Minutes of the Senate Meeting
June 6, 2006
Submitted by Kathryn Flynn
Present: Rich Penaskovic, Kathryn Flynn, Don Large, Royrickers Cook, Paul Bobrowski, Stewart Schneller, John Heilman, Bonnie MacEwan, Drew Burgering, Roger Garrison, Robert Locy, Diane Hite, Barbara Kemppainen, Rik Blumenthal, Larry Crowley, Alvin Sek See Lim, Randy Beard, Charles Gross, Jon Bolton, Sadik Tuzun, Michel Raby, Alice Buchanan, Ruth Crocker, Chris Arnold, Saeed Maghsoodloo, Andrew Wohrley, Roger Wolters, Richard Good, Robin Fellers, Joe Sumners, Cindy Brunner, Salisa Westrick, Bernie Olin, Anthony Gadzey, Tom Williams, Carole Zugazaga, Scott Phillips, Saralyn Smith-Carr
Absent, sending a substitute: Debbie Shaw (Betsy Robertson), Ronald Clark (Duane Brandon), Charles Mitchell (Beth Guertal), Anthony Moss (Bob Locy), Gary Martin (Bonnie White), Claire Crutchley ( Marlin Jensen), Darrel Hankerson (Greg Harris), Virginia O’Leary (Barry Burkhart)
Absent, no substitute: David Cicci, Ann Beth Presley, Conner Bailey, June Henton, Dan Bennett, Dick Brinker, Michael Moriarty, George Stegall, Ethan Trevino, Maurita Walker, Jack DeRuiter, Garnetta Lovett, Winfred Foster, Mario Lightfoote, Werner Bergen, Charlene LeBleu, Barry Fleming, Raymond Hamilton, Timothy McDonald, Anoop Sattineni, Robert Chambers, Debra Worthington, Sridhar Krishnamurti, Suhyun Suh, Judith Lechner, Allen Davis, Larry Teeter, Jim Saunders, Ken Tilt, Thomas A. Smith, Hugh Guffey, Daniel Mackowski, John Rowe, Forrest Smith, James Shelley, Francis Robicheaux, Robert Norton, Vivian Larkin, Randy Tillery, William Shaw, Howard Thomas
Rich Penaskovic called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes: The minutes of the May 2, 2006 Senate meeting were approved without correction and without opposition.
Remarks and Announcements:
Remarks from Senate Chair Rich Penaskovic
Rich Penaskovic reminded Senators to sign in and asked that, if their term is expiring, they remind their department chair/head to hold an election. He then invited Beth Guertal, Professor, Department of Agronomy and Soils, to come forward and speak about Jim Adams, Associate Professor in the Department of Agronomy and Soils, who passed away one month ago. Beth Guertal mentioned the work he did as a teacher and as a researcher in the area of soil chemistry and soil fertility and then called for a moment of silence.
Rich Penaskovic then called for a moment of silence for Dan Page, Professor Emeritus, College of Business, who passed away this week.
Rich Penaskovic reported that 28 faculty received sabbatical leaves between 2004-2006. He also stated that no faculty from COSAM, Pharmacy or Nursing received sabbatical leaves during that time. Rich Penaskovic stated that he had asked for $250,000 from the Provost’s Office. He also stated that he preferred continuous funding rather than one-time funding even if this means a smaller amount is allocated to sabbatical leaves.
Rich Penaskovic commented that attendance for the forums on the Presidential Search had been good. He stated that several faculty members who attended stated that they preferred an academician (someone who had gone through the tenure and promotion process and who understood the academic side of the University). He also stated that Mr. McCrary, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, stated that the committee will drive the process rather than relying on the consultants to do so.
Rich Penaskovic said that Dr. Richardson plans to present criteria for post-tenure review at the June Board of Trustees meeting. Rich Penaskovic said development of the recommendations was guided by comments from John Heilman. Rich Penaskovic stated that the Executive Committee had sent a letter to Dr. Heilman stating that there appeared to be no compelling reason to institute a post-tenure review process at this time. He said that the letter stated that the Executive Committee could not support the policy at this time and that it could be revisited when a permanent president is hired.
Rich Penaskovic then reported on a request made to the Coalition on Collegiate Athletics (COIA) that would amend the membership. He said that it currently has a membership of 113 institutions with NCAA Division I-A football and having University or Faculty Senates. He said that 11 schools that do not field I-A football teams but having I-A basketball teams (most also field non-I-A football teams) want to join the COIA. Rich Penaskovic stated that the proposed change was unanimously supported by the administration of the COIA and the AU Senate Steering Committee.
Rich Penaskovic then opened the floor for questions or comments and reminded everyone to state their name and department.
Rich Penaskovic thanked him for his comments and said that it was his understanding that the Search Committee wanted to cast a very wide net in the search and did not want to exclude anyone at this point.
Remarks from Provost John Heilman
John Heilman stated that the feedback from the administrator evaluation survey had been extremely useful to him. He encouraged the Senate to continue the process and said that he understood the plan was to evaluate central administrators next year. He stated again that the work had been very valuable and that he appreciated the work that had been done.
John Heilman then said that he was looking at the process for annual review of faculty. He said that Bill Sauser is reviewing a universal sample of annual reviews. John Heilman stated that the annual reviews are very important if post-tenure review is to be instituted. He also stated that the letter he had received from the Executive Committee setting forth the concerns of the Senate leadership concerning post-tenure review would be forwarded to Dr. Richardson.
John Heilman then said that 4 units (Philosophy, Animal Sciences, Nursing, and Architecture) had volunteered to undergo Academic Program Review this year. This review will be done on a trial basis.
John Heilman also announced that Safe Harbor was very important. He further stated that it had his support, that funding would be continued and that the details of how this would be done were being worked out.
John Heilman stated that Overton Jenda would be holding a conference on Thursday, June 8, on the best practices for securing and retaining a diverse student body. He said that details were to be forthcoming. John Heilman then opened the floor for questions and comments.
John Heilman stated that the options outlined by the Steering Committee are on the Senate web page and that Dr. Richardson is aware of this information. John Heilman said that each proposed method has pros and cons associated with it. He said the trigger-mechanism is less burdensome but not all faculty are reviewed. The universal method allows the post-tenure review process to identify exceptionally productive faculty. He also said that his thinking on this had evolved and that he is now convinced that the recognition aspect could be very valuable.
Nominations and election to one position on the Rules Committee (Kathryn Flynn, Secretary, University Senate)
Kathryn Flynn announced that Sadik Tuzun has resigned from the Rules Committee. The Rules Committee brought forward Claire Crutchley’s name as the nominee to complete his term that ends in August. The nomination required no second and she was elected without opposition.
Calendar and Schedules Committee Report (Thereza Oleinick, Chair, Calendar and Schedules Committee)
Thereza Oleinick, Chair of the Calendar and Schedules Committee presented the proposed calendars for 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. She stated that there were 75 class days per semester, 13-14 complete weeks, 6 days for finals, Spring Break has been moved up by 2 weeks, graduation can occur on either a Friday, Saturday or Monday, and there are two days between the last final and graduation. She also stated that contracts that begin on August 16th drive the start date of classes. The proposed calendars passed without opposition.
Student Academic Grievance Policy (Larry Wit, Member of the Student Academic Grievance Committee)
Larry Wit presented the recommendations of the Committee for Sabit Adanur, Chair of the Committee, who is out of the country. Larry Wit reviewed the comments made at the May Senate meeting and said that he will forward what is approved today to Sabit Adanur so that the revised policy can be cleaned up submitted to the Rules Committee. He noted that the correct title for Linda Glaze (Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies) had been added to the text. Larry Wit said the committee recommends that Section 5.1.2, pertaining to review of committee procedures, be amended to include the Rules Committee. He recommended that, pending approval of this change by the Student Government Association, the proposed policy changes be adopted. This would result in deletion of Section 5.2 in the original committee recommendations. He also stated that the issue of closed-door hearings raised at the last meeting was not a problem because the sunshine law does not apply to these hearings and that, even if it did, FERPA (Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act) would trump the sunshine law. Larry Wit also stated that Section 188.8.131.52 had been clarified to state explicitly that prohibitions on communications between parties involved in a grievance and members of the committee applied only to conversations about the grievance. Larry Wit then opened the floor for comments and questions.
Larry Wit stated that students are a minority on the committee and that the recommended committee composition would consist of 4 faculty members, 3 students, one administrator, and one student. Patricia Duffy stated that, if the administrator was not counted as faculty, the faculty membership would be short of a majority.
A vote was taken on the motion to allow students and faculty to have an attorney present during academic grievance hearings. The motion failed. The Senate then voted on the policy changes recommended by the Student Academic Grievance Committee. The changes were approved contingent on approval by the Student Government Association of the removal of Section 5.2. Kathryn Flynn relinquished the Chair to Rich Penaskovic.
Non-Tenure Track Faculty Committee Report (Isabelle Thompson, Chair, Non-Tenure Track Faculty Committee)
Isabelle Thompson used a power point presentation to give an overview of a survey of non-tenure track faculty conducted in spring 2006. She stated the purpose of the survey was to determine who the non-tenure track faculty are and how satisfied they are with their jobs. She said that the category of non-tenure track faculty includes clinical, research, and ACES faculty and instructors. She said that 774 people received the survey and 283 responded giving the survey a 33.6% response rate.
Isabelle Thompson said that many respondents indicated that they did not feel valued and respected by tenure-track faculty. She said that some of the respondents do not know what support they are eligible for and some are concerned that they are not eligible to serve on departmental committees. She said that some ACES non-tenure track faculty are facing reclassification. She said that there has been no attempt to bring non-tenure track faculty salaries up to regional or national averages. Isabelle Thompson also reported that some clinical and research faculty expressed concern that members of the P&T committee are not familiar with what they do and that this could negatively affect promotion reviews by the P&T committee. The Non-Tenure Track Faculty Committee made 8 recommendations:
(The survey results can be accessed through the June 6 Senate agenda posted on the Senate web page.) After completing her presentation Isabelle Thompson opened the floor for questions and comments.
Isabelle Thompson stated that the committee is concerned not with the job but with the individuals being affected. Gaines Smith said that ACES is looking at the job being done today when making reclassification decisions. John Heilman stated that he endorses Gaines Smith’s comments and said that non-tenure track ACES employees do not report through the academic line to the Provost’s office.
Rich Penaskovic thanked all participants in the meeting and asked if there was any old business. There was no old business. He then asked if there was any new business and there was no new business.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:22 p.m.