CNU Faculty Senate Minutes

21 January 2011

MCM 300D


Senators Present: Adamitis, Carlson, Connell, Hall, Kennedy, Pollard, Puaca, Redick,

Selim, Velkey, Von Burg

Senators Absent: Mollick, Rahim

Guests: Ronnie Cohen; Bob Midgett, Bob Olson; Lisa Duncan Raines; George Webb.


I.        Call to Order: 3:01 p.m.

II.     Guest Presentations

A.     Registration Issues (George Webb and Lisa Duncan Raines)
George Webb and Lisa Duncan Raines carefully monitor registration: they meet before and after the registration period, and L. Duncan Raines sends feedback to G. Webb throughout the process.  The challenges we faced in Fall 2010 are not new and, in fact, this registration period was actually better than most. Faculty may have been more aware of the issues this year, specifically those regarding course availability, because the Core Advising Program called added attention to freshmen registration.  In addition, because of changes to advising, Fall 2010 was the first time that the freshmen selected and registered for course independently, so concerns that were formerly addressed during summer registration now came to the fore in the fall instead.  We may need to do better job educating students about both the curriculum and the registration process next year. 

There are multiple University initiatives that impact registration and course availability, most specifically retention, core advising, and smaller class sizes.  A committee is working to address problems concerning course availability.  The Deans think that faculty may not fully understand the concept of schedule adjustment: during the schedule adjustment periods new seats open and the schedule becomes more flexible.   Student sometimes claim that they cannot get into the class they want, but the actual problem is that they cannot get into the section they want. There is also a perception among parents and some students that the University has an obligation to give students whatever classes they want. 

Chairs will be more available during registration week in order to assist students with issues.  Supersize classes may also help reduce problems with availability. 

Discussion: Can we open registration before 8:00 a.m. so that students will not skip early classes to register?  This suggestion will be considered.

B.     Online Book Orders (Bob Midgett, Bob Olson)
Because textbook sales have declined over the past several years, the University decided to implement a new system.   The University is working with Follett to ensure that students will get their books in a timely fashion and at reasonable rates.  The University will also work with faculty to address concerns. 

C.     Academic Freedom Policy (Prof. Ronnie Cohen)
The Senate proposes to clarify the University's statement on Academic Freedom.  The new version is here.  President Carlson will present this document to the Board of Visitors on February 18th. 

Discussion: The Senate requested clarification of the phrase "on matters of public concern." "Public concern" includes anything that has public import, such as the use of state funds, etc.

Action: Puaca and Lewis move to approve the document. 
Vote in Favor: Unanimous
Motion Passes

III.  Approval of November Meeting Minutes
Action: Pollard and Hall moved to approve the minutes. 

Vote in Favor: Unanimous
Motion Passes

IV.  President's Report
This report includes information on the ongoing assessment of the Senate, the proposed Scholars' Associates Program, the commemoration of retired faculty, Handbook changes and the new online system for book orders. 

V.     Committee Reports

A.     Faculty Senate Goals

1.       Objective 1: Hiring and Retention

a)       Strategy 1B, Course Size: Some faculty members have wondered whether the 3-3 course load given to certain faculty in the Luter School as part of AASCB accreditation impacted course size in other departments.  The SEC will investigate this issue and report back to the Senate in March.

b)      Strategy 1D, Dossiers: The Senate reviewed this proposal presented at the November meeting. 

Discussion: The Senate does not want to put faculty at a disadvantage with respect to building a case for retention, tenure and promotion.   Some Senators argued that the Senate should not impose rules on the tenure dossier, and there was general agreement that we need structure in the dossier more than limitations.   One way of providing structure might be to target the evidence included in the binder to the content of the narrative' additional items might be included on a cd submitted with the hardcopy dossier.

The Senate asked the subcommittee to revise its proposal and send it to senators who will then discuss it with their departments.  The revised proposal should include lists of items that should, might and should not be included in the dossier. 

c)       Draft Hiring Policies: President Carlson will present a resolution at the March Senate meeting.

2.       Objective 2: Teaching, Scholarship and Service

a)       Strategy 2B, Senate Assessment (Connell): The committee has assessed the outcomes of all senate actions undertaken over last five years and has sent an electronic survey to all faculty members. 

3.       Objective 3: Standards and Practices

B.     Chairs' Compensation Committee: Senator Hall has scheduled a meeting with the Council of University Chairs.

C.     ChairsŐ Reports

1.       A&H: The chairs have not met yet.

2.       NBS: Prof. Brash submitted this report, which includes information on faculty searches, a new program in computational and applied mathematics, the new science building and faculty concerns regarding the IDEA. 

3.       SS: The chairs have not met yet.

D.     Department Liaisons' Reports

VI.  Old Business

A.     Internships/Community Service/Independent Studies (Pollard)
A report is forthcoming.

B.     Handbook Changes: Committees (Adamitis, Kennedy, Von Burg)
The committee submitted these revisions.  The majority of the proposed revisions are intended to bring the Handbook in line with existing practices and to clarify voting eligibility and specific committee needs. 

VII.             New Business

A.     Review Process

The faculty has expressed some concerns about the tenure review process.  The Senate acknowledges that positive 2 and 4 year reviews do not commit the institution to tenuring a faculty member.  However, it is problematic when a faculty member who has earned consistently positive reviews at all levels and who receives the support of the department during the 6th year review is denied tenure.     The Senate will discuss this issue with the President and Provost at the February 11 meeting. 

B.     Honor Code Violations and CHECS Policies (Brunke and Velkey)
In the past faculty have expressed concern regarding the limited role of faculty in adjudicating honor code violations, especially with respect to cheating and plagiarism.  The 10-11 Student Handbook (pp. 5-6) addresses this concern by stipulating that a Faculty Review Panel should provide an assessment of cases in which the faculty member and student disagree regarding allegations of cheating and/or plagiarism.

C.     Changes to the Virginia Retirement System
President Carlson will send this letter to the faculty. 

D.     11-12 Committee Elections
The Senate appointed three outgoing members to the committee, which is charged with managing elections for the Faculty Senate and Academic Standing Committees: Brunke, Carlson, Velkey.

E.      Faculty Development Grant Spring Schedule

Applications due to Chairs: Monday, March 7
Applications due to Deans: Monday, March 21
Applications due to Senate: Monday, April 4
Senate Vote: Friday, April 15th

F.      Luter School
The Luter School of Business will be reconfigured in AY 11-12.   Economics will become its own department; Management, Marketing, Accounting and Finance will become a single department.

VIII.          Other

A.     The Provost has approved six sabbaticals for AY 11-12. 

The meeting adjourned at 6:03 p.m.