Transcript Senate Meeting
October 17, 2017
Broun Hall Computer was not working today at the podium. Robin Jaffe graciously, and quickly,
loaned us his personal computer to access the agenda.


Daniel Svyantek, Chair: Welcome to the October 17th meeting of the University Senate. This is our third meeting of the 2017-18 academic year. I now call the meeting to order.

I would like to remind you of some basic procedures for the Senate meeting. First, if you are a senator or a substitute for a senator please be sure you sign in onto the sheet at the top of the room. If you haven’t already picked up a clicker, you will need one because we have two votes today. [Laura just informed the chair that the clickers cannot work without the computer.] Oh…I guess we will count the members present. Okay if you haven’t already picked up a clicker it will be meaningless whether you have it or not.

Second, for senators and guests let me explain the Senate rules about speaking. If you’d like to speak about an issue or ask a question, please go to the microphone on either side aisle. When it is your turn, state your name and 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 and then after they are done guests are welcome to speak.

The agenda today was set by the Senate Steering Committee and posted on the Web site in advance, it’s now up on the screen.

First we need to establish a quorum, so please turn on your … that is the problem with a script. Please raise your hands if you are a Senator or substitute for a Senator. [Laura counted the sign-in sheet with 53 having already signed in.]
We have 86 Senators in the Senate and we need 44 for a quorum. Let the record show that we have 53 present so a quorum is established.

The first order of business is to approve the minutes for the meeting of September 19, 2017.  Those minutes have been posted on the Web site.

Are there any additions, changes, or corrections to the minutes?

Hearing none, do I have a motion to approve the minutes? Do I have a second? All in favor of approving the minutes say aye please.

Group: Aye

Daniel Svyantek, Chair: Opposed? [no response] The minutes are approved. Thank you.

Dr. Leath cannot attend this meeting, but our Provost, Dr. Boosinger will have some remarks that he’d like to give. [3:01]

Dr. Boosinger, Auburn University Provost: Really just a couple of announcements.

One, I want to remind everybody of the Critical Conversations speaker series that’s going on right now. We have about 3 more speakers this semester. Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. in the Mell Classroom Building there will be Derald Wing Sue. He will be speaking on microagressions in everyday life.

On Friday at 3 p.m. on Donahue, there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new School of Nursing building. If you didn’t know, this new facility will allow us to achieve our strategic goals and our strategic plan which is to significantly increase enrollment in the School of Nursing. We have more than doubled the enrollment in making the transition to this new building. So we are excited about that. This building will also allow them to increase the quality of the learning environment for nurses and no doubt will make it even more attractive destination for young students desire to be nurses and work in that profession.

Finally, I thought you should know and maybe a few of you in the room were there, but Auburn’s Outreach Program has and is serving as a leader in outreach scholarship. They hosted a consortium meeting in Birmingham and I had the opportunity to give a brief welcome, but the meeting was very impressive. There were about 700 scholars there from around the country. I think it speaks to the commitment that Auburn has made not only to outreach in general but also in the support of the scholarship of outreach at Auburn.

That’s all I have. I’d be glad to answer any questions or entertain comments. [4:42]

Daniel Svyantek, Chair: Thank you Dr. Boosinger.  I now have a few remarks for the Senate.

I would to introduce the officers of the Senate and our administrative assistant.

James Goldstein is the immediate past chair, Michael Baginski is the chair-elect (Mike is not here because he continues to recover from his knee surgery, he sends his regrets), Donald Mulvaney is the secretary this year, and Beverly Marshall is the secretary-elect. James Witte is our Parliamentarian. Finally, our administrative assistant is Laura Kloberg.

Second, tomorrow, Dr. Henry Kinnucan’s 2017–18 Distinguished Graduate Faculty Lecture is Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Sciences Center Auditorium.

Third, the parking survey of the need for after-hours parking by faculty and staff is being readied. We will be sending it out soon. Please inform the units you represent of this survey. Participation by faculty and staff is essential to provide data for addressing this issue.

Forth, I encourage all of you to attend, if possible, meetings with all three candidates for provost. If you cannot attend, videos of the open forums for each candidate will be available on October 24 for viewing.  Anonymous feedback may be provided from October 23 through October 26 through an on-line survey.

This is an important decision for the future of Auburn. Input from as many people as possible will help inform this decision.

Finally, “May you live in interesting times”… is not an ancient Chinese curse, according to Wikipedia and Quote Investigator, it’s a quotation from a 1936 speech given in England by Austen Chamberlain (who interestingly was the brother of Neville Chamberlain who left us with that other great saying “peace in our time”). 

We are certainly living through interesting times.
I would like to report what I consider a sign of the apocalypse. As of Friday, October 13, 2017, the AAUP and the NCAA agree on something.

AAUP’s statement on the role of the faculty in the governance of college athletics asserts the primacy of faculty responsibility for the athlete’s educational experience. The NCAA recognizes this primacy too— unfortunately, the NCAA recognizes this primacy as a defense now for courses and coursework which are recognized as having the potential to be academic fraud but maintain the eligibility of athletes.

I refer to the recent NCAA ruling on the University of North Carolina practices. UNC noted that while these courses did not meet academic expectations at UNC, this did not make them fraudulent. The NCAA found no evidence of an academic issue they could rule on because basically other non-athlete students were allowed to participate in the courses.

Unfortunately, Auburn, as was the University of Michigan, was used as a precedent for this defense by UNC.

We are certainly living through interesting times. The typical interpretation of the quotation, “May you live in interesting times” is that it is a curse.

There are other ways to interpret this quotation. Interesting times may also lead to opportunity through reflection, discussion, and the development of new strategies. I hope that a discussion between multiple groups on campus may be and can be initiated on the general issue of faculty governance of the athletes’ educational experience. This discussion should have the goal of providing suggestions and guidelines which make Auburn an exemplar of good faculty governance for athlete education. Therefore, Auburn would become a model for others to improve themselves, not defend, themselves.

Thank you. Are there any questions? [9:25]

Mike Stern, substitute senator, Economics: I thank you for those words. They are well spoken. Do you know if they have proceeded with the appointment of a new FAR or selection of them?

Daniel Svyantek, Chair:
At this point we have not heard that there has been a new appointment.

Mike Stern, substitute senator, Economics: Okay.

Daniel Svyantek, Chair:
We have two action items today(which will require Laura to count). The first action item we are voting on deals with replacements for a number of Senate committees. So I turn the floor over to our secretary, Donald Mulvaney, who will present the list of nominees and preside over the vote.

Donald Mulvaney, Secretary:
We are still filling a few spots that have been a result of people leaving, and taking different positions. As they are listed here, Academic Standards is a one-year position, Core Curriculum and General Education is through 2020, 2019 for a Curriculum Committee opening, and the filling of the Retention Committee is a 2020. I would say that this needs no second because it comes from a standing Senate Committee so we can proceed to vote.

All those in favor raise your hand. [many hands go up, a later count of Senators, is 57.] All opposed? [none]. 57-0 in favor. The motion passes.

Daniel Svyantek, Chair:
Our second action item comes to the Senate from the Core Curriculum and General Education Committee. This item was initially discussed at the September 19th, 2017 meeting of the Senate. This item concerns the revision of Student Learning Outcomes.

Constance Relihan will present the motion and address questions.

ConstanceRelihan, chair of CCGE: I was going to say…to streamline the outcomes. From the previous slide had the old outcomes, these are the proposed outcomes. They have been streamlined, they have been reduced by one and we see these as being a good foundation to address in core courses and then to assess at the senior level.

I’d be happy to answer any questions if anybody has any.

Daniel Svyantek, Chair:
This motion comes from a standing committee of the Senate and needs no second. If there’s no further discussion then we are ready for a vote. All in favor please raise your hands. [many hands]. All opposed? [None]. 57-0, the motion carries.

We have one information item on the agenda. The Provost’s call for Professional Improvement Leave (PIL) applications has gone out. Dr. Octavia Tripp has recently the PIL and will present on the PIL experience and provide insight into issues people may face (on PIL).

Amanda Malone will be available at the end of Dr. Tripp’s presentation to answer any questions about the application process for PIL.

I now give the podium to Octavia Tripp.

Octavia Tripp: Good afternoon. I was asked to share information about my Professional Improvement Leave. One of the things that I thought about when I got ready to tell you all about it was to go through the who, what, when, where, how.

So, the who was, I was trying to decide what I would do on this particular leave. [14:11] I am an associate professor in elementary education for Curriculum and Teaching and I teach the science education because that is my background. What I do is prepare pre-service teachers to be teachers and to teach science. Especially after they have gone through the core courses a lot of times they have a fear of teaching science. So I was asked by one of my former colleagues, I used to work for NASA and travel around the country and teach about the space program, so I was asked to come to D.C. and work with a group of STEM faculty who were looking at ways to improve pre-service teacher education. So I went to my department chair and I talked to her that particular time about how could I use this experience to be able to go and work with these faculty in the STEM areas and then come back and share with my students and my elementary colleagues.

The first thing that I’d say is to cover your teaching by finding a person qualified to teach your course. Now I was able to go for the whole semester and one of the questions and concerns seems to be if your class is a class or your course is a course that is hard to find someone to teach, then that becomes a problem. I am the elementary science education person and at that particular time we had a colleague who taught secondary science and she was able to fill in on what I had been doing. I also conversed with her before I left explaining what we do in the elementary science class. So that was one thing that helped me out because if we had not had anyone to teach that particular course we would have had to offer it at a later time, and that would be impossible because we have different cohorts that are traveling on the course to their internship.

The next thing I would say is very important is that you look at your budget. Now I was able to go to Washington, D.C. for the whole fall semester. One of the things I did was since I had worked there in the past I did have friends and colleagues that helped me to stay with them so I didn’t have to worry about lodging, but whether you are going to be gone for one semester or two semesters (two semesters you get half of your pay, one semester you get your full pay) you still have to really look at your budget. The budget is very important and you need to submit everything that you are going to need in order to do your research or be able to work on a special project.

I was working on a special project and I knew that I would have to fly back to Auburn to work on some other things so I included that within my budget. Since I was working with the American Association of Colleges and Universities in the area of their Office of Undergraduate STEM Education they were able to provide for me to travel with the faculty that I was working with. So one of the other questions that I asked myself was, how would this benefit me toward my research? What happened was, I was able to meet several faculty from other areas and just recently one of the faculty members that I met is from a Tribal College and she and I are going to collaborate with my pre-service teachers and her pre-service teachers because one of the things in elementary education is we would like for students to be culturally sensitive. We do have a lot of students who come in from various areas from our Auburn city classrooms and we have to make sure that those students are ready to take on not only the fear of teaching, but what the fear of understanding ESL. Therefore while the Tribal College may not be ESL it is culturally sensitive, so instead of doing a study abroad which I usually do, I am going to do a study away with this particular colleague that I met.

Therefore it has been a networking experience. It also turns into research, looking at teaching efficacy of pre-service teachers in science. Another thing that I do is professional development for pre-service teachers and in-service teachers, therefore while I was working in Washington, D.C. I actually put together a conference from all the faculty that were all over the northeast area. We looked at diversity, we looked at retention in the fields of STEM.

My thing that I said how I benefited, I got a chance to network, I got a chance to work with faculty who I will be doing research with, and I also had a chance to meet with some of the key people at the National Education Department, I got a chance to meet with individuals from the National Science Foundation, and I also got a chance to reconnect with some of my former colleagues at NASA’s Education Division. I feel that if you can or if you can encourage your faculty to really look at it, it is a good opportunity for getting new information, for being able to do your research, for being able to take a break.

That is basically it. Does anybody have any questions? That was my experience, thank you.

Daniel Svyantek, Chair:
Are there any questions about the process about how you apply, for Amanda?
This concludes our formal agenda for today.

Is there any unfinished business?  Hearing none, is there any new business? Hearing none, I now adjourn the meeting. [21:11]