Faculty Senate Minutes, February 11, 2022

March 7, 2022

Faculty Senate Minutes, February 11, 2022

10:00 AM-12:00 PM via Zoom

An audio recording of this meeting can be accessed via the following link:

Audio Recording of Meeting

  1. Determination of quorum.
    • Quorum was determined at 10:15 a.m.
  2. Call to order.
  3. Approval of the agenda.
    • Agenda approved by voice vote
  4. Approval of the minutes from January 14, 2022.
    • Minutes approved by voice vote
  5. Remarks by the Senate Chair (K. Scipes)
    • Library and Information Services MISO Survey announcement
    • Race, Racism, Anti-Racism event series Announcement
    • Frederick C. Patten memoriam
      1. The Chair invited D. Majumdar to read a tribute to F.C. Patten.
      2. The Chair paid tribute to F.C. Patten and asked for a moment of silence.
    • Saul Lerner memoriam
      1. The Chair paid tribute to S. Lerner and asked for a moment of silence.
  1. Remarks by the Chancellor (T. Keon)
    • The Chancellor turned his remarks over to the Provost
    • The Provost recognized Fulbright Scholar M. Mascha.
      1. M. Mascha gave thanks and acknowledgements.
    • The Provost announced Homecoming events.
  2. New Business:
    • Curriculum Documents Approval
      1. The Chair said L. Artz is in Pakistan and introduced M. Roller to speak in his place.
        1. M. Roller said there are 26 recommendations from the Curriculum Committee motioned for review and approval. There are three Math concentrations to fit the revised major. There are 14 Education proposals that modified prerequisites and corequisites, and there are six or less course revisions for the new OLS minor in occupational safety.
        2. Seconded by T. Elmendorf.
        3. Approved by show of hands.
  • ACT/SAT requirements and admission requirements
    1. A. Edwards shared FSD 21-09
    2. They shared that the Committee was asked to consider increasing the GPA up to 2.4 or 2.5. After looking at current GPA requirements for the different colleges it was noticed that some of them were set at 2.2. The Committee chose 2.2 as the GPA requirement so as not to disrupt those colleges.
      1. Discussion
        1. Data seems to indicate that the success rate of students who fall within the 2.0-2.2 GPA is not very high. It was noted that the Ivy Tech agreement would be a beneficial opportunity for students within that range to be successful.
        2. A question was asked about whether a very high ACT/SAT score along with a GPA in the described range would qualify a student for admission.
          1. It was clarified that each college establishes its own admissions requirements and that they could determine a system by which their Dean looks at the situations on a case-by-case basis. This is aside from the admissions standards of the university.
          2. It was shared that dropping the ACT/SAT requirement could help facilitate the recruitment of international students with high GPAs.
        3. For action at next meeting
  • Vice Chair nominees, V. Quinn and D. Nalbone were announced.
    1. Nominations are still being solicited
  1. Old Business
    • Discussion of the Chancellor’s enrollment report
      1. The Chair invited Senators to share their thoughts about the Chancellor’s presentation
      2. T. Sindone thanked the Chancellor or Provost then asked what the faculty can do to partner with the appropriate channels and volunteer to go to local high schools as a means of student recruitment.
        1. The Provost said the Admissions Office would like to engage the colleges, departments, and programs and get them in front of students.
        2. The Chancellor said a lot more is being done with direct contact, especially via cellphone. They elaborated that departments are now being asked to follow up with specific individuals that have interest in provided programs. They shared their thoughts on the value of every department having a group of faculty who are willing to correspond via text and facetime with prospective students.
      3. Someone asked if registered students have provided reasons, in their own words, voluntarily or by request, for choosing PNW and how that information was used in marketing.
        1. The Provost said a survey indicated that PNW was the first-choice institution of more than half of our students. A quarter of students surveyed said it was their second choice. The Provost added that he could not answer the question directly, but that admissions is aware of some of the factors influencing student choice in selecting institutions.
        2. The Chancellor said that admissions has been working with a third-party firm to develop a profile of those students who come to our university. They said admissions is adapting that profile to other cities and geographic areas that have similar types of students to reach out to. There are also recruiters going out to talk to high school counselors about who we are and what we have available.
        3. In their own words, the Chancellor said, the major choices for students are being place-bound and affordable.
      4. H. Kim shared some activities that ME faculty have been involved in such as volunteering to serve as judges for middle school and high school Science Olympics. They also mentioned the AI summer camp, a high school internship program and opportunities through CIVS. They suggested advertising these opportunities to attract more students.
      5. K. Kincaid asked what percentage of students who are enrolled in concurrent enrollment and/or dual credit decided to enroll in PNW? And are there any incentives to those students to enroll in PNW, financial or academic?
        1. They Provost said he was not sure of the details but can check with CEP for that information. The Chancellor said it was less than 20%.
        2. PNW Dean of CHESS, A. Gregory, said about 14% of the students who enroll in PNW concurrent enrollment courses matriculate. About the incentive, they said any concurrent enrollment student who has taken three or more credits is eligible to apply for one of five $1K scholarships which are distributed every spring.
        3. K. Kincaid followed up, sharing the thought that there should be some sort of visible indication, labeling or modules for example, to show that the courses offered and credits received are from PNW.
          1. A. Gregory said students receive a certification of completion at the end of every academic year that recognizes PNW as the source institution.
          2. The Chancellor asked if they get a PNW ID card and A. Gregory confirmed they do. A. Gregory added that concurrent enrollment students and their families also receive an invitation to Hockey Night events to encourage campus visits. It was also added that liaisons from each of the departments have even more direct access to students and teachers in those spaces.
        4. It was mentioned that some items listed as tangible results/continuous improvement have always existed at the university and are not new results. Other examples of questionable data from the presentation were pointed out.
        5. D. Nalbone asked, who will determine which academic programs are in demand and who will determine how any resources will be reinvested?
          1. The Provost said 10 existing programs that are showing significant interest from students and significant growth in credit hours were picked, and that strategic investments and additional faculty lines in those areas were implemented. They said there was a discussion with the academic deans in the areas of growth. Conversations were had about those and agreements were made to invest in those particular areas. For example, there had been discussion when Computer Science and Engineering was experiencing enormous growth. There was a broad recognition there were not enough faculty members in that area, so the university decided to invest in our computer science program and added two faculty lines into that area. These decisions were made by the Office of the Provost as well as the academic deans that oversee these programs.
        6. T. Roach asked the Chancellor what the university is going to look like in three years? They asked how many students the Chancellor thinks we will have and, if that number is declining, how is it going to affect the number of tenured faculty, deans, and dean’s assistants?
          1. The Chancellor said the plan is to reduce. There is right now in front of the faculty a plan to eliminate a college. And we have plans related to how we are always going to be reducing knowing that we have fewer and fewer resources coming forward. Our hope is that much of that plan can be accomplished through attrition. So at some point in time we will see fewer Vice Chancellors, fewer administrators as a whole. And we are probably likely to see fewer faculty members, particularly in some areas.
          2. The Chancellor was asked to provide this plan on paper for further review.
            1. The Chancellor said when plans have suggestions of elimination it can have a negative impact on the institution, but that they would be glad to continue the discussion.
          3. The Chancellor was asked if we are trying to get enrollment back to 10,000. Are we going to settle at 5,000? The Chancellor was asked to provide a projection.
            1. They said we will probably settle at some place a little over 4,000 unless IUN closes.
            2. When asked if the Chancellor had reason to believe IUN is going to close they replied saying that somebody will. They said legislators are not willing to make difficult decisions about how higher education should look across the state.
            3. The Chancellor said the presentation shows where enrollment has dropped across all institutions and added that it is going to continue to drop because there will be fewer people going to college and fewer students graduating from high school.
          4. A question was asked about whether voluntary reductions in force in the form of buyout packages for faculty would be an option, similar to what is being offered to Valparaiso University faculty.
            1. The Chancellor said that the reason we’re not doing what Valpo has done is that we’ve been trimming back for years, trying to take a little bite at a time instead of a big chunk. And at the early stages, we did put out some opportunities to enhance people’s retirement, we spent a significant amount of money on that. And frankly, the results were minimal. So, we’ve been working for the last couple of years more on a case-by-case basis. If somebody has an interest, they usually talk to their department chair. The Dean and the Provost will get involved and might come up with an option that could make them feel a little bit more comfortable about making that decision. We had two people last semester who decided to retire under those circumstances.
          5. It was mentioned that efforts to incentivize administrators to retire should be equal to those incentivizing faculty to retire. What efforts are underway to reduce administrators and perhaps to redistribute their funds?
            1. The Provost said they will be bringing to the Senate a request to merge two of the colleges. They said the biggest impact that will have is the permanent reduction of three administrative lines if those two colleges are able to be merged. The goal has been to maintain and strengthen the academic programs we have and gain efficiency through reduction of administrative overhead in total. Almost all the savings comes from reduction of administrators. Reductions across non-academic units have also been taking place.
          6. A question was asked about why administrative staff has increased while enrollment has decreased.
            1. The Provost said the deans are sensitive to the size of their staff in response to the new budget model and are starting to ask a lot of those questions. They said as budget reductions have been implemented they have taken the opportunity to not refill many positions. They said non-academic staff cuts have gone as far as loss of services in some areas where positions cannot be combined. They said the deans are responsible for what’s going on in the respective colleges and are responsible for their staff looks like.
            2. The Chancellor said that equal amounts of reductions to both academic and non-academic units have taken place as enrollment has decreased.
          7. Two examples from IPEDS data were presented:
            1. From fiscal year 2017-2019 management occupations went from 31 employees to 98.
            2. In community, social service, legal, arts, design, entertainment, sports and media occupations, we went from 23 to 73 full-time equivalent.
              1. Both examples show growth of over 200%. What is being done to reduce massive growth in management occupations and other high paid administrative positions?
              2. The Chancellor said the number of dollars has decreased. The Provost said the size of their office has decreased with one fewer Vice Chancellor and one fewer support staff than there was in the previous administration in this office. The Provost said Academic Affairs completely eliminated the Office of Global Engagement which was a reduction in two administrators and seven staff positions. They said we have to manage the way international and study abroad opportunities are handled now.
            3. It was mentioned that cutting summer classes resulted in some faculty losing ~25% of their salaries and that department chairs are given incentives to not use tenure track faculty in the summer to retain funds.
          8. The Chair introduced L. Bryant as the new Senate Parliamentarian.
  • Faculty review of administrators
    1. Deadline 5:00 pm 2-11-22
  • Nominations for Vice Chair
  • Updates on new Senators for next year.
    1. Three departments are losing a Senate seat due to attrition. Those departments are Quantitative Business Studies, Electrical and Computer Engineering – which have two senators and are going to go down to one, and English and World Languages in which Professor Garcia Verdugo will not be replaced.
    2. There are other departments that need to either reelect or elect a replacement for a senator. Those departments are:
      1. Managerial Studies – Professor Brahmasrene’s term is ending.
      2. Biology – Professor Quinn’s term is ending.
      3. Math & Stats – Professor Elmendorf’s term is ending.
      4. Communication & Creative Arts -Professor Artz’ term is ending.
      5. School of Education and Counseling -Professor Morocco’s term is ending.
      6. Construction Science and Organizational Leadership – Professor Nakayama’s term is ending.
      7. Computer Information Technology and Graphics – Professor Rollers’ term is ending.
      8. Nursing – Professor Rogers’ term is ending.
    3. T. Elmendorf said they have written to the heads or chairs or relevant administrators and all of these units along with those senators asking that those seats, if necessary, be refilled this month so that by next month we will know who is eligible for and might want to run for at-large seats. We may need two additional at-large seats. The two current at-large senators are also expiring.
    4. A question was asked about what is to be done if nobody volunteers or if nobody is voted in.
      1. T. Elmendorf said it did not appear that there was any requirement in the bylaws that a representative from an academic unit must be a member of that academic unit. Since it is not in writing it may be something that can be treated flexibly. So, if an academic unit decides that they would prefer to have a representative from a different unit who might want to represent the interests of the unit that doesn’t have anybody that wants to step forward.
      2. It was mentioned that if this is contemplated that it requires a vote from the people who are not being represented by their own direct representative, and that that be formally announced and sent to the Senate Chair.
    5. For Action:
    6. Discussion Items:
      • FSD 21-08 Procedures for Remote Election of the Vice-Chair Elect
        1. Elmendorf elaborated the document and pointed out the need to discuss point number 6 which addresses Senator eligibility to vote in elections. The motivation for this is the stipulation of the bylaws that says that a senator must be present and vote. The question is what does it mean to be present at a remote meeting? Senator is eligible to vote shall be those with regular voting privileges present as determined by the roster kept by the Senate secretary and transmitted to the chair of the Nominations, Elections and Awards Committee at the end of the April senate meeting. All senators present at or logging into the April meeting at any time she’ll be eligible to vote. The question is whether or not it is something that is the will of the Senate.
        2. The Chair pointed out a contradiction in point number 2 of the document which states that the deadline for receipt of nominations shall be at the conclusion of the April senate meeting.
          1. The Chair asked to amend so that the deadline for receipt should be at the beginning, not the conclusion of the April senate meeting, and therefore all the nominees would get a chance to make their presentation.
        3. To be moved for action at next meeting
      • Excused Absence Policy
        1. K. Kincaid
        2. T. Elmendorf pointed out that a policy already exists.
        3. Document tabled until previous policy is found.
  1. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
    • Curriculum
      1. Meeting in two weeks.
    • Ed Policy
      1. None
    • Faculty Affairs
      1. Committee passed ad hoc committee to be formed to research if PNW engages in institutional racism and discrimination. They will formally present to the Executive Committee at next meeting.
      2. P&T document will be formally presented at next meeting
      3. A survey for staff and faculty satisfaction is in production and will be presented to the Executive Committee before being presented to the Senate.
    • Gen Ed
      1. They are continuing their work on assessing or revalidating existing Gen Ed courses. There’s a timeline for this and they are a little bit behind. Right now they are looking at Natural Sciences and Composition courses. 41 science courses, 6 composition courses. This is not a program review. This is s a separate process in Taskstream where there’s a specific spot for Gen Ed courses to be for data to be entered regarding how those Gen Ed courses are meeting the outcomes. This is supposed to be done every year for your Gen Ed courses.
      2. There’s been a recent dual admissions partnership established with Ivy Tech as well as other programs working with local community colleges.
      3. Working with Information Services to provide an add-on to DegreeWorks where we can publish the courses that can transfer to our university to make it easier for students transferring to determine which courses will count.
      4. FYE/NSO is a subcommittee of Gen Ed that are thinking about summer orientation. Any faculty interested in being part of one of the sessions should email J.
      5. Gen Ed is needing to be revised to kind of get away from that cafeteria style to it a different approach. K. Gillotti and V. Quinn have been working on coming up with alternatives and establishing a pilot.
    • Student Affairs
      1. Working on Student of the Month award to promote student success.
      2. K. Kincaid introduced a student to address the Senate on behalf the Westville Warriors.
        1. The student asked if documents could be shared with the Senate such as a list illustrating recommendations based on forms and surveys conducted.
      3. D. Spoljoric shared that students in the dorms are forced to vacate if tested positive for COVID and asked where those students are expected to go?
        1. K. Kincaid asked the Dean of Students to elaborate.
        2. The Dean of Students said those questions should be deferred to S. Iverson, Director of Housing.
        3. They said if students have nowhere to go they are usually sent home.
  • Westville
  • West Lafayette
    1. Quinn was not in attendance. The Chair gave her report.
      1. A resolution was brought to incorporate staff and students which was turned down because the Senate was opposed to reducing its authority over areas of primary responsibility to the faculty. They encouraged the Office of the Provost in their sponsorship of a website for this taskforce.
      2. IFC report from PUWL
        1. Admissions goal is 8,700. Implementing admission deferrals.
      3. Implementation Committee on PNW campus is established. Once the resolution is passed their job is to figure out how we’re going to implement and document all of the measures approved by the faculty.
  • Report from SGA President
    1. The SGA President said they have re-implemented the House of Representatives
    2. 15 student organizations met to discuss ways SGA could assist.
    3. Tans-equity survey distributed
      1. 200 responses so far.
    4. Met with student representatives creating a rideshare app.
  1. Open discussion.
  2. Adjournment
    • Motion for adjournment by T. Elmendorf
    • Meeting adjourned

Appendix: List of retired faculty members