FACULTY SENATE MINUTES
October 27, 1998
(Vol. xxviii, No. 8)
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, G. Foster, N. Furumo, R. Gholson, B. Irwin, G. Lockart, N. Marlow, J. Tidwell, M. Toosi, L. Walker, A. Zahlan. Excused: P. Fewell. Guests: T. Abebe, H. Black, K. Franken, T. Sloup.
II. Approval of the minutes of October 20, 1998.
Motion (Walker/Irwin) to approve the minutes of October 20, 1998.
Corrections: In list of visitors, D. Ochmann should be D. Ochwat. In IV.A. fourth bullet first sentence should read: EIU's UPI chapter presented a resolution this weekend to UPI that there be appropriate ratios for tenure/track faculty to nontenured faculty at each campus.
Yes: Allison, Best, Coons, Eberly, Foster, Furumo, Irwin, Lockart, Marlow, Tidwell, Walker, Zahlan. Abstentions: Gholson, Toosi.
A. Minutes of the Council on Teacher Education-October 13, 1998
B. Minutes of the College of Education and Professional Studies Curriculum Committee-October 12, 1998
C. Minutes of the Council on Academic Affairs-October 15, 1998.
D. Minutes of Executive Session of Board of Trustees-January 1998 and April 27, 1998
E. Memo from James Tidwell to Provost Abebe concerning Employment and Recruitment Procedures for Administrative Positions
F. Concern from Senator Gholson about the lack of lighting in the parking area on Ninth Street, east of Buzzard and Tarble. It appears that they are in the process of installing lights.
IV. Old Business
A. Fall Forum Evaluation. The discussion of the fall forum included the following points:
Since one major topic was the lack of participation, would it be worthwhile to survey faculty to determine reasons? All faculty have received a survey instrument from UPI, and some of those questions dealt with these issues. Would they share that data with Faculty Senate?
UPI will do another survey in the spring. Could Faculty Senate include service-related questions?
A lot of people apply to serve on committees.
It tends to be the same people who participate in campus-wide things.
Would it be worthwhile to talk with the Council of Chairs. Perhaps Faculty Senate could be allotted time at departmental meetings to survey faculty. Whether departments will meet again this semester will vary across campus. This should yield the maximum return and there is a precedent for doing this. CAA asked all departments to talk about grade inflation.
A questionnaire could be attached to the minutes.
This should be approached positively.
This past fall there were 3 or 4 applications for most of the committee positions. They were quite varied in terms of rank, term, and department. There was only one committee for which there was only one applicant.
The real problem in recent years has been for the elected positions. There are some committees for which there appears to be less participation than usual-UPC and Faculty Senate during the most recent past. We need to get an idea of what the problem is and where it is coming from.
To be elected requires more work-statement, petition, etc. Maybe it is just some of the elected committees that we need to work on. Election Subcommittee could look at this; perhaps the process could be simplified.
Perhaps we could benchmark ourselves to other universities. How many committees do we have and what is the level of participation.
For the search committees, we need to take Senator Irwin's suggestion and develop a database of interested individuals.
If we have a spring forum we can discuss other threats to quality. One of the things we were going to consider was a short list of priorities developed from the quality issues. Such a list should be positive recommendations.
Motion (Allison/Zahlan) that Faculty Senate endorses the following three recommendations to address threats to quality in education: (1) increase the percentage of the budget for Academic Affairs, (2) increase the proportion of Unit A faculty, and (3) more direction and guidance of Academic Affairs in the formulation of enrollment management policies.
Discussion included the following:
Could the percentage of Academic Affairs budget be worse if we look at what really is taking place in the allocation of these funds?
Is there already sufficient representation by Academic Affairs on the Enrollment Management Committee? Is this a perception or a fact? There is a slot for each College on this committee. The committee's discussions are focussed on initiatives from the faculty.
The Council of Chairs may be coming forward with a recommendation for a greater academic role in enrollment management.
Are we talking about Academic Affairs in a broad way or about the office? Departments in Education have been extremely active in maintaining enrollments in those areas.
How do these recommendations come from the forum?
Who establishes the goals for the number of students we admit? Too many students are enrolled without considering how Academic Affairs will pay for them. Student Affairs decides when to cut off enrollment.
The Student Affairs office is the expert. Do they need guidance and direction from Academic Affairs?
The real threat to quality education is a lack of effective teaching.
Walker called the question. Toosi objected; thus, a vote was held on the call.
Yes: Allison, Walker. No: Best, Coons, Eberly, Foster, Furumo, Gholson, Irwin, Lockart, Marlow, Toosi, Zahlan. Abstain: Tidwell.
Motion (Lockart/Gholson) to table this item.
Yes: Allison, Coons, Eberly, Foster, Furumo, Gholson, Irwin, Lockart, Marlow, Toosi, Walker, Zahlan. Abstain: Tidwell.
Senator Lockart will bring information on her departmental enrollment management planning. Provost Abebe explained that Academic Affairs would like to have meaningful input in the form of setting targets and the kinds of students we get on campus. Right now, this is not happening. Currently, Academic Affairs gets weekly reports of the number of students who have applied and the number admitted.
B. Report on Campus Master Plan Visual Planning Exercise. Senators Allison, Eberly, Furumo, and Irwin attended this.
It was informative. One of the intended projects that concerned Senator Allison was the plan to increase the number of intermediate size classrooms (44-50 students). Although there may be a shortage of these, to increase the class size could affect how a course is taught. This could also be a future threat to quality. How many such classrooms are anticipated and why. This could create a significant change in our relationships to students.
An hour was insufficient for this exercise.
There was a discussion of the shortage of public spaces on campus. Eastern has a shortage of places for faculty and student interactions outside the classroom.
They gave every indication that they were listening to our suggestions.
C. Policy Submitted to CUPB on Maintenance and Renovations and Alterations Projects. Chair Tidwell reported that the President said that this policy was in effect. CUPB has no jurisdiction in this area. The whole issue came up with CUPB last year. A subcommittee of CUPB was established to deal with it. The report was presented, but its approval was tabled. The departments can supervise level 1 and 2 projects themselves. They can have physical plant prepare a bid or they can go to an approved outside contractor. After one year the physical plant will do repairs on these projects. The complaint has been that the charge backs cause physical plant's bids to be way out of line. All of the money allocated to Physical Plant goes for routine repairs and maintenance. There is no money in Academic Affairs for these improvements; therefore, the departments have to pay for them. The new tuition plan is expected to generate $1 million. This will go to Academic Affairs for repairs and maintenance. Then these level 1 and 2 projects can be done through Academic Affairs rather than through the departments. Discussion included the following points:
Coming on the heels of the forum where one of the topics was shared governance, this is an appalling-yet not surprising-development.
It is clear that this was a CUPB subcommittee, and the impression was that it would come back for CUPB approval.
It would be prudent to wait for CUPB's response.
The Faculty-Staff Relations Subcommittee should discuss this as well.
Was this a creation of policy or a replacement to an existing policy.
The subcommittee had CUPB members and people from the physical plant, but there were no physical plant workers on it.
There are two issues here. One is the policy by itself. It may not be a bad policy. The problem is what is not said or even referred to. The outside bid versus an inside bid is not on a level playing field
The third issue is the procedure.
This document looks like a rewrite of something that had come out of physical plant earlier.
Exactly what is the status of CUPB now?
With Jorns leaving could this document be a moot point? The approval of this policy should also be postponed until the new president is on campus.
Any committee on campus simply makes recommendations to the president.
We are concerned about the ramifications for staff because of this policy as well as the procedures of shared governance not being followed. Is there something formally that we could do?
If certain things happen, we should have a vote of confidence in the president.
We need to take a positive approach. A vote of confidence could have serious consequences for the presidential search.
Chair Tidwell is our representative on CUPB. Any concerns we have he can raise there. Then we can wait to see what CUPB will do. This item can be kept on our agenda.
D. Committee Reports
1. Executive Committee. Most of the above discussion came out of the executive committee. In addition, IBHE may be seeking funds for deferred maintenance on all campuses. Eastern would receive a share in this if it happens.
2. Nominations. The miscommunication with Apportionment Board has been corrected.
3. Elections. This committee will look into suggestions for changing the bylaws to accommodate interim appointments.
4. Student-Faculty Relations, Faculty-Staff Relations, and Presidential Search Committee had no reports.
5. Search Committee for Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving. Committee members are going over files tomorrow afternoon. There were twelve completed applications. They will then break into subcommittees to call the references and will compile a list the following weeks. The applicants look good.
E. Senator Eberly reported on answers to questions senators had about textbook rental. Textbook rental is funded at a viable level. There seems to be a long-standing policy that any increases in rental costs will be kept at a minimum. The fees are raised on a regular basis at the lowest possible level. There are considerable hidden costs to textbook rental-computer system, textbook storage, etc. They do not have the facilities for students to buy their textbooks at the beginning of the semester. Both undergraduate and graduate students can purchase textbooks at a designated time later in the semester. Graduate students who purchase their textbooks get a refund of their rental fee. Students pay the original cost of the textbooks when they purchase them. The different editions have come about because different faculty prefer different editions. They can end up in the same class because the titles are the same.
V. New Business-Future Agenda Items
A. User Services Update-Bill Witsman and John Henderson
B. Pemberton Hall as Honors Dorm-Herbert Lasky will visit the Senate on November 10. It was suggest that he focus on the Honors Program rather than just the Pemberton Hall issue.
C. It was suggested that Faculty Senate invite the VP of Student Affairs to discuss enrollment management.
D. It was suggested that Faculty Senate look at the letter to the editor in today's DEN in regard to the syllabus/course guide sold in the Union.
VI. Adjourn at 3:55 p.m. (Walker)
Nancy D. Marlow, Recorder