CNU Faculty Senate Minutes

19 November 2010


Senators Present: Adamitis, Carlson, Connell, Hall, Kennedy (arrived at 3:12 p.m.), Mollick, Pollard, Puaca, Rahim, Redick, Selim, Velkey (left at 3:55 p.m.), Von Burg


Senators Absent: Brunke, Lewis


I.        President Carlson called the meeting to order at 3:04 p.m.

II.     Approval of October Meeting Minutes


3:12 p.m. Kennedy arrives


III.  President's Report
Please see this report for updates on Faculty Development Grants, Shared Governance, and information from the October 22 meeting of the Faculty Senate, Provost and President.
: Provost Padilla, Vice Provost Cohen, Faculty Senate President Carlson and Secretary Adamitis gave a well received panel presentation at the recent AAUP Conference on Shared Governance in Washington D.C. that focused on the budget crisis, the shift to a 4-3 teaching load and changes to faculty review policies and procedures.   In terms of shared governance, the faculty voice at CNU appears to be stronger than those at many other institutions across the country, especially institutions that are in unionized states. 


IV.  Committee Reports

A.     Faculty Senate Goals

1.       Objective 1: Hiring and Retention

a)       Strategy 1D, Dossiers: Senator Mollick presented this report, which offers a tentative list of items to be included in the dossier.  This proposal suggests that the dossier comprise one "core" volume containing required materials and one optional volume containing additional materials that the faculty members believes are pertinent to the review.

Discussion: There was general agreement that the enormity of the dossiers is a problem.  The challenge in reducing the size of dossier is finding a balance between best practices for informed faculty review and administrative efficiencies.

The consensus of the Senate was that the content of the "core" binder could be limited to the following items:

(1)   Copies of the UE-4 and Dept. EVAL-4.

(2)   Copies of the EVAL-6 for the year of review and the five previous years of review.

(3)   Summary statements from the DRC, FRC, Dean, Provost for the year of review and the five previous years of review. 

(4)   IDEA Information: A table of ratings for "Excellence of Instructor" and "Progress on Relative Objectives" and a brief written analysis of the IDEA data by the faculty member for the year of review and the five previous years of review.

(5)   Representative samples of syllabi.

(6)   Current CV.


There was concern that allowing supplemental binders would defeat the original intention of reducing the overall size of the dossier.  There was also a suggestion that faculty be allowed to submit supplemental materials electronically. 

The role and value of the Departmental EVAL-4 in the review process is unclear.  The Senate will address this important issue in the spring.


Action: Senators Kennedy and Hall moved to accept the first reading of the proposal, as amended by the Senate.  The Senate will review the document again and vote in January.
Vote in Favor: Unanimous
Motion Passes

2.       Objective 2: Teaching, Scholarship and Service

a)       Strategy 2D, Faculty Awards: Senator Pollard presented this proposal on the implementation of several new faculty awards.

Discussion: The Senate suggested the following changes to the proposal:

—Increase the amount of the awards from $1000 to $2000 each.

—Do not permit self-nominations.

—Reduce the period during which award winners may not apply for the same award again from 5 years to 3 years after the receipt of the award. 

—Add "Annual" to award titles. 

Action: Senators Puaca and Carlson moved to approve the proposal with the changes suggested by the Senate. 
Vote in Favor: Unanimous
Motion Passes

Velkey leaves at 3:55 p.m.

b)      Objective 2, Virtual Teaching Center (Mollick): The subcommittee is in the process of thinking through the concept of an virtual teaching center and is currently addressing the following questions:

(1)   Who is the intended audience for the site?  Faculty who have been identified as unsatisfactory in the area of teaching?  Faculty who are looking for ways to enhance their teaching? Both groups?

(2)   Are virtual teaching centers effective?  There is little published information on this topic.  The subcommittee needs to investigate the issue further. 

(3)   Can we adopt an existing center?  It may be possible to adopt an existing virtual teaching center from another college.  The subcommittee noted that schools which have virtual centers also have education programs, so other schools' centers may not be a perfect "fit" for CNU. 


B.     Chairs' Reports

1.       A&H (Filetti): There was an all chairs' meeting at which Ronnie Cohen and Mark Padilla discussed the goals of a more robust summer semester, along with the potential dates of each session and what courses are needed for each session.  Lowering caps on courses to meet a goal of 40% of all courses under 19 was also discussed.  Super sections (100+ students) will be required in all three of the colleges, with a course release for teaching such a large class.  This should take place for fall 2011.

2.       NBS: No report.

3.       SS (Kidd): There was general discussion about the Annual Evaluation process. No major problems or issues were reported by chairs.


There was also general discussion about spring enrollment and course cap adjustments to get spring schedules properly adjusted. Chairs and Dean discussed how to deal with low enrolled classes for full time faculty. A few sections across the college have very low enrollments. The Dean is going to ask Provost about the option of buying forward a class.


The chairs discussed summer schedules and a deadline of 11/22 to get a draft of the summer schedule in. Lorraine made the point that this summer schedule was an experiment and we will adjust in future years. One chair raised a concern about where the money was coming to pay for the increased summer stipend. The conclusion was that we would probably be offering fewer sections with more students and so it would probably pay for itself.


The chairs discussed fall 2011 schedule changes...for large classes you can only get 6 LHEs for 90 enrollments or more. This is a change for CSS.


Discussion took place about whether the FRC should be required to give some feedback when the FRC does not concur with a DRC. The CSS chairs were unanimous in their view that the FRC SHOULD give a reason for their dissenting decisions when they have one. It would simply be unfair to the faculty member to dissent without indicating a reason for the dissent. CSS chairs were surprised the FRC was not doing this.  The Senate will send its recommendations to Provost and FRC via memo. 

A.     Department Liaisons' Reports
Topics of concern to departments are:

1.       Compensation for Chairs: The 2-2 course load for chairs appears to remain static as the teaching load for all faculty goes down, thereby reducing the chairs' overall compensation package. 

a)       The Senate created a Committee on Chairs' Compensation and Teaching Loads: Hall (Chair), Pollard, Selim.  The Senate will seek department chairs to serve on the committee. 

2.       Hiring Procedures:

a)       The best graduate programs in some disciplines are not included in the lists that the University currently uses as guidelines for hiring, which restricts some departments' ability to get excellent candidates and places the hiring committee in the awkward position of having to defend non-excellence when writing their committee recommendations.

b)      At what point does a scholar "outlive" his or her educational record?  For example, how should we rank a candidate whose publication and teaching records are outstanding, but who does not have a degree from one of our target institutions?

The Senate formed a subcommittee to address hiring procedures: Redick (Chair), Adamitis, Mollick, Von Burg. 

II.     Old Business: None

III.  New Business

A.     The Senate was in closed session from 4:42 p.m. to 5:11 p.m. for the discussion of Faculty Development Grants.

B.     Faculty Development Grants
Action: Senators Redick and Mollick moved to accept the subcommittee's recommendations.

Vote in Favor: Unanimous
Motion Passes


C.     Sabbaticals
The Senate will vote on the committee's recommendations electronically on Dec 3.
The subcommittee perceives a need to revise the due date for applications to allow more time for Senate review (for example, this year there was only a week between the subcommittee's receipt of the applications and the last Senate meeting of the semester). 

The Senate formed a subcommittee charged with developing a new Faculty Development Committee, which will replace both the current Faculty Development Grant Committee and the Sabbatical Committee.  The subcommittee will also review and revise as necessary the policies and procedures for Faculty Development Grants and Sabbaticals.  The committee members are Adamitis (Chair), Connell, Hall, Kennedy. 

[Note: The Senate approved the committee's recommendations electronically in December.]

D.     ATAC Report on IDEAs
ATAC prepared this report on the use of electronic IDEAs. 

Discussion: There were two concerns here: (1) that the decrease in participation for the online IDEAs would adversely affect faculty during the review process; (2) that the University surveys too many classes and in doing so renders the data unreliable.

The Senate appointed a subcommittee comprising Kennedy (Chair), Puaca and Velkey to investigate this issue further.  

E.      Train the Trainer for IDEA
The Provost requested that the Senate recommend faculty representatives who should the IDEA Train the Trainer Conference.  The Senate suggested Pollard (A&H) and Velkey (NBS), and will endeavor to find a representative from Social Sciences.  

F.      Curricular Efficiencies and Class Size
Background: One of the Senate's goals this year (Goal 1.B) is to monitor class sizes in order to ensure equity across colleges and departments. 
Some faculty have expressed concerns about supersized courses: Some disciplines do not lend themselves to supersizing.  Because larger courses sizes necessitate assessment via Scantron, as opposed to written or oral work, it can be difficult to maintain high standards for performance.  As a consequence of the reduction in writing assignments, supersized major courses that were originally intended to be writing-driven classes no longer serve their original purpose in the major, and the major therefore suffers at expense of the Liberal Learning Core.

The Senate will work with the affected departments and the administration to develop a strategy for reducing class sizes as the budget grows.   The Senate will ask the Standards and Practices Subcommittee to oversee this process. 

G.     Internships/Community Service/Independent Studies (Pollard)
There are significant differences among departments regarding compensation for overseeing internships, service projects and independent studies.  For example, in some departments faculty receive a course release for every twelve internships they oversee, while in other departments faculty receive no compensation for these activities. Senators Pollard and Von Burg will review the data and make a proposal at the January meeting. 

H.     Summer Courses
The University will offer courses during an extended spring term and two summer sessions. 

I.        Core Advising Feedback from Spring Advanced Registration 
Core Advisors have reported a number of concerns: Serving as an Core Advisor requires a significant investment of time, which makes it challenging to effectively balance this service to the University with teaching responsibilities and research.  Because many students did not honor their scheduled appointments for advising, the advising period essentially lasted most of the semester (weeks 5-12), since Advisors needed to continually reschedule appointments.  Registration also proved challenging: courses filled very quickly at all levels before the freshmen registered, and technological difficulties prevented some students from registering in a timely fashion, which compounded the problems with course availability.

The Senate will send a memo to ATAC requesting that they review Banner and make recommendations for improvements.  The Senate will also discuss the issue of course availability with the administration.  Of particular concern is the relationship between new hires and course demand: are new faculty lines being directed to departments with the greatest need for seats?  Are the departments which are receiving new lines filling their courses?

J.        FRC Recommendations
The FRC does not currently offer a justification for its decisions on the EVAL-8.  The faculty has raised the issue of whether the FRC should offer written comments for cases in which the FRC does not support a positive recommendation from the Department.  According to Handbook policy (Peer Review Step 15, pp. 116-117), faculty have the right to submit written responses to the FRC's recommendation to the Provost.  Faculty would be at a severe disadvantage when writing such a response in cases where the FRC does not agree with the DRC, if the FRC does not provide a justification for their recommendation.

IV.  Other

A.     Provost's Meetings
Some faculty have requested that the Provost publish minutes from Provost-Faculty meetings for those who can not attend.

B.     General Faculty Meeting
Thursday, December 2nd, 12:15 p.m.-1:00 p.m., MCM 101. 

C.     Academic Freedom
The Senate will review the current policies on Academic Freedom at the January meeting. 

D.     Committees Committee
The committee reports that constitutional changes to Senate may be necessary; the committee will present these changes at the January meeting. 

E.      Student Newspaper Sex Column

Students perceive that they are being pressured to sanitize the sex column in the student newspaper.



The meeting adjourned at 6:25 p.m.