Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes
Present: Randolph Franklin, Jeanne M. Keefe, Julie Stenken, Larry Kagan, Achille Messac, Jim Napolitano, Christoph Steinbruchel, Mike Fortun, Steve Breyman, Ned Woodhouse, Patricia Search, Peter Persans, J. Keith Nelson, Bruce Nauman, Ning Xiang
Absent: Paul Hohenberg, Jacob Fish, Satish Nambisan, Lou Gingerella, Roger Grice, Malik Magdon-Ismail
Guests: Bram Van Heuveln, Prabhat Hajela, Morris A. Washington, Linda S. Schadler, Acting Provost Robert Palazzo, Erica Sherman, Joe Hamburg
Approval of Minutes from 10/18/2006
Minutes were approved without changes: 12 approved, 1 Abstention, 0 Opposed
"Implementation of Communications Requirement"
Presented by: Lee Odell, Associate Dean, H&SS & Professor and Barbara Lewis, Clinical Associate Professor and Director for Center for Communication Practices.
Lee Odell thanked the Faculty Senate for their help with the
Implementation of the Communications Requirement (see resolution wording below). The goal is to have the program fully
implemented by the 2009-2010 academic year. A review committee consisting of
one representative from each of the schools will review the new courses at
three year intervals. Currently, fifteen
new courses at the 100 level, as well as all of the WRIT courses have been approved
by a review committee.
Replacing the Current
Beginning with the entering class of the fall of 2006,
Professor Nelson reported that he had received the list of the titles of the approved courses. He asked whether the courses were approved on the basis of content of communication practice for the student regardless of what the subject matter is.
said that the goal is to teach students how to write and communicate
effectively, as well as post exemplary papers on the web as resources for
students. Any WRIT courses will also be
counted as writing courses. When communicating
in writing students should provide clear cues to organization and answer the
questions that audience will ask. Unfortunately,
shared his concern that
Barbara Lewis shared that the Center for Communication Practices goal is to broaden help that is available to students, including assistance with preparing for oral presentations and writing. The centers’ consultants are available for assistance in any stage of students’ project. She said the Center for Communication Practices is a teaching resource not an editing shop.
Professor Hajela shared his thoughts stating that once students arrive here they have already had some writing classes. Therefore, it is best to teach communication within the subject matter than merely teaching writing classes.
Professor Messac said when students know that their papers will be reviewed by someone knowledgeable in writing they will put forth more effort to improve their papers.
Professor Odell suggested that professors explain to students as he does, that if a paper is not edited properly it will result in a lower grade by one letter. In anticipation of any concerns about being challenged by students, he added that in twenty five years of teaching he has had only one student challenge him on this policy.
Professor Napolitano added that the Faculty Senate could revisit this a year from now.
“Benefits Presentation and Discussion”
Presented by: Curtis Powell, Vice President Human Resources and Louis Padula, Manager of Benefits and Retirement
Curtis Powell announced a new medical plan for
The Faculty Senate requests the Administration to investigate alternative plans that provides a similar level of benefits, including drug and dental coverage, but that takes economic advantage of Medicare benefits, Parts A and B, that are mandatory for retirees over 65. The Faculty Senate has no inherent objection to this plan being applied to employees who are 65 or older as well as to retirees should this be legally possible.
Highlights of the New Medicare Advantage Plan - Retirees (active employees are not eligible for this plan)
_ Partnered with CDPHP to create new medical plan
_ Created Integrated Group Medicare Advantage Plan
– Comprehensive medical, Rx-with no gap, vision
– No Medicare card required
– Affordable - $199/mo less
• Effective January 2007 $196/mo
• $600 hearing aid/3 yrs & $80 vision hardware/1 yr
– Total savings:
• $2,100 per individual
• $7,400 per couple
65 and still employed individuals need to continue with
The Faculty Senate applauded Human Resources for implementing this new plan for retired faculty. (Applause)
Curtis Powell continued
to share that
His entire presentation can be viewed at the following link:
Questions & Answers
asked for clarification about
responded stating that
Professor Fortun suggested that the HR department reconsider offering the FMLA to both parents.
Professor Woodhouse asked if there was any venue for discussion of benefits such as a Faculty Committee for Benefits.
Curtis Powell responded that there was currently no committee to discuss benefit issues.
Acting Provost Palazzo said that even though the Faculty Handbook may not address an issue, it is addressed through the Human Resources policy.
Curtis Powell said that under the new academic handbook Clinical Faculty are not covered; however under the HR guidelines they are covered and would be paid for leave. The Clinical Faculty is eligible for Family Medical Leave Act as it is Federal law which allows for 12 weeks leave.
He reminded everyone that no employee will lose any time that they have earned and accrued. Additionally, he invited employees to share their ideas and suggestions for improvement.
Employees are invited to visit the HR department at its new location.
Questions & Answers
Professor Messac asked clarification about the process regarding extending the tenure clock.
Curtis Powell responded that he would need to meet with the Provost regarding this issue to review the policy and then respond to the Faculty Senate.
Professor Schadler shared that currently the policy is not implemented consistently across the schools and that a clear policy in this area is important. In addition, policies like this are critical to recruiting faculty.
Professor Magdon-Ismail asked what happens if someone falls sick for six months.
Curtis Powell responded that such a situation would fall under the FMLA.
Palazzo commended Curtis on the benefits package improvements he has
facilitated in the last six years since he [Curtis] came to
Any Other Business:
Professor Messac announced the Student Handbook Sign Policy on which the Faculty Senate then voted.
Vote: 10 in favor, 2 abstentions, and 0 opposed
To view the policy and supporting document please click on the links below:
Professor Woodhouse announced that he is going on sabbatical leave next semester and will need to be replaced as Senator.
He asked the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC) to take the benefits issue under consideration.
The FSEC agreed to look into it.
Professor Nauman made a motion of Appreciation of President for restoring $180,000 to library budget ($327,000 cut).
Professor Napolitano added that even though the President did restore the $180,000, Bob Mayo was responsible for finding another $25,000 by juggling other things and took into account feedback from faculty to restore certain journals. He wanted to note that there were many other heroes’ involved with this issue.
Motion vote: 14-0-0 unanimously approved
Professor Achille Messac, Chair of the Faculty, made a motion to "commend Curtis Powell, Vice President of Human Resources, for positively responding to an important Faculty Senate request of last year on Medical Benefits for Retirees."
Vote: 14-0-0 unanimously approved