Minutes of Faculty Senate meeting

16 February 2007, Board Room in Student Union

    Senators present: Schwarze, Adamitis (left at 7:00), Breese, Filetti, Grau, Whiting, Zhang, Knipp, Marshall, Guajardo, Duskin, Hicks, Sellars (arrived at 4:02), Vachris (arrived at 4:05), Hasbrouck
    Senators absent: none

  1. President Schwarze called the meeting to order at 3:06.
  2. Introduction of guests: Keston Fulcher (Director of Assessment and Evaluation) and Andrew Lundsten (Student Government Association)
  3. Electronic approval of minutes for 1/19 meeting of the Faculty Senate was acknowledged.
  4. Fulcher presented CNU's proposed Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is an important part of our upcoming reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the onsite visit for which is scheduled for 3/19/07. The QEP Leadership Committee consists of Bobbye Bartels, Bob Hasbrouck, Jason Hart, Costa Gerousis, and Brian Bradie. To access the QEP itself, click here, and subsequently click on CNUs QEP on the left hand column, which is in dark blue. At this stage enter the username and password which were included in the broadcast email message that announced the posting of these minutes.
  5. President's report

    At this time the meeting was shifted to item VIII.E below in the agenda, to allow for further discussion of item B in the president's report.
    The Senate presented flowers and a card to Schwarze, to congratulate her on her recent award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).

  6. Committee reports
    1. Breese (sabbaticals)
      1. A vote on the scoring rubric was postponed until the 3/16 Senate meeting.
      2. Breese's committee gave considerable thought to the handling of "joint" sabbatical projects (by which is meant projects that require contributions from two or more faculty members, all of whom are on sabbaticals). The Senate decided that sabbaticals are granted to individuals (as opposed to projects), who must apply separately for these, even if two or more of the applicants are proposing to work on the same project. This decision was unanimous except for one abstention (Sellars). On a related note was raised the question of whether it makes sense to award multiple sabbaticals to the same academic department in the same year, and it was decided that the best person to handle this question will be the chair of that department.
    2. There were no reports from Senators liaising with departments which have no Senators.
    3. Review of courses to go into various Areas of Inquiry (AoI):
      (Click here for a complete list of this year's AoI applications.) Each of these four applications were approved by the pair of Senators who reviewed them. However, it was pointed out that the application for THEA 261 did not contain any description of the course assignments. These four courses were approved unanimously for inclusion in their respective AoI.
    4. Schwarze provided an update on CNU's search for a new provost. Three candidates, all with very different styles, will visit CNU prior to spring break.
    5. Vachris reported about a recent presentation that she made at a meeting of the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC), on behalf of the Priority Advisory Committee (PAC). At the BAC meeting she presented priorities which were approved at the 1/19/07 Senate meeting. The BAC responded to her report by requesting specific dollar values for the prioritized items. Still up in the air are priorities D ("Junior faculty leave") and F ("Chair compensation"), which have been approved by the Senate but not by the provost. In re priority F, the provost does not like a chair-compensation strategy which ignores the fact that some departments are larger than others. School of Business Dean Motilla proposes that chair release-time and/or compensation be based on both the number of faculty members and the number of students in that department. The Senate decided to commit the chair-compensation issue to Breese and Grau, from whom a report will be expected on 3/16/07.
    6. Grau provided a report from the Academic Advising Committee about two recently proposed modifications to freshman advising:
      1. Professional advisers - rather than faculty members - will be used to advise undecided students.
      2. Summer (faculty) advisers will no longer provide academic advice to students after the summer "Setting Sail" sessions. Instead, the advising responsibilities for those students will be assumed immediately thereafter by faculty within the departments in which those students have expressed an interest. For this reason, the pay for summer advising will probably decrease.
    7. Allen Grace provided an update from the Student Government Association (SGA):
      1. SGA's posting policy has recently been updated.
      2. Efforts are being made to put a few Daily Press boxes on campus.
      3. Revolving doors will be installed in the David Student Union.
      4. Some student members will be needed on the committees overseeing the expansion of the Freeman Center expanion and the construction of the next residence hall. Note that these committees will meet during the summer.
  7. Old business
    1. The Senate considered how to handle the proposal for a handbook change re "exceptional educational leave". Specifically was suggested the following handbook insertion:
      "Exceptions to these requirements (on rank and time of service) may be made, based on the discretion of and recommendations by the dean and department chair."
      This handbook change was approved unanimously.
  8. New business
    1. Faculty Development grant applications will be received by the Senate on 2/21, and they'll be voted on at the 3/16 meeting. Guajardo chairs the committee which will review these applications.
    2. Grau moved and Whiting seconded Resolution 7 (emeritus status for Jim Reed), which was approved unanimously.
    3. Breese moved and Filetti seconded Resolution 8 (emeritus status for David Alexick), which was approved unanimously.
    4. handbook changes
      The Senate went into a committee of the whole in order to discuss the changes individually. After coming out of a committee of the whole, the Senate unanimously voted to approve all proposed changes with the following clarification, contingency, and exclusions:
      • 4: Let the record show that the names of the three new departments are "Music", "Theater and Dance", and "Fine Art and Art History".
      • 6: The removal of the MAT in the endorsement area of "History" is to be approved with a contingency that this change be solely intended to bring handbook consistent with the catalog.
        Ed. note: after this meeting the MAT Coordinator in the HIST department confirmed the contingency in the first bullet, above.
      • 10: See VII.A above for Senate consideration of this.
      • The following are separated out for special treatment: 8(a), 8(b), and 16.
      Grau moved and Whiting seconded change 8(a), but this failed with a vote of only one in favor (Grau), one abstention (Hasbrouck), and the rest opposed. Because proposed change 8(a) would commit to the Honor System the entire CNU community, the Senate voted unanimously to commit this to a group convened by Kevin Hughes and consisting of two Faculty Senators (Vachris and Duskin), someone from Academic Advising and/or Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, someone from Human Resources, a sampling of other campus employees (e.g., secretaries, Grounds, Police), and two from the SGA.
      Grau moved and Whiting seconded the proposed last line in IX.E.10 (in change 8b, ie, "Students are obligated to report Honor Code violations"). This motion failed, with a vote of five in favor (Knipp, Marshall, Hasbrouck, Grau, Vachris), and nine opposed (Adamitis, Breese, Filetti, Whiting, Zhang, Guajardo, Duskin, Hicks, Sellars). This change was unanimously committed to the aforementionned committee.
      The changes in IX.F.4 (in change 8b) were universally rejected, and these were unanimously committed to the aforementionned committee.
      The changes in IX.F.8.g and IX.F.8.m (in change 8b) were universally rejected, owing to the the ambiguity associated with the wording and enumeration of the members of the SMHP. This change will be sent back to its originator, for clarification.
      All other parts of change 8b were unanimously approved.
      Proposed change 16 was amended by changing it to the following:
      "Every faculty has the right to access and review his or her permanent personnel file during normal business hours. If any document is placed in this file that has the potential to do harm to the faculty member's personal or professional reputation, including but not limited to complaint, reprimand, or admonition, the faculty member will be notified in writing. The faculty member has the right to respond in writing and to have the response placed in the personnel file. Unsubstantiated complaints or accusations will be removed."
      This was approved unanimously.

      Note that the following item was covered immediately after the President's report.

    5. In response to item B in the President's Report, above, the Senate decided to relegate the issue of grade distributions to a committee consisting of Knipp (chair), Hasbrouck, Adamitis, and Marshall. This committee will investigate numerical trends in grade distributions (e.g., as a function of department, class year, or faculty rank) and will suggest guidelines for how such data should be used. The Senate was reminded of the 12/04 report on grade inflation (or - perhaps more accurately - the absence of grade inflation) at CNU that was prepared by Sam Bauer.
  9. Other
    Filetti suggested that the hours for "open parking" be slightly shortened, from 3 PM - 8:30 AM to 3 PM - 7:30 AM, to enable faculty members who teach 8 AM classes to park in their designated lots. This was approved unanimously.
    Ed. note: On 4/3/07 Bill Brauer accepted this recommendation, to be effective July 1, 2007.
The meeting adjourned at 7:35 PM.
Submitted by Peter Knipp, secretary of the Faculty Senate
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