Minutes - February 17, 2010
XLIV, No. 12
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE MEETING
February 17, 2010
The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met on February 17, 2010, in the UC Missouriana Room. Attending were: Stephanie Chamberlain (Chair), Sophia Scott (Chair-elect), Janice Ward (Membership Chair), Rick Althaus, Michael Cobb, Kathy Conway, Kevin Dickson, Bruce Hathaway, Elaine Jackson, Alan Journet, Don Jung, Daniel MacLeay, Phil Nacy, David Naugler, Walt Paquin, Willie Redmond, Joyce Renaud, Rick Sebby, Kathy Smith, Raj Somarajan, Sven Svenson, Larry Underberg, Carol Veneziano, Haohao Wang, Victor Wilburn, and alternates Carl Pracht and Jim Sifferman. Also present were Provost Rosati, Vice-Provost Janzow and Student Government Liaison Daniel Schuenemeyer.
Absent and not represented by their alternates were David Briggs, David Powell and Seidu Sofo.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
There being no objections raised, the minutes from February 3 (44.11) were approved as distributed.
Chair Chamberlain reported that the Executive Committee and the Legislative Committee Chairs met with President Dobbins, Provost Rosati and Vice-Provost Janzow on February 5 to discuss a process for the upcoming collegiality meetings this spring. It was agreed that a neutral facilitator be hired and President Dobbins suggested Bill Weary of Fieldstone Consulting, who was involved in strategic planning on campus. The members of the Senate recommended the AAUP; Provost Rosati suggested Silver Consulting, a firm he had used successfully in his previous position. The provost was asked to contact Silver Consulting and request a proposal from them. Chair Chamberlain distributed some information about Silver Consulting. The week of March 22 was tentatively selected for the meetings. This date has since been moved back to April 5 and 6 due to the Passover. Chair Chamberlain learned at the Deans Council meeting that a proposal has since been received by the university and is being reviewed.
Provost Rosati added that the proposal was received a few days ago and was a bit more than the university was hoping for, with an approximate cost of $20 thousand. Mr. Silver proposes a minimum of three trips to the campusᾰone prior to the session, the session itself and a follow-up session six months later. Provost Rosati stated that before the university responds to the proposal, alternatives would be explored to cut down the cost.
Chair Chamberlain then reported on the meeting between the Provost and the Executive Committee that occurred on February 10. Among items discussed were the Silver Consulting proposal and the SEI bill that the Senate passed in December. She indicated that the Provost had had some questions about the wording of the bill. Also briefly discussed were the Program Review Committee, and the Social Media Policy, which was distributed electronically to the Senate prior to the meeting.
Chair Chamberlain also stated that she had attended a Benefits Review Subcommittee meeting on February 11, at which they continued their previous discussion of ways to reduce benefits costs on campus. Different insurance options were suggested, including negotiating with Blue Cross/ Blue Shield for a better rate, especially since the university has low utilization rates at present. Another possibility mentioned was requiring faculty and staff members to go to selected providers for certain procedures, e.g., going to St. Louis for hip/knee replacements or other orthopedic care. These providers would be selected because of better outcomes (lower infection rates) and lower costs.
On February 12, Chair Chamberlain met with the Program Review Committee, which has been given a revised charge by the provost. The committee looked at a list of things that should be considered as they review all the programs on campus. Procedures were discussed as to how the committee will accomplish all the reviews. It was decided to attempt to do half the reviews this semester and the rest in the fall. Two marathon sessions have been scheduled on March 11 and April 15 from 5 to 9 pm.
Chair Chamberlain then said she had met with Deans Council the morning of February 17 and had informed them about the Senate’s passage of the summer compensation proposal, the upcoming collegiality meetings and the proposal to hire Silver Consulting, as well as the Senate’s pending discussion of the Social Media Policy.
She also reported that she and Senator Cobb had attended the MAFS meeting in Jefferson City on February 8 – 9, where Assistant Commissioner Tim Galimore addressed the dinner session. He spoke about the need for faculty to be vigilant about protecting social values, academic freedom and shared governance, and holding onto quality. In addition Dr. Galimore spoke about possible changes in allocations of A+ monies, and marketing Missouri universities to international students.
On February 9, she and Senator Cobb met with MNEA representative Otto Fagin, who discussed a Fair Tax Proposal being circulated. This proposal would repeal individual and corporate income tax which would result in increased sales taxes, including goods and services not taxed at present. Also mentioned was the state mandate that 25% of general revenue must be allocated to K – 12 education. In addition they met with COPHE representative Brian Long who told them revenues are down 12% from last year. Long urged promotion of the importance of the university not only as a means of education, but as a means of economic support for communities. He suggested that universities should be promoting the question, what kind of economic impact would the closure of a university have on the local communities that it serves, given that the university is a major employer?
Chair Chamberlain then distributed a letter from Commissioner Robert Stein, which has been in circulation around the state, in which he discusses some rather dire options that might be considered in light of the current economic situation. She also indicated that she and Senator Cobb had met with Senator Jason Crowell, Senator Jane Cunningham, and Representative Clint Tracy during their visit to Jefferson City.
Senator Cobb reported that they had also discussed the $800 million bond for capital improvement; this bond would require a public vote. Various institutions would be getting portions of the bondᾰSoutheast has requested $39 million for a new science building and for renovations of Magill and Academic Hall.
ADMINISTRATIVE LIAISON’S REPORT
Provost Rosati reported that he has made a recommendation to the President to discontinue the Management Information Systems (MIS) program, and that this information has been shared with the faculty and students in the program. The President will make a similar recommendation to the Board of Regents in March; if a directive to discontinue the program comes from the Board then the procedure outlined in the Faculty Handbook for such contingencies will be followed. The Provost stressed that this is not due to a financial emergency, but rather due to data and recommendations from the department itself. He stated that hopefully junior and senior students in the program will be given the opportunity to complete the program; any freshman or sophomore student will be directed to other programs. In response to a question, he further stated that input had been received from the Program Review Committee regarding this program, but that the committee had not specifically recommended discontinuing the program.
The Provost then reported on the community college partnership with Three Rivers. Southeast is moving forward with their portion of the partnership. He distributed a list of courses that will be offered, showing those that will be taught by Southeast faculty and those by Three Rivers faculty. Each institution is responsible for 22 courses. Many unknowns still remain, including the hiring of staff, advertising, leasing a location and deciding upon a name. Tuition has been set at $125/credit hour. He stated that many important questions as to logistics still remain to be answered, including finding qualified faculty and student matriculation between the two institutions.
In addition, the Provost informed the Senate that there will be a multi-site accreditation visit, tentatively set for April 15 -16 at Malden, Sikeston and Kennett. He also reported that the university is being audited by the state later this semester. He stated that the Deans Council had discussed the Faculty Development proposal being developed by the Professional Affairs Committee and were in favor of it; this proposal is being reworked into bill form by Professional Affairs and will be brought before the Senate at a later date.
The Provost then asked for input from the Senate regarding the hiring of a facilitator for the collegiality meetings. He suggested the Senate might want to consider Bill Weary as a consultant, who is willing to give the university a better deal because he is planning to come to campus in late March as part of a review of Strategic Planning. Chair Chamberlain re-iterated her concern that many would not consider Weary a neutral facilitator given his prior work for the Board of Regents. She suggested that the AAUP be considered if cost is a factor. Provost Rosati suggested that the Senate might want to interview several consultants via conference call. Senator Journet stated his belief that this would not be effective, given noise levels in the room. Chair Chamberlain expressed concern that interviewing consultants would slow down the process. A suggestion was made that the Provost attempt to negotiate a better deal with Silver Consulting. One senator requested that the Senate be allowed to review proposals from Silver Consulting and Fieldstone Consulting. After some discussion, a motion was made and seconded (Underberg/Cobb) for senators to look at proposals and biographical information from the two consultants and make a recommendation. The motion passed unanimously in a voice vote. The Provost agreed to this and said he would send the proposals to Chair Chamberlain for distribution.
STUDENT GOVERNMENT LIAISON’S REPORT
Daniel Schuenemeyer, Student Government Liaison, reported that Student Government had formed a scholarship committee and passed a resolution to form a committee to look into the SG budget. There is a possibility that Student Government will take over the cost of having the student planners printed. A guest speaker had spoken to SG about the Show-Me Sellout basketball game. SG also had more discussion on the 5-year academic calendar, the majority of students being in favor of the calendar staying as it is at present. There had been some discussion of moving Fall Break to a Monday-Tuesday schedule rather than the current Thursday-Friday set-up.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE REPORTS
Academic AffairsᾰChair Dickson reported that the committee discussed the SEI bill briefly, as well as the 5-year calendar. Also they discussed the intellectual on-line property issue; none of the committee members was aware of any problems in that area. The committee also talked about Textbook Services about other options available to instructors. Textbook Services would like to educate faculty on other available options.
Senator Hathaway added that the staff of Textbook Services has been very helpful and eager to help faculty and students. He stated that on the textbook request form that department chairs receive there is a place to ask for “extras.” Information will be put together regarding this and the Academic Affairs Committee will discuss how to best distribute the information to the faculty.
Professional AffairsᾰChair MacLeay reported that his committee had also had a brief discussion about the SEI bill; Dr. Dobbins will take it to the Board of Regents in March. Chair MacLeay added that the committee has been working to identify sections of departmental criteria dealing with tenure or promotion policies that need to be revised. Some departments are in compliance; others need to make minor revisions while still others should revise completely. Also the committee is beginning discussion on the retrenchment policies of various departments and is gathering information; Chair MacLeay asked senators to send him what retrenchment policies they may be able to find.
GovernanceᾰChair Conway reported that the committee has reviewed the issue of Shared Governance and is pleased with the progress by the administration and Senate representatives in setting up sessions to move forward on this. The committee discussed engaging all faculty in the discussion and feel that efforts should be made to include as many as possible. The committee identified two issues to examine in the current semester: course cancellation policy for fall and spring semesters (who is involved in the decision?) and a satisfaction survey. In the 2008-2009 session it was suggested that the committee develop an annual survey to measure the faculty satisfaction with support departments (Facilities Management, IT, CSTL, DPS, Bookstore, Textbook Services, Printing/Duplicating, Marketing/University Relations, Library and Human Resources.) The committee will contact these units to determine their current practices and also to ask if they wish to contribute questions for the survey.
CompensationᾰChair Sebby reported that the committee is still pursuing a means by which to obtain faculty salary data. In addition they are looking at current policies for the payment of stipends and travel expenses as well as faculty load and contact hours, in response to concerns raised at the Senate meeting on February 3.
DocumentsᾰChair Renaud reported that the committee has not met since the February 3 Senate meeting.
MembershipᾰChair Ward also reported that this committee has not met.
There was no old business to discuss.
Chair Chamberlain opened the discussion regarding the Social Media Policy, indicating that it had been distributed first at Administrative Council on February 9. A motion to discuss the guidelines was made (Journet/Redmond). Provost Rosati stated that the origin of the document was Marketing/University Relations and added that while it was well-intentioned, it needed to address several issues. He also stated that the Deans Council expressed concerns about the guidelines before it was presented to Administrative Council. Discussion was lively and lengthy; the Senate concluded that a task force should be formed to study and make recommendations regarding the use of social media by faculty members. This task force should be made up of representatives from the Professional Affairs and Academic Affairs Committees. It should also include a dean, a department chair, other university faculty and staff members and a student.
A motion to form such a task force was made by Senator Paquin and seconded by Senator Sebby. The motion passed by a voice vote with one dissenting senator. The Senate also charged Chair Chamberlain with communicating to the President and the Administrative Council that they delay any decision regarding a Social Media Policy until the Senate has had an opportunity to study the issue and make recommendations.
The Senate moved to Executive Session.
The Senate unanimously voted to recommend emeritus status for Edmund Buis, Daniel A. MacLeay, Michael F. Brown, and William W. Ellis (Senator Journet moved; Senator Dickson seconded).
The Senate adjourned at 4:55 p.m. Senator Scott moved; Senator Redmond seconded.
The next Faculty Senate meeting will be on March 3, 2010, at 3:00 p.m. in the University Center Missouriana Room.
Approved March 3, 2010