Faculty Senate Minutes, March 12, 2021

March 29, 2021

Purdue Northwest Faculty Senate


March 12, 2021

10:00 AM-12:00 PM: Via Zoom

Voting Senators Present: Ali Alavizadeh, Amlan Mitra, Anne Edwards, Anthony Elmendorf, Anthony Sindone, Cheryl DeLeon, Chien-Chung Chen, Colette Morrow, Dave Pratt, David Kozel, Diane Spoljoric, Geoff Schultz, Joan Dorman, Kenneth Kincaid, Khair Al Shamaileh, Kim Scipes, LaVada Taylor, Lee Artz, Libbie Pelter, Magesh Chandramouli, Maria Garcia-Verdugo, Marianne Curia, Maureen Mascha, Michael Connolly, Michael Mick, Michael Pelter, Michael Roller, Michael Zimmer, Mohammed Errihani, Neeti Parashar, Pitparnee Stompor, Ralph Cherry, Robert Kramer, Robert Merkovsky, Shuhui Grace Yang, Sheila Rezak, Shengyong Zhang, Shoji Nakayama, Thomas Roach, Vanessa Quinn, Wei He

 Voting Senators Absent: Omer Farook, Julia Rogers,

Non-Voting members present:  Thomas Keon, Chris Holford, Saul Lerner, Diana Underwood, Oriana White


Alan McCafferty, Angela Schooley, Barbara Mania-Farnell, Cathy Gillotti, Catharine Olsen, Charles, Rarick, Colin Fewer, Daniel Wilber, David Nalbone, Elaine Carey, Emily Hixon, Evert Ting, Feng-Song Wang, Geoff Barrow, Godwin-Charles Ogbeide, Harvey Abramowitz, Jennifer Williams, Jonathan Kuhn, Jonathan Swarts, Joy Colwell, Kathleen Tobin, Kelly Vaughan, Keyuan Jiang, Lisa Goodnight, Maria Watson, Mary Jane Eisenhauer, Megan Murphy, Mita Choudhury, Meden Isaac-Lam, Michael Bourgeois, Nicoleta Tarfulea, Paul Hecht, Rachel Smith, Rebecca Stankowski, Richard Rupp, Stephen Turner, Tim Winders, Yueqi Zhang

  1. Determination of quorum.
  2. Call to order.
  3. Approval of the agenda.
  4. Approval of the minutes from February 12, 2021.
    • C. DeLeon asked that an edit be made to the minutes and FSD20-18.  The original incorrectly listed the new name of the Department of History, Philosophy, Politics, & Economics as the Department of History, Philosophy, Political Science, & Economics.
    • The minutes were approved with this change.
  5. Remarks by the Senate Chair (L. Pelter).
    • New senate procedures for meetings:  Attendance record will be taken from the Zoom record at the end of the meeting.  The polling feature on Zoom will be used for voting on documents that we have in advance.  For those documents that we don’t have in advance of the meeting, we will use the YES/NO function in Zoom. This will also be used for votes that are not controversial. In either case, the votes are counted and can be reviewed in the recorded meeting.  The accurate count is always put in the minute. We’re going to follow rules of order.  Senators must be recognized to speak and their remarks must be addressed to the Chair.  The mute/unmute feature will be used to recognize senators to speak.  Speakers can be limited to three minutes and speakers can be limited to no more than three comments on any one issue.
  • Founders Day: The outstanding scholarship awardee was Neeti Parashar. The outstanding teaching award went to Lash Mapa. Outstanding service award went to Nikki Jackson.  All of the winners and nominees should be congratulated for their outstanding work.
  • Retention of Students: There is a significant need for the faculty to contribute as much as they can to retention of students and to encourage enrollment.  In our Senate Executive Committee meeting, Youlunda Mosley stated that the relationships faculty develop with our students have a huge impact on retention and also enrollment.  We need to be mindful that we’re not missing opportunities to build relationships throughout the community, including relationships with prospective students, families, and businesses in the community.  We need to make sure that we have a very strong voice about the quality of education at Purdue Northwest and the opportunities that we give our students. Yolanda Mosley has agreed to speak at the next senate meeting.
  1. Remarks by the Chancellor (T. Keon)
    • Chancellor Keon extended his congratulations to the Faculty Award winners.
    • Enrollment:  This year and probably next year, we are likely take a larger than normal hit to enrollment due to COVID.   The number of students going to college is in decline.  Keon emphasized the urgency at expanding majors that could and should be stronger and larger and looking at starting new majors that we currently do not have.  He stated that we must expand our market and add popular programs The chancellor yielded the rest of his time to Provost Holford.
    • Remarks by the Provost.  Holford began by acknowledging several Faculty members.   Professor Anne Gregory and Katie Bowers just received an $800,000 grant for teaching dual credit in Indiana. Diana Underwood-Gregg partnered with the Northwest Indiana Coalition for Public Education to hold an Education and Race Seminar on Barriers to Learning for Students of Color.  Professor Amlan Mitra was recognized for his collaboration with Crown Point High School where he worked on an economic development project for healthy living in Calumet City.  The PNW Center for Global Studies hosted the Global Pandemic Panel, which included scholars from Brazil, Cuba, Vietnam, and India. Holford said that events are important to the fabric of our institution and are quite meaningful to the communities around us. He also highlighted upcoming an event by Professor Lindsay Gielda, who will be presenting a Coronavirus Q&A on current research on the SARS COVID19 outbreak on March 25, at noon.
    • 78% of our faculty participated filling out early warning student progress reports.  There were more than 10,000 progress reports identifying at risk behaviors for students. That means on average of the 300 participants, all of them filed 30 or more progress reports for the various students. At least 2,600 students were identified with at least one or more at-risk behaviors. Academic advisors reached out to those students to direct them to financial aid, their professors, and the Dean of Students Office to see how they might address the difficulties that they are facing.
    • We need to start looking closely at our admission standards, our tuition rates, and asking the question, “Are we serving the community in the best way we can”? “Are we the most competitive that we can be?”  A strong focus on retention efforts is going to be essential.  We need to find ways to continue to support our stable and growing programs as well as looking for opportunities to expand our service in other areas.
    • There were 200 participants at the last Westville open forum.  More than 95% of the classes have been scheduled in the face-to-face format for Fall.  Our HTM program will be providing dining services on the Westville campus, which will lead to co-curricular learning opportunities as well as great food.
    • Holford was disappointed that someone made a decision to write companies over the LaPorte County and communicate to them that we were closing programs here.  This perpetuates the false narrative that the campus is going in decline and closing. Unilateral efforts like that should be discouraged, because they really undermine the efforts that everybody is put into this.  If you have a grievance or a complaint, please work with leadership to find a way to solve those problems rather than reach out to the community and signal that the campus has problems.
    • University Budget committee will be meeting soon.  The Faculty Senate Budget Committee will now also be part of the University Budget Committee
      • Artz asked Chancellor Keon to comment on the stimulus money coming to the university.  Keon stated that we expect to get funding, but it isn’t clear how the money can be used.  Keon is hoping that it can be used to take care of the loss at the residence halls.
      • Artz asked Holford about dual credit and banded tuition.  If more students receive dual credits instead at PNW, wouldn’t this lead to a direct revenue shortfall?  Holford stated that Dual Credit is complicated. A few years ago, PNW cut back on the number of dual credit offerings.  As we moved out of it, Ivy Tech, and Indiana University moved more heavily into it. There is another additional budgetary component that even though we may lose a student in the classroom, we were receiving additional funding for the state based on the amount of dual credit we were giving out.  The consequence of the decision is that we will receive about a million dollars less in funding from the state because we moved out of that area. Holford stated that we have to “right size” the program.  Underlying all of that is that we have certain quality standards in place.
      • Artz also asked if there was any data on how banded tuition was impacting the budget.  Holford stated that banded tuition resulted in more traffic from Illinois, but V.C. Turner would have to speak to the impact on the budget.
      • Mascha asked about a Purdue policy that would not allow more than one similar online program.  This ban would impact the MBA program at PNW.  Hoford stated that it was not a ban, but it is a check.  For example, different campuses of Purdue run online nursing programs. PNW negotiated a geofence that allows us to not compete with other entities.  Mascha stated that they were informed by an administrator that it could not be done.  Holford directed her to speak with Becky Stankowski.  Keon suggested that she also contact the College of Business at Ft. Wayne who is also interested in offering a similar program.
  2. Memorial Resolution for Professor Emeritus Maria Longas FSD 20-20 (S. Lerner)
  3. New Business:
    • Curriculum Documents Approval (L. Artz) Artz asked all senators to make sure that they are reading the curriculum documents and sharing with their departments. All curriculum documents were approved 31/0.
  4. Old Business
    • Update on the assessment of Experiential Learning and First Year Experience courses. (Faculty Senate Document 18-18 creates a structure for the General Education assessment process for Purdue University Northwest and Faculty Senate Document 19-23 creates a structure for Experiential Learning assessment for Purdue University Northwest) (D. Pratt)
      • FSD18-18 provides a timeline for assessment.  This assessment is tasked to the Gen/Ed and Assessment Committee.  According to that timeline, Experiential Learning, First Year Experience Courses, and Quantitative Reasoning, and Technology outcomes of General Education courses are to be evaluated this year.  With the help of the Experiential Learning ad hoc committee, GE&A decided that this assessment would be done in two phases. First, there was a culling of the list of experiential learning courses. Only 99 of the 178 listed were actually being used and needed to be assessed. FSD19-23 lists the specific outcomes that need to be assessed. These items are from the National Society for Experiential Education, and include things like authenticity of the course, reflection, orientation, and acknowledgement.  The committee decided that self-assessment would be the best approach to take the first time through. The highest self-reported item was authenticity. The least addressed was in the area of acknowledgement. Pam Saylor, who heads up this ad hoc group, is working with GE&A on the next phase of assessment. This will include some professional development, a deeper review of the qualitative data that were we received, and giving more recognition to those that are currently doing well. The committee will also developing a more formal assessment process for the future.  They have also looked at First Year Experience courses, which have different standards to be assessed. There were 25 designated FYI courses in Task Stream that were reviewed.  In accordance with FSD17-09, the committee wanted to assure that the First Year Experience courses all focus on the areas of academic planning, reflection, and building relationships. Pratt provided feedback to each department chair about the results of the assessment.  The committee is also looking at the courses that meet the technology and quantitative reasoning requirements. Pratt thanked the General Ed and assessment committee for all of their hard work.
    • Update on the General Education Task Force pilot study (D. Pratt)
      • There have been efforts to revitalize or reform our current way of teaching Gen Ed from a cafeteria-style approach to more of a cluster, or theme-based approach. The CHESS Gen Ed Taskforce has been working very closely with the Senate’s GE&A committee.  There will be a pilot program in the Fall 2021.  Vanessa Quinn is leading the efforts, along with Cathy Gillotti.  Three different cohorts of 24 students will be part of the pilot.  One of them is the University College/GNS 191 students.  A second will have biology majors.  The third will possibly be communication or another program in CHESS.  The courses will fit the Go Out and Play theme. There will also be three control groups of students who are going to take the existing typical cafeteria style approach. Colette Morrow asked for a copy of the most recent iteration of the plan and a campus-wide distribution of the proposal. Cathy Gillotti said that there is a Library Guide with all of the documents from the Gen Ed Task Force. (Please contact C. Gillotti for the password).
  5. For Action:
    • FSD 20-17: Procedures for Remote Election of the Vice-Chair Elect (A. Alavizadeh)  Alavizadeh stated that N&A committee met several times to discuss the original resolution. The committed add some explanations and revised some of the wording.  The document was moved for action and seconded.  Kozel asked if the instructions stated that the ballot would not be valid if all candidates were not ranked.  Elmendorf stated that this is addressed.  Taylor wanted a resolution to remove the Borda voting method.  Pelter stated that the Executive Committee felt that the procedures for voting remotely for Vice Chair was a separate issue from whether or not the Borda method should be used.  Schultz also felt that the Borda method was an open question and that it should be voted on before FSD 20-17.  Elmendorf disagreed that the Borda method was an open question.  Elmendorf stated that the Borda method was approved by the senate in FSD 18-16.  VOTE: 67% in favor. 17% opposed.  17% abstained.
  6. For Discussion:
    • FSD 20-21: Withdraw date for Spring 2021 (Executive) L. Pelter stated that in light of the change in withdraw date that the Executive committee felt that PNW students should have the same opportunity.  Moved to actionVOTE:  97% in favor. 
    • Revision of Curriculog process to include approval by non-submitting departments impacted by curriculum documents (L. Artz) Artz stated that all curriculum changes (including any changes to programs) must include documentation of collaboration by faculty members in the departments affected. The Curriculum Committee needs this documentation to be able to have a serious evaluation of any proposal.
    • Reminder for the schedule for submission and senate approval of curriculum documents. (FSD 19-03 Curriculum Committee Dates and Curriculog Training for 2019-2020) (L. Artz)  the curriculum committee insists that all documents be received by the committee three weeks in advance of their scheduled meeting, which is on the same day as the faculty senate meetings. This gives the committee time to ask and resolve any questions.  This is a hard deadline.  Two departments this semester asked for extensions on this deadline and the extensions were not given.
  7. Report from Associate Vice Chancellor Stankowski on HLC visit (R. Stankowski)
    • Stankowski stated that the Higher Learning Commission will be coming to visit Purdue Northwest for its reaffirmation of accreditation visit on April 12 and 13th. Five of the team will be virtually zooming in and one member of the committee, who is the provost of Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana, will be in person. The team leader will tell Stankowski in advance who the team wants to meet.  It is likely that they will want to meet with the Faculty senate. Once Stankowski knows who they want to meet with, she will be sending out polls to find the times to fit the timeframe. There will almost certainly be an open session with faculty, an open session with staff, and an open session with students. The HLC is coming to look at, are basically how we are meeting the five criteria for accreditation. HLC info card  This card can be used as a reference about what the five criteria are. They are 1. mission, 2. Integrity-ethical and responsible conduct, 3. teaching and learning, 4 quality assessment and evaluation, and 5. resources and planning.  The meeting will be start on early Monday morning on April the 12th and continue through to the 13th.  Stankowski asked faculty to please show up and participate if invited to do so.
  8. Report from Senate Westville Committee (K. Scipes)
    • Scipes said that 207 people attended the open meeting.  The four subcommittees are in the process of submitting reports.  The committee will submit a report to the executive committee on March 26 and hopefully submit the report to the senate at the April meeting.  If the document is approved by the senate and moved to action in May.  The document would then go to senior leadership.  Scipes asked that all senators read and comment on the report after they receive it.
  9. Report from the West Lafayette Senate (V. Quinn)
    • The Faculty Senate in West Lafayette met in February. The Faculty Secretary at Purdue has asked for a student and a faculty member for the Purdue University Sustainability Committee.  Oriana White has agreed to be the student representative on this committee. Quinn thanked White for her continued service to PNW. There is also a need for a faculty representative on the Undergraduate Curriculum Council Leadership Committee. A. Alavizadeh, chair of the PNW nominations committee, is working to populate these committees. Anyone having questions can contact Alavizadeh or Quinn.
    • J-Term:  West Lafayette is considering moving towards a J-Term. The concerns that are being raised is that this new 4 week academic term that is between the Fall and Spring semester will influence faculty and graduate student pay, and they would like to have those items ironed out prior to J-term being implemented. There’s also concern about the timing of the spring break at Purdue West Lafayette continuing to coincide with the spring break of the West Lafayette School District. There are also significant concerns by faculty about the risks of offering a 16 week course in a four week time frame.  On the positive side, some faculty are very excited about being able to have the flexibility to offer travel study courses that are typically difficult to offer during the summer or during a 16-week semester.
  10. Remarks by the SGA President (O. White)
    • The student government is working on Project Free Flow.  As a result, there are now free menstrual products in high traffic and all gender-neutral restrooms on both campuses. This is phase one. White is hoping that a phase two and three will result in free menstrual products in all restrooms on both campuses.  In addition, Dr. Laurie Feldman and Women in Business reached out to student government, because they are working on a project called Project Pink. 125 products have been shipped to Dr. Feldman’s house in the first week.  Student government will be putting mirror clings on the restrooms to let students know that Student Government is here to help. Dr. Feldman’s will be giving the donated products to the food pantry on campus. Eventually, some professors across the two campuses will also have products in their offices available for students.  There are statistics that women in period poverty won’t come to university, and 1 in 10 American women are facing this challenge.
    • SGA has heard amazing things about how faculty are being understanding of their students’ lives during the pandemic. White is also getting some reports from students who are not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Some are losing hope. She encouraged everybody to try to find a way to instill some hope in the PNW students that we are returning to normal.
  11. Open discussion
    • Quinn asked if the CES/COT merger had been withdrawn.  Holford said that had been withdrawn for this year.
    • Parashar asked if there were a reason why the election for vice chair could not be held during the senate meeting.  Elmendorf stated that due to the possibility of technical glitches and not having the list of nominees until the end of the April meeting would make it impossible to prepare a ballot in advance.  This has happened in the past, so this has to comply with both the technical needs and the bylaws.
    • Parashar asked if the candidates would have the opportunity or requirement to speak as to why they want to be chair.  Scipes said that the resolution states that each candidate will have 5 minutes to speak.
  12. Adjournment