Meet and Confer Notes
April 17, 2008
Administration:† President Potter, Provost Spitzer, Dennis Nunes, Larry Chambers, Kristi Tornquist, Steve Ludwig, Mitchell Rubinstein, Avelino Mills-Novoa, Michael Gilbert, Wanda Overland, Nancy Jessee, Rex Veeder
Faculty:† Judy Kilborn, John Palmer, Jo Ann Gasparino, Bill Langen, Michael Connaughton, Bill Hudson, Frances Kayona, David Warne, Balsy Kasi, Michael Tripp
Note Taker: Patty Dyslin
Minutes:†††††††† March 13, 2008 Ė approved Ė subject to final editing
††††††††††††††††††††††† April 3, 2008 Ė approved Ė subject to final editing
Follow-up to March 13:
FA:† In reading the minutes, we came to a point where we agreed on action in two areas, but we didnít agree on who was going to be lead to have the action actually completed.† To paraphrase the presidential candidate for the IFO, ďnobodyĒ was going to do it.† We know that we canít trust ďnobody.Ē† I asked Judy and Judy asked the Provost if we could leave here knowing who was going to be lead on addressing and resolving the transfer student issues that we talked about when Sue Byerly was hereÖ
AD:† Sue Bayerl.
FA:† Yes, Sue Bayerl, Iím sorry.
AD:† Sue Byerly is a nobody.† (laughter)
FA:† So youíre saying that sheís the lead personÖ
AD:† I think Sue Bayerl and Mitch Rubinstein.
FA:† The other was the security discussions that weíve had.† The minutes noted that there would be a need for an ongoing interaction and dialogue with faculty with regard to the kinds of security issues we talked about.† Once again there wasnít someone who was identified that would facilitate the conversation.
AD:† Steve Ludwig and Loren Boone.
FA:† Thank you.
AD:† Loren works with that group.† He chairs the group that works with that.
FA:† So Steve Ludwig and Loren BooneÖ
FA:† We also wanted to add an item at the top of the agenda.† The Provost wanted to make an announcement.
AD:† I just wanted to report to the Faculty that we had our NCATE and Board of Teaching Review, and the exit interview was yesterday.† It was a terrifically positive review.† We were told by the NCATE chair that our educational programs should serve as aspirational for other institutions across the country.† I wanted to say thank you to those in the College of Education and those in colleges who have education programs for the great work they do.†
FA:† I think we should have some applause for that.† (applause)
1a.† E-mail as Official Communication, Redux† (AD Ė 3/13/2008)
FA:† I understand that weíre not ready to address that one.
1b.† Request for Faculty Co-Chair for Enrollment Management (FA Ė 12/13/2007)
FA:† Last time you told us we could have a faculty co-chair.
FA:† And we asked if we can have reassigned time for that faculty co-chair.
AD:† Letís try a 1-course reassignment for the first year and see how that works.
FA:† One course or 1 credit?
AD:† One course Ė 3 credits Ė then come back and revisit that and see if that needs to be adjusted in either direction.
FA:† That seems a reasonable proposal. †Iím not seeing any objections to that, so we agree to that.
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:† Last time we had gotten a URL for the web site, and Iíve distributed that to senators and asked them to e-mail their responses by the 21st.† I simply want to remind folks that people are busy finishing their teaching and grading and so on, so it will probably be less Ė less Ė I donít knowÖ they will have less time to do that now than they might have had earlier, but weíll try to get you as much response as we can on that.† I donít know if there are any other items on that.
FA:† Are we taking that off?
AD:† Okay.† You can take it off.
3. Grants Ė Overhead and Grants During Sabbaticals (FA Ė 02/28/2008)
FA:† Weíve had several conversations about this, and I believe, Steve, you were going to bring us back some information aboutÖ
AD:† Yes.† I donít have the numbers to do the analysis. †Iím waiting until the contract gets entered so that I have the salaries and everything to use for the analysis of the rate.† I really donít think Iíll have that until next fall.† I will want to go back and look at it and review the rate.
FA:† Should we pull this off at this point with the idea that first thing next fall weíll put it on again?
FA:† And you should have some information for us then?
4. Vista Upgrade (AD Ė 3/13/2008)
FA:† You had asked us if we were willing to go along with the recommendation about doing a slow transfer over to Vista, and Senate thought that was a really good idea to go slowly on that.† Weíre saying that your recommendation is fine.
AD:† Thank you.† I appreciate it.
5. Request for six faculty (one from each college) to serve on the search committee (national search) for the AVP for Faculty Relations (AD Ė 4/3/2008)
FA:† If you recall last time, we were talking about this as we were going out the door.† It was very fast and very frenetic.† We really didnít have time to talk very much, so do you want to start this?
AD:† As some of you may know, the current AVP for Faculty Relations is about to sit down (laughter) and then shortly leave for another position, so we are need of recruiting somebody to occupy that position.† I have requested six faculty, one from each of the colleges, to serve on the search committee to fill that position.
FA:† We did bring this to Senate.† Senate said we should bring a bunch of questions here, and Iím asking Fred to start the conversation.
FA:† Normally in a Meet and Confer, I have a tendency not to speak a lot, but the issues are important to me.† The nature of this one is particularly important, and I said I would be happy to start it out ,and then in a couple minutes Iíll defer to John Ė he has some additional perspectives.† Obviously, anything that has to do with faculty relations will be important to the faculty.† I remember, it wasnít that many years ago,when in a Meet and Confer the Faculty Association president at that time was Theresia Fischer.† She said and had said this in other venues, that one of the most important responsibilities of the Faculty Association and thus, the Faculty, was to ensure that due process was done in our faculty lives.† So we had no interest in keeping faculty who werenít performing anymore than administration.† Rex has had this position for a while.† Iíve spoken with Rex from time to time, and my sense was that he was a mediator of sorts.† That he was going back and forth between portions of our constituency, and I often wondered what kind of assistance was he getting on both sides.† So the question that we have Ė it seems to me that all too often both the administration side and the faculty side, when we deal with each other, weíre forced into reactive modes.† We donít get to spend as much time proactively.† I remember less than a year ago talking with Michael that I certainly had a commitment that we ought to be in a win-win situation.† I think we have an opportunity here to be in a really fine, win-win situation.† From the faculty perspective, weíre not exactly sure that the job that collectively we want and the job description match up.† So Iím thinking that it really would be nice if we had an opportunity to work with the administration to shape this job description.† We are supportive of anything, anybody who's willing to work to help us do a better job as faculty vis-ŗ-vis faculty relations.† Weíre not sure weíre on that track with this item.† Just this item specifically.† I wanted to make that introduction.† John has a couple of perspectives that we talked about in our pre-meet and confer meeting that I had not thought about before, but they are in harmony with my thinking of a win-win environment.
FA:† I asked my colleagues at our pre-meet and confer if there was any objection to going forward to fill a vacancy that is soon to be created.† There was no objection.† We see that there is a need for work to be done in the Provostís office that is directly related to faculty relations.† We didnít want there to be any confusion about the desire to fill that vacancy as a result of our concern with the configuration of the position that weíve been given.† Just as a small example of perhaps the need to take a fresh look at the document.† On page 3 under the first responsibility for this position, there is an obsolete acronym Ė one that we havenít used around here for a very long time.† We donít have RPT committees, we have EPT committees now.† I did say to my colleagues that maybe this was nit-picking, but it does reflect, perhaps, that we ought to take a close look at this.† On a less serious note, I see on page 2, item B, that there is no requirement for lifting and carrying of equipment and materials (laughter).† Iíve been in Rexís office.† I donít know how those materials come and go from that office, but I think we need to have truth in advertising.
AD:† We have a GMW move all that stuff.
FA:† Now back to the seriousÖ† Thereís 100% of a personís time broken out across seven different tasks.† Weíve been engaged in some discussion about how we might improve the handling of grievances on this campus.† I said to my colleagues when I looked at this job description, I donít see anything referring to grievances except, perhaps, where it says ďperform other duties as assigned.Ē† I do think we need to take a look at perhaps some conflicts that naturally occur between being an advocate for Faculty and students who are in very difficult positions and then in turn being an investigator and a fact-finder on matters historically that have fallen to the position of interpretation of the contract or the code of conduct.† What we believe is that we need to take a fresh look at what we need in this position.† We need to do that, we recognize, quickly, so that we can go forward to be sure that we have the talents and resources to do the things that need to be done in the Provostís office.
AD:† Why donít I ask that you give me all of the suggestions that youíve developed, and Larry and I will sit down and work together to incorporate the ones that work for us.† Iíd certainly like to see the suggestions that you have.
FA:† We were talking about how this seems to be kind of an aggregate job description.† It was really more what Rex has ended up doing in this position rather than what we might want to think of a person doing as a kind of coherent position that fits into the administrative structure.† For example, and weíre not objecting to this item in the description, but I think the fact that he supervises the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education kind of accrued over time by things being moved under his jurisdiction.† The question might be at this point, if weíre pulling in a new person, what do we really want this person to do Ė not what does this person have laid on his plate?
FA:† I think the one thing thatís very important to us is what kind of authority does this individual have.† In fact, that may be one of the key ingredients of this.† I remember watching Rex, several times Iíve gone to him and commented, he was walking across the campus slow and beat down.† Probably both sides were beating him, and I have wondered for a long time; what kind of authority does this position Ė this person Ė have? †It would be nice if we address that.† If we can give you ideas, if they could come back here, and we could shape them.† I think whichever side of the fence the cleaver comes down, whether itís the faculty or the administration, I believe that we are supportive that that position has real authority Ė that it represents the mind and the thinking of the Provostís office, which is an authority on campus, and we respect that and want to work within that.† But we want it to be real.
AD:† May I make a comment? †As I come to know the system and the agreement and our culture, itís my view on this conversation that itís worth having this conversation at Meet and Confer and itís worth thinking about the way this role works with the Faculty.† I donít see this as properly the subject of Meet and Confer, and so I just want to note that participating in the conversation is perhaps not extraordinary, but itís a real goodwill gesture on our part to work together because it really isnít within the definition.
FA:† We certainly appreciate that and acknowledge that.
FA:† It seems to me that since weíre interested in having this position filled, and since youíve asked us for six members, that we would go forward and get those six members to you as quickly as possible.† As thatís happening, have a conversation that begins to flesh out what I think are †our needs and that that can be through the informal process of collaboration rather than formal consultation.† And when those two things come together and we have the search committee, the notice of vacancy will, in fact, reflect the best thinking of our campus.† Then we will end up, hopefully, attracting the best candidates yielding the candidate that weíre going to hire to come here.† That would be my advice, Judy; that we move forward with the understanding that the Provost is open to input.
AD:† I certainly want to hear what you have to say and will review any recommendations that you have to make Ė absolutely.
FA:† One of the main questions that came out of Senate was, and it would be useful to hear your thoughts on this.† We started talking about this, but we had such a brief amount of time last time.† One of the key questions is:† why have a national search Ė why have an external search?† What are the reasons for that?† It would be useful if we could explain that to Senate also.
AD:† One of the ideas underlying that in the case of this particular appointment was that we wanted to make all of the positions on campus available to the best qualified individuals.† By making it a national search, we would open up the opportunity to people who may have had experience and possess the abilities that are necessary for this position. Internal candidates can also apply and compete for this position, but would establish themselves into the position as a consequence of a broader search.† That is one of the things that might give more authority to the position.
AD:† I think the other thing was when I got here, there were a large number of interim appointments and some distrust of the process of filling interim appointments.† At that point, Rex was interim.† So we went through all of the interim appointments. Within the administration we negotiated how we would take steps to expeditiously fill the interim appointments in a transparent and open fashion.† Weíre making good progress, Larry, right?
AD:† Yes.† Weíre making progress.† We still need to make more, but we are making progress.
AD:† So weíre doing open searches and suggesting job descriptions are holding up some of them. With respect to this particular appointment, Iíll let Larry speak for himself.† Itís my understanding of Larryís advice as Director of Human Resources that I think Michael correctly stated.† We felt some urgency and argued back that we would like to make an internal appointment and see this as faculty development position in Rexís case.† Iím being very candid with you and perhaps not in the spirit youíre used to.† Weíre trying to balance the pluses and minuses.† There are those among the administration who feel that the Associate Provost roles should be faculty development roles that allow us to provide leadership development opportunities for people within the faculty.† The other thinking is that we need the best talent here because it is a critical position, and we need to make sure that we have the best experience and skill level in this position.† And given the critical things that the persons in these positions do, whether itís curriculum and working with the faculty in that way, or faculty development and conflict resolution that Rex does.† We need to make sure that we have the best available talent.† To confine ourselves to just an internal search doesnít give us that opportunity.† We have issues with diversity in terms of wanting to attract a diverse pool, and that argues for a more open search.† Thereís one other thing.† To use a critical position for skill development when you need somebody who has the skills and can do the job may be wrong-headed.† On the one side, you get the advantage of knowing the culture and having relationships already, which is a plus.† On the other hand, if youíre selecting somebody whoís up and coming, and youíve got them doing these critical leadership roles, that may not be the best for the university.† So if you do a national search, you donít close down the option for leadership development, you donít close down the opportunity for somebody from inside, but you increase the probability that youíll be able to make the right match for the demands of the position.† We wrestled hard with these pros and cons and ups and downs among us and made the commitment in the appointment of Rex that when Rexís term was up, or should he depart before his term was up, that we would do a national search.† That is as honest as I can be about our conversation.† Larry, does that reflect the character of our conversation?
AD:† Yes, thatís exactly it.
AD:† We just didnít think his professional development would advance so quickly.† (laughter)
AD:† The other part of it too is exactly what President Potter is saying:† when you have national competition, people are going to apply from the inside, and weíll see how they stack-up against people from the outside.† It is a critical position, and we need someone who will be able to hit the ground running.† Given the fact that we did have a large number, as you know, of interim appointments that lasted from 1 year to 5 or 6 years, even within our MnSCU system, this was unusual.† From an HR directorís perspective, when we talk about equal employment opportunity and diversity and equal opportunity for people to apply for jobs, when someone is in a job 5 or 6 or 7 years, they get the experience, and other people look around and say ďlook, I donít have that opportunity.Ē† This is a way of providing a level playing field for everybody.† External and internal people will be able to apply.
FA:† I was thinking of a possible scenario of the best of both worlds is that you do your external search and letís say you hire someone from outside.† Maybe there could be some sort of a two-year max. Maybe half-release time for a faculty member to be able to be in shadow as a learning opportunity.
AD:† Let me respond to that because thatís sort of a university and development policy question.† Let me just speak to it broadly.† I think thatís a great idea.† I think we do need to attend to leadership development opportunities.† Itís one of the things we talked about already, but I think that exploring that idea and ideas like that to foster leadership development would be a very good idea for us.
FA:† Thank you.
FA:† I want to just insert for a minute.† Weíve got two faculty that are going to be leaving now because theyíre going to be trained for orientation.† Iím going to give them the nod so they feel like they can head out, and then weíll go back to the speaking order.† Did you want to say anything before you left?
FA:† I donít know if this has been part of the conversation Ė If a local candidate from campus were the successful candidate, is the assumption then that they would be going into a permanent administrative position and then that line goes back for re-hire?† Is that what the vision is?† Iíd like a bit of clarity on that.
AD: Permanent.† --- Note: I'm not sure exactly the wording; however, I remember hearing the word "permanent," I believe from the President.
FA:† Thank you for asking that question because itís certainly one that we had coming out of Senate.
FA:† Going back to what Fred said, whatís the authority that person has.† Sometimes thatís an issue.† Letís say the Provost makes this person a designee, how much authority do they have over the decisions they make?† Thatís an issue.
AD:† As the designee the individual has the authority of the person designating him or her.
FA:† Thatís something I wondered Ė if Rexís position had that authority.
AD:† A lot of people wonder a lot about my position.† I think itís very hard to explain to people in general what this position does because thereís a lot of different things that go on.† I know people will very often look at me and see me having coffee with somebody and wonder what the heck Iím doing.†
FA:† I really appreciate the openness and transparency of this conversation.† As you know, we think itís a really important position and we appreciate your thoughts on that.† Weíll certainly take those thoughts back to Senate and come back with some names for you next time.
AD:† Okay.† Good.† Thank you.
1. Request for faculty representation for search committees for two MSUAASF positions:† Assistant Director of First Year and Transition Programs and Administrative Director of the Division of General Studies and University Placement Testing (AD Ė 4/17/2008)
AD:† Weíre seeking representation on two search committees for two MSUAASF positions.† One is the Assistant director of First Year and Transition Programs and the other is the Administrative Director of the Division of DGS and University Placement Testing, which I think sets the record for the longest title at the university.
FA:† Iíd like to know what the acronym is for that.† (laughter)† Maybe I donít.† Itís my understanding that youíre looking for how many faculty?
AD:† One faculty for each committee.
FA:† One faculty for each committee?
FA:† Do you know what the timeline is for those searches?†
AD:† The timeline is, for the permanent position.† We may be hiring folks for a six month temporary position.† When we sent the position questionnaire to MnSCU, it came back a grade lower than what the campus recommended, so weíre appealing that.† We want to give some time for the appeal to take place so when we pursue the permanent position, we know what we have, and we can advertise it in its final form at the highest possible income.
FA:† Which position is that for so everybody understands which position youíre talking about?†
AD:† Both positions actually.† We had the same problem with both of them, so weíre appealing both.† Mike Gilbert is appealing the FYE position, and Iím appealing the DGS and Placement Testing position.
AD:† What weíll do is advertise the position over the summer so when the semester begins weíll have the files and we can convene the committee to begin reviewing files and then moving through the process.† Weíll have until mid-November/early December really to do that work.
FA:† So actually youíre looking for one faculty person for each of these search committees, and youíre looking to have them start the work in the fall then?
FA:† Okay.† Any questions about the positions?† Would you like to talk at all about the positions?
AD:† Iíd be happy to if that would be helpful.
FA:† It might be helpful in terms of encouraging the right people to come forward.
AD:† Iíll talk about the Administrative Director for the Division of General Studies and Placement Testing.† That position is one that is going to be working with the Faculty Director of the Division of General Studies Ė with Geoffrey Tabakin Ė and the DGS Advisory Committee to develop that program as we move forward, into something thatís a bit more rigorous than it currently is in terms of the intervention itself.† And also help Geoffrey with some of the basic administrative functions that happen.† Itís somewhat difficult to do when you are doing something half-time.† Most importantly, this is the person who is going to be the university placement testing individual Ė the expert on campus on placement testing Ė who is going to drive all the placement testing policies and make sure that weíre evaluating the placement testing process and doing the reporting on that and feeding that back, hopefully, to some placement testing committee thatís going to function and keep track of whatís happening and address changes in policy as necessary based on the data that individual is driving.† Itís someone whoís going to have experience in developmental education and someone who has some experience at least in placement testing here or at another institution.† Those are some of the qualities weíre looking for.† This individual will be doing some advising with DGS students, so thereís direct student contact with this position.
FA:† So essentially the person would be working in concert with the faculty person who would be focusing his efforts more on curricular academic pieces, and this person would be doing a lot of administrative program support, placement, advising functions.
AD:† Thatís right.
FA:† Okay.† I appreciate that description.† So the other one is the Assistant Director of First Year and Transition Program.† Before we go there, if I could put in a side note.† You mentioned the Placement Committee.† I want to go sideways here for a minute.† That was a taskforce that was short-term, and if itís going to change function, Iím hoping the Placement Committee would bring forward a motion so we can look at what it might want to change to because it could be long-term and we need to know what that is.† Thank you for that side-track.
AD:† The other position that we would be looking for a faculty member with a broad interest and perspective on first year and transition programs.† Because the person who fills that job is going to be doing several things which pretty much deal with the entire range of first year programs.† One of the primary responsibilities is the coordination of orientation.† This will be the person who, in the future, is driving that entire effort so that we have somebody who is designated for that purpose.† In addition, this person will be at least assisting with the coordination and communications with incoming students which has been an issue Ė working with Admissions, working with the advising people to improve the way in which we communicate with our incoming students across the board, not just in relation to FYE.† Then this person will also be working with me on the learning communities program and also anything that might grow out of the current planning process in terms of programmatic initiatives for first year and transfer students.
AD:† So we want somebody from the Faculty who has a broad perspective on the needs and concerns of incoming students.
FA:† Are there any questions about either of these searches?† Weíll put out those calls and get that information to you.
AD:† Thank you.
2. Sponsored Programs (FA Ė 4/3/2008)
FA:† Iím glad, Dennis, that you could be here.† We have some motions that weíre bringing forward from Senate.† Iím going to begin with the last one first.† Faculty are curious about what the status of the Director of Sponsored Programs is because obviously youíve stepped in to help us out and Faculty are wonderingÖ..
AD:† Iíll let Michael address that.
AD:† The Assistant Vice President for Sponsored Programs has taken a leave of absence, and he has not vacated the position permanently, and he has indicated that he intends to return, so he will be back.† I think he might request a bit of an extension to the leave that he has been granted, but he will be back next fall.
AD:† At least I have been assured of the fact that he will be back next fall.
FA:† Okay.† I appreciate that information.† The other questions really are more for Dennis.† You got a list of the questions ahead of time.† Most of these have to do with Ė well they all have to do with grants and contracts.† The first one has to do with the policy on extra duty days on grants and contracts Ė specifically, what are folks in Sponsored Programs communicating on the number of extra duty days that could be requested regarding grants and contracts?
AD:† The number we use is a directive of MnSCU of 56 extra duty days, and they can occur on days outside of regular duty days.† They can occur in some instances on weekends and in some instances on duty days with additional hours.
FA:† Can you talk about what instances might beÖ.
AD:† Itís a function of the grant to a large degree.† The grant work, if it dictates that a faculty member engage on Saturday or Sunday, then that will be approved.† Additional hours on weekdays on which faculty have duty days, again these are grant-driven.† That, essentially is the determiner.
FA:† Okay.† We were also interested inÖ
FA:† Can I follow-up?
FA:† Does MnSCU provide any rationale as to why only 56?† Because if you go through the calendar and look at the days that are prohibited from being duty days and subtract them out, the number of possible work days or additional days is considerably more than 56.† I donít understand why MnSCU would care.† In fact, in would be advantageous if we had more work to do we get more indirect cost recovery.
AD:† All I can tell you, John, is that Iíll look into that.† Iím not in a position to defend their decision of 56.† It is a directive.† That directive has been given to Sponsored Programs.† What drove that is unclear to me.† I would be pleased to inquire, but I just simply donít know.
FA:† Thank you.
FA:† Faculty have reported that that limits, of course, some of the grant opportunities that theyíre able to take advantage of and some of the pricier ones for the institution.† In terms of earning things, not paying for them.
AD:† I understand and Iím sympathetic, but I canít tell you any more because quite frankly I donít know any more about what went into those deliberations and what drove that decision.
AD:† I think as you ask your questions one of the things thatís in the Academic Plan coming forward is the development of a community of scholars.† Thatís related to the strong likelihood that we will be offering more graduate education and needing to develop a culture thatís supports graduate education more effectively than we do now.† And so Dennis, as we do that, weíd like to begin to understand the incentives and disincentives for research and grant-getting and the other kinds of things that are appropriate for moving in that direction.† Perhaps as we do some more learning, with that commitment in the Academic Plan, we can have a broader conversation.
AD:† I never calculated out the numbers, but the way I understand it is if you take the 168 duty days and take the weekends, which would give you 104 Saturdays and Sundays, add that to the 168, then add holidays, thatís where you end up with the 56 number.† I think thatís the logic underlying how this was done.† I never actually did the arithmetic on that, but I think thatís more or less the way it works.† Conceptually, thatís where it comes from as far as I know.
AD:† I think there is something to do with other expected leave Ė that youíd take a little extra time as vacation.† People wouldnít be expected to work every day.† With this little caveat on grants, with the Saturdays and Sundays, that changes things.
FA:† Exactly the way you described that I think describes our problem.† Itís not a question of someoneís expectation or someoneís demand, but what I choose to do.† Without getting into names, I can tell you people who worked 364 days last year and damn near worked half of the 365th.† Nobody told them to do it.† Itís just the way it goes sometimes.† I donít see why we should prohibit such a person from engaging in such activities if they choose to do that.
AD:† Thatís not a campus-based decision.
FA:† The bargaining agreement would not prohibit more than 56.
AD:† This is not addressed in the collective bargaining agreement.
FA:† The bargaining agreement simply describes how extended appointments occur and that there can be extra duty days.† And in fact, the extra duty days, contractually, could be on days that canít be duty days on the academic calendar.
FA:† Because the word ďnormallyĒ appears.
AD:† And we know that coaches sometimes coach on Saturdays.
FA:† I talked to some Faculty.† They have the same impression.† They felt somehow that the Association doesnít want them to work more, and I tried to tell them ďno.Ē† They have somehow been given the impression that the Faculty Association doesnít want them to work more extra duty days. Iíve tried to tell them thatís not the case.† Probably they get the impression from MnSCU.† Also some of them did say that they stopped doing any grants through Sponsored Programs.† They would rather do consulting outside without going through all this Sponsored Programs.
AD:† We need to make Sponsored Programs receptive to the needs of Faculty.† Obviously there are external things that drive some of Sponsored Programs activity, but Sponsored Programs needs to advocate for Faculty and for Faculty work with grants and contracts and needs to support Faculty.
FA:† Dennis, there was an external review of the largest Sponsored Programs entity in the System a number of years ago that made some recommendations about the use of the Foundation.† Many campuses use their foundation as a place where money comes to the grant and contract and by doing that, the compensation comes from the foundation.† I can give you the name Ė you might want to take a look at what the external reviewer outlined as a model.
AD:† Thanks John.† Iíd be happy to do so.† I wasnít aware of that.
FA:† I really look forward to more conversations about how this Community of Scholars might work.† I look at the plan too and its emphasis on STEM, and I think about my colleagues going in on the weekends to take care of animals or going in to check up on daily chemical or physical reactions that they need to measure scientifically and you canít say ďWell this isnít one of the 56 extra duty daysĒ Ė the animals need to be maintained.† So there were a few other questions that related also to grants and contracts.† We wanted to know what the policy was on the use of time and effort sheets.
AD:† The university, essentially, responds to a circular from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget Ė that A-21 Ė and I have some language.† What the university requires is that time and effort reporting be done by all faculty members who have grants Ė both federal and non-federal grants Ė and in fact, that they be reconciled with HR reports, or could be reconciled with HR reports.† We canít be having discrepancies.† All faculty who have grants must report time and effort.† Many universities have systems that are further developed than ours, and out of Sponsored Programs sheets come to faculty consistent with their grant that they can fill out and keep.† We do not have that in place as I understand it, but itís under consideration and in the early stages of development.† Essentially, time and effort sheets are required by all PIs.
FA:† If I understood the question from faculty correctly, and help me, those of you who are on my Meet and Confer team, if Iím posing this incorrectly.† I think there is no misunderstanding about why the time and effort sheets are needed for federal grants.†
FA:† I think the question had to do with grants that are private or not federal grants.
FA:† I heard you answer that Dennis.† I think I heard you answer it when you said that the federal government, under its rules, expects the practice of timesheet usage be across the board.
FA:† That it not just be isolated to federal.
AD:† Thatís right.
FA:† So the federal rule implies then that in all of our grant and contract work we would be tracking the effort sheets.
AD:† Youíre absolutely right, John.†
AD:† That is the interpretation.† We have not been audited.† We will be at some time I understand.† Essentially, just by virtue of the size of the grants and contracts and federal grants, there is a schedule to audit all universities, and we will be audited at some point that has not occurred yet.
FA:† We really appreciate the answers to these questions, and weíll take them back to Faculty.† I believe weíre done with this item.† Can we take it off?
3. Curriculum Process (FA Ė 4/3/2008)
FA:† Weíve had reports of concerns with changes that appear in the Undergraduate Bulletin that have not gone through the Curriculum Committee for oversight.† The concerns fall into two categories.† One category deals with the Upper Division Writing Requirement, and Michael Connaughton is going to address that.† The other is specific to two programs; one in Political Science and one in Child and Family Studies.† Michael, do you want to deal with the Upper Division Writing Requirement?
FA:† The UDWR which we never learned to say as an acronymÖ †(laughter)† When we discussed this last September, I think, there was a recognition that first of all we had not achieved completeness in designating as UDWRs nor had we achieved closure on the assessment criteria for those programs although we were a lot closer than we had been two-and-a-half years previously when we first started that process.† At that time we had suggested that we saw it the duty of the deans to get back to those departments and get those things straightened out.† I donít know quite where that is.† The issue here relates to the Bulletin copy which identifies particular UDWRs.† I donít know the extent to which that information came from departments via the UCC.† When the members of that taskforce met with UCC in January of 2006, if you can believe that, the discussion at that time was that departments would simply identify through a memorandum process to UCC those courses that they designated for UDWR, and I donít know the extent to which that process was carried out.† There is some concern on the part of a couple of departments at least that Bulletin copy was submitted through the Academic Affairs Office which hadnít yet gone through that process.† I donít know quite what happened there.† I should say too that we have a common interest here in getting this done.† Thereís been an awful lot of work done by departments, and clearly that information has to be communicated to students in a way that they can act on.
AD:† My recollection is that we had reached an understanding with the University Curriculum Committee working also with the ad hoc committee for Upper Division Writing Requirement that to expedite the inclusion of language on the Upper Division Writing Requirement that the departments, once they had the UDWR approved through the ad hoc committee that that language could be transmitted directly to the Office of Academic AffairsÖ.
AD:† For inclusion in the Bulletin.† Thatís the language that now appears in the Bulletin Ė the language that was transmitted directly to the Office of Academic Affairs by departments once they had an approved UDWR.† That was done through conversations and understandings with the University Curriculum Committee that this would be an expedited process.
†FA:† Mitch, when did that happen?† Roughly.
AD:† Sometime during the 2006-2007 academic year.
FA:† So that was subsequent to the conversation that Iím referring to which was a meeting, and I donít recall if you were present or not.† Judy Litterst and I met with UCC.† My understanding at that time was that that process agreed with yours with the exception that that process would go through UCC without having to go through the whole curriculum process.
AD:† Right.† And I recall that Judy maintained a folder of proposals for program descriptions that included what the UDWR was and what course it would be in and that once her term ended at the end of that year she forwarded those to me.
FA:† Oh.† Okay.
AD:† What happened was, is for further information.† It was an incomplete listÖ
AD:† So over the course of the following year, that would have been 2006-2007, actually, it would have been over the course of this past summer and last fall, wherever there was a department with an approved UDWR but not the catalog copy, I would contact the department and ask them if they had language ready for inclusion in the Bulletin.† So when they sent me that language I would include it in the Bulletin.
FA:† My understanding is that I think UCC was expecting to see the Bulletin copy come through UCC.† Is that your understanding, Michael?
FA:† That was what my understanding was as I say, in January of 2006.† I canít speak as to whether that changed or not.
FA:† Thatís the concern that they expressed to Senate.† This is actually a jerry-rigged situation anyway. We kind of had all these threads, and we asked you to be the troubleshooter, so weíre trying to figure out how to make sure that all the threads are tied together appropriately.† What theyíre asking for is that the copy go to UCC before it goes into the Bulletin.
AD:† Can I ask a question so that I understand?† When curriculum changes or new programs are proposed, do they come forward with the intended catalog copy at that time?
FA:† Yes they do.
AD:† So when the proposal is acted upon, they have seen the catalog copy, correct?
AD:† Not in this particular set of cases.
FA:† Itís an odd set.
AD:† Itís an odd set because we were trying to act expeditiously to get as much of the information about the Upper Division Writing Requirement in the catalog as possible.† The background for that is:† the University established as a policy that students who entered in the fall of 2005 have to meet the University Upper Division Writing Requirement.† Those students will be entering their senior year in fall of 2008 Ė most of them more or less Ė so we wanted to have that information in the Bulletin by this spring if we could.
FA:† Itís not just Bulletin through.† There are a couple odd effects.† One of the things thatís happened in a few instances is that the Bulletin copy essentially identified what the Upper Division Writing Requirement was, and in a few cases that changes the number of credits in the program and creates unintended consequences that you wouldnít think of with just Bulletin copy necessarily.
FA:† Is there a simple way we can finesse this, is what Iím wondering?
AD:† Can we have the most recent ones that have not gone through the UCC be forwarded to the UCC?
AD:† Well, there arenítÖ All the ones that were approved through this process have been included in the Bulletin.† There might be one or two exceptions.† Those that have come through, we can send all of them to UCC to make sure that they have received the appropriate scrutiny.
FA:† That would be useful.† That would be really useful.
AD:† Then we still have the category of Upper Division Writing Requirements that have not been reviewed by what would be comparable to the ad hoc committee so weíre waiting for faculty review and approval of those before moving forward on them.
FA:† Do you have any sense of approximately how many weíre talking about Ė a ballpark figure?
AD:† Out of about 130 baccalaureate programs I think weíre missing 30.
FA:† Thatís a fairly large number at this point actually.
AD:† Some of them have UDWRs all ready to go, but theyíre wanting for a review process and then there are some that are just slipping through.
FA:† The second concern is restricted to departments.† We have a report that the International Relations program housed in Political Science had the program description changed without faculty approval, and we have a report that the way students were admitted to the Child and Family Studies major also was changed without going through the curriculum process.
AD:† I can address the first one.† That involved the creation of the Global Studies Program whose curriculum was identical to International Relations.† When that change occurred, there was probably a misunderstanding on my part that the curriculum changed from International Relations to Global Studies.† When that was pointed out, I made sure that International Relations curriculum as originally described was restored to the Bulletin.
FA:† So the Political Science International Relations shows up there, and then there is also the listing of the Global Studies major.
AD:† Right.† The other thing is that there is also information, I better check on that, but there is also information notifying students that the International Relations program is undergoing reorganization.
FA:† The department will appreciate that change being made.† Thank you.
AD:† As for the other one, Child and Family Studies, Iím not aware that any change occurred in the Bulletin.† I certainly did not approve one.† Those things do come to the curriculum process.† I noticed a question arose because we pulled together specific pieces of information on each undergraduate program and put them in the beginning of the departmental sections called ďPrograms at a Glance,Ē and the Child and Family Studies department had a question about that Ė about their admissions requirements.† I said that really has to go through the curriculum committee.† That was several months ago.† It is not my understanding that a change already had occurred in the Bulletin.† Maybe we could follow up on that.
FA:† Letís do that and connect with the Curriculum Committee on that.
AD:† I remember forwarding that information to the chair of the UCC.
FA:† Thank you.† Weíll go ahead and take this one off?
4. Policy on Religious Holidays (AD Ė 4/3/2008)
AD:† We provided that to you at the last Meet and Confer and wanted to develop a policy for St. Cloud State University that would address issues relating to religious holidays and concerns that have been expressed about observing some religious holidays, particularly in non-majority religions.† So you were going to provide us with some feedback on that I believe and refer it to a particular committee for development of a policy for St. Cloud State University.
FA:† We talked briefly about this example from University of Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis.† We talked briefly about how this was an example policy, not necessarily what weíre going end up with, that a faculty member referred to us and had brought up the issue.† We really donít have any guidelines on this.† How did you want to proceed with this Ė by having a committee look into this, or have a discussion about this?
AD:† Either we could refer it to an existing committee, or we could establish a group that would look at it together.† I know there are some pieces in that that we might think are missing that we might want to add to what is in that particular policy.† But I think as a university we need a policy to address how we handle religious holidays and how students get excused from classes if they have religious commitments.† Iím amenable to a recommendation from you as to whether or not we have a committee that could look at this or whether we should set up a quick little work group.† There are some things we might want to adopt from that and some things we might want to change or add as well.
FA:† We normally would refer policies like this, I think, to the Academic Policy Workgroup.† I donít know if given the content or the potential content of this sort of policy if we want to do it differently or not.† We really havenít had this conversation.
AD:† I think itís got to be done differently.† If weíre going to touch this. we have to be very inclusive and sensitive in the way we have the discussion and engage the community.† I think it needs a special effort.
FA:† Do you have any ideas of how youíd want to proceed?
AD:† It could be done a number of ways.† The Administration could offer a policy for broad consultation, and what weíd talk about here is the manner of consultation.† That might get something out to talk about sooner.† We could convene a study group that is a time-limited task force to work on it together.† I donít really have a preference.† I just want to make sure that weíre sensitive and inclusive and that we get to a point that we have an approach that supports the kind of university culture that we want to create.
FA:† The Chair came to our department meeting with a request from the Dean that feedback is wanted from us.† I didnít feel that comfortable right away to give feedback.† This is something that affects a lot of people.† It needs to be discussed broader because it is sensitive.† I didnít want to give my feedback through the departmental process.† It came from the college to the departments.† Iím not sure that every department got it.
AD:† My understanding from Steve is that when this issue was raised earlier about creating a policy, there was a discussion, and very broad guidelines were developed and the institution chose not to develop a policy.† Is that correct?
AD:† Precisely because of the issues of sensitivity and concern.† My own preference is to avoid it.† The conversation gets into more trouble than trying to talk about it together.
AD:† Weíve had some issues too where there were instances where students wanted to engage in practicing their religious beliefs and ran afoul of policies that some instructors had for their courses.† Because there was no university policy, the students were not permitted to worship as they were required to according to the dictates of their religion.
FA:† As I heard the President speak, I did hear ďif we chooseĒ and then I hear that we chose once before not.† Iím not sure what the outcome of that examination would be today.† This is a very difficult subject to be able to define in a way that is sensitive to the diversity of religious practice in this country.† We need to be aware that the very word that is here is a religious word.† Holiday is holy day.† Holiday is, in fact, the derivative of holy day.† We would end up, if we started looking at holy days, whose holy days Ė the Greek Orthodox calendar, Serbian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican?† And thatís only within one religious community.† There is a wide diversity of what the calendars look like, and I donít want to prejudge.† I just want to suggest that as we examine this, the unintended consequences could end up being greater than the intended consequences.† At some point we have to, I think, think about whether weíre going to do this.
AD:† I think thatís why we need to be careful in the selection of who helps in developing that so that we have a cross-section of people to be sensitive to those issues and word choices, etc.
AD:† At the very least, we have to acknowledge that we already have holy days and our whole calendar is built around a specific set of holy days.† By not doing anything, we are essentially saying that these are the holy days that the institution is going to abide by and not some other set.
FA:† Weíve done that.
AD:† Yes. Clearly.† So I agree that something needs to be done.† It just needs to be addressed so that we at least acknowledge and build some flexibility into the system so that other people can have their holy days.
AD:† Given what Avelino said, some are codified already in law.† If we do this, we will end up someplace like the ADA with a policy about reasonable accommodation and yes, weíll still struggle.† Weíre not going to get a cookbook thatís going to take care of everything all of the time.† Thatís where weíll land if we go further down the road is finding a way just to be reasonable.† Weíll still have tussles over that because one personís reasonable is another personís unreasonable.† We wonít get to a list.† Weíll just get to a way to work with each other.† That is one reason, I think, why we didnít go forward last time.† We talked about displays and stopped short of trying to define everything since the group that was going to define it was not, by definition, going to be inclusive of all the folks that might be interested because some of them might not be here yet.
FA:† I do want to weigh in here.† I appreciated the fact, as a Christian, that there was not celebration of Christmas during Advent.† The outcome of our discussion was that so-called Christmas decorations did not appear on this campus which put us actually in compliance with Christian practice Ė that you donít celebrate Christmas until Christmas Eve Ė the 24th of December.†
AD:† Some Christians.
FA:† I do want to note one substantial difference between what was going on during the timeframe when we had that decoration conversation and now.† I donít know if you read the paper today or you maybe heard that Golden Plump is being sued because of not making accommodations for prayer.† For people who are from a fairly homogeneous society, I think raising the level of awareness and simply raising an opportunity to talk about what to do when these things come up.† What do we do when we have a student who needs to step out for a few minutes?† What is a reasonable response to that?† Do you mind just caucusing for a minute?† We donít have a perspective on this, and Iíd like to get a Faculty perspective and see how weíd like to proceed with this.
(Faculty left the room to caucus)
FA:† Our conversation convinced us that we werenít ready to come and take a position on anything and that we needed to reflect and discuss things more.
FA:† Judy reined us in.
FA:† Thatís right, I did.† I got out the whip.† Weíll need to think and talk about this more.
AD:† You mean there wasnít immediate consensus among the Faculty?
FA:† We did have a vote, but we had a dictator.
FA:† Thatís right, they did have a dictator.
AD:† We spent a little time looking at some of the issues as well and want to make a slight editorial change in what we were entitling this item.† Instead of calling it Policy on Religious Holidays it should be Policy on Religious Observations.
AD:† You mean observances?
AD:† Yes, observances.
AD:† No policy on observations Ė please.† (laughter)
FA:† I note that editorial change.
AD:† I want to add one other thing Ė just for information.† Wanda and I recently met with a numbers of folks representing spiritual groups with a relationship to the campus.† We invited 62 people, and the group included student members of faith-based groups, faculty advisors of student faith-based groups, faith-based groups that operate specific campus ministries, and a number of other congregations across the religious spectrum in the community to meet with us.† How many were in attendance Ė 30 or so?
AD:† At least 35.
AD:† Thirty-five folks showed up for the meeting.† The purpose of the meeting was three-fold.† The first purpose is in our crisis response protocols, we donít have any provision for engaging faith-based communities in a time of crisis to support our students.† Many of our students have a personal connection to faith-based communities, so we wanted to have a conversation about whether in a time of crisis we ought to include in our protocols notifying the faith-based communities that support our students, faculty and staff that this is happening on our campus.† They know who their people are Ė who is connected to them.† That was one element of the conversation.† The other element of the conversation is I have been asked:† Is there something the university can do to help students self-identify, vis-ŗ-vis religious preference, an interest in connecting with the faith-based communities so that we can share that information with the communities.† Of course that brought up a lot of issues, so we agreed to talk and think about that.† Finally, these are communities that touch our faculty, staff and students, and we have an interest in sharing more of our life with them and engaging them as members of the community and discovered that they donít know each other and have never sat in the same room together before.† So we talked about relationship development among those ó interfaith relationship development among our community partners.† We agreed to meet probably quarterly to continue the conversation and explore ways in which we might work together.† I just wanted to let you know that thatís ongoing.
FA:† Thank you for sharing that with us.† Iím looking at this document sitting next to me, which the Provost nudged over to me early in Meet and Confer indicating that he needs to share it with us.† This is not on the agenda, but if itís okay with you folks, the Provost has a document he needs to share with us.† Do you want to talk about it?
AD:† Itís a document that apparently according to the Internal Revenue Service, Faculty need to specify, and apparently itís by August 1st, whether they want a 12 month payment option or a 9 month payment option.† According to the statement, failure to comply with these regulations could subject Faculty to a 20% additional income tax.† I didnít want to wait to let you guys know this.† I will give a copy of it to Judy to distribute to Faculty so itís available.† Do you want to talk about it, Larry?
AD:† Donít get too excited right now.†
AD:† Itís an easy thing to do.
AD:† This is something that weíre planning to send out with the contracts to each and every person.† They need to make this election before that date, and they have to stick with that election whether itís 9 months or 12 months for that year.† If they want to change it, they have to notify Human Resources for the next year, in writing.† If not, itís going to stay as originally designated.† If they donít make an election, weíre going to do it on a nine-month basis.† This is a direction that we got from MnSCU a day or so ago.† Iím just letting you know about it a little bit early.† Weíre not ready to send out contracts yet because it hasnít been signed yet.† But weíre going to send it out to each person.
FA:† We hope the contract is going to be signed momentarily.† It will be a few days before it goes into effect.† If Iím understanding you correctly, once you would elect, unless you purposely contacted HR to change whether you had 9 month or 12 month, it would remain the same as it had been?
FA:† We wonít be asked again?
AD:† Once you make the selection Ė say you make the selection for the upcoming academic year and you said 12 months, then during that academic year, you canít change to 9 months.† But you will have the option to change for the next year back to 9 or 12 months.
FA:† So what is the source of this IRS regulation?
AD:† IRS code 409a.
FA:† Faculty get paid so much, that what they do is go back and forth between 9 and 12 months, which lowers their taxable income in one year.
FA:† The IRS doesnít like that.
AD:† They donít like that, and they issued this regulation that we all have to comply with Ė all MnSCU institutions.
FA:† I will take this back.† I will make sure that my colleagues get copies of it, and I will bring it to Senate on Tuesday for a rousing discussion.
AD:† Iím sure it will be warmly received.
FA:† In retrospect, let's call this something like IRS change in pay slip Ė so we have a name for it.
FA:† Thereís two things certain, death and taxes.
5.† D and S grades (FA Ė 4/3/2008)
AD:† You provided us at a prior Meet and Confer a motion from Senate endorsing a committee recommendation about D grades and IP and R grades.† Mitch is going to respond to that.
AD:† First of all, with regard to the proposal to have D grades transferred into St. Cloud State University count in studentsí grade point average, what Iím distributing is System procedure 2.9.1 which is entitled ďFinancial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress.Ē† The last page of this item, page 6, sub-part D, first paragraph, specifically prohibits counting transferred in grades in the GPA.
FA:† So are these transfer credits of any sort or transfer credits coming through the transfer curriculum only?†
AD:† Any sort.
FA:† Do you know what the rationale for that is, Mitch?
AD:† No I donít.† No comment.† So to adopt the proposal would put us out of compliance with System procedures.
FA:† Even though having this policy unfairly discriminates against current students who have earned D grades?
FA:† Okay, weíll chalk that one off and point to MnSCU in its infinite wisdom.† I can say that.
FA:† So Mitch, to the best of your knowledge, was this met and conferred at the system level?
AD:† All system policies and procedures go through a rather extensive consultative process.† That involves representatives from many institutions and other constituencies.
FA:† Thereís many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.† I wonder if that particular sucker went through.
AD:† Just an observation.† Notice the numbers here, 2.9.† The number 2 series deals with financial aid and student affairs and yet this was an academic policy.† Transfer is an academic policy.† Itís entirely possible that under the guise of a student affairs policy that this went through.
AD:† No.† I donít think so.
AD:† Thatís speculation.
AD:† I can say that this goes out broadly.† Even on the committee on the system level which I serve on are faculty.† The student affairs piece is kind of irrelevant.
AD:† This has also come up in the Transfer Oversight Committee as well, and thereís been lots of strenuous argument against the acceptance of the D grade, but it didnít accomplish anything, and I do know that has gone to Meet and Confer with the IFO.†
FA:† That policy has, but I havenít seen anything on this policy.
AD:† This policy was approved in July of 2005, so it would have been a while ago.
AD:† That would have been the revisions to the policy.
AD:† Right.† But the last time it was reviewed was July of 2005.† The policy itself was originally approved, according to this, in April or 2004.
FA:† I do know that we strenuously argued against this.† I simply want to put on the record that Faculty are concerned because students who transfer in those grades or transfer in without the D being calculated in their grade point average not only have an unfair advantage over students who are already here, but also theyíre probably less than prepared for the courses that follow.† We appreciate your looking at this and thank you for pointing out the specific place that was the problem since our Academic Affairs Committee had not seen that policy.† Iíll make sure they get this.† So thatís the transfer of D grades.† Now on to R grades.
AD:† We have a counter proposal to the R grade, and that is to revise the definition and practices with regard to the IP grade so that the IP grade would accomplish what the R grade is supposed to accomplish.† And that is to allow for a more extended period of time Ė more time than one year Ė for a student to complete the requirements for thesis credits and the lot.
AD:† Rather than introducing another new grade, which will just confuse the grading process further, this would allow for the intent of what that new grade was designed to accomplish without adding another layer of grade to the system.
FA:† So how will we proceed with that?† Youíre making a proposal.† We can explain it verbally.† I think it might make more sense to follow that up with some sort of Ė maybe the Academic Policy Workgroup could filter that language in to the current policy and then move it through to our Academic Affairs Committee.† Would that work?
FA:† Weíll report that to Senate and let Academic Affairs know that it will come through that way and we can react to that counter proposal when we see it.† Thank you.† So we can take these two off?
AD:† Yes.† I want to make sure that we donít have Avelino and Mike sit here for the entire meeting and not get to their agenda item.† Could we move to number 8 first and then come back up.
FA:† If there is no objection, weíll move to item 8.
8.† Foundations of Excellence (AD Ė 4/17/2008)
AD:† Maybe I should start out and talk a little bit about where this proposal has come from.† The Student Experience Action Planning Workgroup thatís part of the planning process made a recommendation that the University engage in the Foundations of Excellence Program, which is a process of evaluation guided by the policy center in the first year of college.† It supports campuses across the country in assessing what they are doing with students in the first year and involves a campus taskforce of constituents from across the campus to guide this process for the campus.† The role of the Foundations of Excellence Program is to provide infrastructure technologically and the guidance and training for the campus to move through that.† Mike, youíve had contact with them.† Perhaps you can talk a little bit more about that.
AD:† Itís designed as a year-long self study.† Sometimes it runs longer.† Some campuses spend maybe 14-16 months involved in this.† As Avelino said itís the signature project of the Policy Center for the First Year of College in North Carolina, which was founded by John Gardiner, who is someone that many people recognize as being instrumental in developing first year and transition programs across the country.† The value of it I think other than the fact that it brings together people from across the campus to look at this is the consensus that would grow out of that process in trying to develop programs for the first year and get the kind of the buy-in that you need from all stakeholders in order for that to happen.† Itís an intensive program.† Itís quite a bit of work.† Thereís a liaison, actually co-liaisons typically, perhaps an administration person and a faculty member who guide the process on campus. There are subcommittees involved.† There are very, very strict timelines.† But there are institutions across the country who have done this.† There are some in Minnesota right now, in the MnSCU system that are doing it.† MSU Moorhead for example, which is apparently doing very well with this.
AD:† A handful of our peer institutions, who have been identified as our peers, have been through the process effectively.† Whatís impressive about this process is the outcomes that those institutions are reporting as result of having implemented what these taskforces have agreed to in terms of student success.† Such things as improvement in retention, enrollment gains, increased campus awareness of the importance of the first year, improved collaboration between academic affairs and student affairs so the outcomes of this process are very positive in nature, and I think it moves us in a way that weíre talking about that we need to move Ė in a collaborative process toward improving the success of particularly our first year students, but ultimately it would improve our graduation rates as well.
AD:† We also had John Gardiner on campus as a keynote speaker at one of our convocation weeks, and he had a very warm response and reception from the faculty.† A lot of folks were very interested and eager to work with him in this way, and we havenít gotten around to doing that yet.† This is a good opportunity to do so.
AD:† President Potter, would you be willing to talk a little bit about the process they went through at Southern Oregon?
AD:† We did it in my last year there.† Oddly, we did it at the same time we were doing the self study for accreditation, so we were really loaded up on self study.† Doing it with a bunch of peers who are going through the same process is very powerful and helpful.† And having an external coach who reviews the product and comments as an external consultant body is also very helpful.† We could do this on our own, and it would be much less valuable because of the lack of context, the lack of comparison and the lack of expert assistance.† I think for us to get a handle on the first year experience, this is the most powerful way to do this work.† Itís broadly inclusive.† It requires that we think together about faculty and staff roles in these taskforce committees.† Itís a focused effort Ė one year and youíre done with this, and then recommendations go back in to normal committee structures and administrative offices and the people who have responsibility for implementing.†
FA:† Iím assuming that youíre proposing that we do this?
AD:† Yes.† The only thing that would add to whatís already been said is the reason we are bringing this forth now is the application for the next cycle is the 30th of May.† The official launch date for the next cycle is the end of July/early August and thatís not moveable.† In terms of where we stand with the planning process, it seemed to us that this was the appropriate time to bring this up.
AD:† Just another comment.† There is a fee for participation, which we will budget and support.† The time scale is such so that there may be additional work, and we will budget for compensation for the faculty who work beyond normal expectations as they participate in the work.
FA:† I know two year ago we supported some faculty to go to Dallas.
FA:† I think I talked to John Gardiner.† He is an excellent person to work with, and I think as a faculty member I would be interested in this type of activity.
FA:† So assuming we put in a proposal on May 30th and assuming that weíre approved, what would the timeline look like?
AD:† Iíve spoken with John as recently as last week.† Iíve actually worked with John going back some 15 years during my time in South Carolina.† He assured me that there are slots available in the program for next year.† Heís aware that we are discussing this.†† The applications are reviewed in June, and then there is a launch meeting which representatives of the campus are required to attend Ė that would be the two campus liaisons.† At that point the university would need to pay the fee.† Essentially, the program is then officially started as of August.† It says period of taskforce study and creation of action plan is one year commencing on August 11th.† There are several surveys that are administered on a web basis, but they donít happen until October so thatís not a problem in terms of faculty contracts.
FA:† You said weíve been discussing.† Has this come before First Year Experience, or have there been any other conversations outside that would involve faculty?
AD:† Just the student experience work group.† Thatís where this came from.†
AD:† In fact, the Foundations of Excellenceís aspirational expectations were included in that report.
FA:† Questions?† Observations?† So weíll bring this then to Faculty.
6.† Request for an ex-officio administrator to serve on the Gen Ed committee (AD Ė 4/3/2008)
AD:† One of the reasons we wanted this on the agenda was to try to avoid having certain kinds of† difficulties that sometimes come up when things get developed by various committees and the administration is not aware of whatís happening and what the process is.† The thought occurred that it would be good to have an administrator who could either serve on the Gen Ed Committee or in other ways be regularly invited to meetings of the Gen Ed Committee so that if there are directions that need to be pursued that are going the wrong way, we can have some conversation about it before something is developed into a full proposal that has people invested in it, and yet we canít go forward with it for various reasons.† Itís much better to have a conversation earlier on. So whether somebody be regularly invited to the committee or whether they be sanctioned meetings, I think we used to use that term, when administrators came to a meeting, it was sanctioned.
FA:† We donít use that term any more.
AD:† What do we use now?
FA:† What our guidelines are for faculty committees is that if Faculty want to meet with administrators, thatís fine. They can invite them.† We expect that their notes will reflect the administrator was there and why the administrator was asked or why the administrator was a guest.† We also assume that it is not going to be a regular thing.
FA:† The General Ed Committee is a standing committee of the Faculty Association established by our constitution.† Anything that would change that constitutionally established committee composition would require going through the amendment process.† If Iím hearing you correctly, what you would like to see happen is that there be regular liaison between the General Education Committee and the Administration.
FA:† I would think that that could be achieved by ensuring that the meeting minutes be made available to whoever this person would be, who you think would be the contact, and that that person would certainly be able to communicate with the committee chair.† I donít know if youíre getting the General Ed Committee minutes or not.
AD:† No, weíre not.† That would certainly be a step in the direction that weíre looking for.
FA:† Would it be MitchÖ
AD:† Yes. It would be Mitch.
FA:† That we should get the General Ed Committee minutes to you, and that way if you have questions, you would go to the committee chair, and of course, if the committee chair is unresponsive to your questions, you would go to Judy until she is no longer president or she resigns, which mean she is no longer president.† (laughter)† She might resign.
AD:† Between now and 5:00.† (more laughter)
FA:† That would take care of what youíre trying to achieve, and it keeps the balance that we have to make sure that rogue, and Mitch this is not you, rogue administrators wouldnít try to take over FA committees. (continued laughter)
AD:† I think thatís certainly a start in the direction that I wanted us to go in, so let's try that and see how it works.
FA:† Maybe itís not necessary.† We are so jealous of holding onto the curriculum process.† In fact, even members on your side of the table have congratulated us in private on our stance while, because you have a hierarchical structure, in public they have to take a different stance.† Weíre real concerned to keep our autonomy.
AD:† I understand that.
FA:† So maybe this is a real good solution.
AD:† Letís leave it at that.† This is a good start at a solution.
FA:† Certainly what weíve said doesnít precludeÖ if in the minutes Mitch would become concerned about something, he certainly could contact the chair, and they could arrange to have him be a guest.
AD:† Letís see how that works.†
FA:† So weíll take this off the agenda for now?
AD:† Yes.† Take that off.
7.† Academic Honesty (AD Ė 4/17/2008)
FA:† We have four minutes.† Do we want to discuss the topic of Academic Honesty?
FA:† Weíre all in favor of it, right?
AD:† Weíre all in favor of academic honesty.† We have a couple of different policies on campus that deal with issues relating to academic honesty.† Iím talking primarily about students and issues relating to students behaving in an academically honest way.† There seems to be some overlap between some of our policies, and thereís a little bit of confusion about which policy pertains in a particular situation.† We have an academic honesty policy thatís under the Student Code of Conduct, and we have a grade appeals policy for students who, for various reasons want to complain about a grade that theyíve received in their course, perhaps because it was alleged that they had behaved dishonestly with regard to some assignment, and itís not clear which of those policies pertains under what circumstance.† Sometimes we have both of them going on simultaneously, and they may end up coming up with different outcomes via the different processes.† Iím not sure that the policy is clearly enough worded so that we can identify specifically what weíre trying to tell students they can and cannot do.† Iíd like us to review those policies and clarify the differences and talk about when one policy is the appropriate one to follow and when the other policy is the appropriate one to follow and how the two mesh together in an effective way.† I would recommend that this go to the Academic Policy Working Group and that that group come up with some revisions to the two policies and then bring them back through the appropriate channels to address some of the difficulties weíve encountered as a consequence of some lack of clarity.
AD:† Do you mind if I add something to that?
AD:† Not at all.
AD:† In our Student Code of Conduct, it says that students can be held responsible for academic dishonesty.† We have a cheating policy, but we donít have an academic dishonesty policy.† Thatís whatís really missing.† In my opinion, the cheating policy kind of stands alone, and there really should be an academic honesty policy, not just a cheating policy.† So my recommendation for the group would be to really create an academic honesty policy but then look at the grade appeal policy in conjunction with that.† Because the Code of Conduct can address anything, but the problem is we really donít have an academic honesty policy.
FA:† Iím assuming youíre going to clarify and give some guidance to the Academic Policy Work Group about what sorts of things you would need to include in that.
AD:† We could.† Many universities have policies and best practices.
FA:† Assuming out of this process a more well defined policy emerges and broader Ė encompassing cheating and dishonesty Ė the whole sha-bang.† Then every student is going to get the conduct policy and every student is responsible for abiding by it.† Is that assumption correct?
AD:† Weíre required by law to make sure that students have access to the Code of Conduct.† Typically in a university code of conduct, there will be the academic dishonesty policy so students would receive not only the code, but they would receive the academic dishonesty policy.† One of the things we did start doing last year during orientation was doing a presentation to all students who attended orientation about the Code of Conduct, and we will continue to do that.† We are required by law.
AD:† I think too that we need to go further than that in terms of clarifying for students what the expectations are and that there are also certain cultural differences in terms of what constitutes cooperation and what doesnít.† So we need to work with various groups on campus to explain more clearly our expectations as an academic institution as to how they should proceed with various tasks.
FA:† All of these things occur at the institutional level, and theyíre communicated to the students as institutional policy.† The reason Iím being picky about this is I heard something that Iíve been reassured is apocryphal Ė that for a faculty member to implement this policy in a case of transgression, it must have been included in the faculty memberís syllabus.
AD:† It should be.
FA:† Oh no.
AD:† But it doesnít have to be.
FA:† Ahh.† Then thereís no end to it, Michael.† Holy cow!† What all do we have to put in our syllabi?
AD:† I would recommend to Faculty that they do have a statement in their syllabus.† It may refer to the Student Code of Conduct and refer students to that.† But I think that itís very helpful for Faculty, at the beginning of the semester, to remind students of what their standards are with regard to this issue and to caution them about the need to do work the way you intend them to have it done.† Different students have different understandings of what that means.
FA:† Despite orientation, despite the measures that Wanda has outlined?
AD:† Yes.† You may have Ė and Iíll cite an example that was reported to me by a very eminent faculty member about a student who was working on a group project with a team of students, which was encouraged to cooperate and collaborate and work together, then was given an individual exam and did the same thing.† (laughter)†
FA:† So, we didnít break a record for getting out of here.† Iím assuming that this will come to the Academic Policy Work Group and then through Academic Affairs.† Thank you.
Adjourned.† 5:04 p.m.