Minutes - December 2, 2009

Minutes - December 2, 2009

XLIV, No. 8


December 2, 2009

The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met Wednesday December 2, 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, David Briggs, Brandon Christensen, Mike Cobb, Kathy Conway, Kevin Dickson, Bruce Hathaway, Elaine Jackson, Alan Journet, Phil Nacy, David Naugler, Walt Paquin, David Powell, Willie Redmond, Seidu Sofo, Kathy Smith, Raj Somarajan, Sven Svenson, Larry Underberg, Carol Veneziano, Haohao Wang, Victor Wilburn, alternates Carl Pracht and Gabriele Eckart. Provost Stephens, Vice-provost Janzow and Student Government Liaison Daniel Schuenemeyer were also in attendance. Dean David Starrett attended as a guest.


There being no objection, the Chair declared the minutes of November 18 (44.7) approved as distributed.


Chair Chamberlain reported that she, Senator Journet and Dean David Starrett met with Provost Stephens on November 30 to discuss the SEI bill, and that Provost Stephens supports the bill. Chair Chamberlain also reported that she had met with Deans Council and the Budget Review Committee on Wednesday December 2. The President discussed the Governor's proposal and its effect on Southeast, which means an approximately $6 million cut in the next two years, with the cuts to be determined immediately. $2 million of the $6 million will be categorized as institutional costs with the remaining $4 million cut coming from a reduction in the overall budget. In all, there will be an approximately 5% cut over the next two years. The 2% (instructional) and 3% (non-instructional) cuts already announced will be part of this 5%. The Deans will recommend the 5% cuts. Faculty, student and staff forums to provide input regarding the cuts will be held in January and February 2010. The Faculty Advisory Committee for Academic Program Review will look at programs and make recommendations regarding what may be cut, including “high-cost” programs. Other possibilities include imposing special fees in certain programs, charging for health insurance, eliminating scholarships and student support services deemed unnecessary. Potential cuts to athletic programs were also announced.


Provost Stephens indicated she had only a brief report to make concerning an update on the community college proposal. She said what had been published in the newspaper was accurate and that the Consortium had agreed to the collaborative proposal put before them. Three Rivers Community College will work with Southeast to deliver Associate of Arts degrees and Mineral Area College will deliver Associate of Applied Science degrees. Senator Jung questioned the effect this collaboration would have on the aforementioned budget cuts, and Provost Stephens replied that if Southeast partners with the other institutions and shares the costs and revenues of the program, the University will lose approximately $600 thousand in the first year. If Southeast does not participate in the program at all, the loss would be nearly $1.25 million in the first year. She stated that the entire proposal has been one of attempting to cut losses rather than make any money.


Student Government Liaison Daniel Schuenemeyer reported that activities are winding down as the end of the semester approaches. He did report that Student Government had provided $8 thousand for a leadership conference and $3 thousand for a health-care debate to take place in the spring.


Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, none of the Senate legislative committees had met since the November 18 meeting.


Chair Chamberlain recognized Senator Journet, who spoke about the proposed bill regarding SEI and its usage. He said the hope was to approve the bill and have it presented to the Board of Regents before the end of the calendar year and asked what the proper procedure would be to accomplish that.

Senator Althaus replied that in order to vote on a proposal at its initial presentation to the Senate, the Senators must vote to suspend the rules. Senator Naugler stated that there had not been sufficient time to discuss with colleagues and there had been significant changes to the document since its original presentation. A motion was made and seconded to suspend the rules to allow for discussion (Underberg/Conway).

Senator Journet stated that what the committee was recommending was a bill to replace what is currently in the Faculty Handbook, Chapter Three, the section on Student Evaluation of Instruction. The primary objective of the bill is to change the way faculty use SEI in personnel decisions. Although the bill allows for the inclusion of numerical data, the use of narrative is strongly recommended, rather than relying on simply one type of data. Dean Starrett reported to the Senate that he had communicated with the vendors of the IDEA instrument about this proposal, and they are interested in and supportive of this approach.

The proposed bill retains policies currently in place, which includes language that candidates may not be compelled to include IDEA or other numerical data in their dossiers and that no inferences may be made from the absence of such data; however, enforcement is perceived to be inconsistent. Lengthy discussion followed, after which Senator Sebby called the question to vote on the bill; the bill was approved unanimously.

Chair Chamberlain recognized Senator Dickson, who moved that the Five-Year Academic Calendar presented to the Senate previously be approved. Senator Jung seconded; the bill passed unanimously.

Senator Dickson then reported on the progress of the Pandemic Academic Contingency Plan. He asked that feedback be sent directly to the Academic Affairs Committee; once it is received, it would be presented to the Pandemic Committee. He referred to the document distributed electronically to Senators regarding changes in recommendations. Senator Cobb moved to accept the committee's recommendations, praising the work that had been done by the Academic Affairs Committee; this was seconded by Senator Wilburn. The motion passed unanimously.

Chair Chamberlain recognized Senator Journet to open discussion on the Biology's Department's substituted Resolution on Collegiality, which was distributed on November 18. Several senators reported on discussion within departments some favorable, others were not. Some reported confusion on the need to discuss the issue. Considerable discussion followed regarding the intent behind the Resolution, and its goal. Suggestions were made as to finding another way in which to accomplish the goal. Senator Ward moved to call the question. Senator Paquin seconded the motion, but the second was not heard by the Chair, and discussion continued. Senator Althaus then moved to table the resolution, with a second from Senator Jackson. At that time, it was pointed out that Senator Ward's notion had previously received a second. It was unclear whether Senators Ward and Paquin had intended the same thing, so the Senate proceeded to vote on the motion to table the resolution, and that motion failed. Senator Jung then moved to end debate, seconded by Senator Redmond, which passed. A vote was taken on the substitute resolution from Biology, and by a show of hands, the resolution was not approved.

Consistent with the requests of some senators during the discussion, Chair Chamberlain then asked the Senate to charge her and the Executive Committee with opening a series of discussions with the entire University community regarding the issue of collegiality; the Senate voted unanimously to do so.


Chair Chamberlain recognized Vice-Provost Janzow, who distributed copies of the Summer Compensation proposal approved by the Deans Council. Senator Sebby distributed a statement of concern regarding the “all or none” issue. In other words, faculty teaching summer courses would have to commit to compensation that would not be determined until a later date. There would be no “opt out” clause to allow the faculty member to decline to teach at 50% of his or her summer salary. Due to time constraints, further discussion of the issue was tabled until the next Senate meeting. Originally a special session had been tentatively scheduled for December 16; after seeking the advice and agreement of the Senate, the meeting was re-scheduled for December 9, 2009.


Senator Journet moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:20 p.m., seconded by Senator Ward.

The next Faculty Senate meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, at 3:00 p.m. in the Tribute Room (205) of the University Center.

Approved December 9, 2009