Faculty Senate Minutes, April 14, 2023

August 11, 2023

Faculty Senate Minutes, April 14, 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, Tom Roach, Kelly Vaughan, Tony Sindone, Michelle Spaulding, Diane Spoljoric, George Stefanek, Wubeshet Woldemariam, Shengyong Zhang, Sam Zinaich

Voting Members Absent:
Dave Pratt, Sheila Rezak

Non-Voting Members Present:
Tony Elmendorf , Alan McCafferty

Others Present:
Michael Bourgeois, Joy Colwell, Elizabeth Babcock Depew, Naomi Gomez, Debra Grant, Anne Gregory, Chris Holford, Adele Minix, Catherine Olsen, Becky Stankowski, Jonathan Swarts, Maria Watson, Donna Whitten, Tim Winders

  1. Determination of quorum.
    • Quorum determined at 10:06am
  2. Call to order.
    • Meeting Called to order at 10:06am
  3. Approval of the agenda.
    • Motion for approval by Rob Merkovsky
    • Seconded by Rob Hallock
    • Approved by voice vote
  4. Approval of the minutes from March 10, 2023
    • Motion for approval by Dave Kozel
    • Seconded by Rob Merkovsky
    • Approved by voice vote
  5. Remarks by the Senate Chair
    • The Chair thanked the Senate for the card and condolences for the passing of his son.
    • The Chair asked for clarification on the narrative version of the letter to the Board of Trustees. The Vice Chair explained and the Chair said he will take care of it.
    • The Chair thanked Senate Secretary Alan McCafferty for his thoroughness in writing minutes for the Senate.
    • Faculty Convocation
      1. The Chair asked for comment and input on the upcoming faculty Convocation. The Parliamentarian clarified that the Faculty Convocation is required per the Faculty Senate Constitution. Historically, there have been years in which it did not take place, but that was before it was brought to the leadership’s attention that it was something that was required by the Constitution.
      2. The Vice Chair asked if it is correct that the Constitution also states that the purpose of Convocation is so that the Senate can interact with the Chancellor. The Parliamentarian confirmed, the purpose of the Convocation is for the faculty to meet with the Chancellor, and is chaired by the Chair of the Senate. There is actually no other mention of the Senate in the constitutional language above the Convocation. The Chair asked the Parliamentarian if the Chancellor is required by the Constitution to attend. The Parliamentarian said the Constitution states that the purpose of the Convocation is for the faculty to meet with the Chancellor. Whether or not that actually constitutes an obligation on the part of the Chancellor is not something that the Parliamentarian was willing to rule on.
    • Resolution regarding academic reorganization
      1. The Vice Chair suggested that this would be a good opportunity to think about how we are going to reconstitute ourselves largely at the college and program level. He said we need to reduce, in essence, our administrative overhead, in accordance with the current proposal.
      2. The Chair said, upon receipt, he will distribute the model proposal of the Provost’s committee along with the proposal created by the Senate’s benchmarking committee.
      3. Lee Artz said in the spring there is usually a report on student evaluations of administrators and asked if that will be taking place this year. Tony Sindone said FAC is currently working on an evaluation system of administrators. T. Sindone said there will not be an evaluation of this sort this year, but probably next year. He said he will elaborate further on this in his committee report.
      4. Tony Sindone said the College of Nursing Faculty Affairs Committee brought up some points during their meeting. One of which is to conduct a study on equitable salaries for faculty and perhaps staff and others. The Vice Chair seconded this suggestion.
      5. Tony Sindone asked, who is responsible for updating the PNW website? The latest salary report available on the university website is long outdated. A current salary report is available on the :R drive, which is soon to be defunct. There are also on the website, photos of faculty members who are no longer teaching here. If we are going to show professors teaching we should probably have photos of professors who currently teach at this university.
      6. The Chair said the university website issue will be discussed at their next meeting with the Chancellor.
      7. A question was asked regarding who is in charge of archiving the materials on the :R drive. The Senate Secretary confirmed that the University Archives has retrieved all accessible information from :R drive.
      8. The Chair said he it appeared from the previous meeting minutes that the Ed Policy Committee had some questions about the model that the ad hoc committee put together for restructuring the university. He said this will be added to the Faculty Convocation agenda for discussion.
      9. The Chair said another issue is that department chairs have been incentivized to avoid using tenure track faculty to teach summer courses. Tenure track faculty who do teach summer courses have been receiving only half pay for their work during that time.
  1. Remarks by the Chancellor
    • The Chancellor was not in attendance. The Provost spoke on his behalf.
    • The Provost said there have been a large number of events attracting students to PNW. The Statewide Science Olympiad brought to the Hammond Campus 900+ high schoolers and their parents. Other recent events on campus include the Steel Consortium meeting and meeting of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The Provost thanked all participants. The Provost said the volume and quality of the scholarship that was presented has increased every year, which is a real testament to what the faculty are doing on our campus.
    • The Provost thanked those who served on the Research Board.
    • The Provost commended those who participated in the One Book, One University program.
    • The Chancellor is currently attending the Board of Trustees event in West Lafayette. It was confirmed that our University College proposal came out of the committee with a favorable vote and was passed on the consent agenda of the PUWL Senate. We will wait for the special edition where promotions will be also announced later today.
    • New P&T guidelines will be posted and will be in effect for this cycle.
    • Ed Policy and Senate Leadership has received for consideration today a document regarding admissions of military personnel. A second document has been forwarded to Ed Policy for feedback on awarding educational credit for military experience. This is something we do not have robust policies or procedures for and as a military friendly institution, we ought to be looking at the awarding of credit for those experiences.
    • Purdue Day of Giving is taking place Wednesday, April 26.
    • The Roaring Loud Concert is taking place tonight, which has an anticipated attendance of 1,000+ students.
    • A question was asked about when Trustees are going to meet on our campus again. The Provost said he is not certain. Their last visit was after the opening of the Nils K. Nelson building.
    • There is a slate of 8 or nine faculty members who volunteered to serve on the Grievance Mediation Committee. This committee is different than the Grievance Hearing Committee. Faculty are eligible to serve on both committees. The Grievance Mediation Committee must be volunteers from the faculty. Elections within the colleges to the Grievance Hearing Committee should be taking place currently or very soon. That committee will select a chair and we will have that in place for next year.
    • Tony Sindone thanked the Provost and the Chancellor for their participation in the COB international honor society. The students and their families were thrilled to hear from the Chancellor.
  2. Unfinished Business
    • Senate Vice-Chair Election
      1. Meden Isaac-Lam said the only nominee is Diane Spoljoric.
      2. The Parliamentarian said the bylaws require that candidates for the Vice Chair elect provide a brief speech, no longer than five minutes, even if there is only one candidate.
      3. Diane Spoljoric said the following: “I have always believed in being part of the solution versus part of the problem. We can complain and we do, and we can gossip, and we do. But sometimes you just have to put your money where your mouth is, and you have to represent. And I have always been one to represent. Champion of the underdog, looking out for people who need help. And having a stewardship heart in all the things that I do. I have been at Purdue for 32 years this fall. In that time, I have had various leadership roles, including being the chair of the Nursing program at Purdue North Central, prior to unification. I came back onto the Senate, got into Ed policy, served under a wonderful leader, Anne Edwards, I want to thank you for your service. It was a wonderful committee to be on, I met some wonderful people that I really didn’t know because of being more Westville oriented. Ralph Cherry is one of the most wonderful persons that I have ever met, and I’m going to miss him now that he is going to be retiring. On that committee right away they saw that I kind of did a good job, and then whether by hook or by crook, hey, will you be the chair of the Ed policy committee? And I did. And I think that you have seen the product of our work. Today, I am bringing forward three or four resolutions. I do try to get the job done. I have a real offhand kind of humor, I’m going to joke with us and, again, I want the camaraderie. I want the people getting together, breaking bread together. Because we really are so important at this level. I’m going to really keep asking you to remember why you are here. Not to put something on our resume, although it helps, right? But to actually be the spokesperson for your college, for your department, for your plan of study. The things that we talk about here have an impact on everything that we do at the educational level. So, I implore you to go back and say this is our report so that no one has any questions. I’m going to ask you go back to your colleges and share information. This reorganization is huge. I have been through reorganizations, I have been through breaking away from the mothership, Purdue West Lafayette. When you are here and you participate, you gain a lot of knowledge. And I have that knowledge. I have the institutional knowledge. I also called the soon-to be-chair, David Nalbone. I’ve known him since I came over with unification and we definitely have different leadership styles. I talked to him about this. I said, can we work together? Can we be a team? And we both said yes, we can be a really good team because of that balance. We all bring something to the table. It is a really hard race to run when you are only running against yourself. So, if I lose this, I’m going to step down from Senate. I’m kidding. I would be honored to be the Senate Co-Chair and I know that that then brings becoming the Senate chair. And I know that with my history with Provost Holford, he and I have worked together as colleagues, as equals, and as my dean when we were in Westville. I continue to work with him now as chair of Ed Policy and I know that we work well together. We both can listen to one another and keep moving on. So, again, whatever I can do to make this Senate better I will try to do, and I ask for your support. Thank you.”
      4. With approval by voice vote, the Senate Chair declared Diane Spoljoric as the new Senate Vice-Chair-Elect.
      5. The Parliamentarian said, as Vice-Chair-Elect, D. Spoljoric’s current seat as Chair of Ed Policy is now vacant and needs to be refilled. Diane, as a member elected by the College of Nursing, must be replaced by someone elected by the College of Nursing. The elected replacement should fulfill the remainder of D. Spoljoric’s current term.
    • New Business:
    • Curriculum Documents Approval
      Review documents on Curriculog: https://pnw.curriculog.com
      Guide: How to Review an Agenda in Curriculog – 2022 update

      1. We have one document, Business Information Analytics 360. The title was changed and the description of the course was changed to include supply chain management. That is recommended for approval by the Senate from the Curriculum Committee.
      2. Motion for approval by Lee Artz
      3. Seconded by Ralph Cherry
      4. Approved by voice vote
    • Courses for approval (Cari Furst)
      1. Cari Furst said there were four currently existing courses in Philosophy that needed a Gen Ed designation. PHIL 120, 206, 219, and 327. Those have been unanimously approved by the General Education and Assessment Committee, and we bring that forward to the Senate.
      2. Lee Artz asked the Parliamentarian to explain if Gen Ed needs approval for something that goes on within that committee. The Parliamentarian said that is not correct. Know that none of the standing committees of the Senate have any legislative power. All proposals that are brought forward, and decisions recommended by standing committees must be approved by the Senate itself. The only exception is when a committee is empowered to act for the Senate and the only committee that is empowered to do so is the Executive Committee subject to the check of the Senate at its next regular meeting.
      3. Lee Artz said he understands that there are four additional courses to those mentioned to be proposed for the Gen Ed curriculum. And those are for philosophy courses that have already been approved by the Senate. So, they don’t need to go back to the curriculum committee because they have been approved by the Curriculum Committee and the Senate. C. Furst only talked about four philosophy courses, L. Artz understood there to be four more, which, as Tony just said, would have to be approved by the Senate. The Parliamentarian said what’s being approved is not the philosophy courses as courses in the curriculum, but rather their Gen Ed designation that also needs to be approved by the Senate. Lee Artz again asked about the additional four Philosophy courses that should also be on the Gen Ed curriculum next fall. Cari Furst said the other four were actually previously approved as new courses already with the Gen Ed designation. That is why they weren’t re brought forth because according to curriculum, they have already been approved by its Curriculum Committee and the Faculty Senate.
  1. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
    • Curriculum (Lee Artz)
      1. Lee Artz said the committee meets today. They have seven courses plus a revision of a minor. That will come back to the Senate in May.
    • Ed Policy (Diane Spoljoric)
      1. Diane Spoljoric said documents sent forward need revising because they were sent out as resolutions about the change in nomenclature from the academic regulations for dropping the WF and procedures, declaring it as people being recessed from the university. They’re not resolutions. They become the title of the policies that they are called from Purdue University, West Lafayette. This is a transcript issue and we do not control the way that the transcripts are recorded. The document that is the revision of academic regulations and procedures is for your information only. If you were wanting to know what to tell students their status would be, if they fall below the academic threshold, then we would be referring to this. This is again a policy out of Purdue West Lafayette and has been approved, and it is something that we will be putting into our calendar as well. Withdrawal Failing, they felt that to have a WF is kind of like a double insult.
      2. Ed Policy was charged with starting to look at university restructuring. You all had recommendations, some work done by Senate Chairs of the past and present. Ed Policy realized right away that this is not something that one individual committee or person should or could do. We need to know from you from your constituents. What does it take to run your department, your college, your program? We need to get together with those ideas so that we can start to see what kind of framework we can utilize to actually do an academic restructure. We also have another team put together by the Provost that is also looking at utilization. Between the two we are going to receive good input from various factors. Senators need to go back to their college/department and find out what do we really need to run our program and have that fiduciary responsibility? This will not happen by next Senate meeting, it may be in the pipeline for quite a while.
        1. The Senate Chair said it was the intention of that committee only to present a model for discussion. It was not a proposal that we were trying to push through. When it was introduced to the Senate, the Chair said he asked everyone to take it back to their departments and to discuss it. Please don’t anyone think that the committee was trying to impose something on the university.
      3. Spoljoric said Ed Policy would like to bring forth a resolution for discussion today for a moratorium. A hold put on any restructuring until everyone comes together and has an agreement on said restructuring in a timely manner.
        1. Clarification was requested on what is meant by discussion.
        2. The Chair said the committee thought it would be good to have a starting point to get the conversation going. The original plan was to create one committee. The Chair and the Provost agreed to have a faculty committee and an administrative committee that would get together and compare their results. If Ed Policy would like to reevaluate this and create another proposal that would be fine. Nothing is intended to be locked in stone. We are trying to find the best way to discuss this. We have never done anything like this before. We did have unification, which the Chair sensed went rather poorly. There was no plan and no significant discussion about it in advance. The Chair said he asked the Chancellor where he thought the enrollment drop was going to stop and what the plan was. Finally, toward the end of the year, the Chair and the Provost agreed to create these committees.
        3. An Ed Policy Committee member asked for further clarification on what is expected of them. Discussion? Recommendation? Survey?
        4. The Chair said it was decided today that this will be discussed at Convocation. He said he will send out any proposals that are available for people to look at. Responses to proposals will also be accepted and distributed if desired.
        5. Dave Kozel said according to the bylaws, it is Ed Policies responsibility to look at academic structure, not administrative structure. That said, D. Kozel suggested Ed Policy go back and interact with all departments on campus to asses what an optimal way of functioning might look like. As a group and individually.
        6. The Provost said this idea was originally brought forth by the Vice Chair, but the idea was not that we are looking to restructure a whole university in one fell swoop, rather that we are informed in our decision making as we have opportunities to change the structure over time that includes feedback and recommendation from faculty as well as the other university campuses. As the university stabilizes our enrollment and continues to evolve over time, when it becomes time to make structural changes we are not doing those ad hoc, but we have a guideline or a roadmap of things on which we have all agreed. The Provost said we started stabilizing our enrollment around 6000, we formed the university when we were much larger than this. We adopted a structure for both campuses because we had to have a structure for the new university. There were four different models presented, none of those had over 50% support when we adopted them, but we had to have a structure in place. It’s time for us as an institution, whether that be in the next two years, five years or 10 years to have a roadmap in place so that as we have an opportunity to restructure and gain efficiencies, we have sufficient feedback from all our organizational groups and in how we approach that rather than do a one-time fell swoop sort of discussion. The Provost said he thinks we are all looking forward to a recommendation from the faculty as well as a second committee to provide some basic information for everybody to help us build that roadmap.
        7. Anne Edwards brought the discussion back to the proposal for a moratorium on restructuring until the overall discussion has taken place. Right now, we know of at least two colleges that are having these discussions, which is great. A moratorium should not keep people from discussing and planning. But it may not be a good idea to restructure a college, and then find out that that college is automatically restructured, again, because of the overall restructuring. That is the point of this Resolution.
        8. The Vice Chair said this needs to be data driven. One of the things that he would like to do as Chair is have the budget committee looking at some of these issues. The second thing, back to the urgency of the conversation that the Provost and Vice Chair have had, and he has especially noted, the status quo is not sustainable. What we are currently doing how we are currently set up is not going to work, because we’re simply too strained financially. This is a moratorium on implementation, certainly not on discussion. We need to have discussions. But the implementation certainly will not occur until or unless there’s general agreement as to how we’re going forward, obviously, with as many stakeholders involved as we can.
        9. This will be discussed further during Convocation and voted on at next Senate meeting.
      4. Colin Fewer and Veterans Services Coordinator Anthony Pilota brought forth a resolution to lower HS GPA criteria from 2.3 to 2.0 for those who have served in the military. Veterans would still be required to take placement exams for math and English. They would then be appropriately mentored. Taking a 2.0 is not going to jeopardize the assistance they get. The veterans have a wonderful program assisting students that are veterans. It was noted that since many veterans graduated from high school several years ago, their high school GPA is not a good indicator of future academic success. In fact, veterans typically accumulate new educational credentials during military service, and are accustomed to positions of leadership. Veterans typically have the benefit of tuition and living expense allowances that additionally facilitate their success as students. Upon admission, veterans would still take the math and written placement tests before registering for courses. They also would be required to compose a personal statement to indicate their academic goals. With all the evidence we received in a discussion with Colin and Anthony, we be it resolved that the Ed Policy committee recommends we change the PNW high school GPA requirement from 2.3 to 2.0. for those who serve or have served in the military. This is for discussion.
        1. Tony Sindone motioned to move this to action
        2. Seconded by Rob Merkovsky
        3. Motion to move to action approved by voice vote.
        4. Motion to approve Rob Merkovsky
        5. Seconded
        6. Motion approved by voice vote.
  • Faculty Affairs (Tony Sindone)
    1. Tony Sindone said FAC is working on a PNW faculty handbook to address many of the questions brought up at today’s meeting.
    2. Progress on evaluations. There will be separate types of questions]for deans, chairs, the Chancellor and the Provost.
    3. Working with Nominations to populate the DEIJB ad hoc Committee.
  • Gen Ed & Assessment (Cari Furst)
    1. Cari Furst said 20 courses have been put up to remove the Gen Ed designation. Those are currently in the process in Curriculog. Those were recommendations by the departments themselves, not the committee.
    2. The committee is still trying to finalize the process for the reviews of the ExL courses.
  • Nominations, Elections, & Awards (Meden Isaac-Lam)
    1. Meden Isaac-Lam said Nominations is assigned with populating standing committees. The following Senators will need to be replaced or reelected:
      1. Rob Merkovsky
      2. Diane Spoljoric
      3. Bob Kramer
      4. Michael Mick
      5. Keyuan Jiang
      6. Dave Pratt
      7. Ali Alavizadeh
      8. Tony Sindone
      9. Ralph Cherry
    2. The new Chair of Ed Policy also needs consideration.
    3. Local attorney and first President of Lake County Alfredo Estrada is being considered for recruitment as Regional Leader to the DEIJB ad hoc committee. Other committee members include the following:
      1. Pam Saylor
      2. Karen Covington
      3. Kenny Kincaid
      4. Collette Morrow
    4. The DEIJB ad hoc committee is still in need of MAPSAC, CSAC, and two student representatives.
    5. The University Policy Committee also needs representation.
  • Student Affairs (Michelle Spaulding)
    1. Michelle Spaulding said a student has been selected for Student of the Month.
    2. Clearing up some misconceptions among students, such as wi-fi access.
  1. IFC / West Lafayette Report (Lee Artz)
    • Lee Artz said PUWL Senate joined the Lafayette Climate Action Organization.
    • It was announced that changes have been made to the Purdue retirement account allowing West Lafayette faculty to borrow from their retirement account, which hadn’t been true before. It is still unclear if this will apply to regional campuses.
    • PUWL Senate adopted a code of conduct for Senator responsibilities and rights. It appears that some senators had defied the will of the Senate and tried to interfere with the active proceedings.
    • A new chair was elected for next year, Susan Faust.
    • IFC is meeting today.
  2. SGA Report (David Bolton)
    • David Bolton said he was reelected as SGA President.
    • SGA is preparing for next semester.
    • Working on student resolutions.
    • American Sign Language is considered a modern language. And that has been a difficult thing for students in need of foreign language credits.
    • Rapport building between the colleges. The Honors College contains students from different disciplines, SGA is trying to make this a campus-wide initiative.
    • SGA is reaching out to different faculty members and different students within different colleges to make sure that SGA is promoting our students and faculty members.
    • Meeting with R. Rupp to discuss where we want to go and how things should look. They are trying to come with a big initiative for next year. Most likely, that will be renovation of the prayer room.
  3. Open discussion (as time permits).
    • Lee Artz requested additional microphones at the next meeting.
    • The Provost said PNW shares a final exam policy with PUWL until we create one of our own.
    • Anne Edwards asked the Provost about ICHE policy on online courses. The Provost urged the Senate to invite B. Stankowski to provide further details. Yes, the Commission had been discussing and even more restrictive policy for online content. What their motivation for these are is unknown. Again, Becky would be the person to invite and discuss that. Anne Edwards said we kind of know what is going on that national level, but the state level is bringing in all kinds of new potential restrictions, which is why B. Stankowski should be invited to elaborate.
    • Nursing is taking donations of shoes for refurbishment by Uniquely Nico.
    • There will be a faculty celebration at By Way Brewery this afternoon.
  4. Adjournment
    • Meeting adjourned at 11:36