Transcript Senate Meeting
March 21, 2017
James Goldstein, chair: Welcome to the seventh meeting of the University Senate for 2016-17, and the third of the new calendar year. Once again, we have a long agenda, so I hope everyone is getting comfortable. If you are a senator or a substitute for a senator, please make sure you sign in at the back and pick up a clicker. If you are a substitute, please remember to PRINT your name clearly in the second column so that we can read your name. Senators only need to initial beside their name on the sign-in sheet. For new senators and guests, here again are the Senate rules about speaking. If you’d like to speak about an issue or ask a question, please go to the microphone, wait to be recognized, then state your name, whether or not you are a senator, and the unit you represent. The rules of the Senate require that senators or substitute senators be allowed to speak first. After senators have had a chance to speak, guests are welcome to speak as well.
The agenda today was set by the Senate Steering Committee and posted on the Senate website in advance. It is now up on the screen. First we need to establish a quorum. We need 44 senators present for a quorum. Please press A on your clicker for the count. Quorum is established.
The first order of business is to approve the minutes for the meeting of Feb. 14. The minutes have been previously posted on the Senate Web site. Are there any additions or changes or corrections to these minutes? Do I have a motion to approve? Second? All in favor please say aye.
James Goldstein, chair: Opposed? (no response) The minutes are approved.
Dr. Gogue was unavailable to speak to us today because he is now in Charlottesville, VA for a SACS reaccreditation visit to the University of Virginia. I remember when John Casteen was president of UVA and he came to do the same thing here. He was my Beowulf professor in graduate school, so I just wanted to put in a plug for old English.
He wanted me to let you know the reason for his absence, not John Casteen, but Dr. Gogue, and pointed out that this is only the third time since he’s been president that he has missed a Senate Meeting. Quite and extraordinary record. I told him he had a good excuse to miss today. [3:10]
We turn now to remarks from Provost, Dr. Boosinger, who had just returned from a trip to India.
Dr. Boosinger, Provost: Yes, you don’t have to remind me, it’s 3 o’clock in the morning over there, but we had a great trip. Dr. Gogue asked me to make just a few comments on his behalf. First, as James said, he sends his regrets that he couldn’t be here today.
Wanted to update all of you with where we are with the budget process for this year. At this point we are comfortable that state support for Auburn University will be level for 2018. So generally that’s good news given the history of the last 10 or 15 years. [4:04]
Some concerns have been raised about a decline in international student enrollment. That’s been reviewed and studied, we’re tracking that. In some areas there’s been a slight reduction but overall we’re not sure the change is significant because it’s less than 2 percent. We’ll just be watching that and see what happens with that.
Lastly I wanted to, if you didn’t see the announcement go out, to let you know that Velda Rooker, following an internal search for an interim dean of enrollment that she was appointed to provide leadership for enrollment services for the next year or so following Dr. Alderman’s decision to return to the faculty in the College of Business. I’d like to recognize all the Dr. Wayne Alderman did over the last 10 years and hope everyone will support Velda as we move through the next year with our enrollment programs. She’s been acting member of the enrollment management council and I think will do a great job, has all the right skills. Thank you very much.
Any questions or comments?
James Goldstein, chair: Now for some remarks from the Senate Chair. For those who may have just emerged from winter hibernation to attend this meeting, yesterday’s breaking news was that a successor to Dr. Gogue was approved yesterday by the Board of Trustees. They have selected Dr. Steven Leath, the current president of Iowa State University, a distinguished land-grant institution, to become our next president in July. I have heard some faculty members express disappointment in some aspects of the search process. Some faculty members, myself included, wish that the process could have been more open and transparent. Many faculty members wish that a short list of finalists had been invited to campus to give presentations, and that faculty and other groups had been consulted before the final selection was made. However, for better or worse, in recent years sitting presidents have become increasingly reluctant to have it become publicly known that they have applied for other jobs. I wish that before agreeing to keep confidentiality in force until the selection is named, university governing boards would be sensitive to the reasons why faculty, staff, and students may become suspicious when there is a sudden announcement that a president is about to be chosen. It is unfortunate that the university community was not given an opportunity to learn the identities of the finalists or to ask questions of even the one final candidate in an open forum. Nonetheless, I am grateful that the search committee was broadly representative of all the constituent groups, and I especially wish to thank Larry Teeter and Laura Plexico for serving as the faculty’s representatives on the committee. I am also grateful to the Board of Trustees for selecting as our next president someone with a strong academic background, as I had hoped. The Senate leadership had an opportunity to meet with Dr. Leath yesterday morning. I believe he has a strong record of supporting shared governance and is always willing to listen to the faculty’s concerns. I hope that the faculty will join me in welcoming him to Auburn University in July and support his efforts to advance the university in the coming years.
Before we turn to our action items, I want to explain the background to one of the information items that I have requested for today. Dr. Drew Clark will be presenting on two topics at my request. The first will be a presentation on data on the percentage of teaching carried by tenure-line faculty in relation to non-tenure-track faculty. When the University Senate voted to approve the creation of lecturers in 2009, the Faculty Handbook also inserted a provision in 3.5.1, section O that reads, you have to drill down pretty far, but anyway, it reads:
Auburn endorses the AAUP guidelines stating that no more than 15 percent of the total instruction within an institution and no more than 25 percent of the total instruction within any department should be provided by faculty with nontenure-track appointments. In Auburn University’s efforts to adhere to these guidelines, any exceptions to these percentages must be approved in writing by the provost on an annual basis.
To the best of my knowledge, this percentage has not been systematically monitored and the exceptions for departments like my own (English) have not been annually approved, as called for by the Faculty Handbook. However, I do believe that the university should make an effort to limit its reliance on non-tenure-track faculty, and the only way this can happen is if we pay attention to the trend lines. I was encouraged in my discussion with our future president yesterday to learn that he has presided over a period of growth in the number of tenure-track faculty in response to a rapid rise in the number of undergraduate students. Unlike the case at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, under Steven Leath’s leadership Iowa State University has managed to avoid becoming more reliant on NTTF to accommodate the rise in the number of students. Drew Clark will be reviewing the data for us later this afternoon.
He will also be addressing another topic, and here I want to call attention to the link I have provided in today’s agenda to a brief statement from March 2016 by the AAUP on the propriety database called Academic Analytics. I first became aware of the existence of this database from news reports of controversies concerning the use of Academic Analytics at Rutgers University, where the Faculty Senate voted overwhelmingly to forbid the use of the database in tenure and promotion decisions. Given that not many faculty members are even aware of the existence of Academic Analytics and how it might be used or abused, I thought it would be useful to have a report from the administration on how this database works, and what kinds of information it provides. [10:51]
We turn now to our first action item, voting on the 3 candidates for…oh, before we turn to that were there any questions for the chair? Okay.
We turn now to our first action item, voting on the 3 candidates for the Senate Rules Committee, who were nominated from the floor at our last meeting. This matter will be handled by Xing Ping Hu the Senate secretary.
Xing Ping Hu, Secretary: Good afternoon. On the screen are the 3 candidates for Rules Committee. We have 3 vacancies and we have 3 candidates. They were nominated from the Senate floor of the Senate Meeting in February. The biographies have been posted on the Senate Web site for review. I hope you have had a chance to review them.
Now we will take a vote. Pick up your clicker, A is yes and B is no. A=56, B=2. Okay, it has passed. Congratulations to the newly elected Rules members. Thank you. [12:14]
James Goldstein, chair: Our next action item is the resolution on the schedule for Promotion and Tenure candidates presented by Bob Ashurst, the chair of the Faculty Research Committee.
Bob Ashurst, the chair of the Faculty Research Committee: Thank you Dr. Goldstein. This is a simple, straight forward recommendation that we suggest that the norm for consideration going up for promotion and tenure from assistant to associate professor be after the completion of 5 years of service. So that would be during the sixth year of appointment. It comes about from a review of what our peer schools are doing throughout the southeast. We discussed it from the associate deans research report from almost a year ago and we considered it in the Faculty Research Committee for quite a while and came up with this resolution to hopefully be voted on today. Questions?
James Goldstein, chair: if there’s no further discussion then we are ready for a vote. Vote A if you wish to pass this resolution, B if you don’t wish to pass this resolution. A=48, B=13. The motion carries. Thank you very much.
We turn now to the first of our information items, which is an update on the Strategic Budget Model presented by Kelli Shomaker, Vice president for Business and Finance and Chief Financial Officer. [17:00]
Kelli Shomaker, Vice president for Business and Finance and Chief Financial Officer: First of all, thank you for the opportunity for me to be here today. And thank you for being incredible faculty members. Auburn is very blessed to have so many of you that value students, enriching their lives every day and who work so diligently doing research that will enrich lives of citizens of the state of Alabama, the United States, and the world. I continue to marvel at the work that you do. Thank you.
Before we talk about all things budget, I’d like to let you know a little bit about me. I’m a native Texan of 54 years, who recently, 6 months ago arrived in Auburn, Alabama. I’ve been involved in higher education administration and teaching myself for over 20 years at Texas A&M University and Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. I also spent a combined 10 years as an auditor for Price Waterhouse Coopers and in the Corporate investment industry. I’ve brought those combined experiences to Auburn and delighted to be here.
Today I was asked by the Senate leadership to provide you with mid-year update on the newly implemented strategic budget initiative. Knowing that you might have some very detailed questions and not wanting to give you a response of “I’ll look into that and get back with you.” I have also brought along Brian Elmore, Director of University Budgets and of course, Dr. Tim Boosinger, Provost and Chief S Strategist behind the strategic budget initiative. I am going to break my presentation today into 3 components. First of all just a little historical review. Some of you may have not been here when this process started about 5 years ago. An implementation review and then finally future of the strategic budget initiative from the eyes of Kelli Shomaker.
All right, a historical review. In formal conversations around a different way to budget began back in 2011. The conversation centered around ways to address funding inequities between colleges, provide permanent funding for strategic initiatives and assuring funding to meet the instructional demands of the core curriculum. These conversations continued and culminated in January of 2013 with the formal initiation of a due diligence process designed to ensure that the university could focus its resources on its missions and priorities. A steering committee was established to assess the current funding model and evaluate a funds flow model along with the help and assistance of Huron Consulting. During this process the following guidelines were established. The new model would prioritize funding of strategic initiatives aligned with Auburn’s mission. It would deliver consistent, accurate and realistic financial projections, while allowing flexibility to respond to future opportunities and unknowns. It would promote authority, responsibility, and accountability both locally and university wide. It would provide incentives for effective management of both revenues and expenses, and reward creativity and innovation. It would be simple, transparent, and logical.
In 2013 the conceptual methodology of an Auburn model was derived at and the decision to engage a campus community was made. There were a series of open forums, hopefully many of you attended and numerous presentations to campus groups, including University Senate. [20:35] In January 2014 the decision was made to move forward with the development of an incentive based model for Auburn University.
Some of the details about why. Why did we need a new budget model? One, sharply reduced state support. Which lead to increased tuition dependency, from 44% in 2008 to 63% of our budget in 2013. Increased competition in the marketplace due to tuition price sensitivity, dependence on out-of-state tuition revenues, and shifts in student demographics, and as well as limited support for strategic initiatives under the old model that would allow us to remain competitive.
Also identified were some financial consequences of not adjusting to a model. Increased salary compression, limited funding for strategic initiatives, limited support for increased facilities that we needed, and pressures for improved affordability.
Implementation. The strategic budget initiative became effective with the fiscal year 2017 budget on October 1, 2016. Along with the implementation was the launch of the associated governance structure. The governance structure includes a Central Unit Allocation Committee that will review central allocations budgets and make recommendations to a Budget Advisory Committee; a Space Management and Deferred Maintenance (Repair and Renovations not deferred maintenance) Committee, that will also review management and deferred maintenance budgets and make recommendations to the Budget Advisory Committee; and then lastly the University Budget Advisory Committee. Many of you serve on those committees, for that we thank you. Those committees have faculty members, they have deans, they have higher administration from all areas, some staff. Those committees are in the process of meeting. There again this chart just shows those governance committees along the bottom, the recommendations they will make that will roll up to a University Budget committee which will eventually arise to executive leadership to make a final decision about the budget. Along with that is input from deans, colleges, department chairs, faculty, staff, and other stake holders.
The governance structure is occurring along a timeline. I realize this is a little hard for you to see in the back, but the main thing I wanted you to know, it’s really a 12-month process. Those committees are meeting, people have been asked to submit their budgets, key information that will be necessary, they’ve been meeting since November and December. The Central Unit Allocation Committee and the Space Management Committee will make a recommendation within the next week or two to the Budget Advisory Committee, which will make a recommendation to key leadership. Their inputs, then, will be a driving force in what needs to happen with certain revenues and certain fees going forward.
The Budget Advisory Committee has also been presented with updates to strategic planning, revenue considerations that surround tuition, state appropriations, legislative updates and expenditure reviews associated with merit pools, increases in operations and maintenance associated with capital projects and mandatory positive increases tied to contractual arrangements principally associated with technology and Library periodicals. [24:30] Inherent in the existing model is that the model would not change for a 5-year period. Due to the expiration of that 5 years another committee would be created to look at that model and to suggest changes to it going forward.
The future. What does that future look like and what might we expect knowing that we have a change in leadership? Hopefully and initially the development of multi-year budgets for planning purposes at university and unit levels. Auburn is under resourced in central capacity and technology systems to manage an inter-wide strategic budget process that spans multiple years currently. Like to see improvements to the annual budget process through shifts in that timeline. We led a very condensed timeline this year, we will probably begin to spread it out a little bit more. Clarification of guidelines, approach in governance, improve on integrating the strategic plan into the budget process and funding decisions, committees will be asked at the end of this year, and all years, to assess and evaluate what worked, what didn’t work and how to make the committees work a little bit more relevant. Incorporate the use of benchmarking and similar analysis into the committee process and the development of a robust and useful management reporting tool. That’s what the future looks like according to me.
Any questions that you might have about where we are? About 6 months into this year’s budget, questions for myself, for Brian, Dr. Boosinger? (no response) Thank you very much. [26:25]
James Goldstein, chair: We turn now to our second information item the 2 reports by Drew Clark, Director of Institutional Research.
Drew Clark, Director of Institutional Research: Kelli, I am also a native Texan, but it’s been a long time. I am a former senator, I am always glad to be with you all. As he mentioned, James asked me to update the Senate on 2 distinct topics, starting with the share of instruction being provided currently to Auburn students by our non-tenure track faculty members. So shares of teaching responsibility can be estimated or presented in a couple of different ways and the first would be by proportion of organized class sections taught. And the second would be by the number of student credit hours generated out of those classes. The later method, the credit hour method, takes into account the number of students enrolled in each section taught, the former just counts each section as one. As far as I know James, the language that you sighted from the Faculty Handbook doesn’t really specify which of those 2 it means or meant, so I am going to present both. These slides are available with the agenda, it may be difficult for you to read all of them here. In any case by both of those methods the share of teaching responsibility being fulfilled by Auburn’s non-tenure track faculty members has indeed risen over the last 5 years. The share of organized course sections taught was 14% in 2012–13, it’s 20% this year. Share of student credit hours generated out of those sections has risen from 25% to 34% over the same time periods, from about a quarter to about a third.
The lower left hand panel shows the corresponding figures for course sections and credit hours generated by faculty who are either tenured or on the tenure-track and that shows corresponding declines, though it’s still the majority of instruction as measured by organized course sections as carried by tenure and tenure-track faculty. Effective with 2015–16 tenured and tenure-track faculty were no longer generating the majority of credit hours on campus. That includes some information that I will show next.
The remaining instruction in the lower right is carried out by graduate teaching assistants and other kinds of faculty, that would include occasional instructors such as a contract scuba-diving instructor who comes in to teach a given PE class. If I were to go back to the classroom, it’s not recommended, but if I were to go back to the classroom to teach Paradise Lost for a semester, I would fall into the ‘other’ category. [30:10]
James asked me also to present a little more detail on instruction by various types of non-tenure track faculty members here at Auburn. Here on this slide I display information for instructors, that’s the upper left, the older of the 2 categories; lecturers on the upper right, that’s the newer of the 2; and then we have other non-tenure track faculty who fall into neither of those buckets, a very substantial number of clinical faculty, who provide instruction as you might expect in disciplines like nursing and pharmacy. But there are also clinical instructors or clinical faculty members in other disciplines around campus including some places where you might not immediately think of that term. As you can see, if you can see, by comparing the top 2 panels you’ll see the share of instruction being provided by instructors, the older of the 2 types that we have has declined over the last 5 years. In terms of course sections taught it’s about the same, roughly 8%, 7% most recently. Number of credit hours is declining as generated by instructors from 16% 5 years ago to 12% this current year. Correspondingly, and I think by design, the proportion of instruction carried by people in the Lecturer Series, and that would include Lecturers and Senior Lecturers, has increased. The trend line looks more dramatic for them over this particular 5 years, because we were just getting started with this type of faculty, but it’s risen from 4% in sections in the first of the 5 years to 9% this year and in terms of credit hours from 6% to 15%. So Lecturers are plainly making substantial contributions to instruction here at Auburn University. [32:10] Bottom panel shows sections and credit hours generated by clinical and other types, here there is less of a pattern, it depends on enrollment in those disciplines.
Finally, I wanted to add some information about how the division of instructional responsibilities here at Auburn impairs with what’s typical at peer universities in those disciplines that we teach and they teach too. This information is from a different data set than, it’s more time lag than what we just saw and comes up to the current year. This comes from the 2014, so called, Delaware Study of Instructional Cost and Productivity and it’s based on fall 2013 data. Auburn participates in this study usually every other year and we’ll get new comparative data this summer which may look a little different on this point. For the Delaware Study which is a voluntary data sharing collaborative, we report information on the shares of instruction being delivered by type of faculty member for 49 different disciplines. In a couple of cases because of how our departments are structured, 2 departments are represented in a single discipline because we have developed specialization for example in plant sciences that’s more developed than many other places. So after each round of the Delaware Study is concluded we, having sent in our own discipline-our own information, we receive back peer norms for those disciplines based on the information that was provided by all research universities that participated in the study that year. Research universities for the Delaware Study means either they are in the R1 status or the R2 status as the Carnegie classification goes.
So, let me talk for a second about those peer norms. There’s essentially an average computed after outliers are thrown out, because people do make data entry mistakes when they submit their data. And for commonly taught disciplines like English or Chemistry for example, those peer norms might be based on 70 to 100 departments around the country at research universities. Relatively greater confidence in their representativeness than less commonly taught disciplines like Building Science or Fisheries for example, here, the norms are based on fewer and in some cases, many fewer data points, so it needs to be used with caution. In any case as been the case in all previous rounds of the Delaware Study, that I’m aware of, data from the 14 studies show that here at Auburn tenured and tenure-track faculty members continue to be responsible for a larger than average share of instruction in most of the disciplines that we offer. That is larger than average at similar universities. That was the case for 23 disciplines in the 2014 study. That is in those disciplines Auburn’s share of student instruction provide by tenured and tenure-tract faculty was higher at Auburn than it was for the peers by about 10 percentage points or more. For about an equal number of cases Auburn’s fell within 10 percentage points, plus or minus for the norm for participating research universities in that field of study. And finally in 5 disciplines in that year the share of instruction being given by tenure-streamed faculty here at Auburn was smaller than the peer average.
Benchmarking information always needs to be considered with a blend of skepticism and humility. The broad trend over several rounds of the Delaware Study, at least, has show that Auburn continues to emphasize teaching as a key responsibility of tenured and tenure-track faculty members, while Auburn also is using non-tenure track faculty to deliver key instructional effort for our students.
I’m going to pause there for a second if it is okay with you, James, and separate any questions about this part of the presentation from anything that comes next. Can I field any questions? [36:47]
Let me turn to provide you with a brief introduction to one source of information about the activity of faculty as scholars and researchers, and that’s source is the Analytics Database. Many of you will be familiar with this from training sessions we’ve had on campus to every department chair, every associate dean for research, every dean who wanted to participate in training has had the opportunity for hands on training and currently has access to the data set. So many of you may have heard this. But in case you haven’t I want to try to fill you in.
So Academic Analytics is a for profit firm, it specializes in collecting and organizing information on some key areas of faculty research and scholarship. It’s actually a university spin off, it was the brain child of the graduate dean at Suny Stony Brook in around 2002 or 2003 and Stony Brook spun it off into this company. As far as I know, Stony Brook does not realize any revenues.
The Academic Analytics database is growing because it’s refreshed every year. It provides information on recent scholarly work by more than 200,000 faculty members associated with nearly 10,000 different PhD programs and 11,000 academic departments at over 400 research active universities in the university and abroad; 400 sounds like a big number, and it is…the number of universities in the U.S. is approaching 5,000.
To facilitate comparison, the dataset maps scholarly activity to a taxonomy of disciplines much like we do for the Delaware Study, so that we can compare things that might go by different names locally with similar programs. [39:19] The dataset works by connecting faculty members with programs and departments with which they are affiliated. The only faculty members about which it collects information are those who have the production of scholarship or research as a part of their assigned duties. So it doesn’t consider other types of faculty work. it connects faculty members with departments at specific universities, that’s in the first place, and then connects each faculty member with 6 types of publically information on their scholarly work. The types are recent journal articles, recent journal to journal citations, conference proceedings, books, federal grants, and honorific awards for scholarship it they are available to the entire discipline or to a defined sub-set of that discipline such as Young Investigators. Typically information on faculty names and department program affiliations comes from the institutions themselves. That’s the case here at Auburn where we take great care in vetting those names and getting them submitted. The rest of the information is gathered by Academic Analytics employees. Currently information on articles, citations, and conference proceedings comes from meta-data that are deposited at Crossref. If you haven’t heard of Crossref, it is a not-for-profit membership organization designed to promote scholarly publishing and making content easy to find, easy to cite, easy to remember. Information on books comes from the British Library and Baker and Taylor a large publishing aggregator. Information on federal grants comes from the federal granting agencies themselves, they get it by means of freedom of information act requests. Information on honors and awards comes from the awarding organizations themselves.
I’ll get to this later, but there are obviously other types of scholarly and research work that faculty do that don’t have these kinds of robust datasets behind them, cannot be gathered yet. The full date, that is everything they’ve collected since the firm began (I thought I’d give you a sense of the data coverage). It’s only been around for about 12 years and their emphasis was in the beginning and remains now recent scholarly work. The dataset is also changed and improved over that time period so it is important to keep in mind the time frame that it covers. The full dataset goes back to 2004 for most types of scholarly work. A little farther than that for honorific awards, a little less far for federal grants. Auburn has access to the full dataset consistent with our terms of licensure. There is some interest in the firm in pushing that dataset back to cover earlier work, but the primary emphasis is on recent work. Because time is what it is the dataset will become a longitudinal dataset over the years. So that’s the full data.
Data are also organized, principally organized into a series of annual snapshots, mostly designed to answer questions under the broad heading of what’s been going on recently. So those snapshots for recent journal articles it’s the last 4 years; for recent journal article citations it’s the last 5 (years); for books the last 10 years; for federal grants the last 5 (years); for awards the period varies with the nature of the award itself. If you win a Nobel it stays forever, some others are more time limited. Details, by the way, on data collection methods, where they get their data, what the limitations are, are fully spelled out in all of the documentation.
The pre-formative and interactive displays on the Web data portal are designed to represent these accumulating annual snapshots. Users can pick which snapshot they want to use, it defaults to the most recent one, but you can if you wish go back to see what the 2012 was like or you can just go to the full data.
Because this is a little bit hard to visualize and I’ve presented it in a boring format I wanted to pause and give you one illustration to help you begin to think about what it does and does not include. To do that I’ve selected 4 different hypothetical articles maybe from a single faculty member’s publishing career. I am going to talk about a 1996 article, a 2008 article, a 2012 article that has an assigned digital object identifier (DOI), and a 2012 article that didn’t have a DOI associated with it.
So the article from 1996, I will start in the upper left, is currently not captured in the database at all. That was a great disappointment to me personally because of my age. But the firm’s focus is on depicting recent scholarly activity and not on providing a comprehensive accounting of everything ever published by anybody. And if somebody does come up with that in this format, that’s great news. The bad news is Auburn will not be able to afford access to that database with that level of detail. So that’s the ’96 article, not captured at all, perhaps someday it will be if they work backwards from where they began, but chances are it’s not going to be in there.
A 2008 article typically would have been captured, and will be represented in the full data it is not shown in the most recent data snapshot if you go to the Web to log in because that snapshot is based on the last 4 years articles 12–15. In keeping with a merging scholarly standards and the recommendations that the scholarly publication groups, Crossref and other promoters of scholarly publishing and other kinds of scholarly work are using digital object identifiers to assign a unique identity to each piece work, basically a permanent “handle” for a piece of work. Currently because Academic Analytics is capturing metadata only on article that have assigned DOI, that’s because they are working with Crossref. So that third article, the one in the lower left, published in 2012 with a DOI assigned is visible to Academic Analytics. They can find it, they can present it, they include it, however and article lacking a DOI from the same time period would be present on the faculty member’s CV, would be available to researchers in the Library who want to look it up, should be considered by the faculty member’s peers in making qualitative evaluations of that person but will not be visible in Academic Analytics. It’s really important to recognize that not all journal publishers are yet using Digital Object Identifiers. And in some fields your discipline may not be using them much at all, I believe that to be the case in Horticulture, but I am not current on that. So you need to be aware and anybody using the data needs to be aware that there may be blind spots, they may affect whole disciplines. We simply cannot know in advance whether within a discipline the blind spot would affect each institution exactly the same way or differently, it would kind of depend on where those people chose to publish. The worst case would be a discipline where about half of the journals are using DOIs and about half are not and you don’t which journal people are publishing in.
A fairly obvious recommendation coming out of that is because DOIs are not associated with Academic Analytics principally but are part of a larger trend, if your discipline is not using them, exert your influence within your discipline to see if publishers would begin to assign DOIs.
So, that’s the coverage of the data and I think a fair representation of what they’ve got. I do want to pause before I talk about questions. We think that a resource can help us handle…to talk about the limitations of the dataset. I’ve already implied or stated some of those, but I want to formally call attention to some. It’s important to understand the features of any information you are using to reflect on your own career, your colleagues, your institution, your discipline. I am going to highlight 6 principle limitations of the data.
1. While the dataset is designed to capture information about recent scholarly work it never can and never will provide up to the minute coverage. It’s important to remember that it’s the most recent grants, publications, citations, and so on, but the most recent stuff of all, what your faculty are doing this year won’t register until the next release of the dataset. So, never a good source for the most recent work.
2. Secondly, as I already mentioned, if it doesn’t have a DOI the dataset can’t see it.
3. Academic Analytics has a bias toward inclusion, it’s a deliberate bias not an accidental one, so it wants to capture work actually produced by faculty members whether it was produced for a journal in their field or peered in a journal that you would not expect that type of faculty member to publish in. For example, if a philosopher publishes an article (I am making this up) in the Journal of Emergency Medicine, Academic Analytics will capture it, because they don’t sit around saying is this a philosophy journal or not. So it’s important to recognize that the dataset has a bias toward inclusion. No effort has been made or in my opinion should be made to provide a second order evaluation of work that was found to be publishable or fundable by people in that field when it was published or funded. The dataset does allow users to apply their own professional judgment to select or emphasize certain journal titles if you want to for example, but It’s important to recognize that evaluating the quality of academic work can only realy be done by persons who know that field. That’s a known and designed limitation of the dataset.
4. For a small number of disciplines that can continue to emphasize publication in book format as the principal form of publication, it’s important to know that the Academic Analytics dataset is good on books but it doesn’t capture a lot of information about book chapters. Book chapters don’t tend to have their own DOIs assigned to them yet. It captures almost no information about book to book citations. A footnote in my book citing your book or vice versa. Again that’s a limitation of how the information is gathered not a design limitation.
5. Data resources are not in place for Academic Analytics or anybody else, as far as I know, to assemble a similarly comprehensive robust dataset depicting creative work that university faculty do as a part of their job assignment, if their work includes that. There’s not a similar resource for performances, juried exhibitions, other things of that type. Academic Analytics is keenly interested in developing their product along these lines if data resources become available. Their interest as least in this respect would coincide with our own.
6. Finally, with respect to funded research an important data limitation that I want you to recognize, actually it is 2-fold, right now they are only available for federally funded research grants. That’s the first limitation, the second is that those grants are currently assigned only to the principle investigator. There is no sub-division of grants to co-PIs.
Given the nature of the data and the limitations of the data there are some considerations that any user should apply. You should consult Academic Analytics mainly for perspective on recent scholarly activity. You should always use other sources of information about the most recent year’s activity because you have to, and about other years of activity because you should. You should recall that Academic Analytics does not collect data on all valued forms of scholarly and creative activity. You should understand that even the data that Academic Analytics does collect is likely to be an incomplete record of scholarly activity, it is not a substitute of a person’s CV. It is a data resource that allows you to see things that the CV does not allow you to see.
Finally, I don’t need to tell you all, no dataset is a substitute for reason or judgment, that is what faculty bring to the table.
So let me now turn now to some illustrative kinds of questions that Academic Analytics date can help us approach if we use it with a due consideration of what kind of data we’re using, what it’s good at, what it’s not so good at, and I’ll start with some questions that we could actually address or able to address now at the institution level. Sorry the answers are not in the presentation. They are not even in the back of the book, we can talk off line if you want to.
Here the kinds of questions that we would address. For example, how does Auburn’s recent scholarly activity as an institution compare overall with that of other land-grant universities and our Carnegie classification? If you don’t want our Carnegie classification pick some other Carnegie classification. If you don’t want land-grant pick some other comparison group. If you want to compare head to head, Auburn against and institution and discipline that you identify you can do that.
Second, to what extent has Auburn’s market share if I can call it that of federal grants improved since the day it began to be collected? Academic Analytics can help us see the proportion of scholarly activity among all that’s done that’s ours and this is important because it’s a formal metric for our current strategic plan we set as a goal. The goal of improving our market share of scholarly productivity over the course of the plan.
Third, at the institutional level and our level of licensure we are able to see hubs of scholarly collaboration within the faculty, co-authored publications for example. We can see people who are working on similar topics who may not be co-authoring papers who might want to know each other. Obviously, there are other ways to learn that too, this is one. Who else nationally is publishing on the same topics? Academic Analytics can help us with that.
Moving down a level to not the institution, but with say a given PhD program, the data are there to help us think about questions like which programs in a given discipline are most like ours in terms of their recent scholarly activity. From which other departments are faculty groups in our disciplines could we recruit or who are doing work like ours, and I’ll add a footnote here; when a faculty member leaves and institution to go to another institution, Academic Analytics reassigns that person to the new institution and all of their scholarly productivity goes to the new institution. They have to assign people to one institution at a time, not more than one.
From what sources are peer departments in a discipline getting their federal funding? How does their funding profile look different from ours. It’s always going to look different because a norm is going to be a blend of a lot of cases, but we might find opportunities for funding sources that others in the same discipline are using that we haven’t been using as much. How does the composition and career patterns of our department faculty align with those for our discipline? At our level of licensure, we can seek career progression patterns by rank or by discipline or by both. [55:42]
How many of our own PhD graduates are employed at research active universities? That is at one of the 405 institutions they currently have data on, and how’s their own research profile developing? We can get answers to that for any PhD program on campus.
Finally, I want to be real plain, Academic Analytics begins first by linking scholarly products to individual human beings. So there is person level data underlying all of this. Some good uses of person level data, there are probably many others, but some ones that I wanted to highlight for you; we can do analysis of recent scholarly activity for faculty members who may not have been put up for an honorific award for their disciplinary society, but who’s recent scholarly productivity is comparable to recent award winners. We can use the dataset to identify either rising or current stars in our faculty. We can look at how similar or different our recent scholarly profile is for others at the same career stage in our discipline. It’s important to know that all disciplines have career stages. The one for English is not the same as the one for computer science. Patterns of productivity vary by discipline.
And finally we can use it for “what if” analysis. What would adding or unfortunately loosing this faculty member do to our groups of scholarly profile? You can do what if analyses adding unnamed individuals to your group to see how you would do if you could make that one additional hire. It could be a source of argument for why that hire is needed.
So I want to thank you for your attention. I am due to meet with an academic program review team across campus in a few minutes, but I’d be happy to field any questions you’ve got either right now or off line later. My office is 203 Samford Hall, my phone number is 844-4765. And either, if I don’t know the answer to your question there’s probably an analysis in my group who does. Thank you for your attention, I know I’ve gone on for a while. Bob?
Bob Locy, senator, biological sciences: I’d like to ask how we’re using this information? It seems to me from what you’ve said the information database is pretty incomplete and is seems like that would make it kind of difficult to use the AAUP position that James posted with this indicated that it probably should not be used for tenure and promotion decisions. Do you or the Provost’s Office use it in that way?
Drew Clark, Director of Institutional Research: I have no involvement at all in promotion and tenure decisions so I can’t speak to that. To the best of my knowledge the Promotion and Tenure Committee makes no use of it for promotion and tenure. Our approach to this has been to make sure that deans could see information on the PhD programs or associate deans for research could see information on faculty in their college, that department heads or chairs, if they wish to participate in it, can see information on faculty in their department or their program. At the institution level Dr. Liu can see information on all Auburn University faculty members. I believe that’s right John, I can. But my use is obviously not at all connected with…
Bob Locy, senator, biological sciences: Does the Provost’s Office have a position on how they use it? For tenure and promotion decisions?
Drew Clark, Director of Institutional Research: That’s not a question that I can respond to.
Dr. Tim Boosinger, Provost: Bob, I’ll answer that question. To the best of my knowledge it’s not being used by the University Promotion and Tenure Committee, it’s not emerging in the documents that we see. It’s available to the deans and heads and chairs to use for the reasons that Drew just outlined, but we are not making those kinds of decisions with that data. My office is using that information to make comparisons between academic units at Auburn and other universities, so we can get a feel for where department X, how they compare, we know it’s not perfect, but it gives you some comparator between a department here and a department at peer institutions.
Bob Locy, senator, biological sciences: My wonder about that would be based on what Drew said and so on, how can we actually be certain that the data we’re submitting and using for our part of the comparison compares with the other one because I know that with some of the nationally standardized surveys that we’ve used in the past it seems like the information comes in and we report apples but other people report oranges and we wind up trying to compare the apples and the oranges and is that a meaningful comparison?
Dr. Tim Boosinger, Provost: Well Drew might be able to answer that better but my understanding is that in certain disciplines those comparisons are apples to apples. Others are more difficult…
Drew Clark, Director of Institutional Research: I’d like to respond to that one if I can. It’s not a survey and actually the issue that you cite is a little bit tougher with the Delaware study where the information is self reported. There we use an architecture of CIP codes, or classification codes to disciplines. And here it’s we know which faculty members are associated with which disciplines at which institutions, so while there are occasional issues with the taxonomy they are modest and manageable. I think you said the data are not very complete and we’d have to talk for a lot longer to decide…
Bob Locy, senator, biological sciences: What I saw is that’s what you said, in some areas they were completely missing kinds of data.
Drew Clark, Director of Institutional Research: It’s certainly the case that there’s not a nationally comprehensive database for some kinds of scholarly activity right now.
Bob Locy, senator, biological sciences: Thank you all, both of you for your comments.
Mike Baginski, senator, electrical engineering: There’s 2 questions. How much does this cost for the university? [1:01:54]
Drew Clark, Director of Institutional Research: it depends on the level of licensure, for the basis level which we used for 4 years is about $50,000 per year.
Mike Baginski, senator, electrical engineering: What does this give us that the google scholar and just our annual reports don’t give us? I am just curious. I am not trying to be argumentative here.
Drew Clark, Director of Institutional Research: I understand that. The basic value proposition that comes with this that you wouldn’t be able to do without investing a lot of personnel time is the assembly of the data from multiple institutions in a format that…
Mike Baginski, senator, electrical engineering: Comparison to other institutions? Is that it? Really? To compare us to others, is that right?
Drew Clark, Director of Institutional Research: The dataset does permit that in a way that is easy to use.
Mike Baginski, senator, electrical engineering: Apples to apples. The third thing is, will we be able to access this? I had a question brought to me by another faculty member that says that at some other institute it wasn’t accessible to the faculty.
Drew Clark, Director of Institutional Research: When you say we, help me understand who you mean.
Mike Baginski, senator, electrical engineering: Faculty member can view it. I can view mine to make sure there isn’t something wrong.
Drew Clark, Director of Institutional Research: Okay, the answer to that is absolutely yes. We can pull out of the dataset any information associated with an individual. Portal access for an individual faculty member is not sustained by the license, but we can absolutely pull data, happy to do that. By the way. Let me just follow up, that was a statement I may have misunderstood when I read the AAUP statement, but the implication that I came away with if I had not known better was that there’s some contractual restriction on letting faculty see the data in the system for them, that’s incorrect.
Rusty Wright, senator, Fisheries: My issue with the federal funding that being the primary source in agriculture that’s probably not our major source of funds that we get. Also just so…that is a problem. Secondly, you mention PIs being the primary person, I get that but we have lots of grants that have multiple PIs, not multiple co-PIs, but multiple PIs. How does the database deal with that issue?
Drew Clark, Director of Institutional Research: As I understand it, Rusty, I’d like to follow up with you off line and be happy for that to be shared with anybody in the room in whatever means James wishes. My understanding is it’s the lead PI at the institution. You can tell I don’t come out of a funded research background myself so I’d like to follow up with you.
Rusty Wright, senator, Fisheries: We can follow up.
Drew Clark, Director of Institutional Research: Let me ask you about your first comment. That’s not a limitation cause because the firm doesn’t wish to collect other kinds of data. It’s partly an artifact of how they, you, or I are able to collect data. They use freedom of information act request to get it from the federal government FOI does not apply to state entities or to other sources of funding it only applies at the federal level.
Rusty Wright, senator, Fisheries: I understand that I am just saying that is a severe weakness for certain areas in terms of…
Drew Clark, Director of Institutional Research: What you would need to think about for your area, and only you can do this, is whether it’s likely to have it granted is a weakness for that field. The follow up question would be: would it be differentially disadvantageous to a given unit within that field? It would if a given unit tended to focus on federal grants and another one tended not to.
James Goldstein, chair: Thank you very much Drew. That was a terrific presentation and stimulating discussion. Thanks to Drew and his office for all the hard work that went into that presentation.
Next we’ll be hearing a report from Kevin Coonrod, the university ombudsperson, on recent activities in his office. [1:05:59]
Kevin Coonrod, University Ombudsperson: Thank you very much Dr. Goldstein. Welcome everybody. I see it’s 4:35 so I am going to be as quick as I possibly can to go through this.
As ombudsperson my role here at the university it to help people work through difficult situations that they might be having while at the university. I work with students, faculty, A&P members, and staff members. Anybody can come to my office, we have confidential conversations and what I do is I listen, I help people strategize and brainstorm and come up with methods with which they might want to approach a problem I give guidance on university policy, make referrals to people that might help them or where they might be able to file a complaint.
Mission statement has just been adopted this year. “We are here essentially to assist all members of the university to navigate through those difficult situations. Ombudsperson is responsible to independence, neutrality, confidentiality, informality and also the values of the mission of Auburn University.” [1:06:59] And every visitor to the Ombuds Office is treated with respect, dignity, and honor.
A lot of things we don’t do: we don’t sit in judgment and decide who’s right or wrong, have no authority to set policy, don’t give legal advise, I have helped people find the laws and help people acclimate to a situation, but not give attorney advise. And the ombuds is not a member of the administration, sometimes people mistake that to be the case, but it’s not. The ombuds is independent and when people come to us and make a complaint, that complaint does not put the university on notice of any legal duties they might have. What I can do is not get in the way of having those legal duties be triggered, but what I can do instead is tell the person where they might go to somebody who is an agent of notice. I am informal so I do not participate in formal processes. I am not a therapist, and I don’t advocate for any party to a conflict. I can advocate for fairness if appropriate.
A couple of milestones; this charter has been drafted and been signed by President Gogue and has become a policy of the university and that establishes the ombudsperson services as independent, neutral, confidential, and informal, which is the ethical mandate of my organization the International Ombuds Association. Also, significantly the policy states that people cannot be retaliated for coming to see the ombuds nor can they be retaliated against for not going to see the ombuds. I always appreciate people suggesting that they come to see me, but there should be no sanction what so ever if they don’t want to come. Everything with my office is voluntary. [1:08:50] Also I have become a certified organizational ombudsman practitioner. I join my predecessor, Jim Wohl, with that distinction.
For the 2015–2016 academic year I saw 202 people, these are new people, this is not a measure of the amount of time that I sit down and work with a person at the desk, but if somebody comes in I will count them once and I might see them 10 to 12 times and not count them again, unless they come in with a new situation with different facts and different people involved. 202 actually is a rise above when I first began here. My first year here 183 people, it rose to 195, then to 202. This year has been gang busters, I am interested to see how this particular year ends up.
Issues that I deal with; evaluative relationships are by far the biggest ones and that can be a supervisor with and employee (supervisor/employee), it can be a professor and a student where there is a power differential between one and the other. The others are peers and colleagues. I’ve mediated roommate disputes and so forth. Dealing with compliance issues and university policies. Peer progression might be anything from tenure applications to students not doing well in school and are afraid they are about to fail out. Values and ethics and safety issues come up, so those are the biggest ones. [1:10:18]
Demographics; Caucasians 167, African Americans 19, and Asians 11. That’s actually a large rise since my first year here. Hispanics is still pretty low. The people who come to see me is becoming more diverse in that way. Non-faculty, that’s A&P and Staff, 76 people; faculty 67; and students 48. After my first year here the fewest people that I saw were students and staff. I really worked on marketing the office to them and the next year they doubled, this last year both staff and A&P were at 38, tenure faculty was 41, and non-tenure faculty was 26; and graduate and undergraduate students were about the same.
A pre-dispute is almost everything that I get in my office. A post dispute is when there has been a formal process, where there has been a grievance or a lawsuit. So practically everything will come to me before then. I saw one particular matter that was a post dispute and this is an area where I think I can make a helpful impact on people who want to come in and resolve their problems. If there has been a grievance there usually has been a committee that has made a decision, right or wrong. Or if there has been a lawsuit, with a judge or a jury who has made that decision for people. The ability to come in to work with me and work with the other side can be very helpful because we have people…there might be a winner in that process, but there is always a looser; and now they go back to their unit and they are working with each other, we have tenured people, lifers really, together, so the ability to sit down and work through the problems can be very valuable. They might work out structures in which they can work together. They might be able to listen and gain respect for each other that they hadn’t had before. So the formal process might settle the dispute, but the underlying conflict still is there. So what I like to do is help people resolve that conflict and when they can do that it is much easier for them to go forth and work through problems that they might have in the future.
Themes of trends that I see, these are very broad but, 83 people come in and talk about the treatment they receive, respect, communication. Bullying is 49, trust and integrity issues are 41, complaining about supervisors/administration that sort of thing; equity and treatment 30; and departmental climate 29. Equity and treatment, that’s fairness; trust and integrity, respect, these are all what I call underlying interests. These are the things that when they are assaulted in some way, that’s what makes us mad and that’s what gets us into conflicts. So what I try to do is help people understand what underlying interests are important in a particular context, both for themselves and the other side, and then help them find common ground where they might be able to address those particular issues and through that they may end up finding the keys to resolving their conflict.
All these are human types of categories. What I have done is I have put together a catalog of seminars that (I give these a lot at HR) are being asked for on the campus and I’m looking for invitations from anybody who might want me to come in and help people in your units work on these things. I just put together a teamwork presentation. I’ve got a package where we might have in the seminar one-on-one conversations, mediations perhaps, and group work. There’s been some success in that area working with high conflict people, you know people with the traits of a narcissist, borderline anti-social histrionic, That’s been a popular one.
Then active listening. This I think is something that essential for any leader, any head, any chair, or any dean. The ability to sit down with somebody who is in crisis and help them know they are being heard by you. When they know that they know they are being supported, and when the know that they know they are being treated fairly. You might end up saying no to whatever their request is, but you also gain an understanding of them that might help you find something else that might make them happy. So the ability to listen actively for that in supporting people and looking for the underlying interests that I talked about before.
I was invited to do a No-Bullying seminar with Auburn Camp Counselors, we had a lot of fun with that last summer. I hope to be invited again. And then bullying and mobbing in the workplace. Unfortunately, a very popular subject. And the reason I say unfortunate is because people feel that they are being impinged upon in some way even in the workplace or at the university. So again, all of these I am very eager to bring these to respective units. I think there’s been some assistance for a lot of people.
Thank you all very much. Do we have any questions? Thank you. [1:15:41]
James Goldstein, chair: Thank you Kevin. Finally, a brief presentation by Russell Weldon, who’s the assistant director of the AU Bookstore, talking about a new system for digital materials through the bookstore, All Access.
Russell Weldon, assistant director of the AU Bookstore: I promise to be quick (referring to being last on the agenda). I will just get out of the way right up front, even though summer book orders are due this Friday and fall book orders are due in 2 weeks, this has nothing to do with that. So we’ll just all be friends for a few minutes.
What I wanted to do is basically give you a little information on a new program that we’re rolling out to campus this week that we’ve called All Access. I’ve been in the bookstore for 15 years now and the biggest thing that we’ve been focused on, especially for the last 5 years, is affordability for students. We’ve really looked to the university strategic mission to say, what could we as a bookstore do to add to the value of that and to make sure that students could afford the materials they needed for class. I am very proud to say, last year an average over the last 5 years we’ve knocked about a million dollars off of the cost of course materials just by things that we’ve done inside the bookstore. We have knocked down the price essentially that students were going to pay for those materials. Yet we do see cost continue to go up at the rate of about 16% per year. So I go home and go to sleep thinking, is what I am doing enough? Can we do more?
I know that many of you have probably had this personal experience, but we have it in the bookstore many, many times when a student comes up to you in tears saying, I don’t know how to get my books, because this hasn’t come through or this hasn’t happened, or I just can’t afford it right now. We see that more often than we’d like, in the bookstore, so it’s something that we take very personally. What we’ve done is we worked in conjunction with all the publishers that service campus and come up with a program that we’ve called All Access.
It goes by many different names around the country, you might hear it termed Inclusive Access or First Day Access. These are the basic tenants of what the program is. It involves digital delivery inside your course page in Canvas, of your course materials. What we do at the bookstore is work with every publisher that’s out there and negotiate a lower price for those materials. Right now we’re seeing anywhere from 35 to 65 percent off what the new book price would have been, so significant savings. This spring alone we saved students 178 thousand dollars with the materials that are in this program.
Every student has got access to your course materials for free for the first 2 weeks because there is a period in which the students can decide whether they stay in the program or opt out, but no matter what if they are enrolled in your class and you are enrolled in this program they will have your course materials the very first day of class and for the entire first 2 weeks to make that decision. Then if the student stays in the program we actually charge that material to their e-bill. They never have to come in the bookstore or they never have to do anything, they show up to class and that material is waiting for them.
There are several ways in which you as faculty really, really benefit. I’ve been in meetings with faculty and publishers and every faculty member has asked why have I not heard about this already? Complete academic freedom is absolutely kept in tact for you. You can choose anything you want in this program and we can work with digital vendors to get it installed for you. Every student will have access to your material on the very first day of class. No more going to class and half of the students have what you would prescribe for them to have, everybody will have access to it. Publishing in Canvas with the help of IMG is relatively easy. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience with it, it’s very, very simple in a 10-minute process to have that installed and ready to go. [1:20:00]
We’re working with the PHED department here on campus, it’s even opening doors for Auburn faculty to install their own content. We’re working with them, this department actually had an access code with McGraw Hill and McGraw Hill had failed to meet expectations, so we worked through the Office of Innovations here on campus and installed this on Canvas so it stayed completely within the university. We had faculty develop their own content, developed, put into Canvas by Auburn then charged out and kept every revenue dollar here on campus. We already see and are hearing from our own faculty here on campus that the engagement with the material is driving better outcomes from day one, literally.
For students it’s a very seamless program now. We are integrated completely into Banner, so when they register for a course that we’ve identified with a faculty member with All Access, the get an e-mail the night that they register explaining to them what the program is, giving them information about it, and basically telling them that they don’t have to purchase anything and what they’ll be saving when they stay in the program.
The digital format is actually being more well received that you might or might not anticipate. We have had very little push back from the native format being digital for this program. It is very easy for a student to opt out of that program if they desire. They love that the cost go to the e-bill and the parents of your students actually love that the cost goes to the e-bill. We’ve had zero complaints from parents about this program as well. We are actually establishing a help center inside the bookstore. As a faculty member you will never be expected to be the first person on the ground to answer any questions with the program. I am going to take that reign and the bookstore is going to take that reign and if we can’t handle that we’ve got publishers that will back us up.
Then we actually have got a print option, so if a student is interested, for most of these programs we’ve actually been able to get them a print copy for $29.99. So they are saving 50% off the printed book price and get a printed copy for less than $30 if you are still interested in that.
Where are we today with the program? We’ve been doing this for 3 years, we were approached by one of our major publishers 3 years ago and we were one of the first 5 campuses with an institutionally owned campus bookstore to do this. We started very small and and really looked for low hanging fruit. Targets that we thought would make a good match and students would approach that digital material really quickly and have good outcomes. Now that we’ve got the management system in Banner we can really scale this project. We can handle 50, we can handle 100 classes very easily now that we can communicate to students better. We are working with multiple publishers and digital delivery partners. There are some really neat things that we have access to as the bookstore that we’d love to introduce you to that may give you some additional ways to instruct in your courses.
These were the courses that just for your information that we did in spring 2017, there’s 20 total, and this represented about 6,400 students. So it is not a small program any more, but you’ll notice that there’s distance courses which makes a lot of sense for this model. There’s also small courses and also 1,200 enrollment courses. So we can really move at this point we’ve had experience moving a lot of different kinds of courses into this model and had a lot of success with them.
Out of 6,400 students enrolled in the program we had a 1.5% opt out rate where students said, “I don’t want to be charged for this I’ll go with out a book or find a book on my own.” So literally most students are staying in the program when they learn what it is. Nationally we are seeing retention rates go up with this, which I think is really exciting. A couple of national studies estimate between 15–18% increased retention rates in courses that are going inclusive. We don’t have any Auburn data yet. We’re working on some of that, but we’re seeing it nationally where there is substantial improvement in retention rates. And all but one instructor that’s tried this program has stayed in the program to this point. So we’ve had a lot of really good feedback and a lot of success with it.
Next steps for the program. We are ready to do this for any course on campus. If you are interested, we’d love to talk to you. The different classes we can handle. Basically what we would do is meet with you and whatever publisher you decide, to start talking about what we can do to move your material into this program. We’ve got a lot of information that we can give you to help guide you along the process.
I will also conclude with mentioning that we’re going to have an event that you may have already seen an e-mail or two from us, we’re going to have an event at the Student Center this Thursday from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. It’s a very informal event, come and go, make it where your schedule permits. I am going to present at 12:00 p.m. and have an instructor talk a little bit about their experience in the program so you can hear from one of your peers their experience with it. We’d love to have you there. It’s spectacular that we will have 7 publishers and 4 national digital vendors that will be there to talk with you. I think it would be well worth your interest if you have any interest in moving your class into this. We’re very excited about the program and hope you will be able to join us on Thursday or if not make sure you contact me and we’d be glad to talk to you about the possibilities.
Anybody have any questions at this point that I might be able to answer? Thank you very much for your attention.
James Goldstein, chair: That concludes our regular business for today. Is there any unfinished business? Is there any new business? In that case, we’re adjourned. [1:26:12]