University Faculty Senate

Executive Committee (EC) Minutes
2008- 200

Faculty Senate Executive Committee
December 9, 2008

Approved January 13, 2009
December 9, 2008 Minutes

Indiana State University
Faculty Senate 2008-09

Present: V. Sheets, S.A. Anderson, J. Fine, A. Halpern, C. Hoffman, S. Lamb, S. Pontius, T. Sawyer, and D.Worley

 Ex-officio:   J. Maynard

 Guests:      M. Boyer, J. Gatrell, R. Guell

I.             Administrative Report

                a. The Provost stated that he didn’t have much to report.   He is spending a lot of time on                  budget planning (being approved as a two-year plan).   Academic Affairs will be experiencing a $3.5-4.0 million reduction, but plans for a 3% employee raise are moving forward.

 II.            Chair Report

                a.  V. Sheets stated he went to the President’s Council meeting today.   They discussed implementation of anti-smoking policy; leadership updates, and the Strategic Plan.  

 III.           Approval of December 2, 2008 minutes as corrected.  All in favor.  9-0-0.

IV.          Fifteen Minute Open Discussion

a.  CEP – Question raised about faculty concerns, including fear of retaliation for discussing. Sheets indicated that he and spoken with the Provost and the Provost indicated that he would request a copy of the minutes from FAC discussion and talk with AVP and Director. 

b.  3% raise (5.4 out of $6 million for raise.)  EC members expressed a need for more discussion on this issue.  Should we continue this plan in the face of a “soft” hiring freeze?  General discussion of budget planning. We need to consider where we want to be 4-5 years down the road; more long-term in thinking.  Sheets said that across the board cuts is a return to our usual operation, ignoring prioritization of long-term goals.   S. Lamb stated we should have more discussion on this (salary) issue especially given the source of money comes from reallocation.  We need to know the impact of our decisions. 

c. A, Halpern stated concerns related to budget become more relative over time.  C. Hoffman asked why the Library doesn’t have a copy of the line item budget.  J. Maynard stated that it was his understanding that they did, but that he had no objections to showing the figures (budget).   

d. S. Pontius asked if the Foundation has been brought into this discussion about budget cuts.  (Provost stated they are down from $800,000 to $300,000).    

e. Question was asked about retirement plans as it relates to budget events.  J. Maynard stated that he is looking into various models from other institutions related to senior faculty buy-outs (retirement plans).  He stated that ISU has approximately 60 faculty members over 60 and approximately 20 of these 60 are over 65. 

 V.    New Business

                a. Electronic Thesis/Dissertation (ET/D) policy (approved by GC 7-0-1)

1) Sheets clarified that although his name was on committee list, he never attended a meeting, and his only involvement had been to give feedback via email on one occasion.  

2) C. Hoffman expressed concern over the use of acronyms when referring to certain items of text, especially in email attachments.   He stated that acronyms can be confusing as to the true meaning of titles/words and should not be used initially.  Titles/words should be spelled out for better clarification/ detail.       Sheets acknowledged the error.

3)  Short discussion review related to policy (M. Boyer).  M. Boyer stated that she was pleased by what consultants from other institutions had to say.  She asked members if they had questions.   C. Hoffman stated that he presumed that some revisions will be made to the policy due to some errors in grammar.   He offered to note them and send them back to M. Boyer as corrected.   His offer was appreciated and accepted. 

4) Discussion on file types related to static documents, pdf and file hyper-links.  J. Gatrell stated that documents will retain stability, critical resources should not be hyper-linked to outside sources, but contained (or linked) within document(s) submitted.   

5) Policy should drive procedure.  S. Lamb asked who should be responsible regarding decisions/concerns as it relates to criteria – e.g. which hyperlinks should be incorporated in the thesis itself.  J. Gatrell stated that they can pass friendly amendments to indicate responsibility belongs to Thesis/Dissertation Chair. Sheets expressed concern regarding data changes if data is linked from outside.   S.A. Anderson asked if AAIF (file format) was excluded.   M. Boyer stated there is a piece in the language format file.  D. Worley stated that formats will change in the future.  Sheets asked what if there are unusual file formats.  Response was that all atypical formats must be approved. 

6) J. Gatrell stated that in reference to TAR file - someone would have a hard time figuring them out.   A TAR file would not be good since it would be impossible to review.  So, there needs to be some flexibility.    D. Worley stated that the appropriateness of format needs to be approved by advisor.   M. Boyer stated that they can’t do that.    How about exception to standard file - formats must be approved.  

7)  J. Gatrell stated that there will be technical changes over time. A motion was made to accept ET/D policy with additional paragraph related to chair’s responsibility and edits.  All in favor 9-0-0.  

                 b. COT constitution (approved FAC, 7-0-0).    (C. Hoffman/T. Sawyer) 8-0-1

R. Guell invited to the table. 

                                1) Guell stated that FAC found nothing wrong with COT constitution that violated any thing in handbook.  He emphasized that the FAC’s charge was only to review any thing in the constitution that might be contrary to the ISU handbook.

               c.  COB constitution (approved FAC, 7-0-0)

                                1) Concerns expressed re someone voting on a particular issue who is not physically present at meeting to vote. Electronic vote would be acceptable via phone.  Phone is usually place in middle of room (table) to record phone conversation (vote). Sheets questioned how one assumes person(s) were present at a particular discussion. S. Lamb stated that there should be a record of vote. Sheets stated that there could be a situation when parties are not there for the “full” discussion. S. Lamb stated that this was already discussed at length and some peculiarities will not be covered well.   In this case, a judgment call needs to be made. S. Pontius called the question.  All in favor 9-0-0. 

              d. Grade appeal policy (approved FAC)   (C. Hoffman/S.A. Anderson) - Discussion

1) R. Guell stated that FAC got this charge with the understanding that it was limited to when faculty were unavailable.  Guell stated that when he raised questions related to the grade appeal process last October, Sheets indicated that FAC need not interpret the change as restrictive.   He was asked to draft up a document and began looking at the way other universities deal with their grade appeals process.  Ball State came closest to ISU’s standards in relationship to their policy language. 

 2) Flexibility in syllabus.  Faculty are given the rights to have different syllabus for some courses. But deviation from a standard (if established by a department) could be appealed. 

3) Sheets asked if college appeals process now is greatly different.  Guell stated that most would be happy to have formal appeals process tacked on.  Deans need to determine threshold.  If it meets dean’s threshold, it will go to grade appeal process (dept. approval).  The dean then has right to appeal process.

4)Provost asked if appeal is denied at department level, would deans be permitted to override decisions process.  Guell stated that everything goes to department, not just one person.   J. Maynard stated that this is then a two stage system, but decision should be made at college level - not through the administration.  College will make a recommendation to dean, and it stays there or does this make it more complex?   The Provost stated that he prefers that the college(s) takes care of its own business and create a more timely system.

5) V. Sheets asked if there was need of an arbiter to college to oversee how grade appeals are perform.    J. Maynard stated that he thought a college would welcome that because if each college has a different system, students will be confused (since courses are taken in multiple colleges).   S. Lamb asked why we shouldn’t take it to the deans.   If the dean is not able to resolve issue, then send it to the department’s grade appeal committee.   There was a concern expressed that some departments only have 3-4 faculty members, and might not give due process as compared with larger departments.

6) ,A. Halpern wanted to know if Ball State allows grade changes without faculty consent.    R. Guell stated that it does, absolutely.  Halpern noted that the further away one gets from a discipline, the more concerned he would be about the outcome. 

7) R. Guell stated that FAC was asked to draft a policy, not to debate questions.

8) A. Halpern stated that he would feel uncomfortable having someone outside his department doing a grade appeal for a course subject a faculty person was not familiar with and is frustrated by the number of people exercising judgment in proposed policy.   The Provost stated that it can also be legalistic.   He also stated that we presently do not make due process for our students.  He stated that he likes the idea of having someone sign grade appeal process, but not necessarily the dean or someone from the university domain - better from department or another committee such as FAC or Student Affairs. 

9) C. Hoffman:  Reviewed English Department procedures.  Appeal needs to be in writing before it goes to personnel committee to read student’s complaint.  He further asked if department personnel committee renders an opinion to chair and student appeals to dean, could it stay there.

10) Question was asked about AAUP guidelines on this.  Lamb said that it is in the domain of the faculty, the “faculty” may change grade; some interpret “faculty” as plural, not singular. 

11) Some appeals have been sent to chair in past who have absolutely ignored them.  Student’s grade never gets changed.  No recourse.   Some other arbiter to deal with these situations is needed. 

12) S. Lamb stated that it is obvious that this policy/vote is not ready to go forward to the Senate.   Guell stated that if Sheets and EC will give them further guidance, they will re-draft.  The policy was tabled until changes can be made – table with motion that obstructs.  Moved to table until after the Christmas break and send recommendations back to FAC.  (D. Worley/S. Lamb) 8-0-1.  V. Sheets asked R. Guell to send the EC’s appreciation back to FAC for all the hard work they have done on this policy thus far. 

                e.FAC recommendations re:  governance changes (approved FAC)

1) Sheets noted that part of FAC recommendations would be constitutional and others by-laws, which require different approval process.  Also every standing committee sent a charge to review its own functioning.  Motion to accept recommendation with plan to incorporate those of other committees was made.   (S. Pontius/T. Sawyer) 9-0-0.  R. Guell stated that he did have FAC vote on this.    

2) Sheets wanted to know why the 1998 standard was used.   Guell stated it was the last FAC account he could easily access and believed that 1998 was a reasonable standard (based on 12 to one ratio).  Recommendation not made on size of this count or voting decision.   GC and CAAC stays at 9.   This is strictly a number base recommendation…taken down to 1998 level.   

3) Sheets wanted to know if all standing committees will still require two senators.    Guell stated FAC did not discuss that.   S. Lamb stated that he would like to see us change the number of senators required from two to one.   Sheets stated that they are not a member of the committee.  D. Worley stated that we could reduce the number of senators from two to one and have them serve as members of the committee.   T. Sawyer stated that he thought we need to change numbers for a quorum.  Should it be reduced to 50%?   Guell - FAC made no recommendations for a change. 

4) Sheets asked whether there was discussion about re-structuring any of the standing committees or just the size.   Guell wanted to know what was meant by structure.   Sheets ask if he discussed and decided not to recommend any combination.  Guell stated that FAC, CAAC talked about combining them?   Sheets – Yes.   Guell - It does not seem useful.  Seems there is enough work for committees to do.  

5) Question was called (Lamb) Approved (A. Halpern/T. Sawyer) 9-0-0.    R. Guell will report to FAC. 

 f. Went into EC session to discuss personnel matter 5:25 p.m.  Came out of EC Session at 5:40 p.m.   A motion was made to affirm that required processes had been followed to hire a full professor with tenure (D. Worley/T. Sawyer) 8-0-1.   Before adjourning Sheets asked if Ospire name change (reviewed by AAC) needs to come to EC.   No consensus.    

g. A motion was made to cancel the FS meeting for this Thursday.  (C. Hoffman/D. Worley) 9-0-0  Note:  No EC meeting next week.  Have a good holiday.

Meeting adjourned at 5:44 p.m.


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