June 27, 2001
Members present: Blanda, Blevens, Brennan, Hindson, McKinney, Peeler, Renick, Reese, Sawey, Stimmel
Chair Renick called the Senate to order at 3:05 p.m. He began by congratulating Senator Blevens for being named the Freedom Forum Teacher of the Year.
Carolyn McCall, Chair of the Committee on Committees was recognized to present the committee report. McCall distributed a grid subdivided by committee name, member name, member status, committee rank and expiration of term. Several corrections were made to the document and it was approved unanimously with commendations for the committee's work.
Senator Blanda presented the report of the Research Enhancement Grant Committee, which has been devising ways to streamline the REG application and approval processes. The report recommends that the process be limited to a single cycle, commencing in the fall and culminating with the awarding of grants to become effective Jan. 1 each year. The new process would ease the burden on the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and possibly increase the number and percentage of grants awarded each year. However, it would limit to 8 months the investigators time to spend the award.
The committee also recommended "greater delineation between the duties of the University Research Committee and the respective College Research Committees" by the use of college specific criteria and a standardized, quantitative rating sheet. Additional recommendations included a reduction to a maximum $16,000 for multiple party awards, regardless of the number of investigators submitting a single proposal and the evaluation of multi-PI proposals by each of the college committees with jurisdiction over the faculty named as investigators. The committee also is committed to electronic submission of proposals, progress reports, final reports and score sheets and more explicit guidelines for submission with a reduction in redundancy that exists in the current process.
After some discussion and a general spirit of consensus in support of the proposals, Senator Blanda urged the Senate to return the matter to the agenda for the July meeting so that senators and interested faculty can review the recommendations before a final vote.
Meg Grant, Bob Olney and Susan Day facilitated a 90 minute session to list possible Senate priorities for the coming year. Senators produced nearly 40 items for the list, which will be collapsed and placed in categories for further consideration during the July meeting.
Under Old Business, and in response to the receipt of numerous statements of concern, Chair Renick suggested the Senate consider action in the recent hearing of SWT v. Rudnicki.
Senators who attended the grievance hearing expressed concerns about the possible failure of the geography department chair to follow explicit guidelines set forth in the posture review policy and procedure statement. A few senators also voiced concern with a hearing and deliberation process that apparently required the grievance committee to ignore procedural errors by the geography chair and others in the administration. The Senate voted unanimously to forward the following statement, authored by Chair Renick to President Supple:
"Regarding post-tenure review as applied in SWT v. Rudnicki, the Faculty Senate requests consideration of the following concerns and issues:
1. administrative actions, particularly at the department level, may have been arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, and an abuse of discretion; and
2. administrative actions, particularly at the department level, may not have followed posture review policy and procedure and, thereby, raise due process, state action and constitutional questions.
This statement of concern was unanimously adopted by the Senate at its meeting of Wednesday, June 27, 2001.
"The Senate stands ready to meet with you regarding these concerns and issues. Already scheduled Senate meetings are a possibility (Wednesday, July 25, 3-5 p.m. or Wednesday, August 29, 4-6 p.m.) as well as a called meeting of the Senate. Please feel free to contact me directly or through your representative to arrange a meeting."
Minutes from May 9th meeting were approved with corrections.
The Senate adjourned at 5:45 p.m.
Please note the Senate's meeting schedule for the remainder of the summer:
* Wednesday, August 15, 2001, 3:00 pm, called meeting with President Supple to discuss post-tenure review.
* Wednesday, August 29, 2001, 4:00 pm, regular meeting