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Indiana State University University Faculty Senate
April 03, Minutes

Indiana State University
Faculty Senate 2006-07


Time:                3:15 P.M.

Place:               HMSU 227

Present:            Secretary C. Hoffman (presiding), A. Halpern (Acting Secretary),

                        S. Davis, B. Frank, J. Hughes, M. Miller, T. Mulkey,

Absent: B Evans, S. Lamb

Ex-Officio:        Provost Maynard

Guests: R. Gennaro, N. Hopkins


I.   Administrative Report – Provost Maynard


  1. April 1 data: compared with last year, applications - 18-19% higher; acceptances - 400 more; confirmed - 200 lower; financial aid offered - three times more

  2. Invitations to Faculty Recognition Banquet (Apr. 18) sent out

  3. Legislature might establish funding levels for the next biennium within 30 days, 1,.4-1.9% increases possible; Trustees might meet in May to approve new tuition rate,  – possible 5% increase

  4. faculty hiring: 6 offers are outstanding; possibly 7-8 failed searches


II.  Chair Report – C. Hoffman


     1. 2007-2008 Senate organizational meeting Thurs, Apr. 5.

     2. J. Kuhlman has indicated that the proposed Handbook revision of "Graduate  

         Faculty Membership" will not be revisited this year.


III. Fifteen Minute Open Discussion


Information Technology Literacy Oversight Committee has made proposal to replace Tek.xam with a new product. Timing issues with training and test-out materials will affect campus adoption; e.g., when campus is going to Vista, Office 2007, etc.


There are plans are to replace Groupwise with Microsoft Outlook by July 2007 because of compatibility issues with Banner and Groupwise. Migration to Vista will not occur until May, 2008, at the earliest.




IV.  Minutes - #19 (3/20/07) APPROVED as amended (Mulkey, Frank 6,0,1)








                                                                                                       EC # 21 - 4/03/07   Page 2



V.   CAAC response re: Philosophy


Guests N. Hopkins and R. Gennaro invited to table (Miller, Mulkey)


R. Gennaro presented a response (appended below) to the CAAC report (sent to Executive Committee) regarding the Philosophy Program: disappointed in the CAAC statement; encouraged by recent meting with Dean Sauer; number of philosophy graduates has increased; curricular and program revisions have been made and are in progress.




Rocco Gennaro, Philosophy (Interim Chair), Indiana State University

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting 4/3/07


  • CAAC vote/procedure.  I cannot express just how shocking and outrageous the recent CAAC vote and statement is.  Most importantly, I was not even invited to the meeting even though I took it upon myself to inquire about it beforehand.  This is truly incredible when one thinks about all the visitors to CAAC meetings, very often for clearly less important matters.  Second, only six of the nine voting members were even there, and most are not even from the College of Arts and Sciences.  Despite some protests to the contrary, there is no way that they had adequate information.  For one thing, I was just about to meet again with Dean Sauer about trying to keep our major.  Finally, the tone of the statement (especially the last two sentences) is condescending and insulting to our efforts for the past three months.  It would be good somehow to make sure that this never occurs again on such an important committee.  I am not sure if explicit procedural rules were violated, but this clearly violated the spirit and past practice of CAAC (including when I served on it).  I have no idea what CAAC members thought they were doing or if they were acting on someone else’s behalf.  The answers I have received thus far from CAAC members have been either illogical rationalizations or very defensive.


  • Philosophy Program update: I had a very positive meeting with Dean Sauer last week; we discussed our department plan and the prospects for keeping our major, among other things (see the dept plan).  I was told that there was at least no need to worry about the 4/1 date for recommending elimination.  He said he would take a more active role in speaking with other chairs, directors, etc. regarding our program and we discussed the possibility of joining the future “interdisciplinary” unit.  This is something that our department had proposed for many months, especially if it didn’t work out with other existing departments.


  • Majors update: As of August ‘07 we will have graduated 17 (probably 18 or 19) majors over the five year period of 2003-2007.  Compare this to the previous five year total of 5 graduates (1998-2002), and one would need to go back all the way to 1984 to find the previous 17 philosophy major graduates.  (See List of Phil major graduates)


  • Unfortunately, students right now still cannot declare the philosophy major without Dean’s-level “approval” and an additional 2-year plan from us, due to a recently instituted Dean’s office policy.  I have also had to assure students that it is fine even just to register for our Fall courses; we certainly hope that the negative perception and publicity on campus does not or has not hurt us too much.  There is also a potential recruiting event

                                                                                                       EC # 21 - 4/03/07  -  Page 3

Genarro Statement (cont'd)


on April 28th involving 21st Century Scholars – it would certainly be good to remove all the uncertainly about the continued existence of our program by that time at the latest.  I simply ask that this black cloud over us be removed more permanently, if that is at all possible from the administration’s point of view.

  • We wish to remind everyone that our program was not recommended to be eliminated by the Task Force and that no comparable program is in the position we are currently in, especially taking into account the number of our majors (20).  It is also one thing to reduce the large number of programs within a department, but quite another to eliminate the only Philosophy degree program in existence. 

  • We do not want pity or charity, but rather believe that we deserve to keep our major and to have a program at least comparable to similar institutions, such as Southern Indiana University and Eastern Illinois University.  Our average cost per student credit hour is one of the lowest for a department on the ISU campus: just a little over $100 per student credit hour.  We use no expensive materials or equipment, for example, and we are teaching over 380 students among the four of us (with no adjunct help at all).

  • I would also just like to reiterate the importance of a philosophy program for all students and for the reputation of ISU.  We also have a Wedemeyer scholarship which is given to the most outstanding philosophy major each year – I have no idea what would come of this scholarship and foundation account if we did not have a major.



N Hopkins referred to the resolution of the CAS Faculty Council (regarding the elimination of the majors in philosophy, physics, sociology and art history - EC Minutes # 20); faculty government should “weigh in” in re Philosophy and others; issue should be brought before the Senate.


Steps taken by Philosophy to modify the program since the PAR process were reviewed.


If major were eliminated, economizing would result by offering fewer (low-enrolled) upper-level courses; over time this would allow more effective use of resources.


Concern expressed about quality of instruction of lower-level (e.g. ,Gen-Ed) courses if non-terminal-degree faculty were hired for this purpose.











                                                                                                       EC # 21 - 4/03/07  -  Page 4


An alternative proposal to the CAAC report was introduced. The point is to give parties more time to find a satisfactory resolution of the problem:


To encourage the continuance of a philosophy major within the University, the Executive Committee supports investigation of possible synergies with other disciplines.  The Committee encourages the present Department of Philosophy to have only one primary goal: retaining the major.  To achieve this goal, Philosophy should continue to work aggressively to:  


    1) capitalize on commonalities with other discipline(s) to form a composite department  


    2) investigate modifications of the major to accomplish the primary goal while 

        retaining the essence of  the major/discipline. 


Combinations/concentrations/synergies may be possible that would jointly benefit Philosophy and other disciplines. Possible benefits include exposure of students to the field and attracting potential majors.


We encourage the administration to:


    1)  recognize the critical role that a philosophy major plays at a university,

                   2)  be as aggressive as possible to create an environment which will permit the retention of the     

                           major,  and

    3) allow sufficient time for a solution to be developed.


APPROVED (Mulkey, Halpern 7-0-0)



VI.   Old Business – none


VII.  New Business


General Education Task Force – composition/timeline discussed. No conclusion was reached about whether a member of the Executive Committee should serve on the Task Force


VIII.  Standing Committee Reports

   FAC – Met on Mar. 29. -discussion of new Faculty Orientation program; faculty    

     should have been consulted before the new plan, which involves 33 hours of   

     structured “orientation” during the Fall Semester, was developed. Background Check 

     document introduced but not discussed.


   FEBC – White Paper on Faculty/Staff Health Benefits was discussed with G. Floyd. 

     Concern raised about extent of continued retired faculty coverage. FEBC to submit 

     report to Executive Committee.


The meeting adjourned at 4:45 P.M. (Mulkey, Halpern 7-0-0).



Respectfully submitted,

A. Halpern , Acting Secretary