(Approved as Amended)
February 23, 2006 | 3 pm
Great Hall, Levering
Steering committee officers present: Prof. Todd Hufnagel (Secretary)
Absent: Prof. Hilary Bok (President); Prof. Kevin Hemker (Vice President)
Attendance: Approximately 40 faculty and guests were in attendance.
In the absence of both the President and Vice President, Prof. Hufnagel opened the meeting at 3:00 PM by welcoming the faculty and guests. He entertained a motion to approve the minutes from the November 4, 2005 meeting. The motion was offered, seconded, and approved.
2. Dean Falk's comments on the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS)
Dean Falk stated that KSAS is in terrific shape, as good as it has ever been, with excellent faculty and students. His aspiration for the school is that it be the finest school of arts and sciences of its size, committed equally to graduate and undergraduate education. Rankings are less important than quality. To sustain and build the school, Dean Falk has set the following priorities for long-range planning:
a. Nourishment of departments with faculty hires, students, and strong undergraduate programs.Dean Falk stated that immediate priorities are the budget; enrollment growth; completion of Charles Commons; Hopkins One; disposition of Villa Spellman; and the Campaign. He also said that KSAS has a core group of donors who understand KSAS and its needs, and who can be engaged in dialog about the school.
In closing, Dean Falk said that the relationship of KSAS with WSE is good, and that he intends to build relationships with other divisions as well. He also said that stability is important, and that he is committed to staying at KSAS.
There were no questions from the audience for Dean Falk.
3. Dean Jones' comments on the Whiting School of Engineering (WSE)
Dean Jones began his comments by announcing several honors and awards for WSE faculty and alumni. Two members of the faculty (Tony Dalrymple and Frederick Jelinek) and three alumni have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Also, four and possibly five faculty members have won NSF CAREER awards.
The Institute for Computational Medicine is now open, epitomizing the next generation of collaboration between WSE and the School of Medicine (SoM). The Institute for NanoBio Technology, a joint WSE/KSAS/SoM/SPH venture, is being established with a formal announcement due soon. Also, Dean Jones said that he had meet with Dean Martha Hill of the School of Nursing, with an eye towards developing joint efforts there as well.
Construction of a new computational sciences building (part of the Decker Quad) has begun. About $4M (roughly 10%) of the money for this building is in the bank.
There have been some strategic changes in the EPP (Engineering and Applied Science Programs for Professionals), which is a partnership with the Applied Physics Laboratory with 2300 students enrolled. One new emphasis will be in on-line programs to complement classroom programs. A new director (Ken Potocki) for the Systems Engineering and Technology Management programs has been hired.
Regarding development, Dean Jones said that the WSE goal for the current campaign is $150M, of which $100M has been raised. We are about two-thirds of the way through the campaign, so we are on track. Mr. Rob Spiller has been appointed as the new Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations in WSE. A goal is to target corporate and unaffiliated donors in addition to WSE alumni. There are also plans for joint fundraising with KSAS, built around the Baltimore Scholars program, as well as a joint fundraising trip with SoM.
The biggest short-term challenge for WSE is the budget. A large deficit in FY2005 was a surprise, and there will be a deficit in FY2006 and possibly FY2007 as well. Significant new stresses on the budget are increasing utilities costs and the cost of new security measures at Homewood. However, Dean Jones said that he is committed to proceeding with limited faculty hiring, and Jones said that the financial projections for 2008 and beyond look very favorable and that he wants the school to be prepared when the budget moves back into the black. He said that we have recently come off of 5-6 years of double-digit growth in research, which is now leveling off. However, Dean Jones said that he expects an increase again in the near future, and that he wants the school to be prepared for that when it happens.
Dean Jones closed his comments by saying that WSE is working on a strategic plan, which should be in place by the end of the spring semester. Also, he is working on strategic partnerships with outside groups, including internationally. For instance, WSE has recently signed a joint agreement with Shanghai Jiaotong University for a joint bioengineering program. Preliminary work is also being done with Nanjing University and with universities in India (which may include KSAS as well.)
There were no questions from the audience for Dean Jones.
4. Tenure System
Professors Jack Rugh (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Greg Ball (Psychological and Brain Sciences), both members of the Academic Council, to provide an update on the new tenure policy and regulations.
Prof. Rugh began by saying that the university is now 1.6 years into the new tenure system. There were several reason for switching from the old tenure system in which tenure was normally granted only at the full professor level. One was market forces, where the old system was a hindrance in recruiting in some "hot areas" and failed to attract mid- level faculty from other universities where tenured associate faculty members were the norm. Prof. Rugh said these issues particularly impacted the school's ability to attract faculty from under-represented groups. A secondary issue is the difficulty that faculty had in finding new jobs if they were not tenured after ten years at Hopkins.
Prof. Rugh noted that the new system came into effect in July of 2004. In the new system, tenure comes with promotion to associate professor within no more than seven years. New procedures were also established with two largely independent evaluations. The first is a detailed departmental evaluation, involving outside referees and focused on the scholarly achievements of the candidate, the relation of their "field of endeavor" to programs on the campus, and teaching and service. This evaluation results in a departmental dossier. The second evaluation is an independent ad hoc committee evaluation, also involving external referees. A departmental liaison is assigned to provide information to the ad hoc committee and fact checking. The department chair and the ad hoc committee meet independently with the academic council.
Prof. Ball spoke of the role of the department liaison. In the original plan, the intention was that the departmental liaison would meet with the ad hoc committee at least once to go over letters and review the letter writers. The committee could then use the department liaison as they needed, but the liaison would not be deeply involved in deliberation. Prof. Ball said that due to a misinterpretation of the rules, some ad hoc committees had been reluctant to use the department liaison as they saw fit. Prof. Ball said the council is now examining how this can be changed and stressed how important and desirable it is for the ad hoc committee to utilize the department liaison. Also, he said that the various departments are still deciding on a "culture" regarding letters of support, and as a result the council is seeing some variance between departments in this area.
Prof. Ball said that the system is getting "smoother and more consistent" and is working fairly well at this point. He also gave numbers regarding transition into the new system: Of the 70 assistant professors who had a choice between the old and new systems last year, 52 chose the new system and 18 chose the old. Of the 29 eligible associate professors, eight chose the old system, two chose the new system, and 18 did not have a choice because they were too close to promotion. Of the two cases for promotion from assistant to associate professor that came before the council last year, one chose the old system and one the new.
Prof. Ball said that the council has also been discussing the phenomenon of "late bloomers" — faculty whose career development and trajectory progress more slowly than others. He said that under the old system it was easier to promote these individuals. How they will fare under the new system is under question, but it is too soon to discern an effect because all of the current class had a choice of systems. The implications of the new system for "late blooming" faculty members will be explored in coming years.
Dean Falk noted a statistical quirk regarding the old and new tenure systems: Of all the KSAS faculty who were eligible to chooses between the systems, almost all of the humanities and social science candidates chose the new tenure systems while in natural and physical sciences fully half chose the old system. Falk said he believed this spoke to the importance of giving scientists the opportunity to develop their laboratories, which the old system afforded them the time to do. Dean Jones said that in WSE most of the faculty with a choice chose the new system.
Prof. Ball said that one of most discussed features of the new system has been whether tenure should be considered after seven years or after the traditional six years (as it is at many other universities). He said that this discussion was broken down between different professional areas. In the humanities, where publications come "less frequently and in bigger chunks," candidates generally wanted a little longer time. Prof. Ball said that it remains to be seen whether the six or seven year time consideration could be flexible.
Prof. Jeff Gray (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering) asked Prof. Ball to clarify the number of candidate considered for promotion from associate to full professor last year. Prof. Ball recapped the figures.
An unidentified professor noted that the problems with recruiting in the open market are not restricted to attracting full professors but also impact the recruiting of junior faculty. He also mentioned the problems regarding younger professors and grant funding; in particular, longer times provide a chance to change research direction if funding does not develop. Prof. Ball said the council has had a great deal of discussion regarding funding lines and said that the university has been discussing ways to work with the federal government and funding organizations such as the NSF and NIH to change that. He also said that several members of the council were themselves currently "facing the music" regarding grant renewals. He suggested that one role of the department liason could be to provide perspective on the climate for research funding in a given field.
Prof. Rugh mentioned that the council is hosting ongoing faculty luncheons for junior faculty members who wish to ask questions of council members in a more private setting.
Prof. Jason Eisner (Computer Science) asked for clarification regarding the number of candidate letters, who provides the letters for the candidate's dossier, and whether letters requested by the department were viewed by the council as "tainted" or of lesser significance.
Prof. Rugh said that in the past, faculty letters were often seen as somehow "tainted" but noted that the department review is now a serious part of the application process and the referee's letters obtained by the department should be viewed with the same respect as the letters obtained by the ad hoc committee. Both Profs. Ball and Rugh said that there were also some concerns in the past that the departmental representative was unduly influencing both the department and the ad hoc committee, but that perception has changed.
Prof. Gabrielle Spiegel (History, Acting Dean of Faculty for KSAS) said that though departmental representatives and chairs were discounted in the past for undue influence, she believes that those department members bring valuable expertise to the ad hoc committee, especially in evaluating referee letters, and that there is a loss in not having a departmental representative on the committee. Prof. Ball said that the new system recognizes this expertise and encourages the Ad-hoc committee to fully utilize the departmental representative.
Prof. Bob Frank (Cognitive Science) asked about how the two documents-- the departmental and Ad-hoc committee reports - - are judged and reconciled with/against one another. Prof. Rugh said that there is no general answer to that question and said it often depends on the reputation of the department. Prof. Ball said that the final ad hoc report includes the departmental report. Dean Falk said that in his experience with the committee, it is often beneficial to "read the report backwards" starting with the ad hoc committee's final report, which lends clarity to the dossier. Dean Falk said the committee spends little time talking about the final report and spend most of its time talking about the letters and speaking to the chair of the adhoc committee and the department chair on how to interpret those letters. In that sense, the process hasn't changed much from the old system. Prof. Rugh said that this feedback mechanism encourages the departments to be serious in their preparation of their report.
Prof. Maura Tumulty (Philosophy) asked about differences in expectations given the different time lines (seven years for the new system versus ten for the old). Prof. Rugh said that it was too soon to say anything definitive. Prof. Ball pointed out that the reviews under the old system were also rigorous, and that these kinds of questions are just starting to emerge. He emphasized the need to evaluate all cases carefully.
Prof. Eisner asked whether the department chair has an opportunity to respond to the report of the ad hoc committee. Prof. Rugh indicated that a written response can be provided to the academic council.
Prof. Gray asked for clarification regarding the number of professors up for promotion from assistant to associate this past year. Prof. Ball and deanFalk recapped the numbers (listed above), and mentioned that there were additionally five requests for reconsideration.
5. Open Discussion
Prof. Hufnagel opened the floor to open discussion, but there was none.
Prof. Hufnagel requested a motion for adjournment, which was made and seconded. Hearing no objection, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 4:00 PM.
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