Southeast Missouri State University

Minutes - April 23, 2008

XLII, No. 18


April 23, 2008

The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met on Wednesday, April 23, 2008, in the Crisp Auditorium. The following Senators were present: Martha Zlokovich (Chair), Mary Elizabeth Ambery (Chair-Elect), Rachel Theall (Alternate), Rick Althaus, Julie Banks, David Briggs, Stephanie Chamberlain, Michael Cobb, Kathy Conway, Larry Bohannon (Alternate), Kim Dillivan, Marc Fulgham, Priscilla Hornby, Elaine Jackson, Daniel MacLeay, Jayanti Ray, Willie Redmond, Albie Sautter, Sophia Scott, David Smith, Seidu Sofo, Marc Strauss, Alan Journet (Alternate), Larry Underberg, Carol Veneziano, Haohao Wang, Janice Ward, Debbie Beard (Alternate), and Xuesong Zhang. President Dobbins and Provost Stephens were also in attendance.

Absent and not represented by an alternate was Benjie Heu.


Chair Zlokovich indicated the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Faculty Merit Pay Policy and the Faculty Tenure and Promotion Policy. She turned the floor over to Senator Althaus, Chair of Professional Affairs, to discuss the Faculty Merit Pay Policy. Senator Althaus reviewed the revisions that were made to the Faculty Merit Pay Policy. The Senate held discussion.

President Dobbins thanked the Professional Affairs Committee and the Faculty Senate for a quality job on the bills. He indicated that the bills had come a long way and administration wants to work with Faculty Senate to get the bills to the Board in June so that they can be effective in the fall semester. He and the Provost talked about their concerns with the bill. The President made reference to the memo (attached) written by Senator Althaus describing the changes made to the Promotion and Tenure Policy. Discussion of each point in the letter and topics of concern were addressed.

The President asked that the Faculty Senate consider the issues brought up by him and the Provost. He recommended empowering the Faculty Senate Executive Committee to speak on behalf of the Faculty Senate since the academic year is coming to a close. The President and the Provost dismissed themselves to allow discussion by the Faculty Senate.

Senator Althaus led the discussion covering the concerns brought up by the President and the Provost. Senator Althaus indicated he would make the appropriate revisions to the bill to convey the desires of the Faculty Senate. The bill will be distributed electronically to the Faculty Senate for approval once completed.

It was moved and seconded that the current handbook promotion and merit policy be extended for one year should no other bill or bills to replace it be passed by April 30, 2008. No vote was taken on the motion, pending the outcome of the April 30 meeting.

A motion was made (Zlokovich, Ambery) to change the non-tenure track raise in the Merit Pay Policy bill to $1500. The motion passed unanimously.


The motion to adjourn (Scott/Ambery) was recognized and approved at 5:26 p.m.

The next Faculty Senate Meeting will be April 30, 2008, in the University Center Party Room at 3:00 PM.

Approved May 7, 2008

Senate's Actions on 4/16/08 Regarding
Issues Raised in Meeting with the President 4/15/08

Rick Althaus

These are the points the President brought up in Tuesday's meeting, along with the Senate's actions on them. (Page references are to the copy of the bill that was passed on the 16th.)

1) Page 5, line 33: The question about why “salary” is to be reported. The President said that as soon as the Board approves a salary, it becomes a matter of public record. For that reason, Senate left it in. The bill only requires an “annual” report, not a report on a particular date. Therefore, the Provost may report these matters (including salary) after the relevant Board action.

2) Page 6, section numbered “2”: This is the second option for Post-Prof. The President said that the Deans (some deans?) had problems with this. He suggested that part of this language could be included under the “contract” option (#3) as an “e.g.” The Senate decided to leave it in as a separate option, thereby giving a faculty member two known, defined options, in addition to the “contract” option available under “3.” The Senate agreed to the President's request that the Provost be included in the approval process for the contract option.

3) Page 6, lines 39-41 (and Page 9, lines 31-32). This is the “sound statistical principles” language. The Senate decided to leave the language in the bill, but members of the Senate expressed again their intent to work with CSTL to achieve this objective, perhaps through modifications to their “best practices.” A suggestion was made about a task force of those with expertise in statistics being convened to work on the matter.

4) Pages 7 and 8: There were questions about the numbering of some of the sections. Those were cleared up. The Senate agreed to the President's suggestion that “may” be changed to “will” in both places where a set of criteria languish past the deadline. That language now reads: “...the department chairperson will contact the Provost for resolution.” The Senate also agreed to the President's suggestion that the University Committee copy the Dean when returning a set of criteria to a department (Page 8, lines 13-15).

5) Under “Faculty Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committees,” (p. 11, lines, 37-39), the President suggested having the committee wait until the end of its workload to consider the dossier of committee member who is also applying, and having that person leave the room. The Senate decided that committees have already been dealing with these situations in previous years, and that additional guidance in the bill is probably not necessary.

6) Page 12, line 37: There was a superfluous “to” following the numeral 2. It has been deleted.

7) Page 13, the third paragraph under “Evaluation of Probationary Faculty Members”: The President suggested having a “third or fourth year” review instead of a third year review. He also said that it would be OK to permit a faculty member to go up in the 5th year, if he or she chose, even if he or she had gone through only a fourth year review. The Senate agreed to that suggestion, and decided to clarify by adding a process by which the faculty member is notified of the option to make a choice. That language was added at the bottom of page 13 and the top of page 14.

8) The third or fourth year review is also mentioned on page 14, the final paragraph before “Procedures.”

9) Page 14, first paragraph under “Procedures”: There was a question raised about whether it was clear enough that the withdrawal of a dossier would only be during the promotion or post-professorial merit process and not during the promotion and tenure process. Language has been inserted to clarify that point.

10) The President raised the issue of the mandatory sitting out a year for the faculty member who unsuccessfully applies for Post-Prof. The Senate decided not to add such a provision to the bill. There was a general consensus that the applications for post-professorial merit would most likely become more evenly spread over time, and that the workload of the committees and others would probably not be as great as in the first year of the program. There was also an agreement that there would probably be very few frivolous applications.

11) Page 16, lines 6-8: The President suggests having this read “...two consecutive negative recommendations after it leaves the department.” The Senate decided that doing so would mean a loss of the built-in “appeals” process whereby a dossier may be reviewed at the next higher level. After much discussion, the Senate felt that the impact of this version of the bill is very close to the impact of what is said in the current Handbook policy.

12) The “Final Review” calendar on pp. 16 and 17: The President made a reference to the lawyers being concerned about the “itemizing, point-by-point, how the faculty member meets or fails to meet...” language. He suggested something like “explaining how he or she meets or fails to meet...” The Senate agreed to replace the language in question with language from the current Handbook policy. In every place in the promotion calendar where “itemizing, point-by-point, how the faculty member meets or fails to meet...” appeared, the relevant language now reads, “specifically stating the reasons why the faculty member meets or fails to meet...”

13) The “Final Review” calendar on pp. 16 and 17: The President requested that a copy of the faculty member's response letter also be sent to the committee or individual whose recommendation is being responded to. The Senate agreed to that, and appropriate language has been added on pages 16-18.

He also suggested clarifying that the letters of response NOT be used to include additional information to the dossier. The Senate agreed to that principle, and the new language appears on Page 16, lines 14 through 17.

14) The makeup of the University Committee (pages 12 and 13): The President still favors term limits for the faculty members of the committee. He suggested a maximum of eight consecutive years. He also wants the (non-voting) Dean of Graduate Studies to be on the Committee. After significant discussion, a “straw vote” of the Senate was held indicating a large majority of the Senate wished for the bill to remain as it is on both points.

15) In a separate point not raised by the President, a motion was made and approved by a large majority to increase the amounts in each cell of the table on Page 18 by $1,000.

Finally, with the above matters agreed to, the Senate approved (with one negative vote) the revised bill for submission to the President.