… in the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that the most charitable description of what’s been going on at the clubby University of Minnesota medical school would be “bizarre.”
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Is the Interpretation by the FCC of the Regents Policy on
Faculty Tenure and Furloughs Correct?
Faculty Tenure and Furloughs Correct?
Earlier today I posted a blanket email from the FCC co-chairs on this matter. Some serious concerns about the FCC's reading of the Regents Policy have been expressed. These matters need to be attended to immediately.
Mr. Rotenberg? Provost Sullivan? Faculty members of our Law School?
What say you?
My friend and fellow alum writes:
This message from Professors Gonzales and Oakes is based on an erroneous reading of the Regents' Policy on Faculty Tenure. As noted in the analysis in my earlier email today (March 10 at 9:32 a.m.), Section 11 as a whole is NOT limited to ONLY a "fiscal emergency," and it is erroneous to read Section 4.5 (on the temporary reduction or postponement of faculty compensation) in isolation from Section 11.4 (on the same subject).
Secton 11.2 expressly states that "the following principles of priority apply IN ANY FINANCIAL CRISIS." A "fiscal emergency" is the third and final stage of a financial crisis. Such a fiscal emergency may be declared by the Regents ONLY if a threat to the survival of the University cannot be alleviated by the measures taken in the first stage and second stage of a financial crisis. See Section 11.5 A temporary reduction or postponement of faculty compensation (as provided in Section 4.5) is a measure that may be taken in the second stage of a financial crisis. See Section 11.4.
In any financial crisis the Regents' Policy* REQUIRES the administration to proceed in the sequence of steps described in Section 11. The first stage is described in Section 11.3 (emphasis added):
"The president will identify the magnitude of the shortfall, the measures which might be taken to alleviate it (which MUST NOT involve impairment of faculty rights), and alternative measures which have been rejected. The president will give the committee FULL ACCESS to all available information and will RESPOND SPECIFICALLY to additional proposals suggested by the committee. At this stage the University will consider reductions in OTHER EXPENSES. It will also consider increases in tuition, sales of assets, and borrowing. These steps WILL BE IMPLEMENTED by the president or the Board of Regents as is appropriate."
The reductions in OTHER EXPENSES should include substantial reductions in the costs of administration at the University, the elimination of the annual multi-million dollar subsidy to the athletic department, and the cessation of the development of UMore Park on which the administration has spent in excess of $9.3 million over the past six years as the financial storm has been gathering.
The administration can proceed to the second stage of a financial crisis (the temporary reduction or postponement of faculty compensation) only AFTER the University has implemented ALL of the measures in the first stage and has determined that such measures are not adequate. A temporary reduction or postponement of faculty compensation must be approved by an ABSOLUTE MAJORITY of the members of the Faculty Senate or by a TWO-THIRDS vote of its members present and voting (a quorum being present). See Section 11.4.
The drafter of Interpretation No. 3 (p. 27 of the Regents' Policy*) should have used more precise language. The sentence in the Interpretation that the "financial difficulty" under Section 4.5 is less severe than the "fiscal emergency" outlined in Section 11 is accurate if the reference is read as limited to Section 11.5 (the "fiscal emergency" that is the third and final stage of a financial crisis). See also the analysis in my earlier email today (March 10 at 11:32 a.m.).
Michael W. McNabb
University of Minnesota B.A. 1971; J.D. 1974
University of Minnesota Alumni Association lifetime member
at 2:51 PM