Faculty Senate Minutes
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Faculty Senate Minutes

October 19, 2006

 

Call to Order:

Call to order: 4:12 pm; Riggle Room; ADUC.

Senators Absent:  Pamela Colyer, Teame Ghirmay, Thomas Kiffmeyer, Beverly Klecker, Layne Neeper, Dean Owen, David Peyton, David Smith, Wesley White

Visitors:  Brian Gay, President, Student Government Association (SGA); Neil Arnett, Chair, Student Life Committee, SGA

Minutes:  Regent Irons moved to approve the minutes of October 5, 2006, as submitted. Motion passed.

Senator Harford moved to suspend the order of the day and recognize Brian Gay, President, SGA.  Motion passed.

Brian Gay reported student concerns regarding the elimination of Reading Day from Finals Week in the spring semester 2007.  He stated that the Registration Advisory Committee was not consulted regarding this issue.  SGA polled approximately 486 students with 86% of the students indicating that Reading Day was valuable.  A report of the results of the poll and the SGA recommendations were presented to the Vice President for Student Life for review.  The Vice President for Student Life presented the report to the President’s Cabinet.  The SGA’s recommendation was not completely executed in the decision to eliminate Reading Day.  Neil Arnett read a resolution, passed by the SGA, to the Senate membership.  (See Attachment)   The SGA presented the resolution to Senator Schroeder and encouraged the Senate to address this issue.  Senator Wallace commended the SGA for taking a stand and stated that the resolution was very good and challenged everyone to participate in shared governance.  Regent Irons suggested the Academic Policy Committee address this issue and conduct a survey of faculty at the University.  A Senator asked the Provost, who is a member of the President’s Cabinet, to comment on the issue.  The Provost indicated that the issue was presented to the Deans Council prior to the decision being made.  The Registrar developed different models of various schedules for Reading Day.  The President's Cabinet reviewed the various schedules.  A Senator stated that the Senate did not have input into the decision.  Chair Lindell stated that the minutes of October 5, 2006, indicate that the Provost announced that a decision on the elimination of Reading Day was forthcoming and requested input.  Regent Irons stated that changing policy that affects all students to try to change the behavior of a few is a bad decision making process on the part of the administration.  If there is bad behavior on the part of the students, the administration should address that behavior directly and not change policy that punishes all students because of the actions of a few.

Reports:

Chair’s Report:

  • The University budget shortfall is projected to be approximately 2.3 million dollars this fiscal year.  The following strategies are being considered to address the deficit.
    • Surplus from housing
    • Freeze vacant staff positions unless critical
    • Delay some maintenance projects
    • Offer classes on alternative schedules to reach new populations
    • Conserve energy
  • If you have not completed the Library survey you still have the opportunity to do so.
  • The Enrollment Management Task Force recommendations are online at www2.moreheadstate.edu/semp with a link for input.  Chair Lindell encouraged the members to provide input on the recommendations.

A Senator asked if the decisions regarding the budget would be brought before the Senate for discussion as part of shared governance.  The Fiscal Affairs Committee and the members of Senate are ready to participate in decision-making and would like more timely communications so that the Senate could participate and provide input.  The Provost will convey this message to the President.  A Senator stated that in the spring 2004, faculty taught classes at the extended campuses for no salary and asked if that would be a way to help in this case.  The Provost said this would help but would not be enough by itself.

Provosts Report:

  • Regarding the question from the last meeting as to why the University is not closed on Election Day:  The Presidential Election Day is a national holiday and the only Election Day the University is closed.
  • With regard to the budget, staff positions are frozen.
  • The Provost explained that funds for faculty lines are held within the individual colleges, distributed on the college basis, and are not centralized as in the past.  This gives the deans and chairs more control of the funds; however, the President and the Provost have the authority to reallocate funds if necessary.  This decreases the flexibility of moving funds from one college to another.  The dean’s council has agreed to share non-recurring funds for non-recurring costs of adjuncts, but the funds for faculty lines remain in the college.

Regents Report:

  • The Coalition of Senate Faculty Leadership will meet Saturday, October 21, 2006, at the University of Kentucky.  The Coalition of Senate Faculty Leadership secured a position for faculty representation on the CPE.  Two issues that will be discussed at the meeting this year will be:
    • Domestic partner benefits
    • Direct communication between the CPE and faculty governing bodies on campuses

A Senator asked if the freeze on tenure and promotion decisions at Kentucky State University would be discussed.  Regent Irons stated that this issue probably would be discussed. 

A Senator asked if the optional retirement plan from KTRS would be discussed.  Regent Irons stated that this issue was discussed last year, but he would address the issue this year if that is the desire of the members.

Senate Actions:

Academic Policies:

  • An amendment to the UAR concerning the Academic Calendar was presented for a second reading.  Items 1 through 9 are the same as in the first reading.  Item #10 has been revised since the first reading.  At the last meeting, the following were discussed:
    • adding a fall break
    • Election Day off
    • a 15 week semester

Senator Schroeder stated that this UAR addresses the calendar based on days the University is closed now.  This UAR can be reviewed in the future if additional days off are added to the calendar.

Regent Irons made a friendly amendment to change the wording to read …no earlier than the close of business on the second full working day… or …no earlier than noon on the second full working day…  The friendly amendment failed for lack of a second.  Regent Irons moved to change the wording to read … no earlier than the close of business on the second full working day…  Senator Chatham seconded the motion.  Senator Harford made a friendly amendment to change the wording to read …no earlier than noon on the second full working day…  Senator Wallace moved to end discussion and vote on this issue.  Chair Lindell clarified that the vote will be on the UAR with the change to: …no earlier than noon on the second full working day…  Motion passed.

  • A resolution concerning the General Education curriculum was presented.  The following are points of discussion regarding the General Education curriculum:
    • what is required in each department for General Education
    • what exactly does “reevaluating the General Education curriculum” mean
    • when the current curriculum was instituted the recommendations were not brought before the Faculty Senate for input
    • Senator Schroeder stated that the purpose of this resolution is to begin the process of evaluating the General Education curriculum
    • who would conduct this evaluation?  the General Education Committee which is a subcommittee of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
    • it is critical for faculty and departments to have input into any decisions
    • guidelines for expected student outcomes from the General Education curriculum are insufficient
    • there should be defined objectives for General Education
    • suggested revising the document to reevaluate the General Education Framework and to work with the Provost or President to establish a University wide task force to hold forums to address what a generally educated person in the twenty-first century should know, build a framework, and then put the curriculum together
    • there are nine goals for each course, some of which are unrealistic
    • the process should be driven by what is in the best interest of the students, not what is in the best interest of any department
    • this process is overdue but should be conducted very carefully

Senator Harford made a friendly amendment to add “framework and” in front of curriculum; and add “and that this process have the broadest possible opportunity for faculty input” at the end.  Senator Wallace moved to close discussion and vote.  Motion passed. 

Communication:

  • The committee is creating a Faculty Senate E-zine to identify the issues being addressed by the Senate, which will be sent to Faculty and placed on the Senate Web Page.
  • The committee is trying to have Faculty Senate added to the drop down menu for Faculty/Staff, and a couple of lines added to the Faculty/Staff page for news.

Evaluation:  No Report

Fiscal Affairs:

  • A resolution will be forthcoming regarding health benefits.
  • The committee stressed the need for faculty to understand the process for salary increases in January 2007.  There was lengthy discussion on the percentage of salary increases for the second half of the year and exactly when the increase will show on a check.

The Provost stated that Dana Baldridge, Director of Payroll, has drafted an explanation of the salary increase process for January, to be distributed to faculty.

Regent Irons asked Fiscal Affairs to investigate a recommendation from the Enrollment Management Task Force for a summer academy for developmental students with developmental classes being taught by faculty for 7-½% versus the usual 6%.

The Provost stated that the University is looking at creating a summer academy for students with developmental needs, but is unaware of a recommendation regarding faculty salary.

Governance Committee:

  • The second reading of the revisions to Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Description was presented to the committee.  Revisions to the IACUC description passed.
  • The committee recommended William Grise to fill a vacancy on the Faculty Promotion Committee.  Recommendation passed.

Professional Policies:  No Report.

Announcements:

  • The job description and the ad for the Provost are on the MSU web site.
  • Senator Isham stated that MSU’s Cadet Nicky Martin placed 3rd in the nation on the National Order of Merit List out of approximately 4,000 cadets from all over the nation that attended Warrior Forge.

Adjournment:  5:40 pm.