Final approved 3-2-06
Meet and Confer
February 16, 2006
Admin:† Roy Saigo, Michael Spitzer, John C. Burgeson, Larry Chambers, Kristi Tornquist, Margaret Vos, Mitchell Rubinstein, Rex Veeder, Steve Ludwig, Anne Zemek de Dominguez, Lisa Foss for item 9 only
Faculty:† Judy Kilborn, Annette Schoenberger, JoAnn Gasparino, Andrew Larkin, Robert Johnson, Jayantha Herath, Susan Motin, Bill Langen, Steve Hornstein, Balsy Kasi, Polly Chappell Ė Note taker
Approval of Minutes
Meet and Confer Notes of February 2, 2006
Admin: the first item on our agenda is the approval of minutes from the February 2nd meeting, which are not available yet, so those cannot be approved. So, we can begin with Unfinished Business, and with the time constraints, with item 9 on the agenda: President Saigoís Student Feedback System.
9.†† President Saigoís Student Feedback System (FA) (02/02/06) Ė 3 p.m. time definite: Lisa Foss
FA: Well, I think Lisa wanted to give us some information about that, didnít you?
FA: No. Okay. We didnít know. We thought you were going to talk a little bit about it. So, Lisa needs to leave early. So, we need to be pretty efficient here, and I guess I can ask a general question. We were discussing the material that you gave us. We were wondering if, really, what is more appropriate, what you really were trying to do was provide like a help site for students?
Admin: Maybe, if I can just back up and explain where this idea came from, periodically the President has been sending out announcements to students, messages to the student distribution list at various points in the semester, beginning of the semester, before finals. Each one of those emails generates a series of responses from students. And we were looking at a way to capture that information from the students in a more regular way. And, so, what we designed was basically a portal system through which students could send emails to the President. They already have the opportunity to do that. Thereís a email@example.com site.† Periodically emails come in, and Sue Prout, in the Presidentís office, directs them to the appropriate places. And, so, we were looking at a way to capture that feedback from students in one location. So, that was the intent of the design of this feedback system. And what itís really being used for, I shared some of the emails with Judy, the vast majority are commentary, primarily about parking and food service and some other things that students arenít satisfied with. A number of emails are asking for help. And, so, Iím serving now as a way to direct students to get their resources on campus. Some students have questions on advising, some have questions on all sorts of things, so Iím referring them to the different, various offices on campus.†
FA: I guess I come back to my question then. And I guess there had been a committee that met a while ago, was it IRC, that had recommended an ombudsperson?
FA: Rex and I were on that, and we talked about it a lot.
FA: To serve as kind of a one-stop-shopping for students who had questions and concerns, and would be able to provide a real face, or a voice. I guess part of the concern is that thereís an official site here. You and I talked about the official-ness of this. Thereís something official coming from that, maybe a personal note from President Saigo. And weíre wondering if the interfaces may be too distanced. It might actually be more appropriate to have a person who students are able to contact as a one-stop-shopping kind of help desk thing.
FA: I guess thatÖ letís say students have some sort of a problem with parking.
Admin: Um hum.
FA: You know, and this comes to you about that because they havenít been able to get it resolved. You can direct them back to the parking, but that might not be where the problem is. And actually having a University ombudsperson would be somebody that students could come and see. And that person could properly say, no, Iím sorry, you know, I donít really think you have a case here, or I can tell youíre not communicating very well. My job is to help you get this taken care of. And, so, those kinds of things, be they parking or be they whatever, get taken care of by somebody. Certainly I donít think thatís in your job description.
Admin: No. no.
FA: Same with if there was a complaint. You know that person would say hereís the complaint policy. Hereís the department chair. Hereís what has to happen. So thereís kind of a personal face to solve that.
Admin: We asked the question: do you communicate with Administration? And that was low, and so as the holidays came, I would send an email saying be careful, enjoy yourselves, relax. I do this for faculty too. But this then became a little more important because people want to talk to me, and we found that this is a nice way of communicating with students. I donít think youíre meaning that we should take that away from the students.†
FA: I guess weíre meaningÖ I guess we are going in two places. Obviously they need to get a hold of you. And there are procedures, but sometimes they need help getting into those, so perhaps more than just an email, weíre saying when they communicate with the Presidentís office, weíre actually extending that. More than getting email to help you, weíre saying hereís a person to help you get that job done. So thatís where weíre coming from.
FA: Thereís really sort of two things here. The first one is very obvious, because Lisaís here, is that theyíre not communicating with the President. They are communicating with somebody else. So the implication, when you look at this, is that this is going to go to the President, and youíre going to get a response from the President, but you arenít. Maybe itís going to youÖ
Admin: I read every one.
FA: Öbut the response isnít from you. The other thing is Iíve had reports from departments. In one instance the department got an email from the complaint of a single student. They were being asked to completely review their curriculum. Now they have a curriculum thatís based on the national standard, which is based on state requirements. And now because of a single student, itís inconvenient for them to take the courses in the order that theyíre offered and required by this national body, they are being asked to review their curriculum. Of all the things we have to do, if we have to do that for every individual student in our program who wants to know why they haveÖ who has a complaint. Another student, their faculty member had already spent about four hours with this student, explaining to them why it was that they couldnít do what the student wanted them to do for them. Now the student is getting another thing sayingÖ the faculty member is saying, write this all down so I can send this back to the student. The student already got it firsthand. I think that asking faculty to do this kind of thing is just a waste of their time. There doesnít seem to be any recognition in this, that it was an individual student who complained, that there is a process for doing it.†
Admin: There are lots of students that will send emails or hardcopy letters to the President, sometimes to my office, with complaints of various kinds, and we have to look into them. This is just another way of doing that same thing. Now, itís easier for the students to do it, I suppose. But students do send stuff in.
Admin: I was going to say that some of the focus of the discussion is complaints. How we can respond to complaints. Complaints that come from individuals are individual; theyíre not from the group. But sometimes they do represent the person that is willing to speak. A bunch of people will just go on and not complain. The ones that Iíve seen, in particular with respect to parking, arenít complaints that need to go through a complaint process or they didnít know about the appeal process for a ticket. But there are suggestions or discussions or things like that. One of them said build a parking ramp; they think thatís a good idea, this individual. So we could respond with the information for them. And I do know that they do go to the President. They are certainly referred to people that are responsible for the area. But I tend to see the ones when they get forwarded to Miles or someone for comment. I get a copy too, so I know whatís going on and whatís happening. Especially the faculty who are engaged with students more frequently than the Administration, that can have a way for the faculty to approach a lot of these issues like this is more helpful than it is an inconvenience.
FA: After the last Meet and Confer, Lisa and I sat down and talked about this. And I think some of our concerns are pretty clear. We donít want to circumvent the processes that we already have. And I really appreciated Lisaís willingness to point to the student complaint process. And she did agree also to get things as specifically as she could to the right people. I do want to say on the record, that part of what weíre concerned about is that these processes be circumvented, or that things start too high in the process so that people arenít given an opportunity to resolve them or react to them on a lower level. So, Lisa has said that she will refer people to, for example, specific departments, and that will help. I still donít think this answers the concern though about a general help desk. Thereís also a concern that because Lisaís doing it, itís an advantage because people know her, and thereís a certain amount of trust. I guess weíd like to know if Lisa doesnít do it anymore, how we know whoís doing it so things are more transparent.
Admin: And maybe what youíre talking about is the next step. I think this was the first step toward reaching out to the students and giving them a place to go to. What Iím getting from the emails is that this is really a complex organization and thereís lots of students who just donít know where to go.
FA: And canít find things on the web.
Admin: And canít find things on the web, and they just see this as an opportunity to ask somebody. And when I respond, I respond with my name. I acknowledge that Iím responding on behalf of the President. And I provide them the information, or if Iíve referred it to someone, I say Iím forwarding your email to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies or to the Vice President of Administrative Affairs. So itís clear that what is happening. If there is any kind of policy implication, I clearly say here is that process, hereís a link to that process. So many of them are just, for lack of a better term, lost students. I had a student who emailed the President because he was a junior and doesnít have a major, and could the President suggest a major to him. (Laughter)†
Admin: He asked could you make some suggestions.
FA: Did you say Biology?
Admin: Library Science. (Laughter)
Admin: And so I sent that to Steve Klepetar in the Advising Center, and Steve emailed me back and said, you know, thank you Lisa, this is a student I can help. And he responded to that student directly and was able to help that student. So many of them are just that. And I get lots of responses back from the students saying thank you. Thank you for responding to my email. Thank you for reading it. Thank you for sending me this information.
Admin: I may have reason to use this system.
Admin: Iíve sent notes back to students who say, can I come into your hockey box. And I say we have advancement guests and things, but come by for a Pepsi or something. So thatís the issue. Out of the hundred, you figure what, three complaints about faculty? I will guarantee you that she will put down that, Lisa will, there are official ways to complain about this and that. And Administration will follow that. But I get letters demanding this and demanding that in hard copy, so itís not any different. And so we do want to continue with this. So out of a hundred, there were three. So itís not like fifty that are demanding everything. Weíre just trying to communicate more closely with students. We want to make sure that they are heard. One was asking for help, psychologically, and it was so frustrating. And those are things that we do need to react to. I read these when I get a moment; then I also send another note to them if necessary. So let me assure you that itís not to undermine, itís not to get you, itís not any of those kinds of issues. Itís to communicate more closely with students and follow procedure if necessary.
FA: I think I like the idea having a super one-stop help center for everyone. But I just like to know, for both faculty and students, if students are complaining about one particular faculty for whatever reason, thereís a danger of forming subconscious perceptions about the person. Maybe the student is already a problem for this faculty. Maybe he had heard heís not a great teacher, heís not a good teacher. So thereís a danger subconscious perceptions might be possible. How do you assure that that wonít happen?
Admin: Well, there are lots of ways that students may express their dissatisfaction with faculty. You can go to rateyourprof.com and that sort of stuff. Weíre not talking about those kinds of messages. I donít think Lisa keeps records of complaints against faculty that may have been identified. And if youíre talking about how longÖ?
Admin: This one came in at the beginning of semesterÖ
Admin: Öitís about six weeksÖ
Admin:† Six weeksÖ
Admin: Öthree complaints about faculty.† And grades havenít come in yet, soÖ (Laughter)
Admin: And itís really trailed off. We had a big burst right at the beginning of the semester. And there hasnít been a single comment since Monday, you know, so the last couple weeks there have been a couple. One interesting example is, and I forwarded it to Kristi, it gives a snapshot of things that are frustrating students that we might not otherwise know about. I received a few emails about the student book exchange and the decision to not to send out an email through the official form of communication about the student book exchange. And so maybe we need to look at that. It frustrated students; they were dissatisfied with that. They were relying on that information. So maybe we need to go back and revisit that. So itís really about looking at big trends like that to see how weíre doing things to better serve students.
Admin: Last fall we also had open office hours once a week. And that was busy for anybody for maybe three days, and after that we had to cancel because no one showed up. And so again itís just another way, because I know everybody says, where is he, we donít see him anymore, you know, what is he doing? So I send these messages, and right after the holiday one student wrote back: I appreciate your message, but why donít you send your own message? Well we had to send it through the student email.† I canít send it directly, we have to send it to the students to send it to the other students. And so we had to explain that. And he said, oh, okay. But again communication is very difficult. Weíre just trying different ways to try to communicate with the students.
Admin: Anything further on this topic?
FA: I still would like for us to tweak this a little bit to make sure that we have an agreement about policies. For example, I think itís right on the money for a student having a complaint about a faculty, or about a grade, whatever, to be referred from your office to the appropriate place. By the same token, Iím not sure I want that studentís email to you to go back to the chair. Because the chair does have to write recommendations, and these things may be unfounded. Before they get there, we want them to move through the process. The other thing that happens with that is the official complaint process requires that the student put the complaint in writing. Students could perceive because theyíve written to you, you send it on to the faculty, that that part is done. So Iím hoping some way we can just tweak that and make sure that the processes really do proceed and you can send them to the right place.
FA: And actually I think thatís really important in terms of mentoring students or encouraging students to learn how to use the system. And I think thatís a really useful service we can offer them without actually sending to the chair this complaint about so and so. Just mentor them through the system.
FA: I think the other issue of complaint is that thereís a process, and if the complaint gets resolved at the department level, the complaint just disappears and nothing is kept on it, but now weíve got this thing which is a complaint which you have, which is very possible that the faculty member has never seen, where the official process says that information doesnít go out of the department unless thereís a resolution thatís written and everybody agrees to it. Thereís a real circumvention there of what we agreed to do. What are you doing with those emails? If theyíre getting to the President, then that means theyíre going around the official process.
Admin: Those emails came in already. Periodically, in setting this up, I discussed this with Sue Prout because she is the one who get the firstname.lastname@example.org emails and those types of emails were coming. So what she would do is similar language to say hereís the process you need to follow.
Admin: I was going to say in a lot of these cases, too, there are appeals. For example, if they come to the Academic Affairs office, we have to see the full line of paperwork in order to follow up with that appeal. So if a studentís gone through those processes all frustrated, they do have recourse through an appeal, but it has to include all the material from the department.
Admin: And thatís why we wanted to include the disclaimer on the website so that students know going in, the intent is saying this is not the formal complaint process. If youíre making a complaint, this is not where you go to do that. You need to follow this.
FA: Iím wondering if it would be possible in those situations that you refer back to the process, to redact those names when you share them, so President Saigo would know there was a complaint but not know what the name was so that the faculty memberÖ
Admin: But when they send me a personal letter, they donít do that, so why should we start censoring communication? All weíre interested in is helping the relationship improve.
FA: Youíll remind yourself of that then?
Admin: Just like this poor student, I wish he or she would have put the name because they were really anxious and needed help, but it was anonymous. Are many anonymous?
Admin: Actually, no, very few, I would say 10%. Thatís a rough estimate. Almost all of them have included their names, and thatís optional. If they want a response back, they have to give their name and email address, and most of them do.
Admin: Iíll be darned.
FA: I lost my train of thought.
FA: You did that the other day, too.
FA: Yeah, I know.
Admin: Well, if you will permit us, letís try this another semester, and if there are more than three complaints then weíll come back and perfect this. The one that was most meaningful to me was this person who was really stressed. It was anonymous. I brought it to Margaretís attention. But, again, three out of 100. I would love to share them with you. Some of them are so cute. I mean theyíll just talk to me like Iím an old friend. Hey, Roy, how you doing? You know?
FA: Could we revisit this maybe next fall and get a report of what you find?
Admin: That would be fine.
FA: That would be helpful. Thank you.††
Admin: Judy had asked to put another item on the agenda and wanted to cover it first. And in our generosity, of course, we said yes.
6. COSS Dean Search Committee (FA) (02/16/06)
FA: So we asked to add COSS Dean Search Committee, and Iíll just kind of go through a statement. The Administrationís appointed a faculty member to the COSS Dean Search Committee, and the FA sees this as a breach of the contract. And Iím going to specifically read Article 6, Section B, Subd. 2: ďÖthe agreement between the Association and the President, an agreed-upon number of additional faculty members may be appointed by the President to serve ex officio as resource persons based on professional expertise. Faculty members appointed to committees in ex officio capacity will not serve as representatives of other faculty.Ē So weíre viewing this as a violation of the contract. We also view this appointment as a violation of our Meet and Confer agreement about Search Committee composition. We had agreed that we would do our normal five faculty from within the departments, one at-large. We do intend to file a step three grievance. We also find this action to be a breach of trust between Administration and Faculty. If you revoke the decision now, we will not file the grievance. Itís page 18 if youíre looking for it, near the bottom, second to last paragraph. Itís the last two sentences, actually, it does start even farther up from there. It starts midway with ďthe Association and President shall confer on the need for faculty to serve in University level committees after which the Association shall appoint the faculty.Ē And we didnít appoint this faculty member.
Admin: This faculty member is appointed as an Administrative appointee.
FA: So youíre replacing one of your Administrative appointees with this person?
Admin: I guess we are adding an Administrative appointee.
FA: Is this person ex officio?
Admin: I would think not.
FA: Okay, so if this person is ex officio and youíre appointing her as an Administrative appointee, and if we understand what the professional expertise is, and if you meet and confer with us about this, thatís a different story. But none of these things have happened.
FA: They havenít reduced the number of Administrators either.
Admin: Maybe we should caucus for a bit.
††††††††† [Anne Zemek de Dominguez joined the meeting]
Admin: The agreement to this individual being on that search committee was made in settlement of a grievance that was brought by the Faculty Association. And what I would like to ask of you, at this point, is to wait a day or two so we can check on one or two things, and to see whether we want to maintain this or not. And, if not, weíll contact you.
FA: Okay. So when we did get the resolution of that grievance, and I want to point out that we have the exclusive right for representation in grievances, the FA did not accept that resolution. And since the FA is a party to that grievance, all parties have to agree to a resolution. We did not agree to that resolution.
Admin: The FA brought the grievance.
FA: The individual brought the grievance by herself, without FA representation, that we know of?
FA: No. No. Thatís incorrect. .
FA: John PalmerÖ
FA: Let me explain, please. We went through this last summer when this occurred. Anyone can bring forward a grievance at step one. We believed it was more appropriate for her to bring a grievance forward with the Faculty Association representative there. We made it really clear that we wouldnít bring it further then the local level. And we were maintaining our interests in being present in that. There was no step two grievance meeting even though we requested it. So there were some concerns with that.
FA: Just because you offered a settlement, doesnít mean that that settlement is accepted. Thereís the union, because we have exclusive rights to representation, and then thereís you. If we tell you what we want to be resolved, the resolution of the grievance to be, and you donít accept it, that canít be the resolution of the grievance.
Admin: Now hold on a secondÖ
FA: If you tell us what you want the resolution of the grievance to be, and we donít accept it, that canít be the resolution of the grievance. We did not accept the resolution that you offered from that grievance.
Admin: Now you presented the grievance to the Administration?
Admin: On behalf of this individual?
Admin: That grievant requested a certain remedy, we granted it. I think this is resolved.
FA: We did not accept that resolution.
Admin: We granted the grievance that you brought at step one.
FA: We didnít accept that resolution.
Admin: Well, you brought the grievance.
FA: We did not accept it. We did not accept it. And both parties have to accept it.
Admin: The resolution that was provided was the one that you requested.
FA: We didnít accept it.
Admin: Well, how could you not accept what you asked for?
FA: Sometimes that happens.
FA: The grievant requested that. The Faculty Association did not request that.
Admin: It was the grievance officer of the Faculty Association.
FA: Acceptance of that resolution would be non-contractual.
FA: We would never have accepted that. We didnít accept it.
FA: And I want to point out one more thing, if I can. That really has nothing to do with the grievance or anything like that. Since the committee has found out about this, Iíve had several calls, and I think that making this appointment could risk that search. And Iím not sure if thatís something that youíre prepared to do. We would like the search to go forward. We would like it to go forward with the representation that we elected. And without representation beyond that, unless itís under the criteria that I mentioned, Subdivision two, which is ex officio based on professional expertise. Those are the criteria.
Admin: Well, what I suggested before is what I would state. And I would like to leave this as is for now while we check on a few things, and then respond to you then.
Admin: The committee does not meet again until next Thursday.
FA: They met today.
Admin: I know. Iím on the committee.
Admin: And Iíll let you know if they are willing to accept what youíre saying about filing a grievance.
FA: I would like to remind you of the seriousness of this. I donít know if Judy said, but we take this as a serious breach of trust between Administration and Faculty, and we worked for years, particularly this group of Faculty, recovering relationships with the Administration. And to have it just broken open, like this, is a severe problem for us. And itís not going to help the relationships between Faculty and Administration on campus to have these sorts of decisions being made.
Admin: So noted. Next item: Attendance Policy.
1. Attendance Policy† (Admin) (9/08/05)
FA: The taskforce on Attendance Policy brought forward to us a recommendation for a statement for the catalog that we brought to Senate. And we passed that with changes, minor ones. We were hoping that that taskforce would have the second piece of their work done, which is the statement for faculty, but Mark Nook told me the other day that he wouldnít have that ready in time for us to take to Senate for next time. So weíll aim for the time after that. But, thatís the first piece of it.
Admin: Weíll review this. Thanks. Taskforce on Diversity.
2. Taskforces on Diversity (a.k.a. Motion from Teacher Development) (FA) (9/22/05)
Admin: I can report that the taskforce from COE has met. The second meeting is being arranged. There are a number of people, of course, so itís the constant juggling of schedules. The other taskforce has not met yet, but we are trying to arrange it.
Admin: Which other one has not met yet?
Admin: The university-wide taskforce that includes Womenís Center, andÖ
Admin: A lot of these are just reports. Thereís the Grade Appeal Policy Guidelines.
FA: Can I ask a question?
FA: One of the things about the Diversity Taskforce was that it was sort of too big and unwieldy, and there was going be some sort of a plan on how they were going to organize themselves. Could we see that plan?
Admin: Well, weíll get that plan to you, yes. We made recommendations to the Provost, and Iíll forward them.
FA: Could we see what they are?
Admin: Sure. Sure.
FA: Thank you.
3. Grade Appeal Policy Guidelines (FA) (10/06/05)
Admin: Grade Appeal Policy Guidelines, there was something we were waiting for.
FA: Right, the Academic Affairs Committee did review the policy, and they brought it back to Senate last time, and it was passed with a few minor changes here. Although, I donít know, did I give this to you already?
Admin: Yeah, I have this, but I couldnít tell what was changed.
FA: Okay, so under item five, the language was ďthe instructor has a right to improve the studentís gradeĒ at one point in this process.
FA: The Committee, thatís the most substantial change, they changed it back to ďthe instructor has a right to change the studentís grade at any point in the processĒ because they said, one of the things that could happen is that it could be changed to a W, which is actually not an improvement, and so they felt ďchangeĒ would be more adequate and more accurate. And the other one is just cleaning up the language.
Admin: The one thing that Iím a little concerned about is that we donít, unless there were some really egregious circumstances, such as the faculty in reviewing this decides that or discovers the entire paper has been plagiarized, that a student then appeals a grade shouldnít have that grade and lowered as a consequence of that appeal.
FA: Actually the committee talked about that, and they discussed the fact that really the only time a faculty member would lower a grade would be in such an egregious situation. They came up with the same exact example.
FA: But this doesnít allow that. The way you gave it to us would not allow the changing of the grade to an F if someone were found plagiarizing.
Admin: I agree, but now it allows the reduction of the grade if a faculty member decides, well I didnít like the fact that this student came in and complained.
FA: They could do a grade appeal.
Admin: This is the grade appeal.
FA: It would be a case of retribution, so there would be grounds for complaining against the faculty action, and thatís an illegal action. So there are grounds addressing that matter.
Admin: Can we add some sort of statement to this that says something along the lines, as we just indicated, that a grade would be reduced only through egregious circumstances, such as plagiarism?
FA: Iím distressed with the attitude that this shows toward faculty. The assumption that if a student complains about a grade, the faculty would just change the grade to a lower grade in retribution. I am extremely distressed at that attitude. I find it appalling.
Admin: Thatís not my attitude. I think youíre misrepresenting, badly, what I was trying to get at, which is that the student seeing this might feel that, not that I think that faculty would do that. But if a student sees this policy that says if I appeal my grade, the faculty member can change it, and changing it means it could be reduced as well as it could be raised. And that might discourage students from appealing, which is not what we want to do.
FA: So, youíre essentially saying something like youíd like to add a statement that says grades could be lowered if an egregiousÖ
FA: Okay. I just wanted to make sure that I understood.
FA: What if we added it in a different way: ďthe instructor has the right to change the studentís grade at any point in the process based only on information about the studentís performance in the classĒ? Donít say anything that it has to be egregious. Donít say anything about it being retribution or anything.†
FA: Yeah, and thatís what they wanted to preserve, too. But it still wouldnít deal with the problem. What if you decide a W is more appropriate?
FA: Iím saying change based onÖ
FA: Okay, so it would be ďchangeĒ and it would not be ďimproveĒ?
FA: Right it would be changed, but it would be based on studentís performance, information based on the studentís performance in the class. That kind of wipes out any of that assumption of retribution.
FA: Some of that language would be problematic in terms of some of our course syllabus, in which it states that I reserve the right to make corrections in the grades in cases of clerical errors and what have you. If you have a student worker or a graduate student who uses the wrong formula, and in the process of reviewing the grades you discover that the grades are in error, and that the A is really a D, what are we to do?† This policy says that the statement in the syllabus is no longer valid because of clerical situations; error was found, and the grade that was perhaps recorded was inflated, and thereís corrections on it.
Admin: The faculty member could change the studentís grade at any time. This policy pertains to a student that comes in and appeals the grade for change. So if there were a clerical error in computing a studentís grade by a graduate assistant and you discovered it, you could change the studentís grade. And this policy would have no effect on that whatsoever.
FA: What Iím saying is that, on appeal of the gradeÖ
Admin: You discover a clerical error?
FA: And youíre looking at calculations of the grade, you discover that thereís a mistake in the calculation of the grade, and the syllabus says that we reserve the right to make these corrections; then this policy voids and invalidates that statement.
Admin: So if Iím a student, and I receive a C, and I appeal that grade because I think I deserve a B, and you recalculate and say, no, I really deserve a D, you want to change that grade to a D?
FA: Well, I mean if the student has identified the problem, weíve investigated it, and based on the data thatís at hand, and when you show that here are all of your assignments, here is the basis for each grade, the final calculation comes out to a 65 average, what do you deserve in the class?
Admin: If we go back to what Steve says, I think that would address that situation. It says based on performance in the course, is that the language you used?
FA: Yeah, I just wrote this, and I think this would have to go back to Senate again anyway. But what I wrote was, the whole thing would read: ďthe instructor has the right to change the studentís grade at any point in this process based on a review of the studentís performance or as a way to correct clerical errors.Ē I think that will probably have to go back to Senate.
Admin: That will work for me.
FA: Would you like us to take that as an amendment to Senate Tuesday?
FA: I could just let you know then what Senate says about that. You got that language down, right Polly?
Polly: On the machine.
FA: Okay. So, otherwise are we okay on that one?
Admin: I want to read through the rest of it.
FA: Thereís just this line right here.
Admin: Are there any other changes other than this?
FA: No. So, really it looks like the only change that we have to check on is the one that we just read as an amendment. And weíll bring that back to Senate and find out what Senate says about that.
Admin: Okay. Weíre down to the Template on Teaching Schedule/Contact Hours.
4. Template on Teaching Schedule/Office Hours (FA) (10/20/05)
FA: Thatís a committee thatís supposed to be doing it.
Admin: Three of the four members met on Friday, and John Palmer was going to draft something for committee members, and heís sending an email.
Admin: Counseling Center.
5. Counseling Center† (FA) (12/15/05)
Admin: We have a document, Margaret will speak to this.
Admin: What you have in front of you is a post-op description for the position of the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, as well as a flow chart on the next page. There are three additions that weíd like to see added to the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, since we have a brand new position. Thereís a group called the Psychological Issues Group, acronym is PIG, who put together already a year ago a job request for a position called a Case Manager or a Case Worker. The money was allocated as of July 1, and I actually just received the job description about a week ago for Case Manager. In that conversation is where is that position housed. The position would serve as a manager, in a way, of various students who are at risk. It might be for a wide variety of reasons that those students are at risk, but they would manage that caseload. So, if a student is supposed to have an appointment over at the Counseling Center to meet with the ADC Coordinator, thereís some follow up on that student. It seemed appropriate with the background required of the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, which is a PhD, that would be a good fit that you have clinical knowledge and background that would be able to work with that Case Manager. Alcohol, Iím sure youíre all aware, is just a major issue, not only on this campus but nationally, and it is a mystery on how we can put our arms around it. Thereís just no book on the shelf or easy answer of how to deal with alcohol issues nationally, and certainly on this campus, so Iím proposing the ADC Coordinator. ADC is an acronym that stands for Alcohol Drug Counselor, and this person also does assessment. They also move over to the Counseling Center. It seems as if many of the problems when it comes to alcohol are intertwined with many other issues; it isnít just alcohol. Itís dealing with depression, itís dealing with decision making, itís dealing with inappropriate behavior, it seems like thereís many layers to that issue.† And, then, finally Disability Services is a position that was a part-time position, then became a full-time, then was cut back to a half-time position. Itís now a full-time position, presently reports directly to the Vice President. What theyíre finding is that the needs of our students that go to Disability Services is not so much physical disabilities, wheelchairs, desks, but rather the numbers have increased with brain trauma, and also bipolar, psychological issues, and that they fall under those guidelines to assist with special tutorials and help. So it seems by adding those three areas to the job description of Director of Counseling, we have a coordinated effort to meet the needs of students on this campus.
Admin: Questions or comments?
FA: Quite a few, actually. Iím wondering how you got this 60% when all the data that weíve gotten from the Counseling Center, in their investigation, indicates that the administrative part is much less than that?
Admin: The number is 40% that theyíre saying? Or 30%? 25%? Do you know what that percent is?
FA: Well if I look at the report, approximately 33% is counseling administration and management and 66% personal counseling. This is the estimate of Jan Gembol. A slightly different estimate was provided by Chuck Smith who indicated that 60% was personal counseling and 40% center management. At other MnSCU institutions we get percentages such as, and Iím talking about administrative duties, 20% Bemidji, 45% Morehead, 25% Southwest, 15-20% in Winona, Mankato 33%. The average is approximately 28% for administrative duties.
FA: I just wanted to add that we found a memo that Bob Bayne, the previous director, wrote. I think it was early to mid-90s, and for some reason he was asked to put in percentages how much time he spent on everything. And with him the percentage of counseling came out 70%.
FA: The other question I have was under the first segment, it says provides supervision and evaluation of seven PhD Counselors, graduate assistants, and interns, we need to know what bargaining unit this person would fall into before we could say that was appropriate. And actually thatís a specific question that weíve had that I havenít had an answer to at this point.
Admin: This description would have the position fall under MSUAASF.
FA: And itís the IFOís perspective that MSUAASF cannot supervise faculty.
Admin: Iím not sure we accept that.
FA: Another question isÖ one of the things youíve said over and over is that you want more coverage. So now youíve taken a position that was 70%, 60%, 66% counseling, and youíve made it only 30%, 40% counseling. How is that goingÖ I find that amazing.
Admin: Weíve also added another full-time counseling position.
FA: Even after this fall, youíve added that other person, you still said you wanted more coverage.
Admin: And thereís a Case Manager to follow up and work with those and the ADC Coordinator working with the Counselors.
FA: Okay, so youíre seeing some of these counseling functions as falling into one new faculty member, thatís an additional faculty? Is that correct?
Admin: I believe, yes.
FA: The ADC Coordinator, what bargaining unit is that person?
Admin: MSUAASF, and theyíre presently doing alcohol counseling right now. But itís not, and Iíd have to pull up that job description to see what percent of their job is counseling, but itís a certified alcohol counselor.
FA: Who is in the PIG committee that you mentioned?
Admin: They have to find a new name for that. It is members of the Health Services, members of the Counseling Services, I also believe members of Residential Life sit on that.
Admin: And I donít know if Public Safety is also involved in that? It seems that itís people who are interested in case management, welfare of students on this campus.
FA: We have this Alcohol Drug Counselor on campus now even though theyíre in another spot. We canít legitimately claim that by moving this person into the Counseling Center, weíve now added a counselor. We already had it.
Admin: We didnít say that.
Admin: Weíre in the process right now of pulling together a search committee. Paperwork has just been signed to start the process to hire a brand new position. And that position will be effective next fall.
FA: Oh, I thought that I heard you say that you added this position, and you added the Case Manager and youíve added the ADC, and I was saying you canít put the ADC in that pile.
FA: Are the responsibilities of this proposed directorship in any delineation of the responsibilities of the proposed directorship and the proposed chair?
Admin: The department chair would do what department chairs do in other departments with regard to making recommendations on personnel, promotion, and tenure.
FA: Thereís some overlaps between those duties. What Iím suggesting is that you look at the duties of departmental chairs. There are some overlaps between those duties.
Admin: Can you specify what youíre referring to?
FA: Supervision of office managers, supervision of students, student workersÖ
Admin: This would all be done by the Director in this instance.
FA: I may be mistaken, but the department gets input in the things like hiring processes and those kinds of things. And so we canít simply see that stuff in the Director, so we have another duplication.
Admin: Sure, and I think the terminology there is participating in the planning process. Knowing that it is not the end all, that it is a process.
FA:† Within the kind IFO positions, you would have a MSUAASF participating in faculty hiring conditions?
Admin: The faculty make the recommendation, and the recommendation is made to the supervisor who makes the determination.
Admin: Actually Roy makes the final determination.
Admin: Well, yes, and recommends to Roy. Sorry.
Admin: They say Iím invincible. (Laughter)
FA: You say recommends to the supervisor. Who are you seeing as the supervisor?
FA: I can read it: ďThe chair forwards recommendations of the department to the appropriate administrative personnel.Ē
FA: I still would like to ask one question. In this construction, who are you seeing as a supervisor?
Admin: The Director.
FA: Youíre seeing as the supervisor?
FA: Theyíre not appropriate.
FA: Yeah, we need to caucus.
FA: So thank you for your proposal. We are going to refer this to Pat Arsenault at the IFO for inspection at that level, and our side will be contacting your side.
FA: This starts the 30-day clock, also.† I want to put that on the record.
Admin: Status of Senate Recommendations regarding Strategic Planning.
6. Status of Senate Recommendations regarding Strategic Planning (FA) (02/02/06)
Admin: Those were received.
FA: For both the academic distinction, indicators, and also the committee recommendations?
FA: Then we can put forward a call.
FA: For our members and you can put forward for your members. Thank you very much. We appreciate this. We see this as a very important way, especially the new committee configuration, for moving strategic planning forward.
Admin: Any other comments on that? Academic Freedom Committee Report Recommendations.
7. Academic Freedom Committee Report Recommendations (FA) (02/02/06)
FA: We discussed these in Senate last time, and they wanted an opportunity to go back to the departments, and bring in motions considering the make up of that committee. And so Iím assuming weíll make some sort of determination next week at Senate.
Admin: Okay. Priority Registration.
8. Priority Registration (FA) (02/16/06)
FA: Okay, itís our understanding that you took that forward to students, and students said no?
Admin: No, itís not quite true.
Admin: Margaret, I think you can probably comment best on this.
Admin: Itís almost as if the impossible happened. That the FA worked through the proposal, and at the same time, students also worked through a proposal. They did not take the FA proposal. They created their own.
Admin: The one that they created was voted down. Okay, and so the language isnít quite the same. And I spoke to Bill Hudson yesterday, and what he had suggested is that theyíll look at what was voted down by Student Government. Theyíll look at the FA proposal, and probably next Thursday they will come to Student Government to speak to that. And we think there were members of Student Government who would have loved to have heard from someone before they had their own discussion.
Admin: I donít think there was anybody there.
Admin: No one was thereÖ
Admin: To speak on behalf of any recommendation.
FA: Who are they? You said they will look at...
Admin: The students.
Admin: It sounded like the group that he was working with.
FA: There were a group of faculty who proposed that policy initially. They brought it to Senate, and representing really Music, Forensics, Players, student athletes.
Admin: From the perspective of Student Government, they asked people to be there at the meeting that this policyÖ
Admin: And the timing I thinkÖ because no was there. They kind of did it almost on their own.
Admin: Well, no one from the faculty or the administration was aware that this was on the agenda of the Student Government when they voted on it.
FA: Well, we did approve another piece to it. Let me just describe that and see if there is some way we should filter it through to the students. The question came up, what if other groups wanted to be added? What if groups need to be taken off? How do you get on or off this list? And so, we referred this to Academic Affairs, this question. And, so in the second part of that document I sent to you, Academic Affairs Committee recommended some principles and procedures for getting on or off the list that theyíre going to provide as a supplement, and Senate did approve it. So, I donít know if there is some way thatÖ I donít know if we should just maybe contact Bill and make sure he takes this forward? That might be the simplest way to do it. And it does articulate the principles that would be under the priority registration, and thatís what weíre calling it now instead conflict avoidance schedule, weíre calling it priority registration.
Admin: I think they had blocks of time that were in conflict, so thatís whyÖ
FA: So we do have a copy of our priority registration principles and procedures and I will contact Bill Hudson and ask him to transmit that to the students when he goes in to converse with them.
Admin: Anything else on that item?
9. President Saigoís Student Feedback System (FA) (02/02/06) Ė 3 p.m. time definite: Lisa Fossódiscussed above.
10. Request for Enrollment, Retention, Recruitment, and Sabbatical Data† (FA) (02/02/06)
Admin: Judy had asked that I provide you with information regarding the number of sabbaticals. So hereís a document that identifies the number of sabbaticals that were approved for the last five years. And among those, which were ten-year sabbaticals and which were seven-year sabbaticals. And I can try to answer any questions if you have any.
FA: Itís nice to see the number seven-year sabbaticals, on which the word sabbatical is based.
FA: Itís nice to know youíre one of them. (Laughter)
††††††††† [The Provost left the room to take a cell phone call]
FA: Annette has just asked a question of whether or not people had been informed about sabbaticals, and those notifications did come out the other day.
FA: Somebody was asking me on Friday.
FA: Iím not sure when other people got theirs. I got my notification on Tuesday.†
FA: What about these others?
FA: We did receive enrollment, we did receive that information before, last time we were here.
FA: So that provides the rest of the information we were looking for. Thank you very much. Iíll share this with Senate.
Admin: The next three items that are on here were items that Steve Ludwig was going to speak to. So, Iíll try to talk about some of them.
1. Last Date of Attendance (Admin) (02/16/06)
Admin: The first one, Last Date of Attendance, is an issue thatís come up a little bit in terms of being able to record when the last day of attendance was in order not to have to return money to the federal government for financial aid. I think there were about 50 students for whom we didnít have adequate information, and we sent out requests. Coming forward in the last couple of weeks, faculty tried to identify the last day of attendance for those students. Iím not sure how much in the way of financial aid any one of those students might have received in the course of a semester. Letís say it might have been about $2,000 a student, and there are 50 students. Then that would mean weíd have to return $100,000 to the federal government. So weíre trying not to do that so that we can use that money on campus for things we need. So thatís one of the primary reasons we want to improve our ratios. Steve had more precise information, but he had to leave for another meeting.
FA: So you sent letters to the faculty members asking for this information?
Admin: Yes. I donít remember who sent the letter, but somebody sent letters, emails to the faculty.
FA: As of this weekís emails, they were down to 25 students. I got a request for two of those so theyíll be down to 24 in a matter of hours.
Admin: Thatís great.
FA: So, I would think it is decreasing.
Admin: Thatís good.
FA: So are the 24 students, students for whom we donít have information from faculty?
Admin: I believe thatís correct.
FA: The first time I got the request, I think I got it as department chair or as faculty member, Iím not sure. One of the students I had in my class in the fall, I believe. The other one was in a section in our department, so I think that the first time the students came to my attention.
Admin: Last year we used a grade of FN for failed, never attended. So that gave us a lot of information about students. Students weíre concerned with, especially, are students that receive all Fs or Is, or a combination of Fs and Is for all of their grades. And so thatís where that comes from, and I think there was some thought that we wouldnít need to go as deep into the problem as we had to, but apparently we were told that we would. Weíre talking about students that were enrolled last spring. Those are the ones weíre following up on.
FA: I think the point Iím trying to make is that the magnitude of this issue, because of procedures implemented, may be not as great as they were initially when they first came up.
Admin: Thatís because weíve been pursuing the issue pretty aggressively with faculty and whatever channels necessary. But I think youíre right. Weíre conquering the problem, and we are grateful to the faculty for cooperating and assisting in solving the problem.
FA: And Iíll add that some these numbers are being reduced without any adaptation of the new attendance policy.
Admin: Thatís true.
2. Report on Capital Budget Requests (Admin) (02/16/06)
Admin: Letís leave number two on here for next time because I donít have the information on the Capital Budget Requests. Weíll get that at our next meeting.
3. Drop for Non-Payment (Admin) (02/16/06)
Admin: Drop for Non-Payment is aÖ I donít know to what extent youíve heard about this one. Itís a reporting tool. Itís a new policy that MnSCU is considering or adopting under the guise of Business Practice Alignment, and what it entails is that 10 days before the semester begins, students who have not paid their tuition or made arrangements to pay their tuition would have their registration dropped.
FA: We had this once before.
Admin: Lots of schools have had it. We had it once before. It looks like itís coming back. I donít know if this has come up at statewide IFO Meet and Confer. Itís not a practice that we, in the administration here, think is a good idea. Weíre estimating that we might lose between 8-10 percent of our enrollment.
FA: Weíve been there before, and we had huge problems with grad classes, but also with all kinds of other classes. The numbers in our sections get full, and we donít know whatís happening. And particularly in my unit student teachers, this is going to be a disaster. We wonít know if we have the proper number of student teachers, and notifying the schools 10 days before school starts that their student teachers arenít coming does not sound great.
Admin: I think if you could provide some of the specific points that you just mentioned to me in writing, and the more of those the merrier, weíll try to oppose this policy.
FA: I just checked with Annette, and it didnít come up to Meet and Confer last year. It has not come up at statewide Meet and Confer this year. And so maybe we can pull this information and present it from both sides. Iím just thinking about the logistics. You have a high enrollment course, people get dropped the week before for non-enrollment, then other students fill into those courses, then students come groveling in lines. I mean Iíve got one course where I would have been actually able to teach three courses with the waiting lines for this, and Iím just imagining that course, all those students trying to reenroll after paying their tuition. Itís just mind boggling to me.
Admin: Iíve been at a campus for a time where that was the policy, and it creates exactly the kind of problems you describe.
FA: What kind of other problems did you encounter?
Admin: Mostly they have to do with students trying to get back into classes that they were originally in, but I wasnít aware of some of the student teaching issues. Thatís a problem.
Admin: Also in our experience it puts those students who are dependent upon financial aid in severe distress. Very often they canít get their money in time to pay for their classes. These very often are students of color at risk; very often theyíre more at risk.
Admin: I think that Rex just mentioned the same thing, but I think of International students and even students that donít have the financial background. Their parents are not rich, to pay for all of this quickly. Itís expensive. And also I can see some students might forget to pay right away. There are a lot of issues with that. And there are options of making payments or installments with interest.
Admin: I think students who make arrangements are okay. I think students who donít make any arrangement and donít indicate that theyíre receiving financial aidóthose are impacted by this.
FA: One question that we might want to ask, I always want to ask this about recommendations from the Business Practices Alignment, what are the advantages of doing this? I mean what are the reasons for doing this besides the fact that they like everything lined up in neat little lines, and everybody doing things exactly the same way? But I donít understand what might be the advantages of doing this. Iím not asking you to answer that question.
Admin: I canít. (Laughter)
FA: You have not seen a copy of this proposed policy?
Admin: Iíve seen something. I just wanted to mention that to you for your information, and there are two items that we need to get to today on this agenda.
4. Rostering Change (Admin) (02/16/06)
Admin: Thereís a faculty member in one of the departments in the COE, Teacher Development, who wishes to re-roster into Undergraduate Studies. That needs to be communicated before March 1st.
FA: I think you have to tell us who it is.
Admin: I have to tell you who it is?
Admin: Itís Geoffrey Tabakin.
FA: We heard something about this at the department level today. What I heard was not that. Let me see if I can clarify that. Is this permanent?
Admin: As far as I know.
FA: Okay. And does that mean heíll no longer be teaching classes in our department?
Admin: He may, in consultation with the department, teach a course in that department, but he will not be rostered there.
FA: Heís not rostered there? Isnít that up to the department if he teaches a course, or does he have some call time?
Admin: I would think he doesnít have call.
FA: Thank you.
FA: Thank you for the information.
7. Request to Hire form (Admin) (02/16/06)†††††††††
Admin: Iím going to pass this around. You had made some suggestions at a prior Meet and Confer about some additions and changes to that Request to Hire form. So Iíve incorporated those changes, and hereís a copy of that.
FA: So youíre sneaking in an agenda item? (Laughter)
FA: Okay, so this is for our information, and this is for our reaction? Okay. Thank you.
Admin: This is in response to your reaction.
FA: Okay. Thank you.
5. Academic Calendar (Admin) (02/16/06)
Admin: We need to talk about the Academic Calendar, so Iím going to ask Mitch to distribute some information, and weíll look at that. I think everybody has one.
Admin: What you have in front of you is a draft of the calendar for the academic year 2007-2008. Attached to it is an actual calendar, or calendars, for those two years. The format is one that has appeared in other publications with the addition of some information at the end of each semesteróthe number of actual instructional days, exam days, non-instructional days, and total duty days for each semester. These dates reflect recent calendars so that the fall semester duty days start before Labor Day with classes beginning Wednesday after Labor Day and ending before Christmas. And then spring semester beginning in January and ending in the middle of May.
FA: Mitch, have you met with the Committee on the Institution about this yet?††
Admin: No, weíve been in communication. You had mentioned to take this to Meet and Confer.
FA: I donít think I must have been very clear there. You had suggested, I think, in that communication that we look at a means of getting a larger group of people together from different bargaining units to look at the calendar together, and I thought thatís what you meant coming to Meet and Confer. I can certainly bring this to the Committee on the Institution, if thatís what youíd like me to do, for their feedback?
Admin: Sure.† What I was thinking of was getting feedback from other offices and individuals on campus who have an interest in the calendar. In a sense, this calendar is pretty straightforward and I think it would be useful to consult with them before we send it out. The deadlineÖ Weíd like to have this ready by March 15 to get it published in next yearís bulletin.
FA: Are you counting finals as nine instructional?
Admin: Iíve seen it listed that way, and Iíve seen it listed at different colleges as instructional days and itís broken up. I chose to break them out so if you, for anybody who wants the numbers, Iíll break them out. Itís there for anybody who wants the two numbers.†
Admin: There were questions, and when we looked at calendars in the past, about how many days, I mean how many Mondays, how many Tuesdays, etc., so Mitch combined themóthe Monday-Wednesday-Fridays and the Tuesday-Thursdaysóand counted up the total number of minutes so you could see what the difference would be in each of those. And trying to balance as best as we can, youíll notice that weíre not quite in balance. If you compare the lowest number in fall to the highest number in the spring, thereís a bit of a difference. But other than that, we tried to get them as close together as possible.
FA: Where are the nine non-instructional duty days?
Admin: The 27th through the 31st, thereís five.
Admin: September 4th and 6th. December 11th, Iím sorry December 12th is a study day, which is six. Then five days of final exams. Iím sorry December 16th, commencement, and thenÖ
FA: Okay. I got them.
Admin: Four grading days.
FA: Thank you.
FA: What about August 31st?
Admin: No, itís not, because thereís no events scheduled that day.
Admin: There havenít been, but we may choose to do that if we get enough in advance.
FA: Iím wondering if there are any other questions about this? So, weíll refer this to the Committee on the Institution then, and you need it back mid March, right? No later than mid March?
Admin: There is no other business, so we may adjourn.
FA: Thank you.