Meet and Confer Ė 3/13/2008
Minutes of 2/28/2008 Ė Approved as revised
Administration: President Potter, Provost Spitzer, Steve Ludwig, Wanda Overland, Mitchell Rubinstein, Rex Veeder, Kristi Tornquist, Kate Steffens, John Burgeson, (Patty Dyslin Ė note taker)
Faculty: Judy Kilborn, John Palmer, Joanne Gasparino, David Warne, Bill Hudson, Fred Hill, Frances Kayona, Robert Johnson, Michael Connaughton, Michael Tripp
1a. Request for Faculty to serve on search committee for COSS Associate Dean (AD Ė 12/14/2008)
FA: We have forwarded some names to you for this committee. After the next Senate meeting, we will send you the other names. I think we can take this item off.
1b. E-mail as Official Communication, Redux (AD Ė 3/13/2008)
AD: We just received something about 2:00 p.m. this afternoon from you, which was an e-mail from Pat Arsenault.
FA: Thatís true, butÖ
AD: So we want to look that over and study that and get back to youÖ
FA: Okay. Thatís fine with me.
AD: And see what impact that has on what weíre intending. We havenít had a chance to study it yet.
FA: Okay. Was there anything you wanted to share with us beyond that because that item was put on the agenda, and that item just happened to show up at an appropriate time?
AD: We were going to talk about implementing something, but now we want to see what her comments are before making any kind of conclusion about this.
FA: Okay. Is there anyÖ
AD: And perhaps modifying what we were going to suggest based on some of the comments in her e-mail.
FA: Much of the content wonít be much of a surprise to you because we had narrated some of her response that we had received orally before. But certainly, itís fine if you take time to look at it and come back with some sort of response. Is there anybody else that that e-mail should go to besides the people I copied it to?
AD: No. Everyone on our Meet and Confer team has received a copy.
FA: Okay. So do you want to leave this on the agenda until later?
FA: Okay. So weíll leave that on the agenda.
2. The Processes for Appointing FA Representation to College and University-level Committees under the IFO/MnSCU Master Agreement (FA Ė 10/18/2007)
FA: We were waiting for some response, I believe, from Larry.
AD: That process is still in progress. We hope to have it by next Meet and Confer. Theyíre still working on that language. By next time we should have something. At least thatís our hope.
AD: He got a lot of edits from Presidentís Council.
FA: So youíre working on the text and not just the Web?
FA: We look forward to seeing that next time.
3. Request for Faculty Co-Chair for Enrollment Management (FA Ė 12/13/2007)
AD: We talked about this in terms of the potential possibility of restructuring, and we were waiting for feedback from you on that before we move forward with how we handle the committee.
FA: Itís our understanding that the restructuring would have minimal impact on our members in terms of their supervisory report. You assured us at the last meeting that the report process would remain similar to what it was under the current configuration. Since our members are only limitedly involved with that excluded manager position, one of the two, our position will be as long as our members' practices and experiences have not changed, weíre not going to provide any advice about that reorganization.
AD: Thank you.
FA: Is there any more information about our request for a faculty co-chair for that committee?
AD: Not yet.
4. Senate Motion Concerting E-Mail Monitoring (FA Ė 12/13/2007)
FA: We had quite a discussion last time. Kristi, I believe, indicated that she might come back with more information.
AD: I, like you, was on Spring Break, so I do not have my material put together.
FA: So weíre on hold for any other documents on that. Should we leave this on the agenda, or would you like us to take it off and bring it back?
AD: I would like to bring it back.
FA: So weíll take it off and bring it back later?
AD: Yes. I met with Michael on it earlier this week and asked what questions I should try to get answers to first. We are working on it.
FA: Could we move it to Progress Reports?
AD: I donít see any problem with that.
FA: Weíll go ahead and do that then. If itís okay with you, weíd like to come back to Item 5 and 6. Weíd like to wait on Item 5 until Michael Tripp arrives from his class, and weíre going to skip over to Item 7.
7. Grants Ė Overhead and Grants During Sabbaticals (FA - 2/28/2008)
FA: We had requested information regarding the overhead on grants.
AD: I got the information today about what grants youíre talking about. What we do is we aggregate our salaries. Our fringe benefits are 33% of our salaries. Thatís the aggregate across the campus. So we use that as the benchmark when weíre calculating fringes. However, given the nature of this and that it is a relatively small amount of money and that the 33% rate is kind of a hardship, or perceived as a hardship, Iím willing to go back and look and see if for this specific grant we could look at an amount that reflected the costs that are certainly marginally increased by additional compensation ó like Medicare, unemployment compensation, workersí comp and several things that are directly related ó and seeing if itís possible to do that within our accounting system so that we can do that without great difficulty. Iíll come back and let you know with the understanding that it canít be a typical process for all grants because then the grant rate will start to increase. If you begin to exclude income from the overall, then the 33% is going to go up. But for these relatively small grants that are pretty discreet and fairly small amounts, I think we can think about that. Iíd like to come back and let you know what we feel we could do. If we canít seem to reasonably work that out, then weíd come back and suggest that that cost be reduced in the first place, but not be blind-siding people that they expected a certain amount of money that is $300 less Ė or whatever the number might be. Iíd like to leave it on and come back now that I understand what itís about. If my approach sounds completely unreasonable, I guess I would unfortunately like to hear about that. In any caseÖ.
FA: Let me see if I can simplify what I think I heard. There are fixed fringe benefits for Faculty who are on appointment. Fixed means, if they qualify for the fringe benefit they give all of it. There are variable costs whenever the faculty member is paid above and beyond what the basic salary is. The examples you gave were, FICA, Medicare, unemployment insurance, workersí compÖ
FA: Retirement. Theyíre variable. So those are the kinds of things, and this is in the context of our long and short-term grants, a lower rate would be applied if the system allowed it.
AD: Yes. And if the extent wasnít going to be so great that it was going to influence our indirect costs for a whole bunch of other things Ė raise it up to 45% because we excluded a certain amount of income in the calculation.
FA: Steve, youíre at a disadvantage because of your cold and not having been here. We were talking about the short and long-term research grants that are internal grants.
FA: Faculty research and long-termÖ
FA: Faculty research and long-term, which are internal grants. What occurs, is if a faculty member gets a $2,000 stipend, the budget for that has been charged an additional 33% above the $2,000. What Iím hearing you say is, youíre willing to look at having that variable cost charge reduced in such a way that the total cost of the grant pool available would be reduced.
AD: Yes. And I got this today. What I saw was it was about an $80,000 number, and the grants are relatively small, and this appeared to be a material hardship. For this number of relatively small grants, thatís not going to affect the overall costs, Iím going to see if we can just go ahead so that we do not appear onerous in the charges against these. I canít say that in the future weíre going to do that. I canít calculate every individual faculty member on every grant. Thatís just too complicated. For this limited number, Iím going to see if for this internal granting source, and itís small, if we can provide something that more closely approximates the marginal change rather than the total cost.
FA: We would very much appreciate that and will come back to it hopefully next time.
AD: I think next time. Thatís not going to be a problem.
AD: Can I ask a quick question? When these grants are awarded, what do Faculty do with the money. Do they cover the costs activity or are they, in fact, stipends.
AD: Theyíre combinations of both. Some portion of it is a stipend, and some portion of it goes toward expenses.
AD: In all these cases, the stipends were mostly $3,000, but range from $1,800 to $3,000. So theyíre small stipends, but the 33% is $1,000 additionalÖ
FA: If I can. Part of the bargaining agreement, there is a dollar amount that is created for these purposes, and by charging this 33% on top of what the actual award is, it simply reduces the pool of money available to make awards. What I heard Steve say is that youíre taking a look at only charging those things that would naturally occur if you paid somebody some more money because you have to pay the payroll tax, the cost of workersí comp, youíve got to deal with the cost of making a contribution to retirement.
FA: I think that answers the question that we brought to Meet and Confer.
FA: Thank you. We are going to move back to Item #5. Go ahead Francis.
FA: I think we need to talk about the issue of Sabbaticals and whether or not Faculty can be receive a grant if theyíre going on Sabbatical. As a member of the Faculty Research Committee, thatís never been an issue. Some faculty have been told that if they are going on Sabbatical, they canít receive money for research. Has that been resolved?
AD: We talked about that last time and said that as far as we knew, that matter was resolved, that there was a new requirement in place.
AD: I just got it today, the Sabbatical Policy thatís in the Human Resources Policies of the Office of the Chancellor. It came out today. All thatís added is a single paragraph. It is going to the bargaining units for comment. I didnít bring copies of that today. It makes a statement, something like, colleges and universities should refrain from providing additional compensation for additional work other than that provided for in the Sabbatical agreement of the collective bargaining agreement. So there may be some devil in the details that are of concern. I would suggest that you review that. It did go to the IFO.
FA: I believe thatís on the agenda for the next Meet and Confer.
AD: That may influence your concern. If youíre doing research on your Sabbatical, it seems odd not to provide the funds for the research. But here nor there, odd things have happened.
AD: We just want to be careful and make sure that we operate within the context of what that statement says if itís adopted. We assume that it wonít change the practice that weíve been describing, but weíre not sure.
FA: Okay. So we can reassure Faculty at this point, except for what might come out of this policy thatís being reviewed at this point. And Iím assuming if any issues pop up, which they have in the past, that you will do as you have in the past, and that is, address them on an individual basis.
FA: Okay. Thank you very much. Now weíll go back to Item 5.
5. Continuing Studies Offering Online Required Courses Without Departmental Input Ė (FA Ė 2/28/2008)
FA: This primarily came up in Senate because of the Continuing Studies website offering courses and having the core courses that arenít offered on-line. The questions are, what happens then, how do those get replaced. We know in some situations, and for those of you who were here last time, this will be a bit of review. John can tell us what gets replaced for a PESS 122.
FA: Students take that at Lake Superior.
AD: They take it at Lake Superior. Itís a 3-credit course that transfers in. We donít have a lot that do that. I just found out yesterday that MCTC offers a 1-credit class. We have to see if that articulates. That may or may not articulate.
FA: In the case of racial issues, thatís a course that the Faculty have made a decision should not be an on-line course.
AD: We donít have an on-line racial relations course. Thatís one of the problems of trying to offer an on-line degree. We really donít offer an on-line degree; we offer an on-line degree completion. You have to come in with an AA or completed Minnesota Transfer Curriculum Ė that usually means an AA. We do not have an on-line human relations course.† I do know whatís going on though. There is a student whoís a distance student, who contacted Jeanne Lacourt, and sheís having an independent study with Jeanne Lacourt. Thatís what I know has happened.
FA: If a student completes the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, itís possible for them to graduate from St. Cloud State with a degree and not have taken the racial issues classes.
AD: Thatís the way the bulletin reads. Yes.
FA: There may be some confusion on the part of Faculty and others that there is only one way to satisfy general education requirements at St. Cloud State. Thereís at least two waysÖ
AD: There are two ways.
FA: The Minnesota Transfer Curriculum and then, of course, our General Education Curriculum.
AD: Thatís right.
FA: There is a third, with the AA degree.
AD: Usually with the AA degree, the student will have completed the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, which is a required part of the AA.
FA: Even if they come from out of state with an AA, weíve accepted it without an articulation. At least thatís been my experience working in the advising center. Iím not arguing with John, by the way.
AD: Somebody from out of state, in other words.
FA: Yes. If they have the AA, that is working in their favor. There are technically two or three ways to get around that. And I donít mean that in a derogatory way.
AD: I understand that. Just for your information. Continuing Studies does not offer any courses, period, that have not been approved by the department and the college through which theyíre offered. I have signed documents on every single thing we do; we do it annually for all the courses. Iíve checked our web site, and there are no racial issues courses on the web site. You can go into Continuing Studies and see all the courses we offer on-line on our web site. When this came up a couple of weeks ago, I started looking into it and found out that this young lady, who is a distance student, contacted us and we put her into contact with Jeanne Lacourt, and apparently they worked out an independent study.
AD: Is there anything on the web site that suggests that you can get a degree totally on-line? I donít think itís up there yet because we were not accredited to do that until just recently so weíre redoing the web site. You cannot get a degree from St. Cloud State, starting from scratch, on-line. You can get a BES, but you have to come in with the transfer curriculum or with an AA.
FA: I would be concerned about advertising that doesnít mislead students into thinking that. I havenít taken a close look at the web site, so Iím not making any kind of claims about what the web site says about that.
AD: I donít think weíre encouraging students in that way. Michaelís asked me about that. I figured out today that it looks like the bulletin says if you come in with the transfer curriculum, youíre exempt from that requirement, but not PESS 122.
FA: They can take that at Lake Superior State.
AD: That is not a General Education component; itís a graduation requirement.
AD: We would welcome a PESS 122 any time you would care to offer it. We would love to have a Racial Issues course any time you would care to offer it. But itís up to the departments.
FA: If you read the Meet and Confer notes from last time, you can see the rationale that theyíve developed pedagogically for not having it be on-line.
AD: Itís a St. Cloud State degree; I would like to have St. Cloud State courses.
FA: Okay. Thank you for the explanation.
AD: Can we take that off the agenda?
FA: Yes, we can take it off.
6. Security Planning for Campuses - (FA Ė 2/28/2008)
FA: We talked a little bit about security planning for campuses the last time and focused a lot of our discussion on the kind of interventions that we have with students. We wanted to ask some follow-up questions.
FA: The concern that the Faculty have is one of knowing that if they take an action weíre advised to take, that it actually will work. Itís not that we doubt that it would work, but we do have some experience where safety precautions were put in place that were a false positive. At one time there were buttons placed in offices that went to a board that was very complicated to try and figure out. Kateís smiling. She knows. They were there. They were installed, and it was a matter of saying you didnít have to pick up a phone or didnít have to do this. What wasnít there was somebody on the other end that could easily tell where that button was being pushed. I tell that story, but thatís no longer the case. But we did hear last Meet and Confer that one way in which to respond to a crisis is to dial 911.
AD: On a campus phone.
FA: On a campus phone. Iím wondering whether or not, if you dial 911, if in fact itís a smart 911 system that identifies where the call is coming from because thatís the way most ground telephone lines operate. If you call from your home, the 911 operator knows what the address is. So Iím teaching in Halenbeck Hall Room 335. Itís one of the rooms that has a telephone in it. I have an incident thatís occurring in my classroom or outside my classroom, and I wish to report it. So I pick up the phone and dial 911. Will the person on the other end of the phone know that Iím in Halenbeck Hall, Room 335?
AD: There are two answers to that. I am not certain what the 911 dispatch center knows. I think it knows the street address, but I donít think it knows much beyond that. On our system on campus, Public Safety knows. They canít intercept the call so thatís not the person on the other end of the line. But they get the call before it even gets to 911. Weíve had cases where theyíve received it and it never even shows up as a hang-up at the 911 dispatch center. They get a print out that says this telephone number in Halenbeck Hall, Room 335, just called 911 and then they respond. Theyíre in contact, by radio, and Iím not sure if those radios have arrived yet, but theyíre in contact with the police, either by cell phone or by radio, because sometimes police officers might know exactly where 335 Halenbeck Hall is. If you want me to find out the level of detail the county dispatch center knows, I will. I know that our Public Safety does know the phone number and the room number because that is a characteristic of our telephone system.
AD: What about IT phones?
AD: They eventually get to the regular trunk lines. If they donít we will find a way to do so.
FA: Are you saying that the phone in 335, a smart classroom, is an IP phone?
AD: It might be. Iíll check.
FA: Itís a little concerning if those phones donít hook up. Itís been my experience, and there might be other teaching situations, that you only have a phone in your room if itís a smart classroom. If you have a stupid classroom, like many of us do, what you have access to is a cell phone, and weíve been told you need to call from a land line, which would mean that we would need to get to go down the hall, under gun fire, or what have you. Iím perhaps being a little dramatic,
AD: Cell phones, in general, do not tell 911 where you are. Itís not a peculiarity of campus. Cell phones arenít tied to a location. A cell phone call only goes to the 911 dispatch center, and you have to tell them where you are. The advantage of the landlines on campus and at your home, for that matter, is that they tell the 911 person where you are. On campus, I know, they tell us what room youíre in.
AD: The phones we put in the smart classrooms were put there primarily to get the immediate attention of IT staff and not put there so much as a safety precaution.
FA: The reason I pursue this is that Faculty or staff for that matter, are the people that are going to be in a position to see an event developing. We will behave as we expect things to occur. Until this very moment, I did not know or think that that phone in that room in which I teach is not one that would be easily traced.
AD: Weíll check on that and get back to you.
FA: What Iím trying to do is raise the level of awareness to say there may be other kinds of reporting processes that we need to look at carefully. Having been a building coordinator in the building that Kate resides in, which was built in the 1970s as an open style classroom building and now I think all the temporary walls are permanent, that has an A and a B side to it, Iíve often wondered if anyone could find any room easily in that building. I know what happens when you call 911. Responders are given maps to the location so that they can get there as directly as possible. What I wouldnít want to see happen is that we have the sophisticated radio and phone and now the human component does their best, but they literally couldnít find the room theyíre looking for. Maybe itís the fact that Iíve spent most of my life here in the Ed Building where people are constantly wandering around trying to find rooms. Thatís not an exaggeration.
AD: We have also provided electronic maps with room numbers of all of our buildings on campus to the fire department and the police. The police department now has laptops in their squads so they can have access to them. Thatís for purposes of finding a room when there is a medical emergency, and they can also use them if they need to plan some kind of tactical approach.
FA: Does campus safety have the same?
AD: They donít have the laptops in their cars. They have access to the maps on campus, and they have somewhat greater familiarity than one might expect of a police officer.
FA: I was just reading an article in ďReaderís DigestĒ about campus security. They ranked the various campuses around the country on items such as campuses that donít have 24-hour security in residence halls. I donít know what the complete survey looks like, but I am wondering if it is something we might want to look at.
AD: We do participate in a couple different surveys and benchmark projects for residence halls. We are embarking on a comprehensive master planning process and will be looking very closely at security. We also have changed when we lock our facilities. We do have people at the front doors and in the lobbies who do check IDs. Weíre not where we want to be, but weíre certainly a lot better than we were at the beginning of the year.† Safety issues will be a big part of our planning.
AD: Those people at those desks wonít let in a VP without an ID, a good excuse and an escort.
FA: Steve, at the last Meet and Confer, the minutes captured some concerns with regard to specific events. Unwanted people in a faculty office and the lack of follow-up and rekeying, multiple reports of offices being entered by unauthorized people Ė reports of no action, Faculty that have reported that when they contact Public Safety, theyíre told ďWe donít have the resources, it will take 1.5 hours for us to come out.Ē These are troublesome. Just this past week we discovered in our building the presence of a key, a master key that had been floating around unaccounted for, for at least five years. These are troublesome areas. I canít report in very specific detail, but one would hope that we do, in fact, take a look at the security of the buildings, the security of the rooms within the buildings, with some regularity and that our response is one that recognizes that this campus environment is a dangerous place if we are not careful in how we respond. I point those out because you werenít here to hear that so I certainly wouldnít expect that weíd have a response, but we have ongoing concerns Ė not only about the preventative kinds of things that Wanda talked to us about last Meet and Confer, but of the immediate intervention, reporting and control of events as they unfold. Not all of the threats to our college students and faculty members come from students, faculty or staff who are at risk. We donít need to be reminded too often about the vulnerability of human beings. There have been two murders of college students close to college campuses that were totally unrelated to students at risk. We say this, we bring it here, we want to make sure this dialogue can continue to increase the likelihood that if one of these unlikely events occur, that weíll respond appropriately and that the consequences will be minimized.
AD: Yes. I didnít read the minutes. I donít know if the particular events that you mention are specific enough that I can look at the particular event and find out what the characteristics were or if these are general statements. If they are specific, Iíd appreciate that information so I can look into the details.
FA: Frances would have information about one specific event, I have information about another, and, David, you have information about another.
FA: I would prefer that you go directly to the faculty member and talk to her about her experience and ordeal.
AD: If I know who.
FA: Weíre going to get you that information.
AD: Okay. If you can get me that information.
FA: I donít want it put in the minutes.
AD: Fine. If I can hear from Frances and David and John, if there are specifics, I will certainly look into them. To Johnís general issue, absolutely, we want to do the right thing. Sometimes people donít know the right thing until after theyíve found out what they did, unfortunately. Weíre right not engaged with the Board Office in a series of planning activities. We have a disaster and emergency plan on campus and an emergency communications plan. We are also working with the system office on an all hazards plan. Right now weíve been provided with a template for a continuity of operations plan that weíre trying to develop. They also sent out today for propose and comment a long-term emergency management procedure. That came today and theyíre going to codify it and we will follow that. It also went to the bargaining units. If youíd like copies, I brought some copies of that particular procedure. We also received a letter yesterday; weíve been looking at alternative communication methods Ė e-mail, paper postings, people walking around, and others. Weíve been instructed that MnSCU will have a trial with text messaging, and theyíre saying donít go ahead with other text messaging until weíve finished our trial. They will tell us in June, and if we want to subscribe to this system, we can. Text messaging has proved a prudent way to communicate in many cases if you get sufficient people to subscribe. So there is a lot of activity on this. We have plans in place that weíve had for some time. Weíve been revising these plans based on some of the recent events that can inform our processes. It is an example of something that needs to be continuously improved as the type of threat or the ongoing threats shift. It is also getting the attention of the Office of the Chancellor and the Board. John is absolutely right. What we want to do is aim at these situations and make the right decisions that stand up to that scrutiny after the fact and in the hindsight that people have. I think weíre in a good position now and our position is improving as time goes on and we get more information and more guidance.
AD: John, did you intend to say that a missing master key has been discovered or that it has been discovered that a master key is missing?
FA: A missing master key was discovered. Itís no longer out there. The room that was of concern for security that we know was accessed using that key has been re-keyed and taken off the master key. It was a computer lab, so it was a sensitive space with valuable equipment that we thought had been secured, but we discovered that it wasnít. Itís been responded to. The way in which it happened was by chance, not by review.
AD: Has there been a review of the circumstances leading to that master key being out there?
FA: Yes. We think we know what happened and how that key entered the underground. Unfortunately it appears to be underground in the hands of a university employee and off the radar. Somebody did not report, some years ago, that this key disappeared.
AD: I expect this is a building master.
FA: Thatís what I believe it was.
AD: We have a hierarchical system of masters.
AD: Steve, are we looking into that situation?
AD: I didnít hear about it until now.
FA: It happened yesterday.
AD: I would like to have more information about this.
FA: Other responses or questions? I did want to bring back up today a few key points that we made last time since Steve and President Potter are present. Clearly part of our response is a response to the fact that two Meet and Confers ago was the date and the timeframe in which Northern Illinois University had their incident. In fact, one of my friends was locked in an office looking down over Cole Hall. For many of us, this feels very personal. We talked about this last time at statewide Meet and Confer. I was concerned, as were other Faculty, what our plans are here and what Faculty are supposed to do to ensure safety if incidents arise. Some of the concerns weíve raised both at the state level and here is that many of our doors donít even lock. We donít have keys to our classrooms, so if something happened ,and we wanted to lock ourselves in, thereís no functional way of doing that. We also donít know what the other barriers are to safety, if you will. Iíve heard at other institutions, for example, that they have glass walls in some classrooms or they have glass panels next to some classroom doors that are a concern. Another concern is being involved in planning and training. I know other institutions who are piloting some of these communication systems. Faculty havenít been involved, and so things are happening like tests during finals week. There are concerns too that Faculty have about classroom rules that they might have. Itís a fairly common rule now that youíre supposed to turn your cell phone off. If we are going to use communication means such as text messaging or calling cell phones, it would be helpful for us to be involved in conversations about that so that weíre not working at cross purposes. Mostly, itís a matter of concern about what our plans are and what should we know to do and the difficulty of using, say, a flipchart if thereís an emergency. We didnít bring our flipchart this time. I guess the last thing I would like to point out is there was some sort of e-mail that went out over Announce about emergency procedures, and I believe it only went out over Announce, so less than 50% of the Faculty would have received it. I would think that anything about an emergency process should go to all faculty Ė thatís my sense of it.
AD: When did that go out?
FA: It happened the week before break, I believe. I can get you a specific date.
AD: If you forward it to me.
FA: I will do that.
FA: Is there a policy for checking out keys?
AD: For individuals to check out keys, they are required to file a key request, have it approved by the building coordinator, and individuals are to return keys, and there is a key return form. What we find in buildings, because having things locked is inconvenient, people take the keys that are issued to them, and they give them to other people. They give them to students Ė they give them to others. The more you lock things, the more likely it is that somebody is going to want more keys and issue them to more people because people donít want to have to unlock their classroom every time they go to it. The classrooms are used continuously, so the person whoís in it now and leaves for the next hour doesnít lock it, and that person didnít unlock it soÖ. Over time, I think weíre going to move increasingly toward using key cards. There will still be keys because you need a mechanical way to override that electronic system. Thereís been an interesting pattern of keys and people willing to issue them to others for convenience and then after the fact not having them returned.
FA: When faculty leave campus, whether they take another job or are terminated, is there a mechanism by which they return their master keys?
AD: Typically, there are not a lot of building master keys issued. Mostly building entrance keys and departmental offices are the ones most issued. Frankly, every occupant of the building has a building entrance key. A person should not rely on the building entrance always being secure because people come in and out of buildings. We do check the building entrances, and we report all of the ones we find unlocked. It is a fairly infrequent event that people are leaving a stone in the door or something like that. A lot of people have access to the entrances to any given building. But when people leave, yes, the supervisor is supposed to get back the keys and HR reports the departure to Buildings and Grounds so they can check after that with the supervisor. People are to return their keys.
FA: Thatís fine. The second is that we teach late at night Ė 6-9:00 p.m. On one occasion in the Education building, I didnít report it, it wasnít a big deal, someone from the street wandered in and was just sort of wandering the halls and came into the classroom, and the students and I were surprised. It was late. If there was something that happened, is there a possibility of cameras being placed at the main entrances that could maybe provide a description?
AD: Itís possible to have cameras. I donít know that the camera would have helped your situation.
FA: If something would have happenedÖ.
AD: Cameras can be beneficial after the fact sometimes. But in terms of prevention, theyíre not nearly as effective. Cameras are a possibility. Weíve been adding cameras to campus. Mostly theyíre in the entrances to our residence halls, which I think are our greatest security issue. I think we can support that because it is a personís residence and sleeping room. Weíve been adding cameras to the blue light phones and cameras to other areas outside, and weíve found that if we cover campus that way, we can cover people who are moving among the buildings. I think weíre going to have to be adding more cameras over time.
FA: I was thinking about the alert system Ė that perhaps the electronic classrooms can be used. All of them have phones. Can that be included in the planning for notification? It seems that there are electronic classrooms in every building and that they could be notified that way.
AD: I think itís possible, if somebody answers them. We have mass e-mail as a possibility, the web site would show if thereís an emergency, and weíre also looking at software that will overcome the pop-up blockers, and if you are on the university connection, it will pop-up and give the emergency message. But there isnít one thing that will go to everyone; thatís why weíre looking a multiple ways of delivering the information. Voice to phones would be one method, and weíre also looking at any computer that is connected to our network would have a pop-up that would indicate an emergency message and directions on where to go for more information. We are looking a text messaging; using our calling tree, using the carillon on the top of Sherburne Hall as a public address system to the outdoors of campus Ė we think weíll have that in place very soon. Weíre looking at the public address systems in individual buildings and investigating whether we can network those systems and be able to use several systems at the same time. We are putting systems into place that will only be used in the case of emergencies so that people donít become jaded.
AD: We donít have classrooms on the calling tree. I think itís a good idea to do that. You asked if the employee signed out the key. They donít. The building supervisor signs off on the key but the employee does not.
AD: Yes they do. On receipt of the keys, the employee is to sign that they have received them. The supervisor signs to authorize the issuance of the keys, and the employee signs when they receive the keys.
AD: Maybe thatís changed since I started.
AD: No. Itís been in place since prior to my coming to the university.
AD: I want to suggest that what Michael said before is a really good idea, and we should look into the ability to make the phones in those smart classrooms ring and receive a message. If you can do that, it would be a good thing to do.
FA: Weíre not doing it now, but I was asking if we could do it.
AD: Letís see if we can do it. I think itís a really good idea.
FA: I know many of us when we are teaching insist that students not have their cell phones on.
FA: Long term, are we looking at a day when we no longer have keys, but key cards like they have in hotels.
AD: Thatís pretty long-term. The need for master keys would be very limited Ė just like the hotel still has a key that bypasses the card. I think thatís on a scale of a thousand dollars a door.
FA: Iíve been sidetracked by updated technology with all this conversation. I did want to add that this discussion together is not intended in any way, at least on my part, to suggest there is not a due diligence by all folk involved in this planning process. We do understand the difficulty of the task and appreciate the ability and time it takes to have these conversations. But it should be noted that we do appreciate the efforts on our behalf.
AD: I think one of the clear recommendations that I hear coming out of this is that somehow, other than at Meet and Confer, we need to sit down with the Faculty and talk about these issues a little more and get more input from the Faculty on the things weíre trying to do.
FA: There are so many efforts underway, and I think Faculty would like to know about these.
AD: Isnít there a session about this planned for Faculty Forum Day?
AD: Yes, there is.
AD: There is a program planned for Faculty Forum Day.
AD: To inform Faculty of some of the steps that have been taken.
AD: Following that, and I donít know how and when we do this, I think we need to set up a time to talk and get faculty input and feedback.
FA: At some point this will end up in some policy formations, Iím imagining, and some training.
FA: There is a campus Safety Committee. There is one faculty member that is on that committee. The single largest threat to the safety and wellbeing of employees in all job settings has become assault. I donít know if our campus safety committee deals with the broad spectrum of safety issues and topics, but that could be a vehicle by which the conversation could continue to broaden. We have become so safe in our work environment that assaults have come to the top of the list.
AD: For good or bad, at the top of our list are work related injuries rather thanÖ.
FA: Iím talking about fatalities. Iím talking about the most severe of workplace injuries, which are fatalities.
AD: One other thing that we are doing in direct response to Virginia Tech, weíre in the process of replacing on pairs of doors where panic hardware is easily chained, of replacing them with hardware that lays flat against the door so they still serve the purpose of the exit, but are not easily chained or cabled and then padlocked which was one of the characteristics of that killing. Thatís something weíve undertaken.
FA: Thank you very much for this conversation. I think it was well worth our time, and we certainly appreciate it. Weíre assuming youíll provide information updates as they become available. I think we can go ahead and take that off the agenda.
1. Student Computer Lab Printers Ė (FA Ė 3/13/2008)
FA: The Senate passed a motion on February 26th: The FA Senate asks that the default printer setting for printers in all labs be set to duplex/double-sided (that is print on both sides) where possible and that we phase in printers with this capability in all labs.
AD: There are multiple labs on campus. There are the open labs supported by student technology fees. There are departmental labs, some of which have printers in them that are supported by student technology fees. Then there are departmental labs that are funded by the departments. Iím assuming you are talking about the labs that student tech fees take care of, not the departmental labs.
FA: Thatís correct. Thereís also a note to that motion that some faculty still like single-sided copies so the double-sided would be the default but students could pick single-sided if they needed that for whatever purpose.
AD: Right now there are about 65 printers that the student technology fee manages. Of those, about 30 of those are duplex. As we replace those, we are replacing them with duplex capable printers except for color printers. Color printers donít work well that way so non-color printers are being replaced that way. Iím happy to take your recommendation back to the student technology fee committee Ė particularly if thatís what the Faculty are saying. I think that will have some leverage. They were the ones that established what the default would be so Iíd have to take the recommendation to them. We are planning to replace the other printers as they come up. Some of what you can help us with is when we go to your department, we do have departmental labs that are coming on-line with the technology fee, weíve been giving them options of what printer to select Ė one of which is duplex and one is not. Duplex printers cost a little more. We can insist that we will only allow duplex printing, but thatís going to be a hit on your original budget. Thatís maybe more detail than you wanted.
FA: Patty has the actual motion. The actual motion says all labs, but it also says ďasks.Ē
AD: We donít control all labs. Some of them are solely within the purview of the department. It would be at your departmental discretion and the lab that you control if you want to move those printers from non-duplexing to duplexing.
FA: The department labsÖ.(could not hear the speaker)
AD: The department labs that have contracted with tech fee are like any other labs. In the departmental labs that donít negotiate with us, you would have to tell me what you do. Maybe you provide that printer for free. Maybe you donít allow student printing at all. I donít know how youíreÖ
FA: Thank you.
FA: One more question. Iím curious if there are any green campus initiatives involving IT. I know they are doing some things at St. Johnís and St. Benís, and Iím wondering if the President has any initiatives in mind Ė some incentives for students.
AD: Some things like charging less on printing for using both sides. We just gave Steve a list of the things weíre doing with the technology green thing, and you are compiling a whole list for the campus, and would know better that I would.
AD: I havenít finished the entire list, but they had an item that talks about buying equipment that is more energy efficient. That is the one thing to do. Increasingly, the energy used for computing is very great. It helps our heating cost, but kills our air conditioning cost.
AD: We do spend a little more up front to get more energy efficient machines Ė the ones we buy in bulk. The ones you buy individually for your areas might have a different energy rating.
AD: Machines are also moved down the hierarchy of use. There is a replacement cycle, but the cycle involves retiring the machines to less intense applications.
AD: We recycle.
FA: Is that what we strive for?
FA: To retire to a less intense setting?
AD: Yes Ė well some do.
FA: Kristi, if you could let us know (could not transcribe the rest of this because several people were talking at the same time)
AD: Yes, I would be happy to bring it to them and let you know what they say.
FA: Thank you. We will take this item off the agenda.
2. Transfer Curriculum Ė (AD Ė 3/13/2008)
AD: This is informational. The guidelines for the transfer curriculum exclude certain departmental designations whose courses are not included in the transfer curriculum. For example, health/phys ed classes are not permitted to meet Gen Ed requirements in the transfer curriculum solely by virtue of the fact that theyíre designated as health or phys ed. Computer Science, with the exception of the math programming course cannot be counted in the† Gen Ed transfer curriculum, business courses cannot be included in the transfer curriculum. As a member of the Transfer Oversight Committee, I know of some motions introduced by a couple of the two-year institutions. One of which is to remove the health/phys ed prohibition from those guidelines so that if a course offered by one of those departments meets the learning outcomes and the goals of that particular category in† Gen Ed, it would be permissible for that departmental name to be attached to the course and still count. There is another motion in that committee to delete the paragraph that talks about the entire subject. That would allow any departmental course, if it meets the† Gen Ed learning outcomes and first year world languages, to meet† Gen Ed requirements. I wanted to bring this to your attention. There is one SCSU faculty member on this committee who was not present at the last meeting, so I thought you need to know that and if you need to formulate an opinion on this and let me know what that is, I can communicate it at one of these meetings.
FA: Are there any questions or responses?
FA: There is a bill thatís been introduced, and I believe I heard that it died, for common course numbering.
FA: It didnít die.
AD: It has not died. It is still an idea that is being pursued quite vigorously by students at two-year institutions.
FA: In fact, we received an e-mail right before pre-Meet and Confer and didnít have the ability to forward yet that listed representatives who have voted for and against that bill. It still is alive.
AD: The odd thing about that particular bill is that it seems to apply primarily to courses that are called core curriculum courses, which would be† Gen Ed courses where weíre already transferring those courses. The students seem to think that itís going to facilitate transfer and make it easier for them is the reason theyíre pushing for it Ė not university students, two-year college students.
FA:† Okay, weíll provide that information
AD: Mitch, do you know off-hand how many courses we have?
FA: Isnít system-wide the number something line 45-55,000?
AD: I was going to say closer to 90,000.
AD: Thereís really only 3,000 courses Ė theyíre numbered different at all the different places. (laughter)
FA: And of course we have no specific numbers, and students donít realize that this would be a costly procedure to go ahead with that. So we can take this item off?
3. Vista Upgrade Ė (AD Ė 3/13/2008)
AD: I have a handout on this. Some of you that have been tracking this discussion over the course of the year that we had originally looked at moving to Vista this May after school ended. Weíve been doing lots of testing and allowing people to try the product. We have been asking people who have purchased the program through the Computer Store and talking to other campuses about this. Based on this, the technical support people have made a recommendation that we do not do a full-scale roll-out in May as we had originally planned. This document explains their recommendation. They would like to make a softer shift, and they talk about the people theyíve been discussing this with and their feedback. This is their proposal. This did go to Academic Affairs Council on Tuesday, and the deans did concur with the recommendations. We would very much like the Faculty response as to whether you think this a good idea or not. We are, of course, getting near the time when we have to make a decision if we are going in May or not. We would welcome your feedback on this.
FA: So you are recommending a pilot?
AD: Technically, we have been piloting right now. This would involve continued testing. Not all software is compatible with Vista. Our recommendation is to continue trying this until results are in. Some new machines are coming in with Vista on them, and some of you are purchasing machines with Vista, so itís not like weíre going to stop this from happening, but they werenít prepared to implement the changeover in May.
AD: So instead of a pilot, we can call it a limited implementation.
FA: Where is the pressure coming from to change over? Is it external Ė meaning the computer companies are doing this, or is it internal Ė itís a new idea and we want to do this? So my question is, who is advocating for the change, and why do we have to change over? Iím feeling a little nervous because I donít want anyone messing with my computer.
AD: As you know, technology doesnít stay stagnant.
FA: I do. (laughter)
AD: To keep up with new standards and software, new security measures Ė we need to keep moving forward with software products. This one has some difficulties with it right now. Pressure is coming from all directions. Certainly the company would love us to do this. Interactions with other entities Ė Mankato has already made the shift, for example. Our students are coming in with this software on their personal computers, so it will be a compatibility issue at some point. Itís hard for me to say who; thereís no one entity.
FA: I understand and I think youíve answered my question.
FA: In terms of electronic classrooms, are they Miller Center classrooms or campus-wide?
AD: I think we would talk to people, and they would be classrooms where there wouldnít be software problems.
FA: Okay. I was curious about that. Is there conversation about how the rest of the transition might be handled? Do we do this and then stop and watch, or is there a plan that continues the transition, or are we stuck all the way to a year from May?
AD: Yes. Weíd probably be stuck for a year. So you guys remember our last discussion, how we try not to change products during the academic year. We try very hard not to do that. The best time to move is May. It gives us all summer to work a lot of bugs out. We have done some things over the semester break, so we have done that. Part of big issue when we started talking about this, maybe more than a year ago, was that we were targeting it for May, and it was making people nervous because it seemed too early Ė even when we first started talking about it. If we could do it in December, people would feel better about it. Thatís the conversation weíre having now. We need to pull the trigger or not right now. We do need to make the May decision, and then we can be thoughtful further on.
FA: Do we have any sense of the difference to us as a university and organization in terms of costs? If we wait a year, it puts just that more hardware at risk for not being compatible. There are some nuances to this in terms of those things.
AD: I canít remember, did they put on there how many machines currently arenít compatible?
AD: Yes, I think itís something like 500.
AD: We know this is the case and will be replacing some machines with the Office of the Chancellor money, and some will happen in the departments naturally. That issue is going to be minimized. We also are hoping that there will be something better, but probably not.
FA: (Others were talking and the speakerís question could not be heard for transcription)
AD: That really depends on departmental investments.
FA: It seems that waiting is not cost effective.
AD: Either way, weíre going to incur some costs Ė whether actual dollar costs or compatibilityÖ
FA: Or the human cost in training.
AD: This is really why they did the pros and cons. We would really welcome your feedback.
FA: I was reading yesterday that Vista is not performing as expected, and a lot of companies are having trouble with it. Itís a lot slower and not robust enough. I donít want to change yet unless Iím sure itís going to work.
FA: I have a couple of questions myself.
AD: By and large, we rarely go and make a change unless there is a security risk. Very seldom do we force changes. We try not to do that. Individuals usually have the chance to opt out.
FA: I actually have a couple of questions. Iíve heard that one of the programs itís not compatible with is SPSS. Is that true?
AD: Iíve heard that too.
FA: Does it like D2L?
AD: I believe there are some problems with D2L as well. Itís not insurmountable, but itís more difficult Ė thatís my understanding.
FA: What kinds of things have you heard that Mankato has experienced as a result of their shift?
AD: My understanding is that they are pleased with all the labs except for labs using a certain software products because they found out they were not compatible. Thatís what comes to mind. I can get you the longer list if you want. The technical folks know more of the details. They had some software compatibility issues.
FA: What we can do is take this to Senate and get a response for you. I appreciate this information.
AD: Are there any specific questions youíd like me to get more information on right now? I can make a quick list.
FA: Windows 2007. Whatís your assessment of that conversion?
AD: You tell me.
FA: Well, itís been problematic.
AD: Do you mean Office 2007?
AD: The one we just did?
AD: We know that some folks are still having some trouble from at home. We know folks on Mac OS Version 9 are having trouble. Are other people having trouble?
FA: The other problem is that it appears that some offices are putting all their documents in the new format so sometimes you canít open the documents.
AD: Then weíre talking the earlier conversion.
FA: When you send documents to colleagues off campus, they canít access those documents because they are still using the old version so there are a lot of problems.
AD: Right. If youíre having trouble with that, what weíre asking everybody to do, if you havenít done this, is to go in and select the old document format. Youíre right, if youíre not doing that, itís going to cause the problems youíre talking about. Itís a really simple thing to do. If you need assistance, call the help desk.
FA: Itís a big problem.
AD: I agree. It is a problem
FA: I sent a document to a colleague in Munich and he could not open it.
FA: This actually has lots of classroom applications in terms of problems. The last upgrade that we did happened when I was teaching a class where students were doing group work. There was a lot of difficulty communicating among the students who were using the different systems and especially with things like PowerPoint Ė you couldnít open the PowerPoints prepared in some of the classrooms and other setups. If you saved them as older documents, you lost a lot of the formatting that youíd done. So in terms of having heads-up for teaching, weíre going to need to know what kinds of glitches weíre going to need to plan for when weíre having document sharing happening with group activity.
AD: Give me some suggestions right now on ways to get this information. We did a big tip sheet that we sent out to folks several months ago. Should we get that out again and resend it to people? There were lots of tips on ways to ease some of this pain. I would welcome your suggestions.
FA: That may be something that could be done again. In part, some of the problem is that not everybody is technologically versed in some of the notions. To go in and change a preference in the word processing package, for some people, is quite frankly, too scary for them to consider doing. In some cases, the downloads donít work because some folks donít have the same permissions, even on their office machines. So even if they download something, if they try to install it, the machine wonít let them. I have not experienced that, but itís been reported to me and I donít have names at this point that I remember. I do know that Iíve occasionally run into machines where permissions werenít granted. So even to get a media player to show something, to review and show in class, or to put the translator program on, apparently the permissions are not the same for every machine across the various colleges. So there may be some continuity or uniformity in those permissions that would be helpful. I chose to download the converter and thatís working fine for me. I apparently have permissions to add things to my machine that arenít universal.
AD: Iíll have someone call you, and you can tell them more specifically what youíre hearing.
FA: I know that some people tried to download the converter and were asked for an administrator password.
AD: Is this happening in one department or college or is this happening campus wide?
FA: Itís happening all over.
FA: It happened to me too.
FA: Office 2008 for the Mac is available. Do you have any idea when itís going to be installed on the Macs on campus?
AD: I donít. We have a big time schedule that shows all the different upgrades and when we are expecting to go. I can try to get that information for you.
FA: The Computer Store is selling it,so Iím assuming itís available. I donít know if that means departments have to buy it or if we have a site license. That would take care of the Mac user problems.
AD: Iíll check on that and get back to you.
FA: Weíre likely to have lots of questions and concerns to bring back to you after we take this to Senate. Weíll leave this item on the agenda for next time.
AD: If you have your questions in writing, that will help.
AD: Would it make sense that once thatís done to go ahead and get that to her rather than just bringing it to Meet and Confer, so that perhaps Kristi can provide answers to some of your questions or report the progress?
FA: Absolutely. And weíre assuming, of course, that weíre going to have something formulated at Tuesdayís Senate. We can't make that assumption.
AD: There may be a whole list of questions, but when youíve put them together you can forward them to Kristi.
FA: We can certainly do that.
AD: Thank you.
Progress Reports on Long-term Concerns
1. COE Climate Task Force (Separated from Task Force on Diversity at the 8/30/2007 Meet and Confer) Ė (FA Ė 9/22/2005)
FA: Is there anything new to report from the Climate Taskforce?
AD: Yes there is. The COE Climate Task Force issued an RFP. They received proposals in response to the RFP. Kate and I met with the two co-chairs of the Climate Taskforce to discuss the RFP and clarify certain information that was included in it and request specific information from the folks who submitted the RFP so we can then move on to write up a contract with the consultant on how to get this process moving forward. So weíre waiting for certain clarifications, and then weíll put it in the context of a professional contract and be able to issue that and begin the process of having that group move forward with the consultant.
FA: You mentioned a consultant. You also mentioned some RFPs. Are we looking at multiple groups?
AD: No. There were several proposals that were received in response to the RFP. They selected the one that they preferred.
AD: Thatís the one that weíre working with.
FA: Okay. So you have requests for additional information that you need from that consultant before you can make any kind of decision?
AD: There were some odd things in the way that the proposal was written. For example, in one area it said: economy version/full version and gave two different prices, then at the end, gave a single total. It was hard to tell if the single total included the economy model or the more advanced model. We wanted some clarification on that. The actual total for the proposal was different than if you added up each of the components. We need some clarification on that. The proposal itself, apart from the cost components, was a nice proposal.
FA: Okay. Do you have any idea of when you will be getting the information you requested?
AD: We communicated with the co-chairs. They will be contacting the consultant and asking them to get back to us as quickly as possible with the information, after which, we are planning to move forward. We canít start the contract writing process until we have some of those details ironed out.
AD: I would like to suggest that you go ahead and get a vendor number if you have not already done this. Itís another part of the process.
FA: Is it likely that if the questions are answered in a way thatís reasonable, that this group might start its work before the end of the semester?
AD: Iím not sure how quickly theyíre prepared to start work. I would have to check with the co-chairs on that.
FA: Any questions or observations? Iím assuming that weíll get information as soon as you receive it.
FA: Weíll keep this on the progress reports.
2. Intellectual Property and Releases from PR Ė (FA Ė 8/30/2007)
FA: Do we have any new information on that? I think weíre kind of in a wait mode on both ends.
FA: Iím waiting for a response from Pat Arsenault that puts into writing her oral response to those two documents. I can certainly bring that when it comes. I also had thought that the one at least, was going to be revised ó the one that had to do with PR releases for media images. Iím just wondering if we have any revisions of those documents coming from your end.
AD: I need to check with Nancy on that. Sheís not here today. Weíll have to get in touch with her and follow-up.
FA: Okay. Iíll let you know if we have information in time for the next Meet and Confer on this. Iím assuming it will be the same from your end.
3. Academic Plan Ė (AD Ė 10/18/2007)
AD: I want to thank and congratulate all of the academic departments of the university. All of the department plans have been submitted. (applause)
AD: 100% as far as I know.
AD: Thatís terrific. The deans are looking at those trying to identify themes that run across various plans Ė ideas having to do with interdisciplinary collaborations in particular Ė some other thematic elements. The work groups are continuing, and progress reports have been submitted. The final version of those should be available shortly. Weíre looking forward to seeing those and putting together the work of all the department plans and workgroup plans and having a retreat to develop a draft of the plan that will then be available for discussion and distribution campus-wide. I think the progress weíve been making is very good. The responses have been excellent. A lot of people have worked on the various pieces and have taken seriously the charges that were provided to them, and weíre getting good responses Ė at least all of the ones that Iíve read so far
AD: I would just say that those plans where the vision is not fully developed, I would expect that we would be going back and working to develop them. In talking with the deans and from some of the plans Iíve seen, there are variations in the departments. Some departments have a very focused plan for where they are going, and I would say thatís the majority of the departments. There are some departments where it appears that they have listed every individual faculty membersí interests or hopes, but not resolved within their departments some of those priorities. There will be work to be done. The plans reflect good work and are responsive. The taskforces, likewise, have done some really excellent work. Iím very pleased with what Iíve seen. Iím not laboring under the miscomprehension that weíre done and that we have the final product.
FA: I would like to comment on the role of the deans. One, the review of the departmental plans, and two, the deansí responsibility or what the deans are supposed to do with the information.
AD: Weíve asked the Strategic Planning Committee to advise the Presidentís Council on the evaluation process. So Iím looking for guidance from Strategic Planning. Also, the Deans have been asked to pull together a comprehensive report for the colleges that addresses priorities and overall mission, so as we review all the work thatís been done, youíve got the deansí evaluation of all the individual plans and the Strategic Planning Committeeís recommendations for process to the Presidentís Council. We have a two day retreat on the 24th and 25th of March where we will review the process and begin to formulate some sense of direction and principles. I think then following that there will be a process of sharing summary reviews and priorities and visions and ongoing conversation about the emerging themes and directions that will eventually be boiled down into an action plan.
FA: In one college, in one case, the dean has introduced material into a departmental plan, or taken the opportunity to introduce a proposal that did not come from the department into the department and college plan.
AD: I would hope, and I will ask the Provost to review the process, that if the dean thinks that the department has missed an opportunity, or is headed off in a direction that is not compatible with the mission of the university or our commitments, that the departmentís thinking and the deanís thinking would be there independently so we could look at that, and that it wouldnít be the case of a dean editing a departmentís plan so that it appeared that the department had made a recommendation. I would be very surprised if a dean did that. I would not be surprised if a dean said that a department has come forward with this thinking, and I believe that it should have included or that the direction of focus might be altered. I think thatís the kind of conversation about purpose, direction and focus that we need to have. It needs to be in the open and clearly visible. Again, I go back to the Strategic Planning Committee to help us stay honest in this process.
FA: If itís done without consultation with the departmentÖ
AD: Iím not sure if we should be talking about this here at Meet and Confer. You donít seem to want to come forward with the name of the department. If you can contact me and let me knowÖ
FA: The point is, if the process is supposed to be coming from various sources, and if some administrator is using this as an opportunity to do something other than what has come forth from the process, then Iím just raising this as a possible alarm and concern.
AD: Again, if the departments come forward with a piece of work that the dean doesnít feel has been fully formed, I would expect to hear that evaluation from the dean. I would expect that that feedback would go back to the department, and they would engage in further discussion. It is not uncommon, and I know you have direct evidence of this, where a faculty member will say we have to do this and we have to have these resources, and I ask that faculty member if this item has been included in the departmentís academic plan, the answer Iíve gotten in some cases is ďabsolutelyĒ weíve got it in there; in other cases the answer is ďNo, itís not in the plan.Ē So I have that sort of thing happening to me where a faculty member is catching me in the hall and telling me that I should include one thing or another in the plan. I expect a lot of conversation to go back and forth before we come to agreement on direction.
FA: Itís my understanding, from being at the Steering Committee, and Michael and Judy are also there, that the departmental plans are going two places: one to Lisa Fossí office and other to the specific dean. And that the department plans are being posted Ė available and reviewable by everyone on campus. So if what you say is happening, it would be very easy to determine the difference between the plan that went to Lisa Fossí office and the one that emerges from the deansí offices.
AD: I think youíre talking about an influence on the plans before they were completed by the departments.
FA: Iím talking about the deans, in submitting their college-wide plan, introducing material that was not part of any departmental plan.
FA: What should happen then, it seems to me, and it feeds right into what the President was saying, is that it should provide an opportunity for consultation between the department and the dean and shouldnít just stop there. It should be an opportunity for conversation, not a kind of fait accompli.
FA: I have no problem with the deans identifying themes or patterns that may be apparent, but the lack of consultation at arriving at that through other means other than consultation with the departments is problematic.
FA: I have looked at some of the COSE plans. For example, Chemistry seems to have done a fine job. I hope the deans wonít influence unduly. If they want to change something, perhaps they will consult with the departments. I hope that the Academic Plan will be connected to strategy and structure properly. I hope our President and Provost will consider how the budgets will be aligned.
AD: I hear the warning, and itís that kind of process oversight that I have asked the Strategic Planning Committee to provide.
FA: I want people to know that the steering committee made a concerted effort to communicate expectations of what would happen vis-a-vis the department plans to the deans to the faculty senators Ė a copy of correspondence that outlines what is expected next, went to the deans and to the faculty senators with instructions that say what is supposed to be occurring. What I hear the President saying is that we have a process by which weíre going to take a look at that through the Strategic Planning Committee as this moves forward. What I find particularly interesting is that we really are giving a great deal attention to doing this right, and perhaps that bodes well for linking to the budget because we have such a huge amount of money, right, to implement this Academic Action Plan - $500,000.
AD: To take the first stepÖ
FA: To take the first step.
AD: Itís a trivial amount of money to take a first step.
FA: But it is hopeful that people are paying as much serious attention to this independent of the trivial amount of money. (laughter)
AD: Vice President Ludwig has trouble with my characterization of the amount. (more laughter) You certainly must agree that in comparison to the sum of all the expectations, itís a small amount of money.
AD: From my point of view, itís a huge increase compared to what we used to do. (continued laughter)
4. Diversity Plan Ė (AD Ė 11/01/2007)
FA: President Potter, are you ready to talk about the Diversity Plan?
AD: No. I need to talk to a bunch of people to finish what needs to be done. By the next Meet and Confer, I will have had these conversations and will be ready to report.
5. Report on Budget Ė (AD Ė 10/18/2007)
FA: I make a motion that the next time we have Meet and Confer, Progress Reports come first and in reverse order so that Steve doesnít have to talk so fast.
AD: That would be appreciated. We had a Town Hall Meeting about the budget today. I think that was good. Weíre continuing to solicit comments. There are three elements. Generally, weíre in pretty good shape. Weíve got some issues, and weíre managing through them. Thereís a lot of uncertainty about this reallocation, but I think weíre poised, and I think the Governorís representation of it is a worst case scenario, and we think there are a lot of things that will mitigate that and will help us. Another thing thatís raising its head thatís an outside influence and a concern for us is the ability of students to finance their education. We just learned this afternoon that TCF, which is, I think, the fourth largest student loan provider in Minnesota and 44th largest in the country, is leaving the business April 1st. Other people are talking about leaving the business too. So this credit crunch can come back to lots of students Ė students with financial need and students who may just borrow money to finance their education. That might influence credit taking behavior Ė more work, less credits, a lot of things. If you hear about that, thatís important to our students and important to us. Thank goodness, even though weíre expensive according to a survey, maybe this will actually send students to us who might have been considering private institutions. I donít know what the ramifications will be, but itís a serious issue. Those are the highlights for today.
FA: Actually, what I was going to suggest is that the Budget Advisory Group, after the third quarter report of expenditures and revenue, which puts us very close to knowing where weíre at, perhaps weíll have some surprises that people have been very frugal with their expenditures, and there could be some happy news there.
AD: I think there will be some additional carryforward because of expenditures that we havenít made on searches or positions that have been vacant or searches that failed and arenít tenure track and were instead adjunct. Iím calm.
6. Article 22 Task Force Ė (FA Ė 2/01/2007)
FA: The Article 22 group has been meeting.
AD: Yes. Do you want to give a quick report?
FA: Weíre making great progress. Weíve got side-by-side time frames for the Article 22 and 25 processes Ė common dates Ė flexible dates based on changes in calendar that occur naturally on the 365 day calendar. We also have a draft document for the PDP and PDR. Weíre going to work every Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. until we get it done. Right?
FA: So weíre expecting something by the end of this semester?
FA: Weíre closer than that.
Adjourned 5:00 p.m.