Faculty Senate Minutes, April 19, 2019
April 19, 2019
Purdue Northwest Faculty Senate Minutes
Special Meeting of the Senate
April 19, 2019
10:00 A.M., Portage Meeting Facility Room 113
Voting members present:
M. Connolly, G. Domke, A. Sindone, H. Zhao, D. Kozel, S. Rezak, F. Colucci, C. Gillotti, L. Pelter, V. Quinn, P. Stompor, C. Fewer, G. Schultz, R. Cherry, R. Vega, M. Curia, A. Mitra, S. Trekles, D. Detmer, A. Elmendorf, R. Kramer, R. Ocon, Y. Zheng, M. Zimmer, R. Calix, C. Chen, M. Mascha, K. Scipes, K. Kincaid, J. Davis, J. Dorman, W. Yu, C. Morrow, R. Calix, L. Taylor, C. DeLeon
S. Smith, A. Alavizadeh, W. He, D. Gray, J. Polman, J. Tazbir, R. Merkovsky, X. Wang, G. Stefanek,
Non-Voting members present:
T. Keon, R. Mueller, J. Schooley (SGA Representative), J. Holt, J. Pula
A. Monsivais, K. Bishop-Morris, J. Agrawal, O. Farook, J. Garwood, N. Nemeth, K. Tobin, R. Conroy, M. Mabrito, M. Choudhury, C. Hardin, C. Ragan, D. Majumdar, L. Hopp, C. Moredich, R. Stankowski, D. Spoljoric, A. Schooley, B. Rudnick, R. Clark, T. Radtke, S. Valdes, Jr., H. Augustyn, I. Hughes, S. Guffey, R. Haite, A. John, J. Duzinkiewicz, C. Georgett, M. Pelter, J. Swarts, M. Murphy, A. Edwards, P. Rodda, R. Scribailo, H. Moore, A. Spector, D. Nalbone, S. Lerner, N. Jackson, G. Casanova, K. Tobin, P. Hecht, R. Rock, E. Ting, G. Barrow, T. Roach, J. Campbell, , B. Regier, B. Uporsky
- Chair Detmer welcomed the group, and quoted from the Constitutionon the powers of the Senate and the faculty as per III.B.1-3. The faculty have power to make decisions and pass resolutions related to curriculum and programmatic changes. According to the Bylawssection C.5.c, the Senate still functions over the summer and the Executive Committee functions as the full Senate over the summer months. The SLT have agreed to meet with Senate leadership over the summer once per month. The Senate welcomes all suggestions and feedback at all times throughout the process.
- Detmer noted that there is still a long way to go in the SRA process and no decisions have been made. The reports are recommendations from the Task Forces only. Even though the quintile method was used, there is no intention to get rid of 20% of programs (as per the divest column). Detmer encouraged everyone to read the observations starting on page 5concerning the observations and recommendations made. It is important to note that the rules of the Task Force required them to use the system, but we can’t assume that they believe that 20% of the programs need to be divested.
- Discussion of SRA – Academic. Senators were asked to speak first.
- Davis related a statement from the College of Nursing: “We want to ensure the Senate that the enrollment of over 1000 students in the BSN program continues to be robust. The Kaplan Higher Education partnership is not in force and classes will start in May, as an agreement with Purdue Global will start in July 1. On June 3, KHE will start a marketing program for the states of Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin. Our faculty are confident that the program will continue to be viable and successful.”
- Mitra related the discussion from his department. He referred to page 16 of the SRA academic report and noted that the data were provided to the department chair, but for some reason those data were not included in the template to support the economics program.
- Morrow addressed the requirements of the criminal justice program, with extremely low resource expense, high income, and robust enrollment as the largest Behavioral Science program. The report indicated that there may not be enough evidence to provide more support for the program. N. Jackson was called on to speak on behalf of the Criminal Justice program and indicated that the template used was incorrect. She noted that department head Paul McGrath had been looking into this issue. Elmendorf added that this seemed to be a recurring theme in category 5 in that the reporting may not have been clear or had incomplete data, indicating that some programs may not belong in that quintile and administration should proceed with care when making decisions about them.
- On behalf of English, Morrow also noted that undergraduate literature and the master of English are in the lower two categories, and the teaching concentration should be streamlined. Morrow discussed the nature and value of writing and literature and how it impacts our understanding of truth, beauty, and knowledge in our culture. A full statement from the department is included in the appendix at the end of this document.
- Scipes noted that we have not had this kind of data across the university and welcomes the idea behind the SRA as far as showing us where programs lie in terms of budget and other factors. However, the intention does not seem to be constructive; it appears to be punitive. The problem with the SRA is the process, and it appeared to be done without consideration for full participation, as it was started in the summer, with task force members chosen by the administration rather than the faculty. Scipes argued that there are other values besides finances such as community, creating good citizens, and improving our world, but this process seems to boil down to economics and budgetary concerns. To collapse everything into only profitability is abhorrent, and any curricular decisions based on this report would be unconstitutional.
- Kozel agreed that the process was flawed from the start. Things that were considered programs included concentrations that may have shared courses across them, which would lower the cost overall, but separating them creates confusion and miscalculation of budgets. It was suggested that this might have been done by looking at departments as a whole rather than at individual programs and concentrations taken out of their contexts.
- Cherry noted that we must address where the process goes from here. We have been invited to submit responses via Qualtrics and asked who will look at these data. An answer was not provided at this time.
- Guests were invited to speak. D. Nalbone noted that the 20% quintiles were based on costs, not on number of programs. In other words, this shows that more than half of what we do needs improvement or removal, which indicates a possible flaw in methodology. Also, where there was insufficient information to place a program, it was automatically put into Quintile 5, which made little sense to those of us reading the report.
- Spector noted that he respects the work of the task force members and recognizes the effort put into the process. However, due to the problems of the process, it should be considered a failed project. The task force was chosen by the administration, as were the criteria and rules. Evaluating the quality of outcomes is difficult, and in some cases, such as Sociology, programs were indicated as being underfunded but were still in the 4thor 5thquintiles. There was also a question of internal and external demand, but what was the data behind it? There appears to be a lack of transparency as well as a flawed methodology. Decisions based on such data are not valid, and even though decisions are not made now, they will be in the semesters coming. Turning the institution into a technical institute does not make sense, and we are supposed to be a full-service university. There is a concern that these decisions may also turn away students from minority backgrounds. Faculty should have the responsibility to make the changes needed.
- Jackson asked whether students were part of the process. She noted that students are scared about what might happen to them and their future at the university. This process is hurting our enrollment and the perception in the community. We need to remember our students, who feel powerless and confused, and we do not have the answers to provide to them. She asked why we are doing this in the first place, noting that she has not yet been able to get a satisfactory answer to this question.
- Provost Mueller responded to this question. The long standing goal was to think through what makes us unique as an institution, including our priorities in academics and support functions, and as we embark on a new strategic planning process which is needed for HLC accreditation, we need to ask what resources we will have available to implement the new strategic plan. This is resource allocation in astrategicway: clarifying and understanding where we currentlyare spending our resources, where we shouldbe spending resources, and how we can set aside resources to invest in those priority areas and implement the strategic plan.
- Elmendorf asked SGA President J. Schooley about the perception of the student body on the SRA process. Schooley noted that there was no Senate or SGA presence in the process, and that the report was sent out to the entire university community, including students, in an email without the larger context of the subject matter. The students are therefore hostile to the outcomes and many believe that their majors and colleges are going to be cut next year. Because of a lack of communication or context, and with no forewarning, students are confused and perplexed, and while the Strategic Planning Committee does have student involvement and solicits student input, there is a long way to go in gaining student trust.
- Nalbone asked whether data were available regarding scoring of the templates. A. Edwards clarified that we have the rubric and percentages upon which programs were placed into the quintiles, but the data of the scoring by the task forces has been deleted and is not public record.
- Lerner spoke on what ought to be a major goal of any organization: this is a campus, but as academics we all need to be engaged in building a sense of community and trust. Unfortunately, we have seen evidence that the SRA has had a negative impact on trust. This process should include all stakeholders if we are serious about improving the quality of our institution and programs.
- Edwards indicated that in the reports, Marketing is noted as needing additional investment (1stquintile). Some programs have been asking for funding for additional marketing and have not received it even over many years. Communication is important and we need to understand the educational objectives according to the faculty, and we should ask whether the objectives of the faculty and Senate match those of the administration. This should be looked at each year.
- Tobin thanked the task forces for their efforts. The senior leadership is now going to be looking at the decisions over the summer to be announced in the fall semester. She asked for more transparency as to this decision-making process, including who would be involved.
- Provost Mueller responded that the Senior Leadership Team includes the vice chancellors, the Chancellor, and the Chancellor’s Chief of Staff. This SLT group would be making the deliberations over the summer.
- Spector asked for clarification as to when decisions will be made, and what the nature of those decisions would be.
- Mueller responded that the task force reports are recommendations to the SLT regarding function/program prioritization and noted the consistency of communication as far as the timeline and implementation of the Imagine PNW initiative. An implementation plan for the strategic resource allocation will be announced in the fall semester. In response, Spector encouraged the task force members to publicly repudiate any decisions made in that they might be used as a cover for the leadership team to make decisions.
- Guffey pointed out item 7 on page 6 of the academic report and takes offense as a limited-term lecturer that they might have a detrimental impact on teaching effectiveness of retention. This is particularly noted for those who have been trained in master’s programs at PNW, and therefore trained by our faculty in working with our students.
- Edwards noted a clarification of the quintiles and their meanings as far as how money would be distributed. It does not necessarily mean that a lower quintile equals no additional funding, but if there is a transformation then an investment might actually take place.
- Mueller addressed this, noting that category 4 (transform) might need some resources so that programs can be transformed, whereas category 3 (streamline) indicates that functions therein might have too many resources, which can be redistributed to help transform those programs in category 4, or invest in those in category 1.
- Nalbone and Detmer asked for clarification on the timeframe for input and considerations of decision-making to be shared with the Senate before being publicly announced.
- Provost Mueller responded that there is much input coming in through the online open comment period form, and he thanked the task forces again for their efforts. He also noted that there will be a presentation of the implementation plan in the fall, with an invitation for reactions to the plan at that time.
- Campbell noted that she is concerned about the future of her career, given that the English literature program is slated for divestment. She asked if there any hope that programs in this category will be reconsidered, as many faculty are concerned that they will simply be discarded.
- Provost Mueller responded that the SRA reports are not decisions; they are recommendations only. Before there are any decisions about merging or reorganizing programs, additional analysis will be necessary and careful consideration given to talking directly with the programs affected to see how the university can help and support that program to become stronger. This will be a multi-year process.
- Ting indicated that the report and process of rebuttal isn’t clear. In Biology, the faculty felt that the conclusions were made without full data, and eliminating concentrations will not save money but will only sacrifice opportunities to attract students. When we analyze data incorrectly, we will easily come to the wrong conclusion. We must consider the social cost and obligation to the community.
- Spoljoric spoke on PNW’s mandate to serve the public good of our community and develop citizenship. As a faculty member for 27 years, she has made an impact on many students and strives to continuously improve. She honors and values all disciplines and reminds the faculty that we have sole rights and responsibilities to monitor, review and approve degrees, curricula, establish or discontinue degrees.
- Schooley asked about the online nursing program in quintile 5, and noted the justification as the existence of Kaplan and its parallel online program. However, this does not take into consideration the geofencing agreement, as the Senate had independently come to the conclusion that there is no issue with Purdue Global. L. Hopp also spoke on behalf of the Nursing program and explained that the enrollments in the RN-BSN and MSN programs are healthy and growing. We do have a signed agreement between Kaplan and PNW that provides the geofence in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, which has always seen the most enrollment (97%).
- Barrow spoke on behalf of the rank and file of faculty and was glad that the Senate chose to hold a forum, and that so many were in attendance, including senior leadership. However, the origin of the exercise comes from Larry Goldstein’s consultation, and as noted that in his initial workshops, Mr. Goldstein indicated that it was dubious to use just one year of data for our reporting. Barrow also inquired as to whether we can truly identify what are the costs to hold a single course in any given department or major.
- Lerner asked the Provost if the input received on the SRA process so far has been positive or negative.
- Provost Mueller noted that we are not at that level of analysis yet, and was not sure if positive or negative is the appropriate dichotomy. Mueller noted that we need to consider whether “we can be all things to all people,” or if we want to focus on specific areas of strength to grow. He requested a broad, balanced conversation about the future of the university. It cannot just end with a strategic planning document that we don’t know how to fund, so we need to know where we are currently spending resources, and how we should be spending those resources. He appreciated the Senate’s efforts in putting on the forum and found the individual feedback and comments very helpful. In review, the SLT will carefully prepare different sets of feedback to analyze from the support and academic side, and carefully consider this during their deliberations.
- Clark, as a member of the Concurrent Enrollment office, noted that she speaks with high school students and guidance counselors regularly. Hostile students at PNW are currently talking with high schools and guidance counselors, indicating that damage control needs to be done immediately because people in the community are interpreting the report negatively. N. Jackson agreed with Clark’s assessment of the impact on high schools and asked senior leadership to consider that this has been extremely bad PR for the university and for the faculty. We are receiving input from the community that they hear that programs are being closed. She urged the university to make strong steps to ensure that the community is aware that the university is not going anywhere, the programs aren’t going anywhere, and that we’re still here for them. Otherwise, they will all be going to other universities. We are doing the exact opposite of increasing enrollment by taking the steps we have taken so far. Our students have family members that are considering other options rather than go to PNW because of the outside perception. She urged the administration not to blame faculty, but to take the appropriate steps to make PR and perceptions better. Social media is also a strong messenger and as people share posts about firings and removal of programs, this news spreads very quickly.
- Spector reiterated that the methodology is flawed and the data are not completely transparent. We must respect that decisions do need to be made, but the illusion that the faculty are the ones making the decisions is duly noted. He urged faculty to band together and consider the needs of the community. He also asked that the comments on the reports be shared with the faculty and staff. Nalbone agreed with Spector that the faculty have been brought together and that this is a positive step forward. He noted that there is an effort from the faculty side to share decision-making power, and we must work to protect our power of control over curriculum and programs.
- Provost Mueller was very thankful for the comments made thus far and clarified that all data available in the templates for the task forces were also available to the PNW faculty, staff, and students. A. Edwards asked specifically for the rubric scoring, which is not available. Mueller responded that the reports do have each task force’s weighting systems explained, but no total scores were computed per program, and those data from individual committee members’ rankings will not be published, as decided and agreed upon by the task forces early in the process.
- Student of English B. Regier read a quote from K. Vonnegut on the value and need for reading and writing on behalf of students and the English department.
- Student of English B. Uporsky noted that she is a proud PNW student. She is upset, feels undermined, and is glad that the report is released as it provides hard data to review and protest, as rumors have been rampant for some time. As a supervisor for curriculum and writing center operations, she realizes that the discussions are hard for everyone, but to say that this process is “ImaginePNW” is counter to the spirit of imagination as defined by the university and body of humanities and literary knowledge.
- Mitra and Scipes both made observations that the members of the task force have worked very hard and made significant contributions. However, the methodology used is flawed. As a public university, education as our public good and service is already underserved. The report shows no analysis of data, and we cannot collapse all of our values into economics alone.
- Scipes requested information as to the payment for consultant Larry Goldstein. Mueller responded that more research was needed, and later reported the figure to the Senate as $44,000 plus expenses.
- Scipes indicated that the strategic planning process is already starting, and being done before we have had the chance to consider the reports, which is unacceptable. The process is very clear that we are deciding what we are going to cut, but this is not the only way forward, as indicated by input from individual faculty members and reports from the ad hoc committees dedicated to Westville. The strategic planning process as outlined to the university is not the “only game in town.” Also, it should be noted that no social scientists were invited in the SRA task force, and the social science programs were mostly in categories 4 and 5. Social scientists specialize in critical thinking and would have been of benefit to the process.
- Morrow noted that the opportunity to provide input is too short (3000 characters) and that prohibits a department giving substantive input. Each person in English, for example, may need to enter input one at a time to get all comprehensive feedback through. This is not acceptable. Also, it is only too easy to end a program by simply not offering courses. English had vibrant programs in Women’s Studies and Ethnic and Critical Race studies that are either no longer offered or were “saved” by the collaborative efforts of other faculty in the unit. It is reasonable to be concerned and it is reasonable to consider that we have been assaulted time after time by senior leadership. She recognized that Westville colleagues have done a lot to support their program for the better of the community we serve and we must all work together.
- Kozel, Vega, and Spoljoric spoke on issues of trust. It should be noted that the process was flawed from the start, and that we cannot evaluate programs in a vacuum as have been noted previously. If the process is failed, it makes sense to go back and start again, and look at programs at a departmental level rather than individually. Vega noted that the faculty feedback surveys indicate a low level of trust in many units and that there is great risk of further deterioration of trust should the process continue over the summer as the SLT propose. Spoljoric further indicated that during open forums in Westville, it was clear that the community and faculty/staff are fearful about the future of Westville as well as the whole university. With trust under question, how do we build trust among students and faculty to ensure that we are here to stay?
- Campbell noted that all reactions so far have been substantive and overwhelmingly negative overall. She supported the idea of rejecting the process formally, noting that the results are flawed and that it is important to not let the “other shoe to drop” over the summer. The comments made today should be acknowledged as to their whole message and substance. Lerner agreed that we should be concerned about eliminating fear and panic, which may be in the best interest of moving forward. It leads to trust; all of us are reflecting fear and panic in this discussion and it should be dispelled. Spector added that sometimes fear is appropriate.
- Gillotti commented that she is on the Strategic Planning task force, and has been troubled by the rushed timeframe for gathering feedback from students, faculty, and staff before they leave for the summer. While there have been some great ideas coming forward, she indicated that true dialogue needs to be conducted to understand our vision for the university, which has not happened even before the merger. The SRA outcome is only one data point that influences the creation of the strategic plan, and she asked the SLT for more time to complete this important process. R. Haite concurred with Gillotti, and in light of the negative PR, noted that extending the timeline may allow more groups to participate and provide feedback and otherwise minimize negative press which impacts enrollment.
- Majumdar asked the SLT where the costs for cutting administration come in, and whether the cost-benefit analyses including the costs of administrative oversight.
- Provost Mueller responded that all administrative offices have been reviewed under the support functions.
- Discussion of SRA – Support
- Elmendorf commented on the efforts of the members of the task force and commended them on creating a thorough, quality product through faculty and staff collaboration. It is important that we all take a good hard look at the support function task force report, even though faculty may have spent more time on the academic report. However, there are a number of items in support of great interest to everyone in the community. Elmendorf drew attention to page 8,Purdue System, and noted that we focus a great deal on establishing PNW independence at the cost of collaborating within the Purdue system where we might benefit a great deal. Another item that comes up often is that the Westville campus is underserved in many functions. Elmendorf also noted that the Senate was placed in category 4, and highlighted the report comments on the Senate’s areas of improvement.
- Senators were recognized first. Mitra discussed the Concurrent Enrollment program as being placed in quintile 5, finding it distressing that attracting enrollment from the local high schools is placed in the bottom category. The program has made a great deal of progress, and the relationships with schools can be strengthened through showing students different possibilities for future college majors. We cannot capitalize on this without the CEP program. Schultz also commented on CEP and commended the efforts of Director Gregory given that she gives far more than the .06 of her FTE allotted to the program, and works very hard on both CEP and SOEC. He also noted the report appeared to have a biased viewpoint from the authors and commentary was not always based on data. For example, concurrent enrollment is a state law, and cannot be removed or divested.
- Monsivais further commented on the CEP program and commended the CEP office on their time and efforts. She called on Rachel Clark to discuss data, and noted that 13.1% of CEP students come to PNW, and we have the highest retention success rate of all universities in the state.
- Kozel also noted that recommendations in the report appear to be suspect or based on incomplete data. For example, recruiting and advising is suggested to be centralized but the deans were also told to do more to improve enrollment. Also, he noted that the School of Engineering office was placed in quintile 5, with discussion of ABET accreditation and commonalities with Technology. The recommendation was to combine the COT Dean’s office with School of Engineering, but there are no shared core courses in these areas. There is more shared with math, chemistry, and computer science.
- Scipes echoed the concerns of Kozel related to advising and centralization of advising services. During the Westville committee process, he interviewed many advisors and felt that they should be in the highest quintile as our first point of contact with students and people that care deeply about their success. One of the problems with the unification process is that there are two campuses in totally different social worlds; Westville is not a junior Hammond, and we have not had discussion on this point. Yes, we are part of the same university, but the different cultures and backgrounds of our students should be acknowledged and respected. The difference in size of the two campus populations should also be taken into full consideration so that resources do not tend to go toward the larger campus always. Also noted was that course evaluations do not have faculty buy-in as per the report, but faculty do indeed take into consideration student feedback and give time for evaluations. The course evaluations are also noted as having implicit bias and can be biased against those faculty in minorities.
- Schooley addressed the strategic planning data-gathering period and clarified that the input solicited by students falls within dead week and finals week. We cannot ask students to take time from finals week to participate in two-hour committee meetings. He also addressed student organizations and student life as being in category 4. Realigning budgets as a recommendation is very vague when budgets are already very thin – there are fewer events because there is no money to support them. The assessment appears to be out of context and may go far in exacerbating fear and mistrust among students.
- Tobin added to the topic of advising, and the lack of trust. College advising ended up in the fifth quintile while exploratory advising ended up in quintile one, and there seems to be a presumption of an agenda on the part of the co-chair who is also in charge of exploratory advising. J. Navarro added to this that she has worked as an advisor for 16 years and is a graduate of Purdue Calumet; she commended the work of all advisors in retention efforts. G. Voight-Block also commented on the work of the nursing advisors and their efforts in recruiting and retention. They are a first point of contact with community members and they help inform the community that we are a productive and great college with great programs. We may lose people coming to us because of the prevailing fears of PNW programs going away, and she has heard of many students and families moving away from our university.
- Schooley further addressed the difficulties of trust at the governmental level in the community. It is a pervasive issue at all levels including governing bodies.
- Haite noted concerns on grounds and arts, and indicated that quality should be looked at for both campuses, not to compare one against the other. J. Schooley added that the grounds discussion also may not have had enough data to work with given the narrative. Haite also addressed marketing and communications, and that there is much work to be done in increasing positive media while also attempting to do damage control.
- Rudnick, as an academic advisor in her 28thyear serving both campuses, did not feel ineffective or nonessential, and works very closely with students each and every day. Advising in CHESS has earned 90% student satisfaction. H. Moore addressed advising as well, as she works with several departments. The centralized advising structure suggested in the report will not work based on the variety of programs we have available. Moore also noted that academic support for School of Education was slated to be decreased even though one Education academic program was placed in quintile 1.
- Kozel noted that support for advisors is essential and that specialization in advisor backgrounds is a good idea, to keep them close to the program they are advising within.
- Morrow commented on TRIO as part of quintile 4, and was concerned that it is not more highly valued and utilized as a federally funded program. A problem with priorities is evident and there is a lack of understanding as to the criteria used to value this program, which recruits and supports low-income and minority students. Spector also noted a concern about meeting the needs of low-income students. While not everyone is low-income in NWI, there are many working-class populations in our region. He noted that African-American enrollment has dropped by 30%. The Veterans program was also gutted upon unification, and staff were fired. The TRIO program is not empowered to do its job in recruiting and encouraging low-income and minority students to come to PNW. We can do a lot more for students in high school to bring them here, provide them with services such as summer camps, to support them and encourage them to come out to PNW for college. Spector supported the idea of bringing in more students who are more academically prepared, but this does not relieve us of our responsibility to help all students. Ivy Tech does not serve at the same level as the Illinois community college system appears to, and we are not a for-profit institution. We serve as a bridge from high school to college for many students in northwest Indiana, and can do a better job by making a lasting contribution to the community. Lower-income students may require a higher investment at first, but there is a higher payoff.
- Nalbone drew attention to VCIS administration in quintile 5. There are issues noted about the cohesive efforts of the department that echo that which can be found throughout the university. The methodological flaws of the academic report apply to this report as well, and should be noted.
- Mitra addressed TRIO and advising as equally important tools for student recruitment. Indiana is ranked 37 in income equality, and our students from low-income and diverse backgrounds need advising with expertise in their fields. He urged faculty to push for resources added to advising and for faculty themselves to assist in advising to support retention efforts.
- Morrow commented on Global Engagement in quintile 5. There are many ways to do global engagement, and argued that these are essential functions for our region. Outreach beyond our area to connect students and programs to places beyond our region is essential to student growth and development. It broadens their thinking and achievement. Our students often come from backgrounds where they do not leave NWI, and global engagement exposes them to new places and ideas.
- Scipes proposed an informal vote from all members of the audience. Though the Executive Committee will be crafting a resolution regarding the SRA process, the larger assembly can inform the Executive Committee in making these determinations.
- Discussion ensued about the nature of the vote as a request to halt the process entirely, ask for additional time for input and consideration, or to reject the reports themselves and the methodology used.
- One point of clarification from Mueller indicated that none except for those on the task forces were part of the report discussions. He noted that he has heard nothing but integrity and the best interest of the university coming out of the task forces and asked for respect and appreciation for their work. While we may not agree with the conclusions, none of us were there to observe what they discussed and that was part of the game plan from the beginning to respect confidentiality and addressing the process with integrity and professionalism.
- Nalbone proposed that given the fundamental flaws in the SRA process, the reports from it should not be used as a source of data for decisions in support or academic decision making, or strategic planning. This vote proposition was accepted by Scipes. Lerner noted that this language should be offered to the Executive Committee as consideration for a Senate resolution for the next Senate meeting.
- Morrow added that while we do need to collect data about our activities, it needs to be done in a better way, rejecting the SRA on theoretical grounds. It is clear there is a will of the faculty to continue the process of self-reflection in a different way.
- Mitra noted that the strategic planning process should continue as long as the SRA report does not influence the process. Kozel supported this as well as slowing down the strategic planning process to ensure full feedback consideration.
- An informal vote was taken to be considered by the Executive Committee. Schultz seconded and the motion carried.
- Business was concluded at 1:12pm.
Appendix: Statement from the College of Nursing
College of Nursing
Janet H. Davis
Thank you for the opportunity to assure the Faculty Senate that enrollment (over 1,000 students) in the online RNBSN continues to be robust.
The change of marketing partners from Academic Partners to Kaplan Higher Education (KHE) has moved forward. KHE markets for the CON online Nurse Executive and Nurse Educator programs with classes starting this May.
Starting June 1 an agreement with KHE and Purdue Global directs RNs from Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, that inquire about nursing degrees, to PNW.
Starting June 3rd, KHE will launch a marketing campaign for both the RNBSN and MSN online programs for our market of RNs in the states of Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, as well as PNW alumni.
We are confident that the RNBSN program will remain well enrolled, producing a baccalaureate prepared workforce so desperately needed in the Chicago Metropolitan area as well as graduates who will return to PNW for their advanced degrees.
Appendix: Statement from the Department of English
Collette Morrow, Associate Professor of English
There’s no avoiding it. The English department fares poorly in the SRA report, with our undergraduate literature concentration slated for divestment while the writing concentration and master’s degree need transformation. The English teaching concentration should be streamlined.
Our situation gives a whole new meaning to the idiomatic “”(HamletAct 3, Scene 1) although “We have seen better days” is also apropos. (Timon of AthensAct 4, Scene 2). I’m sure Saul has a doomsday pun to cover the situation as well.
We appeal to the Senior Leadership to consider the central role that literary studies and writing have in our culture, for they are art forms that preserve and perpetuate society’s fundamental values and bind us together not only in the pursuit of beauty, but also truth and goodness. Second, we ask Senior Leadership to reevaluate divesting the undergraduate literature concentration for practical reasons.
- Undergraduate literature and English education are one in the same—students in both concentrations take the almost the same courses and these concentrations have nearly identical requirements for graduation. No savings will be realized by divesting the literature concentration because English teaching students still have to take a full range of literature courses. In fact, THE COST OF THE ENGLISH TEACHING CONCENTRATION WILL RISE BECAUSE FEWER STUDENTS OVERALL WILL BE TAKING THE LITERATURE COURSES.
- Remember also thathigh school English courses focus mostly on studying literature, and future secondary teachers will not be prepared without this knowledge.
- This leads me to remind you that accreditation of the Secondary Education major REQUIRESEnglish teaching concentration students to take a specific number and type of literature courses. The state also mandates that our curriculum in the English teaching concentration offers certain information. If these requirements are not met because the English teaching concentration is “streamlined” and the literature concentration is divested, the university will not be able to offer a degree in secondary education, which would be disastrous for Northwest Indiana’s public school system and the region’s the well-being (see the attachment for National Council of Teachers of English standards).
- Furthermore, many students who graduate with the literature concentration also go on to receive teaching licensure.
- Another consideration is that the English literature concentration is the primary source of new master’s degree students. It is the main pipeline into the graduate program in English. How will the master’s degree continue if its pool of candidates is lost?
In closing, I would like to acknowledge that the programs in English are currently in need of careful cultivation—and if you had been an English major you would get the reference to Rousseau’s Candide—if not a complete overhaul in some areas. We started this process well prior to the SRA:
- We are increasingly using student-friendly venues and technologies to recruit students.
- Our graduate committee is revamping the master’s program so that it focuses more effectively on preparing students to teach composition in community colleges where there is an ongoing need for instructors.
- The undergraduate English literature concentration is getting similar treatment, and we expect that at the end of this project it will be more appealing to today’s students and better prepare them for the job market.
- A basic plan is in place for supporting our students—especially the literature concentration students—to deploy the skills they acquire in our classrooms to achieve exciting and satisfying careers, i.e. to leverage their skills and knowledge into well paying, fulfilling jobs.
Without increasing costs and potentially decreasing them, we are in the midst of reimagining ourselves, and we have already seen a significant uptick in applications to the Teaching Concentration this year, and respectfully ask for the time to bring these efforts to fruition.
Initial Response of the Department to the April 12, 2019 SRA Task Force Report
Respectfully Submitted to the PNW Faculty Senate on April 19, 2019
- The Teaching and Literature concentrations overlap to the degree that divesting Literature will increase the cost of delivering the Teaching concentration.
- The Teaching concentration curriculum is set by accrediting agency and state requirements which will not be met without the Literature concentration.
- Applicants to the Teaching concentration increased in spring 2019.
- The Literature concentration feeds the master’s degree.
- National Council of Teachers of English Standards for Secondary English Concentration
REQUIRED FOR ACCREDITATION
- Candidates demonstrate knowledge of English language arts subject matter content that specifically includes literature and multimedia texts as well as knowledge of the nature of adolescents as readers.
Element 1: Candidates are knowledgeable about texts—print and non-print texts, media texts, classic texts and contemporary texts, including young adult—that represent a range of world literatures, historical traditions, genres, and the experiences of different genders, ethnicities, and social classes; they are able to use literary theories to interpret and critique a range of texts.
Element 2: Candidates are knowledgeable about how adolescents read texts and make meaning through interaction with media environments.
- Candidates demonstrate knowledge of English language arts subject matter content that specifically includes language and writing as well as knowledge of adolescents as language users.
Element 1: Candidates can compose a range of formal and informal texts taking into consideration the interrelationships among form, audience, context, and purpose; candidates understand that writing is a recursive process; candidates can use contemporary technologies and/or digital media to compose multimodal discourse.
Element 2: Candidates know the conventions of English language as they relate to various rhetorical situations (grammar, usage, and mechanics); they understand the concept of dialect and are familiar with relevant grammar systems (e.g., descriptive and prescriptive); they understand principles of language acquisition; they recognize the influence of English language history on ELA content; and they understand the impact of language on society.
Element 3: Candidates are knowledgeable about how adolescents compose texts and make meaning through interaction with media environments
- Candidates demonstrate knowledge of how theories and research about social justice, diversity, equity, student identities, and schools as institutions can enhance students’ opportunities to learn in English Language Arts.
Element 1: Candidates plan and implement English language arts and literacy instruction that promotes social justice and critical engagement with complex issues related to maintaining a diverse, inclusive, equitable society.
Element 2: Candidates use knowledge of theories and research to plan instruction responsive to students’ local, national and international histories, individual identities (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender expression, age, appearance, ability, spiritual belief, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and community environment), and languages/dialects as they affect students’ opportunities to learn in ELA.
“Estimates of the annual average pay increase for English majors is based on the present value of 45 working years of gradually increasing salaries (the present value is the lump sum in dollars you would accept now in exchange for all those future salaries) less than the present value of the same 45 years worth of earnings from a high school degree (i.e. the value of additional earnings from a bachelor’sdegree) is $444,700 for English majors.” Dorfman, J. (2014). Surprise: Humanities degrees provide great return on investment. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2014/11/20/surprise-humanities-degrees-provide-great-return-on-investment/#54f577012031