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
- Call to Order at 3:06
- Introduction of guests: Jason Scheel, Ron Mollick, Dorothy Doolittle
- Acknowledge electronic approval of minutes of 2/17 and 2/28 meetings
- Presentations by guests:
- Jason Scheel (Student Government Association): SGA update
- 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.
- President's report
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.
- President Schwarze reminded the Faculty Senate of their upcoming meeting with President Trible
at 4 PM on Friday 3/24.
- 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.
- 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:
Senator Breese pointed out that Professor Sam Bauer made a presentation
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.
- 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.
- There is no “recommended” or “correct” grade distribution.
- Faculty members should reflect on their grade distributions in their
Eval-6 narratives, especially if there are anomalies in the distributions.
- 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.
- Handbook changes:
The Provost accepted the majority of our Handbook
recommendations, but he disagreed with the following Senate recommendations:
The provost also renamed the (recently formed) committee on advising, as "Academic Advising Committee".
- 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.)
- regarding emeritus faculty (change #2):
should be encouraged to provide offices for emeritus faculty.
Provost's logic: we presently have a shortage of campus offices
- “Unlimited tuition free course audits” should be provided.
Provost's logic: this is not something we provide to regular faculty.
- The “in a related discipline”
language should not be added to handbook change #17.
the words “should hold”/ “should have” will make the same point.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- CNU applications have hit the 7,000 mark for the first time in our history.
- 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.
- Academic departments' budgets need to get spent in the next few weeks.
- 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.
- Committee reports
The first two items were covered in reverse order in order to accommodate the schedule of Professor
- 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.
- 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:
was moved by Breese and seconded by Adamitis. The resolution was then amended by the removal of
the first two "whereases", below:
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).
- "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."
- Adamitis: recommendation re shift to 3 - 4 teaching load
A first reading was made of this resolution (available:
- Kidd: Outstanding Faculty Awards for Teaching, Research, and Service
These recommendations (available:
received a first reading.
- Breese: Chair's Evaluation Committee (report available
at http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/chair.doc and
executive summary available at
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.
- Board of Visitors (BoV) reports:
- 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.
- Kidd: Academic Affairs
Two items of note were discussed:
- shifting the spring semester one week later (as described above, in V.L)
- resolution which sets the minimum and maximum salaries for different ranks of faculty, as follows:
- Whiting: Finance
Comptroller Maribeth Trun reported that flexible spending is being watched closely.
- 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.
- Old business
- Review of handbook change re student conduct
(corrected description available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/handbook/24.doc)
This passed unanimously.
- 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.
- New business
- Considerations of UCC recommendations
- Degree studies requirement (available:
This passed unanimously.
- Math objectives (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/UCC/math.doc)
This passed unanimously.
- Kidd and Vachris: HIST 223 (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/UCC/HIST223.doc)
This passed unanimously.
- Academic programs
- Music (available:
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.
- Biology (available:
This passed unanimously.
- Sociology (available:
This passed unanimously.
- Modern languages (available:
This passed unanimously.
- Areas of Inquiry courses (complete listings available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/ucc11_4.html)
- Adamitis and Breese: Creative Expressions (FNAR 373,
376, and 378)
These were recommended by the Senate subcommittee and passed unanimously by the Senate.
- Sellars and Knipp: Western Traditions
All three of these CLST courses were recommended by the subcommittee and passed unanimously by the Senate.
- CLST 101
- 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.
- CLST 211
This course may be better suited for
Identities, Institutions, and Societies (IIS) than
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.
- Grau and Wymer: Institutions, Identities, and Societies (CLST 213)
This was recommended by the Senate subcommittee and approved unanimously by the Senate.
- Handbook changes recommended by Student Government Association (available:
The Faculty Senate considered separately the SGA's three recommendations, as enumerated below.
- 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".
- 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.
- The Faculty Senate unanimously approved of this recommendation (which pertains to handbook change
#22), if "student nominated" is replaced
by "nonvoting student representative nominated".
- Creation of committee to review possibility of calendar shift:
Sellars was appointed to chair this committee.
- 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.