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Indiana State University University Faculty Senate
EC#3
Approved September 13, 2005.
September 06, Minutes

Indiana State University
Faculty Senate 2005-06


 

Time:            3:15 p.m.  

Place:          Hulman Memorial Student Union 227

Present:       Chairperson S. Lamb, Vice Chair V. Sheets, Secretary Sr. A. Anderson

                    V. Anderson, B. Evans, B. Frank, C. Hoffman, J. Hughes, S. Shure

Ex-Officio:     Provost Maynard

Guests:        L. Sperry

 

 

I.  Administrative Report

            Provost Maynard addressed:

1) visitors to the campus are working with the College of Nursing on a plan to help train nurses for India;

2) official enrollment data is now being analyzed; budget implications are being considered; there is an enrollment reduction in the Corrections Guards National Program training—lower new hires; retention rate is status quo; graduate enrollment has increased—signifies quality perception; loss of Hoosier enrollment—down 700—increases the institution’s cost per FTE; no gain in transfer students.  Admission standards will not be lowered—the goal to be an institution of choice for high achieving students will remain; marketing emphasis is still at the institution level;

3) an Enrollment Management Taskforce is being constructed to address enrollment management issues; letters are to be mailed tomorrow;

4) the first meeting of the full Taskforce on the First Year and eleven-member steering committee will occur next week; the taskforce will work with the Policy Center on the First-Year of College’s Foundations of Excellence program; Bob Guell is the University’s Liaison to the Policy Center.

 

II. Chair Report

Chairperson Lamb report:

“Much praise has been offered to the grounds keepers for the beauty of the campus, especially during the heart of the summer when conditions were miserable. They truly have kept this campus in remarkable shape.

I have heard that no longer will Lilly money be used to match individual contributions to a department, unless those funds are going to an endowment. My word is that the President’s cabinet has decided that only if money goes to endowments, will Lilly money be used to match the gift. If monies are just going directly to a department for expenditures, it will not be matched.  This word needs to get to the departments.”

           

            Provost Maynard clarified that the Lilly Endowment Matching Program will support two major categories of projects: 1) Support for the Student Recreation Center.  The University has committed to raise 25% of the cost of the center thru private dollars. 2) Support for the University Endowment to primarily support student scholarships.  Every academic unit in the University has the potential to leverage this to secure funds to support students in the unit.

 

Chair Lamb continued, “Dr. Susan Moncada states that she has been very pleased working with the folks from Principal Financial Group, who now administer our health insurance.  She has felt like she is dealing with an organization that truly cares

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about the health of their customers. Susan further states that personnel within Staff Benefits have been very helpful.

Also hearing from faculty concerned about the VEBA trust—money invested to give some sound financial backing to our retirement benefits program. It is gathering interest.  I am not quite sure if it comes out of individuals pay checks, or that it has been coming directly out of the University funds, before it ever gets to individuals pay checks.

A number of faculty are fearful that the VEBA funds are going to be used as a means to deal with the current budget shortfall.

 

            Provost Maynard said that accounting principles, regulated by law, would prohibit use of the VEBA funds for any purpose other than the originally designated one.

 

            Chair Lamb continued by distributing some data on freshmen enrollment.  The following information is taken from the website: http://irt2.indstate.edu/home/stats/stats.htm#roll 

(click on common data sets by year. However, year 2005 is informed guess work.)

 

Freshmen

                                                                  Full-Time

                                                                  Plus

                  Year                 Full-Time           Part-Time

                  2005                 2,916                3,078 (This line is guess work)

                  2004                 3,116                3,284

                  2003                 3,656                3,934

                  2002                 3,923                4,259

                  2001                 4,091                4,458

 

First, ignoring 2005 data, since 2001, the number of full time Freshmen have decreased by 975 or by 24%; and the number of total freshmen (full time and part time) have decreased by 1174 or by 26%.

 

Next, incorporating 2005 data, since 2001, the number of full time Freshmen has decreased by 1,175 students or by 29%; and the number of total freshmen (full time and part time) has decreased by 1,380 students or by 31%.

 

My 2005 data is not from an ISU website; it is from my understanding of newspaper accounts. I would appreciate corrections to that line of data.

 

One side-bar. It seems apparent that the marketing campaign has not yet yielded the success hoped for. And right now, chairs are being asked to report on those classes that have low enrollments, with some levels of criticism felt.  I understand that the purpose is to make sure that adjuncts are not being extensively used when regular faculty could be used. But, it does seem a little ironic.  It is similar (not identical) to not giving a tree sufficient water, and then criticizing the branches for not producing enough leaves. Something is amiss.

Regardless, the University as a whole needs to recognize that this is as close to an emergency as we have come.   I do believe that at the next Faculty Senate meeting, we need to have a general discussion about the enrollment/budget picture.  The institution is under tremendous strain.

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I intend to invite the Director of Admissions, Richard Toomey, to our next Executive Committee meeting in order to get his sense of the reasons given by students to choose other than ISU. He is on the front line. And he probably has a better sense of the obstacles than almost anyone else.

I intend to invite Vice President Gregg Floyd, to the Executive Committee meeting after that for him to translate the enrollment challenges into budget challenges.

Then, at our next Faculty Senate meeting, I would like both present to make a presentation and to field questions on the enrollment/budget picture.

At our last scheduled meeting with Provost Maynard, we discussed a number of personnel issues.  We discussed the Executive Committee officers’ compensation package, an issue first introduced for discussion by past Senate Chair, Harriet Hudson. No change in that package has occurred in 12 years. And we discussed the future role of the Compensation Committee.

 

III. Fifteen Minute Open Discussion

            1) Concern that the change in admission standards will not raise retention.

            2) Suggestion that program marketing might benefit enrollment.

            3) Observation that the academic calendar and administrative calendar are out of sync.

            4) An update on program prioritization is needed.

            5) Concern that the expenses for two campus initiatives will impact enrollment—Recreation Center and Notebook Initiative.

            6) Statement that the University has not finalized “what it wants to be”.

            7) Concern that the decision to eliminate the modem pool did not include faculty consultation—hope that instructional use could be subsidized.

            8) Structural remodeling in the Library—who approved, who is funding, is the academic mission suffering for facility comforts?

 

IV. Approval of the Minutes

            Minutes of the August 23, 2005 meeting were approved. (Evans, Hoffman 8-0-1)

 

V. Old Business

Faculty Dismissal Hearing Committee

            William Clyburn was approved by consensus for service.

 

FAC Replacements

            Approved, by consensus, Yasenka Peterson for service and Thomas Potter as alternate.

 

FAC Recommendation: Handbook Language Related to University Initiatives

            Guest was invited to the table.  (Hoffman, Evans 8-0-1)

            Further discussion ensued regarding the dimensions of scholarship.

 

            Approved as amended (A. Anderson, Shure 9-0-0):

Faculty appointments and annual reviews shall be founded on the disciplines and missions of the academic units and the University.  The assignment of academic rank and the award of tenure shall be based on faculty achievements in the interrelated activities of teaching or librarianship; research, scholarship, or creativity; and service. 

Faculty engaged in the challenging work involved in teaching and facilitating learning need to be active in the profession and provide instruction based on current scholarship as well as advising students where appropriate.

Faculty are expected to engage in research, scholarship or creativity that may  include   original  work  focused  on  discovery  and   integration;  

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and/or scholarship focused on teaching and learning; and/or scholarship that applies methods and theories of their disciplines to address substantial problems.  Each academic unit (normally the department) will be responsible for determining the relative importance of these research domains within the unit.

Service may consist of service to the University, to the discipline, or to the community. Community service, as defined here and elsewhere in these policies, refers to service in which the faculty member offers discipline-related expertise to an external agency, company, or non-profit organization.

 

FAC Recommendation: Handbook Language re: Faculty Enrollment in Courses at ISU

            Motion to send back to the FAC with comments (Sheets, Hoffman 8-0-1):

Enrollment by faculty members in courses should not conflict with assigned duties in the University.  A faculty member may not enroll in a

 course in his/her own department.  A faculty member who desires to take a graduate course at Indiana State University must first confer with the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.  Prior approval of the department chairperson, the appropriate academic dean, and the graduate professor scheduled to teach the course are required.                                                           

A member of the faculty above the rank of instructor may not work toward a degree at this University.  Exceptions to this policy may be granted through petition of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and the Provost.  If tenured, a faculty member must resign his/her position upon entering a program leading to an ISU graduate degree.

A faculty member may enroll for no more than twelve (12) semester hours of work during a regular academic year.  If a faculty member holds a teaching assignment during a summer term, he/she may enroll in courses but the total activity, teaching and personal course enrollment, may not exceed six (6) hours in any summer term.

Faculty members enrolling in courses at Indiana State University are expected to follow normal enrollment and registration procedures.

 

            V. Sheets summarized supportive comments for allowing faculty to take courses and C. Hoffman summarized objections to accompany the document upon its return to FAC.

 

Non-supportive comments:

“The Handbook prohibition on faculty enrollment in ISU degree programs should be retained

 (perhaps even strengthened).  The existing policy is desirable from a number of perspectives:

 

DEGREE-SEEKING FACULTY – One goal and hallmark of a true university is the availability and clash of a variety of backgrounds and perceptions.  If faculty earn in-house degrees/certificates, they do not gain the necessary outside exposure and expertise and cannot, therefore, make it available to their colleagues and students. Their preparation will be restricted to emulation and propagation of points of view already available which, in the long run, serves neither the faculty member nor the institution.

 

FACULTY TEACHING COURSES in which other faculty are enrolled for credit will always be aware that they are grading a colleague and are responsible in some respect for that colleague's professional future.  A personal relationship may already exist, especially within departments.  All will try, of course, to be objective, but is that possible under the circumstances?  No member of the faculty should be put in a position in which his/her judgment/objectivity/professionalism may reasonably be questioned. 

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ENROLLED STUDENTS --

How will other students enrolled in the course react?  All the explanation in the world will not remove the perception that the enrolled faculty member has an "edge."  Such perception will work to the detriment of all.  Even the perception of the possibility of favoritism harms all.

 

THE UNIVERSITY – An additional problem is one of perception outside ISU.  The reputation of the institution will be compromised by "inbreeding."  Even with safeguards and oversight to prevent abuse, the possibility and perception will remain.  At a time when ISU is trying to market itself as a "first-choice"  "research-intensive"  "cutting-edge" school, the "inbreeding" will be especially troublesome, both among scholars and the public. 

 

“Relaxing” the current prohibition will likely be tantamount to a blanket endorsement.  It would be very difficult to approve one case and deny the next.  All faculty members can reasonably claim career enhancement, financial hardship, access to courses, etc.  Vague

language in the Handbook that suggests case-by-case decisions will not be adequate for denying any request.

 

All of the above argue against relaxing the existing policy.  For the little to be gained, we cannot afford the risks.”

 

 Supportive comments:

“The Handbook prohibition on faculty enrollment in ISU degree programs should be relaxed.  Although it is important that our policies avoid the appearance of nepotism and cronyism, a blanket prohibition on faculty enrollment in ISU degree programs seems unduly restrictive.  Many of the concerns people hold about faculty taking courses at ISU are (or could be) dealt with in other ways, and there are instances in which both a faculty member and the institution may benefit from enabling faculty to enroll in ISU programs.

 

First, faculty members may find that their research goals are enhanced by a second degree.  For instance, faculty working in an interdisciplinary area of research may find that their ability to seek and sustain external funding to carry out specific projects may be improved by formalized training in a substantive area outside of their original degree area.

 

Second, faculty may find that their expanded credentials give them validity to teach new courses or supplement their current courses.  Someone in psychology, for instance, might like to complete an MBA program that would improve ability to teach about issues relating to running a professional practice, impacts of changes in insurance procedures on practice, or even marketing issues for professionals.

 

Third, faculty in many accredited programs need to engage in Continuing Education in order to retain licensure, and it is unfortunate that our faculty must go elsewhere (and pay) for these opportunities.

 

Fourth, the University may benefit from enabling faculty to get “cross-trained” in a second area, particularly if that is an area in which we’ve had difficulty recruiting or retaining good faculty; such cross-training of our own people would enable such faculty to step-in when another faculty member leaves the institution or goes on sabbatical.

 

 

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Finally, the university may also benefit by its ability to “cherry-pick” some of its most promising graduate students by hiring them before they’ve completed their doctoral work.

 

Rebuttal of Opposing-viewpoint:

 

  1. Although a research university in clearly distinguished by its orientation toward the generation of new knowledge, even ISU has some courses of study that are skill- rather than knowledge-based.  Such programs-of-study are less likely to suffer an accusation about the propagation and emulation of a single “departmental” view as is feared by a more open policy.  It also seems unlikely that this fear would be borne out if faculty use the policy primarily to take a second graduate degree (i.e., to supplement their current work rather than to change departments).

  2. Although faculty are expected to evaluate each other in many contexts, usually such evaluations are made as part of a larger group (e.g., as a member of a Personnel Committee) rather than individually.  However, this issue may be dealt with in ways other

than completely restricting faculty from taking each other’s classes (e.g., restricting faculty from courses in their own department; requiring external oversight, etc).  Similarly, the issue of “other students” perceiving things as unfair could be dealt with by honestly sharing information about mechanisms for oversight.

  1. The university currently has policy regarding the numbers of faculty that can come from its own ranks that should protect against the perception of “inbreeding.”  Perhaps policies at other institutions—those we are trying to emulate—should be examined.”

 

Executive Committee members were polled on their sentiments for the document.  L. Sperry was asked to convey these feelings back to this year’s FAC.

 

VI. Handbook Issues

Chair Lamb distributed an updated list of material/documents intended for the University Handbook.  Current status of all the material is still being explored.

 

VII. AAC Charge

Approved (Evans, A. Anderson 8-0-1).

“EMG has done a follow up on the ISU Branding Campaign.  Review that study, and comment on both the quality of the study, as well as provide comment on the effectiveness of the existing branding efforts.”

 

VIII. Executive Session

            Moved into executive session.  (Hoffman, Anderson 8-0-1)

            Moved out of executive session.  (Sheets, Hoffman 8-0-1)

                       

The meeting adjourned at 5:55p.m.