Committee adds idea to existing tenure proposals

by Jim Martyka

A third tenure proposal for the Law School has been added for the University’s Faculty Senate to look at during its Thursday meeting.
But, unlike the other two proposals, this calls for the senate to ask the Board of Regents not to do anything with tenure revisions for the Law School until collective bargaining elections for the rest of the University have taken place. Currently the Law School is the only unit not involved in the drive for collective bargaining.
The proposal was passed Tuesday by a 15-1 vote at a meeting of the faculty’s Judicial Committee after a lengthy discussion of the tenure revision proposals.
The other two proposals that the senate will look at include one proposed by the regents at a meeting earlier this month which has come to be known as the Reagan/Spence proposal, as well as another proposed by Law School Dean Tom Sullivan. The main point of debate between these two proposals has to do with layoff provisions.
Tuesday’s proposal, introduced to the committee by Professor of Law Laura Cooper, points out that some Law School faculty feel discussions of tenure code revisions should not take place until the status of the school pertaining to collective bargaining is determined. The Law School faculty has until Nov. 1 to file enough signatures to be included in the union election.
Members of the Law School faculty met for the second time this week today in a closed meeting to discuss their position on the proposals. But Professor of Law Fred Morrison said they came to no decision today and will meet again in the next week.
The Cooper proposal originally called for the regents to put off tenure discussions for the Law School. But it states that if they choose to ignore this recommendation, the senate should tell the regents to reject the Reagan/Spence and Sullivan proposals and adopt the original Faculty Senate proposal that was drafted in June.
But Cooper’s proposal was ultimately passed along with a recommendation from the judicial committee’s chair Ed Fogelman, who saw the proposal as a way to “keep the door open to talk to regents.”
“The regents must provide a better resolution before the union elections,” Fogelman told members. “I would like to help the regents find that resolution.”
Fogelman said the Sullivan proposal, though incomplete, was a step in this direction.
After voicing their concerns, committee members decided to include Fogelman’s recommendation with Cooper’s proposal, stating that the Sullivan proposal might be an acceptable alternative if it is revised. However, they stressed that the Sullivan proposal should not be accepted as it is.
The final proposal, along with a cover letter explaining why the committee does not accept either of the other two proposals as they are, will be passed on to Faculty Senate members for their meeting. The senate will deliberate on the proposals and forward their recommendations to the regents.
The other two proposals were passed in a meeting of the Committee on Faculty Affairs and the tenure sub-committee last Thursday.
Faculty Consultative Committee Chair Virginia Gray said the senate will look at these proposals, as well as any others for the Law School, that are presented at Thursday’s meeting.