Minutes of the University Senate Meeting
10 November 2009
Broun Hall Auditorium
Dennis DeVries, Secretary
(for a complete transcription of the meeting, go to http://www.auburn.edu/administration/governance/senate/website/transcripts/TrScrpt2009-2010/transcript_11_10_09.html
Present: Kathryn Flynn, Claire Crutchley, Dennis Devries, Russ Muntifering, Robert Locy, Richard Guthrie, Anne-Katrin Gramberg, R. Lee Evans, Stewart Schneller, Jeff McNeil, John Mason, Mary Ellen Mazey, Bonnie MacEwan, Larry Crowley, Andrew McLelland, Winfred Foster, Norbert Wilson, Sondra Parmer, Charles Mitchell, Werner Bergen, Barbara Kemppainen, Michael Clay, Christopher McNulty, Paul Swamidass, Anthony Moss, Yifen Wang, Eduardus Duin, Prabhakar Clement, Hollie Lavenstein, Daniel Phillips, Sanjeev Baskiyar, Wi-Suk Kwon, Charles Eick, James Witte, Michael Baginski, James Goldstein, Xing Ping Hu, Keven Yost, John Mazaheri, David King, Raymond Kessler, Shea Tillman, Andrew Wohrley, Steve Stuckwisch, Bart Prorok, Howard Goldstein, Constance Hendricks, Claire Zizza, Monica DeTure, Jim Wright, Daniel Parson, Jan Kavookjian, Wesley Lindsey, Guy Rohrbaugh, Mike Bozack, Steven P. Brown, Yasser Gowayed, Emily Myers
Absent, sending a substitute: Robin Jaffe (for Heather May)
Absent, no substitute: Larry Benefield, Richard Brinker, Ainsley Carry, Jacob Watkins, James Winfield, Judy Woodrow, April Staton, David Shannon , Bill Hames, Paul Holley, Ronald Neuman, Michael Stern, Allen Davis, Larry Teeter, Mark Fischman, Jennifer Brooks, Ellen Abell, Robert Bulfin, Casey Cegielski, Edith Davidson, Robert Voitle, Chris Correia, Rebecca Curtis, Scott Lewis, Jon Segars, Del Epperson, Ralph Henderson,
Call to Order:
Kathryn Flynn called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.
She briefly reviewed procedural rules for the meeting.
The minutes of the 6 October 2009 University Senate meeting were approved without change.
Remarks and Announcements:
Kathryn Flynn (Faculty Chair) invited Dr. Gogue, President, to present comments from the President's office.
Dr. Gogue had several items to mention.
--The Board of Trustees approved the accelerated BS/MS degree program. This has already attracted more attention from prospective students than anything else.
--The Board of Trustees approved a housekeeping change to get into compliance with our auditors relative to the use of employee dependent tuition waivers for those students who have also been awarded an Auburn University Scholarship.
--The issue of pedestrian accidents remains important, with yet another accident on South College and Magnolia last week. This is an ongoing issue, and there will be a meeting on 9 December concerning this. The city is not supportive of crosswalks or tunnels, but suggested using chains to keep people off of the road and force them to the lights.
Questions for Dr. Gogue:
--There were no questions.
Comments from the Chair:
--There are a lot of committees working on significant issues, so Senate meetings will likely continue to have very full agendas.
--Many of these are items of importance to the academics of Auburn University.
--Senators be sure to consult your faculty and get input.
--Also, bring items of concern to the Senate officers or to a member of the Steering Committee.
--Kathryn Flynn then invited Bruce Smith, who is chair of the Faculty Research Committee, to the podium.
--Bruce Smith mentioned several items: (1) There will be a "new" faculty orientation tomorrow sponsored by the office of the Vice President for Research. (2) The new fringe benefit rates are now being applied to all contracts and grants, and Smith asked that Senators remind their faculty to make sure that PIs know this. He also noted that there is a plan relative to cases where PIs could not afford the new rates; PIs are encouraged to look at their budgets now and manage accordingly to the new rates. If the budgets cannot be managed to accommodate the new rates, the PI should go to their Associate Dean for Research who will work on the issue, starting at the Associate Dean for Research level with the Dean and the upper administration.
Questions for Dr. Flynn:
--There were no questions.
Proposed Replacement Calendar for 2010-2011 (Robin Jaffe, Chair of the Calendars and Schedules Committee)
--The PowerPoint presentation is at: http://www.auburn.edu/administration/governance/senate/website/agendas/2009-2010/Nov09_agn_items/Calendars11-09-2009.ppt
--There were no questions or discussion.
--The proposed replacement calendar for 2010-2011 passed unanimously by a voice vote.
Proposed Replacement Calendar for 2011-2012 (Robin Jaffe, Chair of the Calendars and Schedules Committee)
--There were no questions or discussion.
--The proposed replacement calendar for 2011-2012 passed unanimously by a voice vote.
Proposed Replacement Calendar for 2012-2013 (Robin Jaffe, Chair of the Calendars and Schedules Committee)
--There were no questions or discussion.
--The proposed replacement calendar for 2012-2013 passed unanimously by a voice vote.
Update from the Core Curriculum and General Education Committee (Linda Glaze, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies)
--handout with CCGE Committee response to General Education Task Force recommendation is located at http://www.auburn.edu/administration/governance/senate/website/agendas/2009-2010/Nov09_agn_items/CCGEC-Senate_Summary_Nov10_2009.pdf
Questions for Dr. Glaze:
--James Goldstein (English) asked if there had been a change from proposed classes having to relate to 2 learning outcomes to now having to relate to 1 learning outcome. Linda Glaze responded that proposed classes now have to relate to 1 primary and 1 secondary outcome.
--Steve Brown (Political Science) wanted to confirm that the grouping of the social sciences classes was a decision of the committee and is not required by the AGSC. Linda Glaze noted that the grouping was an arbitrary decision made by Auburn when we switched from quarters to semesters.
--Steve Brown (Political Science) followed up by noting that the possibility of students graduating with no requirement for a class in American Government and potentially no understanding of global economy strikes them as very interesting. He went on to note the current lack of understanding of civic issues. Linda Glaze responded that one of the learning outcomes was for students to become engaged and informed citizens. The CCGE Committee will be responsible for making sure that via the courses that come through that students will receive those outcomes.
--Werner Bergen (Animal Sciences) asked why Auburn was holding to the rule differently than the articulation agreement relative to a science sequence versus 2 distinct courses. Mary Mendonca (not a Senator, Biological Sciences, CCGE Committee member) responded that there was a poll in COSAM, and then a meeting of the department heads/chairs relative to whether they preferred a sequence or not, and the consensus was that science needed the sequence. The first course is spent learning the basics, and the second course can then build on that. Students need significant knowledge in a single field and the committee voted to support that recommendation from COSAM.
--Guy Rohrbaugh (Philosophy) asked if Linda will come to a later Senate meeting with a more specific proposal. Linda Glaze responded that was correct, the committee will review specific proposals to make sure they line up with student learning outcomes. Guy Rohrbaugh then asked for some explanation as to why we need to do it this way, what are the reasons, etc. Linda Glaze responded that the charge of the General Education Task Force was to find ways to make the core more flexible. Two approaches would be to have departments currently offering courses in the core offer more courses, or to change requirements. A consistent criticism of the core has been that it is too limiting or restrictive. Also, if you look at learning outcomes, there several areas that we do not address with our current offerings. There are courses in area 2 that may help to address those.
--Michelle Sidler (English, not a Senator, CCGE Committee member) said that the alignment study showed that we are not necessarily getting students to know what students need to know; we are taking a curriculum that was administratively driven and making it student driven.
Report on the Lecturer/Senior Lecturer guidelines (Emmett Winn, Associate Provost)
--This will be brought back to the Senate as an action item at the next meeting.
--handout with the guidelines is at http://www.auburn.edu/administration/governance/senate/website/agendas/2009-2010/Nov09_agn_items/LecturerTitleSeries_11-3.pdf
Questions for Dr. Winn:
--Steve Brown (Political Science) said that there are a lot of concerns in his department, and asked if it was possible to have a meeting or a forum devoted to this topic. Emmett Winn responded that it was possible.
--Steve Brown then asked if this followed the AAUP guidelines, and noted that the 1-year appointments opposes this. Emmett Winn responded that the Senate voted to establish these positions and the committee is only developing guidelines. The Non Tenure Track Instructors Committee suggested using the clinical track as a guide and starting point.
--James Goldstein (English) thanked the committee and Dr. Winn for their hard work, and the Senate leadership, and the Steering Committee for allowing this to come to the Senate. He noted that there were positive features to the guideline document such as the role of faculty in hiring and due process for these positions. But he said that there are ways that the document risk exposing the university to AAUP censure. James Goldstein then read portions of a letter from the AAUP (the pdf is at http://www.auburn.edu/administration/governance/senate/website/agendas/2009-2-10/Nov09_agn_items/AAUP_letter_to_JamesGoldstein). He noted that we need to provide the same due process protections for lecturers whose service goes beyond 7 years as we do for tenured faculty. He also noted that a clause could be included stating that financial exigency will not be used to hire a Lecturer versus a tenure track faculty, or an Instructor versus a Lecturer. He said that the Auburn AAUP Chapter would provide Emmett Winn with comments and revisions to the document.
--Keven Yost (Finance) provided some comments from his department. One question was that the term instruction is not defined when relating to not exceeding 25% of total instruction. Also, would Lecturers have service responsibilities in addition to teaching? Finally, is it possible to make these 2-year terms instead of 1-year terms given that it would be difficult for someone to relocate for a 1-year appointment.
--Anthony Moss (Biological Sciences) said his department had a few concerns, including that the language allowed enough flexibility to substitute Lecturers for tenure track faculty; however, if the decisions are made at the department level, then this might not be a concern. He suggested several changes to help clear this up to lines 5 and 7 of the guidelines document.
--Steve Brown (Political Science) asked whether this would go automatically on the next Senate meeting agenda. Emmett Winn replied that was the Senate's decision. Steve Brown then noted that there was very little time to consider this document and questioned whether there could be a more open meeting to discuss this with the faculty before the next Senate meeting. Emmett Winn agreed to do this.
--Bill Trimble (History, not a Senator) noted that he was a member of the AAUP Executive Committee. He thanked the committee for their work on the guidelines. He noted that ideally we would have probationary tenure track and tenured faculty. But things are not ideal, but we need to make sure that academic freedom and due process are protected, which is AAUP believes in and has stood for. He noted that there is a danger of eroding tenure if the percentages of non tenure track faculty getting too high. You could end up with a two tiered system with a teaching underclass and a tenured/tenure track faculty doing the rest of the things professors do. He noted that the AAUP has already held a forum on this topic and that there has been a good give-and-take between the committee and the members of the AAUP.
--Emmett Winn noted that in addition to the open discussion, perhaps Senators could forward comments and suggestions to the Senate leadership to be passed on to the committee.
Report on first year of Ombudsperson office (Jim Wohl, University Ombudsperson)
--Jim Wohl noted that the office is an independent and neutral resource for all employees
--The office follows the national standards and the code of ethics of the International Ombudsmans Association. There are about 200 offices across the country, which is a 35% increase since 2004. Some of these offices include students. He noted that serving in this role has been a pleasure and he has received great cooperation and support across campus.
--Jim Wohl then presented his report; the report is linked at http://www.auburn.edu/administration/governance/senate/website/agendas/2009-2010/Oct09_agn_items/OmbudsRptPkg2_2008-09.pdf and the summary presentation is linked at http://www.auburn.edu/administration/governance/senate/website/agendas/2009-2010/Oct09_agn_items/ExecSummaryOmbuds-5-Charts.pdf
--Jim noted that the report should be used as only one piece of information for assessing the office.
Questions for Dr. Wohl:
--Barbara Kemppainen (Anatomy, Physiology & Pharmacology) asked whether the pre-dispute meetings help to avoid the disputes from happening. Jim Wohl responded that this would be hard to assess for a variety of reasons, including confidentiality.
--Bob Locy (Immediate Past Chair) noted that he was in the Senate leadership when the office was established, and he wanted to give Jim his personal thanks for all of the work he has done to set up the Ombuds office. What he has done is a great service to the University.
There was no unfinished business.
There was no new business.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:32 PM.