SENATE OF THE FACULTY, November 13, 1998
The Senate of the Faculty met in the Union Ballroom.
Present: D. Adler, M.L. Baggett (1), T.Bates, A. Bomba, G. Buskes, J. Cassidy (P), M. Deighton (P), A. Elsherbeni (P), R. Ethridge (P), D. Feller (P), A. Fisher-Wirth (P), V. Frierson-Adams, P. Goggans, R. Gordon, D. Graves (1), F. Gu (1), L. Harper, R. Klein, L. Kravitz (1), F.Laurenzo, K. McKee, A. Paterson (P), J. S. Payne, K. Raber (1), T. J. Ray (P), J. Rimoldi, L. Smith (P), K. Sufka (P),), D. Sullivan-Gonzalez (2), C. Taylor, M. Tew, M. Van Boening (1), Jay Watson, John Watson (1P), R. Westmoreland (PP), J. Williamson, C. Williford (1).
Absent: J. Aubrey * (P), J. Bradley * (P), S. Conlon (2), R. Dorsey (4), K. Green* (P), L. Hanshaw (1 P), S. Hargrove* (2 P), R. Haws* (3 P), T. McCarty (1), L. McLary * (P), J. Mizenko* (1 PP), J. Murray (4), M. Overby* (PP), L. Pittman (3), W. Rayburn (4), J. Reidy* (PP), E. Sisson (1PP), S. Skemp* (PP), M. Slattery* (PP), H. Sloan (4), W. Staton (3), M. Vinson* (P).
*= Prior notification of absence given for this meeting; (x) = number of absences this session, excluding summer meetings; (P)=number of prior notifications given this session, excluding summer meetings.
Chair Williamson called the meeting to order at 2:05 p.m. The first order of business was to reconsider the "Policy to Allow for the Extension of the Pre-Tenure Probationary Period," introduced at the September meeting and revised by a subcommittee of the Faculty Governance Committee. https://www.olemiss.edu/orgs/faculty_senate/final/1998_1999/extens.html
Sen. Ray moved that the revised version be endorsed by the Senate (second Sen. Taylor). Sen. Adler explained the revisions. The motion passed by a unanimous voice vote.
The Chair next welcomed Chancellor Khayat, who was assisted by Vice Chancellor Gloria Kellum and Dean Jim Chambless in his presentation of twenty Critical Success Strategies and nine Critical Success Factors. See the following website for an outline of these goals and strategies:
This document is an outgrowth of a brainstorming retreat attended by the Chancellor and twenty-three other administrators in the fall of 1997, and has been incorporated into the "Ole Miss into the '90's" planning document.
The Chancellor expressed his excitement at the progress already achieved in increasing enrollment, recruiting high caliber faculty, enriching faculty salaries, strengthening research support, establishing an honors college, strengthening the library, securing funding for new buildings and for renovation, and achieving a more diverse campus. Main library acquisitions funding has tripled in last three years; a $50,000 shortfall in the Law Library funding has been covered We have made a lot of progress in the past three and one half years. The success achieved so far is a product of support from Legislature, faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Our number one challenge is to accept our success and take honest pride in ourselves, recognizing our strengths and weaknesses.
Dr. Kellum observed that several years ago, in a Senate Executive Committee meeting, technology was identified overwhelmingly as our top priority, initiating the planning process to put a computer on every desk. The administration really needs continuing help from the faculty in this planning process.
During the slide presentation, the Chancellor expanded on plans for accomplishing each goal and answered questions from senators. Under Strategy 6 (Enhance the Quality of Campus Facilities) Sen. Klein asked if there were priorities for building renovation. Dr. Kellum replied that there is a plan in development for each building, focusing on classrooms and laboratories which need updating for instructional technology. The Chancellor expanded on his plans to create a pedestrian campus and a multi-level parking garage. Dr. Kellum remarked that the current efforts of the Academic Computing Committee and Project Discover are directly supportive of Strategy 8 (Maintain and Advance Technology Infrastructure). Strategy 9 (Enhance Student Support Services) would improve the academic advising system with the development of an advising center and the development of a stronger mentoring program. Student housing is another focus of this strategy. An endowment to fund Strategy 11 (Establish Leadership Institute) will be raised in part by a Kennedy Center gala next May honoring Mississippi leaders, such as Sen. Lott. In regard to Strategy 19 (Increase Student Enrollment) Sen. Watson asked if more faculty would be hired to meet the demands of increased off campus enrollment, especially in light of multiple demands on faculty productivity. Sen. Taylor remarked that faculty are generally reluctant to teach off campus. Chair Williamson stated that a new committee to deal with distance learning would be created as part of the standing committee revision. The Chancellor responded that he was inviting other universities to participate in offering courses at the Tupelo campus, hoping to reduce the pressure on our faculty.
Chair Williamson remarked that we all share enthusiasm for these strategies and asked how faculty can help. Chancellor Khayat replied that if faculty do their best to be outstanding teachers and scholars, we would go a long way toward meeting the goals involving faculty.
In response to a question about the origin of the Leadership Institute, Dr. Kellum explained that the university's legacy of leadership in business, politics, and science prompted the idea of establishing such an institute, modeled on the Jepson School at the University of Richmond. A strong forensics program, attracting top students, would be a key feature. The institute would offer an undergraduate minor at first.
Sen. Klein: What are realistic chances of hiring more faculty?
Chancellor: We anticipate an increase in base funding, savings from efficiencies gained through Project Discover, and added funding due to enrollment increases, so funds should be available to hire more faculty.
Dr. Cook asked if it was possible to consider including a student entrepreneurship center within the Leadership Institute where students could grow businesses and services. The Chancellor said this institute could be whatever we choose to make it, shaped to fit this community and explore all kinds of innovative opportunities.
In regard to the Provost search, Sen. Adler expressed concern that the search committee should make an effort to recruit strong candidates both externally and internally. The Chancellor replied that if the search committee decides that the pool is weak, the university would take steps to attract strong candidates. Among the challenges we face are competing with forty other universities conducting provost searches. He is not a fan of intellectual incest, and pointed to the diverse backgrounds of recently hired Deans and chairs. We've been successful in attracting people from outside.
The Chancellor thanked the Senate for the opportunity to speak today. He distributed copies of the Commitment to Excellence packets, which contain wish lists, developed over four years with faculty input. These packets are targeted for potential donors to the $200 million campaign announced at the Sesquicentennial Convocation.
Sen. Tew, reporting for the Committee on Committees, moved the acceptance of recommended appointments to fill current vacancies in standing committees. (Second, Sen. Taylor). The motion was approved by a unanimous voice vote. The list of appointees had been posted on a website, of which the Senate had been advised via e-mail. New faculty appointments have not been made yet to the Athletic Committee, which serves from January to January. As part of the standing committee revisions, the Athletic Committee will have three faculty appointments, as the Chancellor agreed to make the University Attorney an ex officio rather than a faculty appointment.
Chair Williamson announced that the goal of the Executive Committee this spring is to get back on track and make committee appointments in late spring, so they will be ready to begin work at the beginning of the fall semester. The Senate officers are revising the standing committee structure in an effort to reduce the number of committees, and limit membership to faculty who actively serve.
The minutes of the October meeting were approved. (Motion, Sen. Graves; second, Sen. L. Smith.)
The proposed amendment of By-Laws section 11, "Meetings of the Senate," drafted by Sen. Ray, was read to the group. This amendment would change the meeting day to the second Thursday and the time to 7 p.m. A special "extraordinary" meeting of the Senate will be called in December to vote on this amendment and/or its amended version. The Union Ballroom has been chosen as a meeting place because drinks are allowed there.
Sen. Ray, chair of the Faculty Governance Committee, reported that a recurring issue, whether non tenure-track faculty should serve in the Senate, had been tabled indefinitely. On another issue, Sen. Ray reported favorably on a meeting he and Sen. Williamson had with Chancellor on the issue of administrative review.
Sen. Laurenzo reported for the Academic Affairs Committee. The copyright policy issue is still alive and well. A committee composed of Fred Laurenzo, Gary Myers, and Conrad Cunningham are making some progress in reconciling the two versions of the policy – the original from the University Research Board and the alternate Myers-Jenson draft, which was favored by the Senate last spring.
The Academic Support and University Relations Committees are meeting this next week with Larry Sparks and Buster Hale to discuss reengineering. Chair Williamson explained that the flowchart data is so massive that it would not be practical to make copies available to the Senate.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:46 p.m. The next meeting of the Senate will be a special meeting on Wednesday, December 9, to vote on the proposed By-Laws amendment changing the regular meeting day and time.
Approved: January 14, 1999