Faculty Senate Minutes, November 10, 2023

January 12, 2024

Faculty Senate Minutes, November 10, 2023

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


Voting Members Present:
Ali Alavizadeh, Lee Artz, Gokarna Aryal, Geoffrey Barrow, Scott Bates, Shreya Bhandari, Karen Bishop Morris, Mary Didelot, Joan Dorman, Masoud Fathizadeh, Rob Hallock, Wei He, Shontrai Irving , Meden Isaac-Lam, Tae-Hoon Kim, Dave Kozel, Roger Kraft, Bob Kramer, Yun Liu , Meghan McGonigal-Kenney, Robert Merkovsky, David Nalbone, Laurie Parpart, Sheila Rezak, Pam Saylor, Michelle Spaulding, Diane Spoljoric, Pitparnee Stompor, George Stefanek, Kathy Tobin, Kelly Vaughan, Donna Whitten, Wubeshet Woldemariam, Sam Zinaich, Cheng Zhang

Voting Members Absent:  Frank Colucci, Karen Covington, Janet Davis,

Non-Voting Members Present:
Tony Elmendorf, Alan McCafferty

Others Present:
Raida Abuizam, Harbir Aujla, Mike Biel, Joshua Buggs, Gisele Casanova, Jose Castro-Urioste, Mita Choudhury, Joy Colwell, Colin Fewer, Debra Grant, Emily Hixon, Chris Holford, Mike Johnson, Michael Lynn, Robin Miller, Catherine Murphy, Greg Schultz, Rebecca Stankowski, Diana Underwood-Gregg, Jen Williams, Tim Winders, Shuhui Grace Yang

  1. Determination of quorum.
    • Quorum determined at 10:01 am
  2. Call to order.
    • Meeting called to order at 10:0
  3. Approval of the agenda.
    • Motion for approval by Michelle Spaulding
    • Seconded by Rob Hallock
    • Approved by voice vote
  4. Approval of the minutes from October 13, 2023
    • Motion for approval by Rob Merkovsky
    • Seconded by Rob Hallock
    • Approved by voice vote
  5. Remarks by the Senate Chair
    • The Chair reported that the Executive Committee approved an expenditure of $274.95 for transcription services utilized by the Secretary.
    • The Executive Committee approved also an expenditure of $1,500 for external consultant services.
    • The Senate Budget Committee has been populated with five members. Currently, the committee is in the process of electing a chair. The Executive Committee is set to provide the committee with a guide outlining their tasks in the near future. They will meet with Vice Chancellor for Finance Administration, Steve Turner, to discuss the university budget.
    • Chancellor Search Committee
      1. The Chair said that the Chancellor Search Committee has narrowed down candidates to three individuals. Interviews are set to continue next week, with the aim of concluding the committee’s work by the end of the month. The Chair said that questions regarding the search will not be entertained at this time.
    • CHESS Reorganization
      1. The Chair said the situation has escalated since the email distributed earlier this week. Further explanation will be provided later in today’s meeting.
    • Kramer asked the purpose of the consultant. The Chair said that the goal is to gain a better understanding of the Incentive Based Budget Model (IBBM).
  6. Remarks by the Chancellor
    • The Chancellor was not in attendance.
  7. Remarks by the Provost/VCAA
    • The Provost highlighted recent and upcoming events taking place on the Westville campus.
      1. Sinai Forum on mental health with Bruce Perry.
      2. Geopolitical Strategist Peter Zeihan also presented at the Sinai Forum.
      3. NAACP State-Wide Conference
      4. Society of Innovators Awards Banquet
      5. Student life held 3 recent events:
        1. Trunk-or-Treat
        2. Haunted trails
        3. First Gen Student Story event. A guest will also be visiting next week to discuss first generation students. Her book is out for people to pick up over outside the Bursars Office.
      6. Tomorrow morning in DSAC a Veterans Day celebration will be taking place. The Provost urged Senators to RSVP for the complimentary breakfast.
    • Our second annual eSports conference will be taking place tomorrow in the gymnasium.
    • Anthony Ray Hinton will be here for the Sinai Forum on Sunday, November 13.
    • The Pride will be facing Saginaw Valley State at Dowling Park, marking the Pride as the first Division II team to participate in the GLIAC tournament.
    • The Provost said Professor Abuizam is in attendance to explain changes made in Interfolio for faculty annual reviews. The Provost asked that she be recognized during that discussion phase.
    • The Chair asked if the Provost could provide faculty breakdown figures. The Provost provided a sheet with the total number by classification.
    • The Vice Chair said she was unable to attend the meeting regarding the future of the Westville campus and asked the Provost to summarize the discussions. The Provost said the meeting aimed to dispel rumors circulating on social media about the closure of the Westville campus and the loss of accreditation, affirming that there is no intention to close the Westville campus, and accreditation remains intact. The meeting also addressed recruiting efforts, and representatives from Student Activities discussed various activities taking place on the Westville campus.
    • The Provost said the strategy at the Westville campus is evolving, with the intent to focus on creating a schedule that meets the students’ needs. Previously, approximately 40% of the credits taken on the Westville campus were derived from seven general education courses. Upon reviewing the scheduling of these courses, it was noted that they were spread throughout the day, necessitating students to be on campus for several hours before their subsequent class would commence.
      In these scheduling efforts, prioritized are the seven general education courses by moving them into the central portion of the day. Although not block scheduled, this adjustment ensures that the majority of students attending this campus can structure a full 15-credit load day, with a focus on the Power Hour. This period has been designated for student activities or faculty events, preventing students from being required to come onto campus and wait for several hours between classes. Majors offered on the Westville campus have been scheduled outside of this block, potentially resulting in some major courses being offered earlier in the morning or after the central block.
      The remaining 60% of credits offered in Westville are distributed over more than 100 different core sections. Utilizing a data-driven approach, we have examined what courses students are taking and when they prefer to take them, allowing for the creation of optimal schedules.
    • The Vice Chair raised questions related to the previous plan of having seven dedicated degrees for the Westville campus. The current understanding is that there will be seven general education courses dedicated to this campus. The Vice Chair queried whether Hammond students would come to Westville for general education courses. Additionally, concerns were raised about restraints within the schedule and its impact on the seven Gen Ed courses. The Vice Chair questioned the future of majors, particularly if nursing would continue on this campus given the shift in focus from Gen Ed courses.
      The Provost said, in the scheduling strategy, the primary emphasis has been on prioritizing the schedule for incoming First-Time in College (FTIC) students. Given that the majority of students arriving at this campus are often undecided or undeclared, the focus is on facilitating their schedules with general education courses. The objective is to give precedence to these courses in the schedule to avoid relegating them as an afterthought, preventing students from facing challenges in securing a complete schedule of courses.

Crucially, these schedule adjustments have deliberately avoided impacting upper-division courses, which will continue to be dispersed throughout the day. While majors are still offered at this campus, there has been a shift in language to highlight a more expansive range of majors available, departing from the previous emphasis on restricting the campus to the five majors considered a priority.

Regarding recruiting materials, the current promotional narrative is that PNW students have unrestricted access to all 70 degree programs offered on the campus. The campus is no longer constrained to discussing only the five to seven majors that were previously prioritized in recruiting materials. The goal is to convey that students can initiate any major on this campus, with clarity about expectations if they select a major that cannot be completed here.

An evolution has transpired in the approach to course scheduling, pivoting towards a data-driven methodology over making promises. The overarching idea is to acknowledge that for a significant portion of the 70 majors, students can commence their major here but may need to transition to the Hammond campus or transfer to complete certain majors. This flexible approach is designed to embrace adaptability rather than imposing rigid limitations.

  1. Lee Artz said suggested that a potential solution to dispel rumors about Westville closing would be to consider expanding or reintroducing some majors. The Provost said a data-driven approach is preferred over a promise concept.
  2. Michell Spaulding highlighted that in revisiting the scheduling concept, the main concern is not necessarily conflicting with a 500-level upper majors biology class, for instance. The critical point revolves around faculty availability. If a faculty member is scheduled to teach an introductory class during a certain time, it means they won’t be available to teach an upper-division class at that core time. The issue is not about the impossibility of having upper-division classes during this time, but rather the allocation of faculty time. The Provost agreed.
  3. The Vice Chair said there was no answer to what made a viable program. The Provost said there is no university-wide mandate for minimum or maximum number of students for any course. It depends on the program and the type of curriculum for the program.
  4. The Vice Chair said… The Provost said we must attain fiscal stability on campus. We position this campus to avoid deficits such as…
  5. SGA Rep Joshua Buggs mentioned that it appears the Provost is aiming to establish a stable point for the college to function sustainably and then grow from that foundation in the future. J. Buggs asked what data is being utilized to determine what would constitute a sustainable size for the college. The Provost said the approach taken is to assess performance at both the Westville and Hammond campuses on a college level. Until recently, the focus was primarily on the overall performance and sustainability of the college without distinguishing between the campuses. Sustainability, in this context, refers to fiscal sustainability, ensuring the college avoids fiscal deficits and potential program closures. The aim is to prevent the need for drastic measures that some universities are currently facing.
    There has been historical concern about faculty loads teaching at two different locations. To address this, changes are being considered to ensure that students at the Westville campus have accessibility to a full slate of courses without having to go to another university to complete their schedule. The goal is to generate stable enrollment with minimal fluctuations. Once stability is achieved, there can be discussions about identifying viable opportunities for additional offerings, considering fiscal measures.
  6. Buggs inquired about the financial viability of Westville operating independently without significant financial support from Hammond. Additionally, if such independence is not currently feasible, the question extends to understanding the anticipated timeline for Westville to reach a point where it can sustain its internal operations independently. The Provost affirmed that Westville is indeed capable of sustaining its operations independently and that growth is also possible.
  1. Unfinished Business
    • none
  2. New Business:
    • Curriculum Documents Approval
      1. 3 documents
        1. IET
        2. Industrial Engineering for 11
        3. Mechanical Engineering 313
      2. Lee Artz said this will be the last time we have so few documents.
      3. Motion for approval by Lee Artz
      4. Seconded by Wei He
      5. Approved by voice vote.
  1. For Action:
    • FSD 23-05 Resolution to no longer use Interfolio for annual faculty reviews.
      1. Abuizam provided an overview of the major improvements made to the Interfolio faculty annual review system. The enhancements involved streamlining the input process by collaborating with deans and department chairs to customize the activities faculty need to submit based on their specific colleges and disciplines. This customization reduced redundancy and ensured relevance to each faculty member’s field.
      2. The second part of the improvement involved embedding evaluation criteria into Interfolio, eliminating the need for separate Excel sheets. Faculty members can now access fillable forms within Interfolio to conduct self-evaluations, with the criteria provided by their respective colleges. The system allows faculty to save time, as they can refer to specific activities and provide justifications within the platform. Files can still be uploaded if desired.
      3. Abuizam emphasized that these improvements would result in significant time savings for faculty, offering benefits such as creating CVs, exporting data for various purposes, and serving as a central hub for all faculty activities including promotion and tenure. The system also facilitates reporting for accreditation, budgeting, and other administrative needs, providing consistent and customizable formats.
      4. The Chair asked if faculty were given the opportunity to provide input. R. Abuizam confirmed faculty feedback was taken into consideration.
      5. The College of Business has used digital measures since 2013 and the process has been more convenient as a result.
      6. Staff are available to assist faculty at their convenience.
      7. Lee Artz asked what was wrong with the previous process. The Provost said student evaluations, P&T, were done separately. We didn’t have an ability to query data across the university and look at productivity across the institution.
      8. Lee Artz asked how much Interfolio is costing the university to implement. The Provost said he was unsure but can provide that amount at a later date.
      9. Lee Artz asked whether publications can be uploaded in list form or if they must be entered individually. It was clarified they must be entered individually. R. Abuizam sad if a publication list is provided, her staff can enter the information individually, adding that uploading a list of publications instead of entering individual items defeats the purpose of the system. R. Abuizam emphasized the convenience of having a central hub for faculty contributions, making it easier to run reports for various purposes, such as accreditation or annual reporting. Additionally, there’s an offer to assist faculty with the input process, ensuring a smooth transition to the new system.
      10. Michelle Spaulding asked if there was a plugin that could automatically retrieve information, like citation details, by entering a DOI. R. Abuizam said that they had worked with Interfolio to address this issue. They mentioned an ongoing collaboration to integrate websites like Google Scholar to enhance the efficiency of retrieving information.
      11. Dave Kozel provided feedback after going through the training, highlighting concerns about the additional work required for tasks such as listing committees and inputting teaching evaluations. He mentioned that the system did not offer real time-saving benefits and that certain features, like generating tables and forms, were not as efficient as desired. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and technology (ABET) does not accept the form generated by Interfolio as they have their own CV for faculty to input specific requirements. D. Kozel also expressed that the system’s use in promotion and tenure processes resulted in more challenging evaluations compared to previous methods. Additionally, he shared that, based on feedback from his department, 100% of the members did not want to use the system, expressing dissatisfaction with its functionality
      12. .Lee Artz said neither West Lafayette nor Fort Wayne use Interfolio
      13. The Chair requested faculty from other departments to share their observations regarding the utility of Interfolio.
        1. Kelly Vaughan said the School of Education and Counseling faculty was asked for input and only two people responded, both expressing dissatisfaction with Interfolio.
        2. Mary Didelot said, at the graduate level, the accrediting agency does not require any components of the criteria within Interfolio.
        3. Rob Kramer and Ali Alavizadeh also said their departments are overwhelmingly averse.
      14. Rob Hallock asked how much time, on average, does one anticipate the average faculty member will spend entering their information into Interfolio? R. Abuizam said it typically takes about an hour to an hour and a half if documents are prepared and data is organized ahead of time. The time may vary depending on the faculty member’s approach and level of detail in justifications. Raida encouraged all to give it a try this year, considering the significant improvements made from last year to streamline the process.
      15. The Provost said we do not have quantitative data on the length of the submission process. The ability to submit with Word or Excel is available but would result in diminished utility of the tool. The administrative capabilities would be compromised, but a faculty member could still compose their annual report traditionally and then upload or copy-paste it into any of the fields, preserving the full report.
      16. Kelly Vaughan sought clarification, posing a question regarding the consequences for a faculty member who chooses to upload the report. The inquiry specifically aimed at whether there would be any penalties in terms of their college annual review or potential merit-based evaluations. The Provost indicated that this would be determined by the colleges. R. Abuizam said most of the colleges wanted to use the system after the improvement.
      17. The Vice Chair said she was satisfied with the changes explained and expressed appreciation for the work done by R. Abuizam and the Provost Office. It was emphasized that achieving consensus among Deans, colleges, or relevant levels is crucial. The proposal is that these entities should be willing to accept a Word document containing the required information for faculty members to be considered for merit raises during the accreditation process.
      18. Abuizam said in the process of making these changes, there wasn’t an anticipation that a faculty member would submit one document for all activities. However, an upload document option was added under each of these activities. If a faculty member chooses to upload their document in any of these designated activities, their department chair will be able to view it. The decision on whether the department chair accepts it or not is up to them.
      19. The Chair requested a date by which all 500 faculty should submit their documents to the Provost Office for assistance. The Provost acknowledged the generous offer from R. Abuizam and deferred to her to answer the question. The Provost said the decision to open the process months earlier was to ensure ample time for assistance. He confirmed the plan to discuss conformity in the next Dean’s meeting and committed to providing a direct answer to the question in the following month.
      20. Cheng Zhang said he attended the training and expressed appreciation for the efforts made to improve Interfolio. He noted being comfortable with inputting information and using DOIs for some publications, but pointed out that not all publications have DOIs. The crucial point highlighted was his department chair’s challenge in locating specific information and suggested that the system’s improvement should focus on satisfying the needs of reviewers, not just the input side. The hope was expressed for continued enhancements to address concerns raised by department chairs during reviews.
      21. The Chair inquired with the Parliamentarian about the appropriateness of tabling the discussion, considering the expectation of new information from the Provost in the next meeting. The Chair sought advice on whether tabling the matter would allow for its reconsideration in the following month and requested suggestions on the best course of action given the forthcoming information. The Parliamentarian clarified that as the document is originating from the Executive Committee, and the Chair is the presenter, as such, it would be within the Chair’s prerogative to decide whether to postpone the consideration or action until the next month.
      22. The resolution was tabled until the December 8 meeting.
      23. Kozel suggested that during the given time period, the Provost Office consider adding a specific field that prompts faculty to upload their Word documents in a designated spot. This would ensure uniformity, preventing some individuals from uploading in one location while others choose a different one. R. Abuizam offered one on one consultations to address any questions and provide support.
      24. Vaughan requested this information to be shared with the senators at least a week before, allowing us time to discuss with our faculty and report back on what we learned.
  1. Discussion Items:
    • FSD 23-06 CHESS Proposed Reorganization
      1. The Chair said under C.5 of the Constitution it states:
        1. Advisory Role
          Through the Chancellor, the Faculty may advise the President of the University and The Board of Trustees concerning:
          5.  All proposed changes and procedures concerning the academic organization of Purdue University Northwest;
      2. Part D. states:
        1. Appeal to Trustees
          The Faculty shall in all instances have the right to present its views to The Board of Trustees through the President of the University on any faculty or administrative action pertaining to the conduct and welfare of Purdue University Northwest.
      3. The Chair interpreted this as an option to operationalize concerns of the Senate.
      4. The Chair read from the website of PUWL Senate’s Academic Organization Committee: “The committee shall be concerned with changes in academic organization having a significant impact on the intellectual atmosphere and functioning of the university on all of its campuses, e.g., elimination or consolidation of existing departments and schools; and the establishment of interdepartmental institutes and centers. In performance of this task the committee shall, where appropriate, work with officers of the administration, ad hoc committees and faculty involved in contemplated changes.”
      5. Top of Form
      6. The Chair said he would reach out to the chair of that committee for advice on this matter.
      7. The Chair said on April 24 CHESS Dean Anne Gregory distributed an email announcing a ballot for vote on reorganization of the college. Anonymity was not protected despite being ensured it would be. The Chair said he was able to access who voted and did not. The Chair also said he never received the ballot. The Chair emphasized the need for a moratorium on academic structure changes, as previously called for by the Senate. The communication with the Dean, Provost, and concerns about the validity of the vote were outlined. The Chair also mentioned the failure to receive a ballot and discrepancies in the voting process. The issues raised led to a request for clarification and resolution in consultation with the Senate.
      8. The Chair said results of the ballot were distributed a week later with the following message:
        1. “We are pleased to announce the ballot results regarding the faculty led and recommended revise through school model 75% of faculty and staff members participated in the ballot measure the majority 56.34% of the votes were in the affirmative indicating support for use in the faculty led and recommended effort to reorganize and use the revised three school model as the basis for the future chest structure. We will continue moving forward to realize this model in the fall 2023 semester.”
      9. The Chair emphasized that the reorganization process within CHESS was not a faculty-led effort, citing feedback and comments from faculty members. To say it was recommended by the faculty is a stretch even further.
      10. What was voted on is not what is being implemented. The model changed substantially. The Chair said he sent an email to the Dean reminding them that a moratorium was passed by the Senate preventing such efforts from taking place without considerable involvement of the faculty.
      11. The Chair communicated a message to the dean, urging her to put any reorganization efforts on hold in deference to the Senate resolution calling for a moratorium on changes to academic structures. The Dean did not respond and referred the Chair to the Provost with his concerns.
      12. The Dean has not taken this action to the Senate, believing she has the authority to make changes without consulting with faculty.
      13. The Chair did not receive explanation as to why he was not able to vote but discovered the ballot was sent to the wrong email address despite being in regular correspondence with the Dean.
      14. Dave Kozel provided detailed information about his investigation into the reorganization process at the College of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences (CHESS). He outlined several key points and concerns:
        1. Advisory Role of the Senate: Emphasized that the Senate has an advisory role in all proposed changes to procedures concerning academic organization.
        2. Ed Policy Committee: Pointed out that the Ed Policy Committee is tasked with advising on changes in academic organization affecting the intellectual atmosphere and functioning of PNW, such as elimination or consolidation of existing colleges, departments and schools, which is exactly what’s going on here.
        3. Survey Questions: Mentioned that the survey used two questions. The first question addressed support for the recommended effort to reorganize using the advised three-school model. However, D. Kozel highlighted that all 30 responses to the second question were negative about the model and the process. None were positive. D. Kozel also noted that these responses were not shared with the faculty.
        4. Model Development: Raised concerns about the development of the proposed model. Clarified that it was not faculty-led as suggested but was put forward by the CHESS leadership team, consisting of associate deans and department heads.
        5. Lack of Faculty Input: Mentioned that a working group in April did not feel their input would be considered, so they submitted whatever was proposed by the deans and department heads.
        6. Savings Calculation Lack: Raised questions about the lack of explanation for the calculation of administrative costs used to determine budgetary impacts, casting doubt on the claimed savings.
        7. Incomplete Survey Results: Noted that the survey results were not broken down by different faculty classifications, making it unclear if staff, clinical faculty, lecturers, or tenure-track faculty had varying opinions.
        8. Kozel’s detailed analysis highlighted numerous issues with transparency, faculty involvement, and the accuracy of information provided during the reorganization process.
        9. The model discussed by CHESS has undergone multiple changes, with the current version in October differing from the one voted on. The current model includes three associate deans and no department heads, unlike the previous version.
        10. Despite earlier discussions about hiring staff and associate deans, the current model is back to the original proposal, aligning with the preferences of the dean, department heads, and associate deans.
        11. The resolution recommending a moratorium on changes in the academic structure until final approvals are made and the new chancellor is in place adds weight to the need for thorough scrutiny.
        12. Questions raised in the 30 comments received include concerns about real budget savings, determination of savings, the perception that the process was not faculty-led, and concerns about the workload for coordinators.
        13. The Executive Committee recommends several steps before moving forward: a detailed explanation of the administrative cost calculations for each model, a discussion and comparison of other possible models, and the formation of a new survey.
        14. The new survey should cover the most recent model and potential comparison models, with a breakdown of results based on responses from tenure, tenure-track faculty, clinical faculty, and other relevant categories.
        15. These recommendations aim to address concerns, ensure transparency, and allow for comprehensive discussions and comparisons before finalizing any decisions related to the proposed academic reorganization.
      15. Mike Johnson clarified that the CHESS working group submitted their proposal to the leadership team. After a presentation and subsequent discussion, the dean sent a proposal similar to the one that was later voted on. While feedback was collected from the group, M. Johnson mentioned that there was no formal vote to endorse the proposal, at least from their perspective.
      16. Mita Choudhury provided insights into the initial committee work, mentioning that the first diagram at the top was the result of their committee’s efforts. They expressed gratitude for Mike Johnson’s involvement from the CHESS leadership team. The committee’s recommendations had unanimous support, but M. Choudhry acknowledged that the subsequent developments were unclear to them. They highlighted the need for a clear outline of the budget, expressing concerns about discrepancies in the reported savings numbers. Additionally, M. Choudhry raised questions about staff involvement, suggesting a need for clarification on the roles of staff members who may not have direct knowledge of curriculum matters.
      17. The Provost said there is a university wide process for structural changes that affect departments, schools, colleges, and the process will not be circumvented. He said a structural proposal would have to be forwarded out of the college, brought to Senate, and go through the University Senate Structure Committee before being presented to the Provost and President to present to the Board of Trustees.
      18. He clarified the distinction between structural changes, which require a formal process involving Senate approval, and management decisions within a college, which may not necessitate the same level of formal approval. He emphasized the need for a clear separation between proposals impacting faculty tenure homes and departments, which follow a specific process, and management decisions made by the Dean that may not require a faculty vote if they don’t affect departmental organization or curriculum. The Provost expressed the intention to seek clarification from the University Senate President at the next Senate meeting and reiterated their commitment to following the appropriate process for structural reorganization.
      19. Changes to the management of a college would not necessarily come to this body, nor would they require a faculty vote.
      20. The Chair raised a concern about the upcoming closing date for the positions, suggesting that it could be interpreted as an attempt to expedite the process before thorough discussion. He inquired whether there had been communication with the individual responsible for setting the closing date, emphasizing the importance of putting a pause on the process until there’s an opportunity for discussion. The Provost said he would be discussing it with the dean.
      21. Management and management portfolios would be the prerogative of the dean.
      22. If the intent is to establish associate deans that have management portfolios or oversight of specific units, or to change the contract or responsibilities of a department chair, she certainly has the authority to do that and would be supported by the Provost. He would not support a structural reorganization of the college without going through a full process. He acknowledged a lack of clear communication and expressed a desire for an explanation from the Dean regarding her goals and objectives in this matter.
      23. SGA Rep J. Buggs expressed their concern about the potential impact on students that could result from restructuring within the college. They mentioned hearing similar rumors last year and had previously discussed the matter with the Provost, receiving a similar response. J. Buggs requested a copy of the resolution to bring back to SGA for further discussion.
      24. Kozel said if department heads are being eliminated and replaced with coordinators, and now faculty will be evaluated by associate Dean’s instead of the department heads they had, that does fall then under the thought of now faculty are being evaluated differently. The Provost confirmed, stating this structure is not unique.
      25. Rob Hallock said there has been considerable discussion regarding the qualitative statements in the survey, particularly question number two. After soliciting feedback from Psychology Department faculty, the majority of responses indicated the need for the CHESS Council to address concerns before proceeding. Faculty expressed that the reorganization is not set to be implemented until next year, emphasizing that there is ample time for the entire process to unfold without a rushed approach. Some faculty members shared discomfort with the tone and urgency of the Senate resolution, believing it bypasses the CHESS Council’s input and authority and adopts a defensive and accusatory tone. The sentiment was expressed that the resolution may do more harm to the culture of CHESS than the reorganization itself. The general consensus is in support of respecting the process and allowing the CHESS Council to fulfill its responsibilities. Additionally, it was suggested to hear from another member of the CHESS Leadership Team, Richard Rupp, who had raised his hand.
      26. Rupp, serving as the Interim Chair of Communication and Creative arts, shared perspectives on the transparency and engagement of the Dean. Commending the Dean’s commitment to transparency, including regular town halls, coffee meetings, and active participation in various faculty meetings, R. Rupp emphasized the ongoing cultural exploration and collaboration with faculty on curriculum redesign. R. Rupp highlighted the Dean’s dedication to addressing challenges faced by the college, such as declining enrollments and shifts in student preferences. Expressing disappointment in the tone of the Senate resolution, R. Rupp underscored that the internal process is still in progress, with the CHESS Council yet to provide input. R. Rupp referenced a letter from October 20, noting words like “fraud,” “abuse,” “dodge,” and “conceal,” describing them as regrettable and urging a more cautious approach considering the ongoing nature of the internal process.
      27. The Chair clarified that the language emphasized in R. Rupp’s statement misrepresents the intended tone. He reiterated concerns regarding transparency, citing a lack of response from the Dean in May as a point of contention. This raised questions about the openness of the process. Regarding urgency, the Chair highlighted the imminent conclusion of the hiring process and potential financial implications. He expressed concerns that decisions made under a perceived cloud of uncertainty could have a lasting impact on the future of the college.
      28. Kozel mentioned the omission of critical comments regarding reorganization being posted on the website, pointing out that only positive comments and reasons in favor of the changes were listed. He expressed concerns about the nature of townhall meetings, noting that participants were assigned to specific groups with predefined topics, potentially limiting open discussion. Additionally, there were reservations among individuals about sharing negative feedback, fearing potential repercussions. Some believed that expressing dissenting opinions might not influence decisions, as evidenced by the alignment of the proposed model with the Dean’s initial suggestion. This sentiment contributed to a reluctance to voice concerns due to skepticism about the impact of such feedback.
      29. The Chair emphasized the importance of providing a platform for individuals to express their concerns without fear of repercussions. He mentioned setting up a Qualtrics link for open communication in his role as Senate Chair. He responded to a comment made by R. Rupp about why he didn’t bring up the issue with the dean during the town hall, explaining that there wasn’t an opportunity for a free-flowing discussion as participants were immediately assigned tasks to work on. The Chair recounted an instance of trying to discuss the matter with the dean at the beginning of a meeting, highlighting a heated conversation where the dean disputed what the Chair had heard from the provost. Unsatisfied by the lack of resolution, the Chair left the meeting as it was deemed unproductive.
      30. The Vice Chair stressed that the resolution, formulated by the Ed Policy Committee, aimed to be objective and avoid emotional language. The Vice Chair said the resolution excluded language that might be perceived as abrasive, striving to maintain a neutral tone.
      31. The Chair noted that he intentionally avoided drafting the resolution himself, having instead discussions with D. Kozel about its formulation. He suggested taking the resolution back to individual departments for further consideration and reflection. The Chair expressed his plan to invite the Dean to the next meeting for additional clarification on the matter.
  1. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
    • Curriculum (Lee Artz)
      1. Artz said there will be 8 proposals for the December meeting.
      2. More than 20 proposals for the January meeting.
    • Ed Policy (Dave Kozel)
      1. Kozel said Ed Policy discussed first-year advising and will be discussing further today.
    • Faculty Affairs (Rob Hallock)
      1. Hallock said faculty satisfaction survey to be distributed next week.
      2. Reviewing faculty handbooks from peer institutions.
    • Gen Ed & Assessment (Ali Alavizadeh)
      1. Alavizadeh informed about an upcoming meeting to assess two courses for compliance with Gen Ed requirements.
      2. Liaisons for subcommittees are communicating with members to collect and report on discussions.
      3. Additionally, A. Alavizadeh shared his idea of creating a folder in OneDrive to store documents and procedures relevant to their committee’s work. This shared resource could benefit current and future committee members.
    • Nominations, Elections, & Awards (Meden Isaac-Lam)
      1. Isaac-Lam said nominations for faculty awards, engagement, teaching, and discovery were sent out Monday, November 6. Nominations for student and staff awards are also being accepted.
      2. The committee is still in the process of searching for a candidate to fill the Senator-at-Large seat. The Chair emphasized the difficulty in securing nominations for the Senator-at-Large position and encouraged anyone who knows a qualified candidate to contact them.
    • Student Affairs (Michelle Spaulding)
      1. Spaulding said their committee is working on the Academic Integrity subcommittee on policy development.
  1. West Lafayette Report (Lee Artz)
    • Artz said the Faculty Senate in West Lafayette has addressed various concerns in line with the President’s focus, which includes topics such as AI, program and P&T policy changes. There is a proposal to increase graduate assistant pay, which might have implications for our own GA stipends. Additionally, the Student Affairs Committee has put forward a proposal to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday in the Purdue schedule.
  2. IFC Report (Geoffrey Barrow)
    • Barrow expressed pleasure in attending their first IFC meeting, which included representatives from various Senators in the Purdue system. The main agenda included introductions and discussions about the schedule for spring meetings, which are planned to be bi-weekly on Wednesdays at a preferred central time.
  3. SGA Report (David Bolton)
    • Bolton was not in attendance. SGA Rep Joshua Buggs spoke on his behalf.
    • Buggs discussed two key issues relevant to the Senate. Firstly, there is a demand for additional student support, specifically more SSIs and assistance with tutoring classes. Meetings with L. Sharpe have taken place, and there is a potential survey in the works. Professors are being encouraged to input information about courses that have received significant comments to assess the scale of the issue and determine if additional support, such as supplemental instructors and classrooms, is necessary. Secondly, SGA has passed multiple resolutions focusing on environmental sustainability. They express interest in learning more about faculty initiatives in this domain on campus.
  4. Open discussion (as time permits).
    • The Chair reminded everyone about the ongoing chancellor search process, highlighting that two candidates are scheduled for presentations on Monday and Wednesday on the Hammond campuses. He encouraged attendance and participation in the survey to provide feedback on each candidate. The Chair emphasized the importance of faculty involvement in the selection process and urged everyone to attend the presentations and share their thoughts on the candidates.
    • Senate Leadership jointly acknowledged SGA President Michael Bolton and HSAB President Mya Bell for their work on Chancellor Search Committee, commending their involvement and encouraging others to be proud of the students representing them in the committee.
    • Kozel announced that the Center for Faculty Excellence is organizing seminars on AI the following week. The seminars aim to address the challenges associated with AI by enhancing faculty understanding of its capabilities. D. Kozel emphasized the importance of attendance, citing a previous session where only four people participated. The speaker, Emily Hixon, has provided information about the seminars, and D. Kozel encouraged faculty to attend to gain insights relevant to their majors.
  5. Adjournment
    • Meeting adjourned at 12:06 PM