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Proposed Faculty Handbook Revision

MEMORANDUM

DATE:          November 21, 2017

TO:             Howard University Faculty

FROM:         Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph.D., R.Ph.
                   Provost and Chief Academic Officer

SUBJECT:    Howard University Faculty Handbook


I hereby make available for your review and comment the Proposed Faculty Handbook Revision, dated November 21, 2017, prepared by the working group on the Faculty Handbook that I assembled last April. The working group consists of Dr. Tricia Bent-Goodley, School of Social Work, Prof. e. christi cunningham, School of Law, Dr. Subodh Kulkarni, School of Business, Dr. Ahmed Moen, College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences, Dr. Mercedes Tibbits, College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Eric Walters, College of Medicine; Dr. Angela Cole Dixon and Dr. Joseph Reidy of my staff serve as coordinators. The working group met regularly since April (including throughout the summer) and produced this consensus document. I hereby wish to thank the members of the working group for the dedication and thoroughness that they brought to this task.

The revised draft handbook draws heavily on the 1993 Faculty Handbook as well as the work of the Faculty Handbook Revision Committee that former Interim Provost, Dr. Alvin Thornton, chaired. For ease of use, the chapters bear alphabetical designations (A through G) as follows:

  • Chapter A: The University and its Governance
  • Chapter B: Terms and Conditions of Faculty Employment
  • Chapter C: Faculty Appointments and Separation
  • Chapter D: Faculty Tenure, Promotion, and Evaluation
  • Chapter E: Disciplinary Procedures
  • Chapter F: Faculty Grievances and the Faculty Grievance Commission
  • Chapter G: Amending the Faculty Handbook

Each chapter contains sections and subsections, which are numbered consecutively. Chapter A aligns with Chapter 1 of 1993. Chapter 2, which constituted the heart of the 1993 Handbook, has been subdivided here into Chapters B through G, the titles of which indicate the topics that each addresses. Elements of Chapter 3 of 1993 (such as sabbatical leave) have been incorporated into Chapter B.


Most procedures remain essentially as they were in 1993, but some of the ambiguity and redundancy of the 1993 Handbook has been eliminated. This revised draft Faculty Handbook also proposes the following significant changes:

  1. It identifies faculty members’ academic responsibilities in terms of three major categories: teaching, scholarship, and service. What had in 1993 been identified as a separate category of professional development will be distributed as appropriate among the other three categories.
  2. It incorporates the career-status like categories of faculty appointments that the Board of Trustees has approved for a number of schools and colleges since 1993; these are here generically described as non-tenured renewable term appointments, all of which have access to the Faculty Grievance procedure.
  3. It outlines steps for conducting searches to fill permanent faculty positions.
  4. It stipulates that the President (or the Provost) will issue an official “employment contract” (which is different from a dean’s offer letter) following final approval of the appointment recommendation.
  5. It specifies that tenure resides at the level of the University.
  6. It describes the functions of the Faculty Ombudsperson.
  7. It specifies types of disciplinary practices and procedures.
  8. It clarifies grievance rights and delineates grievance processes.

I encourage your questions and comments on the entire document, but I draw your attention to Section B1.2 Academic Freedom and Responsibility, specifically, the paragraphs that address intellectual property and proprietary information associated with sponsored research. Note that the highlighted wording from the 1993 Faculty Handbook differs somewhat from the current Intellectual Property Policy approved by the Board of Trustees in 2014 (see https://www.howard.edu/secretary/documents/100-006IntellectualPropertyPolicy.pdf).

Please note that the working group will remain active until a final proposal for a revised Faculty Handbook is ready to submit to the Faculty Senate. I will forward your comments and suggestions to the working group for their consideration. Following my submission of the proposal to the Faculty Senate, the document will proceed through the Faculty Senate review process and will then be submitted through the President to the Board of Trustees for approval.

I trust you will find it convenient to review the attached document over the next two weeks and submit your comments and recommendations to me at huprovost@howard.edu by the close of business on Wednesday, December 13, 2017.

This memorandum and the Proposed Faculty Handbook Revision are available at http://www.provost.howard.edu/ProposedFacHandBookRevision11-21-2017.asp.

Thank you for your assistance with this important work.

Best wishes for a successful conclusion to the Fall 2017 semester and a happy holiday season.

cc:   Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, President
       Dr. Richard Wright, Chair, Faculty Senate
       Dr. Tricia Bent-Goodley, School of Social Work
       Prof. e. christi cunningham, School of Law
       Dr. Subodh Kulkarni, School of Business
       Dr. Ahmed Moen, College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences
       Dr. Mercedes Tibbits, College of Arts and Sciences
       Dr. Eric Walters, College of Medicine
       Dr. Angela Cole Dixon
       Dr. Joseph Reidy

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