Minutes - October 22, 2003
Approved by the Faculty Senate November 5, 2003
Vol. XXXVIII, No. 6
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE MEETING
October 22, 2003
The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met on Wednesday, October 22, 2003, in the Party Room of the University Center. The following Senators were present: Paul Lloyd (presiding), Susan Swartwout, Rusty Curtis, Rick Althaus, Warren Anderson, David Bibb, James Champine, Michael Cobb, Dan Dunavan, Craig Elder, Roy Farris, Bruce Hathaway, Linda Heitman, Arrick Jackson, Ted Loso, Anne Marietta, Cheryl Milde, Bruce Mims, David Naugler, Winfred Pitts, James Ricks, Kathy Riggen, Craig Roberts, Nicholas Tibbs, Mohan Tikoo, and Larry Underberg. Non-voting Senate representative Michael Best from the Department of Agriculture, and Senate Secretary Paula Cunningham also were present. President Dobbins, Provost Stephens, Interim Vice Provost Janzow; Mark Bliss, Southeast Missourian Reporter; and Student Government Representative to the Faculty Senate Ryan Kloeppel also attended.
Absent, and not represented by their Alternates, were Janice Chadha, Ronald Clayton, Al Hayward, Terry Sutton, and Min Zou.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
The Minutes of October 1, 2003 (Vol. XXXVIII, No. 5), were approved with editorial changes submitted by Senator Farris.
REPORT FROM THE CHAIR
Chair Lloyd reported on the following items:
Senators were reminded to attend the New Faculty Reception, Wednesday, October 29, 2003, at the Johnson Faculty Centre.
There will be an Open Forum on Thursday, October 30, 2003, to discuss the review of non-instructional programs in regard to the financial emergency. This Forum will be limited to a discussion of the non-instructional programs. Athletics will be included in the discussion. It has been reported by a colleague that if one were to divide the Athletic Budget by the total number of student credit hours generated, the result would be that Athletics receives $18 for every credit hour of tuition paid.
Senator Craig Roberts is President-Elect of the Missouri Association of Faculty Senates.
REPORT FROM THE MAFS MEETING
Senator Swartwout and Senator Roberts reported that they had participated in the Missouri Association of Faculty Senates (MAFS) meeting in Jefferson City on October 10, 2003. Southeast is the only MAFS member currently in a declared financial emergency. Central Missouri State University declared financial exigency for the previous year; however, no other member schools of MAFS reported declaring financial emergency within the past ten years. Also, no tenured faculty were involuntarily let go at the other member schools. However, some tenured faculty were reassigned, and some tenure-track lines were lost. MAFS voting member Swartwout will post a complete report on the Faculty Senate Web-site.
Senator Craig Roberts apologized for his earlier stance against rescinding the Senate’s support of the financial emergency. He now feels that Southeast’s operating condition in the last year has not been one of an institution in emergency mode.
REPORT FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE LIAISON
Provost Stephens reported that six-week grades had been received and processed on time. Nine instructors didn’t post grades. She asked each dean to obtain an explanation for these classes as well as for sections of classes that had the same grade assigned to all students.
REPORT FROM THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT LIAISON
Students had expressed their concern about Section 18 in the Student Code of Conduct regarding controlled behavior for students off campus. Student Government officials met with the Provost, Dean Irene Ferguson, VP Dennis Holt and resolved to suspend Section 18.
The Student Government has encouraged students to attend the nonacademic program review forum.
Senator Tikoo, chair of the committee, distributed a suggested letter to be sent to all high school superintendents or counselors informing them of Southeast’s Academic Calendar. This letter will be informational only and is not suggesting that districts follow the University calendar. Following discussion, it was decided that it would be more appropriate to have the letter distributed by the Dean of Education at various meetings with district officials.
Senator Tibbs, chair of the committee, discussed the three proposed retirement incentive plans prepared by the Compensation Committee: (1) Draft Plan for Broadly Targeted Voluntary Retirement Incentives, (2) Draft Plan for Targeted Voluntary Retirement Incentives, and (3) Draft Plan for Involuntary Severance Compensation. Senator Tibbs also distributed copies of Examples of Cost Savings for the Broadly Based Retirement Incentive Plan. He noted that the continuation of health insurance for faculty choosing to retire is an essential issue. Senator Tibbs said the Compensation Committee prefers the Broadly Targeted Plan because it may allow a sufficient number of faculty throughout the campus to opt for retirement so that no tenured faculty need be involuntarily dismissed.
President Dobbins stated that he prefers the Targeted Voluntary Plan, which only applies to the faculty in departments and programs that will be reduced or eliminated, because it provides for a more generous initial payment based on the MOSERS average annual salary. Senator Tibbs requested that all three plans go forward so that options remain open during the decision process.
Senator Naugler suggested that, in the section about retired faculty teaching part-time, the phrase “two classes” should be changed to “6 credit hours.”
Senator Tibbs noted that the cost-savings handout showed that if only one-fourth of the 93 eligible faculty retired, the savings would be significant. Provost Stephens said that the university can’t afford the possibility of a large number of faculty retiring.
President Dobbins stated that the savings wouldn’t be that great. He said that with the Targeted Plan, faculty would not be asked to leave involuntarily. He stated that the Targeted Plan was richer. Also, he cautioned the Senate that the Board of Regents had asked the university to look at academic programs for reduction or elimination and that is what needs to be done, not to consider broad-based retirement.
The President was asked exactly how many faculty members in the 18 targeted programs would be eligible for retirement. The President said that he didn’t have those figures with him. Senator Tibbs noted that Arizona State University employed a voluntary retirement and a voluntary severance plan.
The Senate took a ten-minute break.
The Compensation Committee recommends that the three plans’ drafts be put forward for approval. Chair Lloyd added that the President had agreed to move back the deadline for the Early Retirement and Severance Plans so that we could vote on them at our next meeting, as is correct procedure.
Senator Althaus asked the President and Provost if they preferred cuts in faculty instead of the broad-based retirement plan. The Provost responded that the broad-based plan would decimate our faculty and that most of those leaving would have to be immediately replaced.
Senator Cobb asked if we were planning on giving up some faculty slots regardless. The President answered, yes.
Senator Tibbs suggested that we proceed as Arizona State has, that their broad-based retirements must first be approved by administration, to avoid mass retirements. The President questioned who would make the decision about who could and could not retire, and what evidence it would be based upon. He said that Targeted Early Retirement was not that arbitrary. Senator Tibbs said that it would be a decision made at the academic level, not the administrative level. The Provost said that legally we can’t decide who can and cannot retire, but we can legally target programs for reduction or elimination. She said that we are hoping that there will be enough eligible volunteers to retire so that severance decisions won’t be necessary.
President Dobbins insisted that we must cut programs, therefore we must consider how to best treat faculty that are involved. He hoped that no one would be severed, but said we must prepare for that possibility. However, the cut programs will still leave core courses in the program’s field that will need ongoing faculty. The President said that the proposed 3-plan concept was good, but the plan that he previously offered gives a health insurance payment to those 65 and over to use as they please.
Senator Althaus objected that the Board has told us to look at university mission and at reductions without our knowing what it all equals in savings. It’s irrational to cut programs first, then look at our mission, then cut more programs. President Dobbins responded that we may not have time to do that, with one-time money to replace; we are looking at the mission as we review the programs. Phase Two, the curricular review, hasn’t evolved yet.
The Provost added that she wanted these faculty cuts to be the last time we have to do this. The changes in Phase Two will probably initiate more curricular changes like fewer hours in a major and the combination of grad programs with too many options. The President said that we should probably review programs’ efficiency every year.
Senator Curtis asked why we weren’t reducing nonacademic programs first so that we could potentially save academic programs. Although the administration claims we have been cutting athletics’ budget, we haven’t seen a summary of those cuts. The President said that those cuts would be summarized and placed on the web.
On behalf of the Compensation Committee, Senator Tibbs asked the Senate to send all three plans forward. President Dobbins replied that the medical insurance issue is a huge concern. He urged the Senate to discuss the medical options in the plans, since we don’t yet know what could happen with the university’s health insurance.
Senator Althaus, chair of the committee, distributed copies of a resolution entitled Senate Procedures to be Used to Respond to Administrative Requests for Action. The proposed resolution will be discussed and voted on at the next Faculty Senate meeting.
Due to time constraints, the remaining Committee reports were postponed until the next Faculty Senate meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.
The next Faculty Senate meeting will be November 5, 2003, in the Indian Room of the University Center.