Original Minutes from Faculty Senate Meeting - January 22, 2003

Return to revised Minutes of 1/22/2003

Attendees: Kurt Anderson, Sharon Anderson-Gold, Terry Blanchet, Robert Block, Chair Linnda Caporael, Ken Connor, Michael Danchak, Jeffrey Durgee, Mark Embrechts, Ellen Esrock, Gary Gabriele, Cheryl Geisler, Mark Goldberg, John Harrington, Ash Kapila, Tim Martyn, Achille Messac, Bruce Nauman, Jonathan Newell, President Peter Persans
Provost Bud Peterson, Don Steiner, Jim Stodder, Mary Ann Waltz, Bruce Watson

President Peter Persans brought the meeting to order at 2:05pm. The minutes of the November 20 meeting, as well as the General Faculty Meeting minutes of December 4, 2002 were approved with minor corrections.

President Persans commented that Roger Wright, Chair of the Planning & Resources Committee, was out of town. However, Roger intends to make a report at the next FS meeting on his Committees participation in the Performance Planning activities. The committee is also reviewing the Ph.D. in Cognitive Science.

Gary Gabriele from the Curriculum Committee noted that the committee met for the first time earlier in the day. To meet the deadlines, their most current business is to address catalog issues. Plans are to discuss the revisions to the core curriculum and the issue of "Certificates."

Ash Kapila noted that the Promotion and Tenure Committee had not met yet this semester, but will begin in early March.

President Persans reported that the Executive Committee had their first meeting with President Jackson on January 7. Many issues were discussed including: fund raising, the institute's budget, revisions to the Faculty Handbook, and Performance Planning. It was noted that President Jackson expressed a real desire to receive more communications directly from the Faculty Senate and from the faculty.

The Executive Committee had a meeting November 22, at which the Graduate Policy letter was substantially finished, but then other amendments were proposed. With regard to Jim Stodder's proposed amendment, the Executive Committee decided not to incorporate that into the formal letter because they felt there was not a need to incorporate a more formal request for a statistical analysis, the Provost had been informed of the faculties' feelings regarding this issue and such an analysis would have to be a multi-year analysis.

Achille Messac noted that the letter to the Provost failed to include the suggested change that RA offers for summer and academic year be made independently and President Persans agreed. Provost Peterson asked if one single document that the senate would like a response to could be sent to him. President Persans will revise the letter and will send a copy to the faculty shortly. The revised letter is attached here.

Gary Gabriele, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education presented the history, findings and recommendations of the results of the Task Force on Advising. He pointed out that this report had not been delivered to the Provost or the President yet, but are about to be sent to the Administration.

Gabriele noted that in all three task force subcommittees, there was a mixture of faculty, students, and advising staff. The Student Expectations subcommittee developed a survey that resulted in about 600 responses. It also formed a series of focus group meetings in different dorms and fraternities to get feedback. The Faculty Issues subcommittee, headed up by Jeff Durgee, used a focus group format to look at faculty issues. Details of the questions are in the final report. The Current Advising Processes and Programs subcommittee, went through and surveyed how advising was done in all the schools and departments, as well as all the services that were offered through the Advising and Learning Assistance Center. In addition, an outside consultant, from Kennesaw State University, who has also served as President for the National Academic Advising Association, was here for a few days to speak with students, faculty, administrators and advising staff, as well as to study our advising documents and policies. She presented the task force with her findings, which the committee considered in their final recommendations.

The findings of the task force can be found in the "Advising Task Force" report attached.

Discussion and suggestions regarding the task force touched on: mentoring to become a part of the faculty evaluation process; communication between faculty and student's advisor; role of full-time career counselors, faculty credit for advising.

President Persans opened the floor for discussion of the Faculty Senate's role in updating the Faculty Handbook. The Provost's office is in the process, and working with an external consultant, to revise the Faculty Handbook. The Provost's initial concern is the Promotion and Tenure section. A document was sent out about two years after the handbook was updated, which describes the P&T procedure that has been adopted by the Faculty Senate. However, the handbook and this document are at times inconsistent and in conflict.

President Persans indicated that present and past members of the P&T committee will act as "readers" of the handbook to address the P&T section. Issues throughout the document, such as faculty loading, status of retired faculty, and others will be discussed as well. The Provost further commented that he would appreciate a representative group of the Faculty Senate to identify particular issues and sections of concern. He will revise the document accordingly and using "track changes," bring the revised version back to the senate for agreement.

Chair, Linnda Caporael wanted to verify with the Provost that the document he mentioned was the same as the "Guidelines" for Promotion & Tenure. Her recollection was that the Faculty Senate never formally approved these guidelines; rather they were an informal document put together by the P&T committee.

The Provost reiterated the need for restructuring the document, and would like to see the document prepared by the end of spring. Other issues addressed will be the number of faculty titles, and tenured or tenure-track part-time faculty appointments.

Jim Stodder of Hartford mentioned the recommendations made by the Ad Hoc Committee on Hartford, and the status of clinical faculty. Clinical faculty members' rights and due process, which exist for normal faculty members, should be instituted. Terms of dismissal, especially regarding amount of notification time, should be addressed. Jim Martin, Computer Science & Engineering in Hartford, reiterated the pressing issues in Hartford, and the concern of their faculty concerning Clinical issues.

Robert Block, representing retired faculty members, read a recommendation to the senate regarding "active" status of retirees. (Recommendation attached)

Provost Peterson suggested that it might be better to change the terminology to "voting retired faculty," or "retired faculty eligible to vote." Open enrollment for retirees wishing to vote was another idea considered. The FS Executive Committee deemed there were still complications to approving the proposal, and will consider the retiree issue at their next meeting.

New business was brought forth from Vice President of the Faculty Senate, Cheryl Geisler, who handed out a draft of an annual faculty satisfaction survey that she compiled. This survey might be sent out each spring with the annual election ballot. It would give a general assessment of faculty satisfaction, with the ability to track changes in satisfaction over a period, and target areas of dissatisfaction as well. Geisler asked for feedback and reaction from the senate in regard to having such a survey.

After some discussion near the end of the meeting time, President Persans asked that further comments be directed to the Executive Committee, and they will discuss this issue at their next meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 4pm.