FACULTY SENATE MINUTES
FOR DECEMBER 8, 1998
(Vol. xxviii, No.)
I. Call to order by James Tidwell at 2:00 p.m. (Conference Room, Booth Library)
Present: J. Allison, J. Best, J. Coons, C. Eberly, P. Fewell, G. Foster, N. Furumo, R. Gholson, B. Irwin, G. Lockart, N. Marlow, J. Tidwell, M. Toosi, L. Walker, A. Zahlan. Guests: T. Abebe, J. Daugherty, K. Franken, L. Hencken, F. Hohengarten, M. McMahon, D. Wolf.
II. Approval of the minutes of December 1, 1998.
Motion (Lockart/Fewell) to approve the minutes of December 1, 1998.
Yes: Allison, Best, Coons, Fewell, Foster, Furumo, Lockart, Marlow, Tidwell, Toosi, Zahlan. Abstentions: Walker.
A. Minutes of Council on Graduate Studies-November 19, 1998
B. Minutes of Council on Teacher Education-November 10, 1998
C. Agenda for Board of Trustees Meeting-December 10, 1998
D. Minutes of Board of Trustees-October 19, 1998
E. Minutes of Board of Trustees Executive Committee-November 17, 1998
F. Minutes of Presidential Search Committee-October 19, November 11-12, November 16, 1998
G. Report to the Board of Trustees-December 10, 1998
H. Account Statement for Faculty Senate-November 30, 1998
I. Prepared Remarks by Faculty Senate Chair James Tidwell for December 12, 1998, Commencement
J. Memo from Lankford Walker to James Tidwell, Faculty Senate Chair, regarding VPAA Abebe's confidential letter of November 10, 1998
A. Discussion of Enrollment Management-VPSA Lou Hencken, Frank Hohengarten (Dean of Enrollment Management, and Dale Wolf (Director of Admissions). A report from the Division of Enrollment Management showing undergraduate enrollment data from 1992-93 until the present academic year was distributed to the Senate. This stable enrollment is a goal and important to note. During this same time period there have been real enrollment swings at other universities. Eastern's goal has been consistency. Another goal of enrollment management was to increase freshman enrollment and decrease transfer enrollment. The trend had been in the other direction-rising transfer enrollment and declining freshman enrollment. The nature of Eastern's campus (residence halls, greek life, etc.) requires a higher freshman enrollment. A goal of 1700 freshmen and 1000 transfer students was set; the actual was 1708 freshmen and 973 transfers for 1998-99-very close to the goal. Even a small swing of one percent in the number of students who show results in 50 students. Other important information on this report includes the ACT scores, which have gone from an average of 21.4 in 1992-93 to 22.4 in 1998-99. These figures reflect the ACT scores for all freshmen. The scores over 25 have increased from 18 percent to 24 percent and the scores of 18 or less have decreased from 19 percent to 6 percent over the same time period. Only one public university in Illinois has a higher ACT average than Eastern. Determining the goal number of entering students is a judgment based on the number of students who graduated and who have applied for graduation and the retention figures. Last year the goal was to cut enrollment by 200 students, but not as many students graduated as had been expected. The total new students in the last seven years has actually decreased. The numbers of continuing students and readmitted students have increased. Also since 1989 the number of graduate students has increased by 18 percent. VPSA Hencken commended Dale Wolf and his staff for the great job they do of recruiting students. Further, much of the reason for the increase in ACT needs to go to Herb Lasky. Many admissions counselors are in entry-level positions. It is to Eastern's advantage-especially among parents-to have a professor on these recruiting trips. Admissions Director Wolf added that it has always been a standing invitation to faculty to go on recruiting trips with Admissions. The ability of admissions to recruit students is a testimonial to the University and the faculty. One of the best recruiting tools is a satisfied student. A caring faculty makes this easier. Eastern recruits more efficiently than any other public university in the state. One of the goals of the recruiting trips is to convince people to come look at the campus. They talk about class size, the caring faculty, safety, the residential program, the textbook rental system, and the fact that they will be taught by faculty. Concern was expressed that the library renovation could deter students from Eastern. During the question/answer period, the following points were made:
There has been considerable discussion about a pool method for admissions rather than a first-come, first-served approach. However, enrollment management does not set the policy for admissions. This is CAA's responsibility. A few years ago a new admissions standard was set and it just went into effect this year. There needs to be time to study the effects of this standard before changes are made. There has been some discussion of transfer standards as a mechanism for phasing in a pool concept.
Every two weeks Academic Affairs receives a printout of all applications and the potential majors of those applicants. If the VPAA feels that this is not enough information to meet the needs of Academic Affairs, enrollment management will do whatever they can in that regard.
The small class size is used as a recruitment tool, but class sizes have been increasing. What effect will this have on enrollment? Many universities have classes much larger than what Eastern has-especially the University of Illinois and Illinois State University, two of our major competitors. Further Eastern can assure parents that English and speech classes are limited to about 25 students. If increasing class size gets out of hand, it could become a problem. Another problem at Eastern is that people cannot get into classes.
It could be that the school is too big-and has been too big for five years. This is just a hypothesis, but it could explain some of the pressures on Eastern.
Whether Eastern continues to try to reduce the number of students is essentially a money issue-one that must be answered by the legislature and IBHE.
The total number of students was set in the strategic plan, which indicates FTE between 10,000 and 10,200. Whether that is the right range is not known. This is up to the President.
Community colleges do not like Eastern's general education core with 8 hours of upper division courses.
Enrollment management cannot regulate how many students go into particular majors. Some departments do this with their own admission policies. Many students come into the university with undecided majors. Admissions can be closed in specific majors if necessary.
The figures presented could factor out the effect of the growth in the Honors Program on the average ACT, but it would also be necessary to take out other programs, too.
Many transfer students have high ACT scores and high class standings; the choice to go to a junior college is often a financial one.
In a year the Admissions staff visits 700-800 high schools, attends 150 college nights, visits 125 junior colleges, and contacts 26,000 to 29,000 students. As of December 1 there have been 500 high school visits this year. The experience is very different from school to school. They may be in an auditorium with half of the senior class or on the gym steps with three students. Eastern has students from all counties in Illinois except two. Although some recruiting takes place in St. Louis and Indiana, they concentrate on Illinois.
They do as much as possible with the available money, staff, and time to recruit minority and under-represented students. They work very closely with Johnetta Jones's office. The ACE awards have helped as have the graduation and retention rates for minority students. The most important tool for attracting minority, under-represented, and high ACT/GPA students is scholarship money. This is an area in which Eastern has been under-funded compared to other schools.
Motion (Eberly/Toosi) to commend VPSA Hencken and staff as well as Dr. Lasky and the Honors Program staff for their success in the quality of students recruited to attend EIU.
Yes: Allison, Best, Coons, Eberly, Fewell, Foster, Furumo, Gholson, Lockart, Marlow, Tidwell, Toosi, Walker, Zahlan.
V. Old Business
A. Committee Reports.
1. Executive Committee. There has been no meeting, but Chair Tidwell responded to Senator Walker's memo (Communication J), saying his comments were nonsense. The situation was handled correctly; if he receives a confidential letter, all he can do is make sure it is confidential. The letter was distributed to the Senate and Senators were asked to relay comments to the Chair. There was no attempt to restrain anyone from talking. At this point the senators have had a week to study the situation. If the Senate should elect to go into executive session, they will be prepared to do so. A few senators expressed concerns with the way in which the situation was handled.
Motion (Eberly) that the Faculty Senate approve the personnel action proposed in Dr. Abebe's letter to the Faculty Senate. The motion died for lack of a second.
Senator Fewell requested that the Senate go into executive session at this time. Chair Tidwell asked that we finish the rest of the Old Business first.
2. Faculty-Staff Relations. At some point this committee will ask the Senate to discuss a position of chargebacks
3. Presidential Search Committee. The committee will meet Wednesday, December 9 at 6:30 p.m. The announcement of the new president should come on Thursday morning during the Board of Trustees meeting. The Senate thanked Bonnie Irwin for the many hours she committed to the search. The candidates were a good set. The faculty attendance was good as well. All three candidates expressed positive comments about the interview process.
B. Other Old Business. It was suggested that the Senate consider taking the Allison/Zahlan motion (Minutes for October 27, 1998, Item IV. A) off the table for discussion at a future date. Today's enrollment management discussion should have provided information so Senate can discuss this issue intelligently.
Motion (Fewell/Walker) that the Senate go into executive session with Provost Abebe as allowed by 5 Illinois Compiled Statutes 120/2(c)(1) to discuss "the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees."
Yes: Allison, Best, Coons, Eberly, Fewell, Foster, Furumo, Gholson, Irwin, Lockart, Marlow, Toosi, Walker, Zahlan. Abstentions: Tidwell.
The Senate went into executive session at 3:25 p.m. and came out at 4:15 p.m.
VI. Adjourn at 4:15 p.m. (Walker)
Future Agenda Items
Discussion on Senator Toosi's letter about the direction of the Senate
Possibility of a future forum on departmental mergers
Nancy D. Marlow, Recorder