March 2013 Minutes

March 28, 2013

Attendance

The Faculty Senate met on Thursday, March 28, at 3:40 pm in Reynolds 205.  Senators in attendance were Scott White, Tim Schroeder, Christie Hough, Abdel Bachri, Vikram Bhadauria, Jennifer Logan, Jan Duke, Svetlana Paulson, Dan May, David Sanson, Hong Cheng, Mary Armwood.

The following senators were absent with proxies:  Scott White served for Chrisanne Christensen, Tim Schroeder served for Shannin Schroeder, Svetlana Paulson served for Stacy Clanton, and Alec Testa served for Neelie Dobbins, Denise Moseley and Karen Ferneding.

Ex-officio

Dr. Trey Berry, Brad Stout

Visitors included

Mona Rasmussen

Call to Order

Pres. S. White called the meeting to order at 3:41p.m.  Proxies read.

Approval of Minutes

J. Duke moved to approve the minutes from the February Faculty Senate meeting, D. May seconded.  The minutes were approved.

Special Orders of the Day

Faculty Excellence Awards and Dinner

Pres. White reminded senators to spread the word regarding the Faculty Excellence Awards and Dinner scheduled for Friday, April 12 at 6:00 pm in Grand Hall of the Reynolds building.

Senate Elections for 2013-2014

The two recently elected at large senators are Tim Daniels and Dr. Sara Day.  These newly elected senators will replace Mary Armwood and Hong Cheng in the upcoming academic year.  College senate elections are now underway and results will be shared at the April Faculty Senate meeting.

President’s Report

Pres. White reported details from a recent meeting of chairs and deans in which a newly proposed highway bill was discussed.  He explained that due to a recently added amendment, the majority of money needed to fund the bill would be taken from the state general fund.  The result of this action would be a reduction in funding for higher education over time.

Update from the Administration:

Legislative Updates

  • Dr. Berry explained that although SAU had passed the “sustainability test” put forward by the state legislature, the proposed amount of money will still be taken from the SAU budget at the start of the fall semester.  This money will be returned, however, in June of 2014.

Reports of Standing, University, and Academic Committees

Faculty Senate Committees

Budget Committee – T. Schroeder reported that data gathered for annual contracts is dynamic and thus a snapshot of this information has yet to be provided.  The data has been reorganized, showing salary information for faculty.  T. Schroeder made a motion that the Office of Human Resources continue keeping salary data in this (or a similar) format.  The motion passed and the committee report was accepted.

Handbook Committee – D. Sanson shared the committee’s recommended changes to the criteria for promotion and tenure.  Discussion ensued.  Concerns were raised regarding the two sets of years as well as a request that the committee provide an expanded definition of the term “exception.”  A. Bacchri moved that the minimum years be removed so that only one set of years remained.  J. Duke seconded this motion.  The motion passed and the report was accepted.  The committee was then encouraged to collaborate with the AQIP Action Task Committee on transparency in the evaluation process.

Active Search Committees

Art & Design Search – D. May reported that the committee had extended an offer to a prospective candidate.

LPA Dean – Dr. Berry reported than a candidate had been selected and the hiring committee had extended an offer.

Nursing Search – M. Armwood reported that the hiring committee had recently had a favorable interview with a visiting candidate.

Old Business

Review and Discussion of 2012 Faculty Senate Recommended University Policy on the Appropriate Use of ALLUSERS Email Messages

Senators shared feedback from various colleges regarding Allusers Email messages.  The feedback shared demonstrated a definite split among faculty, with roughly half of the messages read showing support for a stricter policy while the other half revealed that many faculty prefer the current practice.  T. Schroeder then made a motion that an up or down vote should be conducted.  A. Bacchri seconded this motion.  The votes resulted in a 15-3 outcome in favor of the proposed Allusers Email policy.  This policy is provided in Attachment A.  A. Bacchri then made a motion that an ad hoc committee be created to work with the Staff Senate to address the issue of lost and found items.  T. Schroeder seconded.  The motion passed.

Discussion of Senate Action regarding Arkansas House Bill 1243 (University Employee Concealed Carry Bill)

 Feedback was shared by various faculty members across the campus.  The university faculty displayed very mixed views on the situation.  The result of the up or down vote by the Faculty Senate was 17-0-1 (17-yes, 0-no, 1-abstention).  D. Sanson then made a motion to recommend that the SAU Board of Trustees “opt out” of HB 1243.  J. Logan reported that some faculty were concerned about the slow response time observed in emergency situations in the past and urged the Senate to recommend safety procedures be reiterated to campus faculty and staff to ensure that everyone knows what to do in the event of a crisis.

The next meeting will take place on Thursday, April 18, 2013 in Reynolds 205.

Adjournment

The motion to adjourn was made by J. Duke and seconded by T. Schroeder.

Attachment A: Allusers Email Notification Proposal

Proposed

a.  Allusers e-mail may be used only if the matter concerns all faculty and/or all staff.

b.  Allusers e-mail may NOT be used for class absence notifications.  If an instructor or other employee wishes to use e-mail to inform fellow instructors of a student’s absence, only the concerned instructors of the absentees should be notified, not all users.  However, students are still responsible for pre-approving their absences with instructors directly as per the Faculty Handbook (chapter VI.B.1.d.iii).

c.  Allusers e-mail may NOT be used for lost and found items.

d.  Allusers e-mail may be used ONLY to promote events that are sponsored by registered campus organizations or by college, department, or other academic units.

e.  Allusers e-mail of a personal nature should be limited to announcements of deaths and funerals.