Transcript Senate Meeting
November 8, 2011
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: I’d like to welcome everyone to the November 2011 meeting of the University Senate. I’m Bill Sauser, professor of management and chair-elect of the University Senate and I am standing in today for Dr. Ann Beth Presley, she is undergoing a medical procedure this afternoon and hopes to be back with us very shortly So I’ll stand in for her as best I can.
I do want to first to check for a quorum, so make sure your clicker is turned on and then press A. Of course if you’re not a senator don’t do it. We have a quorum.
The first order of business is to approve the minutes From October 4, 2011 meeting. Those minutes have been posted to the Web. Do I hear any corrections? Hearing none then let me declare that those minutes are approved. We have a couple of remarks that are coming from Dr. Gogue and from myself on Ann Beth’s part. We have two action items and one information item that’s coming our way. I do want to remind everyone that if you wish to speak to an item please go to either of the microphones and wait to be recognized, I will recognize you, you state your name for the record and then ask your question or make your comment or motion or amendment, please do so.
Constance Hendricks is here as our parliamentarian and we are ably served in that regard.
Let me ask Dr. Jay Gogue to come forward for some remarks. [2:25]
Dr. Gogue, president: How many of you have been to the new faculty lounge? Okay, good! For those of you that don’t know it opened November 1, I’ve heard some decent comments that it works well, but please keep us posted and let us know how that works.
I want to mention a couple of things to you. We have an upcoming Board of Trustees meeting. There are several items on the agenda that relate to the academic side of the institution that I wanted to share with you. One is that the Solon Dixon Forestry site through our forestry program, there is an addition of a classroom facility/auditorium in that site. We also have on the Board the Telfair Peet addition and renovation really in parts of the auditorium that’s on the agenda, we have a proposed Batchelor’s of music–as I understand that was a program that we offered 10–12 years ago, it was non viable in terms of enough graduates going through it so we closed the program. My understanding is based on the music department there is interest and belief that there will be enough to meet the viability standard. The College of Business has an item on the agenda that is Chinese International Business program, which will include both language component as well as how do you do business in China. So those are some new proposals.
There’s also an item that deals with the purchase or the acquisition of a building. Some of you are familiar with Bruno’s, the old grocery store here in town, it’s been for sale for a while. The university will recommend the acquisition of that building, it’s about 55,000 square feet. We have not decided as yet to the exact use, there are several options; one we have lease space out on South College that we have a number of employees out in lease space out by Wal-mart, so it’s probably cost effective to relocate them. There’s been interest by a number of academic departments that deal with the public in terms of health related issues from pharmacy to nursing to communicative disorders in terms of a location that allows for easier access for patients. So some combination thereof is what will actually go into that actual facility.
I would also share with you, we had a good meeting last week with the AAUP leadership that was most enjoyable and certainly a strong group that we learned a lot during our discussions.
The final thing I’ll mention is the Provost search. I was given two names by the search and screen committee, I brought both candidate’s back, spent about 4 hours in interviews with them and I’ve asked for some additional materials from each one of them, so I will keep you posted on that particular process. Be happy to respond to questions that you might have. [5:55]
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: Questions? Thank you so much Dr. Gogue.
Just a couple of brief announcements on behalf of Ann Beth; first we do want to thank the president and Don Large and all who have made possible the faculty lounge. I was delighted to see that several of us have already gone to enjoy it. I look forward to doing so myself and invite all of you to do so. Thank you again for doing that.
Second I want to welcome Texas A&M University and the University of Missouri to the Southeastern Conference and warn them we’re looking forward not only to competing with them athletically but also certainly academically. So Beware.
Third I do want to make one clarification and I want to thank Emmett Winn for doing this. We have in discussion only as social media policy, this was not created by the Provost’s Office but I believe is coming from Communications and Marketing, the intent of course is to protect the good name and reputation of our university. Emmett has been representing the executive committee of the Senate in discussions about it so we’ve invited Emmett not as the promulgator of the policy but as one who is aware of it to come and speak to us and give us an opportunity to look at it and make any comments that we have. He can then take back on the faculty’s behalf, so that’s why that information item appears. [7:38]
Those are the only announcements that I have on behalf of Ann Beth, so now we are going to move to our action items and the first action item is a Senate committee replacement nomination this is for the University Writing Committee and it’s coming from the Rules committee and here is Larry Crowley, chair of that committee to make the nomination.
Larry Crowley, secretary: We have one nominee who represents the college of business, that we are putting forward, Robert Cochran. He’s a replacement for an existing candidate.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: That motion is coming from a University Senate committee and needs no second. Is there any discussion. If not then I presume we are ready to vote. If you favor that nomination press A, if you want to vote no press B. A=57, B=2, that motion carries. I talked to Dr. Cochran he’s very excited about serving on the committee and I think he will be a good representative for the faculty.
Our second item of business has to do with some calendar changes around graduation. Dana Caudle is the chair of the Calendar committee but she could not be here today. So we are calling upon our stalwart secretary-elect, Robin Jaffe who is also a former chair of that committee. Robin would you make the motion please?
Robin Jaffe, secretary-elect: I’m standing in for Dana today, she has a cold. First I’d like to thank the members of the committee for their hard work on the calendars and the changes in the calendars that will be presented. We also talked to Debra Armstrong-Wright from the Auburn City Schools calendar committee as well as the chair of the AUM Calendar committee, both have reviewed the calendars and have made suggestions and were in favor of the changes. The proposal for the academic calendar 2014–15 was also looked at. But what I want to try to do is talk about changing the dates for graduation baased on what we have discussed earlier, that the diplomas will be sent to the students instead of having to be there run around and collect them all.
For the calendar year 2012–13, for the fall of 2012 we’re changing the graduation to December 8, and for the calendar spring 2013 we’re changing the calendar dates to May 4 and May 5.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: For simplicity’s sake we’ll take them one at a time. So we’ve heard the motion, comes from a Senate committee and needs no second. Is there discussion on that motion? If not then let us vote. If you’re in favor press A, opposed press B. A=53, B=4. And that motion carries. Thank you.
Robin Jaffe, secretary-elect: For 2013–14 we’d like to change the graduation dates, for the fall, to December 14, and for the spring of 2014 we will change the dates to May 3 and May 4 from where it used to be on May 5.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: Again this is action coming from a Senate committee and needs no second. I would invite discussion, does anyone care to discuss? If not then we are ready to vote. If you’re in favor press A, opposed press B. A=51, B=4. And that motion also passes. Do you have any more business for us Robin?.
Robin Jaffe, secretary-elect: Yes. We have the proposal for the 2014–15 calendar. So the number of days in the calendar will not change, they both will be 72 days for the fall and for the spring calendars. The discussion about matching up or working out a calendar that works out with the dates for the vacation of the Auburn City Schools and with this calendar we have matched up the dates.
School will start on August 20 on a Wednesday with Labor Day on the first of September going through the Friday of December 5 with 72 days. Then we’ll have 5 days of finals with the graduation on the 13th. The spring semester will start on January 14, there will be a holiday on the 19th, we will go through March 23, which will have 5 days off which will correspond with the Auburn City Schools, 72 days will end on May 1, 5 days for finals and two days for graduation. At this time the registrars office has accepted that they will have less days in between the spring and summer time (semester), they are willing to do that. We will start summer classes on May 18 going through the June 19 for the first mini-semester, finals will be on a Saturday and a Monday, we cannot squeeze that many days into the calendar. The first day of the second summer term will start on the 23rd and go through July 24, the holiday for July 4 will be on July 3 as the national holiday. There will be a reading day at the end and then 3 days of finals for that summer term. With graduation taking place on the first and then the registrar will have their 10 working days before we start school the next semester.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: Another motion made by committee, needs no second. You have the motion before you. I would like to call for any discussion. If you would like to ask a question or make a comment, step forward to the mic, state your name for the record and who you represent.
Bob Locy, senator Biological Sciences: Robin, I wonder why it is that we’re starting the semester on the 14th of January, so late in January and then pressing things together which is a reason for going to a reduced day quarter (semester) later in the year and in addition to that it just seems like it really kind of creates a lot of congestion at the end of the semester for a lot of other reasons, professionally for example that make it kind of untimely. If the reason is to conform to the Auburn City Schools, I guess I have to ask, is it really in the economic best interest of the university to be pressing things together like that at the end of the semester and making it difficult for a student who wants to finish, stay on and start summer school to do so rather than coming up with a calendar that adapts us as a university as opposed that conforms to the Auburn City School System. [17:34]
Robin Jaffe, secretary-elect: One of the reasons why, a lot of people have requested that we correspond with the Auburn city Schools. We looked at it we tried to make it work and one of the reasons to move it back, the week that Bob asked about, for starting on the January date was that we needed 5 full weeks after spring break. So that’s why it moved everything down. If we pushed it back then it wouldn’t correspond. A lot of people requested that we try to do that. The committee felt that it was right to do it that way, to try it that way to see if we could make it work and that’s why the late start date, because there needs to be the 5 full weeks. If we started earlier then it would only be 4 full weeks and that would not correspond with the rules that we needed. The rules we are following was set up by the committees, during David Cicci’s term as chair. We have to follow the rules and the 5 weeks there is why if we have the break that corresponds, which a lot of people requested, then that’s where it needs to fall. And I agree with you it does cramp up things. Usually we only have one week between spring and summer anyway.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: Other discussion? Yes.
David King, senator Geology & Geography: Robin when you say a lot of people requested this, a hundred people or…?
Robin Jaffe, secretary-elect: I don’t know it came from Dana, She said she got lots of phone calls, people had sent e-mails they were concerned, the Auburn community felt that it was important, about 15% of the parents deal with the fact that the Auburn City School system and wanted it to correspond, but I don’t know how many.
David King, senator Geology & Geography: This period in January does follow a 2 week break for the holidays. As an instructor I’m thinking it would be better if we started on the 7th of January. I know this is a long way off, but I just wonder if maybe since we have all these nice survey instruments now, like Survey Monkey and all this stuff that we couldn’t poll the faculty about this first? And if it’s 2 dozen that want it but they are just really good e-mailers, why do this? That’s just my comment, I don’t have an amendment or anything.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: Thanks for your comment and if you would introduce yourself.
Vicky Van Santen, senator, Pathobiology: This is just a personal comment, I don’t have kids in school anymore and I think a poll would just distinguished between people with kids in school and without kids in school, there’s also students with kids in school, graduate student’s with kids in school so I don’t think majority rule is necessarily the best way to handle it.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: Thank you and we have another comment.
Jocelyn Zanzot, senator, Landscape Architecture: I’m on the flip side of the question and have faculty from our school really looking forward to the realignment of the spring breaks. Could you briefly remind me what has motivated this split in the first place? Is it the graduation dates and we are working back from that? Why were they misaligned these next couple of years?
Robin Jaffe, secretary-elect: I don’t know what the question is?
Jocelyn Zanzot, senator, Landscape Architecture: Why have the spring breaks misaligned, is it the graduation date?
Robin Jaffe, secretary-elect: When they were misaligned before, it was the change from the quarter system to the semester system. Usually in the system the break fell at the end of March, then everybody said that’s too soon when we changed to semester system so we moved it back to the second week (of March). The state education system has changed the date when the give certain exams and each time it fell before in the second week or first week of March, they switched it and the Auburn City School system has requested this because they like to have their student there, when we had our break week that meant the students were gone when the really needed to be preparing for the exam that takes place during the third week. Then they would give their students the break during the final week of March. They requested this before we lined it up because it worked out well and then the state system changed when they were giving exams. [23:17] So we are just trying to realign it and see if that works.
Darren Olsen, senator (substitute) from Building Science: I fear I am probably mentioning something, I’m new to the faculty senate, that’s probably been exhausted in the discussion before, but fall break in lieu of the week for Thanksgiving, what has been discussed and what’s the rationale of not having a fall break and having the week for Thanksgiving?
Robin Jaffe, secretary-elect and Calendar committee member: The fall break we usually talked about having it 2 days in October. The students that sit on the committee requested that when we said we need to give you 2 days here we have to take the days away from the Thanksgiving break. And they were like, “Oh no, we want that too.” Sure, but that means your break in between after you take your finals and when you come back in January will be shorter, and they said “We don’t want that either.” Sure, most of our students leave early when we had in the quarter system, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday when we were working and had 2 days off for Thanksgiving, people were gone, so we changed it so that it was all here in that one week and people still leave the week before. (laughter) I schedule my conferences the week before so I have two weeks off but it doesn’t usually work that way. So the fall break we’ve looked at it but we have to take days and give days and most everybody in the faculty want more days. So it’s just a hard thing to figure out.
Darren Olsen, senator (substitute) from Building Science: Just from a classroom perspective, I notice the long stretch between Labor Day and Thanksgiving you see the energy go down and wondering if fall break might bring it back up.
Robin Jaffe, secretary-elect and Calendar committee member: Yes I agree with you. I’d like to go back to quarters, because ten weeks and then it’s over. But that’s not going to happen.
Vicky Van Santen, senator, Pathobiology: I just want to clarify my comment. I was trying to say that we need to be considerate of people with kids in school whether that’s the majority or the minority. If it turns out to be the minority then majority wouldn’t be the way to go, if it turns out to be the majority then the majority would be the way to go.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: Thank you for that clarification. Are there other comments? Then I presume we are ready to vote. You have the motion before you, if you favor the motion press A, if you oppose it press B. A=50, B=9. The motion does carry.
Thank you that was good discussion and if anyone has ever tried to keep their own personal calendar you can imagine how difficult is the job of this committee to try to keep a calendar for an entire university. So please, I want to thank Dana and Robin and all the members of that committee for their hard work. Thank you.
That concludes our action items so I’d like to ask Dr. Emmett Winn to come forward and present to us his knowledge about the social media policy as it stands at present. Thank you Emmett for doing this. [27:00]
Emmett Winn, associate provost VP & academic affairs: Hi everybody it’s good to be back and tough to follow Robin Jaffe, my friend who always does such a great job with the calendar. Thank you Robin.
The Senate steering committee asked me to come and talk, as an information item, about the proposed social media policy. I think Mike Clardy and Brock Parker are here from OCM where the draft policy has originated.
I only have about 4 slides, so this shouldn’t take us long. Could we go to the next one? (trying) I only have one slide today…(laughter) (got it working) Woo. The reason the Senate steering committee would like for us to come and talk to you today is because this policy would affect faculty members as it would affect all stake holders at Auburn University. The purpose of this presentation is not to sell you on this policy it’s to solicit your feedback.
Some very basic stuff, the entire 4-page policy was included with the agenda. I’m sure that you all studied it depth and shared it with your faculty in your departments, so it’s there for you to look over it, but some highlighted points here. The policy applies only to Auburn University branded media. It’s modeled after other institutions’ policies and it’s part of a larger Auburn University integrated marketing and communications policy. Again the entire policy is found with the agenda.
So for those of you that have reviewed the policy and have comments about it we’d be glad to hear those today. We probably between Mike and Brock and I can answer some questions that you have about it. Most importantly what I want you to know is that you can look over this in detail, if you haven’t already, and if you have any feedback you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: Thank you Emmett and Mike and Brock and we do have a comment.
Steve Brown, senator from Political Science: I just have a couple of questions. One is with regard to the policy, I have not read it completely in depth, but does it apply to anything that’s on there? So if I put on a blog or Web site and what somebody else may put in response to that, am I responsible for what they say and then subject to consequences of this or whatever? But it shows up on an Auburn Blog or an Auburn Podcast or whatever else, the person who creates that site are they not responsible for the what the people who might participate in it might say or might discuss in a discussion forum.
Emmett Winn, associate provost VP & academic affairs: I’m sorry Steve I thought your first question was were you responsible for it.
Steve Brown, senator from Political Science: It’s my social media site that I’ve set up and it follows all the policy that the university OCM has asked me to do, but if they put things on it that are profane or libelous or defamatory, the people who respond to that, what is the responsibility of the person who created that site, I guess is what I’m asking?
Emmett Winn, associate provost VP & academic affairs: Is it an Auburn University branded site?
Steve Brown, senator from Political Science: Well again, theoretically yes, hypothetically I should say. If I create an Auburn branded site am I responsible for the content the users or people who post on it or anything else like that?
Emmett Winn, associate provost VP & academic affairs: Are you the content manager?
Steve Brown, senator from Political Science: I guess that’s what I’m saying.
Emmett Winn, associate provost VP & academic affairs: Then I think that probably you are responsible if you are the content manager.
Steve Brown, senator from Political Science: Okay. The other thing I have a question about, again with my background with what I teach, how is the university defining what is seen defamatory, liable, and things like that? How does that apply relative to a public institution and a public employee and just basic first amendment issues, how are those protected and dealt with here?
Emmett Winn, associate provost VP & academic affairs: Legal council is not here today, but if you want to send that to me in an e-mail I’ll be sure to have him address it for you.
Steve Brown, senator from Political Science: Okay.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: We have another question and if you’d identify yourself please.
Suresh Matthews, senator, Nutrition: This is related to the new learning management system that we have, CANVAS? It is my understanding that CANVAS integrates with facebook, twitter, linkton, digo, all those sites and it is my understanding that instructors can choose to link a course to their own personal facebook page which means you could get messages, notes from your students through facebook, twitter, so on and so forth. Just wondering how the social media policy would apply to CANVAS?
Emmett Winn, associate provost VP & academic affairs: Thanks Suresh. I’m certainly not a legal scholar, but I think that as long as and I don’t know anything about CANVAS and what it links to, and Bliss is not here either, so I can’t address that issue, but if it’s a personal site a personal facebook site it is not covered by this policy.
Suresh Matthews, senator, Nutrition: Question again, because it is tied in with the course that you teach and it is branded because it is part of the learning management system, what precautions need to be taken?
Emmett Winn, associate provost VP & academic affairs: If you want to send me a detailed question in an e-mail I will have general council address it, but in general I think CANVAS is a closed system it’s not open to the public, only students in your courses can access that information. I think that’s going to be covered under basic class guidelines. If you send it to me in an e-mail I be sure to have general council address it.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: Are there other questions and comments. Again these questions and comments and your welcome to direct others to Emmett, these are going to go into the thinking as this social media policy is refined and perfected. Do either of our Communications and Marketing people have anything to add to the answers to the questions? Good I thought we covered them well. Thank you very much.
In that case, Emmett we will let you have a seat. And I would like to ask if there is any unfinished business?
David King, senator Geology & Geography: It’s my understanding and I hope I didn’t get this right that there will be no course evaluations for graduate students this semester? So I’m just looking for clarification.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: I don’t know anything about that, but Emmett is coming forward so we’ll let Emmett address it from the microphone.
Emmett Winn, associate provost VP & academic affairs: Any person, any instructor at Auburn University or instructors in the case of team-taught courses who are listed in Banner as the instructor of record will receive course evaluations for their students. If in the case let’s say a graduate teaching assistant, who is assisting in a lab, who is not an instructor of record, in other words Banner does not know that this person needs to be evaluated by the students my colleague, Dr. Constance Relihan, the associate provost for undergraduate studies, is working with the associate deans for academic affairs in each college to address how those students will be evaluated for their teaching.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: David did that answer your question? We’ll await then that clarification from Dr. Relihan.
Constance Relihan, the associate provost for undergraduate studies: The easiest way to get GTAs evaluated is to make sure they are listed in Banner and then they will receive an evaluation through the system. If you don’t want to do it that way you will have to find a home grown system at the department or college level, and that’s something for you to discuss with your associate deans how you want to handle that. But I would reiterate that the easiest thing to do is put the instructors names in Banner.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: Thank you Dr. Relihan. [37:12] David you have another question?
David King, senator Geology & Geography: My understanding that the reason why the names are not in Banner is because they do not have the credentials to be teachers of record. That’s my understanding, if I am wrong then I apologize.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: Someone from the Provost’s Office like to respond? Or clarify at a later date?
Emmett Winn, associate provost VP & academic affairs: I’m not the SACS liason for Auburn University that’s Dr. Drew Clark, don’t know if Drew’s here today, Hi Drew. Tell me if I get this wrong. According to SACS there are a variety of different ways in which an instructor can be properly credentialed to teach a course, most commonly for most instructors at Auburn University that’s the terminal degree in their field, however there are other accepted ways of credentialing people to teach courses. However all instructors of courses who are responsible for the course should be properly credentialed by SACS criteria. If there are any questions about that they are welcome to contact me or Dr. Clark and we’d be happy to address that issue. It’s something that we do I would say commonly. Wouldn’t you Drew?
Drew Clark, institutional research: Be happy to talk to you about it. It’s going to depend a lot on the particular situation. You may wish to have feedback to an assistant in a course where that course is not credit bearing on it’s own, in which case a SACS credential would not be relevant thing because it’s not a credit bearing course. In other cases, just bluntly, we should not be putting people who are not (credentionable) credentialed the classroom whatever name we write down on the instructor of record. So if that’s a reason is some case it probably merits reconsideration of the teaching assignment.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: Thank you. Are there other items of business? Either new or unfinished.
Bob Locy, senator Biological sciences: I don’t think that really addresses the problem that’s fundamentally there and I hate to prolong this I think the discussion has gone on long enough, but lots of us teach courses where there is a lecture and a laboratory component and there is one instructor of record listed, there is no instructor of record listed for the laboratory separately unless it’s a separate laboratory course as far I know. So how do we do that in that case? Can somebody at least prepare some guidelines on how this could be handled? Thank you.
Bill Sauser, chair-elect: Thank you Bob. I think probably that will be considered. Yes Constance is nodding her head yes that guidelines will be forthcoming. Thank you. Is there other business to come before the Senate? If not then I declare this meeting adjourned. [40:43]