Southeastern Louisiana University

Faculty Senate Minutes

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Alumni Center

 

I.          The meeting was called to order at 3:02 p.m.  Senators absent: Beauboeuf, Brocato, Coats, Dassau, Depoy, Diez, Echols, Gillan, Guendouzi, Higginbotham, Lewis, Mitchell, Nobles, Oliver, Ratcliff, and Weaver.

 

II.         Senator Yeargain moved that the Jan. 21 meeting minutes be approved; Senator Neuerburg seconded.  The minutes were unanimously approved.

 

III.       Invited Guests:  Dr. Joseph H. Miller, Vice-President of University Advancement, and Dr. Paul M. Riggs, Associate Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, addressed the Senate on the success of the Commitment to Excellence Campaign.

A.        Dr. Miller explained the history of the Campaign, which originally began in 1998 with a feasibility study, surveying alumni and other potential contributors. 

1.         The study determined the Campaign could expect to raise $6.5 million to $10.75 million.

2.         The Campaign ended 2 weeks ago, raising $24,900 million, well beyond expectations.

3.         Miller distributed a handout detailing the accomplishments of the campaign (see attachment)

4.         When the stock market fell, Miller explained, the Campaign concentrated on planned gifts (annuities, life insurance policies, etc.) and faculty contributions.  He turned the podium over to Dr. Paul Riggs.

B.         Dr. Riggs, who was in charge of faculty contributions, said his main concern was to institute scholarships to recruit the best students in the state. 

1.         In the 1990s, when the Commitment to Excellence Campaign began, 80% of Louisiana’s high school valedictorians were leaving the state for college.

2.         The original goal for faculty and staff contributions for the Campaign was $200,000; instead, faculty and staff contributed over $700,000.  At that time, Bellsouth was matching these contributions, so even more funds came in under corporate donations.

3.         Riggs informed the Senate that over 75 faculty/staff members made individual contributions of over $1,000.

4.         Though this campaign is over, the need for scholarship funds still exists, so Riggs encouraged all faculty and staff willing to continue their contribution to contact Dr. Joe Miller.

C.     Miller and Riggs then played a video highlighting the faculty and students who have benefited from the Commitment to Excellence Campaign in scholarships, awards, and endowed professorships.

D.     Senate President Wyld thanked both Drs. Miller and Riggs for all the work that made this success possible.

 

IV.       Old Business

A.        Online Elections:  [Constitution and Bylaws Committee]:  The Committee will meet next week to draw up a plan for implementation of online elections.

            B.         Sabbatical Leave: [Faculty Welfare Committee]:  No report yet.

            C.        On-campus Daycare: [Facilities and Planning Committee]

1.         Sen. Gonzalez-Perez reviewed a chart of responses from the online faculty daycare survey her committee conducted (see attachments)

.           2.         Sen. Ply asked whether the committee only surveyed faculty and

whether or not the daycare center would be open to staff, too.  Gonzalez-Perez responded that the survey was only sent to faculty, 171 of whom responded, but that the daycare center would be open to staff, also

3.         Sen. Wyld suggested the committee continue looking into the issue.  Dr. Crain had mentioned in the Executive Committee the difficulties in meeting some of the liability and competition concerns for such a service on campus.  Wyld admitted the Senate would obviously need administrative guidance about criteria necessary for instituting such a facility.  The Facilities and Planning Committee will continue its study.

           

            D.        Academic Potpourri [Academic Committee]

1.         Sen. Ramsey offered Resolution #17 (see attachments) concerning the Academic Dishonesty Policy and moved adoption; Sen. Yeargain seconded.  Discussion:

a.         Sen. Wyld explained that the Academic Committee reviewed the policy now in place; he noted that the proposed changes are to Sections 1C and 1D (see attachments).

b.         Sen. Ramsey suggested a friendly amendment of punctuation changes to paragraph 1 of the current policy.  Also, Ramsey questioned the Academic Affairs Council revised policy title of “Academic Dishonesty”: in the current catalogue, the policy is described as “Academic Honesty.”  Ramsey thought we should accentuate the positive.  Sen. Wyld responded that the Academic Affairs Council intentionally made the change because the policy concerned instances of dishonesty, not honesty.

c.         Sen. Yeargain called the question.  Sen. Boulahanis moved that the word “fairly” in the first section of the resolution be moved.  Others disagreed, that it would split an infinitive. 

d.         The resolution passed unanimously.

 

V.        New Business

A.        Sen. Ply had distributed a handout at last month’s meeting detailing the differences in raises if determined by flat rate or percentage.  She sees inequity in raises between new faculty and more seasoned faculty—some methods of determining raises seems to penalize long-term faculty.  She moved that the issue of the method of determining raises be sent to the Budget Committee for study and recommendation.  She was interested to see if departments across campus differ in their methods of determining raises.  Sen. Leonard seconded.  Discussion:

1.         Sen. Wyld said he had mentioned to Dr. Crain that Southeastern has had a flexible system of raises in effect for years; perhaps there are areas that need review.

2.         Sen. Carruth asked if all departments have the freedom to set their own system of determining raises.  He added that not all departments can use the same plan, so where should the Budget Committee go on the issue?  Should they simply study the issue?  Recommend one plan of determining raises?  Ply replied that her concern is salary compression for older faculty.

3.         Sen. Nelson commented that, in Biology, a faculty member can be rated highest in the department yet receive a raise below the university average percentage.

4.         Sen. Carruth suggested that, since the plan would have to be approved by the Dean and Provost, it is a departmental issue, not a Senate concern.

5.         Sen. Bancroft said that it would appear that those doing the most work receive the least percentage of raise.

6.         Sen. Ramsey, clarifying Sen. Ply’s concerns, mentioned that someone earning $70,000 and another earning $30,000 might both receive a $1,000 raise.  The issue deserves study.

7.         Another senator commented that the issue is a cost of living amount vs. a cost of merit amount.  Perhaps the cost of merit is inequitable.

8.         Sen. Carruth agreed that he could suggest a merit plan to all departments, but no matter which a department chooses, there is one sum of money to divide, so someone will not be satisfied.

9.         Sen. Andrus’s proxy asked Sen. Ply if her department’s plan to determine raises was not known.  Ply responded that her department does not know the reasoning behind the raises.  Carruth concluded that this, then, is an individual matter within the departments.

10.       Sen. Neuerburg agreed: it is purely a departmental issue.  No one plan could please all departments.

11.       Sen. Titard added that the hardest thing to discuss is faculty salaries.  He could not see what recommendation could be put into any resolution that would help all departments.

12.       Sen. Ply withdrew her motion, but suggested we urge our departments to hold department chairs accountable to the process of their method of determining raises.

 

            B.         Combating Plagiarism and High-Tech Cheating [Sen. Wyld]

1.         Sen. Wyld discussed with the Senate the rise in problems with plagiarism, particularly in the use of cell phones for taking pictures and sending text-messaging.  Sen. Ramsey agreed.  Wyld mentioned there have been some movements in universities to ban cell phones altogether.

2.         Sen. Li moved to send the issue of high-tech cheating and plagiarism to the Academic Committee; unidentified senator seconded.  Discussion:

a.         Sen. Burns asked what the committee was supposed to do.  We can’t ban cell phones because they are needed for family emergencies and such.  MIT is working on “wearable” computers and cell phones—do we then ban eyeglasses next?

b.         Wyld showed a video on plagiarism and services that sell or identify plagiarized research papers. (see links: http://www.wired.com/news/print/0,1294,57484,00.html and   http://www.turnitin.com/static/about_us/whats_new.html)  He queried whether Southeastern should subscribe to a service like “turnitin.com” or whether we should just better educate our students about what constitutes plagiarism.

c.         Sen. Simoneaux suggested that faculty can address the issue with careful structuring of assignments and diversified methods of assessment.

d.         Sen. Edwards added that their department has started putting a statement on syllabi about cheating and plagiarism.

e.         Wyld mentioned that Dr. Kurtz will address the Senate at the March meeting about the issue of academic dishonesty from the graduate school aspect.  Sen. Neuerburg then suggested we defer the issue until then.  Wyld agreed.

 

            C.        Withdrawal date: [Yeargain]

1.         Sen. Yeargain, who is a member of the University Calendar Committee, mentioned that faculty have complained that they want an earlier withdrawal date.  The Calendar Committee mandate is not to have the withdrawal date before midterm.  The withdrawal date used to be 2 weeks after midterm; presently, it is a week after midterm, to allow faculty to determine midterm grades before the withdrawal deadline.

2.         If faculty preferred, Yeargain could request the withdrawal deadline be moved to right at midterm.  However, all faculty must understand the students must have a grade by that point.  He asked that all senators survey their departments to see if colleagues would be willing to have at least one grade by that point, and email him the consensus.

 

VI.       Announcements:

A.        SGA Report: [Diez, Lewis]:  The SGA is presently trying to recruit students, particularly to the SGA Senate.  She passed out flyers encouraging students to apply.  Each department should have someone on the SGA Senate.  Presently, the big project for the SGA now is Project Safe Campus.  She requested all faculty encourage their students to join SGA.

 

VII.      The meeting adjourned at 4:15.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Joan Faust

Recording Secretary

 

Attachments:

 

 

Faculty Senate Resolution 2003-2004-17

Academic Dishonesty Resolution

 

 

Whereas the faculty and administration of Southeastern Louisiana University agree that academic integrity must be maintained in order to evaluate a student's academic performance fairly,

 

Whereas the current policy in the catalog has some ambiguities or does not address completely such issues as the dean involved and the problem of repeat offenders, and

 

Whereas the Academic Affairs Council has drafted a revised policy on academic dishonesty (attached):

 

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT the Faculty Senate supports the revised academic dishonesty policy proposed by the Academic Affairs Council, with the following changes noted in bold:

 

1.       C.      If the student or faculty member chooses to appeal the

department head's decision, the appeal is then submitted to the dean who has administrative authority over the course. The Dean has ten (10) working days to render a decision.

 

1.       D.      (2)     The sanction imposed was inappropriate (rather than

                             excessive” as in the current policy draft).

 

 


As Discussed by Academic Affairs Council

December 1, 2003

 

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY

           

            The academic community relies upon a high standard of integrity in the relations among its members.  To the extent that this standard is not maintained, the good of the community suffers, and injustice (sometimes serious injustice) may be done.  One of the most important aspects of academic integrity concerns the just measure of each student’s academic accomplishments.  These are ordinarily evaluated through written examination or submitted work.  For such modes of assessment to operate fairly, it is essential that the instructor be assured that the work used to evaluate the student’s performance is genuinely the student’s own.  It is also the responsibility of the student to uphold the academic integrity of the University.  The use of unauthorized material, communication with fellow students during an examination, attempting to benefit from the work of another student and similar behavior that defeats the intent of an examination or other class work is unacceptable.  Cheating on examinations, plagiarism, improper acknowledgment of sources in essays and the use of a single essay or paper in more than one course without permission are considered very serious offenses and shall be grounds for disciplinary action.

 

If a faculty member suspects that a violation of academic integrity has occurred, the procedure below will be followed:

 

1.   Academic  Action - Within ten (10) working days of discovering the alleged violation the faculty member will notify the student in writing of the alleged charges and the right of appeal (see current catalogue under, “Appeal and Change of Grade.”)   No penalty will be imposed until the student has been informed of the charge and has been given ten (10) working days to respond and present a defense. The student must be given an opportunity to personally meet with the faculty member.  In the event the faculty member is not available, the Department Head of the course may serve as proxy and work with the student to resolve the issue.

 

A.    Agreement between the student and the faculty member that a violation has occurred, or no response from the student, will result in the assignment of a lower grade or an F to the test or assignment, or in the case of a serious violation, a lower grade or F for the course.  This will be at the discretion of the instructor.  A written report of the action taken must  be filed with the Department Head and Dean of the course involved. In addition, the Dean of the course involved will provide a copy of the report to the Dean and Department Head of the student’s major and the Office of Judicial Affairs.

 

B.    If no agreement is reached between the faculty member and the student, the student may then appeal the decision to the Department Head of the course involved. The student has ten (10) working days to file such an appeal. The department head has ten (10) working days to render a decision.

 

C.    If the student chooses to appeal the department head’s decision, the appeal is then submitted to the dean who has administrative authority over the course.  The student has ten (10) working days to file such an appeal. The dean has ten (10) working days to render a decision.

 

                                   

D.    The appeals must be based on one or more of the following criteria:

(1)     The facts of the alleged violation were in error.

(2)     The sanction imposed was excessive.

 

E.    If all appeals are denied, the original sanctions will be imposed and a  written report of the action(s) taken will be filed with the Office of Judicial Affairs by the dean who has administrative authority over the course. The Department Head and Dean of the student’s major also will be provided a copy of the final report. In the event that a case cannot be resolved before the final grades are due in the Records and Registration Office, the grade of “I” will be assigned to the student for the course until the appropriate grade can be determined.

 

2.   Judicial Sanctions - In addition to the academic actions described previously, if an act of academic dishonesty is particularly egregious or repeated, judicial sanctions may be imposed. If the faculty member, department head, or dean believes that a particular violation of academic integrity warrants disciplinary sanctions such as probation, suspension, or expulsion, the academic dean who has administrative authority over the course may file a written complaint with the Chief Judicial Officer for disposition of the matter through the procedures outlined in the Code of Student Conduct. If there have been repeated acts of academic dishonesty by the student, the dean of the student’s major or the Chief Judicial Officer may initiate judicial procedures as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.

 

 

================================================================