Faculty Senate Meeting
October 17, 2013
AQIP Preparation Update
A joint meeting of the Staff Senate and the Faculty Senate was held at 3:30 pm in Reynolds 205. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the upcoming AQIP visit. Drs. Terrye Stinson and Denise Moseley explained the purpose and schedule of the upcoming visit and invited all senators to attend the AQIP meeting on “Improving Education” from 3:30-4:30 pm in Grand Hall A & B on Thursday, October 24.
The Faculty Senate met on Thursday, October 17, at 3:50 pm in Reynolds 205. Senators in attendance were Shannin Schroeder, Christie Hough, Sara Day, Shane Warrick, Svetlana Paulson, Stacy Clanton, Pat Clanton, Matt Lammers, Marek Dojs, Tim Daniels, Scott White, David Sanson, Copie Moore, Neelie Dobbins, Karen Ferneding, Jennifer Logan.
The following senators were absent with proxies: Svetlana Paulson served for Charles Keller and Dr. Dajani served for Abdel Bachri.
Ex-officio: Dr. T. Berry, Mr. Paul McLendon, Mr. Jasper Lewis, Dr. D. Allen
Visitors included: Jodie Westfall, Dr. Tim Schroeder, Dr. Chrisanne Christensen
Call to Order: Pres. S. Schroeder called the meeting to order at 3:50 p.m. Proxies read.
Approval of Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes with friendly amendments by K. Ferneding, S. Warrick seconded. The motion passed.
Special Orders of the Day
Reports by the Standing Committees of the Senate:
- Budget Committee – S. Warrick reported the committee had not met.
- Handbook Committee – S. Clanton presented the proposed change to the name and membership of the Faculty and Staff Appeals and Human Rights. The proposed changes are shown as an attachment at the end of the minutes. Motion to approve the proposed handbook change by D. Sanson, S. White seconded. The motion passed. This proposed changed will be presented to the faculty at the next general faculty meeting.
- Parking Committee – J. Logan reported that the Parking Committee had not met.
Reports by Liaisons to University and Academic Committees
- Student Affairs – C. Moore reported the committee had recently met electronically and discussed the creation of new student organizations on campus.
- Teacher Education – S. Day reported the Teacher Education committee had recently met and were discussing curricular changes.
- University Appeals and Human Rights Committee - S. Clanton reported the proposed changes to the handbook and stated that non-reappointment is a topic of discussion in past meetings. He also reported that as the Faculty Senate Liaison to the Faculty Appeals Subcommittee he should be notified of scheduled meetings as stated in the handbook. This did not happen when on a previous date the committee met and he was not notified. He argued that this occurrence contradicts the Faculty Handbook. Discussion ensued. Dr. Berry responded that this was a regrettable oversight and the current committee chair would be happy to provide a transcript of the meeting.
- General Education – Pres. S. Schroeder reported the committee was currently discussing ways to condense the language of evaluation and improve the current process.
- Institutional Review Board – M. Lammers reported that the committee had met and discussed new ways to improve the current application process.
Reports by University Administration:
Dr. Berry reported that the Social Work program was recently reaccredited for a period of 8 years. The university also recently received the feedback report regarding the creation and implementation of the Engineering Program. The process is still progressing but we have received very positive feedback.
Enrollment Numbers and Summer Pay
- Averaging professor loads – Averaging of course enrollment by instructor was suggested as a way to address concerns among faculty. Discussion ensued. Mr. Paul McLendon responded that Dr. Crouse is currently working on a report to address these issues.
- Non-summer-related issues of course caps, adjunct issues, and class cancellations – Many faculty members have expressed concerns that adjunct faculty members receive very heavy loads for little pay. In some colleges, such as the College of Education, faculty members deal with student teachers/interns as part of their teaching load. Attrition rates can sometimes be relatively high, thus leaving that faculty member with only a few students by the end of the semester. In this case, the faculty member observes a reduction in pay for the course while still having gone through all of the work involved in setting up the course. Dr. Dajani suggested including criteria that would consider the level of the course (1000, 2000, etc…) when establishing course caps.
- Proposed summer pay scale from 2013-2014 Budget Committee – Pres. S. Schroeder suggested charging the Budget Committee to review this issue and report their findings/recommendations to the Faculty Senate. T. Schroeder explained that this proposal is just a starting point and should certainly be discussed further. S. Clanton moved to charge the Budget Committee with providing recommendations at a later meeting. T. Daniels seconded. The motion passed.
Mr. McLendon reported that the Office of Purchasing is currently in the process of looking at various ways to address recent concerns regarding the approval of departmental transactions. The office is training dean’s assistants to help improve the process. Pres. S. Schroeder suggested including the Technology Committee in the discussion to provide additional feedback.
Cancellation of student schedules due to non-payment
Several faculty expressed frustration with the current process and reported that students were often unaware of problems with their financial aid. S. Warrick suggested that the current Action Committee on Advising could help address this issue. Discussion ensued. Dr. Allen explained that when possible, the Admissions Office tries to allow students to remain in their classes. If the student is dropped, problematic factors may have arisen in that student’s paperwork. Additionally, recent staffing issues made the situation worse than normal this semester due to recent turnover. The Office of Admissions is currently cross-training employees to be better prepared for the upcoming spring semester. Pres. S. Schroeder suggested that training for advisors would also help faculty to better address the concerns of their students.
Questions for the Administration
- What is the University’s policy on using sites such as RateMyProfessor.com as an evaluation method of faculty by administrators? What formal policy exists to guide the use of Google or RateMyProfessor.com by search committees as part of their evaluation process?
Dr. Berry responded that to his knowledge these sources were not used nor was there a policy advocating their usage in evaluation process or by a search committee. S. White moved that both the Action Project on Evaluations as well as the Handbook Committee should be charged with discussing this matter further and reporting back to the Faculty Senate with recommendations. T. Daniels seconded. The motion passed.
- Are we having flu vaccinations again?
Dr. Allen reported that flu shots should arrive during the first week of November. An email notification will be sent once they are available.
The next meeting will take place on Thursday, November 21, 2013 in Reynolds 205.
The motion to adjourn was made by S. White and seconded by D. Sanson.
Submitted by Jennifer Logan, Faculty Senate Secretary, November 5, 2013.