Minutes for Faculty Senate meeting
3 PM Friday, December 5, 2008
Board Room, David Student Union

Senators Present: Wheeler, Mollick, Brunke, Frucot, Underwood, Carlson, Duskin, Rahim, Lambert, Brash, Filetti, Guajardo, French (leaves at 4:45), Xu (arrives at 3:44)
Senators Absent: McMahon
  1. The meeting was called to order at 3:01.
  2. Introduction of Guests: Michelle Vachris, Professor of Economics
  3. Approval of minutes of Faculty Senate meetings
    1. Approve minutes for November meeting
  4. President's report
  5. Committee Reports
    1. Committee for Objective 1: hiring and retention (Brash): no report
    2. Committee for Objective 2: teaching, scholarship and service (Mollick): no report
    3. Committee for Objective 3: standards and practices (Carlson).

      The university has approved a 3 day/week and 5 day/week meal plan at a discounted price for faculty. The senate expressed appreciation to those at the university who implemented this, especially Bob Midget. There was discussion about following up on some items, e.g., job sharing and adjunct pay rate, but there was no motion for senate action.

    4. Chairs Committee Liaison Report (Filetti). Senator Filetti discussed the major initiatives of the chairs this year. The major curriculum issues have been: the honors program, the civic engagement center and minor, and the newly shaped English curriculum. All have passed through chairs and dean through UCC.

      Another major issue has been budget allocations. Each department received reductions. Anemic courses (courses with fewer than 12 students) may be cancelled. One problem with that for Spring is that faculty whose classes have been canceled must be given something else to teach.

      A third topic of discussion in the chairs' meetings has been how to compensate faculty for independent studies and internships. Currently, departments handle this differently.

    5. Sabbatical Recommendations (Duskin): Senators Duskin and Underwood move to go into closed session at 3:55. The senate comes out of closed session at 4:19. Underwood/Guajardo move to approve the recommendations as amended. Vote in Favor: Mollick, Brunke, Frucot, Underwood, Duskin, Rahim, Brash, Filetti, Guajardo, French, Xu,  Carlson
      Abstain: (because Senators Wheeler and Lambert applied for sabbaticals): Wheeler, Lambert.
    6. Student Pay (Brash): Sponsored Programs Director Cheeseman and Senator Brash met with Vice Provost Schwarze to discuss how students can get paid if faculty are away from an Internet connection on the day that they time cards need to be approved. Human Resource Director Gallaer and Vice Provost Schwarze have agreed that secretaries can become secondary approvers as long as a separate document is maintained documenting the student's hours. Human Resources Assistant Rochelle Augustus can set up secretaries as a secondary supervisor.
    7. University Eval-4 (Wheeler): The university eval 4 committee has submitted this memo to the senate for consideration of the university eval-4's committee recommendations. The senate will vote in January on these recommendations, which would become a link from the provost's web site. The university eval-4 will not be included in the handbook itself.  This is a guiding document on which departments will base the development of their eval-4, which will instantiate and make specific the university eval-4. The DRC will use the dept eval-4 in their reviews. The FRC, dean and provost will use university eval-4 standards. Once departments modify and submit their changed department eval-4 to the provost he will provide feedback on the department documents. The committee took faculty comments seriously and have made changes accordingly. For example, based on faculty comments, each section has a preamble, and the document no longer applies to post tenure review.

      There were some suggestions on the current document: add wording to the research preamble to include research with students. While senators appreciated the summary of the 2, 4, and 6 year review, senators requested that an additional paragraph be added about how this will be used for promotion from associate to full. President Wheeler will request comments one more time to help senators get faculty feedback on this document.

  6. Old business
    1. Curriculum Recommendations
      1. English (Mollick): There was a discussion of the English department's realigned curriculum which eliminates 4 applied concentrations, and adds a concentration in Film Studies. Students can still do what they want from the other concentrations. For example, the department eliminated the journalism concentration, but not the courses. This curriculum makes it easier to build in sabbaticals. When asked how the curriculum is more efficient, there were two answers: first, efficiency was not the only goal. Because the previous English curriculum had not been in line with twenty-first century English curricula, the Provost in 2007-2008 had required English to restructure their major and minors and course offerings.  The curriculum changes English submitted reflect and respond to the Provostís 2007-2008 mandate.  Second, it will be possible to offer some courses less often as they will not be required for graduation. Senators Guajardo and Carlson move to approve. Vote in Favor: Unanimous.
      2. The BA in Economics (Brash). Senators Underwood and Rahim move to approve. Vote in Favor: Unanimous.
  7. New business
    1. Examine handbook to accommodate 3 college model. Because the university will be restructured into a 3-college model in 2009-2010, university representation on standing  committees and on the faculty senate will similarly need to be restructured. Senators Brash and Filetti move to ask Assistant to the Provost Fogarty and Senator Lambert to develop a plan for new committee representation. Vote in Favor: Unanimous.

      The next issue is how the faculty senate will be constituted. There was a suggestion that there be 5 senators from each college with no more than 2 from a single department. There was disagreement about how many should be tenured from each college (3 or 4 of the 5 from each college). Some felt allowing 6 untenured senators total would weaken the senate's power (currently, there are at most 4 untenured senators). Some felt that because we have so many untenured faculty, they should have a more significant representation on the senate (and that they could use the senate for significant university service). Some felt that such a significant service would steer junior faculty away from scholarship. Faculty are encouraged to talk to their senators about the makeup of committees and the faculty senate.

    2. Examination of effectiveness of current evaluation order

      The senate last year approved a new faculty evaluation schedule. One part of this was approved on a trial basis only. The order of review was changed from: (a) peer group committee, then dean, then FRC, then provost to (b) department review committee, then FRC and dean in parallel, then provost. The senate needs now to evaluate how successful the trial change has been. There was a discussion about whether we should evaluate this change (some feeling it is premature; others that it is a foregone process), but most felt that it was necessary to continue. The senate also discussed what should be included in the evaluation. Most felt that the FRC and Dean Gordon should be interviewed since they are the most affected (and since Dean Gordon retires after Spring 2009). Brash and Wheeler move to form a subcommittee to evaluate the current order. Vote in Favor:  Brunke, Frucot, Wheeler, Underwood, Duskin, Brash, Filetti, Guajardo, French, Xu, Carlson. Vote Against: Rahim. Abstain: Mollick, Lambert

      President Wheeler appointed senators Brash, Filetti, Frucot, Xu, and McMahon to serve on the evaluation committee.

    3. Curriculum
      1. HIST 432, 489, 364 Senators Rahim and Guajardo will examine these.
      2. SOCL 215, 230, ANTH309 : Senators Wheeler and Carlson will examine these.
      3. Psychology 201L Senators Wheeler and Carlson will examine this.
    4. Dossier Content. The amount of material in the dossier has been a concern for many years. That concern has been renewed by the extensive university eval-4 document. The senate discussed what should happen to control the size of the dossiers. President Wheeler will draft a charge to the Faculty Review Committee that the FRC make a recommendation to the Senate specifying what they feel should be included in the dossier based on what is the most useful to them. The dean and provost should also be interviewed.
    5. Revisit Senate Absence Policy (Handbook pages 157-158: "Any Faculty Senator who for any reason is absent from three regular meetings of the Faculty Senate during one academic year shall be deemed to have vacated her or his seat, and the Faculty Senate shall conduct a new election for that seat. This rule will be aggressively enforced by the Executive Committee.") There was general agreement that the handbook wording could be more humane. If a faculty member has a personal or professional need to miss multiple senate meetings, membership on the faculty senate should be reconsidered. Senator Underwood will write up different language for the senate to consider.
    6. Blackboard (Brash) Senator Brash presented a list of complaints about Blackboard to faculty. He reported that Blackboard costs 23 adjunct faculty salaries a year, and that it could be better than it is. For example, the university purchased a plagiarism tool, but it doesn't work. President Wheeler will ask ATAC to examine and respond to the senate's concerns, which will be conveyed by Senator Brash to ATAC.
  8. Other
    1. UGRC (Undergraduate and Graduate Research Council) proposal for a director of undergraduate research
      The co-chairs of the UGRC met with Vice-Provost Schwarze on a proposal to go to handbook committee that would create a director of undergraduate research, similar to the model used in the honors council wherein Dr. Jay Paul serves as director of the Honors program and chair of the honors council. The UGRC would then act in a manner similar to the honors council, but its focus would be promoting student research. The senate seemed to generally support this proposal.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:21.