Senate endorses clinical faculty policy

October 28, 2013  

The University Senate endorsed a policy that addresses clinical and professional faculty appointment and promotion during its meeting Oct. 21. It also heard presentations about Purdue Research Park and the Student Intellectual Growth Task Force.

The Senate voted 47-20 to endorse the University-wide policy regarding clinical and professional faculty. Drafted by the Office of the Provost, the policy spells out requirements for contract renewals, requirements related to contract nonrenewals and resignations, and professional development funds.

On West Lafayette's campus now, there are 121 clinical faculty members -- accounting for about 6 percent of tenured and clinical faculty, says Charlene Sullivan, chair of the Senate's Faculty Affairs committee and associate professor of management. Under the policy, clinical faculty could make up no more than 15 percent of tenured and clinical faculty on campus.

The policy also limits the number of clinical faculty members in individual departments to 50 percent of tenured and clinical faculty. That number takes into account the fact that students in some disciplines, such as nursing, particularly benefit from clinical faculty members and their experiences, Sullivan says.

Sullivan, who is also associate dean of undergraduate programs at Krannert School of Management, says the policy eventually will be brought before the Board of Trustees for approval. According to University code, the president and the Board of Trustees must define policies related to terms of employment.

A copy of the endorsed policy can be found here.

The Senate also heard from Dale Whittaker, vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs, and Jeff Karpicke, the James V. Bradley Associate Professor of Cognitive Psychology, who gave an update about the Student Intellectual Growth Task Force established by President Mitch Daniels.

Whittaker and Karpicke are the task force's co-chairs. The task force is made up of scholars in education, assessment, cognitive science, educational technology, and STEM learning, as well as academic professionals from assessment, institutional research, enrollment and the Office of the President.

Since April, the task force has been examining ways to measure students' growth during their time at Purdue. The Student Intellectual Growth Task Force is expected to make detailed recommendations to the president in the coming weeks.

Karpicke invited Senate members to provide feedback to improve the task force's recommendations to the president. Feedback must be submitted to Whittaker at and Karpicke at by Oct. 31.

A copy of Whittaker and Karpicke's presentation can be found here.

Also during the meeting, Dan Hasler, president and chief entrepreneurial officer of Purdue Research Foundation, gave a presentation about the Purdue Research Park and discussed Purdue's Artisan and Fabrication Lab.

Opened in 2009, the lab -- traditionally used by College of Engineering students for hands-on coursework project -- recently opened to all Purdue faculty, staff and student innovators who need to build prototypes. More information can be found here. Hasler's presentation can be found here.

Due to time constraints, the Senate postponed until next month a presentation from Alysa Christmas Rollock, vice president for ethics and compliance, who will speak about the comprehensive policy review process. It also postponed a presentation from Matt Thomas, editor-in-chief of The Exponent, who will discuss improving relationships between the Exponent's student employees and faculty members.

Writer: Amanda Hamon, 49-61325,

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