Faculty Senate Minutes, March 10, 2023

August 11, 2023

Faculty Senate, March 10, 2023

10:00 AM-12:00 PM: Westville – LSF 144


Voting Members Present:
Lee Artz, Ali Alavizadeh, Gokarna Aryal, Scott Bates, Jose Castro-Urioste, Magesh Chandramouli, Janet Chaney, Ralph Cherry, Joan Dorman, Anne Edwards,  Mohammed Errihani, Masoud Fathizadeh, Cari Furst, Rob Hallock, Meden Isaac-Lam, Kenny Kincaid, Dave Kozel, Bob Kramer, Roger Kraft, Meghan McGonigal-Kenney, Robert Merkovsky, Michael Mick, David Nalbone, Dave Pratt, Kelly Vaughan, Tony Sindone, Michelle Spaulding, Diane Spoljoric, George Stefanek, Wubeshet Woldemariam, Shengyong Zhang, Sam Zinaich

Voting Members Absent:
Tom Roach, Karen Covington, Bankole Fasanya, Wei He, Sheila Rezak

Non-Voting Members Present:
Tony Elmendorf , Alan McCafferty

Others Present:
Elizabeth Babcock Depew, Mike Biel, Michael Bourgeois, Joy Colwell, Meghan Cook, Colin Fewer, Debra Grant, Anne Gregory, Emily Hixon, Chris Holford, Lisa Hopp, Niaz Latif, Mary Morrow, Catherine Olsen, Dietmar Rempfer, Pam Saylor, Becky Stankowski, Jonathan Swarts, Maria Watson, Sarah White, Jen Williams

  1. Determination of quorum.
    • Quorum determined at 10:03AM
  2. Call to order.
    • Meeting called to order at 10:03AM
  3. Approval of the agenda.
    • Lee Artz motioned for an amendment to discuss a Senate Celebration.
    • Approved by voice vote with amendment to add under New Business, discussion of Senate Celebration.
  4. Approval of the minutes from February 10, 2023.
    • Motion for approval by Rob Merkovsky
    • Seconded by Rob Hallock
    • Approved by Voice vote
  5. Remarks by the Senate Chair.
    • The Chair was not in attendance at today’s meeting. The Vice Chair spoke on his behalf.
    • Space Management Consultation Report
      1. The Vice Chair said Senate Leadership has received reports of recommendations for retooling the first floor of the Classroom Office Building (CLO). The Executive Committee discussed this and would like to know who is making these decisions and for what reason.
      2. Anne Edwards said they have heard speculation that Porter Hall is going to be demolished and asked for clarification. Lee Artz said their department head and dean commented on this matter, stating the need for alternate space allocation as this project moves forward.
      3. The Provost said a ten-year targeted renewal plan was produced but still needs to be discussed and approved by the Board of Trustees.
    • The Vice Chair said the Executive Committee discussed holding a Faculty Excellence Celebration to be discussed under new business. He said that this event would be an alternate way to recognize the significant contributions of faculty, separate from Founders Day.
  6. Remarks by the Chancellor
    • The Chancellor was not in attendance, the Provost instead offered his remarks.
    • The Provost explained initiatives to bring prospective students to campus.
      1. Saturday was the Midwest eSports Conference. It was the first time we have hosted a conference of this sort. It was a very successful event with 200+ students participating.
      2. We hosted the Academic Super Bowl for Porter County and LaPorte County. The Academic Super Bowl has been a staple of this campus for many years. There will also be an Academic Super Bowl for Lake County held on campus next week.
      3. On the Hammond campus, the statewide Science Olympiad will be held this weekend with 900+ students participating.
      4. Founder’s Day rescheduled to March 24, 2pm-4pm in DSAC.
    • Faculty mediator training. RSVP will be held by Provost Office. You cannot be conscripted into duty as a faculty mediator, you must volunteer. The selection of people that will be campus mediators is done by the Faculty Senate chair and the Provost. This is a professional development opportunity funded by the Provost’s Office.
      1. If you’re a trained mediator that has gone through the cycle, normally you go on to the committee for two-year period. If you just went through the training, your name is probably still on the list. Those wishing to remain on the list should email either Vice Chair Nalbone or Provost Holford. Both will compile lists for comparison.
    • International Travel is resuming. Students are very interested. Four travel study courses will be taking place over the summer.
    • RFP email sent for microgrants for first-generation student. Mini-Grants are available to faculty and instructors.
    • We will be receiving in the fall two of our first foreign exchange students from Madrid, Spain. For those of you that have led international travel, with most of our restrictions lifted at this point, the Provost shared that there is great student interest in getting involved again.
    • Commenting on a statement made in the March meeting minutes, the Provost said the Faculty Senate had a structural taskforce to make recommendations. There is still also a University Task Force in operation and they will report to the Senate. This is a different committee than the Senate committee. Those on the committee are Jeff Schieb, Sue Miller, Sandra Steele, Matt Wells, Tim Winders is chairing. Faculty members include Pat Obi, Mary Morrow, Neeti Parashar, Hubert Izienicki, and Mohammad Zahraee.
    • Renewal plans should be addressed to VC Turner.
    • The Provost encouraged the Senate to either appoint their budget committee or make the Executive Committee take oversight of this and arrange for that meeting with VC Turner. The Provost added that he will certainly help with that to review our FY 24 budget.
    • Steady enrollment outcomes have put us in a good position fiscally. Planning parameters for FY 24 include recommendation for a 4% merit increase policy.
    • Questions for the Provost:
      1. Is it too late to apply for international travel in the fall?
        1. The Provost said to contact his office for details. It would be too late for summer.
      2. Spoljoric said the Structural Task Force under Tim Winders is more about buildings and space utilization versus the structure of the colleges and academics. She asked for clarification
        1. The Provost said this was discussed with Senate early on as looking at our university structure. The current structure was built at a time of higher enrollment. There is general agreement that we would like to consider other structural models for the institution. We have not talked about department level structure. We have talked more about college and university structure overall. Much like the Senate’s committee, the charge to this committee was to look at peer and aspirational peer institutions and the overall structural size, to start developing plans and having campus-wide discussions about what the structure type of structure is going to make sense for us at a 6,000-student headcount. Or if we were to continue declining and reached a threshold of 4000. Students, what should we look like? Operationally?
      3. Elaborate on enrollment outcomes?
        1. The Provost said we had steady enrollment over the past year and anticipate an increase in enrollment next semester.
      4. Anne Edwards suggested inviting a member of Ed Policy to both the faculty and administrative restructuring committees as they are charged with the review of any recommendations of either committee.
        1. The Provost said this was initially meant to be a single joint committee but the original membership did not have representation from all colleges. The Provost clarified that he did not appoint nine administrators to the committee, but indicated his desire for equal representation from all colleges. There was a mutual parting of ways and each group decided that the Senate would run their own committee, the university would run a committee, and we would share the results of each as we move forward. It would not be prudent to combine the two right now, as they have each received their charges and are already working. The Provost said he and David Nalbone can work over the summer to see what happens in the fall.
      5. Dave Kozel questioned the sense of the restructuring project, stating that Ed Policy is supposed to deal with the academic side, but two committees with two different proposals will continue to perpetuate conflict.
      6. Anne Edwards said she did not intend to put anyone in the hot seat, but wanted to address that this is an Ed Policy matter and they should be involved in the process. The Vice Chair agreed.
  1. Unfinished Business
    • Westville Recommendations Tracker
      1. The Vice Chair explained that three recommendations have been made from Westville committees. The document distributed was for information. The Vice Chair asked for comments or feedback on the set of Westville recommendations and the administrative response to them?
        1. Tony Sindone said come points on the list of recommendations have been implemented, some have been deferred, some have been modified. He said he is on the current WV taskforce and the list is a fair indication of what we were trying to accomplish here in the Westville campus. The idea is to get more students here and create excitement in the community. He thanked the Provost for Senior Leadership’s acceptance of many of the initiatives. Diane Spoljoric said Power Hour has been widely favorable and is making its way to the Hammond Campus.
      2. New Business:
        • Request for formal responses from Vice Chancellors and the Chief Diversity Officer regarding their stance on Chancellor Keon’s behavior during 2022 Fall Commencement.
          1. The Executive Committee discussed the matter and would like to formally request responses from the above-named individuals.
          2. The Provost said he does not have comment. The Provost said he supports actions taken by BOT.
          3. Tony Sindone said the Exec vote was not unanimous. He questioned at that meeting whether direct responses would be provided by SLT. All parties have already shared their positions on the matter. Senate business should move on in order to benefit the faculty, students, and our constituency. Michael Mick said he concurred with T. Sindone. Lee Artz said this matter was discussed at PUWL Senate and PUFW Senate. Both agreed that accountability is paramount, which is why this matter is being pressed. If the head of the university cannot be held accountable for their actions, how can you hold anybody accountable for their actions? Lee Artz said relying on the same faux apology speaks volumes about what kind of leadership we have. 88% of PUWL Senate voted in favor of the removal of our Chancellor because distinctions between the campuses are difficult to make when events such as this make international news. hey understand it’s Purdue. And it’s embarrassing to the entire operation of this university worldwide.
        • Senate Celebration
          1. The Executive Committee discussed low response rates to Founders Day, which was subsequently cancelled and rescheduled. The Exec would like instead to hold a Senate sponsored celebration at By Way Brewery in Hammond on April 14 to celebrate ongoing faculty excellence and wanted to get a sense of the Senate as to whether this would be an appropriate use of our funds. There are still some unanswered questions as to the Senate budget, but these festivities are otherwise feasible.
          2. Lee Artz said this is not in opposition to Founder’s Day, rather, it would be an end-of-year celebration in addition to on-campus events. T. Sindone agreed.
          3. Kozel asked about the location and whether it could be held on campus instead. The Vice Chair and Provost cited that Senate Budget cannot be used for imbibements. D. Spoljoric said we would also be supporting the local community.
          4. The Provost clarified the budget cannot be used for alcohol. The Vice Chair agreed and said there would be a cash bar.
          5. Anne Edwards asked if both on and off-campus venues were an option, as some faculty members may not be interested in an off-campus event.
          6. Kozel asked about how this would affect the Senate budget. The Vice Chair explained the current standing of the Senate budget which has not yet been encumbered. They are working with the Provost to confirm we do not have any outstanding bills. The estimate from By Way was approximately $1,700. The remaining funds would get us through the rest of the academic year. We haven’t discussed it yet and executive but I think we certainly would want to entertain some compensation, especially for the committee chairs who have had the heaviest workload this year.
          7. Diane Spoljoric suggested a social half-hour on campus prior to the Senate meeting.
          8. The Vice Chair said, with approval, the celebration would be April 14 at 2pm, after the Senate Meeting scheduled that day. He seconded D. Spoljoric’s for suggestion of an early start, approximately 9:30am, for socializing.
          9. The Parliamentarian reminded the Executive Committee that budget priorities resolution requires Exec to report to the Senate every expenditure.
          10. The Vice Chair motioned for coffee and donuts at next meeting.
            1. All in favor, none opposed.
          11. The Vice Chair motioned for a celebration at By Way Brewery.
          12. None opposed.
          13. Motion passes.
  1. For Action
    • Letter on Keon
      1. Dave Kozel provided a revised letter to the Senate for submission to the BOT which was read by the Vice Chair. Friendly amendments were suggested by the Vice Chair and accepted by D. Kozel.
      2. The Parliamentarian said in order for this to be official, it requires a motion and second for approval from the Senate.
      3. Motioned to adopt this statement by Lee Artz.
      4. Seconded by D. Spoljoric.
      5. Clarification was requested on whether this would replace the whereas
        1. It was confirmed that this letter, in narrative format, would replace the whereas
      6. Kozel said PUWL has already passed similar resolutions.
      7. Motion passes, was not unanimous.
  1. Discussion Items:
    • Peer staffing (Dave Nalbone)
      1. The Vice Chair explained the distributed spreadsheet.
      2. Michelle Spaulding asked how the data works out if looking at support staff and lab techs.
        1. The Vice Chair said IPEDS designates that there are only two groups, instructional and non-instructional. Non-instructional includes administration, grounds, and all other staff.
      3. Tony Sindone asked about the budgets of other schools listed. The Vice Chair said IPEDS data
      4. Kozel asked for further data on how certain staff and faculty positions were classified. Instructional staff, LTL, continuous lecturers, tenure track. The Vice Chair said this will need to be discussed further with VC Turner or M. Bourgeois.
      5. Anne Edwards said there appears to be consensus on breaking down the data further. One of the things to make sure to keep in mind that can actually make the argument both ways depending on what the answers are, what percentage of people needing DAC and other assistance at other schools. Students that need more support?
      6. Spoljoric asked if regional institutions were considered. The Vice Chair said regional institutions such as IUN are smaller, IU and other institutions are operationally different and would not have been applicable. Valpo, similarly, much smaller enrollment, also private, so operates on a different model.
      7. Do we also have a ratio of the dollars spent, instructional vs noninstructional? The Vice Chair said he included information on all the institutions throughout the state in terms of budgets on a project with AAUP. What percentage of the budget goes to the instructional function, what percentage goes to the central administration, and so on.
      8. Tony Sindone said the budget data requested should be publicly available.
      9. Meden Isaac-Lam asked if the data is department-specific, adding that her department does not see it that way.
      10. Does the data count students as instructional staff?
      11. The Vice Chair said there was a significant drop in faculty. FTE of 416 in fiscal year ‘17. We’re down to 306 as of fiscal year ‘17. That drop was fairly similar to those at other institutions. And close to what we saw at the non-instructional side.
      12. Spaulding said the student/faculty ratio was surprising to see.
      13. The Vice Chair said IPEDS allows input for faculty/student ratios and none of the institutions listed match up with their calculated ratios. It might be the case that they’re calculating on total number of faculty versus FTE. In which case you can make your student faculty ratio look better by having more part time faculty.
      14. Anne Edwards asked if IPEDS provides teaching load for faculty?
        1. It does not.
      15. Tony Sindone said the benefit of this would be addressing workload. We need to follow up and determine what to do with this information as it is received.
      16. Spoljoric said the website reports 15:1 student-to-faculty ratios and asked how many Senators have 15 students, adding that most her classes are far larger than that.
      17. Michael Mick said COB has been working for years with a heuristic requiring an average of 100 students per faculty member per semester.
      18. The Vice Chair urged Senators to conduct research in support of this document.
  1. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
    • Curriculum (Lee Artz)
      1. Lee Artz said five or six departments had made considerable exemptions, most of which had to do with transfer students. The data seems to provide acceptable results, no egregious exemptions were made.
      2. Proposals can still be made for fall, programs won’t be changed in the catalog. Individual classes, individual revisions or additions will be accepted until the end of the semester.
    • Ed Policy (Diane Spoljoric)
      1. Diane Spoljoric provided copies of the final exam policy. Faculty have been unclear of what can and cannot be done during final exams.
      2. Academic Probation
      3. Will provide summary of online course rules and regulations at next meeting.
      4. Proposal for Veteran
      5. Senate reorganization
        1. Moratorium to be made that there are no changes to the academic structure until an agreement is made. Will provide further updates next month.
      6. PUWL imposed revision of academic regulations to be discussed today. Drop WF and associated direct grades.
        1. Spaulding asked where to find this on the website.
        2. Merkovsky said he does not recall addressing this since unification. Legacy campuses had separate policies but there is no current joint policy.
      7. Kozel pointed out item number 5.
      8. A question was asked for elaboration on some of the language for academic probation, academic drop, and some of the changes. A different language is being used in terms of the Purdue West Lafayette Faculty Senate has passed for our campus.
      9. Change was made from “academic probation” to “academic notice.” GPA, when they go on notice, stays the same. The old language was “dropping of students for academic deficiency.” The new language is, “students recessed from the university due to academics.” Any grade change will result in a recalculation of the GPA and determination of recessed status. And finally, the last language change is readmission policy. That name remains the same. It used to say, “a student who is academically dropped from the university for the first time is not eligible to enroll.” the new language, “a student who is academically recessed due to academics from Purdue Northwest for the first time…” so forth.
      10. Meden Isaac-Lam asked if online quizzes are also included?
      11. Anne Edwards pointed out that this information is in our current course catalog under Academic Regulations.
      12. Tony Sindone said all of his makeup exams have been given during the final week of the semester, which seems to be against the presented policy. Exam reviews being largely to blame. It dramatically reduced the number of students who miss the exam because they knew up front that they would have to wait until the last week of the of the semester to take their makeup exams.
      13. Jen Williams read from the PNW website:
        1. Each of the four campuses maintains additional administrative policies specific to their needs and structure. individual colleges, schools and departments may adopt distinct practices, standards or guidelines, all of which must be consistent with the system wide policies.
        2. The Provost agreed, we must remain consistent with the current PUWL policy, with allowance for Senate approved amendments.
      14. Kozel asked where system policy ends and academic autonomy begins.
      15. Williams said PUWL wrote policy to exclude us because our faculty disagreed.
    • Faculty Affairs (Tony Sindone)
      1. Sindone said FAC has been working on administrative evaluations. Expecting to present in April.
      2. DEIJB committee had first meeting. Research was conducted as to how our peers have been addressing this issue. PUWL has structure in place since 2014.
        1. PUFW has a similar committee which provides annual reports. Offices for handling specific issues. Evidence from other universities indicate strong recommendation for this to become a standing committee.
      3. Subcommittee to investigate workloads.
      4. Faculty handbook development.
        1. Kelly Vaughan asked about Faculty input in the development of the Faculty Handbook. Tony Sindone said FAC would like input from as many faculty members as possible. Timeline is hypothetical, approximately some time before Christmas this year.
  • Gen Ed & Assessment (Cari Furst)
    1. Cari Furst said Gen Ed & Assessment will be looking at EXL proposal. Gen Ed classification for philosophy courses.
  • Nominations, Elections, & Awards (Meden Isaac-Lam)
    1. Meden Isaac-Lam said they are held DEIJB committee meeting. K. Kincaid, K. Covington, C. Morrow will be joining next meeting. Data has been collected. PUWL has 27 members in their committee, PUFW about 17. PUFW has very active website.
    2. Vice Chair election.
      1. Only one nominee so far.
        1. Spoljoric.
      2. Election will be in May.
    3. The Parliamentarian said Nominations Committee is also responsible for upcoming election of new Senators, which should be taking place in the academic units at the current department meetings.
  • Student Affairs (Michelle Spaulding)
    1. Michelle Spaulding said SAC is following up with IS about Wi-Fi issues. M. Mick said they are on the Brightspace Committee and they are looking into adding instructions in Brightspace on the matter for student review.
    2. Evaluation timing
      1. Research has indicated peers are following similar procedures.
    3. IFC / West Lafayette Report (Lee Artz)
      • IFC will not meet until Match 24. Primary item on their agenda is a letter to BOT in response the 2022 Fall Commencement at PNW. They wanted to wait until after Fort Wayne and West Lafayette had made their decisions.
      • Reporting on West Lafayette, the bulk of the meeting was taken up with presentations and introductions and appreciations to the new president, and to the new provost. Apparently, they’ve had many new positions at Purdue West Lafayette.
      • As a result of the division taking place, Purdue IUPUI faculty will remain in Indianapolis but will remain under the purview of PUWL. Other departments are going to Purdue and there is some discussion because tenure track faculty for IUPUI now have to find a department at West Lafayette and the departments get to decide whether they want the particular faculty member. So, there’s some confusion and obviously great consternation among many of the faculty.
      • PUWL DEI Committee adopted similar resolution to ours.
      • PUWL Ed Policy has decided to eliminate WF grade.
    4. SGA Report (David Bolton)
      • David Bolton said SGA has been involved in student trustee search. Visited PUWL, reduced applicants from 18 to 10.
      • Building rapport between campuses and colleges. Considering college/dept. specific spotlights.
    5. Open discussion (as time permits).
      • Faculty Senate budget committee was discussed.
    6. Adjournment
      • Meeting adjourned at 12:06