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Aug 29, 2007 Minutes

Members present:

Senators Stone, Bond, Davidson, Feakes, Hazlewood, Hindson, McGee, McKinney, Meek, Melzer, Ogletree, Shah, Wilson, Winek

Guests:  Dr. Michelle Pope, HPER, Dr. Alberto Giordano, Geography, Scott Thomas, University Star

Meeting called to order at 4:00.


Info Items:

  • Committee on Committee’s Recommendation: It’s coming Friday.
  • CAD Report: CAD considered PPS 5.04 on Start-up funds and now the start-up statement, considered by some to be objectionable, will not only be in contracts, but will also be included in the PPS itself.
  • Enrollment Figures: Enrollment is up.  Graduate enrollment is up 2.7 % and undergraduate enrollment is up 1.9 %.
  • Development Leave Program:  The Provost’s office is kicking in $100,000 to enhance development leaves by giving five (5) $20,000 awards to deserving proposals.  There is also some discussion of having only one award cycle per year and recipients of leaves will be encouraged to take a year leave rather than a semester leave.
  • Senate Bill 1231:  Effective Fall 2007, students cannot drop more than six (6) classes during their academic career.  There are some possible exemptions and it is not clear how the number of drops per student will be monitored.

More Development Leave Discussion:  The discussion continued with respect to possible changes in the Faculty Development Leave program.  Although the current process is not confirmed, there is some pressure to make faculty take leaves for a complete year as opposed to a semester. When the issue of funding was raised, a possibility of teaching an overload the prior semester and the following semester to the leave might allow funding for the complete year.  Indications are that there will be maximal flexibility to allow one year leaves without loss of funding.  It was mentioned that some disciplines couldn’t afford to lose a faculty member for a full year. The Senate will continue to recommend leave recipients and a separate committee with Senate representation will identify the five award recipients.


PAAG Agenda Items:  The following issues were identified for the PAAG agenda and sent to President Trauth:

  • Space Issues and the Four-Day Schedule: One of the major concerns about converting to the MW-TTH schedule was the number of available classrooms. Now that the new schedule is actually in place, are we experiencing problems with available classrooms to meet both our student’s class needs and special needs like outside speakers? 
  • Annual Performance and Merit Data: Every year the Senate has to request the results of the Performance and Merit Cycle. We would like to see if some policy might be created that would automatically send this data to the Senate each year.
  • Student Printing Support: The Senate has observed that there is a growing problem with “student and faculty printing support."  With the closure of the ready room/printing center, students and faculty are forced to print in standard labs. Since the printers in these labs are not capable of “separating documents” automatically, the students often retrieve their document and parts of other people’s documents by accident. This forces some students to have to “reprint” and may take them over the printing limit for the lab. This does not represent a critical problem at this time, but it does indicate that we may need to rethink how we have students print on campus. Who decided to close the ready room and who was consulted before the decision was made?
  • Faculty & Staff with Disabilities and the University’s Accommodations: With the continued growth of our faculty and staff, it is inevitable that we will encounter an increased number of cases where faculty or staff have or will develop disabilities that will interfere with their employment responsibilities. Currently the university does not seem to have an effective plan or policy to accommodate these special needs when it is appropriate. UPPS 04.04.60 does address these issues but specifies in subsection 5.01 that the department is expected to provide the funding for any necessary accommodations. Since most departments have little or no available funds for such purposes, this does not seem like an adequate response. UPPS 04.04.60 reads more like a required “legal response” to ADA concerns than a serious attempt to deal with the issues. The Office of Disability Services does an admirable job, but their efforts seem to be directed primarily towards students. We would like to see some proactive planning and policy improvement to address this issue.
  • Strategic Planning and the Department of HPER: It has come to our attention that there have been some major changes recently that effect the HPER department. Specifically the changes include the acceleration of the departmental review process, the scheduling of an external review, and the decision to continue with an acting chair instead of starting a search. To date there appears to have been minimal faculty input into this process. At what point do you anticipate that the faculty will be able to have input on these issues?



Joint Senate/Liaison Meeting:  September 26th, with October 3rd as an alternate date, was selected for the joint Senate meeting with Senate Liaisons.  The site is yet to be selected.


Senate Budget Committee:  The chair of the Senate Budget Committee, Dr. Lu Montondon, Accounting, has requested a charge for her committee.  The change from course fee funding to M&O some transparency to faculty in budgeting within academic departments may be required. The committee is asked to develop such visibility guidelines.


College and Department Policy Discussion:  Do all academic departments comply with policy that requires written statements concerning:  tenure/promotion, faculty evaluation, merit/performance, and faculty appointments?  No clear answer seems available.  The Senate decided to charge its Academic Governance Committee to find what written policies departments actually have and to make suggestions to achieve compliance University wide.  Required written policies should be up-to-date and easily available, possibly on-line.  The committee is to report its findings to the Senate.


New Business:

·         Final Exam Schedule: Some questions were raised with regard to the current final exam schedule.  It was decided to invite an expert to interpret and explain the current schedule.

·         Library Issues:  Questions raised with respect to library hours and other issues will be considered next week.

·         Religious Holidays:  There was some discussion that a student is no longer required to give advance notice for absences associated with observance of religious holy days.  The absence of definition of a reasonable time to make up missed work was the central issue.


Minutes:  Minutes for 08/22/07 were approved as amended.