Southeastern Louisiana University Faculty Senate

                                                       Meeting Minutes

                                                       October 5, 2005

                                                       Alumni Center

 

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

             for details.

      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 

            gold.

      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

    funds.

 

 

 

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

                         incompatible philosophies.

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

level.

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.

IV.  Announcements

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

October 26.

    F.   Meeting was adjourned at 4:10 p. m.

 

 

Respectfully submitted by

Rebecca Hite

Recording Secretary