February 8, 2022 Liaison Committee Meeting Minutes

IANR Liaison Committee Meeting
February 8th 2:00p-3:00p

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VC Mike Boehm, AVC Rich Bischoff, Brenda Aufdenkamp, Azzeddine Azzam, Virginia Chaidez, Mary-Grace Danao, Ronald Lewis, Stephen Wegulo, Deborah Weitzenkamp, Saige Hastings (recorder)

Agenda Items:

  1. Liaison Committee Role in Faculty Grievance Process
  2. Approval of Criteria for Research Professor Evaluation and Professor of Practice and Extension Faculty
  3. Aspire/iChange Initiative to Diversify Faculty
  4. Update on Search for Dean of ARD
  5. Other Concerns

Liaison Committee Role in Faculty Grievance Process

AVC Bischoff described the grievance process when there is disagreement between faculty members and supervisors about proposed changes in apportionment or position description. He shared that a faculty member should address their concerns with their supervisor. If it is not resolved with the faculty supervisor, they may petition an elected body at the College or Institute level to consider the grievance. In IANR, the elected faculty body is the Faculty Liaison Committee. If resolution is not possible through the faculty committee, the faculty member may request the grievance be heard by the Academic Rights and Responsibilities Committee (AARC). He said that he will look for ways to make this grievance process more visible to faculty members.

Approval of Criteria for Research Professor Evaluation and Professor of Practice and Extension

AVC Bischoff introduced the draft document, Research Faculty Expectations: Annual Academic Performance Evaluation and Progress towards Promotion, to the committee. The document is a draft of expectations for research faculty for annual and promotion evaluation. Grace Danao, who was part of a group of faculty in Food Science and Technology who provided feedback on an earlier version, described her experience with the current guidelines and the need for a document such as that being proposed. Bischoff asked for feedback by February 22, 2022.

Aspire/iChange Initiative to Diversify Faculty

AVC Bischoff explained that UNL is part of an NSF-funded APLU sponsored network of universities striving to diversify the professoriate in STEM disciplines. This is the Aspire network and the IChange initiative. He described where the university is at in participating in the three-year IChange initiative. The self-assessment of university strengths and weaknesses has been completed. The next steps include developing plans for affecting change and implementing changes in how search and hiring, transitioning to university employment, and retention are done at UNL.

Update on Search for Dean of ARD

VC Boehm updated the committee regarding the status of the ARD Dean. He expressed that they were working on developing a position description and putting together a search advisory committee. The Co-Chairs will be Tiffany Heng-Moss and Ed Cahoon.

Other Concerns

Virginia Chaidez expressed concern that the evaluation process for promotion of non-tenure track faculty is not equitable and inclusive. She cited concern that non-tenure track faculty are often not on faculty evaluation committees and that non-tenure track faculty are often held to the same standards as tenure-track faculty. Boehm explained that addressing this is the motivation for the Research Faculty Expectations document shared earlier and similar efforts to clarify standards and processes for Extension and practice faculty

Ronald Lewis said that he has heard faculty expressing the need for guidance on how to evaluate contributions to environments where every person and every interaction matters, given that faculty members are expected to report on these contributions in Activity Insight. Bischoff explained that a rubric was developed and distributed to provide scaffolding for these evaluations. VC Boehm stated he was pleased to hear these conversations at the academic unit level are occurring.

Meeting adjourned 3:06 pm
Distributed Electronically for the IANR Liaison Committee for review.