Minutes of Faculty Senate meeting

3 PM Friday, 17 March 2006, SC214

Senators present: Hicks (left at 6:12), Wymer (left at 4:51), Kidd (left at 5:30), Schwarze, Adamitis, Underwood (left at 4:55), Whiting, Knipp, Doughty, Breese, Sellars (arrived at 4:05), Grau

Senators absent: Cartwright, Guajardo, Vachris
  1. Call to Order at 3:06
  2. Introduction of guests: Jason Scheel, Ron Mollick, Dorothy Doolittle
  3. Acknowledge electronic approval of minutes of 2/17 and 2/28 meetings
  4. Presentations by guests:
    1. Jason Scheel (Student Government Association): SGA update (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/sga/3_17.doc)
    2. Associate Provost Dorothy Doolittle: assessment for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
      Ten years ago was the last time we were visited by SACS. For the upcoming accreditation visit, we must show that sixty standards are met or exceeded. The "compliance certification" is due on 9/1/06, and this will get reviewed by SACS during 11/06. In 1/07 we will file a report to answer any concerns that they may have. Our "quality enhancement project", due in 1/07, will focus on student learning. It contains stuff from the retention planning effort and will concentrate on the new curriculum. Specifically, we'll focus on assessing the effectiveness of the First Year Seminars (FYSM). Keston Fulcher, CNU's director of assessment, will play a key role, in this regard. In 3/07 the SACS committee will visit CNU for about two days. Their goal will be to gauge the extent to which the CNU community (including students) understand CNU's quality enhancement plan.
  5. President's report
    1. President Schwarze reminded the Faculty Senate of their upcoming meeting with President Trible at 4 PM on Friday 3/24.
    2. Dining Services Advisory Committee Update:
      There will be a decision in early April on whether to remain "self-op" or to go with a national vendor. We have soliticited bids, as part of this process. Many other areas of campus have been reviewed, and now it is food services' turn to undergo a review. This is an appropriate time for Senators to solicit feedback from their departments regarding food service. Two recent "town-hall meetings" indicate a sentiment for remaining self-op, but we are only VA public school (other than Virginia Tech, which has a food-services major) that is self-op.
    3. Grade distribution concerns raised by various faculty:
      The Senate Executive Committee (SEC) directed Schwarze to talk with the Provost about the comments some faculty have received on their EVAL-8's regarding grade distributions falling disproportionately in the upper ranges. The SEC recognizes that it is within the administration’s purview to bring this issue to faculty members’ attention; therefore, the objective in this discussion was to gain insight into the administration’s concerns in order to provide faculty with a better understanding of the issue. Points emerging from the discussion included the following administrative opinions:
      1. Certain courses—small, upper division seminars and graduate courses, for instance — can be expected to register a higher proportion of high grades than other courses.
      2. There is no “recommended” or “correct” grade distribution.
      3. Faculty members should reflect on their grade distributions in their Eval-6 narratives, especially if there are anomalies in the distributions.
      4. Faculty members should use the distribution data to analyze their own grading practices to ensure they are making distinctions regarding the quality of student work, rather than simply registering the work has been completed. The latter option would be better served by pass-fail grading.
      Senator Breese pointed out that Professor Sam Bauer made a presentation (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/gradestudy.ppt) at a meeting of CLAS chairs that, unlike other institutions, CNU does not suffer from grade inflation. No one has an explanation as to why CNU differs from other institutions, in this regard.
    4. Handbook changes:
      The Provost accepted the majority of our Handbook recommendations, but he disagreed with the following Senate recommendations:
      1. Chairs of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (See item 12 of change #23.) and the Liberal Learning Council (See change #22.) should be tenured.
        (Ed. note: The provost reconsidered his position on this issue in his 3/27/06 meeting with the SEC, and he ended up supporting the Senate's recommendation, as reported in the President's report in the meeting on 4/21/06.)
      2. regarding emeritus faculty (change #2):
        1. Deans/departments should be encouraged to provide offices for emeritus faculty.
          Provost's logic: we presently have a shortage of campus offices
        2. “Unlimited tuition free course audits” should be provided.
          Provost's logic: this is not something we provide to regular faculty.
      3. The “in a related discipline” language should not be added to handbook change #17.
        Provost's logic: the words “should hold”/ “should have” will make the same point.
      4. The notification date for non-returning faculty (change #18) should be the 8th and not the 9th Friday.
        Provost's logic: the 8th Friday is Spring Break.
      The provost also renamed the (recently formed) committee on advising, as "Academic Advising Committee".
    5. Virginia General Assembly has passed a statute that reads, in part, “No employee at a Virginia public college or university shall demand or receive any payment, loan, subscription, advance, deposit of money, services or anything, present or promised, as an inducement for requiring students to purchase a specific textbook required for coursework or instruction; with the exception that the employee may receive (i) sample copies, instructor's copies, or instructional material, not to be sold; and (ii) royalties or other compensation from sales of textbooks that include such instructor's own writing or work.”
      The Senate is asking for clarification from the VA attorney general regarding whether unsolicited review copies of textbooks may be sold by professors.
    6. Faculty fundraising:
      The administration is trying to raise funds for academic purposes: endowed chairs, scholarships, academic programs, and the like. The SEC and President Trible have discussed the administration’s desire/need for appropriate and voluntary faculty assistance in these endeavors. Senators Kidd and Schwarze have also spoken with Judy Ford, Director of Development, about these issues. The SEC will continue to work with the administration in identifying appropriate and voluntary ways the faculty might assist in university fundraising, such as assisting in making presentations about academic programs to potential corporate donors, identifying possible funding sources, and identifying funding needs.
    7. A national search is underway for a new Vice President for Administration, who will supervise many auxiliary services as well as Human Resources. More than 140 applications have been received so far. Public presentations will be scheduled for candidates.
    8. The Gosnold renovation project is fully funded. We are now planning three academic building projects under House and Senate proposals, including Gosnold, the old Student Center, and a McMurran razing/renovation.
    9. CNU applications have hit the 7,000 mark for the first time in our history.
    10. General Faculty Meeting on Tuesday, March 21 (agenda available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/agenda3_21.html)
      This will consist of the Provost’s presentation on the 3 - 4 teaching load and the faculty's vote on minor governance issues. Faculty are encouraged to attend — it is important to show interest in the teaching load issue, and to gather a quorum to conduct the vote.
    11. Academic departments' budgets need to get spent in the next few weeks.
    12. Academic calendar:
      Our next fall semester is scheduled to begin on Monday 8/21/06 and to end on Friday 12/1/06. The exam period will begin on Monday 12/4/06. President Trible accepted our recommendations on the exam period (to include a "reading day" on Wednesday 12/6/06) and on the Saturday (12/9/06) exam period. Senator Doughty worked out the remaining conflicts with the registrar, so the Saturday period will only be used for conflicts. However, we will not be able to extend the grading deadline from Monday (12/11/06) until Tuesday (12/12/06), because of the realities of the registrar’s workload/schedule. The spring semester is presently schedule to begin on Monday 1/15/07, and graduation to occur on Mother’s Day (Sunday 5/13/07). Trible likes the idea of shifting the spring semester one week later than this, in order to create a January term for short courses and for faculty research, and to prevent graduation from falling on Mother's Day. He would like to know if we could consider trying such an intersession in Spring 2007, which would give a start date of 1/22/07 and a graduation date of 5/20/07. This would be a temporary arrangement, with subsequent - more permanent - recommendations to come from the Faculty Senate.
    At this time the Senate discussed the issue of shifting the spring semester one week later. Knipp pointed out that this would lengthen faculty contracts by one week. Breese likes idea of a long winter break, in that it would facilitate travel courses. Doughty is wary of the delivering a semester's worth of content in only three weeks. Kidd thinks that lengthening winter break by one week would make it much more productive, in terms of faculty research. Schwarze pointed out that the method of instructor remuneration for this term would probably be a stipend (as for summer terms), not LHEs. The senators are now advised to consult with their deparments about the possibility of this shift of the spring semester.
  6. Committee reports
    The first two items were covered in reverse order in order to accommodate the schedule of Professor Ron Mollick.
    1. Guajardo: Faculty Development Grant applications
      The Senate went into closed session at 4:36 in order to discuss this. After coming out of closed session at 4:50, the Senate unanimously approved the recommendations of this committee, which funded (at least in part) each of the applications of Professors C. Garrett, K. Keeling, M. Marinova, M. Meyer, B. Mijatovic, J. Nichols, S. Rowley, G. Thornton, and G. Zestos. The total amount requested by these - and other - applications was $89.8 K, whereas only $12.7 K (all of which was awarded) was available.
    2. Ron Mollick: Employment Status of Librarians
      The Senate went into closed session in order to hear and discuss this report. After the Senate came out of closed session at 4:30, Resolution #6 (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/resolutions/6.doc) was moved by Breese and seconded by Adamitis. The resolution was then amended by the removal of the first two "whereases", below:
      • "Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition."
      • "Tenure is a means to certain ends; specifically: (1) freedom of teaching and research and of extramural activities, and (2) a sufficient degree of economic security to make the profession attractive to men and women of ability. Freedom and economic security, hence, tenure, are indispensable to the success of an institution in fulfilling its obligations to its students and to society."
      The resolution, as amended, was approved with nine in favor (Hicks, Wymer, Kidd, Adamitis, Underwood, Knipp, Breese, Grau, and Sellars), none opposed, and two abstentions (Whiting and Doughty).
    3. Adamitis: recommendation re shift to 3 - 4 teaching load
      A first reading was made of this resolution (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/resolutions/5.doc).
    4. Kidd: Outstanding Faculty Awards for Teaching, Research, and Service
      These recommendations (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/TeachAward.doc) received a first reading.
    5. Breese: Chair's Evaluation Committee (report available at http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/chair.doc and executive summary available at http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/chairsummary.doc)
      CNU may get a budget next year for some of this report's recommendations. Additionally, there would be merits to chairs' getting professional development as such.
    6. Board of Visitors (BoV) reports:
      1. Knipp: Student Affairs
        Several board members want that CNU's recent cooperative agreement with Rappahanock Community College (CC) be extended to Thomas Nelson CC and Tidewater CC.
      2. Kidd: Academic Affairs
        Two items of note were discussed:
        1. shifting the spring semester one week later (as described above, in V.L)
        2. resolution which sets the minimum and maximum salaries for different ranks of faculty, as follows:
          rankminimummaximum
          instructor$35K$60K
          assistant professor$44K$84K
          associate professor$55K$108K
          professor and
          distinguished professor
          $68K$132K
        3. Whiting: Finance
          Comptroller Maribeth Trun reported that flexible spending is being watched closely.
        4. Schwarze: entire BoV
          Faculty pay raises will range from 3% to 4% under the various proposals in the General Assembly. The Virginia Senate's plan would bring CNU to 95% of base-adequacy funding. During the BoV's closed session, all non-BoV members (including administrators) were excluded from the meeting.
  7. Old business
    1. Review of handbook change re student conduct (corrected description available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/handbook/24.doc)
      This passed unanimously.
    2. Handbook change re restricted positions (summary available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/restricted.rtf)
      The Senate considered the following alternative language:
      "Restricted appointments are one-academic-year appointments which have no continuing status, but which may be renewed up to four times for a total of five consecutive years. These appointments are made to fill nontenure track positions; to replace a faculty member on leave; to fill a position of doubtful permanency; to allow for an extended period of recruitment for a probationary appointment; or to employ visiting faculty. Exceptions to the five-term limit may be made at the initiative of the chair of the department in which an instructor teaches, and with the concurrence of the academic dean and provost, taking into consideration such factors as enrollment patterns, financial circumstances, and long term needs of the department. Restricted appointments provide fringe benefits."
      The Senate approved this handbook change, with all voting in favor except for Breese, who abstained.
  8. New business
    1. Considerations of UCC recommendations
      1. miscellaneous
        1. Degree studies requirement (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/UCC/programs/degreestudies.doc)
          This passed unanimously.
        2. Math objectives (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/UCC/math.doc)
          This passed unanimously.
        3. Kidd and Vachris: HIST 223 (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/UCC/HIST223.doc)
          This passed unanimously.
      2. Academic programs
        1. Music (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/UCC/programs/music)
          In order to coexist with the new liberal learning curriculum, many of the courses in these requirement-heavy programs were shrunk, from 3 credits to 2 credits, or from 2 credits to 1 credit. These program changes passed unanimously.
        2. Biology (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/UCC/programs/biol)
          This passed unanimously.
        3. Sociology (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/UCC/programs/socl)
          This passed unanimously.
        4. Modern languages (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/UCC/programs/MLAN.doc)
          This passed unanimously.
      3. Areas of Inquiry courses (complete listings available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/ucc11_4.html)
        1. Adamitis and Breese: Creative Expressions (FNAR 373, 376, and 378)
          These were recommended by the Senate subcommittee and passed unanimously by the Senate.
        2. Sellars and Knipp: Western Traditions
          1. CLST 101
          2. CLST 201
            One ("class participation") of the two stated objectives is questionable, owing to the fact that class participation does not receive a grade. However, the other assessment tool ("papers") is valid, and only one assessment tool is required for this Area of Inquiry.
          3. CLST 211
            This course may be better suited for Identities, Institutions, and Societies (IIS) than for Western Traditions (WST), for three reasons:
            • The course was apparently originally designed for IIS, rather than for WST.
            • There are presently considerably fewer courses in IIS than in WST.
            • The words "identity", "institution", and "society" (or it synonym "population") appear frequently in the course application documentation.
          All three of these CLST courses were recommended by the subcommittee and passed unanimously by the Senate.
        3. Grau and Wymer: Institutions, Identities, and Societies (CLST 213)
          This was recommended by the Senate subcommittee and approved unanimously by the Senate.
    2. Handbook changes recommended by Student Government Association (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/handbook/SGA.rtf)
      The Faculty Senate considered separately the SGA's three recommendations, as enumerated below.
      1. The Faculty Senate unanimously approved this recommendation (which pertains to handbook change #5), if "(non-voting)" is placed after "one student" and if a comma is placed after "Student Government Association".
      2. The Senate unanimously rejected this recommendation (which pertains to handbook change #15). However, it was pointed out that the SGA is welcome to suggest to the Dean of Students the names of students whom it recommends for that position on the First-Year Coordinating Committee, and it is expected that the Dean of Students may handle those "nominees" in the same manner that President Trible has handled names analogously nominated by the Faculty Senate for faculty representatives on the Budget Advisory Committee.
      3. The Faculty Senate unanimously approved of this recommendation (which pertains to handbook change #22), if "student nominated" is replaced by "nonvoting student representative nominated".
    3. Creation of committee to review possibility of calendar shift:
      Sellars was appointed to chair this committee.
    4. Whiting: Building Committee plans
      Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) recently sponsored a conference (attended by representatives from CNU) whose purpose was to provide guidance about how to plan for the construction or renovation of academic areas. These plans should originate at the level of the academic department, with each department providing their mission and vision. By telling architects how we do our jobs and how we want to do our jobs, we can compel the architects to do their jobs most effectively.

Submitted by Peter Knipp, secretary of the Faculty Senate

If you are viewing a static copy of this, see http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/minutes/3_17.html for the online version.