January 2013 Minutes

January 17, 2013


The Faculty Senate met on Thursday, January 17, at 3:40 pm in Reynolds 205.  Senators in attendance were Scott White, Christie Morgan, Tim Schroeder, Shannin Schroeder, Svetlana Paulson, Stacy Clanton, Karen Ferneding, Neelie Dobbins, David Sanson, Jan Duke, Chrisanne Christensen, Mary Armwood, Dan May, Hong Cheng, Vikram Bhadauria, Abdel Bachri, Jennifer Logan.

The following senators were absent with proxies: Neelie Dobbins served for Denise Moseley.


Dr. Berry, Brad Stout, Dr. Allen, Dr.  MohdZain, Dr. Toms, Dr. Bloss, Mr. McLendon, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Roger Giles

Visitors included

Dr. Testa, Kathy Cole

Call to Order

Pres. S. White called the meeting to order at 3:42 p.m.  Proxies read.

Approval of Minutes

Motion to approve the minutes by D. May, T. Schroeder seconded.  The motion passed.

Special Orders of the Day

President’s Report

  • See Attachment A

Discussion ensued.  Faculty expressed a concern that there was no attempt in the President’s report to address questions presented at previous meetings regarding changes in faculty pay, equity adjustments, raises and merit.

Other senators expressed concerns about performance funding and how decisions will be made.  Dr. Berry explained many of these questions remain unanswered and the university is continuing to seek additional information from the Arkansas State Legislature.

Mr. Lewis explained that the university has recently experienced a problem with one of their electric meters.  This faulty meter provided incorrect readings, understating the energy usage throughout campus.  Entergy is working with the university to ensure all current equipment is working properly.  Mr. Lewis explained that SAU is not being held responsible for energy usage beyond the meter reading.  He distributed an action plan listing various ideas/suggestions to reduce our energy usage on campus.

 Report on first Academic Integrity Workshop

  • K. Ferneding announced that the Academic Integrity Workshop is now a reality!  The workshop is comprised of 5 video modules.  Del Duke is the course instructor of the workshop.  Sessions will be held on the last Monday of each month.  There is a required 85% pass rate for students.

Discussion ensued regarding whether or not a student’s infraction should remain on a student’s transcript after completing the course.  The senate agreed this issue should be discussed further.

 Report from the Fall Deans & Chairs meeting regarding online instruction

  • Dr. Berry discussed the University’s plan to expand online instruction in undergraduate as well as graduate programs.  He argued that this expansion will help create a more diverse curriculum to offer students.  As of September 2012, there were 33 for-profit online institutions operating in the Arkansas education market.  Summer enrollment has continued to decrease for the previous few years.  Online course offerings may be a way to help increase enrollment throughout the summer.  Dr. Berry emphasized that the university would be taking “small steps” to achieve this goal.  These small steps include providing two online sections of every general education course offered.  One section would be for current students while the other section would be held for non-SAU students.  Chairs were requested to identify current faculty or qualified adjuncts that would help make this expansion possible.  Overall, Dr. Berry stressed that the University will continue to ensure that we deliver quality programs and capture potential students in the state and the larger surrounding area.

Discussion ensued.  Senators voiced concerns regarding effects on student credit hours, performance funding, marketing, and access to support services such as a testing center on campus.

Update on University Budget Issues

  • Mr. McLendon updated the Senate on current issues in the University budget.  He explained that reductions in enrollment had reduced revenues from tuition.  Combined with performance funding reductions and the faulty meter, the University is currently experiencing a budgetary shortfall.  See Attachment B for further details.

Report on Possible Community Economic Development Initiatives

  • Pres. White discussed the completion of the NRRC (Natural Resource Research center) as well as the new Story Rodeo Arena.  Other projects for SAU are currently in the planning phase.  D. Sanson explained the process as well as the reasoning behind the closure of the SAU Dairy.  He stated that to be competitive, a dairy would need to be much larger than what the current University resources can sustain.  Other sources of growth and revenue may be in cultivation of various grasses as well as increased attention towards the raising of beef cattle.  Mr. McLendon further emphasized that SAU is currently looking into a variety of productive options.   

New Business

Proposal to add a requirement to the committee description for voting members of the Institutional Review Board: Annual National Institute of Health Certification

J. Logan proposed that the following statement be included in the IRB Membership section of the Faculty Handbook:

“Membership: All voting members of the committee must complete NIH Certification each year within 6 weeks of being assigned to the committee.  Failure to do so will be taken as a resignation from the committee, and the Dean of the College must appoint a replacement in a timely manner.”

J. Logan then moved that this matter be referred to the Handbook Committee.  S. Clanton seconded.  The motion passed.

Selection of Faculty Excellence Awards Banquet Date

Pres. White suggested a few possible dates for the faculty Excellence awards Banquet.  The Senate decided to seek input from constituents and report back at the February meeting.

Reports of Standing, University and Academic Committees

Faculty Senate Committees

  • Budget Committee – T. Schroeder reported that the committee is still working on the task of examining yearly salary increases.

 University Committees

  • Teaching with Technology – A. Bachri reported that the committee has received 5 proposals, 4 of which were funded.

 Active Search Committees

  • Library Director – S. Schroeder reported that the committee has had 2 conference calls with candidates.  The committee will be interviewing an internal candidate as well as an external candidate.
  • LPA Dean – Dr. Bloss reported that the committee had invited one candidate to campus for a 1-day visit and planned to extend an invitation to 3 additional candidates.
  • Education: Assistant Professor – Dr. MohdZain reported that the committee was in the process of conducting phone interviews with five candidates.
  • Education: Chair of Teacher Education – K. Ferneding reported that the committee is still meeting and discussing potential applicants.
  • Police Chief – Mr. Lewis reported that one candidate was being interviewed that day and a second candidate would be interviewed the following week.
  • Art faculty – D. May reported that the committee was sending out a new advertisement for the position and currently had extended an invitation for a campus interview to one candidate.
  • Nursing – M. Armwood reported that the committee was still discussing potential applicants, but were communicating to a few selected candidates thus far.

The next meeting will take place on Thursday, February 21, 2013 in Reynolds 205.


The motion to adjourn was made by T. Schroeder and seconded by D. Sanson

Submitted by Jennifer Logan, Faculty Senate Secretary, January 30, 2013.