Faculty Senate Minutes December 14, 2018

December 14, 2018

Faculty Senate Minutes

December 14, 2018

Location and time

10:00 A.M., Portage Meeting Facility Room 113

Voting members present:

Alavizadeh, L. Taylor, R. Vega, C. Chen, F. Colucci, M. Curia, C. DeLeon, G. Domke, J. Dorman, W. He, D. Kozel, R. Kramer, R. Merkovsky, C. Morrow, R. Ocon, L. Pelter, J. Polman, V. Quinn, K. Scipes, G. Schultz, A. Sindone, G. Stefanek, P. Stompor, J. Tazbir, S. Trekles, C. Gillotti, X. Wang, C. Ye, W. Yu, M. Zimmer, C. Fewer, A. Mitra, D. Detmer, A. Elmendorf

 Senators absent:

Gray, M. Connolly, R. Cherry, J. Pula, J. Davis, S. Rezak, H. Zhao, R. Calix, M. Mascha, S. Smith, Y. Zhang

Non-Voting members present:

Turner, R. Mueller, J. Schooley (SGA Representative)

Others in attendance:

Thomas, N. Nemeth, J. Colwell, D. Clark, K. Tobin, R. Stankowski, L. Feldman, H. Saporiti, J. Swarts, J. Williams, M. Rainey


  1. Determination of Quorum: 10:04am
  2. Call to Order
  3. Approval of the Agenda: Elmendorf moved for approval, Prof. Tazbir seconded. The motion carried.
    1. Approval of Minutes of the November 9, 2018 meeting
    2. Minor amendment: the name of the November SGA representative needs to be corrected.
    3. Elmendorf moved for approval, Prof. Schultz seconded. The motion carried.
  4. Remarks by the Senate Chair (D. Detmer)
    • Special meeting of the Senate scheduled for April 19, 2019, will be held at 10am in SUL 321(Hammond). The only business of this meeting will be discussion of the SRA report, which will have come out the week before.
    • Saul Lerner has had a medical issue and has resigned as Parliamentarian, Jerry Holt has agreed to step in and serve, and will start in January.
    • University Policy systemwide committee: Angela Schooley is now serving in the Westville representative seat vacated by Carolyn Roper.
    • Ballot for revision of the constitution: Please vote before the end of the day today to approve the minor revision previously approved by the Senate, and now needs the approval of the Faculty.
    • Elections for committee chairs should be done before the last meeting of the school year according to the constitution, but the Executive Committee has agreed to do this earlier, in February, to ensure that those who receive releases for their service are able to fit it into their schedules for the fall semester.
    • The Nominations and Awards committee only has three members at present, the minimum allowable by the Constitution. While we generally don’t encourage faculty to switch committees in the middle of the year, if you would like to consider moving to Nominations, please notify the Senate Chair and committee chair Sarah Sanders-Smith.
    • Prof. Detmer called attention to the Trustees’ approval of new unit for systemwide online education – PurdueOnline– which will be a “one stop shop portal that matches learners of all types across the system with programs to meet their needs.” This unit is not part of Purdue Global, but is instead an extension of existing Purdue online programs.
  5. Remarks by the Chancellor (T. Keon) – Chancellor Keon is unable to attend; Provost Mueller addressed the Senate in his place.
    1. Provost Mueller noted that PurdueOnline is a unified systemwide portal so that every student who wants to take online classes at any of the Purdue campuses can find those courses and register. This allows students to find all of the online programming that happens at each campus, regardless of where they are located.
      • SGA Representative J. Schooley inquired as to whether there is concern that revenue will be lost to online programs offered at Purdue Global, in addition to the PurdueOnline offerings. The Provost noted that Purdue Global students must enroll in an entire program and cannot just take a class when they wish. Nursing is the place where the concerns are highest, as we do have strength and expertise online at PNW, but so does Global. We currently have an arrangement of “geofencing” where PNW can recruit from Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin and Global is able to recruit from the other states.
      • C. Morrow inquired as to who teaches PurdueOnline courses and whether any control over curriculum is given up in the process of offering online courses through PurdueOnline. The Provost noted that the portal is interested in a consistent quality of online course offerings, but does not wish to take control of curriculum away from faculty.
    2. Provost Mueller thanked the faculty for their work and dedication to the SRA process and in filling out the templates. Informal feedback about the process has been positive so far, but he recognizes the stress that this has caused as well. The feedback has also shown that there is much good discussion coming out of the process, which has allowed for reflection and potential modification within the units and programs.
    3. The Provost noted that enrollment and retention figures have not been where we’d like them to be, and there is concern about enrollments particularly in Westville. Provost Mueller discussed future plans to ensure the offerings on the two campuses complement one another, and in general, faculty should be expected to be available to offer classes on both campuses. This allows us to utilize our human resources in the most efficient ways possible to meet the needs of our students. To the best of the knowledge of the Provost, no faculty have been “forced” to go to their non-home campus, but he does implore the faculty to consider the advantages of teaching on the other campus for the benefit of students, and to ensure that facilities are utilized to their utmost.
      • R. Vega noted that two individuals have come to Faculty Affairs and AAUP (non-tenured) and noted that they volunteered to travel between campuses, with the expectation that others in the department would follow their lead in future semesters. They do not feel they are in the position to say no, but others are still not stepping up to join them. Some departments are therefore having issues, so she suggests that if a policy is put into place, that it covers all across the board. Provost responded that he agrees, and implored departments and department chairs to assign classes and faculty to where the need appears greatest. He clarified that this is their responsibility to assign faculty and that we should be clearer about this responsibility to ensure that utilization of our facilities is done well.
      • J. Schooley noted that some students have not been happy about the requirement to travel more, and have taken to social media to voice their complaints. The students wish to have an active voice in policies concerning when and where classes get scheduled so that they can finish their programs in the place that is nearest to them. Many students do not have disposable time and income to be able to travel. The Provost noted that we are trying to work with those students who started prior to unification, but we also cannot afford to offer under-enrolled courses, so a difficult balance needs to be found.
      • C. DeLeon and K. Scipes offered questions and opinions related to the Westville campus to ensure better retention, equal access to events, and balanced scheduling of courses. Attendance of events and population characteristics are very different among the students of the two campuses, and this needs to be taken into account. J. Schooley also voiced concerns and frustrations of students on the Westville Campus.
      • S. Turner noted that as far as enrollment goes, it has been down on both campus locations consistently and that we should all be concerned about it. The proportional impact is larger in Westville, but it is still of concern in Hammond and should be foremost in our minds. We need to pay attention to what we’re doing with programs and scheduling as well as retention efforts. Outside influences beyond things internal to PNW and unification also have an impact on enrollments.
      • D. Kozel and T. Sindone noted that WebEx and other technologies that are available to hold unified classes are not robust enough. We may need to revisit efficiencies with technology to facilitate accessibility. A system that encourages students to populate classes across the campuses and create a more balanced schedule would be optimum, but we currently are not there yet. Deans and department chairs are tasked to work through this and do a better job at balancing the class schedules.
      • M. Zimmer asked whether a market analysis was done, and no such analysis was done prior to unification. D. Detmer responded that an impact study was asked for prior to unification, but it was not taken up by administration.
  6. Remarks by Invited Guest (K. Thomas)
    • Kim Thomas, AVC Finance and Business Services made a presentation on the budget model redesign and explained resource-centered management.
    • Budget Redesign 12-14-2018 (Faculty Senate) – PowerPoint attached; also on the VCFA Shared Drive
    • A discussion of the advantages of the RCM model followed. T. Sindone noted that a budget is a plan, not appropriation of funds; therefore, once the plan is in place, decisions about appropriation then must begin to manage the plan across a decentralized budgeting model like RCM. Ms. Thomas agreed and noted that the budget is a planning tool and guide, rather than just a set of numbers.
    • VC Turner encouraged the faculty to try to understand how all parts of the whole impact each other, and the RCM model will be used as a model to get to the conversations related to enrollment and utilization of facilities. The decentralized approach to budgeting is related to ImaginePNW and helps us be honest with one another about what we face and what we can accomplish.
    • C. Fewer noted that in the old model, enrollment growth was not necessarily incentivized due to the need to spend extra resources; therefore the RCM model is positive. Higher enrollments can increase cost, and therefore Provost noted that he would like to be able to balance teaching with scholarship and move the faculty load model to 3:3, but for that to work, we have to think about offering less sections with higher enrollment that still utilizes our spaces more efficiently.
    • R. Kramer also noted that implementing RCM needs to be researched and piloted to be sure that it is implemented well and to our best benefit. We need more than just accountants to do comprehensive testing, but to bring all stakeholders to the table to do this kind of testing. Ms. Thomas noted that a year worth of testing to compare the centralized vs. decentralized budget model is planned to be used. Ms. Thomas has a long history of good experience with the RCM model at large institutions including UIC and Governor’s State, and a consultant will also be brought in to assist in implementation.
  7. Special Business: Strategic Resource Allocation Initiative: questions and discussion
    • D. Kozel asked whether modifications would be able to be reviewed by departments after modifications made at the college/school level. This is up to Deans or department heads individually. Changes to templates made at this level are likely to only be editorial in nature without consultation with the departments.
    • S. Turner asked if the templates would be available for review as submitted, and Tazbir responded that yes, they would be available to all after submission, when the report is submitted in April. The templates will not be available prior to the report completion.
  8. New Business
    1. Curriculum Documents Approval (L. Taylor): Prof. Schultz moved for approval, Prof. Elmendorf seconded. The motion carried to approve all documents.
    2. Senate Documents For Action
      1. FSD 18-06 Resolution to Join AAUP in Opposing Purdue Global Practices(R. Brusca-Vega)
        • Vega noted that J. Pula attended the West Lafayette Senate and provided his report (linked below) with information related to Purdue Global and the West Lafayette University Senate discussions. The state AAUP would like to see additional changes to policies that have been updated at Purdue Global so far. The more pressure that Purdue Global feels, the more likely they are to change behavior and written policies.
        • Elmendorf inquired about the timing of the resolution. Fort Wayne has already approved AAUP’s resolution, and while West Lafayette University Senate has not approved it yet, it is a larger body and needs time to discuss further as well as wait for Purdue Global’s actions. There is no consequence for us to express our opinion as PNW Senate.
        • Sindone inquired as to the nature of the Purdue Global faculty senate. Detmer has been in contact with president Lea Rosenberry, and while she is not able to attend PNW Senate meetings in the future, she is willing to answer questions by email. We do not know the nature of the level of independence or protection that faculty have at Purdue Global, so the nature of their Senate may be different.
        • Morrow moved for approval, Prof. Kozel seconded. The motion carried.
    3. Senate Documents For Discussion
      1. FSD 18-07 Multi-Semester Scheduling(A. Sindone)
        • Sindone presented the multi-semester scheduling resolution from Student Affairs. Students wish to be able to plan their programs more easily over the course of a whole year rather than semester by semester. The practice was previously adopted at Purdue North Central.
        • Merkovsky asked about the technical constraints possible, and the Registrar had previously investigated the issue and found that with our unified Banner system, there are no constraints other than setting scheduling in the departments over a year (at least two semesters in advance) rather than each semester. We know summers are more problematic to schedule, but spring and fall can generally be worked through and planned ahead more easily.
        • Kramer and L. Pelter noted that prerequisites for courses may present a problem with students scheduling over the course of two semesters. C. DeLeon noted that in Westville, these issues were typically easily dealt with through advising and ensuring that students who do not meet prerequisite criteria are removed from classes they could not yet take. The practice ultimately improves retention, at least anecdotally, but also helps students plan around classes and other life scheduling.
        • Kozel recommended that the yearly schedule come out in the fall to show fall, spring, summer. Curriculum updates for incoming freshmen might be impacted if we plan too far into the future. Sabbaticals may also present challenges when a class can’t be offered by the instructor as expected. A. Mitra and G. Domke also noted that administratively, the two-semester scheduling may be challenging in some departments when faculty to teach classes are not always known right away.
        • The Provost offered his support for the resolution for the sake of students. He noted that most limitations can be planned around and that administrative issues can be worked through. It will instead offer strategic planning opportunities for departments.
      2. Faculty Affairs Committee: administrators feedback form (R. Brusca-Vega)
        • Vega handed out a draft of the survey for faculty providing feedback to administrators, based on previous resolution and task force work in Faculty Affairs. The draft will go out representing all faculty, so please return questions and comments to Prof. Vega.
        • The Provost offered that we have formally implemented 360 degree feedback on a 4-year cycle for department chairs and deans, of which the faculty is an active part. He noted that when feedback is provided from a place too far removed, we may not know what the person does on a day-to-day basis. This should be taken into account when providing feedback. T. Elmendorf countered that this pertains primarily to feedback from above rather than below; we are all impacted by decisions that administrators make, so we have a clearer picture from below potentially, than those above may have of what subordinates do. The process is akin to student evaluations of faculty performance.
        • Vega indicated that it is simply a method to give feedback, rather than an evaluation of performance. It is an opportunity to give anonymous feedback to people who supervise them. The practice of such a process was previously adopted at Purdue Calumet around 8-10 years ago, and allows for an across the board opportunity for comments to be provided to administrators without fear of retaliation. Feedback of this nature provided more frequently than every four years is very helpful. D. Kozel supported this frequency and ensures not only transparency but also encourages chairs and deans to stay in constant communication with their subordinates.
        • The survey was distributed in draft form and will be available electronically. Please return feedback to Faculty Affairs before the next Senate meeting.
  9. Documents and Reports For Information: None
  10. Remarks by the Representative of the Student Government (J. Schooley, SGA Representative)
    • James Schooley is the new Vice President of SGA. He presented concerns from students at the Westville campus about movement of classes away from Westville to Hammond. An SGA President pro-tempore will be voted on soon, and at this time there is no new business.
  11. Remarks by the University Senate/Intercampus Faculty Council Representatives (J. Pula/V. Quinn)
    1. Please see the posted reports.
      • WL Senate Report 12-18
      • Dec 14 Senate Report
  12. Open Discussion (if time permits)
  13. Adjournment: 12:04pm
  • Nominations, Elections, and Awards – Foyer Room
  • Curriculum – PMF 104
  • Education Policy – PMF 113
  • Faculty Affairs – PMF 113
  • General Education – PMF 113
  • Student Affairs – PMF 106