A Faculty Governance Unit
Minutes for Faculty Senate, October 26, 2008
In attendance: James Badger, Brad Bailey, Stuart Batchelder, Carole Brown, Michelle Byrne, Troy Catterson, Myra Clark, Elizabeth Combier, Nancy Dalman, Kathleen Dolan, Teresa Fletcher, Sarah Formica, Barry Friedman, T.J. Gabriel, Ed Green, Dawn Hayes, Nancy Henderson, Kristi Hislope, John Holliday, Kristen Jagger, Wendy Kurant, Brian Mann, Gordon McNeer, David Potter, Linda Roberts-Betsch, Pam Sachant, Jennifer Smith, Tamara Spike, Pam Sachant, Derek Suranie, Shane Webb, and Kellie Whelan-Kim.
Parliamentarian: Barry Friedman
Visitors: Bruce Howerton, Bryson Payne, Stephen Smith
Absent: Amy Childers, Julie Housknecht, George Izzo, Joe Jarrard, Brooks Lansing, Leo Mundy, Gary Preston, Michael Pyott,
I. Approval of the minutes
a. Motion to approve last meeting’s minutes was moved and seconded.
II. President's Report
a. No further news on budgets. He has asked the departments to do an exercise in case of more cuts, but he hopes that further cuts will not be necessary.
b. The President urged everyone to tour the Library Technology Center and the Recreation Center and to attend the upcoming ribbon-cutting events. Policies for faculty use are still being worked on.
III. VPAA's Report.
a. Linda Roberts-Betsch has been appointed to the BOR calendar committee. They will plan the next ten years starting with 2014. The committee also establishes start and end dates, rules about minutes spent in class, etc. The next meeting will be next week. She encouraged faculty to contact her with any questions or suggestions they want passed along to the committee.
b. She also congratulated the Political Science and Criminal Justice program for their successful International Affairs masters’ program. The program will start next fall. This program will be funded by franchise funding, in which the BOR loans money for the start up and the program pays it back over time.
c. She has also been talking to department chairs about potentially going to a four day summer schedule. She asked that anyone with input on the subject pass it along to their department chairs.
IV. CEO's Report.
A. Retreat follow-up - call for action
1. Theme of defining students’ responsibilities from the faculty perspective
a. Elizabeth Combier suggested that a committee be formed.
b. Michelle Byrne noted that in the graduate program for Nursing, they came up with rules that she can share with senate to build on.
c. Dawn Hayes added that Physical Therapy also developed a discipline-specific mission and expectations for professionalism which might also be useful as a start. She suggested that expectations could be department-specific.
d. Brian Mann commented that he has added syllabi statements on his expectations and has noticed a difference in classroom conduct. He said that they were available on the web.
e. Elizabeth Combier will collect the examples and send them out so the senate can think further on whether to form a committee or take other actions.
2. Theme of Sustainability
a. Teresa Fletcher noted that action on sustainability needs to be an on-going committee representing multiple perspectives. She also noted that we need to make sure that rehabs are sustainable and that initiatives are built in over time.
b. Nancy Dalman reminded the senate that Jeff Davis and some others went to a campus sustainability conference. The problem is money. Those that have been involved in our campus sustainability efforts could be recruited for a more formal committee.
c. David Potter suggested bringing Jeff Davis in to speak to the senate. He also noted that one of the biggest barriers for a public institution is being governed by centralized staff at system level, which may not incorporate sustainability efforts. Nonetheless, we can still do some things at the university level.
d. Elizabeth Combier brought up carpooling and recycling as areas with which faculty could help. As an example, faculty could help connect people who are carpooling from same area.
e. Nancy Dalman mentioned the student Environmental Awareness Club and its president Tabitha Davidson. She said that it would be nice to have them come in to talk about what they are doing and make suggestions about support faculty could give.
3. Theme of Streamlining
a. Barry Friedman asserted that the Reorganization Committee will soon have a plan that can come before the faculty senate and the general faculty meeting. He said that we need to write a new set of provisions for faculty senate bylaws and suggested that it could be divided into sections for multiple people to work on.
b. Elizabeth Combier suggested collaboration and editing so that everyone shares the work. She will draft a list and assign senators to write one each and edit another’s work so that all participate to make the workload light.
c. She also suggested that faculty could volunteer, working through the CTLE to share expertise on certain aspects of campus culture, such as how to develop a new class and other questions of new faculty.
4. Theme of faculty mentoring and rights
a. Elizabeth Combier commented that the first year experience group going to recommend that more of the senior faculty teach first year classes and making sure there are rewards for that.
b. She also suggested organizing a system for each new faculty member to be mentored and followed regularly through to the tenure process.
c. Troy Catterson emphasized that it is important to have mentoring on teaching. This process should incorporate a peer evaluation process to help develop teaching. One obstacle is that peers observing new faculty are seen as evaluative rather than informative. If we add it to the mentoring process, it might help change that perspective.
d. Elizabeth Combier added that it would give balance to student evaluations on annual reviews and P/T dossiers.
e Dawn Hayes remarked that someone from outside a new faculty member’s department would be less intimidating and would give more objective feedback. The best scenario would be an on-line resource listing those who have volunteered to help with certain areas -- such as teaching, chairing committees, and preparing tenure packets -- available for new faculty. This would be better than forcing people together who may not make a good connection.
f. Elizabeth Combier suggested placing a link on the faculty senate page. The system could also have mentees write testimonials to reward the mentors and make sure that this service would count in the tenure and promotion process.
g. Dawn Hayes volunteered to come up with the verbiage.
h. Brian Mann discussed a group of new faculty that Thomas Austenfield convened shortly after Brian started working here. They met for two or three semesters and discussed teaching, articles, etc. He also commented that a group like this could be at the school level rather than discipline specific
B. Elizabeth Combier also discussed the travel budget and making a recommendation for the junior faculty that budget cutbacks on travel should be noted for this year during the promotion and tenure process. She asked senators to share any problems they have had as a result of the reduction in travel money.
a. Tamara Spike said that she had had three presentations planned, two of which were international. Luckily, she got a grant for one and partial funding from the dean for the other but had to cancel the third. Troy Catterson said that he didn’t send out papers because he couldn’t afford to attend the conferences. Teresa Fletcher said that she paid out of pocket for a conference she needed to attend. Brian Mann noted that different departments have different travel needs, so the cuts hit some departments disproportionately. For example, language instructors have to go abroad. These budgetary restrictions need to be represented in promotion and tenure guidelines or institutional policy, because after a few years, promotion and tenure committees will forget budget cuts but will notice lack of conferences. Linda Roberts-Betsch suggested that budget cuts be noted in the letter the department head writes for the faculty member. Brian Mann pointed out that chairs change also. Michelle Byrne suggested that the senate state that this is an issue and ask department heads to make these statements in the activities report since that will stay with the faculty member. Brian Mann volunteered to write the statement to disseminate to department heads. Linda Roberts-Betsch also said that it could be added to the faculty evaluation report in the N drive.
1.Elizabeth Combier announced that she did a review of the senate constituency as an update for the senate to contemplate. At present, the School of Arts and Letters is proportionately overrepresented and Education is underrepresented. Adjustments to the numbers of senators given additions and reductions in faculty numbers in certain departments unfortunately do not help the representation problem. Shane Webb observed that a one senator change equals a three percent jump, so that the columns of percentiles of faculty numbers and senator numbers will never be even. Elizabeth Combier brought up the idea that Education’s individual supervised ‘departments’ be considered as departments. Troy Catterson noted that another problem is comparing population units with administrative units. David Potter asked whether the bylaws on representation specify representing departments or schools. The answer was departments. Ed Green asked if the at-large senators could be drawn only from the underrepresented areas. However, that would make them not truly at-large. Barry Friedman noted that the system was not set up with the intention of proportional representation among schools. The imbalance between schools is not enough to have to change from representatives by department. TJ Gabriel noted that there doesn’t seem to be any contention between departments on this issue. Kellie Whelan-Kim observed that the Education department has no problem with their representation. They have all had the ability to serve except when the schedule doesn’t allow it. The senate decided to let well enough alone.
D. USG Faculty Council
1. Elizabeth Combier noted that each tier has to approve the bylaws. Three out of the four R1 universities have passed the bylaws. She is waiting for the other tiers to finish the endorsement process.
V. Old Business
A. Update on Drop/Add - John Holliday
1. He talked to Terry McLeod about the issue and is digging for more information. He hopes to have more to report next month.
VI. New Business
A. Smoking areas on campus - Barry Friedman
1. Barry Friedman distributed the following statement: “Whereas, North Georgia College & State University’s smoking policy regulation states that there will be no smoking except in designated areas on the ‘periphery’ of the campus, therefore, be it resolved that the Faculty Senate petitions the President and Vice President for Business and Finance to eliminate the smoking area near parking Lot 12 forthwith and to prohibit smoking at that location hereinafter.” He noted that some faculty have expressed concern over existence of the smoking area between Dunlap and Newton Oaks and the problems it creates – such as smelly vehicles and cigarette butts thrown in the bed of a faculty member’s truck. He noted that the smoking policy states that smoking areas will be on periphery of campus, and that’s not the periphery. Nothing has happened when the administration was approached about the problems; therefore, he asked the Senate to resolve to support this concern.
2. John Holliday noted a concern about students sitting on wall above parking lot behind the former Stewart Library building. The ten foot drop may be a safety concern.Brian Mann inquired about why we have the “smoke shacks” at all, pointing out that other colleges such as Gainesville State College have a tobacco-free policy.David Potter concurred that Gainesville State has a great model. He said that he has asked SGA to take the lead on this issue because it would be preferable to a unilateral mandate. He suggested that the senate could resolve to have a nonsmoking campus and put it before SGA to support. Brian Mann asserted that university materials say that we are a tobacco free campus; he located a statement in the student life web page that called us a tobacco free campus and then noted the smoke shacks, making a contradiction. Pam Sachant asked about rules enforcement. She observed that the courtyard and back wall area of Nix have become unofficial smoking areas, and Public Safety said they have no authority to enforce no smoking there. There was a discussion of whether we were tobacco free or smoke free. Several noted the unsanitary aspects of chewing tobacco, and most concurred that tobacco free was preferable.
3. Ed Green moved to support the statement, and Brad Bailey seconded.Brian Mann suggested adding a friendly amendment to have no smoking areas at all. Barry Friedman asked him for withdrawal of the amendment for the immediate relief of the concerned faculty, noting that we could push for elimination later. Brian Mann withdrew the amendment with the understanding that a further resolution would be made later. Derek Suranie inquired as to who enforces the ban and what punishment there will be for violations. He noted that it would have to be enforced on staff and faculty as well.It was also noted that the physical therapy and nursing clinics have problems with clients smoking outside of the building. Bruce Howerton mentioned that they had had that problem at the medical college. You have to enforce the ban for visitors and patients because allowing it in one place will get everyone to congregate there and make a mess. Brian Mann also noted that this was a sustainability and education issue, and David Potter affirmed that this is why we want to SGA involved. Nancy Henderson asked that we amend the resolution to add Nix and moves to add amendment. Stuart Batchelder said that we should approve this resolution and then bring another resolution for off campus smoking and then get SGA involved. Sarah Formica noted that there was still the issue of enforcement – smokers will just move somewhere else. Troy Catterson responded that they were separate issues, and we can worry about enforcement when it happens. The motion was carried.
A. IT Governance model - Bryson Payne
1. Bryson Payne described the newly formed IT advisory board. Its purpose is to establish IT governance and align IT with the needs of various user groups. He would like to establish more regular communication about the needs of the faculty between the senate and IT governance. He suggested establishing a faculty liaison or having someone from his office attend faculty senate. He requested ideas or preferences on methods of establishing connection. Dawn Hayes heard that there would be web page rehabbing and asked who to contact for that. Bryson Payne noted that they have planned a two step process – purchasing a management system and hiring a system administrator. The second is on hold because of the budget. In light of that, we will still upgrade the look of the pages. He mentioned that Barbara Seaton has come up with some good template options which are all available from the group server. Troy Catterson asked about IT workshops for faculty on how to do certain things, like create or upgrade web sites. Bryson Payne responded that Judy McHan often does that in partnership with the Library. Bryson Payne also noted that there are 83 contacts for unit web coordinators – that’s where the many pages come from. A management system will help streamline the process and let anyone manage content. He also urged everyone to make the new Info page their home page. Stuart Batchelder commented that the addition of the directory to the home page was really helpful. Elizabeth Combier suggested that Bryson or his representative continue to come to senate meetings.
B. Honors Program - Steve Smith
1. Steve Smith established the purpose of the honors program, to provide extra challenges and opportunities for students, and gave statistics on the average SAT, ACT, and GPAs of applicants, as well as the graduation rates for participants. The program is by application only. An essay, letters of recommendation, and extra curricular involvement are part of the application. The program looks for people who have sought challenges. The program’s acceptance rate is 50%. To stay in the program, students must have a 3.1 cumulative GPA and attend one meeting a month. Their retention rate is 80%, with 10% leaving the program because of grades or lack of interest and 10% transferring to other schools. Steve Smith showed the website list of the honors classes offered. Most are core curriculum. New classes can be added by application and approval by honor council. Classes are capped at 16. Only honors students can take those classes; however, a student not in the program can be added at the discretion of the instructor. In addition, an honors student can “upgrade” a regular class by applying on line and consulting with the instructor about added assignments. These forms are also reviewed by the honor council. The program also gives automatic honors credit for any study abroad program, as well as providing scholarship funds for studying abroad. Students need 24 hours of credit to graduate with honors. At least six hours must be from upper level honors classes. Some benefits of the program are access to more challenging classes, use of the 24 hour/ seven days a week honors lab (recently expanded and will be equipped spring semester), registering early, and numerous field trips. In the last three years, the program has taken on community service projects, like the Relay for Life team, tutoring in the middle school, and assisting at the animal shelter. The program’s service requirement is ten hours a year. In addition, the program stresses the importance of leadership roles and expects that they will attain at least one leadership role on campus, Students also take responsibility for the running of the program. Faculty can get involved by proposing a course, persuading an honors student to do a thesis, and encouraging good students to apply
C. Institutional Advancement - Bruce Howerton
1. The Institutional Advancement office has four functions – managing the fundraising program, managing the university charitable foundation, dealing with alumni affairs program and relations and university relations and providing a financing arm for real estate projects. The BB&T building, Owen Hall, parking deck and recreation center are examples of projects they have financed. Some new projects may include new dorms, another parking deck – anything with revenue associated is a candidate. There is a potential for off campus projects in Forsyth as well. Regarding university relations, there has been a huge change with retirement of Annette Lee. She raised quality of university publications. To continue that success, the hiring committee for her replacement focused on university marketing and internal and external communications and hired Kate Maine. He also demonstrated some data on where we stand in comparison to our peer colleges. Our alumni base is on average with the other schools, and giving is good as an institution. He noted that we started the silent phase of our fundraising campaign two years ago and got off to a great start. However, they will not announce a public phase yet in this particular economic climate. Our endowment compares favorably – second or third largest. However, staff devoted to advancement ranks near the bottom. Currently, there is a focus on the university’s regional role. Kate Maine has assessed the program and is coming up with ideas for how to market ourselves and the events on campus in the region. Some possibilities are consolidating and promoting campus events, particularly to retirees in the area and people round the region; having lecture series based on disciplines; and summer arts series. Seeattached document.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:10PM.