Minutes of Faculty Senate meeting

Friday, 8 September 2006, Student Union 259 ("Washington Room")

Senators present: Whiting, Duskin, Schwarze, Filetti, Marshall, Guajardo, Adamitis, Sellars, Hasbrouck, Grau, Zhang, Knipp, Breese (arrived at 3:30 and left at 4:45), Hicks (arrived at 3:45), Vachris (arrived at 4:00)
Senators absent: none
  1. The meeting was called to order at 3:06 PM.
  2. Introduction of guests
  3. Electronic approval of minutes of the 8/16 meeting of the Faculty Senate was acknowledged.
  4. Presentation by guests
    1. Harrington reviewed the spring 2006 revisions to PRC guidelines (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/misc/PRC.doc), which were the final product of a PRC subcommittee that was formed the previous fall and that looked at how these reviews are conducted at other institutions. The 3-year review timeline remains unchanged, and departments which are already one or more years into this process will continue to fall under the guidelines posted at ... For those starting the process this year, the new process is the one to follow. Whereas the former PR process was more of an audit, the new PR process relies on a SWOT ("strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats") analysis, making it more of an improvement process. The different components of the PR report, as summarized in II.B of the guidelines, remain fairly similar to those in the old process. An important new feature is the use of an external reviewer, who'll compare the CNU department's operations with those of departments at similar institutions. It is expected that the reviewer will visit the CNU department for two or three days, during which time he/she'll have complete access to materials and personnel, subject to privacy-protection laws. At the conclusion of the visit the reviewer will provide the department with a a preliminary set of findings, to be followed two weeks later by a written report.
    2. Hughes provided an update on Student Life, including three procedural changes.
      1. The first change is a minor alteration to the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Process. Until now, the panel has consisted of three voting members (one faculty member and two students) and has been managed by the investigating CHECS officer. In the proposed change, the investigating CHECS officer would be replaced by a noninvestigating CHECS officer, who would still manage the panel in a nonvoting manner, but who would now be considered to be a member of the panel.
      2. The second change is about summer hearings. On paper, Hughes alone is supposed to deal with issues that during the year would go to a student/faculty panel. CNU tries to assemble panels together during the summer (especially for suspensions and dismissals), but usually without success, because faculty and - especially - students are not readily available. The proposed change will provide such an accused student with two options:
        1. face a modified panel of three, all voting: one faculty member, one student, and one CHECS officer who did not investigate the case
        2. wait until the fall, at which time a "regular" panel will be formed
        The benefit of option (i) to an accused student is that it enables him/her to avoid the financial risk associated with paying fall tuition prior to (possibly) being suspended.

        Items 1 and 2, above, will come through later, as a handbook change.

      3. For social violations of the honor code, CNU intends to include some workshops on integrity (although none have yet been administered). Hughes now seeks feedback from faculty on whether this would be viable for academic violations as well. For instance if a student commits plagiarism, he/she would be given a grade and then be compelled to participate in a couple of workshops, one dealing specifically with plagiarism and the other dealing - more generally - with integrity.
      4. Hughes followed up on a recent memo (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/misc/CHECS/memo.doc) to the Senate which compares some aspects of CNU's judicial processes (requirements for appeals and standards of evidence) to those of other colleges and universities and which statistically summarizes the judicial cases of the past three academic years. By way of background information on the standards of evidence, he presented the following analogy between the three standards and field position, in football:
        1. "preponderance of evidence": beyond the 50-yard line
        2. "clear and convincing": within field-goal range
        3. "beyond a reasonable doubt": near the goal line
  5. President's report
    1. The Peripatetic Faculty Workroom (SU 218) in the Student Center is open for business. It is outfitted with partitions to provide some semi-private areas for conferences, and desks and tables for workspaces. Faculty should feel free as well to use the sofa/chair and computer areas immediately outside the room for work that does not require privacy.
    2. The following Senators have been appointed as liaisons to subcommittees of the Board of Visitors (BoV): Whiting (Development), Guajardo (Academic Affairs), Adamitis (Student Affairs), and Vachris (Finance).
    3. The full Senate will meet with the President and the Provost at 4 PM in the Brauer Room on the following Fridays: 9/29 and 10/27. The Senate Executive Committee (SEC) will meet with the President and Provost approximately every two weeks, on the following Tuesdays: 9/5, 9/19, 10/17, 10/31, and 11/21. The SEC meets by itself 8/29, 10/3, 10/24, and 11/14.
    4. The hoped-for increase in the budget for Faculty Development Grants (FDG) did not materialize this year, but we have moved from zero-dollars allocated to FDG funding to $15,000 (the likely source for which is indirect cost recoveries) for the fall "round", which is the same amount allocated last fall. The Provost has also indicated he will fund us for the spring round in a amount to be determined.
    5. Sabbatical applications and their review for 2007 - 08 sabbaticals will proceed as per the Handbook, with a 11/1/06 deadline for application to deans. These sabbaticals will be funded out of next year's budget. The Senate will rank the applications and forward them to the Provost, who will fund as many of top-ranked projects as budget projections for the year will allow.
    6. Other items of budget information were gleaned from the 9/5/06 meeting with President Trible and the SEC:
      1. Of the $2 million in new General Assembly allocations to CNU, approximately $350K went to the 5 new faculty positions (salary and fringe benefits) and the rest (about $1.6 million) to the support of last year's 25 faculty hires. The remainder went to salary increases.
      2. Other reasons for the budget shortfall in E&G (and department budgets) this year include the following:
        1. funding the Prague-CNU Study Center, which was funded by a federal grant last year (but not this year)
        2. moving library services into the old Student Center, which changed the nature of this building to "academic" and therefore shifted operating costs for this building (about $175K) into E&G
        3. having to pay some contracts/bills that were shifted into this fiscal year (from last year)
      3. Because the BoV had to approve the university's budget without the General Assembly actually having yet finalized it, the BoV was asked to approve a "worst-case" scenario. However, now that enrollments have been finalized and the final allocation received, we now know that there is approximately $250K remaining to be apportioned. These funds will be allocated by the Budget Advisory Committee, which was to meet yesterday (9/7/06). The SEC let the President and Provost know how hard these cuts have hit individual departments, and the SEC asked that consideration be given to departmental needs in the new apportionments.
      4. The President indicated that although the state reports to be funding CNU at 95% of CNU's base adequacy funding, the formula for base adequacy has actually been adjusted. CNU officials will meet with legislators in order better to understand the new formula and to secure more funding. It is also important to note that this is year 1 of the state biennium budget. More money may be forthcoming in year 2, but we should expect continued tightness.
    7. The SEC discussed with the President the Senate's recommendations (also sent to him via email after the 8/16/06 meeting of the Faculty Senate) that faculty members of the search committee be tenured, that all four of CNU's academic divisions be represented on the committee, and that the Faculty Senate President be appointed to the committee in addition to these faculty representatives. The President appreciates our recommendations and will be mindful of them as he assembles the search committee. He hopes to empanel the committee by 9/15/06, and he has appointed the Faculty Senate President to serve. Many faculty members have responded to his invitation to contact him with suggestions or to volunteer. A fairly equal complement of administrators and faculty will likely comprise the committee, and there will be public fora at which the entire university community may meet the candidates.
      Ed. note:On 9/15/06 President Trible issued a memo specifying the composition of this committee and a timeline for the search process.
    8. The SEC discussed with the President closing notification procedures in general and (tropical storm) Ernesto-related problems, specifically. President Trible asked President Schwarze to serve on the senior emergency team that makes the 5:30 AM conference-call decision to close the university and that disseminates that information. This team will also meet to discuss possible improvements to the university's notification processes.
    9. CNU has the funds for 2 of the 3 or 4 new classroom buildings and will approach the General Assembly in January 2007 for funds for the science building(s). Construction will begin on the two buildings ("A" and "B", which may become one large building) during summer of 2008, with a possible completion date of Summer 2009.

    At this point, the Senate shifted down to item VI.E in order to allow a presentation by Virginia Purtle.

  6. Committee reports
    1. Results of special committee-elections:
      1. Marshall: The remaining Social Science/Professional Studies (SSPS) seat on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC) has been filled by Anne Perkins, from the department of Leadership and American Studies.
      2. Adamitis: The remaining Liberal Arts seats on the Faculty Grievance Committee have been filled by George Hillow (Theater) and Danielle Velardi (Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures), and the remaining seat on the Honors Council has been filled by Margarita Marinova (English).
    2. Whiting gave an update on the planning for the construction of up to four academic buildings ("A", "B", "C-wet", and "C-dry"), including a 8/24/06 presentation by architects (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/misc/building/architect.ppt). There are three levels of groups guiding this endeavor (rosters available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/misc/building/roster.html):
      • a Project Committee, which is a collection of four groups (one per building). The Project Committee contains 22 faculty representatives, from all departments presently expecting to move into those buildings (which turns out to be all departments except for PSYC, SOCL, SOWK, MLSC, those in Fine and Performing Arts, and those in the School of Business).
      • a Building Committee, which consists of one member from each of the four aforementionned groups
      • an Executive Committee
      The building costs are estimated at $275/ft2, not including add-on fees (e.g., architects) of 15% - 20%. In subsequent discussion, Senators pointed out the need for planning for those departments (PSYC, SOCL, SOWK, and MLSC) to be properly accomodated when they eventually move into Ratcliffe Hall.
    3. Grau presented a plan (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/misc/SenRevRec/report.doc) to implement recommendations 4, 5, and 8 of the 2005 - 06 Senate Review Committee. This report was accepted and given a first reading, with the expectation of a vote at the Senate's next regular meeting.
    4. Knipp provided a preliminary report (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/misc/F/prelim.html) about a plan for CNU to avoid having to repay federal financial aid for students who receive all F's and W's for a particular semester. Although his subcommittee has not yet met as a group to discuss this plan, they plan to do so shortly.

      At this point the Senate moved to VII, owing to the fact that VI.E had been covered previously.

    5. Vice Provost Virginia Purtle discussed her memo (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/misc/gpasat/memo.doc) that supports a recent proposal (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/misc/UAC.doc) from the Undergraduate Admissions Committee (UAC) to modify CNU's mandatory SAT policy. The modified policy would no longer require the submission of SAT scores by students either who have a GPA exceeding 3.5 or who are in the upper 10% of their class. Reportedly, Dean of Admissions Patty Cavender thinks that some prospective students refuse to apply if they are required to submit SAT scores. Purtle also presented data (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/misc/gpasat/3.xls) that shows the extent to which African-American women would benefit from this policy change. The Senate discussed the motion (interpreted to be the first three bullets in the UAC proposal), which passed with a vote of ten in favor (Whiting, Vachris, Marshall, Guajardo, Adamitis, Sellars, Hasbrouck, Grau, Zhang, Breese), two opposed (Hicks, Knipp), and two abstentions (Filetti, Duskin).

    At this stage in the meeting, the Senate moved down to item VIII.A.

  7. Old business
    1. Faculty Senate Goals (final version available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/06_07/misc/goals.doc)
      Duskin reported on student dissatisfaction in the realm of Judicial Affairs and expressed the need for including a review of these in this year's Senate Goals. It was moved, seconded, and passed unanimously to separate the Judicial Affairs review from the rest of Goal 1 ("Increase faculty participation in ..."). The inclusion of the Judicial Affairs review in the Senate Goals then failed to be passed, by a vote of two in favor (Sellars and Duskin) eight opposed (Filetti, Adamitis, Knipp, Whiting, Grau, Vachris, Hasbrouck, Guajardo), and three abstentions (Marshall, Zhang, Hicks). Into Goal 2 was then inserted a call for a set of final recommendations from the ad hoc committee on evaluation and assessment of faculty (See item VIII.B in the minutes of the 4/21/06 meeting of the Faculty Senate for earlier discussion of this.), and Strategy 2G was modified in order to create some flexibility in plans for parking. The Senate goals, as amended, were then passed unanimously.

    At this point the Senate moved down to VIII.B, owing to the fact that VIII.A had already been covered.

  8. New business
    1. Proposed changes to the SOWK program (available: http://facultysenate.cnu.edu/05_06/misc/UCC/programs/sowk.rtf) had been tabled (See item V.A.2 in the minutes.) at the 5/13/06 meeting of the Faculty Senate, in large part because of the late date in the semester by which the Senate had received the proposal. At the present meeting SOWK chair Cheryl Mathews discussed the department's rationale for wanting to increase the number of required courses within the department. The existing requirements by the major department do not provide as much control over their students' curricula, in light of the new curriculum, so the department has decided to seek an 11-credit increase in major requirements (59 credits required, 53 in the field of SOWK). For instance, the department wants to insert some SOWK courses (SOWK 210 - 211) at the sophomore level, as is fairly standard in SOWK programs nationally. The total of the SOWK requirements at the 300- and 400-level would be 41 credits, which hence satisfies the "42-hour rule". Regarding the issue (raised by the Senate at its 5/13/06 meeting) about whether removing or reducing the requirement for SOWK students to take BIOL or PSYC would create difficulties for those departments, it was reported that neither would mind having a few less students in those service courses. The Senate unanimously approved the program changes.

      At this point in the meeting, the Senate shifted back to item VI.A.

    2. Faculty Development grants (FDG)
      1. The deadlines for these are 9/20 (to chairs), 10/2 (to deans), 10/20 (to Senate), and 11/3 (Senate vote).
      2. Because there is no perceived need for the FDG applications to be posted on the Faculty Senate webpage, it seems that there is no need for them to be submitted in electronic format. (The Senate does emphasize, however, that the applications must be typed!)
      3. The Senate subcommittee to review these applications will be Guajardo (chair), Adamitis, Hasbrouck, and Zhang.
    3. It was decided not to reactivate last year's subcommittee to study the merits of restricting freshman-parking privileges.
  9. Other
    1. new core-curriculum
      1. Because many sections of the first-year seminar (ULLC100) will apparently not have a final exam, in apparent violation of IV.18.b.7.a of the 2006 - 2007 CNU Handbook (p. 46), the Senate charges the Liberal Learning Council (LLC) with coming up with a recommendation as to whether or not all sections of ULLC100 should be required to have a final exam. This recommendation should be passed back to the Senate and on to the UCC. If the recommendation is against such a requirement, then a specific exemption needs to be incorporated into the aforementionned section of the Handbook.
        On a related note, the Senate considered inviting Bobbye Bartels (Assistant Dean for Liberal Learning) to a future Senate meeting in order to report on the functioning of the new curriculum. This consideration was tabled until later in the semester.
      2. Some discussion took place about whether students receiving associates degrees from Virginia institutions are exempted from CNU's new foreign language requirements. Apparently, the University Degrees Committee (UDC) has already granted one such exemption. President Schwarze will seek clarification from the UAC and the UDC, with regards to such transfer students.
    2. Allen Grace reported on some SGA activities:
      1. The SGA is in the process of filling several of its positions.
      2. Students want be able to post informational posters and flyers in the Student Union.
      3. Various clubs are facing budget cuts.
      4. Students are taking political action under the umbrella of Virginia 21.
The meeting adjourned at 6:15 PM.

submitted by Peter Knipp, secretary of the Faculty Senate

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