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March 31, 2004 Minutes

Present: Chair Stone, Senators Sawey, Peeler, Gillis, Conroy, Shah, Rao, Hazlewood, Hindson, McKinney, Bell-Metereau, Brennan, Gordon, Hawkins


Guests: Dr. Blanda, University Star reporter


I. Discussion of Computing Issues:

Senator Bell-Metereau brought up the issue that it seemed that large sums of money are not available unless a department is ready to give up their lab and give over control to Instructional Technology (IT).  IT standardizes the software on the computers in the labs it runs. 


Senator Hazlewood said that they wanted to centralize, but Senator Gillis said that our goal should be student learning.


Senator Sawey said that we could make a recommendation ourselves regarding the issue.


Senator Hindson asked if the VPIT could report to the provost.


Chair Stone said he would invite Dr. Wyatt and Dr. Nielsen here to discuss these issues. 


Senator Hazlewood said IT put Mathematica on the computers in Math labs at his request.


The Academic Computing Committee Report was given and the senate voted to approve the ACC report as submitted.


II. Academic Honesty

Senator Hazlewood requested that a change in the regents rules be proposed. 


Chair Stone noted that the hearing process has been central to discussions in the past.  Where would objections to grades or plagiarism questions go?


Dr. Blanda explained that the student could either sign a form, accepting a penalty, or appeal the accusation to the Honor Council.  The council cannot say that the academic penalty has to be changed.   The report goes to student justice in either case.


The appeal process for the academic penalty goes to the dean, who can change the grade. 


In an Honor Code, a faculty member is bound to report to student justice, whereas with a modified Honor Code, the decision is up to the discretion of the faculty member.


If there was a flagrant or repeated violation, the Honor Council could make a harsher judgment. 


The Honor Council sends a report to the Dean and Student Justice.


If the Honor Council determines there was not a violation, this should be a factor in the appeal of the academic penalty.


The Honor Council is comprised of students and faculty.  Both parties will exchange lists of witnesses, etc.  Each party will have the right to appear and present evidence.


Chair Stone distributed a copy of the Code.  There have been no changes in the Code.  This is the original university proposal.  He asked where the proposed changes to the regents rules came from, and Senator Hazlewood said that he had proposed the changes noted.


Chair Stone asked what an acceptable way to request a change in the grade would be.  Approximately five cases of this kind are reported each year. 


Dr. Blanda said studies show that the greater the involvement of the students, the more cheating is reduced. Most honor councils are composed of students and staff.  The Honor Council doesn’t hear the decision on the grade.  The chair is bypassed, and it goes straight to the dean for the academic appeal.


Chair Stone said that this description seemed to differ from the proposal. 


The grade appeal process does not occur outside of Academic Affairs.  Senator Hindson asked if the Dean has to notify the faculty member of any grade change.


Senator Hawkins said that this has a bearing on the grade.


But Dr. Blanda said the Council has nothing to say about the grade.


Everything that says “academic penalty” should be changed to “Honor Code Violation.”  Dr. Blanda said that the philosophy doesn’t need to be rejected; the wording needs to be corrected.


Chair Stone wanted to see the change made and then review the policy with the new wording.  He suggested that the dean should form the honor council.


Senator Hindson asked if this would be an ad hoc council or a permanent entity.  Dr. Blanda said that the faculty senate would appoint the faculty and the ASG appoints students.  They rotate every three years for faculty, every year for students, with seven faculty members and seven students.


Senator Peeler asked if the dean is obligated to activate the honor council, and Dr. Blanda said yes.


Senator Rao said that at one time their department had a similar committee. 


Senator Shah asked if we will put it in a PPS, and Chair Stone said that this would be a good reason to see it all written down, so the senate could vote on this.


Dr. Blanda said that the senate would appoint faculty members to the council. There is a regents meeting in May, and any requests for changes in regents rules would need to be forwarded to the regents tomorrow.  He needs to know if we endorse the concept. Once we change the regents rules, we can work on the wording of the PPS.  In proposal one, the honor council comes in late, but in proposal two, the honor council makes a recommendation on the honor code violation earlier in the process. 


Senator Conroy suggested that this go back to committee, and Dr. Blanda asked what the issues were.


Senator Peeler said that he didn’t have a problem with this going back to committee.


Chair Stone said that the main problem was that we didn’t have a clear document to read, and since we couldn’t vote on this at this meeting anyway, we would come back to it next week.


Senator Gillis suggested that we discuss it next week, and Chair Stone closed the discussion.


Dr. Blanda expressed regret that we were not able to get this to the regents in time for consideration this May.


We may request that Dr. Trauth re-constitute the academic honesty committee if this is not settled this year.


Senator Hazlewood said there is no committee to do this.


Dr. Blanda said that this body could make the changes and move it up the line.


Senators Gillis, Hazlewood, and Peeler volunteered to draft the pps for next week, and it was determined that a change in regents rules may not be required.


III. PAAG Follow-up memo

Chair Stone’s corrected letter will go to President Trauth.


IV. Update from Council of Academic Deans and Council of Chairs on Post-Tenure Review policies


V. New Business

Chair Stone announced that Dr. Gratz wants to change the designation of adjuncts and how they are counted. The advantage to departments is having adjuncts count as one-eighth of a faculty member.  He wants to change .125 to .2, to reduce the incentives to pack in adjuncts to improve their SCH ratio.


Senator Hindson asked if we have to report this to the coordinating board on the student faculty ratio.  Chair Stone said that this was going to a better accounting system.


Dr. Smallwood has distributed a report on the walking time between buildings.

The result of this will be a recommendation for students not to enroll in classes housed in buildings that are far apart.


Senator Conroy reported on the Faculty Salary Market Study Oversight Committee.  This is the president’s attempt to bring us up to averages on a national par based on discipline and rank.

One of the questions we need input on was the assumption that it is better for more faculty to benefit than for fewer to benefit.  Senator Conroy pointed out that star salaries could raise the rank overall, without helping most of the faculty.  The college budget committee would oversee, or perhaps the departmental personnel committee would award money.  There is a concern that individual considerations might overturn past merit decisions.


Chair Stone said that the cell values are not indicative of discretion.  The personnel committee will recommend and the chair will do whatever the chair wants.


Senator Brennan said that this reflects the president’s idea that processes should occur at the departmental level.  This could work if departments all functioned properly.  The administration sees the departmental personnel committees as being a check on the chairs, but historically this has not always been the case in all departments. 


Senator Gordon asked if this process would not be difficult in a group setting.


Senators Hazlewood and Hindson described their departments' systems.  Math has a committee of five elected, and Political Science has one faculty representative who consults with the chair.


There is at the most a 3% increase over two years. 


Senator Bell-Metereau pointed out that the basic system is flawed, because it does not take into account the number of years in rank. This may aggravate salary compression in some departments that have a large number of senior faculty whose salaries are therefore relatively high. 


Having a standard deviation would constrain the process within cells.


Senator Stone said that this will become difficult if they have to determine the number of articles, etc.


The last equity study model considered longevity in rank, but this model would not consider number of years in rank. 


Several senators recommend that departments limit the discretion on the part of the personnel committees, and/or delineate clearly the criteria governing discretionary decisions. 


The meeting adjourned at 6:15.


Approved minutes submitted by Rebecca Bell-Metereau April 22, 2004.