ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES

 

 

DATE:            August 28, 2006

 

PRESENT:     Agnes Samples                                            Rakesh Sah

                        Sandie Rietz                                                 Bruce Brumley

                        Audrey ConnerRosberg                               Lorrie Steerey

                        Johanna Mitchell                                          Gershon Bulgatz

                        Noreen Lee                                                 Craig McKenzie

                        Matt Redinger

 

ABSENT:       Mark Hardt                                                 Keith Edgerton – excused

 

GUEST:          George White

                       

PRESIDING: Audrey ConnerRosberg, Chair

 

Audrey ConnerRosberg called the meeting to order at 12:42 p.m. in the Bridger room.

 

I.          Welcome – Audrey ConnerRosberg, Chair

 

II.        Discussion Items

 

A.  Academic Senate Committees:  A Review

 

It was noted that the Academic Computing & Allied Technology (ACAT) committee has been considered for deletion for some time now.  Bruce Brumley, chair of the committee, noted that they are still waiting to have a meeting with Michael Barber, Chief Information Officer.

 

It was noted that the Student Computer Fee committee started out as a subcommittee of the ACAT Committee.  Then the two committees were separated and Information Technology began handling the Student Computer Fee committee, but it’s still listed in the Senate bylaws.  The ACAT Committee hasn’t done much since the splitting off of the Student Computer Fee committee.

 

Provost White noted that we need to maintain our high level of technology, but not just computers.  There are all kinds of technology, especially at the COT, that need to be updated regularly.  This is the allied technology committee.

 

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It was noted that the Academic Senate Budget Committee has been inactive since the University Budget Committee (UBC) began meeting.  Do we still have Senate representation on the UBC?  It was noted that the UBC has not met since Spring 2005.  It was noted that most of the faculty representatives quit attending UBC because the decisions were being made elsewhere without UBC input.  It was difficult to get faculty to attend.  Provost White noted that the budget discussions for academics take place in Provost Council meetings, which Dr. ConnerRosberg attends.

 

It was noted that we need a budget committee with good representation of all groups on campus that is able to work effectively.  The Academic Senate Budget Committee could be reactivated, but it will be pointless to do so unless the administration is ready to buy into the idea.  Otherwise, the committee will not get the information it needs.

 

Provost White noted that the majority of most budgets are tied to personnel.  Also, we may end up with a very large ($1 million) budget shortfall this year.  It was noted that the Senate has not been involved with the discussions of what to do should that situation arise.

 

Lorrie Steerey and Agnes Samples stated that if the administration will support the Academic Senate Budget Committee, they will serve on it.

 

B.  Academic Senate Vice Chairs:  Responsibilities

 

In addition to the following, what other responsibilities should the vice chairs have?

 

Vice-Chairs:  The Vice-Chairs shall -

1.  Serve as assistants to the Chair and carry out all duties the Chair may deem necessary;

2.  Act as liaisons for specific Senate Standing Committees and Administration Support Committees as assigned by the Chair of the Senate;

3.  Preside at meetings in the absence of the Chair. The Chair shall designate one of the three Vice-Chairs for this assignment.

            (from the Academic Senate Bylaws, Article III, Section B)

 

It was noted that perhaps the vice chairs could survey the faculty for their volunteer activities.  It is important to toot our own horn, and a list of all the volunteerism of the faculty would definitely be a good start.  It was noted that the accreditation team is going to have a flood of surveys for faculty to complete.  It would not be wise to add another.  The Senators could go to their department meetings and ask the faculty to list their

volunteer activities—no names and no hours completed—and give them to the Senate.  It was noted that we may get a better response if we send a request to department chairs.  Lorrie Steerey volunteered to receive the information and compile it.

 

Also is there something the Academic Senate could do as a body, perhaps in partnership with some organization in the community?  Sandie Rietz, Lorrie Steerey, and Bruce Brumley, agreed to find some organization that would partner with the Senate so both will benefit.

 

It was noted that the Chair and Vice Chairs used to meet with the Chancellor once a month.  Then there was ASFAC (Academic Senate Faculty Association Coalition), which is already defunct.  Dr. ConnerRosberg noted that she asked Provost White and Chancellor Sexton if the Vice Chairs could rotate with her on the regular meetings.  They turned the idea down, citing that they want the same person consistently attending the meetings.

 

III.       Distributions

 

A.  Student Satisfaction Survey (conducted by Student Affairs in spring 2006)

 

The survey was distributed and will be discussed at a later Senate meeting.

 

B.  Academic Senate Student Recruitment and Retention Summary Report – Lorrie Steerey

 

Dr. Steerey noted that our campus does not perceive that we are treating students and parents badly.  Sandie Rietz said she would help pick out some action items from the results of this survey.

 

C.  Results of Back to School Presentation on Student Evaluations – Johanna Mitchell, Audrey ConnerRosberg, Bruce Brumley

 

After the presentation, the presenters asked for volunteers to be on a committee and Gary Pasieka (COE), Mike Campbell (COB), Becky Richardson (COT), Sandie Rietz, and Dixie Metheny (COE) all signed up.  Lorrie Steerey stated she would also be on this sub-committee, and noted that there should be a representative from each college from the union because this has to be a joint effort.  It was noted that representatives from CAS and CAHP are needed.  Noreen Lee and Agnes Samples agreed to ask for representatives at their CAHP meeting this week.

 

IV.       Discussion Items continued

 

C.  Communication Audit

 

Dr. ConnerRosberg noted that communication continues to be a big problem on our campus.  Valerie Martinez, the new Associate Dean at the COT, has stated that her prior university had done a communication audit and it yielded valuable information.  Perhaps the Senators could ask some simple questions in their department meetings about how faculty get their information.

 

D.  Issues for Discussion with President Gamble

 

It was noted that we should send Dr. Gamble a list of concerns to discuss with us at our September 21 meeting.

 

The following topics were of highest importance:

  • Funding Model Inequities

Do you see a solution to the funding model inequities?

What are you going to do about inequities between Bozeman and Billings faculty salaries?

 

  • Bozeman/Billings Relationship

In light of the new Bozeman logo, what is our “shared identity?”

What is your five-year strategic plan for our relationship?

 

  • Budget Process

How are Bozeman faculty involved in the budget process?

 

Other issues to discuss if there is time:

  • Communication
  • 360 evaluation process and timely evaluation feedback
  • Campus atmosphere problems
  • Compensation for grants

 

 

It was noted that after we meet with President Gamble, the same issues should be put to Chancellor Sexton.

 

E.  What issues should the Senate work on in the next two years?

 

It was noted that the COT catalog requires that students have to earn 51% of their courses from the COT, while the main campus only requires 25%.  The 51% is a burden for students who are just trying to finish out a program.  They may have to go an extra semester or re-take courses because of this rule.  Dr. ConnerRosberg consulted with the Chancellor on this issue, and he stated that departments have to write individual exceptions to this rule and those exceptions must be approved by the BOR.  It was cited that the COT Team Leaders have been talking about the 51% issue, so they should be included in the discussion.  It was noted that the Senate should take on the greater issue of inequities between the COT and the east campus.

 

It was noted that the general rule for missing Senate meetings is three in a row and the Senator should be asked if they want to continue on the Senate.

 

It was observed that issues continue with online courses.  It was an opinion of a Senator that the problem of students paying others to take a course for them is growing.  If it gets out that our students are doing this, it will ruin our credibility.

 

It was cited that the online staff has confirmed that there is no way to stop students from copying and pasting a test for others to see.  It was noted that we have done a lot of quantifying of how many online courses and students we have, but where are the measures of quality?  It was also noted that online students feel no connection to the university.  It was also noted that the compensation for teaching online is being reduced.

 

It was noted that at one of the back-to-school presentations, Dr. McGinnis from the Grants office stated that there is an unwritten, unstated rule that faculty writing grants can only get 20% of their salary as pay through the grant.  The 20% rule was made by the Board of Regents, but it was supposed to apply to administrators, not faculty.  The 20%, in effect, makes it not worthwhile for faculty to write a grant.  This is another issue to discuss with President Gamble as well.

 

 

The meeting adjourned at 3:08 p.m.

 

rjrm