Faculty Senate Minutes, February 10, 2023

March 6, 2023

Faculty Senate Minutes, February 10, 2023

10:00 AM-12:00 PM: Hammond – Alumni Hall


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, Rob Hallock, Wei He, Meden Isaac-Lam, Kenny Kincaid, Dave Kozel, Bob Kramer, Roger Kraft, Meghan McGonigal-Kenney, Robert Merkovsky, Michael Mick, David Nalbone, Dave Pratt, Sheila Rezak, Tom Roach, Kelly Vaughan, Tony Sindone, Michelle Spaulding, Diane Spoljoric, George Stefanek, Wubeshet Woldemariam, Shengyong Zhang, Sam Zinaich

Voting Members Absent:

Non-Voting Members Present:
Tony Elmendorf , Alan McCafferty

Others Present:
Liz Babcock Depew, Mike Biel, Joy Colwell, Janusz Duzinkiewicz, Colin Fewer, Debra Grant, Peggy Greer, Dianne Hoekstra, Omeed Ilchi, Keyuan Jiang, Hoon Lee, Michael Lynn, Robin Miller, Amlan Mitra, Joanie O’Connor, Mary Beth O’Connor, Amanda H Passmore, Barb Pudelek, Charles Rarick, Pam Saylor, Marianne Schallmo, Angela Schooley, Kim Scipes, Jonathan Swarts, Lizhe Tan, Kathy Tobin, Alain Togbe, Serdar Turedi, Diana Underwood, Feng-Song Wang, Aaron Warren, Maria Watson, Kay Westhues, 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.
    • Motion for approval by Ralph Cherry
    • Seconded by Rob Hallock
    • Approved voice vote
  4. Approval of the minutes from January 20, 2023
    • Motion for approval by Ralph Cherry
    • Seconded by Rob Hallock
    • Approved voice vote
  5. Remarks by the Senate Chair
    • Interfolio and evaluations @7:55-29:15
      1. The Chair read emails from faculty who are displeased with Interfolio and the faculty annual review process. Senators shared their thoughts on this process, agreeing that the process is confusing, cumbersome, superfluous. The Parliamentarian pointed out that this is a matter for the Senior Leadership Team to address, none of which attended today’s meeting. The Chair said he has not seen the Chancellor at all this semester. Rebecca Stankowski said Chancellor Keon, Provost Holford and VCIA Goodnight are attending a Board of Trustees function today.
      2. Stankowski said one of the criteria for accreditation is that we have continuous improvement and evaluation of all of our processes and our staff. We need to demonstrate that we do evaluate staff and faculty on a regular basis so that we know that they are effective and that everyone is doing what they are supposed to be doing.
      3. The Chair asked if the Senate has any authority over this. The Parliamentarian said the Senate has an advisory role over anything having to do with faculty welfare.
      4. Tony Sindone said he has also fielded many questions about this and it has to do with workload concerns. Not just this particular evaluation effort, but workload concerns in general. T. Sindone requested those emails from the Chair for Faculty Affairs to review.
      5. It was agreed that the timing in which evaluations are now given is also a huge inconvenience compared to before unification when they were given during spring break.
      6. Lee Artz said HLC requirements for exemplifying continuous improvement was a part of the previous system where goals must be listed for the forthcoming year. Interfolio is not necessary to meet HLC needs. Interfolio is not beneficial to faculty, it’s a hindrance that keeps them from preparing for classes, doing research, and other important faculty duties.
      7. The Vice Chair said the problem is that this system was imposed on them by administration. He said if a workload committee is established by the Faculty Affairs Committee there are some other issues to be addressed. He pointed out that there are now four different assessments faculty are asked to complete every semester: initial course participation, academic progress review, midterm grades, and administrative withdrawals.
      8. Sindone asked if we use similar systems or the exact same system at the other Purdue venues? Are they doing this in West Lafayette? Is their due date also February 16? If so, how long have they been doing it this way? Are they doing it for the first time also this year? In which case, then we might be able to make an argument for either going back to an old system, or at least extending the due date, so people can actually get their work in while they’re doing all these other things that we have to do.
      9. Diane Spoljoric motioned to ask administration to consider changing the due date for Spring 2023 to after spring break.
      10. Seconded by Dave Kozel
      11. Approved by voice vote
    • Dave Kozel motioned to make Interfolio optional.
      1. Seconded by Ralph Cherry
      2. Approved by voice vote.
    • Stankowski said in order to get merit raises in the budget, the FAR must be done before April so that it can make the budget cycle.
    • The Vice Chair asked the IFC representative to see what is done at the other Purdue campuses and to confirm whether they are done on an academic year or calendar year basis.
    • Previously existing Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Committee
      1. Tony Sindone said an EDI committee was voted on and approved the previous year, FAC is working with nominations to populate this committee.
  1. Remarks by the Chancellor
    • Rebecca Stankowski introduced herself and explained briefly her history with the university. She said the Office of Research has put out calls for international travel grant. The deadline is Friday, March 17. Recipients will receive up to $1,000 for approved travel expenses. The travel dates would be between May of 2023 and June 30 of 2024. Official participation in an international conference presenting, coordinating, etc. would not be necessary.
    • The Westville Taskforce requested a Westville scheduling session for fall 2023. the Provost approved a 4-hour session this afternoon for all deans and those responsible for scheduling. During the session the group will review and make necessary changes for the fall 23 Westville schedule by laying out all of the needed courses for each major together and by the day/time offered, it will become apparent which general education courses are needed, and on which days/times that are needed to get a cohesive schedule for students.
    • Taskforce led by Meg Rincker, others, made recommendation for sourcing and purchase of PNW material and courseware. This will be managed by Follet, all courseware will be provided digitally for a flat fee. There will be a number of sessions this spring to explain to faculty how this works. It will be optional, anyone can opt out if it is unfeasible for them, but it would be a bit of a financial benefit for our students
      1. Bob Kramer asked who is going to monitor Follet making certain they are not manipulating the offerings. He suggested reviewing Follet to prevent them from listing textbooks as required when they are not. R. Stankowski said costs will be driven by selections made by faculty, Steve Turner will be overseeing the process, comments will be conveyed to him.
      2. The Vice Chair asked if the policy has already been implemented. R. Stankowski said it will be implemented in the fall. The Vice Chair said that the administration not choosing to see larger faculty input on this is a concern.
      3. It was asked if this includes in-house materials. B. Stankowski said she was unsure but would take the question back to her office.
      4. The Parliamentarian clarified that in-house materials were developed for a very large math course and that the materials are paid for by students in their course fees. It is not clear how the finances for that would be rolled into this policy.
      5. Stankowski said a survey was distributed to all faculty and students on the matter. 119 faculty responded to this .
    • Cross-listed courses update.
      1. Stankowski said she is meeting with standing committees and colleges to explain the current status of online and the Department of Education’s new definitions on how we must operate under those definitions.
  1. New Business:
    • Curriculum Documents Approval
      1. 35 documents
        1. Motioned for approval by Lee Artz
        2. Seconded by
        3. Approved by voice vote
      2. Discussion Items:
        • Benchmarking model
          1. The Chair said he spoke to the Provost who is also doing a similar benchmarking report. The arrangement was for faculty and administration to negotiate a new model for the system of the campus and they seem to have pulled out of that initiative. Diane Spoljoric said there is a taskforce that is working on realigning the colleges and so forth. It is the belief of people on that committee that Senate was asked to have a representative on that committee and turned it down. D. Spoljoric asked if this was true. The Chair said he suggested the committee and neither the Chancellor nor the Provost responded. Eventually the Provost agreed to Co-Sponsor the committee with the Senate Chair, appointing four faculty members and four administrators. As they proceeded to develop the committee the Provost wanted to add eight people from administration and input on which faculty would be selected. The Chair then suggested two separate committees, one that he would populate with faculty and the other populated by the Provost with administrators. The two committees would benchmark models, each devise a plan of their own, and then meet to try to work something out. The Chair said he expected this to be happening right now, but was told it is not going to happen.
          2. Diane Spoljoric clarified that we were asked and did not have a representative.
          3. The Vice Chair clarified that he was asked to Co-Chair this taskforce after it was agreed to be a joint taskforce consisting of equal numbers of faculty and administrators. The Provost then pivoted and was only going to admit 4 appointees from the Faculty Senate while SLT planned on appointing nine administrators, creating a considerable imbalance. This was when the Chair said to pull out and create them separately.
          4. Dave Kozel said it would be advisable to have representatives from each of the colleges to ensure all are accounted for and in the know. Despite the fact that faculty would be outnumbered on the Provost’s benchmarking committee, they can still show disapproval and the Senate can still vote down anything the committee presents that they disagree with.
          5. Tony Sindone said this document is nothing more than a document for discussion, yet it seems to have caused fret in many departments.
          6. Ali said COT faculty have expressed concern about the number of advisors helping students.
          7. The Chair explained that one of the conclusions the committee came to was that PNW is top-heavy with administration. The Chancellor said he was cutting back evenly in administration and in academics, but it was not as proportional as it sounded because faculty responsibilities stayed the same or increased, while many administrative responsibilities were diminished. We also noted that there were a lot of new administrative positions that were created while we were losing money every year.
          8. The Vice Chair shared results from a list compiled to compare salaries of our administration to those of administrators at institutions with similar enrollment numbers. SIU, Edwardsville, UW-Eau Claire, UMass Dartmouth, and Cal Poly Humboldt, all have close to our enrollment and kind of close to our profile in many ways. Some of the data looked at included how much the salaries are for Chancellors, Presidents, Provosts, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration; how many Deans there are, how much they are paid, and the average salary for a college dean. We are overpaying in almost every category relative to our peers. The goal of benchmarking is to cut top academic administration, it is largely to leave academic programs alone, if there is a need for more advisors that should not be a problem, for the simplest reason they are relatively lower cost than upper academic administration. The goal is largely to leave academic programs intact.
          9. The Chair said there were two reasons for eliminating deans in their proposal. One of them was so that all of the schools left would be equal.
          10. Dave Kozel said this should be forwarded to the Ed Policy Committee to further look into.
        • Thomas Keon Senate Letter
          1. The Chair shared a resolution drafted and refined by Executive Committee.
          2. Dave Kozel said the letter should be rewritten as a narrative to explain the situation and elaborate on what led to its creation and submission to the Board.
          3. Kelly Vaughan asked for clarification on bullet-point number 3. The Chair also addressed some additional revisions needed to the document.
          4. Michelle Spaulding suggested maintaining the current format of the resolution and providing supplemental material such as news articles or testimonials to provide something in more conventional language. The Chair agreed.
          5. Tony Sindone asked why we are doing this and when will it end? He said he is concerned about whether this is necessary in addition to the vote of no confidence. Lee Artz said many other institutions are weighing in on this matter and we must continue to do the same.
          6. The Vice Chair said this differs from the vote of no confidence in that the vote did not necessarily indicate a course of action. Further pressing of the issue will be significant in getting their point across and affirming a call to action.
          7. Karen Covington said this is not the only act of racism that is going on at PNW. She shared her own observations and experiences as an African American faculty member at this campus. There are many other situations at this institution, in addition to the situation with Chancellor Keon, that must be addressed.
          8. The Vice Chair agreed with K. Covington and invited all Senators with something to add to the resolution to provide specific language they would like included.
          9. Tony Sindone invited K. Covington to join FAC in the development of the ad hoc committee to foster antiracism, equity, and inclusion.
          10. Senators agreed that this will be continuous effort that must be pursued to obtain optimal results. It cannot and will not end with the incident involving Chancellor Keon.
          11. The Chair asked if there is anyone on the administrative level that is responsible for addressing matters of institutional racism. R. Stankowski said she is not sure but will look into it.
          12. Kelly Vaughan said the resolution needs to include what faculty action will be. She said she has already discussed equity process audits with C. Morrow.
          13. Lee Artz said PUWL Senate has an EDI committee and that he was invited to participate in a recent meeting of theirs. At the meeting last week, they submitted a resolution condemning Keon’s behavior and asking BOT to reconsider their actions. There were 11 or 12 people at that meeting. Their resolution took a considerable amount of time to create because everybody in attendance had input as to how it should be written. The chair of the committee, Denise Whitford, pointed out that we would be remiss if we did not respond to a specific example of racist behavior. This is one of the ways that we must demonstrate our commitment to changing the climate. The Chair pointed out that a faculty member or student would have been held accountable immediately.
          14. The Vice Chair urged the Senate to consider making this a standing committee instead of an ad hoc committee. Tony Sindone said the ad hoc committee may conclude the same. The Parliamentarian said standing committees must consist of Senators, if the committee includes anyone other than Senators it must be a subordinate committee.
          15. Karen Bishop-Morris referred the Senate’s attention to the Board of Trustee’s Equity Taskforce. It was a pretty comprehensive body of work focused on black Boilermakers. Over the last two years it has actually elevated the issue of diversity, equity, and inclusion to the level of a major move for the Board of Trustees, which means a significant allocation of dollars to faculty hiring, recruitment, promotion, and student issues. There is a very robust website devoted to the PUWL Equity Task Force. The minutes and videos contained on their website might be a good starting point for this committee at PNW.
          16. Karen Bishop-Morris asked if the benchmarking currently taking place here is also looking at other campuses in terms of Chief Diversity Officer positions. The Chair said this would be a good idea to look into if they are not already.
          17. Kenny Kincaid asked if the PNW PRIDE Committee announced in September has met yet. There has not been any information circulated on that committee which was hand selected by the Chancellor and assigned to look into matters affecting Asian and Pacific Islander communities.
  1. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
    • Curriculum (Lee Artz)
      1. Lee Artz said Curriculum has looked at the report from the Provost about exceptions and exemptions. They were satisfied with the answers and will continue to monitor this every semester as they get these reports from the Provost Office. They will report back any concerns raised at the Senate level.
    • Ed Policy (Diane Spoljoric)
      1. Diane Spoljoric said they are waiting to hear back from PUWL about a proposal changing the wording about academic probation. Does not change any criteria about GPA. Students would be put on academic notice, not academic probation. Instead of saying, “dropping students for academic deficiency,” the wording would change to, “students recessed from the university due to academics.”
      2. Rules and regulations on cross-listed courses were elaborated on by R. Stankowski. Ed Policy was going to invite Stankowski to this body to explain but it seems meeting with individual departments or colleges may be the best strategy. There are many rules about teaching online and Spoljoric urged senators to invite Stankowski to their colleges or programs to explain.
      3. Reviewing PNW policy on timelines for finals exams. She explained for new faculty members that they get assigned a time to have their final exam, it is in the last week after teaching is done and the two-hour plan must be followed unless very specific arrangements have been made. It may not be at the time that your class normally starts.
      4. Asked to consider preapproval of admissions for veterans.
      5. Senate reorganization proposal.
    • Faculty Affairs (Tony Sindone)
      1. Tony Sindone said FAC is continuing work on evaluations of administrators. The committee is splitting it up into two different types of evaluations, evaluating deans and department chairs a little bit differently than the chancellor and provost, or senior leadership. The process may be a little bit different. There are two subcommittees of our Faculty Affairs Committees working in those two directions.
      2. EDI ad hoc committee.
      3. Bob Kramer said several faculty members came back asking what happened the evaluations they completed. They were provided only a piece of the entire evaluation. T. Sindone said part of the new procedure is to see who gets it and when. FAC has no plans to conduct administrator evaluations this year, the reason being is that they want to make sure it is done correctly.
    • Gen Ed & Assessment (Cari Furst)
      1. Cari Furst said Humanities and Social Sciences reviews have been completed. Request for delinquent information to be submitted.
      2. EXL subcommittee has sent a proposal for how EXL courses will be assessed, to be discussed today. EXL Coffee Hour will take place on Feb 16 in SULB 321
    • Nominations, Elections, & Awards (Meden Isaac-Lam)
      1. Meden Isaac-Lam said Nominations has finished faculty awards committee tasks and has submitted them to faculty awards committee chairs.
      2. In the process of forming an Ad hoc committee for EDI. Refer to FSD 21-14 for more information.
      3. Setting up Vice-Chair election. Working on determining best electronic ballot system to preserve the integrity of the election process.
    • Student Affairs (Michelle Spaulding)
      1. Michelle Spaulding said SAC has been working on student evaluations. Determined that current timing seems to be best practice.
      2. First-time students are not sure about what tech is best in order to succeed. SAC worked with IS to determine minimum requirements. Remind students of Library resources and encourage them to check out physical resources there. Dave Kozel suggestion making technology recommendations according to major.
  1. IFC / West Lafayette Report (Lee Artz)
    • IFC will address resolution requesting BOT to reconsider their actions on Keon.
    • PUWL Senate discussed academic probation policies which have been shared with Ed Policy.
    • Proposal to drop WF grades from student transcripts and replace with other systems.
    • The PUWL Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee will introduce at their February 20 meeting a resolution critiquing Chancellor Keon’s behavior, its humiliation of Asian and Asian Americans, and addressing its impact on Purdue as a university system and its international reputation. Depending on the response from the faculty, it may be moved to a vote. Otherwise it will come to a vote in March.
  2. Open discussion (as time permits).
    • Diane Spoljoric announced Science Olympiad on the Hammond Campus today in Gyte 151. In need of assistance setting up.
    • Lee Artz said Westville faculty have launched a campaign to make the campus more attractive to students on Mondays and Wednesdays at noon. They are hosting a variety of activities including music performances, and networking opportunities. Once a month they are holding dangerous discussions, which are discussions that can be held on topics that usually don’t get addressed in the classroom. It is called “Whites in Black History.” There is a Zoom link available for remote viewing and there will be a community viewing in YJean Chambers on the Hammond campus on February 13.
  3. Adjournment
    • Meeting adjourned at 12:01PM