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Sept 18, 2002 Minutes




Approved Senate Minutes

September 18, 2002
Senators Present:  Bell-Metereau, Blanda, Brennan, Carns, Conroy, Frost, James, Hindson, Peeler, Renick, Sawey, Stone, Stutzman,

Senators Absent:  Gillis

Guests: Dr. Pat Cassidy

I.  Call to Order & Review of Agenda

     A.  The meeting was called to order at 4:00 P.M

     B.  Chair Renick proceeded with a review of the agenda:

1. Senate Priorities/Objectives and next step in developing Action Plan
2. Updating of Academic Program Review Faculty Resource List
3. Faculty Workload Reporting & Senate Guest: Dr. Pat Cassidy
4. CAD Report
5. Questions regarding Faculty Senate Rules: REP Guidelines; Senate Elections
6. Actions on the IDEA survey data; Academic Honesty; Linkages with Committees
7. Status of the minutes from September 4, 2002
8. Status of the minutes from September 11, 2002

II.  Following the review Chair Renick opened a discussion on acceptance of the Prioritized Objectives of the senate for 2002-2003.  Upon discussion of the language in the Draft dated 9-10-2002, two suggestions were made:  (1) that the word “workload” be added to the end of Objective 3;  and (2) that the word “options” be substituted for “alternatives” at the end of Objective 1.

A. Senator Conroy made the motion to approve the revised Prioritized Objectives, and Senator Stone seconded.  There was no discussion, and the motion carried by acclamation.
B. The approved Prioritized Objectives document is attached to these minutes and incorporated by reference herein.
C. Discussions then ensued regarding the next step to take in pursuit of these objectives.  Following discussion, a consensus was reached:  Specific Senators would take the lead with a particular objective, beginning with defining specific action items related to an objective.  In numerical order, Senators who volunteered (or were drafted) for each of the objectives are as follows (the sub-committee’s Liaison indicated by an *):
1. Senators Stone*, Blanda, and Sawey
2. Senators Blanda*, Hindson, and Sawey
3. Senators James*, Stutzman, Bell-Metereau, Hindson, Stone, and Conroy
4. Senators Stutzman*, James, Conroy, Sawey, and Stone
5. Senators Hindson*, Peeler, Stutzman, and Blanda
6. Senators Bell-Metereau*, Brennan, and Blanda
7. Senators Peeler*, Bell-Metereau, and Hindson
8. Senator Hindson*
9. Senators Sawey* and Stone
10. Senators Brennan*, Frost, and James

A. Senator Frost agreed to work with each of the sub-committee Liaisons in developing action items for each objective and then integrating those items into an integrated document.
B. Discussion of action items for objectives prompted discussion of Objective 10 and its illustration, academic honesty.  Chair Renick disseminated copies of President Trauth’s letter dated September 12, 2002, and addressed to Dr. Stanley Wayment.  Questions were raised concerning the current status of the initiative for a modified Honor Code.  It appears that the next step is to hold a Referendum, one in which both student response and faculty response to the modified code will be solicited.  Additional issues/concerns pertaining to the modified Honor Code include the question of consequences (are there any incorporated in the document?) and the pragmatic question of cost (how many dollars would implementation of a new code require?).  The question of student receptiveness was also raised: What would be the advantages of such a modified code to the student?  Suggested answers included “enlightened self-interest” (not having to compete for grades with students who were cheating) and “enhanced self-image” (a sense of academic dignity).

BREAK (5:10-­ 5:20)

III.  Following the break, the Senate was joined by Dr. Pat Cassidy, who agreed to discuss the Faculty Workload Reporting document.  In opening remarks, Dr. Cassidy referred to the document in terms of a “heads up” to Deans and Chairs regarding workload issues likely to impact them in the 2002-2003 academic year.  He also addressed the broader context of the document, namely,  the need to meet the state-mandated minimum workload profile (9 hours) and the SWT-mandated minimum workload profile (12 hours).

A. An initial query concerned the concept of “Assigned Time” and the extent to which the workload report accounted for the same.  Dr. Cassidy indicated that the raw data of the report is not fully analyzed and does not adjust for release time.  He indicated that one of the purposes of the report is to function as a “management tool,” and that increased documentation of and accountability for “Assigned Time”is one change sought in conjunction with the report.   A  follow-up query questioned the logistics implicit in this new direction: Who will be monitoring workload issues, including “Assigned Time”?  Dr. Cassidy responded that the question is a good one, because the task of doing so is a formidable one.
B. Discussion then ensued regarding the rationale of this new attention to faculty workload, especially its seeming implication that “people are slacking off.”  Dr. Cassidy responds by reading off some workload numbers from the raw data, suggesting a number of persons (if not “most” persons) failing to meet the minimum.  Discussion then ensues regarding the reliability of those numbers:  Do they refer to 100% FTE faculty members? Account for justified release time?
     Adjust for graduate teaching?  And so on.  Additionally, the question is raised:  What is the logic in implementing yet another “new policy” aimed at all faculty members if, in fact, the real issue is one of misuse by certain Deans or Chairs?
C. Another query suggested that the administrative stance on workload might also be missing the other side of the coin: What about faculty members who never receive release time that they are due, for such activities as leading independent studies, directing and serving as readers on theses, teaching graduate level courses (which according to state mandate count as 4.5 hours), and/or teaching large Teaching Theater sections?

1. In considering this side of the coin, as well as the many faculty members who annually carry a load beyond that of the state-mandated level (9 hours), the new workload policy appears to be yet another instance of faculty members being “hammered,” that yet another “punitive measure” has been added to the mix.  From a faculty perspective, it is as if the message being sent is:  “The beatings shall continue until morale improves.”
2. For example, argues another faculty senator, SWT gladly accepts graduate level funding for each and every graduate course offered, but then turns around and refuses to award graduate level credit (4.5 hours) to all faculty member teaching graduate courses.  Where is the logic, or the equity, in this approach?
A. Another query asked:  Will the renewed attention to workload policy impact the current “re-allocation initiatives” underway?  “Yes,” responds Dr. Cassidy.
B. Finally, discussion on workload policy turned to the inconsistency (and ensuing inquity?) in the policy and thus in its implementation.  For example, the SWT policy states that graduate teaching “may” accrue 4.5 credits for the faculty member.  Thus, many faculty members routinely accrue the same, while many other faculty member routinely do not.  How is it that administrators are unable to perceive the impact that such inconsistency has on faculty morale:  “I am engaged in the same activity as my colleague, but receiving 1/3 less workload credits.”

In closing this discussion, questions were raised regarding access to the workload policy data.  The policy itself is available online at PPS 7.05, and the data will be made available by Dr. Cassidy to Faculty Senate unless he determines that the information is privileged.

IV.  The 6:00pm hour having been reached, Chair Renick moved us through remaining business as follows.

A. Several items of today’s agenda were returned to next week’s agenda:  CAD report; the issued of Senate Rules (REP and Faculty Elections); and the Commencement issue.
B. The “Old Business” item, IDEA survey results, was briefly discussed.  Senator Stone moved that the Faculty Senate forward a request to the VPAA for IDEA survey data ensuing from its use in 2001-2002.  Senator Sawey seconded the motion, and no discussion ensured.  The motion passed by acclamation.
C. The minutes for September 4, 2002, were approved subject to a one-word correction, and the minutes for September 11, 2002, were approved subjected to adding the word “not” at a point of unintentional deletion.

At  6:05pm, Chair Renick formally adjourned the meeting.