Minutes of the Southeastern Louisiana University

Faculty Senate Meeting

Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Alumni Center

 

I.          The meeting was called to order at 3:00 p.m.  Senators absent: Bonnette, Bouton, Brewer-Plazinic, Coats, Echols, Edwards, Hathorn, VanBeke, Vidrine, and Williams.

 

II.         Senator Bornier moved, Simoneaux seconded, that the minutes of the September 10 meeting be approved.  The minutes were unanimously approved.

 

III.       Invited Guests:

A.        Provost John Crain addressed the Senate for Dr. Brad O’Hara, Assistant Vice-President of Student Affairs, on the status of the designated smoking areas established outside D.Vickers, Fayard, and Garrett Halls and Sims Library.

1.         Crain reminded senators that the Senate recommended these designated smoking and non-smoking areas and the recommendation was supported by the SGA.

2.         The plan is to continue to refine these areas with more planters, benches, and shaded areas.  After refining these four areas, the university will consider adding additional designates smoking areas at other buildings on campus.

3.         Senator Wyld asked if there was a timeline on the installation of permanent signage for the areas.  Crain replied this should be finalized in the next few weeks; Facilities and Planning are working on it.

4.         Senator Mitchell commented that the designated area seems to be working well at D. Vickers, though no signs identify the spot.  Temporary signs were up but are no longer there.  Crain thought that the signs should go up as soon as possible to avoid losing momentum in the initiative.

5.         Wyld added that outside CBUS, students are remaining in designated areas even without signage.

6.         Eric Johnson, Interim Director of Sims Library, mentioned that he still sees some “diehard” smokers near the front doors of the library, but librarians ask them to move to the designated area and the policy seems to be working well.

7.         Crain informed senators that the updated Faculty Handbook will reflect the current smoking policy and practice.

B.         Kathy Pittman, Director of the Alumni Association, reminded Senators of the many activities planned for Homecoming.

1.         The Alumni Association and Athletic Director Frank Pergolizzi have reserved “Spot 47” for faculty tailgating.  This area is the very easternmost tip of Friendship Circle, between Friendship Oak and the street.  All faculty are invited to meet there before the game Saturday, October 18 and all other home games.

2.         Homecoming Week begins Monday, October 13.  Pittman stressed that activities are planned to incorporate academics, also, for example the Phi Kappa Phi Intramural Quiz Bowl Tournament on Tues., Oct. 14, and the “Lion Lesson” competition for best homecoming-related lesson plan by a faculty member.  Senator Faust explained the contest to senators:  the lesson should be described in one page or less and should be able to be completed in one class period.  Prizes are $200 first place, $100 second, and $50 third.  Attached to the minutes is a flyer advertising this activity.

3.         Pittman continued with the full schedule of the week’s activities, available at http://www.selu.edu/Administration/Alumni-Develop/Events/Homecoming03/page2.pdf

 

C.        Frank Pergolizzi, SLU Athletic Director, next addressed the senators (a change in order of agenda because of a time conflict) about football and

other athletic programs.

1.         Senator Carruth complimented Pergolizzi on the careful budgeting his office has done which indicates that, even down the road, academics should not suffer because of the football program.

2.         Senator Ply questioned a comment President Moffett made during the search for the football coach.  She was uncertain whether Moffett assured those present that the operating budget would not be touched until the year 2007 or through 2007.  Pergolizzi replied that football is entirely self-supporting, separate from the other SLU sports programs.  The organization is continuing to raise money and to solicit money for scholarships.  Other funds come from ticket sales and game guarantees, and the coaches themselves are involved in fundraising.  Pergolizzi expects to raise a quarter of a million dollars this year.  He knows Coach Mummy would say we want to be as self-sufficient as we can for as long as we can.

3.         President Moffett added a few comments:

a.         Football is a privately-run program.  Our goal, whether by or through 2007, is for the program to be entirely self-sufficient.  The time frame depends on what we count as year one.  Moffett said he would like to avoid touching the operating budget at least through fall of 2007.

b.         Moffett also commended Pergolizzi for his hard work and the faculty for buying over 650 faculty football season tickets.  This weekend, McNeese wanted to buy 5,000 tickets but we could only give them 1,200 because of the high demand at SLU.  So we could have sold 4,000 more tickets had we had them.

c.         President Moffett promised more signs for the designated smoking areas; he noted a big improvement at Fayard Hall and D.Vickers.

6.         Senator Ply admitted she did not want to sound too critical about football funding.  Many faculty senators present were not at SLU when the university experienced the money crunch from football before it was cancelled—raises were taken away, the library was woefully funded, few scholarships were available.  She just fears a repeat of the problems.

7.         Senator Simoneaux asked Pergolizzi if season tickets will continue to cost $40 next year.  He replied that there were no plans to raise prices for next year, though seating may be refigured.  It appears too much seating was reserved for general admission; the stadium will probably have more reserved seating next year.

8.         President Moffett added that, unlike at many other Louisiana universities, our students must buy their tickets since no university money goes into the football program.

9.         Senator Rossano asked if there were any plans to add the campus radio station to those broadcasting games.  Pergolizzi responded that KSLU cannot use paid commercials, and the football team needs that commercial income.

 

D.     Eric Johnson, Interim Director of Sims Library, gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Patriot Act and its implications for our campus library. (see presentation at http://www.selu.edu/Academics/Depts/FacSen/minutes.html

For the complete text of the Patriot Act, see www.firstgov.gov).

1.         Johnson mentioned that the library’s policy will be to let the Provost know if any government agents request records from our library.  Sen. Schwab asked what the Provost could do if this happens.  Johnson replied that, by law, the library must release the records, but at least they can let the Provost know.

2.         Sen. Ramsey commented that terrorists can never defeat this country militarily; they can defeat us economically so that we fear to leave our houses to buy things and do other normal activities.  He admitted he was against this bill when it was first introduced, even though it had overwhelming public support.

3.         Sen. Holmes echoed Ramsey.  He also admitted being opposed to this “knee-jerk” reaction in taking away constitutional rights.  Three thousand people died in New York City, but 40,000 die on the highway each year—we should be more afraid of cars than of terrorists.  Yet, we’re allowing our rights to be taken away.

4.         Ramsey rejoined that this is the way terrorists can defeat us, as well as tying us up in bureaucratic incompetence.

5.         Sen. Ply asked if there were any challenges to the law in the federal courts or the ACLU.  If one does not know whether his or her records are being accessed, it is difficult to protest a personal case.

6.         Sen. Higginbotham said he was at a Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Virginia, in 1998.  Security personnel came in and asked his associate if he had a computer at a certain university, and was told someone in Europe was trying to log into his computer, so even back in 1998 there was government surveillance.

7.         Sen. Wyld informed senators that the Patriot Act is up for enhancement.

8.         Louise Bostick, Senate FAC/BOS representative, mentioned she had been asked to inform the Board of Supervisors at their meeting next month of our faculty’s concern about the enhancement of the Patriot Act’s authority.  She requested all senators to email her so she can compile some type of summary statement to be approved by the Executive Committee before the BOS meeting.  She mentioned this is more than just the issue of being observed; the Act seems to negate the Constitution.  She believes it is “bigger than we are” and wants to represent us, so she encouraged all to give her their opinions.

 

IV.       Old Business:  two resolutions are up for review and vote:

A.        Distance Education Policy:  Sen. Ramsey, Chair of the Academic Committee, yielded the floor to Sen. Higginbotham to explain their resolution.

1.         Sen. Higginbotham explained that, since faculty want to be available for their students when they need us, for Distance Education courses, that means nights and weekends.  This time when faculty interact online with students at home or elsewhere should be counted as viable office hours.  He presented the committee’s resolution (see attached).

2.         Sen. Ply moved acceptance; Sen. Neuerburg seconded.  Discussion:  Sen. Bancroft asked why faculty could not hold office hours online even if the class is not a Distance Education class.

3.         The motion was unanimously approved.

B.         Three Year Review:  Sen. Guendouzi presented the resolution offered by the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee. (see attached).  Guendouzi commented that her committee did not attempt to rewrite the words that should be in the Faculty Handbook; they just recommend the Handbook be clarified.  Sen. Wyld moved approval; Ramsey seconded.  Discussion:

1.         Sen. Gillen thought the resolution really concerned two issues:  would the timeline issue for sabbatical be lost in the Three Year Review issue?  Should it perhaps be separated into two issues?  Guendouzi said the Senate Executive Committee asked her committee to consider both issues for one resolution.

2.         Sen. Ramsey asked if the Senate Executive Committee thought the two issues should be separated.  Wyld responded that the issue of budgeting affected the spring application for the sabbatical section of the resolution, so the wording in the first “Be it therefore resolved” was to indicate a special situation for the spring-only sabbatical.

3.         Sen. Ply suggested a few friendly amendments, to which Guendouzi agreed.  Ply also questioned the “flexibility” issue of the third “Whereas” statement, which might allow for waffling.  Sen. Simoneaux agreed.  Ply added that any flexibility in timeline should be placed in writing by the Provost.

4.         Sen. Neuerburg suggested we split the resolution into two so as not to confuse the timeline for sabbatical with the issue of Three Year Review.

5.         Sen. Ramsey moved to table the issue until senators were allowed more input.  Seconded—discussion:

a.         Sen. Corbello thought the adherence to the calendar is the main issue, both in regard to files and timeline for sabbatical.  Are we trying to dictate to departments whom they should choose to fire?  Are we asking Department Chairs to give more specifics in their evaluations?  They need to say when they decide not to keep someone for the Three Year Review, or they will have to give details that might get them into legal problems?

b.         Wyld responded that the resolution mostly concerns making standards and procedures uniform across campus.

c.         Corbello continued that a department might have a faculty member who does his or her job but spreads lies trying to get others fired and such.  He admitted he does not want department chairs prevented from using information like that to decide whether or not to fire the employee.

d.         Ply commented that department chairs do not need a reason for firing an employee.  This must be clear in this resolution: faculty must know the procedures of the Third Year Review—the evaluation standards, what is expected of the faculty member, criteria used, not only the procedures for doing reviews but also the criteria for standards upon which the evaluations are based.

e.         Guendouzi added that we almost need three resolutions, then.  The Procedures for review are not really specified, so perhaps the procedures should be in one of the “Whereas’s” of the resolution.

f.          Sen. Mitchell asked why the final tenure review show up in the last paragraph of the resolution if this is about Third Year Review.  Ply responded that the impetus for this resolution was a specific case in which a faculty member was terminated in his or her third year.  However, this has happened to someone in his or her fifth year.

g.         Sen. Wyld commented that this resolution has a two-fold interest for the faculty member: to save the time and preparation of the Three Year file, and to opt out of the Three Year process with the possibility of better references for the next job.

6.         The Senate decided to table the motion and send it back to the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee.

V.        New Business

A.        Election of Alternate for BOS/FAC:  Senator Corbello distributed ballots for senators to decide between candidates Ed Nelson and John Yeargain for Alternate Board of Supervisors/Faculty Advisory Council representative.  After counting ballots, Corbello announced that Yeargain was elected.  He thanked Nelson for offering his services.

B.         Procedures and Criteria for Election of Tenure and Promotion, Grievance Committee:  Sen. Ply asked that senators authorize the Senate Executive Committee to draft a letter expressing concern over the Patriot Act and advise our government officials of to vote against any new bills that further infringe upon our personal rights.  She suggested this letter be sent to U.S. Senators, Representatives, President Bush, John Ashcroft, and others.

1.         Sen. Wyld suggested the Executive Committee could draft a letter but that Bostick can gain individual feedback to help summarize faculty opinion.

2.         Senator Yeargain said we do not really need a resolution for this; a resolution offers a recommendation to the Administration, but here we are expressing our views to the government.  We only need an Authorization to our FAC representative and the Executive Council to draft a letter.

3.         Neuerburg agreed, but thought we should understand the direction of the majority of the faculty.  Perhaps most of them support the Patriot Act or are indifferent to it.  Senators can email their departments for feedback.

4.         Sen. Wyld asked for authorization for the Executive Council to draft a letter to the proper government officials after getting opinions from the departments.

5.         Sen. Burns asked what if 25% of the faculty express satisfaction with the Patriot Act?  At what point do we ignore faculty views?  Wyld replied that the issue would only be in reference to the library and our use of it, not the entire Patriot Act.

6.         Sen. Bostick queried if faculty realizes what this would mean to those doing lots of research.  Some just might just not know the ramifications of this act.

7.         Sen. Burns mentioned that he will put the entire PowerPoint presentation on the Senate webpage so all can access it.

8.         Sen. Carruth asked if senators could have a unified message for each senator to send to members of the departments.  Wyld replied he would draft something and run it by the Executive Committee to send to all senators.

C.        Online Elections:  Because of the length of today’s meeting, Senate President Wyld sent the issue of the feasibility of online Senate Elections to Sen. Corbello and the Nominations and Elections Committee for discussion.

D.        The issue of the Criteria for Election of Tenure and Promotion and Grievance Committee was deferred to the November 12 meeting because of time constraints, also.

VI.       Announcements

A.        Senate Elections: Sen. Ply announced the list of new senators.  She will send an updated list of committee members to all chairs.

B.         Sen. Diez was not able to give the SGA Report, but Wyld informed senators that the SGA passed a resolution to demolish two tennis courts on Oak Street to provide more parking.  He will get more details.

V.                 The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.  Note: change in original date of next         meeting to Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2003.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Joan Faust,

Recording Secretary

 

 

Resolution Discussed

 

RESOLUTION ON DISTANCE LEARNING POLICY AND FACULTY OFFICE HOURS

Resolution 01 – 2003-2004 Academic Year

 

 

 

Whereas office hours are intended to facilitate communication between students and their professors, and

 

Whereas distance learning students want to be able to communicate with faculty members during the evenings and weekends, 

 

Now be it therefore resolved that the distance education policy explicitly include a provision for office hours to be done online, as a percentage of the distance education courses the instructor is teaching, meaning that the faculty member does not have to be physically in the office on campus for these online office hours.