Minutes of Faculty Senate meeting

20 April 2007, Board Room in Student Union

Senators present: Hicks, Hasbrouck, Whiting, Schwarze, Redick, Adamitis, Marshall, Filetti, Guajardo, Knipp, Duskin, Zhang, Grau (arrived at 3:26), Vachris (arrived at 4:00)
Senator absent: Sellars
  1. President Schwarze called the meeting to order at 3:04.
  2. Introduction of guests:
  3. Schwarze acknowledged the electronic approval of minutes for 3/16 meeting of the Faculty Senate.

    At this point in the meeting, the order of the agenda was suspended in order to cover items VIII.C, VI.E, and VII.A (in order to accomodate the guests), before returning to the original order.

  4. There were no other presentations by guests.
  5. President's report
    At the conclusion of the President's report some discussion took place with regards to the issue of "Priority Registration" (3rd bullet in President's report), at which time the following two suggestions were made:
  6. Committee reports
    1. Grau provided an update about recent and ongoing elections.
      1. The following faculty have been elected to Senate seats in the different academic areas:
        • SoB: Niazur Rahim (2 year) and Leland Jordan (1 year)
        • SSPS: Pete Carlson and Nicole Guajardo (both 2-year)
        • LA: Rebecca Wheeler (2 year), Vernon Harper (2 year), and Kip Redick (1 year)
        • S&T: Lynn Lambert and Kathleen Brunke (both 2-year)
      2. Committee elections are presently being conducted within each department, and they must be completed by end of classes. Knipp pointed out that the handbook does not specify a deadline for committee elections, and it would probably make sense that this deadline be specified as March 30 (ie, the same as for Senate elections). This earlier deadline would enable the Provost and the Senate to appoint faculty to these committees, as needed, before the beginning of summer.
    2. Knipp presented the recommendation from the calendar committee. The intent is for these recommendations to begin in Fall 2008. The recommendations were broken up into two parts:
      1. fall semester
        Filetti moved and Duskin seconded the recommendation for the fall semester. This motion passed with a vote of ten in favor (Adamitis, Redick, Filetti, Knipp, Whiting, Grau, Marshall, Guajardo, Duskin, Hicks), none opposed, and two abstentions (Hasbrouck and Zhang).
      2. spring semester
        It was pointed out that the committee report was ambiguous, in that item 2 in the text ("spring semester remain as current scheduled") is contradicted by the fourth line in the table (having classes start on the "first Monday after the third Thursday" in January). Knipp moved and Hasbrouck seconded the latter recommendation (ie that the first class of the spring semester be on the first Monday after the third Thursday in January). This motion failed to pass, with a vote of four in favor (Knipp, Guajardo, Adamitis, Marshall), six opposed (Hasbrouck, Whiting, Redick, Filetti, Grau, Duskin), and three abstentions (Zhang, Vachris, Hicks). Next, Knipp moved and Duskin seconded that the first class of the spring semester be on the first Monday after the second Thursday in January. This passed with a vote of eight in favor (Knipp, Grau, Filetti, Redick, Whiting, Hicks, Vachris, Duskin), four opposed (Guajardo, Marshall, Adamitis, Hasbrouck), and one abstention (Zhang).
    3. Pollard discussed the multi-year work of his committee, which has been investigating a complete replacement of the method by which faculty evaluation takes place at CNU. This evaluation process may involve the use of computer automation in digital archiving and reporting systems, two example systems of which are listed below.
      1. Digital Measures
      2. Sedona Systems (click here or here)
      With a new provost being hired by CNU, the time is ripe for substantial change. The present (nonquantitative) method of faculty evaluation means that faculty input to these decisions can be considered little more than advisory. The proposed method would put more power back in hands of faculty, through the use of the "weights" which appear in the evaluation matrices. It should be possible literally to upload each faculty member's dossier into an automated system like those listed above. The possibility may also exist to replace the IDEA instrument with something of our own design.
    4. Review of courses to go into various Areas of Inquiry:
      1. Duskin and Guajardo reviewed and approved the application for the insertion of AMST 310 into the AoI of Identities, Institutions, and Society (IIS). The Senate approved this with a vote of all in favor except for Vachris, who abstained.
      (Click here for a complete list of this year's AoI applications.)
    5. Kip Redick: Academic Technology Advisory Committee
      1. More stringent security policies will be mandated by the University Technology Committee. ITS personnel pointed out at the meeting that the most straightforward way to comply with part 4 of this policy ["Removal of Person-Identifiable Information from Campus (Data Transport)"] would involve the use of a password-protected flash drive.
      2. WebCT has been bought by Blackboard, so CNU will use WebCT for only one more academic year, owing to the fact that the price ($75K/year) of the combined product to be marketed by Blackboard after that time will be much higher than that ($30K/year) for the present version of WebCT. CNU is contemplating the possibility of migrating to the use of moodle at that time for reasons of cost, and we plan to conduct a test of moodle this summer, so that we will be prepared to make a decision this fall.
    6. On behalf of his committee, Hasbrouck recommended the following ranking of Outstanding Faculty Award nominees:
      1. Lisa Spiller
      2. Kelly Cartwright
      3. Phillip Hamilton
      4. Robert Atkinson
      Ed. note: the password for these four documents were broadcast previously.
      The Senate went into closed session in order to discuss this recommendation. After coming out of closed session, the Senate voted unanimously to support it. Because SCHEV allows CNU only three nominees, this means that the Senate recommends Spiller, Cartwright, and Hamilton for this award.
    7. On behalf of the nominations committee, Knipp presented the following slate of nominees for Executive Committee of 07-08 Senate.
      1. president: Whiting
      2. vice president: Guajardo
      3. secretary: Lambert
      4. at-large: Hasbrouck, Wheeler
  7. Old business
    1. Breese presented recommendations about the process by which sabbatical applications get reviewed, as summarized by the following two documents.
      1. grading rubric
      2. reviewing form
      The evaluation forms are aimed at assessing a faculty member's application, not a (possibly joint) project's application, in a manner consistent with the results of earlier deliberations by the Senate. Breese suggested that the new rubric be tested on an old application, in order to assess the rubric's usefulness. The Senate decided to strengthen the quantitative aspect of the proposed rubric by assigning percent weights to the different criteria in Step 3 (in a manner analogous to the grading weights found in course syllabi) as follows:
      1. Application procedures: 5%
      2. Intrinsic merits of the sabbatical project: 25%
      3. Relevance to faculty development priorities: 30%
      4. Seniority: 30%
      5. Project's potential benefit to the university: 10%
      This was approved with no abstentions and one opposed vote (Hicks). The revised documents are found below:
      1. grading rubric
      2. reviewing form
    2. The Senate considered recommendations from the grade-distribution committee. The Senate unanimously approved the division of these recommendations into three parts:
      1. Redick moved and Whiting seconded that each department should give serious consideration to initiating a discussion about philosophies of grade distributions for its courses, and the department should also consider inserting the results of this discussion in its Eval-4 form. The Senate passed this unanimously.
      2. Grau moved and Hasbrouck seconded to include in the instructions for the relevant part of the Eval-6 form the phrase "and grade-distribution summaries".
      3. The recommendation re the establishment of a university-wide policy for determining which courses should be taught on a pass-fail basis died for lack of a motion.
  8. New business
    1. Budget Advisory Committee (BAC):
      1. The Senate nominated the following faculty members to serve on BAC: David Hibler, Kathleen Brunke, Brian Bradie.
      2. In re the "rotation" of faculty representatives on this committee, Filetti stated that one rotates off each year. The Senate now charges BAC with coming up with handbook language which reflects this practice.
    2. Vachris provided an update on the recently formed Committee for University Honor, which has received a charge from President Trible to infuse honor into the CNU community. The committee is cochaired by Vachris and by CHECS Director Kevin Hughes, and it also contains EO Director Michelle Moody, three students (Michael Mull, Brittany Sheppard, Katie Johnston), and Professors Eric Duskin, Rebecca Wheeler, and Edward Weiss. While on this subject, Vachris encouraged everyone to fill out Pam Pringle's survey on student opinions about the current state of academic integrity.
    3. Rick Cheney presented the proposal from the Undergraduate Degrees Committee to revise the pass-fail option. The main revisions include an allowance for juniors (ie, not just seniors) to utilize this option, and an expansion to four courses (from the present limit of two). There was some confusion as to the meaning of "non-program" in the fifth bullet of the proposal. While the registrar reportedly interprets this to mean courses not used to satisfy liberal learning curriculum, major, minor, or writing intensive requirements (as explicitly indicated in the wording of the 06-07 Catalog), the Senate thinks that this explicit listing should persist, in the catalog. Because this change would not go in the 07-08 catalog, Whiting moved and Hasbrouck seconded the tabling of this proposal. The tabling motion passed unanimously.
  9. Other business: none
Note: at the conclusion of this meeting the 06-07 Senate officers ran the first meeting of the 07-08 Senate. The sole agendum of this latter meeting was the election of the five members of the Executive Committee, including president, vice-president, and secretary.

submitted by Peter Knipp, secretary of the Faculty Senate

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