Minutes - March 24, 2010
XLIV, No. 14
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE MEETING
March 24, 2010
The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met on March 24, 2010, in the UC Missouriana Room. Present were: Stephanie Chamberlain (Chair), Sophia Scott (Chair-elect), Janice Ward (Membership Chair), Rick Althaus, Julie Banks, David Briggs, Mike Cobb, Kathy Conway, Kevin Dickson, Bruce Hathaway, Alan Journet, Don Jung, Daniel MacLeay, Phil Nacy, David Naugler, Walt Paquin, David Powell, Willie Redmond, Joyce Renaud, Rick Sebby, Raj Somarajan, Sven Svenson, Larry Underberg, Carol Veneziano, Haohao Wang, Victor Wilburn, alternates Jim Sifferman and Daniel Beard. Also attending were Provost Rosati and Student Government Liaison Daniel Schuenemeyer. Dr. Sean Eom attended as a guest.
Absent and not represented by their alternates were Elaine Jackson and Kathy Smith.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
After a minor amendment, the minutes of March 3 (44.13) were approved as per the final distribution.
Chair Chamberlain reported that she had met with the Budget Review committee on March 4, March 5 and March 12. On March 4 and 5, the remaining subcommittees concluded their reports. Attendees also received an update on the Missouri economy. The committee reports were summarized on March 12; suggestions and comments from the open forums were presented. The committees were instructed to examine the suggestions made at the forums; final recommendations will be presented to the Board of Regents on May 14.
Chair Chamberlain then reported that she had attended the Strategic Management Enrollment Retreat follow-up on March 9. The University is experiencing record growth, both on and off campus, and students’ ACT scores are higher than in previous years. At the March 9 meeting plans were announced to use Degree Works for enrollment “mapping”; students would enroll in two semesters of courses at one time (fall/spring).
The Strategic Enrollment Management follow-up was combined with a meeting of Administrative Council, and attendees listened to a presentation on the Humans versus Zombies game. AQIP action projects were also discussed. Bill Weary will be on campus meeting with different groups including the Board of Regents. She reminded the Senate of the open session of the Board meeting on March 25 and urged them to attend.
In addition, Chair Chamberlain reported on the meeting between the Senate’s Executive Committee and the Provost on March 9. The Provost suggested that the Senate might want to consider incorporating the Governance Committee’s faculty satisfaction questions into a future HERI survey. Also discussed was the 2003 Board motion being used in the MIS program elimination. He would like the Senate to develop a bill incorporating the motion into the Faculty Handbook. Copies of the Board motion were distributed to the Senate.
On March 11, Chair Chamberlain attended the AQIP Steering committee meeting, at which the three current projects were discussedᾰcommunication, math lab and emergency response. Final reports on those projects are due May 11. Future projects were also discussed, including shared governance. Open forums will be held so that all groups on campus can offer suggestions for future projects.
Also on March 11, Chair Chamberlain attended the Program Review committee meeting; Program Review recommendations to the Provost were distributed electronically to Senators.
Next, Chair Chamberlain reported on her attendance at the Administrative Council meeting on March 23. President Dobbins announced formation of a committee to govern the Humans vs. Zombies game and outlined rules that are to be followed by participants. The Council voted to disallow the use of Nerf-like guns as part of the game. Only “sock-throwing” will be allowed.
Also at the Administrative Council meeting, proposed changes in procedures for workplace safety were distributed; Chair Chamberlain handed these out to the Senate. Changes were identified by bold type-face, including a definition of “imitation of a weapon.” She asked that Senators discuss this with their constituents and bring feedback to the next Senate meeting on April 7.
Chair Chamberlain also reported that the SEI Bill and the five-year calendar will be presented to the Board of Regents on March 25.
She reported that the Executive Committee had met on March 23 with the President and the Provost; Chair Chamberlain discussed the Senate’s plans to engage in shared governance talks this semester and the plan to bring a representative from AAUP to campus. She reported that the President was disappointed that any discussion of shared governance would not be postponed until fall. She reiterated the need to educate people as to what shared governance is, so that everyone has a correct understanding of what it is. She has invited the administration to be a part of the talks.
Also at the meeting on March 23, Chair Chamberlain reported that President Dobbins wants to work more closely with the Senate to achieve goals. He suggested using a similar model to what he does with Student Governmentᾰmeeting with them at the beginning of the academic year to discuss goals and then assigns a vice president to them to achieve those goals.
ADMINISTRATIVE LIAISON’S REPORT
Provost Rosati told the Senate that in addition to health care reform, the bill recently passed by the US House of Representatives also included major education legislation. Changes have been made in fundingᾰ $36 million has been added to the Pell Grant program. He also talked about the Group Travel Guidelines proposal that is being prepared by an ad hoc committee. This committee includes two senatorsᾰSenator Walt Paquin and Senator Willie Redmond. There will be a moratorium on travel this summer until the guidelines are passed. Prompt feedback is needed on the proposal.
In addition he reported on his trip to Washington DC with the CSIS group. Three Senators also attendedᾰSenator Scott, Senator Redmond and Senator Dickson. Provost Rosati commended the students on their performance.
He told the Senate that the University has recently received two special appropriations from the federal government--$500 thousand for computer and technology upgrades and $700 thousand from US Senator Kit Bond for a forensics/chemistry lab.
Provost Rosati stated that perhaps the most important information from the session with Paul Wagner on the Missouri budget was that there could be a 20% reduction in state appropriations for the University, approximately $9 million. The University is possibly facing another large budget cut.
Provost Rosati next spoke about the MIS program elimination. He handed out additional information about the process that led to the recommendation of the program’s elimination. The 2003 Board motion established the program review process during a time of financial crisis, but has since become a permanent process. Also included in the handout was the charge of the Program Review Committee, data sets to be considered, and the process to be followed. The Board motion from December 2009 was also included, which mentioned the formation of committees to look at cost-saving measures. The data developed from the committees would then look at variables such as the productivity and viability of all programs. Data for a three year period is being used in program analysis. He reported that the data shows that more than 70 % of Southeast’s programs exceed the national norms and that costs are generally below national norms.
Included in the packet was a report from the MIS department. Provost Rosati directed senators’ attention to comments from the department chair and the dean that question the viability of the program. Based on those documents and the statement from the Program Review Committee, Provost Rosati recommended to President Dobbins that the MIS program be eliminated. President Dobbins will present a motion to that effect to the Board of Regents on March 25.
Senator Wilburn asked if there are benchmark numbers regarding enrollment and other signs of program viability of which departments should be aware. Provost Rosati replied that this idea was one that should be investigated. Senator Redmond expressed concern about using such benchmark numbers.
Senator Dickson said that each department puts forth numbers to Program Review, targets and goals intended to guide and direct discussion.
Senator MacLeay voiced a concern about the 2003 Board motion in regard to its apparent conflict with policy in the Faculty Handbook. He stated that members of Professional Affairs indicated that no faculty member had seen the Board’s motion until very recently, and that they were quite uneasy about it.
Provost Rosati said that if the Senate had not been made aware of the 2003 motion, they should have been. He suggested dealing with the inconsistencies by developing a bill to address them, taking that bill to the President, who would then take it to the Board.
Concerns were raised about the lack of protection of faculty under the 2003 Board motion and that all faculty seems to be lumped together, with no distinctions between tenured, non-tenured or RNTT, and no specific outline of how terminations of faculty will be determined.
Provost Rosati replied that his suggestion would be to develop a document that addresses the inconsistencies and take it to the Board.
After some discussion about the motion and the willingness of the Senate to work on a compromise, Provost Rosati stated that the program review process did not deal with faculty retention; that is the concern of tenure policy and what is in the Faculty Handbook. He also said that there was no step-by-step procedure in the Faculty Handbook and one was developed after looking at the Handbook. Tenured faculty will be protected over non-tenured or RNTTs.
After considerable discussion, Chair Chamberlain asked that the Senate consider a motion made by Senator Redmond and seconded by Senator Dickson to request that Professional Affairs write a revision to the Faculty Handbook policy on program review, program elimination and faculty termination. The motion passed by a voice vote.
STUDENT GOVERNMENT LIAISON’S REPORT
Daniel Schuenemeyer, Student Government Liaison, reported that Student Government had had a lengthy discussion on the Social Media Guidelines. The election process for next year’s representatives has started and they are working on several funding issues.
Academic AffairsᾰChair Dickson reported that the committee had met with Registrar Sandy Hinkle. The committee is attempting to determine who uses the data collected during the attendance reporting process, since representatives from Student Financial Services and the Registrar’s Office do not. The committee will ask Institutional Research and auditors if they might need the data generated. A new e-mail system sends notices to faculty only if a student who receives Federal aid drops a course.
Professional AffairsᾰChair MacLeay reported that the committee is continuing its work on tenure and promotion issues. Senator Althaus reported that he had attended two meetings of the Social Media Guidelines task force. An open forum will be held on March 31; there will be a faculty panel there to discuss use of social media for instructional purposes. In general, the task force will recommend guidelines rather than policy; the guidelines will likely refer to existing policies. A first draft is expected by April 7 and will be brought to the Senate; a final version is scheduled to be presented to Administrative Council on April 27. Senator Journet reported on comments from the Chairpersons Forum regarding the SEI bill and departmental tenure and promotion criteria. He noted that here was concern among the Chairs that any criteria revisions should be fast-tracked to avoid the inordinate delays that had occurred in the past.
GovernanceᾰChair Conway reported the committee is still working on three issues. Additional information has been received in regard to the course cancellation policy, which the committee needs to review. They have reduced some of the areas in the satisfaction survey and are asking for information on what is currently done. Outcomes have been confirmed for the shared governance discussions, including a better understanding of what shared governance is, practices of other institutions, and strengths and shortcomings of Southeast.
CompensationᾰChair Sebby reported that he had made an informal request to the Provost for salary data and would follow that up with a formal request.
DocumentsᾰChair Renaud reported that the edits for the Handbook would be discussed under New Business.
MembershipᾰChair Ward reported that there are nine Senators whose terms are ending and three that are retiring; those vacancies will need to be filled. So far she had received four responses regarding the possibility of running for re-election. She asked how she should proceed with notification of elections; it was determined that using the ListServ would be most efficient. Elections must be completed by April 30.
Chair Chamberlain opened discussion on the resolution for delay of the decision on the MIS program elimination presented at the last Senate meeting. Senator Cobb moved that the Senate approve the resolution; Senator MacLeay seconded. Considerable discussion about the wording of the resolution ensued. At the end of that discussion, Senator Conway moved to approve the revised motion and Senator Sebby seconded; it passed by a voice vote. The vote to approve the resolution itself was passed by show-of-hands.
Chair Chamberlain then directed discussion to the Faculty Development bill. Senator Althaus reminded the Senate that the intent of the bill was to bring existing practices into compliance with the Handbook; he also said the Deans Council and the Provost had favorably responded to it. Senator Althaus moved to adopt; Senator Journet seconded. The motion passed via voice vote.
The Tenure and Promotion Policy revisions were discussed next. Senator MacLeay reiterated that the changes pertained only to SEI in relation to teaching effectiveness. He requested that Professional Affairs be granted the authority to follow up with departments, department committees, University Tenure/Promotion committee and the Provost about these changes. Professional Affairs plans to contact by letter the departments and the chairs and deans involved regarding the changes. Senator Conway moved to grant the authorization request; Senator Cobb seconded. The motion passed by voice vote.
Chair Chamberlain distributed a resolution from the English Department on salary reductions for administrators, faculty and staff, in response to the budget crisis. The proposal was a sliding schedule based on annual salary; percentages of cuts ranged from 3% to 0.5%. Chair Chamberlain asked Senators to take the proposal to their departments for discussion; Senator Hathaway asked if there was a figure available on how much would be saved by implementing the proposal. Chair Chamberlain said she did not know but believed a figure could be obtained. A request was made for an electronic version of the proposal.
Chair Chamberlain asked Senator Renaud if the Faculty Handbook edits might be deferred to the next Senate meeting due to time constraints; Senator Renaud agreed.
Chair Chamberlain then recognized Senator Powell, who distributed information about an issue that had arisen in the College of Education regarding faculty serving on tenure and promotion committees. He reported on actions of the Dean of the College of Education in regard to those committees. He also reported that another election was scheduled for March 25, in apparent violation of timelines established for such matters.
Provost Rosati replied that his understanding was that committees had not been formed according to the procedures in the Faculty Handbook; the question then became whether to follow Handbook procedures on the formation of committees or violate the timeline. The provost decided that the violation of the timeline was the lesser offense.
Chair Chamberlain asked that the issue be brought up at the next Senate meeting on April 7 for further discussion.
The meeting adjourned at 5:18 p.m. per a motion by Senator Jung and a second by Senator Scott.
The next Faculty Senate meeting will be April 7, at 3 p.m. in the UC Missouriana Room.
Approved April 7, 2010