiscal responsibility for the unit, maintaining an affirmative action program for faculty and staff recruitment and retention consistent with University affirmative action policies, and responsibility for insuring that systemwide and local policies, including Academic Senate regulations, are observed.
 
APM 245-4 Definition
A department chair is a faculty member who serves as the academic leader and administrative head of a department of instruction or research, or a clinical service.
 
APM-245, Appendix A, describes the duties of department chairs or “equivalent officers,” noting that on some campuses, some of the duties of department chair are carried out by individuals with other titles. Based on the descriptions of the roles of dean and department chairs in the APM (APM-240 and APM-245), the duties of both academic deans and department chairs are currently being carried out by School deans or their designates (e.g., Assistant or Associate Deans) at UC Merced with no distinction between the administrative levels. Thus, we recognize that the duties of academic deans and department chairs in our current structure are co-mingled and indistinguishable, even though we currently do not employ the administrative rank of department chair. In the future, academic units similar to departments will emerge, but it remains to be seen exactly what the structure and assignment of responsibilities to individuals will be. Thus, CRE recommends action that will clarify the role of Senate members holding administrative positions but retains flexibility for future development of academic units.
 
Ruling 10.08A
CRE recommends adoption of the following amendment to the UC Merced Bylaws. Language is effective upon passage by the Merced Division.
 
No member of the Division holding an administrative title of Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Provost, Vice Provost, Dean, Associate Dean, Director of an ORU or MRU, or titles with equivalent levels of administrative responsibility, may serve as a member of a divisional committee or as a representative of the Merced Division to any taskforce, committee, or agency (except in a non-voting, ex officio capacity as provided in these Bylaws.) These restrictions do not apply to chairs of academic departments or programs, or to titles with equivalent levels of administrative responsibility, with the exception of membership on the Committee on Academic Personnel, the Committee on Privilege and Tenure, and the Committee on Academic Planning and Resource Allocation.
 
II. Academic Senate members with full- or part-time administrative appointments:
 
The Academic Personnel Manual (APM) speaks to partial appointments using Dean or Provost titles:
 
APM 240-16 Restrictions
b. An appointment to the position of Dean or Provost may be full time or part time. The personnel policies herein apply to all appointments, regardless of percent time.
 
The APM makes clear that a partial appointment is equivalent to a full appointment with regard to personnel policies. By extension of the APM, Divisions commonly assume that partial appointments to administrative positions constitute the equivalent of a full appointment with regard to application of academic policies.
 
Ruling 10.08B
 
Partial appointments to administrative positions above the level of academic department or program chair (or equivalent officers) are equivalent to full appointments for the purposes of personnel and academic policies.
 
UC Merced Committee on Rules and Elections:
 
Peggy A. O’Day, Chair, Natural Sciences
Thomas Hansford, Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts
Jean Olson (UC San Francisco)
Daniel Simmons, (UC Davis)