Transcript Senate Meeting
October 8, 2013
Larry Crowley, chair: Come to order please. I want to go over some rules of the Senate. First I want to welcome you to the October meeting. I am Larry Crowley the chair of the Senate. A short review of the rules of the Senate; A senator and substitutes for Senators please sign the roll in the back. We don’t need a clicker because we don’t have anything to vote on today, we just have two informational items.
If you’d like to speak on an issue, go to the microphone, when recognized, state your name, indicate if you are a senator and state what unit you represent. The rules of the Senate require that senators or substitute senators be allowed to speak first, after all the comments by senators on an issue are made, guests are welcome to speak. A quorum has been established, our secretary has gone back and counted the active senators or substitutes that are here.
The first order of business is the approval of the minutes of the September meeting. The minutes have been posted online and I would like to hear from anyone that might have changes or revisions to the minutes. We will approve the minutes as written.
Dr. Gogue is not here. Dr. Boosinger is going to give a report representing the Office of the President as well as for the Office of the Provost. [1:35]
Dr. Tim Boosinger, Provost: I thought I would start by talking to you about some initiatives that Dr. Gogue actually helped get started in the Southeastern Conference, he, along with the presidents and chancellors of the SEC. about 5 years ago made the decision that the SEC needed to work together in a serious way on academic programs. So there are a number of those I want, you have seen announcements come out of my office about different opportunities, but they really now fall into 5 categories. I thought I’d mention those to you.
The first one is the Southeastern Conference Symposia. We had one on Energy, which was the kick-off one, and now 4 more have been scheduled in the coming years. In 2014, which is the next one, will be an SEC Symposium on Prevention of Obesity, Overcoming a 21st Century Public Health Challenge. The lead university is the University of South Carolina. Both this meeting and the next meeting will be in Atlanta, the third and forth meeting the location has not yet been decided.
The second one in 2015 is Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Creativity in SEC Universities. The lead is the University of Florida. In 2016 the topic will be Water for Sustainable Ecosystems, Economies, and Communities, an interactive symposium. This conference will be lead by Mississippi State University. In 2017 the topic will be Cyber Security, Shared Responsibility and Auburn University is the lead on that. All of these symposiums are put together with at least 4 or 5 partners that are institutions in the SEC. If the first one on Energy is any indication of what is to come, I think this is going to be an outstanding tradition. I know some of you in the room may have participated in the Energy Symposium in Atlanta, last fall.
The second one is and has been in place for a number of years, the SEC sponsors an academic leadership development program. This is an opportunity for faculty for every SEC Member Institution to identify individuals that would like to learn more about leadership within the academy. There are multiple meetings here on campus and then there is an SEC combined meeting that is at different locations. So for this year that meeting will be the University of South Carolina. We hosted that meeting two years ago, when all the representatives came for the different institutions of the SEC. For those of you that participated I think you know that it is a great program; if you have an interest watch for the announcement of upcoming opportunities to participate.
Andy Gillespie helps coordinate these activities, schedules the local meetings and also the regional meetings. Some of you may have benefited from the SEC Travel Grant Program that was initiated last year. It’s not a huge amount of money. Ten thousand dollars is allocated to every SEC school to be distributed in a way with some flexibility, but the intent is to encourage collaboration between SEC institutions. [5:15] So you look at those guidelines to see if you want to apply for that one.
A new one is a larger grant, an SEC Collaboration Grant that will go to a single institution. It is a 25 thousand dollar award. The purpose is to expand student-focused collaborations amongst our SEC universities. You will see an announcement about that and will be available for academic year 2014-15, so next fall. That will be announced in about a week.
Then finally the SEC Faculty Achievement Awards. The nominations, we have been through 2 cycles. [5:56] This will be the third one where nominations are solicited for outstanding faculty at member institutions, so that faculty member is recognized by the SEC as the Auburn Faculty Member of the year, then all those nominations are reviewed and a single person is selected for the SEC Faculty Member of the year. I just want to make you aware that there is a lot going on in the SEC besides athletics and I wanted you to know I have been very impressed with what the presidents and chancellors are doing to try and promote athletics. I think there is more to come as these evolve if institutions participate and the faculty become more engaged with this I think you will see more happening.
Hopefully most of you read my monthly letter to the faculty and in that letter I shared some concerns that I have about the need for us to maximize our resources and look for ways, maybe better ways to reallocate, or a better allocation process for Auburn University to move resources to its highest priorities. You may remember that that was strategic priority number 5 in our Strategic Plan, which dealt with maximizing our resources. I think this is a time when we need to have that discussion. We’ve worked with a consultant starting back in the spring to first help us better understand what our costs are in certain areas, better understand how revenue flows within the current model and then build on that. As I said in my letter we are now going to move into a phase with our consultants from here on, they are here on campus and we are going to go through a consensus building process and try to find a way to move forward that is in the best interest of Auburn University. It will make us a stronger institution, I think, so I look forward to working with you on that.
A representative from Huron will be at the November Senate Meeting to give a report of a little bit of their background, a little bit about why we need to look at these things right now. I think there are many good reasons for us to step back and look at how we allocate resources, what our budget process does; what we have now that works well and what doesn’t work well and continue to have that dialogue.
We’ve tentatively scheduled and will firm up and get announcements out on having an open Forum in November. I think the date will be November 19. It will be a little different forum than what we’ve had in the past in that we will bring in a panel of academic leaders that have been engaged in this kind of process across the United States. We’re not the first ones to do this kind of thing. I think that will be a very productive open forum, look forward to your participation. The key is good communication and making sure that we build consensus and make the best possible decisions going forward on how we manage our very precious resources.
Two additional things, changing subjects a little bit. I want you to know that we are getting close to the interview phase if you hadn’t seen the announcements where the Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Research, we are searching for a replacement for Carl Pinkert. I think those interviews are going to happen in the next couple of weeks. We hope to be able to make a decision by November 1, which is when Carl officially starts as Vice President for Research at the University of Alabama.
Then finally, you haven’t received it yet, but shortly you are going to get a letter encouraging you to participate in the coach survey. That survey is closely linked to our Strategic Priority number 2, which has to do with faculty vitality. We need to have a very good understanding of the faculty productivity, how faculty feel about Auburn University, what we could do to make Auburn a better University. And so it’s very important that you participate in that survey so we will have the best information to make good decisions. With that I’d be glad to answer any questions that you might have. Comments? [10:40]
Patricia Duffy, chair-elect: I am wondering if you could comment on the impact that the impasse in Washington could potentially have on Auburn University?
Dr. Boosinger, Provost: There has been a lot of discussion in Samford Hall about the ramifications of the gridlock that we find ourselves in. As of this afternoon, it is our best understanding of this, we are able to continue to operate without any significant disruption. The Federal Government is still going to cover bills and expenses up until we get to a point where it becomes more challenging on October 14, if in fact it gets to that critical point. After that we are just not sure.
What we talked about doing this afternoon since we really cannot answer all of your questions, we still don’t have clear guidance on what some of these things still might mean, but we will try to get a letter out to faculty letting everybody know as soon as we have a clear understanding what the significance of the changes might be, then we will let you know. Right now it is really not clear what might happen if the government defaults on October 17. [12:10]
Larry Crowley, chair: My remarks, I would first like to introduce the rest of the Executive Committee. My name is Larry Crowley, I am the chair; this is Bill Sauser, he is the immediate past chair; Patricia Duffy, she is the chair-elect; Judy Sheppard, she is the current secretary; and then Gisela Buschler-Diller is the secretary-elect:
Just a few things to follow up on what Provost Boosinger said. We have a strategic plan now that’s been approved by the Board. We have 5 different areas of focus. One of the areas of focus that’s important to all of us is faculty vitality which is number 2. The first one is about students and there is a part for faculty to play in that role. Item number 3 is research, which is heavily loaded on faculty engagement in that part, item number 4 is outreach, and as we talk to the community they want more of you all. The piece that I’d like to work on and I am on the Implementation Committee for the Strategic Plan is item number 2 which loads on the coach in terms of how satisfied we are, but more importantly we need a framework in which to go forward. That’s going to need to be discussed by the faculty and the executive committee is going to be visiting all of the colleges. We are trying to line up the deans to host us with the senators from that college and the representatives on committees from that college. One of the questions and I know they are going to be many questions and I know you all have questions for us as well, is how do we become more engaged? How do we do the things we are tasked to do more efficiently, more capably because the whole institution will be better because of that. So be thinking about those questions. Our first meeting of a dialogue will be hosted in the College of Business on October 17, which is a little over a week from today. If you want to know kind of how we expect this thing to work, it is based on what the College of Agriculture has done and has been extremely effective in doing as a communication piece between the Dean of Agriculture and the communities of faculty that are actively engaged in service to the Senate and to the university. Be thinking about that. We’ve got other meetings set up with Engineering and Education. If your dean hasn’t actively participated in this, let’s encourage them to do that. They have been very receptive to that as well.
We have no action items, we have no pending items, it’s a very quiet time in Auburn University, which is in large part the Administration and how receptive they have been in managing the institution.
I want to introduce our first speaker, which is Wayne Ceynowa. I had occasion to speak with him several times over the course of the summer. I have always found him extremely knowledgeable about the issues of aviation across the United States at Auburn University. And I wanted him to come and speak to us about good news about Auburn University and invite them to the competition that will come up in a couple of weeks. Have at it Wayne.
Wayne Ceynowa, chief flight instructor: Good afternoon. As Dr. Crowley indicated my name is Wayne Ceynowa I am the chief flight instructor here, for Auburn, through the Harbert College of Business Aviation and Supply Chain Department, [16:45] and we are operating at the Auburn University Regional Airport maybe international one of these days but who knows. We’ll keep an eye on that one.
What I’ like to do just for a short briefing here is to give you an overview of some of the things that are going on recently in the program. Recently, for me, is the past 3 years. In fact this month marks my third year, War Eagle. Happy to be here, that’s why I say recent, 3 years. The flight training curriculum was redesigned to address some cost issues, efficiency issues and to talk about some of our course materials, FAA approvals that we just recently received, talk about aviation accreditation (its importance or not so just depends on what side you are on there), and obviously it’s aviation and really the sky’s the limit.
Where we want to go with it just depends on where we see it can go.
First of all a brief history, take yourself back to where were you at May 2010? At the airport there was the resignation and departure of the chief flight instructor. Now our pilot school here at Auburn is an FAA approved part-141 school. What that means is they designate someone, the chief flight instructor, to oversee that operation on their behalf and operate continuously and be checked every couple of years and so forth. Well that particular individual left in May of 2010. The FAA does allow for about a 2-month (60 day) window for that organization to locate another individual, that was a bit of a challenge for the university. I finally came on board, actually interviewed in August and then started in October and began our efforts toward recertification or reinstatement, because at the end of that 2-month period the university has to surrender its Part-141 certificate. Its just a matter of regulation, you don’t have the people on staff. So we began that effort, successful in July of the following year, getting everything in order including even having the oversight of our operation move from Birmingham to the Atlanta FAA Office. It actually made it much more convenient, myself I prefer driving Interstate 85 rather than 280.
So we have the pilot school reinstated. A reinstatement is a 2-year certificate period and where everthing that we did previous to the surrender was reinstated, we have what they call examining authority, so students come to our program, complete the program and are issued FAA certification as appropriate upon their completion. And as I indicated here the next time that was due was actually this past September.
One of the other things we did while all of this was going on is looking at the curriculum. Surprisingly and maybe surprisingly to me, the university was utilizing a commercially available pilot training curriculum. Kind of a one-size-fits-all, but doesn’t fit a university program in it’s structures of semesters and its programs and that type of thing. [20:20] So we re-orchestrated the syllabus and that was a fairly lengthy process. We had to look at each and every course, redesign it, have it sent to the FAA for approval, and there it had to gain approval and come back.
We also looked at reallocating times that were used in there to benefit the students so they know exactly what costs are going to be. The commercially available syllabus was pretty much pie in the sky, rose colored glassed type of a thing and I am sure that generated sufficient concerns from parents and others about what it was costing to train. We also included what is allowed by FAA in terms of the number of hours that can be used in simulation, which is a great training tool in training pilots and it is also at much lower cost. Our current level here estimating from somebody who starts at the beginning and ends at the end, just that alone should save them about $5,000. [21:25]
Te redesign was the first step, the easy step, the courses are what we call conventional. What we have also done within the last couple of months is resubmitted a professional pilot curriculum that actually removes some of the inefficiencies of having separate courses, still attain the same certification, but by the time it is all said and done there is an opportunity for the student to save an additional $10,000, because there was a reduction in the number of hours a student would have to take. So you are totally $15,000, that is a pretty significant savings.
The other thing we did as far as course materials, we were challenged in that regard, course materials have to help provide the baseline, the fundamentals for establishing that pilot , so checklist, standard operating procedures, those types of things, much more. It’s also the underlying requirement in all cases is to maintain a safe flying operation. So these kind of things help to do that. Also keeping cost in mind we want to deliver a quality product, quality education for the student, they develop the highest level of skill possible. But we took and replaced the conventional text using equivalent FAA documentation, much of which is available online (our tax dollars hard at work, maybe not right now…) But in any case using electronic means including use of ipads now or tablets, which ever your preference is. We included a recent agreement with a company called For Flight that provide charting information for a minimal fee of $49.99. It handles all of the updates, everything that a pilot would need to help in their aviation education. A considerable reduction in the cost of training.
As far as FAA approvals are concerned, as I mentioned, we reinstated our certificate back in 2011. Two years was up in September 30 of this past year, just last month and we breezed through that based on our performance, our training quality, all the things I mentioned in terms of our program. First time passing grades on tests, student sits for a test, 90% of them pass the first time. Obviously it is FAA, it’s government, it’s paperwork; ours was right there without any problems. On that basis and including safety record of course, our certificate was renewed for an additional two-year period. That will come up and we will do the same thing again in two years.
The program has also be accredited specifically on the aviation side, the university I understand has SACS, well on the aviation subject areas it’s AABI, Aviation Accreditation Board International. Based right here at Auburn the review aviation related programs and we’ve had AABI accreditation since 2003. Currently we are up for renewal of that and with a few obstacles or challenges along the way. The untimely earlier this year with the passing of Dr. Ray Hamilton in the College of Business, and that same semester, spring 2013, the departure of Dr. Johnson left us with a good void there. The department itself or the Harbert College of Business Dean certainly worked quickly to reestablish personnel for the time being, a bridging situation, and as I understood it before here, we are waiting accreditation visit again and there has been approval for two faculty positions. Some of the issues that we’ve had dealing in this thing back and forth, is we have so many people, what’s the size of the program, should we do it based on an historical perspective or should it be right sized, which is basically a decision beyond my pay grade.
That’s where we stand on aviation accreditation, we are accredited, just working to get the accreditation renewed.
And Possibilities, and I mentioned this earlier in terms of the vision. For those who may have seen anything in the newspapers, Auburn does have an aviation program. [26:50] What I did find 3 years ago was there were plenty of people within the university that did not know that. Obviously part of the opportunities out there would be to grow and expand that internally as well as externally. Let it be known, word of mouth in aviation for pilot training, as probably as in many other things, is better than any dollars spent on advertizing, especially with social media, that’s just word of mouth, just done with your fingers.
There’s out-of-state opportunities and I understand there is a revenue differential, you can be an aviation source there. There are non-degree seeking training opportunities. My background prior to coming here to Auburn over the past number of years is that there is the university programs and the non. The non are basically dealing with everyone else out there in the rest of the world. There are programs that bring in students, they could be taken through the university, they could be kept out of the university, but they are still a university student in the total concept of the word.
The other opportunities, I know in our program there’s; yes we should, no we should not have, yes we should, no we should not have, as far as sourcing or out-sourcing. From my perspective, it’s silly. If you have the expertise and the know how and resources that are generally pretty available, why aren’t you the training provider for others, certainly within the educational system of the state for those that wish to do aviation. Just something to take a look at.
And one of the other things and it was the reason why I came here from Orlando, Florida. First of all it was to get out of the traffic, get out of the Disney World spread which basically consumes the entire central Florida area. The 8 lanes of traffic that are looking like parking lots at various time of the day, why come to Auburn? And it was the name, it was the reputation, known for it’s people, known for it’s football team, Bo Jackson, Cam Newton, all kinds of opportunities. Provides a great opportunity in aviation for the university just beyond the boundaries of Alabama.
The other opportunities here would be things that don’t even require pilots in the cockpit, so to speak, but everybody is familiar with the Houston, Military, Law Enforcement, applications toward agricultural and forestry, and that’s the unmanned programs. Especially with Alabama’s airspace that it has, we are plentiful in that. All those forests and trees out there mean not a lot of congestion for airspace. Opportunities can abound there.
One thing I will leave you with here is just simply, and there is a little bit of a story because back in 1967 the chief flight instructor or head of the aviation program for Auburn at that time, was approached by a gentleman, kind a young upstart whipper-snapper from the North Dakota area. And what that young upstart whipper-snapper wanted to do was, How do you establish and aviation program? How do you do that? What does the curriculum look like? How do you do this and how do you do that in aviation? Well that turned into from a vision to buildings and infrastructure and so forth to an operation in North Dakota, it’s not the mecca of vacation spots. Yea, it’s right next to the land of ten-thousand lakes, but they freeze over too in the winter. Flying isn’t always the greatest, but there are opportunities there. And that gentleman from 1967, he has passed away since then, but he developed a program at the University of North Dakota to produce a flying operation of what one man’s vision was. So when there is a vision there is certainly a possibility.
So we look at our aviation program here, not as it is obviously, but with all we’ve gone through and we will need to continue to go through and inviting participation internally, externally; that’s not a pipe dream, that’s reality if that’s the way you want to go. [32:26]
That’s all I have.
Larry Crowley, Chair: Questions?
Gwenneth Thomas, senator, polymer and fiber engineering: Wayne, my significant other an I just recently made a trip out to Wyoming. We picked up a copy of Plane & Pilot on the way because I am privet pilot, and they had a listing of all the accredited flight schools that they knew of and we were absent. Middle Georgia College was there, Auburn was not, how can we get the word out there a little bit better?
Wayne Ceynowa, chief flight instructor: I would love to see that advertisement but if you go right to the AABI Web site it does list us right there. That’s a good find and that would be something that should be responded to immediately.
Gwenneth Thomas, senator, polymer and fiber engineering: I’ll get you a copy of that.
Wayne Ceynowa, chief flight instructor: Absolutely. I will tell you and part of my renewal of our pilot school certificate, I had to travel to Atlanta and meet with the FAA there to cross off the Ts and dot the Is and so forth, and the inspector, the individual who oversees our operation he said, “The FAA…:. Wait let me back up. The FAA gets used quite a bit by the public to help qualify locations. So there was a conversation that this inspector had with somebody on the phone, wanting to know what kind of good pilot schools are there around there through universities and that type of thing. The inspector would like to be biased, but he can’t, so he is naming off names and he mentions Auburn. He didn’t tell me but I hope he mentioned Auburn first, starts with an A. But the comment from the person on the other side of the phone was, “we were told that their program is no longer.” What was even more ironic apparently was it was from a Dean from whatever school they had talked to. So again, using some opportunity there based on some of the interesting things of the last 6 months or so, creates that kind of problem, so that’s why a visit here is excellent for us. Let the word go forth, we have aviation here, we will do what we can to continue that and explore other opportunities along those ways that benefit everybody. [35:13]
Larry Crowley, Chair: Our next speaker is DeWayne Searcy. He is the Director of the School of Accountancy and he has the difficult task of being the chair of the Academic Honesty Committee. If you will remember a couple of years ago we went to a modified version of Academic Honesty to make it a lot easier, a lot less difficult, and a lot less traumatic. I asked DeWayne to come and report on how that is working.
DeWayne Searcy, chair of the Academic Honesty Committee: Thank you Larry. Actually I thought I was here to talk about the wonderful sexy world of accounting, so I am misinformed…that’s okay (jokingly). We’ll get by and talk about academic honesty if you do want to get out on time, if I talk about accounting we will be here all night.
As he said fall of 2011 started our facilitated hearings. And briefly before I go into the few slides I have, what a facilitated hearing is compared to a full hearing and many of you may have gone through one or both; a full hearing is the entire academic honesty committee: there are 3 faculty representatives, an undergraduate student representative and a graduate student representative. We usually hear 4 to 6 cases and they take quite a bit of time. The faculty member and the student comes in and we deliberate and reach a verdict (have a result from that). If it is found that someone has violated academic honesty then we go to the sanctioning phase.
With a facilitated meeting the idea was we could streamline the process and see if we could have some consensus throughout the process. What I mean by that, a facilitated meeting is just one faculty representative from the academic honesty committee, the faculty person bringing about the charge, and the student get together. Just the 3 of us and we see if we can come to some consensus first if there has been a violation of academic honesty or not, and if there had been a violation then the appropriate sanction. The key there, the objective is to come to some consensus. It has worked tremendously well, from a committee perspective because I can meet at the facilitated meetings, which take maybe 5 to 7 minutes. An individual hearing of that same case could go 25 minutes. So it has definitely streamlined the process and I actually it has increased the number of people participating in the process from the faculty perspective.
You can see some of the results I have here, we just picked the last year of hearings, again some of the hearings the facilitated meetings have definitely increased each year and the total reported cases are increasing. I don’t like to see that obviously, but what we want to do is if there is a situation it goes through the committee, and I will talk about that in a minute.
Facilitated meetings have worked out tremendously well. Some of the benefits of this meeting is that the streamline is very efficient. Instead of trying to coordinate the schedules of 7 individuals we coordinate 3 individuals, so we are able to do this more frequently and not have a lot of backlog. Increased reporting of potential violations, as was said. And here’s what I think is a big part especially on the faculty side, it gets you involved in the sanctioning process. The way it works, if you’ve done this, is in your letter to the Provost’s Office may have a recommendation, such as, I recommend the student receive… as a full committee we definitely look at that, but one of the things with the committee is that we want to be consistent across violations, so a lot of times we have to differ to what our experience is and the violation that we see every semester.
A facilitated meeting, we are trying to come to consensus, so we will talk about what is an appropriate sanction. The faculty member has direct input as to I recommend this sanction, if the student agrees then that is usually the end of the process. [40:11] So we are looking at more making sure violation is reported and get through the process in an efficient way where all parties feel adequately justified in the process and final results.
I was asked, I cannot give a lot of specifics on the number of people found guilty or not, or violated academic honesty, I shouldn’t say guilty, the severity of the sanctions, but I can give you general categories of what we see. As you would expect in a university setting, plagiarism is definitely at the top. We see quite a lot of this, English Department, History Department, you would think that of every department, School of Accountancy, any writing people are going to want to shortchange this as most of us have experienced. I will say there is two types of plagiarism, case 1 is definitely the student trying to shortchange the system, others and it depends on where the student is in their academic career is possibly misunderstanding of really did they plagiarize or not. Something that falls to us as a faculty to make sure they understand what plagiarism is and I know the English Department is doing a great job, and other departments of getting that out.
What we do see quite a bit of in plagiarism are forged medical excuses. They are everywhere. You want to go buy one at the library, knock yourself out, people have them on the computer ready to produce. We will talk about how to avoid that in a minute. Exam cheating you are going to get obviously. The one we are seeing quite a bit now especially in upper level and graduate level are collaboration violations. [42:16] What I mean by this is, they come to us the professor says you guys talked and this assignment is an outside class assignment, you all got together and submitted the same work. What I hear a lot of is I didn’t know that we couldn’t do that. So we are getting a few violations of that. There are some issues we can look at on collaboration and some clarity in our instructions on collaboration with that. But those are the 4 biggest categories we see historically.
Some quick suggestions, I’ve been doing this for 6 years, chairing for the last two years, so I have seen a lot of cases. I have changed my syllabus and the instructions to my students quite a bit over this process. I think I will have a 40-page syllabus before it’s all said and done. It’s all about clarity and guidance. The way it’s going to work is if it is not written and it’s you said, he said, then if we are unsure we are going to default to the student. That’s just the way I operate, I don’t speak for every committee member, because this is serious, this is a violation of academic honesty so what we always suggest is to be very clear in what an academic violation is. I know we all have the syllabus our paragraph that says to look at the Student Handbook and make sure you read it. But beyond that, the thing I do in my syllabus, the assumption on all out-of-class projects, are no collaboration; don’t talk to anybody about anything, come see me. Then I will tell you if on this project you can collaborate. Because in some cases collaboration is fine, it is not an issue it is a faculty decision. It is just being clear on what a student can and cannot do. Then repeat it on the exams or on projects. So in my syllabus I will have this stated, you cannot collaborate, and when I turn out the other project, remember, you cannot collaborate. Then I usually have a statement that they have to sign that says, I did not collaborate. A little redundant, but it does when it comes through the process if there is an issue it is in writing, there is no way a student can say, I didn’t know we couldn’t do that. The issue we get there is; the professor said we could talk about general stuff just not very specific items on the project, but where’s the line? That’s usually what we’re debating in the hearing is where was the line. To me that is unclear instructions on that.
With the forge excuse, confirm them. We have in the School of Accountancy one our workstudy persons who will call the medical clinics if there is an excuse and verifies. Obviously not going to tell you what it was, but they can tell you, yes that person was here on that day. Or, we get, quite a bit, no, no record of this person, fax it over she will sign it this person was not there. It’s written, pretty clear case. It doesn’t take a lot, but I would suggest having somebody check, call the clinic real quick, was this person there. This will handle a lot of the forged excuse issues.
I would suggest, and this comes from chairing the committee, is use the process. You saw we had 51 cases, if you look at the thousands of projects that go on every semester and all of the students, hopefully that’s all we have are 51 actual cases of academic honesty issues. But I think what we see, and I council people all the time that I will go to a student and I have done this in the past that others, you were guilty, I am going to give you an “F” and we are going to move on. And not got through the process. In that case I have already taken care of it, right? We heard that, judge, jury, and executioner all in one. We need to give the students due process, and there have been cases where the student is exonerated. And that is what the process is there for, just to make sure that other people and individuals have looked at the evidence and weighed appropriately. I would suggest using the process as much as possible. Any suggestions to streamlining the process, please let us know, the Provost’s Office know since they run the program. We are trying to make it as simple as possible.
There’s my short summary on academic honesty. Any questions?
Rusty Wright, senator, Fisheries: So can the student instigate the process if they have been summarily punished and feel like they have been inappropriately punished? Can a student say…the faculty member was judge, jury, and executioner, and they say; I was inappropriately charged here. I didn’t cheat.
DeWayne Searcy, chair of the Academic Honesty Committee: I would say that is probably a student grievance committee issue not an academic honesty hearing. Great question, thank you.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: You had some data on the number of hearings on one of them you had, when there isn’t a settlement or whatnot you go to a hearing with the student and the committee makes a finding, a ruling of sanctions. How often are those sanctions carried out?
DeWayne Searcy, chair of the Academic Honesty Committee: I would think all of them. Without saying, I don’t have the numbers, but our recommendation are the recommendations to the Provost’s Office. The Provost’s Office will make the final decision I dare say in almost every case. [48:57]
Mike Stern, senator, economics: Most of the concern I’ve have for my faculty about going through the lengthy process is that often there is a settlement they are able to get with the student before they even file. They just agree to do anything rather than go before, so you essentially have that negotiated settlement prior to bringing you in, but their one fear is that they will go through a long and painful process and it will result in nothing even if they win.
DeWayne Searcy, chair of the Academic Honesty Committee: I can almost assure you, if we recommend a sanction that is supported by the Provost’s Office…I will tell you the other reason to go through the process is the sanctions increase with multiple violations. So we need a record of repeat offenders. So if we don’t do that we could have somebody who could have gotten away with it for 5 years and we just catch them at the end and that’s it. I have full confidence that the sanctions are executed as recommended.
Guy Rhorbaugh, senator, Philosophy: I was wondering since we have a track record of a couple of years under the new system if you could give us a broad sense of how the outcomes have been differing between the two processes at this point?
Emmet Winn, Associate Provost, not a senator: I have been overseeing the process for the past 5 years, I think at last count I have reviewed almost 500 cases. So I have seen them all. The quick and probably most important response to that, is that now more than ever the sanctions that the faculty recommend are carried out. The major complaint from the faculty about the old system was; number one, took too long; number two, the faculty felt they were not involved in the sanctioning process. Now the faculty control the sanctioning process and so what I’ve seen is that the sanctions have increased dramatically in terms of what the faculty recommend as the sanction.
Just to clarify that statement, more sanctions that the faculty recommend are now carried out than were ever carried out in the past, because the committee frequently disagreed with the faculty member on the sanctions.
Larry Crowley, chair: Thank you DeWayne.
Is there any old business? New Business? We’ll be adjourned, no wait a minute. Yes?
Frank Strum, GSC President, senator: I just wanted to make a brief announcement. I wanted to speak about a specific issue that was brought to my attention but also highlights a little bit broader issue. The specific issue: I got a lot of e-mails today from my fellow graduate students about not being able to use the Wellness Recreation Center for graduate assistants. But the broader issue is the fact that this is not very well communicated to the graduate student body, in fact up until today we were able to use it and I wanted to bring it to the attention that we are a smaller minority and we are kind of in a weird position. We aren’t quiet students or undergrads, and we aren’t quite faculty, and just to let people know to better communicate to the administration to better communicate to the graduate students. Thank you.
Larry Crowley, chair: Jon, do you want to address that?
Jon Waggoner, Interim VP for Student Affairs, not a senator: Thank you. I got an e-mail about this just this morning. It’s the first I have heard of it so I sent an e-mail over to the Rec Center to check into it and we will get back right away. I know that graduate education is a huge priority, it’s in the Strategic Plan, you and I have talked about this before, it is very important. So anytime something like this comes up give me a call. Dean Flowers had already sent me an e-mail, so we are looking into it. I will find out more of what the issue is and what exactly is going on but I can tell you for sure it is a very important thing for us and I will get back to you.
Larry Crowley, chair: Any other comments? Announcements? You all have a good day. [54:34]