Memorandum of Understanding Between Western Washington University And United Faculty of Western Washington University
In response to the COVID-19 health crisis, UFWW and the University administration agree to temporarily modify the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) as outlined below:
Student Course Evaluations
Throughout winter 2020 and spring 2020, Western Washington University’s emergency response to COVID-19 made student course evaluations optional and allowed for the university’s on-line evaluations to take the place of traditional evaluations if a faculty member chose to use them. The University and UFWW agree to:
- Lift the requirement under Section 8.1.3 that “faculty…provide the opportunity for students to complete evaluations for all sections” for winter 2020 and spring 2020, and subject to an extension should it be mutually deemed necessary.
Additionally, it is reasonable to expect that due to the uncertainty, anxiety, and schedule disruptions caused by the virus, at least some of the negative feedback received in optional student course evaluations over this period may be attributed to a general sense of unease rather than the conduct of a particular instructor in a particular section/course. To that end, the University and UFWW agree that:
- The teaching portfolios for probationary review, tenure and promotion, and post-tenure review will include any optional student course evaluations conducted over winter 2020 and spring 2020 for informational purposes only. They will have no negative impact on the outcome of the review in light of the most exceptional conditions under which they were conducted. (See Sections 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 of the CBA.)
- Non-tenure track faculty will also include any optional student course evaluations conducted over winter 2020 and spring 2020 for informational purposes only. They will have no negative impact on the outcome of the review in light of the most exceptional conditions under which they were conducted. (See Sections 8.1.3 and 220.127.116.11 of the CBA.)
Cancelled Presentations of Research and Creative Activity
Faculty who were invited to present their research or creative activity shall receive full credit for doing so in their future faculty reviews, despite the event being cancelled due to COVID-19.
Tenure Review Dates
CBA Section 18.104.22.168 states, “Faculty shall be evaluated for tenure not later than the sixth Fall Quarter of service (or as amended by extensions…).” All current probationary faculty members will receive a one-year extension to their original tenure review date due to COVID-19. This does not prohibit faculty from applying for tenure and promotion earlier than their adjusted tenure review date “if they have established a record of accomplishment that meets department standards for teaching, scholarship, and service, based upon their annual probationary reviews” (see CBA Section 22.214.171.124). Tenure track faculty who have already been granted a one-year extension for maternity leave or for another reason should consult with the Provost’s Office to determine whether they are eligible for this COVID-19 extension.
AY 2020-21 Post-Tenure Reviews
Faculty scheduled for post-tenure review (PTR) in AY 2020-21 have the option to delay their PTR until AY 2021-22.
Professional Development/Travel Funds
Faculty who received a travel commitment from their college for AY 2019-20 and who cancelled their trip as a result of COVID-19 can apply the remaining unused funds to next year’s professional development in accordance with individual college travel policies (concluding on or before June 30, 2021).
In addition, any unused 2019-2020 professional development funds from CBA Section 22.9.1 will roll-over and be used to fund additional professional development in 2020-2021.
Funds carried over from AY 2019-20 will not impact decisions about AY 2020-21 professional development/travel awards.
Signed and dated this 19 of March, 2020.
Relevant sections of the CBA cited above:
126.96.36.199 (in relation to probationary review and tenure and promotion): “The teaching portfolio must include student evaluations of the instructional quality for all courses taught.”
188.8.131.52 (in relation to tenure review dates and extensions): “The total period of full-time service at WWU prior to the acquisition of tenure shall not exceed seven years of probationary service except in cases below. Faculty shall be evaluated for tenure not later than the sixth Fall Quarter of service (or as amended by extensions described below).”
184.108.40.206 (in relation to tenure review dates): “Faculty may apply for tenure and promotion prior to the sixth year of their probationary period if they have established a record of accomplishment that meets departmental standards for teaching, scholarship, and service, based upon their annual probationary reviews.”
220.127.116.11 (in relation to post-tenure review): “The dossier must include students’ evaluations of the instructional quality for all courses taught in the previous five years.”
7.8.1 (in relation to post-tenure reviews): “Tenured faculty shall be reviewed every five years starting with their most recent promotion, unless more frequent reviews are required for accreditation.”
8.1.3 (in relation to non-tenure track evaluations): “The evaluation will include student evaluations of the instructional quality for all courses taught. Faculty are expected to provide the opportunity for students to complete evaluations for all sections.”
18.104.22.168 (in relation to non-tenure track evaluations): “Should teaching duties be assigned, the evaluation will include evaluations of the instructional quality for all courses taught.”