Southeastern Louisiana University Faculty Senate

Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Alumni Center

 

I.                    Senate President David Wyld called the meeting to order at 3:01 p.m. in the Alumni Center. Membership Secretary Mary Sue Ply called roll. Senators absent were: Brewer-Plazinic, Coxe, Depoy, Devaney, Hathorn, Higginbotham, Holt-Ochsner, Jeansonne, Johansen, Li, Ratcliff, Siegel, and Vidrine.

II.                 President Wyld asked the Senators to observe a moment of silence in thought and remembrance of the late Dr. Al Doucette, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

III.               Wendy Siegel (Teaching and Learning) and Robin Norris (English Department) were welcomed as new members of the Faculty Senate.

IV.              Minutes from the August 25, 2004 meeting were unanimously approved.

V.                 Invited Guests:

A.     Senator Wyld introduced Carla Dawsey, director of the Campus Card Operations office, for purposes of discussing I.D. cards and Lion Lagniappe Accounts.

1.      Director Dawsey announced that newly designed I.D. cards are now available for faculty and staff free of charge during the month of September. She said that incoming first-year students have already received the new, colorful cards and that her office has had a great deal of response from others on campus taking advantage of the opportunity to update their photographs. The process of obtaining a new I.D. card takes only a few minutes: the old I.D. is surrendered and a new picture is taken. The office is located in Room 113 of the Student Union and is open during lunch hours.

2.      Responding to a question by Senator Dassau, Ms. Dawsey reported that no birth dates appear on the new I.D. cards, although “W” numbers do. The only difference between a faculty and a student’s I.D. card is the addition of the words “Faculty/Staff” on the card.

3.      Senator Wyld pointed out that I.D. cards could be used at certain businesses for a discount on purchases.

4.      Ms. Dawsey explained that faculty and staff could set up a Lion’s Lagniappe Account that works much like a debit card. Those interested in starting one of these accounts should bring money to the Campus Card office. This money is transferred to a card that can be used in the campus dining facilities (resulting in a savings of the tax) and in campus vending machines. She invited the senators to drop by her office to learn more about the programs offered.

B.     Senator Wyld announced that Dr. Brad O’Hara, who had been an invited guest for the meeting, would be unable to attend. Since Dr. O’Hara had been on the agenda for purposes of discussing ongoing parking and construction activities, Dr. Wyld requested that the senators email Dr. O’Hara directly with any specific concerns about these two issues. Senator Wyld asked the senators to copy him on any emails sent to Dr. O’Hara and, if it is determined that Dr. O’Hara needs to come to the next meeting to address specific concerns, he will be placed back on the agenda.

C.     Dr. Mike Asoodeh was then introduced by Senator Wyld for purposes of reporting on three new technology initiatives on campus: NetStorage, Wireless access, and the “Think before you print!” project.

1.      NetStorage provides disk space accessible via Internet and is available for faculty, staff, and students. Dr. Asoodeh reported that faculty members now have the opportunity to create a folder that they can take with them anywhere. From the SLU home page, click first on Web Mail, and then click on NetStorage for complete instructions.

http://www.selu.edu/Administration/Technology//netstorage.html

a.       NetStorage can be accessed from a number of Browsers including a PC with Internet Explorer 5.0 or above, a PC with Netscape 6.0 or above, a Macintosh with Internet Explorer 5.2 or above, or a Macintosh with Netscape 7.2 or above.

b.      Once an account has been set up, faculty can use their user name and password (the same one used on People Soft) to access the drive.

c.       Dr. Asoodeh said that the created space could also be used to store web files.

d.      He also added that students can use NetStorage to store and to move files, and asked the senators to encourage their students to use this new technology.

2.      The second initiative discussed by Dr. Asoodeh was Wireless access. In the first phase of this effort put into effect by Drs. Moffett and Crain, a number of campus buildings will offer wireless Internet access, including the University Center and the Athletic Department. The Athletic Department now uses wireless technology to check tickets. Access points included in the first phase of this initiative and additional information are viewable at:

http://www.selu.edu/Administration/Technology//wireless

a.       Dr. Asoodeh noted that laptops purchased in the last year should already include wireless as a part of the system, whereas older models require the addition of a wireless card. The University has a limited number of wireless access cards available for university-owned laptops containing a slot, but no card.

b.      He encouraged all senators to take advantage of the wireless capabilities.

3.      Additionally, Dr. Asoodeh reported on the University’s “Think before you print!” initiative. This project was launched before the end of the spring semester and the work was completed in late June and early July. Under this initiative, student computer labs (that are supported through Student Technology Fee dollars) have now been wired so that a student’s print job is held until the student releases the job by walking to the printer and typing in his or her “W” number. Students are told how many print jobs they have submitted over the semester and asked if they still wish to print the material. The University can use this information to track printing expenses in the labs. Adding this extra step to the printing process has encouraged students to think about how much they are printing. Between May 15 and August 15, 2004, this added step resulted in a deletion of 24 percent of the printing jobs submitted. Thus, a substantial paper savings has been realized. Additional information is available at:

      http://www.selu.edu/webmaillinks/studentprinting.html

4.      Discussion ensued about the three initiatives presented by Dr. Asoodeh.

a.       Senator Dassau asked if special access codes were needed for using the Wireless technology? Dr. Asoodeh said that the first time a person is in an area where wireless is available, s/he will be asked to provide a “W” number and password. Once set up on a particular machine, wireless access will then be available on that machine from then on.

b.      Dr. Asoodeh also noted that there is a guest option that allows visitors to have temporary wireless access. Once a guest has been verified (by another on-campus employee), s/he has access to the Internet for 48 hours.

c.       Senator Lewallen asked for clarification about whether NetStorage is a public drive where everyone sees the same files. Dr. Asoodeh confirmed that the drive is as private as any files accessed through one’s user name and password--and added that portions of the drive can be shared with others if so desired.

d.      Dr. Crain asked Dr. Asoodeh to tell the senators approximately how much money is spent each year on printing costs in our tech fee labs to demonstrate the magnitude of the savings we are hoping to receive through the “Think before you print!” initiative. Dr. Asoodeh said that that if the numbers hold, 25% of the annual $160,000 printing budget or $40,000 in annual savings will be realized.

e.       Senator Ramsey noted that he and Senator K. Mitchell, who both direct campus labs, are sensitive to some unpredictability in the budget. Some instructors have been known to send students to the labs to print out syllabi resulting in a transfer from an academic department’s budget to a lab’s budget. Senator Ramsey said that when the class schedule bulletin went electronic, much more paper was used.

f.        Dr. Asoodeh said that the system that he has in the labs that he supports is also available to Senator Ramsey.

g.       Senator Ramsey noted that he already has that system.

h.       Senator Simoneaux reported that the library has been encountering issues with printing Abode Acrobat and other files.

i.         Dr. Asoodeh said that he was already in conversation with Eric Johnson about the issues and would be meeting with him on Friday.

j.        Senator Valentino asked if there was a process in place to request more space on NetStorage.

k.      Dr. Asoodeh said that he is happy to work individually with people who need more space, and that they are welcome to call him.

D.     President Wyld next welcomed Dr. John Crain for purposes of addressing a couple of questions that had come up about the confidentiality agreement that faculty members were forwarded this past summer to sign. Senator Wyld noted that Dr. Crain had previously discussed this issue with the Faculty Senate last spring.

1.      Dr. Crain reiterated that the confidentiality agreement was put into place as part of SACS preparation. SACS has a requirement that we have a privacy policy in place that addresses the confidentiality of information in documents and records.

a.       Dr. Crain said that one question brought up was what items were covered by the confidentiality agreement. The agreement, as distributed, did not list all of the different types of confidential records that an employee might potentially encounter or that exist. Dr. Crain said that creating and including a comprehensive list, as a part of the agreement, would have created an unwieldy document. Therefore, it was decided to prepare a short, generic agreement where employees would acknowledge the fact that they encounter and work with confidential records and agree to hold those in appropriate confidence unless authorized to do otherwise. A cover memorandum was included with the distributed document that referred employees with additional questions to an immediate supervisor or to Dr. Crain directly for clarification about whether something should be considered confidential.

b.      Dr. Crain added that the choice not to list everything covered under the auspices of the confidentiality agreement on the agreement itself was not meant to be elusive or vague, but had been done for the sake of simplicity.

2.      Dr. Crain then opened the floor for questions.

a.       Senator Wyld said that a question forwarded to him concerned what happens if a faculty member chooses not to sign the agreement.

b.      Dr. Crain said that no particular penalty has been put into place such as “confidentiality police” coming around or anything. The document simply asks an employee to acknowledge that s/he sometimes works with confidential information and to acknowledge that the information should not be shared with others. Student grades, for example, should not be published in the newspaper or handed out to others. Dr. Crain said that it seems reasonable to ask our professional faculty and staff to acknowledge that agreement of confidentiality.

c.       He further stated that new employees would be required to sign the document as a part of employment procedures.

VI.              President Wyld announced that there was no old business and moved on to new business.

VII.            New business undertaken included the need to update the Faculty Senate Constitution and Bylaws; outstanding and necessary approvals required for the University’s Computing Policy; lag time between administering and receiving SOT narrative forms; and leave policies for unclassified staff.

A.     Senator Simoneaux said that there were several changes that needed to be made to the constitution and bylaws such as changing the name of the College of Basic Studies to the College of General Studies; updates regarding University Planning, Tenure and Promotions, and Faculty Grievance Committees; and a few other items. She made a motion for the issue to be forwarded to the Constitution and Bylaws Committee for action. Senator Bonnette seconded the motion. The motion was then opened for discussion.

1.      Senator Ramsey noted that the document itself needed some technical corrections such as: Article 1 has a Section 1, but not a Section 2. He recommended a re-vamp of the document.

2.      Senator Wyld asked Senator Simoneaux to clarify whether her motion was for editorial changes or for a re-vamp of the document.

3.      Senator Simoneaux said that we should correct the document. The most important thing at present is to change the names of the colleges to make sure that they are correct.

4.      With no further discussion, the senate voted unanimously to send the issue to the Constitution and Bylaws Committee.

B.     Senator Wyld said that new committee assignments for the year had been made.

1.      The following new committee chairs were recognized: David Ramsey, Chair of the Academic Committee; Paul Carruth, Chair of the Budget Committee; Judy Coxe, Chair of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee; Stuart Stewart, Chair of the Facilities, Safety, and Security Committee; Ed Nelson, Chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee; Pierre Titard, Chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee; and Teri Root, Chair of the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee.

2.      Senator Ply said that she would distribute a complete list of committee assignments via email.

C.     The next order of business related to the University Responsible Computing Policy. Last spring, it was brought to the attention of Academic Affairs that while Section I of the policy had gone through the proper channels, Sections II and III had not been reviewed. In preparation for SACS, the Faculty Senate (along with the Council of Department Heads and the Student Government Association) has been charged with providing input on the Responsible Computing Policy that has been in place since 2002. Senator Wyld recommended that the matter be sent to the Facilities, Safety, and Security Committee for action.

1.      Senator Yeargain made a motion to send the issue to the committee. Senator Simoneaux seconded the motion. The senate voted unanimously to send the issue to the Facilities, Safety, and Security Committee.

2.       The Responsible Computing Policy may be accessed at:

http://www.selu.edu/Policies/responsible.pdf

D.     Going on the next order of business, Senator Yeargain said that he had been approached by a faculty member about the feasibility of receiving SOT Narrative Forms earlier so that faculty members could better address student input in a more timely way.

1.      As it stands now, the faculty members do not receive SOT Narrative Forms until mid-way through the following semester. Since this seems to be a matter of separating sheets, Senator Yeargain asked whether something could be done (such as using student or Options workers) to help speed up the process.

2.      Dr. Crain, having recently discussed this issue at the Executive Committee meeting, said that he had asked for and now received a detailed report on how these very large stacks of information were currently being processed. He said that he planned to follow up with Dr. Hall to determine if there might be a way to facilitate the requested change and would report his findings to the Executive Committee.

3.      Dr. Crain noted that the current process would have to be redesigned if faculty members were to receive the forms earlier. At present, the materials are processed over a period of several weeks, sent to the various departments, and then distributed to individual faculty members.

4.      Senator Yeargain said that he saw no reason to send the matter to committee since Dr. Crain was looking into the matter. The matter was deferred pending Dr. Crain’s report to the Executive Committee.

E.      The next order of business concerned Leave Policies as they are currently applied to and enforced for unclassified employees.

1.      Senator Yeargain asked whether payroll was applying a civil service rule to the faculty. He relayed an incident where a faculty member, who had four office hours and no teaching duties scheduled on a particular day, visited a doctor during his scheduled office hours. Subsequently, payroll got involved because he was not on campus when he was supposed to be and his sick leave was docked eight hours instead of four hours.

2.      Senator Yeargain said that, according to the Faculty Handbook accessible online, sick leave is to be charged on an hourly basis. Further, he said that personal time, according to the Faculty Handbook, was to be treated as sick leave.

http://www.selu.edu/documents/policies/faculty_handbook

3.      Dr. Crain said that he would follow up with Steve Smith in payroll and suggested that a potential solution for faculty members in a similar situation in the future might be to consult with his or her department head. A department head has a fair amount of discretion in permitting a faculty member to schedule/ reschedule office hours.

4.      Senator Yeargain agreed that the Faculty Senate would hold off on this issue until Dr. Crain could obtain further information.

5.      Dr. Crain said that he would provide a further report at the next Executive Committee meeting.

VIII:  Announcements made included:

A.     Senator Wyld thanked all senators for their ongoing service at the committee level, and noted that a complete list of new committee assignments is posted on the Senate website at: http://www.selu.edu/Academics/Depts/FacSen/committee.html

B.     Senator Louise Bostic reported on the FAC and BOS meetings on August 26 and 27, 2004 in Baton Rouge. Her full written report, as noted to the senators, is included below as Addendum 1.

1.      Senator Bostic informed senators of the Council of Presidents’ meeting with recruitment and retention action as primary topics.

a.       Louisiana ranks 45th in the nation for college attainment and the University of Louisiana system has a six-year graduation rate of 35% with a goal of 64% by 2011.

b.      Five major factors have been identified that have effects on student success and seven objectives have also been identified as a necessary focus for state colleges (see Addendum 1).

c.       Senator Bostic reported on two concerns of FAC regarding an emphasis on retention and recruitment:

i.                     Will faculty or new personnel be given the primary recruitment and advising responsibilities? This concern was in response to the stated objective that “New” advising procedure involves “every first-time freshmen (having) an academic/career advisor that will help chart a career path tied to specific coursework.”

ii.                   Another concern was that promotion and merit pay are based more on publications than teaching skills, retention, and advising; and that this practice was not consistent with the message of the meeting.

2.      Dr. Crain added that he was in three different meetings leading up to the meeting of the President’s Council and noted that an article being put out by Educational Trust is driving the discussion about graduation rates in Louisiana. He thought it was important to note the following:

a.       The figures discussed in the publication are from 1997, well before Southeastern initiated admission standards. Student progression and graduate rates are highly correlated with the ACT scores of incoming freshmen. 

b.      Southeastern, according to the report, has the lowest graduation rate in the state for four-year institutions (about 26-28 percent). Louisiana Tech, the institution being held out as a model for everyone else, has had admission requirements for about 15 years and has a graduation rate of 55%.

c.       Dr. Clausen, learning of the article by the Educational Trust, set about to discuss what schools are doing to address the matter of retention. Southeastern, having adopted admission standards in 2000, has already tracked progress in retention rates that we believe will start to show in our graduation rates over the course of the next couple of years.

d.      Regarding the academic advising piece, Dr. Crain pointed to the QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan) that is intended to develop a campus wide model to improve our academic advising.

e.       Additionally, there is an upcoming campus-wide summit about rolling out the recommendations of our QEP team regarding academic advising. Academic advising and QEP are integral parts of our reaffirmation process for SACS. Under SACS, we have to develop a QEP plan and ours focuses on academic advising and is another part of the progress we are trying to make in terms of graduation rates. The QEP, coupled with the progress we are making in admission standards, should result in a significant increase in our graduation rate. Yet, we might see some bad news before we see good news since the figures represent six-year graduation rates.

3.      Senator Ply added that, at the end of the spring semester, she sent out instructions to senators, department heads, and administrators on how to send mass emails to majors in their departments. For purposes of communicating more effectively, mass emails enable groups of students to be isolated based on factors such as grade point averages, graduating seniors, and so forth. Senator Ply said that this form of communication provides a useful tool for advising and retention, and requests that if a department head did not get the email or if she can be of assistance in showing how to send mass emails, to let her know.

C.  There were no SGA announcements.

D.     President Wyld reminded the senators of the faculty spot (34 and 35) available for tailgating. Located on Friendship Circle, this area is available for all Saturday home games. The Alumni Association will be providing jambalaya for the first Saturday home game on September 25th and all faculty members are invited. Senator Wyld then held a drawing to give away the senate parking passes located on Friendship Circle for the next two home games. Several more door prizes were also given.

IX. The meeting was adjourned at 4:16 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for October 6, 2004.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Jayetta Slawson

Recording Secretary

 

 

Addendum 1: Report to the Faculty Senate from Louise Bostic

 

>===== Original Message From Louise Bostic <lbostic@selu.edu> =====

>To: Faculty Senate

>From: Louise Bostic, FAC representative

>Re: Report of August 26, 27, 2004 FAC and BOS meetings

>

>The FAC met at 2:30 in the Claiburn Building, Baton Rouge, with seven

>representatives present, UL-Lafayette, McNeese, Southeastern, Grambling,

>Northwestern, UNO and Nichols.

>

>The Faculty Advisory Council met briefly before the Council of Presidents'

>presentation of their plan for recruitment and retention actions on the

>campuses of the state universities. There was no discussion preceding the

>Presidents' meeting, but written materials were given to those members who

>had not received a draft of the council's plan. Discussion was deferred

>till after the presentation. Following is a summary of the draft and

>discussion:

>

>*Louisiana ranks 45th in the nation for college attainment.

>

>*ULS has a 6yr graduation rate of 35% and the goal was defined to be at

>national rate of 64% by 2011.

>

>*Of five major factors affecting student success, the top two were

>identified to be prior preparation and academic/career advising. These were

>determined to be the necessary focus for the state colleges.

>

>*Objective 1 of this draft was to "strengthen partnerships with districts

>and (secondary) schools..."

>

>*Objective 2, Presidents will lead every facet of the institution toward

>higher retention and graduation rates. Each college president adopted a

>"practice" toward addressing this focus. Southeastern's practice is to be

>faculty advising.

>

>*Objective 3 "New" advising procedure involves "every first-time

>freshman(having) an academic/career advisor that will help chart a career

>path tied to specific coursework"

>

>*One strategy under objective 4, "tracking student success" (#11 in the

>draft) was "identifying "road-block" courses(courses that produce a high

>failure rate) The faculty advisory council was concerned about this

>"strategy" for many reasons on many levels. Faculty involvement here seemed

>critical.

>

>*Objective 5 Each institution will examine the consistency and flexibility

>of its course offerings to ensure students can graduate in a timely fashion.

>

>*Objective 6 was to promote service learning.

>

>*Objective 7 was to emphasize articulation between 2yr and 4yr institutions.

>

>{I have not included the entire seven pages of this Task Force report

>because it is in draft format and much of the material is already in our

>planning and quality education proposals at Southeastern. When a final

>draft or finished report is available, I will forward the complete document

>to the faculty senate. }

>

>Following the 2 hour meeting of the presidents, the faculty representing

>the seven campuses above expressed two primary concerns regarding the

>emphasis on retention/recruitment:

>

>1. Will faculty who are already overloaded with heavy

>teaching/publishing/advising loads be asked to give additional time to this

>emphasis or will new personnel be designated for the primary recruitment

>and advising responsibilities?

>

>2. Recognizing the importance of publication in developing a positive image

>and high academic reputation for the university and understanding this role

>in recruiting some students, the faculty at this meeting agreed that, in

>reality, promotions and merit pay have very little to do with an

>instructor's teaching skills, retention, advising, or any other activity

>relative to meeting student's needs and assisting them toward timely degree

>completion and degree compatibility for the graduate's job satisfaction.

>

>Promotion and merit pay is based primarily if not totally on a faculty

>member's publication record.   It was recognized that publication record is

>easy to measure where effective teaching is sometimes more difficult (e.g.

>retention may be due to grade inflation or diluted course

>content.....advising is only effective if student follows advice......not

>all classes have proficiency exams, therefore academic freedom makes a

>course subject to much diversity (good or bad) depending on the

>instructor......etc.) However, even in cases where SOT's are high, GPA's

>are normal, retention is above 85% and student success is high in

>subsequent classes or in job performance, these instructors are given

>whatever the minimum percentage raises are if their publication record is

>not high. At the same time instructors with consistently low SOT's, high

>withdrawal rates (50-72%), reduced teaching loads (5 classes per year), 10%

>failure rate (GPA as low as 1.8) are rewarded as much as 30% salary

>increases if a significant publication record is shown. This practice is

>not consistent with the message of the meeting we were asked to attend.

>

>BOS Report:

>Only one item relative to Southeastern directly was on Friday's agenda.

>

>* Southeastern's BS degree in Health Science was approved.

>

>Respectfully submitted,

>

>Louise Bostic

>FAC representative