Minutes - September 15, 2010
XLV, No. 4
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE MEETING
September 15, 2010
The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met on Wednesday, September 15, 2010, in the Redhawks Room of the University Center. Attending were: Sophia Scott (Chair), Kevin Dickson (Chair-elect), Janice Ward (Membership Chair), Rick Althaus, Larry Bohannon, Stephanie Chamberlain, Brandon Christensen, Eric Clements, Elaine Jackson, Don Jung, Debra Lee-DiStefano, Charles McAllister, Rachel Morgan Theall, Phil Nacy, David Naugler, Walt Paquin, Jian Peng, David Powell, Willie Redmond, Joyce Renaud, Seidu Sofo, Sven Svenson, Carol Veneziano, Haohao Wang, Victor Wilburn, Diane Wood, Chris Wubbena, and alternates Shonta Smith, Karl Suhr and Leslee Pollina. Also in attendance were Provost Ronald Rosati and Student Government Liaison Daniel Schuenemeyer. Dr. Sean Eom, Dr. Susan Swartwout and Dr. Brian Gehring attended as guests.
WELCOME/APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chair Scott opened the meeting with a welcome and a thank-you to Senators for their commitment to serve. She reiterated the focus on collaboration, cooperation and communication between all facets of the University and encouraged Senators to develop relationships and participate in committees across campus. She asked that any documents or agenda items be e-mailed to the administrative assistant on the Thursday before Senate meetings. In order to have a single, official place from which to disseminate information, a link will be added to the Senate’s home page for posting documents.
The minutes from the final session of the 44th Senate and the first sessions of the 45th Senate were distributed for perusal and corrections. After minor corrections to the minutes of Session 44.17 and Session 45.3, the minutes were approved by a voice vote.
Chair Scott reported on events over the summer. Enrollment is up from last fall; DegreeWorks is on-line and training is available. Construction for maintenance of some buildings is on-going. The Cape Girardeau Partnership for Higher Education opened with an approximate enrollment of 150 students. The Trip Optimizer Form must now be attached to all Expense Reports claiming any vehicle use for trips over 100 miles. This form is available on the Accounts Payable web page.
Chair Scott then spoke about the five goals for faculty for this year. Goal One is to participate in the process of reconciling and updating the Faculty Handbook in close collaboration with President Dobbins and Provost Rosati. Over the summer the Senate Executive Committee met with the President, the Provost and Vice-provost Janzow and agreed to form an ad hoc committee consisting of faculty from the Senate and Academic Council. The ad hoc committee is charged with addressing the specific Handbook issues of retrenchment, program review with and without financial exigency and academic restructuring. The Legislative Committees of the Senate have been given sections of the Handbook to review; the hope is to have those sections ready to present to President Dobbins in the spring. In response to a question from Senator Jung, she said that if a portion of the Handbook needs revising, it will be revised. If a section does not need work, it will stand as is. Senator Lee-DiStefano asked if the revisions were to clarify existing policies or to change them; Provost Rosati said it could be both. Senator Renaud, Chair of the Documents Committee, stated that in the course of the committee’s review of the Handbook, some things that are practiced are not policy and vice versa. If the practice was better than the written policy, then perhaps changes should be made. She added that many faculty members are unaware of the existence of the Handbook and the Faculty Senate Constitution. Chair Scott concluded the discussion by saying that President Dobbins’ perception of the Board’s directive was to scrutinize the entire Handbook, although not necessarily to rewrite the entire Handbook.
Chair Scott continued, saying Goal Two is to participate/cooperate in discussion and activities involving Course Redesign. She said Provost Rosati would have additional information about that later in the meeting.
Goal Three, Chair Scott stated, is to provide support as the University incorporates Shared Governance as an AQIP action project. Currently the AQIP projects will focus on the mathematics course redesign and shared governance through the revisions to the Handbook. Provost Rosati clarified, saying there are two existing AQIP projectsᾰemergency procedures and ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledgeable Spaces, an on-line program in which students work at their own pace). Two new projects will be Course Redesign in general and the Faculty Handbook in conjunction with Shared Governance.
Chair Scott then spoke about Goal Four, which is to continue to examine faculty issues within budget parameters, including promotion/tenure and compensation. She said the Benefits Subcommittee would meet on September 16, and as soon as information was available, it would be provided. She urged attendance of the Convocation on September 16. Then she spoke about the Governor’s Summit, listing the main topics as the state budget, Goal 2025 and Course Redesign.
Provost Rosati said it was rewarding to see Governor Nixon pushing Course Redesign and Program Review, which Southeast is already doing. In regard to Program Review, the governor’s impetus is to identify baccalaureate programs that graduate less than ten students on a 3-year rolling average. For master’s programs the concern is for less than five graduates and less than three graduates for doctoral programs. 370 “low-enrolled” programs have been identified, of which perhaps 30 are at Southeast, although not all those programs are active.
Chair Scott stated that Goal Five is to create greater transparency in the Senate and to increase communication between faculty, the Senate and communities across campus. As she had mentioned previously, a link is being added to the Senate’s web page for communication purposes, to ensure that communication is fast and accurate.
ADMINISTRATIVE LIAISON’S REPORT
Provost Rosati said it was a pleasure to be working again with the Senate. He is happy to discuss any administrative issues. He distributed a list of ten courses to be offered in the Winter Inter-session, stating that it is a pilot project and the hope is that it will expand. A question regarding technical support during the holiday break was raised, and the Provost said he was well aware of the problem, and that instructors would be given the option of not teaching during that break period.
The summer session went very well, the Provost said, with an increase in students and faculty that had taught; he would like to increase class offerings next summer. He requested feedback from faculty within the next couple of Senate meetings on pay issues and possible improvements. He mentioned the possibility of earning the equivalent of three months’ salary during the summer. In response to a question Provost Rosati said he would investigate a reported policy of not allowing students to take an independent study during the summer if the faculty member was not on contract. He reported that the revenue remaining after paying faculty salaries was approximately 500 thousand dollars. He further stated that every dollar raised during the summer and winter inter-sessions meant fewer budget cuts in the future.
Senator Wood voiced a concern about the availability of qualified faculty for summer classes. A student had expressed alarm about a class that had been taught by an unqualified instructor. Senator Wood stated that if no qualified instructor is found, the class should be cancelled. Student Government Liaison Daniel Schuenemeyer expressed concerns about the short notice about cancelled classes and often the inability to find another course.
In regard to the Missouri budget situation, Provost Rosati said that there has been a small reprieve from the federal government which will ease the crunch slightly, but a 20 million deficit still remains. Meetings with each college will take place in the next few weeks about the budget.
Program Review will finish work on Quartile One in time for the October Board of Regents meeting, the Provost said. After this portion of the review is complete, Program Review will be halted until the revisions to the Faculty Handbook are finished and to get a better idea of the governor’s requirements for Program Review. Certificate and Associate degree programs will also be reviewed.
Provost Rosati said Dr. Dale Nitschke has been visiting the campus, to assist with federal earmarks and increasing receipt of grant monies. Provost Rosati said the deans are in the process of developing requests for an October 15 deadline. He said teams of faculty with expertise in grant writing will be formed, and some of the teams will travel to Washington DC to meet with agency officials to help the University learn how to better secure grant funding. Currently there are approximately 6 million dollars of grants administered at Southeast per year.
Two mergers of departments are being considered, Provost Rosati said. One would be to combine the Physics and Computer Science departments and the other would merge the Early, Elementary and Special Education department with Middle and Secondary Education. He said it would be a year-long process and the procedure outlined in the Faculty Handbook would be followed.
The Provost also mentioned several upcoming accreditation visits and that the departments were in good shape. The Coordinating Board approved action on several academic programs and Provost Rosati distributed a list of those. He also spoke about a large-course pilot project and provided a handout with information regarding it. Modifications were made to classrooms in Brandt Music Hall and Glenn Auditorium in Dempster. He hopes to expand the original five classes to perhaps 20 classes. In addition, the Provost also distributed information about a new committee on Career Development and Job Placement.
STUDENT GOVERNMENT LIAISON’S REPORT
Student Government Liaison Daniel Schuenemeyer told the Senate he was happy to return as the representative to the Senate. He said Student Government had met and set some goals, including improved communication with the Senate. The day planners are now being sold in the Southeast Bookstore; Student Government took over the responsibility for the planners to keep them available to students. Projects for this semester include a campus clean-up in the spring, promoting Student Government, the Speakers series, working on a non-discrimination policy and emergency procedures as they relate to students.
MembershipᾰChair Ward said that nearly all vacancies had been filled, with openings as follows: a non-Senator from Business on the Documents committee, a non-Senator from Business on the Grievance committee, a non-Senator alternate for Grievance also from Business and a non-Senator alternate from Polytechnic on Grants Research Funding committee. She handed out copies of the committees list and said that five departments still needed an alternateᾰEconomics/Finance, Computer Science, Criminal Justice/Sociology, Agriculture and Chemistry. She asked for a volunteer to be the liaison to Student Government; Senator Paquin suggested that the Senator be from Academic Affairs.
Professional AffairsᾰChair Althaus said the committee discussed the status of some bills from the previous Senate and the ad hoc committee for Handbook revisions. At the request of Compensation, PA again endorsed the bill that it endorsed last year and that was passed by the Senate regarding Promotion/Tenure/Merit Pay policy. The committee approved an emeritus recommendation and also discussed other issues relating to program discontinuation and summer school policy.
Academic AffairsᾰChair Jung stated that the committee would like input regarding issues on the intellectual property of on-line classes and SEI questions. The main focus will be Course Redesign and the Faculty Handbook review. The only new item is reviewing Academic Distinction requirements, looking at the current language and working with the Registrar’s Office about it.
DocumentsᾰChair Renaud said the committee invited Chair-elect Dickson to speak about the ad hoc committee’s work on the Handbook. The Documents committee’s charge is to look at the Faculty Senate Constitution, which was last amended in 1997. She encouraged all Senators to ask for input; she mentioned specifically information regarding the Johnson Faculty Centre. In response to a question from Senator Wood, Chair Scott said that each legislative committee had been ‘assigned’ a different section of the Handbook to review. Senator Chamberlain suggested an inquiry into a section of the Handbook that deals with length of contracts; Chair Scott said it would be investigated.
GovernanceᾰChair Paquin said the committee looked at the Handbook issues that the ad hoc committee is dealing with, specifically Course Approval, which is quite disorganized. He also said the committee would work on ways to take information from the Senate back to constituents for feedback and improving the stature of the Senate among faculty.
CompensationᾰChair Sebby was not present; Chair Scott said that the committee would be working again on a bill separating money allocated for Merit Pay and Tenure/Promotion, putting it into the regular budget. She said this will need to go to the Budget Review committee and then come back to the Senate.
Chair Scott introduced Susan Swartwout, who spoke about the work of the ad hoc committee on the Handbook. Dr. Swartwout said the committee had met twice; at the second meeting they discussed concepts, but nothing has been finalized at this point. She said the committee would work on separating policy and procedure, so that there is a policy statement on the different areas first and then procedures can be adjusted as circumstances change. The different sections the committee is looking at are retrenchment, program discontinuation due to exigency and discontinuation due to restructuring, academic restructuring, course and curricular process and program review.
In regard to retrenchment, the committee will define the roles of administration and faculty and define steps in the process, including how exigency is instigated, the allocation of retrenchment areas and how faculty that are to be terminated are selected. She said the committee would look at other universities’ program review ideas and retrenchment policies. Statements of rationale for retrenchment and academic restructuring are being formulated, and the committee intends to have a draft ready for the October Board of Regents meeting. Feedback from the Senate is requested.
Provost Rosati then spoke about Course Redesign and Collaborative Programs. He handed out information about both, including various models of Course Redesign and a timeline. He mentioned development of a state-wide system for course redesign and said a conference will be held in Columbia in late October to work on pilot projects. In addition he said that the Gates Foundation and the Lumina Foundation have both been approached regarding grants for course redesign projects. Four courses at Southeast are being considered for course redesignᾰUI 100, MA 101/102, EN 100 and SC 105. Implementation of redesigned courses could occur in the fall of 2011. He handed out information about similar experiences in Tennessee.
The Collaborative Programs initiatives involve Southeast and three other universities pooling courses. Each university would be responsible for three courses taught via distance learning. This could be one way to maintain courses with lower enrollments. Students can take courses from all universities in the consortium. A handout with information and a model program was provided.
Chair Scott moved the Executive Session to the next Senate meeting. A motion to adjourn was made and seconded (Naugler/Peng). The meeting adjourned at 4:55 pm.
The next Senate meeting will be on September 29, 2010, at 3 pm in the Tribute Room (#205) of the University Center.
Approved September 29, 2010