Minutes of the Faculty Senate
January 21, 2021
Present: Senators T. Schroeder, S. Schroeder, Tucker, Fanning, Wilson, Oden, Stanford, Wise, Overholser, Logan, Huang, Paulson, Schneiderwind, White, Almotairi, Warrick
Ex-Officio/guests: Dr. Trey Berry, Dr. David Lanoue, Dr. Kim Bloss, Dr. Donna Allen, Mr. Roger Giles, Dr. Helmut Langerbein, Dr. Jennifer Rowsam, Dr. Gerald Plumlee, Dr. Robin Sronce, Dr. Scott White, Ms. Amanda Anderson, and Dr. Karen Landry
Call to Order at 3:41 p.m.
I. Approval of Minutes:
Minutes from November 19, 2020 [motion – S. Schroeder; second – Oden]
II. Special Orders of the Day
Updates from Dr. Berry:
COVID update–we are doing well. 1,400 were screened this semester; over 550 students have been tested; there currently is no on-campus in isolation rooms; 2 are in quarantine rooms on campus. We’re tracking 18 positives faculty, staff and students off-campus. The protocols have been holding up very well.
Enrollment update–tonight is deregistration. He estimates SAU is down 2% overall. Graduate enrollment is up 189 students. Housing is down 189 students. Consequently, this will affect our revenue. However, we anticipated the decline in enrollment due to the pandemic. Undergraduate applications are down significantly. We feel that the pandemic is impacting recruitment. There are many variables, this year more than ever. He complimented the admissions and advising staff for being innovative and working very hard.
He discussed state senators regarding a new legislative update. Currently, there has been a bill filed that 2 and 4-year universities were restricted on what could and could not be taught in courses. He expressed his concern.
Dr. Lanoue updates:
He encouraged faculty to work with students through various challenges they are facing with technology and the pandemic. Then, he updated everyone on the “DFW” rate. After analyzing data, he found that undergrad went up 5% from fall 2019 to fall 2020. The “WF” went up, but the “D” rate didn’t. Graduate school “DFW” rates stayed approximately the same. The “CDFW” went down 9.5% to 8.9% from fall 2019 to fall 2020.
His hope is to go completely to Mentor for Tenure and Promotion process as well as faculty evaluations. Currently, we have some faculty members who are piloting the process. He thanked Dr. Plumlee for his work in facilitating the process.
Questions to the administration:
1. Are the two Fridays off (March 5th and April 2nd) this semester given toward 3 day weekends in lieu of spring break for students and faculty or just students? If the two Fridays are for faculty? Also, will there be any scheduled meetings that faculty must attend?
Dr. Lanoue said that there should be no meetings, etc. schedule on March 5 and April 2.
2. Would it be possible for faculty to have additional time following the end of the semester to submit grades? In the fall, this was very helpful when accommodating the abnormally large amount of delays from students and testing issues caused by the pandemic.
Dr. Lanoue expressed a concern about having too long of an extension after the semester because of the strain that it would put on the Registrar’s Office. However, he spoke with Ms. Grippo, Interm Registrar, and she is open to extending the deadline by 2 days in order to accommodate faculty.
Dr. Jennifer Rowsam update:
She shared some current initiatives from her area:
- A working group has met to discuss a 7 week grade-recovery process.
- Learning Communities focus on undecided students.
- Faculty Orientation revisions.
- 4-week grades.
- Blackboard usage.
- Unmet financial student needs – working with advancement.
- Expanding internship opportunities with career services.
- Adding more of an emphasis on financial literacy to Freshman Seminar and
- Career Life Planning to help students make better financial decisions.
III. Committee Reports:
Senator S. Schroeder said that the Handbook Committee is getting close to finishing. The final proofreading process is well underway.
Senator T. Schroeder said that the Academic Integrity committee is looking at revamping the process and updating the paperwork pathway. Hopefully, a revised policy will be ready in February.
IV. New Business:
President Logan asked the Budget Committee to look at the merit policy in the Faculty Handbook.
Senator Tucker requested that the faculty evaluation form be reviewed with regards to merit pay. It can be misleading.
President Logan asked for a senator from each college to volunteer for the newly created ad hoc committee to review faculty sanctions and reprimand policy–consider adding guidelines and/or the policy structure. She wants a volunteer from each college. She asked that anyone who is willing to serve to contact her.
Move to adjourn 4:29 [motion – S. Schroeder, second – White]