Faculty Senate Minutes

November 8, 2006


Officer attending: Nick Reeder, President; Jackie Meyers, Vice President; James Brooks, Secretary


Senators attending: Derek Allen, Jennifer Barr, Mark Echtner, Luis Gonzalez, James Houdeshell, Eric Kraus, Amanda Romero, Cindy Schoonover, Thomas Singer, Charles C. Williams


Senators not attending: Mohamed Ali, Moez Ben-Azzouz


Others attending: Bill LeJeune, Laurel Mayer, Shari Rethman


Nick called the meeting to order at 2:30pm in Rm. 7342.


1. Approval of Minutes


Minutes for the Faculty Senate meeting of October 25 were approved without corrections.

2. President’s Report

     2.1 Recommendations for Program-Alignment Cross-Functional Team

Nick presented a list of candidates to recommend for the Program-Alignment Cross Functional Team. Senators from each division had submitted the following names, respectively: Colleen Whittington (ALH), Ribhi Daoud (BUS), Larraine Kapka (EGR), Charles Williams (ELHS), Ken Kohlenberg (FPA), and Derek Petrey (LAS).  Tom Singer made a motion to accept the list. The motion was seconded and passed.

     2.2 Academic Policies Committee

Nick reported on two Academic Policies Committee meetings (10/12/06 and 11/02/06) where minor changes to the College Catalog (p. 42) and Faculty Handbook were approved and forwarded to Instructional Council. The pertinent Handbook sections are 1.7 (administrative titles have been updated); 2.11.8 (grade reporting process updated); 2.2.6 (ACF contract language updated); 2.11.9 (CMT Course Management Tool process included and membership of Curriculum Review Committee updated to include a chairperson). 

In addition, Nick shared that a concern had been raised that faculty may not have been sufficiently involved in the decision to offer certificate and degree programs entirely on-line, beginning in Fall 2007.  Shari Rethman, who sits on the Academic Policies Committee along with senators Mark Echtner and Mohammad Ali, explained that some gen-ed requirements, such as public speaking, would be difficult to do on-line. Other issues raised during the discussion centered around quality, transfer, etc.  Jennifer Barr informed the group that the college had hired a consulting group, Compass Knowledge, to do a market analysis of on-line program development. This group has worked extensively with colleges and universities, and Sinclair is the first community college to contract with them. 

2.3  Instructional Council

Nick reported that Instructional Council, at its meeting on 10/20/06, voted to recommend changes to the College Catalog (p. 42) and the Faculty Handbook (Sections 1.7 and 2.11.8) received from the Academic Policies Committee.

2.4 Retrenchment Committee

Nick proposed that the Retrenchment Committee, which had been formed in Spring 2006 to work with the administration in the drafting of a college-wide retrenchment policy, be charged with drafting a faculty retrenchment policy since the administration is not moving forward with a plan or “framework” of its own, which Senate had been led to believe was a high priority item last spring. A short discussion followed, with comments focusing on how the program alignment process could lead to retrenchment-like outcomes and that it would be wise for faculty to present a plan so as to be pro-active rather than reactive. Jim Houdeshell made the following resolution: “That Senate charge the Faculty Retrenchment Committee with doing research and drafting a retrenchment policy based on AAUP or other national guidelines and that the committee report to Senate by February 1, 2007.”  The resolution passed. Jim Brooks, who chairs the committee, agreed that the deadline for a draft was reasonable and agreed to re-convene the committee in January.

 2.5 Academic Calendar 2007-2008 Survey

Nick shared survey results with senators, noting that of the 140 faculty who responded, 53% preferred Version 1, with Fall Conference on August 30-31 and classes from September 5 through November 21; 25% preferred Version 2, with Fall Conference on September 6-7 and classes from September 10 through December 1; and 22% preferred neither option.  In the discussion that followed, several other ideas were presented, with Nick noting that he felt there was room for flexibility. One suggestion was to move Faculty Development Day to another day during the quarter so that there would be only one Conference Day prior to the quarter’s beginning.  It was noted that Wright State has a ten-week quarter with an additional week for finals; OBOR supports ten weeks of instruction plus one week of assessment.  Finally, Senate passed a motion to recommend moving Fall Faculty Development Day to whatever day of the week happens to be “extra” in fall quarter and to hold the day in mid-October.  Senate felt that this would be less disruptive and allow for a more agreeable start date.

2.6 Senate Officers’ Meeting with Dr. Grove

At the officers’ standing meeting with Dr. Grove, Nick shared calendar survey results (see. 2.5 above), and Dr. Grove asked for Senate feedback with respect to moving Faculty Professional Development Day.

Furthermore, Dr. Grove requested Senate’s interpretation of the first paragraph of Faculty Handbook Section, which delineates eligibility for applying for Collegewide Merit. The request is from the Collegewide Merit Committee and is the result of a situation that arose last year where a retired faculty member attempted to apply for merit, was not allowed to apply based on the Committee’s interpretation of the Handbook, and then subsequently filed suit in small claims court contesting the Committee’s action.  After a lengthy discussion--with some senators interpreting the current policy as ambiguous and, therefore, supporting a liberal approach which would allow retirees to apply, whereas others felt that the original intent of the policy was to limit application to currently employed tenure-track faculty--Nick announced that, in the absence of consensus, he would send forth no recommendation to Dr. Grove and the Merit Committee.  Therefore, it will be up to the Merit Committee to interpret the policy.  Senators were in agreement that the policy needed to be revised so that it is clear and unequivocal with respect to applicant eligibility.

2.7  Program-Alignment Questionnaire

Nick requested that senators e-mail him their responses to the program-alignment questionnaire that Senate, like every other budgeted department, must submit by December 15.  It was agreed that Nick will compile the responses he receives and send the resulting document to senators for their approval via e-mail before the quarter ends.


3. New Business


4. Announcements

            Next meeting: January 10, 2007, Rm. 7342, 2:30 pm.


The meeting adjourned at 4:03 pm.

Submitted by James Brooks

Approved by Senate: January 10, 2007