ACADEMIC SENATE MINUTES

 

 

DATE:           September 11, 2008

 

PRESENT:    Jeff Sanders                                        Rakesh Sah

                        Sandie Rietz                                        Bruce Brumley

                        Kay Streeter                                        Lorrie Steerey

                        Craig McKenzie                                  Keith Edgerton

                        Gershon Bulgatz                                 Mark Hardt

                        Matt Redinger                                     Steve Coffman

                        Rob Barnosky (student)                      Tasneem Khaleel (ex-officio)

                        Gary Young (ex-officio)                     Mary Susan Fishbaugh (ex-officio)

                        Kirk Lacy (ex-officio)                         D’Ann Campbell (ex-officio)

                        Stacy Klippenstein (ex-officio)

 

ABSENT:      David Garloff (ex-officio)                  Karen Heikel (ex-officio)*

                        John Cech (ex-officio)*                      Terrie Iverson (ex-officio)

* excused

 

GUEST:         Dan Carter

 

PRESIDING:                                                                    Lorrie Steerey, Chair

 

 

Lorrie Steerey called the meeting to order at 3:42 p.m. in the Beartooth room of the SUB.

 

The minutes of April 24 and August 22 were accepted as presented.

 

I.          ITEMS – FOR INFORMATION (corrected)

 

Item 2  Graduate Committee Report 2007-2008

Item 3  Academic Standards & Scholastic Standing Committee Report 2007-2008

 

Dr. Steerey noted that the Graduate Committee report should be discussed with the chair of the Committee, Susan Balter-Reitz, who will be attending Senate next week.  Item 2 will be postponed to the next meeting.

 

Ž Motion by Bruce Brumley, seconded by Sandie Rietz to accept Item 3 for information.

 

Ž Motion carried.

 

II.        DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS

 

A.  Emergency Response Guideline Document

Guest:  Dan Carter, Director of University Relations

 

Mr. Carter noted that work has been done on this handout through the last year and is now being finished with the help of our new Campus Police Chief, Scott Forshee.  This list of guidelines will be in print, hopefully in every classroom and on every staff member’s desk, and also available on the campus website.  It is a flip book of guidelines modeled after similar plans at MSU-Bozeman and School District #2.

 

It was noted that in a draft distributed at the COT this summer, many of the phone numbers listed in the document did not work.  It was further noted that many of the emergency notification clocks at the COT don’t work—they don’t even display the time.

 

Once the Senators have reviewed the document, concerns can be sent to Dr. Steerey or directly to Mr. Carter.

 

B.  Classroom Behavior Guidelines

Dr. Stacy Klippenstein, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

 

Dr. Klippenstein noted that originally he had intended to bring these guidelines to the Senate last April, and it has turned out to be beneficial to wait as additional work was completed over the summer.  The guidelines are mainly helpful hints on what to do and to help a student in distress.  These guidelines are also posted out on the web.  Also included is an incident report form that could be forwarded to Dr. Klippenstein, which would serve as a jumping off point for his inquiry.  Concerns regarding the guidelines can be sent to Dr. Steerey or directly to Dr. Klippenstein.

 

C.  RACE Committee 2008-2009

 

Dr. Steerey noted that the Committee still needs a member from COE.  The Senate needs to get the Committee together and working as soon as possible because the Chancellor has agreed to fund the grants once the Committee is ready.

 

D.  Set Dates for Curriculum Changes to Catalogs

 

It was noted that the deadlines have become an issue and we need to stick to them.  It was cited that currently the graduate/undergraduate deadline is November 20 (to the Senate) and the COT deadline is February 10 (to get changes to the Senate Office).  Perhaps staggered deadlines for the UCC are in order.

 

Ž Motion by Matt Redinger, seconded by Mark Hardt to set the following deadlines to get curriculum changes to the UCC:

College of Arts & Sciences:  10/22/08

College of Education:  10/29/08

College of Allied Health Professions and College of Business:  11/5/08

College of Technology:  1/28/09

 

Ž Motion carried.

 

If a department needs to miss one of the deadlines, they have to justify the need to Dr. Steerey.

 

E.  Composing a Committee to Discuss University Core Purpose & Becoming a Smaller and More Efficient University

 

It was noted that “smaller” is not really what is intended by this possible committee.  It implies that exploring our core purpose is at odds with growth in new areas.  It was agreed that the University does not need to be smaller, but rather effective and efficient.

 

It was cited that the last thing we want is for the administration to step in and say certain programs have been tagged as possible cuts.  Faculty must have a guiding hand in this process, and it starts with a discussion of who we are and whether our programs reflect that.  It was noted that faculty need a chance to weigh in on the University’s effectiveness, on what we value and how we value those things.

 

It was noted that the Board of Regents has dropped their minimum graduation requirements, and is now requiring each institution and each program to decide for themselves evaluation processes and criteria.  The Senate can help in this endeavor to create criteria and indicators, which will vary from program to program.  It was cited that for programs “in trouble,” perhaps meeting with other faculty to discuss alternate forms of delivery may be just what is needed.

 

The question was raised as to at what point in decision making processes faculty might be able to engage in discussions of issues.  Past practices have been for faculty to encounter issues and problems either when budget decisions are made or when a crisis occurs, which is too late.  D’Ann Campbell, Provost, responded by saying that budgeting was not the correct venue for such activity and that she wanted to get us out of crisis mode.  She is desperately trying to move away from budget driving everything.  Provost Campbell has proposed to the Chancellor’s Budget Committee that we take one semester to ask all faculty, programs, and Deans to work on creative areas where we might grow while also being aware that they may have to give up or reduce investment in other areas—to decide what is our core, our mission.  Those discussions of what is most important to us can then be used to make the tough decisions in Spring semester.

 

It was noted that one suggestion made in the Chancellor’s Budget Committee involves reallocation of part of a salary (for faculty development, etc.) when a department has a retiring faculty member and the department finds a way to go without a replacement.  It would amount to an incentive program.

 

It was suggested that what is really being discussed here is a strategic planning committee that can discuss program evaluation criteria, new programs, and expansion of programs.  Deciding where we want to go in the future will then inform our budgeting process.

 

It was cited that a faculty-only group could develop a faculty view point, which could then be forwarded to the administration.  It was countered that a faculty-only committee would likely limit the understanding of the committee members.  We need to have cross-constituency discussions, a “we’re all in this together” approach.  We also have to get rid of the “us and them” mentality in order to work together.

 

It was noted that we don’t want to duplicate the work of another group or groups.  We already have a large number of committees; we don’t need another.  It was suggested that in the end, we are talking about what the CQI Committee is currently doing (besides meeting our accreditation standards).  The CQI Committee is already morphing away from the accreditation efforts and more into discussions of who we are and where we are going.  The question was raised as to whether the committee’s membership should be reviewed to make sure all constituencies are represented.  Perhaps the members who have been serving would like a break as well.  It was noted that the CQI Committee is composed of faculty from each College, the Deans, the Vice Chancellors, students, as well as members from Student Affairs and Information Technology.  It answers to the Cabinet.

 

It was noted that in the past, the CQI Committee has been driven by the NWCCU standards and a management mindset.  We need to get away from that management mindset.  The Senate needs to review the Committee’s emerging mission and support it.  It was noted that there have been multiple discussions regarding hiring an Assessment Director, but perhaps the CQI Committee could be the guiding force for all our accreditation efforts.

 

It was stated that these discussions of who we are and where we are going should be the purview of the CQI Committee, and that the Committee should be renamed either by its membership or the Cabinet.  Suggested names include the Assessment and Planning Committee.  Mary Susan Fishbaugh, Co-Chair of the CQI Committee, agreed to put this on the Committee’s next agenda for the meeting on September 18 at 12:10 p.m.  Dr. Steerey and Sandie Rietz agreed to attend the meeting, as well as Matt Redinger who is a past member of the Committee.

 

 

The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

 

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