Minutes - April 7, 2010

Minutes - April 7, 2010

XLIV, No. 15


April 7, 2010

The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met April 7, 2010 in the University Center Missouriana Room. In attendance were Stephanie Chamberlain (Chair), Sophia Scott (Chair-Elect), Janice Ward (Membership Chair), Rick Althaus, Julie Banks, David Briggs, Michael Cobb, Kathy Conway, Kevin Dickson, Bruce Hathaway, Elaine Jackson, Alan Journet, Don Jung, Daniel MacLeay, David Naugler, Walt Paquin, David Powell, Willie Redmond, Joyce Renaud, Rick Sebby, Kathy Smith, Seidu Sofo, Raj Somarajan, Sven Svenson, Larry Underberg, Carol Veneziano, Haohao Wang, Victor Wilburn, and alternate Jim Sifferman. Also attending were Provost Rosati and Student Government liaison Daniel Schuenemeyer.

Absent and not represented by his alternate was Phil Nacy.


After a minor correction, the minutes of March 24 (44.14) were approved as distributed.


Chair Chamberlain reported that she attended the Board of Regents meeting on March 25 and was able to get the Senate's resolution requesting a delay on the decision to eliminate the MIS program on the agenda; however, the Board proceeded with the program's elimination. She also reported that the conflict between the Board's 2003 motion and existing Faculty Handbook policy was brought to the Board's attention. The Senate is now under a Board directive to update all sections of the Handbook that are outdated.

Chair Chamberlain also informed the Senate that the Student Regent introduced a request on behalf of Student Government to table the SEI bill, stating that Student Government had not had adequate input into the bill. The Board agreed to that request and the Senate has been instructed to meet with Student Government to discuss the bill.

Chair Chamberlain then reported that she had attended the Board's Strategic Planning Retreat on March 26. At the end of the retreat the Board instructed the University to examine a number of issues, all of which were included in President Dobbins' letter to the University that was distributed electronically.

On March 31, Chair Chamberlain attended Deans' Council and informed them that the Senate is bringing a representative from AAUP to campus on April 21 – 22; she invited the Deans to attend.

Due to her absence from campus on April 1, Chair Chamberlain was unable to attend the Budget Review Committee meeting. She asked Senator Briggs to provide a report of what transpired at the meeting. He reported that Budget Review talked about the five issues discussed by the Board on March 25. Approved were restructured late fees on inactive accounts, increasing application fees by $5 effective in the summer of 2011, and establishing a new fee for returning applicants effective in the fall of 2011. Attempts will be made to increase the number of younger people in the healthcare pool, which may make healthcare more affordable for spouses and children.

Senator Briggs also reported that no action was taken on increasing fees for nonresident undergraduates, resident and nonresident graduate students, due to pending action in the Missouri legislature. The Missouri Senate has requested deeper cuts than previously announced. If not moderated by the Missouri House of Representatives, this cut would results in tuition increases now held in abeyance by SB380. Other items discussed at the meeting included addressing the strategic plan, program review, non-state appropriations, and optimal structuring. In regard to academic program review, it was decided to concentrate on programs in the top two, lowest quartiles.

Chair Chamberlain then reported on the Administrative Council meeting she attended on April 6. According to Board mandate, healthcare and class size will be scrutinized. A consultant will be hired to look at all benefits. President Dobbins called attention to an article in the March 12 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education regarding class size; Chair Chamberlain sent an electronic link to the article to Senators prior to the Senate meeting. She encouraged senators to read the article.

In addition, Chair Chamberlain reported that the Administrative Council discussed Workplace Violence guidelines and the Group Travel Guidelines and made minor revisions to both; senators are asked to solicit comments or additional suggestions from their constituents. These will be voted on at the April 27 Administrative Council meeting.

Senator Renaud brought forth a concern regarding class size, stating that frequently in her department there are 36 students in a classroom set up for 24, which creates a safety hazard and is not conducive to learning. Senator Scott replied that committees that have been set up to look into such situations will deal with number of students and classroom size.


Provost Rosati reported that Degree Works will be operational in June and will replace CAP in the fall. Advisors and any interested faculty will be trained during the summer and that will continue in the fall. He stated that the Registrar's Office is incorporating eight semester plans for all academic programs that will be implemented with Degree Works. In response to a question, he stated that faculty will be able to access Degree Works through the Southeast Portal. In answer to a question about the eight semester plans, he said that it would allow departments to project more into the future what is offered in subsequent semesters. He suggested that the Registrar come to the Senate and discuss some finer points of the program.

Chair Chamberlain stated that her understanding was that two plans would be developed an “ideal” plan which would serve as background, and a customized plan that the student and advisor would work on together. The customized plan could be changed at a later date if necessary.

Provost Rosati continued his report by distributing a list of AQIP topics, and said that the committee would meet on April 8 to pare down or change the list, which will then be sent to Administrative Council. Any additional input would need to be made immediately. Any changes to the proposed Group Travel Guidelines are needed within the next week.

Provost Rosati said that Course Redesign was a new task force formed as a result of Board action and Budget Review discussion earlier in the week. In order to allow Program Review to concentrate on the top two quartiles of programs, the new committee will be investigating class size, faculty workload, classroom assignment and scheduling. He also stated that this is a subcommittee of Academic Council, and members of the committee would include a representative from the Provost's Office, a Dean, the Chairs Forum moderator, the Academic Affairs Senate committee chair, and five faculty representatives using various teaching methods (lecture, lab, lecture/lab mix, studio course, practicum), the various colleges and the Registrar. He further stated that he would like nominations from the Senate for the committee. The committee will look at more than one model to provide the most efficient way to increase learning and reduce costs. The committee will begin meeting in May and will continue to meet throughout the summer and fall.

In regard to the SEI bill, Provost Rosati said that the Senate executives, Student Government executives and liaisons will meet on April 14 to discuss and clarify details of the bill. SEI Task Force members and a former Student Government liaison will also attend.

Regarding the Faculty Handbook, Provost Rosati stated that President Dobbins will develop a list and process for revisions after meeting with Senate executives, Deans, Chairs; he will meet with them as soon as it can be scheduled.

The Program Review committee will re-evaluate the top quartile of programs and dig deeper, since the budget situation is deteriorating. Provost Rosati distributed a list of new programs approved by the Board, stating that most of them were “no-cost” programs and that some were already in place. In addition, he handed out a list of meetings scheduled with each college or school for the end of April and beginning of May. The meetings will address budget issues; he asked senators to encourage their fellow faculty members to attend.


Student Government liaison Daniel Schuenemeyer reported that they have been discussing next year's budget and the SEI bill passed by the Senate in December 2009. Chair Chamberlain asked if the minutes from the Student Government meetings are posted; Mr. Schuenemeyer replied that they are not. When asked if he could get a copy, he said that he would ask for permission and would share them with the Senate if allowed to do so. In response to a question from Senator Journet, Mr. Schuenemeyer stated that he had discussed the intent of the SEI bill with Student Government in November. He said he is not a member of the Student Government Executive Board, and so is not privy to all information dealing with their concerns about the bill. He believes the issue was a result of the feeling that the intent of the bill did not match the wording. He said certain phrases had been highlighted in that regard.

Senator Jung, one of the Senate's liaisons to Student Government, commended Mr. Schuenemeyer on his conscientiousness and hard work. He asked that Mr. Schuenemeyer request the same courtesy regarding distribution of information be accorded the Faculty Senate as is given Student Government. Mr. Schuenemeyer said he would be glad to pass along that request.


Academic Affairs Chair Dickson reported that the committee has gotten feedback from all offices except Finance (Kathy Mangels) regarding use of attendance reporting. None of the other offices use the information; since another reporting system is in place, perhaps the old system can be retired. He also said that Senator Althaus would be reporting on the Social Media Guidelines task force.

Professional Affairs Chair MacLeay reported that the committee had invited Randy Shaw and Joyce Becker to a meeting to discuss travel reimbursement policy for regional campuses and they provided clarification. A good portion of the meeting was taken up with tenure and promotion policy. A subcommittee (MacLeay, Althaus, Dixie McCollum) will meet April 8 to draft letters to deans, chairs and the Provost outlining specifics of what departments should do to clarify criteria. Senator MacLeay also said that he will request a meeting with Provost Rosati to discuss how to facilitate the idea of “fast-tracking” the revision process. The committee would like to have the revisions completed in time for the next round of reviews in the fall of 2010. The committee will provide two volunteers to usher at the staff/faculty recognition ceremony in May.

Governance Chair Conway reported that the committee is still working on three issues. Data has been requested from the Provost's Office regarding the course cancellation policy for fall/spring semesters. Work is continuing on the satisfaction survey. Two sessions have been scheduled with Dr. David Robinson, Vice President of the Missouri Conference of the AAUP, regarding shared governance the second hour of the Faculty Senate meeting on April 21 and an open session from 10 a.m. to noon on April 22. She distributed cards and asked that senators write down questions that they would like Dr. Robinson to answer and give them to her at the end of the Senate meeting.

Compensation Chair Sebby reported that the committee discussed four issues at its last meeting. One was a bill that would be addressed under new business. He said the committee had received faculty salary data from the Provost's Office, comparing Southeast and selected institutions. He also said the committee had had an interesting discussion on course versus program cancellation. Additionally the committee considered the proposal offered by the English Department on percentage-based salary cuts for administration, staff and faculty. The committee commended the department for its altruism, but voted against the proposal, reasoning that faculty at or near retirement would be negatively impacted by the proposed cut for the remainder of their lives.

Documents Chair Renaud stated her report would be given under New Business.

Membership Chair Ward reported that elections for the 2010-2011 Senate are on-going. Several senators have already been re-elected, and one alternate has been elected to fill a retiree's seat. Two departments had not responded by the beginning of the meeting; one is holding elections on April 8.


Senator Renaud distributed a summary of the edits to the Handbook that had been sent electronically to Senators in March. The majority of the edits will correct typographical errors or are the result of changes in position or office titles. One point of potential concern was the separation of the General Education and Academic Information Services. Currently these are listed together, which could lead to the conclusion that they are one unit and they are not. Dean David Starrett has requested that the two be listed separately. Information both in print and on-line also may possibly be in error. After some discussion Provost Rosati stated that he could change the University's organizational chart to reflect the separation. No objections were raised to the changes; a change form will be sent to the appropriate people to further the process.

Senator Althaus then reported on the Social Media Guidelines. A preliminary report was given to Administrative Council on April 6. The early draft of the guidelines is workable; revisions included deletion of content regarding Facebook, Twitter and the like. Most of the marketing content remained the same. A public forum for additional input on use for instructional purposes was held during Common Hour. The task force will look at another draft on April 8. Another paragraph will likely be added to state that the principle of academic freedom permits the faculty to use social media for classroom/educational uses; however, the responsibilities of academic freedom may mean that individual faculty should be aware of some other concerns.

Chair Chamberlain commented that the paragraph dealing with personal social profile pages was discussed at Administrative Council on April 6, and that faculty could be held responsible for statements on personal pages.

Senator Dickson said that the committee had looked at other universities' guidelines on social media and the draft mirrored what other institutions have for academic use.

Senator Conway asked what would happen next with the guidelines; Chair Chamberlain said that the task force would refine the document and then it would be considered again by Administrative Council on April 27. She encouraged Senators to bring feedback from colleagues to the Senate meeting on April 21.

Senator Sebby then spoke about the Merit and Tenure/Promotion Pay policy. Budget Review will be making decisions about FY11 in the very near future. He stated he had sent a letter to Kathy Mangels on November 9 about the proposal; President Dobbins had indicated his approval of inclusion of merit and promotion monies in the spring of 2009. As a result of the November 9 letter, Dr. Dobbins expressed a desire to have the Senate present the proposal. Senator Sebby also stated that the University Budget Review Committee, the President, and the Board of Regents, in approving monies for Promotion and Post-professorial Merit as part of the FY 10 budget, are in "technical" violation of two bills and the Handbook. Senator Sebby asked that the Senate consider it; he said he would send an electronic version and an explanation so Senators could bring feedback to the next Senate meeting on April 21.


Regarding the English Department proposal on percentage salary cuts, Chair Chamberlain said she had attempted to get salary data information from Jim Cook, Director of Human Resources and that Senator Cobb has been working with Mona Hughey for information, also. Since none has yet been received, Chair Chamberlain asked that the discussion be tabled until such information can be obtained. A motion to table the discussion was made and seconded (Althaus/MacLeay).

Chair Chamberlain then recognized Senator Powell, who gave an update on the College of Education situation regarding tenure and promotion committee irregularities. He asked the next step should be, having registered concerns with the Professional Affairs committee. He said the tenure/promotion committee had reconvened, had met and he had spoken to one of the people affected by the committee's decision. Senator MacLeay stated that Professional Affairs had discussed the situation and the consensus of the committee was that chairs from any college should be precluded from serving on faculty departmental committees; those are two different levels and cannot be intermingled. Faculty members serving on their own departmental committees and departmental committees from a cognate department were deemed acceptable. Senator MacLeay also said that there was a feeling among PA committee members that departmental committees, chairs, deans, and college committees need to read the policy and follow it. Provost Rosati said that he would speak with the Deans about this and stress that it should not be assumed that the chairs are checking committee assignments.

Senator Powell added that without exception, faculty in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education felt as though they had been “run over roughshod” during this process. Unilateral decisions were made more than once; he asked how the department should proceed. Some discussion ensued, and it was suggested that the grievance procedure outlined in the Faculty Handbook should be followed. Professional Affairs will work on clarifying the committee selection procedures.


The Senate moved to Executive Session to consider a bill granting emeritus status to Joseph Richard Werne (motion by Senator MacLeay; seconded by Senator Briggs). The motion passed unanimously.


A motion to adjourn (Sebby/Redmond) was recognized and approved at 5:00 p.m.

The next Faculty Senate meeting will be April 21, 2010, at 3:00 p.m. in the UC Program Lounge.

Approved April 21, 2010