November 27, 2001

Dear Colleagues,

As we approach the end of the first quarter of our academic year, I wish to bring a couple of issues to your attention. Please view this email as the first step towards opening a dialogue with each of you. We will have the opportunity to discuss these issues in detail in the coming months. I seek your feedback on all issues discussed below.

We are all aware of the seriousness of our State's financial status. Although the College has not been asked to plan for any specific budget reduction, we have been asked to be extra prudent with how we allocate and spend the state resources at our disposal. As you know, I am unable to fill any vacant faculty positions so long as I remain Acting Dean. Open staff positions and professional staff salaries are also being carefully scrutinized before decisions are taken. It is within this context that I raise the first issue.

Prior to, and commencing with, the next academic year, I wish to re-evaluate all existing faculty salary commitments involving the use of state general operating funds to support teaching performed by non-tenure faculty -- to include part-time instructors, research and WOT faculty. Further, I suggest that we only use state general operating funds to pay for classroom teaching that does not include seminars, independent study, undergraduate research, graduate research or thesis preparation, etc. We also need to review our use of state designated operating funds for paying non-tenure faculty for these services.

Starting September 16, 2002, our goal is to pay one month of salary per quarter of instruction for each five-credit classroom course offered by non-tenure faculty. If additional duties such as advising, recruiting, curriculum design and substantial committee service are included, an additional 0.5-month of salary support may be granted in the quarter in which classroom teaching is performed. I will consult widely with the EFC, the division chairs and individual faculty members to learn of unforeseen negative effects that may arise from this policy and which may need to be mitigated.

Curriculum reform will, along with the budget situation, require that we carefully consider which courses taught by non-tenure track faculty continue to be offered. In addition, prior to and commencing June 16, 2002, I intend to re-evaluate the use of state general operating funds for existing, or new, summer salary commitments to tenure track faculty for all work unrelated to course instruction. This does not impact faculty who teach for Summer Quarter where the rate of compensation for teaching is set by UW Educational Outreach and remains one month of compensation per 5-credit course.

For the remainder of the current academic year, the College will honor existing teaching arrangements for non-tenure faculty and will continue to pay these salaries, using state general operating funds, to part-time instructors, research and WOT faculty for all classroom teaching they perform. In some instances, the rate of compensation may be re-evaluated to be consistent across the College. We will also continue the use of state designated operating funds to pay for academic services unrelated to classroom instruction.

We also intend to re-examine the way we allocate state general funds to pay salaries for our teaching assistants. While the salary levels of graduate students and their terms of employment are set by the Graduate School, I wish to develop a consistent policy to ensure that all students are treated fairly. Again, I will consult widely with the EFC, the division chairs, our graduate students and individual faculty members to learn of possible negative side effects associated with this issue.

In discussions with each of the divisions at the start of the autumn quarter, I indicated that we should re-examine the model we use for allocating our faculty merit salary pool. Presently, faculty in each of our divisions has devised a performance evaluation system that best suits their needs. In both cases, the system rewards faculty who rank high in terms of individual scholarship but does little to ensure that faculty who practice high levels of citizenship are equally rewarded. I ask each of you to think about this in the months ahead. Does our present model accomplish what we designed it to do? Should we give more weight to communal citizenship activities when they directly benefit the welfare of the College community?

We all realize that our organizational culture is an outgrowth of a series of behaviors, interactions and decisions involving many people over many years. We also realize that our best strategic thinking will never lead to the desired outcomes unless we have the proper organizational culture to bring it to fruition. Getting each of us to accept responsibility for our actions and words, to be more open, respectful, accountable, trusting and polite is only part of the needed culture. In addition, we must ensure that our reward structure is properly aligned with our strategic thinking and we need the proper culture to make it all happen. I believe that our current faculty merit performance system and its accompanying merit reward structure are not properly aligned with this ambition. We need to devise a new system that embraces a win-win philosophy and we should discontinue use of our current system that embraces a zero-sum game win-lose philosophy. I ask each of you to begin a dialogue within your faculty groups of how we can best design such a faculty merit system and have it in place by the start of autumn 2002, if not sooner. We must, of course, adhere to the provisions of the Faculty Handbook as we move in this direction, but I believe it affords us the latitude we desire.

Lastly, we will soon appoint membership to our Ad Hoc Undergraduate Curriculum Transformation Committee. I wish to thank all of you who took the time to nominate someone for consideration. In all, 24 faculty names were submitted. Several names were suggested more than once and the Management Council gave these names extra consideration as it formed the committee. I believe that we should allow this committee to take the lead in designing our two-major curriculum model. Discussions concerning this committee's work will take place in all-college faculty meetings starting winter 2002. I will ask the committee to submit its recommendations to me by February 15, 2002. The CPC and EFC will assist the committee in presenting progress reports to the faculty on an interim basis. The goal is to have a faculty vote on the Committee's proposal on, or before, March 15, 2002. In the spring 2002 term, we will begin the implementation phase of the curriculum transformation project. This will likely continue through a portion of the summer term so that we may offer the new curriculum in autumn 2002.

I believe that the Ad Hoc Undergraduate Curriculum Transformation Committee is the proper vehicle for discussions involving the College's new curriculum. Once their report is completed, and we have voted, we will be in a good position to consider how the College is organized. Furthermore, we will have the added advantage of the President's Charting Future Directions Report and other associated decisions he may take in the coming months. Until then, I believe we should maintain our two-division structure to ensure that our existing curricula are properly managed; that our on-going tenure, promotion and merit salary discussions move forward; and that we provide as much stability to our students as possible while we transform the College's curriculum.

B. Bruce Bare, Acting Dean

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