Faculty Senate Minutes

April 18, 2007


Officers attending: Nick Reeder, President; Jackie Myers, Vice President; James Brooks, Secretary


Senators attending: Jennifer Barr, Moez Ben-Azzouz, Mark Echtner, Luis Gonzalez, James Houdeshell, Eric Kraus, Amanda Romero, Cindy Schoonover, Charles Williams


Senators not attending: Derek Allen, Mohammad Ali, Thomas Singer


Others attending: Dona Fletcher, Ned Young


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



1. Approval of Minutes


Minutes for the Faculty Senate meeting of April 4 were approved with one correction.  Minutes for the special meeting of April 11 were approved as submitted.



2. Reports


    2.1 Faculty Issues Team—Ned Young


Ned distributed a draft proposal that the FIT members had shared with the administration at the FIT meeting on April 13.  Senators felt the team’s proactive approach was commendable.  Ned said that the administration had “lots of questions” about the proposal, given the difficult circumstances surrounding state budget/funding issues.  For example, questions such as, “If the Board insists on no deficit spending (pulling from the reserves), then what would the faculty be willing to give up in order to get something in return?” were raised at that meeting.  Some senators expressed dismay that the discussions about compensation seemed to be focused on the negative, on potential cutbacks, on “doom and gloom” scenarios.  Senators raised questions as to specific savings that might be realized by reorganization and alignment decisions, the impact of retirees, the benefit of raising minimum class size, etc.  Frustration over not having useful data or not receiving requested data in a timely fashion from the administration was also expressed.  Finally, Senators felt the draft FIT proposal should be shared with faculty prior to the Assembly meeting, and Ned agreed to discuss it at that meeting along with the other FIT members. Among the challenges faced by FIT this year, Ned reminded Senate about the Board’s desire to “fix the problem of deficit spending,” and the question remains as to whether there will be room for flexibility as there was last year.  To this point, some Senators suggested that Senate should present solutions rather than demands as a way to promote its point of view.  Others felt that negotiations, by their very nature, were adversarial, but that they did not need to be hostile and that Senate, through support of FIT, must be firm, yet reasonable, in its approach.  Ned noted that the next FIT meeting is scheduled for April 27.


Also related to FIT issues, President Johnson had invited Staff and Faculty Senate members to a special information session with him on Friday, April 20, ostensibly to discuss funding/budget challenges at the state level.  After a discussion questioning the need for such a session, the short notice, and the possible conflict of interest with respect to FIT negotiations, the following motion was passed unanimously: “Faculty Senate reaffirms its support of FIT as the officially elected representatives of Faculty Assembly in salary discussions.”


   2.2 Senate Officers Meeting with Dr. Grove: April 11—Nick Reeder


Nick shared that Instructional Council would be meeting on May 18, at which time, any Faculty Handbook changes would have to be presented for approval in order to be placed on the Board agenda in June (for adoption and inclusion in 2007-2008 academic year).  


Dr. Grove explained that Cindy Beckett had been selected as chair for the Faculty Evaluation Committee since she had been Senate President at the time this committee was originally convened, so she had an understanding of the original charge under VP Jacobs.  Cindy had received the recommendations for membership from Senate, and she was in the process of contacting those faculty members and others to participate on the committee.


Nick indicated that Dr. Grove had received Senate’s support of the Academic Council Resolution on Distance Learning and that the concerns would receive due consideration, but she also was clear that the initiative to expand distance offerings would move forward in order to provide more options for students who could benefit, for students who did not need or desire a campus experience. 


Dr. Grove raised the issue of faculty retraining in the wake of alignment and reorganization, and she welcomed Senate’s input on this challenge in order to allow for full-time tenure-track faculty to maintain their teaching loads.  Senators pointed out that there could also be other ways to achieve load, such as by redistributing reassigned hours within a department.  Others noted that the proposed Retrenchment Policy included a process for supporting retraining.


Nick also shared that Dr. Grove was eager to receive feedback from faculty on the reorganization models.  Senate agreed that Nick should collect and edit the comments from the discussion on the Angel site and send those comments to Dr. Grove. At this point in the discussion, Nick shared a short survey format that Senate approved as a way to gather additional feedback from the faculty.  Survey results would also be sent to Dr. Grove.



   2.3 Agenda for April 25 Faculty Assembly Meeting


Nick asked for input to his proposed agenda, and Senate agreed on the following items for discussion at the meeting: President’s Report (Nick Reeder), Assembly Elections (Jackie Myers), Faculty Issues Team Report (Ned Young), Assembly Website Tour (Joseph Giardullo), Faculty Evaluation Committee (Cindy Beckett).



   2.4 OATYC Awards—Jackie Myers


Jackie distributed applications for two nominees: Tom McElfresh, full-time faculty in Mental Health Technology, and Cindra Phillips, part-time faculty in Business Information Systems.  Senate supported both candidates unanimously.  OATYC (Ohio Association of Two-Year Colleges) awards teacher of the year to a full-time and a part-time teacher, respectively, at its annual conference.



   2.5 Assembly Elections—Jackie Myers


Jackie indicated that the Elections Committee had done a trial run with the electronic voting process, and it worked perfectly.  She also reported that she had not received any nominations as yet, but that those nominations could come from the floor at the Assembly meeting on April 25.  The offices of President-Elect and Secretary are open, as is the position of Representative to Leadership Council.


   2.6 Ohio Faculty Senate—Nick Reeder


Nick reminded senators about information Shari Rethman had sent about the governor’s Higher Education Compact.  Shari had asked Senate for a response, pro or con, on behalf of the Ohio Faculty Senate.  After a short discussion, Senate voted against supporting the Compact. 


   2.7 Handbook Proposals—Nick Reeder


Senate did not bring a motion for approval regarding the Faculty Handbook proposals approved by Academic Policies Committee at its April 5 meeting.  At the request of Senate, Nick agreed to ask the committee about its motivation for adding several non-faculty members to the Curriculum Committee, as well as to ask whether these members might be added as non-voting members.  The issue of Senate approval for the proposals will be deferred to a future meeting.



 3. Unfinished Business


   3.1 Faculty Retrenchment Draft


Senators voted to send the Faculty Retrenchment Proposal to Dr. Grove, in hopes of having it go through the approval process for the upcoming Faculty Handbook.



   3.2 Survey of Faculty Sentiment


            This item will be discussed at the next Faculty Senate meeting, May 2.



4. New Business


    There was no new business.


5. Announcements


Assembly meeting: April 25, 2007, Rm. 4011, 3:00 pm.


Next meeting: May 2, 2007, Rm. 7342, 2:30 pm.



The meeting adjourned at 4: 10 pm.


Submitted by James Brooks


Approved by Senate: May 2, 2007