ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES

 

 

DATE:            February 10, 2005

 

PRESENT:     Alan Davis                                                   Audrey ConnerRosberg

                        Mary Susan Fishbaugh                                 Keith Edgerton

                        Randall Gloege                                            Noreen Lee

                        Connie Landis                                              Matt Redinger

                        Amanda Mears (student)                              Emily Valenzuela (student)

                       

ABSENT:       Mark Hardt – excused                                Lorrie Steerey – excused

                        Sandie Rietz – excused                                Paul Bauer – excused

                        Bruce Brumley – excused

                        Carl Hanson (ex-officio)                               Tasneem Khaleel (ex-officio)

                        Joe Michels (ex-officio)                                George White (ex-officio)

                        Randy Rhine (ex-officio)                              John Cech (ex-officio)

                        Janie Park (ex-officio)                                  Terrie Iverson (ex-officio)

                        Curt Kochner (ex-officio)

 

PRESIDING: Keith Edgerton, Chair

 

 

Keith Edgerton called the meeting to order at 3:48 p.m. in the Missouri room of the SUB.

 

The minutes of February 3 were accepted as presented.

 

I.          Discussion/Action Items

 

A.  Budget Issues

 

Keith Edgerton stated that again we have a budget situation:  enrollment is down and we again did not meet our FTE goal.  We have to cut 10% from our budget.  The administration is advocating a 2.5% across the board cut this year and 7.5% cuts over the next two years.  Because most of the budget is for academics, most of the cuts will come there.  In addition to the cuts, the Board of Regents has authorized a 8% hike in tuition.

 

Mary Susan Fishbaugh cited that there is no longer any money to cut in the departments.  The Dean of Education has offered to cut a position in special education, after that faculty member retires.  This is not set in stone, because it was just a possible scenario that the deans were asked for.  However, without that position, the department can no longer offer the undergraduate and graduate special education and reading programs.  There are surely other programs on campus which will have the same problem if a faculty line is cut.

 

It was noted that academics are being blamed for problems that are the administration’s, like retention issues, and problems with customer service in various offices.

 

It was observed that because the Academic Senate is concerned with academic quality and integrity, we need full disclosure on budget issues from the administration.  We haven’t even been told what to do about searches that are currently running.  It was noted that we are in limbo because the administration doesn’t know how much we will really have to cut.

 

Amanda Mears, COB student, noted that it is hard to tell incoming freshmen that the degree they are working toward is not AACSB accredited, but we need those new students’ FTE to raise the money to hire the faculty to get AACSB accreditation.

 

It was stated that we need to show all the ramifications of cutting lines in departments.  We need to flood the Provost’s Office with information showing that there is no longer any fat to cut.  An analysis of the effects of cutting various non-academic programs might be in order.  The Athletics Program has a huge travel budget.  Cutting such programs like Athletics may lower morale too much, but we still need to know that information.  It was further cited that our strategic initiatives don’t match what we can actually do.  We should be doing a few things better instead of more things worse.

 

It was noted that the Provost let departments hire 11 new faculty this year based on a 5% growth estimate that we all said was an unrealistic goal.  Students are telling us that because tuition is so high, they are taking fewer credits and not attending in the summer because they have to work more to pay for the courses they are taking.

 

It was suggested that perhaps we should have another discussion with President Gamble.  However, we should have a presentation and/or list of questions before meeting with him.  We should also get some data from Department Chairs to show how programs are and will be impacted by lost faculty:  course delivery, faculty loads, faculty productivity.  We can look at accreditation standards for NWCCU and if we can still meet them.  We can further find out how many courses are taught by part-time faculty, or more importantly, faculty who are not engaged in scholarship, because that is a quality issue.

 

It was decided that a letter of concern from the Senate should be drafted, and the data from Department Chairs should be obtained so a presentation can be made to the administration or perhaps President Gamble.

 

 

The meeting adjourned at 5:02 p.m.

 

rjrm