Minutes - September 20, 2006

Minutes - September 20, 2006

XLI, No. 4


September 20, 2006

The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met on Wednesday, September 20, 2006, in the Missouriana Room of the University Center. The following Senators were present: Mike Cobb (Chair), Martha Zlokovich (Chair-Elect), David Smith (Membership Committee Chair), Rick Althaus, Mary Elizabeth Ambery, Kim Dillivan, Marc Fulgham, Beth Easter, Walt Paquin (Alternate), Arrick Jackson, Elaine Jackson, Daniel MacLeay, Jim McGill, Carolyn Rainey, Jayanti Ray, David Reinheimer, Bonnie Stepenoff, Rebecca Summary, Lucinda Swatzell, Larry Underberg, Haohao Wang, Janice Ward, Pat Willingham, Xuesong Zhang, and Min Zou. Also in attendance were Provost Jane Stephens (Administrative Liaison), Nelson Elliott (Student Government Liaison), and special guest Bruce Domazlicky, chair of the University Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Committee.

Absent, and not represented by their Alternates, were Benjie Heu, Sophia Scott, and Marc Strauss.


Approval of minutes Vol. XLI-03 was moved by Senator Dillivan and seconded by Senator MacLeay. The motion carried.


Chair Cobb reported that the President has agreed to hold a faculty social by inviting all faculty over a three session period this semester. Faculty will be chosen at random in lots of one-third. The first social is scheduled for September 22nd at Wildwood.

Chair Cobb reported that he has established an ad hoc committee called the Executive Council. It is composed of the Senate Executive Committee members and past Senate Chairs. This is an advisory committee meant to provide a historical memory for the Senate and make recommendations about high level issues.

He indicated that one topic discussed at the Executive Council involved the overall lack of relevance of the Senate as viewed by many faculty members. He indicated that causes leading to this view are apparent lack of authority and inability to enforce policies listed in the Handbook. The issues regarding student evaluations were discussed. Only three alternatives were mentioned: 1) enforce current policy (which was deemed unenforceable), or change policy to one of the extremes of 2) require all student evaluations for all courses but include a grade distribution for each course, or 3) prohibit the use of student evaluations for personnel actions. Sample bills for each action were submitted to the Professional Affairs Committee for their consideration.

Chair Cobb reported that another topic of consideration was a recent decision by Dave Starrett, Dean of General Education (US), to allow faculty not originally involved in the development of UI3xx and UI4xx courses, nor even in the same originating departments to teach those courses. The main concern is that there appears to be no broad faculty input into the policy making of General Education. The current US council approves courses but there is no agreed upon procedure for setting policies. A resolution asking for the formation of a faculty based committee to set policies for the US has been sent to the Academic Affairs Committee.

Chair Cobb indicated that the Council also recommended that General Education come under program review as do all programs but perhaps different criteria would need to be developed given the uniqueness of the program. He indicated that this issue will also be referred to the Academic Affairs Committee.

Last, Chair Cobb recommended that the Senate ask for an increased budget for more travel of officers, guest speakers, and increased costs of refreshments. A recommendation will be sent to the Compensation Committee. Chair Cobb thanked the Provost for the funds that she provided for the Senate last year to purchase a computer for the new administrative assistant and a laptop.

The Chair provided the following schedule for guest speakers/events to appear before the Senate:
Oct 4 – Group Photo
Oct 18 - John Weber (IT) & Dennis Holt (Banner)
October 25 – New Faculty Reception
Nov 1 - Kathy Mangels (VP Business & Finance)
Dec 6 – Foundation

Chair Cobb indicated that Dr. Luncinda Swatzell will be putting together the Holiday Reception. It is scheduled for December 1st in the University Center Ballroom. Dr. Swatzell invited the Faculty Senate's participation and ideas.


The Provost reported that she had a few clarifications to make relating to the Chair's report. First, she indicated that the Executive Council ad hoc committee is not part of the University's committee structure. She asked that the ad hoc committee provide a list of members and meeting times. Second, Provost Stephens indicated that the Faculty Senate is well respected among the administration and felt uncertain why anyone would question the Senates' relevance. If it is a matter of enforcing the Faculty Handbook, the Faculty Senate is not the enforcer of the Faculty Handbook. If there are policies that are not being enforced then we need to deal with those. Last, Provost Stephens indicated that Dave Starrett did not, on his own, make a policy about who's teaching classes. That is a misunderstanding. Deans cannot make policy. They can make recommendations. The Provost indicated that she was not at the Deans' Council when there was a discussion about UI3xx and UI4xx courses. She indicated that her understanding was that there was an issue about an interdisciplinary class that two departments developed several years ago. Now, both departments would like to offer sections of that class. She indicated that was the only issue conveyed to her. She added that she does not believe the intent was to take classes away from faculty, nor would she support that intent. For a Dean to take away a class that a faculty member normally teaches would not be a part of collegiality. Dr. Stephens indicated that the policy setting body is Academic Council. The General Education Council is a policy recommending body, not a policy setting body. Dr. Zlokovich asked where policies go for approval after the Academic Council. The Provost indicated that the policy would then come to her. She indicated that all changes to academic policy go through the Academic Council. She added that she will convey to Dave Starrett that General Education courses are also owned by other Deans. He does not assign courses. The Deans and Department Chairs assign courses. The Provost assured the Senators that she will clarify this with Dave Starrett. She added that if there is a policy issue it needs to go through General Education Council and Academic Council. Dr. Cobb indicated that he believes it should come through the Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate. He added that he understands the Faculty Handbook to read that the Faculty Senate is the policy setting board when it comes to academics. The Provost indicated that any programmatic question or issue goes through Academic Council. She added that all academic programs currently report through a college/school council and the Academic Council.

Chair Cobb reported that the Provost has submitted an updated version of the University Standing Committees to reflect the committee structure as already approved. The changes are in the Faculty Handbook.

Provost Stephens distributed two documents for informational purposes, FY07 Faculty Position Types and 2006 New Student Profile.


Student Government (SG) Liaison, Nelson Elliot, reported that the SG has developed an outline of its goals for 2006-2007, which include:
Build community among students and outside groups.
Develop traditions for the campus community.
Explore methods of increasing the retention rate.
Enhance the technological services available on campus.
Continue promotion of the Redhawk.
Enhance the academic environment of Southeast.
Internal improvement.
Address student transportation issues.

Bruce Domazlicky, University Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Committee Chair

Dr. Domazlicky gave a brief description and the charge of the University Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Committee then opened the floor for questions and discussion. The Senate held extensive discussion on the compliance of the Promotion Policy as stated in the Faculty Handbook.


Senator Smith, chair of the Membership Committee, reported that committee members are still working to populate the University Standing Committees. He indicated that the committees are nearly full.

Professional Affairs
Senator Althaus, chair of the Professional Affairs Committee, reported that the Committee had met last week. A few of the items discussed were post-professorial merit, student evaluation of instruction, and college restructuring. He indicated that the Committee had also discussed seeking a way to acknowledge the loss of Dr. Gale McMahan. Senator Althaus announced that there is to be a service of remembrance on campus next week at the Baptist Student Center.

Academic Affairs
Senator Reinheimer, chair of Academic Affairs, reported that the committee is still in the information gathering process.

Senator Ray, chair of the Documents Committee, reported that the committee had met last week. A few of the items discussed were the possibility of creating a separate library for the Faculty Senate, web-casting the Faculty Senate meetings, and correcting some inconsistencies within the Faculty Handbook.

Senator Willingham, chair of Compensation, reported that the committee had not yet met. She indicated that they will look into increasing the Faculty Senate budget. Provost Stephens indicated that increasing the Faculty Senate budget would not fall under the Compensation Committee's responsibilities. Provost Stephens indicated that the President mentioned during the State of the University Address that he will look into increasing salaries for faculty and staff. The Provost indicated that the Compensation Committee may want to propose increases in salaries and benefits for the next fiscal year.

Senator Arrick Jackson, chair of the Governance Committee, reported that the committee met last week. They discussed ways to speed up the legislative process. He also indicated that they will be talking to Rick Althaus about taking on some of Professional Affairs workload.


Senator Althaus reported on the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP). Dr. Althaus distributed a draft of ideas that was put together for the Strategy Forum scheduled to meet November 14-17 in Chicago. He asked the faculty to look over the potential topics for AQIP Action Projects and indicate what they find most important. Dr. Althaus requested that faculty mail their ideas to him at mailstop 2920.


There was no new business to consider.


There was no old business to consider.

Chair Cobb indicated that not all departments are being represented at the Faculty Senate meetings and asked Senator Smith to e-mail those departments.


The motion to adjourn (Reinheimer/Fulgham) was recognized and approved at 5:00 p.m.

The next Faculty Senate Meeting will be October 4, 2006, in the University Center Missouriana Room at 3:00 PM.

Approved October 4, 2006