Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Faculty Bill of Rights

 October 30, 2014:
        One faculty. 
        Unification, not adjunctification. 
        This week, the Colorado Conference of the AAUP  published the Faculty Bill of Rights for the Colorado Community College System.
 Faculty Bill of Rights
Colorado Community College System
Proposal by the American Association of
University Professors
Colorado Conference

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has set the standards for the profession of teaching in institutions of higher education since 1915. The mission of the American Association of University Professors is to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education's contribution to the common good.

In consultation with numerous instructors and faculty in the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), the Colorado Conference of the AAUP has noted two major areas in which professional standards and values are not being upheld: the two-tiered faculty, in which one tier is compensated in pay and benefits far more than the other tier for approximately the same work; and a faculty government that is not transparent and does not represent the majority of those who teach for the CCCS. These deficiencies impose working conditions on the majority of the faculty that inhibit them from delivering the highest quality instruction to Colorado’s community college students. The Colorado Conference of the AAUP, therefore, recommends the following practices with regard to the faculty of the Colorado Community College System.

  1.          Consider everyone with teaching responsibilities a member of the faculty, with all the rights and responsibilities of faculty.

Salary and Benefits
  2.          Have only one salary schedule for all faculty. Determine placement on the schedule according to the faculty member’s education, experience, and professional credentials.

  3.          Pay teaching and non-teaching duties at the same rate. Non-teaching duties include service, administrative, scholarly, or research obligations.

  4.          Administer benefits proportionally, according to each faculty member’s percentage of a full-time workload, to all members of the faculty, in accordance with state and federal laws.

Class Assignments
  5.          When class assignments are available, permit each faculty member to teach up to a full-time workload per semester.

  6.          If the faculty chooses, supplant the seniority system for assigning classes with a faculty-developed and faculty-approved merit system, once a faculty government and department/program bylaws are in place.

  7.          Require no faculty member to work more than a full-time workload per semester in teaching and/or non-teaching duties per semester.

  8.          Allow the faculty to determine what constitutes a full-time workload.

Job Security
  9.          Establish in policy that a faculty member may be dismissed or his or her contract not renewed for cause or reduction in workforce.

10.          Notify any faculty member in writing as to the reason or reasons for dismissal.

11.          Allow each faculty member, after he or she has completed the equivalent of three years’ full-time work in teaching and/or non-teaching duties, access to a grievance process in the event of dismissal, non-reappointment, reduced workload, or retaliation.

12.          Allow grievances to be decided by an objective faculty committee.

Faculty Government
13.          Establish a faculty government at each college, composed of elected faculty members from each department or program, whose responsibility will be to represent the faculty’s interests.

14.          Allow the faculty government to determine how its committees will be staffed and how committee work will be assigned.

15.          Allow department and program committees to make decisions in hiring, class assignments, and salary increases based solely on the candidate’s or faculty member’s qualifications.

16.          Acknowledge that the faculty’s decisions in personnel and curriculum supersede those of the administration, as these are the areas in which the faculty has the superior expertise.

17.          Allow the faculty of each department/program to adopt (by a majority vote) a set of bylaws that will define how the department/program will be governed internally, including the procedures for selecting a chair.

18.          Require department and program chairs to be responsible for representing the faculty’s interests to the administration. If the majority of the department/program faculty feels that the chair is not representing their interests, allow them to select a new chair.

Professional Development
19.          Establish a procedure for equitable distribution of professional development opportunities and funds to all faculty members.

20.          Publish policies, salary schedules and costs of benefits so that they are readily accessible by the public.

21.          Require that committee business be conducted in a business-like way. Publish the memberships of committees, committee meeting minutes, and committee decisions so that they are readily accessible by the faculty, excepting the proceedings and decisions with regard to personnel that legally must be kept confidential.

Academic Freedom
22.          Allow faculty members the freedom to teach the truth as they see it, without administrative, public, or political pressure, within the parameters of the best practices and principles of their respective disciplines.

23.          Allow faculty members the freedom to comment on matters of unit or institutional policy without fear of retaliation.

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