Faculty Senate Minutes
May 2, 2007
Officers attending: Nick Reeder, President; Jackie Myers, Vice President; James Brooks, Secretary
Senators attending: Derek Allen, Jennifer Barr, Moez Ben-Azzouz, Mark Echtner, Luis Gonzalez, James Houdeshell, Eric Kraus, Cindy Schoonover
Senators not attending: Mohammad Ali, Amanda Romero, Thomas Singer, Charles Williams
Others attending: Bill Lejeune, Laurel Mayer, Shari Rethman
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 18 and the Faculty Assembly meeting of April 25 were approved.
2. President’s Report: Nick Reeder
2.1 Issue of Adjournment
Nick brought up the issue of adjournment, raised by Erik Kraus after the last meeting continued after 4:00pm, at which time several senators had to leave to teach class. Since a quorum remained, business continued until 4:10pm, with a vote being taken to send the Faculty Retrenchment Policy forward to Dr. Grove. After a short discussion, senators agreed not to limit the meeting time, with the understanding that a motion to adjourn could be made at any time, and that so long as a quorum was in place, voting could occur.
2.2 Handbook Changes
Nick shared three suggested revisions to the Academic Policies Committee Section 1.7 of the Faculty Handbook, to which senators agreed (italics highlight revisions):
o The Senior Vice President and Provost in consultation with the chair of the Curriculum Committee appoints the Assessment Committee chair, who shall be a tenured faculty member, for a three-year term.
o The Senior Vice President and Provost in consultation with the chair of the Curriculum Committee appoints the General Education Committee chair, who shall be a tenured faculty member, for a three-year term.
o The Senior Vice President and Provost appoints the Student Success Committee chairperson, who shall be a tenured faculty member, for a three-year term.
2.3 Retrenchment Policy
Nick disclosed that Dr. Grove had shared the Faculty Retrenchment Policy with President Johnson, who requested that it be sent to Human Resources, Legal Counsel, and Academic Policies for review. Dr. Grove indicated that because of the magnitude of the policy issues associated with retrenchment, she did not feel that review and a final recommendation could be accomplished for Handbook inclusion this year. Many senators expressed concern and directed Nick to send a request to President Johnson to move the retrenchment policy forward with dispatch. Senate feels that, given the uncertainty about staffing as reorganization occurs, this policy recommendation merits fast-track consideration.
Nick reminded senators that the on-line election would remain open until 11:55pm, Sunday, May 13.
2.5 Reorganization of Instruction
Nick reminded senators that we are scheduled to meet with Provost’s Council on May 9 to share survey results and provide Senate feedback on the reorganization proposals. Nick shared on-line survey results and postings from the on-line discussion. He asked senators for their input as to how this information ought to be presented to the Provost’s Council. During an extended discussion, the following major points were raised: responses are mixed; the Math department has presented an alternate proposal of its own to the Provost; without clear data showing savings or benefits to student success, a firm case for either option cannot be made; focus should be on programs first and other cutbacks, with reorganization to follow; there are too many unanswered questions to form a responsible opinion; making changes as the levy approaches gives the public the perception that Sinclair is doing all it can to be good stewards in difficult times; our values should guide our decisions; the right question to ask is, “How can we get more students through our courses and on to graduation?”
The discussion concluded with Senate recommending that Nick send an email to Dr. Grove in advance of the May 9 meeting, not only providing the administration with feedback from the on-line survey and discussion, but also requesting estimates from the administration on cost savings of both options and estimates of measures of student success, respectively. In addition, senate directed Nick to request an agenda for the meeting.
2.6 Faculty Issues Team
Nick reported on behalf of Ned Young, chair of FIT, distributing four handouts: three dealt with average salary data; one provided an Impact Summary of the FY 2008 FIT Faculty Proposal (this proposal had been distributed to senate at its April 18 meeting and to all faculty prior to the Faculty Assembly meeting of April 25). After a brief review of the statistics, along with comments from Erik Kraus and Tom Singer, members of FIT, another lengthy discussion ensued. In response to Nick’s disclosure that Dr. Grove had requested a revised proposal that would show how a 1%, 2%, and 3% increase would be distributed, since she did not feel the college could support the proposal in its current form, senators were united in directing the members of FIT to stand behind the current proposal. The members of FIT are scheduled to meet with the administration on May 9.
3. Unfinished Business: Survey of Faculty Sentiment
This item will be discussed at the next Faculty Senate meeting, May 16.
4. New Business
A question was raised about the search process, specifically for an ACF position in the Math department. In the absence of an ACF search process being defined in the Faculty Handbook, one senator involved in the search explained that the process described for full-time faculty was used, and that when the committee presented its guidelines to the Provost for approval, minor changes were made to the document without the committee’s approval. Some senators expressed concern about what appeared to be unnecessary micromanaging on the part of the Provost; others pointed out that since she had final signatory approval, she was within her rights to recommend changes. Others felt that without a policy in place for hiring ACF’s, nothing official could be done beyond registering concern. Senate chose not to take action.
Next meeting: May 16, 2007, Rm. 7342, 2:30 pm.
The meeting adjourned at 4: 09 pm.
Submitted by James Brooks
Approved by Senate: May 16, 2007