FACULTY SENATE MINUTES
FOR FEBRUARY 23, 1999
(Vol. xxviii, No. 20)

I. Call to order by James Tidwell at 2:06 p.m. (Conference Room, Booth Library)

Present: J. Allison, J. Best, J. Coons, C. Eberly, G. Foster, B. Irwin, G. Lockart, N. Marlow, J. Tidwell, L. Walker, A. Zahlan. Excused: N. Furumo. Guests: T. Abebe, M. McMahon, S. Skala, G. White.

II. Approval of the minutes of February 16, 1999.

Motion (Allison/Foster) to approve the minutes of February 16, 1999.

Corrections: B. Gruen's name was misspelled. Under IV. A. 1, the fourth bullet, it should be made clear that the increase is for all academic areas.

Yes: Allison, Best, Coons, Eberly, Foster, Irwin, Lockart, Marlow, Tidwell, Zahlan. Abstentions: Walker.

III. Communications

A. Minutes of Council on Academic Affairs-February 11, 1999

B. Minutes of Council on Teacher Education-February 9, 1999

C. Letter from Provost Abebe concerning proposed center for faculty development. This will be discussed under new business at the March 2, 1999 meeting.

 

IV. Old Business

A. Committee Reports

1. Elections. The petition deadline is Friday, February 26, 1999 at 2:00 p.m. Faculty are encouraged to turn petitions in for elections.

2. Student-Faculty Relations. The Student Senate Academic Affairs Committee has asked this committee to work with them to investigate a need for an honors code.

3. Faculty-Staff Relations. They are trying to schedule a meeting with this subcommittee, the group from Staff Senate, Provost Abebe, VPBA Olson, and Ted Weidner. This meeting will wait until after President Surles has arrived.

4. Screening Committee for Director of Financial Aid. They met last Thursday; at that time there were six files to review. They expect the bulk of the applications to arrive this week or the next. There are 11 such positions listed in the Midwest region; the market may be tight.

B. Spring Forum. Editorial changes for the forum announcement/invitation were discussed. Scheduling is also a problem. There is not a single auditorium available on April 6. Availability of the ballrooms will be determined; if neither is available the forum will be scheduled for April 13 in the Buzzard Auditorium. Arrangements will be finalized next week.

C. Distinguished Faculty Award. Last year the Senate expressed an interest in improving an amount of the award and getting a permanent plaque. The agreement between Faculty Senate and the Foundation can be changed by the Senate and then approved by the Foundation. The Foundation Board meets March 19. A change could be put into effect by the end of this semester. Senator Irwin spoke with Nancy Page of the Foundation, who had some suggestions on how to word this. The Senate agreed that we would like to increase the award to $1,000, to be given to one individual. The agreement also states the formulation of the selection committee: 4 faculty members (3 of whom must be Faculty Senators); 2 students, 1 undergraduate and 1 graduate (appointed by the Student Senate or its equivalent); 1 alumnus; and 1 presidential appointee. The selection committee has been ad hoc, although the agreement stipulates 3-year terms. Irwin will work with Page to develop the appropriate language for a motion. It was also suggested that there be some type of indication of the distinction in the catalog or a designation that could be used for the following year.

D. Consideration of motion tabled from October 27, 1998. The maker and seconder of the motion agreed to several friendly amendments. Motion (Allison/Zahlan) that Faculty Senate endorses the following two recommendations to address threats to quality in education: (1) increase the relative proportion of appropriated funds allocated to Academic Affairs; and (2) institute hiring practices that will lead to an increased proportion of Unit A faculty.

Discussion of the motion included the following:

For discussion purposes, the motion was separated into its two parts. Part 1 follows.

Where will the increase in Academic Affairs budget come from? Is this a zero sum game?

During the fall forum Dr. Abebe showed statistics that indicated that over a period of time the proportion going to Academic Affairs has gone down. This was occurring at the time when enrollments were increasing and the needs for Academic Affairs were increasing. Currently Academic Affairs has 62% of the budget. The tuition restructuring has helped.

This is a university. There is nothing more important than the academic enterprise.

Maybe the other areas are even more under funded than Academic Affairs. Then they should have had money flowing to them. All of Eastern is under funded.

The other areas get money from local funds and bond issues. Academic Affairs does not.

What benchmark do we use? In the golden age of higher education what proportion was the Academic Affairs budget?

In terms of overall allocation to Academic Affairs 65-68% is considered good. During 1992 it was 67% at Eastern. 66% to 72% is typical.

Streaming funds through Academic Affairs benefits everyone; it certainly benefits the students.

The overall student services ratio has the most to do with overall graduation rate at a university. We are in a consumer-oriented mode in higher education. The traditional vision of faculty and where the money should be budgeted is inconsistent with the expectations of the consumer.

We are not looking for an increase but a restoration of funding. This is why the benchmark is important. If we ask for restoration, that implies there has been erosion-and there has been.

Restoration appeals to the concept that there are good practices associated with running a university.

If the spirit is to increase, then the terms "increase" or "improve" have the appropriate meaning.

Discussion of part 2 of the motion follows:

How do we pay for this? This why Academic Affairs needs to have more money. Do new dollars really occur or do they just reallocate? We can endorse this only if the increase is new money.

A new president is arriving soon. This is a goal this Faculty Senate should communicate to here. We trust that the president and others will seek to meet this goal in a positive way.

When we look at the motion, we still talk about "threats" and continue on to increasing the proportion of Unit A faculty. I agree with that in spirit. However, aren't we still implicitly suggesting that annually contracted faculty constitute a threat? We do not mean that, but it may be implied. Annually contracted faculty are not a threat to quality; what is required (or not required-research and service) of them is. They are very competent and qualified people. Further, we are all Unit A faculty. We are talking about another group that has no representation on this body.

The initial language of the motion grew out of the forum. It is not essential to keep that in the motion now. This remove the implication that is not intended.

The threat is not Unit B faculty, but a disproportionate number of Unit B faculty.

We are not talking about people. We are talking proportion. A healthy university has a good proportion of people who are doing teaching, research, and service.

The AFT has adopted this in their quality agenda. We are not contradicting that body-which represents both Unit A and Unit B

Yes: Allison, Best, Coons, Eberly, Foster, Irwin, Lockart, Marlow, Walker, Zahlan. Abstentions: Tidwell.

E. Update on Administrator Performance Appraisal Process. Chair Tidwell researched this and distributed copies of EIU Internal Governing Policy Number 31-Performance Evaluation of Administrative Staff to the Senate. Administrators are to be evaluated annually; the 360 evaluation is to occur every three years. Deans Ivarie and Hitch used the Administrative Performance Appraisal Process for chairs who were up for three-year renewals. The employee and the supervisor determine who will be involved in the evaluation process. The President is the monitor of the process.

VI. Adjourn at 4:00 (Walker)

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy D. Marlow, Recorder

Future Agenda Items

A. Slate of candidates for elections

B. Spring Forum

C. Distinguished Faculty Award

D. Proposed Center for Faculty Development