2. Standards

The faculty of each administrative subunit of UNL, in cooperation with the appropriate administrative officers, shall define the academic policies and objectives of their programs and the responsibilities of the professional staff in achieving these goals as provided in the Regents Bylaws. The standards of performance defined by each individual subunit shall not contradict those discussed in these UNL bylaws. Any statements of expectations and standards established by any subunit shall be published and made available to all employees affected by them.

  1. Standards of Faculty Performance. The overall standard for UNL is a faculty of the highest quality and dedication to higher education. The faculty as a whole must contribute to the University’s tripartite mission of teaching, research, and service to the State of Nebraska and the University community, although a faculty member may concentrate more in one individual area of the mission.
    1. Teaching Standards. Faculty members whose responsibilities include classroom teaching are expected to maintain high academic standards. They must maintain competence in their respective fields through creative and scholarly activities. They must be willing to undergo responsible evaluation by peers and by students, and to be guided by the results of such evaluations. They must conduct themselves in accord with any additional obligations provided by the Regents Bylaws.
    2. Research Standards. Faculty members whose responsibilities include research are expected to assemble the results of their efforts in a publishable form. Scholarly and creative activities of the faculty that are not amenable to publication may result in performances, recitals, exhibitions, and similar activities.
    3. Extension and Service Standards. Faculty members whose responsibilities include direct service to the state, such as extension work, are expected to keep informed of current developments in their fields. They must be accurate and fair in their presentations to the public.
    4. Standards for Administrative Performance. The administrator of any program is responsible for the effective operation of that program. It is the administrator’s responsibility to work with the staff to establish realistic objectives for the program (that are in congruence with the overarching mission of UNL), and sound policies for realizing those objectives. Each administrator shall provide for annual evaluations of their entire staff. An administrator must demonstrate competence in personnel relations, in program development and operation, and the management of funds.
  2. Rights of Professional Employees.
    1. Faculty Rights. Faculty Members are entitled to all rights provided in the Regents Bylaws, in these UNL Bylaws, and under applicable federal and state laws.
    2. Administrative Rights. A person appointed to an administrative position shall be appointed as a special appointment, as provided in the Regents Bylaws. During such service, the person does not hold tenure as an administrator, but tenure attained pursuant to the Regents Bylaws shall remain unaffected by the appointment to an administrative position.
  3. Evaluation of Professional Employees.
    1. Faculty Evaluation. Pursuant to the Regents Bylaws and these UNL Bylaws, each college, school, department or division, as appropriate, shall establish a procedure for annual review of its faculty.
    2. Administrative Evaluation. Each administrative officer shall undergo annual performance evaluations, conducted by the officer’s immediate supervisor.
      1. Cumulative Performance Review. Administrative positions differ in scope and responsibility and the procedures for cumulative performance reviews will vary accordingly. The cumulative performance review shall be conducted in accordance with the following principles, and standards of administrative performance, described in these UNL Bylaws. These principles and standards will also apply to units other than academic units to whatever extent appropriate. The principles are: (1) The supervisor for each administrative officer subject to this policy shall establish the review period of each incumbent. Ordinarily the review period shall be five years, but review periods may vary as circumstances dictate. Individuals reporting to the incumbent should be made aware of the review period. In preparation for the review, the incumbent shall prepare a report for the supervisor of: a) the incumbent’s past and current objectives and the success in achieving such objectives, and b) the incumbent’s future objectives and proposed plan for achieving these objectives, including the officer’s success in achieving diversity within the unit. (2) The report or a summary of the report will be made available to the faculty, students, and staff of the unit and to such others in a position to observe, evaluate, and offer information relevant to the incumbent’s performance. (3) The supervisor shall solicit information and comments regarding the incumbent’s performance from the faculty, students, and staff of the unit, and from such others in a position to observe, evaluate, and offer information relevant to the incumbent’s performance. Each person shall be encouraged, on the basis of the aspects of performance that they have directly observed, to suggest how the incumbent could improve performance, to give examples of outstanding performance, and to comment on whether the incumbent should be retained in his or her administrative office. The information solicited towards this end will be collected anonymously. In addition, the supervisor shall invite a representative committee of faculty from the incumbent’s unit to provide a written analysis of the incumbent’s performance. This information will also be collected anonymously. Once the supervisor has collected and reviewed all of the information with the incumbent, the supervisor shall meet with the unit’s representative committee. In that meeting the supervisor shall review the procedures utilized in conducting the evaluation, the scope of the supervisor’s inquiry (including such information as the number of individuals from each group who participated in the evaluation), and a listing of any other additional sources of information used in evaluating the incumbent’s performance. Nothing in this section shall permit the supervisor to disclose the identity of any individual providing information or any information that may be confidential. (4) If the incumbent is reappointed, the supervisor shall discuss the goals and expectations for the incumbent. If the incumbent is not reappointed, the supervisor shall discuss their expectations of the incumbent’s successor with the committee, and the characteristics to be sought in a successor. (5) The supervisor bears sole responsibility for evaluating the incumbent and is empowered to decide whether the incumbent should be reappointed. Reappointment of the incumbent following the periodic review requires a letter from the supervisor formalizing the action. The individuals who were invited to participate in the review will also be informed of the action.
  4. Selection of Professional Employees.
    1. Selection of Faculty. The primary responsibility for filling an established vacancy on the faculty rests with the department, school, or division in which the vacancy exists. The faculty recommendation shall be forwarded from the department chair to the Dean or Director, to the appropriate Vice Chancellor, and from the Vice Chancellor (if so recommended) to the Chancellor. If a faculty recommendation does not receive administrative approval, the reasons for such a denial shall be reported to the department as provided in the Regents Bylaws.
    2. Selection of Administrators. The selection of administrative positions at UNL shall comply with the relevant Regents Bylaws.
  5. Senior Administrative Positions.
    1. The administrative positions or their equivalents subject to this section includes: the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellors, College Deans, the Dean of Graduate Studies, the Dean of the Libraries, and the Directors of the Agricultural Research Divisions, the Nebraska Extension, the Conservation and Survey Divisions, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, and Intercollegiate Athletics.
  6. Vacancies in Senior Administrative Positions. When a vacancy occurs in any of the Senior Administrative Positions (except for Chancellor), the Chancellor or Vice Chancellor responsible for initiating the appointment shall establish a search advisory committee, which shall prepare a list of candidates. The name of the person recommended for the position must appear on the list.
    1. Vacancies in Vice Chancellor or Dean Positions. Whenever a vacancy occurs in a senior administrative position at the level of Vice Chancellor or Dean, if the position is to be refilled, the appropriate selecting officer shall appoint a search advisory committee to assist in the search for suitable candidates to fill the position. The selecting officer shall determine the size and membership of the search advisory committee in consultation with the leaders of ASUN and the Faculty Senate. The advisory committee shall include representatives from the constituencies that the administrator will oversee. The faculty members shall constitute a plurality of the committee. In making appointments to an advisory committee, the selecting officer shall choose from lists provided by the faculty and students through the Faculty Senate and ASUN, provided that each list is prepared in consult with the selecting officer and shall contain a number of individuals which is at least twice the number the number of representatives that will be appointed to the committee. With approval from the Chancellor, deviations to the outlined process are allowable for targeted searches or other reasonable situations.
      1. Actions of the Search Advisory Committee. The selecting officer shall designate one of the members of the search committee to serve as Chairperson of the committee. The committee shall develop rules of procedure and ascertain the nature of the position to be filled as well as the desired qualifications for the position. The membership and procedures of the advisory committee shall be made available to the public. A search advisory committee shall solicit and receive comment from all sources, including Regents, Administrators, Faculty, Students, and the general public. The search advisory committee should be afforded sufficient time and resources to undertake a comprehensive exploration, but the work of the committee shall proceed without undue delay.
      2. Search Committee Conflict of Interest. Any search advisory committee member under serious consideration for appointment to the position that is the subject of the committee should either resign, or withdraw their name from further consideration for the vacancy.
  7. Other Administrative Positions. For other administrative posts which involve academic or policy-making functions and responsibilities, including Department Chair and Head, the selection procedure utilized shall be analogous to that of UNL Bylaws Section 2.4.2 except that informal procedures may be substituted, when agreed upon by the faculty and administration.
  8. New Senior Administrative Positions. Whenever the creation of a new senior administrative position is under consideration, the Chancellor shall consult with the Faculty Senate and ASUN as to whether the position is desirable, and whether the position should be filled.
  9. Temporary Administrative Appointments. When conditions necessitate, an interim administrative position may be selected without using the formal search procedures described in these UNL Bylaws. An interim administrator has all the powers and duties of a permanent appointee, and may be a candidate for permanent appointment to the position. However, this section may not be used to circumvent normal search procedures.
  10. Information about University Personnel.
    1. University Personnel Defined. “University Personnel” means all persons defined as such by the Regents Bylaws.
    2. Collection of University Personnel Information. UNL shall collect, retain, and release information about University Personnel only if the information is necessary for the operation of the University of Nebraska.
    3. Limitations on Collection of Information Regarding Religious or Political Beliefs of University Personnel. UNL shall not collect, retain, or release any information about University Personnel which pertains to a person’s religious or political beliefs, or to membership in, or association with, any organization by means of which a person exercises religious or political beliefs.
    4. Release of Information about University Personnel. Information about University Personnel necessary for the operation of the University of Nebraska shall not be released to any person employed by or connected with UNL unless the information is necessary for the person to whom the information is released to perform his or her duties. However, in no event can such information be released without providing notice to the person to whom the information pertains. Any release of information to the Board of Regents shall be performed in accordance with the Regents Bylaws.
    5. Limitations on Dissemination of Information about University Personnel to the Public. Information about University Personnel other than matters within the public domain shall not be released to any person not employed by or connected with UNL without the express consent of the person or persons to whom the information pertains.
    6. Collection of Information about University Personnel for Governmental Research Purposes. Nothing in these UNL Bylaws shall prevent the collection, retention, and release of information about University Personnel where such information is needed for governmental research and analysis if the identity of the person, or persons to which the information pertains is not disclosed.
    7. Confidentiality of Information about University Personnel. Nothing in these UNL Bylaws shall interfere with, or deny in any way, the confidential nature of University Personnel records specified in the Regents Bylaws, or deny, or affect in any way, the privilege of any person to redress rights granted by any applicable law or by these UNL Bylaws.
    8. Inspection Rights. Each person included within the term “University Personnel” as defined above, shall have a right to inspect and make copies of any information pertaining to him or her, and shall have the right to respond in writing to such information and to have such response attached to the information. This shall include, but is not limited to, any and all information and evaluative commentary, used in any form of personnel evaluation and the identity of persons with access to this information. Further, except as explicitly allowed for in the Guidelines for the Evaluation of Faculty, no anonymous material may be included in such information.
    9. Destruction of Information about University Personnel. The UNL Chancellor or designee and the Corporation Secretary of the University of Nebraska shall promulgate rules pertaining to the destruction of information no longer needed for the operation of UNL, and the custodian of such information shall effect its destruction in accordance with such rules.