Faculty awaits vote on handbook revisions

All Missouri Southern faculty members will be given the opportunity to make their voices heard regarding potential revisions for the faculty handbook by voting for or against the changes April 29.

For the past year, a total of 61 faculty members have been combing over the faculty handbook with the goal of re-organizing it and updating it with newly revised policies covering such areas as tenure, faculty appointments and evaluation criteria.

The revision effort initially began in 2011 with the intention of creating a new policy on tenure only. After reviewing the handbook, though, the need to conduct an overhaul of the entire handbook and revise other policies found therein became apparent.

“At that point, it smacked everybody in the face that they were going to revise one part of the handbook, but the rest of the handbook wouldn’t really be consistent with that,” said Garoutte, Faculty Senate president. “It was decided by all parties that the whole handbook needed revision.”

Once the decision was made, the deans council, Faculty Senate, various committees and sub-committees, as well as the 61 volunteers, all began the process of revising the outdated policies and re-organizing the handbook as a whole.

“This process, I think it’s the definition of shared governance,” said Garoutte. “We got input from basically anybody who wanted to give it, If they didn’t give input, it wasn’t for a lack of us asking for it.”

Should the result of the all faculty vote prove in favor of the revision, Garoutte says one of the goals going forward will be to create a process to nominate policies for the handbook committee to look at in the future and take to faculty senate, who will in turn make proposals to the administration.

“There has never been a process for that in the past,” said Garoutte. “It would be nice to look at individual things here and there and maintain [the handbook] rather than overhaul it.”