University of North Carolina at Asheville

FACULTY SENATE MEETING

Minutes, November 3, 2011

 

Senate

Members: R. Bowen, G. Boudreaux, M. Burchard, G. Ettari, V. Frank, E. Gant, B. Hook, G. Kormanik, T. Meigs,

                  S. Mills, K. Moorhead, G. Nallan, K. Reynolds, R. Roig, N. Ruppert, B. Schaffer, S. Subramaniam;

                  J. Fernandes; A. Ponder.  

 

Excused:    R. Berls.

 

Visitors:     G. Ashburn, P. Catterfeld, L. Friedenberg, L. Langrall, E. Katz, J. Konz, K. Krumpe, ML Manns,

                  P. McClellan, P. Mitchell, R. Pente, R. Ridenour, A. Shope.

        

 

I.       Call to Order and Announcements

         Dr. Volker Frank called the meeting to order at 3:15 pm and welcomed senators and guests. 

         Rob Berls is in Kansas, and we will keep him and his family in our thoughts and prayers.   

 

II.      Approval of minutes:

         The minutes of October 6, 2011 were approved with two editorial corrections.     

        

III.     Executive Committee Report

         Dr. Frank reported for the Executive Committee.

         Remarks by Chancellor Ponder

         Summary:

  We had a very successful scholarship luncheon event today in the Kimmel Arena with students, faculty and both current and endowed donors who provide scholarship support for our students.  Nothing is more eloquent than students who are receiving scholarships, thanking those donors and explaining why that is important for students of the future as well. 

  The inaugural address for President Ross last month begins a wonderful era for the university.  Not since President Friday have we had a president who conceives of the university system in a way that leaves such possibilities for us.  Thanks for your help and the work you do so well that perhaps for the first time we have more influence than our 1.6 percent of the university system would suggest.   

  I commend and thank the faculty for responding to the prolonged budget emergency in an incredibly proactive, generous, embracing way to make sure that our students are still marvelously served in your classes and in your lives.  I understand that the teaching load weighs heavily around your shoulders and that it is in the way of the excellence that is defining to UNC Asheville.  I am grateful for all the people who benefit from your efforts.  

  We have launched our search for the Vice Chancellor for Advancement (formerly “Development”).  The Foundation is affording for us a professional search firm.  The search committee includes Dr. Frank, one other faculty member, and five others.  As is the case with all members of the senior staff, I will make the hiring decision and will recommend my choice to the Board of Trustees. 

  In the last UPC meeting we had a report on the strategic benchmark on energy usage and agreed to adjust some benchmarks so that we measure more appropriately and more clearly what we do.  The benchmark on energy usage was adjusted to more accurately express our position as a leader in this area.   

  The university is positioning itself to acquire property on W. T. Weaver Blvd., at the MAHEC Family Practice building.  MAHEC wishes to build in south Asheville and they asked if we would be interested in about three acres, about 118 parking spaces, and a two-story building with different entrances and exits.  We want to examine any opportunity to acquire a contiguous property.  We were especially pleased because the first floor of that building has been used for a family health practice and our second highest capital priority is our health and counseling area. Our current facility located in Weizenblatt Hall cannot be certified, is not handicapped accessible, and does not provide the confidentiality that health practitioners and counselors require.  The second floor will be assigned to Alumni and Development and will be paid for by the increased productivity from that area.   We have reached a purchase agreement for this property.  This remains to be decided at the December Board of Trustees meeting. 

The health and counseling area would be paid for from a “debt service fee” that is under consideration. UNC Asheville has not increased its debt service fee in a dozen years, so the opportunity to amortize that acquisition over a number of years at a low fee to students is an important process.  The details of how that fits into the tuition and fee process are under consideration with the Tuition and Fee Committee.  The current debt service fee is $220 and this would add $90 – UNC Asheville would still be in the bottom half of debt service fees university system wide.  We would occupy that space in spring 2013 assuming decisions and schedules unfold in the way that we predict. 

  Construction is starting on a new residence hall that is part of our strategic plan where the renovation of Governor’s Village and the addition of 300 beds will allow us to influence significantly the retention and graduation rates, since 43% of our students will live on campus instead of the approximately 34-35% this year.  The estimated time of receiving the building is in time for the opening of the fall semester. 

  I encourage the faculty leadership to work carefully and courageously on the curriculum revision project.  Even as the budget of North Carolina improves, the improvement in the university system budget and in the UNC Asheville budget will be exceedingly gradual.  A 4-4 teaching load is not sustainable over a career of time when you have the obligations that you chose and enjoy in relation to research and community service and belonging here at the university.  What students cherish about their work with you is your presence, time and expansive interest in their whole lives.  As much as I care about a more sustainable teaching load for you, I really care about the sustainability of your teaching load because of who you are to our students. 

 

As you are working through the curriculum revision, we need to make sure that we distill and refine what is most important to be taught and learned here and that we right-size that offering to the number of students we have, the number of faculty we have and a sustainable teaching load for us over time.  It is this year that recommendations need to come forward from the faculty, and then implementation in the year or two after that.  In terms of teaching sustainability and the work you are doing, my only role internal to the university is to affirm for you that this is the time to do it and it is really important work.     

  Outside the university, now is not the time to advocate with the legislature or with the Board of Governors for an adjusted teaching load requirement.  However, the BOG has created a task force through the educational planning and program committee on which I sit, and that group has commissioned a group of BOG members to look at this topic. That is the other reason I want you to respond with your curricular plans this year – I want us to be down that road before they tell us how to do it because the way we construct our curriculum is distinctive to UNC Asheville.  It is at that point that I will be our tireless advocate.  

  Five faculty searches will be authorized this year and our Provost will talk more about those. 

  Results from the CLA suggest what a huge difference you make in the lives of our students. 

  I would like to inform the faculty formally that I am in the process of reconstituting the Diversity Action Council.  That group has in the last three years done some extraordinary work on diversity in a number of ways – the diversity champions, the professional development, and additional diversity in the faculty, staff and students.  I have asked that some folks who have been on the group be thanked for their work and that about two-thirds continue.  Then I, in consultation with that group, have added faculty and will add more students to include voices and experience from across campus.  I will post the membership when it is complete and I thank the faculty especially who have stepped forward in this busy time to serve in that way. 

 

IV.     Faculty Welfare and Development Committee Report

         Mr. Rob Bowen reported for the Faculty Welfare and Development Committee.

  The administration asked FWDC for feedback on whether, if given a choice, faculty would prefer professional development leave (PDL) versus discretionary reassigned time (RAT).  FWDC responded that PDLs are important for faculty development but in the short term it prefers discretionary RAT as a means of boosting faculty morale and looking at PDLs as the primary source down the road. 

  FWDC discussed digitalizing faculty records at a later date so records could be submitted online.    

  FWDC brought two documents to the Executive Committee:  the annual evaluations of chairs and program directors and merit categories for annual evaluation of faculty.  These documents were tabled based on a meeting of the Provost’s cabinet regarding tenure and promotion and the report on review of tenure and rewards system.  The Executive Committee tabled the proposals so as not to have to change the documents twice.  However, there seems to be a great push by the administration to have these documents in place by the end of the school year.  The Provost can speak to the reason for pursuing it quickly.  There needs to be more clarification between FWDC, the Executive Committee and Academic Affairs.    

 

         Second Reading:

         The following document was considered for second reading:

 

         FWDC 1:    Clarification to Family and Medical Leave (Revision of SD4900S; Faculty Handbook 4.2.1.2)


This document makes several clarifications to the Family and Medical Leave policy:

a)  Defines full-time status for faculty members to be 12 contact hours per semester of teaching and formal   reassigned time, whether administrative or discretionary.

b)  Limits brief absences from faculty duties which are accommodated by other members of the faculty to four weeks; absences longer than four weeks require Family and Medical Leave.

c)  Specifies that Family and Medical Leave is limited to twelve weeks or the end of the semester in which it is granted.  This enables twelve weeks of leave to be spread over two semesters if necessary.

d)  Revises qualifying conditions for Family and Medical Leave to exclude bereavement and to include complications from family members serving in the military and care for family members injured while in military service; the latter allows for up to 26 weeks of leave.

e)  Specifies that only the Provost will request medical verification before authorizing Family and Medical Leave.

         Discussion

  Chancellor Ponder said by federal law, the university is required to provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave with job security.  

  Dean Konz said our current policy grants up to one full semester, but does not account for leaves that may be needed over two semesters.  This clarification limits the total over two semesters to 12 weeks.   

  FWDC accepted a friendly amendment to add “otherwise” to the first sentence under Section VII to read:  “… a leave of absence due to maternity or primary-care duties automatically extends the probationary period of tenure-track faculty by one year unless otherwise requested by the faculty member and authorized …”.

  The Senate discussed extensions to probationary periods prior to being awarded tenure (Handbook 3.5.3 Extensions to probationary periods) and whether or not faculty could seek a leave of absence during the second portion of the probationary period after declining to seek it during the first probationary period.  Dr. Kormanik asked if there is a conflict or a lack of clarity in FWDC 1 and Handbook section 3.5.3.  Does it apply only during the probationary period during which time the medical leave was granted?  The Senate concluded that Section 3.5.3 did not define the probation period but it also did not conflict with FWDC 1.  FWDC 1 passed as amended without dissent and became Senate Document 0511F.

 

V.      Institutional Development Committee / University Planning Council Reports

         Dr. Kevin Moorhead reported for Institutional Development Committee and University Planning Council.

         Report on University Planning Council meeting – October 21, 2011
              1.
Chancellor update

              Chancellor Ponder provided an update of our participation of President Ross’s inauguration, our university leadership role in sustainability as noted by Lyons Gray (Assistant to the President) and plans for the 40th anniversary of the consolidated university system, including a panel with four of the past presidents and the current president.
             2.  SACS Compliance Report –

            Bruce Larson provided an update on SACS process for reaccreditation.  He gave the timeline for document deadlines and when other activities take place.  Bruce also described the four phases of the reaffirmation process, starting with the preparation of documents, an off-site review, an on-site review, and the final judgment by the SACS Broad of Trustees. The budget for the QEP was discussed.

         3.  Benchmarks for Undergraduate Research and Environmental Sustainability

            The strategic plan benchmarks were reviewed for undergraduate research and for environmental sustainability.  Both benchmarks overlap.  Ed Katz and Mark Harvey recommended a change in language for the strategic plan related to undergraduate research – UNC Asheville will be a (currently stated as “the”) leading undergraduate research institution for faculty-mentored, student-directed Undergraduate Research. The UPC agreed to the change.  UPC members also discussed the quality vs. quantity issue of reporting undergraduate research projects.  UNC Asheville did not make the latest U.S. News and Report list of universities with notable undergraduate research programs after having done so for several years.  UPC also discussed the limitations of the benchmark related to courses with integrated sustainability content. 

         Ed Katz presented benchmark data that showed a declining number of undergraduate research projects related to environmental sustainability although the goal is for a 20% increase over five years.  Dean Katz also described the current Student Energy Internship and Fellowship Program that includes funding (funding of $281,000) for recent graduates and current students to engage in campus projects related to education and outreach, facilities management, and energy policy.

         A modification to the energy consumption benchmark was recommended by Ed Katz and David Todd.  Currently the benchmark is based on a gradual decrease in the energy consumption per square foot of space over time.  Adding Zeis Hall increased our energy consumption per square foot substantially.  The Sherrill Center is also expected to increase our average energy consumption.  A better metric would be for UNC Asheville to have lower energy consumption compared to the state mandated level.  We are way below the state mandated level.  UPC agreed to the modification.  A presentation by David Todd and Norm Richards highlighted the facility management efforts for improving campus environmental sustainability.

         4.  Social Sustainability

            On-going discussion on social sustainability will be carried forward to our next meeting.  UPC members were given an opportunity to ask question or express concerns and we had a brief conversation on how to improve communications on campus. 

Complete minutes of the UPC meeting:  http://www.unca.edu/node/3112

         Discussion

    Many of the schools on the U.S. News and Report list of universities with notable undergraduate research programs were Research I schools with doctoral programs and post-docs.  There has been a trend at these schools to launch these undergraduate research initiatives which have a lot of publicity. 

    UNC Asheville needs to do a better job of getting its message out:  we are unique in the way we do undergraduate research because our professors are dealing directly with undergraduate students.  Our students are not competing for the professors’ time with graduate students or post-docs. 

    We are often on the defensive and we do not need to follow the latest trend.  We should be proactive in a humble but consistent and convincing way. 

    We should compare ourselves with other programs that can help us recognize where we are strong, where other institutions are strong, and ways we can enhance what we do. 

    The National Conference on Undergraduate Research which is the premier annual event, is undergoing changes.  It has been absorbed into CUR.  CUR’s emphasis has been on supporting faculty to do undergraduate research, not supporting students who do undergraduate research.  This could change the character and nature of the NCUR.  One indication of change is that in recent years there has been continued growth in the size of the event.  The first conference had 400 students.  In 2006 when we last held it on campus there were 2,000 students – and each year since the number of students has increased.  Small schools are increasingly strained in terms of being able to handle such a large event.  Over time, only larger universities or large conference venues may be able to handle the event and then the quality of the event changes. 

    Things are happening that may take the attention away from a small school like ours with higher quality undergraduate programs where students are performing at higher levels.  We need to pursue what we do aggressively and compare ourselves legitimately against strong programs. 

    Our faculty may have less time to devote to undergraduate research. 

 

         Report on Institutional Development Committee meeting – October 20, 2011

         Present: Kevin Moorhead, Gregg Kormanik, Ted Meigs, Eric Gant, Gary Nallan, Jessica Dunsmore, Archer Gravely

1.Resource Implications of the QEP

            The resources implications of implementing the QEP were discussed with Mary Lynn Manns.  Mary Lynn provided a timeline summary of how the QEP would be implemented and a draft budget for the current year and the next five years.  She emphasized that the budget was in draft form.  The draft budget created the most discussion.  The total budget for the six year period was $581,787.  A ½-time faculty position will be used to help administer the QEP as program director.  A ¼-time administrative assistant position will also be required.  The budget included funding for the testing of critical thinking, stipends for faculty and staff to be trained as QEP educators, marketing, travel funds for faculty and students to present QEP projects, general supplies, and other categories.  Students would be assessed for critical thinking skills as new students, graduating students, and as part of QEP course projects.  Many concerns were expressed about the draft budget, including the total amount needed, and the amount needed for various line items.  IDC members were surprised by the amount of money needed to implement the QEP, and how the budget might impact academic programs. [The budget will be discussed during Dr. Manns’ report.]

         2. Overall Budget Process

            John Pierce and Clayton Fogg presented to IDC an overview of the budget process for UNC Asheville.  John described a philosophy of management flexibility for the university, where various entities are given a fair allocation of the budget and the entities decide how the money is spent.  He provided an overview of the state budget as it relates to our budget and how the university has responded to budget cuts.  Roughly 46% of our budget comes from the state.  The university took a proactive stance on the 11.8% cut, eliminating 51 positions, 10 of which were filled.  The academic core was protected but John acknowledged the loss of adjuncts and short-term lecturers, in addition to raising tuition for students.  A potential loss of renovation and repair monies will correspond to an additional 4 to 5% cut for UNC Asheville.  We do not anticipate receiving the R/R money because of the impacts that Hurricane Irene and Medicaid payments have had on the state budget.  Clayton provided IDC members with a month-to-month overview of how the budget is developed, approved, and awarded.  IDC members were concerned about future budget problems.  Although no major issues are anticipated, it is difficult to predict how the university will fare in the next few years due to several factors, including a legislative body opposed to raising taxes, a state economy that has become more service oriented relative to manufacturing without changes in the tax code, the weak economy, and the potential for another recession.  In response to IDC questions, John mentioned that there was no talk at this point about university consolidation, that our arrangement for graduate programming through Western Carolina University and Appalachian State has fared well for us financially, and that there was no state appropriation for the Pharmacy degree at UNC Asheville.  The fiscal arrangement for the pharmacy program was kept simple.  UNC Asheville receives funding by charging rent, and through fees and construction costs.  About 13,000 square feet of space have been given to the pharmacy program.  The budget for academic affairs is about 47% of our total budget, which includes financial aid.  IDC members were appreciative of the time and information provided by John and Clayton.

         3. Task Force on University Policies and Procedures

            IDC members also talked about the creation of a Task Force on University Policies and Procedures, as suggested by the Executive Committee at the last senate meeting.   IDC members were interested in a potentially larger scope for the Task Force and that the membership not be limited to IDC and FWDC members.  Gary Nallan has agreed to serve on the Task Force. 

 

VI.     Academic Policies Committee Reports

         Dr. Bryan Schaffer reported for the Academic Policies Committee in Rob Berls’ absence.

         First Reading [Unanimously approved by APC]

The following documents were considered for first reading:

 

APC 3:     Add CHEM 132 as pre-requisite for ENVR 364

APC 4:     Change description for MLA 670, Scholarly Inquiry Seminar

APC 5:     Change MCOM 201 from 4 hours to 3 hours;

                Reduce required hours for MCOM major and minor.

MINOR [APC considered proposal to be Minor]

APC 6:     Change when Oral Competency will be tested for majors in French

 

Submission of Grades at the end of the semester

         Dr. Schaffer said Pat McClellan brought the issue of submitting grades at the end of the semester to APC.  Pat McClellan spoke on the issue: 

      We have grading deadlines and when faculty do not turn the grades in at that point it prevents the staff from processing steps such as:  whether a student is eligible to graduate; academic standings which affect students’ ability to get financial aid; and sending transcripts to prospective graduate schools. 

      The last two Decembers when grades were due, over 400 grades were missing each semester.  We were missing grades from 32 faculty members one semester and 42 faculty members the other semester.  It typically takes 24 hours to track down the faculty members.  This prohibits staff from taking their holiday break and from getting information out to the students.

      We are excited about shifting Banner to the General Administration server but it also means that we lose some of our control.  GA will be taking the system down starting on Friday afternoon after grades are due and will keep it down through Saturday.  This is typically used as work time.  If we are waiting to get grades from faculty when the system is shut down, we will be working well into the next week. 

      We need to have every grade in on Thursday, December 15th at noon to get our work done for the students.    

      Senators suggested bringing in Chairs as more forceful players in getting grades in on time. 

 

VII.    Administrative Reports 

         Academic Affairs

         Enrollment briefing for Fall 2011:  Provost Fernandes

         UNC Asheville welcomed 540 new freshmen and 330 new transfer students for Fall 2011.  The Full Time Equivalent (FTE) is 3,364 reflecting 102 fewer FTE than last fall.  Given the magnitude of the budget cuts we have handled, this represents an appropriate enrollment for this year.  We have lost 10.5 faculty FTE and over $800,000 in state funding that we had previously used to hire adjunct faculty. 

         Freshman Class of 2015
         The Class of 2015 has an average SAT score of 1174 (six points higher than last year) and an average weighted GPA of 4.0.  While 14% of the freshman class is from out-of-state, in-state freshmen hail from 190 different North Carolina high schools.  In keeping with our diversity initiatives, 12.8% of the class is from underrepresented groups compared to 10% last year.

Continuing Students

         Retention for the Fall 2010 entering freshmen is 80.6%.  This is the 3rd consecutive year in which freshman retention has been > 80%.  The number of continuing undergraduates from fall 2011 (2390) is almost identical to fall 2010 (2399).  In the last ten years, overall retention has exceeded 80% in only four of the years and has ranged from 76.3% to 81.9%.  Graduate student enrollment remained steady with almost the same number of students as fall 2010 (49 compared to 52).

         88.5% of non-graduating, undergraduate, degree seeking students from Spring 2011 have enrolled for Fall 2011.  We have all been reading about students “stopping out” of school for financial reasons.  At UNC Asheville, for Fall 2010, 26% (56 students) of the non-returning students indicated that costs, a need to work, or financial aid were factors in their decision not to enroll this semester.  For Fall 2011, 39% (100 students) of the non-returning students indicated that costs, a need to work, or financial aid were factors in their decision not to enroll this semester.  This is evidence that the economy is affecting our enrollment and evidence that we need more financial aid of all types.

         Impact of Budget Reductions

         With a reduced number of faculty, and with those faculty now teaching a very full load, it is quite literally not possible to grow the enrollment unless we can obtain more faculty FTE to accommodate the increase.  As far as faculty availability to teach students, we are maxed out.

         Looking Ahead to 2012-2013

         As we are now in the midst of recruiting for the 2012-2013 academic year, we obviously need all hands on deck to assist the Admissions Office efforts.  While we cannot admit more students than we have the capacity to teach, we must assure that we admit the quality and number of students and achieve gradual improvements in retention and graduation rates as well.

Our enrollment goals for 2012-2013 include:

 

         Discussion

  We have a simple process where students who “stop out” can return without having to reapply as long as they have not attended another institution during this time period. 

  African American students represent 4.25% of the freshman class (23 of 540).

  Goals are to increase the academic profile, and both under-represented and out-of-state population.

  We are starting a scholarship in Academic Affairs by combining different sources that will allow us to give more consideration to students with merit who may not have need.  We hope to see a higher academic quality result from that effort.  We are trying to recruit students who intend to stay here.  

  Last year we accepted an amazing group of students with high academic skills.  We need to develop some strategy to encourage more of these skilled students to enroll. 

  The Faculty Senate and chairs/program directors need to ensure that all faculty know the significance of retention and graduation.  This will be stressed at the January faculty meeting: every faculty member has a great deal of influence on students’ decisions.     

 

  Provost Fernandes will report on these at the next Senate meeting:
Of the 156 students in the last two years that did not return – what percentage were out-of-state?
How many of the students that we are losing due to costs are minority students?

College Learning Assessment

Provost Fernandes discussed a graph on college learning assessment that UNC Asheville gives to freshmen and to seniors.  The test measures how much skills and knowledge increases from freshmen to seniors.  The graph shows UNC Asheville’s outstanding performance.  Faculty can have pride in the work you are doing with students.  The entire report is available on the Institutional Research web site.

Announcements

Search for new Chief Information Officer

  Provost Fernandes is leading a search for a new Chief Information Officer (CIO).  Faculty will have an opportunity to meet the candidates and give feedback.  The CIO will report to Academic Affairs and will be over the directors of network and security, user services, and administrative computing.  Those areas will continue to be a focus but bringing in a new person may change some of the structure.  It will not include the library. 

   Jim Kuhlman Resignation

  Jim Kuhlman, our university librarian, decided to resign to take a new job at Kentucky Wesleyan College.  We will have an appropriate recognition, remembrance and celebration of his time here.  She will be leading a search for a university librarian. 

 

      QEP Budget report

      Dr. Mary Lynn Manns gave an update on the draft Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) budget.  Our QEP budget is in line with other QEP budgets at other universities. The majority of the money goes to faculty and students, while 25% goes to overhead.  The budget will increase if the leadership team’s recommendations are approved.  In response to IDC concerns, funds allocated for marketing have been reduced in future years.

      Discussion

  The Senate discussed line items in the budget: advertising, training, stipends, travel to present and the economic climate.  Dr. Ruppert said that if this was a good economic time she would support the budget, but we are not in a good economic climate.  Dr. Reynolds asked what was going to be cut in order to afford this.  

o   Provost Fernandes said the funds for QEP will not be taken from any department budget. No impact will be felt from academic departments.  When the SACS reaffirmation process ends that money will go toward the QEP.  Money set aside for institutional effectiveness will be redirected to support the QEP, as well as undistributed funds.

  Dr. Ettari asked if any of the funds could be used to ease the curriculum burden, such as hiring adjuncts.

o   Provost Fernandes said no, they could not be. 

  Provost Fernandes noted that the curriculum review, the restoration of reassigned time at a desirable level, and the restoration of professional development leave should be seen as a package. She does not envision that reassigned time will be restored without a significant modification in the curriculum.  

  Dr. Boudreaux asked if the director had been identified and how much reassigned time she/he will receive.

o   Dr. Manns said the director of QEP has not been identified; this person will receive four classes of reassigned time in year one, three classes in year two, and three classes in year three. The QEP leadership team has recommended that we increase the reassigned time. 

  Dr. Boudreaux asked why we are trying to keep up with other institutions; he would be proud if we came under budget.

o  Dr. Manns said we did not try to be in line with others.  She put together the budget and then looked to see if it was out of line.  Jessica Dunsmore, who has worked with SACS groups, said the budget was in line with others.  

  Dr. Kormanik said it would be wonderful if we had this much money to put toward the project.  SACS guidelines on QEP state:  it must be large enough to matter, but small enough to be manageable; it need not be new; it need not require substantial investment; it must balance significance and institution capability; and it must be complete and affordable.  This does not need to cost a lot – it needs to be manageable given the resources. 

o  Dr. Manns was familiar with all of the guidelines except the one that says it need not be new.  We ran a plan by our SACS Vice President last year and it was not going to be new enough – it was not going to be enhancing enough.

o  Dr. Kormanik noted that enhancing something means taking something you already have and making it better as opposed to having something new. 

o  Dr. Manns said this program will enhance our critical thinking skills, improve our undergraduate research program and improve service learning program.  She looks to the Senate for recommendations on where we can reduce the budget.

  Dr. Roig referred to Dr. Manns’ comment that she was aware of the dollars that might be involved.  He asked if those numbers were discussed such that the Senate or everyone was aware of the cost.  If we started out knowing this might cost $500,000 would we have developed such an ambitious plan – or would we have recognized that we should think on a smaller scale?  We have a great QEP program, but it would be easier if we had known the figures early in the process.

o  Dr. Manns said she did not believe our QEP plan was overly ambitious.  SACS requires that our QEP touches a significant number of students.  To have a significant enhancement for a significant amount of students, this is the bare minimum that we need. 

  Dr. Moorhead said IDC was interested in the money involved in the critical thinking testing. After administering the test for a couple of years, can we then write our own test? 

o  Dr. Manns said purchasing the tests and having the ability to compare ourselves with other schools is cost effective. She was open to suggestions on where to cut the budget, and also to see if the Senate is okay with the leadership team’s recommendations that would actually increase the budget. 

  Dr. Ettari asked how often accreditation occurs.  He questioned the rationale for SAC’s requirement that the institution fund an expensive QEP plan when the institution has already demonstrated its educational quality.

o  Dr. Friedenberg said accreditation occurs every ten years, but it has to be updated every five years.  SACS criteria always change, and it will be different next time too.   

o  Dr. Ettari said rather than being blindsided by this expense, we need to start planning now how to fund the next SACS.  The SACS person we hired should do this.   

o  Dr. Friedenberg said we did not hire a SACS person.  Dr. Larson was appointed to be in charge of the reaffirmation component of the SACS review. 

o  Dr. Ettari said surely someone is responsible for anticipating expenses associated with SACS reaffirmation. 

o  Dean Katz explained that at the last SACS review there were several recommendations that we establish an ongoing SACS committee and we did not do it.  Now we have an Institutional Effectiveness Committee (IEC) with ongoing assessment.  SACS and other accrediting agencies have universities demonstrate what they do in lieu of requiring a systematic standardize approach that universities typically do not want to do.  

o   Dr. Ettari referred to Dr. Katz’s comment that we did not follow the recommendation to establish a SACS committee.        

o   Dr. Friedenberg said the recommendation was specifically in terms of the university’s assessment work.  The IEC is designed to monitor efforts at institutional improvements based on assessment work.  We are in a better position now with the IEC standing committee.  We have a process in place – not only for SACS, but for all of the regional accreditors. The QEP is a separate aspect of SACS.  An important point in Dr. Katz’s comment is a subtext:  SACS may do this to motivate universities, who, unlike us, are not focused on enhancing the undergraduate experience.     

o Dr. Ettari wanted someone to go on record as saying when we did not form this committee years ago we dropped the ball.  Would you characterize that as dropping the ball?

o Dr. Friedenberg said only in terms of institutional assessment – yes, we did.  We had the program in place and it fell apart. 

o  Dr. Frank said it is no surprise that we are having this substantive conversation because we are already doing what SACS is asking us to do.  We are investing time and money to demonstrate that we are doing something and that has a cost.  That is the very nature of the process. Today has been a fruitful conversation and we thank Dr. Manns for giving the Senate an opportunity to give feedback on the budget.  It behooves us to not lose sight of the meaning of the process. We may not agree on it, but we need to move through the process that is open, transparent, and consensual.              

Student Government
Highlights of Ryan Ridenour’s report from the Student Government Association (SGA):

    Tuition and Fees process

VIII.   Old Business

        Ad Hoc Task Force

        The Executive Committee will meet with FWDC next week to discuss feedback on the ad hoc task force.

 

IX.     New Business

         There was no New Business.

 

X.      Adjourn

         Dr. Frank adjourned the meeting at 5:51pm.

 

Respectfully submitted by:     Sandra Gravely

                                                Executive Committee