Minutes - February 21, 2007

Minutes - February 21, 2007

XLI, No. 11


February 21, 2007

The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met on Wednesday, February 21, 2007, in the Missouriana Room of the University Center. The following Senators were present: Martha Zlokovich (Chair-Elect), David Smith (Membership Committee Chair), Rick Althaus, Mary Elizabeth Ambery, Mary Ann DeLine, Kim Dillivan, Marc Fulgham, Beth Easter, Daniel MacLeay, Jim McGill, Carolyn Rainey, Jayanti Ray, David Reinheimer, Sophia Scott, Bonnie Stepenoff, Marc Strauss, Lucinda Swatzell, Larry Underberg, Haohao Wang, Janice Ward, Xuesong Zhang, and Min Zou. Also in attendance were President Dobbins, Dr. Jane Stephens (Administrative Liaison), and Nelson Elliott (Student Government Liaison).

Senator Michael Cobb was represented by Senator Zlokovich. Absent, and not represented by their Alternates, were Benjie Heu, Priscilla Hornby, Elaine Jackson, Rebecca Summary, and Pat Willingham.


Approval of minutes Vol. XLI-10 was moved by Senator Jayanti Ray and seconded by Senator Ambery. The motion carried.


Provost Stephens deferred her report because the President would be joining them at 3:30 pm.


Student Government Liaison, Nelson Elliott, reported that the Student Government (SG) took a bus to Jefferson City Tuesday, February 13, to meet with the legislators and tour the capitol.


Senator Zlokovich acted as Chair in Dr. Cobb's absence. She updated the Senate on the latest word coming out of Jefferson City on higher education bills. She discussed the need for faculty to inform state lawmakers of their feelings about bills being discussed in the state legislature.


Senator Smith reported that the Membership Committee will be meeting soon to address the issues brought before the Senate at the last Faculty Senate meeting.
Senator Smith reported that he attended the Administrative Council meeting in Chair Cobb's absence. He indicated that the big topic discussed was establishing IT priorities for 2007. There are a large number of computers on campus and not nearly enough people to maintain them. IT is getting ready to start working on the River Campus's computers, which may delay maintenance for computers on the main campus. Provost Stephens indicated that the big issue is that there is a shortage in IT funds and a question about the difference between open and academic labs. She indicated that she would like to see a portion of the student tech fees go towards open labs. Maintenance of our current computers should not be affected by the progress at the River Campus.
Last, Senator Smith indicated that the Administrative council is hoping that the Faculty Senate will get to the issue of whether or not to combine promotion and tenure. Provost Stephens indicated that the President has said that he would support combining promotion and tenure with an option to do tenure in either the fifth or sixth year. She indicated that she would like to see faculty be able to do this and recommended going forward with it soon.

Professional Affairs
Senator Althaus responded to Provost Stephens' comments about combining promotion and tenure. He indicated that he was not a member of the Professional Affairs Committee when that issue had been brought up before. He indicated that he understood from his constituents that the main argument against combining promotion and tenure was that they were concerned that they were potentially losing one year of a raise. They could go up for promotion in four years, but by combining the two would have to wait until five years to go up for promotion. Senator Althaus indicated that the issue is on Professional Affair's agenda.
Senator Althaus distributed a copy of the faculty survey. It was slightly different from the original version distributed in December. The changes were taken from suggestions at the Focus Group meeting held last Wednesday. He indicated that they hope to start distributing the survey at the beginning of next week. The Provost expressed her dissatisfaction with the survey. She felt the questions were leading.
Senator Althaus reported that Professional Affairs discussed the Intellectual Property Rights Task Force and the 21st Century Teaching Certificate. He indicated that the Professional Affairs Committee was hesitant to move forward on it until they received more information about the program. He indicated that he is planning to meet with Chair Cobb to get more information about the program.
Senator Althaus indicated that Professional Affairs also discussed an alternative way of approaching non-discrimination based upon sexual orientation.
Last, he indicated that Professional Affairs discussed the Provost's summer sabbatical leave pilot program. He asked the Provost, on behalf of Professional Affairs, which entity will make decisions about the program. The Provost indicated that each college or school will make the decisions. She added that she does not want this to become a controversial issue. If it does, she will be forced to drop the program.

Academic Affairs
Senator Reinheimer reported that the Academic Affairs Committee will be bringing two bills forward to the Senate under new business.
He also reported that the Committee has finished the two surveys, one for faculty and one for students, regarding student workload and academic expectations. He indicated that they hope to have the survey results out by spring break.
Last, he reported that the library has agreed to store graduation with distinction projects on a library server for at least three years. They will be available for download from the library website.

Senator Ray reported that the Documents Committee will present a resolution at the next Faculty Senate meeting regarding the reconciliation of Chapter 1 and the appendix of the Faculty Handbook.

Senator Swatzell reported that the Governance Committee is resuming their work on the Faculty Survey.

Senator Dillivan reported that the Compensation Committee met on Wednesday, February 14. He indicated that they continued to work on compensation issues and salary compression. He indicated that the President is eager to meet with the Compensation Committee and the Committee is equally excited about hearing his concerns and ideas. Their meeting on February 14 preceded the first Budget Review Committee meeting (February 16), therefore they were without current budget estimates. After the initial Budget Review Committee meeting and their meeting with the President, they will have additional information and can proceed accordingly.


President Dobbins discussed the omnibus Bill 389. He stressed that the Bill is very fluid and explained that what's discussed today about the Bill may change tomorrow. The Bill could have some long range positive and negative effects. He reviewed some issues with the Bill such as transfer and articulation, the “Three Rivers/Southeast” amendment, out of state public institutions, and the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative. The president also discussed options for instituting caps on fee increases that do not unfairly penalize campuses which have kept their fees relatively low.

President Dobbins discussed the suggested legislation requiring universities to list the qualifications of all staff teaching courses, as well as their teaching evaluations.
Senator Zlokovich asked how other Presidents are responding to this. The President responded by saying that there are so many other issues that they are trying to deal with that they haven't addressed this issue. The president indicated that Lewis and Clark is the main topic of conversation right now. Dr. Zlokovich commented that she totally understands and agrees that the other issues are important, but she would hate to see the student evaluations issue fall between the cracks because it does matter to faculty. Discussion was held by the Senate on the concern about posting of student evaluations.

President Dobbins indicated that there is good news on legislation for students, with regard to the Access Missouri Financial Aid Package. He indicated that Gallagher and Missouri Guarantee programs are based on how much students pay to go to school. Awards were not based on the ability of the parents to pay but on how much the students were being charged. He indicated that we currently have about 300 students receiving awards. With this new program we'll have about 1900 (25% of our Missouri undergraduate residents) students receiving awards.

The president has asked the Budget Review Committee to deal with the salary compression issues that we have. He indicated that it is very critical because we have people putting in their resignations now because they can go somewhere else for $6000 more after they've been here for 3-4 years. We have some market issues that we need to deal with for the faculty and the staff.

Dr. Zlokovich asked President Dobbins how he recommends faculty and students make their voice heard in Jefferson City. President Dobbins replied by saying that he didn't know. He indicated that he wasn't sure writing legislators is the best action at this time due to the fluidity of SB389, but possibly later.

President Dobbins indicated that, contrary to rumors, he has no plans to retire. President Dobbins indicated that he would like to see promotion and tenure combined before the Provost retires. He and the Provost explained the benefits of combining them.

Dr. Zlokovich indicated that during the MAFS meeting they were told that the most important role of the Faculty Senate was to develop a relationship with their Board. She questioned why there wasn't a faculty representative on the Board and asked for President Dobbins to consider the idea. President Dobbins responded by saying that if we have someone from faculty, then we'll have to have someone from CTS Council, and someone from Professional Staff Council and so on. He indicated that he has been very much opposed to our student regent having an opportunity to vote. He indicated that he feels that it puts undue pressure on the student representative. He added that he believes faculty members have ample opportunities to communicate to the Board through himself and the Provost and that at least twice each year the Faculty Senate Chair is asked to address the Board. He invited faculty to come in and speak to him anytime they feel they have an issue.

The Provost clarified her reason for being distressed over the tenure and promotion survey. She indicated that she is distressed over issues raised in the survey. She indicated that her concern is that the answers to the survey will lead to a bill on promotion and tenure that will not go anywhere. She indicated that she feels there are needed changes in the promotion and tenure process for initial tenure and promotion to associate professor and does not want to see the requested change put off another year.


Senator Reinheimer distributed a bill for the Senators to consider titled, “Resolution of Conflicts Regarding Staffing of Upper-Division General Education Courses”. He explained that the faculty turn-over can shift academic specialties within and across departments. Such shifts can result in a qualified instructor for a UI or IU course to be hired into a department that did not develop that UI or IU course. This and similar situations have given rise to conflicts regarding the staffing of particular UI or IU classes. Southeast Missouri State University does not currently have a policy that defines a resolution process for such conflicts. This bill defines a resolution process. The bill will be voted on by the Faculty Senate March 28th.

Senator Reinheimer distributed a bill for the Senators to consider titled, “Temporarily Out of Class Status”. He indicated that the purpose for the bill is that student retention is a critical issue for Southeast Missouri State University. Substantial personal emergencies can have negative effects on a student's academic progress, providing a barrier to retention. Southeast Missouri State University does not currently have a centralized process to help students meet academic obligations during such emergencies. This bill will enact a policy for such circumstances. This bill will also be voted on by the Faculty Senate March 28th.


Senator Althaus indicated that the Administration has suggested that the Faculty Senate study and make recommendations regarding intellectual property rights policy at Southeast Missouri State University. Identification of the issues surrounding intellectual property rights is a logical and useful step to take prior to the consideration of possible policy recommendations. Dr. Althaus moved to adopt a resolution establishing a task force to identify intellectual property issues and was seconded by Senator Ambery. The question was called by Dr. Zlokovich. The motion passed.

The Senate moved to executive session.

Senator Althaus made a motion to approve a bill seconded by Senator Straus granting emeritus status to Dr. Adelaide Parsons. Discussion was held by the Senate. Senator Althaus chose to withdraw his motion until further information could be brought to the Senate.


The motion to adjourn (Scott/Ray) was recognized and approved at 5:15 p.m.

The next Faculty Senate Meeting will be March 07, 2007, in the University Center Missouriana Room at 3 pm.

Approved March 07, 2007