Minutes of the Faculty Senate
September 17, 2020
Present: Senators Zhao, Oden, T. Schroeder, S. Schroeder, Tucker, Fanning, Wilson, Wise, Overholser, Logan, Almotairi, Huang, Stanford, Paulson, Almotairi, Schneiderwind, Petty, Moore (proxy for White)
Ex-Officio/guests: Jennifer Rowsam, Elizabeth Gloyd, Trey Berry, David Lanoue, Donna Allen, and Gerald Plumlee
Copie Moore for Scott White
Call to Order at 3:43
I. Approval of Minutes:
Minutes from September 17, 2020 [motion – S. Schroeder; second – A. Overholser]
II. Special Orders of the Day
Updates from Dr. Berry:
Enrollment – Last Friday, I received official numbers from the state. Three universities have had an increase. SAU is one–1/3 of 1 percent. UAPB, UAMS also had an increase. We are happy about this. Graduate up over 10%. He thanked the graduate directors. We were anticipating undergraduate down about 2.5 %. Our freshman class was down 14%. We expected this due to a decrease in birth rate. Overall enrollment including concurrent is 4,432. Without concurrent enrollment 4,140. Housing was down a little, 140 students. We believe had to due to the nervousness of the pandemic. He is going to provide a hardcopy of the numbers to the senate.
Covid update – numbers have decreased over the past few weeks. He complimented the health services. There are 0 positive cases isolated on campus, 2 students who are quarantining on campus, 6 active cases who are in isolation off campus. There are 40 quarantining—38 quarantining off campus; 1,400 tests administered. There are 3 staff who are isolating off campus. There is one faculty member who is isolating. The faculty member was infected off campus. So far, it seems as though procedures and protocols are working.
Good news, El Dorado promise scholarship – SAU was the #1 choice for El Dorado students. For years, we were 2nd, now we are #1 , South Ark #2, and U of A is #3.
Updates from Dr. Lanoue:
Happy Constitution Day. Our Constitution Day is connected to the library and Women’s right to Vote.
Final Exam schedule – Chairs are going to talk to faculty when, how, where for finals.
He discussed spring 2021 schedule options. There is consideration of not having a spring break. Instead, having several smaller breaks during the semester. We hope to have a final answer by the end of the month.
Zoom updates – a lot of positive feedback. It has had challenges, but overall it is working. Concern: are the students engaged in the instruction? We need to collect data about mid-term performance. We need to look at solid information to see if Zooming is working. We have heard various reports of bandwidth issues. The residence halls have had some issues, too. Also, there have been a few issues in Wilson Hall and the Science building. We want to address issues to make sure faculty and students have what they need. Hybrid classes are going well. He wants to know more about how SAU can meet both student and faculty needs. He trusts each college to make those determinations. Academic integrity–there are 10 complains this year as compared to last year.
Dr. Berry discussed football – cancelling football has affected budget and enrollment. We have had several players who have decide to leave. That also impacts the budget. He feels that the conference made the right decision. We will have savings in travel and meals. However, we will have some added cost to testing if that happens. We hope to receive funds to help recover this
Senator S. Schroeder – Are the same restrictions in place for all student groups? She saw an e-mail requesting travel. Dr. Berry responded and said this group did not have NCAA restrictions. However, he said that they have very strict guidelines for travel and social distancing.
Drew Glover’s update – Complimented faculty and their tenacity to making high-quality instructions. There have been some issues with Zoom and bandwidth. But, we are working with faculty and addressing issue. Students have been complimentary of the supplemental instruction and meeting student needs. Areas of improvement – working to meet the needs of graduate teaching assistants. Instructional design to learn Blackboard and working on on-line learning primer. It is time to update it and look at new ways to help students. He doesn’t hear negative feedback from students. He feels really positive where we are at. The deans had positive reports. Any PD you would like to see, he would be happy to help.
Dr. Jennifer Rowsam – She discussed quality improvement project that was related to retention. The Quality Executive Council is working on 10 goals this year. We hope to accomplish them all. The original goal was to work on 70% retention. We currently have 72% retention. We are looking at why the retention has increased. The grading policy was possibility a factor, but there are more. They are research it. VPs will be asking faculty across campus to work on several projects. The recovery course program is being examined. We are looking at additional features of Blackboard to see if we put more information in there for report. Also, putting systems in place for adjuncts to receive professional development. Another focus is looking at ways to distribute money to students in need and expand internship opportunities for students.
Budget update: Ms. Reed is going to join us at our next meeting. She is going to give us a budget update.
Handbook: Senator S. Schroeder has received the revisions from Mr. Giles office. She is now going to finish the handbook. The goal is to complete it this semester.
Move to adjourn 4:31 [motion – A. Overholser, second – T. Schroeder]