Southeastern Louisiana University Faculty Senate
October 5, 2005
I. President Simoneaux called the meeting to order at 3 p.m. Senator Ply called the roll. Senators absent were: Bancroft, Dassau, McCalman, Nelson, Smith, Trowbridge, and Yoshida.
II. Minutes for the September 14, 2005 meeting were approved.
III. Senator Simoneaux introduced the invited guests.
A. Kathy Pittman, Director of Alumni Relations, was present to give an update on Homecoming 2005.
1. Hurricane Katrina forced a rescheduling of homecoming and
postponement of some events. Homecoming Week is now the week of
November 7th. The reunion, alumni awards and other alumni events
are being postponed to the Spring because of the displacement of
many alumni and the limited availability of local accommodations.
2. All of the traditional faculty/staff and student events will go on as
planned. These include Gumbo YaYa, the Phi Kappa Phi Quiz Bowl,
the dedication of new donors on the Wall of Honor, and the bonfire.
Please check the website for times and locations.
3. There will also be some new events, such as Chips, Dips, and All That
Jazz, which will be a contest for the best tailgating recipe.
4. On game day, the Homecoming Parade will begin at 3 p.m and
a tent will be set up for faculty and staff tailgating. This tent will also
be for showcasing faculty talents. Please contact the Alumni Office
5. Seniors on the football team will be introduced before the game.
Halftime activities will include presentation of the Homecoming Court
and unveiling of the new design for the first-ever official
Southeastern Louisiana University school ring.
6. Faculty are asked to participate in Homecoming activities and to
encourage all students to participate, especially by wearing green and
7. Ms. Pittman ended by urging everyone to attend Saturday’s game.
B. Dr. John Crain, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, was present to give an update on the budget.
1. Right now, there is still a lot that we don’t know about the budget
situation. The state is still reviewing the impact of the hurricanes on
the state budget. The Administration has been told that the effect is
“significant” but has not been given a specific dollar amount.
2. There is a hiring and spending freeze in effect. All departments must
recognize that we can’t spend as usual. This affects travel, hiring
(including student workers), and acquisitions. Money can be spent
for instructional supplies and any emergency spending that is part of
“hurricane recovery” needs.
3. State universities have asked the Commissioner of Administration to
exempt them from the freeze and instead give a specific budget cut
amount to deal with so they can make adjustments. It looks
promising that the Commissioner will agree to this.
Universities could then begin to work with a new budget base.
4. We are concerned about the cuts to travel and acquisitions, but hope to
have some relief soon. All critical operations are covered.
5. Senator Weaver asked if circuit breakers could be replaced. She said
that Physical Plant workers seemed to think that this was not an
allowed expense. Dr. Crain responded that this is an operating
expense and a part of hurricane recovery that would be covered.
6. Senator Valentino asked exactly what can be spent. Dr. Crain
responded that there are broad, complicated provisions on spending.
Departments can spend whatever is already budgeted for instructional
supplies, operating services (such as postage, phones, and printing),
and up to 75% of what is in their budgets for general supplies. A
department cannot move money from “forbidden” categories to
allowed ones. There is a freeze on travel, although some in-state field
travel (such as student teaching) has been okayed. There can be no
new acquisitions, such as computers. Budgets with “restricted” funds
are not affected. The cuts affect only the operating funds already in
departmental budgets. “Hurricane recovery” is a broad category
which covers, for example, the hiring of temporary personnel.
If anyone is in doubt about an expenditure, an email requesting
clarification should be sent to Dr. Crain.
7. Senator Neuerberg asked what the impact is on Southeastern’s ability
to provide matching funds for grants. Dr. Crain said that matching funds are restricted to monies already in the operating budgets. Academic enhancement monies, tech fees, and library scientific equipment monies are possible categories for use. One-half of that is capital outlay and can be used. When that money is allocated to colleges, priority is given if it will be used for grants.
8. Senator Schulte asked if the freeze will affect travel for the football
team. Dr. Crain said that the University has requested clarification
from the Commissioner of Administration on this. Athletics is an
“auxiliary.” Auxiliaries are usually exempt.
9. Senator Ply asked if Bobby Jindal’s bill for reallocation of Department
of Education money has passed. Dr. Crain said that this bill allows for
the reallocation of some residual funds. He does not know how much
money that would be, and he did not know the bill’s status.
10. Senator Ply asked if the TOPS freeze was still in effect. Dr. Crain said
that the freeze has been lifted so the University is expecting those
11. Senator Ramsey said that he has seen the names of faculty from other
State universities on conference programs. He wondered how that
could be. Dr. Crain said that he did not know, but there is a freeze on
travel. Senator Ramsey asked if faculty could expect travel funds in the
future. Dr. Crain said he could not say at this point.
IV. New Business
A. Senator Simoneaux introduced Senator Ply to present the issue of the
Advertising Guidelines for Tenure Track Faculty.
1. Senator Ply referred to the hand-out stating the guidelines for
advertising for tenure track positions. The guidelines call for “two
classified ads,” but there is some concern about the inconsistencies
across departments in how this is interpreted. Some departments use
national publications while others do not.
2. Senator Ply said the issue is: should there be more consistency? She
made a motion to send the issue to committee for consideration.
Senator Gonzalez-Perez made a second. The motion passed. It was
sent to Faculty Welfare for action.
B. Senator Simoneaux then introduced Dr. Kurtz, Dean of the Graduate School,
to present the next item of New Business.
1. Dr. Kurtz referred to the hand-outs presented to the Senate regarding
graduate faculty. Dr. Kurtz served as chair of the Graduate Faculty
Status Committee, an ad hoc committee which Dr. Crain organized to
consider changes to the Faculty Handbook. The impetus for this was
the SACS review and the new guidelines for graduate faculty.
2. The committee came up with two recommendations. These changes
are in black on the hand-outs. This document was taken to the
Graduate Council. Their slight changes are in red on the hand-outs.
Dr. Kurtz was bringing the document to the Senate for action. Senator
Neuerberg made the motion, Gonzalez-Perez made the second.
3. Senator Ply said that the documents being presented differ from the
one that was given to the Executive Committee. She wants all
documents to be given to the Senate for review.
4. Dr.Crain said that the document labeled Graduate Faculty would
replace the current section in the handbook. The other document on
the guidelines for selection of graduate faculty would not go in the
handbook because it is not a policy issue. It would most likely take the
form of a memo from Dr. Crain to department heads.
5. Senator Ply said that the changes did not seem to be minor. She said
the two versions have a different “tenor” on who can teach graduate
classes. She said the Graduate Council is not representative enough so
senators should see the version that the Executive Committee saw. She
asked if she could add a friendly amendment to that effect. Senator
Yeargain said that was allowed.
6. Senator Ramsey observed that under SACS guidelines faculty in
the Business department with 18 hours of specific graduate work but no
scholarly record can teach graduate classes while someone without 18
hours in one area but with a strong scholarly record cannot. He said
that SACS and the AACSB (accrediting body for Business) have
7. Senator White referred to the phrase in the document which says the
“department may recommend a 3-year term.” She said that department members, including graduate faculty, have no say in this.
Dr. Kurtz responded that this should be worked out at the departmental
8. Senator Root said that this document does away with the “temporary”
and “adjunct” categories of graduate faculty. Dr. Crain said that this
was a recommendation of the ad hoc committee. If a faculty member
does not have to be a member of the graduate faculty to teach graduate
classes, then only one category is needed. Requiring graduate faculty
status had been used as a way to motivate those with temporary status
to achieve graduate faculty status. Dr. Crain said he had no problem with senators seeing all versions of the documents under discussion.
9. There being no more discussion, Senator Simoneaux called for a vote on
the motion to send the issue to committee. The motion passed. Issue was
sent to Academic Affairs.
C. Senator Simoneaux asked Senator Ply to raise the next order of business. Senator
Ply said that she had asked for Dr. Burstein to be invited to discuss concerns about the dismissal of tenure track faculty. Senator Simoneaux introduced
Dr. Burstein, Professor, Head of the Psychology Department, and President of the AAUP-Southeastern Executive Committee.
1. Dr. Burstein said that he was recommending that changes be made to the
Faculty Handbook regarding the non-renewal of probationary tenure
track faculty. He referred to his hand-out listing the four principles of
AAUP policy on this subject. Briefly, they are that the employee be
aware of the criteria that will be used for evaluation, that colleagues be
involved in the evaluation process, that the employee receive timely
notification of non-renewal, and that the employee be given a written
copy of the reason(s) for non-renewal.
2. Dr. Burstein said that the faculty handbook covers the first and third
principles, but it is not clear on how faculty participate in the process
and there is nothing on a written description of the reasons for non-
renewal. He believes that the practice at Southeastern is not to provide written reasons. He would like the Senate to consider proposals for changes to the handbook.
3. Senator Dranguet said that in his ten years as University Ombundsman
this situation has come up. It is impossible for an employee to present a
defense if no specific charges are filed. The reason given is “for the good
of the department and the University,” but that is not specific so it is
impossible to defend against.
4. Senator Ply said that this issue troubles her as well. The Tenure and
Promotion Committee has a say in third-year review, promotion and
tenure, and dismissal of tenured faculty, but this is one area where they
have no voice. If the dismissal is for sexual harassment, moral
turpitude, egregious insubordination, or any of the reasons listed in the
handbook then it is a question of the right to privacy. But when the dismissal is for such reasons as teaching, scholarly activity, or “collegiality,” the faculty should be consulted to protect employee rights.
5. Senator Ramsey commented that this issue may become more prevalent
due to the SACS accreditation and budget issues. He also observed
that even if an employee were to receive a written reason for dismissal
it might not be the real reason.
6. Senator Dranguet said that legal depositions are now required to get this
information under oath. It should not have to go that far. He wants the
notification before termination to be documented.
7. Senator Neuerberg called the question. Weaver made the second. The
motion passed to send the issue to committee. Senator Simoneaux
assigned it to Professional Rights and Responsibilities.
D. Senator Simoneaux asked for a vote to amend the agenda to add another item of
New Business. The motion was approved.
1. Senator Ply introduced a motion for changes in committee structure based
on faculty numbers. This was part of last year’s business, but since Old
Business dies with the end of the school year this must be New Business.
2. The realignment of the colleges necessitates restructuring three of the
Committees. The motion to send this to committee passed. Senator
Simoneaux assigned it to Constitution and Bylaws.
A. Homecoming is November 12.
B. The committee list has been revised. Senator Bancroft has been named Chair of Facilities, Safety and Security.
C. No BOS/FAC report because there was no meeting this month.
D. Senator Kleiner (SGA Liaison) said SGA had done nothing substantive that needed to be reported.
E. Next meeting is November 2, 2005. The deadline to submit New Business is
F. Meeting was adjourned at 4:10 p. m.
Respectfully submitted by