Faculty Senate Minutes, January 11, 2019

January 11, 2019

Faculty Senate Minutes

January 11, 2019

Location and time

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

Voting members present:

Taylor, M. Connolly, C. DeLeon, G. Domke, A. Sindone, H. Zhao, D. Kozel, M. Mascha, S. Rezak, W. He, F. Colucci, C. Gillotti, L. Pelter, V. Quinn, P. Stompor, C. Fewer, K. Scipes, C. Morrow, G. Schultz, R. Cherry, R. Vega, J. Davis, M. Curia, J. Doman, R. Merkovsky, D. Gray, A. Mitra, A. Alavizadeh, R. Calix, M. Zimmer, W. Yu, J. Polman, S. Trekles, K. Kincaid, S. Smith, D. Detmer, A. Elmendorf

 Senators absent:

Chen, J. Pula, R. Kramer, R. Ocon, G. Stefanek, J. Tazbir, X. Wang, Y. Zheng

Non-Voting members present:

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

Others in attendance:

Ferreyra, L. Neuleib, K. Patterson, M. Rainey, N. Nemeth, B. Regiel, R. Rodriguez, J. Colwell, D. Clark, M. Carden, H. Saporiti, E. Hixon, C. Arroyo, J. Williams, K. Tobin, T. Roach

  1. Determination of Quorum: 10:02am
  2. Call to Order
  3. Approval of the Agenda
    1. Elmendorf motions, and Dorman seconds. The motion carries.
  4. Approval of Minutes of the December 14, 2018 meeting; https://faculty.temp.pnw.edu/blog/faculty-senate-minutes-12-14-18/
    1. Elmendorf motions, and Cherry seconds. The motion carries.
  5. Remarks by the Senate Chair (D. Detmer)
    1. The Senate welcomes Prof. Jerry Holt, our new Parliamentarian. Prof. Lerner’s health is improving, so please continue to send your well-wishes.
    2. The minor change to the Constitution regarding the definition of the faculty has been ratified and is now on the website.
    3. Elections for committee chairs for the next school year will be held for February, and the reason for this is that some chairs receive releases, namely Curriculum and Faculty Affairs. This allows plenty of time for department chairs to provide for such releases. The Constitution also allows committee chairs to run for two consecutive terms.
    4. Chair Detmer reminds Senators that there is an additional special meeting on April 19 due to the SRA, which will be held in Hammond SUL 321, at 10:00am.
    5. Student service fees and the extent to which the SGA has a say in the allocation has been discussed and a meeting is scheduled for January 16 with VCFA Steve Turner, Athletic Director Rick Costello, Tony Sindone as chair of student affairs, and other SGA and Senate representatives.
    6. Prof. Detmer reached out to Lea Rosenberry, chair of the Purdue Global Senate, to discuss the structure and nature of the PG Senate. While she is unable to come to our Senate in person, she is willing to discuss via email or through WebEx. Questions asked of Dr. Rosenberry:
      • What is the composition of the Senate? Faculty and administrators, and who votes?
      • How are Senators determined?
      • Is the Senate’s function advisory or have authority over certain areas?
      • Purdue Global does not appear to have information about the Senate on their website; how are documents and decisions made available to the institution faculty?
      • Response has not yet been received but Detmer will follow up.
    7. Vice Chair Elmendorf noted that the Senate was also asked to complete an SRA template, the completion of which was an oversight until the last minute prior to the deadline. Chair Detmer worked very hard to complete the template.
  6. Remarks by the Provost (R. Mueller)
    1. Provost Mueller wishes everyone a happy new year and a great spring semester.
    2. The Provost noted that all should have been aware that all functions of the university have SRA templates to complete. The Senate was on the list of to-be-reviewed programs from the start of the process.
    3. The Academic Calendar and the date for grades being due has become impractical, based on the fact that grades must be in to West Lafayette by midnight on Wednesday following finals week. Students and some administrators have had questions about the time between Wednesday afternoon and the next day, as no registration and financial aid data can be accessed while grades are being processed. The proposal from EMSA and Academic Affairs is to change the deadline to 5:00pm on Tuesday, which would allow for Banner to be shut down overnight instead of during the day when people may wish to access them.
      1. Discussion followed. Of note, Senators indicated that the previous practice at Purdue North Central was that grades were due on the Tuesday after finals at noon, so many Westville faculty are used to an earlier deadline.
      2. It was also noted that many faculty would prefer a moratorium is placed on meetings during final week so that grading can be completed in a more timely fashion. Provost Mueller indicated that he would support circulating a memo to promote only mandatory, critical meetings during the week of finals.
      3. Elmendorf mentioned that a Senate meeting is on the schedule to be held during Finals Week on the final Friday of the semester.
      4. While alternatives to the proposal of having grades due at 5:00pm on Tuesday were discussed, Registrar C. Arroyo noted that the registrar’s office needs several hours beyond the due time, before the grades processing is turned over to Information Services for the working on the systems. Therefore, having grades due later in the evening would not allow all of these processes to take place overnight.
      5. Detmer moved to affirm the proposal to change the grading due date to Tuesday at 5:00pm. Schultz seconds. The motion carried unanimously. This change will take effect in Spring 2019.
    4. The second time-sensitive item relates to the timeline for Promotion and Tenure. On February 1, the Provost will outline the timetable for the coming academic year, where we will move to Interfolio and implement the process online. The current document gives faculty members 10 calendar days to write a rebuttal at four different points, but while the timeline is still possible, it is difficult to allow for that 10-day window and still allow the next level committees to see the rebuttal letters along with their materials. The proposal from Academic Affairs is to change the rebuttal deadline from 10 calendar days to 5 working days. This change will ensure that all committees have all materials at the same time.
      1. Detmer clarified that the process for Promotion and Tenure also starts a week earlier, though the Provost noted that the specific date is not set in the guidelines. The request is to change the language specifically for the number of days allowed for rebuttal letters from 10 calendar days to 5 working days (which may include 2 additional calendar days for weekends).
      2. Elmendorf noted that when a committee has a large number of documents in a short turnaround, it can be extremely difficult. He supported giving the committees more time to meet and consider candidates. However, he would like to see the time for rebuttal letters extended to 6 working days to always allow a weekend, since rebuttal letters are fairly common within the process. These letters can have a substantial effect on the considerations of the committees, and therefore reducing the time may be a disservice to the candidates. The Provost responded that in examining holidays and weekends in the calendar, adding an additional day may still make the calendar very tight. The Provost and Chancellor also require time to review all candidate portfolios.
      3. Kozel proposed a compromise of 7 calendar days, as it avoids the issue of holidays, but still includes a weekend.
      4. Fewer noted concerns about the timing of the motion, but this is a time-sensitive issue as the deadline for calendar publication is February 1. Quinn added that this and other promotion and tenure issues will be discussed with all committee chairs later in February.
      5. Scipes related that candidate publications might be able to be shared prior to the full portfolios to allow extra time for the committees to review. While not all publications are public, many are and at least some can be reviewed from public sources. A discussion of the timeframe in which committees should be able to access materials and whether all materials should be reviewed at the same time ensured.
      6. Provost Mueller responded that the 7 calendar day proposal is acceptable. He also noted that all materials that are asked to be considered should be reviewed at the same time by the committees so as to avoid missing anything.
      7. Merkovsky called the question; Quinn seconds. The Motion carries and the language will change from 10 calendar days to 7 calendar days for rebuttal letters at each level of committee review.
      8. Other questions for the Provost: Scipes inquired as to the timeline for the upgrade for the website, and the cost in funds and staff time. Provost replied that there are two firms working with our communication team, and includes both the website development and branding initiative in concert with strategic planning and SRA process. It will allow for a more tightly articulated way of marketing and speaking about PNW. Further information about the website initiative can be found in the Pioneer article from November 11.
  7. Remarks by Invited Guest (M. Rainey, Director of Educational Talent Search)
    1. Director Maceo Rainey presented a discussion and overview of the programs available through TRIO, including Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound, McNair programs. The programs bring educational federal funds to support low-income, first-generation college students. Different programs are available to students pre-college and during college, with the aim of improving the overall workforce development and educational attainment level within the counties that we serve.
    2. The offices are located in the Westville campus, and staff responsibilities include working with high school guidance counselors to support them and the students entering the TRIO/ETS programs.
    3. From ETS recent high school senior cohort, 16% of those students enrolled in PNW for 2018-2019. The vision is to increase this number in the future, although the program is prohibited from directly recruiting students. 679 students are currently being served at 10 target schools in the four-county area.
    4. The Office will be holding a celebration of first-generation college student success on February 26 (10:30-2:30) in Westville, and on February 27 (10:30-2:30) in Hammond. Faculty are encouraged to join in to support this initiative.
    5. Mitra commended the office on its efforts and suggested that the ETS staff might be included in a research initiative on educational attainment in Northwest Indiana. A. Sindone added that many of our own PNW colleagues are first-generation college students and that the numbers for educational attainment may even be lower than current data shows. He stressed the importance of the ETS programs and their work.
    6. Schultz inquired about the retention rate for students served through TRIO programs. In some programs, standardized tests or elevated admissions standards may be an obstacle to these students. It is however, difficult to determine the retention rates due to students transferring to and from PNW. L. Taylor noted that grants for teacher preparation will be investigated specifically, and that similar efforts are happening in Engineering, and that the TRIO office will play a part in this process.
  8. Special Business:
    1. Strategic Resource Allocation Initiative: questions and discussion
      1. Schultz asked about the SRA template for the Senate and its content. Detmer responded that data included budgetary data, achievements, numbers of curriculum documents passed, number of releases for committee chairs, and information from the Constitution on the purpose of the Senate.
      2. Scipes noted concerns about economic drivers for the SRA process. Mascha responded that the template involves more than just economic data, and in fact the highest weighted template item is the possibilities for the future of the program. Many other aspects are included in the template beyond revenue and expenses. Mitra added that economics is not all about money, and typically includes many facets in considerations for resource allocation.
    2. Westville issues (classes cancelled due to low enrollment; classes never scheduled; facilities and resources underutilized)
      1. The Executive Committee raised concerns about the status of the Westville campus, and Detmer suggested that this should be an ongoing discussion of the Senate as well. The facilities at Westville are very good but appear to be underutilized, and there are many factors to consider. Detmer and Elmendorf have had discussions with the Provost and Chancellor on these issues and a presentation is planned for March on this issue.
      2. Smith noted that the hallways seem emptier this semester, even though classes in many areas appear to be full or nearly full. Provost responded that it should be reiterated that there are no plans in any way to close the Westville campus. It is best to move beyond that language as it spreads unnecessary and unfounded rumors and anxiety. There is a strong need for the Westville campus in the community and there is an ongoing commitment to its success. The Provost also noted that space utilization problems at both campuses are ongoing, and that deans and department heads need to become more efficient at evaluating and utilizing the facilities based on scheduling. He further encouraged faculty at both campuses to be willing and open to teaching at their “non-home” campus. Retention is impacted when classes – including service and FYE courses – are not offered, and are not taught by our highly qualified full-time and senior faculty.
      3. Schooley inquired about the specific examples discussed regarding the Westville campus. Detmer responded that one main concern from the Executive Committee was the lack of foreign language courses offered in Westville, though foreign language is a requirement in many degree programs.
      4. Merkovsky asked about scheduling classes to ensure that the student body can stay in one location for a longer period throughout a given day. The Provost indicated that the multi-semester scheduling initiative will help with this and supports the idea of helping departments and colleges be more efficient and mindful in their scheduling.
      5. Schultz noted that program closures and cancelation of classes is a concern regarding Westville, and that we should be intentional about asking students about their feelings on the issue. We appear to be losing students to other colleges due to logistical issues that they experience regarding having to take courses in Hammond when they are canceled in Westville. Student Government representatives responded that many students feel that they have lost their freedom of choice. The Provost responded that we must continue to move away from language regarding programs as being unique to one campus or the other. All programs publish on the website the percentage of programs that can be completed on each campus. Schultz responded that we are still of the mindset of having programs set on one campus or the other due to faculty expertise available. This may, however, change in the future.
      6. The conversation concluded with a call for positivity in speaking about PNW with the community, as well as a call for further considerations on meeting the needs and expectations of the unique characteristics of the two campuses and their students.
  9. Unfinished Business: Faculty Affairs Committee: administrators feedback form (R. Brusca-Vega)
    1. The feedback form was distributed to Senators and feedback was received by the committee. Vega summarized the feedback and it has been incorporated into the survey. Faculty Affairs asks that the Senate affirms the distribution of the survey to complete the initiative of the task force assigned last year.
    2. The survey will be delivered to faculty in a one-time non-reusable link to a Qualtrics form. Faculty feedback will be received unedited by supervisors. Edited results including summarized comments will be shared with faculty after survey is completed.
    3. The Provost made a request to Detmer and Elmendorf to discuss the topic further in their meetings with the Chancellor to ensure that the purpose of soliciting and publishing this feedback is clear. Vega noted that Faculty Affairs wishes to work jointly with administration on this effort moving forward.
    4. Elmendorf calls to question to move forward with the process and survey outlined by Faculty Affairs. Schultz seconds. The motion carries with one dissent.
  10. New Business
    1. Curriculum Documents Approval (L. Taylor)
      1. Taylor motions, Elmendorf seconds.
      2. Discussion: Pelter noted that several courses for approval are indicated as General Education, but they have not been approved by the General Education committee. In friendly amendment, Pelter requests that the General Education designation be struck in current approval documents until they go through the General Education process as well. The amendment is accepted and the motion carries.
    2. Senate Documents For Action
      1. FSD 18-07 Multi-Semester Scheduling(A. Sindone)
        1. Kozel noted that this resolution would require that departments will need to know the resources available to them throughout the academic year as early as September, which may be a challenge for planning purposes. The SLT needs to understand this and guide departments appropriately.
        2. Schultz motions, and Dorman seconds. The motion carries.
    3. Senate Documents For Discussion
      1. FSD 18-08 Curriculog Acceptance (L. Taylor)
        1. The document authorizes the use of Curriculog as the official method of circulating and approving curriculum documents.
        2. The document is moved to action with a motion by Taylor, second by Kozel. The motion carries.
        3. Sindone moves to approve the document, and Schultz seconds. The motion carries.
      2. FSD 18-09 General Education Course List Modification
        1. OLS 13100 needs to be added to the General Education list, which was previously dropped when General Education standards changed. The course will be part of social science General Education requirement.
        2. Pelter requests to move the document to action, and Colucci seconds. The motion carries.
        3. Mascha moves to approve the document, and Kozel seconds. The motion carries.
  11. Documents and Reports For Information
    1. Nominations, Elections, and Awards Committee (A. Alavizadeh)
      1. The nomination package has been circulated for the awards for teaching, scholarship, and service, and committees have been populated.
      2. Terms for Senators need to be rebalanced slightly, and the committee thanks the seven members who have agreed to change from 3-year terms to one-year terms.
  12. Remarks by the Representative of the Student Government (R. Owens, SGA President; J. Schooley attending as SGA representative)
    1. Student Government has filled its Director of Outreach and Communications roles to expand the SGA, and build a better network with student organizations.
  13. Remarks by the University Senate/Intercampus Faculty Council Representatives (J. Pula/V. Quinn)
    1. The next meeting in West Lafayette will be held at the end of January.
  14. Open Discussion (if time permits)
    1. Kozel echoed previous comments as to the importance of senior faculty teaching first- and second-year courses. Interaction with full-time dedicated faculty for students early in their programs is very important for retention. Elmendorf agreed, but also noted that in some departments, there are staffing issues that require early-level courses to be staffed by LTLs. Some of these LTLs are long-serving and well-chosen for these courses.
  15. Adjournment: 12:17pm

Committee Room Assignments

  • Nominations, Elections, and Awards – Foyer Room
  • Curriculum – PMF 104
  • Education Policy – PMF 113
  • Faculty Affairs – PMF 113
  • General Education – PMF 113
  • Student Affairs – Dune Room