Minutes of the University Senate Meeting
8 November 2011
3:00 p.m.
Broun Hall Auditorium
Submitted by
Larry Crowley, Secretary
A complete transcription of the meeting is available 

Present: Bill Sauser, Larry Crowley, Robin Jaffe, Claire Crutchley, William Batchelor, Bill Hardgrave, Betty Lou Whitford, Chuck Savrda, Calvin Johnson, Timothy Boosinger, Bonnie MacEwan, Andrew Wohrley, Laura Plexico, Nedret Billor, Michael Baginski, Robert Cochran, Norbert Wilson, James Bannon, Sondra Parmer, Scott McElroy, Werner Bergen, Dean Schwartz, Jocelyn Zanzot, Gary Wagoner, Paul Swamidass, Bob Locy, Sushil Adhikari, Mark (James) Taylor, Steve Duke, Eduardus Duin, Prabhakar Clement, Robert Agne, Daniel Phillips, Sanjeev Baskiyar, Michael Stern, James Witte, Thomas Baginski, James Goldstein, Xing Ping Hu, Andrienne Angelo, Larry Teeter, David King, Fenny Dane, Ellen Abell, Jerry Davis, Pambanisha King Whaley, Peter Stanwick, Herb Rotfeld, Tin-Yau Tam, Bart Prorok, Doug Rosener, Suresh Mathews, Vicky van Santen, Forrest Smith, Brent Fox, Wesley Lindsey, Guy Rohrbaugh, Mike Bozack, Steven Brown, Yasser Gowayed, Shelly McKee, Annette Kluck, Richard Fox, Emily Myers, Adrienne Wilson, and Ralph Henderson
Absent, sending a substitute: Barbara Wilder (for Gregg Newschwander), Richard Hansen (for R. Lee Evans), Lourdes Betanzos (for Ann-Katrin Gramberg), Melanie G. Smith (for Kirby Turnage), Carol Warfield (for Wi-Suk Kwon), Lee Colquitt (for Harris Hollans), and Daffny Pierce (for Joe Fetsch)
Absent, no substitute: Ann Beth Presley, George Flowers, Steven Clontz, Nakeisha Janigan, Seth Humphrey, Winfred Foster, Charles Eick, Rusty Wright, Ruth Crocker, Jerrod Windham, Jared Russell, Stuart Pope, John Freeze, Lewis Baker, and Scott Copeland

Call to Order:
--Bill Sauser, Chair-Elect and standing in for Ann Beth Presley, called the meeting to order, confirmed a quorum was present, and reviewed the rules of the senate.
-- Minutes from the October 4, 2011 meeting were accepted as posted without change.

Remarks and Announcements:
Dr. Gogue (Office of the President) shared the following:
1. Questioned the gathering on how many have been to the new faculty lounge which opened November 1st and noted a good response while encouraging them to keep us posted on how well it is working.

2.  The upcoming Board of Trustees meeting has several academic-related items on the agenda. A classroom facility/auditorium is proposed for the Dixon Forestry Site; an addition to Telfair Peet and some renovation in parts of the auditorium is also being proposed; approval is sought for a proposed Bachelors of Music Degree, approval of a Chinese International Business Program which will include a language component as well as how to conduct business in China is sought by the College of Business.  Also, approval is being sought to acquire the 55,000 square foot building formerly occupied by Bruno’s grocery store.  If purchased, the use of that site has not been finalized; however, potential uses include some combination of relocating employees currently occupying leased space near Wal-Mart and some health-related functions of academic departments that deal with the public such as pharmacy, nursing, and communicative disorders which will allow easier patient access.

3. Mentioned he met with AAUP leadership last week.

4. Updated the senate on the ongoing provost search.  Dr. Gogue said he met with both candidates that were referred to him by the search committee and asked each candidate to provide additional materials. He will keep the senate posted as the process continues.

At the close of Dr. Gogue’s remarks, he offered to respond to any questions that might be asked.  There were not questions.

Bill Sauser, Chair-Elect offered the following remarks on behalf of Ann Beth Pressley, Chair:
1. Thanked those that made it possible to reopen the faculty lounge.

2. Welcomed Texas A&M and the University of Missouri to the Southeastern Conference.

3. Clarified that the social media policy is not created by the Provost’s Office but from the Office of Communications and Marketing with the intent to protect the good name and reputation of the university.  Emmett Winn, Associate Provost has been representing the executive committee of the Senate in its discussion and will present this as an information item later in the agenda.  Comments that we have will be delivered by him on the faculty’s behalf.

Action Items:
-- Larry Crowley, Secretary, presented one nominee from the Rules Committee for the University Writing Committee to represent the College of Business.  The nominee is Robert Cochran.  With no discussion offered by the floor, a vote was called.  The nominee were elected by votes of 57 yes and 2 no.  The nominee as presented is available at the following (word file).

-- Robin Jaffe, Secretary-Elect and current member and immediate past chair of the Calendar committee, introduced separate motions to revise the academic calendar as follows.  For the calendar year 2012-13, the Fall 2012 graduation is changed to December 8 and the Spring 2013 graduation dates are changed to May 4 and May 5.  With no discussion offered by the floor, a vote was called.  The motion carried with a vote of 53 yes and 4 no.

A second motion to change the 2013-14 calendar for graduation dates was offered by Robin Jaffe.  Fall graduation is changed to December 14 and for Spring the graduation dates will be May 3 and May 4 rather than the current May 5th date.  With no discussion offered by the floor, a vote was called.  The motion carried with a vote of 54 yes and 4 no.

A third motion presented the 2014-15 Calendar which has 72 days for both the Fall and Spring Semesters.  School will start on Wednesday, August 20, going through Friday, December 5.  Graduation will be held on December 13th.  The Spring Semester will start on January 14th and classed end on May 1st.  The registrar has accepted fewer days between Spring and Summer classes.  Summer classes start on May 18 and run through June 19 for the first mini-semester with finals on Saturday and Monday.  The first day of the second summer term will start on June 23rd and run through July 24 with July 3 as the holiday celebrating the 4th.  Graduation will take place on August 1st.  With the motion made and not needing a second, the Chair called for discussion.

Discussion that followed the motion:
Bob Locy, senator Biological Sciences, asked why the spring calendar is starting so late in January. Was it to align with the City of Auburn School system?

Robin Jaffe responded that a number of people asked that the break correspond to the Auburn City Schools.  To have 5 full weeks after spring break it was necessary to have the late start in January. The calendar committee felt is appropriate to try an aligned schedule with Auburn City Schools to see if it could work.  Starting earlier in January would not allow an aligned schedule while meeting the committee rule of 5 full weeks after spring break.

David King, senator Geology & Geography, asked how many people requested an aligned schedule.

Robin Jaffe responded by saying that Dana Caudle, current chair of the Calendar Committee, fielded the phone calls and emails on it.  He further offered that 15% of the parents deal with Auburn City School system schedule and would want it to correspond.

David King followed with a suggestion that the faculty be polled on their preference on Spring Semester start dates.

Vicky Van Santen, senator Pathobiology, responded to the faculty polling suggestion with the observation that students have kids in school as well and noted that majority rule is not necessarily the best way to handle it.

Jocelyn Zanzot, senator Landscape Architecture, asked why the calendars have been misaligned.

Robin Jaffe responded that they were misaligned before with the transition from quarters to semesters.  Now the state education system has changed the date when giving certain exams and Auburn City Schools wants to provide the break after the exams have been taken, not the week prior.  This has led to the misaligned schedule.

Darren Olsen, senator (substitute) from Building Science asked for the rationale for having a week at Thanksgiving rather than a week-long fall break.

Robin Jaffe responded by saying that the fall break that is often discussed usually targets 2 days in October.  The students on the calendar committee would not want these 2 days drawn from those provided at Thanksgiving.

Darren Olsen followed with the observation that the long stretch between Labor Day and Thanksgiving without a break leads to lower energy levels and thought a fall break would tend to bring it back.

Robin Jaffe agreed with that assessment.

Vicky Van Santen, senator Pathobiology, clarified her earlier comment by saying that we need to be considerate of people with kids in school.

With no other discussion from the floor, the chair called for a vote.  The motion carried with a vote of 50 yes and 9 no.  The presented calendars are available at the following:
changes to calendar (pdf)
2014–2015 Academic calendar (pdf)

Information items:
-- Emmett Winn (Associate Provost) at the request of the steering committee presented a proposed social media policy being developed by Office of Communication and Marketing. He noted that two representatives from OCM, Mike Clardy and Brock Parker, were in attendance. He stated his objective in making the presentation is to solicit input from the faculty. The draft policy (word file)is available and the presentation slides (ppt).  Feedback can be provided by email at winn@auburn.edu.

Questions following this presentation:
Steve Brown, senator Political Science, asked if on an Auburn Branded site, is the content manager responsible for the inappropriate posted responses of others?

Emmett Winn responded yes if you are the content manager.

Steve Brown followed this with a second question as to how basic first amendment protections are dealt with under this policy.

Emmett Winn noted that legal counsel in not here and suggested that he send the question in an email so that it might be forwarded.

Suresh Matthews, senator Nutrition asked about the learning management system CANVAS which integrates links to Facebook, twitter, etc.  Instructors that link to their personal Facebook may get messages and notes from students through these links.  How does the social media policy apply to CANVAS?

Emmett Winn said he couldn’t answer that issue but remarked that a personal Facebook site is not covered by the policy.

Suresh Matthews followed this with a question about what precautions should be taken if personal sites are linked to Auburn Branded courseware.

Emmett Winn offered to have legal counsel look at this issue if it were sent in a detailed email.  He mentioned that CANVAS access is only available to enrolled students and thus would be covered under basic class guidelines.

The chair asked if either of the two Communication and Marketing representatives that were present had anything to add.  They did not.  

Unfinished business:
The chair called for any unfinished business.

David King, senator Geology & Geography, said it was his understanding there would be no course evaluations for graduate students this semester and asked for clarification on this issue.

Emmett Winn, associate provost, responded by saying that any instructor listed in Banner as the instructor of record will receive course evaluation for their students.  He continued by saying that Dr. Constance Relihan, associate provost for undergraduate studies, is working with the associate deans for academic affairs in each college to address how students will be evaluated for their teaching if not listed as the instructor of record.

Constance Relihan, associate provost for undergraduate studies, responded by saying the easiest way to have GTA’s evaluated is to make sure they are listed in Banner.  If not this way, then each college or department must discuss how they want to handle it internally.

David King followed up with the comment that his understanding as to why GTA’s are not listed in banner is because they do not have the credentials to be teachers of record.

Emmett Winn said Drew Clark (in attendance at meeting) is the SACS liaison for Auburn University.  Dr. Winn offered that there are several ways that SACS allows instructors to be properly credentialed, most common here at Auburn is they hold the terminal degree; however, other ways are available.

Drew Clark, institutional research and SACS liaison for Auburn, addressed the questions concerning credentials.  If the course is not credit bearing, then SACS credentials are not necessary.  If individuals are not able to be properly credentialed for a course then they should not be having that teaching assignment.

Bob Locy, senator Biological Sciences, stated that many teach courses with a lecture and laboratory component and there is only one instructor of record.  He asked if someone could prepare guidelines on how to handle having students evaluate GTA’s in these cases. 

Constance Relihan indicated that guidelines would be forthcoming.

The chair called for any other business.

New business:

The meeting was adjourned at 3:40 pm.