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Faculty Senate Chair Annual Report 2004-2005
Submitted by Dr. Susan Swartwout
As a university committee, we've seen quite a few landmark events this year. The sports mascot has been changed to “Redhawks” and the “Indian” nickname retired, the Board rescinded the previous year's financial emergency, we made it through Phase II Program Reviews, we lost our friend Senator Dan Dunavan, and we saw the initiation of a new health benefit plan and a base-budget Medical reimbursement accounts for employees. It has been a busy year for the Faculty Senate.
The Faculty Senate Executive Committee (Jim Champine, Bruce Hathaway, and myself) represented the faculty to the administration in monthly meetings with the Provost and monthly meetings with the President and Provost together. During the Spring semester Missouri Association of Faculty Senates two-day meeting and lobbying event in Jefferson City, chair-elect Jim Champine and I visited six legislators Jason Crowell, Rod Jetton, Gayle Kingery, Lanie Black, Terry Swinger, and Scott Lipke to encourage their support of Southeast's mission and budgetary needs, and to ask them not to support any freezes in tuition.
As Senate Chair, I reported Senate activities to the Board of Regents in the Fall semester and again in the Spring, and attended the Board's open meetings. Over the summer, I participated in the Chair's Retreat, the Chairs/Deans Retreat, and Administrative Council's Retreat, continuing throughout the year to meet with and report to Deans' Council and Administrative Council.
My university committee work as your Chair this year included the Faculty Advisory Committee (which reviewed all 90 program reports as part of Phase 2 and made recommendations on each program), the University Planning Committee (which refined the university mission statement and priorities), the Budget Review Committee,
representing the Faculty Senate at Commencement ceremonies and luncheons, and serving as a member of the Success in Scholarship/Success in Sports Committee, a subcommittee of the Athletics Committee that helped to devise and produce the College and Faculty Highlights in homegame programming. I also continued this year to manage the Senate website, and to compose and deliver Senate opinion letters (on such subjects as librarian faculty status, compliments to CSTL, a faculty newsletter, and appreciation to the President for his letter reiterating his support of shared governance).
Our Senate Committees' accomplishments include the following.
Professional Affairs initiated and passed the Bill that revised the notification process in the Promotion/Tenure Policy, completed the required review of the Student Evaluation of Instruction Policy, continued the follow-up study of the 2002-2003 changes to the Promotion and Tenure Policies, met with the University Promotion Committee to review their comments, and revisited the sexual orientation/nondiscrimination issue.
Membership Committee gave us the benefit of a full Senate and, with very few exceptions, full committees this year thanks to Bruce Hathaway's admirable persistence and thanks to the Membership Committee's work.
Governance Committee initiated and passed a resolution to streamline grievance procedures and to inform the Senate of faculty issues without intruding upon the privacy of the particular griever. They also presented a draft of a revised faculty-grievance procedure.
Documents Committee passed a resolution changing the language in the Americans with Disabilities section of the Faculty Handbook, monitored the progress of ongoing procedures established by last year's committee, and created an FAQ for new Senators (available online).
Academic Affairs Committee initiated and passed a Bill encompassing their revisions to the academic calendar and passed a resolution on Dean Irene Ferguson's suggested revisions to the Academic Honesty policy.
In my role as spokesperson for the policies and positions of the faculty to administration, I worked within the Faculty Advisory Committee and within the meetings with the President and Provost to support Kent Library faculty in their wishes to retain faculty status. The Senate passed Resolution 04-06 in support of librarians' faculty status. The administration has agreed that our librarians will keep their faculty status.
In closing my term as Faculty Senate Chairperson, I'd like to insert here a thanks to all the Faculty Senators for a good year, especially the committee chairs, our parliamentarian Rick Althaus, and Linda Heitman for her diligent work in her many functions as our healthcare liaison. Thanks to Provost Stephens for her good council and for supporting the Senate, and to Heather Valle for keeping us apprised of Student Government business. My thanks also go to Paula Cunningham for her work over the years with Senate, in both clerical and hospitality functions. And thanks to Jim Champine, your new Faculty Senate Chairperson, for all his work (and for all next year's work he doesn't yet know he's getting into). You are all valuable colleagues to me, and you made the year pass quickly.