Proposed changes to faculty code reach Faculty Senate committees

Media Credit: Dan Rich | Hatchet Photographer

Charles Garris, chair of the Faculty Senate executive committee, said the full senate could could vote on changes to the faculty code this spring or next year.

Three Faculty Senate committees are keeping proposed changes to GW’s faculty code under wraps while reviewing preliminary reports completed by working group last fall.

The committees are reviewing the changes that four working groups drafted last semester and are collaborating with leaders of the Board of Trustees to present finalized changes to the entire senate later this spring, Charles Garris, the chair of the Faculty Senate executive committee, said during Friday’s senate meeting.

The three groups – the executive committee, the professional ethics and academic freedom committee, and the appointment, salary and promotion policies committee – shared their recommendations with Board of Trustees members two weeks ago, Garris said.

“We did not circulate the draft recommendations to faculty or Faculty Senate members not on those committees,” he said. “We made it very clear to the board that our response document does not reflect the views of many of the faculty senate or the faculty at large.”

The working groups were tasked with planning changes to the code after Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell said he wanted to revise it to be more in line with the University’s strategic plan.

Instead of rewriting the entire code, though, he later decided to only focus on a handful of areas: schools’ bylaws, GW’s tenure-accruing policies, dean selection and participation in governance.

The Faculty Senate already passed a resolution updating the code’s definition of academic freedom last spring.

The Faculty Senate committees, working groups and members of the Board of Trustees have gone back and forth reviewing the recommendations over the past few weeks. Still, some recommendations might not make it to the full Faculty Senate until next year, Garris said.

“We’re very sensitive to the board’s concerns, and we believe we could address them and work toward enhancing the quality of the University’s decision-making,” he said.

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