ACADEMIC SENATE RETREAT MINUTES

 

 

DATE:            August 31, 2004

 

PRESENT:     Alan Davis                                                   Mark Hardt

                        Lorrie Steerey                                              Sandie Rietz

                        Paul Bauer                                                   Audrey ConnerRosberg

                        Mary Susan Fishbaugh                                 Keith Edgerton

                        Randall Gloege                                            Bruce Brumley

                        Noreen Lee                                                 Connie Landis

                        Matt Redinger

 

PRESIDING: Keith Edgerton, Chair

 

Keith Edgerton called the meeting to order at 10:10 a.m. in the campus Guest House on Normal Avenue.

 

I.          Welcome, Various Issues

 

Last week several “key faculty and administrators” met at the Perfect Place at Briarwood golf course.  This meeting was brought about by Provost Park, and facilitated by Scott Lillie.  Although the meeting did not result in very new or innovative ideas, at least the administration is making an effort to communicate with the faculty.

 

The graduation attendance was a resounding success.  Chancellor Sexton was so pleased that he has agreed to fund the faculty regalia again this year.

 

Hiring remains a big concern of many faculty.  Last year Provost Park wanted the priorities from the Deans by October.  This year it has moved up to September 15, in order to get the openings out as early as possible.  There have also been issues about online lecturers and how we can maintain quality if our teachers are not on campus.  Part-time faculty quality issues remain important:  some part-time instructors are great, while others are terrible.  This quality varies from department to department and semester to semester.

 

II.         FACC Document:  MSU-B Online

 

This summer the FACC came to a temporary agreement about online programs.  This agreement was sent out to all faculty and is being piloted this semester.  A committee of faculty will be formed for feedback on how this matter is working out.

 

Six years ago, when online was just starting, there were many incentives for faculty to teach online.  Dr. Park claims that those incentives are now markedly reducing the budget, and she cannot pay them anymore.

 

It was noted that there have been rumors of excessive online teaching and that online is growing but enrollments have leveled off.  We don’t yet have enough information to decide if these rumors are true and why.

 

The Provost wants to have equal pay among the part-time faculty, regardless whether they teach online or on campus.  There are good part-time faculty who have refused to continue teaching unless they are paid more for teaching online.

 

It is most important that departments maintain control of the curriculum, delivery of that curriculum, and the number of students in any given class (online or onsite).  The departments currently have until October 15 to come up with guidelines for their online courses as requested by the FACC.

 

Faculty are limited to 25% of their salary in extra compensation in some cases.  There is no Board of Regents policy restricting extra compensation for faculty, but there is a 20% rule for administrators.  There is no rule that restricts the extra compensation for faculty, nor is there one in the works.

 

The committee that is being formed will be carrying faculty feedback to the FACC group, so that this system may be altered as necessary.

 

III.       Faculty Ownership of Curriculum

 

Faculty are concerned that administrators are forcing programs on faculty.  Some faculty don’t know they can refuse.  Most faculty don’t know their rights in this situation.

 

It was noted that a sub-committee of the Academic Senate could be formed so faculty will have a resource to go to when they don’t know where else to go.  This committee could meet privately with a faculty member who may not want to file any union-related grievance, but has a problem that needs solving.  This would fill a grey area that exists between the Senate and the Faculty Association.

 

It was noted that a statement of how the Senate processes work may need to be drafted, just to remind everyone (not just administrators) how the academic process works.  This could even be noted as a follow up to the Senate’s meeting with President Gamble.

 

IV.       RACE Committee Issues from Spring and Setting RACE Deadline

 

Keith Edgerton noted that the Chancellor has authorized an additional $15,000 in funding for the RACE grants, bringing the total to $25,000.

 

It has been suggested that the deadline be moved to fall, rather than spring.  The Senate agreed that November 1 will be the deadline for RACE grant applications.

 

V.        General Education Committee

 

At the end of last semester, the committee requested that their membership be enlarged.  At the General Education Committee Retreat (yesterday) the committee also decided that the students on the committee should be ex-officio only.

 

The committee also made progress on the Senate’s issues with their proposal.  The outcomes have been established and the matrix will be used for evaluation, both by the students and the faculty.

 

It was noted that using two evaluations can be confusing for students, because they often get mixed up what part of the course they are evaluating.

 

 

The meeting adjourned at 1:10 p.m.

 

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