Minutes - September 5, 2007

Minutes - September 5, 2007

XLII, No. 4


September 05, 2007

The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met on Wednesday, September 5, 2007, in the Shuck Music Recital Hall on the River Campus. The following Senators were present: Martha Zlokovich (Chair), Mary Elizabeth Ambery (Chair-Elect), Jim McGill (Membership Committee Chair), Rick Althaus, Stephanie Chamberlain, Michael Cobb, Kathy Conway, Kim Dillivan, Marc Fulgham, Benjie Heu, Elaine Jackson, Michelle Dubaj (Alternate), Daniel MacLeay, Jayanti Ray, Willie Redmond, Albie Sautter, Brad Deken (Alternate), James Ricks (Alternate), Seidu Sofo, Marc Strauss, Lucinda Swatzell, Carol Veneziano, Haohao Wang, Janice Ward, and Xuesong Zhang. President Dobbins, Provost Stephens, and other administrators were also in attendance.

Absent, and not represented by their Alternates, were David Briggs, Priscilla Hornby, Larry Underberg, and Jill Young.


Approval of minutes Volume XLII-03 was moved by Senator Althaus and seconded by Senator Ambery. The motion carried.


Chair Zlokovich welcomed everyone to the Shuck Music Recital Hall and thanked the administrators for joining the Faculty Senate. She indicated that the meeting time would be reduced to include only the Legislative Committee Reports and then there would be a tour of the River Campus at 4:00 p.m.


Senator Swatzell distributed copies of the Grievance Policy with the recommendations from the President (see Addendum A). Senator Swatzell asked for a motion to accept the Grievance Policy with the President's edits. Senator Strauss moved to accept the Policy and was seconded by Senator McGill. It passed unanimously.

Senator Swatzell reported that the Governance Committee will be working on the survey that will review the Faculty Senate to determine whether or not the Faculty Senate is doing what is expected by faculty and administration.

Senator McGill reported that the Membership Committee's role is to fill vacancies on the Faculty Senate Committees and the University Standing Committees. Senator McGill indicated that there were very few vacancies left to be filled.

Academic Affairs
Senator Cobb reported that the Academic Affairs Committee is scheduled to meet September 12. He indicated that the committee members will be discussing Common Hour, free speech for students, intellectual property rights, and grade inflation.

Senator Ward reported that the Documents Committee is scheduled to meet September 12. The committee members will be responding to a request from Teresa Wildman to remove an outdated portion of the Faculty Handbook that discusses services of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Senator Ward also indicated that the Committee will be looking at the status of the online Faculty Forum.

Senator Dillivan reported that the Compensation Committee will be reviewing base merit pay and funding sources, post-professorial merit and equity adjustments, and extended education incentives.

Professional Affairs
Senator Althaus reported that the Professional Affairs Committee intends to bring forward a bill to revise the Promotion and Tenure Policy. Also, the current post-professorial merit policy is due to expire this year unless reauthorized by the Senate, and the Committee intends to report a recommendation on the matter. Senator Althaus reported that the Committee hopes that last year's Task Force on Intellectual Property Rights can be reconstituted and asked to make policy recommendations that the Professional Affairs and Academic Affairs Committees can formulate into legislation. Finally, the Committee intends to study current Handbook policy regarding the college level faculty professional development programs, and make recommendations as appropriate.

Special Guest: President Dobbins

President Dobbins welcomed everyone to the Shuck Music Recital Hall. He expressed his excitement for the River Campus and the overall growth of the University. He asked everyone to send back to their departments his gratitude for taking care of the new freshmen.

President Dobbins indicated that he believes the University needs to continue strengthening its communication between faculty, administration, staff, and students. He indicated that the AQIP process will direct the University in that way. The President thanked the Faculty Senate Executive Staff for their good discussions and communications during their meetings together.

President Dobbins addressed concerns regarding his letter proposing combining tenure and promotion to associate professor rank. He indicated that he did not “jump over” the legislative process and that he did not change policy, he simply offered an alternative for one year. Faculty who apply for promotion and tenure this academic year can choose to combine their papers or submit them separately as stated in the Faculty Handbook. He indicated that he chose to offer this alternative because the Provost and he have been trying to combine promotion and tenure for faculty for the past four years and the Faculty Senate has been slow to pass legislation in that regard. He added that since 85% of faculty who answered a questionnaire stated they would like the process combined, a one-year exception while Faculty Senate worked out the final proposed policy seemed to benefit faculty.

Senator Althaus indicated that he believes that the President's action showed that he does not have good faith in the collegial process laid out in the Handbook. Senator Althaus asked that the President rescind his letter. The President agreed to rescind the letter if the Faculty Senate votes to rescind by a roll call vote. He stated his intention to attach this roll call vote to his letter rescinding the exception. There was extensive discussion held by the Senate and the President. Senator Swatzell indicated that she believes the President's action was well-intended. She recommended using the letter as a model to see possible glitches that may occur and create a policy based on the outcome. The President thought that would be a good compromise. Chair Zlokovich asked if someone decided to combine promotion and tenure in their fifth year and received a negative decision, could that person resubmit his or her papers again in the sixth year. The Provost explained that this would not be acceptable.

Dr. Journet asked for clarification. He understood the President to say that he would sign a bill proposed by Faculty Senate that would eliminate the University Promotion Committee. The President indicated firmly that he would not support such a bill. He said he believed it would be a disadvantage to shared governance by faculty to eliminate the University Promotion Committee since it would confer a greater role on the Provost and President in making decisions.


There was no new business to consider.


There was no old business to consider.


The motion to adjourn (Fulgham/Althaus) was recognized and approved at 4:10 p.m.

The next Faculty Senate Meeting will be September 19, 2007, in the University Center Party Room at 3:00 p.m.

Approved September 19, 2007