Representation for the University Faculty, the non-tenure track faculty, post-docs, librarians, and other academic title-holders should reflect the deep levels of professional interaction that already exist between these constituencies. Given this principle, the Committee is charged to assess the current state of representation for all academic title-holders and to recommend improvements where necessary.
The role of the Senate is key. Currently, only members of the University Faculty can belong to the Senate. All other academic titleholders (the NTT titleholders) belong to the Employee Assembly (EA).
If the current rules for Senate membership persist, then what can be done to improve representation for the NTT titleholders? Here are two possibilities:
- The NTT titleholders stay in the EA and are allocated a specified number of “seats”.
- The NTT titleholders create a new assembly just for themselves.
On the other hand, the following options exist if Senate membership rules are relaxed:
- Departments could be allowed to staff their senate seats with any person who has an academic title.
- Senator-at-large seats could be created for various academic title-holders.
The Committee should consider each of these (and other) possibilities, drafting enabling legislation as required.
In addition, the Committee should provide answers to these questions:
- Who should be allowed to vote for faculty trustee, dean of faculty, and other elected positions?
- Who should be allowed to sit on the various Senate committees?
- Should a new Senate committee be created that deals with issues pertaining to NTT titleholders?
The Committee should submit its report to the Senate by October 1, 2018.
|Stephane Bentolia||Molecular Biology and Genetics||Assistant Research Professor|
|Brenda Dietrich||Operations Research and Industrial Engineering||Professor of the Practice|
|Aliqae Geraci||Cornell University Library||Associate Librarian|
|Kim Kopco||Policy Analysis and Management||Senior Extension Associate|
|Bruce Lauber||Natural Resources||Senior Research Associate|
|Estelle McKee||Law||Clinical Professor|
|Pilar Thompson||Employee Assembly|
|Charles Van Loan||Computer Science||Professor Emeritus, Dean of Faculty|
Background: Academic Titles
The tenured and tenure-track faculty basically make up the University Faculty. These include assistant professors, associate professors, professors, and university professors.
The non-tenure track academic titles can be grouped by approximate job-description. One has to say “approximate” because there is variation across the colleges in terms of how these titles are used. For example, a title that is used “primarily” for teaching may have a research or extension component. Having said that, here is a 3-way classification:
1.Titles Primarily Associated with Teaching
lecturer, senior lecturer, instructor, teaching associate, professor-of-the-practice
2.Titles Primarily Associated with Research
clinical professor, research professor, senior scholar, senior scientist, research scientist, senior research scientist, research associate,, senior research associate, extension associate, senior extension associate, post-doctoral associate, post-doctoral fellow, librarian, archivist
3. Titles for Visitors
visiting critic, visiting scholar, visiting scientist
All professorial titles (those that include the word “professor”) have assistant and associate ranks as do the librarian and archivist titles.
More data on the academic title-holder population.
Background: The Assemblies
Everybody at Cornell is represented through one of four assemblies:
- The University Faculty Senate represents approximately 1650 tenured and tenure track faculty. As they are part of the University Faculty, the 600+ emeriti are also represented in the Senate through a designated seat.
- The Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) represents approximately 3200 PhD students, 400 research masters students, and the 4500 Professional Degree students.
- The Student Assembly (SA) represents approximately 15000 undergraduates.
- The Employee Assembly (EA) represents everyone else including 6800 nonacademic staff, 1020 academic professionals (350 Instructional Staff, the 330 Research Staff, the 120 Librarians and Archivists, and the 240 Extension Staff), and 550 Post Docs.
The University Assembly has representatives from each of the above.
Why there are assemblies:
Chartered by the President of the University with delegated authority from the Board of Trustees, the Assemblies serve as advisory bodies to the administration, representing matters of concern and constituent interests to University leadership. [ More ]
Separate from the assemblies is the Office of Post Doctoral Studies which provides numerous services for that constituency.
Comments on the Alignment of Constituencies with Assemblies
- There appears to be little enthusiasm for postdocs affiliating with the GPSA even though post-docs and grads are confronted with many of the same start-of-career issues.
- There is some interest in creating a new assembly for all academic title-holders who are not members of the University Faculty.
- Some feel that their voices would not be heard in a TT-dominated senate.
- Many more feel that their voices would only be heard in a reorganized Senate because their job description has a serious overlap with what TT faculty do.
- Some feel that they are fully appreciated by their department and their college and that there is no need for rearrangements at the university level.
Relevant Legislation and How it Can Be Changed
The definition of “University Faculty” is set forth in Article XIII of the University Bylaws. This is not going to change.
The University Faculty delegates just about everything to the Senate. But the University Faculty can meet and vote by themselves whenever they want, e.g., on matters that pertain to tenure-track promotions.
Who can be a member of the Senate is set forth in Article IX of the Operating Principles of the University faculty (OPUF). It basically says that you must be a member of the University Faculty to be a member of the Senate. That is, you must be a tenure-track faculty member.
The Article XIV of the OPUF explains the process by which the OPUF can be modified. The change must be proposed and then ratified:
- A proposed change can be initiated three ways: (a) by a majority of senators, (b) by a majority of UFC members, or (c) by a written petition signed by at least 50 University Faculty members who are not members of the Senate.
- Ratification requires the staging of a referendum in which all University Faculty members are allowed to vote. If the majority of cast votes support the proposed change, then the OPUF is modified accordingly.
An ad hoc committee of the Senate looked into NTT matters back in 2004. Here is their report. It appears that no actions of the type presently under consideration were taken.
There are many different set-ups for representation at peer schools so it is very hard to make useful one-to-one comparisons. But here are some approximate snapshots:
- U Michigan: TT and research faculty and librarians. Clinical faculty have no representation. The lecturers are unionized.
- U Chicago: Just TT.
- Yale: Currently 3 of 22 are NTT
- UPenn: TT only
- Stanford: TT and certain NTT
- Columbia: TT and NTT
- Berkeley: TT and NTT except lecturers are unionized
Last Updated: March 21, 2018 at 4:39 pm