Institutional Cooperation, Policy Issues, and Organizational Options for the 1980s at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University: A Preliminary Report, January 26, 1981
On April 1, 1980, the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University submitted an application for advisory services to “Project Lodestar” of the Association of American Colleges. In the application, prepared by the Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs, Sister Linda Kulzer and Father Gunther Rolfson, the specific issue on which consultation was requested was described as follows:
The VPAA find it impossible to project staffing needs accurately unless they do it together. Since staffing is inseparable from tenure, doing so together requires that joint tenuring policies be developed that will be acceptable on both campuses.
During the summer of 1980, Dr. John D. Moseley was appointed lead consultant for this project by the AAC, following its approval of the proposal. In early October, 1980, Dr. Moseley made an initial visit to CSB and SJU in order to determine the nature of the issue on which consultation was sought. During that visit, he interviewed the two Vice-Presidents, Sister Emmanuel Renner (President of CSB), and Father Alberic Culhane (Acting President of SJU). Dr. Moseley returned to the campuses in early November in order to determine, through interviews, the institutional contexts in which the tenure issues were set. During this visit, he taped interviews with key individuals, met with the two presidents, and participated in five group meetings.
This preliminary report, “Institutional Cooperation, Policy Issues, and Organizational Options for the 1980s at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University,” is the next step in this consultation process. It is a working document based on information collected by Dr. Moseley in his two visits, on published and unpublished (memorandum) materials supplied by CSB and SJU, and on the analytical materials prepared by Dr. Moseley (Chancellor of Austin College and Executive Director of the Center for Program and Institutional Renewal) and Dr. Glenn R. Bucher (Research Associate at the Center for 1980-81 and on leave from the faculty of The College of Wooster). This document will be used as a basis for further interviews conducted by Drs. Moseley and Bucher at CSB and SJU on January 28-29, 1981.
The purpose of the document is to compile information, to identify issues on which further discussion and response are required, and to provide tentative interpretations and options. The outline of the document is as follows.
I. Four Periods of Institutional Cooperation
II. An Analysis of the Cooperation
III. Major Issues
IV. Distinctiveness and Cooperation: Strategies for Both
V. The Tenure Issue
As the next step in the consultation process, this document is designed to move the discussion to a point where a narrowing of new options and procedures eventually is possible. When it is clear what the general directions are in which CSB and SJU want to go in dealing with institutional cooperation, policy issues, and organizational options, then further decisions about the tenure policy options can be made. It is hoped that some sense of the general direction can be ascertained by the conclusion of this phase of the consultation, after which the next phase and strategies in the consultation project will need to be determined.
I. FOUR PERIODS OF INSTITUTIONAL COOPERATION
The College of Saint Benedict was established in 1913. This was achieved when the academy for girls organized in 1882 by the Benedictine Sisters of St. Joseph, Minnesota, began offering selected college courses. Founded in 1857 by the Benedictine monks of Saint John’s Abbey, Saint John’s University is the oldest institution of higher learning in Minnesota. Historically, both institutions have shared a common purpose: to offer quality undergraduate liberal arts education in a Christian, Catholic, and Benedictine context. Despite common educational and religious purposes and their founding by the Sisters and Monks of the Order of St. Benedict, it was not until 1953-40 years after the co-existence of the two institutions that inter-institutional cooperation began. These cooperative ventures have increased, particularly since 1963, given the significant development of the College of Saint Benedict in the 1960s and 1970s, a period of national growth in higher education. Prior to that, Saint John’s University was the more preeminent of the two institutions, a factor that is still of significance in the contemporary discussions about cooperation.
Since 1953, the cooperative arrangements of CSB and SJU have evolved from meager and informal necessities to rather complex formal and informal programs designed to make available the resources of each institutions. In the last two decades, CSB has grown from a small college for women to an institution of relatively comparable size to that of SJU. Now the two institutions seek to plan for the next stages of cooperation. This is brought about by prospects for less rapid growth in the 1980s, by unforeseen complications in some of the present cooperative academic arrangements, and by the necessity and desirability of planning staff needs for a period of institutional stabilization. Though the tenure policy issue is central to this present consultation project, it is the view of the consultants that the tenure policy issue cannot be divorced from either personnel policies in general or from related organizational, policy, and procedural matters at the institutional level.
The 28-year history of CSB/SJU cooperation can be divided, generally, into four periods, each of which has a character of its own. The first ten years (1953-1963), prior to 1963 which some regard as the initial years of serious cooperation, most of which pertained to aspects of the academic programs of both institutions. These years were characterized by some cross-registration, credit hour and faculty exchange, and efforts to facilitate transportation and communication between the two institutions.
In March of 1963, a Joint Faculty Steering Committee was established. This marks the outset of a period of more intentional and planned cooperative activity. This Joint Committee developed and formalized academic cooperation in an “Academic Exchange Program.” Common lists of courses and faculty were developed. Student cross-enrollments and faculty exchanges increased. A combined major (Communication and Theatre) was created. During the summer of 1965, a Joint Summer Study Curriculum Committee was established to study the cooperative programs and their non-academic counterparts. In the fall of 1965, this committee recommended a series of actions designed to standardize and coordinate curricular activity on both campuses. In March of 1967, a common 4-1-4 calendar was adopted, and a number of new joint efforts (student orientation, facilities use, admissions programs, registration, and January term) were established. This was a significant period in the evolution of cooperation because during it, more planning and standardization were initiated and because some of the complications and problems arising from cooperative efforts (scheduling, course descriptions, etc.) became apparent.
The third period of cooperation began in 1967-68 and extended through 1972-73. During this period, two Hill Foundation grants enabled the institutions to consider the next cooperative step -merger. In 1967-68, a group of consultants chaired by Lewis B. Mayhew recommended “decisive steps toward merger,” presumably because one of the benefits of merger would be the securing of the future of CSB. The recommendation was responded to by the joint boards of trustees. They turned down a legal merger and called for “separate colleges with a single corporate entity.” Steps were taken to hire a coordinator. Sylvester Theisen served as coordinator from 1970-72, after which the position dropped. During the two years, administrative and departmental cooperation was furthered. This was understood as “merger from bottom up.” During 1972-73 through a second Hill Foundation grant, a Joint Study Committee on Cooperation reviewed cooperation to date and recommended an educational development office, a joint academic line officer, and movement toward more joint departments and fiscal uniformity. The response to these recommendations was increased cooperation in data collection and academic planning. In addition, quarterly executive staff meetings were initiated in order to coordinate planning.
In retrospect, the most significant contribution to further cooperative planning made by the Joint Study Committee on Cooperation was the determination of five assumptions which constituted on operational frame of reference . These assumptions have been the guiding principles of cooperative efforts since 1972-1973. The assumptions are as follows:
- No legal merger is seen in the immediate future.
- There are unique and separate qualities in each institution; these qualities may cause conflicts, which will need to be resolved.
- Each school will maintain authority and control over its own internal affairs.
- To the extent that institutional autonomy is not threatened, areas of cooperation between the two schools are to be explored and implemented.
- The intent of cooperation is to provide a more effective educational experience and in some areas to make possible more efficient management.
The final period of cooperation began with the Marriott Inn agreement and the CSB/SJU Joint Study Committee of 1973. The Marriott Inn agreement provided a financial formula to insure relative equity in the cross-registration and faculty exchange programs, and the Joint Study Committee stated that merger was not necessary for highly developed cooperation and that coordinated planning was necessary and desirable. To facilitate this planning, date collection, cooperative academic sharing, the sharing of statistical data, and regular joint presidential executive staff meetings were essential.
Since 1973, both institutions have continued and expanded their cooperative efforts. Non-academic and departmental cooperative programs have been jointly planned. Executive staff meetings have insured common and deliberative action. The cooperative activity has been extensive during this period, has touched almost all areas of institutional life, and has reflected the principle of cooperation “from the bottom up.” Some of the present forms of cooperation are as follows:
Benedicta Arts Center
Joint Faculty Interviewing
Mission and Goal Statements
Public Information and Community Relations
At present, some types of cooperative academic departments are as follows:
Economics and Business Administration
Modern and Classical Languages and Literature
Home and Community Service
There are also projections for further cooperation, which include the following:
Administrative Cost Analysis
Coordination of Liberal Studies and General Education Offerings Data Collection and Cost Analysis by Departments
Data Processing Resources
Joint Parents Day
Joint Grant Proposals
These present and projected forms of cooperation indicate the extent of cooperation, and they provide a basis of comparison as one examines the earlier periods of cooperation in light of the present.
II. AN ANALYSIS OF THE COOPERATION
The character and evolution of these four periods of CSB/SJU cooperation can be interpreted in the following way. The first (1953-63) and second (1963-67) periods were similar in terms of the kinds of cooperative programming, the extent of it, and the planning for it. The second period was more extensive and complicated than the first, thus suggesting an incremental approach to planning which gave way, in the third period (1967-73), to outside consultations and proposals for merger and organic union. Though a hard look was taken at merger possibilities and at a single corporate entity, these options were dropped in deference to a “coordinated merger” from bottom up. Among other reasons that the merger recommendation was not carried our seem to be the following:
- CSB growing awareness of its role as a women’s college
- The desire of both institutions to protect their autonomy and distinctiveness
- The desire on the part of both institutions “not have half a college”
- The success and growth of CSB
- The recognition that CSB would survive with distinction without the benefit of merger
At the point of no merger, efforts were made -over about a ten-year period- to cooperate in significant and extensive ways, though in ways that did not jeopardize the individual legal institutional entities. There was, during these post-merger days, a concern to share financial resources and to make use of other institutional resources, given a basic commitment to cooperation. This proliferation of cooperation over the last decade took place during a period of growth and expansion for both institutions. Now, in 1980-81, the concerns are somewhat different. Student recruitments is more difficult, reductions in staff may be necessary, economies of scale are desirable, and it will be necessary to avoid unnecessary duplication.
Though the recent cooperative arrangements and discussions have been extensive, there is one exception to this. In all of the recent cooperation, personnel policies, joint decisions on the non-duplication of faculty and administrative positions, and other personnel policies which might benefit the joint academic work of both institution (with also the potential of adversely affecting one institution) have not been seriously considered and/or implemented. This kind and level of cooperation is, in many respects, the most difficult. It may also be the most essential, both educationally and financially. Both administrators now seem to want to face this issue, and there is at least some faculty concern about the two faculty evaluation and tenuring procedures. This desire, however, raises the question as to whether a necessary or desirable next step in the personnel policy and tenure policy areas can be made if the framework that has defined the cooperative style since 1972, articulated by the Joint Study Committee on Cooperation and its five assumptions, is followed. In other words, are these assumptions adequate for necessary next steps? Since the assumptions and the framework they provide were developed in the aftermath of a no-merger decision, they may not enable CSB and SJU to consider effective next steps in the personnel and tenure policy areas, since those next steps need to go beyond the status quo, at least according to the two VPAAs. To put it differently, the necessary and desirable next steps may require that the 1972 assumptions be changed so as to allow more significant and organizational forms of joint cooperation. What the options are for new next steps in these areas, assuming that this analysis is correct, will be outlines in Section IV of this working document, and their implications for a joint academic personnel policy are illustrated in Section V.
III. MAJOR ISSUES
The history of cooperation since 1953 indicates the various approaches to it taken by CSB and SJU. Underlying these approaches are factors in the inter-institutional relationship which make it unique. They are factors which have contributed to the public attention, through Dr. Bud Hodgkinson and others, which the CSB/SJU relationship has received. Both institutions share a common set of values, grounded in their Benedictine heritage. The institutions trust and understand one another, and both want their students to have access to other’s resources. The cooperative commitments, and the expectation that cooperation will continue, are grounded in this milieu of trust.
At the same time, another factor has been operative in the relationship. Neither institution wants to be “half a college.” Neither wants to have its identity and program so dependent on the other institution that either institution gives up its own integrity and identity. To date, cooperation born out of trust, and autonomy and distinctiveness, have been related and blended in ways wherein both sets of values have been honored. Now, however, new circumstances may not permit this both-and approach to cooperation.
In the documentary material, especially the memoranda supplied by the two VPAAs, there is considerable concern expressed about the changing circumstances in the 1980s, particularly downward demographic trends, inflationary trends, and the need for institutional conservation. These concerns come just after a period of significant growth for CSB. During this time, SJU has more than held its own in terms of offering a quality education, and CSB/SJU institutional cooperation has proliferated. It is clear in what was said in the Lodestar Project application that the two VPAAS believe that rends in the 1980s necessitate new personnel and tenure policies. The impact of these trends in these and other areas could jeopardize the “both-and” approach to cooperation described above.
Finally, there is on other set of factors, which must be identified in this introduction to the major issues. The CSB/SJU cooperative relationship is becoming increasingly complex. Implementing the commitments in the mission statement will be difficult amidst the realities of 1980s. There are procedural, policy, and structural problems which the increasing complexity of cooperation have produced. The common value framework, which has given shape to both institutions, historically, is not necessarily shared by all new personnel. Give the academic marketplace, faculty are caught between professional and institutional loyalties. And there is enough legal discussion about church-state issues in the public domain today to awaken church-related institutions to the complexities of their relationship.
These factors are part of the context in which the CSB/SJU cooperative relationship will evolve. They suggest that the following major issues cannot be understood or resolved apart from attention to the wider context in which they are set. In other words, the personnel and tenure policy issue, for example, is more complicated than it may appear to be. Thus, the issues must be faced from a contextual and conceptual standpoint, and a framework is necessary to bring the issues into a balance and harmony.
- Mission Statements
The mission statements of the two institutions give a theoretical definition of and vision for the two institutions. When compared, it is evident that the two mission statements share much in common, though there are also a few distinctive features of each. Since mission statements serve as a guiding perspective for institutional work, the following question must be raise: should the mission statement (approved by each board) not only commit the institution to the common values of both institutions and to its own institutional distinctiveness (sing, sex, social work, graduate theology, etc.), but also to a cooperative educational principle? The mission statement should clarify the role of the college, its context of operation, and the freedom to be its distinctiveness self. It also should be a benchmark against which to evaluate the college and how successfully the college is carrying out its mission.
- The Authority and Structure of Cooperation
There are at least two levels of institutional life where the decisions on cooperation are made, approved, and implemented. Presumably, one of these is at the trustee board and/or religious order level. Organizationally, and structurally, it is not clear which persons or groups have the final and ultimate authority with regard to the cooperative principles and programs. In CSB, is it the Executive Council composed of Benedictine Sisters, the Board of Trustees, the President of the College, or one of her designees? (The fact that SJU is not an incorporate institutions seems to raise rather fundamental First Amendment questions which may need to be addressed.) Irrespective of what authoritative role the two trustee boards have in decisions on cooperation, the following additional question might be raise: should the trustee boards be apprised about cooperative programming in ways they are not at present, particularly if they may need to make decisions about new joint facilities that directly or indirectly affect the other institution and its students? A related question is whether the presidents of the two institutions should not schedule regular meetings in order to have information about and issues on cooperation at their immediate disposal?
The lack of clarity with regard to cooperative decision making also extends to a second level. If it is correct that the authority for institutional cooperative decision-making and the corresponding structures are somewhat unclear, it is also at times unclear at the operation level. The present “Joint Executive Staff” has periodic meetings to coordinate cooperative programming. The approach is rather casual, and sometimes lacks clarity in direction and follow-up. Such a group could be duly constituted by both institutions, charged with specific responsibilities, served by a staff person, and in effect, designated as the operating policy group. Attached to such a “Joint Executive Staff” might be corresponding committees of faculty and students charged with recommending cooperative planning in their respective areas.
The purpose in raising these questions about the authority and structure of cooperation is to identify an issue, which seems to need clarification. The way to clarify the issue may not be in the form of a “Joint Executive Staff,” but with some other entity, which has the authority to plan, approve, implement, coordinate, and evaluate cooperative programs.
- Policy Making
With regard to various areas in which cooperative activity already occurs, a question about the policy formation which gives shape to these activities must be raised. Our analysis suggests that there does not seem to be a good mechanism or procedure for policy formation and implementation, particularly with reference to those areas in the joint enterprise. There are also problems in policies made separately but ones which affect the other institution, as well as in differing institutional policies which create cooperative approaches. The following are areas in which the clarification of policy seems to be necessary:
- Admissions -forms of separate and cooperative recruitment, roles of respective admissions counselors, etc.
- Budget -joint or separate planning, sharing of information, etc.
- Data collection -computer access, date sharing, etc.
- Facilities -library, computer, catalogue, etc.
- Faculty roles and responsibilities -positions in separate, coordinate, and joint departments, faculty expectations, etc.
- Financial aid -institutional policies, state, federal, scholarship resources, etc.
- Management services -insurance, purchasing, food, transportation, etc.
- Personnel -recruitment, interviewing, selection, hiring, salaries, etc.
- Program and Operation
At present, there are joint programs in both academic and non-academic areas. There are also distinct and separate programs in both areas. The question arises as to what the guidelines are for making decisions when joint programming is desirable and when separate programming is necessary and/or desirable. For example, with regard to the philosophy of education and educational values held by each institution, what are the guidelines which determine whether their implementation suggest joint or separate planning? With regard to the issue of single-sex, how are decisions made about the parameters of that issue in terms of housing, alumni/ae relations, Title IX issues, and counseling? With regard to institutional management, what is it that determines the joint and separate approaches to management, and in what areas? Have some of the elements of cooperation just grown, or are they based on sound program and management principles? Are some of the coordinate departments based on program or personality decisions?
It may be necessary, in establishing concepts and structures of cooperation, to define more specifically responsibility and establish guidelines for the cooperative program and operation.
- Institutional Financial Policy and Planning
The 1973 Marriott Agreement recognized the need for semblance of financial equity in student cross-registration. A policy was established and it seems to have worked, in part because of the rapport between CSB and SJU. There seem to have been few problems with the Agreement that could not be resolved. In addition, a considerable number of financial agreements connected with cooperation have been worked out at lower levels in each institution. At the same time, cooperative growth has also lead to new complexities and to the need for management services and efficiency. This suggests that the entire area of financial policy and planning may now need a basic review.
There are a number of implications for financial long-term development in the way planning for the future is done. For example, what one institution does in regard to library expansion affects the other institution, its finances, and this faculty and students. Since facilities are used by both institutions, facility planning has financial implications. It seems that some kind of coordinated approach to financial planning should be done, since both institutions are implicated in one another’s financial situation. This could include a joint planning operation and data collection. However, the special integrity of each institution needs to be protected in this planning.
As has been indicated already, the issue of tenure is central to the original consultation request. It is clear, as the previous materials indicate that a reconsideration of the tenure issues raises a number of more fundamental issues, including ones like the nature of cooperation, its organizational structure, and so on. The framework for tenure is dependent on many of these institutional policies and structural questions, which require attention. The intention here is to underline the complexity of the tenure issue. In Section V of this document, it will be discussed in detail, and the procedures during this consultation visit for gaining a greater understanding of how the tenure issue is understood at CSB and SJU will be outlined.
IV. DISTINCTIVENESS AND COOPERATION: STRATEGIES FOR BOTH
The CSB/SJU cooperative approach has been possible and is based on common basic values (Christian, Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts, and single sex) and approaches (a concern for cooperation, mutual assistance, and student welfare). The institutions also bring to their work basic trust and the belief that they must work together for their mutual benefit. These exist at the highest levels through personal relationships, and at the lower staff levels as people deal with common problems, try to work out mutual frustrations, and improve the cooperative operation.
The operations reflect an unusual amount of planning, concern for the efficiency and effectiveness of the operation, and attention to the changes that are ahead in the 1980s. This unusual situation has led to an increasing number of specific joint operations (academic, educational, and service). The increasing number of specific operations and the relationship of many of the operating units have occurred through this mutual trust, but they have not occurred as the result of any basic concept, design, or structure.
Many forces inside and outside the institutions suggest that more attention to the structure, policy, and legal implications is now required. What follows are three conceptual-strategy models designed to maintain the distinctiveness of the institutions and yet to facilitate cooperation on educational programs and to insure operation efficiency. These are models, which include concepts and strategies. The charts are designed to communicate three approaches to cooperation and are not to be viewed as accurate organizational charts. Once the models are understood and a preference is evident, then that model and its approaches can be developed in detail. This process of choosing will also require the development of transition strategies and will suggest the policy developments that will need to be undertaken.
- Cooperative Units and Dual Responsibility
The first model is, in part, a description of the present situation. It illustrates the fact that individual programs or units of service work together as a joint unit within the two institutions. The join until operation has been agreed to and has a single person in charge, but he/she is responsible to two individuals, one in each institution. In some cases, the specific unit is headed by a person, with instructions to cooperate with a like person in other institutions. Thus, there is a dual responsibility, although through still another person. There are separate operations that presuppose information abut the similar operation in the other institution, and sometimes problems of effective communication and common procedures are evident. Some of these operations involve budget, workload, planning, personnel, etc. The attached attempts to show something of the concept as it emphasizes individual units with dual responsibility.
- Separate Institutions with Coordinate Educational Programs and Services
This model emphasizes the separateness and distinctiveness of the two institutions but moves to the point of developing common policies that can be adopted by each institution, thus eliminating many of the differences that exist between the institutional operations. It also moves a second step and, under a single head, puts a person in charge of all the joint and coordinate operations, although he/she is responsible to both institutions. This process eliminates the dual responsibility for the many different people and ties the responsibility into a single operating person. This operating person is responsible to both institutions and operates under a joint educational operating committee. This process also emphasizes the difference between the level of joint institutional policy and cooperative operation in the long-range planning and policy review, which is maintained at the highest policy levels, on the one hand, and the running of the joint operations, which would reflect and implement a policy determined by the two institutions in concert on the other.
It should be noted that this process tends to identify those things that can be best done together, with the emphasis on the educational operation and the educational services and activities related to the educational program. It does not include those educational programs that are separately and uniquely needed for the distinctiveness of each single-sex institution. It does not include public relations, development, and business items that are needed for the separate operations of the institutions. Attached is a chart, which illustrates this model and its strategies and approaches.
- The Best of Both at Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict
This model illustrates a relationship that could be developed into a unique cooperative institutional arrangement in American higher education. It is based on the common concerns and progress that have been made in maintaining the distinctiveness of the institutions, yet also the cooperative approach. It presupposes much of the present institutional commitment to the best of both worlds which means not only the single-sex and co-educational approach, but also many educational concepts that can be developed separately and yet together. It reflects the development of caring attitudes toward men and women and a concern for meaning and purpose of life -values that might be expressed in this setting in more effective ways. It also protects institutional control and yet enables, via a separate entity, services and the accomplishment of common objectives.
Basically, this model establishes a separate entity called “A Coordinate Benedictine College at Saint John’s and Saint Benedict.” This, though the name is illustrative, would be a cooperative educational college. It could be developed to the point of a separate corporation which would contract with and be controlled by Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict. On the other hand, it could be merely an organizational entity that would be treated much the same way as a cooperative educational college, but without some of the legal niceties of a separate corporation. It should have its own integrated and common policies and operating procedures. It would require a commitment by the trustees. It might have joint trustee council and a joint president’s committee that continually would oversee it, and possibly have a staff person working in behalf of the two colleges with regard to monitoring and making long-range plans in behalf of the institutions. Operationally, however, the educational program would include academic programs, educational activities, service operations, coordinate activities, and even management services that could be supplied to the two distinctive institutions that are setting it up.
There is a certain long-range development dimension to this model. It could be thought through and planned for as a final grade. Master plans for buildings and development and endowment and program could be developed. Over a ten-year period a very significant and unusual educational situation could be created in American higher education. It would preserve the integrity and the tradition, the alumni/ae identification, etc., of both Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict. It would anticipate the future of higher education and the needs of student constituencies for the year 2000 and beyond, during which time most of the students are going to spend their lives facing largely new and unknown situations. It would preserve the values and traditions of the two institutions but have the flexibility and the creativity in the Coordinate Benedictine College to do things that neither college could do separately. It must be remembered that this model suggests a concept and potential that would have to be developed in detail, but one which seems to suggest a viable long-range option. Attached is a chart illustrating this model and the strategies and procedures just described.
The explicit reasons given by the two VPAAs for requesting this consultation were the need (1) to project faculty staffing, (2) to consider staffing in relationship to tenure, and (3) to develop a joint tenure policy. As this reason was further explained in supporting materials, the following issues related to the problem were identified:
- The percentage of faculty members tenured in a department
- The impact of an institution’s evaluation and tenure procedures on a faculty member in the other jurisdiction
- The effect of declining enrollments and the institutional needs to conserve in the 1980s upon tenure practices
- The fact that in 1980-81, 25 to 28 faculty members are eligible for tenure
- The nature of joint departments as it relates to tenure policies and practices
- To these reasons might also have been added those of comparative faculty workload and specializations within departments.
In the documentary materials, there is considerable concern expressed about the changing circumstances in the 1980s, particularly downward demographic trends, inflationary trends, and the need for institutional conservation. The other major impression given by the materials is that long-range staff planning and tenure policy issues are more the concern of CSB than SJU. No doubt this is the case for at least the following reasons:
- 23 percent tenured at CSB as opposed to 50 percent at SJU
- CSB more concerned about tenure
- Growth of CSB in last 10 years, tripling in population
- Historic secondary status of CSB in relation to SJU
- Number of women on CSB faculty and also larger number of lay persons
As has been indicated earlier, the personnel and tenure issues are set in a large and complicated context, and decisions about a joint personnel and tenure policy should be consistent with other and prior organizational and institutional policy decisions which should be made.
Two major purposed of this phase of the consultation are (1) to identify the organizational and policy issues and (2) to conduct interviews which focus on academic personnel policy issue. The organizational and policy issues have been identified. The remainder of this section is devoted to a description of the interview procedures and questions to be used in the tenure policy interviews and to identify, very briefly, four possible approaches to the issue. As a consequence of this consultation, the consultants will then propose academic personnel policy options.
Materials provided by the two VPAAs have included their concerns about this issue. These concerns were summarized at the beginning of this section. The consultants’ interpretations of these concerns will be evaluated in another set of interviews with Sister Linda Kulzer and Father Gunther Rolfson during the consultation visit. In addition, interviews will be conducted with those administrators responsible for academic personnel policy and its implementation, with the two appropriate faculty peer-evaluation committees, and with individual faculty members (tenured and non-tenured) in both institutions. The purposes of these interviews is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the present personnel policies, to identify how persons understand the purpose of tenure, to identify the assets and liabilities of the present departmental categories (joint, coordinate, and separate), to ascertain faculty opinion on the appropriate next organizational steps in joint and separate academic programming, and to discuss the nature of a creative and sound joint academic personnel policy.
In Section IV of this document, three modes of relationship were set forth. Model A (“Cooperative Units and Dual Responsibility”) illustrates the status quo. Model B (“Separate Institutions with Coordinated Educational Programs and Services”) emphasizes both separateness and cooperation and suggests the standardization of policies and operations in both institutions. And Model C (“The Best of Both at Saint John’s and Saint Benedict”) proposes a new and separate “Coordinate College” which would contract with CSB and SJU and would be there organizational entity responsible for joint programming. These three models are presented as options. Each of them have implications for academic personnel policy. The following three policy options are a reflection of each of the three models, and consistent with their respective one. Option D is an effort to conceptual the meaning and purpose of tenure, and features of it could be included in any of the previous three.
This is the present model of relationship, with cooperative units and dual responsibility. CSB and SJU have two separate academic personnel policies and compensation packages with differing characteristics. Most of the evaluation and promotion procedures differ somewhat. Though this lack of uniformity does not pose problems with the separate and coordinate departments, it does so with joint departments. There is a collaboration on personnel decisions in joint departments, and tenure is awarded on the basis of the specific hiring institution.
If CSB and SJU were separate institutions with common values, policies, and selected joint educational activities, then this would suggest that both institutions work together to establish and abide by one academic personnel policy, even though they separately adopt and implement it. The emphasis here would be on standardizing procedure and policy, collaborating on decisions in joint departments, moving toward equity with regard to quality and number of tenured faculty members in each institution, eliminating coordinated departments, providing identical compensation packages, and so on. This option would require that special attention be paid to workload, academic program, and specialization of faculty members as these factors affect the joint cooperative educational work of the two institutions.
The “Coordinate Benedictine College (CBC),” the new separate incorporate identity, would develop its own tenure policy. The policy would be implemented through the CBC ideally, all faculty members at CSB and SJU would tenured by CBC, thus eliminating the necessity for CSB and SJU to have an academic or personnel policy or tenure. Faculty members could be assigned by CBC to CSB or SJU for those academic programs which were not joint. This would eliminate the tenure percentage imbalance in each institution and even the question as to the tenuring institution. There would be one payroll administered by CBC.
Here tenure is redefined to mean the long-term mutual commitment of the institution and the individual to a continuing process of professional growth and development. Central to this redefinition is faculty career development, a continuing plan which is the obligation of each faculty member. Both institution and individual take on risk -the institution that the individual that the institution will be able to support, financially and psychologically, the individual’s career development. Under this alternative the institution continues to award tenure but is not preoccupied with the percentage of its faculty tenured. The career development process enables the individual to evaluate his/her work, to consider shifts in career and early retirement, etc. Because the institution is committed to the principle of career development, it is supportive of whatever pattern is projected so long as it builds upon the person’s career and skills and serves the institution’s purposes so long as the person remains on the faculty.