CNU Faculty Senate Minutes

18 February 2011

DSU Board Room


Senators Present: Adamitis, Carlson, Connell, Hall, Kennedy, Mollick, Pollard, Puaca, Rahim, Redick, Selim, Velkey, Von Burg


Guests : Jean Filetti, Associate Professor of English; Carolyn Ericson, Associate Professor of Social Work; Marion Manton, Associate Professor of Sociology;
Ross Snare, Student Assembly

I.        Call to Order: 3:04 p.m.

II.     Guest Presentations

A.     Faculty Mentoring Committee Update (Jean Filetti)
Prof. Filetti presented this report. 

Action: Senators Mollick and Von Burg moved to accept the report.
Vote in Favor: Unanimous
Motion Passes 

B.     Proposal for B.A. in Social Work (Carolyn Erickson and Marion Manton)
In 1981 Social Work was approved as a concentration in Sociology.  When the program sought accreditation, which requires an independent major in Social Work, the University consulted with SCHEV and received permission to report a major in Social Work under the hegis code for Sociology and to print "B.A. in Social Work" on the students' transcripts.  Last year this designation changed to a "B.A. in Sociology with a Major in Social Work."  Because this change may negatively impact licensure, graduate school applications and program accreditation, the Department is applying to SCHEV for a B.A. in Social Work.  The creation of an independent B.A. in Social Work would also benefit Sociology, since under the current catalog students pursuing the Major in Social Work may take as few as two courses in Sociology even though the degree will read "B.A. in Sociology."

Action: Senators Puaca and Lewis moved to approve the proposal.
Vote in Favor: Unanimous
Motion Passes

III.  Approval of January Meeting Minutes

Action: Redick and Velkey moved to approve the minutes.
Vote in Favor: Adamitis, Carlson, Connell, Kennedy, Mollick, Pollard, Puaca, Rahim, Redick, Selim, Velkey, Von Burg
Abstain: Hall
Motion Passes

IV.  President’s Report
This report includes information on the move to the 3-3 load; new task forces on STEM initiatives and the
Student Scholar Associate Proposal; a Senate working group charged with clarifying the tenure process; the Senate assessment; faculty elections; and study abroad. 

Discussion of STEM Task Force: It may be preferable to have more representation on the Task Force from NBS than the department chairs, since multiple perspectives would be valuable to the process.  In addition, the current chair in Math is interim. 

V.     Committee Reports

A.     Faculty Senate Goals

1.       Objective 1: Hiring and Retention

a)       Strategy 1D, Dossiers (Lewis): Senator Lewis has already received feedback on this proposal from several faculty members and now asks Senators to encourage even more faculty to provide feedback no later than the first week of March. 

2.       Objective 2: Teaching, Scholarship and Service

a)       Strategy 2, Core Advising (Kennedy): The Office of Student Success will survey students to assess the Core Advising Program, and Core Advisors will be individually evaluated. 
Discussion: Does the decision to formally evaluate service as a Core Advisor have implications for the UE-4 since other service is not evaluated?  The justification for the evaluation is that the Core Advisors are being paid for their work, which makes the Program different from other service activities. 

3.       Objective 3: Standards and Practices

B.     Chairs' Compensation (Hall): The committee met and is currently drafting a proposal. 

C.     Student Assembly: The proposed revisions to the 11-12 University Handbook (see below, Handbook Change #9) include removing faculty representation on certain University Committee on Student Discipline hearing panels and staffing those panels with students selected by CHECS. The Student Assembly supports the creation of panels that are entirely student-run provided that the Student Assembly has the right to choose the student representatives.

D.     Chairs’ Reports

1.       A&H (Adamitis): The A&H Chairs have met once since the January Senate meeting.  The most significant issue under consideration is the possible elimination or reconfiguration of the Liberal Learning Emphasis.
Discussion: Although the Senate liaisons on the University Curriculum Committee and Liberal Learning Council confirmed that problems with the Liberal Learning Emphasis (LLE) have been reported, specifically concerning scheduling and pre-requisites, the Senate would nonetheless like more detailed information about these concerns.   It is possible that the Core Advising Program will help to minimize difficulties with the LLE in the future.   The University might consider exempting students who pursue a minor from the LLE on the grounds that a minor serves the same essential function as the LLE: to provide depth in a subject area outside the major.

2.       SS (Kidd): The most significant issue under consideration is the possible elimination or reconfiguration of the Liberal Learning Emphasis.

3.       NBS (Brash): No report. 

E.      Department Liaisons’ Reports: None.

VI.  Old Business

A.     Internships/Community Service/Independent Studies (Pollard)
Senator Pollard presented this draft motion:

Whereas currently there is no consistent compensation of faculty for overseeing internships and independent studies from college to college, department to department, the Faculty Senate recommends that such compensation be made consistent across the campus.

In keeping with departments (e.g., Government, Psychology) that offer compensation, the Faculty Senate recommends the following formula: For every 15 students whom a faculty member oversees, that faculty member will be eligible for a 3 credit course reduction.

Discussion: The Senate was generally in favor of the motion but had some questions: (1) Would it be better to grant the reduction based on the number of credit hours taught rather than the number of students taught, since credits for any course may vary?  If so, then the reduction would compensate for every 45 credit hours taught.  (2) Would there be a time limit imposed on this policy, e.g. the 45 credit hours must be taught within a period of X semesters/academic years?  The Senate did not think that such a limit would be necessary.

Senator Pollard will revise the motion and present it for a vote at the March meeting.

VII.             New Business

A.     Distinguished Professor Calendar
According to the University Handbook, the Senate must approve the calendar of review procedures and protocols for Distinguished Professors. 

Action: Senators Velkey and Lewis moved to approve this calendar.
Vote in Favor: Adamitis, Carlson, Connell, Hall, Kennedy, Mollick, Pollard, Rahim, Redick, Selim, Velkey, Von Burg
Abstain: Puaca
Motion Passes

B.     Change to Overload Policy (Kennedy)
The Undergraduate Academic Status Committee (ASC) is concerned that the compressed Extended Spring Schedule makes taking more than 4 credits inadvisable and recommends that the University limit student to 4 credits for the Extended Spring Schedule and require students who wish to take more than 4 credits to petition the ASC for permission.  The full proposal is here; it will not affect the 2011 schedule, since students have already registered. 

Action: Senators Kennedy and Mollick moved to approve the proposal.
Vote in Favor: Unanimous
Motion Passes

C.     University Instructional Development Committee (Pollard)
In February the University sent a small group of faculty and administrators to an IDEA conference in order to learn how the University might best use the information IDEA's provide.  Senator Pollard, who attended the conference, presented this draft motion for a faculty-driven academic standing committee on instructional development that would focus on IDEA. 

Discussion: The main points raised in the discussion are as follows:
--Senator Mollick's subcommittee on the Virtual Teaching Center is investigating this issue as well and will confer with Senator Pollard. 
--The committee should consider whether the University should continue to use IDEA.

--The committee should take into consideration that IDEA data is relevant to more than faculty development, e.g., Major Assessment and Evaluation, Departmental Annual Reports, Program Review Reports, etc.
--The committee should consider the ways in which using the online version IDEA will affect the data collected.
--The use of IDEA data on the UE-4 is currently limited to two scores.  The committee should consider additional ways of using the IDEA data for faculty evaluation.

Senators Kennedy and Velkey will work with Pollard on revising the motion. 

Action: Senators Pollard and Puaca move to accept the draft motion for further review.
Vote in Favor: Unanimous
Motion Passes

D.     Handbook Changes (Brunke and Redick)
The following summary provides the rationale for the proposed Handbook changes and explains the substantive revisions approved by the Senate but does not include corrections of grammatical or typographical errors or changes made for the sake of clarity.  Click on the links for each Handbook change to see all suggested changes; the Senate's proposed revisions are highlighted in green.  


#1 Family and Medical Leave
Rationale: In response to the COACHE survey and discussion sessions, probationary faculty members indicated that they were unclear about how FMLA affected the completion of the probationary period.  The current section states that FMLA has no effect, which is true UNLESS the faculty member requests the extension.  This change clearly communicates to faculty that such a request will be entertained by the Provost and sets the maximum two year limit for delaying the tenure review.

No substantive changes proposed by the Senate.


#2 Lecturers

Rationale: Change provides flexibility for hiring in exceptional circumstances.

No substantive changes proposed by the Senate.


#3 The Graduate Faculty

Rationale: The proposed changes clarify, update, and correct graduate program information.

No substantive changes proposed by the Senate.


#4 Graduate Programs Council

Rationale: The proposed changes clarify, update, and correct graduate program information.

No substantive changes proposed by the Senate.


#5 Calendar for Distinguished Professor

Rationale: Establishes a new calendar for Distinguished Professor review and protocols.

No substantive changes proposed by the Senate.


#6 Steps for Peer Review

Rationale: Aligns the steps with the new evaluation calendar.

No substantive changes proposed by the Senate.


#7 FIG Grants
Rationale: Allows staff to receive FIG grants.

No substantive changes proposed by the Senate.


#8 Academic Freedom

Rationale: This proposed change is a response to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Garcetti case which involved a sanction against a public sector employee for making public comments about issues within his office that were also matters of public concern.  Although that case did not involve a university or academic freedom, the case left open the possibility that faculty expression of views about matters of concern both inside the classroom and with respect to university governance might not be protected by the First Amendment. This change makes it clear that at CNU, expression of these views would be protected by academic freedom and would not by subject to sanction by the university.


The proposed section also updates faculty research responsibilities; the current language does not recognize the increased importance of scholarship at CNU.


No substantive changes proposed by the Senate.


#9 Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct

Rationale: Updates to the student code. 


                  Senate Revisions

p. 5, Christopher Newport University supports and encourages an alcohol-free educational experience.  The University fully complies with the alcohol regulations of the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Justification: The Faculty Senate disagrees with the new language as it infringes on the legal right of students who are of age and who want to exercise their right to drink alcoholic beverages. It also discourages faculty who would socialize with students who are of age to drink alcoholic beverages.


p. 7, Using or possessing the identification card of another or allowing one’s own card to be used by another is a violation of university policy and may also be considered an Honor Code violation.


Justification: The phrase “or possessing” creates a violation that may not be just. For example a person who picks up a lost ID in order to return it would be in violation.


p. 10, Students listed on the incident report and alleged to have violated policy will be notified in writing of the charges stemming from the allegation(s). This form is referred to as a Charge Notice.


Justification: The Faculty Senate recommends that “in writing” not be eliminated from the text. It is the standard that students are held to, so CNU should also be required to notify the student in writing.


p. 11, Representatives from each academic class, including graduate students, the student body will be appointed by the Dean of Students elected by their peers in consultation with the Academic Deans.


Justification: The Faculty Senate would concur that non academic violations be taken care of by a student body if that body were elected rather than appointed.


p. 12, The final decision of findings of fact by a Hearing Panel will be determined by a simple majority vote.  The final decision of findings of fact by an Honor Council must be unanimous.


Justification: The Faculty Senate recommends cutting “finding of fact” in both cases per this paragraph as it gives extra gravity to the decision by saying that the panel establishes the facts of the case.


p. 17, The student will be provided with a written statement of charges in advance of the hearing so as to allow the student time to prepare a response.


Justification: Consistency with p. 10.



p. 19, The Dean of Students will review the appeal request and may choose to review the entire record of the case.


Justification: The Dean should review all of the material presented.



p. 19, During the period of suspension the student is not allowed on property owned or operated by the University or at University sponsored events without permission.


Justification: Barring students from campus while they are under academic suspension does not make sense given the mission of the university. We want to encourage students to engage academically.



#10 The Honor System

Rationale: Changes to the Honor System.


Senate Revisions

p. 3, Due to the serious nature of academic violations, faculty members will make every a reasonable effort to resolve any suspicions of academic dishonesty in a timely manner, typically within five (5) business academic days of discovery of the issue.


The review panel decision regarding what, if any, violations occurred whether to sustain the decision of the instructor will be determined by a simple majority vote.


Justification: The new language recognizes the instructor's role in determining whether a violation has occurred.


p. 5, The Dean of Students will review the request and may choose to review the entire record of the case. The Dean of Students may also meet with the student, the faculty member and/or panel members. The Dean of Students may also consult with the Academic Dean of the college in which the behavior in question occurred when rendering a decision. The action of the Dean of Students will be communicated to the student in writing.


Justification: The Dean of Students should review all of the material presented and may make a judgment independent of the Academic Dean.



#11 Academic Standing Committees

Rationale: The changes bring the Handbook in line with existing practices and clarify voting eligibility.  In addition, these changes include the dissolution of the Academic Advising Committee, whose functions have now been assumed by the Office of Student Success.


4) Voting Eligibility

a) All elected and appointed instructional, administrative and professional faculty members are voting members unless specified otherwise.

b) All ex-officio members of academic standing committees and their designees are non-voting unless specified otherwise.  Ex-officio members include but are not limited to: Provost, Vice Provost, Associate Provost, Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors, Associate Directors, Coordinators, Executive Assistant to the President for Student Success, University Librarian, University Registrar, University Counsel, Chief Information Officer, the Faculty Senate liaisons.


                  Justification: Further clarifies ex officio committee members.


#12 Faculty Senate Constitution and By-Laws

Rationale: These changes bring the Handbook in line with existing practices. 

No substantive changes proposed by the Senate.


#13 Faculty Review Procedures

Rationale: 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 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.


#14 Uniform Command Team/Emergency Policy Group

         Rationale: Change required to change the name, membership and charge of the committee and to add a new subcommittee.

No substantive changes proposed by the Senate.



The Senate voted on Changes 9-10 separately, since these were subject to substantial revisions.

Handbook Change #9
Discussion: The Student Handbook has already been updated and the proposed changes to the University Handbook are already in effect. Which takes precedence, the Student Handbook or the University Handbook?

: Senators Kennedy and Lewis moved to approve Handbook Change #9.
Vote in Favor: Carlson, Hall, Kennedy, Mollick, Pollard, Rahim, Redick, Selim, Velkey, Von Burg

Vote Against: Adamitis and Puaca

Abstain: Connell
Motion Passes


Handbook Change #10
: Senators Kennedy and Lewis moved to approve Handbook Change #10.
Vote in Favor:  Unanimous

Motion Passes

Handbook Changes
#1, 2, 3.2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14
Action: Senators Hall and Von Burg moved to approve these changes.
Vote in Favor: Unanimous

Motion Passes


VIII.          Other

A.     Emerita Status for Prof. Betty Anglin

Action: Senators Redick and Pollard move to recommend approval for the resolution.
Vote in Favor: Unanimous

Motion Passes

B.     Institutional Referral Forms (IRFs)

The volume of IRFs is such that it may no longer be feasible for the Office of Student Success to respond to every IRF.  It has been suggested that Core Advisors respond to IRFs and forward forms to the Office of Student Success as appropriate.


The meeting adjourned at 6:24 p.m.