Proposed changes to faculty and UVU data policy to be voted on by student council 

Reading Time: 2 minutes Speakers met with the UVUSA Student Council to present changes in university policy, changes include faculty rank, disciplinary action for faculty, and policy relating to how UVU uses its data.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Changes to university policy are expected to be voted on in the upcoming student council meeting, as the UVUSA Student Council heard from speakers regarding proposed changes to faculty advancement, faculty discipline, and data usage. 

In the previous meeting on Nov. 16, the council heard from several department representatives regarding the proposed changes to university policy 632, which deals in how faculty advance and are assigned academic rank; newly created policy 649, which separates discipline protocols from 648 for more detailed procedures; and finally, policy 445, which deals with how the University handles and uses data. 

Presenting to the council regarding faculty policies 632 and 649 was Nizhone Meza, director of academic policy and faculty relations, who began by describing the changes to 632. 

“It’s really old,” Meza stated to the council, in reference to the last time 632 was updated in 2005. “So, we have gone through and rewritten it and tried to make it more consistent with 637 [faculty tenure].” 

Meza would further say that this updated 632 was to clarify and change language that was unclear and unapplicable to rank assignment. The new policy also sets a deadline of July 1, 2026 for the development of department rank advancement criteria, saying that rank advancements will not be permitted beyond that point without it. In those cases, tenure criteria will be the standard. 

The update also says that faculty members will be eligible to apply only five years after completing tenure, and that reviewers of applications can supplement files with “strategically missing application materials” that would impact a recommendation. This is conditional to the applicant being able to respond. 

“OGC provided input on this draft and believes that it marks an improvement in our rank advancement process,” Meza stated during her presentation. 

Next was policy 649, which is freshly minted off policy 648. While overhauling many parts of 648 in terms of language, procedural order, and alignments with USHE policy, 649 incorporates “faculty-driven idiosyncrasies.” 

Within the new policy, it allows for faculty to bring both “an advocate” and “support person” to each proceeding. It also allows the decision-making committee to appoint an investigator to dive deeper into a case. Finally, the burden of proof is clearly defined as being on the institution. 

The council then heard from Laura Busby, director of business intelligence and research services, who spoke about the changes being made to policy 445 pertaining to data usage. 

“There’s a few things about that policy that we needed to address,” Busby began. “The policy is being updated to be more balanced and to treat institutional data as an asset.” 

Policy 445 has remained the same since 2004, and Busby mentioned that the old policy tried to restrict data access and kept it closed off. The purpose of the changes, according to Busby, was to acknowledge that data had value and needed to be protected. In addition, it also allows the University to be more flexible with its data usage and establishes a governing body to regulate how university data is being used and accessed. 

This change would also do away with policy 450, which deals with the usage of administrative data. 

These changes have not yet been voted on by the Student Council and are scheduled for a vote this coming Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, during the Student Council meeting at 1 p.m. Council meetings are open to the public, and students are welcome to attend. 

For more information about UVU Policy, visit the UVU manual. For more information about UVUSA Student Council meetings, visit their website