“Peer” Standing and Ad Hoc Committees

Frequently Asked Questions about “Peer” Standing and Ad Hoc Committees

What is the difference between the “peer” standing and ad hoc committees?

Peer committees are distinct from standing and ad hoc committees whose purposes relate to educational programs and activities. Peer committees are elected by the faculty; program and ad hoc committees are appointed by the director, or comprised of faculty who volunteer or are invited to serve.

What is the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC)?

The Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) consists of six members, with no fewer than two of any of the following: educators, specialists, females, males. Terms are three years, beginning in June and are staggered to ensure continuity. Two members serving their second year generally act as co-chairpersons.

Specifically, they oversee elections of the PAC, the Promotion Review Committee (PRC), the Outside Employment Committee (OEC), Faculty Senate, and other peer committees. The PAC also

  • facilitates faculty discussions at full faculty meetings where concerns are raised, clarified, approved as issues, and sometimes resolved;
  • assumes responsibility for the resolution of issues approved as needing action, by appointing ad-hoc committees, investigating and clarifying University of Maine Cooperative Extension or Associated Faculties of the University of Maine System (AFUM) policy, and reporting results back to the faculty;
  • resolves faculty and administration impasses by taking issues to the AFUM representative and the bargaining committee and facilitating priority consideration;
  • appoints members and chairpersons of search committees to fill faculty vacancies; and
  • enhances communication among faculty, peer committees, and administration.

What is the Promotion Review Committee (PRC)?

The Promotion Review Committee (PRC) consists of five tenured faculty who are randomly selected from a pool of eligible faculty for a three-year term. They include at least two females and two males, two specialists and two educators. They are appointed on a rotating basis by the Policy Advisory Council (PAC). Four alternates are also randomly selected and serve a one-year term. They are called to serve when a PRC member is exempt from service. Their role is clearly defined in (link to the question about PRC in previous set of frequently asked questions)

What is a Faculty Search Committee?

For each faculty position to be filled, the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) will select a search committee that will be considered the “appropriate unit faculty” for the appointment process. The committee consists of educators and specialists as follows:

  • For educator positions — 3 educators, 1 specialist (at least 1 male and 1 female), plus 1 classified, 1 professional, and 1 volunteer (the entire committee is as gender-balanced as possible).
  • For specialist positions — 3 specialists, 1 educator (at least 1 male and 1 female), plus 1 classified, 1 professional, and 1 volunteer (the entire committee is as gender-balanced as possible).
  • The Program Administrator (PA) will name a chairperson for the Search Committee. At least one PA will serve on the committee. The PAC and the PA will confer on the membership of the search committee.

What is the Outside Employment Committee?

In accordance with Article 24 of the AFUM contract, this committee is established to review those plans for outside employment that have been disapproved by Cooperative Extension administration. The committee includes three members, two Educators, and one Specialist. Each member is elected for a three-year term; the terms are staggered to ensure continuity. Members can be re-elected once.

What is the purpose of the UMaine Faculty Senate?

The purpose of the University of Maine Faculty Senate is to represent the faculty of the University of Maine in the development of University policies as described in the Faculty Senate Constitution. More specifically the Faculty Senate:

  • Acts on behalf of the faculty in establishing university-wide degree requirements;
  • Recommends to the president of the university policies which become official university policy unless the president disapproves in writing within thirty days on the following matters: academic freedom, free speech and assembly, student academic standards and performance, definition of academic titles and criteria for ranks, standards for academic standing of students, and curriculum matters involving more than one college;
  • Reviews and make recommendations on any other academic matters or any matter affecting the academic environment, including institutional plans and priorities, the allocation of the university’s financial resources, academic organization, the library, honorary degrees, admissions policies and standards, establishment and elimination of academic programs, and assessment of academic outcomes;
  • Participates in processes leading to the appointment of academic and administrative officers including the president and vice presidents.

How many Cooperative Extension faculty members can be on the Faculty Senate?

The Cooperative Extension faculty, who are not represented as part of a college, shall be represented by two Senators. Each college elects its Senator during the spring semester of each academic year at the regularly scheduled meeting of its faculty. The Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) oversees this process.

How often does the Faculty Senate meet?

The Faculty Senate holds regular monthly meetings during the academic year at a time and place which it shall determine. Each member is expected to also be on a working committee.

What is the term of office for a Faculty Senator?

The term of office of a Faculty Senator is three years, beginning July 1 following election, serving for not more than two successive terms.