Minutes - April 21, 2010

Minutes - April 21, 2010

XLIV, No. 16


April 21, 2010

The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met April 21, 2010 in the University Center Program Lounge. 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, Alan Journet, Daniel MacLeay, Phil Nacy, 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, and alternates Jim Sifferman, Ann White and Mary Elizabeth Ambery. Also attending were Provost Rosati and Student Government liaison Daniel Schuenemeyer. Dr. Brenda Johnson attended representing the Nursing Department.


There being no additional corrections, the minutes of April 7, 2010 (44.15) were approved as distributed.


Chair Chamberlain began her report by informing the Senate about her attendance at the April 8 Program Review committee meeting. The committee received new directives to re-evaluate the programs in the lowest quartile this semester, with the next lowest being reviewed in the fall. The top two quartiles will not be reviewed.

In response to a question as to the criteria for this second review, Provost Rosati stated that the criteria were the same, but the committee is asked to look more closely at the programs, to dig deeper into the data and to consider new data sources, in light of the worsening budget situation.

Chair Chamberlain then reported that the committee had received a timetable with the new directives, and that letters had been sent to affected departments, who have until May 15 to respond. The committee will look at the responses and make a recommendation to the Provost by June 1. She said she had been asked to remain on the committee even though her term as Faculty Senate Chair will end on May 5. Additionally, she reported that there is a gag order in effect, coming from President Dobbins; therefore she cannot share any information about the workings of the committee or any recommendations it might make.

Provost Rosati stated that in an effort to protect the committee members and to prevent unnecessary concern in the University community, it has been requested that information be forwarded only after recommendations have been made. In response to a question he said that UI 100 was not exempt from review, but it would be examined by the Course Redesign Committee, which is currently being developed. He also said that the deans have expressed concern about the course.

Chair Chamberlain said she had attended the AQIP Steering committee meeting on April 8 and indicated that Provost Rosati would present additional information about that in his report.

On April 14, Chair Chamberlain met with Student Government representatives and other faculty about the SEI bill tabled at the March 25 Board of Regents meeting. She said it was pointed out to the students that their objections had been to existing language that had been in the Faculty Handbook since 1999. Although at this meeting the student representatives said the bill could be put back on the May 14 Board agenda, Chair Chamberlain has since learned that there may be further discussions of the bill, because the students felt “beaten up” at the meeting.

Due to the gag order from President Dobbins, Chair Chamberlain could only report that she had attended a marathon Program Review committee meeting on April 15.

On April 16 Chair Chamberlain met with the Professional Affairs writing group and indicated that Senator MacLeay would present additional information about that meeting in his committee report.

There was also a Budget Review Committee meeting on April 16, and Chair Chamberlain asked Senator Sebby to report. He told the Senate that Budget Review had made a series of recommendations regarding incidental and general fee increases that are being instituted. Most significant was an across the board increase for graduate students' courses. The committee forwarded a recommendation to the Board regarding undergraduate courses which targets programs that exceeded the average cost of offering courses by $200 or more. Three options were proposed; the committee recommended the third option, the most extreme. Senator Sebby also reported that all employee groups made reports to the committee; all acknowledged the financial hardship and no raises were requested. Senator Sebby said that he presented the Faculty Senate's proposal to include post-professorial/merit monies as a continuing item in the budget. Since there has not been a bill passed by the Senate in reference to the proposal, Senator Sebby said that Provost Rosati recommended the proposal be one of the items reviewed by President Dobbins in reconciling the Faculty Handbook and existing policy.

Chair Chamberlain reported on the Senate Executives' attendance at an April 20 meeting with Provost Rosati. They discussed the satisfaction survey being developed by the Governance Committee, the course cancellation data requested by Governance, the status of the SEI bill and the population of the Course Redesign Committee. The Senate nominated approximately ten faculty members for this committee. Two names have been selected, but have not yet been announced.

Chair Chamberlain met with Deans' Council on April 21 and discussed the policy revisions that Professional Affairs is working on in regard to program elimination. At this meeting she also reported on the proposal from Compensation that had been presented to Budget Review. She invited the deans to attend the town hall meeting on Shared Governance on April 22 with Dr. David Robinson.

Finally, Chair Chamberlain reported that President Dobbins had cancelled a scheduled meeting with the Senate Executive Committee and Provost Rosati about Handbook updates; the meeting has not yet been re-scheduled. A meeting scheduled on April 27 between Senate executives and the President has also been cancelled and will not be re-scheduled.

She recognized Senator Journet who asked why the SEI bill was not going back to the Board of Regents if Student Government's concerns had been addressed. Provost Rosati responded that the bill had created an interest in the usage of SEI that had not existed previously. Student Government Liaison Daniel Schuenemeyer said that his understanding was there had been uncertainties about what was new language in the bill and what was not; the questions had been answered to SG's satisfaction and they had no objection to the bill being taken back to the Board of Regents. He also said that the students do not understand the tenure process and how their evaluations are used as a part of it.

Chair Chamberlain asked Mr. Schuenemeyer to relay to Student Government that the Faculty Senate would be very happy to meet with them in the fall and discuss the tenure and promotion process.


Provost Rosati reported that Southeast's MBA program had been ranked as the best value for on-line MBA programs in the United States. It is in the top ten percent in terms of quality. He also distributed a revised schedule for the AQIP Systems Portfolio, which must be completed by the end of May, a list showing which Administrative Council personnel are reviewing what objectives, and a form for feedback for AQIP Action Projects. An on campus visit by the NCAA will occur in November 2011; preparations are underway for round three of the certification process. As a part of round two, academic issues have been identified; compliance is not expected to be a problem.

Provost Rosati also reported that in the last ten days, three Southeast students have been hospitalized with drug or alcohol-related issues. Generally there are 10 to 20 per year and most of those are alcohol-related (students drinking too much). He stated that there is growing concern about possible serious health effects. Questions have been raised about including alcohol awareness instruction in the UI 100 courses, possibly in the fall semester.


Student Government Liaison Daniel Schuenemeyer reported that Student Government will fund the printing of the day planners; these will be sold to students for $2.30. He also reported that Student Government had spent their discretionary budget and had approved a budget for next year. He said he had requested that Student Government's minutes be sent to Faculty Senate.


Academic Affairs Senator Hathaway reported that the committee is working on its annual report. The committee had made editorial comments on the Social Media Guidelines and they had not yet received a reply from Kathy Mangels about her office's use of the attendance reporting figures.

Professional Affairs Chair MacLeay reported that the committee had sent out memos indicating non-compliance with the Tenure and Promotion criteria to the appropriate departments; copies had also been sent to deans and the provost. The committee will continue to follow up on that issue. He also reported that Senator Althaus was working on information gathered from the forums held last semester and possible “tweaks” to the Tenure and Promotion policy. In addition he reported that prior to the March 25 Board meeting, per a request by the provost, the committee had been discussing the integration of the 2003 Board memo into the Handbook. After the Board's mandate to President Dobbins to deal with the issue, the committee has decided to continue its work on the matter, and has appointed a committee Senators Althaus, Journet, MacLeay, and Chair Chamberlain who are going to come up with proposed revisions to the sections of the Handbook dealing with program discontinuation (Chapter Five) and treatment of faculty and faculty employment under retrenchment (Chapter Two.) The committee hopes to bring something to the Senate's next meeting on May 5. He also presented an emeritus bill for Dr. Leon Book (Foreign Language) and Dr. Robert Sheets (Mathematics). A motion was made and seconded (MacLeay/Journet); it passed unanimously.

Governance Chair Conway reported that there would be two presentations on Shared Governance one after the conclusion of the Senate's business meeting and the other on Thursday, April 22, at 10 a. m. in the Missouriana Room of the University Center. The committee has also been working on the satisfaction survey, sent out by e-mail. She reported some concern about the length of the survey and the somewhat poor timing. She asked Provost Rosati for his input and for the Senate's as well. He said he could see some value in having a university-wide survey developed by various groups on campus and distributed across the entire campus. He asked if the good ideas coming forth be incorporated into a larger survey that could become an official university survey, rather than one only from the Faculty Senate. He said he was willing to look at the survey and other nationally-normed surveys that possibly could be used. After some discussion, Senator Conway thanked the Senate for its input and asked that the meeting continue.

Compensation Chair Sebby had nothing additional to report.

Documents Chair Renaud had no report; the committee will meet next week.

Membership Chair Ward reported that elections are still in progress. Larry Bohannon has been elected from Elementary, Early and Special Education, with Shonta Smith as the alternate. Senator Smith reported that she will continue as the representative from the Art Department for the fall semester, and Emily Denlinger would be their representative in the spring. The chair of Foreign Language and Anthropology said he would get the information to the Senate as soon as possible. In addition, Senator Hathaway (Chemistry) is leaving the university; he reported that his alternate has not yet decided if she would accept the position.


Chair Chamberlain recognized Senator Sebby regarding the proposal presented to Budget Review to include the cost of continuing merit/promotion monies into the budget each year. He reported there was discussion of the issue with concerns raised by CTS representatives that their constituents also be included in the merit process. Dr. Randy Shaw (School of Polytechnic Studies) made such a recommendation to Budget Review. Senator Sebby stated that the bill attempts to modify two policies in the Handbook that de-couple overall faculty merit and promotion monies from cost-of-living increases.

A motion to approve the bill was made and seconded (Redmond/Journet). Discussion followed; Senator Sebby stated that while there was no money for raises, there is money for promotion and post-professorial merit. President Dobbins is in agreement with the proposal.

Senator Sebby then introduced some “friendly amendments” to the bill, editorial revisions to remove potentially offensive wording. Senator Cobb moved to accept the changes; Senator Redmond seconded and the amendments were approved. The bill itself was then voted upon and passed with no dissention.

Senator Althaus then reported that the final meeting of the Social Media task force would be April 22; he encouraged anyone with additional suggestions regarding grammar and the like to speak to him following the meeting.


There was no new business.


Chair Chamberlain then introduced the guest speaker, Dr. David Robinson of Truman State University. Dr. Robinson is also the Vice President of the Missouri Conference of AAUP. Dr. Robinson said he was overwhelmed to be at Southeast, and presented the most recent edition of AAUP's policy documents and reports to Chair Chamberlain.

Speaking on the subject of collegiality, Dr. Robinson stated that it had different meanings for different people, and he was glad to facilitate discussions about it. He gave a brief history of AAUP and the concept of collegiality.

Afterward he answered questions from the Senate. In response to a query about shared governance relating to budgetary issues, he stated that faculty should be allowed to see the numbers, and that contrary to the opinion of some, faculty are capable of understanding financial and economic information. He urged Senators not to abrogate their responsibilities, to have the confidence to say what is necessary, even if it is not a popular point of view. One should be more concerned with what is not said than what is said. Honesty in every area is needed; demand information, and if it is not available, the Administration should admit that it does not have the information requested.


The meeting adjourned at 5:05 p. m. per a motion by Senator Journet that was seconded by Senator Conway.

The next Faculty Senate meeting will be May 5, 2010, at 3:00 p.m. in the UC Missouriana Room.

Approved May 5, 2010