Faculty Senate Minutes

January 24, 2007


Officers attending: Nick Reeder, President; James Brooks, Secretary


Officers not attending: Jackie Myers, Vice President


Senators attending: Mohamed Ali, Derek Allen, Jennifer Barr, Moez Ben-Azzouz, Mark Echtner, Luis Gonzalez, James Houdeshell, Eric Kraus, Amanda Romero, Cindy Schoonover, Thomas Singer


Senators not attending: Charles Williams


Others attending: Laurel Mayer


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


1. Approval of Minutes


Minutes for the Faculty Senate meeting of January 10 were approved without corrections.

2. President’s Report

(Note: Before Nick proceeded with the President’s Report, he requested that Senate enter into Executive Session to discuss the outcome of a personnel issue discussed during Executive Session at the January 10 meeting.  Notes pertaining to this discussion have been recorded and will be kept off-line by the Faculty Senate Secretary.)

     2.1 Winter Faculty Assembly   

Nick shared a tentative agenda with Senators, asking for feedback about items and order of discussion.  After a brief discussion, the following agenda was agreed upon:

1) Mike Burns, chair of the Program Alignment Cross-Functional Team, will present an update on the team’s work and answer questions.

2) Vice President Mary Gaier and Woody Woodruff from Facilities Management will provide an update on the college’s search for solutions to the fire-door issue.

3) Senate President Nick Reeder will report on Senate activities, including references to the faculty survey of Senate priorities.

4) Jim Brooks will provide a status report on the work of the Retrenchment Committee.

5) Ned Young will provide a status report on the work of the Faculty Issues Team.

6) New Business

      2.2 Senate Officers’ Meeting with Provost 1/17/07

The first issue discussed concerned the fire-door problem, and Dr. Grove indicated the college was looking at a number of possible solutions.  She promised to keep the faculty apprised of any developments and agreed that this would be an appropriate topic for discussion at the Winter Assembly Meeting.  The administration shares staff and faculty’s frustration and is hoping that a satisfactory solution can be found.

Dr. Grove reported that the Program Alignment Cross-Functional Team was on schedule  to provide its recommendations to the Operations Council by February 2, at which time the recommendations would also be shared with the staff and faculty.

As a way to improve communication with faculty, Dr. Grove mentioned increasing e-mail communication, being available for informal discussions in the Library on Friday mornings at 11:00 (Friday morning coffee), and holding lunches with small groups of newer faculty (employed less than three years) both winter and spring quarter.  She also asked for suggestions on other ways to improve communication between her office and faculty.

Dr. Grove returned to the topic of faculty development, stressing that it was a high priority for her, and she specifically noted that this included part-time faculty as well.

When asked about Senate’s opinion regarding the interpretation of eligibility for applying for Collegewide Merit, Nick conveyed Senate’s inability to reach consensus on an interpretation for the Merit Committee.  However, he added that Senate was committed to revisiting the policy and clarifying the language to remove any ambiguity. 

In response, several senators suggested that Senate should indeed provide guidance to the Merit Committee in the interim, and after a short discussion, the following recommendation (RcW07-02) was offered and passed:  “That full-time tenure track faculty who separated from the College before January 1, 2007, and who were evaluated proficient in the November 2006 evaluation process, and who meet the teaching requirement stated in paragraph 1 of Faculty Handbook Section, be considered eligible to apply for Collegewide Merit during the Merit process that begins on February 15, 2007, and ends on June 15, 2007.”

     2.3 Instructional Council 1/19/07

Nick indicated many of the same items discussed with Dr. Grove at the officers’ meeting were also on the Instructional Council agenda.  In addition, Nancy Thiebault presented an update on online program development.  Specifically, the College hopes to have five online programs in place by Fall 2007: AA in Liberal Arts; AS in Business; ATS; Radiology gen-ed certificate; and Ohio Transfer Module.  This is a major undertaking, requiring a total of 55 online courses, 40 of which remain to be either developed or revised.  This effort will take priority over development and/or revision of other online courses, and it will require additional training of full and part-time faculty who do not currently teach online.

Several senators raised concerns about this initiative, especially with respect to the resources needed to provide training for full and part-time faculty, as well as the challenges of hiring quality faculty, some of whom could/would be hired while residing not only out of county but out of state.  Concerns were raised about Distance Learning entering into the hiring process and unduly influencing it.  Jenne Barr, who sits on the Part-Time Faculty Committee, stated that they were looking at realigning the hiring process and were trying to assure quality in the hiring process of part-timers, including the challenge of hiring instructors with expertise in teaching distance courses.

3. Retrenchment Report

Jim Brooks provided background information about the Faculty Retrenchment Committee’s work since forming in spring 2006.  Originally, the intention was to work with Human Resources in the development of a college-wide retrenchment policy, but given the non-responsiveness of the administration on this issue through fall quarter 2006, the Faculty Retrenchment Committee, at Senate’s request, presented a draft to Senators for a Faculty Retrenchment Policy.  Jim requested that Senators be given a chance to review the draft and then bring suggestions for discussion to a subsequent Senate meeting.  Jim further recommended that once Senate was satisfied with the policy, then it should be shared with faculty for input before a final recommendation for adoption is made.  Finally, Jim indicated that the committee was willing to revisit the policy if Senate felt major revisions needed to be made.

4. New Business

Moez Ben-Azzouz shared a concern that the hiring process for the new Department Chairperson in Mathematics was not in alignment with the process outlined in the Faculty Handbook.  After a short discussion, senators agreed that it seemed as if the Handbook was being violated on several counts; as a result, they directed the Senate leadership to meet with the Provost as soon as possible to resolve the issue.


5. Announcements

            Next meeting: February 7, 2007, Rm. 7342, 2:30 pm. 

            Winter Faculty Assembly Meeting: January 31, 2007, Rm. 4011, 3:00 pm.


The meeting adjourned at 4:15 pm.

Submitted by James Brooks

Approved by Senate: February 7, 2007