Southeast Missouri State University

Minutes - February 3, 2010

XLIV, No. 11

MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE MEETING

February 3, 2010

The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met on February 3, 2010, in the UC Missouriana Room. In attendance were the following: Stephanie Chamberlain (Chair), Sophia Scott (Chair-elect), Janice Ward (Membership Chair), David Briggs, Michael Cobb, Kathy Conway, Kevin Dickson, Bruce Hathaway, Elaine Jackson, Don Jung, Daniel MacLeay, Phil Nacy, David Naugler, Walt Paquin, David Powell, Willie Redmond, Joyce Renaud, Rick Sebby, Seidu Sofo, Raj Somarajan, Sven Svenson, Larry Underberg, Carol Veneziano, Haohao Wang, Victor Wilburn, alternates Al Hayward, Carl Pracht, and Diane Wood. Also attending were Provost Ronald Rosati, Vice-provost Fred Janzow and Student Government Liaison Daniel Schuenemeyer.

Absent and not represented by their alternates were Brandon Christensen and Kathy Smith.

Before beginning the business of the meeting, Chair Chamberlain introduced Dr. Ronald Rosati, the new Provost, to the Senate and asked everyone present to introduce themselves. She welcomed the new provost and extended the Senate's desire to work with him on University matters.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

There being no objection, the minutes of both December 9, 2009 (44.9) and the special executive session of December 11, 2009 (44.10) were approved as distributed.

CHAIR'S REPORT

Chair Chamberlain then reported to the Senate on the most recent of the meetings which she had attended. On January 12 she attended the Strategic Enrollment Management retreat, with four other faculty members and approximately 50 administrators and staff. Topics discussed included institutional strengths and weaknesses, opportunities, ways to build strong enrollment, diversity, academic programs, on-line learning, and community college / regional campuses. A follow-up meeting is scheduled for March 9.

On January 20 Chair Chamberlain and members of the Executive Committee met with President Dobbins, Provost Rosati, Vice-provost Janzow. Discussed were the Senate, some of its procedures and goals for the upcoming semester.

She further reported that she had attended Administrative Council on January 26. The current budget situation was a main focus of discussion. Kathy Mangels provided a list of eight committees charged with reviewing cuts to the budget; Chair Chamberlain distributed copies of the list, which is also posted on the president's budget webpage. She also stated that the fall enrollment figures appeared very good, based on the number of applications for admission that have been received, as well as applications for housing.

At this meeting the president discussed the 5-year calendar bill passed by the Senate in December. The President wants to eliminate Fall Break and add the two days normally allotted for that to the Thanksgiving Recess. A question was raised regarding the president's intent to return his recommendation to the Senate for further consideration. Chair Chamberlain reported that the president had asked Administrative Council for their thoughts and received a good deal of feedback; she also stated that the President said he would take the bill to Academic Council for additional feedback.

Provost Rosati told the Senate that he and the president had discussed this issue and that Academic Council had expressed support for the idea. He said that the opinions of both Administrative Council and Academic Council would be submitted to the Senate.

Daniel Schuenemeyer, Student Government Liaison, reported that Student Government has been polling students regarding this possible change and that many were strongly against the idea, not wanting such a lengthy disruption of study habits; others who travel a longer distance at Thanksgiving were in favor of the change.

Chair Chamberlain then reported that she had met with the Executive Committee and the chairs of the legislative committees on January 29 regarding the upcoming discussions on the issue of collegiality that will be held in the spring. She said the group would meet with the president and the provost on Friday, February 5, hopefully to finalize the process for the discussions.

Also on January 29 she met with the Program Review Committee. The committee has been instructed to review all programs on campus, not just those up for review in the current cycle. The committee was asked to make a recommendation on a particular program deemed weak and to recommend to the provost that the program be studied more closely for possible elimination. Chair Chamberlain expressed some concerns about the way this situation is being handled, including an announcement by former Provost Stephens at the December 17 Board of Regents meeting that a program had been identified for elimination.

Some discussion on this topic ensued, including questions as to whether or not this was a part of the previously mentioned 5 percent budget reduction, and if proper procedure as outlined in the Faculty Handbook had been followed.

Vice-provost Janzow stated that the impetus for the program's elimination came from the department itself, through a regular program review by the department and that it was not a part of the percentage cuts.

Provost Rosati added that he had received a letter from the Program Review Committee concerning the program. The president has asked for his recommendation; he has not yet made one. No decision to eliminate the program had been made.
Chair Chamberlain also reported that she had met with the Benefits Review Subcommittee on February 2, for a general meeting, outlining directions for reducing employee benefits. Health insurance will be the most heavily impacted, although no specifics were given. Another meeting will occur on February 11ᾰitems likely to be discussed include employee cost-sharing, cafeteria plan funding changes, medical plan design changes and a sliding scale medical plan premium.

She will be attending the MAFS meeting on February 8 – 9 in Jefferson City with Senator Cobb. They will be speaking with area legislators.

ADMINISTRATIVE LIAISON'S REPORT

Provost Rosati stated that he considers it a privilege to work with the Senate, and he looks forward to working with the Senate on all issues. He is a firm believer in shared governance and that the faculty is the heart and soul of the institution. He sees himself as a primary advocate for faculty on campus. He asked that faculty and administration talk as much as possible to help the university continue to grow and meet the needs of the students. He invited the faculty to stop at his office at any time.

He then reported on a Faculty Senate proposal to modify the professional development process. The proposal went to Deans Council on February 3; they will have a two-week period in which to review it and then their comments will be brought to the Senate.

Provost Rosati also stated that at the last Academic Council meeting two certificate programs in History were approved and are moving forward to the next step.

Senator Cobb inquired as to the origin of the professional development proposal; Chair Chamberlain responded that it had originally come from the Professional Affairs committee approximately a year ago. Senator MacLeay of Professional Affairs stated that the purpose of the change in wording was to bring the policy in line with current practices.

STUDENT GOVERNMENT LIAISON'S REPORT

Daniel Schuenemeyer, Student Government Liaison, reported that representatives from Student Government would be going to Jefferson City on a lobbying trip and the students were excited about the opportunity. He said that Student Government was co-sponsoring the production of “Carousel” at the River Campus. Some special elections will be held next week to fill vacancies that occurred due to graduation.

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE REPORTS

Academic AffairsᾰChair Dickson reported that the committee had met to review their fall goals and discuss objectives for spring. In addition to continuing discussion on the 5-year calendar, other items are inconsistencies in reporting attendance procedure, clarification regarding “F” versus “X” grades, lack of usage of instructor-initiated drops, and talking with Textbook Services about the use of electronic or alternate textbook resources. Also the committee hopes to revisit the intellectual property of on-line classes, to see if any concerns have been raised among faculty since the passage of the Senate's resolution in April 2009.

Professional AffairsᾰChair MacLeay reported that the committee had met and discussed goals for the spring, among them reviewing departmental promotion criteria, since some criteria are not following procedures set forth in the Handbook, and others have been approved that are in violation of the Handbook. The committee also talked about cooperating with new faculty orientation in presenting tenure and promotion policy, and looking at departmental and university policies on retrenchment. In addition they approved several recommendations for emeritus status.

GovernanceᾰChair Conway said the committee had not met.

CompensationᾰChair Sebby also reported the committee had not met, but did say that the committee was still pursuing inclusion of promotion/post-professorial merit money in the budget each year. He also stated that in June 2009 he and Chair Chamberlain met with Dr. Christina Frazier in an effort to obtain faculty salary data for a four- or five-year period. This data would be used to develop a profile of how faculty compensation has changed over the years. The data has still not been made available to the committee despite several subsequent follow-up contacts.

DocumentsᾰChair Renaud reported that the committee had met with Dr. Walt Lilly and Dr. Mohammed Ali regarding the proposed change to the GRFC guidelines to include hazardous materials/radiation. As a result of that meeting, Drs. Lilly and Ali discovered that there are other areas in which they want to make changes, and will report those to the committee within a few weeks' time. Also she said the committee would have edits to the Handbook to present to the Senate at its next meeting.

MembershipᾰChair Ward reported that there are still vacancies for alternates from the Art Department, Computer Science, Criminal Justice and Economics/Finance. Also she is working to get a representative from Kent Library for the Academic Affairs committee.

OLD BUSINESS

Chair Chamberlain distributed copies of the Summer Compensation resolution that the Senate passed in December, and a counter-proposal from President Dobbins. As she reported in an e-mail sent out in December, the president was not comfortable with the idea of an “opt-out” date; a later date for return of contracts as well as a different date by which to determine salary was negotiated. She stated the president's counter-proposal does retain the per capita plan with the 50 percent salary floor. She also said that the president requested the Senate discuss and vote on the proposed changes.

Discussion followed, clarifying certain terms used and the rationale behind items included in the Senate's recommendation. Questions were raised about the feasibility of making the contract return date even later, the end of April or beginning of May, as well as the possibility of entering into further negotiations with the president on the issue, in addition to the length of the term of the agreement itself. Vice-provost Janzow indicated that the longer the wait to return contracts, the more problems may ensue with payroll issues.

A motion was introduced to move the contract return date to one month/four weeks prior to the beginning of class (Somarajan/Naugler). In a voice vote, the motion failed.

Senator Wilburn then moved that the proposal from the president be accepted; Senator Dickson seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS

Senator Wood (alternate from Biology) expressed a concern with the way student contact hours are calculated, indicating a discrepancy between on-campus courses and those taught off-campus. There was also discussion on “windshield time” and how this is calculated for RNTTs.

Provost Rosati stated that there is a committee studying internships, practicums and clinical hours; however the committee had only received their charge from him that morning (February 3).

Considerable discussion followed, with Provost Rosati assuring the Senate that the issue will be explored, and that any recommendations from the committee would be brought to the Senate.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Business in the Executive Session was deferred to the next Senate meeting.

ADJOURNMENT

The Senate adjourned at 4:55 p.m. Motion to adjourn was made by Senator Hathaway and seconded by Senator Redmond.

The next Faculty Senate meeting will take place on February 17, 2010, at 3 pm in the UC Missouriana Room.

Approved February 17, 2010

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