Present: Bible, Conroy, Irvin, Hays, Peeler, Renick, Skerpan-Wheeler,
Absent: Early, Gillis, Gordon, McKinney, McGee
Guests: Cecilia Temponi (Mgt/Mkt) and Mike Moore
The meeting began at 4:00 p.m.
FACULTY RESEARCH COMMITTEE
Prof. Temponi, chair of the Faculty Research Committee, presented the
committee's faculty research enhancement grant funding recommendations.
Forty five applications were submitted, of which the FRC recommended that
26 be funded. The Senate voted to approve the committee funding
recommendations. Conroy/ Bible -- 6/0/2.
Common problems noted in applications included the failure to follow
guidelines, methodological problems, requests to fund inappropriate items
(e.g. personal computers), insufficient justification of projects, and low
rankings by the applicants' own colleges. Dr. Temponi also indicated there had
been some problems associated with using the internet application form but
those faculty were all afforded an opportunity to correct their proposals. It
has been suggested that some of these problems might be alleviated by
college-level workshops conducted by college research advisory committee
members and by efforts to improve the internet application process.
The FRC also proposed minor changes to the application guidelines. After
discussion, the Senate first voted to suspend its rules, inasmuch as this
was the first instance in which this substantive issue has come to the
Senate (Stimmel/Stone -- 8/0/0), and then voted to approve the proposed
changes (Stone/Peeler -- 8/0/0).
Last week the Senate discussed the results of the recent faculty survey,
one item of which involved the question of whether the bonus system should
be retained. At that time it was noted that there was strong sentiment
among faculty for abandoning the system, although there was a split of
opinion as to what use should be made of the bonus money. The Senate
postponed consideration of the survey for a week to give Senators time to
digest the results.
In the interim Sen. Conroy offered the following resolution:
"Based on the results of the Senate's recently conducted faculty survey,
the Senate recommends that the bonus program be eliminated forthwith. The
Senate further recommends that the funds presently dedicated to the bonus
program, less the money that has been made available for college level
Presidential Awards for Excellence nominees, be added to the amount to be
awarded in the coming merit cycle. We endorse the continuation of funding
from this pool for the Presidential awards."
There ensued a discussion of whether bonus funds should be earmarked for
merit only or whether the resolution should instead read "merit/performance
cycle" to give the adminstration the option of adding the bonus money to
the performance pool. Some Senators opined that inherent in the concept of
a "bonus" is the notion that these funds should only be awarded for
exemplary work, and that to put them in the "performance" pot would be
inconsistent with their original intent; other Senators noted that a large
number of survey respondents said they wanted the bonus funds to be used to
increase the performance pool and that the Senate should respect the wishes
of this constituency. In the end the Senate voted unanimously to abandon
the current system and 4-3 (Bible/Conroy) to endorse the orignal
resolution. The Senate also agreed that given the close vote, a minority
report would be forwarded to the administration so that all views on the
subject would be presented.
It has been suggested that the development leave PPS be amended to deal
with situations that would arise if Senators resigned to apply for a leave.
Two versions of language changes were proposed. One reads:
"A Faculty Senate member may not apply for a developmental leave while
serving on the Senate or resign a Senate seat in order to apply."
The other reads:
"A Faculty Senate member may apply for a developmental leave during the
last year of tenure on the Senate if no part of the leave is to be taken
while serving out the Senate term."
During the discussion Senators noted, among other things, that it would be
difficult to determine whether someone resigned from the Senate to position
himself to apply for a development leave; that applications are for leaves
to be taken two semesters hence, meaning that the first proposed ban would
have a deleterious effect on Senators and, possibly, on the willingness of
people to serve on the Senate; that there are a variety of devious ways to
do an end-run around this ban if one is so inclined; and that there is no
legitimate reason to impose such a penalty on people who express, via their
willingness to serve as Senators, their dedication to the university.
Because this is a substantive item which was first proposed at this
meeting, the Senate voted to RTA it until the next meeting to afford
additional time for consideration and discussion.
Hays: The next Senate meeting will be on January 19.
Hays: The Physics Department is embarking on its program review and the
Dean of the College of Science has, pursuant to university policy, asked
the Senate to designate an external reviewer. Believing that this person
should be familiar with issues relevant to the School of Science and with
curriculum and program development issues, the Senate voted to ask Senator
Early if he would accept this position and, if he could not do so, whether
he would suggest a suitable alternative.
Conroy: Because the Faculty Research Committee operates on a
January-January cycle, it is necessary to appoint an FRC (Faculty Research
Com.) Chair and to begin the process of electing departmental representatives
to the RAC (Research Advisory Committee). The Senate agreed unanimously
(Conroy/ Renick) to reappoint Prof. Temponi as committee chair, and it will
also initiate the election process.
The minutes of 12/1 were approved.
Meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.