Faculty Senate Minutes, December 9, 2022

January 13, 2023

Faculty Senate, December 9, 2022

10:00 AM-12:00 PM: Westville – LSF 002


Voting Members Present:
Lee Artz, Ali Alavizadeh, Gokarna Aryal, Scott Bates, Jose Castro-Urioste, Magesh Chandramouli, Janet Chaney, Ralph Cherry, Karen Covington, Joan Dorman, Anne Edwards,  Mohammed Errihani, Bankole Fasanya, Masoud Fathizadeh, Cari Furst, Dawit Gizachew, Rob Hallock, Wei He, Meden Isaac-Lam, Kenny Kincaid, Dave Kozel, Roger Kraft, Meghan McGonigal-Kenney, Robert Merkovsky, Michael Mick, David Nalbone, Sheila Rezak, Tom Roach, Tony Sindone, Michelle Spaulding, Diane Spoljoric, George Stefanek, Shengyong Zhang, Sam Zinaich

Voting Members Absent:
Dave Pratt, Wubeshet Woldemariam

Non-Voting Members Present:
Tony Elmendorf , Alan McCafferty

Others Present:
Mike Biel, Michael Bourgeois, Mary Ann Cahill, Janusz Duzinkiewicz, Colin Fewer, Chris Holford, Tom Keon, Collette Morrow, Meg Rincker, Diana Underwood, Kelly Vaughan, Maria Watson, Donna Whitten, Jen Williams

  1. Determination of quorum.
    • Quorum determined at 10:03
  2. Call to order.
    • Meeting called to order at 10:03
  3. Approval of the agenda.
    • Motioned for approval by Rob Merkovsky
    • Seconded by Joan Dorman
    • Approved by voice vote
  4. Approval of the minutes from November 11, 2022.
    • Motioned for approval by Anne Edwards
    • Seconded by Rob Merkovsky
    • Approved by voice vote
  5. Remarks by the Senate Chair
    • None
  6. Remarks by the Chancellor
    • The Chancellor thanked the Senate for another successful semester and passed the floor to the Provost.
    • The Provost said they had three brief announcements.
      1. They said they will not be moving forward with the CES/COT merger, adding that the Senate and administration are continuing to look at structures that would best fit this university and best serve our students moving forward. An interim will be named in the College of Technology and the dean search that was going on for the joint colleges will pivot to be a dean search for only Engineering and Sciences. That search officially launches in January. These discussions will continue as we look at what is in the best interest of students at the size and scope of university that we are today and may be in the future. The Provost asked the Senate for their continued participation in work to arrive at a structure that makes sense for the institution. T. Elmendorf said the reason for hesitation on the merger of the two colleges was that the communication received by faculty in the College of Engineering and Science was merely a couple of ill-designed surveys that did not allow for discussion of pros and cons. T. Elmendorf suggested the designs of surveys be vetted through faculty and with communication from the faculty as to what it is that they would be interested in seeing on such a survey. The Provost said feedback was solicited on the matter, a series of open town hall discussions were held but not widely participated in.
      2. They said they were asked about posting emergency contact information in classrooms. Initiatives to do this are in place with Brian Miller and the Office of Public Safety. They have been working to draft a fact sheet that will be hung in all classrooms.
      3. With inclement weather approaching the Provost said classes will not be canceled. Should the physical campus be closed, classes will instead pivot to online instruction at the discretion of the faculty member.
      4. The Vice Chair asked the Provost if the text alert system could be distributed to faculty. The Provost said their office will distribute the policy.
      5. Diane Spoljoric complimented the Provost on his work with Ed Policy. They elaborated on the need for a timely decision on cancellations for CON. The Provost agreed that CON and SOEC need to have their own procedures in place for how they are going to manage their clinicals. Those colleges with clinical appointments should work out their system for notification of students.
      6. Lee Artz said Mitch Daniels reported 70K applications received by PUWL and provided an example of how other institutions forward those applications to their satellite campuses. They inquired about the possibility of doing this for PNW. The Provost said this is something they are working on. There is a single application for the graduate school which indicates first, second, and third choices. Typically, we are looking at first and second choices because if we are their third choice they have already been vetted through Fort Wayne, which has similar admission requirements to ours. That system has been in place and we have benefitted from it. The challenge is with undergraduate admissions. This question has already been raised with the president-elect, with hopes for a more formal system recognizing there are some 30K students that they know very early on will not be accepted to PUWL. The challenge with working with our system relative to undergrad enrollments is West Lafayette makes their decisions in February, they provide about 30 to 60 days for students to respond before they communicate that list to us. We are trying to speed up that process considering most students would have already decided to enroll elsewhere by March or April. The Provost thanked Lee for the question. Tony Elmendorf said this was raised at the Executive meeting and elaborated that the is not what to do with students who decide not to accept admission to PUWL, but the students that have been rejected by PUWL but might otherwise meet our admission requirements.
      7. Diane Spoljoric asked for an explanation of the status of accessing the Dworkin Center. The Provost said he did not have that information but would look into it and report back.
      8. The Vice Chair said a third report on recommendations regarding the Westville campus has been completed and requested that the Provost and Chancellor go through each of those reports at the next Senate meeting to discuss each of the recommendations that were made and whether or not those recommendations are being followed. The Provost said they received some recommendations from the committee. Senior Leadership accepted all of them and have already implemented a number of those.
      9. Ralph Cherry asked about commencement ceremonies taking place at Westville. The Provost said they have taken place at Westville in the past but does not know any further details.
      10. The Chair said it was his understanding the Great Hall was being run by a third party, limiting access. The Provost said this is not the case, the building is still part of the university operation but is being prioritized for commercial use as a source of revenue to offset operational costs. This information was shared with the campus community last fall as part of their welcome address, that it is an auxiliary of the university. Most of the spaces still are available for educational purposes, what it tends to do is block out evenings and weekends for private activities to take place. The purpose was to set aside the Dworkin center for hosting conferences, training, weddings, and other events using our facilities here on campus.
  1. New Business:
    • Curriculum Documents Approval
      1. 32 documents for approval
        Review documents on Curriculog: https://pnw.curriculog.com
        Guide: How to Review an Agenda in Curriculog – 2022 update

        1. Lee Artz encouraged Senators to review these documents to ensure departmental expectations are met.
        2. Lee Artz motioned to approve the 32 proposals
        3. Seconded by Geoff Schultz
        4. Approved by voice vote
      2. For Action:
        • FSD 22-04 Reintroduction of Resolution on SB1 (Collette Morrow, Diana Underwood-Greg, Lee Artz, Diane Spoljoric)
          1. Lee Artz said Dave Kozel asked at the previous Senate meeting that Senators review the SB1 document from PUWL, which was approved. The document originally proposed by Collette Morrow and Diana Underwood simply asks for research and public forum on the subject, which is comparatively less complex than the PUWL document.
          2. Collette Morrow said the word “pending” in the document needs to be removed. The document was drafted in anticipation of SB1. There was a substantive question of if we are asking for protection or Senate support to teach and research reproductive justice. If our job is to teach, why should we make a special case in this area?
          3. Morrow said there was an executive order from the White House in 2020 aimed at censoring Critical Race studies and information about gender and sexuality. It was very broad and still some state-funded universities at that time suspended WGSS programs. With regard to specific bans on access to reproductive justice, the administration of the University of Idaho warned faculty that they could not “promote abortion.” From a faith-based perspective this makes sense, but what exactly is meant by promoting abortion? Are Idaho faculty banned from speaking about abortion as a health care issue? Does it mean that faculty members who have extensive history of abortion research are now forbidden from continuing that research? This matter has yet to be settled in Idaho. There is national concern with regard to the ability to research and teach reproductive justice.
          4. Morrow said the Purdue Calumet Women’s Studies program many years ago hosted educational forums on abortion and sexuality during which a staff member was sent by administration to observe every single time, which felt threatening. The Idaho situation was an even harsher threat and these are not isolated incidents. When PUC students practiced activism concerning sexuality, C. Morrow said the chancellor at the time took a scornful interest in her, which, as a new faculty member, was terrifying. The intention of this resolution is for new faculty members to feel supported by the institution.
          5. Karen Covington relayed a question and concerns from a faculty member about the lack of measures taken to obtain feedback from the campus community about their position on the matter. They questioned why there was no distribution of a survey soliciting input from faculty, staff, and students so as to avoid grouping the entire community as supporters of this resolution.
          6. Rob Hallock said when they brought the resolution to the Psychology Department no one was in favor. Eight were opposed and there was one abstention, primarily because the statement was viewed as biased and not evidence-based.
          7. Diana Underwood said there are research studies that have been done in support of what is stated in the resolution. This resolution is meant only to encourage research, not to assume a specific position on the matter. Collette Morrow said they are trying to protect the ability to conduct the kind of research explained within the document. It is an issue of academic freedom.
          8. Dave Kozel suggested the following amendments:
            1. From the first sentence in paragraph four, remove the word “pending” because the legislation has been passed into law.
            2. At the end of paragraph four, add a sentence to the effect of “… a decision which can have a direct effect on student success…
            3. In the last paragraph, replace the word “decision” with “concerns,” correcting the statement to convey, “… be it also resolved that the concerns of the PNW Faculty Senate be communicated to the Indiana Senate.
            4. Kozel also pointed out, in agreement with D. Underwood, that paragraph one, “Whereas, as a voice for the university faculty, it is necessary for the Faculty Senate to speak out on legislation that will negatively impact our students, their families, and our colleagues…” does not indicate consensus among faculty. Rather, it states that the Faculty Senate has voted on the resolution, which is the case with all documents.
            5. All of D. Kozel’s amendments were accepted by the creators of the resolution.
            6. Tony Sindone questioned the need for this resolution, stating that faculty still have the ability to conduct research and teach classes in the manner they choose. He asked, what is it now that prevents psychologists from doing this kind of research? Are there any impediments to that right now? Rob Hallock said there is nothing preventing research, the concern is that this resolution might influence someone who reads the verbiage here to conduct some research to get a foregone conclusion.
            7. Tony Sindone said some changes in verbiage should be considered to suggest that this type of research can be conducted without fear of retribution, and without bias in favor of a particular position in the matter.
            8. Lee Artz called the question, which is a motion to cut off debate.
              1. 11 in favor
              2. 13 opposed
              3. Motion fails
            9. Dave Kozel said the concern is not just about research. This legislative act may very likely be detrimental to our ability to attract faculty from other states. It could lead to a decrease in enrollment and student success in terms of graduating. The Vice Chair seconded those concerns, adding that we are asking this to be communicated to our legislature, a very rare act for the Faculty Senate, which indicates that we see an encroachment upon our rights, and we are pushing back against that.
              1. Tom Roach motioned for approval
              2. Seconded by Rob Merkovsky
              3. 18 in favor
              4. 5 opposed
              5. Motion passed
            10. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
              • Curriculum (Lee Artz)
                1. Lee Arts said a notice was sent out to faculty that the Committee has decided to extend the deadline for proposals to January 6.
                2. Continuing to monitor exceptions made to programs, majors, and minors. The Provost provided the committee with a document that indicates which departments are making exceptions to their own requirements. The committee has asked department chairs in those departments that seem to have an excessive number of exceptions. Responses from department chairs are being received. A response for the Senate should be available in February. The Provost said M. Bourgeois is not yet finished with the report.
                3. Those who would like to know the status of their curriculum proposal can do so by logging into Curriculog and referring to the instructions linked in today’s agenda.
              • Ed Policy (Diane Spoljoric)
                1. Diane Spoljoric said Ed Policy will be meeting to discuss the development of online courses, programming. What is the definition of a flipped classroom, hybrid classroom. Will be meeting with R. Stankowski for clarification on these policies.
                2. They are giving the topic of Experiential Learning to Gen Ed to look at the classification of Experiential Learning. The committee found out from Lee Artz that there are many criteria for experiential learning that may have gotten lost throughout the time of unification.
                3. What constitutes cross listed courses.
                4. Stand-ins for committee chairs who cannot otherwise attend a meeting of the Executive Committee.
                5. The Chair commended Ed Policy for taking such a comprehensive approach to the issues they are handling.
              • Faculty Affairs (Tony Sindone)
                1. Tony Sindone said their committee is continuing work on administrative evaluations. The purpose of this type of evaluation is not the same as the 360 which is supposed to be done every five years. This is a faculty evaluation of administrators. And thus, the results would eventually be made available to the faculty. The committee intends to administer this as a true evaluation. There are two purposes of evaluations as seen by the committee. The first is to assess performance, just as we are evaluated. The second is to recommend areas of possible improvement.
                2. A resolution from 2017 indicated that a taskforce was supposed to be formed for the purpose of developing evaluations. In a meeting with administration to discuss this taskforce the Provost said administration would not participate but also would not impede any evaluation initiatives from the faculty. The committee expects to present their progress on this at the February meeting.
                3. The Vice Chair asked about the status of standards and practices research. T. Sindone said they will report on this at the January meeting.
              • Gen Ed & Assessment (Cari Furst)
                1. Cari Furst said their committee will be meeting today. Completing reviews for Humanities and Social Sciences.
                2. ExL subcommittee is working to the plan summit for Fall 2023 and discussed another event in Spring 2023 to gather stories and best practices in relation to experiential learning that might help inform the fall summit.
                3. Not much currently in transfer, steering, or first year experience. One course has been submitted for review for experiential learning classification, the committee will be looking at that today.
              • Nominations, Elections, & Awards (Meden Isaac-Lam)
                1. Meden Isaac-Lam said their committee is continuing work on faculty awards. Reps from CES, COT, and CON have been secured. COB needs one rep. Dean of CHESS has not yet responded.
                2. Tony Elmendorf encouraged voting members of the Senate to step forward for nomination for Vice Chair Elect which will take place in April.
                3. Spoljoric asked if one has to be a member of the Senate to be considered for Vice Chair. The Chair confirmed this is correct.
              • Student Affairs (Michelle Spaulding)
                1. Ralph Cherry said there are concerns about classrooms near construction. The Chair said the Provost office will also be looking into this.
                2. Looking into weak wi-fi coverage on both campuses.
                3. Relocating fall commencement back to Westville.
                4. Student of the Month launch in January.
  1. IFC / West Lafayette Report (Lee Artz)
    • Lee Artz said the new president was chosen without input from faculty. This was not the case in the search for their Provost, which has faculty intimately involved and is a positive sign in faculty governance.
    • 70,000 applicants
    • PUWL SB1 resolution passed.
    • PUWL Ed Policy Committee introduced a resolution to their Senate about academic regulations including probation, deficiency, and removal of the WF grade on transcripts. When asked for our response, Senate Leadership decided we should take this matter to our own Senate as it is not something that should be decided by the West Lafayette Senate, which they understood and they accepted. It should eventually go to our Ed Policy Committee for review.
    • IFC continues to be primarily concerned with closing of IUPUI and what happens to faculty that were tenured under IUPUI but do not necessarily follow the same tenure track when they are moved back to Purdue.
  2. SGA Report (David Bolton)
    • No report
  3. Open discussion (as time permits).
    • Policy concerning finals
      1. Rob Merkovsky said it came up in their classes the policy concerning finals and giving tests during the week before finals. West Lafayette Senate has passed a resolution prohibiting tests on the week before finals.
      2. Kenny Kincaid said this came up when they were chair of Ed Policy. There was no PNW policy so their committee at the time went with what was implemented by PUWL considering PNW is part of the Purdue system. They agreed PNW should develop its own policy.
      3. Anne Edwards said an issue came up with a student needing to miss the last day of class, so the professor rescheduled the last day of class during finals week and offered their final exam remotely. A. Edwards said they were unable to find a policy to restrict this from happening.
    • Faculty Handbook
      1. Tony Sindone said they have received a variety of concerns and there is no PNW faculty handbook to consult. What we do have is disjointed regulations and suggestions that can be found on the university website, but there is no collective resource such as a faculty handbook.
      2. The Provost said there are faculty handbooks for both legacy campuses but not one for PNW. The Vice Chair said there is a Purdue system faculty handbook, although it is problematic because of changes made without faculty input. Modifications have been made to the version available online without clarity on when those modifications were made, or by whom.
      3. Diane Spoljoric provided a reminder that schedules are often different during finals week. Making any allowances that deviate from this schedule should be avoided. Nursing has labs, clinicals, and have always given exams during dead week such lab exams, the HESI exams, and practice exams, but we do not give our final exam in dead week. That is the only way it can be done, having six to 12-hour labs.
      4. Michael Mick said notices are sent about exams and comprehensive exams are not usually permitted.
  1. Adjournment
    • Meeting adjourned at 11:13