Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes
3 PM Friday, January 23, 2009
Board Room, David Student Union

Senators present: Carlson, Brunke, French, Xu, McMahon, Frucot, Mollick, Underwood, Wheeler, Guajardo, Filetti, Rahim, Lambert, Brash (leaves at 5:51), Duskin (leaves at 6:30).
  1. The meeting was called to order at 3:00.
  2. Introduction of Guests: Lisa Duncan Raines, University Registrar

    To accommodate our guest, Senators Mollick and McMahon move to suspend the order to discuss old business to consider VI.A. Old Business, reconsideration of allowing students to walk during graduation. Discussion is included under that item.

  3. Approval of minutes of Faculty Senate meetings
    1. Approve minutes for  December meeting
  4. President's report The faculty development grant schedule for Spring 2010 will be:
  5. Date


    Turn in to

    Mar 2



    Mar 20



    Apr 3



    Apr 17


    Senate vote

    (this was modified after the president's report based on conversation about SENCER grants. The above calendar reflects the new, corrected dates).

    President Trible has approved putting a faculty member on the administrative review council. He asked Dr.Brian Bradie, who has agreed to serve. There were 7 sabbaticals applications; 4 were awarded: Lynn Lambert, Terry Lee, Rebecca Wheeler and Ming Zhang.

  1. Committee Reports
    1. Review and Approval of Faculty and Student Surveys (Carlson): Senator McMahon discussed the creation and content of a faculty survey to ask about faculty priorities. The survey will be distributed via survey monkey in February. The senate unanimously approved the survey. Motion passes.  Student surveys will be distributed soon.
  2. Old business
    1. Reconsideration of the senate motion approved at the November meeting that recommends that students who have missed a small number of graduation requirements be allowed to walk in graduation ceremonies.

      Background In November, the senate voted to recommend that if students lack one course needed to graduate (with a possible associated lab), then the student may appeal to the Undergraduate Degrees Committee  (UDC) to be allowed to walk in the graduation ceremony. Registrar Report The registrar came to give a report on the personnel and economic impact that the senate vote would have on her office and the UDC if it were implemented. She said that in Spring 2008 80 students would have been eligible to appeal to the UDC. If all 80 appealed, it would take 184 hours in the registrar's office to prepare the packets, 4 extra UDC meetings, additional cost at the ceremony, and $2000 direct cost to the registar's office. Discussion Senators asked questions, including whether restricting the credit deficit to 3 (instead of 3 and a lab) would change the number of students eligible to appeal (the registrar said no: most students who were shy were short just 3 credits). Another asked if the appeal could be done at the department level without adding significant time since the department chairs are reviewing all of those who have the potential to graduate anyway. The registrar responded by saying that the chair only reviews those who have filled out an intent to graduate form. Students are supposed to do that, but don't always. That resulted in senators suggesting that only students who have filled out an intent to graduate form may appeal. Another senator suggested that students could be charged for such an appeal to cover the additional cost. The senators on the UDC said that it would be a very difficult time for faculty on the UDC to handle this course load as they are finishing classes, preparing finals, grading final papers and exams, and calculating grades. Some noted that implementing the November recommendation would help the university and chairs maintain degree rigor while sacrificing some ceremonial rigor. Others were not sure what cases were convincing: Is it ok to let somebody walk who has all of the requirements except a D+ in one class that requires a C- or better? Is it acceptable to let somebody walk who is filling a required internship with a prestigious state department internship, which can only be awarded the summer after course work is complete? Others pointed out that graduation plans are made months in advance while last minute situations can derail a passing grade. Students, however, do not find out about Spring grades until Monday when graduation is that Saturday. Senators wanted to be more specific about who should be allowed to walk without graduation, but there was no general agreement. Thus, President Wheeler asked that the subcommittee on objective 3 examine this, and bring a recommendation back in March. Vote in Favor: unanimous. Motion passes.

      After this discussion, the agenda returned to the normal order: acknowledging minutes approval and the president's report.

    2. Spring 2010 (and years following) calendar, in which classes will start one week before Martin Luther King Day, and graduation will occur one week after Mother's Day, so that there will be two weeks in between finals and graduation. Discussion Senators discussed the difference between this year's calendar with a 5 week break between Fall and Spring semester with one week after finals until graduation vs the 2009-2010 calendar where there will be a 4 week break with 2 weeks in between finals and graduation. Not just because faculty would rather have the time for preparation instead of meeting after the semester, senators also felt that fewer students might attend graduation if they had to wait two weeks for it. Holding class on Martin Luther King day when most universities do not also seemed like a problem that could be overcome.  In a straw poll where senators voted to support either for the 2009-2010 or the 2008-2009 calendar, senators overwhelmingly voted to support the current 2008-2009 calendar. Senators asked to talk about this with the president and provost at our meeting with them on January 30.
    3. Vote on University Eval-4 recommendations Overview: Senators decided to consider all individual emails that had been received. There was a great deal of discussion about each, during which it became clear that it would not be possible to finish this discussion in this meeting, so another meeting was scheduled to discuss the University Eval-4 only in February [Note: after the meeting, the senate decided to meet February 6 at 3:00 in room 112 next to Einstein's in the Trible Library].

      Discussion: Each of the issues in the discussion were raised by faculty constituents about the university eval-4. The first involved I. Teaching Area Four: Mentoring and Advising.

      Some senators wanted to clarify the language. In particular, senators suggested rewording “supervising and graduating graduate students” as follows: “supervising graduate theses to completion.”  Senators Mollick and Brunke move to switch "graduate and professional program mentoring and advising" with "supervising graduate theses to completion." Vote in Favor: Carlson, Brunke, French, Xu, McMahon, Frucot, Mollick, Underwood,  Guajardo, Filetti, Rahim, Brash, Lambert. Abstain Duskin (leaves at 6:30). Motion Passes: Thus, the senate recommends moving “Graduate and professional program mentoring and advising” from Highest Valued to Highly Valued and “Supervising graduate theses to completion” from Highly Valued to Highest Valued.

      In response to another suggestion, for III. SERVICE,; AREA ONE CAMPUS CITIZENSHIP, UNIVERSITY-WIDE SERVICE, Senators Underwood and Guajardo move that we add chair of other university committees under highly valued. Vote in Favor: passes unanimously. Motion Passes.

      The next issue concerned I. TEACHING; AREA TWO: TEACHING ENHANCEMENT. Regarding the activity “Incorporation of instructional technology,” a faculty member felt that technology can be used inappropriately, so should not be included in the university eval-4. Others felt that there are many ways to show excellent teaching, that incorporating technology effectively is one of those, and therefore that specific mention of technology was fully appropriate.

      Senators Wheeler and Underwood move to change the wording to "Incorporation of effective use of instructional technology." Vote in Favor: Carlson, Brunke, French, Xu, McMahon,  Mollick, Underwood, Guajardo, Filetti, Rahim, Lambert, Brash, Duskin. Vote Against: Frucot, Filetti.

      The next comment that the faculty senate received concerned TEACHING; AREA THREE: RESEARCH AND CREATIVE ACTIVITY WITH STUDENTS, Highly Valued Activities and/or measures (“Student Awards for research”). A faculty member felt that faculty should not get credit for student research awards. Senators felt, however, that faculty should encourage students, and that a student award for research does reflect well on faculty and is exactly what we want faculty to do. Vote to remove student research awards. Vote in Favor: none. Vote Against: unanimous. Motion fails. Senators did feel, however, that "creative work" should be added. Senators Mollick and Brash move to change "student research award" to "student recognition for research or creative work" Vote in Favor: unanimous. Motion passes.

      Another issue raised by a faculty member was to consider including organizing a conference in the scholarship area. Senators noted that it was already in the professional service area. There was no motion to vote on this.

      The next item concerned language in the introduction to Eval 4 document, specifically, line 1 of paragraph 4  in the introduction – “The benchmark ratio for faculty workload at Christopher Newport University is 50% for Teaching, 25% for Professional Development and 25% for Service.” . The objection to this was that if a faculty member was very low in research production, the 50% for teaching and 25% for service would not be enough to grant the faculty member tenure. Thus, the percentages should be removed. Others argued that the 50/25/25 is a good guide to junior faculty, and is an indication of where faculty should spend their time, not in what the production should be. Senators Mollick and Brash call the question: should we remove the 50/25/25 ratio. Vote in Favor: Frucot, Guajardo, Xu, Duskin, Rahim. Vote Against: Brash, Carlson, McMahon, Brunke, Mollick, Underwood, Filetti Abstain: French, Lambert. Motion Fails. McMahon and Frucot move to clarify the paragraph with the ration by adding "Excellence in one area does not compensate for deficiency in another." as the last sentence in the paragraph with 50/25/25. Vote in Favor: unanimous. Motion Passes.

      President Wheeler then asked faculty to consider if we could discuss the rest of the eval-4 comments on January 30. Vote in Favor: Carlson, Brunke, French, Xu, McMahon, Frucot, Mollick, Underwood, Guajardo, Filetti, Rahim, Lambert, Duskin. Vote Against: Brash.. Because Senator Brash, a member of the Eval-4 committee and therefore invaluable to the Eval-4 discussion could not be there,  President Wheeler cancelled that meeting, and senators discussed whether to table the topic. Instead, senators voted to schedule a meeting to discuss the eval-4 February 13. Vote in Favor: unanimous.

    4. Curriculum
      1. HIST 432, 489, 364 (Rahim and Guajardo): The subcommittee recommends that the senate accept the courses. Senators  Underwood and Duskin move to accept. Vote in Favor: unanimous. Motion passes.
      2. SOCL 215, 230, ANTH309 : (Wheeler and Carlson) : Since the same subcommittee examined both B and C, the senate considered both at the same time. The subcommittee recommends that the senate accept the courses. Senators Underwood and Frucot move to accept. Vote in Favor: unanimous. Motion passes.
      3. Psychology 201L: (Wheeler and Carlson):  considered with B, above.
    5. Policy for Senators Missing Faculty Senate Meetings (Underwood):  Background The University Handbook currently states:  "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" [XVIII.2.m, page 158]. In December, the faculty senate asked Senator Underwood to draft handbook language to give senators who miss several meetings the opportunity to resign. Discussion: Senators suggested adding "regularly scheduled" so that the handbook change will now read: "Because absentee and proxy voting are not allowed in the Faculty Senate, attendance by senators is crucial. When a senator is unable to attend three or more regularly scheduled meetings in an academic year, that senator will be encouraged by the Senate Executive Committee to consider vacating his or her seat." With this friendly amendment, senators Rahim and Carlson move to include this language in the handbook. Vote in Favor: unanimous. Motion passes.
    6. Suggested Handbook Wording  to recommend that the chair of the PRC be tenured (McMahon) Vote in Favor: Carlson, Brunke, French, Xu, McMahon, Frucot, Mollick, Underwood, Guajardo, Filetti, Rahim, Brash, Duskin  Abstain: Lambert. Motion passes.
    7. Vote on Senate Makeup starting Fall 2009 due to college restructuring. Senators Lambert and Carlson move to recommend that the new makeup of the senate should be 5 from each department. Vote in Favor: Unanimous. Motion passes.  There was a great deal of discussion about how many faculty should be tenured. Some felt that because we have so many untenured faculty, they should be well represented on the faculty senate. Others felt that having a large number of untenured faculty could cause the faculty senate to appear to be weak. Senators Duskin and French move that  there be at least 1 and at most 2 untenured faculty from each college. Vote in Favor: French, Underwood, Duskin. Vote Against:  Carlson, Brunke, Xu, McMahon, Frucot, Mollick, Guajardo, Filetti, Rahim, Lambert. Motion Fails. Senators Mollick and Lambert move that there can be up to 1 untenured faculty member per college. Vote in Favor:  Carlson, Brunke,  McMahon, Frucot, Mollick, Guajardo, Rahim. Vote Against: French, Duskin. Abstain: Underwood, Filetti, Xu. Motion passes.
    8. Examine recommended changes to committee structure in handbook to accommodate 3 college model (Lambert). We'll vote on this in February.
  3. New business
    1. Recommend re-examination of scheduled post tenure review, which duplicates in part the annual review process. Some senators felt that examining post-tenure review this year would be too rushed. Wheeler and Brunke move to ask next year's senate to consider examining this issue. Vote in Favor: Carlson, Brunke, French, Xu, McMahon, Frucot, Mollick, Underwood, Guajardo, Filetti, Rahim. Abstain: Duskin, Lambert. Motion passes.
    2. Curriculum: FNAR375: Senators Underwood and Duskin will examine this for a vote in February.
    3. Change election of faculty senators to allow ballots instead of in-person voting. Because this is in the faculty senate constitution, changing this will require a full faculty vote. Should the faculty senate recommend this at the next faculty meeting? Vote in favor: Carlson, Brunke, French, Xu, McMahon, Mollick, Underwood,  Guajardo, Rahim, Lambert. Abstain: Filetti, Frucot. Motion passes.
    4. Add SENCER grants to Faculty Development Grants? Discussion: Senators want to encourage faculty to apply for SENCER projects in the faculty development grant process, but they did not want to set aside grants specifically for SENCER projects. Because the workshop is January 31, and the deadline for faculty development grants was February 2, senators asked to move the faculty development grant dates back. President Wheeler will do this, and announce the revised dates to the faculty.
  4. Other
    1. Senators asked if we could investigate why only 4 out of 7 sabbaticals were awarded.
    2. Senator Mollick reported on Virginia Higher Education Advocacy Day January 15, 2009.
    3. Senators asked what the process was for deciding which searches would be stopped.

    The meeting was adjourned at 6:50.