FACULTY SENATE MINUTES
FOR DECEMBER 7, 1999
(Vol. xxix, No. 14)

The Faculty Senate agenda is posted weekly on the Web, at 2504 Buzzard, and at 315K Coleman.

  1. Call to order by Bonnie Irwin at 2:00 p.m. (2504 Buzzard Building)
  2. Present: J. Allison, R. Benedict, J. Best, G. Canivez, J. Coons, C. Eberly, P. Fewell, G. Foster, B. Irwin, G. Lockart, N. Marlow, J. Tidwell, M. Toosi, B. Young. Excused: B. Fischer. Guests: T. Abebe, B. Augustine, A. Baharlou, K. Barua, M. Butt, R. Godfrey, M. Loudon, J. Maholy, D. Suksang.

  3. Approval of the minutes of November 30, 1999
  4. Motion (Allison/Lockart) to approve the minutes of November 30, 1999.

    Corrections: In Section IV.C. first bullet, "Friday" should be "Saturday." Throughout the minutes "Wittsman" should be "Witsman."

    Yes: Allison, Benedict, Best, Canivez, Coons, Fewell, Foster, Irwin, Lockart, Marlow, Tidwell, Toosi, Young.

  5. Communications
    1. President’s Council minutes, 13 October 1999.
    2. Council on Teacher Education minutes, 9 November 1999.
    3. Student Senate minutes, 10 November 1999.
    4. Council on Graduate Studies minutes, 16 November 1999.
    5. Student Senate minutes 17 November 1999.
    6. Council on Academic Affairs minutes, 18 November 1999.
    7. Student Senate minutes, 1 December 1999.
    8. E-mail from Judy Gorrell concerning December CUPB meeting, 2 December 1999. The December meeting has been cancelled; the next meeting is 21 January 2000.
    9. Memo from VPAA Abebe with a copy of the Review of Grants Policies and Procedures, 2 December 1999.
    10. Memo from Senator concerning his appointment as chair of Sociology/Anthropology, 3 December 1999.
    11. E-mail from Senator Allison concerning planning, 3 December 1999.
    12. E-mail from Charles Delman, Mathematics, concerning Sanctions & Terminations Committee, 6 December 1999.
    13. E-mail from Jon Laible concerning Foundation visit to Faculty Senate, 6 December 1999
    14. Copies of Senator Marlow’s thank-you letters Michael Watts, Terry Barnhart, Gary Kelly, and Katie Bielenberg for their help with the reception for International Students, 6 December 1999.
    15. Letter from Michael Loudon, English, concerning the International Student Fees, 7 December 1999.
  1. New Business
    1. International Student Fees. Because of correspondence from faculty and students, the Senate agreed to discuss this issue. The concerns were forwarded to Dr. Augustine. Dr. Augustine’s opening comments follow:
    2. Drs. Butt and Baharlou were asked to attend this meeting because of the involvement of the International Programs Advisory Council with the original proposal. The fee proposal was developed and presented by former director Brian Boulter. Dr. Augustine addressed each of the issues presented to him. (1) Instituting a student fee without student consultation. The fee proposal came before the international students, but it was done quickly. It was acted on in the January 1999 meeting of IPAC. There is a student representative on that council as well as the international student advisor; however the student representative was not present at that meeting. The proposal was sent to the President’s Council and approved. All of the various processes were followed. (2) International students already pay fees; why all the extras? The International Office wanted to increase the number of international students on campus but needed to increase its resources to do this. The fee provided a source of continuing revenue for the program. The services provided by the fee are specific and different from those covered by the regular fees. The campus legal counsel also reviewed the proposal. (3) Potential of fee to harm recruiting efforts. A fee increase will not adversely affect the ability to recruit. One of the largest groups arrived this fall–after the fee was instituted. They were notified of the fee. The fee provides funds to adequately support the international student population. Even with the fee, Eastern would continue to have the lowest tuition, fees, and housing in the state. It was noted that 37 international students have tuition waiver scholarships, and 24 have assistantships. There are other forms of financial aid for international students. Fifty percent of the total tuition for all international students is being waived; this totals to $465,000. Before international students can attend Eastern, they must provide evidence of their ability to pay. The fee was included in those guidelines. (4) The students felt insulted when it was suggested that "if they don’t like it, they can leave." Those who work in the international office have a great commitment to international students. They have opened their homes and provided rides for the students. Augustine felt confident that no one in the office would make such a statement. The idea of the fee was to give the office significant opportunity to have the resources to build the type of program that would make Eastern proud. They sought student input for the fee. A task force examined how the fees were used. They suggested changes in how the fees were to be used. They have moved forward to implement those suggestions. During the question/discussion following Augustine’s remarks, the following points were made:

      • Many had trouble with using the fees for recruiting. That seems to have been taken care of. The story is just another story of what goes on at Eastern. We do not have enough money to do what we want to do. It is a trickle-down effect of under funding. The Provost talked about core competencies. It was assumed that we were going to identify what we do well and not do those things we cannot do well.
      • Are international student fees routinely charged elsewhere? When this first came up, they examined how other universities handle this. As a result of that study, they learned that some other institutions charge special fees for special services. That included attracting students and special orientation. Given the number of our international students, what can we do to improve our programs? The number of students is growing. All new students are provided with information about the fee. Those who were here were also provided with that information. This year we are recommending to the Provost that the Associate Dean’s position be replaced with support services. That recommendation has been approved. Both the fee and existing resources are used in creative ways to provide services for our students.
      • What are the multi-cultural and student affairs training for those people who have been hired? In response to this question came another question. Is this type of training a criterion that is applied all across campus? The recommendation will be passed on.
      • A few international students have raised the issue that the tuition waivers exist because of the exchange program with Europe where tuition is not charged. Those not in the exchange program pay full fees and tuition. They feel they are paying expenses for those on exchange programs. They are exempt from that specific fee. This issue will be examined. Each exchange agreement is usually written in a unique way. Each is a unique and separate contract. There are 15 students on exchange waivers this year.
      • Kendra Barua, of the Association of International Students, spoke about the fee. He specifically addressed a report that examined how the fees were used during the first year and asked whether it was the university’s responsibility to pay for those things–rather than using the international student fee. When international students have questions, they have been encouraged to talk to administrators. The majority cannot do this because of their schedules. The last time they met with the advisor, they were told the fee issue had been settled and there would be no more talk. Those with additional questions can find another university. They want the fee revisited; perhaps there could be a one-time fee rather than one paid each semester.
      • The handout listed how the fee resources were spent during the first year the fee was put into place. The task force, with student input, examined this and other ways the fee could be used.
      • The list [indicating how the fees were used] provides evidence of a lack of multi-cultural training and professionalism.
      • About three years ago, until IPAC was created, there was no structure for international students on campus. One of the first tasks was to recruit an international student advisor. An excellent one was hired and subsequently left. An effort has been made to build a program from zero. Faculty Senate’s role might be to encourage strengthening of the infrastructure of the international student program. We should recognize all that has been done over the past few years by Augustine and Ford to build this program. What exactly is it we as a Senate are supposed to be doing?
      • Much of this probably has to do with the fact that beginnings are rough–but also laudable. It is a matter of keeping up the effort to get where we want to go. The fee generates about $16,000 per year. Universities should be international intellectual zones. The way this fee is crafted, it is a fee for services. For the most part our other fees are socialized. To the extent that we as a campus benefit from the presence of international students and to the extent that a dynamic program could assist all of us, has any thought been given to socializing the cost? That would generate more funds and eliminate the wall between international and domestic students.
      • Something that is missing here is that Augustine did not initiate this fee. A discussion of this fee occurred in 1997. In terms of the design and philosophy of this fee , that was the choice of those who ran that division then. We have no authority to roll back those fees. We cannot allow any forum to make comments disparaging to the staff. They may not have Ph.D.s or masters degrees but they are well qualified to do what they are doing. You want to bring a sense of professionalism to the office, and that is what they are trying to do.
      • The comments were not meant to be in criticism of what is happening here. There are some deficiencies that we have an opportunity to change in the future which will make a difference in what we can offer in the future.
      • It is a good beginning for the administration and students to try to talk through this. Some of what we are facing here are problems of a beginning program. I do not see how one administrator can handle both graduate school and international programs. International programs benefit all of us. That is a very positive thing for Eastern. We need to work as a community and decide if it is important. If it is important, Eastern should support it. We need to look at what we are charging domestic students for and charge international students for the same things. The issue is not individual fees, but if the program is important to Eastern, how will we go about supporting it.
      • If socializing the fee cannot be done, perhaps it would be just to consider eliminating this fee and finding other means to meet these expenses. The University should be willing to support these programs if we have them. The good from the fee could be overturned by the bad feelings it generates.
      • We are struggling. Give us a chance to represent you. We have looked at the fee very closely. We are very sensitive to the issue. Trust us as representing you. If we fail we will be back here, we promise, to ask for help.
      • I have heard from many students about the fee. Iowa does not have a fee for foreign students. A few colleges do. This is a discriminatory fee. The community could provide many of these programs for free. This requires a good relationship with the community. I had a good experience at Iowa because the community members participated and the students were not charged. Provide international students with telephone numbers and services that are available. If you want international students, do not treat them as a burden. Things can be changed.
      • Through student government there is a student tuition fees review committee. That would be the place to start.
      • The basic issue is that we are trying to do with very little. IPAC was an attempt to improve. We know there is an economy of scale. We need additional revenue to provide additional things. For example, we had no one on campus that can provide INS information. A fee is always a painful thing. This was a compromise so we could provide the kinds of things we were not providing. International students bring a lot to this community. We wanted this fee so we could have more international students come in. This money should be spent on providing the kinds of services students asked for. It is not convenient to have an informal system. We cannot always depend on an informal system. The present structure has gone through all the formal steps. To be rescinded, it must go through all the same steps. Doing away with the fee will mean less services.
      • International students do pay out of state tuition. To add an international feel seems discriminatory. We are not providing services for them. They are providing services for us. International students are an asset for both students and faculty. We do not ask the disabled to pay for ramps or the blind to pay for special services. No other special population has to pay a special fee. Very few schools do charge an international fee. What other schools charge is not a rationale for us. If we take cultural diversity seriously, then we should eliminate this fee.
      • Obviously, there is no way we can resolve this today. The Senate was asked to consider what is within its purview. If necessary we can make recommendations to the appropriate bodies. Senate can take this information under consideration and decide what type of action to take early next semester. Faculty Senate has a role in this. It is part of honoring the teacher-student relationship. We are on a fact-finding mission. We will try to reflect the wishes of our constituency. It is not within our purview to roll back the fee, but we are the ombudsman for faculty and others on campus.
    1. Old Business
    2. A. Committee Reports

          1. Executive Committee.
            1. Event for International Students. This is an example of something that can be done to bring campus community together. Chair Irwin thanked the senators for their participation. It had the highest attendance of any other international tea.
            2. Report on conversation with Acting VPER Nilsen.
            3. Report on executive committee meeting of 2 December 1999.

    Planning was the major topic of both items b and c. Both external and internal pressures drive planning. Many of the changes in the planning document resulted from the ongoing discussions of planning on campus. The demand for consultation was fulfilled because the document was presented at an open meeting of CUPB. Both Nilsen and Surles were adamant that faculty are involved in the process throughout–both formally and informally. This is not a document carved in stone. It is a revision of what we used to have and will be revised as needed. This is a short outline. The faculty are consulted and should be throughout the process. It is, to a certain extent, top-down, partly because the top is off this campus–the legislature and the IBHE. It was suggested that there needs to be better communication after the planning process is over, communication back down to the original units so we can know the results of planning. The President reiterated the need for flexibility at here level so she can take advantage of opportunities when the present themselves. She asked us to give administrators the latitude to administer as we are given the latitude in academic matters. There was very much in the President’s comments that this is an organic outgrowth of what we have done. The first time around we had to specify everything. Now we can presuppose these things are there. We will have opportunities along the line to use our voices. "Recommitment" is ongoing in national discussions in the field. We are committing again, but that does not mean that we have not been committed. The input was gathered long before President Surles got here, and some of the changes came from the focus groups from two years ago. During the discussion, the following points and questions were made:

            1. Elections. Gary Foster will be leaving the Senate March 1. His alternate, Norman Greer, will join Senate then.
            2. Search Committees. Faculty were encouraged to attend the interviews.

    B. Fall Forum. The subcommittees distributed their reports.

    C. Textbook Rental Service. Additional materials were distributed the Senate. We will take this issue up next semester also.

    1. Adjourn at 4:10 (Benedict)


    Respectfully submitted,

    Nancy D. Marlow, Recorder