By Amanda Hunt
Arizona Daily Wildcat
The UA Faculty Senate will meet today at the second meeting of the year to continue discussion about a merit-based compensation plan and a conflict of interest policy.
ù Discussion of The Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy will be reopened after being postponed from the Jan. 23 meeting.
The policy was approved by the president's cabinet in October.
According to a statement of the policy: "A conflict of interest exists when an employee is in a position to influence any University business transaction, research activity or other decisions in ways that could lead to any manner or form of personal gain for the employee or his/her family members. Conflicts of interest may be considered improper either alone or in combination."
Prior to last month's meeting, Garcia said that every institution has some form of conflict of interest policy. This would cover all University of Arizona employees and allow them to go through a process of evaluation if a conflict of interest is cited.
ù The Performance-Based Compensation Plan and Commitment Policy which came under fire at the last senate meeting will also be discussed.
The Faculty Senate decided to review the plan and consider an additional proposal for pay raises and tenure review. The senate
closed the discussion by including the consideration of a brief report, Parity-Equity-Merit With Accountability proposal, from the American Association of University Professors.
According to the proposal, increments would be used to increase salary with the cost of living, or parity. Then equity would be addressed by adjusting salaries to be competitive with other institutions. After these two issues are covered, merit would enter as an opportunity to reward faculty based on performance. This is where the performance-based plan could gain approval and work in conjunction with the proposal.
The performance-based plan would involve reviews of faculty to take place every two to three years and would compensate employees on a scale according to the results of the review.
A faculty member would not receive a salary increase for "unsatisfactory" or "needs improvement" performance, but he/she would receive successively higher salary increases for "good," "excellent" and "truly exceptional" levels of performance. The plan would terminate any faculty member who received two "unsatisfactory" reports, regardless of rank.
ù The Faculty Senate will also discuss and act on curriculum items as presented by Sen. Lynn Joens, professor of veterinary science.
Five items have been approved through the president's office and will be up for a vote of approval by the senate. The items include a proposal to combine the music and dance programs, to drop a graduate program in engineering, to add the option of an engineering minor, and to add a textile/retail program through the Economics Department, Joens said.
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