Southeast Missouri State University

February 21, 2012 - Special Meeting

Academic Council (approved March 6, 2012)

Present:  Aguinaga, Barrios, Bruns, Eddleman, Gathman, Hinkle, Jung, Koch, Lilly, McDougall, McGowan, McMillan, Randolph, Roeder, Rosati, Scott, Starrett, Timlin, and Weller-Stilson  

Guests:  Michael Aide, Sarah Bolton, Greg Boyd, Indi Braden, Peter Chanthanakone, Bonnie Coy-Svenson, Brad Deken, John Dudley, Deepak Gupta, Dan Lauder, David Mauk, Kevin McMeel, Belinda McMurry, David Probst, Cheryl Reinagel, Tim Simmons, Denise Squires, Sven Svenson, Julie Weathers, and Wade Wiseman

A.  ACTION ITEMS:  

1.      Proposal to Merge the College of Science and Mathematics, and the School of Polytechnic Studies
Rosati explained that the proposal to merge the College of Science and Mathematics, and the School of Polytechnic Studies was going through the steps laid out in the Academic Restructuring Procedures, and was now brought forward to Academic Council for consideration. Based on those procedures, three affected departments were in attendance to present their positions on the merger proposal. Rosati explained that the Council would hear from those parties, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each proposal, and would vote whether each proposal was acceptable or unacceptable.  

Rosati began with a review of the original proposal, to merge the College of Science and Mathematics, and the School of Polytechnic Studies, to the College of Science, Technology and Agriculture. He explained that the basis of the proposal was cost savings, including the salaries of the Dean and Administrative Assistant, and estimated the savings in the range of $220,000-$250,000. He added that there would be some initial additional costs, in printing new letterhead, stationary, banners, signage, etc.  

McDougall pointed out that the additional costs will be incurred with any of the proposals, including the already Board of Regents approved move to the College of Polytechnic and Agricultural Studies. Jung stated that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee asked him to bring up the question of committee representation with a merger; Rosati responded that if a merger takes place, and a committee’s membership charge states that there will be one faculty per college, then the new college would only have one representative. He added that Academic Council could recommend to the Faculty Senate, University Standing Committees, and Student Government Association that they revise their membership charges to have equal representation, but could only recommend. Rosati also pointed out that regarding promotion and tenure, the departmental level guidelines would not be affected, but the makeup of the College level committee would be different. He also pointed out that budgets would remain the same. Scott added that after speaking to students, she found that one Agriculture student was concerned about the budgets to auxiliaries, like the greenhouse or farm, while another student (non-major) was concerned for the degrees being minimized if there was a merger to a College, rather than a School.  

McGowan noted that in addition to the original proposal, there were two other proposals that had come forward through the process from the College of Science and Mathematics College Council, and from the School of Polytechnic Studies School Council. The College of Science and Mathematics proposal was to keep the College of Science and Mathematics as is, including keeping the Computer Science Department in the College, with Dr. Jai Dahiya as Associate Dean with no release time; the School of Polytechnic and Agricultural Studies would be under the College of Science and Mathematics, with a half-time Director/Associate Dean (akin to the makeup of the current College of Liberal Arts, and School of Visual and Performing Arts). The School of Polytechnic Studies proposal was to keep the College of Science and Mathematics name, and have a separate College of Polytechnic and Agricultural Studies, including the Computer Science Department, as is scheduled to be implemented in Summer 2012; McGowan  would serve as joint dean for both colleges, and each college would have an associate dean.  

Rosati asked Dr. David Probst to present the Department of Computer Science’s position on the proposal. Probst stated that the Department of Computer Science prefers to go with the original proposal of a College of Science, Technology and Agriculture, as they feel it has a higher level of synergy. However, if a different proposal is recommended, the Department prefers to stay aligned with the sciences and mathematics. Rosati thanked Probst.  

Rosati asked Dr. Doug Koch to present the Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology’s position. Koch stated that there are many studies on mergers, and most mergers take placed during budget cuts. He said that valid concerns during mergers are a loss of autonomy, resources, and collaboration. He pointed out that the Department of Industrial and Engineering Technology (Polytech) has seen tremendous growth, funding growth, has exceeded their student credit hour ratio expectation, is actively engaged in collaborations with several departments on campus, has had several new degrees and options, and continues to hold accreditations from two accrediting bodies. He reiterated that the Department proposed to maintain separate colleges, as has already been approved by the Board of Regents, with a cost savings by appointing McGowan as joint dean. Rosati thanked Koch.  

Rosati asked Dr. Michael Aide to present the Department of Agriculture’s position. Aide stated that the Department’s proposal was virtually identical to Polytech’s proposal. He pointed out that the Department has seen a 55% increase in majors over four years. He also stated that the success of the Department is due to the current structure, of Agriculture and Polytech as departments in one unit. He noted that the faculty of the departments have a collective mindset, and that the departments have a culture that has made them successful. Rosati thanked Aide.  

Rosati reviewed the three proposals with the Council. He also gave the Council data on number of faculty and students in each college/school as it stands now: College of Business has 51 faculty and 1,700 students; College of Education has 39 faculty and 1,900 students; College of Health and Human Services has 79 faculty and 3,000 students; College of Liberal Arts has 134 faculty and 2,500 students; School of Polytechnic Studies has 24 faculty and 1,000 students; and the College of Science and Mathematics has 67 faculty and 1,500 students.  

Rosati asked the Council to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each proposal.  

For the first proposal, to merge the College of Science and Mathematics and the School of Polytechnic Studies to the “College of Science, Technology and Agriculture,” the advantages noted were: cost savings, political advantage having Agriculture in the title, simplest structure, ease of hiring one dean; disadvantages noted were: less faculty representation, departments perceive a loss of autonomy, Mathematics is not in the title, possible political implication of going back to the Board of Regents after they’ve already approved a College; promotion and tenure college level committee makeup; two affected departments aren’t in favor of proposal.  

For the second proposal, to keep the College of Science and Mathematics, including Computer Science Department, and form the School of Polytechnic and Agricultural Studies under the College, the advantages noted were: cost savings, having Agricultural in the title of the School, keeps Mathematics in the title of the College, preserves faculty representation, promotion and tenure college and school level committee makeup would stay the same, ease of hiring one dean, and we currently have the same model on campus with the College of Liberal Arts and the School of Visual and Performing Arts; disadvantages noted were: the associate dean for the School would come from one of two departments.  

For the third proposal, to have a separate College of Science and Mathematics, and a College of Polytechnic and Agricultural Studies (including Computer Science Department), the advantages noted were: keeps autonomy, budgets remain, promotion and tenure college committee makeup would remain, goes along with the already approved Board of Regents decision, and has the strongest faculty buy-in from two affected departments; disadvantages noted were: could diminish the dean’s effectiveness, strange organization to outsiders, and pressure to hire two deans.  

McDougall moved approval of adding a fourth model, to keep the College of Science and Mathematics, and have the School of Polytechnic and Agricultural Studies under the College, but move the Computer Science Department to the School; seconded by Scott. Discussion followed. Koch noted that Polytech already has a collaborative relationship with Computer Science, and will continue with that regardless of them being in the same unit. McMillan added that from a human resources perspective, it’s best to keep the department (Computer Science) happy, i.e., keep them with the sciences and mathematics. Eight members were in favor of adding the model, and eight were against; Rosati accepted adding the proposal for consideration.  

After further discussion, Randolph moved approval of adding a fifth model, to keep the College of Science and Mathematics with McGowan as dean, and a College of Polytechnic and Agricultural Studies, including the Computer Science Department as is expected to be implemented in Summer 2012 with McGowan as interim dean. With that model, there would be two associate deans. Ten members were in favor of adding the model, and eight were against. The motion passed.  

Rosati stated that the Council would vote either “acceptable” or “unacceptable” on each proposal. The results were (Models are listed out of sequential order from the minutes, for better visual flow):  

Model #1 - College of Science, Technology and Agriculture – 9 acceptable, 7 unacceptable;  
Model #2 - College of Science and Mathematics (including Computer Science) with School of Polytechnic and Agricultural Studies under College – 15 acceptable, 2 unacceptable;  

Model #3 - College of Science and Mathematics and School of Polytechnic and Agricultural Studies (including Computer Science) – 6 acceptable, 12 unacceptable;  

Model #4 - College of Science and Mathematics, and College of Polytechnic and Agricultural Studies (including Computer Science) – 5 acceptable, 10 unacceptable;  

Model #5 - College of Science and Mathematics and College of Polytechnic and Agricultural Studies (including Computer Science) – 9 acceptable; 7 unacceptable.  

Rosati thanked the presenters and all faculty and staff for attending the meeting. He explained that he would receive a report from the Academic Council on their considerations, and would then, within five days, submit his recommendation to the President.  

2.      SLO Q2 Committee’s Recommended Revision to Syllabus Template
Rosati explained that the syllabus template needs to be revised to include Student Learning Outcomes, to bring us into compliance with HLC criteria. Eddleman moved approval of the syllabus template, as the SLO Q2 Committee had revised it; seconded by McDougall/McMillan. Randolph questioned the moratorium that was passed at the February 2012 meeting; Rosati reiterated that the moratorium is on new courses. Eddleman explained that revised courses had been submitted for approval the Graduate Council and he’d sent them back to include the SLO’s before submission to Graduate Council. Starrett explained the revisions by the SLO Q2 Committee to the syllabus template; they added the SLO component with a minimum of three outcomes. Starrett added that there is currently no instruction sheet for the template, but that guidelines will be given to faculty for SLO’s. Further discussion followed. Eddleman will take the issue to the Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Committee and ask for a recommendation for expediting the process to revise all syllabi to include SLO’s. McDougall questioned whether there is a different template for graduate courses. McGowan moved approval to table the revision of the syllabus template; seconded by McMillan. Motion to table passed unanimously.  

C.  DISCUSSION ITEMS  

1.      Memo to Chairpersons regarding SLO’s
Starrett distributed a memo to the Chairpersons regarding SLO’s and how/whether departments are already assessing SLO’s. The deadline for chairs to return the memo to Starrett is February 22nd; he asked that the deans please ask their chairs to get the memo back to him as soon as possible.  

Meeting adjourned.

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