April 11, 2013
The Faculty Senate met on Thursday, April 11, at 3:40 pm in Reynolds 205. Senators in attendance were Scott White, Tim Schroeder, Christie Hough, Abdel Bachri, Svetlana Paulson, Jennifer Logan, Stacy Clanton , Neelie Dobbins, Chrisanne Christensen, Jan Duke, Dan May, Shannin Schroeder, Karen Ferneding, David Sanson, Mary Armwood.
The following senators were absent with proxies: Neelie Dobbins served for Denise Moseley. Jennifer Logan served for Vikram Bhadauria .
Ex-officio: Dr. Bloss, Dr. Berry, Mr. Paul McLendon, Dr. Allen, Mr. Roger Giles, Dr. Crouse, Dr. Toms, Mr. Jasper Lewis, Dr. Mohdzain.
Visitors included: Dr. Sara Day, Dr. Copie Moore, Mr. Tim Daniels, Dr. George White
Call to Order: Pres. S. White called the meeting to order at 3:43 p.m. Proxies read.
Special Orders of the Day
Faculty Excellence Awards and Dinner and Faculty Senate Elections:
Pres. White reminded senators of the Faculty Excellence Awards and Dinner on Friday, April 12. Additionally, senate elections are currently in process and results will be announced at the upcoming Faculty Senate meeting on April 19.
A Review of Faculty Summer Pay Policy
Senator S. Schroeder presented a collection of faculty responses and arguments against a set of PowerPoint slides presented by Mr. Paul McLendon at a recent meeting between the administration, college deans and department chairs. The faculty responses included arguments regarding a lack of communication between the administration and faculty, confusion regarding the PowerPoint slides, contradictory goals and messages from the administration, increased inequities and unfair compensation. Discussion ensued. The report is provided at the end of the minutes.
Comments from the Administration:
- Mr. Giles discussed a previous proposal presented in 2010 regarding course caps. This proposal allowed the VPAA to make an exception under certain conditions. Mr. Giles explained that SSCHs (student semester credit hours) produce revenue, but support services are vital to program offerings. The current allocation of resources for course offerings is based on a process used in North Carolina. To address financial challenges, he argued, we need to increase class sizes in lieu of falling SSCHs and increasing costs.
- Mr. McLendon discussed state procedures and calculations regarding state funding based on SSCHs. He explained that falling SSCH between 2009-2010 and 2012-2013 has led to declines in revenue. Hours taught as well as SSCHs have decreased. Contributing factors to these trends include scholarship waivers, a shortfall in tuition and increasing utilities and insurance costs. He explained that COLA considerations would be made after fall enrollment is observed. Mr. McLendon reported that performance funding will not be taken out of the 2013-2014 budget. Proposed legislation regarding state income tax reductions and reductions in Academic Challenge Lottery scholarship amounts are upcoming challenges that the university must consider.
Senator C. Christensen asked why the Budget Committee was not given an opportunity to discuss this proposal before today. Mr. McLendon responded that the slides were presented at a recent meeting and would have been shared at the upcoming faculty meeting on April 19. Senator Clanton also expressed concern that the Faculty Handbook Committee had not been approached. Senator Christensen requested that attention be given to the poster taken from a campus building earlier that day. The poster reads “All SAU employees are committed to demonstrating excellence in interpersonal behaviors and effective collaboration with students and colleagues.”
- Dr. Berry explained that full time faculty would be given priority for teaching summer courses prior to hiring adjuncts. He warned of upcoming challenges reported by Mr. Giles and Mr. McLendon and emphasized the need to address costs and make some relatively tough choices in the near future. Dr. Berry explained that exemptions for needed courses that did not reach course caps would be permitted for new and growing programs.
- Senator S. Schroeder expressed concern over the following three items: (1) Alarm at usage of slogan “Go With Who You Know” with the intent of hiring adjuncts to fill summer classes, (2) Uncertainty of summer teaching and being the “bad guy” when a class does not make, (3) Mr. McLendon’s language regarding the word “decided.”
Proposals and Recommendations from the Senate Body
T. Schroeder shared a proposal regarding summer courses and faculty salaries on behalf of the Budget Committee. This proposal includes a set amount paid to a faculty member of $275 per student for an undergraduate course and $325 for a graduate course with maximum salaries of $6600 and $7800, respectively, assuming a class of 24 students. A minimum salary of $1650 for an undergraduate course and $1950 for a graduate course would be paid to compensate the faculty member for their time and effort in preparing the course. Discussion ensued. Senator D. May moved to accept the report. Senator A. Bacchri seconded. The report was accepted and is provided at the end of the minutes.
The next meeting will take place on Thursday, April 18, 2013 in Reynolds 205.
The motion to adjourn was made by T. Schroeder and seconded by J. Duke.