Faculty Senate Minutes April 9, 2021

April 30, 2021

Purdue Northwest Faculty Senate


April 9, 2021

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

Voting Senators Present: Ali Alavizadeh, , Anne Edwards, Anthony Elmendorf, Anthony Sindone, Cheryl DeLeon, Chien-Chung Chen, Colette Morrow, Dave Pratt, David Kozel, Diane Spoljoric, Geoff Schultz, Joan Dorman, Julia Rogers, Kenneth Kincaid, Khair Al Shamaileh, Kim Scipes, LaVada Taylor, Lee Artz, Libbie Pelter, 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: Amlan Mitra, Magesh Chandramouli, Omer Farook

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


Alan McCafferty, Angela Schooley, Anne Gregory, Barbara Mania-Farnell, Catalina Rodriguez, Cathy Gillotti, Catharine Olsen, Colin Fewer, David Pick, Elaine Carey, Feng-Song Wang, Geoff Barrow, Harvey Abramowitz, Jennifer Williams, Jonathan Kuhn, Joy Colwell, Kathleen Tobin, Keyuan Jiang, Lin Zhao, Lisa Goodnight, Lori Feldman, Maria Watson, Megan Murphy, Meden Isaac-Lam, Michael Bourgeois, Michael Tu, Nicoleta Tarfulea, Raida Abuizam, Rose Haite, Russell Mayo, Paul Hecht, Stephen Turner, Tim Winders, Youlunda Mosley, Yueqi Zhang

  1. Determination of quorum.
  2. Call to order.
  3. Approval of the agenda.
  4. Approval of the minutes from March 12, 2021
  5. Remarks by the Senate Chair (L. Pelter).
    • Pelter encouraged all senators to join the open forums during the HLC visit.
    • The Fall semester will be face-to-face for most classes.
    • There will be a COVID19 vaccination clinic on both campuses for faculty, staff, and students.
    • Pelter yielded the rest of her time to SGA president Oriana White
    • Oriana White stated that student government completed their elections. 300 people voted.  White will continue as president next year.  The homecoming activities at both campuses were well attended by the students in spite of the unfavorable weather. SGA will be hosting exam jams with extended library hours and tutoring services to help students prepare for finals.  To help students destress, there will be puppies!   SGA is also helping with the COVID19 vaccination registration.
  6. Remarks by the Chancellor.  (Provost Holford gave the remarks for the chancellor, who was attending the BOT meeting today)
    • Holford thanked Chancellor Keon, Brian Miller, and the Safe Return Committee in their roles in bringing vaccination sites to PNW.   Students are starting to be brought onto campus to do various activities and events.
    • Scholarly activity is at an all-time high.  PNW passed the $20 million mark in sponsored research dollars and may reach somewhere around $23 million.
    • An announcement has been made that we may be doing a 1.5% merit-based increase to salaries and a 1.5% merit-based cash bonus. This will have to be approved by the BOT.
    • PNW is the first Purdue campus to distribute all of its Cares Act funding.  87% of the funding went directly into the hands of our students.
    • Holford thanked everybody for their efforts in preparing for the HLC visit and encouraged faculty participation in the upcoming forums.
    • The Hammond campus will be distributing the Pfizer vaccination. The first week will be targeted at students with the second week targeted faculty and staff. The Westville campus is scheduled to distribute the Johnson and Johnson vaccination.  Please register and bring your PNW ID.  Vaccines on the Westville campus are open to the public.
    • Holford asked all faculty to emphasize to the students the importance of registering early for Fall.
    • Holford gave a special thanks to faculty who participated in the Westville Committee.  A series of reports from each sub-committee as well as a summary report are available on the Senate website. Holford was impressed with the work that has gone into the reports and the seriousness in which it was treated. He stated that nine senior administrators had been poring through those documents, reading through those recommendations, and looking where we can find opportunities to resolve some of those issues or at least make progress on them.
    • Questions for the Provost
      • A. Edwards asked if there will be some ZOOM classes in the Fall, and will vaccines be required for students. Holford stated that 97% of our classes will be held in a face-to-face format on the Westville campus. A smaller percent will be held in a face-to-face format on the Hammond campus. Holford encouraged a willingness to engage in Hy-Flex modalities– meaning that it may be beneficial to still lecture capture or make Zoom available for those unable to attend classes. While some courses really would benefit from just being face to face, others we might continue to be in a Hy-flex environment.
      • Vaccinations will be required of students that are living in University Housing.
  7. New Business:
    • Curriculum Documents Approval (L. Artz) All curriculum documents can be found in Curriculog.  All documents were approved (Approved: 36/0)
  8. For Information:  Proposed Change to Curriculog (L. Artz) Artz stated that these are simply changes to the curriculum documents and forms that need to be submitted. None of these change the process. The proposed changes provide a smoother way of accessing the fundamentals of any proposal that comes forward.
  9. For Action:
    • FSD 20-23: Faculty Collaboration Required for all Curriculum Proposals (L. Artz) This document states that when a department initiates a proposal that impacts another unit, that they indicate on the curriculum form that there was a discussion and collaboration with the other departments affected.  (Approved: 33/2)
    • FSD 20-24: Resolution to replace FSD 18-16 Adoption of Ranked Choice Voting for Senate Elections.(L. Taylor)
      • Elmendorf: Since the document was not approved by any standing committee of the senate, Elmendorf moved that the document be tabled.  Seconded by Merkovsky.
      • Discussion: Morrow asked the parliamentarian to weigh in or whether or not a senator could bring forth a document without going through a standing committee
      • Schultz asked how the document came to be on the agenda if it was not approved by the Exec. Committee or other standing committee. Pelter stated that it came to the Agenda Committee, and the Agenda Committee decided to put it on the agenda as coming from an individual senator.  The Executive Committee approved the Agenda for today’s meeting, not this document.
      • Pelter further stated that this document was a change to the Bylaws. Elmendorf stated it was not a revision of the bylaws, because the bylaws do not say anything about how elections are conducted.  Elmendorf stated that the motion is to revise FSD18-16. That document was approved by Taylor and Elmendorf when they were on the Senate Exec. Committee
      • Pelter stated that FSD 20-17 was an addendum of the bylaws to provide for the electronic election of the Vice Chair when the senate could not meet face-to-face.
      • Pelter called the question- Should FSD 20-22 be tabled? (16 YES, 17 NO,  3 ABSTAIN)  DENIED
      • Elmendorf stated that there is a rather extensive research about the benefits of the Borda method. It is superior to the proposed method in FSD20-22, and in any case in which there are more than two candidates.
      • Mascha stated that the problems in the previous election stemmed more from technology and just communicating whether it was top down or bottom up. She said that she did not understand what the issue is with the Borda method. Kozel agreed with Mascha’s statement.  He stated that the Borda method is an improvement over the single vote method and that it would be a mistake to change it back to that method.
      • The document was moved (Morrow) and seconded (Taylor) for action (24 in favor, 7 opposed, 2 abstain) Moved to action
      • The document was moved for approval (11 in favor, 21 opposed, 2 abstain) Resolution Failed.
    • FSD 20-22: Resolution on a Proposal for Assessment of Academic Reorganizational Changes (C. DeLeon) FOR DISCUSSION.     Policy is recommending that academic reorganizations should be driven by mutual effort with all parties and involved to maximize the benefits of the proposed changes, that deliberations should consider the purpose and the overall value of such changes for being PNW in general, as well as the impact on faculty, students and staff.  Parties that are influenced by the proposed change should have the opportunity to provide input, present alternatives and participate in the discussion. And be it further resolved that at a minimum Ed. Policy should receive clearly delineated and detailed cost benefit analyses with all assumptions clearly identified for these proposed reorganizational changes and the results of anonymous faculty surveys that were performed by the unit’s representative faculty body, or if the unit does not have a representative faculty body, then representatives from Ed Policy will do an anonymous faculty survey.
      • Artz: To what extent does this resolution on reorganization affect curriculum changes? And if that’s the case, shouldn’t part of this resolution restate that it’s the faculty’s responsibility to make changes to the curriculum?
      • DeLeon: Ed Policy wanted this document to be separate from curriculum and just address academic reorganization.
      • Sindone: This resolution is about giving the faculty senate the information through which we could provide advice to the administration, because the administration is the one who ultimately is going to make the decisions.
      • DeLeon: In order for Ed Policy to give the advice to the Senate, it needs particular pieces of information.  That information will be used in Ed Policy’s recommendation to the senate.
  10. Nominees for PNW Faculty Senate Vice-Chair for 2021-2022. Two nominees, G. Schultz and T. Roach described their qualifications for Senate Vice Chair.
  11. Report from the Senate Budget and Resources Subordinate Committee (G. Schultz) Schultz stated that there was a $2 million budget shortfall in Spring 2021. This is mostly due to a 28% drop in Freshmen class enrollment and a loss of $1.1 million from the dual credit money. Fall is projected to have a $3.6 million deficit.  $2.2 million will come out of Academic Affairs budget.   PNW is projecting a 7.8% drop in enrollment next year.  Because nobody was allowed to travel and positions were eliminated, PNW ended up with a $4.7 million surplus projected to the end of this year.  Faculty may receive up to a 3% increase in salary:  Up to 1.5% will go to the base and 1.5% will be a one-time only bonus.  Both are based on merit evaluations done by the department heads. There was concern that merit increases would only be given to those who scored 4s or 5s on the annual review rubric.
    • Artz asked if we know how much additional funding will be allocated to PNW and how it can be allocated. Holford responded that we do not know how those funds can be allocated at this time.  A. Edwards asked that if the surplus funds could be used to add recruiters to the university.  Holford encouraged the Senate to address that question to Vice Chancellor Mosley who has launched a number of initiatives designed at bringing students back on campus, reengaging them, and then doing additional outreach activities. Holford also stated that the funds that have not been spent yet is cash funding that can only be used for selective activities. It does not go towards things like salary and benefits. Since the university has some extra funds, we are looking at options for rejuvenating our campus to attract more students to our area.
    • Macha stated that one of her concerns at the conclusion of the meeting was there seemed to be a staff versus faculty tension that arose the discussion of raises. Initially, some staff members expressed concern that giving a 1.5% raise, versus a 1% raise would result in the loss of positions within a department.
    • Kozel asked for additional clarification from the provost on the faculty evaluations. Holford stated that department chairs are meeting with everybody to do the annual review process. The department chairs make a recommendation to the dean’s office. Each college has their own guidelines on how this is done. Holford anticipates that faculty members who are meeting expectations will be eligible for merit increases. Meeting Expectations on most of our rubrics is a three out of five.  Four and five represent exceeding or significantly exceeding expectations.  All administrators have been asked to take COVID into account. And there should be an allowance for a statement to be made or a conversation to be made with your department chair, explaining how you were individually impacted by COVID. And your evaluation is to take place in light of your individual impacts this year.
    • Cherry asked what extent can some of the surplus funds that that apparently are available, be used to hire back continuing lecturers and clinical faculty whose positions may have been jeopardized. Holford stated that we do not use cash funding to support positions at the campus anymore. In the past, we’ve gotten ourselves in trouble using cash to fund positions. In some cases, we might bring visiting faculty or temporary faculty in, but we should not be putting in recurring funding positions on cash.
  12. Report from Senate Westville Committee (K. Scipes) Last week the committee submitted a series of five different reports. The Provost and Scipes are co-sponsoring a meeting on April 16 from 10 to 12 to discuss the reports.  Scipes stated that there are a number of things developed by the Westville committee that would be useful for adoption at Hammond.  He encouraged the senators to read each report and to attend the April 16 meeting.  Scipes will put forth a resolution during the May senate meeting to continue the work of the committee.
  13. Report from the West Lafayette Senate (V. Quinn) The senate met on March 22. Professor Colleen Brady from animal science was elected to be vice chair of the Senate. Two amendments to the bylaws were passed to change the Ed policy committees’ membership to include an academic advisor. This led to some very interesting discussions both in EPC and on the Senate floor. Resolution regarding the improvement of childcare options on the West Lafayette campus was passed because one of their major childcare facilities is being closed. The last document up for discussion included a discussion of the temporary continuation of test optional approach to undergraduate admissions and the January term proposal.
  1. Adjournment