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;

Oñate, 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

junior faculty.

Abdiel Oñate 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

us down.

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

sunshine policy.

The Senate was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Dane Johnson

Secretary to the Faculty