Faculty Senate Minutes
March 6, 2008
Call to Order:
Call to order: 4:20 pm; Riggle Room; ADUC.
Senators Absent: Ali Ahmadi, Royal Berglee, Glen Colburn, Lynda Donathan, Jennifer Little, Randall Swain
Minutes: Minutes of February 7, 2008, were approved without objection.
Minutes of February 21, 2008, were approved without objection.
Minutes of February 28, 2008, were approved without objection.
Academic Policies: No Report
Communications: Senate pictures were taken prior to the beginning of the meeting.
Evaluation: There will be meeting with the Executive Council of Staff Congress regarding the administrative survey.
Governance: Regent election material has been distributed; Committee interest survey has been distributed; Committee is working on a spreadsheet to evaluate all University Standing Committees (i.e., purpose, membership, etc.); Next Governance meeting will certify candidates for Faculty Regent Election
Professional Policies: Will present PAc-27 today; Will be reviewing a revised PG on technology use prior to bringing before the entire Senate
Fiscal Affairs: Will present a resolution on state budget cuts
Prior to todays meeting the chair polled the Senate membership regarding the issue of allowing non tenure-track faculty to vote on elections such as Faculty Regent. Of the eight responses received, four were for allowing non tenure-track faculty to vote and four were against. Chair Jerde asked the members; "All who would be in favor of supporting changing the statute to allow for instructors to vote for things like Regent election, raise your hand?" "All who would not be in favor of it raise your hand." VOTE: For, 22; Against, 11. This is not a resolution by the Senate, Chair Jerde will verbally forward the response to the Vice President for University Relations.
With regard to PAc-35, Chair Jerde stated that the Cabinet feels, through their discussions of budgetary issues, that there are mechanisms in which they can absorb even a 12% cut without touching tenured and tenure-track faculty or even the majority of staff. Based on that and on indications from the General Assembly that the budget “hit” may not be as bad as they had originally projected, the idea that PAc-35 would be needed immediately has diminished to the point where the President felt the Senate could have extra time. The President wants to present PAc-35 to the Board of Regents in June.
- The Board of Regents will meet March 13, 2008.
Items on the agenda are:
- Framework for curriculum audit and general education
- Tenure recommendations
- Sabbatical recommendations
- Personnel contracts
- Quarterly financial statement
- Revision to SGA Constitution
- Proposed change to tuition and fee structure (per credit hour charge for all students)
Discussion on the agenda item regarding the change to the tuition and fee structure followed:
- Some 1-hour courses would be folded into a 3-hour course
- Consequences to the change have not been thought through
- Why is it necessary to make these changes since the budget crisis is not as bad as first thought?
- Model presented as a way to generate new revenue with the assumption that credit hour consumption would be the same
- Board of Regent members asked questions about the basis for the predicted model – no information was provided
- May have disastrous consequences for what it means to be a student at MSU
- Changes would be phased in
- Will this reduce the number of classroom meetings for classes with labs?
- What is the Board of Regents role? The Board hires the President, approves the budget, sabbaticals, and tenure decisions.
- Should consider how changes in tuition and credit hours would affect faculty workload
- The fact that students have not had to pay for hours between 12 and 18 has been an incentive for students
- Consider that some accredited programs are mandated to have separate labs
- What does Regent Irons need from the Senate?
- Regent Irons stated that, a significant change to tuition and fee structure is being taken to the Board and has not been presented to the faculty and a resolution from the Senate would be helpful.
- The Executive Council presented PAc-35, Termination of Faculty for Financial Exigency, for a second reading.
Regent Irons moved to add the following order of termination sequence to Section VIII. TERMINATION OF FACULTY POSITIONS, after “A. (2) Such positions may be terminated only when financial exigency requires degree program reduction or degree program termination.” of PAc-35.
(a) Tenured faculty members will have preference of retention over non-tenured faculty members. If no tenured faculty are to be terminated, then tenure-track faculty shall be considered pursuant to the same criteria as would be used for tenured faculty.
(b) A faculty member who has attained tenure prior to another faculty member will have preference of retention.
(c) If the time of tenured service is equal, then tenured faculty of superior academic rank will have preference of retention.
(d) If service and rank considerations are the same for two faculty members, the faculty member with the longer period of employment at the University will have preference of retention.
Senator Chatham seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Senator Buck moved to table this policy and send it to Professional Policies. Senator Klecker seconded the motion. Motion failed.
Discussion of the policy followed:
- The President wants program discontinuance to be in the same policy as exigency
- Continue to merge program reduction or discontinuance with financial exigency and then table the discussion of the merged policy until the next meeting to allow the Senators and the faculty time to review the final document
- Senator Patrick complimented Senator Chatham on his revisions
- Why does the President still want exigency and program discontinuance/reduction in the same PAc given that the budget situation is less critical than originally thought?
- Chair Jerde stated that the original reason for separating PAc-26 was to remove termination for cause (which is a disciplinary process) from exigency and program discontinuance/reduction (which are institutional strategies)
- The President wants to present PAc-35 to the Board of Regents at the June meeting
- Senate will need time during the remainder of the semester to conduct other business
Regent Irons moved to delete the sentence "Such positions may be terminated only when financial exigency requires degree program reduction or degree program termination." from Section VIII. TERMINATION OF FACULTY POSITIONS, A. (2). Senator Haleman seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Senator Macintosh moved to change the 75 days notice faculty would be given if they are to be terminated to either December 1, for the following academic year, or a full year before.
Senator Patrick stated that the committee is only working in the exigency policy at the current time. Senator Macintosh withdrew the motion.
Senator Patrick moved to include Senator Chatham's Proposed Amendment Plan C (DC-8 Program Reduction or Discontinuance) into PAc-35. Senator Chatham seconded the motion.
Senator Macintosh made a friendly amendment to add "The President and the Board shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that notice to tenured or tenure-track faculty be given prior to December 1 in the academic year prior to the effective date of termination." before the last sentence in Senator Chatham's Proposed Amendment Plan C (DC-8 Program Reduction or Discontinuance).
Senator Wallace moved to end debate and vote on the friendly amendment regarding notification. Motion passed.
A vote was taken on adding the following sentence "The President and the Board shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that notice to tenured or tenure-track faculty be given prior to December 1 in the academic year prior to the effective date of termination." Motion passed.
The members discussed how the decision is made regarding faculty to be terminated and who makes the decision.
Senator Wallace moved to delete "in consultation with" on line 93 and 94 of Senator Chatham's Proposed Amendment Plan C (DC-8 Program Reduction or Discontinuance) and replace it with "based on recommendation from." Senator Peyton seconded the motion.
Discussion continued on the process for determining faculty to be terminated.
Senator Wallace moved to end debate and vote. Motion passed.
A vote was taken on the amendment to delete "in consultation with" on line 93 and 94 of Senator Chatham's Proposed Amendment Plan C (DC-8 Program Reduction or Discontinuance) and replace it with "based on recommendation from." Motion passed.
Senator Chatham moved to end debate on the insertion of the Proposed Amendment Plan C (DC-8 Program Reduction or Discontinuance) into PAc-35. Senator Wallace seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Senator Patrick moved to table the discussion of PAc-35 until the next meeting. Regent Irons seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Senator Patrick moved to rescind the following motion passed by the Faculty Senate on February 28, 2008: "The Faculty Senate shall communicate to the President that the principle of tenure is so important that no tenured faculty member is released until every non-tenured teaching position is eliminated." Senator Wallace seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Senator Patrick moved that "The Faculty Senate strongly supports the institution of tenure at Morehead State University as an absolute requirement to maintain and exercise academic integrity. In the exceptional case of program reduction and/or discontinuance, which would require faculty termination, the Faculty Senate recommends faculty be retained based upon tenure, rank, and seniority in that order of importance." Senator Wallace seconded the motion.
Senator Wymer made a friendly amendment that this wording also be included as the opening statement in the program reduction document.
Senator Patrick suggested the friendly amendment not be accepted at this time, but be brought up after the complete revised document is presented at the next meeting.
Discussion of the motion followed:
- If there is not language of this nature to be used for guidance in making decisions, it allows for judgment of competence and in some cases that may be personal
- Some important programs may be eliminated because instructors teach them, while departments not as critical to the Institution, but with tenured faculty, are protected
- There is a statement about the importance of tenure in the policy just adopted
- This is a resolution to the President
Senator Wallace moved to end debate and vote. Motion passed.
A vote was taken on the motion that "The Faculty Senate strongly supports the institution of tenure at Morehead State University as an absolute requirement to maintain and exercise academic integrity. In the exceptional case of program reduction and/or discontinuance, which would require faculty termination, the Faculty Senate recommends faculty be retained based upon tenure, rank, and seniority in that order of importance." Motion passed.
- Fiscal Affairs presented a resolution on the state budget cuts.
- Is this resolution based on data received on faculty salaries; have you come to any conclusions in your analysis of the data; can you provide us with the analysis?
- Fiscal Affairs representative said this resolution is intended for the state legislature not internal use. Fiscal Affairs is working on a white paper on faculty salaries.
Senator Patrick moved to delete "to refrain from gambling with the future of the Commonwealth and" from the last paragraph of the resolution. Senator Breschel seconded the motion.
Senator Rogers moved to extend the duration of today's Senate meeting to deal with items on the agenda through item c. under Committee Reports. Senator Chatham seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Regent Irons moved to extend the meeting by an additional three minutes to approve a resolution he can present to the Board regarding the proposed changes to tuition and fee structure. Senator Rogers seconded the motion. Motion passed.
A member suggested replacing "gambling" with "endangering".
Regent Irons called the question.
A vote was taken on the deletion of "to refrain from gambling with the future of the Commonwealth and" from the last paragraph of the resolution on state budget cuts. Motion passed.
Senator Wymer called the question on the resolution on the state budget cuts.
A vote was taken on the resolution on the state budget cuts. Motion passed.
- Professional Policies presented PAc-27 for a first reading. The major changes are:
- to summarize what is written about documents required in portfolios
- reduced the list into a narrative for minimum documentation and additional things
- Why was the list format changed to a prose format?
- Professional Policies representative said that there are three areas in the current PAc that tell you what to put in a portfolio, none of which are very clear. A change was made to include a list of minimum items to be included in the portfolio with some additional other items.
- Are there clear-cut expectations?
- Professional Policies representative said yes; the FEP's must be followed and that the FEP's need to be reviewed.
- College level committee versus University committees – cannot be done with the various number of departments in the colleges
Senator Wymer moved to adopt the following resolution: The Faculty Senate opposes changes to the tuition and fee structure policy being taken to the MSU Board of Regents without prior review by the Faculty Senate. These changes may have unexpected negative consequences for academic programs and student progress toward degree completion. Senator Baker seconded the motion.
Senator Wallace called the question. A vote was taken. Motion passed.
Regent Irons will convey this resolution to the Board of Regents.
Adjournment: 6:10 pm.