Skip to Content

Nov 13, 1996 Minutes

Present: Bible, Bourgeois, Caverly, Deduck-Evans, Ford, Hays, Horne,
Hunter, McGee, Pascoe, Sawey, Simpson, Stimmel, Weller, and Winek.

Guests: Assoc.VPAA Robert Smallwood, Profs. Lydia Blanchard (Chair, Eng.),
Carol Hazlewood (Computer Sci.), Don Hazlewood (Math), Paul Raffeld
(Testing Ctr.), Sukhjit Singh (Math), Tom Thickstun (Math); Ms. Shirley
Pilus, Dylan Sides (University Star), Mike Moore.


MINI-SESSION EVALUATION (Assoc.VPAA Smallwood & Prof. Raffeld)

The meeting was called to order at 4:00, Chair Bible presiding.


After an appeal from the President's Council for Women in Higher
Ed., the Faculty Governance Committee was assigned to examine departmental
voting procedures with an eye toward inclusiveness. Prof. Hazlewood
explained that, after canvassing every department for faculty voting
practices and following up with each Faculty Governance Committee member
talking to a cluster of departments they were assigned, the Committee
proposed a change in the Constitution of the Faculty of SWTSU in the
Faculty Handbook. This change would allow all faculty who fit the criteria
to vote in Senate elections to vote also in departmental recommendations on
policy to the dept. chair (except for personnel decisions). These criteria
include those who are "(1) contracted by the University for a nine-month
academic year, (2) paid at a rate of more than fifty percent from monies
budgeted for faculty salaries, and (3) have one year or more of service as
defined by (1) and (2) above." This would include tenure-track, lecturer,
and perhaps other "permanent temps." They found that most depts. were
already doing this. A few were following the Handbook limiting voting to
senior (tenured) faculty, but were willing to change.

Profs. Singh and Thickston argued that this would (1) water down
senior faculty authority, (2) give chairs too much power, as they often
hold the employment of temps in their hands [i.e. When a senior faculty is
divided on an issue, this can put the junior faculty in a position to have
to agree with the chair--when a chair is manipulative], (3) have people
voting who are "out of their competence," (4) put junior faculty in a
position to influence curricular policy which would reverberate back on
dept. policy, which includes personnel decisions in the long-run, and (5)
it should be left to depts. on who would vote. Prof. Singh suggested that
if junior faculty were to vote (presumably by secret ballot), their vote
should be counted separately from senior faculty, giving a chair more
information on which group was voting in what direction.

Prof. Blanchard stated that the English dept. supported inclusion
of all faculty as a way to bring in and mentor people and learn from them,
as well. The senior faculty still predominate and are seen as mentors by
the junior faculty. This is inclusive of more voices, e.g. women who are a
critical mass in the junior faculty, and teachers of lower division classes
who are in the forefront of knowing what lower division students want and

Additional points were brought up. Is it a good idea to have
non-senior faculty voting in some depts. and disenfranchised in others?
What can we do about chairs who overreach and intimidate junior faculty?
Isn't this a good time to bring up renewable terms for chairs, say 3 or
5-year terms? It was pointed out that Lou Caruana's Subcommittee on
Evaluation of Administrators is working on this question. Is it a good
idea to restrict junior faculty rights when the real problem is with some
few chairs? One Senator pointed out that in his dept. policy was not voted
upon but agreed to by consensus. It was also noted that we are all
"temporary," when you get right down to it. [Sic transit gloria mundi.
Tempus fugit. Or something like that.]

The Senate voted to reaffirm our previous stance supporting the
Governance Committee's recommendation that all faculty who meet the criteria
of voting in Senate elections (see three criteria above) be allowed to vote
on all policy except for personnel matters, on which only the departmental
"personnel committee" (senior faculty) may vote. There were eleven "ayes,"
one "nay" and two abstentions. The chair votes only in the case of a tie.

MINI-SESSION EVALUATION (Assoc.VPAA Smallwood & Prof. Raffeld)

Some of the Senate concerns expressed earlier about the instrument
used to evaluate the mini-mester, the quality of courses and student
outcomes, pay, etc. were discussed. Assoc.VPAA Smallwood said the Summer
Task Force studied the appropriateness of some disciplines or areas within
disciplines for the three-week short term. The ultimate fit for each
course must be determined by the faculty and chair of each dept. and then
reviewed at higher levels. The School of Education, for example, finds the
short-term useful for grad classes with experiential and field based
materials (not theory or heavy writing). One Liberal Arts Senator who
taught in the short-term said the learning outcomes seemed consistent with
outcomes from the same long-semester course he teaches.

Prof. Weller pointed that Colorado College, Monmouth, and a few
others teach most of their curriculum in short-term total immersion courses
and we should check out their experiences with quality and student outcomes.
Dr. Smallwood added that SACS had some concerns about short-courses which we
need to explore with them, so we have some homework to do yet.

With regard to pay, it was asked if the flat-rate paid in the trial
mini-mester was a stalking horse for flat-pay in summer sessions, instead
of percentage of salary. The Summer Task Force recommended percentage pay
for mini-mester, and VPAA Gratz was said to favor percentage rather than
flat for all such courses. What has not been worked out is how and when
one is paid. [Apparently one cannot receive more than 100% of regular pay
in any month from regular salary funds and we are receiving regular salary
in May. Occ Ed. and Freshman Seminar overload teaching are on a different
footing. Dr. Smallwood seemed confident that this knot would be untangled

The Senate voted unanimously to recommend that pay for the
mini-mester be funded on percentage of salary, rather than flat pay per

What does the University gain? Dr. Smallwood said we didn't have a
dollar amount yet because there are a number of variables which are not
straightforward. For example, this was a "base year" for State funding,
so more students will help over the biennium, people were pulled away from
regular duties to plan for this pilot project which presumably will not be
necessary next time, etc. Also, there are other considerations which are
gains but are not quantifiable with regard to student satisfaction and
earlier graduation. The idea of going to three semesters--fall, spring,
and summer (May-August)--was brought up. A fall and summer nine-month
contract might fit some faculty research projects and some School clientele
(e.g. Education) better than the current set-up. This idea will surface
again, no doubt.

Mini-mester will return to the PAAG agenda.


The Senate voted unanimously to adhere to our previous position
than this year's bonus pot be distributed as merit. [As noted in earlier
Senate minutes, there are too many unknowns in the various bonus plans
proposed for an informed opinion to be made in the short-run.]


Profs. Joan Hays (HPER), Max Warshauer (Math), and Janet Bezner
(Physical Therapy) will be asked to serve on the President's Award for
Excellence in Teaching Committee.


Nothing introduced.


The minutes were approved as read.

The meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.

Ramona Ford