University Faculty Senate

Executive Committee (EC) November 18, 2008 Minutes
2008- 200
9


INDIANA STATE UNIVERSITY
Faculty Senate Executive Committee
2008-2009
November 18, 2008

EC#11
Approved December 2, 2008
November 18, 2008 Minutes

Indiana State University
Faculty Senate 2008-09


Present:   V. Sheets, S.A. Anderson,  J. Fine, A. Halpern, C. Hoffman, S. Lamb, S. Pontius, T. Sawyer, D. Worley

 Ex-officio:  Provost J. Maynard

 Guests:    R. Guell and D. McKee

 I.   Approval of the Minutes of November 4, 2008.   Approved as amended.   TS/SP 9-0-0.

 II.  Chair Report:   No report.

 III. New Business

      a. Proposed increase in health insurance premiums (D. McKee)

              1)  A 10% increase in employee health insurance is expected in December.  The increase is due to a 22% increase in the amount of claims as well as higher costs due to inflation.   D. McKee also mentioned that at one time during a period of one week, ISU’s claims total $450,000.  

              2)  A question was brought up about ISU doing preventative medical treatments to keep costs down.    D. McKee stated that wellness treatments and screenings are still included in the plan and will help keep future costs down.

              3) Discussion pursued over the fairness of the increases in health insurance among the different pay scales (tiers).    McKee stated that she doesn’t feel comfortable making any new changes to the proposal at this point, but the proposal (tiers) can be reviewed in spring 2009 or early summer when post retirement issues will also be examined.

             4) A question was also brought up in reference to treatments and whether treatments meant surgeries (i.e. gastric surgery, etc.)    McKee said it didn’t and that the proposal to add to gastric surgeries was never sent to the BOT.     

            5) S. Lamb mentioned that some standing committees apparently are not aware that issues and proposals need to be voted on.  Sheets stated that he would send an email to the chairs of the standing committees re voting issues so their advice to EC and Senate is clear.  

A motion was made to accept the proposed increase to health insurance. (SP/SL) 8-1-0     D. McKee stated that she will be at the Faculty Senate meeting this Thursday, November 20 to discuss this issue with the full Senate.    

 IVIV.   Administrative Report (J. Maynard)

The Provost thanked everyone for their part in the President’s installation.  He had no other report at this time.

 V.V.  15 Minute Open Discussion

a.  Discussion related to admission standards.

                   1)  GPA admission levels affect dynamics in the classroom.  Concern about whether we are returning to an access mission.   Noted that average GPA of admitted students dropped over the last few years. 

                  2) The President should discuss this issue as it relates to the Strategic Plan and also report to the Senate about this. 

                  3) J. Fine asked about two-year programs and whether we are still getting rid of them.   If mission changes, do we look at them again?   J. Maynard said that the Commission is questioning all of these programs.  He stated that programs like liberal studies taught in the correctional program may have a short life, in spite of the fact that students starting a two year program at a 4 year institution are more likely to complete a 4 year degree. 

                 4)  A. Halpern stated that he would like to emphasize his hope for the new President.   He further stated that we need to determine what our mission should be; we can’t be both an access institution and a comprehensive institution of choice.  S. Lamb indicated that he didn’t know if the choice was up to us.   A. Halpern reminded the EC that the President stated that his goals were to find out what our goals are and help us move toward them.   T. Sawyer stated that since the state holds the “purse strings” many determinations will be made for us.  S. Lamb questioned whether philosophy of ICHE appeared stable.   J. Maynard stated that he feels that they are a very stable group. 

                5) S. Pontius mentioned that he got the impression from the Foundation Board that ISU should be an access institution for all.   Some members of the Foundation Board appreciate the “chance” that ISU gave them to succeed. 

                7)Sheets announced that the retention task force report will be on the next EC agenda.

  b. Proposed Academic Dismissal policy - Clarification (Handouts  rerelated to discussion - Proposal to Suspend Academic Dismissal Policy for Freshman Effective December 2008; Original Proposal Approved by Faculty Senate– Fall 2006; Original Data Set Supporting Proposal to Modify Policy.

              1) J. Maynard stated that he was withdrawing the proposal to modify the Dismissal policy previously sent to the EC.  He felt that the current policy was well thought out by faculty.  In addition, he noted that it did give deans discretion, but as currently applied students with low GPA’s generally had to initiate all action related to coming back.  He is proposing that the deans be more aggressive in identifying students who show possibility for success, using a set of objective criteria (including HS GPA, attendance patterns, etc.)   S. Lamb stated that he believed this was a very healthy compromise.  

               2) R. Guell was invited to the table to discuss results of his analyses.  He reported that only 27% students with good HS GPA who were permitted to continue following a first semester with 1.0 GPA would succeed (i.e., get an acceptable GPA next semester).   This is not much better than randomly picking students (as the overall rate when these students were retained was 20%).   He found no reason to believe that inviting all these students back would impact more than one or two of them.   He reminded the EC that the underlying premise for the Provost’s proposed change is to improve retention.

                3)Sheets asked if the question is, assuming something is to be tried with these students, whom should we focus on? 

                4) Guell stated that when looking at groups of students with GPA’s of 2.7, 2.8 and 2.9, we cannot simply ask these students to fend for themselves.  These students need support and are probably a better direction for our resources than students with less than 1 .0. 

               5)The Provost stated that he is not looking for a policy change as deans already have discretion on this.  He also noted that we have an obligation to try to help these students so selecting a group that has shown prior success would be a place to start.   There would need to be additional requirements and resources in place to help these students succeed. 

             6) D. Worley asked if we might look at students with HS GPA 2.5 (rather than restricting this option of returning to students with 3.0). 

               7) What is EC’s role?  Maynard stated that he was not asking for a vote but only consulting EC on this.   Sheets wanted to know how it might be presented to the Senate.  Since no policy change is involved, consensus was to let Maynard handle it, noting consultation.  

 c.Motion to accept proposed change to 4-day Academic Calendar in summer.    

              1) A. Halpern was not present during this discussion but the EC recognized that he would like to see changes to this proposal to permit Chemistry to be taught on a 5-day schedule.

               2)Sheets stated that the calendar needs to be acted upon because planning for summer schedules begins soon (schedules come out next week).     

               3)It was suggested that much of the concern about this issue may be tradition.  No data has been presented that it wouldn’t work here as it does elsewhere.  

               4)Pontius stated that flexibility is already built into the summer schedule; if a department were concerned that the class periods required by a 4-day, 5-week schedule were too long, one could continue to use same class periods, but run 4-days over 6 weeks instead of over 5 weeks.  

 The proposed change was approved by the EC.   (TS/DW)  8-0-0.   It was also noted that A. Halpern could raise his concerns at the Faculty Senate meeting on Thursday, November 20, 2008.

 VI.          Committee Reports:

                a.            SGA – none

                b.            AAC – none

                c.             AEC – met on Nov. 12 to consider 4 proposals for funding.  Funded 3 of 4.

d. CAAC – met Nov. 11 – discussion re definition of schools; discussion with GC

e.            FAC – none

f.             FEBC – none

g.            GC – none

h.            SAC – none

i.              URC – none

Meeting adjourned.  5:10.

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