Luke McCarthy, director of the Faculty Senate Office, at SACUA meeting Monday. Grace Lahti/Daily. Buy this photo.

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The Senate Assembly met in a hybrid format in the Ruthven Building on Monday to discuss University President Santa Ono’s plan to create the new, independent Office of Ethics, Integrity, and Compliance (OEIC), expand the faculty in the University Faculty Senate and review the academic conflict resolution and the grievance process. 

Silvia Pedraza, SACUA chair and LSA professor, began the meeting by discussing Ono’s intention to create an OEIC at the October Regents meeting last Thursday.  She said this development was, in part, thanks to SACUA.

“This new office of ethics, integrity and compliance will report to the president, the vice president and the general council,” Pedraza said. “The details are yet to be worked out and I have to say that this is in part thanks to the efforts in which SACUA was quite involved … We are little by little advancing and making progress at the University thanks to our very good staff in the FSO (Faculty Senate Office) and our very good people in SACUA.” 

Allen Liu, associate professor of mechanical engineering, then led a presentation on the expansion of faculty members in the University Faculty Senate to include clinical faculty and lecturers who are not currently members. Liu said the report outlines recommendations from the clinical faculty working groups, aiming to increase representation from U-M schools, colleges and campuses.

“The first recommendation is that we would like to suggest expansions of membership to anybody who has 50% appointment or more and this will include clinical faculty members as well as lecturers,” Liu said. “The second recommendation is to increase our Senate Assembly size, such (that) there is not a single unit or school that will lose a seat. The third recommendation is that faculty senate members should be eligible for the election senate assembly. The last recommendation is that faculty votes will be counted by tracks.”

Senate Assembly members discussed the benefit of expanding membership in order to incorporate more underrepresented professional groups into the Faculty Senate, including clinical faculty and lecturers. However, debates arose among current members on how this would impact the representation of each unit, given the size differences between the U-M schools.

Lucas McCarthy, recently appointed Faculty Senate Office director, then presented a review on conflict resolution and the academic grievance process. McCarthy discussed how the process worked and defined each of the three separate categories of conflict resolution systems — the office of Equity, Conflict Resolution and Title IX (ECRT), 5.09 hearings and faculty grievances.

McCarthy said the function of ECRT is to offer educational programs and resources to ensure University policies are being met while 5.09 hearings are the procedures that must be followed when there is a recommendation of dismissal, demotion, or terminal appointment involving a tenured or tenure-track faculty member. He said faculty grievances are enacted by individual academic units and review decisions made by deans, directors and other authority figures within a department. 

“5.09 hearings are very rare, they are provided within the region’s bylaws and specifically for the procedures for the dismissal of demotion or terminal appointment of a tenured or tenure track faculty,” McCarthy said. “The faculty grievances, which are enacted by each separate unit … has their own authority to pass their procedures. These faculty grievances review unit decisions made by deans, directors, department chairs, and other authorized persons are not for issues involving faculty members. This is about unit decisions.”

Daily Staff Reporter Marlee Sacksner can be reached at marleeis@umich.edu.

Correction 10/25: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that 5.09 hearings involve conflict resolution. The policy actually deals with recommendations of dismissal, demotion or termination of employment.