Resolution on Consensual Relations Policy
Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 for consideration at the April 25 Senate meeting.
Professor Richard Bensel (Government)
Professor Ken Birman (Computer Science)
Professor Eric Cheyfitz (English)
Professor David Delchamps (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Professor Richard Miller (Philosophy)
Although we find the general features of CRP-B plausible, we are troubled by two features of this document, made public on Monday, which, we think, make it worse than the Rough Draft that has been available and was previously discussed by the Senate.
Second, while the Rough Draft made department chairs appropriate recipients of proposals and (with consultation with the 6.x Office and the Dean of Faculty) possible determiners of recusal plans, CRP-B makes the 6.x Office, an agency solely described as a unit within the Office of Human Resources, the sole recipient of the mandatory disclosures and the sole source of recusal plans.
Of course, worries about this exclusive authority, only constrained by vague general goals, could go into comments submitted along with Yes/No votes. But if one thinks these are serious worries, it can be hard to know whether to vote yes or no to Plan B. Even more important, the proposed voting and commenting procedure does not strike us as a good way for the Senate to serve as an independent voice of the faculty in this important matter. Votes of questionable meaning accompanied by an abundance of individual comments are no substitute for deliberations that forge a genuine consensus.
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Senate endorses Consensual Relations Policy B with the following revision.
In “The Disclosure Process,” in the list headed “When the authority is …”, the current items are replaced by the following, which are largely taken from the Rough Draft. These changes provide more specific guidelines and, unlike the current CRP-B, do not invest exclusive authority in the 6.x office.
- The disclosure should be made to either the 6.X office or the individual who is responsible for the academic workplace that is shared by the faculty member and the subordinate, e.g., the director of the student’s graduate program or the chair of the faculty member’s department.
- After consulting with the 6.x Office and the Dean of the relevant College, the recipient of the disclosure develops a Recusal Plan or determines that one is unnecessary. The Recusal Plan identifies situations where participation by the faculty member is limited because of the potential for conflict of interest, thus mitigating the academic power imbalance. For example, the authority should not be involved in decision processes that determine TA assignments if the subordinate is in the TA pool. The authority must not be involved in any decisions that allocate resources to a student cohort that includes the subordinate.
- The Recusal Plan is signed by the faculty member, forwarded to the 6.x Office, and enforced by the recipient of the disclosure. It must be renewed every year.
- The subordinate is contacted by the 6.x Office shortly after the disclosure is made to inform them of the disclosure and of relevant resources
The resolution proposes replacement of the following CRP-B disclosure process steps:
- The disclosure shall first be made to the Policy 6.X Office to ensure protection of the subordinate. Faculty may also consult with the Dean of Faculty.
- In consultation with the authority, the Policy 6.X Office develops a Recusal Plan or determines that one is unnecessary. The Recusal Plan identifies situations where participation by the authority is to be limited because of the potential for conflict of interest, thus mitigating the academic power imbalance. The plan must also specify who in the workplace needs to be informed of its existence.
- The subordinate is contacted by the Policy 6.X Office shortly after the disclosure is made to inform them of the disclosure, the proposed Recusal Plan, and of relevant resources.
- The Recusal Plan is signed by the authority and the subordinate and filed in the Policy 6.X Office. The Recusal Plan identifies those who are responsible for its enforcement and the terms for its renewal.
Last Updated: April 21, 2018 at 6:44 am