The evaluation non-Senate personnel and the participation of non-Senate personnel in the evaluation of Senate personnel

[Advice to Vice Provost Barbara Horwitz 10/17/2001]

The Academic Senate has been entrusted by the Standing Orders of the Regents with authority over the curriculum and with determining the competence of instructors who deliver that curriculum.  They are also empowered to organize and govern themselves.  Academic Senate Bylaw 55 sets out the departmental voting rights of Senate members in personnel matters.  It is a Senate document; and, as such, it governs only the Senate.  With respect to instructional personnel, it governs the advice that the departments transmit to other Senate and non-Senate review bodies.  Most of the bylaw is devoted to Senate personnel.  ASB 55 (B) 8, however, states:

The tenured faculty members of a department shall establish the method by which personnel matters other than those listed in Paragraphs 1 to 6 of this Article B are determined. The method adopted must have the approval of the divisional Committee on Academic Personnel or its equivalent.

The CERJ believes that this paragraph governs the evaluation of the instructional component of the services of Academic Federation personnel.

Many Academic Federation titles are not involved in instruction or are involved in administration, research, or other duties, as well as instruction.  The Senate has no special role to play in evaluating non-Senate personnel on these dimensions.  According to Davis Division Bylaw 33 (C) the Chancellor may deputize Divisional committees for his own purposes.  (Their actions are, however, regarded as actions of the Division only if the Division chooses to acknowledge them as such.)  It is, therefore, permissible for the Administration to use Divisional committees (such as the Committee on Academic Personnel or College Personnel Committees) to assist it in evaluating non-Senate personnel on matters other than their competence as instructors.  That is a choice of the Administration:  it is neither required nor forbidden.  Nor is there any reason that the Senate should object to committees that mix Senate and non-Senate personnel, with voting procedures determined by the Administration, being used to evaluate Academic Federation personnel on matters other than instruction.

To summarize:  On matters related to the evaluation of the competence of instructors who are not members of the Senate, the Senate is uniquely empowered to give advice and is governed by its own procedures -- especially ASB 55.  On all other matters related to non-Senate personnel, the Senate has no special role, but may be called on by the Administration to cooperate in the processes that the Administration finds appropriate.

CERJ was also asked to evaluate Section UCD-220A, Exhibit D of the UC Davis Academic Personnel Manual in light of our view of the scope and limits of ASB 55 (references to the UCD APM are to the version of 10/1/99 posted on the web).  Exhibit D sets out the procedures for consultation and voting on personnel actions within departments.  Item 4 on the list of actions that might come before departments refers to "new appointments and advancements in" seven non-Senate titles.  ASB 55 governs these titles only to the extent that they involve instruction.  On all other aspects of these titles, the Administration is free to develop whatever procedures, and to consult whomever, it sees fit.

The paragraph of Exhibit D that begins "Within the limits of Bylaw 55. . ." refers to voting procedures to be submitted "in writing, through their dean, to the Committee on Academic Personnel for approval."  It is, of course, normal and consistent with the relationship of the Senate to the Administration for departments to communicate about particular personnel cases with a dean and for the dean or other administrator to consult with CAP.  However, to require that the voting rules that departments adopt be transmitted to CAP through a dean violates the Standing Orders of the Regents.  It fails to respect the division of authority that they establish and the Senate's right to self-organization.  Such a process is acceptable only with respect to procedures for voting on the non-instructional aspects of non-Senate titles.

The next paragraph, which begins "In personnel actions the recorded vote should clearly separate the views . . ." violates ASB 55.  The privilege of voting on Senate members and on the instructional aspects of non-Senate members may be extended to Senate members not eligible to vote under the default provisions of ASB 55 according to procedures set out in the bylaw itself.  For example, the vote may be extended to tenured faculty who are below the rank of the faculty member being evaluated or it may be extended to non-tenured Senate faculty.  In such cases, there are no provisions for recording the votes of those entitled by default separately from those entitled by extension.  It would be invidious to record or report separate votes.  What is more, ASB 55 does not authorize the extension of voting of any kind whatsoever to non-Senate members.  Even if consulted, they have no right to vote.  To record any vote whatsoever of a non-Senate member in an instructional personnel matter directly violates ASB 55, whether or not the vote is reported separately.

The second paragraph of Exhibit D states that departments may permit non-Senate academic personnel to participate in the review of personnel actions "on an informal basis without extending voting rights."  Therefore, as long as no votes of non-Senate personnel are recorded or reported, ASB 55 does not prohibit such participation.  The CERJ wonders, however, whether such participation is consistent with general privacy rules governing confidential personnel records in the University as set out, for example, in APM 158-0 (a) and (b)?  We believe that it is important to ask this question, although we believe is beyond our formal competence to answer it.