Minutes - November 18, 2009

Minutes - November 18, 2009

XLIV, No. 7


November 18, 2009

The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met on Wednesday November 18, 2009 in the Missouriana Room of the University Center. The following Senators were present: Stephanie Chamberlain (Chair), Sophia Scott (Chair-Elect), Janice Ward (Membership Chair), Rick Althaus, Julie Banks, David Briggs, Brandon Christensen, Michael Cobb, Kathy Conway, Kevin Dickson, Bruce Hathaway, Alan Journet, Don Jung, Phil Nacy, David Naugler, Walt Paquin, David Powell, Willie Redmond, Rick Sebby, Kathy Smith, Seidu Sofo, Sven Svenson, Larry, Underberg, Carol Veneziano, Haohao Wang, and Victor Wilburn. Vice-provost Janzow and Student Government Liaison Daniel Schuenemeyer were also present. Dr. Marcia Cook represented the Department of Communication Disorders in Joyce Renaud's absence.

Absent and not represented by their alternates were Raj Somarajan, Daniel MacLeay, and Elaine Jackson.

Dr. Bill Eddleman, chair of the Provost Search Committee, announced the names of the three finalists who have been invited to visit the Southeast campus. Dr. Thomas Erekson, Dr. Ronald Rosati and Dr. Kathleen Rountree will be available to meet with the University community the week of November 30, at Open Forums in the University Center Program Lounge. Dr. Eddleman asked the Senators to encourage everyone in their departments to attend the forums with the candidates and ask questions. He also stated that a Newswire e-mail containing the specific dates and times for the open forums would be sent to all University employees and students.


There being no objections, the Chair declared the minutes from November 4 (44.6) approved as distributed.


Chair Chamberlain reported on the Budget Review Committee meeting she attended on November 13. At that meeting President Dobbins reported on the dismal state of the Missouri economy (general revenues are down 14%) and stated that while no appropriations would be withheld, the University must plan ahead to make some difficult decisions. Dr. Dobbins also indicated that there would probably be no increase in tuition. Kathy Mangels indicated that the University needs to find 7-8 million dollars over the next two years. Suggestions made during last year's Budget Forums will be reviewed. There will also be program reviews. The community college commitment the University just made will cost us an additional one half million dollars in 2011, which will have to come from the University's base budget. Chair Chamberlain said there was considerable discussion on ways to cut the budget. The committee voted to recommend a 2% cut in instructional appropriations and a 3% cut in non-instructional appropriations, which will represent approximately 1.9 million dollars. Further cuts will be recommended by the end of spring semester. A press release from Governor Nixon's office on November 17, reported that a 5.2 percent cut in the higher education budget could be expected; this would mean approximately a $2.5 million cut for Southeast.

Some discussion of this topic followed, including mention of suggestions for cutting the budget via changes in benefits, possible elimination of individual office telephones for instructors, and the status of the “rainy day fund.”


In the course of Chair Chamberlain's report, Vice-provost Janzow responded to several questions in reference to the budget and the recent transformer failure/replacement. To Senator Sebby's question regarding the summer compensation, Dr. Janzow said that the Deans Council was in agreement with the suggestion of pro-rating summer salaries, indicating their preference for a 3-tiered system of 50 percent, 75 percent and 100 percent, based on enrollment.


Daniel Schuenemeyer, Student Government Liaison, reported that with the end of the semester approaching, students were very busy with class work. He also reported that Student Government had funded Phi Beta Sigma fraternity $3000 to bring “The Yard” a cappella musical to Southeast on November 20.


Academic Affairs reported that they would present the proposed 5-year academic calendar under New Business, and that a new draft of the Pandemic Plan would be presented at the December 2 meeting.

Professional Affairs reported that they had reviewed last year's recommendations regarding modifications to the Faculty Handbook policy on the college-level faculty development program and had minor adjustments to its wording. The committee also reviewed last year's success rates for faculty seeking tenure/promotion, promotion, and post-professorial merit.

Governance reported that they had reviewed the status of the proposed Resolution of Collegiality and were waiting upon further action by the Senate.

Compensation reported that the proposal regarding promotion and post-professorial merit had been sent to Kathy Mangels. Also there had been discussion on how to expedite receiving salary information from other institutions.

Documents reported that they are still waiting for additional information from Dr. Walt Lilly on the potential changes to the GRFC documents presented at the November 4 meeting. Also members of the committee had met with Jill Haas (administrative assistant) regarding editing/revisions to the Faculty Handbook.

Membership reported that a vacancy still remains on the committee from the College of Business.


Old business was deferred to Executive Session.


Kevin Dickson, Chair of Academic Affairs, presented the proposed 5-year academic calendar, which extends through 2015. He asked Senators to take the proposal to their constituents for discussion, and that the proposed calendar would be voted on at the next Senate meeting on December 2. Senator Jung moved and Senator Nacy seconded the motion to discuss the calendar regarding the July 4 holiday. Senator Dickson stated that the committee had adopted the change made by the University for the past academic year's calendar for the AY 2014, as the same sequence of dates would occur in that year.

Chair Chamberlain then moved discussion to the Student Ratings of Instruction Recommendations and recognized Senator Veneziano, chair of the task force committee. Senator Veneziano reported that the committee had discussed several issues, among them being the focus on numbers rather than what to do with information gleaned from the ratings. Chair Chamberlain reported that the task force proposal had been discussed at Deans' Council where some support was expressed for the concept of faculty demonstrating their use of student evaluation of instruction data to improve teaching while concern was expressed by some Deans who preferred to maintain a focus on the numbers. Considerable discussion followed, with concerns about misuse and misinterpretation of data being voiced by several Senators. Student Government Liaison Schuenemeyer stated that students are concerned that their feedback is not being valued, and added that several students had commented on the lack of sufficient space to write on the evaluation/rating forms. He also stated that many students he had spoken with indicated willingness to be interviewed as a part of the evaluation process. Senator Conway assured him that student feedback was valued, and that the recommendations were primarily concerned with personnel matters. It was decided that the Senators should discuss the issue informally with their departments and return with suggestions/comments for the December 2 meeting.


The Senate moved to Executive Session.

The Senate unanimously voted to recommend emeritus status for Robert Buchanan (Senator Althaus moved; Senator Dickson seconded). It also voted unanimously to recommend emerita status for Patricia Reagan (Senator Althaus moved; Senator Hathaway seconded).

While the Senate was still in Executive Session, it agreed to continue discussion of the draft Resolution on Collegiality. During the discussion, Senator Journet distributed and explained a suggested substitute resolution that had been drafted by several faculty members from his department. Though it was not formally moved as a resolution, senators were asked to seek feedback from their departments on this as a substitute for the initial resolution.


The meeting adjourned at 5:05 p.m. Senator Journet moved for adjournment; Senator Conway seconded.

The next Faculty Senate meeting will be Wednesday, December 2, 2009, at 3:00 p.m., in the Missouriana Room of the University Center.

Approved December 2, 2009