Draft Minutes for May 1, 2007 Senate Meeting
3:00 p.m. Broun Hall Auditorium*
Present: Dave Cicci, Richard Penaskovic, Robert Locy, Ann Beth Presley, Sue Barry, Debbie Shaw, Don Large, June Henton, Drew Clark, Wendy Penchman, Drew Burgering, Roger Garrison, Gary Martin, Ronald Clark, Winfred Foster, Norbert Wilson, Charles Mitchell, Anoop Sattineni, Rik Blumenthal, Larry Crowley, Debra Worthington, Alvin Sek See Lim, John Saye, Dan Gropper, James Witte, Jon Bolton, Robin Huettel, Claire Crutchley, Jim Saunders, David Carter, Raymond Kessler, Chris Arnold, Saeed Mahsoodloo, Andrew Wohrley, Roger Wolters, Darrel Hankerson, Bart Prorok, Richard Good, Robin Fellers, Don-Terry Veal, Jim Wright, Salisa Westrick, Bernie Olin, James Shelley, Francis Robicheaux, Anthony Gadzey, Robert Voitle, Dan Svyantek, Tom Williams, Howard Thomas
Absent with Substitute: Debbie Shaw (Keith Canep), Overton Jenda (Donna Solire), Fran Kochan (Ivan Watts), Sondra Parmer (Greg Parmer), Keith Cummins (Russ Muntifering), Anthony Moss (Bob Locy), Carol Carruth (Carole Johnson), Suhyun Suh (Annette Kluck), Michel Raby (J.H. Mazahari), Todd Axlund (B. Montgomery)
Absent without Substitute: Royrickers Cook, Stewart Schneller, John Heilman, Bonnie MacEwan, Matt Jenkins, Ethan Trevino, Jack DeRuiter, Jim Bradley, Barbara Kemppainen, Charlene LeBleu, Barry Fleming, Brian Gibson, Timothy McDonald, Robert P. Chambers, Carol Centrallo, Scotte Hodel, Allen Davis, Larry Teeter, Alice Buchanan, Thomas A. Smith, Hug Guffey, John Rowe, Forrest Smith, Peggy Shippen, Randy Tillery, William Shaw, Carole Zugazaga, Scott Phillips
Approval of Minutes from April 10, 2007 (link)
Comments by Chair:
David Cicci (Chair) My comments today will address some of the highlights of last week’s Board of Trustees meeting and provide you with an update on the status of the faculty Dismissal policy.
The Board voted to approve next year’s preliminary budget which includes a 5% merit raise for faculty and staff, and a 5% tuition increase. Comments expressed by the trustees indicated a desire to have a distribution of raises ranging from 0-10% in order to award excellence, rather than general, across-the-board raises of 5% to most employees. The original request for a tuition increase was 3%, but the trustees opted for an additional 2%, which will be held in a tuition reserve account and used in years where state appropriations are less than adequate to help avoid a double-digit tuition hike in any one year.
A long discussion about post-tenure review took place after the presentation of results of the PTR field test, which you will hear later this afternoon. Strong and unanimous support for PTR was expressed by the trustees during the meeting. Of particular note was an indication from several trustees that a primary focus of any PTR process at Auburn should be to improve the quality of undergraduate teaching. The administration has stated that the faculty will have an opportunity to provide further input into the final PTR policy before implementation next fall.
One large surprise that surfaced during Dr. Richardson’s comments to the Board was his mention of the possible relocation of several academic units to the Institute of Natural Resources. The units that may be affected include: geology, geography, marine biology, environmental science, and food science. Some of you may have strong feelings regarding these possible relocations. I urge you to express your concerns to Senate leadership and the administration as soon as possible.
At the April Senate meeting I discussed my concerns regarding a new Dismissal policy that the administration had developed and introduced without faculty input. I stated that this policy was unacceptable and that adoption of the policy in its original form may raise questions regarding AAUP censure, SACS certification, or both.
Since the last Senate meeting, both Senate and AAUP leadership have worked very hard to convince the administration and the Board of Trustees to reconsider adoption of this policy without an adequate opportunity for faculty input. As a result, both Dr. Richardson and the Board have agreed to delay the adoption of a new Dismissal policy under the following conditions:
- The Senate leadership will create and present an Interim Dismissal policy to
the administration by late May for approval by the Board at the June
meeting. This interim policy will address dismissal due to faculty
misconduct, or criminal activity, but not due to academic performance.
- The Senate leadership will create and present a comprehensive Dismissal
policy to the administration by October 15, for approval by the Board at the
November meeting. This comprehensive Dismissal policy will address
both misconduct and academic performance.
This agreement was reached after Senate leadership made a strong commitment to meet these conditions. If we do not, a policy that we will likely not support, will be forced upon us.
To meet those strict deadlines, my plan is to present an Interim Dismissal policy to the Senate as an information item in June, and to present the full Dismissal policy to both the Senate and General Faculty for approval in October.
Teaching Effectiveness Recommendations
Gisela Buschle-Diller (Teaching Effectiveness Committee): This presentation is the product much work on the behalf of the Teaching Effectiveness Committee. (Link)
Standard procedures for administering teaching evaluations will be applied campus wide
Student evaluations of teaching will be conducted for every class and section assigned
Teaching evaluations will not be administered by the instructor of the course
Student identities must remain anonymous
Results of the evaluations will not be provided to instructors until after grades are
Auburn University will adopt the teaching evaluation forms and processing supplied by the
University of Washington
The Provost’s Office will provide funding of TE forms, processing, and reports
The University Senate will review TE policies and procedures every 3 years
Implementation will begin as soon as possible (Fall 2007?)
David Cicci (Chair) Call for a hand vote on accepting the recommendations of the committee.
David Cicci (Chair) The recommendations of the committee are passed by a vote of 32-5.
Progress Report on Post Tenure Review Field Test
Bill Sauser (Provost’s Office) This is a progress report, implementation and assessment and refinement will take several years. (Link)
Review of Tenure and the process of tenure—see PowerPoint
The field test was a challenge. A University-level committee was formed to review the randomly chosen faculty. Each of the 38 faculty chosen provided a current vita, two-page statement from the faculty member, and a two-page assessment by the department head/chair. The Post Tenure Review Committee then assessed each dossier for the purpose of identifying faculty members whose work is exemplary. The Provost communicated the results of the review, in writing, to all 38 faculty members reviewed.
Findings: The committee identified several faculty members that truly excelled in their work and these faculty were recommended for university wide recognition. The university-wide committee is preferable over the departmental-based review committees. We can improve the process by holding training workshops for department heads/chairs and deans with annual faculty review, promotion, etc. The estimated cost of the PTR process was 20 hours (by the university committee) per each faculty reviewed.
David Carter (History) Could you clarify? How did you come by the numbers?
Rik Blumenthal (Chemistry & Bio-Chemistry) Clarify, then voted on at Board of Trustees
Bill Sauser (Provost’s Office)
Rik Blumenthal (Chemistry & Bio-Chemistry) Takes 20 hours per individual . Identify the best and the worst—what is the consequence for both? Not justified, process much larger, process much smaller. Six man years for 600 faculty at full professor rank. Why waste $500,000in a trial when we could just go to the department head/chair?
Bill Sauser (Provost’s Office) You are correct, it is a very time consuming. Is there value added beyond a good faculty review? The jury is still out.
Rik Blumenthal (Chemistry & Bio-Chemistry) Suggest that the administration take a look at the University of California model, where there are three levels for each position: Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor.
Carole Johnson (Communication Disorders) What about in a department where the work tends to be more outreach? Is this considered and weighted into the equation?
Bill Sauser (Provost’s Office) Yes, the chair provides an explanation of the faculty’s appointment and what there goals and workload are.
Rich Penaskovic (Immediate Past Chair) How will full-time administrators be evaluated? Are there any guidelines for this?
Bill Sauser (Provost’s Office) This did come up during the pilot. Tried to use a similar procedure to the faculty using input from supervisor’s, e.g. dean’s, to provide evaluation and support material.
Bob Locy (Chair Elect) If student evaluations of faculty are passed on to the Board of Trustees, why can’t faculty evaluate the Board?
Gary Martin (Steering) Will next year’s selection be totally random?
Bill Sauser (Provost’s Office) Not sure yet. Will probably look at in terms of promotion by year, e.g. 6, 12, 18, etc. Will recommend that 60 people go through the process.
Rik Blumenthal (Chemistry & Bio-Chemistry) If such regard for accountability, why is the Board of Trustees not held to the same standard of accountability? Doesn’t SACS mandate accountability for the Board?
Academic Program Review-presented by Sharon Gaber
Sharon Gaber (Sr. Associate Provost) In June of 2005, President Richardson called for a pilot Academic Program Review. We have 58 departments, 24 of which contain programs that are not accredited. We are interested in looking at both accredited and non-accredited programs. The plan is to have a self-study in the fall with Spring site visits. An outside review team will make the site visits and make recommendations to the Provost.
Funding – Time and Resources
Recommend implementation in 2007-2008. Those programs going through an outside review/accreditation will be chosen to coincide with the outside reviews and accreditations.
Rich Penaskovic (Immediate Past Chair) How can we do this process with no Strategic Plan in place? What about Alabama Commission on Higher Education viability goals?
Campus Security—presented by Don Large
Don Large (Executive VP) – The Board of Trustees has been briefed on campus security and recommendations have been made to the Board. This topic produced a great deal of discussion on different topics. Some were worried about emergency preparedness—what are we doing to prevent a Virginia Tech from occurring at Auburn? Others wanted to talk only about security, others wanted to focus only on students, etc. Need to communicate needs fro all areas. We are looking at putting in a main site to monitor security on campus, as opposed to individual colleges, schools, and buildings maintaining their own security. We are also looking at enhancing student counseling services. We need to provide more information at Camp War Eagle for both students and parents. K-12 is now practicing lock-down situations. Most faculty have not been trained in lock-down procedures. We are also looking at a proposal from East Alabama Medical Center to provide additional help with counseling services.
Rich Penaskovic (Immediate Past-Chair) Most faculty don’t know where/who to call for help for troubled students. Most universities this size have a minimum of 4 full-time psychiatrists on staff.
Nancy McDaniel (Educational Support Services) If anyone has problems with students or needs to direct students to support services, please call 844-4710. We need to know the best way to communicate information to faculty.
David Cicci (Chair) Any old business? Any new business? Meeting Adjourned.
*Note: Recording equipment did not function so there is no audio record of the Senate