Minutes of the Faculty Senate
Virtual Meeting in Zoom
November 18, 2021
Present: Senators Logan, Almotairi, Valenzuela, Pfannenstiel, Petty, Oden, S. Schroeder, Schneiderwind, T. Schroeder, Tucker, White, Fanning, Wilson, Overholser, Hudgens, Nelson
Proxies: Schneiderwind for Coppersmith
Ex-officio and guests: Trey Berry, David Lanoue, Donna Allen, Shawana Reed, Roger Giles, Jennifer Rowsam, Karen Landry, Kayla Rasberry, Gerald Plumlee, Wilson Impson, James McQuiston, Marisa Grippo,
Call to order: 3:40 pm
- Approval of Minutes
Minutes from October 21, 2021 were approved (motion – Schneiderwind, second – Logan).
- Special Orders of the Day
Report from the Faculty Senate Handbook Committee (Overholser)
- The Animal Rights Committee is being converted into Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) with description (attached). Brought forth as a motion and a second from the committee. Senator White inquired as to the language regarding one committee member needing to be a “practicing scientist”. VPA Giles indicated that this is a requirement. Motion carried unanimously.
- Blackboard Minimum Expectations Policy (attached) presented as a motion and a second from the committee. Motion passed carried without further discussion.
- Grade Reporting Policy presented as a motion and a second from the committee (attached). The policy allows for assignment of traditional A-F grades as well as credit and no credit grades. Senator T. Schroeder inquired as to whether Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory grade assignments were available. Overholser indicated that they were not. Schroeder recommends that faculty communicate the meaning of “NC” as a midterm grade to students while Senator White indicated that D and F midterm grades should get the students’ attention as well. Motion carried unanimously.
- Language on how Faculty Senate Committees are populated and language on the mission of the Handbook committee presented as a motion and a second from the committee.
Each committee is comprised of four Faculty Senators, with all colleges represented. (to be at top of list of committee mission statements)
Faculty Handbook Mission: Reviews the Faculty Handbook to ensure that it is current with respect to new and revised policies and procedures, and recommends new handbook copy to Faculty Senate.
Motion carried unanimously without further discussion.
Report from Academic Affairs Committee (Senator White, liaison)
- Academic Affairs approved a code sheet moving Introduction to Philosophy back into the section which allows it to count as an additional option under the literature category
Report from General Education Committee (President Schroeder, liaison)
- The Provost is proposing a diversity requirement in General Education and is looking into options and requirements in the future.
- Old Business
- Inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identification in protected workplace language (attached). VPA Giles added “genetic information” into the previously proposed language. SAU President Berry indicated that it will be placed into the catalog ASAP and has the full backing of the administration. The policy will be put into effect immediately and does not require Board of Trustees approval.
- New Business
Question for the Administration #1: Can the grades for dropped students remain in Blackboard for a short amount of time? We used to have to hide them from our Grade Book. Now, we cannot look at all the grades students received on early assignments or determine what factors caused a student to drop.
Provost Lanoue has discussed with Drew Glover and currently, a “drop” means “drop” in Blackboard as well because in the past, faculty complained about dropped students still showing up in Blackboard. Drew and Daniel Grimmett are discussing alternate options. Senator T. Schroeder pointed out that dropped students change the gradebook statistics for previous assessments once the student is removed and that students are sometimes dropped from Blackboard before the drop notice goes out to faculty by email. G. Plumlee inquired as to whether the dropped student would still have any access to the course and D. Glover indicated that they would not. Senator White indicated that the presence of electronic records would be helpful in the event of any kind of appeal that should arise.
Question for the Administration #2: Could you please clarify the policy for surveillance cameras in buildings around campus? Should faculty and staff be notified about the installation of cameras in their buildings/floors beforehand? For example, with the relocation of the Communications Center to Cross Hall, cameras were installed to guard expensive equipment on both the 1st and 2nd floors, but faculty and staff in other departments were not notified or asked for input on the issue. Have other buildings also received surveillance cameras this semester and are we likely to see this trend continuing in the future?
Provost Lanoue responds that the administration has been adding cameras over the past several years in any area where there is expensive property or any area where crime may be likely. The cameras are for security and not for surveillance and are all in public areas. VPA Giles said that the only time the footage is examined is when something bad happens and the possible perpetrators need to be identified and held accountable. Senator Fanning inquired about the cameras in computer classrooms recording the whole time instead of isolated events. VPSA Allen indicated that they record when motion sensors trip them to do so 24/7/365.
Comments from SAU President Berry
- Covid-19 case update for the campus
- Vaccine Initiative Committee: two drawings from the student vaccinated pool for give cards/credits so far
- Recruiting update: Undergraduate, graduate, and international applications are up. Campus tours are up.
- Fundraising: New donor for eleven new scholarships to be endowed in November 2021. The Farmers Bank and Trust Lecture raised $51,000 this year.
- A Stop Out program designed to get students near completion to return and finish their degree launches officially on February 1, 2022.
- Renovation updates for the break and beyond: Harton Theater, Wilson Hall, new HVAC unit from CARES dollars, HKR offices, Brinson Fine Arts building.
- SAU Stater will begin having a one-page faculty and staff feature
Comments from Provost Lanoue
- No additional comments beyond Dr. Berry’s
- Asking Faculty Senate for feedback on the draft of the next three-year calendar (attached) in DRAFT FORM. Senator White noticed and liked having two weeks of class after Thanksgiving and before final exams in the fall terms. White also added that he would like to see the full week of Thanksgiving be vacation instead of starting on Tuesday evening.
Comment from Senate President Schroeder
After a conversation with programmer Daniel Grimmett, there is a likely a chance that Class Absence Report forms could be linked via the rosters in Campus Connect to make it easier to process on behalf of students. Schroeder will continue to work with ITS to pursue this convenience.
Motion to Adjourn (Motion – Fanning, second – White). Motion carries unanimously.
Next meeting of the Faculty Senate is scheduled for Thursday, January 20th at 3:40 pm.