Minutes - April 18, 2007
XLI, No. 15
MINUTES OF THE FACULTY SENATE MEETING
April 18, 2007
The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met on Wednesday, April 18, 2007, in the Missouriana Room of the University Center. The following Senators were present: Michael Cobb (Chair), Martha Zlokovich (Chair-Elect), David Smith (Membership Committee Chair), Rick Althaus, Mary Elizabeth Ambery, Kim Dillivan, Beth Easter, Gabriele Eckart, Marc Fulgham, Priscilla Hornby, Jayanti Ray, Willie Redmond, David Reinheimer, Sophia Scott, Bonnie Stepenoff, Marc Strauss, Lucinda Swatzell, Larry Underberg, Janice Ward, Haohao Wang, Pat Willingham, Xuesong Zhang, and Min Zou. Also in attendance were Dr. Jane Stephens (Administrative Liaison) and Nelson Elliott (Student Government Liaison).
Absent, and not represented by their Alternates, were: Carolyn Rainey, Ronald Clayton, Jim McGill, Rebecca Summary, Mary Ann DeLine, and Elaine Jackson. Not represented Criminal Justice/Sociology.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Approval of minutes Vol. XLI-14 was moved by Senator Althaus and seconded by Senator Smith. The motion carried.
REPORT FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE LIAISON
Dr. Stephens reported that Southeast has emergency plans for several contingencies and will use combinations of phones, emails, loud speakers and sirens as the case requires. She mentioned that the inability to lock some campus doors from the inside is being reviewed. She also mentioned that the colleges should now have criteria developed for the Summer Faculty Fellowships.
REPORT FROM THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT LIAISON
Student Government Liaison, Nelson Elliott, reported that the Student Government also discussed issues about Virginia Tech and began laying out next year's budget.
REPORT FROM THE CHAIR
Year End Report:
Compared to some past sessions, this session was relatively mild with no major crises to address. While the legislative committees continued to provide the bulk of the work of the Senate, there were several higher level issues that were addressed.
Authority of Faculty Handbook: Perhaps the most important action taken this session occurred in the beginning when it was learned that several departmental promotion and tenure criteria were requiring student evaluation reports and setting minimum score requirements in contradiction to policies laid out in the Faculty Handbook. It was further learned that the University Promotion and Sabbatical Leave (UPSL) Committee which has approval authority of the criteria was failing to enforce the provisions in the Handbook which was supportive of the administration position that departments were free to establish their own criteria apparently without regard to the policies in the Handbook. The Senate correctly asserted itself by insisting that the Handbook be the official document describing academic policies and that no unit was "above the law”. While no formal acknowledgement was received, the Senate subsequently learned that the UPSL and the Provost were returning documents that were not in compliance with policy. It was important to assert the authority of the Handbook, because unless it holds the official policies which must be followed, all subsequent Senate actions would have no meaning.
JFC Parking: In looking over past year end reports, I discovered that parking around the Johnson Faculty Center had been a major issue over several years. The primary problem is that the campus is divided into "Red” and "Blue” parking zones. The "Red” zone tags may park anywhere, but the "Blue” zoned tags are restricted to "Blue” parking lots only. The JFC happens to be in the heart of the "Red” zone, so members of the Senate from the far side of the campus could not drive over and park in any of the parking lots nearby. After having several conversations with the Department of Public Safety and concerned Senators and Faculty, it was finally determined, but not unanimously, that the parking spaces behind the JFC would have two slots dedicated to the apartments and have four slots dedicated for Senate/JFC use only. This has added access to the JFC for members across campus.
Situational Awareness: In the course of addressing academic policies, the Senate must work closely with other units on campus. I have tried to increase our situational awareness by having a number of unit representatives come and explain their mission and areas of operation to help the Senate make informed decisions. Guests and or speakers invited to the Senate included: Bruce Domazlicky Chair UPSL Committee, John Webber from Information Technology, Dennis Holt from Admissions and Enrollment Management, Kathy Mangels from Business and Finance, Sarah Cron from Kent Library, Wayne Smith from the Foundation, Dave Starrett from University Studies and CSTL, President Dobbins, and Teresa Wildman from Research and Grants Development.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE YEAR END REPORTS
The 2006-2007 Faculty Senate Membership Committee consisted of Kim Dillivan, Marc Fulgham, Elaine Jackson, Jim McGill, D.K. "Skip” Smith (Chair), Pat Willingham, and Min Zou.
We accomplished the normal things that the committee does. As vacancies arose on various Faculty Senate Legislative and Reporting Committees, we filled those vacancies; in addition, chairs were nominated by the committee, for approval by the Senate. We also solicited volunteers to serve on various University Standing Committees and Councils, and recommended individuals to the appropriate administrators for appointments on those committees. Again this year (as last year), for most university-level service opportunities, faculty members indicating an interest in serving on a particular committee or council were invited to provide a short statement indicating why they were interested in serving and why they believed they were a good candidate. The Membership Committee believes that having these statements available improved our ability to match up faculty interests and abilities with the positions for which we were soliciting candidates.
Due to a prior year's revision of Faculty Senate-related terms and policies, Faculty Senate found itself this year in a position where more than half of all senators' terms expired in 2007. The Faculty Handbook indicates that senators' terms should be staggered, so that approximately one third of the terms expire each year. To ensure that this problem (that is, the expiration of more than 50% of all senators' terms in one year) does not continue, eight departmental units whose unit representatives' (that is senators') terms expired this year were selected (using a random draw) to serve two-year (instead of three-year) terms. Departmental units whose representatives (that is, senators) will (on a one-time basis) serve a two-year (instead of three-year) term are:
Accounting and MIS, Educational Admin & Counseling, Foreign Languages/Anthropology, Health, Human Performance and Recreation, Human Environmental Studies, Middle & Secondary Education, Political Science/Philosophy/Religion, and Theater and Dance.
For all 18 of the departmental unit representatives (that is, senators) whose terms expired in 2007, the Membership Committee has initiated the process for electing new senators. The chair of the Faculty Senate Membership Committee has solicited candidates from each of the 18 departmental units, and is now working through the responses to that solicitation. For departmental units with more than two candidates, the Faculty Handbook calls for a primary election to be held; for departmental units with two candidates, an election will be held; and for departmental unites with one candidate, recent practice has been to designate that one interested individual as the representative (that is, senator) for that departmental unit.
Last week, in response to calls for nominees to represent the faculty on various university-level committees (the Research Involving Human Subjects Committee, the University Athletic Committee, the University Planning Committee, and the University Student Affairs Committee), the Chairperson of the Membership Committee used the Faculty Senate list serve to solicit volunteers for the above service opportunities. Numerous faculty expressed interest in these opportunities, and the Chairperson of the Membership Committee is working through those responses to be able (in the near future) to forward expressions of interest and supporting materials to the Membership Committee, for consideration.
Professional Affairs Committee
2006-07 Year-End Report
April 18, 2007
The Professional Affairs Committee met ten times during the year, beginning on September 13 and concluding on April 11. Additionally, the Committee constituted a focus group to provide feedback on the Promotion and Tenure Survey, and that group met on February 14th. Also, three members of the Committee served on a Task Force to identify potential issues surrounding Intellectual Property Rights, and that Task Force intended to report its findings to the Senate by the end of the Spring semester. Throughout the year, the Committee worked on these issues:
1. Student Evaluation of Instruction Policy: The Committee continued to monitor compliance with the Handbook policy regarding appropriate use of student evaluation of instruction data in the promotion and tenure processes. It appears to the Committee, through anecdotal and some first-hand evidence, that the University Promotion Committee has been making more of an effort to enforce departmental compliance regarding the role of student evaluations in departmental promotion criteria.
2. Promotion and Tenure Policy: The Committee developed and administered an online survey of full-time faculty regarding several issues surrounding the Promotion and Tenure policies. The Committee plans, insofar as possible, to incorporate the results of that survey into an omnibus bill revising the promotion and tenure policies.
3. Twenty-First Century Teacher Certification: The Committee was charged with looking into the possibility of authorizing a certification process for faculty use of technology related to teaching. Discussions took place with the Faculty Senate Chair and with the Dean of University Studies about such a program, its possible objectives and rationale, and its potential operation. During discussions and deliberations, the Committee discovered what it considered to be several potential challenges with designing such a program, and decided to put off further action, at least for the time being.
4. Intellectual Property Rights: The Committee was asked to participate in identifying potential issues that should be addressed in a campus Intellectual Property Rights policy. Three members of the Committee served on an ad hoc Intellectual Property Rights Task Force that is to issue its report to the Faculty Senate by the end of the Spring 2007 semester.
5. Statement of Nondiscrimination as Pertaining to Sexual Orientation: At least three times over recent years, the Faculty Senate has voted to support expanding the University Statement of Nondiscrimination to provide protection to members of the University community from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In a follow-up to this issue, the Committee this Spring decided to ask President Dobbins to approach the issue from a slightly different perspective. At the direction of the Committee, the Chair wrote the President, asking him to ask the university attorney(s) to suggest language that would indicate that the University provides a welcome and secure environment to all, regardless of sexual orientation. As of this date, the Committee has not received a response from the President.
6. Emeritus Faculty: The Committee recommended to the Senate the names of eight retiring faculty members eligible for conferral of Emeritus status.
• To prepare and recommend to the Senate an omnibus bill on revision of the Promotion and Tenure policies.
• To prepare and recommend to the Senate a bill establishing a comprehensive policy regarding Intellectual Property Rights.
• To prepare and recommend to the Senate a bill reauthorizing and possibly revising the Post-Professorial Merit policy, as called for in that policy.
• To continue to monitor and advocate regarding the Senate's positions on the issues of Student Evaluation of Instruction and Nondiscrimination regarding Sexual Orientation
• Continue discussion regarding a possible Twenty-First Century Teacher Certification.
• Continue the routine processing of recommendations concerning Emeritus Status for retiring faculty.
SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY
ACADEMIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
ANNUAL REPORT 2006-2007
DOCUMENT NUMBER: AA07A
The Academic Affairs Committee addressed the following agenda items this year:
1. Plagiarism: The committee introduced a bill offering revisions to the University's current definition of plagiarism; the bill was voted down by the Senate.
2. Grade Inflation/Classroom Rigor: The committee developed two online surveys, one addressed to faculty and one to students, with the intent to administer the surveys during the spring semester. However, technical difficulties and other issues have delayed the survey administration until the Fall 2007 semester.
3. Notification of Student Emergencies: After meeting with the Interim Dean of Student Affairs and the Interim Director of the Learning Enrichment Center, an agreement was reached that the LEC would be a central contact point for student documentation of emergencies. Further steps were deemed impractical.
4. Storage of Graduation with Academic Distinction Projects: Kent Library developed a satisfactory policy for storage of these projects, so no action by the committee was needed.
5. Conflict Resolution for Upper-Division UI Courses: The committee is continuing to develop a bill outlining a process for resolving conflicts regarding the offering of upper-division UI/IU courses.
6. Intellectual Property Rights: The committee has formed a joint task force with the Senate's Professional Affairs Committee. The task force is compiling a report of background and contextual information, due to the Senate by the end of spring semester. Further action will begin in the fall.
Dr. Dave Reinheimer, Chair
Academic Affairs Committee
During the beginning of the 41st Faculty Senate Year, three objectives were suggested for the Documents Committee: 1) Establishing an online forum for the faculty; 2) Reviewing and updating Chapters 1 and 8 of the Faculty Handbook; and 3) Starting a Senate Library at the JFC.
The members of the Documents Committee met during the year to accomplish all of the above objectives. An online faculty forum was established in the fall of 2006 with the help of CSTL and the Office of the Provost. The purpose of the online forum is to facilitate communications and collaborations among faculty members. A number of discussion topics have been included in the areas of teaching, scholarship, administration (e.g., AQIP), and service. The link (http://cstl.semo.edu/facsenate) is accessible with SE key and password. The entry may be found in Southeast A-Z under B (Bulletin Board, Faculty Web Forum), under F (Faculty Web Forum, Bulletin Board), and under W (Web Forum, Faculty Bulletin Board). The link is also available at the Faculty Senate website.
The frequency of discussion components on the forum was tracked down after four months following the initial establishment. It was noted that only a few messages were posted with no significant interactions among the faculty. Further work is needed to enhance faculty discussions in the web forum.
The committee members worked diligently toward reconciliation of Chapters 1 and 8 of the Faculty Handbook. A resolution was passed regarding the changes in Chapter 8. Also, the faculty senate committee structure was proposed to be moved from Chapter 1 to Chapter 8 based on a bill/resolution, which was passed earlier and needs to be tracked down so that appropriate changes can be made in the handbook. Also, a revised section on GRFC guidelines/criteria was incorporated in the handbook as submitted by the GRFC committee.
Regarding starting a Senate Library at the JFC, the committee decided to keep hard copies of the Faculty Handbook and a log of changes in the Reference Section of the library as well as in the JFC office. The committee also suggested that we look into the Handbook carefully in the future and work on pagination issues along with online navigation concerns.
Year End Report, April 18, 2007
The Governance Committee was directed to accomplish many things this year.
1. A Faculty Senate Self-Survey
Is there a general perception of waning effectiveness, etc. with respect to the Faculty Senate?
We developed a survey that will allow us to ask these types of questions of the faculty and administration. The survey is nearly finalized, but does require some edits before it is launched. We can prepare to implement the survey in the beginning of the fall 2007.
2. Senator Term Adjustments
One of our tasks was to realign the Senator term boundaries to maintain a 1/3 per year turnover. We proposed that a set number Senators be re-elected for a 2 year term. This is a temporary adjustment to accomplish realignment. We proposed a random selection of which departments will take a shortened term. This has been accomplished up to the actual random selection of Senators.
3. Grievance Policy
Another task that the Governance Committee received partway through the year was to work again on the Grievance Policy. This task required weekly meetings when the Senate was not in session. The Governance Committee Chair, Lucinda Swatzell, would like to thank the committee members for their dedication, commitment to the task, and for their hours of work. In addition, we owe much thanks to Martha Zlokovich for her contributions and willingness to meet with the committee to lend history and perspective. The Grievance Policy is now ready for a vote. It has been examined by the committee extensively and by the University administration. We offer Jane Stephens hearty thanks for her input and for utilizing the University lawyer, Jane Cohen, to help us avoid legal pitfalls. The policy has also been examined by the faculty, and the committee has even interviewed faculty who have engaged the grievance process under the old system.
In summary, the Faculty Senate Governance Committee has utilized almost every scheduled week during the semesters to accomplish our assigned tasks. We have not exhausted the list, but we have produced a great deal during this time.
Annual Report FY 06/07
Faculty Compensation Committee
18 April 2007
Kim Dillivan, Hamner Hill, Elaine Jackson, Walt Lilly, David Naugler, Carolyn Rainey, Mary Harriet Talbut, Pat Willingham (chair)
The Faculty Compensation Committee began this academic year by reviewing the previous year's activities and accomplishments. The Committee then proceeded to develop a list of issues or concerns that might be included in the annual compensation proposal. Two issues that did not get addressed this year, but may need to be given further consideration, are:
• Students pay for thesis advising credits, but faculty don't get that responsibility factored into their compensation, and
• Rates for "windshield time” are not equitable: A 2-credit course brings with it a "windshield” rate of X, while a 3 or 4 credit course taught at the same site brings with it a "windshield” rate of Y. It is unclear as to why there is a difference between the 2-credit course and the 3- or 4-credit courses, since it is the same driving time regardless of the credit hours involved.
The Committee has met with the President, Provost, and VP for Finance on several occasions. Most of the year has been spent working with Dr. Christina Frazier, who was asked by the President to assist the Committee in developing a compensation proposal that would address some of the market and equity issues that have arisen in the past few years. The proposal that was approved by the Senate on March 28th has been presented to the University Budget Review Committee. Yesterday, the Faculty Compensation Committee met with the Provost, VP Mangels, and, via telephone, with the President to negotiate a position with regard to that proposal. The University Budget Review Committee will meet on April 26th to complete the budget planning process.
There are some issues that should be addressed in the coming year. First, it might be wise to add the position in the Provost's Office currently filled by Dr. Frazier as a permanent, non-voting member of the Faculty Compensation Committee. This would formalize an already existing working relationship and expedite the Committee's work. Then there is the matter of the Merit Pay policy, which must be reviewed next year. There may be portions of that policy that the Senate would like to see reworked. The Committee's work would be facilitated if the funding for Post-Professorial Merit were to come from a base funding pool separate from the Base Merit dollars. Chronically tight money, combined with an institutional distaste for disparate percentages for the salary pools for different categories of personnel, continues to leave those faculty not receiving either a promotion or Post-Professorial Merit with a base merit increase that is 25% lower, percentage-wise, than what personnel in other categories receive. This would be only slightly less objectionable if it were not always put forth to the media that the raise is equivalent to the percentage value of the total faculty dollars pool; as it is, the public is being given an incorrect impression while the faculty continue to fall further behind financially.
Finally, an issue that is beyond the scope of this Committee, but which will surely impact its work in the future, is the tying of the minimum wage to the CPI. This creates a situation in which the student labor pool will reap considerably better increases, percentage-wise, than full-time, long-term employees can even begin to hope for, and will put steadily increasing pressure on the low end of the salary scale across the University, causing compression not only within personnel categories but across all categories.
There was no new business to consider.
Senator Swatzell reintroduced a revised version of the Grievance Policy. After lengthy discussion the Governance Committee decided to rewrite portions of the policy and bring it back for more discussion at the next meeting.
The motion to adjourn (Senator Althaus/Senator Dillivan) was recognized and approved at 4:45 p.m.
The next Faculty Senate Meeting will be April 25, 2007, in the University Center Missouriana Room at 3 pm.
Approved April 25, 2007