Minutes - March 3, 2010
XLIV, No. 13
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE MEETING
March 3, 2010
The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met on March 3, 2010, in the UC Missouriana Room. Attending were Stephanie Chamberlain (Chair), Sophia Scott (Chair-elect), Janice Ward (Membership Chair), Rick Althaus, Julie Banks, David Briggs, Michael Cobb, Kathy Conway, Kevin Dickson, Bruce Hathaway, Elaine Jackson, Alan Journet, Don Jung, Daniel MacLeay, David Naugler, Walt Paquin, David Powell, Willie Redmond, Joyce Renaud, Rick Sebby, Seidu Sofo, Sven Svenson, Larry Underberg, Haohao Wang, alternates Debbie Beard and Jim Sifferman. Also in attendance were Provost Rosati, Vice-Provost Janzow and Student Government Liaison, Daniel Schuenemeyer.
Absent and not represented by their alternates were Phil Nacy, Kathy Smith, Carol Veneziano and Victor Wilburn.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
There being no objections raised, the minutes of February 17 (44.12) were approved as distributed.
Chair Chamberlain reported that she and the Executive Committee had met with President Dobbins and Provost Rosati on February 25, at which time the president informed them that he is suspending the collegiality discussions in order to concentrate on the budget. He has instructed the AQIP Steering Committee take over shared governance as an action project in the fall. She asked the Senate, based on discussions of the issue in the fall, if passing it off to a third party was satisfactory? Considerable discussion ensued, which included some clarification of the duties of the AQIP committee for those not familiar with its workings. Several senators voiced concerns that the issue would be buried or forgotten if not pursued at this point. Again, suggestions were made to bring in a neutral third party to help facilitate discussions, and the concerns of the expense of such an action were also brought forward. General consensus was that discussion among the faculty and between faculty and administration is vital. To that point a motion was made and seconded (Journet/Cobb) to ask the Governance Committee to negotiate with AAUP regarding the possibility of developing sessions that will move the discussion of shared governance forward, opening those discussions to anyone on campus, including faculty, staff, administration.
Chair Chamberlain then recognized Provost Rosati, who assured the Senate that the issue of shared governance is not being “shoved under the rug,” that it is receiving a good deal of attention. He reiterated that he is a strong proponent of shared governance. He also gave more clarification on the AQIP process, stating that a topic of focus that is a priority for the University has to be identified, and that there is a 3-year time frame to report to the University’s accrediting agency on how the topic will be addressed. A committee must be formed to address the topic; goals would need to be set and measurable outcomes determined. He acknowledged the concerns of senators, but indicated that he has not heard what the intended outcome of the shared governance discussion is.
Chair Chamberlain stated that she is a member of the AQIP Committee and that at a recent meeting where new projects were discussed, Provost Rosati suggested shared governance. Another member of the committee, Christina Frazier, stated that shared governance had been talked about in the past, but that that discussion had morphed into one focusing on communications. Senator Althaus clarified that the AQIP Steering Committee recommends projects to the President and that he decides what topics will be pursued; once the decision is made a working group is assigned to the project.
After additional discussion and a re-reading of the motion, a show-of-hands vote was taken; the motion passed.
Chair Chamberlain then continued her report of the February 25 meeting, saying she had also discussed the potential Management Information Systems program elimination in regard to procedural matters. She was told that the Board of Regents will make a final decision at their meeting on March 25. Chamberlain also discussed Professional Affairs’ examination of department retrenchment policies; she stated the President agreed this was an important issue and quoted him as saying “it was perhaps time to take the matter out of committee and turn it over to legal counsel.” Chair Chamberlain argued that this was indeed a Senate matter; that Senate procedures were being followedᾰhaving work done at committee level, having relevant parties come in to provide input, which could include legal counsel, and then bringing the issue to the full Senate. The President suggested that Chair Chamberlain was being “un-collegial.” An agreement was reached to join the Senate’s task force on social media policy with one by being developed by the Provost. Dr. David Starrett and Senator Althaus will be co-chairs; other members will be Randy Carter, Thomas Marrone, two Student Government representatives, Hamner Hill, Kevin Dickson, Don Jung, Matt Olsen and Senator MacLeay. The hope is to have a policy to present to the Senate and Administrative Council by the end of the semester. Chair Chamberlain noted that she had learned at Deans’ Council that morning that Bill Holland, Vice President of the Foundation has been pressuring the President to develop some guidelines as soon as possible so that social media may be used in University marketing. The President also briefly discussed the shootings at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, suggesting that perhaps student evaluations of instruction should be closely examined for signs of disturbed faculty members. The Senate Executive Committee assured the President that chairs receive copies of those evaluations every semester.
On February 23, Chair Chamberlain attended a Benefits Review Subcommittee meeting. She distributed a draft of their report. This report will be presented at the next Budget Review Committee meeting. The eight committees formed previously will conclude their presentations at scheduled meetings of the Budget Review Committee on March 4 and 5.
Chair Chamberlain also reported on the AQIP Committee meeting she attended last week. The committee discussed a schedule for the completion of the systems portfolio, which is due in 90 days, and brainstormed new AQIP projects. Suggested projects included shared governance, sustainability, research and scholarship and biology labs. AQIP meets next on March 11.
ADMINISTRATIVE LIAISON’S REPORT
Provost Rosati distributed several documents to the Senate and discussed each one briefly. A number of new degrees have been approved or are in the process of being approved, including a BS in Marketing, an option in Sales Management, and a Graduate Certificate policy has been proposed. Information was also presented about the academic performance of international students. A proposed process for identifying personnel needs if the Management Information Systems program is indeed eliminated were also presented, along with information about enrollment growth and its impact on the University Studies courses, data concerning contact versus credit hours as well as faculty workload data per concerns expressed at an earlier Senate meeting, program fee options, graduate program fees, information dealing with cutting scholarships, and the AQIP implementation schedule.
In addition, Provost Rosati reported that a task force to develop guidelines for group travel had been established. It will be chaired by Dr. Gerald McDougall; Senators Redmond and Paquin will also serve on it.
A question was raised about vacant faculty positions; Provost Rosati said there is no freeze on hiring faculty and that no new positions for cuts had been identified.
STUDENT GOVERNMENT LIAISON’S REPORT
Daniel Schuenemeyer, Student Government liaison, reported that Provost Rosati had spoken to Student Government and that there had been a discussion of the Humans vs. Zombies game. He also reported that Student Government is beta-testing a new web site and they are looking at changing the Homecoming Committee structure. In addition they had met with representatives from Information Technology about the student technology fee, had changed the structure of the Dr. R. Ferrell Ervin Excellence in Teaching Award and had also changed the Student Activities constitution.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE REPORTS
Academic AffairsᾰChair Dickson reported the committee had met with Verona Lambert and Darcy Rigdon from Student Financial Services regarding the reporting of student attendance. The new system is working very well; their office does not see the need for continuing the current practice of reporting for weeks 1, 2, 3, and 9 of each semester. Student Financial Services appreciates the prompt response of faculty, especially for the Federal reporting regulations. The committee has received a draft FAQ which will be posted on the textbook website; Textbook Services is open to any textbook supplements. The committee gave some feedback to the FAQ document and stressed the need to inform new faculty about textbook options. In addition the Social Media Guidelines were discussed in regard to classroom usage. Chair Dickson mentioned that at the last H1N1 committee meeting, representatives of DPS and Counseling Services mentioned concern due to the shooting at the University of Alabama and discussed possibly forming a committee to recommend a process to identify possible threats from faculty and/or staff.
Professional AffairsᾰChair MacLeay reported that the committee is still attempting to get retrenchment information from departments. The committee is also working on discussions regarding travel reimbursement policy with the Office of Extended Learning. He commended the Provost’s Office for supplying the committee with departmental retrenchment guidelines.
GovernanceᾰChair Conway reported that the committee is working on three issuesᾰshared governance, course cancellation policies for fall and spring semesters and the satisfaction survey.
CompensationᾰChair Sebby reported that the committee is discussing summer stipend issues dealing with reimbursement for faculty teaching off-campus during the summer.
DocumentsᾰChair Renaud reported that the committee has several edits to the Faculty Handbook, which are mostly typographical errors or changes in position titles. She asked that discussion of their item under New Business be moved to the next Senate meeting due to time constraints. She also asked that the Faculty Senate Administrative Assistant attend future Documents committee meetings.
MembershipᾰChair Ward had no report.
There was no old business to discuss
Chair Chamberlain recognized Senator Debbie Beard, alternate from Accounting/MIS, who expressed concerns about whether or not Faculty Handbook procedures for eliminating a program had been followed. A resolution concerning the elimination of the MIS program was distributed; a motion to discuss was made and seconded (MacLeay/ Sebby).
Senator Cobb stated that there are really two issuesᾰthe procedures used in the possible MIS program elimination and the identification of which faculty member to let go. One of the contentions in the MIS case is that Faculty Handbook procedures were not followed. It was not department-initiated, which is what senators were told by several administrators. He added that the introduced resolution simply asks that the decision about terminating the MIS program be delayed until the grievance process is complete.
Chair Chamberlain recognized Senator Debbie Beard, who stated she did not believe that the process was being followed. She explained that her department (Accounting/MIS) received an e-mail message on a Friday afternoon in early December, stating that the MIS program was being discontinued.
Senator Paquin asked about the timeline handout that had been distributed. Chair Chamberlain replied that she had been asked to put it together. She had attended many of the meetings referenced in the handout; other information came from MIS. Senators are asked to take the resolution back to their departments and return with comments at the next Senate meeting on March 24.
Senator Dickson asked that the portion of the Handbook dealing with program elimination be sent electronically to all Senators.
Senator Beard asked that it be made very clear that the discontinuance of the MIS program was not recommended by the department nor its chair. She said members of the MIS department met with the Dean and shortly afterward the notification came by e-mail that he would recommend the program’s elimination.
Chair Chamberlain then moved discussion to the Faculty Development Bill. Senator MacLeay reported that its intention is to bring the College Level Development Policy in line with current practices. Colleges would determine their own procedures for awarding funds. Current Faculty Handbook procedure has not been followed by a number of colleges for a number of years. He asked that Senators take it to their departments for comment. The bill will be voted on at the next meeting.
Senator MacLeay also discussed the results of Professional Affairs’ review of all departmental promotion and tenure criteria. The committee is concerned that certain departmental criteria are not complying with Handbook policy on the use and reporting of SEI data. He distributed a handout that identifies departments with problem language regarding the reporting of SEI data in tenure and promotion papers. He did acknowledge that the approval process is very long and complicated, but suggested that changes could be fast-tracked. He asked for authorization for the committee to communicate its observations to the pertinent entities in hopes of expediting the process. He also asked Senators to take these concerns to their departments and return with comments. The authorization will be discussed at the next Senate meeting.
Due to the late hour, the Executive Session was deferred until the next Senate meeting on March 24.
The meeting adjourned after a motion by Senator Jung and seconded by Senator Renaud.
The next Faculty Senate meeting will be March 24, 2010, at 3:00 p.m. in the UC Missouriana Room.
Approved March 24, 2010