Faculty Senate Minutes, March 11, 2022

March 31, 2022

Faculty Senate Minutes, March 11, 2022

10:00 AM-12:00 PM                Via Zoom


An audio recording of this meeting can be accessed here.
The Zoom chat thread for this meeting can be accessed

Voting Members Present:
Jai Agrawal, Khair Al Shamaileh, Lee Artz, Minoo Ashoori, Matthew Bauman, Magesh Chandramouli, Ralph Cherry, Joan Dorman, Anne Edwards, Tony Elmendorf, Mohammed Errihani, Omer Farook, Maria Garcia-Verdugo, Rob Hallock, Meden Isaac-Lam, Hansung Kim, Kenny Kincaid, Dave Kozel, Roger Kraft, Bob Kramer, Vincent Marasco, Meghan McGonigal-Kenney ,Robert Merkovsky, Michael Mick, Colette Morrow, Shoji Nakayama, David Nalbone, Dave Pratt, Vanessa Quinn, Charles Rarick, Sheila Rezak, Tom Roach, Julia Rogers, Michael Roller, Kim Scipes, Michelle Spaulding, Diane Spoljoric, Sham Tickoo, Shengyong Zhang

Voting Members Absent:
Tantatape Brahmasrene, Renee Conroy, Maureen Mascha, Tony Sindone

Non-Voting Members Present:
Liz Bryant, Alan McCafferty

Others present:
Harvey Abramowitz, Ali Alavizadeh, Arifin Angriawan, Rey Barreto, Geoffrey Barrow, Mike Biel, Michael Bourgeois, Joan Buss, Gisele Casanova, Janet Chaney, Joy Colwell, Michael Connolly, Liz Depew, David Detmer, Michael Dywan, Taryn Eastland, Colin Elkin, Lori Feldman, Colin Fewer, Marla Funk, Cathy Gillotti, Lisa Goodnight, Debra Grant, Anne Gregory, Chris Holford, Lisa Hopp, Kevin Hynes, Jean Jiang, Bir Kafle, Patrick Keegan, Tom Keon, Niaz Latif, Kelia Malone, Paul McGrath, Chris Morrison, Mary Morrow, Ezra Mutai, Neil Nemeth, Karen O’Brien, Catharine Olson, Yu, Ouyang, Neeti Parashar, Libbie Pelter, Michael Pelter, Debra Pratt, Dietmar Rempfer, Catalina Rodriguez, Richard Rupp, Pam Saylor, Geoff Schultz, Rachel Smith, Jonathan Swartz, Li Tan, Nicoleta Tarfulea, LaVada Taylor, Kathy Tobin, Barbara Mania-Farnell, Becky Stankowski, Kayla Vasilko, Feng-Song Wang, Maria Watson, Matt Wells, Oriana White, Donna Whitten, Jenn Williams, Tim Winders, Shuhui Grace Yang, Nuri Zeytinoglu, Hairong Zhao, Lin Zhao

  1. Determination of quorum.
    • Quorum determined at 10:02 a.m.
  2. Call to order.
  3. Approval of the agenda.
    • Move SGA remarks to after Chancellor’s remarks. Remove ‘Report from Budget Committee.’
    • Motion for approval by R. Merkovsky
    • Seconded by O. Farook
    • Approved by show of hands
  4. Approval of the minutes from February 11, 2022.
    • Motioned for approval by T. Elmendorf
    • Seconded by J. Agrawal
    • Approved by show of hands
  5. Remarks by the Senate Chair (K. Scipes)
    • Announcements:
      1. The Chair announced a Celebration of Life event for Dr. Saul Lerner on Wednesday, April 13, in SULB.
      2. They announced the next session of the Race, Racism, Anti-Racism event series taking place Tuesday, March 11, and a seminar on child abuse prevention services taking place on Wednesday, March 23.
      3. The Chair said the Senate will discuss a proposal to establish an ad hoc committee for the Faculty Affairs Committee to address systematic institutional racism at PNW.
    • The Chair explained the reinstatement and implementation of administrative evaluations established by the Senate four years ago. The Chair said they sent the most recent survey results to Senators on the evening of March 10, 2022. They apologized for the late distribution of the results, citing technical difficulties. They said that in response to the survey and discussions held by the Executive Committee, the Executive Committee voted to inform Dr. Keon that it was time they step down from their Chancellorship. The Chair and Vice Chair conveyed this and the survey results to Chancellor Keon at a meeting on March 10. The Chair said they felt it was important to discuss this with the Senate and asked Senators to weigh in with their thoughts.
    • They announced the Faculty Convocation will be taking place April 1, 2022.
    • They said the Senate will be discussing survey results for deans and department chairs at the Senate meeting next month.
  6. Remarks by the Chancellor (T. Keon)
    • The Chancellor announced that they met with the University Budget Committee and received majority support for a 3% merit increase in salary and a 2% merit bonus in salary. The Chancellor thanked the Senate for tightening their belts through this difficult period to be able to make financial opportunity available to help take our best performers to higher levels of pay. They passed the floor to the Provost to elaborate on new strategic directions being invested in which were mentioned at the beginning of the semester.
    • The Provost shared updates on positions hired, stating that both Computer Science positions and the Health Studies position have been filled. They said the College of Technology is currently interviewing cybersecurity candidates. Likewise, we have a tenure review before appointment going on for the Social Work position. Communications has two positions to fill. Those searches have not yet been initiated but will begin shortly. They said the same is true in our College of Business for a Digital Marketing position that is still under review.
    • The Provost said the university system has been revising sabbatical procedures. They said R. Cherry has been in communication with them about this. They said they have submitted their revisions for our local guidelines back. They said they anticipate having changes to that procedure. They said R. Cherry can address any questions about revisions to the policy.
    • The Provost said they submitted a request for the Senate to consider structural changes on March 10 and would submit another request again this afternoon. They said they will be bringing back a discussion of the CES COT merger as well as a structural change needed in the way the university college operates to formally establish a University College. Those were both submitted or will be submitted through Faculty Affairs sometime today.
      1. From the chat thread:
        1. Barrow: What is a university college?
      2. Kozel asked about whether feedback on the CES COT merger survey results will be provided before information on the merger is submitted. Will anybody from the colleges see anything before it comes up as a document or something to be voted on or discussed?
        1. The Provost said no, the results will be sent directly to the Senate, which contain raw data from the survey as well as faculty comments. All of that information is included in the proposal.
        2. Elmendorf mentioned that these proposals are more legitimately considered through Educational Policy, and that Ed Policy might be a more likely venue for consideration of academic administrative structure. The Provost thanked T. Elmendorf, said they gladly accepted the amendment and would make sure it gets directed appropriately.
  • A question was extended to the Chancellor about his thoughts on the results of the administrative survey.
    1. The Chancellor said he was not clear on who filled out the survey, who did not partake in being asked what might or might not be on the survey. They said they realize that it was a singular group that was asked about their performance, that there was no information from staff and no information from the community. They said they will weigh the information that was provided and consider it carefully.
    2. The Chair clarified that there were approximately 140 responses from faculty members, which they said is approximately 56% of the faculty. They said they advanced this along the lines of previous years, so it was not anything exceptional from what has been done in the past. The Chair said there were some questions about the professionalism of how it was handled in the past and that they tried to make sure they were acting in a professional manner. The Chair said the survey was implemented according to decisions and oversight of the Faculty Affairs Committee.
  1. Report from SGA (O. White)
    • In response to feedback requesting clarity of what is shared in SGA reports to the Senate, O. White clarified that their reports consist of student concerns and the SGA’s plans to solve those issues.
    • They announced SGA has reimplemented the House of Representatives. There will be a House of Representatives Fair, bringing student organizations together for networking purposes, legacy planning, and to provide details about planning and delivering successful events.
    • SGA is working on developing a Prayer Room. This is being fast-tracked to accommodate for observance of Ramadan, which begins April 1.
    • SGA Elections are coming up. An invitation was extended to Senators.
    • Community Garden is under way.
    • Nalbone suggested the SGA President conduct an administrative survey on the student level. O. White said if the Senate Chair could provide the survey, SGA would distribute it to students. O. White added that the Chancellor is helping fund the Prayer Room initiative and has been extraordinarily helpful to Student Government. The Chair said they would send the survey to O. White.
  2. New Business:
    • Curriculum Documents Approval (L. Artz)
      1. 19 documents approved. A special session of Curriculum Committee was held on February 25 to accommodate programs that wanted to submit proposals in time for the Fall catalog. Anything that comes after today will not be ready for the Fall catalog.
      2. Motioned for approval by L. Artz
      3. Seconded by T. Elmendorf
      4. Approved by show of hands.
  1. Old Business
    • Vice-Chair nominees still being considered
      1. Open until beginning of April Senate Meeting.
      2. Current candidates are D. Nalbone and V. Quinn. There will be a document discussed and up for action later in the agenda that will make the closure of nominations be the beginning of next month’s meeting.
    • New Senators update (T. Elmendorf)
      1. Responses received:
        1. Quinn [Biology]
          1. Re-elected
        2. Aryal [Math & Stats]
          1. Replacing T. Elmendorf
        3. Niyaz [Electrical & Computer Engineering]
          1. Replacing D. Kozel and K. Al Shamaileh
        4. Artz [Communication & Creative Arts]
          1. Re-elected
        5. Schultz [School of Education & Counseling]
          1. Replacing V. Marasco
        6. Fasanya [Construction Science & Org. Leadership]
      2. Responses pending:
        1. Computer Information Technology & Graphics
        2. Nursing
        3. Managerial Studies is unclear. T. Elmendorf welcomed C. Rarick, who is filling in for T. Brahmasrene. Rarick was asked if they agreed to serve for the next three years. C. Rarick said they are fulfilling the remainder of Tantatape’s term, but there has been no decision beyond that.
  • Excused absence policy (K. Kincaid)
    1. Kincaid respectfully requested to table discussion for next meeting. Discussion of the inclusion of a jury will take place later today.
  • Chancellor’s enrollment report – projections going forward.
    1. No report available.
  • Administrative Survey results – discussion of Chancellor and Provost
    [Discussion of Deans at next meeting.]

    1. The Chair presented the results of the faculty survey of administrators and asked for comment.
    2. Chat thread discussion [10:21:25] through [10:37:53]
    3. Dorman condemned the survey and questioned the intentions behind it.
    4. Chat thread discussion [10:39:17] through [11:06:45]
    5. Nalbone said several faculty members have asked why they haven’t received the results. They asked the Chair to explain the Executive Committee’s rationale for their decision. The Chair explained the results will be distributed after today’s meeting, to be discussed further at the Faculty Convocation. They said they felt it should go to the Senate first because those serving on the Senate have taken responsibility to act on behalf of the faculty. They addressed schedule conflictions with administration and technical problems resulting in the short notice. They said the time frame between this Senate meeting and the Faculty Convocation should be used to consider what is being presented and bring more people into the conversation. They shared a spreadsheet containing enrollment data for 2011-2021.
    6. Quinn declared a point of order.
    7. The Chair acknowledged V. Quinn and said they were addressing D. Nalbone’s request for explanation.
    8. Schultz said the survey was accessible multiple times by one individual and questioned its validity. They said they supported the Senate’s role in shared governance, having been an author of Senate guidelines, but that the Senate should not be a body that partakes in this kind of action the way it is being done.
      1. The Chair said the survey was designed, distributed, and evaluated by FAC. The FAC Chair was not in attendance for comment. The Senate Chair said they believed that faculty would not violate the system.
    9. Quinn said Senators are the representative body of the faculty and that it is difficult to adequately represent faculty members since they have never seen the report.
    10. Rogers questioned the decision to ask someone to step down prior to validating any results. They questioned confidentiality of the survey. They said they submitted the survey and then accessed it again from the same link in their email.
    11. Morrow said they were aware of the survey and that it would be presented today but did not know the Executive Committee had already asked the Chancellor for their resignation. They said they were disturbed that the Senate, on whose behalf the executive committee is acting, was not given time to Look at the survey results and have discussion. And nor was the faculty at large able to participate before asking the Chancellor to resign.
    12. Kozel said they understand the possible embarrassment this causes the Chancellor and Provost, but thought it was important to present what is going on instead of receiving the information through less formal communication. They said the results would have been published if the results were positive. Comparing the situation to the CES COT merger, they said faculty were ignored and that is why they responded the way they did.
    13. Artz said their concern is with leadership and its ability to strategically plan for foreseeable conditions.
    14. White asked the Chair if the survey will be changed so that it cannot be taken more than once before the results are distributed. The Chair said he may delay dispersion until there is a resolution on that.
  1. For Action:
    • FSD 21-08 Procedures for Remote Election of the Vice-Chair Elect
      1. Motioned for approval by T. Elmendorf
      2. Seconded by D. Nalbone
      3. Approved by show of hands
      4. Elmendorf also moved that the election be held remotely via Zoom.
      5. Seconded by R. Merkovsky
      6. Approved by show of hands
      7. Taylor said there is a process where an election can be held via Zoom and said they would offer to set up the election. The Chair said they would take that into consideration and that the election is currently going to be laid out as explained by the Nominations Committee.
      8. Chat thread discussion [11:19:52] through [11:24:53]
    • FSD 21-09 Resolution on Minimum University Admission Requirements
      1. Edwards explained changes made to the document. The Committee added that students applying to PNW with a GPA between 2.2 and 2.0 and an ACT/SAT score above the 50th percentile should have their application reviewed for possible acceptance on a case-by-case basis. The ACT/SAT is optional.
      2. Motioned for approval by A. Edwards
      3. Seconded by O. Farook and D. Spoljoric
      4. Artz said there are several minors where students can receive their degree with a 1.8 GPA.
      5. Kozel said GPA metrics differ from one high school to another and that making this decision permanent might be a mistake.
      6. Edwards said their committee made its decision after considering that low scores are not an indication of potential. They added that colleges all over the country and colleges who are in our area are doing the same for many of the same reasons that were considered by Ed Policy.
      7. Farook said they asked students in one of their classes about their thoughts on raising GPA requirements from 2.0 to 2.2, to which the students replied they would not have continued at PNW. O. Farook asked Senators to reconsider the proposal, considering student input.
      8. Spaulding endorsed the proposal, taking into consideration students’ overall success beyond admissions. They said data provided shows that students with a GPA between 2.0 and 2.2 are statistically less likely to finish programs. They added that the cost of standardized testing in terms of both money and time is another example of not being a level playing field in addition to those already stated.
      9. Quinn said, in terms of the Purdue system, PUFW, PUWL and IUPUI do not have a test requirement. West Lafayette will be test optional through 2023. Additionally, as of March of this year, all Indiana high school juniors are required to take the SAT and it is done in the high school.
      10. Kozel said the ACT/SAT may not be a level playing field, but variations in GPA determinants between different highs schools is even worse. They said it makes no sense to approve the document for two years and then amend. They suggested continuing the current test-optional model without rushing to make it permanent. T. Elmendorf clarified that the resolution, if adopted, would only be permanent until a contrary resolution is adopted.
      11. The Chair asked to Provost to elaborate on their initial proposal to the Senate. The Provost said the work of their office was shared with Ed Policy, which indicates that students who fall under 2.4 have <50% success rate in the first semester. They said they have worked with Ivy Tech to generate dual admission guaranteed enrollment requirements. We now have the ability to maintain communication with students and invite them to PNW after completing remedial coursework at Ivy Tech. The counter argument that Dave has presented, we currently have a 2.0 requirement for admission, it is unclear to me if we were talking about an equivalency at one high school and another how raising that still creates an equivalency issue. Standardized tests are a greatest predictor of socioeconomic status, given the student population in which we serve. They said it would be wise of us to consider eliminating that as a barrier to entry into college while we continue to look at various high schools in the region.
      12. Edwards addressed A. Farook’s question, saying 2.2 was chosen because each college in the university can choose their own level of admission in terms of GPA for direct admission to that college. Currently the lowest GPA required for some colleges is 2.2. Each college can make their own admissions requirements that are higher or more stringent than the university’s.
      13. Chat thread discussion [11:12:34] through [11:29:06]
      14. Point of Order, the motion on the floor is the adoption of FSD 21-09
      15. Approved by show of hands.
  1. Discussion Items:
  2. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
    • Curriculum Committee (L. Artz)
      1. Civics Literacy requirement was approved.
      2. Revision for the procedures of submissions to the Senate Curriculum Committee. For discussion.
      3. Procedure for informing faculty of the guidelines that chairs and advisors use to waive courses. For Discussion.
    • Ed Policy (A. Edwards)
      1. said they would be looking at issues with the incomplete policy in terms of the time it takes for a student to finish an incomplete. One of the policies they are looking at designates that the course completion would be due one calendar year after the incomplete was issued. They also plan to revisit some aspects of the academic calendar. K. Kincaid asked the committee to consider the impact on grade appeals, anything that affects the incomplete will also have to be reviewed by Student Affairs and the grade appeal policy.
    • Faculty Affairs (V. Quinn)
      1. Quinn spoke on behalf of the committee in place of T. Sindone. They said FAC has been discussing the Promotions & Tenure document and cannot make any changes based on the current calendar. The Committee intends to have a document for the Senate very early in the fall of 2022.
      2. About sending the administrator review survey out, they said it was their understanding that, in Qualtrics, a single link that can only be used once must go through email, which means results are no longer anonymous. They asked for clarification via email after the meeting.
      3. They said C. Morrow has been doing an amazing amount of work on a proposal for an ad hoc Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice and Belonging subcommittee of the Faculty Affairs Committee. The initiative will be forwarded to the Executive Committee for their April meeting.
    • Gen Ed (D. Pratt)
      1. Gen Ed is still working on assessing and revalidating courses that are assigned to the categories of Natural Sciences and Composition. They are working directly with faculty that are required to add the data in TaskStream for that purpose. As part of this process of revalidating, the committee is noticing that there are a lot of courses that are no longer used for Gen Ed purposes. A list of 31 courses has been compiled. As part of an audit, we’re going to present next at the next meeting, a list of courses no longer accounting for a Gen Ed. They will not be removed from course catalogs, but they will no longer be counted for General Education. Those are just courses that are told to us by the various departments no longer serve in that capacity.
      2. There is a lot of movement in Experiential Learning. There was an ad hoc committee created several years ago dealing with ExL when we first decided as a faculty to have a requirement for each program of an experiential learning course. This has been added as one of our strategic plan items. There has been some traction in forming a more permanent standing committee under Gen Ed & Assessment. This will be reviewed at today’s meeting with a proposal expected by next month to move the ExL ad hoc group into a formal standing subordinate committee under Gen Ed & Assessment.
      3. Continuing to monitor progress on the Gen Ed pilot.
    • Nominations, Elections, & Awards (T. Elmendorf)
      1. The Nominations Committee will meet this afternoon to discuss preparation of the ballot for the Vice Chair Elect.
      2. The issue of security and lack of double voting is an important one which will be discussed.
      3. They will also be discussing the distribution of standing committee memberships for next year.
      4. Kincaid asked if the elections for the standing committees will go on like they have in the past within the committee, and those results are due by our next faculty senate meeting.
        1. Elmendorf said no, the procedure is as follows:
          1. Those of you who were not reelected remain on the same standing committees for your entire term. If you’re elected to the Senate, your standing committee assignment remains the same throughout your term. If you’re reelected, you can be reassigned to a new committee. A survey will be sent out to newly elected or reelected Senators asking for your preferences for assignments to standing committees so that we can recommend to the Senate the memberships for the standing committees in compliance with the requirements of the bylaws.
  • Student Affairs (K. Kincaid)
    1. The Excused Absence Policy will be reviewed today and for discussion next meeting.
    2. Resolution for Student of the Month will be ready for discussion at next Senate meeting.
    3. Request from Westville Warriors for discussion today.
    4. They said a discrepancy was noticed in the bylaws that include an undergraduate representative of Student Government in Student Affairs, whereas the Faculty Senate requests the SGA president.
  1. Report from Senate Budget Committee (P. McGrath)
    • Delayed until next month.
  2. Report from Westville Committee (V. Quinn or T. Sindone)
    • Quinn and T. Sindone met with the Provost and discussed a number of questions to be presented at next meeting.
    • Issues about budget to be discussed with Budget Committee and presented at next meeting.
    • The Provost asked the Westville Committee to think about ideas that would make the Westville campus unique and how to improve student spaces.
    • They said student K. Vasilko will be part of the Westville Committee. We will be having meetings in two sections. There will be an executive committee meeting in which Kayla will not be present, the second part of the meeting will have her there for that part of it.
  3. Report from West Lafayette/IFC representative (V. Quinn)
    • PUWL Senate met on February 22, 2022. Two documents were passed.
      1. A medically excused absence policy for students.
      2. A resolution was passed that sought to bring to light a Purdue University Police/student incident that occurred on February 4 in West Lafayette.
    • a resolution submitted by SGA to add a Mental Health Action Week did not pass.
    • A document for discussion that may influence PNW was addressing the need for a policy to define and declare what an academic emergency is. This resolution is a first step to address Purdue University policy. And this resolution does not change university policy. The resolution asks the university to make changes based on what we have learned from the pandemic that will be voted on next meeting.
    • Cherry asked for elaboration on the policy referring to academic emergencies.
      1. Quinn explained that, based on what we have seen so far with COVID-19 shutdowns, Ed Policy wanted a policy drafted so that the lessons we learned from this shutdown could be used to improve the next time we have an academic emergency. This is not limited to a pandemic-related emergency, a shooter on the PUWL campus was cited as another example. This is a Purdue-wide policy. They are not making changes to university policy. They’re asking that this university policy will be changed to address the issues that have happened, that we know about, so that we don’t make the same mistakes.
    • Morrow asked why the PUWL Senate rejected the proposal for a mental health awareness week.
      1. Quinn said the proposal would have added a week to the calendar called Mental Health Action Week. It is going back to Student Affairs for SGA to continue working on it because faculty did not feel there was enough information to make it a valid “week” in the calendar. They wanted more information on how this week would work in the calendar. They didn’t want it to just say Mental Health Awareness Week, and then have it not mean anything.
  1. Open discussion (as time permits)
    • Morrow asked if every member of the Executive Committee was present at the meeting with the Chancellor. They asked if a vote was taken about the issue of asking for the Chancellor’s resignation in the Executive Committee and, if so, requested to see the tally of votes.
      1. The Chair said all members of the Executive Committee were present except for K. Kincaid, who had an excused absence. They said the remaining six members voted unanimously.
      2. Quinn clarified that she is on the Executive Committee but does not vote.
      3. Elmendorf further clarified that it was not the Executive Committee that met with the Chancellor, but rather the Senate leadership, which is the Chair and Vice Chair, K. Scipes and T. Roach, respectively.
    • Morrow requested L. Taylor’s question be asked through their voice as a Senator.
      1. Taylor asked if those who serve on the Executive Committee without vote had a voice on the matter with regards to the decision to move forward with asking the Chancellor for resignation.
        1. The Chair said they did have a voice. They said V. Quinn came after the vote. They said there was no parliamentarian at the meeting. T. Elmendorf added that the Secretary, A. McCafferty, was at the meeting but that they very seldom speak during meetings.
  • Kozel said an email was distributed by Protect PNW stating that masks would be optional in the classroom and questioned why we did not follow the lead of West Lafayette where a request for input on the matter was distributed. The asked is testing is still going to be available and easily accessible to students. They pointed out that students no longer must report positive cases to the dean of students.
    1. The Provost said our policy and date of implementation align with West Lafayette’s.
    2. From the chat:
      1. Olson said free testing will remain available at least through the end of the semester on both campuses.
    3. Adjournment
      • Motion for adjournment
      • Seconded by voice vote.
      • Adjourned at 12:01