Southeastern Louisiana University Faculty Senate

                                                     Meeting Minutes

                                           Wednesday, November 2, 2005

                                                    Alumni Center

 

I.                    Senator Simoneaux called the meeting to order at 3: 00 p.m. in the Alumni Center.  Membership Secretary Mary Sue Ply called roll.  Senators absent were: Armenta, Bouton, Brown-Sandberg, Johansen, Kirylo, Lee, Mitchell, and Valentino.

II.                 Minutes from the October 2005 meeting were approved.

III.               Old Business

A.        Advertising Guidelines for Hiring of Tenure Track Faculty.  Senator Simoneaux asked Senator Bostic to give the report from the Faculty Welfare committee.  The committee concluded that the policies in the Human Resources handbook are “clearly stated and fair.”  Departments have the authority to “advertise as they see fit.”  Two advertisements are paid for by their budgets with HR. Additional ads are billed to departmental budgets. No law or policy requires departments to advertise at any particular level, except in the case of the desire to hire a non-citizen. Therefore, the committee’s recommendation is to propose that a sentence be added to paragraph 2 (under Part C) which says that the advertisements should be placed in “national journals whenever practicable.”  This would be an amendment to the HR Hiring Guidelines only; not the Faculty Handbook.  Senator Simoneaux asked the committee to draw up a resolution to present for a vote at the next meeting.

B.         Graduate Faculty Status.  Senator Simoneaux asked Senator Nelson to present the Resolution (2005-2006:07) from the Academic Affairs Committee. Addendum A.  Senator Nelson began by saying that, as per Senator Ply’s request at the last meeting, the committee looked at all of the original documents from the ad hoc committee. This information was handed out to the senators.  The resolution supports the recommendations of the ad hoc committee. A motion to accept the resolution was made by Senator Nelson, second by Senator Ramsey.

1.        Senator Titard asked exactly what changes are being made. 

Senator Ply responded that this eliminates the different classifications, such as temporary and adjunct.  The recommendation is to remove these classifications so that a faculty member does not need graduate faculty status to teach graduate classes.  It allows for a wider range of contributions by faculty who do not have graduate faculty status.  Senator Ply said that she supports the task force recommendations.

2.        Senator Ramsey asked if there is any controversy over the

      recommendations.  Senator Simoneaux said no; this only

      firms up” the SACS requirements for faculty.  Senator Nelson

      agreed that this just makes official what is already being done.

     Senator Ramsey asked how this affects faculty members from

     outside the University who serve on a thesis committee, etc.

     Senator Nelson said that these rules affect only our faculty.

     Senator Simoneaux called for a vote on the resolution.  The

     resolution passed.

                     C.     Changes in Committee Structure.  Senator Simoneaux asked Senator

                              Coxe to give the report from the Constitution and Bylaws committee.

                              Senator Coxe turned the floor over to Senator Lewallen because he

                              made the chart that illustrates the possible new apportionments.

                              Addendum B. The committees that are affected by the changes in the

                              College counts are UPC, Grievance, and Tenure/Promotion.  The chart

                              shows various configurations worked out with Senator Ply.  Library

                              and General Studies share a seat on UPC and Grievance so that seat is

                              set. The remaining seats are apportioned according to faculty

                              percentages in each College.  Senator Ply tried to add seats until the

                              ratios accurately reflected the size of each College. As the chart shows,

                              8 seats worked out best for UPC and Grievance.  Tenure/Promotion

                              was more of a problem.  Rounding off to have accurate representation

                              results in an even number of seats because the Library and General

                              each have a seat on Tenure/Promotion. An even number of members

                              can result in a tie vote. Senator Ply said that there is no resolution at

                              this point.  The Committee is looking for guidance from the Senate.

1.        Senator Dassau asked if the chair is a voting member on these

Committees.  Senator Ply said yes.  She continued that an even

number (8) is not a problem for UPC, but it is for Grievance.  Nine members are better for Grievance so that ties can be broken.

And, 15 members is the fairest make-up for Tenure/Promotion

because it allows the most accurate College representation.  The

column showing 13 members on Tenure/Promotion is not fair

because Business loses a seat that it should have.  The problem is

that 15 members is a large committee.

2.        Senator Ramsey commented that he didn’t see a problem since

there are many large working committees on campus.  Senator Root said that it can be a problem finding enough faculty who meet the qualification requirements to serve.  Senator Wyld agreed that there are practical considerations to keeping committees small.  Senator Ply said that there is a large enough

pool of eligible faculty in every College, but the problem may be getting them to run.  Senator Neuerberg asked if the smaller ratio used for UPC could also be used for Tenure/Promotion.  Senator Ply said the bylaws would have to be amended to reduce the seats on Tenure/Promotion.  Also, there are no alternates on UPC or Tenure/Promotion so recusals or abstentions can cause a problem.  After some more discussion, Senator Ply made a motion.  The motion was for Constitution and Bylaws to change the bylaws to require 8 members on the UPC according to the ratios in column 2 of the chart.

3.        Senator Ply then said that Grievance needs an odd number of

members to avoid tie votes so her second motion was for the Senate to recommend that the bylaws be amended to require

9 members on Grievance according to the ratios in column 3 of the chart.  The motion passed.

4.        The discussion on the make-up of Tenure/Promotion resumed.

Senator Simoneaux asked how “unwieldy” 15 members would be for that committee.   Senator Yeargain replied that the problems can be finding a common meeting time and everyone getting to the Provost’s office to view the folders.  He suggested that Library and General Studies could share a seat and alternate serving. Senator Prescott from General Studies and Senator Simoneaux from Library said that they did not like “losing a voice” in this way.  Senator White asked how often the committee meets.  Senator Yeargain said that the committee did meet last year.  It only meets when a faculty member is denied tenure or promotion and files a complaint.  Senator Dassau said that the 15-member

arrangement seems to be the only one that is fair to all Colleges.

Senator Simoneaux called the question.  The motion on the floor was to recommend that the bylaws be changed to raise the number of members on Tenure/Promotion to 15 seats.  The motion passed.

IV.              New Business

A..Diversity among Tenure Track Faculty.  Senator Simoneaux introduced

    Senator Weaver.  Senator Weaver said that she was bringing this issue to

    the Senate because she believes that it needs to be addressed.  She handed

    out a chart which shows that the diversity of the tenure track faculty does

    not reflect the diversity of the state, the parish, or the freshman class at

    Southeastern.  Addendum C.  Senator Weaver said that diversity is a

    strength at an educational institution, and she is concerned that there is no

    active effort afoot to increase Southeastern’s diversity.  She has been told

    that a Diversity Council was formed by Dr. Moffett and she wondered what

    its status is.  Senator Prescott said she is a member of that group and that it

    has not met since Dr. Doucette passed away.  He was the chairperson.

1.        Senator Crain asked to be allowed to comment on the subject.

He began by saying that Southeastern’s “service” area is larger

than just Tangipahoa parish,  and the University has made real progress in diversifying the student body to mirror that population; however, we have not been able to make as much progress in diversifying the faculty.  When Dr. Doucette passed away, the group did not meet for awhile and a new chairperson was not named out of respect for him.  The council did have initiatives “on the table,” and those are still being pursued.

There have meetings with the Deans, and these meetings are

beginning to involve department heads and faculty members.

There are some ideas taking form that will be acted on very soon.  The Administration appreciates the assistance and support of the Senate on this matter.

2.        Dr. Knutson (proxy for Senator Slawson) said that Ethnic Studies

is her area of expertise.  The problem is that there is a small percentage of African American PhDs so they are able to choose

the most lucrative positions.  Statistics on racial make-up would need to reflect the number of available candidates.  Senator Crain agreed that it is unrealistic to think that we can quickly raise the

tenure track faculty numbers to match the student population, but it is still a goal worth pursuing.  He added that the goal is to have the total faculty population, not just tenure track, reflect more diversity.  Senator Simoneaux said that when she attends orientation for new faculty members she only sees a few African American instructors but no Assistant Professors.  Senator Prescott said that Hurricane Katrina may be of some help since faculty members from the historically black institutions may have been displaced and available for employment.  Senator Crain said the Administration has already been working on this possibility.

3.        Senator Ply said that the University should also work to “nurture”

its current African American students.  We can help them progress toward degree completion and then hope that they will want to return as faculty.  Unfortunately, they often do choose

to go to institutions that can make offers we can not compete with.

4.        Senator Simoneaux asked why Southeastern does not have a 

McNair Program, as LSU does.  This is a program for first generation college students.  Senator White pointed out that McNair participants are any first generation college students, not just African Americans.  Senator Ramsey said diversity is a serious issue, and that Southeastern must be inclusive to remain competitive.  Senator Neuerberg said that everyone is in favor of diversity, but he wonders if SLU’s numbers are really out of line with collegiate faculty numbers across the United States.  Senator Simoneaux said that if one looks at those numbers, it is obvious that the institutions with more resources have a more diverse faculty.  She agrees with Senator Ply that we need to create relationships with our African American students and act as mentors.

5.        Senator Weaver said that she realizes this is a common problem.

But, Southeastern has a legacy as a predominantly white institution so we should address this and move forward.  She asked what it would take to get a new chairperson for the Diversity Council.  Senator Crain responded that Dr. Moffett would have to appoint one.  He added that with or without a committee, the Administration is working to move forward on some specific initiatives to address diversity.  Senator Simoneaux made a motion to send the issue to the Faculty Welfare committee for action.  The motion passed.

                   B.     Miscellaneous Recommendations for Changes in Constitution and

                            Bylaws. Senator Ply said that these are some “housekeeping” issues left

                            over from last year, but because all Old Business ends with the

                            academic year, they need to be reintroduced as New Business.  She

                            made a motion for the Senate to recommend that the committee resume

                            its deliberations on these changes.  The motion passed.

V.                 Announcements

A.        Senator Yeargain gave the BoS/FAC report (including the Higher

                          Education Forum from October 27).   Addendum D.  SLU’s request

                          to proceed with development of a Center for Student Excellence was

                          approved.  The Education Forum was really a “pep rally” for

                          administrators.  All of the Boards were represented.  Former Senator Bob

                          Kerry was the keynote speaker.  His most salient point was that the

                          Louisiana delegation needs to speak with one voice when asking the

                          federal government for help with recovering from hurricanes Katrina and

                          Rita.  The University of Louisiana System office has put the Emergency Leave issue on the “back burner”

                          for now.  The Regents voted to increase the higher education cuts to 5%,

                          which Dr. Moffett told everyone on Monday at the two sessions he held.

                          An additional cut of 10% is anticipated.  ULL was not approved to

                          distribute its raises.  Grambling’s raises were retroactive to last year, and

                          the McNeese representative could not confirm whether the raise was

                          effective this year.

B.         Senator Shwalb said that he and Dr. Shwalb in Psychology are doing

a study on the students who were displaced by the hurricanes.  They have

sent a survey to all of these “guest”  students.  He will be sending a mass

                          email asking all faculty to assist them in getting the students to respond.

                          Next week, a survey of the entire student population will be done, and

                          the study will then compare the results.

C.        Senator Ply announced that faculty may make changes in the carriers

of their Optional Retirement Plans during November and December.  Any changes will take effect in January.  Faculty may also make changes

to their cafeteria plan during  November.  These will also take effect in January.

D.        Senator Simoneaux announced that Homecoming is November 12.  She

asked Dr. Crain if he wanted to make any final comments.  He asked if there were any questions about the budget.  There were no questions.

VI.              The meeting was adjourned at 4:15 p.m.  The next meeting will be held on December 7, 2005.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Rebecca Hite

Recording Secretary