Minutes of the Faculty Senate
October 15, 2020
Present: Senators Oden, T. Schroeder, S. Schroeder, Tucker, Fanning, Wilson, Wise, Overholser, Logan, Huang, Stanford, Paulson, Boumtje, Almotairi, Schneiderwind, Petty, and Moore (proxy for White)
Ex-Officio/guests: Dr. Trey Berry, Dr. David Lanoue, Ms. Shawana Reed, Dr. Donna Allen, Mr. Roger Giles, Dr. Jennifer Rowsam, Dr. Robin Sronce, Dr. Scott White, Ms. Amanda Anderson, Dr. Karen Landry, and Ms. Sheryl Edwards.
Dr. Copie Moore for Senator White; President Logan for Senator Zhao
Call to Order at 3:40 p.m.
I. Approval of Minutes:
Minutes from September 17, 2020 [motion – S. Schroeder; second – Oden]
II. Special Orders of the Day
President Logan screen shared the “Faculty Resources” section on the SAU website which houses the minutes.
Senator Wilson shared an update about the Ad Hoc committee on student Zoom protocol.
Updates from Dr. Berry:
Recently, the SAU MBA program was ranked as the most affordable in the state of Arkansas. Current, enrollment is growing and is now over 150 students. It is a great bargain for the quality. We have been purposefully highlighting the graduate program by doing testimonials and videos.
Covid update – 1 case on campus. Since July 6, SAU has administered 1,800 tests. He is very happy with Heath Services and their thorough and efficient response to student, faculty and staff needs. To meet the extra demand caused by the pandemic, Health Services has added more staff.
Football update – Coach Keopple has retired. Coach McCarty is the interim coach. There will be a search opened soon.
Updates from Dr. Lanoue:
He is happy about the spring semester and happily anticipating the Zoom protocol. He is looking forward to the Ad Hoc committee report and providing some guidelines to help students be successful in a virtual-learning environment.
He explained that he is encouraged by the mid-term grades.
Dr. Lanoue responded to the following questions for the administration:
1. Can the results of student course evaluations be made available to faculty prior to the start of the next semester? Now that the process is online, could the system generate these faculty evaluations, instead of putting the burden on one office?
Course evaluation results would not be available earlier.
2. Can SAU revamp the committee assignment process, so that committee assignments come to faculty earlier? Not even counting this semester, these announcements have crept later and later into the semester. Since colleges submit the information by the first week of the semester, could the basic list be available to members by Week 3 or 4, even if chairs or liaisons are not yet selected?
The process is being examined. There were some setbacks due to the pandemic thus causing a delay.
3. Is there a possibility that the administration can elicit feedback from faculty regarding what worked and didn’t work this semester? An anonymous survey would allow faculty a chance to do this.
His office was working with Institutional Effectiveness to gather data.
4. Can we request students determine whether they want in-person or Zoom sessions at the time of registration instead of the first week of class?
Dr. Lanoue explained that gathering this data during registration may be difficult. However, he is looking into ways to improve this process and help faculty know early and prepare.
5. Are we required to share every video session from class? Why? Is there a way to track who watches the videos?
Faculty are not required to share video sessions from class. He is working with IT to determine if a tracking system is possible.
Dr. Lanoue explained that SAU is not going to have a spring break on the spring schedule; instead, there will be several strategically-placed breaks during the semester. Thus, hopefully, decreasing the chance that students will leave for long vacations and increase the probability of contracting COVID-19.
Commencement will be at the stadium. There will be one ceremony for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Senator Tucker asked about the timeframe in which faculty would know if students are choosing the Zoom option.
Dr. Lanoue responded that they were working on that process.
Senator S. Schroeder asked about committee assignments and shared that although there are delays due to the pandemic, this seems to be more of a systematic issue that happens each year.
Dr. Berry responded, saying that he will provide committee assignments sooner next year and has an Aug. 1 date set for every year.
Senator S. Schroeder – Question #1 – The single most important reason for course evaluations is for the faculty member to change his/her course to better meet student needs. She is concerned that getting the information well into the next semester is an issue.
Dr. Lanoue thanked her for sharing this and is going to see what is possible. He is going to look into speeding up the process over the long break.
Senator Overholser voiced a concern about video-taped lectures being shared out of context.
Dr. Lanoue said that he will work with Roger Giles to look into a policy and procedure for video-taped lectures.
Senator Overholser shared that Harvard has a non-attribution policy. Professors should have the opportunity to promote discussions and academic discourse and not have to worry about recordings.
Ms. Shawana Reed’s report:
• Budget revenue $118.9M all funds
• Budget revenue – Education and General: Tuition, fees, state appropriations, gifts and grants, sales/services, other E & G
• Auxiliary Revenue – Room, board, other auxiliary
• 2020-21 Revenue Budget: 75.9% student driven, 24.1% state funding
• Salaries for faculty and staff last year – $25.7M
• Total cost of annual benefits – $8.5M
• Usage rate – 33%
• Prior year usage rate – 31%
• Debt service and utilities -$14,879,524
Senator S. Schroeder gave a handbook report. She is currently going through the document for formatting. The committee is working diligently.
Senator S. Schroeder – made a motion – The Handbook Committee moves that we add a section to the beginning of the Faculty Handbook called “About This Handbook” to provide information that passed in last year’s revision but that does not have a space in the handbook.
President Logan called for a vote – unanimously approved.
President Logan gave IRB committee report – no research requests, yet.
President Logan asked for New Business.
Senator Overholser – noted that she is again the Program Coordinator for the Office of Violence against Women grant. She asked that senators share ideas by e-mailing her.
Senator Tucker asked about 2020-21 catalogs. Dr. Rowsam responded said that they are available online.
Move to adjourn 4:31 [motion – A. Overholser, second – T. Schroeder]