Task forces are temporary ad hoc committees formed to address specific policy issues. Advisory committees are formed to provide advice or feedback to administrators. They are usually not temporary committees.
During the 2021-2022 academic year, the University Coordinating Committee considered a variety of potential changes to the UPC Charter and other governance documents. The UCC convened this task force to draft amendments to the SCU Governance Documents, based on suggested changes from various sources, and to suggest wording changes and additions to the UPC Charter and other governance documents.
This task force is charged with the duty of finding ways to promote justice on campus. It will seek broad input and representation from various stakeholders in the Santa Clara University community in an effort to articulate the University’s values around promoting labor justice.
The goal of the task force is to examine service expectations, how they are compensated, and how they should be valued in evaluation, rank, tenure, and promotion for all ranks, but especially for associate professors petitioning for full. A corollary concern is to review service expectations for major University service to be sure that the rewards for faculty and staff are aligned.
Task Force Agendas & Minutes
For more information, please go to: https://www.scu.edu/
This advisory committee advises the Provost’s Office on the maintenance of academic freedom and integrity and the autonomy of the University in decisions related to expenditures of this gift; the committee will report at least annually to the Faculty Senate Council, Staff Senate, and Student Senate for the duration of the gift.
This task force evaluated current collaborative governance involvement in university finances, explored other peer universities' processes, and suggested recommendations to improve the SCU collaborative governance charter. The TF submitted its final report to the UCC on June 3, 2022.
The task force investigated best practices used at SCU and comparable universities for alternative resolution approaches like mediation, restorative justice, transformative practices, etc., as a tool for addressing allegations of sexual harassment or any form of discrimination based on protected class status. The Task Force recommended program models for alternative resolution to be developed at SCU reporting to the Faculty Affairs Committee, the Staff Affairs Committee, the Student Affairs Committee, the University Coordinating Committee, and the Director of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Coordinator. The Task Force recommended that the UCC reconvene this task force (or a similar one) in Fall 2021 to continue developing a model proposal that ensures that the task force is being thoughtful and intentional about mitigating any risks, ensuring that the alternative resolution process is properly executed and community support is secured.
This task force investigated and proposed solutions to four areas of the university’s collaborative governance consultation and communication systems: (1) an online policy/proposal tracking mechanism; (2) additional methods beyond Senate presentations for consultation during policy development; (3) training tools for committee and community members on governance processes; and (4) facilitating better communication about governance processes with the broader university community. The Task Force will submit its final recommendations to the UCC in Fall 2021. The draft recommendations may be viewed here.
The UCC obtained approval from Acting Co-Provosts Ed Ryan and Kate Morris and Acting President Kloppenberg to proceed with the development of a beta version of the Governance Tracker (i.e., the online policy/proposal tracking mechanism). The UCC in collaboration with the university’s web development team will begin development of the Governance Tracker in Summer 2021.
Recommendations and Suggestions (September 2021)
This planning group developed principles to guide decisions about vaccination for employees and students in anticipation of a return to campus in Fall 2021. The group’s recommendation defined the COVID-19 vaccination requirements for all SCU employees in accordance with local, state and federal requirements and in anticipation of a return to campus. The recommended policy provided exemptions for medical and religious reasons as defined under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Vaccine Planning Group submitted its recommendation to the Faculty Affairs and Staff Affairs committees, Acting President Kloppenberg, and Acting Co-Provost Morris and Ryan in May 2021. The recommendations may be viewed here.
This task force completed its charge in June 2021. The task was divided into a scholarship committee that reviewed department statements articulating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on scholarship in their discipline, and a teaching committee that reviewed department statements regarding how teaching performance would be evaluated during online quarters. Each committee provided feedback on the statements that identified best practices that emerged from their review, including attention to impacts on research practice and publication and on the professional activity of lecturers, and movement towards a more robust framework for teaching evaluation that goes beyond the Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) instrument. They looked for evidence that the statements were developed in consultation with all academic year faculty who will be evaluated by the standards.
The task force investigated best practices at comparable universities for remedying the particular obstacles faced by caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. They recommended policies and practices to support faculty and staff caregivers at the university. The UCC will forward the final report to the Faculty Affairs Committee, the FAC Subcommittee on Lecturers and Adjuncts, and the Staff Affairs Committee to frame the development of future policy recommendations.
Report on Best Practices (June 2021)
This task force reviewed Santa Clara’s gift acceptance guidelines in relation to the mission, vision, and values of the University, researched best practices in gift acceptance in higher education, and recommended improvements in the University’s gift acceptance guidelines. The President approved six of the eight recommendations of the Task Force, with implementation effective
The charge of the Working Council is to advise the Provost's Office on the procedures associated with the implementation of the new non-exempt classification of quarterly and semester adjunct lecturers. The Working Council reviews procedures related to the implementation process and works with the Provost’s Office to refine and revise processes, as needed. For example, the Working Council reviewed new procedures associated with time tracking as well as recent procedures on course cancellations and quarterly and semester adjunct lecturer reappointments.
The Task Force investigated best practices for Lecturers (Senior Lecturers, Renewable-Term Lecturers, and Academic Year Adjunct Lecturers) at other universities in the areas of hiring protocols, job stability, service expectations, respect, and resources. The Task Force submitted a preliminary report which responded to the charge by recommending models to the Faculty Affairs Committee. In view of the fact that Santa Clara University’s policies and practices regarding lecturers are changing rapidly and that some key documents related to the charge were unavailable at the time the preliminary report was completed (e.g., the University’s final report on Campus
Climate was released fall 2018), the Task Force will release an update to this report covering areas of their charge
which remained unfinished. Task Force members will make themselves available to the Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC), Faculty Senate Committee on Lecturers and Adjuncts (COLA), and Faculty Senate Council (FSC) for consultation and discussion as needed.
The task force completed a revision and interim implementation plan of Policy 311 that created a unified policy addressing sexual misconduct and other forms of discrimination and harassment in compliance with federal and state laws. The Task Force received feedback on the interim policy from Staff Affairs, Faculty Affairs, Student Affairs, President’s Cabinet, General Counsel, and campus community members. On August 14, 2020, the University announced the implementation of the Interim Policy on Nondiscrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct. On March 10, 2021, the Task Force presented Resolution: FSC2021.03.10.1R to the Faculty Senate Council (FSC) for approval to call upon the full Faculty Senate to vote on the Interim Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct to replace the current wording of Appendix F of the Faculty Handbook. The FSC voted in favor of the resolution by a vote of 25-0-5 (Y-N-A). On April 7, 2021, the full Faculty Senate approved the replacement of Appendix F of the Faculty Handbook with the Interim Policy on Discrimination, Harrassment and Sexual Misconduct by a vote of 113-4-5 (Y-N-A). Final approval from the Board of Trustees is pending. The vote to approve is anticipated to occur at the October 2021 Board meeting.
In 2018, this Task Force was formed to continue the work of a previous task force on the Adjudication of Alleged Academic Integrity Violations. This newly formed Task Force was charged with 1) developing a broad statement of University standards of academic integrity, 2) defining protocols for reporting undergraduate academic integrity violations and adjudicating them. The Task Force requested a modification to its charge in March 2019. The UCC recommended that the Task Force continue with its original charge. In June 2020, the Task Force's final report recommended that the UCC create a third Academic Integrity Task Force for the 2020-21 academic year, and that the UCC take into consideration the issues raised in the Task Force’s March request to modify its charge.
The Task Force reviewed rank and tenure procedures at other institutions and made best practice recommendations to improve the rank and tenure system. The Faculty Affairs Committee approved some recommendations from the task force and will continue the finalization of other recommendations in the next academic year.
The Provost's website includes documentation on the channels for reporting and resolution of disputes at SCU. Elsa Chen, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and Charles Ambelang, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, currently work to assist with the resolution of disputes involving faculty and staff members, and the Provost's Office is piloting an effort to engage neutral third parties to resolve conflicts.
In Spring quarter 2018, the Project Manager and Director for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion engaged with the Planning Action Council (PAC) to discuss and prioritize the Task Force recommendations. The Project Manager compiled the feedback from the discussions with PAC to share with the University President. In Fall 2018, two campus-wide fora were held as part of the comprehensive Campus Climate Study.
The Task Force was charged with updating the University's protocols for adjudication, appeal, and sanctions for allegations of violations of academic integrity. The Task Force submitted a report and recommendations. Due to concerns raised by the faculty community, however, the recommendations were not implemented.
The Task Force on Providing Regular Feedback to Academic Administrators recommended that Santa Clara University adopt an annual survey for faculty to provide regular, formative feedback to senior academic administrators (Deans and Provost). The following recommendations were submitted by the Task Force:
- An administrator survey should be administered in the spring focusing on the following areas: Communication; eadership in curriculum and teaching; Leadership in scholarship; Alignment with mission and institutional culture; and Overall management and leadership.
- All full-time faculty should provide feedback to their individual Dean each year.
- A random sample of full-time faculty (approximately one-third of the faculty) should fill out a survey about the Provost each year.
- Results of the surveys should be collated and distributed by an office on campus and given to administrators and their supervisors over the summer.
The recommendations were approved by the Provost and implemented in the following years.
The Child Care Task Force, appointed by the Vice President for Finance and Administration, studied Santa Clara’s Kids on Campus program and comparable programs. The Task Force recommended that the University:
- continue to offer on-campus child care
- enhance the physical structure for the child care center
- stabilize the financial structure for on-campus child care
- develop a multi-year plan for tuition rates
- agree not to raise the tuition of KOC more than 5% in any given year.
The recommendations were submitted to the Vice President for Finance and Administration and implemented in the following years.
Task Force Charge
The Task Force on Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) developed an instrument to replace the instrument that had been in place at SCU for three decades. The Task Force reviewed the literature, received campus-wide feedback from faculty across the University on three potential models, completed pilot studies, and conducted a poll of the faculty. A new SET instrument was recommended by the Task Force and the Faculty Affairs Committee. The recommendations were approved by the Provost in October 2014 and subsequently adopted by all Schools and the College of Arts and Sciences.
The full set of materials and appendices produced by the Task Force on Student Evaluation of Teaching can be found here.
The Task Force on Evaluation of Teaching was charged with the development of a flexible set of guidelines for collecting and analyzing evidence of a faculty member’s contributions to teaching and learning. The Task Force recommended the following:
- Evaluation of teaching should be based on multiple sources of evidence.
- Multiple sources of evidence should include at least student evaluations and peer evaluations.
- Peer evaluations should include both classroom observations and teaching materials.
- The University should convene an additional task force focused explicitly on improving the Student Evaluation of Teaching instrument.
- Other recommendations included: providing transparent and timely evaluation criteria and processes; engaging in the development of evaluation practices at the departmental level, developing a shared set of norms for exemplary, excellent, and unsatisfactory teaching; and experimenting with diverse small-scale pilot programs for evaluating teaching.
The recommendations were approved by the Provost.
The full set of materials and appendices produced by the Task Force on Evaluation of Teaching can be found here.
The Task Force on Communication and Collaboration Tools was formed to identify campus needs for communication and collaboration services, identify categories of tools to meet those needs, and evaluate and recommend specific tools and vendors within each category. The Task Force assessed the needs of the community, reviewed several products, consulted widely, and unanimously recommended that the University adopt Google Apps for Education as its communication and collaboration platform. The recommendation was approved by the Provost and President, and the tool was launched the following year.
Task Force Members
The Executive Task Force on Governance conducted focus groups, surveys, and conversations, and subsequently developed recommendations to improve the governance process. Recommendations focused on the following areas: UPCs, Communications flow, Successful committees, UCC, Committee appointments, Responses and appeals, Role of Faculty Senate, Relations with Trustees, Orientation, and Staffing support.
The recommendations were revised by the UCC in 2011-2012. Following a vote of the faculty senate, thirty-two revised recommendations were approved by the UCC and the President on June 19, 2012.
Task Force Charge
The Task Force on Classrooms and Class Scheduling studied Santa Clara’s classroom availability and scheduling practices. The Task Force recommended the following:
- Some specialized teaching spaces should be made available for general use after they have been assigned for specialized use.
- To align with national practice the University’s master plan should include a commitment to maintaining a classroom utilization rate of 65 –70% during the typical class week.
- Plans for new construction and/or for changing the size of the graduate and/or undergraduate student body should take into consideration the availability of teaching space and the need to maintain appropriate flexibility to meet student and faculty needs.
- Some teaching spaces should be improved or remodeled to better support teaching and learning.
- The University’s Guidelines for Class Scheduling should be revised to support a broader distribution of classes throughout the day.
- The length of each Tuesday/Thursday (TR) class should be decreased by ten minutes to create an eighth class period on TR.
- Two-day per week scheduling options should be expanded by adding a few MF and WF options after 3:00.
- A few more classes that meet once per week on Fridays should be offered.
- A clear method should be established for communicating classroom problems and needs to the Registrar, Media Services, Facilities, and/or Deans, along with a clear strategy for responding rapidly to identified needs.
- Chairs and administrative assistants should communicate to faculty the range of classroom options using a scheduling template listing available times, equipment, furniture, and room options.
The recommendations were approved by the Provost and implemented in the following years.