Minutes of the Southeastern Louisiana University

Faculty Senate

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

 

 

I.          Senate President David Wyld called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.  Senators absent: Ahn, Andrus, Bancroft, Blanchard, Boulahanis, Brown, Echols, Hathorn, Ratcliff, VanBeke, and Wills.

 

II.         The minutes of the August 27, 2003 minutes were unanimously approved.

 

III.       Invited Guests:  Dr. Mike Asoodeh, Dr. Bea Baldwin, and Pres. Randy Moffett

 

A.        Dr. Mike Asoodeh, Assistant Vice President of Technology, offered a PowerPoint presentation on security concerns for faculty and staff at Southeastern (see attached at end of minutes).  Some points raised:

1.            How vulnerable are we?  No matter how careful we are, if hackers can outwit huge government agencies and major corporations, they can outwit our security measures.  Technology will not contact faculty and staff about any little problem, but we will contact faculty about major problems.

2.            There are steps that faculty and staff can take to increase their own security:

a.            Guard passwords and be creative with passwords. Hackers know the top 6 passwords used, so don’t use “password” for your password; be unique.

b.            If you get an email and the person from whose address it was sent says he or she did not send it, then a hacker got into that person’s address book and sent emails to his or her entire address book, OR your name was in the address book and it then sent emails from you to people not in your address book, just because your name was in another’s address book.

c.             Sen. Faust asked if one does not recognize the sender of an email or suspects the subject line of an email, is it better to delete the email before opening?  Asoodeh responded that often you don’t know whether or not it is dangerous until you read it; just be sure NOT to do whatever the email directs you to do (like delete a file or open a file—or withdraw money from your bank account and deposit in the sender’s!)

d.            Sen. Ramsey suggested it is better to use the bcc line for a large list of addresses so that it doesn’t clog the system so badly.

e.            Asoodeh explained that the spam control was raised in July since the university experienced a higher spam rate between May and July.  Faculty and staff can adjust the spam level to their preference, but Technology found that a level of 13 eliminated 99% of the spam content.  Asoodeh admitted he lowered his spam level to 5%, which eliminated all spam, but might eliminate desired email.  However, he does tell faculty they may lower their spam rate by adjusting the control to 5.  The lower the number, the more stringent the filter.  If the system does eliminate good email, faculty can access “spam” as a choice on webmail to view which emails had been eliminated.

f.            Sen. Corbello asked what to do in the situation that an email is from someone we know but we are not sure.  Asoodah replied we must decide how much spam we want reduced, since lower numbers on spam control might eliminate good emails.

g.            Sen. Higginbothem mentioned he put a “zone alarm” on his computer that tells him if either his computer is trying to access the internet or if someone else is trying to access his computer.  He found that many people were trying to access his computer, and most attacks in email were from Microsoft Outlook; Higginbothem recommended faculty to use Eudora, since it is too small to attract hackers.  Asoodeh replied that the university is looking at other types of protection.  However, some sites faculty might access will put cookies on the faculty’s computer so that they can get a profile of the faculty’s habits and preferences.  These sites can then market the information.

h.            Sen. Neuerburg offered his solution: he uses Internet Explorer for Peoplesoft and Blackboard and Netscape for any other sites he is not familiar with, and he always refuses cookies.  Also, some sites can help determine if unknown emails are safe or not and for updates on the latest viruses: he offered the following sites:

            http://hoaxbusters.ciac.org/HBHoaxIndex.html

            http://www.ciac.org/ciac/

            http://securityresponse.symantec.com/

            According to Neuerburg, these are among a number of good, trusted pages that help sort junk mail out.

i.            Sen. Burns also suggested the use of Windowwasher, which wipes a user’s surfing, cookies, etc. clean.  Also, asked Sen. Burns, if SLU is stressing the importance of passwords, why did the university go to a system for which a central database was set up so we could all use the same password?  Asoodeh responded that eventually, SLU wants to have one portal for the system.  Sen. Burns asked if this would provide the same security as multiple passwords.  Mr. DeJean, Dr. Asoodeh’s assistant,  responded that actually, one portal makes it more secure, since various accounts do not have to be turned off.  Sen. Burns commented on the mention of the email offer from South Africa, asking the addressee to deposit money in a foreign bank account:  a blogger tried to answer the $13 million offer from South Africa.  He got all the way to receiving an invitation to Amsterdam.  He stopped there.

j.            Sen. Ramsey added that cookies stay on the computer, so it is dangerous to leave one’s computer unattended, since someone can use your computer, go to a porno site, and the cookie will remain there, indicating you visited that site.

k.            Asoodeh concluded that the actions we can take for our own security can accomplish more than anything Computing Services can do.  He invites anyone with questions or problems to visit him in McGeehee 215 and to call if ever we have any doubts about a security problem.

B.         Dr. Bea Baldwin, Assistant Vice President of Academic Services:  Dr. Baldwin addressed the senate about SACS preparations, which have been taking place on several fronts:

1.            Faculty Handbook Revisions: The Faculty Handbook Committee has worked to coordinate all handbooks on campus with the SACS requirements; the new Faculty Handbook should be on line by the end of September.  Dr. Baldwin passed out an explanation of the revisions (see attached at end of minutes).

a.            Sen. Wyld added that this revised Faculty Handbook will be exclusively on the web.  Baldwin added that the Handbook has been posted exclusively on the web for several years except for printed excerpts for new faculty.  The web-based format facilitates updating information.

b.            Sen. Wyld called senators’ attention to the matrix page on the handout which references coordinating handbooks.

2.            SACS visit: Dr. Baldwin explained that President Moffett has just appointed a committee to prepare for the SACS visit.  The requirements are much changed from the old template, much more streamlined.

a.            Next August (Year 9), we must turn in the Compliance Certification Report, which is rather brief, only a page or so on each of the 12 core requirements and on each of the 53 standards.

b.            Another new component of SACS is the Quality Enhancement Plan, which demonstrates our ability to identify needs for improvement of the student learning environment and to formulate a plan to meet those needs.

c.            The focus of this Quality Enhancement Plan for this SACS visit is Student Academic Advising.  This multi-year project, headed by Tena Golding, will begin its pilot phase next year, with implementation in 2005-2006.  This QEP Team (Academic Advising Council) will provide a viable implementation plan that includes context, objectives, action plans, and resources, and will continue to report several years after the site visit.

d.            In addition to the expected “on-site review,” the SACS process will include an “off-site review,” for which we will send our Compliance Certification Report to peer groups from other universities.  They will review our report off-site and review all supporting documentation.  The group will then meet in small groups in Atlanta, reviewing 6 universities at a time.  Those universities scheduled for On-Site visits in 2004 will be the first to go through this process, so Southeastern will not be in this first group, since our On-Site is scheduled for March of 2005.

e.            In March, 2005, a SACS team of approximately 8 people will visit campus for 3 days, visiting with faculty, students, administrators, department heads, and others.  Two members of the team will focus on our Quality Enhancement Plan, another difference in the new SACS process.

f.            We will hear in December 2005, if we are approved for reaffirmation, a designation necessary for us to continue to offer federal aid to students and also a requirement for offering degrees in the State of Louisiana.

 

C.        President Moffett addressed the Senate to explain faculty raises that were announced this week.

1.            Departments were given funds equaling 4% of faculty salaries for each faculty member in the department (and $1600 for those making under  $40,000).

                        2.            Raises began at $250 and increased according to merit.

3.            Moffett commented that this increase should bring Southeastern’s salaries close to the Southern average.

4.            Faculty should see this raise in their September 30 check, while 12-month employees will receive it in the October 4 check.

 

IV.       Old Business

            A.            Distance Education Policy: Academic Committee

1.            Academic Committee Chair Sen. Ramsey distributed a list of suggestions on the issue of office hours for those teaching online courses.  Some points raised:

a.            Faculty teaching online classes should be allowed to fulfill office hours online, not physically in the office on campus

b.            These online office hours should be the percentage of that faculty member’s courses offered online.

c.            A faculty member may then use Saturdays, Sundays, and evenings as times for office hours in those situations in which such office hours are convenient for the students.

2.            Ramsey requested faculty input so that the Senate may fully consider the issue at the October meeting.

 

            B.            Three Year Review: Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee

1.            Sen. Guendouzi, Chair of Professional Rights and Responsibilities, explained that the committee had only one meeting because of the lack of time between senate meetings.  She passed out a summary of their discussion (see attached at end of minutes).  Sen. Wyld commended Guendouzi and her committee for handling the matter so quickly and efficiently.

2.            Upon review of the case in which a faculty member prepared for the Third Year Review but was terminated before his prepared file ever reached the faculty committee, Professional Rights and Responsibilities concluded the following:

a.            The University acted within the guidelines of the Faculty Handbook, but guidelines in the Handbook are very vague.

b.            The committee thought the issue should go to the Grievance Committee; however, according to the Handbook, the faculty member should have done so within 10 days.  Now, Guendouzi admitted, the committee is not sure what can be done.

c.            Sen. Holmes questioned that if Three-Year Reviews are done but the employee is still terminated, why do the review?

d.            Sen. Yeargain moved that the Senate discuss the issue.  Knutson seconded; motion approved.

                        3.            Discussion:

a.            Sen. Wyld, who participated in the Faculty Handbook Review Committee with Dr. Baldwin, commented that the Handbook says surprisingly little about the process of the Third-Year Review.  If the issue is sent to committee for further study, he would like specific recommendations to formalize the process.

b.            Sen. Brocato, a member of the Professional Rights Committee, offered that she had just gone through her Third-Year Review, and, talking to other faculty members, she discovered that there is obviously no consistency between various departments.  Even portfolios of various departments are totally different.  When she read the termination letter of the case under study, it unnerved her.  She thought the purpose of the Third-Year Review was to offer suggestions for improvement; this termination letter was one sentence.

c.            Sen. Yeargain added that, since he brought the issue to the attention of the Senate at the last meeting, another item came up for the Senate to consider.  Faculty is evaluated every year, department heads and deans are evaluated, too, but they are not held to the same standards as are faculty.  In a recent case for a request for sabbatical, a dean and a department head procrastinated and the faculty member could not receive the sabbatical, even though he had taken extensive financial steps assuming he would receive it.  Administrators should be held to the same deadlines as faculty.  Yeargain admitted he is not trying to get everyone to file a grievance (especially since he is on the Grievance Committee), but something must be done to call attention to these problems to the proper authorities.  There should be no exceptions—if the timeline is wrong, it should be changed, but don’t put the faculty member at risk by not following the timeline. 

He agreed with Sen. Brocato: the Third-Year Review should be formalized.  Whatever we are evaluated on each year, that is what the Third-Year Review should be based on.  “Some people don’t like specifics,” commented Yeargain.  “I love specifics.  We have the matrix to give evaluations; they should be followed.  Then if a person gets a termination letter, at least the faculty member knows what he’s done.”

d.            Sen. Ply added that we don’t want unnecessary grievances.  Calendars do exist and they need to be respected.  When a faculty member submits a file in good faith for a Third-Year Review, it ought to take place.  It didn’t, in this situation.  Maybe the faculty member wasn’t advised properly, but we expect the administration to adhere to timelines and to protect faculty rights.  That’s what the Senate exists for.

e.            Sen. Wyld offered that the issue of the sabbatical was discussed at the executive meeting; when tied to the issue of the Third-Year Review, it makes a bigger case:  “From my background in management,” commented Wyld, “the whole issue of performance review is a problem in business as well as in the academic world.  Timely and proper feedback is important.”

f.            Sen. Carruth asked if every faculty member is required to undergo a Third-Year Review, even if a termination letter is received before the Review.  Ply responded that it depends when the termination letter is received.

g.            Sen. Wyld thought the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee should look at the Handbook issue, reviewing the timeline and sabbatical guidelines.

h.            Sen. Guendouzi requested that anyone with suggestions email her (jguendouzi@selu.edu)

 

V.        New Business: none

 

VI.            Announcements

A.        Senate Elections:

1.            Sen. Ply informed the Senate that she has received responses from all but 3 departments updating their faculty numbers:  Human Development, Educational Leadership and Technology, and Visual Arts.  She needs these numbers to determine if the number of senators from each department needs adjustment, which is the case for Music, Jr. Division, Teaching and Learning, Math, Foreign Language, History and Government, Nursing, and Marketing. 

2.            She will contact a senator from those departments to be in charge of elections and whether these terms will be one or two years, so that terms can be staggered.  She hopes elections can be held by the October meeting.

 

B.         Call for Nominations:  BOS/FAC Alternate:  Sen. Wyld announced that nominations for the position of Alternate Representative for the BOS (Board of Supervisors)/FAC (Faculty Advisory Council) Alternate Representative are still open (see call for nominations attached at end of minutes).  So far, Ed Nelson, John Yeargain, and Al Dranguet have been nominated.

 

C.        BOS/FAC Report: FAC/BOS Representative Louise Bostick offered the following report:

 

To: Faculty Senate

>From: Louise Bostic, FAC  representative

>Re: Report of August 28, 2003 meeting

>

>Four items were discussed which seemed of possible interest to our faculty:

>

>1. A primary focus of the Faculty Advisory Council chair regarding the BOS

>meetings was policy concerning library funding, salary scales, budget

>distribution by the new state law (1998?) and continued implementation of

>this funding with upcoming budgetary restraints.

>Since this major funding is by law and thus mandatory, concern was in the

>effect on other areas of budgets as in faculty cuts/raises, travel, etc.

>This concern was for possible effects in the next year since no one really

>knows what will actually happen.

>

>Perhaps my own reaction was naive but I found these concerns somewhat over

>emphasized.

>

>2. Considerable time was spent discussing UNO's faculty senate negotiations

>with their provost concerning decisions regarding Basic Studies structure,

>admissions changes, faculty appointments, etc. The concern of the senate

>there was the lack of faculty input in these decisions. The senate felt

>that decisions being made effected the faculty in general and the

>administration felt that Basic Studies was a separate area and more in the

>classification of continuing education or testing or tutoring and the

>faculty as a whole needed not to be involved in administrative decisions

>(qualifications of faculty, salary, etc) in that area.

>

>The general feeling of FAC representatives was that UNO's senate president

>was causing himself considerable stress and pressure over a difference of

>opinion that could be viewed either way and that he might save his energy

>for issues more clearly relative to the faculty as a whole.

>

>3. In June the FAC sent a memo to Dr Clausen expressing concern over policy

>changes being implemented under PPM's instead of through prescribed

>procedure especially when changes involved hiring procedures and tenure as

>was done on some campuses early in the year. No response from Dr Clausen

>has been received regarding these concerns.

>

>4. A second memo has been prepared by the chair of the FAC regarding

>involvment of the FAC in BOS decisions and actions... of including FAC "in

>the loop". Henry has not delivered that memo for two reasons: He feels the

>memo needs to be delivered personally rather than mailed and he wants our

>committee to submit definite suggestions or specific mechanisms for our

>involvement such as FAC members being appointed to BOS committees either

>voting or non voting. These suggested mechanisms would allow us to bring a

>memo to the board which is something more than just another "gripe". With

>the mechanisms must come additional time committment from the FAC

>representatives. If appointment to BOS committees, for example, were

>implemented, the representative would have a considerable additional

>obligation of his/her time. On the other hand this would assist the FAC

>committee in meeting their objectives as viable representatives to the BOS

>rather than simply a "reporting" group.

>

>5. Most of the budget information involves the 3% increase in budgets to

>all institutions of higher education under the board of supervisors. Some

>confusion regarding our FAC meeting time kept some of us from attending the

>meeting on Friday and I will report the results of the Friday BOS meetings

>within two weeks, when the notes from those FAC representatives are

>compiled and sent.

>

>This report is respectfully submitted as FAC representative SLU.

>

>Louise Bostic

 

 

D.        SGA Report: Sen. Diez, the Senate liaison to the SGA, mentioned that the SGA would be sponsoring the Gubernatorial Forum tonight (Sept. 10) as well as the Patriots’ Day gathering tomorrow (Sept. 11) at noon in the Student Union Park.  The SGA is requesting contributions to the Memorial Bell, a commemorative piece they hope to purchase.

 

E.         Sen. Wyld called attention to flyers distributed for Career Fair 2003, activities to be held Sept. 9-23.  He commended Ken Ridgedell and the Career Services staff for exciting things they are doing for our students; we need to make our students aware of them.

 

F.         Before adjourning the meeting, Sen. Wyld pitched some of the highlights planned for our October meeting:  Library Director Eric Johnson will discuss the Patriot Act and its effect on faculty/student privacy and security.  Also, Athletic Director Frank Pergolizzi will come to answer questions about funding the football program.  Stay tuned!

 

VII.      The meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.  Next meeting:  October 1, 2003.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Joan Faust

Recording Secretary

 

 

Attachments:

 

 

Faculty Handbook Update – 9/2/03

 

Overall Changes:

Reorganization

·        Entire handbook is reorganized in order to coordinate the

Parts and Sections of the Faculty Handbook with other Employee

Handbooks (ex. Southeastern’s Drug Free Workplace policy is Part II.

Section I. in all employee handbooks)

·        In addition, some Sections were moved into Parts that more accurately

describe the policy (ex., some of the sections in Part VII Miscellaneous

Policies in the old handbook are moved to Part II General Information on

University Employment, such as Southeastern’s Drug Free Workplace policy)

 

Editing Changes

·        Wording referencing faculty is changed to “employees” or

“faculty & staff” where applicable.

·        References to particular offices reflect correct office name, references to

particular positions updated per reorganization of the university’s

structure (ex., Dean of Students replaced with VP Student Affairs, Director of

AA now Dean of Enrollment Management, Student Discipline now Student

Conduct Hearing Board)

 

ULS Rules

·        references updated, copy changed to reflect latest Board polices (where

applicable)

 

Links Added

·        sections referencing particular policies or forms now have links to the

policy or form

 

 

Part I. Organizational Structure

·        Institutional purpose statement separated from Governing Boards

·        Dean of EM, Assistant VP job descriptions added to University Admin. Position section

·        Dept head job description placed under Section E

·        Sections are updated, reflecting changes in organizational structure

 

Part II. General Information – University Employment

·        Equal Opportunity in Education policy separated from EEO/AAP section

·        Policies updated: Violence in Workplace, Drug & Alcohol Abuse Prevention Policy

·        New sections added: Domestic Violence in Workplace Policy, Vacancy Announcements

 

Part III. Policies Governing Employment of Faculty

·        change in Faculty Orientation section – new faculty expected to attend

 

Part IV. Responsibilities and Duties of Faculty

·        New sections added: Telephones and Fax Machines, Confidentiality of Information, Employee Exit Check Out Procedures

·        Instructional Practices section updated (per Provost’s memo, changes in grading procedures and GPA calculation procedures)

 

Part V. Rights and Privileges Pertaining to Faculty

·        New sections added: Health Issues and Rights

 

Part VI. Other Policies and Procedures

·        New sections added: Pets on Campus, University Bulletin Boards, Employee Safety, Safe Driver Program, Space Management Policy, Smoking Policy update with approved changes

 

Part VII. Community-University Relations

·        Section updated: Use of University Name - changed to Southeastern’s Graphic Standards and Use of University Name – includes info on graphic standards from Public Information’s graphics standards manual

 

Part VIII. University Procedures in Emergency Situations

·        No changes made

 

Part IX. Participation in University Governance

·        No changes other than updating information on committees        

 

                       

 

 

 

 

Committee for Professional rights and responsibilities

 

Meeting: Monday September 8th

 

1.00 pm present: Larry Holmes, Jacki Guendouzi, Evelyne Bornier, Celina Echols.

  

  1. The aggrieved faculty member presented his side of the case and gave further feedback.
  2. Committee discussed the issue.

 

Second meeting 2.30pm present: J Guendouzi, Lin Knutson, Lori Brocato.

1.      Sen Guendouzi gave feedback of the earlier meeting and asked for input from Sen. Brocato and Knutson.

 

.

The committee felt that there were three main issues:

  1. Whether the University had acted within the time scale stated in the handbook.

 

  1. Whether, given the very minimal amount of information about the 3 year review process, Dr Smith’s dept. had carried out the process fairly re: summary review and committee?

 

  1. Whether we need to ‘review’ the review process?

 

Outcome:

 

·        We felt that the University had fulfilled its minimal obligations in terms of the time-scale and the issuing of the terminal letter.

 

·        Overall we also felt that they had followed procedure. This does not mean we condone or oppose the way they handled the matter but we felt that given the less than explicit guidelines in the Faculty Handbook it is hard to actually assess what a 3 year review should be. There are, it seems, very varied procedures carried out by different departments.

 

·        The handbook states that the 3 year review file should go to a faculty committee and the faculty member be given a summary review. BUT there are no real guidelines as to what should be included in a summary evaluation. Is it just a short conclusion e.g. “you haven’t made the grade” or should it be detailed? The only thing that is clear is the time-line and that copies of ‘any’ comments or recommendations be given to the Head of Dept., Dean, Provost and Faculty member and that those comments be candid and clear but there doesn’t appear to be an obligation to provide detailed comments. I think most faculty assume that this would be the honorable thing to do. The committee felt that while Dr Smith had provided documentation of his side of the case they couldn’t judge accurately whether or not his department had carried out an acceptable review process without hearing from the department head, college dean, tenure committee chair, and the Provost.

 

·        In the case of the tenure procedure [and we assume the 3 year review to be a part of the procedure] if the faculty member is dissatisfied with the Provost’s decision they may request, within 10 working days, that the grievance be presented to the Faculty Grievance Committee. We decided that the individual case of Dr Smith’s grievance should be the business of the Faculty Grievance Committee, but we were concerned that as he had not [to our knowledge] approached the Senate or Grievance Committee within the time-line stated in the Handbook (III:31), that he might find he had left it too late. The University would be in its rights to claim he had not followed ‘due process’.

 

·        The third issue is the actual 3 year review itself and we feel that this is a topic that needs to go to senate for full discussion, particularly the following points:

 

-         Should the 3 year review process be standardized?

-         Does the actual procedure (rather than the time-line) need to be made much more explicit in the documentation.

-         Standards for publication acceptance e.g. publishing out of field, on listed journals etc.

-         If the 3 year review does not serve as a midterm progress report (i.e. by letting you know areas where your profile is weak and allow you time to improve your profile) why should we bother going through the process?

 

Call for a motion to open this issue out for discussion.