Senate Minutes

Jan 20, 2015

EB 162

President Lugo presiding

Quorum confirmed

 

 

Meeting called to order 2:04

Minutes for Dec. 9 approved with no corrections.

 

I.                    Chancellor�s report �

a.       There is distress about the news of Ross� replacement by the BOG.  The real agenda is not clear, and may well involve wanting someone with a particular ideology.  The BOG is increasingly active and wanting to play a role.  The replacement for Ross is unknown at this time. 

b.      In the process of identifying an interim Provost is in progress.  The individual will be from outside of UNCW.  Turnover has been too great in our top administrators, and someone from outside may be best to address why that turnover has taken place.  This is a huge problem that needs attention.  A great external candidate has been identified, and an announcement should be forthcoming soon. 

c.       The pool for the chancellor position is strong, and Chancellor Sederburg has heard from a number of personal acquaintances.  There is a mix of traditional and nontraditional candidates, and the Chancellor is optimistic.

d.      News � UNCW was recognized again by Carnegee as an Engaged University.  We�ve hired a new diversity officer, Dr. Kent Gown now head of diversity at GA Regents University.  He will be here full time in April. 

 

II.                  President�s report �

a.       Update on the Chancellor search:  A briefing was sent previously on the composition of the pool.  There are 56 files, with 23% of the candidates from the corporate world.  The faculty have sent a strong message of concern about this high percentage, which has been voiced to the search committee.  Faculty members on the committee will be vigilant about relevant characteristics.  All academic disciplines are represented in the pool, which includes 10 women, 7 minority candidates, 7 sitting chancellors/presidents, 11 provosts, 14 deans from big schools, and 9 other academic administrators.  The search firm expresses no real concerns for the search with respect to the vacated provost position.  After reviewing 1,000�s of pages of documents, each committee member will submit 10 names.  The plan is to choose 10 candidates at the Feb. meeting, for airport interviews.  Confidentiality agreements are now in effect.  Minutes of the meetings will be posted.  There is an expectation that a new Chancellor would serve at least 5 years.

b.      Faculty Assembly Update � There has been lively discussion on PTR, with input from all campuses, and from VP of AA for system.  The intent is that the instrument is developmental rather than punitive.  A common theme is that the policy to go to BOG should be as flexible as possible, with respect to procedures.  We need to define the process for the dean�s review of candidates.  Some schools are considering sending the 5 annual reviews to the dean, others the 1 page instrument.  It�s important to consider our document carefully; we will need to pass some version of if in February.   All should do their homework.

c.       We have just hired a new head of HR, who has been assigned the task of working on retention of faculty and staff.  It is an important time to start work on this issue.

d.      The President�s job is to ask hard questions.  Recent questions have focused on the budget (e.g., expenditures on athletics, source of extra funding for the S&B renovation, conversion of locker room to TV room).

e.      In discussion from the floor:  The BOG doesn�t have much background with respect to how universities work, but they have received good answers to their questions.  It is likely that they will be inspecting what we do more closely.

f.        For at least the past year, there has been a big push for BOG to act differently.  They have wanted to add an Executive Director position, and Art Pope�s name has been suggested.  Rumors and the press have also covered the possibility of his consideration for President of the system.  This all seems related to the change of political environment; they want someone with similar leanings.  The Faculty Assembly has been quite active on these issues, and plan to decide on the best course of action once everyone has calmed down.  Folks might want to check out the Pope Institute website, to see the essence of the philosophy.

 

III.                Committee reports -

 

a.       USAC �

1.       Motion to introduce more courses to US categories (2015 01 MO1).  These will likely be the last for this year�s cycle.

         Called the question � 52 in favor; 2 against.  Motion passes.

2.       QRL pilots motion (2015 01 MO2) was withdrawn.  Some concerns were expressed after the motion was posted.

3.       Motion to modify the Residency requirement for EBC (2015 01 MO3): Portfolios may be reviewed to see if prior experience will qualify to satisfy the EBC requirement.

         Discussion clarified that the number of students to take advantage of this option will likely be small, that the portfolio will focus specifically on the activities completed for the EBC, and that a rubric will be used by the USAC to review the portfolio.

         Called the question � 49 in favor, 8 against.  Motion passes.

4.       MOU on submission of new courses (2015 01 MO4):  Summary � based on Senate discussion about individual courses proposed in multiple areas of perspectives, the USAC believes that the criteria need to be clarified.  The request is that faculty submitting such proposals carefully consider the disciplinary issues.  If passed, this motion would just become part of the guidelines for the committee, and could appear on the US website, to add clarify for submitters. 

         This specification (to add the guideline to the website) was accepted as an amendment to the motion, and seconded.

         Discussion clarified that if passed, the understanding would be that proposals to include a course in more than one category of Approaches and Perspectives could still be considered, but the USAC would scrutinize such proposals carefully with respect to disciplinary areas.  It would stand as a public warning that a strong argument for such inclusion would be expected. 

         Called the question � 48 in favor, 7 against.  MOU motion passes.

5.       Gabriel presents the Juan Valdez Award for hardest working faculty member to Mahnaz Moallem for chairing USAC.

 

b.      Motion from Academic Standards (2015 01 MO5):  This motion undoes our actions last year that added a grade of WE, to distinguish withdrawals due to extenuating circumstances.  GA rejected this strategy.  The present proposal removes the option of the WE grade.  Instead, there is a page on Seanet that tracks all such withdrawals, for students and advisors.

         Called the question � 52 in favor, 4 against.  Motion passes.

 

c.       Faculty Welfare Committee motion � 2015-01-06:  This motion provides clarifications regarding internal promotions of Library faculty.

         Called the question � 55 in favor; 2 against.  Motion passes.

 

d.      Report from the IT/LIB Committee � Lynn Mollenauer, Committee Chair

1.       The Committee charge was to inquire into the IT report prepared in March, 2014 by Strate Information Group.

2.       Findings:  A copy of the report was presented to Senate in August 2014, and many of the findings of that report had already been implemented.  Feedback was not solicited from many members of the University Committee.  A new hire was made based on the report, and a reorganization was implemented.  Bill and Rick would be happy to meet with departments or others to discuss the report and changes.

3.       The Committee has several recommendations that primarily target communication.  Faculty, staff, and students should be involved in decisions about a permanent CIO.  More timely communication with university community and with faculty liaisons is requested.  ITS is encouraged to solicit feedback about current issues. 

4.       Questions/comments/discussion from the floor:

         This is an oft-repeated pattern � people in the trenches are not consulted about major decisions that impact us.  It may be that the report and findings were correct, but the foot soldiers don�t feel they were heard.  Recommendations must include feedback from the staff that work for the CIO � this doesn�t seem to have been the case.  Response:  Input has now been gathered.  IT is now reaching out to each of the deans and liaisons, to open communication channels and develop short-term and long-term plans.  A broad- band upgrade is a major issue right now � BOG heard our request but did not decide on any requests.  IT is also working on improving synergies; there are now 3 directors vs. 8.  IT understood concerns about lack of consultation at the time the actions were taken.

         From President Lugo- whenever it is claimed that there is faculty representation, those representatives need to be decided by the faculty and not by the administration.

         This process has been demoralizing for IT staff, and has angered faculty � it was badly handled.  Folks were consulted only after the big reorganization.  Once you�ve hurt something, you don�t undo it that way.  A lot of damage has accrued.  Part of this could be helped by having faculty select their own representative.  If we don�t even bother to talk, we�ll see more problems.

         Rick Whitfield has agreed to meet with any groups that would like to meet.

 

e.      Final draft of the PTR policy (2015 01 M07):  Discussion led by Dean Hardy. 

1.       This is our 3rd opportunity for open discussion and input.  The Committee has tried to address all issues that have been raised, and has consulted with the Deans� Council, which provided additional support for the work done.  Suggested edits have just been made.  An editing map was presented, to show the changes made and where those changes appear in the document.  Changes suggested by the Deans� Council were also presented, along with a map for the PTR process. 

2.       Scenario 3, regarding split decisions, was the sticking point (i.e., when 2 initial findings differ from each other and one of these is �does not meet expectations�).  The previous plan had been to have the split move to the Provost to resolve, and attempts were made to find an entity to make recommendations to the Provost. The catch was that if a due process appeal should occur, the appeal would ultimately also go to the Provost, which seemed like a dual role.  We were uncomfortable with that.  The Deans suggested that in Scenario 3, all appeals would be decided on by the Chancellor.  Thus, there would be content review by Provost, and appeal review by the Chancellor.  The process would be reinitiated if the appeal was upheld.  All members of the review committee must be tenured faculty members. 

3.       Questions/comments/discussion from the floor:

         The intent of the policy is to help faculty succeed.

         It was suggested that the visual process map be included with the policy.

         Do the revisions from the deans include specification of the documents the dean will review, and if not, couldn�t that be the basis for a grievance?  Response:  At each phase, any documentation becomes part of the package to be passed on and considered, but there is no specification of exactly what the package must include.  The materials might vary by unit.  More work will be done on this issue this spring semester, to determine the degree of variance allowed.  The Faculty Assembly recommends as much flexibility as possible. 

         Support and training � GA is going to create training modules (to be completed in spring, 2015), and we�ll see what works for us.  The Provost has to certify that everyone involved as been trained on a yearly basis.  Not clear yet how this will all be operationalized.  Concerns were raised about the costs of such training.  The FA also voiced objections, to no avail.  It was clarified that only the individuals involved in the review process need to be trained in any given year.

         PTR differs from RPT in that senior faculty are advisory only in PTR.  This is not a change from the previous PTR policy, but it was noted that the new policy has more teeth.

         The workload plan involves faculty working with the chair to reach a mutual agreement on criteria consistent with unit goals.  It is important that there be flexibility at the department level.

         All relevant documents for the PTR motion are posted at the Senate Sharepoint site.  The plan is that we will finish up at the next regular Senate meeting.

         Thanks to the committee and congratulations.

 

 

Announcement:  An interim Senate meeting will be held, to return to the Faculty Handbook.  The Policies on Academic Freedom & Tenure have been sent to the Provost.  We�ll go through the Handbook, the entire document all at once.  The next Senate meeting is 2 weeks from now � Feb. 3.

Motion to adjourn:  3:39