Chair, T.J. Ray, called the Faculty Senate to order at 2:05 p.m., March 8, 1996, in Conner 123.
Present: S Arico, R Bass, L Bolen, J Bass, J Conlon, R Cook, D Sullivan-Gonzales,
C Eagles, P Emerson, K George, M Gorove, R Hackett, T Hall, J Harlan, J Johnson, E Komara, V Liberta, R McLaughlin, J Mizenko, T Ray, S Schreiber, E Sisson, J Stephani, P Sukanek, C Taylor, R Varland, C Williford, E Wood
Absent: C Alexander, M Arnold, R Dorsey, M Eftink, D Frate, F Gilbert, R Haws, W Jordan, R Klein, W Leary, R Schroeder, J Seydel, M Smith, B Vaaler
Prior Notification of Absence Given: B Banahan, C Cunningham, D Dyer, A Fisher-Wirth, G Hopkins, S Husni, M Landon, P Malone, L Smith, W Staton, A Verlangieri, D Williams
ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM THE CHAIR: Senator Ray announced that the Faculty Senate Association is having its next monthly meeting on the 21st of this month in Jackson. "The meeting is at 1:30 p.m. at the R & D Center. On the 25th of this month, the Faculty Senate Association is sponsoring an all-day workshop on faculty governance from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m., and all of us are welcome, whether we're in faculty senators or not. Mississippi State has come forward now with a new white paper statement on faculty governance. Two other documents that have been sent to us to look at: one is from Jackson state, and has to do with faculty retirement incentives. The idea of getting those of us who are close to retirement some sort of incentive to move on. Southern Mississippi has come forward with a proposal for a multi-year, part-time contract to be considered so that a person nearing retirement would be encouraged to take a part-time contract over a longer period of time as opposed to full-time so that we can begin bringing more young people in faster, but not terminate someone abruptly. Secondly, Gail Graves in the Library and Bill Shughart in Economics and Finance have proposed the idea of a faculty research publication which would be an annually updated document with all the current and significant research by all the faculty. It strikes me as a pretty good idea. Finally, one other: the Chancellor met with some people in Jackson recently and they came up with the idea of building a player's gate at the entrance to the Grove. The Chancellor pointed out to them in conversation and in writing, that things done to the Grove have to satisfy an awful lot of people, and that would probably not be a workable idea as such. However, he hoped they would continue to support the university." Citing from the Chancellor's letter, "I do not think it possible to build anything in the Grove. I do think we could discuss the possible construction of the gate near the Student Union where the players enter the grove or near the field house. Of course, we will be happy to discuss the site location with you and others who are interested in helping to raise funds to construct such a monument on campus." Chancellor had not asked for a response.
Senator Cook: "I move that the response be that the Faculty Senate request to be involved in any proposed modifications to the Grove. Which allows them to do anything to the Union he wanted, but it's going to change the Grove then." The rules were suspended by vote and the measured, being seconded was passed.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS BY COMMITTEE CHAIRS:
Report on Search Committee for Provost Position:
Search Committees: Senator Hackett reported that about two weeks ago the Chancellor asked to see a short list as were generated. He asked for the top ten application packages. And so, nine applications were forwarded to him at that time. The search for an enrollment manager has been canceled by the Chancellor because the Vice Chancellor for Student Life position had not been filled. Discussion followed with the general understanding that John Winkle is filling the position on an interim basis.
There was some discussion that plans for recruiting personnel had not come through the Planning Council. It was felt that more attention should be given to tracking what does and doesn't go through. It was pointed out that the UPC is to be a resources allocation body. The consensus was that, regardless of the source of funding, the Council should have input.
Senator Johnson: This is kind of related to the matter that we talked about before, with these Champions' proposals... the whole idea of putting priorities on things and being able to rank preferences as far as where we saw the greatest need for the funds."
Senator Ray: "One last point on that, since the sorority house came up. The Honors Center will be housed there. That contract has been consummated. We do, or in the process, this week, I guess of owning that sorority house behind Farley Hall. It costs $500,000. The furniture costs an additional $20,000, and Physical Plant's estimate is that a new H-Vac system will cost right at 45 to 50 thousand dollars. So there will be 20 faculty offices in there, as well as 4 classrooms." Questions were raised about why plans were dramatically changed over the course of a few months. Senator Ray responded that the people managing the Honors Center Program decided they were not ready to go to a residence honors program. The use of the sorority house became more cost effective. Senator Ray noted that two candidates for Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs would be coming in later on March. Also there will be another search committee announced to find Doyle Russell's replacement.
REPORT ON US 101 FROM THE COMMITTEE ON GENERAL ACADEMIC AFFAIRS: Senator Bass presenting
Senator Bass noted that the Academic Affairs Committee had been asked some time ago to look at US 101. "The coordinator resigned. The Undergraduate Council recommended that US 101 be funded for the Fall semester. Dr. Walton said no decision would be made on permanent funding until they got recommendations that the committee chose to bring to them. Our subcommittee came to the consensus that U.S. 101 should be continued with modifications. In our deliberations, we looked at a good bit of literature from the National Resource Center for the Freshman Year Experience, which is at the University of South Carolina. We recommend: that the course be better defined.
We think the course should be an extended orientation, with some suggested course objectives that we gave here to introduce students to the university and university life, it gives students some basic skills -- basic survival skills -- for their university experience. And it gives students a sense of belonging to the university to help retain them. We suggested that administration of the U.S. 101 program be moved to a Student Affairs area. One of the reasons we suggested this, was that, in looking at all the other programs around the country, the vast majority of them are run through student affairs divisions. And we also said that possibly Career Services would be a good home for the administration of the U.S. 101. Since it could draw on the career counseling expertise available there. A maximum class size of thirty; change back to an A B C grade scale.; extend the meeting time across the entire semester; finally, departments should have the choice to create their own courses to cover the content of US 101."
Questions were raised about transferring students, requiring it for graduation, how to handle failure, should repeats be required, points were made that there should be on-on-one help and programs to build relationships with faculty. Likewise, transfer of some information may be better done in a class versus one-on-one. Further, it was expressed that if the course is gong to be a bonafide course, it should have a home. There was some discussion about the one hour course in Chemical Engineering to introduce students to engineering. Student evaluations indicated that recent student appraisals of the course (US101) were pretty good. However, the main issue regarded the question of resources. Is the cost of doing the course "right" with smaller classes worth the resources?
Senator Ray: "I will then, with all these things, ask the Executive Committee to put this on the agenda for next month and see how many of these questions that we can find people with answers for."
In addition to an advising program, the committee decided that a common experience for freshmen would be valuable.
Senator Ray: Well what we can say to the Vice Chancellor is that we have had this conversation and this is the document that was presented to us. We are still discussing it and we may come back again with some more proposals. In the mean time, here's an idea that should be thought about."
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE BYLAWS REGARDING THE COMMITTEE ON STANDING COMMITTEES: " the Chancellor, as I told you last month, opted to keep the'94/'95 committees in place and ask if we would consider altering our procedure such that we would give to the -- to his office by the end of the spring semester, the standing committees for the next year. That means that they could go on and be put in all sorts of resources and, it seemed to me to be an excellent idea, and I'm glad he agreed with it. So, that's what we are proposing in this amendment, recommended by the Senate executive committee. The Committee on Committees will select people for next year's committees. New faculty will have a buy for one year. The committee is also going to look at the whole Standing Committee structure, looking at those that haven't met and those that probably shouldn't exist."
This was seconded and approved.
Discussion about the University Planning Council meeting with the Chancellor and Tom Layzell, presented b Senator Taylor. Main Points: The 96/97 budget is basically flat; he is presenting information regarding the 97/98 budget; there was a discussion of the level one doctoral criteria (100 Ph.D.'s graduated per year; we are not level one, but within a few Ph.D.'s per year. The committee estimated the difference in university resources based on achievement and full funding as a level one institution. This amounts to $1275 per student. Extrapolated over the student body this comes to over 12.5 million dollars. Within the 12.5 million dollars, the committee presented proposals for $596,000. Other proposals included 5.5 million for salary increases, 2.93 million for infrastructure operating budgets, and 4.165 million for equipment. Layzell is very interested in taking proposals to the Legislature. Senator Taylor felt that Layzell did not seem sympathetic toward a large amount of money to reward faculty. Nor did they (Layzell and his staff?) seem to accept the idea of funds to correct salary compression. There was some discussion about the needs and difficulties of redistributing teaching assistance money to increase the number of Ph.D. degrees generated and thus achieve level one status. There was discussion of what was driving this issue. It was pointed out that Mississippi State has recently generated more than 100 Ph.D.'s per year. To this point, the comprehensive universities have operated with basically the same status. Concerns were expressed that implementation of policies and funding based on "level one" criteria would adversely redistribute educational resources. Some questioned the soundness of making major distinctions between universities based on whether they produce a few less or more than 100 Ph.D.'s a year. The issue of quality was raised.
Senator Ray stated, that based on the meeting with the IHL Board, that the doctoral level one is going to be a big factor. "So we've got to deal with this. If anyone wants a copy of the budget document, Senators Gorove and Taylor have copies."
OLD BUSINESS: The Minutes for November, January, and February were approved.
Chair T.J. Ray adjourned the meeting at approximately 3:50 p.m.