September 13, 2006
Officer attending: Nick Reeder, President; Jackie Meyers, Vice President; James Brooks, Secretary
Senators attending: Moez Ben-Azzouz, Mark Echtner, Luis Gonzalez, James Houdeshell, Eric Kraus, Amanda Romero, Cindy Schoonover, Thomas Singer
Senators not attending: Mohamed Ali, Derek Allen, Jennifer Barr, Charles Williams
Others attending: Bill LeJeune, Laurel Mayer, Shari Rethman
Nick called the meeting to order at 2:32 in Rm. 7342.
1. Approval of Minutes
Minutes for the Faculty Assembly meeting of September 1 and the special meeting on September 5 were approved without corrections.
2. President’s Report
2.1 Changes to 2006-2007 Faculty Handbook
Nick noted six sections marked “Revised 09/06” contained substantive changes: 2.4.4 Office Hours; 126.96.36.199 Faculty Salary Ranges; 188.8.131.52 Department Chairperson Salary; 2.5 Timing and Action Calendar; 3.1.1 Sabbatical Leave; 3.1.2 Mini-Sabbatical Leave.
In addition, forty-eight sections are marked “Revised 08/06,” with minor changes, such as titles of positions (Vice President of Instruction changing to Senior Vice President and Provost, LRC changing to Library, etc.) and references to the Ohio Revised Code. Nick will check with Dr. Grove to be sure Senate is aware of all the changes
Although the 2006-2007 Faculty Handbook is in effect as of September 1, 2006, the 2005 version remains on the our.sinclair web site. During the officers’ weekly meeting with Dr. Grove, Nick will check on the progress being made to make the current version available.
Finally, Nick shared that a minor change had been made to the date fields in the FAPR form, with the designations mm/dd/yy being added for clarity and consistency. Senators agreed that the changes were appropriate and did not require official approval.
2.2 Duties of Senators
Nick referred senators to Section IV of Bylaws, noting the responsibilities of senators. He also distributed the Faculty Senate Resolution/Recommendation form, which is available online. A discussion about the process for introducing and voting on resolutions/recommendations ensued, resulting in the following motion being made by James Houdeshell: “Faculty Senate shall adopt a special rule of order that voting on new resolutions and recommendations will be postponed to the next scheduled meeting after which they are introduced.” Comments in support focused on the goal of understanding and allowing senators to get feedback from their constituents on important issues. Concerns were raised that in some cases, delaying a vote could lead to inefficiency and loss of momentum for action. Nick commented that it was important for senate to resolve “old business” issues before introducing “new business” in order to avoid unnecessary delay and combat inertia. The motion passed unanimously via voice vote.
2.3 Survey of Faculty Assembly Priorities, September 2006
Nick shared the results of the on-line survey, taken by 101 faculty, to establish senate priorities for 2006-2007. Of the twelve items listed, the two areas that clearly garnered the highest rankings were “Instructional Division Reorganization” and “Realignment/Budget” initiative from the Board of Trustees, respectively. A link to the survey results follows: http://www.sinclair.edu/organizations/fac_sen/pub/surveyResultsSept2006.htm
Before initiating a discussion on senate’s next steps in response to the survey results, Nick reminded senators that looking into the first-year faculty hiring/mentoring process as directed by the Faculty Assembly would also be an item of high priority, as would retrenchment, as a carry-over issue from spring 2006.
An extended discussion took place as to how senate should proceed with respect to acting on instructional division reorganization and the realignment/budget initiative. Suggestions included forming subcommittees, requesting to have senate representation on any college-wide committees/task forces dedicated to these issues, and using the Senate Resource Committee and Personnel Committee in more proactive ways. Senators felt that involvement would be essential but that with workloads being very heavy, it would be a challenge. Suggestions were made about the possibility of using the regularly scheduled senate time on Wednesday for groups to meet. The possibility of evening meetings was also mentioned. Nick recommended and senators agreed that until we found out specifics as to the administrative timeline and the current status of committees/task forces, senators would be added to the membership of the Personnel and Resource Committees: on the former—Cindy Schoonover, Derek Allen, Eric Kraus, Jim Houdeshell, Mark Echtner, and Moez Ben-Azzouz; on the latter—Jenny Barr, Tom Singer, Charlie Williams, Amanda Romero, and Luis Gonzalez. No changes would be made in the regularly scheduled meeting time for senate until further notice.
2.4 Website Assistance
Nick reported that Randy Brown had volunteered to help improve Senate’s website, and senators were in favor of accepting his assistance. He will be meeting with the senate officers soon to discuss the nature of his role.
2.5 Online Voting Ramifications
Question was raised regarding further amendments to the Constitution/Bylaws now that online voting has been approved by the assembly. For example, should we propose online voting for senate officers or attempt to alter the current two-thirds margin needed to amend the Constitution/Bylaws? Nick explained that the same tool used for the survey could be adapted for elections, with the option to record votes anonymously activated. Program does not track who voted with this option, but it does not allow repeated access once the user has responded. Senate felt that as faculty became more familiar with the process through responding to other questions, more faculty would use the technology. It was suggested that senate use the survey tool to ask for feedback related to the high priority items selected by faculty: instructional division reorganization and realignment/budget. Finally, Senate decided to proceed with an online vote on the question of amending the Constitution/Bylaws to establish online elections.
2.6 FIT Diversity
With Nick Reeder assuming the presidency of senate and membership on the Faculty Issues Team in place of former President Cindy Beckett, FIT is now made up of all white males: Tom Singer, Ned Young, and Eric Kraus being the other members along with Nick. A question was raised as to whether this lack of diversity with respect to gender and race would be of concern to faculty. Several members of senate felt this could be problematic; others felt that since over time FIT has reflected both racial and gender diversity, that it should not be considered a problem. As a result of the discussion, senators recommended that Vice President Jackie Myers be added to the team. Prior to the FIT process, a mutual gains team worked with the administration on salary issues, and that team included the senate president, vice president, and an at-large faculty member. Senate felt that both officers should sit on FIT and that this, coincidentally, would serve to allay the concerns of those who felt the team lacked diversity. Senate officers will take Senate’s recommendation forward to the Vice President/Provost Grove at their regularly scheduled bi-weekly meeting with her on September 20.
2.7 Senate Budget
Nick shared information about the 2006-2007 senate budget, which is $27, 364 for 2006-2007. The bulk of the budget is made up of the reassigned time for officers: 6 for president, 4 for vice-president, and 3 for secretary. In addition, a Chase bank account registered to the Sinclair Faculty Association contains a balance of $3740.15, money collected years ago to be used primarily for lawyer’s fees or related costs in the event faculty wished to pursue union status or seek an opinion on issues of concern to faculty.
2.8 Meeting Protocol
Senators agreed that there would be no uninvited participation at senate by non-members. Furthermore, senators felt that requests by non-members to be placed on the agenda should be approved only in cases where specific action by senate would apply. Based on this criteria, senate declined a request from Nick on behalf of Marilyn Rodney and Trudy Krisher to share information about Make a Difference Day. Senators felt that this information could be conveyed to the faculty through other means.
3. New Business
Next meeting: September 27, Rm. 7342, 2:30 pm
The meeting adjourned at 3:55 pm.
Submitted by James Brooks
Approved by Senate: September 27, 2006