Members Present: Alexander, Anderson, Baker, Barut, Bergman, Besthorn, Brooks, Bryant, Celestin. Close, Decker, DeSilva, Driessen, Horn, Hull, Jacobs, Kagdi, Klunder, Lewis, Liu, Matveyeva, Miller, Moore-Jansen, Mosack, Oare, Pulaski, Rillema, Rokosz, Ross, Skinner, Smith, Solomey, Yildirim
Members Absent: Hamdeh, Lu, Markovich, Mukeerjee, Toops, Yeager
Members Excused: Johnson, Kreinath
Summary of Action
1. Endorsed the Gainful employment guidelines for undergraduate program certificates.
2. Accepted the nominees for Standing Committees from the Rules Committee
I. Call to Order
President Bob Ross called the meeting to order at 3:30 pm
II. Informal Statements and Proposals
Senator Brooks reported that a colleague of his had asked him to inform the Senate of the fact that in his opinion online journal articles are looked at dismissively during the tenure and promotion process. Discussion followed and a common feeling from those voicing opinions was that the candidate, department chair, and dean should provide sufficient evidence to support the quality of the online publication.
Senator Close told the Senate that he and other online teachers at WSU felt that the teaching evaluations for online courses were inappropriate. He indicated that a group of online instructors would develop a more appropriate form of evaluation,
Senator Solomey announced that the Academic Affairs committee would meet every Tuesday of the semester, except for the first Tuesdays of the month, in room 04 Jabarra Hall.
III. Approval of the Minutes
President Ross indicated that someone had objected to a word choice in part IV of the minutes of the October 8, 2012, meeting of the Faculty Senate. David Koert, visiting chair of the mechanical engineering department, indicated that he felt that even though the visiting faculty members of the mechanical engineering department had “declined” to comment at the previous meeting of the senate (part IV of the minutes) that should not be interpreted to mean that they had no opinion on the matter. President Ross said that the minutes would be modified as appropriate. The minutes were approved.
IV. President’s Report
President Ross reported on several activities that he has participated in recently.
1. Kansas Board of Regents’ Meeting
a. At their meeting last Wednesday, the Regents announced a mandatory post tenure review requirement for all of the Regents Schools. The Regents will formally vote on the proposal in their December meeting. Each university in the Regents system will be responsible for developing specific policies and procedures relating to post tenure review. The chairman of the Board stipulated that he expects this procedure to take months, not years. He wants the Review system to be ready for implementation by June 2013.
President Bardo’s suggested approach to post tenure review is to make it as simple as possible. The details will be worked out in concert with Provost Pickus and the Senate.
WSU has an advantage in that it already has a system of faculty activity reports that are completed by every faculty member every year. These reports could be utilized as the building blocks for whatever system is developed.
The Faculty Senate will be directly involved in the process. President Ross will keep the Senate up to date on the development of the criteria, and each senator should keep their unit informed
b. The Regents are also focusing on enhancing the six year graduation rates at all of the Universities that are under their control.
2. President Ross indicated that in his conversations with WSU President Bardo that the Senate would have a significant role in the selection of faculty for the search for the vice president of academic affairs. President Bardo indicated again that he intended to be a hands-on president, thus the change from a Provost position to a VPAA.
3. President Ross recognized Senator Rhonda Lewis for having been named the “Outstanding African American Faculty and Staff Association Member” for the current year.
4. Mechanical Engineering Task Force: As announced last meeting, a task force has been formed to evaluate a proposal developed by the senior faculty of the College of Engineering, dealing with the creation of a new Department of Bio Mechanical Engineering. That task force has begun its evaluation.
V. Committee Reports
Victoria Mosack, Chair of the Rules Committee, brought forward the following slate of nominees for College of Education committee vacancies:
University Admissions & Exceptions - Jeri Carroll
Planning and Budget - Fuchang Liu
Honors - Clay Stoldt
Faculty Affairs - Joseph Mau
Scholarship & Student Aid - Kaelin Young
The Senate voted to accept all of the nomination from the Rules Committee.
VI. Old Business – President Ross introduced Rick Muma, Associate Provost, who provided a follow-up on the proposed “Policy on Definition and Assignment of Credit Hours” that he had presented at the Faculty Senate meeting of September 24. At the time of that meeting the Senate had asked Muma to provide some “suggested language” for faculty to include in their course syllabi regarding credit hour definition and faculty expectation for student effort beyond the classroom. Muma distributed a copy of the proposed “suggested language” and asked for comments. Questions were raised concerning cooperative education classes and Human Performance Studies Activity Courses. Muma agreed that these classes were extraordinary and that the instructors would have to try to meet the spirit of the policy in a logical manner.
VII. New Business
Gainful employment guidelines for undergraduate non-degree program certificate – Rick Muma, Associate Provost (attached to e-mail of the meeting notice) Rick Muma summarized the proposed “Guidelines for Undergraduate Certificate Programs.” The guidelines are necessary to meet new federal regulations associated with certificate programs designated as “gainful employment certificate programs.” Essentially a large number of for-profit institutions are offering these “gainful employment certificate programs” which hold out the prospect to students that this certificate will lead to “gainful employment” in a specific recognized occupation. These programs receive significant federal financial aid and the government is requiring full disclosure about the student cost, graduation rates, job placement rates, and average debt by students who complete the program.
Senator Celestin moved that the Senate endorse the proposed guidelines and Senator Lewis seconded the motion. The motion carried with no dissenting votes.
VIII. As May Arise
President Ross indicated that the proposed intellectual property policy would be returning to the Senate for further deliberation. He said that he had talked with President Bardo and that he would share any new information that he received about post tenure review with the Senate. Bardo assured Ross that post tenure review should not be viewed as punitive action. President Bardo informed Ross that the job description for the vice president of academic affairs contained a desired requirement to work in consultation with the Faculty Senate.
President Ross reported that he had spoken with Mary Herrin, Vice President of Administration and Finance, regarding the twelve-month distribution of faculty salaries. She saw no obstacle to reinstating the former policy for the distribution and she is currently investigating the matter. President Ross said that he would contact her again to get an update on the status of her investigation. Interim Provost Pickus indicated that he would also “weigh in” with Mary Herrin.
Interim Provost Pickus informed the Senate that the Office of Research Administration was undergoing some significant re-organization. The post awards segment of the office will be transferred to Lois Tatro’s Office of Financial Operations and Business Technology (Division of Administration and Finance). The ORA will focus its efforts on assisting faculty and staff in procuring grants and contracts.
The meeting of the Faculty Senate was adjourned at 4:35pm.
Submitted by Walter Horn
Secretary of the Faculty Senate