Senate Committee on the Faculty: Annual Report 1995-96

May 23, 1996

This year, the Senate Committee on the Faculty considered the following issues:

Parenting Policies: In 1994-95, in response to a request by Deputy Provost Walter Wales to consider an extension of the tenure probationary policy for faculty members who give birth, the committee undertook a general review of Penn's parenting policies. As a result of that review and the discussion it provoked in the committee, in the Senate Executive Committee (SEC), and in the University community, we have proposed two new policies:

  1. A simplified maternity policy for faculty members who give birth. This would replace the current system of individual negotiations between faculty members and their chairs or deans with an automatic release from teaching duties for the affected semester.

  2. A policy for extension of the tenure probationary period. This would provide a year's extension on request for all faculty members who become parents, female or male, biological or adoptive. It would also provide a year's extension for faculty members who experience other career-disrupting events, as defined in the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993: severe illness or the need to care for a close relative.

These proposals have been adopted by SEC, published in Almanac March 19, 1996, and forwarded to the administration.

Foreign Language Lecturers: The committee reviewed a School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) proposal to create two new employment categories: Lecturer in Foreign Languages and Senior Lecturer in Foreign Languages. We endorsed the proposal despite concerns about the institutionalization of instruction by non-standing faculty. After a discussion in SEC, we elicited clarification from SAS administrators about the necessity for this practice and its restriction to language teaching, and the proposal was accepted by SEC.

Affirmative Action: The committee reviewed the Fall 1994 Affirmative Action Report for the Current Standing Faculty prepared by the Office of Institutional Research and Planning Analysis. Our review identified errors in some of the data used in the report; these were reported to the authors who intend to correct them. Further review of the report was deferred until then.

Faculty Grievance Commission: The committee received a report from a subcommittee formed to investigate the functioning of the Faculty Grievance Commission. The report identifies a need to routinize and clarify procedures and record-keeping practices for improved efficiency, consistency, and continuity. The committee has endorsed those conclusions and is assembling the necessary documents and guidelines for their implementation.

Janet A. Deatrick (nursing)
Howard Lesnick (law)
John C. Keene (city planning)
Rob Roy MacGregor (medicine)
Sheila H. Murnaghan (classical studies), Chair
Paul Shaman (statistics)

ex officio:
Senate Chair William L. Kissick (medicine)
Senate Chair-elect Peter J. Kuriloff (education)


Volume 43 Number 2
September 3, 1996

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