Faculty Senate Minutes, January 19, 2024

March 25, 2024

Faculty Senate Minutes, January 19, 2024

10:00 AM-12:00 PM: Zoom


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

Voting Members Absent:
Scott Bates, Frank Colucci, Karen Bishop Morris, Yun Liu

Non-Voting Members Present:
Tony Elmendorf, Alan McCafferty

Others Present:
Harbir Aujla, Mike Biel, David Bolton, Gisele Casanova, Jose Castro-Urioste, Joseph Coates, Joy Colwell, Colin Fewer, Debra Grant, Anne Gregory, Emily Hixon, Chris Holford, Keyuan Jiang,  Lee Johnson,  LaShawn Jones,  Tae-Hoon Kim, Niaz Latif, Joseph Loftis, Michael Lynn, Colette Morrow, Catherine Murphy, Justin Ness, Michael Roller, Scott Schaller, Sandra Steele, Jonathan Swarts, Serdar Turedi, Tim Winders


  1. Determination of quorum.
    • Quorum determined at 10:00 AM
  2. Call to order.
    • Meeting called to order at 10:00 AM
  3. Approval of the agenda.
    • Motion for approval by Ali Alavizadeh
    • Seconded by Joan Dorman
    • Donna Whitten asked for Curriculum Document COB 23-XX Revise BIA to be added to the Agenda.
    • Approved with a friendly amendment by show of hands.
    • The Vice-Chair informed attendees where to find documents in Outlook.
  4. Approval of the minutes from December 8, 2023.
    • Motion for approval by D. Kozel
    • Seconded by R. Merkovsky
    • Approved by show of hands
    • The Chair relayed to the Secretary some revisions needed to the December 8 minutes.
      1. Under the Chair’s report, correct to clarify the need for both a Senator at-large and an Academic Program Review rep.
      2. Include B. Kramer’s sharing of the email from President Chiang announcing Chris Holford as the next PNW Chancellor.
  1. Remarks by the Senate Chair
    • The Chair reiterated the news of C. Holford’s appointment as PNW’s new Chancellor. He pointed out that the agenda contains remarks from both the Chancellor and Provost, as Senate leadership discussed and determined they would like to hear from both.
    • In response to Chancellor Holford’s directive, the Faculty Senate is tasked with formulating and submitting a budget, preventing repeated appeals for funds. This shift towards a structured financial request process is integral to our agreement. Specifically, for allocations such as release time or additional funding, we will establish concrete deliverables to ensure accountability, replacing the previous, less structured approach of providing funds based on good faith.
    • An expense of $275 was approved for transcription services used by the secretary.
    • The Registrar distributed a message to complete Initial Course Participation. The federal government requires this to receive financial aid.
    • The Chair passed the floor to the Chancellor.
  2. Remarks by the Chancellor
    • The Chancellor expressed enthusiasm for a collaborative partnership with the Faculty Senate, emphasizing the mutual commitment to serving and preparing students effectively for their future roles in the workforce. This collaboration will be a recurring theme in the Chancellor’s forthcoming presentations. On the 10th day in office, the Chancellor reported recent engagements, including meetings with legislators in Indianapolis, and promised future updates on relevant Senate bills impacting higher education.
    • Furthermore, the Chancellor highlighted recent commendations within the faculty: Professor Nikki Jackson received the Visionary Impact Award at the Champions of Diversity event in Indianapolis, and Professor Giselle Casanova was honored with the 2024 Purdue University Dreamer Award, reflecting the institution’s continuous recognition for embodying Martin Luther King’s vision.
    • The Chancellor concluded by reaffirming a commitment to an exciting semester, expressing contentment in returning and acknowledging the Faculty Senate’s adaptability due to the weather.
    • Kozel asked about the protocol for switching to Zoom classes at one campus but not the other, suggesting the need for clear communication. Specifically, he proposed notifying students in the Westville area that they should not be penalized for missing in-person classes in Hammond due to inclement weather. This concern arose from students in Laporte questioning if they needed to attend lab sessions, given hazardous road conditions. The faculty member advocated a more uniform approach to ensure students don’t feel pressured to travel during unsafe conditions.
      1. The Chancellor agreed to pass the information on to create appropriate language.
  1. Remarks by Interim Provost/VCAA
    • Interim Provost Latif said he is privileged to serve in the position. He said his office will continue to focus on four items: stream learning, faculty development, committee engagement, and research.
    • The Interim Provost announced the initiation of new programs to support faculty research. The Research Board will issue calls for proposals under four distinct programs: Research Bridge Program, Research Instrumentation Program, Seed Funding for Academic Book Writing, and Seed Funding for Research Initiation. Additionally, the Interim Provost shared positive news about external funding, with Purdue Northwest having secured over $8.2 million. The focus going forward will be on enhancing the engagement and support for students, faculty, staff, and the broader community.
    • The Chair asked where the four sources of support can be located. The Provost said the Research Board is developing policy guidelines and a call for proposals, which will be distributed to all faculty this spring. The responsibility for these initiatives rests with the Research Board, and they will be supported with the necessary resources.
  2. Unfinished Business
    • None
  3. New Business:
    • Senate honors for Lorrell Kilpatrick
      1. Collette Morrow provided a memorial for Lorrell Kilpatrick:
        1. Lorrell Kilpatrick passed away on November 30, 2023, at age 46. She lived her life committed to empowerment and was the linchpin of the justice movement in Northwest Indiana. She co-founded Black Lives Matter NWI-Gary and NWI Anti-Sexist Action. Lorrell was a passionate advocate for disability justice and recognized the links between our region’s poverty and the ways we are challenged by under-resourced public schools, lack of access to affordable health care, predatory investment in Lake County, and pollution, especially lead contamination in East Chicago. Lorrell graduated from Purdue University Calumet, where she was mentored by Alan Spector. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Sociology at West Lafayette. She returned to Purdue Calumet to teach sociology. During her long relationship with our campus, she was a founding member of the Social Justice Club, served as a board member for the Special Needs Awareness program, and long supported the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies program. She was profoundly generous with her talents and time. She never turned down a request to speak about justice, to mentor students, or to protest injustices. Lorrell hoped PNW would become an institution that fosters empowerment and well-being for the entire region. To this end, her first protest was against a tuition hike at PUC in the 1990s. She and others marched to Chancellor Yackel’s office to make their views known. In 2020, she protested the reductions in force that deprive students of color of so many of their mentors. In all of this, she cherished PNW and considered it home. Because Lorrell was a force in NWI, most accolades focused on her activism and rarely mentioned that she was joyous in all she did, and she inspired joy in others. She was as gentle as she was fierce. She was an ardent communist and renounced feminism. Yet Lorrell was the best feminist I have ever known. She is missed.
      2. The Chair called for a moment of silence in memory of Lorrell Kilpatrick to reflect upon her contributions and life.
    • Guest Speakers
      1. Dean of Students (Colin Fewer)
        1. Fewer provided a presentation on Student Support Services.
        2. The presentation detailed the structure and services of the offices C. Fewer oversees within Student Affairs and emphasized the need for faculty awareness and engagement with Student Support Services. C. Fewer detailed the division’s sections and introduced the Mental Health First Aid certification program. The presentation stressed the collaborative role of faculty in referring students to appropriate resources and supporting their diverse needs, enhancing the educational environment.
        3. Resources:
          1. Accessibility Center
          2. Counseling Center
          3. Dean of Students
          4. Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
          5. Housing and Residential Education
          6. McNair Achievement Program
          7. Student Life
          8. Student Support Services.
          9. TRIO & Educational Opportunity Programs
          10. Veteran Services
        4. Library (Joseph Coates)
          1. Coates provided a comprehensive overview of the library’s services and resources, emphasizing the importance of faculty engagement and awareness. Highlights include substantial use of library services such as chats, librarian course embedding, extensive database access, eBook downloads, and gate counts. J. Coates also discussed services like Purdue Borrow and interlibrary loan, tools for faculty research, and initiatives to combat misinformation and support bibliographic management. The presentation underscores the library’s role in supporting academic and research activities, offering faculty and students vast resources and personalized assistance.
          2. Resources:
            1. Center for Faculty Excellence / Library Brown Bag Sessions
            2. Databases
            3. Interlibrary Loan
            4. Library Guides
            5. Online Journals
            6. Purdue Borrow
            7. University Archives
            8. University Library
  • Curriculum Documents Approval (Lee Artz)
    1. Artz said there are 30 proposals currently up for approval.
    2. Jen Williams said agendas within Curriculog can be accessed under the All Agendas tab. https://pnw.curriculog.com/agenda
    3. Motion for approval by L. Artz
    4. Seconded by R. Merkovsky.
    5. Approved by show of hands.
    6. Business Information and Analytics Document (Donna Whitten)
      1. Whitten provided an overview of the Business Information and Analytics (BIA) faculty’s decision to revise their curriculum to enhance academic integrity and relevance. This involved replacing a math course with a Gen Ed elective, allowing students more flexibility to explore minors in other colleges. The proposal, prioritizing student experience and curriculum relevance, was thoroughly vetted and approved at various levels but encountered a delay in being included in the January agenda. D. Whitten emphasized the rigorous accreditation standards met by the curriculum change and advocated for the Faculty Senate’s approval, underscoring the need for curricular decisions to be based on evidence and quality standards.
      2. The Chair addressed two issues related to the curriculum change proposal. Firstly, the definition and implications of “consultation” within the academic decision-making process, indicating intent to clarify this concept policy-wise. Secondly, the governance of curriculum, emphasizing that, according to the Senate’s Constitution and the advice of the Parliamentarian, while program faculty have a significant role in curriculum development, the ultimate authority and ownership of the curriculum reside with the faculty body as a whole.
      3. Artz said highlighted the Curriculum Committee’s focus on process rather than the content of the proposal from the Business Information and Analytics faculty. The key issue is defining the terms “inform,” “consult,” and obtaining agreement from affected departments, drawing on past instances where curriculum changes were challenged due to their impacts on other departments, notably Math. L. Artz stressed the importance of collegial relations and transparent communication between departments to ensure curriculum changes are collaboratively and thoughtfully managed, acknowledging the potential influence of budgetary considerations on such decisions. The committee seeks to clarify these processes and foster an environment where academic priorities drive curriculum changes.
      4. Gokarna Aryal said the curriculum change process, particularly in relation to accreditations, STEM designations, and similar credentials was recently verified. While acknowledging the recent response from S. Schaller and noting the lack of concrete reasons for objection, G. Aryal emphasized the importance of quality assurance and comparison with other institutions. The reference to the absence of calculus in the BIA program and a comparison with PUWL indicates a need for further review and discussion. G. Aryal intended to bring this matter to the department meeting for a more comprehensive evaluation by the Curriculum Committee members, aiming for a collective understanding and assessment of the proposed changes.
      5. Scott Schaller expressed willingness to defer the discussion about the curriculum change to February, appreciating the earlier explanations and acknowledging the recent meeting. S. Schaller encouraged the Senate members to review the proposed changes with their departments and offered availability for answering any questions or addressing concerns, reiterating readiness to move forward with the curriculum change in the upcoming month.
      6. The parliamentarian said it would be preferred to have S. Schaller from BIA facilitate the discussion of this item with the Math Department.
      7. Artz outlined the next steps for the BIA proposal within the curriculum committee. The proposal will be placed back on the agenda for immediate attention, ensuring its presence in the February agenda. The intention is to approve the proposal, contingent on the absence of objections from the math department. L. Artz suggested this approach to streamline the process, eliminating the need for another meeting while ensuring the proposal’s progression to the February agenda, and sought confirmation on the reasonableness of this plan.
    7. For Action:
      • none
    8. Discussion Items:
      • FSD 23-08 First Year Advising Reorganization
        1. Kozel expressed the Ed Policy’s concerns about the proposed reorganization of first-year advising. He highlighted the lack of consultation with key stakeholders and potential negative impacts on student success, retention, and accreditation processes, especially for programs like engineering and nursing. D. Kozel also detailed the risks associated with the proposed changes, such as increased advisor workload across diverse programs and the disruption caused by requiring students to change advisors. He advocated for comprehensive discussions with academic advisors, department program coordinators, and program faculty, along with the option for programs to opt out of the reorganization if deemed detrimental. The overwhelming consensus against the reorganization, as conveyed by advisors, department heads, and faculty, underscored the need for careful reconsideration of the proposed changes.
        2. Artz motioned to move to action.
        3. Seconded by D. Kozel
        4. Approved for action by show of hands.
        5. Approved by show of hands.
      • FSD 23-09 Policy on Credit for Military Experience
        1. Kozel presented the document, highlighting PNW’s commitment as a military-friendly institution and the need to comply with Indiana’s state requirements for educational credit for military courses, in line with the American Council on Education (ACE) standards. The policy mandates that each school division within PNW independently determines the applicability of credits for military service toward degree requirements. These credits, capped at 30 credit hours despite the allowance for up to 75% of the degree, are subject to rigorous evaluation by PNW faculty within their respective discipline to ensure they align with student academic progression, degree completion, and professional accreditation standards. The unanimous committee vote (7-0) in favor of this policy underpins its importance and the recommendation for its prompt adoption.
  1. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
    • Ed Policy (Dave Kozel)
      1. Kozel announced that Ed Policy will convene virtually via Zoom with B. Stankowski to discuss the guidelines and limitations of remote learning, specifically addressing the posting of recorded lectures and the appropriate use of Zoom for various educational scenarios. Additionally, the committee plans to review and assess AI policy, drawing insights from recent developments and practices at West Lafayette. The aim is to align with these practices and introduce relevant policies at their institution.
    • Faculty Affairs (Rob Hallock)
      1. Hallock reported that the Faculty Affairs committee is preparing to conduct an administration survey, aiming to distribute it by the end of March. Notably, this iteration of the survey will differ from the one conducted in 2022 by including feedback from Senate leadership and excluding the positions of Chancellor or Provost due to recent appointments. Ensuring the integrity of the survey, each respondent will receive a unique link to guarantee one response per individual. The results are slated for presentation to the Faculty Senate towards the semester’s end, marking a significant undertaking for the committee in the upcoming months.
    • Gen Ed & Assessment (Ali Alavizadeh)
      1. Alavizadeh said the Gen Ed Committee is scheduled for a virtual meeting later in the day, with a primary agenda of voting on the continuation of five courses as Gen Ed offerings for the next academic year. Additionally, the committee plans to deliberate on several courses from the previous year throughout the current month. He said that a comprehensive report detailing these discussions and decisions will be presented at the next Senate meeting.
      2. The Chair mentioned a recent discussion with the Chancellor and Interim Provost about the reevaluation of the university’s Gen Ed curriculum, acknowledging that it won’t be an immediate project, but something to consider in the near future. Recognizing the extensive nature of such a review, the Chair encouraged faculty to initiate conversations within their departments and units, reflecting on the strengths and potential gaps in current Gen Ed offerings, and to consider ideas for future enhancements.
    • Nominations, Elections, & Awards (Meden Isaac-Lam)
      1. Isaac-Lam detailed the Nominations Committee’s current recruitment efforts, noting the need to fill three specific roles: two senators-at-large and one for General Education Assessment representing CHESS, Philosophy. Additionally, M. Isaac-Lam mentioned the upcoming election for the vice chair position to succeed Diane Spoljoric. The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Belonging (DEIJB) Committee’s recent activities were highlighted, including a meeting attended by attorney Estrada in December and efforts to address recent resignations. Furthermore, the committee is actively searching for a student representative.
      2. The Vice-Chair put forward D. Kozel as the nominee for the Vice-Chair position for the 2024-2025 term. D. Kozel accepted the nomination, officially entering the candidacy for the role.
    • Student Affairs (Michelle Spaulding)
      1. Spaulding reported that SAC is working on ensuring a smooth transition for the Student of the Month process by establishing a system that doesn’t solely rely on a single individual’s involvement. Additionally, the committee has been assigned to address AI policy and formalize policies related to academic integrity issues. To streamline these efforts and avoid redundancy, M. Spaulding plans to coordinate with D. Kozel, ensuring that various units work cohesively and effectively.
      2. The Vice-Chair inquired about the faculty’s involvement in nominating students for the Student of the Month. In response, M. Spaulding confirmed the existence of a submission forum and acknowledged that submissions have been made. However, as the chair of the central committee for Student Affairs and not a member of the subcommittee responsible for selecting the Student of the Month, M. Spaulding was not privy to whether a selection had been made or any potential candidates had been shortlisted.
      3. Merkovsky, as the chair of the Student of the Month committee, emphasized the necessity for more nominations for the Student of the Month. He pointed out that some nominations received during the last meeting were incomplete. To address this, he reached out to the individuals who submitted these nominations, requesting the necessary additional information, and confirmed that the required updates have been received.
    • Curriculum (Lee Artz)
      1. Artz updated that the Curriculum Committee is currently handling a significant workload with 43 documents, soon to be 44 with the addition of the BIA document. Plans are in place to review these documents and make necessary recommendations. Furthermore, he expressed the intention to deliberate on the meanings of ‘inform,’ ‘consult,’ and ‘agree’ within the context of departmental interactions and the IBBM process, aiming to enhance collegiality and alleviate pressures faced by various departments. The goal is to draft a resolution or at least develop an outline, which will then be shared with the Executive Committee. The Curriculum Committee aims to present a finalized resolution to the Faculty Senate in February, although L. Artz noted the uncertainty of completing the entire resolution by today.
  1. West Lafayette Report (Lee Artz)
    • No report. L. Artz said PUWL Senate meets Jan. 22.
  2. IFC Report (Geoffrey Barrow)
    • Barrow said IFC met on Wednesday, Jan. 17. He took the opportunity to recognize that PNW Senators had received advance notice of the new chancellor at the December meeting, and the Senate recorded its Congratulations.
  3. SGA Report (David Bolton)
    • Bolton said SGA is enthusiastic for the commencement of the spring semester 2023-2024, highlighting the Student Government’s efforts to revamp their elections series to make it more engaging and visible. They mentioned a recent productive meeting with the Chancellor and C. Olsen, focusing on discussing initiatives for the semester and laying a new foundation for the SGA. He conveyed a positive outlook on collaborating with the new chancellor and an eagerness to embark on the upcoming semester’s activities.
  4. Open discussion (as time permits).
    • none
  5. Adjournment
    • Meeting adjourned at 11:57 AM