Time: 3:15 p.m.
Place: HMSU, Dede III
Officers: Chairperson J. Cerny, Vice Chair S. Lamb, Secretary C. Hoffman
Senators: John Allen, E. Bermudez, D. Burger, G. Christianson, B. Clouse, R. Clouse, N. Corey, P. Dutta,
B. Frank, V. French, D. Gilman, R. Goidel, M. Hamm, M. Harmon, P. Hightower, H. Hudson,
J. Jakaitis, R. Johnson, N. Lawrence, K. Liu, L. Maule, R. McGiverin, J. McNabb, D. Memory,
W. Moates F. Muyumba, T. Nicoletti, A. O'Bryan, N. Rogers, R. Schneirov, L. Sperry, J. Tenerelli,
E. Warner, C. Yoder
Absent: M. Brennan, V. Gregory, W. Warren
Ex-officio: President Benjamin, Provost Pontius
Deans: M. Bennett, T. Foster, B. Hine, D. Hopkins, C. Ingersoll, J. Maynard, B. Passmore, T. Sauer
Visitors: C. Amlaner, W. Balcavage, P. Carino, P. Engelbach, M. Johnson, S. Macke, M. Mertens, M. Miller, R. Ringlaben, J. Westgard, D. Williams
I. Memorials were read and accepted for Norman J. Brantley, Kathryn Owens, and Carlos M. Watson (M. Hamm, R. Clouse 36-0-1).
II. Administrative Report
President Benjamin thanked all who had attended the Holiday Open House and illumination of the Holiday Tree last week. The President commented on the University's commitment as a service education broker to communities in southeast and southwest Indiana and urged the necessity of fulfilling this commitment. He acknowledged recent awards received by the University: Power Plant, campus beautification, and the Statesman. He also congratulated Mary Ellen Adams as Indiana Business Educator of the Year and Mary Johnson as the 2001 Indiana Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, in collaboration with the Carnegie Foundation. The President noted state budget activities and encouraged faculty participation in the Fall 2001 Commencement.
He reported that the Trustees had charged him to compile a directing team inclusive of faculty representation to study issues of governance. He viewed this as an opportunity to examine appropriate roles, enhance and codify. This group should start working in January.
Provost Pontius gave the administrative response to actions taken by the Senate at the November 13 meeting:
Revision to the University's health benefits.
Proposed stipend for non-tenure-track faculty service on the President's Institutional Effectiveness Steering Committee, $100/4 hour meeting or part thereof.
Revision to the Constitution of the School of Business.
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Administrative fellow definition.
Administrative fellow Senate eligibility.
Administrative fellow Senate ineligibility.
Nominees for the President's Effectiveness Steering Committee, non-tenure-track faculty.
Faculty nominations to the Enrollment Management Subcommittees.
Sent to committee
FEBC recommendation to support the Childcare Initiative Report.
Reaffirmation of November 16, 2000 Senate Action, Accommodations for Emeriti Faculty.
Survey of Retired and Retiring Faculty.
Recommendation that an investigation be conducted to determine the feasibility of shifting the Undergraduate
Catalog from a two-year to a one-year publication schedule.
Provost Pontius reported that several requests for institutional data had been satisfied. He encouraged faculty attendance at commencement on December 15 stating that his goal is to have half of the faculty at each commencement. He noted that additional discussion concerning Student Credit Hour (SCH) targets will take place after the holidays; the PAR deadline was December 3 and many deans have expressed appreciation and pleasure at the results. The Provost updated the Committee on two searches: 1) Dean of the School of Graduate Studies--an advertisement will appear soon in the Chronicle for Higher Education, airport interviews will occur December 7-8, and the accrediting agency review committee has stressed the desirability of filling the position promptly; 2) Dean of Arts and Sciences--interviews will take place after the holidays.
Provost Pontius updated the Senate on the below items:
1) Dean Searches: Business: five finalists identified--Airport interviews completed December 7-8, on-campus interview in January.
Arts and Sciences: field reduced to eight, telephone interviews upcoming.
Graduate School: review of candidates January 14.
2) Information Technology Consultant report should be posted on Web before Christmas.
3) Program Array Review (PAR) responses are being processed.
4) Student Learning Outcomes Process: information being forward to deans.
5) Student Credit Hour (SCH) criteria are being developed; discussion will follow.
6) Committee reports have been received from committees considering summer school issues and the status of chairs.
7) Enrollment Management Report expected March 29.
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8) University Wide Testing will be handled in a consolidated fashion--report from committee expected first of next semester. Test processing (exam scanning) will be moved to Academic Affairs.
9) CAPS Manual revision.
10) Final Grades will be mailed for the last time this semester; subsequent terms grade will be available online or telephone access only.
The provost responded to earlier concern regarding the Bookstore providing materials in timely fashion. He noted that as of December 6, seventy percent of book orders for next semester had been received and the need for submission of all order before winter break. He expressed hope that half of the faculty would participate in Commencement this Saturday. He reported that the University will move to a one-year catalog, evaluation of faculty will be completed this year with full documentation, part-time faculty are eligible for payroll deduction in the purchase of parking decals, and the University will have a new Web Page on April 15, 2002.
III. Chair Report
Chair Cerny noted the Senate Report for the December 6 Trustees meeting placed at tables. Senators were encouraged to read the report carefully. Graduation participation was encouraged. He report that training of the grievance pool had occurred, seating of the FEBC alternate, C. Olsen, and next alternate for Arts and Sciences, C. Nicol. The Campus Campaign will include the Faculty Scholarship. The Executive Committee continues to work on the Faculty Workload Report and budget priorities.
IV. SGA Report
V. Special Recognitions
E. Warner read a recognition statement for B. Clouse who is ending thirteen plus years of service on the Faculty Senate, two years on the Senate Executive Committee, one year as Senate Secretary and many terms of service on various Senate Standing Committees. Chair Cerny presented her with a certificate and members applauded her.
W. Balcavage read a recognition statement for Mary Johnson, the 2001 Indiana Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, in collaboration with the Carnegie Foundation. Those in attendance responded with applause.
VI. Fifteen Minute Open Discussion
M. Mertens comments to the Senate:
This letter serves as a request that the Study Week policy be re-evaluated and revised. In a nutshell, the current policy is not working.
I understand that the policy was instituted sometime in the last six to eight years to rectify the violations which were occurring during Final Exam Week. According to previous policy, final exams were to be given during Exam Week. A "final" exam could be given during the
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last week of classes; however, class also must be held at the time specified by the Registrar's Office for the final. This time was published each semester in the Schedule of Classes.
Because some faculty abused this policy (again and again), "Dead Week" was proposed--a time during which no exams might be given, papers required, and so forth. Unfortunately, the word "dead" was adopted immediately by many students and interpreted to mean that there were to be no assignments during that week--but even more importantly, no expectations. Urban legend even has it that no new material might be taught during this time period.
Because of the ensuing lack of attendance and preparation on the part of the students, the name was changed to "Study" Week, and somewhat different criteria outlined. Still no exams were to be administered; papers could be required during that time period but only if so stipulated in the course syllabus (which, it was assumed, would be handed out at the beginning of the semester); a quiz could be given if it constituted no more than four percent of the total grade. Unfortunately, many students have continued with the original meaning and tradition of "Dead" Week, to the point where it has become a "right" of passage, similar to Spring Break, seemingly guaranteed as part of the "fine print" on their birth certificate.
For anyone on campus last week, it is obvious the current policy is not working. First, some faculty again are violating it. My understanding is that the Faculty Senate President is aware of a number of faculty infractions--complaints brought by students to the Student Government Association and passed along to him. Major exams continue to be administered during this last week (one student told a professor that he had four finals last week). Papers are required which were assigned only a week or two before. I heard of one such instance wherein a lengthy paper constituting forty percent of the course grade was assigned just a couple of weeks previous; when students protested, the percentage was lowered to three-and-one-half percent. I personally think that type of behavior is unconscionable! The catalog of violations could continue, time permitting.
Many--probably most--students do not use this week to study for final exams. The comment that I heard most often is that it is too early to study for exams that may be seven to twelve days away. They also seem to feel that the grade they receive on their final exam will not affect their final grade, positively or negatively. So, what do they do with that time? Many simply disappear. In the approximately twelve years that I have taught at ISU, this is by far the worst semester ever--and I am not alone in this observation. I have talked to faculty from Teaching Assistants to Non-Tenure Faculty to full Professors who have taught from twenty-three to thirty-five years. They are in accord. Plus, those students who are in attendance are not in "attendance." (Again, I am speaking of many, not all).
In my classes of forty-plus students, absenteeism last week ranged from one-third to one-half on any given day. This in spite of the fact that SGA ran large announcements in the Indiana Statesman during Study Week, outlining the policy and pointing out to students that it does not mean no assignments, no preparation, no attendance, no responsibility.
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Other factors put additional pressure on students, without a doubt: there have been a number of respiratory infections plaguing students and faculty alike, and the beautiful, unusual-for-December weather probably caused "Spring Fever" to run rampant. Those students who did attend classes, for the most part, were unprepared.
This past week in my Latin 215 Greek and Roman Mythology classes we were to study the play Trojan Women. The assignment was listed in the syllabus, plus I told the students for two previous class periods that they should come prepared to discuss it on Wednesday. The day arrived, the discussion began--at least on my part--and I asked them a specific question from the text. No one answered, just blank looks and staring into space, at their shoes, and so forth. I am sure you have all been there. I asked them to look at their books and read the answer to me from the text. No one moved. When I asked how many brought the text, not one. When I asked how many had read the material, only three. Thursday's section was a repeat of Wednesday's experience.
Many faculty seem to have succumbed to the inevitable. They have capitulated and have canceled classes. A number of faculty told me that prior to Thanksgiving it was difficult, almost impossible, to find a parking space in the faculty lot near the School of Business if they arrived a few minutes before eight o'clock. From Thanksgiving on, parking spots have been plentiful. Students have told me and other faculty to whom I spoke that many, sometimes all, their classes were canceled during this past week.
What to do? In the corporate world subordinates are told not to come to their supervisors with problems, but with solutions. I wish I had one. Some faculty have instituted very strict attendance policies, particularly during Study Week--an absence counts double, or more. That is a possibility.
Another suggestion that I heard several times was to continue with Study Week but cancel all classes--again, succumb to the inevitable. This is the practice at Louisiana State University, I believe. To me this seems to be the least palatable of solutions. We already have--for all intents and purposes--a week off at Thanksgiving. Again, Monday and Tuesday classes often are poorly attended, even when exams are given and papers are due. Students want to get a head start on Thanksgiving Break, and worse, so do some of the faculty. We then come back from Thanksgiving for a week of classes--already anticlimactic--and dismiss for Study Week? I think we might as well cancel all classes from Thanksgiving on.
From my own perspective, I cannot advocate shortening the semester. I barely can accomplish all that I want in the fifteen weeks we now have--shortening it would be disastrous!
Another possible solution is to end the semester on Thursday and change Study Week to Study Day.
Whatever is done, I think that as faculty we have a responsibility to honor the policy whether or not we agree with it. If we have no expectations of our students, they will have none of themselves. But more than that, I think we have to review the current
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policy and try to formulate a more positive educational experience--both from our students' and our faculty's perspective.
If this past week is an example, we are far from being the "best comprehensive university in the Midwest."
J. Westgard comments to the Senate:
Recent actions imposed on the Department of Physics by the administration violated the principle of due process guaranteed by the University Handbook. The grievance document gives the violations in detail, but the main points are:
1. The Department of Physics was put into a status called "receivership." This status and its term of application were undefined by the Handbook.
2. The office of Chair of the Department was replaced by an "Interim Departmental Administrator (IDA)." This invented office, its powers, and term of application were undefined by the Handbook.
3. These actions usurped authority belonging to the Faculty Senate. The Handbook gives faculty (through the Senate) primary authority over academic affairs, including "the structure of the University with reference to academic matters" (SECTION II, Article II, Section 2.). Thus, the Faculty Senate has primary authority over the creation, modification, and termination of departments and their academic programs. Before "receivership" and the "IDA" with their undefined academic consequences were imposed, the Faculty Senate should have been informed and allowed to act.
4. Because these actions violate the Handbook, they contradict the settlement of litigation in 1992 (Declaratory Judgment, April 10, 1992, Vigo Superior Court, Cause Number 84D01-9203-CP-445) in which the Board of Trustees affirmed that provisions of the University Handbook are "in effect."
5. The department asked for redress from the Provost, who declined to intervene.
The consequences and implications of these actions were serious and, if unchallenged, would have eroded fundamental faculty rights and the authority of the Handbook. I considered it necessary, therefore, to file a grievance to have these inappropriate actions nullified. The grievance asked that "receivership" and "IDA" be rescinded and that the Handbook procedures be followed to choose a chair for the department.
After the grievance was filed, the Dean sent a letter to the Department rescinding the "receivership" and the "IDA," and the physics faculty participated in selecting an acting chair. The Provost sent a letter to the Department affirming that "the current University Handbook is in effect and is the document that will be followed on all issues that are addressed in the document."
Since these letters essentially satisfy the redress asked for in the grievance, I withdraw the grievance.
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However, because of the serious nature of these issues, ISU faculty should be aware of what transpired. I therefore ask the Faculty Senate to distribute this letter to the faculty. Placing it in the minutes might be appropriate.
R. Schneirov noted a recent article in the Tribune-Star that indicated a meeting had occurred in Indianapolis of four Trustees and two ISU staff. He asked the president, "who called the meeting and how will the hired consultant be paid?"
President Benjamin said that Board President, B. House, had called the meeting and the consultant would be paid from the General Operating budget.
C. Hoffman asked when the consultant's report would be made available so that we might see what concerns were identified and what solutions suggested.
President Benjamin said there is no written report and none had been requested.
G. Christianson agreed with M. Martens' comments and suggested that departments discuss the concern.
F. Muyumba said that books should remain available at the Bookstore until the end of the requested semester since some students have difficulty purchasing their books until later in the semester.
G. Christianson asked if "bridge" loans were still available from the Financial Aid Office for this purpose.
Provost will report back on inquiry.
S. Lamb asked that any CAPS Manual revisions be approved by the CAAC.
CAAC Chair, P. Engelbach, indicated that the CAAC has been included in current review of the CAPS Manual.
F. Muyumba comments: I would like to recognize the efforts made at different levels of the University and the conclusion we have all made concerning the new curricular programs for Language, Linguistics and Literature. I would like to encourage the Faculty Senate to convey our hope to the Department that we would like to see other languages being developed and included in the program. We should not close the door to the development and offering of non-western languages in addition to French, Spanish, and German. There should be room for other languages.
VII. Minutes for the November 15 meeting were approved. (Hudson, Gilman 35-0-1).
VIII. CAAC recommendation:Special Education Major revision
Guests were invited to the table by acclamation.
M. Miller gave an overview of the revision. The question was called.
IX. AAC Recommendation, faculty representation on search committees:
Approved, VP for Business and Finance and University Treasurer (R. Clouse, K. Liu 33-0-1);
Approved, VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students (Warner, Hightower 33-0-1).
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X. FAC Recommendations:
Approved by voice vote, Select Committee Nominations (R. Clouse, McGiverin 33-0-1);
Approved by ballot, Senate Eligibility of General Education Coordinator (22-9-2):
Whereas the individual serving in the General Education Coordinator╣s position may serve
a three-year term with the possibility of one reappointment to another three-year term.
Whereas it is the determination of the Faculty Affairs Committee that the General Education
Coordinator's position does not have administrative status equal or superior to that of an Assistant Dean, therefore the Faculty Affairs Committee recommends the individual occupying the General
Education Coordinator's position shall be eligible for election to the University Faculty Senate.
XI. FEBC Recommendation: Salary Adjustment System assessment/revision
Approved (Hightower, Burger 28-2-1):
1. The Faculty Senate and the University administration agree, by Dec 15, 2001, to undertake a complete, systematic assessment and revision of ISU's salary adjustment system, including pay for performance, as soon as possible to investigate at least the following continuing outcomes:
Salary Targets. (Established, with a time frame, as goals in the context of geographic region and peer institutions, and continually monitored.)
Salary Fairness. (Including, but not be limited to, factors such as internal compression, gender, race, workload, market competitiveness, and parity across categories of employment, e.g. faculty or administration.)
Linking of Improved Productivity to Pay. (Assessment based on agreed-upon, measurable performance standards for individuals and/or units.)
Improved Organizational Cohesion and Morale.
Approved (Gilman, Lawrence 22-5-2):
2. The University postpone the current salary adjustment system, including pay for performance, unless monies greater than cost of living adjustment monies are available. Annual assessment based upon the faculty activity reports shall continue.
Approved (Hightower, Tenerelli 18-6-4):
3. That until a revised salary adjustment system is in place, the University use at least half of all annual monies available for salary adjustments, including all monies recouped from retirements and terminations after faculty replacement costs, to immediately improve
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salary compression and market competitiveness. The remaining funds are to be reserved for salary adjustments when a revised salary adjustment system is implemented.
XII. New Business
The AAC slate of faculty representatives for the Graduate Dean Search Committee was approved (Warner, Gilman 27-0-1).
XIII. Standing Committee Reports of activities since the last Senate meeting:
Administrative Affairs Committee, K. Liu --The AAC met November 16. Subcommittees made progress reports. The University calendar subcommittee met with a Vigo County School Corporation representative and explored the possibility for coordination of dates for fall and spring breaks. The slate of faculty representatives to serve on the search committee for the Dean of Graduate Studies' position was approved.
Arts Endowment Committee, --The AEC had met and considered requests for summer stipends and regular grants.
Curriculum and Academic Affairs Committee, B. Frank--The CAAC had met four times. Action items have included: PAR proposed action, School of Technology: B.S. in Biomedical Electronics and B.S. in Instrumentation and Control; fast-track approval of an English teaching Major revision; policy statement on the administration of undergraduate certificate programs; PAR procedures; and CAPS Manual revision.
Faculty Affairs Committee, R. Schneirov--The FAC has met, forwarded the recommendation on today's agenda; and worked on charges.
Faculty Economic Benefits Committee, R. Clouse--The FEBC had met, forwarded the recommendation on today's agenda; and discussed health benefits expansion.
Graduate Council, D. Memory--The Council had met twice. Graduate course proposals were considered, subcommittee membership decided, and reviewed charges.
Student Affairs Committee, M. Harmon--The SAC had met twice. At the November 28 meeting the Committee was addressed by representatives from the Office of Student Financial Aid. Proposed recommendations were discussed.
University Research Committee, --The URC met on November 29. The Policies and Procedures for selection of the Faculty Fellow to serve in the Office of Sponsored Programs was approved. Nine research proposal for the fall semester were evaluated. Five of them were funded.
The meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.