Faculty Senate Minutes, January 17, 2020

January 24, 2020

Purdue Northwest Faculty Senate


January 17, 2020

10:00 a.m., Portage Meeting Facility Room 113

Voting members present:

Ali Alavizadeh, Ricardo Calix, Chien-Chung Chen, Ralph Cherry, Michael Connolly, Marianne Curia, Janet Davis, Cheryl DeLeon, Gayla Domke, Joan Dorman, Tony Elmendorf, Mohammed Errihani, Roy Evans, Omer Farook, Lindsay Gielda , Cathy Gillotti, Wei He, Kenneth Kincaid, David Kozel, , Robert Merkovsky, Michael Mick, Colette Morrow, Dushan Nikolovski, Neeti Parashar, Mike Pelter, Libbie Pelter, David Pratt, Sheila Rezak, Julia Rogers, Michael Roller, Geoff Schultz, Kim Scipes, Anthony Sindone, Pitparnee Stompor, LaVada Taylor, Florian Vauleon, Xiuling Wang, Dan Wilbur, Xiaoli Yang, Wangling Yu, Hairong Zhao, Michael Zimmer

Senators absent:

  1. Kramer, M. Mascha, A. Mitra

Non-Voting members present:

  1. Keon, N. Latif, J. Colwell, D. Underwood, J. Holt, O. White, T. Winders

Visitors present:

List not available


  1. Determination of quorum. 10:00 am
  2. Call to order.
  3. Approval of the agenda.
    1. moved and seconded.
    2. Jim Pula asked to amend the agenda to include a discussion about the election of a new PNW representative to the university senate.
    3. The motion carried.
    4. Approval of the minutes from December 13 2019 Approval was moved and seconded. Motion carried.
  4. Remarks by the Senate Chair (T. Elmendorf).
    1. Elmendorf noted changes to the senate. Staci Trekles has left the university, leaving a reluctant Diana Underwood as the new secretary of the senate. Dave Pratt, who replaced Rita Vega upon her retirement, is now the chair of the General Education and Assessment committee, replacing Interim Dean of Students, Colin Fewer. Pratt is also the senate representative on the CHESS General Education committee and on the Program Review committee. Neeti Parashar stepped down as chair from Faculty Affairs. The Faculty Affairs committee will elect a new chair at their meeting today. Oriana White is the new SGA president, and Michael Zimmer is back on the senate.
    2. Pelter and Elmendorf met with the chancellor and provost on 01/15/20. Responses to Quintile 2 and 4 of the SRA report will be added to the senate websiteHere is the second link
    3. Elections: A new PNW representative to the West Lafayette Senate will be elected during today’s meeting. Standing committees need to elect new chairs in February for next year to allow units adequate time to plan for releases. Those who have served for two years will be termed out. The election for vice chair of the senate will take place in April. The vice chair will be chair the following year. Those interested in running should contact the nominating committee. Once elected, the vice chair elect is in a new role. The vacant chair will have to be filled by the unit for the remainder of the term.
    4. Many PNW Faculty do not submit midterm grades. All Faculty are encouraged to do this, as it has been shown to help with student retention.
    5. There will be a floor debate for three SoEC curriculum documents regarding proposed changes to the math sequence for elementary education. All other documents will be moved for approval first. Schultz requested a roll call vote. Any senator can request a roll call vote according to the university senate constitution.
    6. Standing committees will meet today in the same rooms that typically use.
    7. Libby Pelter stated that four very strong candidates have been identified in the VCAA search. Pelter encouraged all senators to read the vitas, attend the presentations, and provide feedback on the candidates. Time for senators to meet the candidates have been scheduled on the second day of the interviews.
  5. Remarks by the Chancellor (T. Keon)
    1. Chancellor Keon asked that Joy Caldwell speak at the February senate meeting about enrollment concerns.
    2. Provost Latif stated that our retention trend is upward. Spring semester enrollment has increased when compared to Spring 2019. The exact numbers are not yet available. Also, about 300 students have not paid their tuition for Spring 2019. That is the best record ever. Latif thanked the faculty for encouraging students to pay before the deadline. IBBM (incentive based budget model) is still being worked on by the university-wide committee. No decisions have been made yet. Once it is completed, the rationale will also be given.
    3. As he previously requested at the December Senate meeting, Kim Scipes again asked Chancellor Keon for a written report regarding the plan for moving forward. The chancellor said that he would not do this because he did not have time to do this. Schultz asked if senators were on the strategic planning committee.   Pitparnee Stompor and Cathy Gillotti are on it, but Gillotti is no longer going to be on the senate. Gillotti stated that she attended a day-long strategic planning goals conference. There is a writing team writing up what the strategic plan will be. A tremendous amount of work has been put in to this process with people across the university. Consultant Larry Goldstein helped facilitate the planning session. His work is now complete
    4. Kim Scipes—requested more information about the strategy for moving forward before the strategic plan is released. Scipes argued that a strategic plan should have been in place before the SRA process commenced. In particular, Scipes wanted to know if attention is being paid to the enrollment problems at Westville. Scipes requested that an account of the strategy going forward be presented before the strategic plan is released.
  6. Curriculum documents and updates (Curriculum, L. Taylor). All documents moved for approval with the exception of SoEC documents 19-85, 19-86, and 19-87. All documents with the exception of those three were approved. A motion was made to approve of SOEC documents 19-85, 19-86, and 19-87.   Moved and seconded to approve. Elmendorf then called for discussion of the three documents.
    1. Schultz (speaking for the SoEC) stated the discussions for the proposed change began in the SoEC in Fall/Spring 2018-2019. The SOEC wanted their elementary education majors to take courses in college algebra and statistics instead of courses in elementary school math. The original document made it through all of the department and senate committees. The proposed changes were made because the students sometimes need to take the licensure test 2 or 3 times. After questions were brought forth at the May 2019 senate meeting, The SoEC restarted the curriculum process. In addition to courses in College Algebra and Statistics, there would still be one course in math for elementary teachers. The reason for the change was that the number of students passing the licensure test has changed within the last 5 years. Schultz stated that the licensing exam requires college mathematics and not elementary mathematics.   He also stated that students have been asking him about the proposed changes, and that they should not be brought into the debate. All of the SOEC faculty voted for this change. Schultz argued that their department should not be told by the Math Department what math course should be taken by their majors. Each department should have the right to determine their curriculum.
    2. Elmendorf: No school, department, or college controls its own curriculum. The Senate controls the curriculum
    3. Peter Turbek (speaking for the math department) restated the 3 arguments in the SoEC curriculum documents for the change in math course for elementary teachers. The changes are: 1. The SOEC wants their students to enroll in MA153 and STAT301– which will provide students with a stronger mathematical background, 2. The SOEC wants to improve test scores on the licensure exam, because the average number of attempts is “greater than two”. 3. A TSAP pathway argument. To provide background, Turbek stated that the three math educators in the math department have degrees in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in math education, giving the math department “the expertise and experience to critically evaluate the SoEC proposal”. Math representatives met with the SOEC on Aug 13, 2018. The SoEC asked them to assess how the proposed changes would address the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation Standards (CAEP). The math department did the requested analysis and wrote a report documenting that MA153 and STAT301 only addresses 8/28 CAEP math standards. MA137-8-9 addresses all of the CAEP standards. Upon receiving the report, several SoEC members wrote emails disagreeing with the Math department’s conclusions. Anne Gregory cancelled the Sept. 27 follow-up meeting. Turbek stated that none of the factual information provided by the math department to the SoEC was included in the senate curriculum documents. Turbek then addressed each of the SoEC’s reasons for the change individually:
      1. Elementary education students need a stronger background in mathematics that is provided by MA 15300 and STAT 30100. Turbek disagreed, arguing that within the introduction to the CAEP Elementary Math Standards there is a footnote stating that the CAEP standards are an adaption of the recommendations provided within the Mathematics Education of Teachers-II (MET-II) document, which states …mathematics courses and professional development for elementary teachers should not only aim to remedy weaknesses in mathematical knowledge, but also help teachers develop a deeper and more comprehensive view and understanding of the mathematics they will or already do teach… Turbek stated that this what MA137-8-9 were designed to do. MA153 is part of the Core Transfer Library. The purpose of MA153, in conjunction with a course in trigonometry, is to prepare students for calculus. In addition, Turbek stated that he wrote the MA153 textbook, and nothing in it was designed to address the needs of preservice elementary school teachers. Turbek added that the SoEC argued that if there are gaps in what is being taught, the SoEC would address those holes in pedagogy courses. Turbek stated that the MET-II document states that teachers will also need courses mathematical pedagogy. However, there is no substitute: a strong understanding of the mathematics a teacher will teach is necessary for good teaching. Turbek concluded by saying that the CAEP standards are contradicting the SoEC’s curriculum proposal.

Turbek then addressed the second argument in the SoEC proposal:

      1. SOEC proposal stated that they want to improve scores on the state licensure exam because the average number of attempts is greater than two. Turbek stated that the students take the math for elementary school teachers at the beginning of their program and take the licensure test at the end of their program. He stated that conducting test prep sessions would improve test scores. He also said that MA 15300 and STAT 30100 only address 8/35 of the questions on the CORE practice test given to the math department by the SoEC. There is no data that the proposed change will improve the CORE test result. Turbek stated that there have also been a number of problems with the Pearson CORE Tests. The state of Indiana ended its contract with Pearson and replaced it with the Praxis Test. The Pearson test will no longer be used after 2021. There is much more test prep materials available online for the Praxis test. Turbek argued that the “ blip” in the test scores is a temporary problem. 
      2. The third argument in the SoEC proposal is with the TSAP. PNW already has TSAP pathways, which includes Math for Elementary Teachers, either taken at IvyTech or PNW. Becky Stankowski clarified this in an email:

It is correct that ICHE “created a single articulation pathway (TSAP) which identified mathematics coursework that was aligned with the standards articulated for educators in the state of Indianaand the Commission has not suggested or in any way supported a change to the current math requirements of 13700, 13800, and 13900. 

The statement below goes on to say, “the addition of MA 15300 and STAT 30100 aligns with this agreement and will facilitate the matriculation of any candidates”– and while that may be true, it’s a statement of the SOE’s opinion, not the ICHE stance.

d.  The floor was open to discussion. After 40 minutes of questions and discussions, a roll call vote was taken. . The results of the vote were 6 yes, 26 no, and 9 abstentions. The motion failed. Schultz thanked everybody for the thoughtful discussion.

  1. Janet Davis was elected to be the new representative to the West Lafayette Senate.
  2. Presentation on Disability Access Center by Deb Wysong and Colin Fewer.
    1. Reason for the increase in number of students with disabilities is because they were being underserved. Congress changed the law (Americans with Disabilities Act of 2008) resulting in more qualifying for services. When students are properly accommodated, they will be more successful. We currently have accommodations for only 3% of our student population. According to national statistics, almost 1/5 of our student body probably would qualify for some type of accommodations through the DAC. Accommodations never change academic standards or behavioral standards. Pregnancy is not a disability, but pregnant students do get some accommodations. Pregnant students must go through the dean of students office. Some students might qualify for short-term accommodations.   All Faculty should have access to the accommodations that their students are supposed to be getting through the faculty portal in AIM. If faculty cannot (or do not) see those accommodations, they should contact the DAC. The login can be found at https://www.pnw.edu/disability-access-center/
    2. If a faculty member believes that an academic standard is being impacted by an accommodation, then they need to contact the DAC to see if/how the accommodation can be modified.
    3. Call 4141 if there is a behavior problem. There is also form on the Dean of Students website.
  3. Kim Scipes moved the session be extended for 30 minutes. The motion was seconded and passed.
  4. Distribution of senate funds to the Faculty Development Committee. Chair asked that $1000 be distributed if the money was available. It was moved by Elmendorf, and seconded by Scipes. The vote was to approve.
  5. Proposal for Reorganization for Computer Science: Kim Scipes said that the Ed. Policy Committee voted to approve Dean Holford’s recommendation to move Computer Science from the math department to an individual department under engineering. Scipes mistakenly sent that recommendation to Holford, because it first needed to be voted on by the full senate. Scipes made a motion that the senate approve allowing Dean Holford to move Computer Science into a separate department within the School of Engineering. Discussion: Schultz asked if this would be an administrative cost. Holford stated that currently, it is a cost-neutral move because Catherine Murphy from the dean’s office will be the administrator. The motion was voted on and approved.
  6. Electronic Communication Policy: The Ed policy committee wants to discuss with the Faculty Affairs committee about the current state of the electronic communication policy.
  7. Update on Suspension of Programs. Libby Pelter stated that in accord with FSD 18-20, PNW faculty senate calls on the PNW administration to recognize that only the faculty has the authority to suspend academic programs. There have been several programs suspended, while some have followed this process, others have not. Suspension requires a vote of the faculty and cannot be solely an administrative decision. Provost Latif has a list of suspended programs that he will send to the Senate. Provost Latif reiterated that suspensions were a faculty decision. Jim Pula asked what recourse will there be for programs that were discontinued when this process was not followed. Latif stated that he was not aware of any programs that have been discontinued without faculty approval. Pula stated that he would contact Latif with a list.
  8. IBBM budget: According to Kim Scipes, there are rumors that we are going to be moved to an RCM or IBBM budget models. While this has been generally discussed, the Faculty do not know what implications will be. What has been provided to date is not sufficient. Latif stated that nothing is final. Faculty and Staff are included in the discussion of the IBBM model. The benefits of the model have been discussed, and Latif stated that will not have “a 100% RCM model”. The objective is to foster growth and better budget management. Cost control is not the issue. Elmendorf pointed out that there is the executive committee overseeing the model includes some faculty representation, including himself, Schultz, McGrath, and Stompor. Schultz, as chair of the senate budget committee, stated that his committee is meeting with the Chancellor on 2/13/20 at 3:00 PM in Laws304 to discuss the budget and its implications. Anybody from the executive committee can join.
  9. Kim Scipes: A memo was issued to all students and the faculty by Keon alternating the graduation between the two campuses. Hammond would get the Spring. Westville will get the Fall. It is not popular at Westville, and the students have started a petition. James Schooley, former president of SGA, told Oriana White, the new President, that he was not informed of the change. Libby Pelter said that the chancellor discussed it at the December senate meeting. This discussion had been ongoing since August. Tony Sindone stated that this was discussed in the Student Affairs committee, and the SGA president was at this meeting and expressed his concerns. Joy Colwell stated that she brought a written letter to the student affairs committee in August, and it was discussed at the August and September meeting. Joan Dorman questioned the argument that students only wanted to graduate on their home campus by pointing out that when the graduation was held at the Radison, it was not attached to any campus. It was also pointed out that the Hammond graduation will be held at the Hammond Sportsplex, and not on campus. Registrar Cheryl Arroyo said that the goal is to have all students in a particular program, such as Nursing, graduate at the same time and the same place, because we are one PNW. The goal is to make the day special for our students and their families.   Kenny Kincaid said the Student Affairs committee suggested that they consider rotating the Spring commencement between Hammond and Westville. Tessa Regal-Hines, the faculty sponsor for SGA said unfortunately, the information was not filtered down effectively to the students. The reasons for this change should be given to the students and stated that if this was a fiscal decision, then the students would understand that rationale.
  10. Kim Scipes announced that the Westville committee continues to meet. The committee met with two of the Board of Trustees. They are not ready to report yet on what was discussed at that meeting
  11. Oriana White, SGA President. The SGA focus is on the elections coming up in February. The work is on improving the SGA’s reputation, which had some difficulties in the past.
  12. The Purdue University senate has not met yet this semester, so there is no report.
  13. 12:34 PM

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 – PMF 113