Southeastern Louisiana University Faculty Senate

Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Alumni Center

 

I.                    Senate President David Wyld called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m. in the Alumni Center. Membership Secretary Mary Sue Ply called roll. Senators absent were: Brewer-Plazinic, Coats, DePoy, Gilbert, Hathorn, Johansen, Kirkpatrick, Koss, Mitchell, and Vidrine.

II.                 Minutes from the November 3, 2004 meeting were unanimously approved.

III.               Senate President Wyld recognized Senator Faust and presented her with a token of appreciation for her service to the Faculty Senate as she departs to pursue her new appointment as Assistant Dean.

IV.              Senator Wyld introduced two invited guests: Dr. John Crain to discuss the reorganization of colleges, and Dr. Michelle Hall, Director of Institutional Research and Assessment to discuss the SOT Narrative Form pilot distribution program.

A.     Provost Crain updated the senators on the current reorganization of colleges that is taking place involving the Colleges of Business and Technology and Arts and Sciences.

1.      There has been much discussion over the past several months about the pros and cons of restructuring the current Colleges of Business and Technology and Arts and Sciences.

2.      These discussions, along with a number of changes in higher education, have suggested that the reorganization will give Southeastern the ability to develop new degree programs and to attract better students to the university.

3.      Currently, the College of Arts and Sciences is extremely large, making it fairly difficult to manage. Dr. Crain said that the division should make for more efficient management.

4.      Dr. Crain added that the reorganization will need the approval of the Board of Supervisors and, therefore, will be added to their agenda (in a holding position) as a University committee, that includes a number of faculty members, continues to look at transitional issues of the reorganization.

5.      Senator Dassau asked when the restructuring would be effective.

6.      Dr. Crain said that, ideally, the next catalogue would have the new information. However, in order to that to occur, the Board would need to approve the reorganization fairly early in the spring in order to make appropriate changes in the catalogue.

7.      Senator Mirando and Senator Higginbotham provided Senators with information about a committee that looked into reorganization a number of years ago.

8.      Dr. Crain said that he had read the previous committee’s recommendations and added that the University is in a much different place now than we were then. We are, for instance, much larger.

9.      Senator Norris asked for administration’s predictions on how the new reorganization would affect the humanities.

10.  Dr. Crain said that the humanities could receive more of the Dean’s attention. With a narrowing of focus, things should be easier to manage. Dr. Crain said that he believed that programs could be more successful.

11.  Senator King asked for clarification on additional impacts to programs.

12.  Dr. Crain said that none of our existing programs will go away. He added that this reorganization is not about subtracting. It is about adding and strengthening.

13.  Senator Li asked about potential budget impacts.

14.  Dr. Crain said that he did not anticipate a significant budgetary impact. He said that there would be a new dean’s office and, in response to a senator’s inquiry, added there might also be a realignment of a couple of departments.

15.  Senator Dassau asked about the establishment of a Science and Technology Dean.

16.  Dr. Crain said that there would be a new dean position once the reorganization was approved. He suggested that, while an interim dean might be appointed, there would be a search.

17.  In response to a comment by Senator Ramsey regarding whether Colleges of Arts and Sciences should function separately, Dr. Crain said that there are pros and cons both ways. He said that it is probably more common for them to be separate in institutions of our size. He added that, while there will be issues to be worked out, he believes we are doing something in the best interest of the University and that pursuing opportunities comes with challenges.

18.  Senator Ply expressed concerns about the potential for the humanities to receive less support, such as less travel and research support monies. She asked for reassurances that this will not be the case as that new college is developed.

19.  Dr. Crain said that he did not think there was anything to worry about. The history of our institution demonstrates campaigns for fundraising in the visual and performing arts and there has been a great deal of focus on arts and humanities. He believes that will continue to be the case in the future. The Dean and he, for instance, are already in conversation about possible new initiatives and he does not think that Science and Technology will overshadow the humanities.

20.  Senator Yeargain asked if there was a timetable for the committee’s final report.

21.  Dr. Crain said it would not be anytime soon, but hopes to hear some preliminary recommendations with regard to alignment of programs so that the agenda can be moved forward at the Board level early next spring.

22.  Senator Yeargain pointed out that, after the January meeting, the Board is not scheduled to meet again until March and, if we want the new structure to be in the next catalogue, time is of the essence.

23.  Dr. Crain said that, although the item is in a holding position, it has been submitted as a possible agenda item for the next meeting and that changes to the new catalogue are being prepared pending approval.

B.     In response to a previous Senate discussion about the possibility of faculty members receiving SOT narrative forms earlier than currently distributed, Director Hall addressed the Senate for proposes of proposing a pilot program by Institutional Research and Assessment (see Addendum A).

1.       This pilot program will allow SOT Narrative Forms to be distributed to faculty members by the first week of classes.

2.       Dr. Hall told senators that Institutional Research and Assessment handles roughly 180,000 pieces of paper each semester, and an earlier distribution of the narrative portion of the SOT will necessitate a delay of the distribution of the SOT quantitative reports to the 19th day of classes.

3.      She recommended trying the pilot program next fall and then revaluating to determine if it is feasible to make the pilot program permanent. If it is determined that the program will continue, the measure will then need to go to Academic Affairs for approval.

4.      Director Hall cautioned senators that viewing the narrative forms at a time different than the quantitative reports for a given semester might lead to erroneous interpretations as opposed to seeing all results at the same time.

5.      Senator Wyld opened the floor for questions.

6.      Senator Ramsey raised the issue of the vast difference in SOTs given in the classroom as opposed to the online version of SOTs. He said that, when students fill out SOTs online, he has no idea who is responding and who has not. In his experience, this has led to a lower response rate. He questioned whether there was a way to determine which students had not responded to an online SOT in order to receive more representative samples.

7.      Dr. Hall said that there is no record of who has completed, since online SOTs are completely anonymous. She said that she has suggested to some faculty members they send out reminder notices during the two-week window that students are given to complete online evaluations.

8.      Senator Ramsey said that when he gives SOTs in a classroom, he knows who has completed the SOTs and questioned why we should not have that same information about students who complete the forms online. To do so, he suggested, might drive up the participation rate.

9.      Dr. Hall said that to do so could take away the appearance on anonymity.

10.  Senator Wyld said that the next step in this one time pilot was to obtain the disposition of the senators relative to the suggested plan.

11.  Senator Yeargain endorsed the plan. Senator Simoneaux seconded his endorsement.

12.  Senator White asked if newer faculty might need priority in the distribution process. Dr. Hall said that her sense was that faculty members across the board wanted student feedback as early as possible.

13.  The senate voted unanimously to endorse the pilot plan as presented by Director Hall.

V.                 Old Business:

A.     Senator Wyld recognized Senator Ramsey, Chair of the Academic Committee, to present a resolution regarding the Academic Honors Policy. Senator Ramsey moved that the resolution, as presented, be passed. Senator Bonnette seconded the motion.

1.       Senators Nelson, Ramsey, and Li offered friendly changes which were incorporated into the resolution.

2.      The Senate voted unanimously to pass the resolution as amended (See Addendum B).

B.     Senator Nelson, Chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee, was recognized and updated senators on a previous request to look into the streamlining of Internal Grant Processes.

1.      Senator Nelson said that he had spoken to Tena Golding about the issue who will bring the issue to the Research and Grants and Faculty Excellence Committees.

2.      The Faculty Welfare Committee will continue to follow up on the issue and bring back an additional report at a future meeting.

C.     Senator Root, Chair of the Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committee, reported on committee work on initial application requirements for University searches.

1.      After researching the procedures of sister institutions, there seems to be much discretion given to individual departments and materials required with initial applications seem to vary from institution to institution.

2.      Senator Root said that Jesse Roberts of Human Resources had provided the Professional Rights and Responsibilities background information about why the current procedures had been put into place. However, there could possibly be more flexibility given to departments on materials that applicants were required to submit at the initial application stage.

3.      Senator Root asked for input from the Senate and said that the committee would then bring back a draft resolution at the next meeting.

4.      Senator Ply said that she is currently chairing a search committee and that, due to a delay in being able to advertise the position, she is sending a letter to applicants with incomplete files and informing them certain things are still needed from them “to ensure full consideration.” Senator Ply suggested this manner of proceeding might be helpful to other departments.

5.      Senator Higginbotham said that he believed that departments should not set their own policy. As long as Human Resources set policies, the institution had less risk.

6.      Senator Simoneaux said she believed different disciplines had different needs and that materials required in the initial application phase could differ without compromising the search process.

7.      Senator White said that when her department received a large number of applications that many had to be set aside immediately because they did not include everything requested.

8.      Senator Norris said that MLA currently recommends that, at the initial application stage, a letter and CV that includes a list of references is sufficient. She added that if individuals actively on the job market are sending out a number of applications, the cost factors for the applicants are relevant.

9.      Senator Titard said that we often receive applications from applicants we had no interest in, yet are required to keep all of the submitted materials on file. Lessening the requirements in the initial stage of application would reduce the amount of paper we must keep on file.

10.  Senator Dassau said that when reference letters are required in hand by a certain date before an applicant can be considered, applicants might sometimes be at the mercy of those writing recommendation letters.

11.  Senator Wyld said that the Senate would consider this issue again in January, once we heard additionally from the Rights and Responsibilities Committee.   

D.     Senator Coxe was recognized to update the Senate on Constitution/By-Laws Changes. She reported that she was continuing to hear from and meet with committees to collect changes needed to update the bylaws.

1.      Senator Yeargain, in his capacity as Parliamentarian, said that we could change a bylaw by amendment.

2.      Senator Coxe said that she and her committee would continue to compile amendments to the bylaws and bring back a report at the next meeting.

E.      Senator Nelson, Chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee, brought the following update on the ongoing issues and discussions relative to parking on campus:

1.      He reported that he had met with Paul Marek, Director of Campus Security, to talk about parking issues. They discussed some of the concerns that have been brought up over the years, especially about students parking in faculty lots and the overall parking problems.

2.      The bottom line is that there are not enough parking spaces for everyone who wants to park. This year, the university sold a total of 13,032 parking stickers and hangtags (over 1,400 went to faculty/staff) but there are only 6,475 spaces including the new lots that were just opened this semester. We also lost spaces due to construction. Once the new dorms are built there will be some additional parking but only for the dorm residents.

3.      Of course, not every one of those 13,032 tags will be on campus at the same time. Some people have more than one tag or sticker. Starting last year, students had to acquire stickers for each car instead of one hangtag, so that also increased the number. Plus, not every student and faculty member is going to be on campus at the same time. Many students are here only two or three days a week. But at the prime times such as Tuesday morning, parking can be very tight.

4.      Colonel Marek indicated that he has been as frustrated with the parking situation as the students and faculty have been. This semester he has three full-time ticket writers (an increase of one over last year) and two student part time ticket writers. The other officers can also write tickets but that is not their main duty.

5.      In 2002-03 they issued a total of 33,396 tickets of which 14,749 were to students parking in Faculty/Staff lots. A few of the main faculty lots where tickets were issued were Fayard (4,882), DVickers east (2,765), Friendship circle (3,484), and Azalea circle (1,088).

6.      In 2003-2004 they issued 12,482 tickets to students parking in faculty lots. The numbers in some of the faculty lots were: Fayard (3,898), DVickers east (1,315), Friendship circle (3,113), and Azalea circle (602). Fewer tickets were issued last year, despite more enforcement, as compared to 2002-03.

7.      So far in Fall 2004, 13,539 total tickets have been given, of which 4,071 have gone to students parking in faculty lots. It appears that, as enforcement has been stepped up, fewer tickets instead of more are being issued. That may sound contradictory, but it is probably because the students know they are more likely to get tickets so they are not taking as many chances as in the past. Also, the price of tickets has gone up in the last couple of years from $10 to $50 for parking in a faculty spot. Senator Nelson said such a price tag would stop him if he were a student.

8.      According to Colonel Marek, a few years ago the University spent about $50,000 on a parking study and few or none of the recommendations have been implemented for one reason or another.

9.      Senator Nelson asked Senators to email him with suggestions and the floor was opened for discussion.

10.  Senator Ramsey said that he was on the parking committee. At the last meeting, they sent forward a number of recommendations.

11.  Senator Stahr said that suggestions regarding upper class parking had been implemented, but not other recommendations.

12.  Senator Wyld said that the Senate needed to provide specific direction to Senator Nelson if we were going to pursue this matter further.

13.  Senator Simoneaux said that the dorms would be opening soon which should alleviate some of the parking problems.

14.  Senator Lewallan said that the number of tickets issued seemed to be decreasing that that he had recently noticed that things seemed to be better in front of Fayard.

15.  Senator Ply mentioned that some of the problem was due to people coming to pick up others and pulling into a space for a few minutes, thereby preventing others from using the space.

16.  Senator Ramsey recommended that the committee headed by Lori Smith had recommended a pilot program on one parking lot whereby it was gated. He suggested that Senator Nelson might want to confer to her.

17.  Senator Norris asked how many faculty parking spaces there are and whether we have the spots required given the number of faculty.

18.  Senator Simoneaux said that the spaces are probably there. It is just a matter of where they are located in some instances.

19.  Senator Dassau asked about the feasibility of creating spots for temporary parking.

20.  Senator Stahr said that meters had been proposed before, but she was not sure what had happened with that proposal.

21.  Senator Siegel asked if departmental secretaries could be given ticket books.

22.  Senator Stahr recommended that Lori Smith be invited to address the Faculty Senate on the matter.

23.  Senator Wyld said that he would invite Lori Smith to the next meeting.

VI.              New Business:

A.     Senator Gonzalez-Perez said that a number of faculty members have sent issues of plagiarism to judicial review and have heard nothing further on the matter. She asked for clarification on what was happening to these students.

1.      Senator Wyld said he had been in communication with Milas Love and that he had agreed to address the senate in January on this issue. He added that, although he was coming to speak about the process of filing grievances, the Senate could also send the issue on to committee.

2.      Senator Gonzalez-Perez moved to send the issue to committee and Senator Simoneaux seconded the motion. Senators voted unanimously to send the issue to the Professional Rights and Responsibility Committee.

B.     Senator Yeargain was recognized for purposes of raising the issue of the composition of departmental search committees. While procedures for third year review are precise, when there is a vacancy in a department, the composition of the search committee is not clear-cut. What happens, for instance, if a tenured professor is not invited to sit on a committee specific to his or her expertise? Senator Yeargain asked for a sense from other departments about how they proceeded.

1.      Senator Simoneaux said that, in the library, it seemed as if the same people were often on a search committee.

2.      Senator White said that, in her department, a call was issued asking who wanted to serve on a search committee. She added that she was not sure that the issue of who was on a committee should be legislated.

3.      Senator Wyld said that departments were different sizes and had different needs. He further pointed to the faculty handbook’s current description of the process located at: http://www.selu.edu/documents/policies/faculty_handbook/#PartIII

4.      Senator Yeargain made a motion to send the issue to committee. Senator Dranguet seconded the motion. The Senate voted unanimously to send the issue to The Faculty and Welfare Committee.

VII.            Announcements:

A.     Senator Hite and Senator Stahr reported on SGA activities.

1.      Senator Hite announced that the petition of the Honors Division for a new senator for SGA had been denied. It had been determined that these students were already being represented by some other department.

2.      Senator Stahr announced that Senator Wyld had invited the Staff Coordinator of SGA to speak at the next Senate meeting.

B.     Senator Hite reminded senators that SGA has funds available awarded for various campus projects.

VIII.         After awarding door prizes, the meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for January 19, 2005.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Jayetta Slawson

Recording Secretary

 

 

 

 

ADDENDUM A

 

 

 

SOT Narrative Form Distribution Pilot

 

Proposal:

For Fall 2004, Institutional Research is willing to pilot a new distribution schedule in which the narrative forms will be distributed the week before classes begin and the SOT quantitative reports will be distributed by the 19th class day. After complete distribution, IR will evaluate the process to determine if it is feasible to continue in the future with the current labor resources.

 

Considerations:

§         The Office of Institutional Research currently process approximately 60,000 sets of SOTs each Fall and Spring semester, which translates into handling 180,000 pieces of paper each semester.

§         Timely processing of forms is further complicated by faculty members and departments who do not submit SOTs in a timely manner. All SOT packets must be received in order to analyze scan form responses and calculate University, college, and department statistics.

§         SOTs are to be administered during the 14th and 15th week of classes (November 8-19 for Fall 2004).

§         However, IR picks up additional packets through the end of finals when a faculty member has a legitimate reason for administering the SOTs late.

§         The current process manages both narrative and scannable forms at the same time and everything is distributed no later than the 14th class day as per the current SOT policy (however, they are distributed earlier if all reports, etc., are completed).

§         Security and confidentiality in the handling of SOT forms is of paramount importance. Packets are closely tracked, and student labor resources are closely monitored.

 

There are some potential negative ramifications from this change:

§         Because of the semester break, IR may not have enough student worker resources to meet either deadline.

§         The change in processes may have some unforeseen negative impacts on the processing of the scanned SOTs.

§         Interpreting the narrative comments absent the quantitative reports may lead to erroneous conclusions by faculty members and department heads.

§         Given that a much smaller number of students provide comments than complete the quantitative form, results of the comments may be skewed.

 

If after this semester it is determined delivering the narrative SOTs early is feasible and desirable, this policy change will need to be brought before the Academic Affairs Council for approval.

 

 

ADDENDUM B

 

 

Faculty Senate Resolution 2004-2005-03

Changes in Semester Academic Honors

with Respect to Pass/Fail Courses

 

 

 

WHEREAS currently students enrolled in courses graded on a pass/fail basis may not be officially eligible for semester academic honors, and

 

WHEREAS the administration has requested the support of the Faculty Senate in providing for students in courses graded on a pass/fail basis to be eligible for semester academic honors, and

 

WHEREAS the draft policy change, stated below as “PROPOSED ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA,” provides for students in courses graded on a pass/fail basis to be eligible for semester academic honors,

 

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED THAT the Faculty Senate support the policy change stated below as “PROPOSED ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA,” with the following wording clarification in the draft policy:

·        In the second paragraph of the draft policy, the first sentence should be changed as follows to clarify the role of developmental courses in determining load:

From:

Students whose full-time enrollment includes a course or courses in which a grade of P is earned (excluding developmental courses) may also receive semester honors under the following conditions:

To:

Students whose full-time enrollment (excluding developmental courses) includes a course or courses in which a grade of P is earned may also receive semester honors under the following conditions:

 

 

                                                                                                                                

 

DRAFT           DRAFT           DRAFT           DRAFT           DRAFT           DRAFT

 

CURRENT ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Semester Honors. At the end of each semester, academic semester honors will be issued to all undergraduate students who earn 12 or more semester hours with a grade of A, B, or C with a semester grade-point average of 3.000 or better. Students who receive grades of D, F, U, or I in the given semester are not eligible for the honors. Effective Summer 2003, the semester grade-point averages for academic honors before graduation at all universities in the University of Louisiana System are as follows:

            President’s List 3.500 – 4.000

            Dean’s List                   3.200 – 3.499

            Honor Roll                   3.000 – 3.199

 

PROPOSED ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Semester Honors. At the end of each semester, academic semester honors will be issued to all full-time undergraduate students who earn 12 or more semester hours in the Fall or Spring (6 or more in the Summer) with grades of A, B, or C and a semester grade-point average of 3.000 or better. Students who receive grades of D, F, U, or I in the given semester are not eligible for the honors. When an I grade is changed to a regular grade, students may qualify for honors at that time. Students who are enrolled in fewer than 12 hours in the Fall or Spring (6 hours in the Summer) but are classified as full-time students may also qualify for semester honors if they meet the remaining criteria. (See definition of full-time students.)

 

Students whose full-time enrollment includes a course or courses in which a grade of P is earned (excluding developmental courses) may also receive semester honors under the following conditions:

 

The semester grade-point averages (or cumulative for students with P grades) for academic honors before graduation at all universities in the University of Louisiana System are as follows:

                         President’s List 3.500 – 4.000

            Dean’s List                   3.200 – 3.499

            Honor Roll                   3.000 – 3.199