Departmental criteria for scholarship

[Unsolicited advice from CERJ Chair Kevin D. Hoover to the Chair of the Committee on Academic Personnel, Linda Bisson, 5/15/2003]

I have just received the attached letter from you in my role as a department chair.  In my role as Chair of the Committee on Elections, Rules, and Jurisdiction, and as a member of the SCPPR committee that drafted the CAP bylaws, I am perplexed.  First, CAP is a committee of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate.  It works with, but does not answer to, the Vice Provost.  Second, the requirement that departments and CAP work out criteria of scholarship is a requirement of CAP's Senate bylaw and not of the Administration.  I therefore cannot see how it is that this matter is one on which a) the Vice Provost can give direction, b) you as Chair of CAP should be the conduit of that direction, or c) that deans should have any role whatsoever.

What is more, I believe that your letter reflects a misunderstanding of the bylaws governing CAP on two points.  (Please note that I speak here as individual and have not consulted with my colleagues on CERJ).

First, your letter states that the change to "established" criteria permits departments to choose their own criteria of scholarship and gives them the option of adopting the standards in the APM.  It does no such thing.  DDB 42.b.8 states that departments in conjunction with CAP must develop and publish standards for advancement.  It does not offer an option of reverting to the APM.  No doubt if a department were to propose such a standard and CAP were to accept it, that would suffice.  But that requires positive action both by the department and CAP.  The language of "established" criteria, which replaced the previous word "published" was introduced not to license the APM but to avoid an impasse in which an aggrieved faculty member would be barred from launching a personnel appeal because the department and CAP had yet to agree and publish standards.  That language occurs only in DDB 45, which governs review of personnel actions.

Second, your letter states that standards need the approval of the Dean and Vice Provost.  There is no warrant whatsoever for such a statement in the bylaws.  Indeed, it would be a gross violation of shared governance and the division of responsibilities if a dean or Vice Provost or other administrator were to be insinuated between the departments and CAP in this process.  In the process of developing standards, CAP may itself consider the views of the Administration, but it should not accept or allow direction from them, and in must not tell departments that such standards require the approval of a dean or Vice Provost.

Recently, shared governance and the proper separation between the functions of the Administration and the Senate have been very lively themes with respect to a number of issues.  The academic personnel process reforms of the last few years were in good measure implicated in these concerns, and considerable care was given to the demarcation of the lines of authority.  Am I missing something or has CAP slipped back into a subservient rather than co-equal role with the Vice Provost and the Administration?

[N.B. The letter that gave rise to this advice was subsequently withdrawn and a replacement letter that met CERJ's approval was circulated.]