Transcript General Faculty Meeting
October 04, 2016
James Goldstein, chair: Good afternoon. Thank you for coming today, this is the Fall General Faculty Meeting. I’m James Goldstein, I am chair of the Faculty, I wear 2 hats. We first are going to call the meeting to order. Our first task is to approve the minutes from the Spring General Faculty Meeting.
Were there any additions or corrections to the Spring Faculty minutes? Hearing none do we have a motion to approve the minutes? (moved) Do we have a second? (second) All in favor please say aye.
James Goldstein, chair: Opposed? The minutes are approved. Thank you very much. [1:15]
We turn now to remarks from the Office of the President, Dr. Gogue will have the floor.
Dr. Jay Gogue, President: I appreciate all of you being here today. I want to share with you just a couple of things. The new school year got off to a good start. Drew is here and he will correct my numbers, the FTE number, Full time equivalent number is about 25,300 students, close to our policy numbers that we were interested in; ACT scores a little over 27; GPAs a little over 3.8 as I recall. So good class of students. We have about 6,000 new students on campus counting the new freshmen, the transfer students, the graduate students that come as well as the professional students from both Pharmacy and Vet Medicine. The one thing that is somewhat interesting that Drew pointed out to us is that while we are not the largest university in the state of Alabama we do have more Alabama residents than any of the other schools in the state of Alabama. So we’ve been using that as we begin to talk with individuals throughout the state.
In early September the comprehensive campaign, “Because this is Auburn,” achieved the goal of 1 billion dollars that had been set. The campaign will run until December of 2017. A lot of people did a lot of work, faculty members, department heads, deans, development staff, a lot of people did a lot of work and it is pretty impressive to achieve your goal a little bit early in the process. We’ve had a ruling from the ethics commission, opinion I should call it, that’s come out in the last few weeks in essence that has slowed down future fundraising. They are saying that any organization, has a lobbyist, and Auburn University has lobbyists, you can’t raise funds from any other group that has a lobbyist. So we are trying to sort through to find out exactly what that means. Some of the articles you may have seen show that it reduces about 1 million people in Alabama as individuals that you really cannot contact. So we are in a quiet phase of not trying to raise money because if you think about it, pharmisist’s groups well they have a lobbyist in Montgomery, retired people have a lobbyist in Montgomery, public education has got a lobbyist, physicians have got lobbyists. The Business Council is the one who brought it up, nearly all businesses, small business or otherwise have got lobbyist groups. That’s sort of on hold. The best information we have is they probably won’t address it until December. So a period of time there in which we are not quite sure what we do other that spend a lot of time out of state. [4:07] So that’s where we are on that particular issue.
I do want to call you attention to for the last 7 or 8 years we’ve had visiting diplomats, they come to campus almost every week. This week was one that was very unusual. We had the U. S. Ambassador to Romania on campus at the same time that we had the Romanian Ambassador to the U.S. Very good discussions on the campus, I encourage all of you that have interest in those, it is sort of our way to look at the international areas. When kids can’t get away and do study abroad if they would like to have an opportunity to participate in those programs. They did share with us that there is a shortage of U.S. faculty members, scholars that have interest in going to Romania on Fulbright’s. There are Fulbright’s available for people that have interest in that.
A number of new academic facilities underway, I won’t mention those. And a large number that are in the planning stages.
I want to mention a couple of words of thanks. Cooperative Extension Services nationwide they have very traditional programing, certainly Auburn has traditional programing, but in the last 3 or 4 years they’ve begun to do some really innovative things in their programing that are not been in the traditional mode. The institution is receiving a lot of credit for activities and programs, that really serve people in rural communities in particular, that have not been part of the traditional programing that has been done by Cooperative Extension.
The numbers that I see each May and June in terms of new and increased numbers of students that have won post-graduate fellowships is quite heartening to me. The numbers were a handful a few years ago and they are almost bumping 40 now that go out. Ultimately that is a tremendous asset for our institution. I know they wouldn’t be there if it were not for the faculty and the input that you spend with those students.
Since we last met in March, there have been a number of different ratings that have come out. I, like you, don’t put a lot of attention on those, but when your ratings are good you always want to share those. People always ask us about them, so the Forbes money magazine and U.S. News and World Report, a bunch of them, on any of the questions whether it’s return on investment, best buy for your money, best school in the state, and all those, Auburn comes out quite well. So I would just say thank you. Board members read those and think they are absolutely critical to the world, so I am always excited when the numbers are good. I appreciate all that you do.
One area to me that has been very important, and Drew correct me if I am wrong, but our 6-year graduation rate is right at 75%, our 4-year graduation rate is almost 50%, 49 something. Those are remarkable increases over the last few years. I would just say to all of you that when people talk about cost and they talk about institutions and what we are doing, that is probably one of the most effective ways to have the greatest impact is to try to make sure students have the courses and are able to move through in a reasonable fashion.
The final thing was to mention for those of you that are not on the Senate, shared governance has been an important part of us for the last few years, so if you haven’t been involved with the Senate I encourage you to become active because we do listen and it’s an important part of the governance of the university. Look at it if you haven’t spent time in that role.
The final thing is, I was required when I came to be sure to tell the Board a year in advance when I plan to leave. So at the September Board meeting I told them it was time to form a search and screening committee to begin the search for the new president. I obviously will not be a part of that search, but I encourage you to be active. There will be times in which various candidates, this is not going to be a closed search in which suddenly a person shows up, it will be an open search process. There will be an opportunity for campus visits from all that I’ve been told. I encourage you to visit and be active and participate in that process. Thank you all. [8:42]
James Goldstein, chair: Next we have remarks and announcements from Dr. Boosinger.
Dr. Timothy Boosinger, Provost: I just wanted to make sure that all of you are aware of what’s happening with the Strategic Plan and process and where we are. We are now in the forth year of the Strategic Planning process and we want to share with you the report of the first three years. Some copies of this booklet are in the back of the room. This is available on our Web site, you can go to the link and look through this so I am not going to go through all of this.
If you picked one up inside the cover is a snapshot of some of the highlights that I am going to talk about briefly. If you want to see some of the specific enrollment data on retention, graduation rates, that Dr. Gogue just mentioned, that’s in the tables and specific data is on page 13.
I hope you can read most of this. It gives you a feel for some of the things that are going on but not all. If you go to the booklet you can see progress in all of the areas. As we enter this forth year we are at 75% better in all 5 of our Strategic Priority areas. Strategic Priority 1 of course was enhance student success. Some things we’ve not talked about until recently because we just got it going this last year was dual enrollment opportunity for Alabama High School students. Some schools give them a head start or a leg up on college. I think you can give through retention rates, a lot of the credit goes to what we are doing with advising, undergraduate advising, just a year ago or so we had a ratio of 550:1 and now we’re 480 students per advisor. A positive change because students get individual attention that they need in order to successfully progress.
Another big change in the last 3 or 4 years, we now have this year over 11,000 students enrolled in undergraduate courses. We are offering most of the core through distance currently. That helps with graduation rates as well because in the past if students needed one more course to graduate, sometimes it was difficult to get into that course when they needed it, now they can pick that course up through distance class and move on to graduate on time.
Dr. Gogue mentioned that classroom projects and construction is ongoing. The Mell Classroom building, obviously I hope all of you have seen it in front of the RBD Library, we expect that to be completed by next summer and occupy it by next fall. So that’s exciting. In addition, the new School of Nursing building and the Research Building for the School of Pharmacy, those are on schedule. If you haven’t seen them they are out on Donahue, so if you drive out Donahue you will see those on the right if you head out of town.
Over 3,500 people participated in the climate study. I’ve reported on that 2 or 3 times, more detail is provided here and also on our Web site if you want to look at that. Six thousand, it will be on the agenda a little later so I won’t say much about that, except to say that over 6,000 participate in the Green Dot Program. We can see we are making progress at Auburn University because of that effort. [12:26]
Looking at ways to enhance faculty success, this is slightly misleading, yes we did hire approximately 100 faculty this year, about 70 of those are retirements, resignations, part of the normal cycle but because of the cluster hiring process and some growth in other areas of our research mission, we’ve hired a 100 faculty this year. Not 100 net increase, but a net of around 30.
We now have 109 joint appointments. I remember when Dr. Gogue first came we just had a handful across the university 10, 15, so we are making a lot of progress there. We’ve developed a transformational leadership program to help department heads get the leadership skills they need to be even more successful than they are now. It appears to be working well. Then in research, you’ve all heard about the Hopper, it’s a high performance computer. It’s working well, in fact the problem we’re having is can we meet expectations, we have more demand for the current system than we can currently meet. The Research Office got an award at APLU for excellence for some of their programs. Inventions and Disclosures are up, so you can see all of this and then total sponsored awards is at over 101 million currently.
So moving down to the last row, Dr. Gogue touched on some of this, I continue to be very impressed with what we are doing with Extension and Outreach. Extension is touching the lives of at least one in four Alabamians and 1,000 students volunteered to participate in Auburn Serves and other outreach programs just during the last year. The Alabama Youth Program, 169,000 engaged in 4H, a large part because of Auburn’s efforts. We are proud of that. And they received numerous awards and grants toward those activities.
Then finally we transition into FY17, this week, under the new model. We have generated more than that at the time this document was put together, June 30, we were in the campaign at 980 million dollars, and we are now past a billion as you all know. You will hear more about this tiger giving day. It was very successful last year and we expect it to be equally successful this year.
Believe it or not, that is just a snapshot of what’s in this booklet. I would encourage you to look at it. I’d be glad to answer any questions. All right, thank you.[15:25]
James Goldstein, chair: So speaking of the Strategic Plan and faculty success. Earlier today and e-mail went out calling for volunteers from the faculty, I just wanted to mention that here in case you haven’t seen it, we’re looking for faculty volunteers to serve as Senate representatives on the Faculty Success Implementation Committee. So one tenure line faculty member and one non-tenure track faculty representative. That’s connected with a committee that’s got work underway that Jared Russell, who is in the back, chairs. This is in connection with Priority 2 of the Strategic Plan for faculty success. So if you or anyone you know wants to volunteer, if you could please e-mail Xing Ping Hu, the secretary.
Now, let me just go ahead and introduce the officers since not everyone is a Senator you may not be aware of who the officers are. I am the chair, the chair-elect is Dan Svyantek; the secretary is Xing Ping Hu; the previous past chair is Larry Teeter, who I believe is out of the country; and Don Mulvaney is the secretary-elect; and Laura Kloberg is our assistant, who keeps the equipment running. We’re grateful to her. The parliamentarian is Mitchell Brown, who assists on procedural issues, which may come up today because we actually have an action item.
The other thing I want to announce in connection with officers is that the Faculty Constitution, which is the governing document for the elections of officers calls for a nomination committee of 6 people to be formed fairly early in the fall semester. So that committee has been formed and their job is to recruit 2 candidates for the 2 officers that will be up for election. So the announcement about who the nominations are will take place in February and traditionally one of the things that happens in the spring faculty meeting is the results of the election for chair-elect and secretary-elect will be made. So think about volunteering for service as an officer if you are so inclined. [18:52]
I’ve called up the beginning of the Faculty Constitution because I wanted to have a very brief civics lesson because you’d be surprised how many times people get confused about things. There is no Faculty Senate at Auburn University. I often hear that term used but there is no such body. There are 2 bodies, 2 deliberative bodies in which faculty members predominate. There’s the Senate of course but it’s a University Senate with it’s own Constitution and there is the General Faculty which is who we are. This is a deliberative body even though it’s not frequently that we have action items to have a vote in this body. We have a very unusual vote scheduled for today, which is a vote to amend the Constitution, the Faculty Constitution not the Senate Constitution, about which I will speak in just a moment. So 2 different bodies, 2 different Constitutions, and of course there are 2 other deliberative bodies, but they are not primarily representing faculty, 3 bodies, the SGA, the Administrative and Professional Assembly, and the Staff Council. All of those bodies who don’t predominately cover faculty have ex-officio members of the Senate, so they are also represented in the University Senate. So, when it comes time to have a vote I to make sure that everybody understands that for the purposes of voting in a General Faculty Meeting, you can see the membership there, of course if you have a faculty appointment you are eligible to vote in a few minutes, but any administrator who also has a faculty appointment is eligible to vote as well. All the way from the president on down the line. So the more people who vote the more meaningful the results of the vote will be. For an amendment of the Faculty Constitution, unlike an amendment of the Senate Constitution, a) a quorum is established by who ever we have who are members of the faculty, as long as one person shows up we have a quorum. And for an amendment to the Faculty Constitution we only need two-thirds majority of the faculty members who are here. That’s a much easier threshold than for a Senate Constitutional amendment. Aren’t you getting excited already? Okay.
Before we get to the voting, to pick up on what Dr. Gogue had said about the presidential search. Since I am the chair of the Faculty and I and colleagues from the Senate Steering Committee and also 3 representatives from the Faculty Senate at AUM came to a meeting when Trustee Harbert and Mr. Funk, who is the head of the presidential search firm, wanted to have focus groups with different constituencies on campus. So we were the faculty leadership there and one of the questions being discussed, what are desirable qualities in the next president of Auburn University. So I took it upon myself as the elected chair of the faculty to make the point that for the new president to have the full faith and confidence of the faculty at Auburn University, I think it’s important that the president should have an academic background. Be someone who has an earned PhD, who is a faculty member who rose through the ranks to receive tenure as a faculty member and then went into administration. I am sure many of you have read news reports from other states and other institutions where that did not always apply and the results have not always been pretty. That was my own opinion but one that I hope is representative of the faculty as a whole. Since I spoke it in your name I wanted you to hear what came out of my mouth. [23:52]
Now we are ready to proceed with the action item which is an amendment to the method of amending the Faculty Constitution, if you can wrap your heads around that. Do you have the version with the track changes? (no) I’ll just explain what the change is since it is a short enough text you don’t need to see the track changes version. The text that you see is the proposed amendment, the current language, instead of at the end of the sentence approval of the president says at the approval of the Board of Trustees. Let me explain very briefly the background to this. Last spring we discovered that the Board of Trustees had voted to change the method of amending the Senate Constitution so that they were removing their approval as the final stage to amend the Senate Constitution. So what we’re voting on today will therefore parallel the change that was made in the Senate Constitution. Interestingly, that action by the Board took place in 2006 and we only noticed it, or I should say people outside of the Senate but in Samford Hall discovered this omission. So the Board had removed their approval 10 years ago, but it was never reflected in the text of the Senate Constitution in the Faculty Handbook, but they had not acted one way or another on the Faculty Constitution. So I made the call that the Faculty Constitution ultimately belongs to the faculty, that’s you. So this would simply parallel the change that was made for the Senate Constitution. So we need two-thirds members of those who are eligible to vote today, which I have already explained is both faculty members and faculty includes tenure-line and non-tenure-track faculty as the Faculty Constitution clarifies as well as any administrator who has a faculty appointment. We have to be on the honor system, we can’t use clickers for a faculty vote because you never know whether there will be more people than the limited number of clickers we have available in the Senate.
According to Robert’s Rules of Order the first method of voting, what for us would be the easiest method of voting would be a voice vote. If it sounds to me like we have two-thirds majority then I will declare victory. If it’s not so clear to me from the voice vote the next method of preference in Robert’s Rules would be to have a rising vote where I would ask you to stand, so if we need to go to that we can.
The motion is as you see it. It doesn’t need to be seconded because it comes from the Executive Committee of the Faculty, a standing committee. The Executive Committee of the Faculty are the Senate officers, who are also the Executive Committee of the Senate. So, I will call for a vote now. If you are in favor of this amendment so that the Board of Trustees approval is eliminated and replaced by the approval of the president please say aye.
James Goldstein, chair: All opposed? (no reponse) I declare that the motion has passed. Thank you very much. [28:28]
That concludes the action item. We have 3 information items, exciting in their own way. My heart is racing that was so dramatic. First we are going to get an update about Auburn Global which should be of great interest to the faculty as a whole. We have 3 presenters; Dawn Sherman, Robert Weigel, and Shawn Busenlener. I turn it over to them.
Dawn Sherman, Managing Dir., Auburn Global: Good afternoon. Thank you for the opportunity for us to be here with you again, we were blessed to be able to come several months ago and we are thrilled to come back and give you an up date about where we are. My name is Dawn Sherman and the managing director of Auburn Global, Robert Weigel is our academic director, and Shawn Busenlener is our assistant managing director. So thank you very much for this opportunity to be with you again.
Very quickly, Auburn Global is part of the Strategic Plan or if you will we operate within the Strategic Plan of Auburn University so you see here the Priority 1 of enhanced student success and under that a Strategic Goal 2 and that is we are enhancing the opportunity for international students here to take part in the university but we are also providing an opportunity for domestic students to meet international students and to work together and to learn together. So we fit in completely with Strategic Plan of the University. And really this is why we’re here, to bring international students to Auburn University.
What we do. We do a variety of things. We welcome international students to come in and spend their first year with us, undergraduate and graduate as well. We offer them academic programing, academic courses taught by university faculty here where they are earning credits. We are also teaching courses in English. We are teaching support courses as well, many of them for non-credit and we are offering them an engaged opportunity to learn and explore the culture of the United States, while we learn their culture and explore with them as well too. It is a true partnership with this. We are all about student success and that is our motto we live and die by that and many of us in the organization have worked in Higher Ed for many years and we really do focus on having a very positive experience with these students and a very successful one.
This is a picture here I should explain. To some of our students in our student lounge, we are located on the third floor of Foy Hall, we also welcome you to come by anytime and stop by. Come see what’s happening and meet some of our students and our staff. You are welcome anytime. We bring in students from around the world and right now over the past year we’ve brought in students from 26 different countries from around the world and here is the list of countries. Some very small countries and very large countries. We are working with a very diverse group of students and we love learning with them while they are learning about the United States and our culture we are learning right with them.
I am going to turn this over to Robert Weigel.
Robert Weigel, Auburn Global Academic Director: I will give a brief update on developments within the pathway curriculums. Based on faculty feedback we increase the numbers of English hours in every single semester they are with us. We continue to work with the faculty in collaboration with the Biggio Center and host 3 faculty workshops per semester. Currently there are 34 faculty members teaching in 4 different colleges within the pathway. In order to promote the student success, we continue to collaborate with all the existing academic support services. We also have our own English center now for supplemental English instruction, so based on feedback we receive despite the regular English hours they can also receive extra tutoring.
Matriculation, so this is the beginning of the second year of Auburn Global, by the end of the summer 179 undergraduate students have matriculated to the university as well as 56 graduate students. They are currently pursuing 41 majors, the main interest is the College of Engineering, the College of Business, but also the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction. I am happy to report we have our first Agriculture student, Animal Science, this fall, so we’re very happy.
In this picture, we had a little celebration for the graduate students. Also 23 of our undergraduates achieved dean’s list honors and we had a little celebration for them up in the Eagles Nest.
Shawn Busenlener, Asst. managing Dir.: I’m going to highlight 3 students; Maureen, Arjit, and Dekun all joined us in fall of 2015. Maureen and Arjit did make the dean’s list and have matriculated into Auburn University as of now. Arjit over the summer went through the Industrial Design Studio and is part of that program now which is a great thing for him and was very proud of it. All 3 of them are part of our Global Guides, which is like Camp War Eagle Counselors. They return back to us to help welcome new international students to Auburn.
One of the best programs we found to help integrate our international students with the domestic students would be the international program. Since its inception in 2013, nearly 1,000 students have partnered together both domestic and international students. For this fall about 61% of those students are through Auburn Global.
These are all pictures from their reveal, when they find out who their buddy is. They fill out a questionnaire based off of likes, dislikes, interests, and things of that nature and we try and partner them up so they have some common ground to form that friendship. [35:10] Again with the international buddy program we want to highlight this, this is Wenbin who also goes by Billy and his international buddy who is Jake Cotton. This is his first football game with Arkansas State, he got to sit in the student section and then again got to roll Toomer’s Corner afterward, which was a big one.
Our outreach and service. Some of the things we’ve partnered with in the community is the Big Event. We had nearly 70 students through the Auburn program go and contribute by participating in the Big Event which is what these pictures are from, as well as the East Alabama Food Bank, the Humane Society, and we have an event coming up soon with Storybook Farm.
I am going to turn it back to Dr. Sherman to talk a little bit about culture programs.
Dawn Sherman, Managing Dir., Auburn Global: They said one of the things we’re really proud of is to be able to engage with the university and to have our students learn more about our culture and our heritage and traditions and we also want to celebrate theirs as well and bring domestic students into that. What you see here are some of the holidays where we have had events on campus. We have partnered with the International Student Association, Indian Student Association, Chinese Student, Muslim Student Association and these are some of the holidays we have sponsored. We get food, we bring people together from across the university. Many of them are designed by the student association groups and we just support them and sponsor and so forth. It has been exciting for us to learn about their holidays. We also share with them in the bottom right corner, you will see Dr. Martin Luther King’s Church in Montgomery. We took a group of students there on a civil rights tour on a Saturday and it was fabulous introducing them to a little bit of our culture as well. We are very proud to be able to sponsor these programs and to work together to bring the students together on campus and these opportunities for them.
That’s pretty much it. So thank you very much. I don’t know if there are any questions or if we are all set here. Thank you again for the time, we very much appreciate it. Please come and visit us. Thank you.
James Goldstein, chair: Thank you for that. Next we have an update on the Green Dot Program that we just heard a little bit about. I give you Emily Myers. [37:35] [bkup 37:22]
Emily Myers, Green Dot presenter: I am Emily Myers, I’ve got my Green Dot sign here that you may have seen and if you haven’t seen, be on the lookout for it. This is something that even you can have to take back to your offices.
A show of hands, how many of you have seen or participated in a training for Green Dot? Quite a few of you. So for you this is going to be somewhat of a repetition but for the rest of you it’s vitally important that you know about this Green Dot Program. I’m sorry I have to follow up a feel-good program like what you are talking about but there are positive aspects of Green Dot.
So what are we dealing with with Green Dot? We have a problem on college campuses nationwide and that has to do with power-based personal violence. In this (slide) we refer to those as Red Dots, and that can be anything from sexual assault to domestic or dating violence, to stalking behaviors. The statistics are fairly compelling and they haven’t changed too much over the years. One in four women will be the recipient of a Red Dot incident during their college years and one in ten men, so it’s not just a woman’s problem. Many bystanders on campus we would consider Red Dots if they are standing around and they are seeing that something bad is happening and they are not doing anything. That could include some of you it could include a (not understandable). Unfortunately, most of these red dot incidents take place early in a student’s career, so when they are new on campus as Tim suggested, they don’t know the culture, they are having unlimited access to alcohol and other things, they are not necessarily taking a good look at what is going on around them. So freshman and sophomore years are high risk times. 75–80% of the attackers are known to these folks, so they are going to be trusting them.
So what is a green dot all about? It’s a campus wide training program aimed at prevention, getting ahead of these things and reducing power-based personal violence. We are targeting bystanders, that means all of us who are not involved in the perpetration of the violence, versus the perpetrators. There is evidence to suggest that no means no, treating the victims after the fact is not a helpful way to go about changing the dynamic on campus, so we are flipping the culture here to say that all of us that are standing around on campus are the people who need to be informed. [bkup 40:41] So we aim at a culture change and believe that individual safety is a community responsibility. It’s part of being a family member, as we all hope families take care of their own. Here at the Auburn Family we certainly try to do that.
We don’t have time to watch the video, but you have this on your PowerPoint, so you can watch this video at a later time. Some of the things that have happened that rolled out of this program in August of 2015, 40 or so people were trained. I think it was a 40-hour training. In October of last year it rolled out, I think I was up here at that point and we were talking about Green Dot, what’s it look like, asking the faculty to get involved. National Training Day is coming up in a couple of weeks where we hope to do a massive training campaign. Over 7,000 staff, students, and faculty, and administrators have been trained so far. Who all has been trained again, a bunch of you.
Remember the map thing, these red dots are all the incidences of possible personal violence taking place. We aim to replace all those red dots with green dots, so the campus looks somewhat green. The message here is violence in any way shape or form is not tolerated. It’s a community responsibility. There are 3 distinct ways in which people can intervene as a bystander if they direct, delegate, or distract.
Directing is when you directly do something yourself, you can actually intervene and stand up between 2 people who are having a fight, you can ask someone to stop what they are doing, you can check on someone you might be worried about. Again your personal safety is key here. You don’t want to get yourself in a situation where you are likely to be harmed.
Delegating, if you don’t feel like you are in place where you can do something, you can call 911, you can talk to somebody else, an administrator on campus you can give them a call, student counselling, tell a business owner or staff, “I think we have a problem over here in the corner.”
Or you can distract. Use a distraction to diffuse a situation, probably the easiest method because you can create a diversion so the people will stop doing what they are doing, Say, “Didn’t you say you need to go to the bathroom, why don’t we take a walk,” “Can I use your phone?” “I really need a ride, can you give me a ride?” something, anything, start an unrelated conversation.
So how can you encourage green dot in your classroom or in your office? We want to be proactive, so you can put a tag line on you syllabus, you can add assignments, you can put an e-mail signature, “Proud supporter of Green Dot,” give extra credit opportunities, ask students if they’ve had a green dot moment and applaud them in class, show slides related to something like I just did, schedule an overview talk in your classroom by someone who has been trained (about a 10 minute overview speech).
Reactive to green dots are after the fact responses typically. You see something going on you check in with your student. If you have a student who is very engaged and happy go lucky and all of the sudden he or she seems to have a very distracted look about them. They look like they might be in pain or upset, you might check in with them if you have that kind of relationship. You could direct them to Safe Harbor, which is a 24 hour per day service for people who have been victims. You can also consult wth Safe Harbor, it is confidential, you can call Melissa McConahay and she can talk you through how to go about helping the student. Student Counseling, Doug Hankes is another resource. We now have because of our strategic plan, we are hiring more counselors, there is not as long of a waiting period to get in. You can call the Title 9 Office and report the incident. One of my students told me that she was involved in an abusive relationship and she got Title 9 involved and they can issue a no contact order of some kind, and plan to not have the 2 people in the same place on campus ever and both parties are aware of that. So that’s kind of a cool thing.
If you hear about an incident, report it. You can report it to Public Safety, report all green dot moments to the health promotion and wellness services. We want to know each time something good happens so we can prevent violence from occurring. The goal here is to reduce violence. In the campuses that use green dot violence is reduced by 50%.
So we are going to change the norms, get training, wear our pin (it looks like the sign), spread the word through social media if you happen to be on there. You are all leaders in some very big ways, use your status to change the culture and become a green dot bystander. Somebody who will prevent those red dots from happening. Thank you and War Eagle. Family members, this is the contact here:
Health Promotion and Wellness Services, 1206 Student Center, 334-844-1528
Melissa Mc Conahay
I am not the contact person, just the messenger. Thank you so much. Do you have any questions? They are doing trainings every Thursday, I believe. So you can contact Melissa and get your students trained and get yourself trained. It’s all about awareness. Thanks.
James Goldstein, chair: Thank you Emily. Finally, we have a presentation on SGA academic initiatives. We have the president of the SGA, Jesse Westerhouse, Brandon Honeywell, vice president, and Trey Fields, executive VP for Initiatives.
Trey Fields, executive VP for SGA Initiatives: Good afternoon, thanks. [48:28] I do have to say real quickly on Green Dot that had the opportunity to go to Gainesville, FL this summer to take place in an SGA Conference called SEC Exchange, it’s all the SGAs from around the SEC and went to a break out session on sexual assault prevention. And no doubt in my mind Green Dot is leading the way within the SEC as far as that. I was very impressed by Green Dot. So I definitely encourage you, if you haven’t been trained to go take part in that. It’s a testament to all the administrators, faculty, staff, and students who become a part of that program.
I am not Jesse, I am not Brandon, I am Trey Fields the executive vice president of initiatives this year for the SGA. One of the areas that I oversee within my position is our academic goal setting. We work with academics, work a lot with the Office of the Provost as well as all of the colleges and schools around campus to try to push forward ideas that we think would enhance student success.
I know you all value your time away from students so I thank you for letting me come and ruin that today. We will run through these relatively quick, if you have questions I will be happy to take those at the end or you can come and talk with me afterward.
Our first one is implement a campus wide syllabus bank. Actually we are excited to say that this one is relatively complete. We have the opportunity to work on this in the since spring, through the summer, and very briefly in the first week and a half of the fall semester to work with OIT and to work with Dr. Relihan, who was our administrative sponsor on this to push it through. I am going to move forward and I am going to show a little bit about the idea we have here. This is what the syllabus bank within the College of Business looked like. The College of Business already had sort of a beta program that had proved pretty successful among College of Business students, they were very happy with it and enjoyed using it. So essentially it was a portal that students could go to, find the class they were going to take in the upcoming semester. That’s accounting 3310; click on that and they were able to see the past syllabus and look at that and see how that class was structured and what to expect. [50:50] So that was the idea that we ran with.
Next, this is an example at the University of Georgia, like I said we put this presentation together a while back so this was before we had our own plan in place, but just to show examples as we were moving forward. But they had one there that we looked through, pretty simple, easy to navigate, very student friendly, user friendly. We had a video…I’ll show you how this one works (shows on screen). That’s pretty much it, so it’s pretty easy to use and that was sort of the idea that we took to OIT, took to Dr. Relihan and said this is something that students would be interested in. We hear this pretty frequently, studnets want access to the information that will help them make an informed decision prior to registering for classes. We thought this is the perfect example of how to provide a service that is similar to that. We are excited about that, I think we are going to be getting an update on that project relatively soon We’re hoping to have it complete pretty soon. We’re actually excited to say that one is relatively complete and excited to see how it goes and how students react to it in the future.
The next one is decrease the number of unassigned courses during class registration. So what it is more popularly know as to students is TBAs, so that would be these over here. To Be Announced, the instructor has not been assigned yet, and what we hear from students a lot is a desire to have those instructors assigned at an earlier date. This is what this page looks like when you go to register for courses in the fall for the spring semester or the spring for the fall or summer semesters. Again, back to the making an informed decision practice when signing up for courses; in this case our students have a desire to know which Physics 1500 professor they are signing up for prior to signing up for it. We are going to work on that and push forward with that because we think it’s another goal that really enhances student success as far a registering for the following semester and making those informed decisions.
this is just another example of TBAs within that course as well. Then implement a pre finals week course assignment policy. That’s kind of a mouth full, basically the idea there is have some best practices as far as pre-finals week is concerned. As you are all aware we don’t have a dead week at Auburn, I don’t think we’ve had one for quite some time now. A lot of students consistently ask us about a dead week. What’s the practicality of having a dead week, having a whole week or a few days to allow students to kind of come down off the semester and prepare for finals week. As we know we don’t have that many days throughout the semester to make that happen typically. So this is finding a way to fill in that void and mitigate that concern where students feeling like they are going right off that last week of classes and just jumping right into finals without a break other than that Saturday and Sunday prior to finals week, if you were to have a final on Monday. The idea more or less would be to have a cap on the percentage of the semester’s grade that could be assigned a week before courses end. What we see end up happening a lot and a lot of students come up to us and complain about this is they end up having 50-60% of their grade being determined within the last 2 weeks of the semester. Say they have a final project or big test the last week of class and then they have another final that is worth 20-25-30% of their grade during finals week. So that can end up being Friday and there are only 2 more days until Monday, or Thursday to Tuesday whatever it is, there is not really much time there to prepare for that and it puts a lot of undo stress on the students at the end of the semester and we know it is a stressful time anyway, especially in a day and age when student stress is at an all time high.
Advocate upgrading the current grade reporting policy, again this one’s a little bit ambiguous similar to the last one, but the idea, again we get a lot of student complaints about not being able to access a lot of grades throughout the semester and not being kept up to date and aware of what their grades are be that through CANVAS or not through CANVAS like many faculty members who choose not to use CANVAS, which is their own choice obviously, but not being able to have an active and informed knowledge on what your grades are throughout the semester. So that can affect how you prepare for an upcoming test or the work that you are doing in class to making sure you are on that. Encouraging faculty members to keep up to date on that and having a little bit more (?) tailored parameters as far as those are concerned throughout the semester.
Lastly, we actually just added this, some of you in this room have heard this presentation before or seen this academic goal sheet, we just added this one. Because on our yearly goals for an SGA Exec. we don’t advocate for textbook alternatives underneath our academic goals, we have them underneath our enhancing student financial, literacy, success because it does have an affect on that but it also has an affect on the classroom and the academic standing of students. So advocating for textbook alternatives is something we’ve had on our radar for a couple of years now. We are excited to say we are actually taking some tangible steps this year and I think as far as the last 3, not including the syllabus bank, this is definitely the one we’ve taken the most tangible steps in in the past 6 months to a year. Actually a few years ago what we did is we earmarked about 5,000 dollars from our student senate to be used in a faculty incentive review program to take up some educational resources, review that, to receive a mini-grant for that, to assess the viability of open education resources within your classroom or maybe a core course. So that was an idea that we initiated this with, unfortunately we earmarked that money without having much of a plan for what we were going to do with it at the time. So now we are working backwards and getting to that point where we are able to put something on the table and allow faculty members to review those open resources and get them back to us. [57:55] One big aspect of it beyond the faculty incentive program, if you will, is bringing together a working group, and ad hoc group of administration, staff, faculty, students, I said faculty but specific faculty from certain departments on campus to reach out to those far reaching courses, like biology, English, history, economics, things like that with courses that have 300-400 students in each course and maybe there’s 5 or 6 of them and you reach 1500 students a semester and seeing what effect we can have on there. We’ve seen some successful peer institutions. The University of Georgia is doing a great job with open educational resources, I think they’ve saved their students about 2.3 million dollars through the courses those have been implemented in in the past 2–3 years. We’ve been in contact with them and we are excited to be working with the Office of the Provost, the Biggio Center, different faculty departments as well as the Library and the Bookstore to kind of move this forward as we continue.
I think that’s pretty much it for all of those, that was my last slide. Happy to answer any questions. I know we’ve been here a while so if you don’t want to ask right now and hold anybody up, I can stay and answer your questions afterward. Thanks.
James Goldstein, chair: Thank you Trey. I just want to mention you had some copies of the handout available along the sides.
That brings us to the end of the agenda. Is there any unfinished business? Is there any new business? We are now adjourned, ‘til the spring. [59:48]