Committee to begin review
By Corinne Henahan
Cultural Affairs Reporter
This meeting comes 11 months
after a petition requesting the review was filed by Pan-African faculty
with Joseph Danks, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Kenneth Calkins, emeritus
professor of history who serves on the grievance committee for the American
Associ- ation of University Professors (AAUP), said the university has
about one week to complete the review according to the collective bargaining
He said delays violate the
agreement and the AAUP will probably file a grievance.
"I assume that we'll file
a grievance," Calkins said. "At this stage, it's against the dean and the
In the section concerning
the extraordinary review of departmental chairpersons, the collective bargaining
agreement states that following the dean's receipt of a written petition,
"The review shall be completed no later than the end of the following semester."
Danks acknowledged the petition
in January, making the following semester this current fall semester.
Calkins said it could be
difficult to come to a settlement because of the circumstances surrounding
"You can't say do it last
month," Calkins said. Calkins said AAUP's main concern is the apparent
lack of action on the part of the dean.
"He didn't do anything, he
hasn't done anything yet," Calkins said. "They have not done what's required
in the process."
Danks gave several reasons
for the delays in the review process.
"Since I've received the
petition I've taken a number of steps to dissolve the disputes behind
the review," Danks said. "It's been difficult for me to work with some
members of the department."
Provost Myron Henry said
some responsibility for the delay rests with the faculty in the department.
"What's happened in this
particular review, there have been some delays for very good reasons,"
Henry said. "Sometimes things go beyond the control of the dean. Delays
in the process were not simply because of the dean, but also in ''the department."
Both Henry and Danks cited scheduling as one problem presented by the department,
but Calkins disagrees.
"What we're talking about
is a year's delay," Calkins said. "You don't have scheduling problems over
a whole year."
Calkins said he feels that
if the process had been followed, trouble could have been avoided.
"The fact that it wasn't
done in a timely way exacerbates the situation," Calkins said. "If they
had gone through and moved properly ahead, they could've resolved those
Danks said he tried to resolve
the problems in the department before he received the petition.
"I was working with the faculty
prior to submission of the petition, "Danks said. "They short-circuited
that process by filing the petition precipitously."
The review committee consists
of eleven faculty members including eight from the Department of Pan-African
Studies, one in education and another in music. John Gargan, professor
of political science, will chair the committee.
Gargan described the committee's
task as a "general assessment of the performance of the chair to date."
Gargan said the committee will look at questionnaires given to members
of the department as well as views solicited from "key department stake-holders,"
includ- ing students.
Henry said the committee
should consider many aspects of Garrison's performance.
"The committee will seek
input and offer opportunities for input from a wide variety of individuals
who've interacted with Dr. Garri- son," Henry said.
Gargan said the chair will
be given an opportunity to review and react to that input.
"The chair of the department
is permitted to see summaries of these comments and respond to them," Gargan
Danks said the process will
move forward when he receives a report from the commit- tee.
Danks said at this point
Garrison will be given another opportunity to respond. "After I receive
the report he has the opportunity to respond and the faculty in response
to the report," Danks said.
"Once I receive the report
from the review committee, I will send the collective bargaining faculty
a ballot," Danks said.
He said that tenured or tenure-track
faculty will be included in a poll asking whether or not Garrison should
remain chair of the depart- ment. Danks said the results of this poll
will be heavily weighted in his decision, but ultimately the decision is
up to him.
"If I do make it contrary
to the poll, I am required by the collective bargaining agree- ment to
go before the faculty and explain my reasons," Danks said.
Henry said both the provost
and the president hold power to overturn that decision, but he would not
exercise that power except in special circumstances.
"It's always true that a
provost or the president could overturn a decision made by a dean," Henry
said. "I'm reluctant to overturn decision's of deans unless there are really
Henry said that despite the
impending AAUP grievance, the review committee will take their time.
"They're certainly entitled
to file whatever they like," Henry said. "The key thing is there needs
to be fair process and due process."