Meet and Confer Notes
May 1, 2008
FA present: Bill Langen, Jo Ann Gaspanni, Bill Hudson, Fred Hill, Frances Kayena, Robert C. Johnson, Michael Connaughton, Michael Tripp, Dave Warne, John W. Palmer, Judy Kilborn, Balsy Kasi
ADM present: Mitch Rubinstein, Kristi Tornquist, Rex Veeder, Wanda Overland, Nancy Jessee, President Earl Potter, Michael Spitzer, Larry Chambers, Steve Ludwig.
Note taker: Joan A. Wingert
Approval of Minutes—approved pending minor changes
1. April 17, 2008
Progress Reports were moved to the top of the Agenda
1) Academic Plan (ADM)
ADM: I want to report that we had a meeting where the deans and the vice presidents and the president and some consultants reviewed various initiatives that had been proposed for next year. Some of those will need some funding, some of those will be starting without funding, some of them will require additional planning before we can move forward. A list of those items is being developed and documented and distributed before then end of academic year that we will make available to Faculty Association. Any questions?
FA: Was the intent to simply be announcing?
AMD: We’ll get some feedback in the academic year and from the students.
FA: Are we talking the end of this week, earlier next week?
ADM: I’m hoping it will be in about a week so we can have conversations and opportunity for feedback.
FA: I think that it’s very important for the campus community to have a chance to review and have input. As is always the case at the end of the academic year, pressures due to deadlines associated with faculty completing instruction and grading are problematic, so the earlier that these are done…
ADM: As soon as we get it done, we’ll distribute it.
ADM: We quickly did do the survey, and 263 folks responded, 160 faculty responded. There was pretty broad support for the general direction and endorsement of the initiatives. The work that is defined in there is very broad. Some of it’s done and yet to do, some of it people are studying, some of it’s needing planning, so it has all these different pieces. Some things will go forward as recommended in planning documents that came up through departments. Most of the program initiatives that were suggested will be reviewed for their investment potential next year with the new process that has been developed. $500,000 is allocated for next year’s budget for initiatives that will be spent, a portion of the allocation starting July that we’ve determined for investment
FA: I’m at an advantage to my colleagues in faculty, having been a participant in the Academic Planning Steering Committee. I’ve seen the preliminary survey results, but I also saw that it was confidential. There was discussion when that may be available for more than the eyes of a few people. I trust that we’re closer to having that document ready to release than the work that occurred on Tuesday and Wednesday morning.
ADM: Right, it was marked confidential because it was basically a draft.
ADM: It should be out early next week.
FA: I did mention at the Steering Committee that I was…I either I didn’t listen well or I didn’t understand. I thought that the process for examining the $500,000 for initiatives was going to follow the flow-chart that the Budget Integration Planning Group had prepared. That was my impression.
ADM: I thought that that document pertained to academic initiatives, and the process of approving academic program initiatives. And that we hadn’t had the time to go through that process anyway.
FA: I’m just reporting…
ADM: Did I get that wrong?
ADM: That’s my recollection also, that we developed that process over the course of this year, but that we also set aside this $500,000 to be spent beginning July 1, and that next year we would have for faculty initiatives be able to utilize that process, but we wouldn’t have time in order to be able to take any action on the plan starting the coming fiscal year. That is my recollection, my understanding.
FA: Our last Senate is on Tuesday. If I got the revision of the draft survey in time to present it on Tuesday morning, I could hand-carry it to Senate. Also, if I got a document first thing Tuesday morning with the list of budget initiatives, investments, whatever you’re calling them, in academic planning priorities. I could also copy that and hand-carry that to the Senate so Senators would get it in their last Senate.
ADM: I think that’s doable. Here’s my concern: The first steps that we are going to take next year include a whole array of important commitments: some of them are the next steps in developing plans, some of them are pulling together faculty to pursue initiatives. We’re pulling together faculty whose academic work relates to immigration and community development to look at potential for that area of focus. It was suggested in the plan; it wasn’t developed. If you just publish the list of things we’re going to fund, and funding is very limited in this year, a lot of folks will not see their recommendations or work supported. But if you put it in context of all the things we’re doing, you’ll see a much broader array of activity and commitments across the whole institution. The complexity of all the pieces is what’s taking time to put it all together. If you think that we could look at the funding and understand that there was much more, which is always really hard to do when you intend on planning a larger document. People come away saying, “I didn’t get money for my project.” Some of the most important things, for example, the broad global mission, are not getting any infusion of capital, but what we’re doing right away is put a leadership team together to define the vision of what a global institution would look like when we get there, and then develop a plan to get there. That’s my concern; I’d be interested in your response. I want to help this move forward, not get us wrapped around the axle by focusing on just one element of a very broad plan.
FA: I just wanted to make it clear that it was my impression—I believe I’m entitled to my impression, which might be different from other people’s impressions. I can be wrong.
ADM: I don’t think that what I was saying is related to that observation.
FA: I did not.
FA: I am glad we are moving forward in concrete ways and any documents that I can bring that might bring closure on this year, the Faculty would be very interested in seeing.
FA: Back to John’s earlier point about the $500,000, where the business of the meeting was heard differently on both sides, surely you have minutes that could be shared and that would make it clear. Find who was in charge of taking minutes and simply underline the relevant section, and then we’ll know whose recollection was more accurate.
ADM: Neither Steve nor I were at that meeting. There was a subcommittee, a Budget Integration and Planning working group that worked on that document is where I drew my impressions from, so there are people who are not at the table today. And you are correct: Someone can determine what that group felt they were doing.
FA: All I know is, in the Department of Foreign Languages, if somebody says “I’m going to spend $.25 on something,” by God, it’s in our minutes. And here we’re talking about a half million bucks. I’m going to assume we’re going to spend it this way, we’re going to spend it at this time or we’re going to spend it another time. I’m going to be deeply disillusioned if that’s not in somebody’s minutes.
ADM: The $500,000 is not the point or the purview of this group at all. So there was no discussion of the $500,000 dollars. This group is only a committee of the Academic Planning Group to develop processes around budget and initiatives for the Academic Plan. That’s all they did. And they divided into two parts: in one part developed a process around initiatives that takes about a year to accomplish, roughly. The other one developed a process around the broader budget of the University, of how that process more or less would work. And we are not using that process to do the budget for this year, because the budget for this year has to done today, and we’re just coming to the point of approving the Academic Plan. This process is part of the same Academic Plan, which, as far as I know, isn’t done yet, hasn’t been published, and so, no, we’re not going to use it for the coming academic year. It will be used in that year, but it’s used in anticipation for the following year, because you have to plan a year ahead of when you spend your money. Just as we didn’t use the process that outlines for the overall budget because that process is already finished pretty much, we will use it in the future. It’s part of the plan which hasn’t been published yet.
2) Diversity Plan (ADM)
ADM: (copies distributed) This is the final draft of the charge to the University Task Force that I intend to sign and distribute. It’s been through lots of reviewing it, but after the list of membership, which is at the end of the pages, I intend to appoint a steering committee from among the members of the Task Force to manage the process. Is it huge? Is it small? I predict the steering committee will manage moving the agenda, keeping things going.
FA: I myself had a first opportunity to see this document less than an hour ago, and most of my colleagues are in a similar circumstance. We will take it to the Senate on Tuesday. Thank you for getting us the document.
ADM: It’s your first opportunity to see this version.
ADM: We brought it to Meet & Confer much earlier.
3) COE Climate Task
Force (Separated from Task Force on Diversity at the 8/30/07 Meet & Confer)
ADM: There was a request from the Climate Task Force to work with a set of consultants to work with the College to deal with some of the issues from the College, get important information, and come up with a set of recommendations. Some questions arose about the way the proposal was presented, and so we needed to go back and forth several times and get some clarification on that. I indicated to the co-chair of the Task Force that we would move forward with this come the beginning of the Fall Semester so we have some time to get these documents in correct format. There has to be a professional contract drawn up. We will do that and have it in place. This activity will begin in the Fall Semester.
FA: Thank you for the update.
4) Intellectual property
and releases from PR (FA) (08/30/07)
FA: The Faculty Association’s office retained and employed for the first time counsel to the IFO, and so for the first time our executive committee’s experienced what that means. In the correspondence we received, it was described as privileged information, communication between counsel and client. So we thought we were going to get something else, and we got this document. We do have a commitment from our attorney to work with us in developing a form that would be responsive to the concerns that were expressed in the opinion she gave us. In the interim, what we were advised to do is to caution our members that they may be signing away intellectual property rights that they need to be concerned with. That is the gist of what we were able to do. I was not a happy person when I saw the document. It’s an internal governance of our organization, but we will honor the attorney/client privilege that the appropriate counsel instructed us to follow.
ADM: I think that maybe the timing is not bad given that we’ll give you a special advisor to the president. Maybe the appropriate person will have the information.
FA: I hate to get to the point that we’re saying, “My attorney will talk to your attorney.”
ADM: It’s not quite the same thing, but…
FA: I do think that there are issues that those forms raise that are gaining predominance nationally, and it is important to us to look at both sides and review our documents since intellectual property is becoming more significant with the entré of significant online presence, etc. We appreciate your patience with this.
5) Report on Budget
ADM: We’re proceeding with the budget as we presented it at the Town Hall Meetings and the various Meet & Confers. The contract settlements did come forward and pretty much within expectation; there may be nuance to them that are somewhat different since we last met or shortly before. MSUAASF has a kind of agreement with their contract, so that brings to closure all the issues of contracts. It is yet to be approved by either the Legislature or the Legislative Commission, but we would expect that. Yesterday we got news from the Office of the Chancellor that indeed the 1% incentive money based on meeting the goals set by the Legislature was released by the Department of Finance and is available to us. We’ve been operating on that assumption all along that those funds would be made available, because there was every expectation that the system would meet those goals, and we did. So, that’s consistent with our plan. Also, we still await the setting of tuition and the final allocation which the board has yet to take action on that. And we haven’t heard any rumors of any drastic changes, but that’s the last variable that we need to take into consideration. We are proceeding on our assumptions. Diana, as we speak, is preparing the budget worksheets to go our to the various units so that we can enter the materials and the appropriate codes and that people will be able to start come July 1 and operate, and HR has been entering Faculty contract adjustments based on the contract. Are you finished with that?
ADM: It’s a lot of work. It’s in progress.
ADM: It’s taking an exceptional amount of time, because the new Web-based system makes each change take six minutes for each person. Each person has one for this year and one for Summer if they teach Summer, so it takes an exceedingly long time. It’s not in Kristi’s shop that that’s happening!
ADM: That’s the short report.
FA: The Board of Trustees is still planning on meeting the day after the Legislature adjourns?
ADM: As far as I know.
FA: So we’ll have some information in May—I guess it IS May-- that’ll give us the direction of how much, what kinds of budget reduction the action or inaction of the Legislature may trigger and how the trustees will respond to whatever that action is.
FA: Let us hope that they have tuition approved for us so we can promptly move forward.
ADM: We’ve been making assumptions with students about tuition for financial aid estimates and everything, so we…the 4% nominal number is what we’ve been using. There is still some legislative nuance to this because of the management of the expected deficit and how it plays out specifically with respect to MNSCU and in turn the campuses.
6) Article 22 Task Force
FA: The Task Force has been meeting on a regular basis. Even though we’ve not had full attendance, progress has been made and a proposed schedule has been developed. It’s my understanding that, Michael, you have a copy of the proposed schedule that came out of the meeting on Tuesday….
ADM: I do have it
FA: …and that it includes Promotion and Tenure and also the PDP/PDR processes.
ADM: We have not yet had a chance to have discussion in our appropriate Senate venues to deal with that, so we need to have that set of conversations, and then respond back.
FA: What we tried to do is align as much as possible the Professional Development process in Article 22 with Promotion and Tenure processes described in Article 25 and create a document that reflects a deliberative process focusing first on Professional Development. Our people have a copy; I think we’re bringing this to Senate on Tuesday, are we not?
FA: That was Annette’s hope. I have extra copies.
FA: It should be noted that this was one of the items that President Potter and the Association have placed as something important to complete, and we’re very close to having this completed.
ADM: I just have to verify the dates.
FA: Thank you.
ADM: Will your work be done before the end of the academic year?
FA: I believe so. We should be able to agree to these items at the last Meet & Confer so we can fulfill the contractual obligation.
ADM: That would be the goal. I don’t think we changed any of the dates in any significant way.
FA: What we did is we responded to dates that we felt were responsive to the needs of both Faculty and Administration. There are dates that are set contractually.
ADM: Contractual parameters.
FA: This is within the contractual parameters.
ADM: Thank you.
FA: We need to look more carefully at the calendar. In 2009 we have a Duty Day on December 24th and so we do need to arrange that differently.
ADM: De ja vu all over again.
ADM: Any other comments on this item?
Move to New Business #2, SCSU Webpages (FA) (04/17/08)
FA: We brought that item forward. The
conversation happened in kind of an odd way in that our department brought
forward a motion and we sent it out electronically concerning web design
issues. And before it actually even came to Senate, we had a response from
University Communications and ITS, so we had both to bring to Senate. If anyone
needs those documents, we have them, including an updated list of faculty
concerns that was gathered after Senate. The concerns were really primarily a
result of the external face on the Webpage, to have a redesign to have a more
outward looking focus, more of a marketing focus. We inadvertently created
some issues internally. One of our primary concerns is that, when redesigning
that we do usability testing with faculty and with current students so we can
connect and get at those problems. I understand there’s a shortage of staffing
that’s contributing to that also.
ADM: Thank you for bringing up some of these issues. This is the most feedback we’ve had since we went out. Before we launched the Website, we went and talked to 16 different groups and sought feedback over the design and those kinds of things. As we were putting together this new web site and if we go back and think about why we did what we did, we know that anywhere between 80-95% of college searches start with the Web. So it was primarily the focus. We tried to create a balance. The issue was, because we knew that we don’t have a portal, which would resolve a bunch of these; we don’t have an Intranet. Unfortunately, we don’t have either of those. But we tried to take and group all the tools that the faculty and staff use as well as the current students on those two pages. We will go back to the drawing board. We have a working group that meets on a regular basis, the Web Team which is over at LRTS, and then there are a couple of people from Communications. We meet on a regular basis, and we go through all the comments that come, and we try to figure out how to resolve them. There were some very legitimate ones that surfaced in this first document, because we don’t have somebody who can sit and go through, look at the 100,000 pages that we have, and try to find problems. So if you find a problem, at the footer of every page there is a contact link, and at the bottom of those major links it says “Web Team.” If you have comments or concerns, that’s the place, a link to click or there’s also a phone number. Next year…it’s not been in previously but it will be in the actual printed version of the phone book. We have a group that meets on a regular basis, and this will be our summer agenda: Figure out the responses to all the questions that you’ve raised. You’ve raised some very good ones, and it’s very appropriate that you do that.
ADM: It’s not just the response but that you will make changes.
ADM: We’ve already made changes. The biggest one was the Majors page. That had some broken links on it. Those all now go directly to the Undergraduate Bulletin, or wherever it should have gone within the graduate school as well. That was taken care of, and we did not know that problem existed.
FA: I will say that a lot of times when a faculty member’s using the Web, it’s very much in the midst of something. For example, a student comes in for advising, and they go in to look for something that they would normally look for in a certain way, and all of a sudden it’s not there. So while the student’s sitting there, I may try and find it, and then the next student may come in, and I may not have a chance to get back to the comments. So I think it’s good to have where to comment, but I think you’re not going to get all faculty comments that way, or certainly all student comments that way. I really do suggest—and this is Judy speaking, not the FA speaking—that you do usability testing with faculty and with current students so that they can sit and do what they normally do and you can capture what their issues are as they go through. I can say that, because as part of this process of dealing with this issue, I was walking over to Senate that day and ran into a techie who had a conversation with me about the Web redesign. I had done with my class group projects with the Library staff, and so my students in Business Writing will be doing some of the usability testing in small groups next Fall, but that’s a small class, and it only gets at some of the issues. I think we need to build into our Web redesigns that sort of testing so that faculty and students can use the Web very successfully in their teaching and in their study.
ADM: Good suggestions.
FA: What’s the maximum number of clicks for something one does?
ADM: That’s interesting. There’s one comment in here about some of the latest questions. I don’t know the answer to that question, although somebody pointed out there could be seven. Sarah responded to one of these questions. She had just read an article or attended a conference at U of M that the three-click rule is a myth. I don’t know what maximum. Somebody declared there were seven, and some of us who tried it were able to get to the same place in four One of the things that the firm we worked with really pushed us to do, and part of what will solve some of these issues, is multiple entry points. The more we can use those, the better off we are. They really pushed us to do that, and we did that in a lot of places, but I think we need to go back and analyze that more, to have multiple entry points from different places so it’s easier.
FA What appears on our screen isn’t necessarily something you have control over. We may use the entry point that starts with the St. Cloud State home page, but the minute we jump into ISRS, we know you’re not able to fix those problems. We become part of the texture of what happens when operate using a Web-based world. We link to something that often in the commercial sector, they’ll say, “You’re now leaving the SCSU web page,” and in our system it doesn’t say that, and I know from my vantage point as a user, the bigger problems I have are when I interface with the ISRS system. It baffles me how someone could make something simple as complex as they’ve made it. Just to find an access code for a student. I know you don’t do that, and for the record, not everything we access through the Web is in fact under our control at St. Cloud State.
FA: One of the studies has shown most of the time students do like a lot of links in everything. The New York Times, when you go to the next page, it’s very easy to go back. It looks the same wherever you go. That’s the critical issue, I think.
ADM: Could you put into an email to me, so we can look at that in the way you phrased it? I would really appreciate that. I know there’s some confusion sometimes, because all of a sudden, the Web has been housed in LR&TS for all these years, and then I come here three years ago and jumped into that fray. Now we have a Web Communications person and Communications as well. But if you give something to the Web Team or to me, it will all get to the same place.
FA: Thank you, Loren.
Back to Progress Reports
7. Data Security and Privacy (was Senate
Motion Concerning Email Monitoring (12/13/07)
FA: We had talked about waiting for that? Do you have something for us?
ADM: I said I would try to get the answers. I
read it again and I realized it still needs editorial changes. This is the gist
of what I got from Office of the Chancellor. I think the question was, “Does it
matter where the information is located?” This is their intent to answer. They
wrote a really long document. I tried to summarize it into a few sentences. But
I think this would be generally the format open to look and ask any questions.
ADM: It’s pretty broad.
ADM: There are a lot of other questions people have, too.
FA: And this came from the Chancellor’s
ADM: I sent them a list of these kinds of questions. They sent me back a long response and said, “Please don’t just copy and give them out to people.” I don’t know why.
ADM: Like attorney/client privilege.
ADM: So I tried to summarize it without copying and pasting directly.
FA: Thank you. We’ll come back to this in the Fall?
FA: Some of us received a reminder to complete the mandatory data privacy training modules. A faculty member did send me some correspondence that raised the question with regard to the privacy of the data that was provided when one engaged in the module, that is, when you went through and did the things. Maybe that’s a way to test the system, to ask, “Is that private data or public data?”
ADM: You want a response to that training, is that public or private?
FA: Right. Is that public or private data. The faculty member believes that it’s private data. I don’t know if it is.
ADM: I don’t have an answer. I would hazard
to tell you it’s personnel related, but I’ll ask them
FA: That would be a way we could get a sense, because the whole purpose of the training was to ensure that we knew how to protect private data, and we knew how to differentiate between that which was private and public data. And the faculty member asked, “What are you doing with my private data?”
ADM: I’ll have an answer by next time.
Back to the top of the Agenda: Unfinished Business
1. Follow ups
a. Email as Official Communication, Redux (ADM) (03/13/08)
ADM: We thank you for the response. I’ve
looked it over and made recommendations to the Provost. I think he and I are
going to sit down and meet and make changes.
ADM: And come back.
b. Request for Faculty
Co-Chair for Enrollment Management (FA) (12/13/07)
FA: We’re naming Mark Jaede as the co-chair. He sits on Enrollment Management; he has been elected to Strategic Planning for next year, so we would get that linkage that we’re looking for. He has agreed to do that, so I’m assuming that he should communicate with your office about reassigned time.
FA: OK, thank you.
ADM: We can take off the list?
FA: We can.
2. The Processes for Appointing
FA Representation to College and University-level Committees under the
IFO/MnSCU Master Agreement (FA) (10/18/07)
FA: I asked the Provost to keep this on the list because I think we wanted to in case, as always, at the end of the year we get a flurry of activity, and it’s reaffirmed for me the need to have some sort of central clearing house, if you will, for requests for FA representation for College- and University-level committees. I would like it to be made clear that people should, if they have search committees that they’re forming for requests made into your office, then you, of course, could bring it to Meet & Confer. I find that people are still confused. We certainly understand the process at this table, but if we clearly send a signal at regular intervals, perhaps even at regular meetings you have with your leadership team, to bring those forward so they can be put on the agenda, that would help us move searches forward in a more timely fashion. I would appreciate that, and am willing to take this item off, having said that.
ADM: That’s a good idea.
3. Overhead on Grants
FA: We had asked to keep this on as a reminder for FALL, and so we’ll come back to that at that point.
4. Request for six faculty (one from each college) to serve on the search committee (national search) for the AVP for Faculty Relations (ADM) (04/03/08)
5. 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 (ADM)
FA: If I could address both 4 and 5 together. I put out the requests for volunteers for both sets of committees. The selection of the search committee for the AVP for Faculty Relations, according to our operating procedures, occurs through paper ballot. That’s due Monday, and we will have names for you Tuesday for that. Item 5 are the requests for search committees for two MSUAASF positions. We have volunteer names, and we’ll vote on those at the Senate on Tuesdays. So we’ll have names in both situations for you on Tuesday.
ADM: Thank you, I appreciate that. Sponsored programs are the next item. We can take those off the list?
6. Sponsored Programs (FA) (04/03/08)
Last time, we brought forward these questions and received answers:
Motion: Ask the Administration their policy on extra duty days on grants and contracts. What numbers are they communicating on the number of additional duty days that can be requested?
Motion: Ask the Administration to provide their policy on the use of time and effort sheets.
Motion: Ask the Administration for an update on the status of the director of Sponsored Programs.
However, I believe that Robert had some questions that we didn’t ask, and I asked the Provost to keep this item on the agenda so that we could ask follow-up questions.
FA: At the last Meet & Confer, it was
explained that the time sheet requirement came from federal requirements to
accept federal money. One of our executive committee members asked for the
specific citation, where in rule or code or statute, so we can verify to those
who work that there is in fact a statutory rule or code that would stipulate
ADM: There was a reference to that in the minutes, is that correct? So we’ll have to get that reference.
FA: It would be useful in explaining to the senators, too.
FA: Yes, because we get the question, and then we respond with that answer. They say, “Where? Where is that written?”
FA: “I don’t know.”
FA: I don’t know.
ADM: I wasn’t here for that conversation.
FA: I’m sure you know the answer.
ADM: I’ve seen it before.
ADM: We’ll get those precise citations sent to you. I read it in the minutes, there’s a reference to a number there, but it may not have been the right one.
FA: I think there was a need for a few other follow-up questions. Do we have all the follow-up questions?
FA: I keep on looking at the agenda, you
mentioned what question was raised, and one was non-federal government grants,
and a year before that, we have to put that time source. That’s the question,
is there any federal guidelines?
FA: It’s probably relating to both. (Several voices indicating assent.) If you’re willing to shoot us an answer to that via email, we can go ahead and take this off, and then we’ll look at the information.
FA: A question about communiqués beyond 224 days, the need to provide time and effort sheets on duty days occurring within the 224 days, the documentation required?
ADM: The response on that was that this was a MNSCU policy.
ADM: The issue was a guideline, and there are
provisions for exceptions to that. We’ve made some exceptions to that, and I
should have put that in my report to you. I didn’t do that. We’ll make sure
that we get it to you in writing. That was also the policy that we designed (rest of sentence fades away)
FA: We understand that part. The point I didn’t finish making was that the requirement to do something different at a different point on the calendar than prior. So for 224 days you work a certain way, and 225 days and thereafter you work another way in terms of the (unable to understand word). There’s a question of the workload for contractual matters. So those are the issues we’re trying to get at, what are the contractual limitations of requiring your time-and-effort sheet. If it’s mandated by federal law, then how is that a question of interpretation of that federal law or federal policy, or is it a unilateral application of federal policy or federal law to non-federal grants?
ADM: Let me put in writing, and I’ll get it to you.
FA: OK, thank you very much. We appreciate
ADM: The item stays on.
7. Policy on Religious Observances (ADM) (04/03/08)
ADM: I think that we should identify a small
group of people and work to develop this and then consult broadly with various
constituencies and then come back to this.
FA: OK, so we should leave this on with the intention that it will be one of our items down the road.
8. Foundations of Excellence (ADM) (04/17/08)
FA: We received your document and your
explanation last time for Foundations of Excellence after our Senate packets
had gone out. We gave the document to Senate the following Tuesday. They needed
to take it back and read it and understand it. I’m assuming we’ll have some
sort of action on that at this coming Tuesday’s Senate meeting. So we should be
well ahead of the deadline for the application should we decide to go ahead
with that. So I can let you know after Senate Tuesday what Senate does.
ADM: Perhaps this is the right place to talk about D2L. I asked Kristi if she could give you a quick update on some recent developments.
ADM: We just found this out today, and I
thought this might be a nice way to get the information out, even though it
wasn’t on the agenda.
FA: We’re happy to add D2L, because you’re hitting us where we live.
ADM: This is a message I expect will be going
out later today, but it may be just going out to D2L users only. The top
message is what we’re planning to send out to the campus, the bottom message is
the information that we received from the Office of Chancellor. They had told
us they would give us a communication today. We have been waiting, waiting,
waiting for this.
FA: I wanted to personally thank you for the clarity of the email concerning this. All of you have seen the application of MNSCU’s messages concerning this that go on forever and are very technical. I would also like you, if you could, to carry this back in some way: If you look at the D2L upgrade status, the message on the back under “Discussion Deletions,” at the end of that paragraph…. (turn of tape) ….working through. It has been very helpful in that regard, but…I’m trying to be polite about this, ok? So, they have no way of knowing how many faculty wish to keep records of their discussion data. They have no notion of that. For them to make assumptions shows to me how far they are from understanding how that kind of technology can be used. Two people in this room happened to hear the discussion at Meet & Confer and happened to use that discussion data in ways that perhaps MNSCU wouldn’t understand. And that was just a revelation by circumstantial coincidence. So for them to say a handful of faculty want this stuff, if they look at the research that’s being done, a LOT of researchers use this data in terms of trying to understand electronic discourse, trying to understand pedagogy for online, and it’s insulting to me personally that they assume that it’s just a handful of whiners again who are getting in the way or something. I know you will pass that along in nicer terms that I would.
ADM: I sure will.
FA: You can name me if you want to. It’s a whiner in St. Cloud who claims to be one of many people who want this discussion.
FA: I sent an email to Tom that some faculty may have concerns about drop boxes and a lot of student attachments there. I got a message that they won’t delete drop boxes, assignments, etc. But other faculty may have the same questions.
ADM: So they may need information on that. It’s my understanding they won’t be going into that, in particular drop boxes and surveys.
FA: It seems to me a lot of people are storing “assessment data” and data that will be used for accreditation purposes in drop boxes.
ADM: Anything else?
FA: Just a thank you for…I’ve learned more
and more as I participate in discussions at the state level how well-treated we
are regarding this, so again, thank you. And please let the Team know that
also. We appreciate their efforts.
ADM: Thank you very much for that.
1. Task Force on 9-month Appointments (ADM/FA) (04/17/08) and #8: University Scholars and Endowed Chairs (FA) (05/01/08)
FA: That’s mine. I wonder if I could ask your
permission to group #1 and 8, since they both related to the recently approved
contract, and I can handle them promptly in that way. Would that be OK? The new
contract provides for the appointment of a task force on a 9-month appointment.
In the course of our discussions around the table, we foresaw that this, being
a rather a different arrangement than we had before for appointments, there
could be some glitches. And that it would be prudent on each campus to be able
to study how smoothly or conversely where problem areas occurred. We’re
wondering if you had begun plans for setting up such a task force?
ADM: We’ve been thinking about it. The contract does say that we should have such a group that should get together to talk about what kind of representation or the composition of it. I haven’t thought in great detail about it but in order to have something like that in place before semester….
FA: Right. Being a new arrangement, we should try to get as far ahead of this as we can. The other part is, similarly, #8 comes out of the contract as well. University scholars and endowed chairs are provided for in the contract, and we wondered if you have any plans in connections with those two new provisions? Do you plan to appoint university scholars or endowed chairs?
ADM: In order to have endowed chairs, we going to have to have some money. If you’d like to donate a couple of hundred thousand, we could start a few of those. With regard to university scholars, we need to have a broader discussion about that and to start looking at developing criteria that would be applicable to that.
FA: We’re formally requesting to be kept in the loop on that as your thinking progresses. Thank you.
FA: I’m thinking that that’s the first thing in the Fall we should talk about, especially the task force because it seems to me the work for that is going to be difficult. I could be wrong, but I think there are a lot of questions and ambiguities in that part of the contract, and if we could name people early in the Fall and they could begin work right away, that would be useful to the University
ADM: I agree.
FA: Thank you.
2. SCSU Webpages (FA) (04/17/08) (moved up in the agenda; see p. 4 of these minutes)
3. Alnwick Summer Program Recommendation (FA) (04/17/08)
FA: We had had a motion that had come forward
from International Studies Committee in February of 2007, and it kind of got dropped
between two FA presidencies. They passed a motion that was passed at Senate
which was that during the summer session, the faculty will offer two electives
only. This was focused on Alnwick, and it’s two rather than three. This motion
obviously never came to Meet & Confer, so we’re backtracking and bring what
we should have brought awhile ago to you for your response.
ADM: What I would like to do is address the larger issue of Alnwick and the enrollments that we’ve had to have in recent semesters and talk about how to make better use of the facility and get increased enrollments there, especially the number of classes, as part of that larger conversation. I think we need to have some kind of meeting with International Studies Committee plus the Alnwick group, some administrators, and some folks from CIS to talk about what to do to beef up the whole program, because it seems to be shrinking in size each year and is in danger of losing money and becoming a liability unless we see some changes. So I’d like to look at the whole issue as part of the ongoing investigation and discussions.
FA: So you’re proposing to call together a group to focus on those questions?
FA: And when might that happen?
ADM: We can’t do it this summer. We will be filling, I hope, some positions during this summer in International Studies. We’ll start having some internal discussions there.
FA: You’d like this to be folded into the
larger picture. We also have another larger picture, the revision for
ADM: And this is a piece of that, but it’s one piece. It’s been a commitment that we’ve made over a period of decades but there’s suffering somewhere, and we need to address that apart from having a long tradition, but it’s part of the larger issue.
FA: So we’re assuming you’ll come back to us
in the Fall with a request for us to meet?
FA: Point of clarification: So in terms of
the specific request here, that’s going to be held in abeyance until the larger
conversation takes place.
ADM: Michael, wouldn’t you like to officially say that we want that committee to meet in the Fall rather than a request to come forward in the Fall?
FA: We can tell the International Studies Committee and the Alnwick Subcommittee to expect invitations from your office in the Fall?
FA: The request comes to the Faculty Association, and the Association will need some time to know how to respond to this. It doesn’t automatically mean it will come from a particular group within it.
ASDM: There is a group of faculty who have
managed the program, set curriculum and assigned people and that’s been going
on for years.
FA: Are you asking us specifically to appoint those people to this committee?
ADM: What I was asking for is to meet with the currently-existing committees, part of the larger International Studies Committee which also includes the Alnwick Subcommittee. I believe that’s subcommittee of the larger existing committees in place. It’s not the creation of appointments.
FA: It’s my understanding—please correct me if I’m wrong—that the purpose of meeting with the committee and subcommittee would be to brainstorm ways of enlivening the activity there, and looking at the issues and barriers that might be leading to smaller enrollment.
ADM: Bottom line, Alnwick needs an enrollment
of 55 people per term in order to break even. For the Summer Term for this year
we’ve only 26; for the Spring Term this year was 30-ish. That it seems to be
declining is an understatement. Definitely the program is losing money, so without
changes the program will fold. The charge is to the folks who are running the
program to examine the premise. Let me speak candidly: I was there in
November, a wonderful opportunity. We’re operating the same academic program
that we operated 26 years ago when this program was founded. It has not
changed. The world has changed, our competition has changed, the opportunities
have changed but the program hasn’t changed, except for the fact that when the
program was first started, the costs of the program were handled by volunteers.
So upkeep costs and now personnel is handled by third-party contractors, so
costs have gone up greatly. Then you add the drop in the dollar and the
economic liability of the program is a serious question. The people who are connected
with that program are taking a look at opportunities; there are, fact,
opportunities. Taking a look at the way the staffing models are done plays a
role in making a determination about the future. We just have not actively
managed the way it was constructed so it’s difficult to sustain. That’s a
separate question from the vision of globalization, and I want to comment on
that for just a second. I’ll be meeting with Strategic Planning Committee and
the Task Force chairs soon to give some feedback on the Task Force reports and
set of Academic Policies . The task force on Globalization essentially
concluded that they were not the right ones to describe the vision of
globalization. External evaluators of our international programs have said the
University has asserted a commitment to globalization, but there’s no vision
for what that should be or should look like. So, the Leadership Team will over
the Summer meet to describe the vision. The vision will be vetted widely across
the University, but when we asked the Task Force specifically to examine that
issue, the Task Force said, basically, “We can’t do that.” So we’re going to
put a straw dog on the table for consideration by the community across the
summer. That should include facilities questions in terms of change of size,
characteristics of the best international programs at universities nationally
that we want to be true of our program here. We’ve never done that work as a
campus. Right now, we have a lot of initiatives but they're not tying into any
central visions. So that’s the work that this group will do and the vision team
will hand this work back to the existing committees for wider sharing and
adjustments. So by the end of this Fall Semester we should have consensus on
what it would look like. And we can take all the proposals that are in the
Academic Planning process and tie them into that vision that should play over
10 years to get us to that point, and tie into the Facilities Plan which has to
FA: When you go back to the Alnwick people, would it help to add people who are not invested in that to bring some other perspectives?
ADM: Yes, we’ve asked.
FA: The request to have the International Studies Committee, specifically the persons in the Alnwick program doesn’t necessarily (unable to understand rest of sentence).
ADM: They’re the larger committee, so you get those other voices and perspectives, but you’re right. Like Einstein said, “The mind that created the problem cannot solve it.” We need outside views of opportunities.
FA: There’s an aspect of the global commitment that St. Cloud State has that applies to these semester or even year-long programs that eludes my understanding. In my conversations with people in Admissions and people in CIS, I have asked them if a commitment to Global Studies is one of the defining characteristics of St. Cloud State, why don’t we recruit for it? Why don’t we go to the schools and recruit that predictable fraction of every slice of the population that has the requisite abilities and interests that would predict that they would go on these programs and recruit them. There are two things that happen: then people study their shoelaces or they give me an answer that runs along the lines that, “The hand of God is manifest in the enrollment patterns of Minnesotan 17-, 18-, 19-year-old kids.”
ADM: That was John’s line.
FA: This is really a major act of faith on my part, and I haven’t gotten to that yet. So referring to this other one: Wouldn’t it make sense if we’re closing down programs that are immediately relevant to our claim to the centrality to global commitment, wouldn’t it make sense for us then to assure that we’ll be able to keep those programs open by aggressively recruiting student to participate in those programs, and then making piddling scholarship amounts available to them. You would be stunned to see the effect on enrollment that a silly little $200 or $300 scholarship will have. It is utterly disproportionate…it would leave you slack-jawed, the disproportionate effect it has on enrollment. But there it is. OK, I’m done with my rant.
ADM: The simple answer is, yes. In terms of
vision for the future, actively recruiting students for those programs should
be part of that vision. I vehemently agree.
FA: Excellent! Both of us have achieved an intellectual break-through!
4. Request for one FA representative for each of two search committees for MSUAASF positions: Advising Center Director and Admissions Director (ADM) (05/01/08)
FA: I will put out a call for that
representation. I’m noting for the record that it’s Thursday moving into the
last week of the semester, that our last Senate is next Tuesday, and hopefully
we will get a volunteer that we can appoint in a few short minutes. The
timeline does not leave much time for faculty to think or decide whether they
want to volunteer. Having grumped appropriately, I will go forward and put out
ADM: Thank you.
5. Appointment of Interim Deans (05/01/08)
FA: I’m going to share this item with Michael. I’m just going to make a couple of introductory remarks, and then hand it off to him. We’re distressed that we haven’t been asked to participate in a process of recruiting for the interim position that’s recently opened up. As we imagine how you select and refine a management team, we assumed that this was a considerable period over which you can foresee these changes taking place. And in that period, we feel it would have been reasonable for us to have been invited into the process. When Mark Nook, for example, got another job, we were called upon to help in finding the interim appointment, and we thought we did a pretty good job. When we’re not invited into that process, it raises questions in our mind as to our common understanding of shared governance and the commitment to it. The advantages that we see coming out of a collaborative process are enhanced legitimacy and credibility for whoever will assume what has got to be a difficult, thankless job, an interim position. Our participation is based on the triple principles of consultation, process and transparency, and we think the benefits of our participation on those three bases are considerable and contribute to the success of that position once a person has been found to fill that position. In the absence of consultation, process and transparency, we foresee unfortunate difficulties for whoever assumes the position. So with that little introduction, maybe Michael has something to say.
FA: A couple of things. The College of Fine Arts and Humanities, as some people at this table remember, was formed out of the left-overs, so to speak—the programs that didn’t obviously fit into another structure when the College of Arts and Sciences was broken apart in 1984. At that time, an interim was appointed by the then vice-president of one of the senior members of the faculty, one who had recently negotiated the contract. That individual served under the stipulation that he would serve as an interim for a year, and that then there would be a national search, and, moreover, that that individual would not be eligible to participate as a candidate in that search. I think that was the last time that particular sort of point was made on this campus. The reason why it [this policy] was changed because there was an overwhelming consensus in the College that the best choice by far, when the national search came around, was the incumbent, the interim dean. In fact, the job was offered to another individual who subsequently became a vice-president and later a president on another campus, so there certainly has been no dearth of high-quality applicants, both internally and externally, in national searches in that College. When I became interim dean in 1988, it was the result of the kind of process Bill’s referring to, and the stipulation at that time was that it was a one-year term, but I could be eligible to participate in the national search. At the end of that year, consequently, I was selected and indeed served 8 more years. So when I resigned as dean 9 years later, I did so at the beginning of an academic year so that we wouldn’t have to have that awkward process of having an interim dean. Specht-Jarvis was subsequently selected and served for 11 years. The reason I’m rehashing that is simple: This is a college that has had three deans in its history. The participation of faculty in the selection of those deans has been part of a transparent process, a participatory process. I think that in some ways contributed to the fact that those deans had such longevity and enjoy such confidence in their relationship with faculty. I want to be real clear that the consternation that we’re expressing has absolutely nothing to do with the particular individual who’s been appointed. That’s not the issue. It may well be that any process anyone could envision, whether it would be simply inquiring to the interest of individuals in serving in that position or whether it would be the kind of search process that I was part of last summer that replaced Dean Nook, the assumption that it might have come out the same way is not really the point. The point is, we have no idea how it might have come out for the simple reason that we’ve have two deans in 20 years. There are whole careers that have gone on during that process and a whole new generation of people who’ve come into the College during the 11 years that Dean Specht-Jarvis has served, and it seemed to me that would have been a particularly useful process to follow at this point. I also append to that a similar concern that's related to the position of Associate Dean in Fine Arts and Humanities, which is currently vacant. And the reason it’s vacant, of course, are two reasons: 1) The person who was selected as Associate Dean has subsequently served as Interim Dean of both Social Science and now Fine Arts and Humanities. Her successor has now been selected as dean of another campus. Her two predecessors both became deans elsewhere, and in fact one of them became a vice-president on another campus. We certainly would not simply hope but expect that interim dean position would be filled using the kind of process that engages the College as a whole, that we won’t simply get another announcement on a Tuesday afternoon that someone has been appointed to that position. It’s a matter of some personal urgency with me since I served in that position and since I know the quality of the relationship with the College and the dean. It’s a sort of uncomfortable conversation.
ADM: We understand and I want to reply by saying that we do want to have a screening for associate dean and we want to request this input from faculty selecting that person, and we’ll ask the screening committee to do that.
FA: My only knowledge of this comes from one sentence in a memorandum emailed to me last Tuesday afternoon. Are we to assume that interim appointment of the dean is a one-year appointment in the Fall?
ADM: Yes, there will be a search beginning right away in the Fall. We’re requesting four people to be on the screening committee.
FA: So you’re requesting four people from the College for a screening committee? What timeline are we looking at?
ADM: As soon as we can, probably during the summer.
FA: In recent years there’s been an external member, a faculty member on the deans’ search committee as well.
ADM: On a DEAN’S search committee?
FA: For the dean’s position.
FA: For associate dean positions as well.
FA: I’m not speaking of dean’s committee.
ADM: NO I requested for the interim associate dean.
FA: I’m sorry. I misheard.
ADM: That will occur in the Fall.
FA: That request for that has not come forward yet. OK, my mistake.
FA: You indicated summer. It’s been the practice recently that faculty that serve on committees in summer are compensated.
FA: Thank you.
FA: Just a clarification. The Associate Dean of Fine Arts and Humanities has, perhaps because it’s been a long time since that’s been done, have typically been internal searches. I assume your contemplating a national search for an associate dean on a permanent basis, and if not, I guess I would ask why term interim needs to be applied to the Associate Dean? We’ve had extraordinary good fortune in appointing from within those individuals in a local search for that position, and have served admirably.
ADM: The position would be an interim.
FA: We’re really looking at two different processes—actually 3. We’re looking at a screening committee of four people for this summer to hire an interim associate dean who would begin in the Fall. Then we’re talking about hiring someone without the interim through another search, Correct?
ADM: For a dean, yes.
FA: For a dean but not for an associate dean?
FA: So are you talking the dean search first and then the associate dean after that?
FA: Michael, when the dean of the College of Education left rather quickly, I can remember you coming over and having an all-college meeting at which time some of these questions were discussed with the College. My sense is that the thinking about how to proceed other than with regard to the associate dean interim and with regard to need to move quickly in the Fall, a permanent dean in the College is still preliminary. You haven’t really come to a conclusion that says the timing for a permanent search for a permanent associate dean?
ADM: You’ve got Sharon. She could assist in that.
FA: So we are only talking about two things: interim associate and permanent deanships.
FA: Potentially a third depending on outcome.
FA: I appreciate the clarification, because I certainly needed it.
FA: Over the summer, who’s’ going to take care of the Fine Arts and Humanities, the normal tending the store?
ADM: Sharon will be interim dean over the summer.
FA: Over the Summer.
ADM: And we are close to completing the national search for a permanent dean in Social Sciences.
FA: Do we have any notion of how close we are?
ADM: We have the strengths and weaknesses submitted by the search committee, and we are in process of trying to contact candidates.
FA: One other question: The memorandum I received Tuesday afternoon didn’t indicate when transition will take place.
ADM: The end of fiscal year.
FA: I’m sorry, I thought I had envisioned what was happening, but it all just went away. So on July 1, there is an interim dean appointed, and that appointment is expected to go through the full fiscal year or just until the Fall?
ADM: In all likelihood, it will be the full year.
FA: The full year. And in addition there will
be an appointment of an interim associate dean that will also go through
the fiscal year, or thereabouts, the academic year?
FA: And so a full search for dean would start to be implemented in the summer. We’re not sure there will be a full search for an associate dean.
ADM: Sharon IS the associate dean.
ADM: The search for the associate dean will begin in the summer and the search for the dean will begin in the fall.
FA: OK, but regardless, there will be two temporary people in that office all of next year
ADM: That’s correct.
FA: To say that the person that’s been appointed is associate dean for next year is not accurate. OK, adding the associate in there with one interim is what threw off my timing.
6. Policy revisions:
Undergraduate Credit Load Policy, Undergraduate Application Form, Graduate
Credit Load Policy, Graduate Application Form, Late Withdrawal Policy, Request
for Late Withdrawal, Policy on S-U grades (FA) (05/01/08)
FA: The Academic Policy Work Group has worked on some policies that came through our Academic Affairs Committee and were approved by Senate, and we’re bringing those to you today. I believe all of them are in the form that was worked out with the Academic Policy Work Group except for one, which has a modest change, but not perhaps an insignificant one. If you look at item 16, the Transfer Students document, Senate did approve this with an amendment. You’ll see in the second paragraph under “Admission Requirements for Transfer Students,” the original language was changed to “accepted,” and Senate changed it back to “considered.” With that edit, this was approved, and all the other policies, I believe, are the same as what we saw from the Academic Policy Work Group. Is that correct?
FA: That’s correct.
FA: We are bringing these forward to the Administration and are fine with what’s here.
ADM: We accept what’s here.
FA: We can certainly take that item off the agenda. Our Academic Affairs Committee will be pleased. They worked very hard to move policy through Senate, so they will be happy to know that those are complete.
7. Status of 1.B.1. Task Force (FA) (05/01/08)
FA: Some time ago we received a progress report—early this semester—on the 1.B.1 Task Force, and you had indicated there would be a final report coming later in the semester, and I’m wondering if you know anything.
ADM: Yes, I’m on that committee. The committee is in final stages of writing the final report and recommendation. At this point, I can share with you there appears to be no substantial changes from the initial preliminary report, but the committee took testimonials from various people.
FA: Will we be able to see it at our next Meet & Confer?
ADM: I don’t know if it will be ready by then. I’m working with five other people, so I don’t know.
FA: Today is May 1; May 15 is our last official meeting together.
ADM: It could be, I don’t know.
FA: We’ll leave it on the agenda and see.
ADM: If it’s ready by then, we will bring it.
FA: It would be nice to have closure on that.
ADM: I believe that’s the last item on the agenda.
FA: It is! Let the record read that we adjourned at 16 minutes before 5!
Joan A. Wingert, Note taker