Present: Senators Pearson, Warrick, Zia, Dobbins, Testa, S. Clanton, DiPier, Lyubartseva, Schroeder, P. Clanton, Paulson, Wilson, Shirey, Bryant
Ex-officio and guests: Provost Lanoue, Vice Presidents Allen and Giles, Julianna Williams from SGA, Connie Rogers from Staff Senate
Call to order at 3:42 p.m.
Proxies: Neely Dobbins for Jennifer Louden, Laura Shirey for Becky Parnell, Tim Schroeder for Rhaelene Lowther, Tim Schroeder for Copie Moore.
Approval of Minutes
Minutes from September 21, 2017 were approved (motion – Testa, second – Warrick) with the additional notation of the creation of a committee by President Paulson to investigate the possibility of adding a fall break to the academic calendar.
Special Orders of the Day
Dr. Lanoue addressed the question for the administration in the agenda regarding whether or not there was a written plan to address compression and/or inversion of faculty salaries, what it was, and if there was no written plan, why not.
Dr. Lanoue indicated that there was no written plan in part because there is no agreed upon definition of either situation and there currently is no good way to measure it. Such a written policy would be a series of goals and timetables and would force us to make some decisions, such as getting cost of living increases versus addressing salary compression and inversion issues. Current processes involve an October assessment of known revenues and mandatory expenses to create a pool of resources to address equity concerns. Deans are to work with chairs to put up names in need of adjustment and recommendations are made to Dr. Berry. Dr. Lanoue indicated that there were 24 faculty in the mix for equity adjustments next budget cycle (about 15% of full time faculty.)
Dr. Lanoue also addressed the request from the September meeting regarding faculty overloads and adjuncts by department for this term. Dr. Lanoue indicated that although it sounds like a simple information to get, it is not. Release time complicates the calculation of overload hours, music lessons and science labs are counted differently, and some overload courses are lower enrollment “one on one” courses that are paid very differently. He will keep working to refine numbers. Senator S. Clanton indicated his appreciation for the complicated nature of the information as it is now and volunteered that English and Foreign Languages currently has 10 overloads this term, noting that in the past. Senator Clanton also noted that Dr. Lanoue has recently indicated that we needed to be sure that the students get what they need” and put forth that we needed the best teaching situations to make this happen, referring to overloaded courses and faculty.
Dr. Lanoue revisited summer school indicating that the university lost money on the Summer II 2017 term and that we must examine summer school in order to ensure strong budgets. Priorities are that students get the classes they need, faculty get the extra salary monies to augment their regular pay, and that budgets for summer school hit their projections so that they do not negatively impact the university budget.
VPA Giles addressed the second question for the administration regarding campus-wide problems with student emails going to faculty spam, Barracuda spam filter quarantine, or being left in student draft folders, unsent. Mr. Giles indicated that ITS director Mike Argo was unaware of this problem and that they have looked into the issue. It seems to be isolated to certain computers, possibly due to software settings on those machines. All are asked to notify HelpDesk if problems are observed.
Mr. Giles went on to address the question of why the internet configuration settings are being manipulated, shutting down SAU web traffic, during work time for faculty, staff, and students. He indicated that the upgrades are required to occur while there is traffic to test the efficacy of the upgrade. Efforts were made to choose the slowest times for online course activity, also noting that the contractors performing the upgrades do not work weekends and must be done by 10 pm.
Parking policy update: vehicles parked in reserved spaces will now be towed to the Physical Plant by Linkous. Senator Schroeder put forth the idea to make the student passes look much different than the faculty and staff passes to help discourage students from parking in reserved spaces since they would be less likely to get away with it. Senator Lyubartseva requested that something be done to address the parking issues at the Communication Center regarding few temporary spaces available. Often, those spaces are occupied by vehicles that appear to be longer-term.
Senator Testa indicated that the Handbook Committee was through five of 9 pages of the Academic Integrity Policy as referred to the committee with further updates to follow as they complete the process.
A discussion of the feasibility of incorporation of a fall break, possibly resulting in the dismissal of classes the entire week of Thanksgiving, in conjunction with shortening or even eliminating the two days of open registration was introduced. Many faculty feel that the new enrollment procedures that are stressing that students save their schedules and the delay of deregistration until the eleventh class day result in less need for faculty to enroll students during what is classically known as “open enrollment.” VP Giles indicated that in the past, the faculty were polled about a similar change and about 70% opposed.
Motion by Senator Moore (Parnell second) to ask the Administration to poll faculty and staff about changing the fall schedule to start on Monday of the first week of classes and to take the entire week of Thanksgiving off. Motion carries unanimously.
Motion by S. Clanton (Testa second) to adjourn. Motion carries.