Minutes - August 29, 2007
XLII, No. 3
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE MEETING
August 29, 2007
The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met on Wednesday, August 29, 2007, in the Missouriana Room of the University Center. The following Senators were present: Martha Zlokovich (Chair), Mary Elizabeth Ambery (Chair-Elect), Jim McGill (Membership Committee Chair), Rick Althaus, Stephanie Chamberlain, David Briggs, Michael Cobb, Kim Dillivan, Marc Fulgham, Benjie Heu, Priscilla Hornby, Elaine Jackson, Michelle Dubaj (Alternate), Daniel MacLeay, Jayanti Ray, Willie Redmond, Albie Sautter, Sophia Scott, David Smith, Seidu Sofo, Marc Strauss, Lucinda Swatzell, Don Jung (Althernate), Carol Veneziano, Haohao Wang, Janice Ward, Jill Young, and Xuesong Zhang. Department Chairperson, Deb Lo represented the Department of Elementary, Early, and Special Education. Provost Stephens was also in attendance.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
The Volumes XLI-16 & XLII-01 were approved as amended (Strauss/Dillivan).
REPORT FROM THE CHAIR
Chair Zlokovich presented plaques to the retiring Senators and thanked them for their dedication toward the work of the Faculty Senate.
Chair Zlokovich reported that the next Senate meeting will be held at the River Campus September 5 at 3:00 p.m. She indicated that this meeting is the meeting at which Senators traditionally meet with the administrators. Each Senate Committee Chairperson will give a brief report about the committee’s agenda for the coming year. There will be a short time for refreshments and mingling. The Faculty Senate meeting will begin at 3:20 p.m. followed by a tour of the River Campus at 4:00 p.m. She indicated that Dana, the administrative assistant, will send directions to the meeting room electronically.
Chair Zlokovich indicated that the first meeting of the new Senate, according to the Faculty Handbook, is to be held during the first two weeks of May. Finals week falls the first week of May in the spring semester. Chair Zlokovich proposed changing the constitution to be more flexible. She indicated that the issue needs to be addressed during the year.
Chair Zlokovich reported that Alissa Vandeven will be a guest speaker September 19. She will be discussing health benefits. Chair Zlokovich indicated that Elizabeth Shelton will scheduled as a guest speaker at a future Senate meeting.
Chair Zlokovich reported that through Administrative Council she learned of three AQIP action projects. The first is improving communication and information distribution, the second is defining indicators for being the university of first choice, and the third is strengthening faculty-based undergraduate academic advising. Chair Zlokovich encouraged faculty participation especially since the action projects were chosen from a survey taken by the faculty.
Chair Zlokovich distributed the IT Computer Use Policy (Addendum A). The policy is still being discussed. There will be a meeting September 19 [this meeting is actually September 11] to discuss issues brought from different departments. The policy will be adjusted and probably completed by September 25. Chair Zlokovich encouraged faculty input so that she can take those thoughts and concerns back to the Administrative Council meeting.
Chair Zlokovich reported that the Administrative Council discussed the possibility of adding new programs in various areas. At the dean’s and chair’s retreat, the Provost asked for new programs that the various departments might be interested in developing. There was a list compiled from that discussion. Senator Smith asked if he could obtain a copy of that list. Chair Zlokovich indicated that she would forward it to Dana, and Dana would distribute it to the Senators. The Provost stressed that there would not be any program cuts relating to this list. She indicated that she has growth in mind. She also stressed that the list is only a brainstorming list.
Chair Zlokovich reported that concerns relating to graduate tracking operations seem to have been addressed by added wording to the transcript request document, although the new version is not yet available online. There are about 20,000 transcripts requested every year. Contact information is being sent to the Alumni Office from the transcript requests. Students need to be made aware that their information is not only going to the place where that they requested it to be sent but to the Alumni Office as well.
Chair Zlokovich reported on the letter that was received by all faculty from the President concerning combining promotion and tenure. She emphasized that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee did not collude with the President to force legislation. The issue of combining promotion and tenure is being handled by Professional Affairs. She added that she believed the President sent the letter to try to pressure the Senate into passing a promotion and tenure bill this year. She indicated that there are four aspects of promotion that need to be addressed; post-professorial merit, cleaning up the Faculty Handbook with regard to where merit and promotion are placed, whether to combine promotion and tenure and if so how to go about it, and whether or not to review the University level promotion committee. There was extensive discussion held by the Senators.
REPORT FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE LIAISON
Provost Stephens encouraged the Faculty Senate to talk with the President during the next meeting concerning the letter he sent out to faculty about promotion and tenure before assuming opinions about the President’s and Provost’s motives.
Provost Stephens reported that Southeast Missouri State University is off to a good start. Enrollment has set a new record for the seventh year in row with more than 300 freshman. She reported that three new full-time instructors were hired and 36 new sections were added. Provost Stephens extended her gratitude toward the faculty for being willing to work with such large classes. She committed to adding more sections to get classes back to usual sizes. Provost Stephens expressed her enthusiasm about the River Campus, the Information Commons, and the new Aquatics Center.
REPORT FROM THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT LIAISON
The Student Government Liaison was not in attendance.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE REPORTS
Senator McGill reported that there had been two resignations from the Faculty Senate; Min Zou from the Department of Elementary, Early, and Special Education and David James from Kent Library. He reported that the Membership Committee will be working to fill those positions.
Senator McGill distributed the most current list of committee memberships. He then yielded to Senator Althaus for an explanation of the self-succession policy. Senator Althaus explained that the policy that was in Chapter 8 of the Faculty Handbook had been replaced by Bill 00-A-08 but was never removed. The current policy can be found in Chapter 1. The current policy allows for Senators to succeed themselves; however, chairs of senate committees may not succeed themselves as chair.
Senator McGill indicated that the Membership Committee is currently working to populate the University Standing and Faculty Senate Committees. There are 17 University Standing Committee vacancies, three Faculty Senate Legislative Committee vacancies, and two Faculty Senate Reporting Committee vacancies that are pending Membership Committee approval.
Senator McGill indicated that there were some faculty members who expressed interest in continuing to serve on certain University Standing Committees. The policy for University Standing Committees does not allow members to succeed themselves. Senator McGill questioned the possibility of changing the policy. Provost Stephens expressed her disapproval of changing the policy.
Senator Althaus reported that the Professional Affairs Committee reiterated its goal of reporting out an omnibus Promotion and Tenure Bill this session and its goal of reporting legislation regarding the continuance of the Post-Professorial Merit program.
Senator Althaus indicated that the committee members voted to recommend to the full Senate that emeritus status be conferred upon Prof. Larry Easley and Dr. Roger Arpin, effective upon their respective retirements. He will bring the recommendations to the Senate when there is less on the agenda. Further examination of the 2007-2008 Undergraduate Bulletin disclosed that certain retired administrative personnel were being identified as holding administrator emeritus status despite the lack of such a provision in the Faculty Handbook. On another emeritus matter, it was observed that emeritus faculty were being listed as emeritus faculty of a department and not of a discipline. The Committee will discuss further the possibility of polling emeritus faculty on their desired designation.
Senator Althaus reported that President Dobbins has not yet responded to the Committee’s February 2007 letter requesting that he ask the University’s legal counsel for suggested language that might “…indicate our institution’s openness to potential faculty, staff and students, regardless of sexual orientation….”
Senator Althaus indicated that the Committee briefly discussed the May report of the Task Force for Intellectual Property Rights. The Committee decided to request that the Senate re-appoint the Task Force and ask it to prepare a draft policy statement that would be reported to the Professional Affairs and Academic Affairs Committees, who would then be responsible for crafting it in appropriate legislative language for the Senate’s consideration.
Senator Althaus reported that he and Dr. Bruce Mims had been functioning over the summer as a subcommittee to examine the Handbook policy on Faculty Professional Development. Dr. Mims has been gathering information about the practices being followed in the various colleges. Some of these practices appear not to be consistent with those established in the Handbook. Senator Althaus indicated that the Liberal Arts Faculty Development Committee has been split into two separate committees, one for the River Campus departments and one for the remainder of the College. Senator Althaus asked the Provost if she split the committee. The Provost indicated that she was not aware of the split.
Senator Cobb reported that the Academic Affairs Committee is scheduled to meet September 12. He indicated that the committee members will be discussing Common Hour, free speech for students, intellectual property rights, and grade inflation.
Senator Ward reported that the Documents Committee is schedule to meet September 12. The committee members will be responding to a request from Teresa Wildman to remove an outdated portion of the Faculty Handbook that discusses services of the Office of Research and Grant Development.
Senator Swatzell reported that the Governance Committee will meet September 12. She indicated that she had distributed copies of the Grievance Policy to all the Senators electronically. She asked that the Senators read the Policy carefully and be prepared to vote on it at the next Faculty Senate meeting, September 5.
Senator Swatzell reported that the Governance Committee will be working on the survey that reviewed the Faculty Senate.
Senator Dillivan reported that the Compensation Committee had not met. He indicated that he will be in contact with committee members between now and next Wednesday to discuss what they believe are appropriate issues to address this coming year.
There was some discussion about the travel policy and meal pay concerning faculty who teach at the Extended Learning Centers. The Provost indicated that the travel policy may be state-mandated. Senator Dillivan indicated that he would look into it.
There was no new business to consider.
There was no old business to consider.
The motion to adjourn (Althaus/Scott) was recognized and approved at 5:00 p.m.
The next Faculty Senate Meeting will be September 5, 2007, at the River Campus in the Shuck Music Recital Hall at 3:00 p.m.
Approved September 5, 2007