Minutes - December 10, 2003

Minutes - December 10, 2003

Vol. XXXVIII, No. 8

Approved by the Faculty Senate December 10, 2003


November 19, 2003

The Faculty Senate of Southeast Missouri State University met on Wednesday, November 19, 2003, in the Indian Room of the University Center. The following Senators were present: Paul Lloyd (presiding), Susan Swartwout, Dalton Curtis, Rick Althaus, David Bibb, Janice Chadha, Jim Champine, Ron Clayton, Michael Cobb, Roy Farris, Craig Elder, Bruce Hathaway, Arrick Jackson, Anne Marietta, Cheryl Milde, Bruce Mims, David Naugler, Winfred Pitts, Craig Roberts, Nicholas Tibbs, Mohan Tikoo, and Min Zou. Alternate Marc Fulgham, non-voting Senate representative Michael Best, and Senate Secretary Paula Cunningham were present. Provost Jane Stephens and Student Government Representative to the Faculty Senate Ryan Kloeppel also attended.

Absent, and not represented by their Alternates, were Senators Warren Anderson, Kathy Gilliland, Al Hayward, Linda Heitman, Ted Loso, James Ricks, Terry Sutton, and Larry Underberg.


The Minutes of November 5, 2003, (Vol. XXXVIII, No. 7), were approved with the noted changes.


Chair Lloyd reported on the following items:

The Board of Regents met on November 13, 2003. The Faculty Senate proposals on retirement incentives and severance plans as well as the faculty survey data and comments were provided to the Board. It was noted that the faculty and the Faculty Senate preferred the Alternative Broad Based Retirement Incentive Plan. However, the recommendations of the President and Provost for a Targeted Voluntary Retirement Incentive Plan and Involuntary Severance Compensation Package were approved by the Board.

The Faculty Senate report was on the agenda at the Board meeting. Chair Lloyd highlighted the Senate's recent activities and advancements in communication among faculty and administrative groups. One of the recommendations of the recent Faculty Senate Review Committee was to have a place for Faculty Senate
reports on the Board of Regents' Agenda. The President of the Regents, Don
Dickerson, indicated the Board intends to implement this recommendation.

Board President Don Dickerson said that he would help the Faculty Senate to identify a Missouri legislator to aid in passing a bill that would give faculty a seat on the Board of Regents, just as the student body is now represented.

President Dickerson also commended the faculty for its improved communication and collaboration among the Faculty Senate and the different groups on campus, including the Board of Regents.

The Faculty Advisory Committee for the Program Review was thanked for their contributions in verifying the process and data used in the review. President Dobbins clarified that the committee was not asked to make recommendations.


Provost Stephens did not have a report; however, she did stand for questions.

Senator Curtis asked why the Religion minor was eliminated when only majors had been targeted. The Provost replied that the written response from the Department of Philosophy and Religion itself identified the minor as having high costs. Also, the continuation of the minor was not necessary for the Philosophy major.

Senator Tibbs asked why program quality, faculty quality, and impact to students were not considered in making the cuts. The Provost disagreed and said these factors were considered. She believes there are quality faculty and students in the targeted programs. A letter was sent to students majoring in the targeted programs detailing the process, and she also extended the time frame for the cuts until June 2006 in order that juniors and seniors may reasonably finish their programs. She said a letter was sent to each of the students in the targeted programs after the Board meeting providing further details about the program cuts and the impact on each of them as a Southeast student.

Senator Roberts asked if other colleges and universities in Missouri were consulted before the cuts were made at Southeast since the other colleges and universities did not cut tenured positions. The Provost indicated the President does indeed discuss such issues with other college and university presidents. She related that the other schools fear they will eventually have to cut tenured faculty; however, for now, they are managing with across-the-board cuts.

Senator Naugler asked why we have a financial emergency, or in effect martial law, when other universities don't and are dealing with their financial troubles in normal ways. Senator Cobb commented that the benefits to be reaped from the budget cuts are a couple of years away, which is inconsistent with a dire financial emergency. The Provost noted that the Faculty Senate and the Budget Review Committee voted in favor of declaring a financial emergency. Senator Althaus suggested it was not really an informed, consensual
vote due to the financial information being presented at the same meeting at which the President also requested a vote of the Faculty Senate regarding a declaration of financial emergency. Consequently, there was no opportunity for senators to consult with their constituents. The Provost said it has been a very difficult and painful time for the University and for the individuals in the targeted programs especially; however, she believes the University will ultimately emerge a better institution. Senator Naugler stated that the main problem is that it wasn't handled in the right way and may impact the university very negatively.


Ryan Kloeppel, Student Government Liaison, reported that the Student Government will be discussing the mascot issue on December 8. He also reported that there will be a Student Issues Forum on December 3 where students will be asked why they initially chose Southeast.


Academic Affairs

Senator Tikoo, chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, did not present a report.


Senator Tibbs, chair of the Compensation Committee, reported that the next agenda item for the Compensation Committee is the budget review in the spring semester.


Senator Marietta, chair of the Documents Committee, reported that the committee had met several times and that the Faculty Handbook is now up-to-date. In addition to the online version of the Faculty Handbook, there are paper copies of the Faculty Handbook in several offices, including the Faculty Senate office.


Senator Roberts, chair of the Governance Committee, reported that the committee met on October 8. The committee discussed the program review and pending program cuts.


In the absence of Senator Underberg, chair of the Grievance Committee, Senator Mims presented the report. There is one complaint that is pending; however, a report will not be issued until the complaint is resolved.

Johnson Faculty Centre

Senator Swartwout, chair of the Johnson Faculty Centre Board of Directors, reported that the membership of the Johnson Faculty Centre met on Wednesday, October 29, and voted to leave the membership fee unchanged while an ad hoc Faculty Club Task Force chaired by Dieter Jedan explores alternative ways of funding and utilizing the Centre facilities. Senators were reminded of the Holiday Open House on Friday, December 5, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Faculty Senate Secretary Paula Cunningham asked for volunteers to help at the Open House.


Senator Rusty Curtis, chair of the Membership Committee, reported that there are vacancies from various colleges on the Commencement Committee, Athletics Committee, Johnson Faculty Centre Board, and the Equity Issues Committee. An e-mail has been sent to the faculty requesting volunteers from these colleges to serve on the appropriate committee or committees.

Professional Affairs

Senator Althaus, chair of the Professional Affairs Committee, reported that they had met and discussed several issues. The committee will be looking at AAUP's recommendations of 85/15 regarding tenured and tenure-track/non-tenured faculty ratios and the importance of protecting tenure. The committee views the current 80/20 cap at Southeast as a temporary response to the financial emergency. The committee suggested adding hyperlinks from the Faculty Handbook to references such as the AAUP documents. Senator Althaus said that there are reports that some departments may not be in compliance with their promotion criteria, and the committee is studying a draft bill to remedy the situation. The committee does suggest that all new contract appointment letters to new faculty should include the date they become eligible for tenure and for promotions and should include the number of previous teaching years that will be counted toward tenure.

The Provost stated that the letters do contain the date for tenure. She reminded the Senate that faculty members of a department are the ones who can control the department process, and that each member must speak out if rules are not followed. At the dean's level, she said that although there are exceptions in matters of judgment, overall there is a high rate of similar decisions between department/college/provost/university recommendations. One committee can't block a decision; it takes at least two negative recommendations.


Senator Cobb moved and Senator Bibb seconded a motion that the Faculty Senate pass a resolution supporting the wearing of black arm bands until the end of the declared financial emergency by faculty, staff, and students who wish to express remorse and sympathy for those faculty and staff who may lose their jobs or who are affected by the program cuts.

Senator Althaus moved and Senator Swartwout seconded a motion to suspend the rules to consider the resolution. By a voice vote, the motion passed. Senators Roberts and Jackson suggested that the wearing of black arm bands is more appropriate to mourn the death of prominent individuals. Senator Cobb responded that severance from the University of a tenured faculty member may well mean "death" in the sense of his or her professional career because of the difficulty of obtaining a similar job at another institution of higher education. It was also suggested that the Professional Affairs Committee explore other responses to the Board's decision to cut tenured faculty. The resolution passed by voice vote. (See Addendum A)

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

The next meeting of the Faculty Senate will be December 10, 2003, in the Indian Room of the University Center.