Faculty Senate Meeting – Sept. 17, 2003

Attendees: Sharon Anderson-Gold, Dean Tom Apple, Bob Block, Jeff Durgee, Ron Eglash, President Cheryl Geisler, Mark Goldberg, Debbie Kaminski, Ash Kapila, Peter Persans, Provost Bud Peterson, Patricia Search, Bill St. John, Jim Stodder, Mary Ann Waltz, Roger Wright


Approval of the Minutes of 4/30
Senate Infrastructure Cheryl Geisler
Proposal concerning Omnsbudsperson Peter Persans
Report on Faculty Retreat Cheryl Geisler
Development of Senate Agenda Cheryl Geisler

9/17/2003: Approval of the Minutes of 4/30

At 3:11 PM, President Cheryl Geisler opened the faculty senate meeting. She asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the April 30 meeting. All minutes were approved.

9/17/2003: Senate Infrastructure

President of the Senate, Cheryl Geisler reported that a new staff member for the Faculty Senate had not yet been hired. She added that the Faculty Senate website had been revised to include the names of the Senate members and the times and locations of the meetings. She announced the upcoming meetings on performance planning for the schools of Management, Humanities, Science, and Architecture.

9/17/2003: Proposal concerning Omnsbudsperson

Chair of the Faculty Peter Persans then presented a proposal to establish the position of a Faculty Senate ombudsperson for a test period of one year. The purpose of the ombudsperson would be to act as liaison between individual faculty and the administration. He or she would answer questions such as “Whom do I talk to about…?” and “What is the usual practice…..?” For the test year, Peter himself, in his role as Chair of the Faculty, would serve as ombudsperson. Peter added that should a general issue or an issue that affects a group of faculty be identified, it would be brought to the Faculty Senate. He emphasized that the ombudsperson would not act as a representative in a grievance. After considerable discussion, the senate voted unanimously to approve the position. Provost Bud Peterson requested that the Ombudsperson deliver a report at the end of the year.

9/17/2003: Report on Faculty Retreat

President Cheryl Geisler then summarized the results of the recent Faculty Senate retreat. All senators and members of senate committees were invited and the attendance rate was 60%. Many of the issues raised have been remanded to committees, including two ad-hoc committees, the Handbook committee and the Constitution committee. The issue of representation of Clinical Faculty was sent to the Constitution committee. The process for instituting constitutional amendments will also be discussed by the Constitution committee. The Curriculum committee was charged to deal with four issues: a proposal to change the pass/no credit system to require a C as a passing grade, several proposed changes in the Institute Core curriculum, a plus/minus grading system, and the issue of grade inflation. President Geisler reported that Bruce Nauman would make a presentation on another issue, the Staff Handbook, at an upcoming meeting.

9/17/2003: Development of Senate Agenda

President Cheryl Geislerl then explained that there were six topic areas remaining from the retreat. These are:
- Graduate Student Policy
- Quality of Life (Faculty Club, Parking issues…)
- Faculty Satisfaction with the Chain of Command
- Faculty Compensation
- Infrastructure and Space
- Research Diversity

The senate decided to form working groups to deal with each of these issues. Recording Secretary Deborah Kaminski passed out a selection form on which individual senators could choose, in order of preference, their preferred committee assignment.

President Geisler then suggested a departure from past practice in the structure of Senate meetings. She proposed that the working groups meet individually for the first hour of the Senate meeting, and then the full Senate come together for the second hour of the meeting. The intent is to allow additional time for small group discussion and formulations of proposals that can then be brought to the full Senate. The proposal was discussed briefly and then passed with no objections.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 PM.