Faculty Senate discusses tenure/non-tenured ratio dispute

Dr. Gregory McBrayer, Director of the Core Curriculum and Assistant Professor of Political Science, opens the discussion.

The incorrect ratio of tenured to non-tenured faculty members and Faculty Rules and Regulations (FRR) violations that could come with it were among several issues discussed in this month’s Faculty Senate meeting on Friday, Feb. 17.

After an introduction and prayer led by eAshland Dean Shawn Orr, Faculty Senate opened with the issue of Ashland University’s tenured and non-tenured faculty. Dr. Gregory McBrayer, director of core curriculum, discussed the Provost’s report on the current ratio.

“The provost is to submit a report on the ratio of tenured to non-tenured track faculty, with the ratio being 75 percent to 25 percent,” McBrayer began. “This is supposed to happen in February, it’s February, and as I understand it, we have been asked to allow any departure from that.”

McBrayer noted the current report, which shows the ratio is off the mark at 68% to 32%, and stated, “As you can see, we are not quite there.”

The topic turned to adjust errors in the aforementioned percentages, with Dan McDonald, chair of Art and Design, leading the discussion.

“Just want to clarify that when we went through the poll list that was provided to us asking for the names of faculty, there was some confusion,” McDonald stated. “We did find at least one blatant error and then some other curiosities with some folks labeled oddly across campus. But in fixing the number, I think it went from 31.8 to 31.2.”

With clarifications addressed, other faculty began identifying concerns in handling the situation by the administration. Dr. Diane Bonfiglio, chair of Psychology and Social Work and Family Studies, initiated this discussion.

“When executives brought forward that we were granting this exception, it came with strings and a long-form motion that was presented to the senate,” Bonfiglio said. “Among things that were included was a note saying administration has never met this criteria since the time it was placed in FRR and that in fact, we have moved away.”

Bonfliglio asked if progress was being made toward an executable plan the faculty charged the administration with creating that would start moving things in the right direction.

According to McBrayer, “No progress has been made on a plan to bring this in line with FRR.” With the lack of progress being made toward the plan, Bonfiglio addressed how this violated FRR.

“The administration has been woefully in violation of FRR on this for four years,” Bonfiglio said. “Last year, we warned them as a body, and they failed to execute making changes. I’m not sure what happens next.”

Bonfiglio also noted that the faculty senate went on record a year ago addressing concerns regarding the tenured track ratio and hoped that the senate would make a statement addressing this violation.