Auburn University Senate
Steering Committee

Sept. 26, 2013
206 Samford Hall

Submitted by Judy Sheppard


Present: Chair Larry Crowley; Immediate Past Chair Bill Sauser; Secretary Judy Sheppard; President-Elect Patricia Duffy; Secretary-Elect Gisela Bushle-Diller; Mike Baginiski; Provost Tim Boosinger; Don Mulvaney; Laura Plexico; Larry Teeter; Wayne Ceynova, Chief Flight Instructor, Aviation and Supply Chain Management; Dwayne Searcy, chair, Academic Honesty Committee.

The meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m. by Larry Crowley.
Bill Sauser moved to approve the minutes of the Sept. 12 meeting. Don Mulvaney seconded.

1. Dr. Searcy previewed a presentation for the Oct. 8 meeting of the University Senate on changes to procedures of the Academic Honesty Committee.

The major change is the move to facilitated meetings, instead of full committee hearings, for alleged violations. A single committee member mediates directly between the faculty and student, streamlining the process and allowing faculty to have more say in the sanctions imposed. The case can be moved to the full committee hearing process at any time. The system seems to have encouraged more awareness and reports of offenses, partly because the process is swift and perceived as fair.

Dr. Sauser encouraged Dr. Searcy to show the Senate the major kinds of academic honesty offenses that faculty should look for. Dr. Searcy said they include cheating on exams, plagiarism, forged excuses and “collaborative homework,” when two or more students work together and turn in identical work.

Mike Baginiski suggested Searcy try to define the point when that process crosses over into plagiarism. Larry Teeter asked if there was training for the facilitators. Searcy said there is no formal training, but that almost all facilitated cases end in unanimous agreement about sanctions.

2. Provost Tim Boosinger updated the committee on the university’s work with the Huron Education Group, which specializes in examining university budget models and proposing reallocation of resources and revenues. The university has decided to bring Huron back for the next phase, a 12-week period of forums, meetings and expert panel discussions to build consensus about the group’s approach to the current budget model, Dr. Boosinger said. Though there’s no immediate funding crisis, the university has reached its limit on recouping costs through increased tuition, state funding is expected to be flat until 2018, and out-of-state enrollment is in danger of decline, he said.

Huron representatives will address the Senate at its November meeting.

3. Wayne Ceynowa, chief flight instructor of the department of Aviation and Supply Chain Management, informed the committee about the status of the university’s aviation program.

He explained that the aviation program had recently suffered setbacks, due to the death and resignation of two flight instructors and therefore the temporary loss of its FAA approval. However, the FAA has renewed its approval, and the program has moved from a “one size fits all” curriculum to one designed for Auburn’s needs. The resulting new curriculum could shave $15,000 off the tuition students have been paying for this training. The curriculum may also sharply reduce the hours required for air transportation pilot certification, he said.

Mr. Ceynowa said that publicity for the little-known program will also help. Few people know that the university flight team competes nationally and scored No. 1 in safety this year, or that AU is hosting a regional competition in November, he said. Mr. Ceynowa said more developments are planned, including partnerships with other colleges, identifying opportunities to develop flight programs in other countries, and involving alumni in fund-raising. In addition, 10 students have been accepted into the JetBlue Airways Corporation’s program for mentoring and gaining flight experience. JetBlue would like to use AU as a “farm team” for pilots, he said.

The steering committee then set the agenda for the Oct. 8 meeting and adjourned at about 4:45 p.m.