Minutes for Faculty Senate meeting
3 PM Friday, April 17, 2009
Board Room, David Student Union

Senators present: Wheeler, Carlson, Rahim, Frucot, Mollick, Underwood, Guajardo, Filetti, Lambert, Duskin, McMahon, French, Brunke (leaves at 6:00), Brash (leaves at 6:00).
Senators Absent: Xu

  1. Call to Order at 3:00.
  2. Introduction of guests: Dr. Roberta Rosenberg, Director, Center for Service Learning and Social Entrepreneurship; Dr. Carolyn Ericson, chair, Department of Community Engagement and Social Work; Dr. Marion Manson, chair, Sociology, and Anthropology; Louis Seyler, social worker in community;  Prof. Carol Mathews, Field Coordinator, Department of Community Engagement and Social Work; Dr. Jana Adamitis, Dr. Michael Lewis (arrives at 5:19), Dr. Christopher Kennedy (arrives at 5:19) and Dr. Brian Puaca, 2009-2010 senators
  3. Approval of minutes of Faculty Senate meetings
    1. Acknowledge electronic approval of minutes for March 20 minutes meeting
  4. Recommendation to retain social work major from Dr. Rosenberg. Dr. Rosenberg stated that eliminating the accredited social work major would have a negative impact economically because grants for the center would be more difficult to attain (e.g., CNU is a partner in a $1.5million grant that the social work majors contribute to) and academically because the social entrepreneurship minor has several courses in the Social Work department. Primarily, though, elimination of the accredited social work major would decrease the number of service hours that Christopher Newport University provides to the university. In the discussion, it was pointed out that 40% of Social Work majors go to graduate schools, helping increase the percentage of students across the university. Senators asked Dr. Rosenberg whether it would be acceptable for her center to eliminate the accredited social work major, but keep the social work program in some other way, perhaps as a minor. She could not quantify the impact, but said we would certainly lose many of the 7000 volunteer hours that social work majors provided in Spring 2009.

    After Dr. Rosenberg left, Senators Wheeler and Duskin move to take VIIIC, Social Work Major Elimination, out of order.

  5. President's report including combining ULLC100/Engl123.
  6. The senate then moved to go to the 2009-2010 election out of order. That discussion is included in those minutes.

  7. Committee reports
    1. Student and Faculty Survey Results (Carlson) The significant finding in this report is that faculty do not think that Reading Day is valuable, but students do. 100 faculty responded and 1185 students responded. Thus, because students want to continue reading day, this committee recommends that reading day be retained; that is, that no action be taken. The senate agreed.
    2. Election Results (McMahon): Committee Results and 2009-2010 senators Senator McMahon gave a report on the election process, which was done in surveymonkey instead of in meetings. The senate goal was that more faculty vote. It is not clear that that happened.
    3. Handbook Change 9-2 (Carlson) : Senator Carlson explained that the faculty senate had wanted to included student behavior in the faculty handbook, but student services wanted to exclude it to allow more flexibility in rule changes. The compromise that was reached, and that is included in this handbook change is that CHECS (Center for Honor Enrichment & Community Standards) can make changes throughout the year, then submit them as handbook changes at the end of the year, at which point the faculty senate will examine them. The rules and regulations that are the most current will be in force.
    4. Subcommittee 3 Report (Carlson)
    5. Board of Visitors
      1. Finance (Lambert): Senator Lambert reported on three topics discussed: the Board of Visitors voted for a 3.9% increase in the total cost (including tuition and room and board increase). The bulk of this increase is in tuition. Second, Ferguson continues to lose money. Third, the percentage of minority students has increased significantly.
      2. Development (Duskin): CNU has raised less money this year than last year, but the number of donors is up slightly. The greatest increase is from alumni and current seniors. There are four areas of focus for raising money: the chapel, the CNU Center for public policy (run by Dr. Kidd), the Center for American Studies (run by Dr. Nathan Busch); and scholarships for students.
      3. Academic (French and Underwood): The provost discussed the new position of lecturers, the new honors program, recommendations concerning ULLC100/Engl123, and curricular modifications, including increased class sizes, which have gone up by an average of 2 students per class. In discussion of the social work program, the Board of Visitors said that they will be intimately involved in the decision making process.
      4. Student Life: Due to a mixup, no senator attended this meeting
      5. Board Meeting (Wheeler): Provost Padilla explained the process of eliminating a major within a program, specified in the handbook on page 38 on V.b. The process starts from the department and ends with the provost making a decision.
  8. Old business
    1. Walking without graduating (Carlson): Senator Carlson researched what other schools have done and spoke to Provost Padilla about this issue. Senator Carlson recommended that the 2009-2010 senate consider this.
    2. Subcommittee 2 Resolution (Mollick): Senators discussed that any recommendation that this committee might make would cost a significant amount of money. In this climate of budget cuts in departments and throughout the university, such a resolution seemed inappropriate. Thus, the senate took no action.
    3. FIR resolution (Underwood): Because the formal and informal reasoning area of inquiry have not been recommended for removal, it did not seem relevant to vote on this resolution. It died for lack of a second.
    4. Jazz concentration elimination (Brunke, Mollick): Senators Brunke and Mollick recommend approval. Vote in Favor: Carlson, Rahim, Frucot, Mollick, Underwood, Guajardo, Filetti, Lambert, Duskin, McMahon, Brunke, Brash French. Abstain: Duskin. Motion Passes
  9. New business
    1. Faculty Development Grants (Brunke). The Senate went into closed session at 6:17pm to discuss the report from the Faculty Development Grant Committee. The Senate came out of closed session at 6:30. Filetti moved and Underwood seconded a motion to accept the Faculty Development Grant Committee's recommendations. The motion passed unanimously.
    2. Appreciation (Underwood): After some discussion, senators felt that this motion should be discussed later. It was tabled.
    3. Social Work Major Elimination (documents available in Provost conference room; senate academic priorities are here) President Wheeler summarized what had happened with social work up to this point: the Department of Community Engagement and Social Work recommended against closing the accredited social work major. The Luter curriculum committee and chairs unanimously agreed. The Luter dean recommended closing the program. The CLAS dean did not disagree with the CLAS curriculum committee report, but also suggested consideration of a social work minor. The CLAS curriculum committee unanimously approved continuing the accredited social work major if five conditions are met: that Social Work be reunited with the department of Sociology and Anthropology; that Social Work be reduced from four faculty lines to three (two tenure track and one restricted); that Social Work streamline its major requirements; the the two tenure track positions will teach a 3-3 load; and that Social Work  closely with the Center for Service Learning and Social Entrepreneurship. The CLAS chairs unanimously supported the CLAS chairs' curriculum committee report. The UCC unanimously supported the CLAS chairs' curriculum committee report.

      There was a great deal of discussion, mostly about the best way to support the accredited social work major. Senators decided to create a resolution to support the social work program, and debated what should be included. Some of the arguments that senators felt that should be made were:

      • Senators asked what we lose as a university if we eliminate the major: we lose students that go onto graduate school at a high rate; we lose grant and funding opportunities; we weaken ties with the community and hamper the work of President Trible's service learning and civic engagement initiative; we hurt recruiting possibilities for faculty and students; we lose 60+ majors who are more likely to leave the university than to change majors.
      • The highest priority in the senate priorities developed in Fall 2008 was to protect and maintain "All current faculty and faculty lines (i.e., tenured, probationary and restricted)." Eliminating the social work program violates this top priority. It also violates a goal stated in the body of the senate priorities document: "to protect work and programs, which if suspended cause immediate and enduring harm to instructional faculty."
      • Dean Cleeton's letter pointed out that it is not necessary to have a social work major in a liberal arts university. Senators agreed, but also agreed that for us, for CNU, social work is integral to who we are as a liberal arts college.
      • Some senators felt that because the administration had initiated this process to save money, the resolution should include a paragraph addressing that. Others felt that budget issues were not the purview of faculty, or one in which they had expertise. Senators felt that it was difficult to argue from a budget standpoint because the administration has said that it would be difficult to quantify how much money would be saved though the number quoted is $200,000-250,000 due to moving two faculty positions to elsewhere in the university. Senators pointed out that the two committees that have been tasked with addressing budget issues, the Academic Task Force and the Budget Advisory Committee, have not recommended closure. Senators felt that it was not possible to determine whether the university would lose money or have to lower its standards if it lost the 60 social work majors. They also felt that the CLAS chairs had reached a cost-saving compromise entailing reduction of one faculty line, streamlining curriculum and setting the directors' loads at 3/3. Although senators did not see a savings in eliminating the program -- indeed, if grant money is included, there might be loss -- senators, like the administration, could not quantify the savings or gain.
      • Senators felt that the social work closure recommendation was part of a larger issue. The university has become known as closing programs whenever there is a budget crisis, so parents are beginning to ask as they come for open houses whether their child's desired major will be there when their child graduates.
      Senators Wheeler and Mollick move that the senate affirm the findings of the Undergraduate Curriculum committee, which unanimously supports the CLAS curriculum committee recommendations, which was unanimously supported by the CLAS chairs. Vote in Favor: unanimous. Motion carriers.

      President Wheeler appointed Senators Brash, Underwood and Mollick to create a resolution by Wednesday, April 22 explaining the senate's rationale for its vote. Note: That resolution was circulated in email, and has been unanimously approved electronically by the faculty senate.

      Senators also discussed that the process in the handbook had been followed. To reiterate how important that process is to faculty, a resolution was created to support that. Vote in Favor: Carlson, Rahim, Frucot, Mollick, Underwood, Guajardo, Filetti, Lambert, Duskin, McMahon, French, Brunke. Abstain: Brash. Motion carriers.

      After a brief discussion about whether to do 2009-2010 senate executive committee elections, senators decided to wait for curriculum committee members to return, and the meeting returned to its normal order, the president's report.

  10. Other
The meeting was adjourned at 6:30.