Minutes of Faculty Senate meeting

1 December 2006, Board Room in Student Union

Senators present: Zhang (left at 6:38), Adamitis, Marshall, Guajardo, Schwarze, Hasbrouck, Duskin, Filletti, Breese (left at 5:05), Grau (arrived at 3:10 and left at 5:58), Sellars (arrived at 3:10), Whiting (arrived at 3:12), Hicks (arrived at 3:45 and left at 6:38), Vachris (arrived at 3:50)
Senator absent: Knipp
  1. President Schwarze called the meeting to order at 3:05 PM.
  2. Introduction of guests: Allen Grace (SGA), Bob Colvin (Chair of Department of Leadership and American Studies), Tom Berry (PSYC professor)
  3. Electronic approval of minutes for 11/3 meeting of the Faculty Senate was acknowledged.
  4. There were no presentations by guests.
  5. President's report
    1. The Priority Advisory Committee (charge available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/president/PAC.doc) will provide guidance to the Senate at its 1/19/07 meeting.
    2. The Faculty Development Grants have been awarded by the provost according to the recommendations made at the 11/3/06 meeting of the Faculty Senate. The Provost's office has sent letters to all applicants, including those who were not funded.
    3. update re schedule of transition to 3-4 teaching load:
      The Senate Executive Committee (SEC) met this morning with the President, Provost, and Chief of Staff this morning. The President is fully committed to making the 3-4 load a reality for our faculty. Once the Senate communicates its recommendation, the administration and the Budget Advisory Council (BAC) will undertake a thorough cost analysis of the proposal, to include what might be done, for instance, if state funding plummets in any given year (thus affecting our ability to hire the 11 new faculty each year called for by each of the plans-approximately $1.1 million/year). Our goal here is to lay out and implement a viable plan-something better than our present position-that we can deviate from or adjust if need be, but that will move us toward our 6-Year-Plan goal of a 3-4 teaching load for all faculty by 2011 - 12.
      The SEC will meet with BAC on 12/7/07 to outline the faculty's goals and desires. The administration plans to have a response to the Senate by early February. The key point here is that the Senate will complete its initial commitment to this process today: having canvassed the faculty and heard their concerns and desires, the Senate will be able to share with the administration the faculty's desires in how to implement such a transition. This will enable the administration to fulfill its planning responsibilities. The SEC and the Senate will continue to work closely with the administration, representing faculty concerns and interests.
    4. Schwarze has forwarded the pertinent recommendations from the Council of University Chairs (CUC) to the Priority Advisory Committee (PAC); the SEC will discuss further how to facilitate the discussions requested by the CUC regarding the budget process, etc.
    5. Here are the general rules for the approval of closed-section course overrides:
      1. In some departments, only the chairs may sign an override.
      2. In the case of courses with caps of 19, only the dean may sign.
      3. In the case of University Liberal Learning Core (ULLC) courses, only the dean may sign
      4. The dean may override students into any class.
      5. The Academic Advising Center may override students with permission from the dean.
      6. The deans communicate these actions to the chairs insofar as possible (Summers may be difficult.), with the hopes that the chairs will communicate the information to their faculty members
    6. Meetings of the Faculty Senate during the spring semester will (as usual) shift to the third Friday of each month.
    7. Faculty are reminder of the importance of submitting fall-semester grades on time: noon on Monday, December 11.
    Discussion ensued about the last item in the President's report, namely if final grades could be submitted later. The conclusion was drawn that it is not possible. The Senate also discussed concerns about the current exam schedule, with the inclusion of a reading day. Informal feedback suggests that students do not like it because it increases the probability of their having multiple exams on one day. Sellars was asked to include this issue with his committee's study of the academic calendar.
  6. Committee reports
    1. Sellars: recommendations on academic calendar (preliminary findings available at http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/misc/calendar)
      This committee held its first meeting on 11/29. The concept of a January "minimester" seems to lack support from either the faculty or the students. We need to consult with students in order to glean their interest before a decision is made. Allen Grace (SGA) offered to help to develop a survey for students in order to determine the academic value of the reading day and the interest in a January minimester. This Committee will make a final recommendation to the Senate at its 2/16/07 meeting.
    2. Breese: recommendations on sabbaticals
      1. The grading rubric will be sent to the Senate for review at its 1/19/07 meeting. Also, this committee recommends that all components of all future applications be submitted electronically.
      2. The issue of co-authored projects will be postponed until the Senate's 1/19/07 meeting.

        Ed. note: At this point in the meeting, items VI.B.3 and VI.C were covered in reverse order, in order to await for the arrival of materials pertinent to the sabbatical applications.

      3. The Senate went into closed session at 3:59 PM in order to discuss this year's sabbatical applications. After coming out of closed session, Filetti moved and Whiting seconded to accept the committee's recommended ranking of sabbatical applications. An alphabetical listing of the approved applications is as follows:
        H. Chen, S. Gailey, G. Hillow, K. Keeling, Q. Kidd, G. Schweig, S. Sishagne, M. Vachris.
        The recommendation was approved by a vote of twelve in favor (Filetti, Hasbrouck, Grau, Hicks, Guajardo, Duskin, Marshall, Zhang, Breese, Whiting, Adamitis, Sellars), none opposed, and no abstentions. (Vachris was present neither in the closed session nor for the vote, owing to the fact that her sabbatical application was reviewed.)
    3. Duskin (UCC):
      1. course recommendations
        1. COMM 201
          This course has been approved by the Liberal Learning Council (LLC) for inclusion in the Formal and Informal Reasoning (FIR) Area of Inquiry (AoI), but the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC) did not approve of this, because the UCC does not believe that "reasoning" is the focus of the course. Because no single entity can "kill" any such application, this particular application will continue to move through the process. Hence, all Senators are asked to review this application in preparation for its discussion at the 1/19/07 meeting of the Senate.
        2. The applications for the inclusion of other courses in various AoI have been approved by UCC and/or LLC, but these applications have not yet been received by the Senate. Senators may be asked to conduct some reviews before the 1/19/07 meeting if these applications are received in a timely manner.
      2. followup re the requirement of a final exam in all Liberal Learning Foundations courses (such as ULLC100)
        The UCC approves of the language (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/misc/ULLC100.doc) in the recent action taken by the LLC, which continues the exemption of ULLC 223 from final exams. Duskin moved and Adamitis seconded to accept that language as it stands. This motion passed with a vote of ten in favor (Filetti, Hasbrouck, Adamitis, Duskin, Whiting, Guajardo, Marshall, Grau, Zhang, Hicks), none opposed, and one abstention (Sellars).
      3. UCC expressed concern about the proposed grade of "Unauthorized Incomplete" (UI), in that those who read the transcript may not understand that this is not a passing grade.
    4. liaisons to 11/10 meetings of CNU's Board of Visitors (BoV):
      1. Guajardo (Academic Affairs):
        Dean Douglas Gordon made a presentation to the BoV on the Liberal Learning Curriculum.
      2. Whiting (Development and Finance):
        This report was postponed until the 1/19/07 meeting. The Development committee is still working on funding for scholarships. One BoV member expressed concern about CNU's need for more need-based scholarships.
      3. Knipp (Student Life):
        This report was postponed until the Senate's 1/19/07 meeting, because of Knipp's absence.
      4. Vachris (full board):
        The BoV voted to vote at its 2/07 meeting on the addition of "sexual orientation" to CNU's nondiscrimination policy. The Academic Affairs committee was impressed by Dean Gordon's presentation on the Liberal Learning Curriculum and are interested in asking him to make this presentation to the full board.
    5. Adamitis/Grau: handbook language for Council of University Chairs (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/handbook/CUC.doc)
      This was moved by Grau, seconded by Adamitis, and approved with a vote of eleven in favor (Guajardo, Grau, Adamitis, Filletti, Marshall, Duskin, Zhang, Hicks, Vachris, Hasbrouck, Whiting), none opposed, and one absention (Sellars).
    6. No reports were made by Senators liaising with departments which have no Senators.
  7. Old business
    1. Senate vote on UCC recommendation: American Studies program (major and minor)
      Sellars expressed concerns of those in the history department.
      1. No current faculty is qualified to teach the courses.
      2. No current faculty understands the nature of the program.
      3. Multidisciplinary programs require the dual appointment of faculty.
      4. Courses taken outside of the American Studies program are taught by faculty who do not have input in the department.
      5. Non-LAMS faculty members who teach courses in this program should have input in the hiring of people who are hired for the specific purpose of teaching in this program.
      6. The program needs someone with a PhD in American Studies who can establish a methodology course.
      7. The program needs to look more like other programs at other institutions.
      8. The program is dated.
      Additionally, Duskin expressed concern that many courses within this major are taught by faculty who have no input in the department, and he recommended that this program application be reviewed by someone who teaches in an American Studies program at another institution.
      Leadership and American Studies Department Chair Colvin indicated that the proposal would create a major in Interdisciplinary Studies within his department, and this would provide a structure for a major in American studies. The committee that designed CNU's proposed American Studies major consisted of faculty across disciplines that are familiar with this area. Colvin indicated that programs at other institutions were reviewed by this committee, and he suggested that the program as outlined is consistent with those other programs; for instance, all have capstone courses. The AMST-program committee is interested in having the best program possible and is willing to consider feedback/input. Colvin responded to concerns about the methodology course. The committee thought the methods from other areas (GOVT, PSYC, HIST, et al.) and the idea of two tracks (Social Sciences and Humanities) would work well. Colvin likes the idea of hiring a faculty member with a PhD in American Studies to teach methodology and also likes the idea of faculty with joint appointments. (Senator Vachris has an informal joint appointment in American Studies and in Business, so the seeds of such an idea are in existence.)
      The Senate has three recommendations:
      • A portion of the faculty teaching in the area should have a joint appointment.
      • CNU should hire a faculty member with a PhD in American Studies, for inclusion in that department.
      • A reviewer from outside of CNU should look at the present proposal.
      It was moved moved, seconded, and approved unanimously to table this issue until 1/19/07, in order to allow time for an outside review.
    2. Vote on proposed schedules (A, B, C, and D) for shifting to a 3-4 teaching load
      Duskin moved and Hasbrouck seconded to bring Plan D to the floor. Note that part of work the BAC, of the Administration, and of the SEC, once the Senate recommends a plan, is to strategize various ďwhat ifĒ scenarios ó that is, what would be required to keep us on track in the plan if certain assumptions (say, new faculty hires) didnít materialize. The Administration has promised us an update/response by 2/1/07. Senate discussion took place as to the pros and cons of Senate approval of this plan. During this discussion was introduced a fifth plan ("X"), in which during each year of a 6-year period a lottery would be held, and in this lottery one-sixth of the faculty would "win" a (permanent) one course per year reduction in teaching load. The arguments for and against the approval of Plan D divided roughly as follows:
      PROS:
      • Most faculty think that the shift to a 3-4 load will allow them to do more - outside of class - than what they do now.
      • Our present approval of a specific plan - such as D - reduces the chances of the postponement of the date after which all faculty have a 3-4 load.
      • Plan D has received much scrutiny and input from the general faculty.
      • Because plan D calls for a gradual phase-in of the teaching-load reduction, there is less concern about a possible large need for adjuncts in a single year than would be the case if the teaching-load were reduced for all faculty in the same year.
      • Plan X (which does not discriminate based on seniority), does not guarantee the prompt reduction in teaching-load to those for whom the need is most pressing, namely the junior faculty.
      • If the Senate makes a recommendation today, it will allow the process/negotiations to move forward; in that it will allow BAC, the administration, and the Senate to get to the business of projecting more particular costs for a plan according to various scenarios and then adjusting and finalizing it. This wonít be the last word -ó it is, ultimately, a recommendation that we are making to the administration.
      CONS:
      • A reduction in our teaching load may reduce the amount available for merit pay increases.
      • Plan D ignores the plight of faculty on restricted contracts, especially those in the Luter School of Business, for whom the obligations are quite similar to those on unrestricted contracts.
      • Any plan which has a gradual phase-in will result in a disgruntled group, namely the last ones to obtain the reduction. Hence, we should wait until we have a critical mass of faculty and then shift all at once. This was done at CNU in the past, when an identical reduced load was implemented for the graduate faculty (albeit a substantially smaller subset of the instructional faculty).
      • A lottery for all faculty (ie, Plan X) seems like the fairest approach, because is does not discriminate.

      A few questions were raised, some of which were answered:
      • Question: Will money for merit pay-increases still be available?
        Answer: These increases come out of same pot as salary raises. A shift in teaching load should not reduce merit pay increases, especially if we are able to hire new faculty members. At CNU, faculty salary dollars are used for faculty salaries; thus, when we hire a new faculty member and $100,000 is obligated to that position (salary and fringes), not all of that money is spent on the new faculty memberís salary initially. The remainder of the funds goes into the pot from which merit and equity increases are drawn. Thus, the more faculty we hire at the early end of the pay scale, the more funds are available for merit increases.
      • Will we continue in with plan D even if CNU hires fewer new faculty in a given year?
      • What can we learn by talking with other universities (like Virginia Wesleyan) who have made this shift? (We havenít yet talked to other universities about this, as the situation seems driven by our own unique financial picture.)
      Plan D was approved with a vote of nine in favor (Hasbrouck, Adamitis, Vachris, Duskin, Guajardo, Schwarze, Hicks, Zhang, Whiting), none opposed, and three abstentions (Marshall, Filetti, Sellars).
  8. New business
    1. handbook changes
      1. IACUC (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/handbook/13.rtf)
        This was moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
      2. personnel files (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/handbook/personnelfile.doc)
        This handbook change was given a first reading. Marshall mentioned that these rights are given to many in Virginia and hence should also be given to faculty. The Senate will discuss it further at its 1/19/07 meeting.
    2. Resolution 4: emeritus status for Lee Doerries (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/resolutions/4.doc)
      This was moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
    3. Resolution 5: emerita status for Virginia Purtle (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/resolutions/5.doc)
      This was moved, seconded, and approved unanimously.
    4. proposal from UDC to base the withdrawal limit on number of credits, rather than on number (= 5) of courses
      This proposal was moved by Whiting and seconded by Vachris. Sellars moved and Filetti seconded to commit this to the Academic Status Committee, and this was approved by a vote of nine in favor (Filetti, Vachris, Adamitis, Duskin, Guajardo, Marshall, Zhang, Sellars, Hicks), none opposed, and one abstension (Whiting).
    5. Further consideration of Pollard's report from ad hoc committee on evaluation and assessment of faculty (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/FacEvalPolicy.doc and http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/FacEvalMatrix.xls)
      We could invite someone from a university which has an evaluation system similar to the one proposed, so that we could discuss this with them. Dean Gordon has expressed a willingness to host someone on campus. Marshall suggested that a new system would be beneficial, but is hesitant to implement anything before CNU has a new Provost. Much discussion followed about the clarification of how this evaluation process would work. Specifically raised was the question of whether we want to engage faculty in the discussion now. The Senate unanimously approved pushing these initiatives now and inviting someone (such as Raoul Areola, author of Developing a Compehensive Evaluation System) to CNU to discuss these ideas.
  9. Other
    Whiting presented schematics of the new liberal arts building. (For online version, go to http://provost.cnu.edu/BuildingUpdate.htm and see "Schematic Diagrams - Nov. 28, 2006".)
The meeting adjourned at 6:40.

submitted by Peter Knipp (secretary of the Faculty Senate) and Nicole Guajardo

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