SFSU Academic Senate
Minutes of November 30, 1999
The Academic Senate was called to order by Chair Terrell at 2:10 p.m.
Senate Members Present:
Alvarez, Alvin; Avila, Guadalupe; Bartscher, Patricia; Bernstein, Marian; Boyle,
Andrea; Consoli, Andres; Corrigan, Robert; Cullers, Susan; Duke, Jerry; Edwards,
James; Eisman, Gerald; Elia, John; Fehrman, Ken; Ferretti, Charlotte; Fox-Wolfgramm,
Susan; Ganji, Vijay; Gillotte, Helen; Goldsmith, Helen; Gonzales, Angela; Graham,
Michael; Gregory, Jan; Harnly, Caroline; Hom, Marlon; Hu, Sung; Jerris, Scott;
Johnson, Dane; Johnson, Sharon; Langbort, Carol; McKeon, Midori; Moallem, Minoo;
OÃ±ate, Abdiel; Raggio, Marcia; Smith, Miriam; Strong, Rob; Swanson, Deborah;
Terrell, M. Dawn; Turitz, Mitch; Vaughn, Pamela; Wick, Jeanne; Wolfe, Bruce;
Wong, Alfred; Yee, Darlene; Zoloth, Laurie.
Senate Members Absent: Craig, JoAnn(exc.); Cancino, Herlinda;
Shapiro, Jerald; Concolino, Christopher(exc.); Tarakji, Ghassan; Hubler, Barbara(exc.);
Aaron, Eunice; La Belle, Thomas(exc.); Kelley, James(exc.); Scoble, Don(exc.);
Collier, James(exc.); Sagisi, Jaymee(exc.).
Guests: S. Cortes, J. Kassiola, R. Maghroori, R. Busby, J. Middlebrook,
M. Kasdan, S. Shimanoff, G. West, D. Tong, N. Robbins, D. Rice
Announcements and Report
Chair Terrell announced that this is a special meeting of the Academic
Senate devoted to discussion of the proposed policy on Faculty Merit Increase.
She also encouraged comment on the draft policy on Service Salary Step Increase.
Agenda Item #1 - Approval of the Agenda for November 30, 1999
As there were no additions or corrections, the agenda was approved as printed.
Agenda Item #2 -- Proposed Policy on Faculty Merit Increase
Terrell introduced the discussion by stating that we would continue
with the speaker's list left at the end of the last Senate meeting.
Marian Bernstein suggested that we watch out so that we don't fall into
the trap of allowing ourselves to be divided.
Midori McKeon summarized points that she endorses put forth by the Chair
of Foreign Languages and Literatures Elizabeth Wright: they are in favor of
the addition "due consideration will be given to departmental recommendations";
they support the timeline for appeals; they are concerned that the addition
on p. 2 that departments "shall establish their respective FMI performance expectations
and review procedures" will only add more work to a burdensome process and could
be dangerous; they believe that having a FAR and a curriculum vitae will add
to paperwork. McKeon added that they would like to see more lines on the tracking
sheet for a response while also repeating the categories from p. 2. Terrell
clarified that "performance expectations" has been stricken from the latest
Margo Kasdan made some general points about the FMIs from CFA's perspective.
She summarized the activism in the wake of the defeated tentative agreement
(TA) and recounted that one of the major original sticking points in the TA
were the PSSIs, which were seen as patronage pay in the hands of the administration.
The new bargaining team bargained for faculty control of the funds, faculty
decisions on the awards based on a very general criterion of "demonstrated performance,"
faculty oversight through the appeal process in which faculty would decide on
the validity of the faculty appeal, faculty right to rebuttals, and faculty
oversight through dissemination of information on the decisions at every level.
She raised the concern that departments at several campuses are playing into
the Chancellor's imposition terms, making the FMI process like the PSSIs, using
strict criteria. She suggested that strict rules inform the Chancellor and the
Trustees that they do not have to take seriously our anger. She urged us to
consider what we are fighting for, suggested that Fair Share gives CFA a chance
to really show some power and strength, but cautioned that the faculty has to
show its mettle by acting on an understanding of the contract and its history.
Darlene Yee raised concerns about the process for non-department academic
units joining with other units. She asked for further explanation and raised
the possibility that the current language might be misconstrued as encouraging
merger of non-department academic units beyond this process. She also asked
about the possibility of re-examining looking at FMIs from a group perspective.
Terrell responded to some of the comments above. She remarked that the paragraph
in italics on p. 2 is in italics because the Executive Committee and the Faculty
Affairs Committee (FAC) are not done with this. The goal is to provide for program
faculty what we did not have for the first cycle--some guidelines. There are
philosophical differences about merit pay, and there are ambiguities in the
contract; in this instance and generally, we are providing some structure where
the absence of it was deemed problematic from some segment of the community.
With regard to program faculty specifically, she added that we want to respect
their right to first level review that is peer review and to some determination
in what that program review looks like, but without giving program faculty more
options than department faculty. She concluded that overall the goal is to provide
structure so that in the spring faculty will know what the process will look
Jan Gregory raised a concern with #4, which can be misconstrued with
the RTP process. She commented that, while there is a move in some direction
to require all tenured/tenure-track faculty to be held to category #4, that
is not a requirement. Terrell added that that has certainly been the position
of the Executive Committee.
Laurie Zoloth provided a perspective as a program chair, describing
a situation last time where there was a lack of openness, no effective first
level review, and little sense of control over the evaluative process. She added
that she and other program faculty are open to creative language whereby programs,
program faculty, and chairs have a sense of control at the peer level. Speaking
as a member of FAC, she emphasized creating a process with the widest possible
openness. It's our money as taxpayers and our money as faculty.
Vijay Ganji raised a concern about the lack of specific statements as
to distribution of rewards. He specifically asked that awards be in terms of
amount of money rather than percentage, for percentage changes are unfair to
Abdiel OÃ±ate raised the unresolved spirit of the whole process
as a major problem. While 85% of the money is distributed to the departments,
the Deans and the President have the right to change, working as a check and
balance on the departments. He commented that the current language is clearly
imbalanced with respect to the intention of the process. A paragraph on the
spirit of the agreement would make clear that the faculty and peer review are
the primary source for decisions.
Andres Consoli commented on the tracking sheet, suggesting that we add
explanations for those recommended for FMIs as well as those not recommended.
He also asked for FAC's rationale on why the President's recommendation is not
included as part of the tracking sheet. Marlon Hom, FAC Chair, answered
that the President's notification letter is the answer; if a faculty member
is not happy, they can appeal. He also suggested that there are workload issues
to consider if the President had to write comments for every faculty member.
Speaking as a member of the Executive Committee, Terrell added that she had
a very pragmatic goal for this particular issue: she would like the Senate to
approve a policy that the President will sign. At earlier stages of review,
we are hoping for meaningful feedback. Consoli added that, from the perspective
of someone who had grown up in a military dictatorship, the president not having
to explain seems like a mockery of democracy. Let him go on the record turning
Hom summarized the process and overall goals of the FMI policy under discussion.
It has gone through extensive revision and extensive consultation from all parts
of the university. We are not going to be able to satisfy every individual's
concern; the goal is to establish a policy that is workable and applicable for
most of us. In terms of the spirit of FMI, there is no agreement between CSU
and CFA; thus, there is no definition of "merit," and we follow that by using
"quality of demonstrated performance" in order to avoid making additional judgements
on what FMI is supposed to be. Hom also addressed the sum of the award, arguing
that equal percentage is more equitable than equal amount, which is also consistent
with the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Ganji concurred with Consoli that the President should write something, at
least if the President changes the percentage. He also raised a concern about
the subjectivity of "performance commensurate with rank" and reiterated his
support for awards of equal amount rather than equal percentage. Terrell replied
that the ambiguity of "commensurate with rank" is contract language, and it
is something that should be resolved at the department level.
Caroline Harnly suggested that the language of "due consideration" of
departmental recommendations should be made stronger. She also agreed that the
President's recommendation should be on the tracking sheet, at least for changes,
and suggested that "recommended" be added to "Amount of FMI award."
Kasdan provided further context on the current process, noting that the CFA
was trying to get rid of the notion of merit, that the 85% to departments is
likely to be litigated over the issue of moving money from department to department,
and that the categories of review are also going toward litigation with the
CFA assuming that you can go forward with a FAR for teaching alone.
Jonathan Middlebrook spoke as someone "from the outside," suggesting
that there are three parties to this contract in reference to spirit: the Chancellor,
the CFA, and a whole bunch of disgruntled faculty. The faculty as a whole recognizes
this as one lousy job with the FMI business cutting us off at the knees, having
us participate in sharpening the axe. He suggested that the Senate use only
the contract language and let them sweat with whatever lawsuits their language
Terrell concluded that we have to have an FMI policy--or, we can do what we
did last Spring, which nobody would choose to do again. The goal has been to
develop a policy that is close to the contract but provides the structure that
this campus and this faculty needs.
Middlebrook added, yes, have a process, make it tight and binding, but stay
away from definitions. Hom commented that the contract says notification and
not explanation, so what we are doing with the tracking sheet is to create a
The Senate was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
Secretary to the Faculty