Meet and Confer
February 28, 2008
Admin: ††Michael Spitzer, Mitch Rubinstein, Rex Veeder, Steve, Kristi Tornquist, Nancy Jessee, and Wanda Overland
Faculty: †Judy Kilborn, Michael Connaughton, Michael Tripp, JoAnn Gasparino, Fred Hill, John Palmer, Frances Kayona, Balsy Kasi, Bill Hudson, David Warne, Joan Wingert Ė Note taker
Approval of Minutes
1. February 14, 2008
ADM: We agree to approve the minutes of February 14th with potential additions to the Jan. 31 minutes.
1. Follow ups
a. Return to Title Four (ADM) (08/30/07)
ADM:† This has a lot to do with the grading policy issue and so we were awaiting a response from the faculty on that grading issue
FA: As you know, the Senate asked Academic Affairs Committee to look at revisions of that policy because there were some questions from Senate. The Academic Affairs Committee has not yet responded, so weíre waiting for their revisions to come back to Senate. I understand that we need that policy at this point, is that correct?
ADM: Yes, and we need to let faculty understand and know what the grading system is going to be.† So what we would like to do is to move forward with the grading policy as submitted by the Academic Affairs Committee, and then after it has been viewed by Senate, if there are changes that need to be made, we will look at making those changes.
FA: Weíre certainly willing to move forward at this time with the idea that, if there are additional changes that Senate suggests, we will put them back in the pipeline for your consideration.
ADM: Has everyone here seen that revised grading policy? So we donít need to distribute copies to you?
FA: It might be good just to get a copy of what weíve agreed to at this point so the record is really clear, and then weíll know what weíre responding to if we have any changes. Weíll be accepting then the document that youíre passing around to us today with the notion that if there are changes, weíll ask that they come back to Meet & Confer. For the time being, then, we can take the Return to Title Four off the agenda and should we have changes, weíll bring them back.
b. Request for one faculty for the search for the new MSUAASF position at the MN Highway Safety & Resource Center (MHSRC) -- Position title: Director of Training (Emergency Vehicle Operators Course Instructor) (ADM) (12/13/07)
c. Request for Faculty to serve on search committee for MSUAASF Position: Director of International Student and Scholar Services (ADM) (01/31/08)
d. Request for Faculty to serve on search committee for MSUAASF Position: Director of International Student and Scholar Services (ADM) (01/31/08)
e. Request for Faculty to serve on two administrative search committees: AVP for Student Life and Development and Associate Dean for COSS (ADM) (02/14/08)
ADM: The next three items have to do with appointments to various search committees.
FA: We have the majority of those. Senate this last Tuesday appointed several FA representatives to search committees. Weíve appointed John Palmer to the search for the new MSUAASF position at the Minnesota Highway Safety and Resource Center in the position title, ďDirector of Training.Ē Iíve notified John Bergeson and the Provost via email. In terms of the MSUAASF position ďDirector of International† Student and Fellow Scholar Services. Senate appointed Lakshmaiah Sreerama to the search committee. Iíve notified Margaret Vos and the Provost about that via email. And finally, weíve approved the appointment of Robert Reff to the search committee for the AVP for Student Life and Development, and Wanda has gotten an email about that and so has the Provost. The only one we have left is the Associate Dean for COSS, and Iíve put out a call for five members of COSS and an at-large person. Nominations will be taken through Monday. At the next Meet & Confer, we should have already completed an election about those and have more names for you. So we can take all of the searches off the agenda except for Associate Dean COSS. Yes?
ADM: Thank you.
FA: Can you make an edit in the name of the Minnesota Highway Safety and Research Centeróitís not Resource, itís Research Center, and people like to be sure their names are correct.
ADM: Thank you.
FA Only took 25 years to get the other name. (laughter)
2. The Processes for Appointing FA Representation to College and University-level Committees under the IFO/MNSCU Master Agreement (FA) (10/18/07)
ADM: The next item: The process for appointing FA representation to university-level committees. This has a lot to do with a discussion that we had about putting together a website that would demonstrate the processes for appointing committees, particularly search committees. At the last Meet & Confer, Larry Chambers indicated that this was going to the Presidentís Council for feedback. Heís received some of that feedback; a draft should come to Meet & Confer during the third week in March, we are still on schedule for that to happen.
FA: That sounds good, and so weíll look forward to hearing about that next time. It occurred to me, Michael, that we didnít announceóalthough I think pretty much everyone knows hereóthat you are the presidential designee today at this Meet & Confer. I think that should go into the record. My understanding is that President Potter is driving around in a busÖ
ADM: Heís not driving, riding.
FA: Riding. He doesnít get certification from the Minnesota Highway Safety and Research Center for doing the driving.† Riding around with Gov. Pawlenty. When heís done with that, heíll be here and join us.
ADM: Weíre hoping that he will be able to join us before weíre finished with our meeting. The tour that they are on, looking at facilities, will conclude shortly.
FA: So we leave item 2 on the agenda?
3. Request for Faculty Co-Chair for Enrollment Management (FA) (12/13/07
ADM: I want to explain why I have not been ready to address that specific request to date, and perhaps even why I am not ready to address it yet today. But I do want to talk about the reasons for that. The position of Dean of Undergraduate Studies, you may recall, was established on a pilot basis in response to the recommendations of the task force that was created several years ago to look at organizational structure in Academic Affairs. When Mark Nook was chosen to fill this position, it was an internal search. When he left for another institution, we conducted another internal search for an interim dean to fill the position for one year. That was Avelino Mills-Novoa who was appointed as a result of that search, and it was pointed out very clearly to him at the time that at this point, the position was going to be reviewed, and that further reorganization was under consideration, and he fully understood and accepted those circumstances with regard to his appointment to the position. I believe itís extremely important for the University to have an integrated organizational structure that encompasses meeting student needs from the time students inquire about admission through their process of application and acceptance and enrollment and advising and registration and orientation and initial educational experience, including having available to them University experience opportunities, residential experience, academic and other kinds of emotional support, engagement in activities of Student Life and Development, through service learning, and on to acceptance into a major and engagement within academic programs through an academic major advisor. This kind of integration also requires particular cooperation with Financial Aid, Career Services, with Continuing Studies for students who take online courses and PSEO classes, and also International Studies. We donít yet have that kind of seamless system to meet student needs at every phase of the undergraduate experience. We need to do better in order to improve our service to students, and consequently our retention and our graduation rates, especially when these are tied to accountability measures in the MNSCU system and also increasingly by the general public who want to look at our website and see what our retention and graduation rates are, before they decide on what institutions to involve their family member in. The first step, then, to moving toward some kind of revised organizational structure involved, for me, was notification to the individuals most directly involved so that they would be aware that this consideration was underway. I met with both individuals on Feb. 15th to say that I was considering creating the position of Associate Provost for Enrollment Management and Undergraduate Studies. I explained the reasons for this. I bring this matter to Meet & Confer so campus has an opportunity to comment on these ideas. I sat down with the two.† I told them they are both eligible to apply for the position. Iím bringing this matter to Meet & Confer today, and it will be brought to other bargaining unit Meet & Confers so that the campus has an opportunity to comment on these reorganization ideas.† So the first step was to sit down with the two individuals involved most directly, inform them of what was happening, and to solicit comment from the St. Cloud State University community. After receiving input, weíll determine how to proceed. If there is any response to that, Iíd be glad to hear it.
FA: There is at least one faculty rostered under the Office of Dean of Graduate Studies. I assume that position would be affected?
ADM: There are a number of Faculty rostered under that.
FA: Can you quantify who would be affected (uncertain if this is the actual statement)?
ADM: Affected only in the sense that there would perhaps be a different person as a supervisor. But other than that, no.
FA: So we have DGS, we have ReadingÖ
ADM: We have the Academic Learning Center, DGS, Advising, a whole host of offices reporting.
FA: So that reorganization or realignment wouldnít affect units that arenít presently in that reporting line.
ADM: No, not at all
FA: And there are also programs reporting, there is First Year Experience, thereís Honors, there is DGS.
ADM: The idea is for Admissions particularly, but also Records & Registration, working with a greater sense of collaboration with those academic support services that are reporting to Undergraduate Studies.
FA: So itís your sense, then, with this reorganization that went forward that these faculty who were currently rostered over there, also programs that report to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies at this point, would probably report to the new Associate Provost?
FA:† And the Associate Dean of Undergraduate StudiesÖ?
ADM: Öwould report to the Associate Provost.
FA: What was the reaction from Mahmoud and Avelino?
ADM:† One left the meeting before it was over and Avelino understood and agreed.
FA: My sense is that we really havenít had a chance to discuss this reorganization and that we probably ought to go back amongst ourselves and have that discussion since weíre formally being asked about our response to the information.†
ADM: That would be appropriate, yes.
FA: And am I also understanding that a request for a faculty co-chair for Enrollment Management probably isnít a concern at this point until we figure out what we will do?
FA: Are there any questions that we want to raise at this point or any information we need to bring back to the Faculty?
FA: Do you have an estimate on cost savings?
ADM: Probably about $60,000.
FA: That was in that budget memo?
ADM: It was in the budget materials that you received although the specifics were not mentioned.
FA: So we should leave this on the agenda and come back to it next time. We wonít have time before the next Meet & Confer to talk with Senate. I donít believe we have a Senate meeting until after that. Does anybody remember? Iím trying to remember if it was EC or Senate next, the Tuesday after break.
FA: So weíll leave this on the agenda and get back to you at this point then. Do you have any sense of the timeline on this? When are you hoping to complete the Meet & Confer consultation process?
ADM: As quickly as we can.
4. Senate Motion Concerning Email Monitoring (FA) (12/13/07)
ADM: You had asked some questions about that and wanted a document that describes the policy. Nancy is passing it around.
FA: I want to note for the record that our passing patterns are rather peculiar (laughter). I did want, while that is going around, to remind people to speak up because weíve been having trouble hearing with the microphone in the recorder.
ADM: This is in response to the motion that you had passed. Nancy left, so I guess Iíll do my best here about wanting to make sure that faculty members were notified in writing, my understanding prior to ever Email Monitoring. So what we did was just include the two policies that weíre working on, the MNSCU and St Cloud State one. So maybe the most interesting part is the last two lines at the bottom. To date that Iím aware of, everything Iíve handled, weíve always notified the faculty member in writing prior to monitoring of their emails. Just so you understand, this is somewhere either in the MNSCU system on campus if we get a request to have email monitored, that request would come to us in writing in IT, and then if they arenít already talking with the employee, then we typically strongly urge them to notify the employee in writing, which again I know has always occurred. I canít speak to something that happened in the System Office, but whatís occurred that I know of. My understanding from talking to the Vice-President and the Deans is that that is the intent to continue that practice. We canít promise that; if we get a gag order request, weíre not allowed to tell the employee. So if thereís a certain instance that occurs where weíre prohibited to do so or if thereís a safety concern when we have to act in a expeditious mannerÖ.† I donít know if we talked about this last time where this has happened on the student side where if thereís a fear of suicide and they were trying to locate the person, we may go in and check emails to find out whenís the last time that he or she posted. In that case we wouldnít be able to notify the employee. But to date we always have. I enact that on the IT side. Thereís nothing thatís been said by the Vice Presidents or President that suggests a change in anything.
ADM: Questions or comments?
FA: So any monitoring of email will always come through you. Itís not like there's some unknown techieÖ.You would always be aware of any kind of activity.
ADM: Technically a technician could do that, and if they did, they would be disciplined or fired. We have very clear directives that they never do that kind of activity without something in writing.
FA: So basically anybody who has the know-how can read somebody elseís email. Itís just that legally or policy-wise, it has to come through you. But basically that can be done by anybody.
ADM: Not anybody. Theyíd have to have passwords and access. We only have a handful of people in LR&TS that can do it. If youíre doing email external to campus, though, that passes back and forth, the System Office could monitor the system if you were going off campus. They couldÖI canít speak to what they do. I canít believe theyíre looking at this.
FA: I just thought it was going to happen. It has to come throughÖ
ADM: Yes, one of my staff, unless itís a really good hacker.
FA: Could someone or some entity external to the University use the Freedom of Information Act to access any employeeís emails?
ADM: Yes, absolutely. But in that case, weíve only had that happen once that Iím aware of, and in that case, the employee was notified in writing, and we requested their assistance in extracting that email message. It wasnít as it was occurring, they asked for one date to another date. The employee was told in writing that it was going to happen.
FA: May I ask a follow-up question: Just to
clarify, if I delete an email, and I delete my trash, is it gone?
ADM: We save for up to three weeks. Everything we do has a little bit different time pattern on it, but I think we have email up to three weeks, so it could be that itís still sitting on a server for up to three weeks, potentially.
FA: I have nothing to hide. (laughter)
ADM: No, itís a really good question because people donít know that.
ADM: Itís a good question and people need to be aware of the fact that what we send over the email system should not be regarded as private information, because it could, under various circumstances, become public, as these policies state.
ADM: One more follow-upóWhat has happened with us is that the System Office has asked us to freeze the data when they get a potential request from the police or FBI or whatever. They have us freeze it at the time when they get the request. They donít have us extract it until they check to make sure itís really legitimate, weíre going to respond, and then the personís informed and we can extract the information. Itís possible theyíve stopped it; I donít know who they are looking for. They just tell me to freeze it.
FA: Is that common?
ADM: You know, this is such a bizarre, strange world, I canít say that anythingís common. We handle about one security request a week. Thatís what weíve been averaging lately. And every one is different.
FA: Iím just trying to clarify some information that was told some time ago. There was some litigation pending where a faculty member, under the Freedom of Information Act, requested copies of all electronic communication where that faculty memberís name appeared.
ADM: A faculty member asked for that?
FA: Yes, Iíve been told that there was litigation where as a result of the investigations, or in anticipation of this litigation, under Freedom of Information, a faculty member had asked wherever their name appeared in correspondence to anyone associated with the University. And that seems to be inconsistent with what I hear you saying.
ADM: I havenít had a request from a faculty member under the Freedom of Information Act.
ADM: Let me respond to that. That is correct. There was such a case that Iím aware of in which specific individuals were asked to produce their emails and provide copies of them for that purpose. So it wasnít the system, but the individuals who were the writers of those emails who were asked to provide copies of their email in which that personís name was mentioned, either to or about that individual.
FA: I think itís critical that what you said be recorded as you said it so that the mythology where there has been considerable discussionÖIn fact, a pseudonym has been created. Iím not going to mention that pseudonym because that could usurp me. As I understand what you said, the Freedom of Information request was fulfilled on an individual basis, not a broad spectrum search.
ADM: If I remember correctly, thatís right. There were certain individuals who were asked to provide emails that they sent or received. And some of those emails may have been from third parties.
FA: I think whatís critical here is that the parties who may or may not have had email involved in the Freedom of Information request were aware. So that these people donít think that my correspondence will end up in somebodyís hands.
ADM: But going back to original question, you wouldnít necessarily have told me that you gave them. I wouldnít have been told that.
ADM: So thatís the one part of this thing that we havenít been doing. If we asked for all Michaelís emails, and it came from me, they wouldnít have told me. I wouldnít know.
FA: Thatís good.
ADM: Itís an interesting part of this. We tell the person whom weíre asking. We would have told Michael but we wouldnít have told anyone else.
FA: Thatís a much older case. Thereís a more recent case where a facultyís hard drive was duplicated and searched under the Freedom of Information Request. Is it safe to say that the document that you have provided us with extends to all electronic information that faculty may have stored on University equipment?
FA: So the faculty should be aware of the fact that anything that is stored on a University piece of equipment is public information.
ADM: I donít know that. I know email is. I donít know that your filesÖI donít know about the second part.
FA: To what extent do they archive emails?
ADM: Iím not sure. Thatís not what the policy says.
FA: Everything you have would be government record.
FA: But when youíre talking about a request under the Freedom of Information Act,Ö.
FA: As I read this paragraph right under the SCSU email policy, that first quote says the University has the right to inspect the contents of any University equipment, files or mail on its system. To me that means that if I create a document in Microsoft Word on my computer, that thatís a public document that the University can inspect.
ADM: I think there are two different things. One is that the University can inspect it. That doesnít mean that itís a public document. And thatís the part Iím not clear on, and maybe Nancy is. The University has a right because itís University equipment. It doesnít mean that the newspaper gets to ask for it.
FA: They did.
ADM: They asked for email.
FA: Mm, no.
ADM: I think thatís what we gave.
FA: Thatís not what I was told.
FA: Can we get clarification of that?
FA: Let me pursue this, because what the Faculty Senate asked for, and the response weíre getting back is clarification of what the rules say, and thatís not what the faculty asked for. The faculty asked for some kind of statement of normative practices that would occur that would assure faculty of some due process.
FA: And thatís what we tried to give in the
last couple sentences.
FA: Let me continue. There is a provision of the Collective Bargaining Agreement under Academic Freedom that talks about not using electronic recording devices. I do know that some investigations that have occurred retrieved electronic records. I do know that some people have been asked to provide information electronically for the Tennison Warning sent electronically. I do know that some faculty have had correspondence sent to them electronically to record a statement of waiver of rights for union representation. Those practices all involved the use of technology that is being recorded. There is due process situation where what is private information and what isnít private information. I do think we as professionals have an obligation to tell our colleagues which it is. My advice to my colleagues would be to assume any and everything that you ever produced that has an electronic trail to it is not in your control, is public information. The way in which we handle these things, at the least faculty or others are going to be informed that that could happen. People come over and dump hard drives, transferred to a flash drive, and it happens because somebody said to go do it. This is the area that weíre talking about. People also access calendars. Is a calendar a private piece of information? Itís stored electronically, although you might make the choice to not show it to the world, but under this policy itís not private. Somebody who wanted to know what your calendar looked like could get that information. So when we started as an Association down this path, our concern remains a clear statement of what the practices are on this campus. For me, Iím not at a point with what weíve been given that tells me what those practices are.
ADM: Let me respond to your reference at least to the statement in the contract about Academic Freedom and what that pertains to. As a contract, I think itís pretty clear in stating that the employer agrees not to use any mechanical or electronic listening or recording devices. That refers to eavesdropping and tape recorders, and that it doesnít pertain to electronic records on a computer. But what weíre saying is that, within the law, we do not access peopleís electronic records without notifying them unless thereís a legal requirement by some agency that says you may not tell that person. And thatís what youíve asked us about, and thatís the response.
ADM: You asked us only about email in your motion, so thatís why we attempted to responded to. We didnít answer calendar, we didnít answer file space. I donít know the law. Nancy and I just looked at the email part, so Nancy would have to find out for us the interpretation, if itís public data or not.
FA: I think the email piece is an important piece, because I think a lot of people donít understand the guidelines for that. But I do think itís a contractual piece, and we know that people can track whateverís done on a computer, and so perhaps when that contractual item was written, it meant listening and recording devices. But you can record keystrokes on a computer, so it raises more issues about what people legally have access to, what people produce on the computers and who has access to that. And I think there are a lot of serious questions that faculty and others have that would be useful to get answers to even if those answers take a while.
FA: So the last line says that ďSCSU has consistently followed the practice.Ē So far everybody has been informed.
ADM: Every single one that Iíd ever been associated with. And, again, my folks are under instruction that if they do this without my authorization, they will be reprimanded and/or more severely dealt with. If somebody messed up, and you know about it, I want to know that, because that has to stop. So anyone that I handled, people have been notified in writing.
FA: In that case, you are saying that it is a tracer copy that is sent to people?
ADM: We have followed up on every single one.
ADM: I know in certain cases, Kristi has not done anything Ö
ADM: I wonít pull it.
ADM: Öunless she has something signed by the Vice President.
ADM: Or legal council. Sometimes the Attorney General signs, sometimes MNSCU legal, sometimes the President signs.
FA: I believe the employerís interpretation is the employee does not have the right to refuse. All that is happening is a notification.
ADM: I donít know the law on this at all, so Iím not going to try and answer.
FA: I think thatís how I read it.
FA: I note that Kristi is nodding, I know that Nancy is nodding, yes?
ADM: Yes, I think that itís considered that the information belongs to the University, so it doesnít matter. Itís not ours, any of ours, individually.
FA: So perhaps what we should do is at the start of every year Tennison every member of the University. (chuckles)
ADM: You know, some campuses have on their log-in screens for students and their labs a Tennison, and they require the students to sign it. Thatís what Iíve been told.
FA: I may be jumping ahead. It sounds to me as if not just the email but some of the other things are going to continue to be explored around this issue. Is that a fair way to look at this? If not, my question is moot.
ADM: You want us to look into some of the issues pertaining to things electronic that are not email.
FA: Yes. And my question becomes: How are those documents on my hard drive different from, if at all, the paper copies in the file cabinet in my office. I donít store a lot of paper any more, but in the old days, everything was in the file cabinet. Is the analogy that they are the same accurate or not? I would be interested in some of that. I know that weíve done second thing just to put on the board for consideration or talking about. I know that weíve done the data privacy training. I went on D2L and did all of those things, but it would be nice to have some clarification then, because the students have a system where email is the official way they are communicated with. Faculty donít necessarily have that, but I get requests for information, perhaps from the registrar, some other things, where it may be that the Tech ID needs to be there to verify that it is the same student. My understanding is then that that is not how it should be done. Is that right? Because if thatís the case, we need a little more education in that area even though weíve been through the data privacy thing. What then becomes appropriate for our conversation between administration units, offices and faculty in terms of when do students withdraw, how did this thing work, the Title Four request that we have. We may even be looking at something in terms of the Early Notification system. Those things all flash before me as well as we talk about this.
ADM: There is certain information about students in those kind of emails that would ordinarily be redacted before the information was turned over.
FA: For me to answer that email is perfectly appropriate?
FA The reason I ask is because we do have a series of ideals and policies, and we did walk through some of those things. But it appears the practice does not always match the policy, and I guess if weíre going to start exploring these things together in terms of the files on the computer and those other things, then letís get a clear sense in the email of whatís appropriate and what isnít in terms of how we communicate. In large part, this is about students ó information we send, what we do ó because how many people think nothing of it. I know I quite frankly did not until this conversation.
ADM: I would make this point: If I had information or material that I didnít want to have accessible to others, I would store it on a personally-owned computer and not on the University mail system.
ADM: I as an IT person have a large concern if University offices or personnel are asking you to submit confidential information on email, because we strongly, strongly urge people NOT to do that. I just happened to be in when I got asked for a personnel-related thing about somebody and I thought, ďOh, my gosh!Ē So, youíre right, I think we need to keep educating people on whatís covered or not. We can use electronic means, but typically I may send an announcement on email, go do whatever, but then we should go into a secured website that you have to log on with a password. That would be a more appropriate way to transfer that information than via email, a more secure way.
FA: This Title IV is also on the desk. I know I have received Title IV verification for drop dates and those kinds of things through the email, and I didnít even consider that I shouldnít reply.
ADM: That bothers me from an IT side.
FA: If weíre going to explore the whole conversation, I just put it on the table as a possibility for that conversation so we can figure out whether weíre appropriately using the technology at our disposal.
FA: And thatís really what this topic is about. And you can see how easily it morphs from email to other electronic things; I think a natural kind of morphing. But it raises a lot of questions that I think it would useful to talk about.
ADM: So we will try to gather some more information and bring that issue back.
ADM: And Iím wondering if it should be not just us gathering information and bringing it back, but if we could have a little group that worked on it together, faculty and administrators together. Because then we can make sureÖWe donít always know what uses youíre getting asked for. Or if youíre too busy, weíll go get the information and bring it right back, whatever you prefer.
FA: As soon as the Academic Planning process is over, letís have this conversation.
ADM: You and me both, yes.
FA: This may be something that we should plan for next year, because what happens, I think, is that we start to have this conversation and that people are reminded of other related things, and I think itís because the topic isÖ
ADM: It changes every month, almost. How about if we try to get some answers to these questions, and in the meantime weíll see if itís worth getting folks together next year.
FA: I will also go ahead and take this document that youĎve provided and distribute it at Senate, and we can see if there are additional questions or concerns that come out of that that we can bring back to you.
ADM: That would be fine. Thatís appropriate.
ADM: Thank you.
NEW BUSINESS #4: Security Planning for Campuses (FA) (02/28/08)
ADM: One of our administrators has to leave early, so weíre going to move New Business #4 up on the agenda for now, and come back to unfinished business afterwards. #4 has to do with Security Planning for Campuses, and I think there were some questions about that?
FA: Yes, and Iím going to let Michael start this, and Iíll add to it.
FA: Everyone in this room knows that a determined individual whoís willing, for whatever reason, to do grievous harm to people on campus probably canít be stopped in most instances, but there does have to be a process that will limit the damage that an individual can do. One of the things thatís happened in recent weeks was the posting of these Emergency Procedure Guides. I think this is useful but surely this isnít sufficient. It took me awhile to find out what one does. In fact, itís two-thirds of the way down. So, I hear what sounds like gunshots in Riverview. It says to call 911. What else do you do? Well, you turn to seven pages down and this is what you discover. Clearly by the time I find out what Iím supposed to do, someone has broken into the room and shot seven people and run out. It also suggests doing certain things that CANNOT be done. Many of the doors in academic rooms cannot readily be locked. You have to have a key, or thereís no easy way to do it. So Iím wondering what sort of comprehensive planningóworst possible case scenario, training, etc.óis under consideration. This is helpful; Iím not suggesting it isnít. It covers many of the things which arenít emergencies, actually. Theyíre difficult situations, but when the guy walks in with the 35 caliber automatic, it would be helpful that people would familiarize themselves with the contents so they donít have to start looking when somebody walks in with a handgun.
ADM: We want to respond more fully about some of the activities and actions that have been ongoing at the University.†
ADM: If I don't answer your questions, Iíll come back to it. Let me just give you a broad stroke of what we have been doing, what weíre planning, and whatís to come, and some things that have actually happened and how we have addressed them as examples. Since Virginia Tech, thereís a governorís report that came out, and we have a CIRT Team (Critical Incident Response Team), which is a threat response team and evacuation center. Weíve been reviewing the governorís report and are in the process of putting it together. It listed a lot of recommendations that we as institutions should consider, so we are further exploring those. There is also MNSCU, which has two initiatives underway. One weíre participating in and Steve and others are involved in this. One is a Continuity of Operations Policy: If something happened, what would be our continuity of operations. Thereís another initiative called a National Incident Management System: If thereís a major incident, how do you respond to that? Let me just talk about what we are currently doing at SCSU. This fall we created what we call the Behavior Intervention Team, and itís made up of Mitch, Public Safety, Health Services, Counseling Services, our office. They get together every Tuesday morning at 8 AM, and they look at what is happening across the campus, are they individuals or groups that they actually repeat activities, and they do some threat assessment and some follow-up to see what happens. And then we make decisions based on that as to whether we need to do interim suspension, whether we need to do an investigation, whatever. At the Faculty Forum Days last Spring in April and last Fall, there was a session on what do you do with disruption in the classroom, and thereís been good attendance at that because thereís been a lot of questions from faculty like ďI have a student in my class Iím concerned about. Iím not really sure if this person if a threat or not.Ē We are also planning for this April a session exactly on the question that you raised about what do we do in a situation, what is the University doing. We are also planning to do a session next Fall. After the President sent out the email expressing condolences to University of Northern Illinois, he received three emails that he was concerned about. Students indicated guns and threats related to other people. We investigated each of those situations and we also received information from students, information from faculty and staff. Probably this year alone we interim suspended half a dozen students because we felt that they were a potential threat to themselves or to others. And we received at least weekly if not more than weekly calls from faculty saying, ďI have an individual in my classroom with concernsĒ or ďThis person is not showing up for class.Ē We will go back and look to see if there are incidents of public safety, if there are student conduct issues that have happened. In the case of University of Northern Illinois, if there was a response we were concerned about, we checked with the State Police to see if there had been incidents off campus. Based on that, we have interim suspended six students, and then of course they have an opportunity to go through a hearing to make the determination if they remain a student or not. But to be honest, every situation has been different, but I think we have been able to respond because we have had faculty call and say there is concern about this particular individual or a student in my class has changed or thereís a problem. So thatís the way weíre going to be able to manage this if we continue to get those kind of concerns and requests and we can follow-up on it.† But we know that we need to get this information out further, and thatís why thereís plans to have a forum in April and the Fall to share about Behavioral Intervention Team that meets every week and who faculty or staff or students† should notify, but at this point should call 911. When somebody calls 911, that 911 call also goes to Public Safety.
ADM: The other thing that the CIRT Committee has been looking at is various ways to ensure that information is getting to the campus community, including sending out text messages. Students use text messages more than email these days. A lot of these issues are being considered.† One addition to what Wanda said: Iím aware that in at least one of those interim suspensions, faculty acted superbly.
FA: My concern is about notification. If something happens in Stewart Hall, we may not hear anything. Thereís no real way to do that now. Many faculty insist that students turn off phones in class.
FA: I hear reports from individual faculty,
sending in documents that thick of constant reports of finding their office
accessed, of students in a place they are not supposed to be. The paper trail Iíve
examined seems to minimize the issue. But issues such as the purchase of a
camera to put in a faculty memberís office as a security means, re-keying an
office. When I see documents like this over time, it concerns me. What if
someone wants to report a phone call saying there is a fear of vehicular
attack? We donít have the resources to do that, and it concerns me. What if
theyíre aware of a student with a gun and are involved in a confrontation? Let
us hope those are the exceptions, not the rule, but we need to be very careful
of where or who we call.
ADM: This is the first Iíve heard of this.
FA: It was reported to Buildings & Grounds and Public Safety. I would reveal the personís identity if I say where else it was reported.
FA: What Iím taking away at this very moment, if a faculty is fearful for students or for their own safety, the answer is to call 911, which is placed under a 911 operator.
ADM: And it rings also in Public Safety.
FA: Any 911 call on campusÖ
ADM: Örings in Public Safety. A cell phone wonít work. It has to be a campus phone to place a call on campus. Then it will ring in Public Safety as well.
FA: John, I donít know if youíre talking about certain faculty members, but I do want to share this because it was scary. In the College about a year ago on a Saturday morning about 8:00, a custodian went to a faculty memberís office to empty the garbage and thereís a man standing in the office. And she knew it wasnít the faculty member. And she questioned this person. And he took off running. And so she went into the Main Office, which in this case the Chair happened to be there on a Saturday morning just doing some work, and reported to the Chair what had happened, and the Chair called the faculty member. And the faculty member said, ďFor weeks now, Iíve been coming into my office and noticing something weird about my computer, about my office.Ē And she just couldnít figure it out. The point is, it was all reported to the Dean and it was like nothing happened. She didnít get an email even saying, ďAre you OK? Can we help you? Is there anything we can do for you?Ē It took quite some doing to get her office re-keyed. Itís like there was no consideration, even concern. Itís neither here nor there, but the faculty member is a small, petite woman. I was frightened for her, and now she wonít work in evenings and she wonít come in on weekends because she still doesnít feel thereís enough done to secure her office.
FA: Itís a different case.
FA: Iím not sure, but it does happen.
ADM: Well, that shouldnít happen that way.
FA: My question is about cell phones. Itís been answered.
FA: Iím actually the one who put this on the agenda, and I put it on the agenda for several reasons. We did talk about this topic at Statewide Meet & Confer on Friday, and I know that other campuses are looking at things like response systems, with some asking would MNSCU consider paying for response systems. There are a couple of threads that came out of that conversation that I just want to add to our conversation here. In one case we know they are doing a test of a system, and itís happening during finals week. In other words, faculty are not involved in the conversation at all about that. I think that testing and having training sessions would be a good idea. I would love to have something that would enable me not to run to that flip chart to remind me what Iím supposed to do. In another case, thereís going to be a test over Spring Break, and obviously thatís a situation in which faculty havenít been involved. What Iím saying is faculty need to be involved in some way. When youíre talking about response systems, which seem to be a topic that comes up, I know a lot of interest nationwide is in this response systemís technological use of cell phones. There are other issues that come up that directly affect those students and faculty. Some students choose not to have their numbers recorded because of privacy issues at school, and obviously we need to have a conversation about that. A lot of faculty have ďNo Cell PhoneĒ rules in their classrooms and are trying to imagine what it would be like to have a large classroom and they allowed cell phones to stay on because of the response system. So, there are a lot of questions and concerns that surround this. Personally, we know what happened during Meet & Confer two weeks ago. I went back after Meet & Confer, got on my computer, and I belong to a technology community that has a pretty active listserv, and it was going nuts because people were concerned about a faculty member at Northern Illinois who at that time was locked in his department office with a bunch of students looking down at Coleís Hall at all the activity. To many of us, itís very personal. We know people who been involved in these situations. And there was also of course an incident at NDSU where a student with a pellet gun was arrested the other day and there is concern that we have some sort of systemic response and know what weíre supposed to do, not just in the sense of having the information but knowing it in an integral enough way so that we can react without thinking.
ADM: I think the challenge is that thereís not going to be one system that will work and provide multiple communication mechanisms. Not everyone is going to have a cell phone, not everyone is going to be at their computer, not everyone is going to check their phone for a voice message. So having to have multiple things in place to try to reach as many people as possible is going to be essential.
ADM: We have looked into those response systems and the possibility of using text messaging and also having students and others sign up if they have a cell phone. That would have to be something they do proactively.
ADM: Regarding that response system, MNSCU did purchase one of these to try out. Maybe this is what you have heard about?
FA: A pilot system?
ADM: Right. We were asked to be on that pilot, but they only went through the IT people. They didnít ask this as a community discussion. We had to decide pretty rapidly, so at that point we said no for a lot of the reasons you said: First of all, somehow you have to collect all those phone numbers, and how do you get them all? People think theyíre going to be safe because youíre going to send out response on a phone system. Itís not going to work. We have to have multiple ways to do it. The second thing was as soon as we started down that road, MNSCU was very interested in sending out other announcements to people using this system. I was not willing to partner into that until there was agreement that this was going to be emergency only. They did keep saying that that was their intent, but I didnít have a lot of faith in it. So we didnít join the pilot for all those reasons.
FA: The pilot system is the one thatís being tested during finals week?
ADM: There is a website now. They sent out an email about a lot of what weíre discussing. I thought people might want copies of that. Thereís really two sheets. The first sheet is there.
ADM: The cost was about $2.50/person, so if you did the math for how many people are on our campus, you would know, and you would have to determine about that.
FA: The other piece is that I do think long term we do need to have something that would involve community participation in a larger way. And I just wanted to say that in conversations with my colleagues from other universities, they would bring up a variety of things having to do with the local landscape.† One of them was talking about difficulties with doors having windows next to all of them. One of them was talking about having buildings that had many classrooms with glass walls. I donít even know what conditions here would be except for the fact that I donít know how to lock doors in most of the classrooms I teach in.
FA: Lest we forget that we already as a campus have been victimized. Melissa Johnson was a student at the time when she was abducted, raped and killed not very far from our campus. We also as a community have an unsolved abduction. Itís the 30th birthday week for Jacob Wetterling. Thatís not to say that we should all be fearful, but the reality is if you read the case from N. Dakota, the young man probably went through our community on his way to N. Dakota. He was released from Oak Park Heights after serving 9 years. Some of you remember Hill Street Blues, where the sergeant would always say just at the end of his charge to the officers going out there, ďItís a dangerous place out there, be safe.Ē It is.† And any kind of threat thatís perceived is real. The person that perceives a threat even if it isnít real, itís real to that person. So this conversation, I hope, will continue.
ADM: Yes, because thereís a lot of stuff to be done. Even education and trainingówe talked about doing a mock practice. Itís recommended to do a practice run. So there is a lot of work to be done.
ADM: We will have a session at Faculty Forum on some of these issues. And we should build some training into the week before classes start.
FA; In the K-12 system, we have these nice packets of emergency planning. The same issue exists. Not everybodyís going to read or remember when there is a crisis, so one of their strategies to help, just one of many, is to develop short checklists with just the basics, the fundamentals, and theyíre put on magnetic cards you could put on your file cabinet. Itís just everywhere, so wherever you look, you see this little 7-10 item checklist. And thatís just one additional strategy. I donít know what it costs, but itís something that can be handed out during luncheons, etc.
ADM: Itís a great idea.
FA: The key is multiple strategies because thatís what weíre going to have to do.
ADM: Thatís right, and thatís a good suggestion.
FA: Thank you.
Back to # 5 under Unfinished Business: Honorary Doctorates (ADM) (02/14/08)
ADM: I did want to inform folks that there will be two honorary doctorates awarded at Spring Commencement, one at each commencement ceremony. In the morning, the Colleges of Business and Education and Continuing Studies have their own commencement, and the honorary doctorate recipient will be Myron Kunin, whoís a person whoís provided substantial contributions to the University over the years and funded the †Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. In the afternoon the commencement will be for the Colleges of Fine Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences and Science & Engineering, and the speaker there will be Bruce Pierson whoís a music educator and has been around campus some recently. Beyond that we have an Honorary Doctorate Committee, and that committee has spent some time this semester and last semester developing criteria to be used more broadly and widely in whom to select in the future. This is primarily an informational piece for you. The members of the Honorary Doctorate Committee are: Diana Lawson, Jack McKenna, Dennis Nunes, Jayne Piehl, Eric Rudrud, Suellen Rundquist and Roland Specht-Jarvis. Any questions?
FA: Thank you.
ADM: If anyone else wants a copy, I have multiple copies.
FA: This is the list of the people on the Honorary Doctorate Committee, and we appreciate having this information.
FA: Will there be an opportunity for additional input.
ADM: Itís possible. Balsy?
FA: Just a comment. Who is the Doctorate Granting Institution now? Is the copy (cannot understand words)
ADM: It is often done by non-doctoral granting institutions as well.
FA: MNSCU gives us the authority to do that. So we can take this item off?
ADM: We can take that off and on to the next item.
ADM: I think you know, and I just want it recorded for informational purposes if you donít know, that the Legislature has passed a statute requiring two-year associate degrees to have no more than 60 credits and baccalaureate degrees to have no more than 120 credits, with possibility of some programs being allowed to have exceptions for particular reasons. I have the misfortune or fortune, depending on how anyone looks at it, of being a member of this Task Force looking into this topic. I think the institutions that are potentially most likely to be hurt by some of this are those that offer Associate in Applied Science degrees, some of which are have degree credits in the 70s to get an Associate degree in certain technical fields, and for them to have to cut down to 60 credits is going to be extremely difficult. Exceptions most likely will have to be made to that. There are our own folk who are lobbying the Legislature to repeal this statute. I donít know how successful they will be. But Iíve given to Judy and I will make it available electronically a schedule this task force has arrived in terms of how to influence the conversion to 120 credit degree programs and what the process is for receiving exceptions to the 120-credit cap. As a University and among the 7-state universities, weíre probably in the best position in regard to this of any of the state universities. Out of 150 majors we have 24 that require more than 120 credits, and most of those are in Education, where students need to have essentially majored in a discipline as well as majoring in Education. Our engineering programs are in excess of 120 credits, and our nursing program is above 120 credits. All of our other programs meet the 120 credit requirement as of this date. There will be meetings of faculty from various universities who have same academic specialization to discuss credit limits, because they want some similarity or uniformity among the universities when theyíre asking for exceptions. For example, we are over the 120-credit limit in nursing, but I think we have the lowest number of credits required for a nursing degree of the universities that offer baccalaureate degrees in nursing. So, if we can do it in 122 credits as opposed to 128 at another institution, there will be pressure on those other institutions to match ours.† Our largest degree programs are 128 credits. I think that thatís not uncommon for education programs and engineering programs. There will have to be meetings of faculty who are in those particular discipline areas in order to work together to come up with a university-wide or system-wide request for exemption for those particular academic programs. I thought it was important to bring this information to faculty so that itís something you are aware of and understand that this is something that we need to move forward with given the current state legislation. I will make a copy of this with the programs listed on it that are in excess of 120 credits and make it available to Judy electronically.
FA: And I will make it available to Senate. We did talk about this at Statewide Meet & Confer also on Friday. The intent of this process, which we have on the flow chart, is to as much as possible use the processes that are already on campus, the curriculum process to move through information and approvals, but there was talk about having groups of faculty with similar programs from different universities going together for a mass exemption, if you will. The examples used were not perhaps the ones that youíd most want to hear about. One that they mentioned was an Associateís Degree in Accounting.
ADM: They mentioned that at the IFO Meet & Confer?
FA Yes. It wasnít the most intelligent choice of vehicles, but we will provide this information to faculty, and I personally am very glad that we have so few programs that this affects, and it is the ones that we could have predicted would be affected. Thank you for bringing this information forward.
ADM: Youíre welcome.
ADM: Any other comments on that?
FA: Since it comes from the Legislature, do you have any idea at all of what MNSCUís attitude towards this interference in our academic programs might be? Obviously any programs over 120 credits have long since justified those changes, deviations. Iím guessing the Legislatureís reasons are not academic.
ADM: No, I donít think theyíre academic. I think they have to do with time to degree, they have to do with cost, they have to do with standardization, and Iím not sure that the folks in the Office of the Chancellor would choose to comment on their attitude toward this other than to say that this is a mandate from the Legislature that we have to meet, and so whatís the point of discussing it?
FA: Thatís what I was afraid of.
FA: I donít think itís all that surprising. Itís hard to resolve or alter the attempt intended or otherwise that dumbs down, making higher education less that what we would hope it would be. And the fudge factor comes out of our General Education. Eventually your General Education course rings down to almost nothing, and then you increasingly dumb down even more. I think thereís a substantial body of literature attempting to address that. We have no idea where weíll go. We know that we are falling behind other nations in terms of our scholarship.
ADM: I do think that there is provision for exceptions to the 120 credits, and that we need to work with colleges and other universities in order to arrive at the correct number of credits for those programs which will be issued exemptions and exceptions. Iím not sure that this will impose an undue hardship or change for us or most of our academic programs. I think that we are in pretty good shape in that regard. I think that other campuses will have a lot more paring down to do than we do when it comes to these programs.
FA: Do you have any idea as to what the criteria is going to be for making the decisions about whatís going to be exempt and what isnít? Because we went through some of this agony when we went through the changeover.
ADM: Thatís why weíre in good shape now, because you guys agonized about it then.
FA: Yes, we did.
ADM: I think that licensing requirements, perhaps, or teaching requirements, accreditation requirements are the factors that are going to be looked at most closely. But I think one of the difficulties weíre going to encounter with this is that accrediting agencies are increasingly pointing toward learning outcomes as opposed to course requirements. And thatís going to make it a little harder to make the case on behalf of various exceptions.
FA: So it seems like whatís going to be sacrificed in terms of General Education requirementsÖ?
ADM: Not necessarily,
FA: Weíve become technical colleges as opposed to universities.
ADM: I hope not.
FA: We might continue to look also in the legislative mandates in the last several years is the pass for curriculum is 40 credits, and that is still on the books. This law didnít change that, so now we have a tension between the legislative mandate of 40 credits of General Education that we fought with before as well. But itís my understanding that this statute did not change the requirements of General Education in the MNTC Transfer Curriculum, and as a result in our own General Education program.
ADM: That is correct.
FA: If I look at the program length exemption criteria and the credit length exemption criteria in the document that you gave me and that I received a version of at Statewide Meet & Confer, thereís a term called ďIndustry StandardsĒ and we talked a little bit about what that meant. Maybe there will be national or international standards that include skill standards that arenít necessarily accreditation standards or standards from professional organizations for licensure. Theyíre calling them Industry Standards. As faculty, we need to be careful not to react to that. Itís essentially what the industry (like engineering, for example) has indicated are necessary even though there might not be accreditation standards surrounding that. Some of what was talked about from the MNSCU person who addressed this was the fact that thereís lots of literature that may say that, ok, thereís this skill, this skill, this skill, or this outcome that needs to happen, and programs usually need this many credits in order to do that. Thereís a lot of literature out there that we might base the credits on.
ADM: Another thing that we could look at is what the standard number of credits are with programs nationally at other institutions.† There are a number of things we can look at, but we will have to do those things and submitÖYou know, with the exceptions of I think itís four engineering programs and nursing and a Bachelor of Music, which is a very unique degree, all of the other programs are teaching degrees. I think we will be able to support the need for those programs to be in excess of 120 credits.
FA: To reiterate some earlier comments about 2-year programs, that weíll see the biggest impact on the 2-year programs. What I see are barriers to transfer matriculation to associate degree programs if they decide to reduce the number of General Education Credits in the Associate Applied Science programs. Students will have to come here having to take more General Education.
ADM: Iím not sure. Again, I think the number of General Education credits required for those degrees is not changing.
FA: But they might cut back. Curriculum is 18 for the Associate of Applied Science. Sometimes they add more to it, they have some latitude.
FA: If you look at the schedule, it will be several years before itís implemented, between 2010 and 2012?
FA:† We can take this one off the schedule then?
ADM: For now, yes.
FA: Frances, why donít you start that, and Michael, if you could add to it.
FA: There is a motion passed that Faculty Association asked Meet & Confer to inquire about students satisfying required courses that are not offered online in online degree programs without departmental consultation. This is through Continuing Studies. So basically degree programs are being offered to students that are online, and there is a required course, Racial Issues, and weíre not sure if that course is being waived, if theyíre finding another course online somewhere, but faculty (and this is where, I think, faculty speak)ÖThe faculty in that department feel that this course is not suitable for online. Itís a face-to-face, brick and mortar type of course. Thereís some concern about whatís going on here with these online degree programs being offered through Continuing Studies, and how is this particular course being satisfied. The faculty have not been consulted.
FA: And there are at least two issues that are of concern to the Racial Issues Colloquium: 1. There are courses that are being offered that have not gone through Curriculum process. That includes having a sign-off or at least input from that committee for any course thatís going to be qualified as a Racial Issues course. And yes, in terms of pedagogyÖ
ADM: Say that part again, please.
FA: In that whenever a course that has gone through the curriculum processÖ
ADM: On campus?
FA: On campus. But offered by any department, is that there is a sign off also by the Racial Issues Colloquium in terms of whether or not it is meeting the criteria for qualifying as a Racial Issues course. Weíve had several courses by different departments. Letís say English, for example, that wanted to have courses that did not address all the components of the criteria for a Racial Issues course. Particularly for those departments that have not been involved in providing courses that meet that criteria, right now there are several departments in Sociology and Human Relations department in the College of Education that have been offering courses that meet that requirement. There is a pedagogical component in terms of students developing a capacity to communicate and to interact with people, particularly if itís considering issues about differences in people in terms of communication. Communication is a very essential part of understanding human relations. Itís not about what one sees in a one-way communication that happens online. I know that they have some arrangements that itís done electronically, but there is a different dynamic that happens in the course if you have 30 students that have to see face-to-face. And you can also pick up not only verbal communication but non-verbal cues about how people are communicating and interacting. Thirdly, there is this occurrence in situations of communication in which there is a certain distance, particularly when you have some anonymity such as in a chat room that people feel much more free to act as if itís a mob as opposed to being sincere and being held accountable for what they say. Particularly here, for example, in St. Cloud in the St. Cloud Times, thereís been some very negative and vicious conversations and comments, and itís because people are hiding behind that anonymity or, if nothing else, that distance that they feel not to be responsible for what theyíre going to communicate. So if Continuing Studies is offering courses online or even if theyíre offering courses that have not gone through the curriculum process, thereís no quality control.
ADM: We need to consult with John Bergeson about that. But Iím not aware that they are offering courses online that havenít been approved. Iím not sure how those students meet that requirement. I think they do it by transferring courses from other institutions, not necessarily online, but Iím not sure about that piece, so I would like to wait until we have an opportunity to talk to John and have him respond to this particular issue.
FA: I think thereís a few questions.
FA: I think itís wise to collect some information. Let me see if I can frame a simple question: How can we, St Cloud State, advertise the ability to get a degree from St. Cloud State 100% online?
ADM: As with everything, this is a more complicated issue than you might think, and might deserve more extensive conversations and clarification. One thing that comes to mind regarding the Racial Issues requirement applied to 2-year associateís degree and 4-year degrees, baccalaureate degrees. Modified graduate degrees, for example. So graduate programs theyíve offered online would not be an issue here. For baccalaureate programs, one of the things that frequently happens when these bachelorís degree programs is advertise this online. What theyíre really talking aboutóand we need to clarify thisóis the last two years of baccalaureate programs, essentially the major, and not necessarily the first two years which would be the General Education and could include the Racial Issues courses. So I think we need to explore that issue more carefully and how we describe and how we define online programming.
FA: My understanding from the Senate discussion was that this was a fully online program. My concern is that we have other required courses, and I would think that we generally know how they would be replaced. We would either know which classes we were doing online or how students in the system were replacing them. For example, when we had this conversation, and John, Iím going to ask you to give the example. Thereís a required PESS 122, and John could tell us exactly how somebody would get it online because we donít offer it here online. John?
FA: Lake Superior State.
FA: So the fact that he knows for a course thatís in his area and the folks teaching Racial Issues donít know how that course is being covered online and havenít had any conversations is to me significant.
ADM: I think those are good questions, I think they need to be answered, and I would like to defer further discussion about it until we have somebody who can answer them authoritatively.
FA: I thought it would be useful, though, if you understood, so you can transmit to John what weíre asking.
ADM: Iíve taken good notes.
FA: OK, thank you. Weíll leave this on and come back with them when John is here.
FA: This is what Kristi and I started our week with. I had the benefit of not being able to work at home last weekend because I was knocked off the system. Iíve come to discover that thereís a bias that says, ďDonít try to install new stuff while weíre on campus,Ē that this was a deviation from what the folks who do this for the institution want to do. The difficulty is that, with the pace at which upgrades are happening and looking to this summer, the summerís shortened because of the uniform start date. So pressures will apply and a very small initial change occurred to upgrade to Microsoft Web Access at that time. What happened is, as I had it explained, no one on the team anticipated the problem that presented itself. The problem was that the bookmarks and favorites were disrupted. Nobody expected that was going to happen, it wasnít anticipated, and there was an overwhelming amount of inquiry that occurred on the help lines by students and I suspect others that I think we learned from. As I talked to the faculty member who has the responsibility here, weíre changing some things about how weíre moving forward with the next upgrade. And there is an upgrade happening over Spring Break, and thereís going to be a higher sensitivity to the fact that folks donít all run contemporary hardware and software. So thereíll be a broadened set of information that is out there and available. Iím not sure what the extent of the changes are; I just know what happened in my situation, how I was going about living my life. I do know that David has a contemporary report from having to try and check email while he was down in St. Paul yesterday and today that tells me thereís still a problem out there of some sort. So David, could you share what you tried to do?
FA: I simply couldnít get into the Web email system. I was on a PC, which is not my normal platform, but I think I know how to run it, from a public computer in the legislative research library in the office building. I emptied the cache and re-entered the address and was able to get in on that computer, but I have to tell you Iím not sure I was very comfortable messing with the cache of a legislative machine with their librarian looking over my shoulder. I also tried from the hotel, and was not able to get through at all, and the way the controls on that were set I couldnít get to the preferences to deal with the cache. So some of the information was useful, some wasnít. But I also know that I had a student tell me that even after emptying the cache, they couldnít get their email to work from home at the beginning of this week, and of course thatís the reason the assignment came via a late email. I have no way to verify that except that other folk were having trouble and I donít doubt that this student probably had trouble as well. So itís not totally cleaned up is the only point.
ADM: Have you called this last one in, what happened in the hotel?
FA: No, that one I didnít, I just got back in town today about 2:00
ADM: When you have time, if you could call the help desk because they think they have these resolved, but if thereís still some glitch out there that donít know aboutÖ.
FA: And these were both public computers, so again, Iím not sureÖ. The fix is to go into the computer of one of them and empty the cache and do a variety of things. I just donít know often we should be doingÖ. When Iím sitting in a library downtown, what am I messing up if Iím playing with their cache? Supposedly nothing, but we donít know.
ADM: And it was my understanding that this was just on your own machine. I didnít realize this was a problem on other machines off campus.
FA: No, this was a computer that was available to anyone that wandered through. In fact both of them were public computers that were available to anyone.
FA: We did a quick poll at Senate on Tuesday and out of 54 Senators, 12 indicated they had experienced difficulties in both platforms, Windows and MAC. I had a very good conversation with a faculty member who has responsibilities here. This is something we need to be sensitive about, responsive to, and learn from. We are learning in this process, and let us hope that when faculty come back after break, we experience a little smootherÖ. Whatever this upgrade is thatís happening over break, that we donít come back and have a problem.
ADM: I hope you know that the IT staff prides themselves in doing everything they can to test ahead of time and make sure thereís not glitches. So they started testing for this last September, and they did test from at home, but because they were on a development server and not the actual server, they didnít have these problems that people are having in real life because it didnít happen on the development server. So they were just as surprised as everyone else when they flipped the switch. You do due diligence, test everything you can. I donít know if you caught this: We were actually intending to go up on the 19th, and we caught a problem. We waited two days, and after they solved it, it went up. So they were testing months ahead of time, doing everything they could. We just have a small group of people testing, and then we get more and more like LRTS people and the technicians on campus. We currently have 250 people piloting this before we go live next week. So we do everything in our power to try out every single problem we can.
FA: In this test group, Iím assuming itís both platforms?
ADM: Yes, absolutely.
FA: Are you trying it on different aged
machines with different software?
ADM: Because we asked people from all around to do it, we hope weíre getting different aged machines. And then the people who are assigned to test it should be testing it on all machines we know that people use. We canít guess every machine that you have at home, but we do our best knowing what machines people are using on campus. And guessing what our students use. It hit our students first, they're much more apt to be doing work off campus, and of course they canít send us an email to tell us thereís a problem, so theyíre calling. So we thought about sending out an email, but it dawned on the staff that there was no way that people who canít read their email are going to get that email, so they put a voice message on the phones, so that as calls were coming in, we had so many more calls coming from people than staff. At least they could get a phone message, and try to get a real person as well. So they try to be as responsive as possible to this, and have been testing for next week. Again, we do our very best, not to say theyíre not going to miss something. They try hard. But I should tell you that they feel terrible, they just feel TERRIBLE that this happened because they do everything not to have this happen.
FA: Theyíre helpful.
FA: There are a couple of questions. I havenít been back in my office because I spent some time in St. Paul with Dave, but thereís a question about the change that has public computer/private computer, about how the automatic signoff happens.
ADM: If you could get that toÖ
FA: I talked to Phil. Phil didnít have an answer.
ADM: Did he tell you there was no reason?
FA: He was going to get the answer, so hopefully when I get back and check, he will have come up with that answer, but there were some other things that happened.
FA: Some of the questions have involved if youíre on the private designation. People have been losing information in the middle of emails, even with saving. On private youíre not supposed to get bumped like on public, and I know Iíve lost email. Iíve been in the middle of composing and it seems to disappear into the ether like it used to if you werenít saving everything. Itís a similar sort of thing.
ADM: I was just down in Media and doing this too, and I would get bumped every so often, I donít know if I lost anything. So if you can articulate the problem directly to the Internet Help Desk or talk to Phil about it, that really helps. At the Help Desk every ticket gets recorded; if itís not getting responded to appropriately at a lower level, it gets escalated up. And if youíre not hearing back, let me know, because I will intervene. But theyíve been trying hard.
FA: The fact that weíve had this happenÖI
mean this is the first time in a long time I can remember anything like this
happening, so itís a testament to how hard these folks work and how reliant we
are on the technology.
ADM: They did bring something upóthis was not at my requestófor me to give you.
FA: Sure, weíre glad to have that.
FA:† I would just like for the record to sayóthose folks down at the Help Desk, every time I call with any issue, they have been so polite and so patient, SO patient, and so helpful. I feel bad for them, because they do a hell of a job.
ADM: Thank you for saying that. Weíve been doing a lot of work with customer service training for our student workers the last couple of years, and so itís nice to hear thatís going on.
FA: Thank you, Kristi, we would like Faculty to have copies of that. And I think we can take that off the agenda then?
5. Grants Ė Overhead and Grants During Sabbaticals (FA) (02/28/08)
FA: Iíll address this item.
FA: And Iíll pass around the sheet that weíre responding to in this inquiry.
FA: This is recommended for funding: Research
Grant, Long Term Grant awards. In addition to stipends, there are benefits
which are 30% or so in there. And the question from Senate is: 1) Where do the
funds, the benefits, go to? Because this is negotiated money. Thereís a
question of what happens to the benefits. Do they go to pay dental, insurance,
other? And 2) Faculty who are on sabbatical (Iím on
that committee), we recommend for funding when
theyíre on sabbatical, we donít have a problem with that. But faculty have been
told, and I donít know by whom, that if theyíre on sabbatical, theyíre not
eligible for faculty research or long term grants. That confused us, because we
donít discriminate on the basis of whether theyíre on sabbatical or not. If
theyíre on sabbatical, we feel they have every right to these funds. So thereís
a question: If theyíre on sabbatical, are they eligible for these funds, and
whatís happening to these benefits?
ADM: Let me answer this second part of that first and continue with grants while on sabbatical. As far as I know, those are approved and funded, and Iím not aware of a situation where a faculty member was on sabbatical thatís been recommended for a grant, especially if the circumstances where the grant is intended for persons on sabbatical. As far as Iím concerned, Iíve approved those. If thereís an issue where somebody has not gotten a favorable answer on that kind of question, Iím not aware of it. In terms of benefits, Iíve looked at this memorandum and am probably as befuddled as some of you. I think I mentioned it to Judy as well: the health benefits and dental benefits donít change with your salary increases as far as I know, but the contribution to pension funds and those things do. And thereís the amount of funding that goes to Social Security also changes as additional salary is provided to an individual. So those are the benefits that I understand that this is referring to, but I would need to check with other people to see if that is the complete answer to your question.
FA: So the benefits would include Pension and Social Security, but there may be other things?
ADM: There may be other things, I donít know. I have to look at it doubly too and see what things are variables depending upon the degree of income that person can receive.
FA: Could we get a response about that from Sponsored Programs? And what Iím also hearing you say is that insurance is not included in this.
ADM: As far as I know, a personís medical insurance does not change. The cost of a medical insurance policy doesnít change if their income changes. Itís the same if you have an individual plan or a family plan. Whatever youíre earning, that policy is going to cost the same amount regardless, so there should be no variation in the cost of those policies. But there would be variation in how much is deducted for Social Security, how much goes to Pension, and there may be a couple of other elements that I donít remember right now that could be affected.
FA: Just some quick mathematics: If the amount thatís being used is 31%, and FICA, if I recall, is a little over 7% (the employerís share) and TRA is I think similar. One is like 7 and the other close to 6. So if itís retirement and Social Security/Medicare, it shouldnít be anywhere near 31%. The only way youíre going to get to 31% is they are charging the cost of the health package. Iíve seen this happen before. There is somewhere that money goes. Somebody once told me they had to do it and the money doesnít stay on campus.
ADM: I will investigate and find out and let you know.
FA: And so it looks like weíve run out of time for progress reports.
FA: So youíre saying that thereís a 10% difference?
ADM: Iíll find out and report back at our next Meet & Confer.
FA: And so the President didnít make it here. Heís still on bus with Governor Pawlenty. Thatís a scary thing!
ADM: Itís one of those magical bus rides.
Meeting adjourned at 5 p.m.
Submitted by Joan A. Wingert