Faculty Senate Minutes, April 12, 2024

June 7, 2024

Faculty Senate Minutes, April 12, 2024

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


Voting Members Present:
Ali Alavizadeh, Lee Artz, Gokarna Aryal, Geoffrey Barrow, Shreya Bhandari, Karen Bishop Morris, Jose Castro-Urioste, Janet Davis, Mary Didelot, Joan Dorman, Masoud Fathizadeh, Rob Hallock, Wei He, Shontrai Irving, Meden Isaac-Lam, Dave Kozel, Roger Kraft, Bob Kramer, Amanda Kratovil-Mailhiot, Meghan McGonigal-Kenney, Robert Merkovsky, Amlan Mitra, David Nalbone, Laurie Parpart, Sheila Rezak, Michelle Spaulding, Diane Spoljoric, Pitparnee Stompor, Kathy Tobin, Donna Whitten, Wubeshet Woldemariam, Cheng Zhang

Voting Members Absent:
Scott Bates, Frank Colucci, Tae-Hoon Kim, Yun Liu, Pam Saylor, George Stefanek, Kelly Vaughan

Non-Voting Members Present:
Tony Elmendorf, Alan McCafferty

Others Present:
Chris Holford, Niaz Latif, Mike Biel, David Bolton, Joy Colwell, Colin Fewer, Debra Grant, Nicky Jackson, Mike Johnson, Michael Lynn, Sarala Morrow, Catherine Murphy, Justin Ness, Neeti Parashar, Rebecca Stankowski, Lizhe Tan, Nicolae Tarfulea. Maria Watson, Jen Williams, Shuhui Grace Yang

  1. Determination of quorum.
    • Quorum determined at 10:00 AM
  2. Call to order.
    • Meeting called to order at 10:03 AM
  3. Approval of the agenda.
    • Motion for approval by R. Hallock
    • Seconded by R. Kraft
    • Approved by voice vote
  4. Approval of the minutes from March 8, 2024
    • Motion for approval by R. Hallock
    • Seconded by R. Merkovsky
    • Approved by voice vote
  5. Remarks by the Senate Chair
    • The Chair addressed the room change for the meeting.
    • Accessibility Center data
      1. The Chair shared data from the Provost’s Office on Accessibility Center usage.
        1. Fall 2020: 406 students
        2. Spring 2024, as of mid-February: 522 students
  • Provost Search Update
    1. The search committee will meet on Tuesday, April 16, to provide final recommendations to the Chancellor.
    2. The Chair encouraged Senators to review open forum presentations available on the university website.
    3. Survey reminder
  • Convocation
    1. Discussion on Gen. Ed.
      1. The Chair shared the results of the survey distributed via email regarding the General Education curriculum
      2. 102 people accessed the survey
      3. 100 people voted on whether they favored or opposed efforts to reexamine and redesign the Gen. Ed curriculum if necessary.
      4. 75 voted in favor
      5. 25 voted in opposition
    2. Budget Items
      1. Annual budget request
      2. 4 items on the current request
        1. Secretarial and transcription services
        2. Release for Ed Policy Chair to produce AI guidelines
        3. Release for Gen. Ed Chair
          1. Contingent on the vote to review and revise the General Education curriculum.
          2. Release would include Fall 2024 and Spring 2025.
        4. Releases for Faculty Handbook Committee
      3. Budget Consultant
        1. The Senate-approved budget consultant did not respond to requests for updates. The $1,500 allocated to this initiative has been returned to the Senate budget.
      4. Standing Committee Chair Election
        1. The Parliamentarian said Current Chairs constitute the Executive Committee over the summer. Newly elected Chairs are invited to attend one week before the first Exec meeting before the Fall semester.
        2. The Vice-Chair explained the process for transitioning committee chairs and encouraged current chairs to recruit replacements if they plan on stepping down.
      5. Remarks by the Chancellor
        • The Board of Trustees was on campus for their April meeting.
        • Chancellor Holford congratulated the following faculty members on their promotions:
          1. PNW Faculty Members Promoted to the Rank of Professor
            1. Ricardo A. Calix, professor of Computer Information Technology
            2. Mohammed Errihani, professor of English
            3. Meden F. Isaac-Lam, professor of Chemistry
          2. PNW Faculty Members Promoted to the Rank of Associate Professor
            1. Amanda L. Kratovil-Mailhiot, associate professor of Nursing
            2. Julia L. Rogers, associate professor of Nursing
  • Provost Search updates
    1. 3 external candidates
    2. Chancellor Holford said open forum videos are available through Sunday and encouraged Senators to take the survey.
  • 2025-2030 Strategic Plan announcement
    1. Planning to start in the fall, beginning with discussion groups
    2. Steering committee announcement soon
    3. SGA has been invited to select a representative
    4. The Steering Committee will have 15 members in total
  • Resuming Chancellor/Provost meetings with colleges
    1. Two meetings so far and three more to take place over the next ten days. The Chancellor said he will also be meeting with MaPSAC and CSSAC.
  • The Vice-Chair acknowledged the Senate’s invitation to participate in the Strategic Plan. Senators will be compensated. More details at future meetings.
  • Alavizadeh asked about the Strategic Plan timeline. The Chancellor said expectations are to wrap up by December. There is a plan to vote in February/March 2025 after the HLC visit.
  1. Remarks by the Provost/VCAA
    • Study Away Programs have increased from 4 last year to 12 this year.
    • The Family Nurse Practitioner graduate program is ranked among the top 15 percent. The passing rate of BSN graduate students is 98%.
    • A PNW faculty member has received the system-wide “Walk the Talk” award. More details soon.
    • 200 students from Eastern Illinois, Indiana, Northern Kentucky, Southern Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia are visiting campus for the Mid-East Honors Association (MEHA) Regional Conference.
    • Days of Discovery to take place April 18.
      1. 340 students and 40 faculty are currently registered.
      2. Professor Michelle Thompson, the first woman to analyze asteroid samples of asteroid Bennu brought to Earth by OSIRIS-Rex, will be the keynote speaker.
    • External grants as of the time of the meeting exceed more than $10M.
  2. Unfinished Business
    • none
  3. New Business:
    • Curriculum Documents Approval
      The following proposals can be accessed at curriculog.com

      1. CGT – 33000 – Multmda Anim Gam Desgn
      2. Cybersecurity, BS
      3. ECET – 10201 – DC Circuits And Components
      4. ECET – 15201 – AC Circuits And Analysis
      5. ECET – 15401 – Electronic Components Circuits
      6. ECET – 31201 – Power Electronics Fund
      7. ECET – 36200 – Process Control Instru
      8. ECET – 38400 – Adv Math Mthds In DSP
      9. ECET – 39200 – Digital Signal Processing
      10. ECET – 47500 – Applied Electronic Drives
      11. Electrical Engineering Technology, BS
      12. History Minor
      13. ITS – 15000 – Introduction to Cybersecurity
      14. ITS – 25000 – Fund Of Info Assurance
      15. ITS – 26000 – Applied Database Technologies
      16. ITS – 35000 – Fundamentals of Cryptography
      17. ITS – 35200 – Disaster Recovery&Plan
      18. ITS – 36400 – Database Modeling And Implementation
      19. ITS – 37800 – Security Operations Practice
      20. ITS – 46600 – Data Visualization Technology
      21. ITS – 47800 – Cyber Security Practices
      22. MKG – 42500 – Marketing Research
      23. PHYS – 22000 – Gen Physics
        1. Artz explained the curriculum documents, BS in cybersecurity
        2. Motioned for approval by L. Artz
        3. Seconded by R. Merkovsky
        4. Approved by voice vote
        5. Tobin said the Cybersecurity program was initiated by an administrator, not a faculty member. K. Tobin added that the chair played a different role in getting it through the process. This was not brought up as a concern but as an affirmation that it was a complicated process.
        6. Artz said that if the Senate has no objections, the Curriculum Committee has no objections.
        7. Mitra said it seems that the Senate curriculum committee didn’t have any issues.
  • Vice-Chair Election
    1. Currently, one candidate, Dave Kozel.
    2. The Parliamentarian clarified that the procedure requires the candidate to speak for less than five minutes.
    3. Kozel said D. Spoljoric had persuaded him of the significant impact his involvement could make despite his busy schedule. He committed to dedicating the necessary time and effort to the role. He plans to observe the Budget Subcommittee to gain a thorough understanding of financial operations and apply his background as an electrical engineer to engage with systemic issues effectively. Additionally, he expressed his intent to provide guidance on the General Education curriculum, leveraging his extensive experience from his tenure on the Gen Ed and Assessment Committee post-unification. He aims to ensure that academic standards align with regulatory requirements and address practical challenges in student assessment.
    4. Vote
      1. Approved by voice vote.
    5. For Action:
      • none
    6. Discussion Items:
      • FSD 23-11 Guidance on use of AI in Teaching and Learning
        1. Kozel said the Committee spent time reviewing peer institutions and PUWL and provided details on the document and its creation. He said the links provided are only examples and do not need to be implemented.
        2. Chancellor Holford thanked the committee for their work on the document.
        3. Kozel advised Senators to review the document with their department and colleges.
        4. The Parliamentarian said the relation between AI and copyright should be addressed.
          1. Kozel said the document contains language referencing the use of AI for document and image generation.
          2. Discussion on current lawsuits and copyright issues.
          3. The Vice-Chair clarified page two addresses copyrighted works and suggested additions if necessary.
          4. Kratovil asked if it is possible to add a line to the Senate syllabus template with a reminder. The parliamentarian said a resolution would be required for the document that adopted the template, which would need to come from Ed Policy.
          5. Updates to the document will be ongoing as AI advances.
          6. It was clarified that if the resolution is passed in May, it will be actionable in the fall.
          7. Kozel said the verbiage can be changed after discussions have taken place within the departments.
          8. The Vice-Chair said if Senators are not comfortable with the current arrangements to discuss and vote at the May meeting, the vote can be postponed until a later date.
          9. The Chair said he would distribute the document to all faculty with a request for responses to be submitted before the April 18 Executive Committee meeting.
        5. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
          • Student Affairs (Michelle Spaulding)
            1. Spaulding said the following Chair positions need replacements:
              1. Student Affairs (M. Spaulding)
              2. Grade Appeals (M. Pelter)
              3. The Parliamentarian said the Grade Appeals Chair is a burdensome position and asked if there was a release for this seat. It was confirmed there was a release in the past, but one has not been provided in recent years.
              4. Grade Appeals duties and processes were discussed.
              5. The Chair said he and the Vice-Chair would discuss this at the next Pre-Senate meeting.
  • Curriculum (Lee Artz)
    1. Artz thanked Senators for adding their proposals early.
    2. 10 proposals for the May meeting
    3. Asking Chairs to explain waivers and exceptions.
    4. The Vice-Chair asked about the availability and distribution of waivers and exemption reports. L. Artz said former Provost Holford provided those reports and hoped the incoming Provost would do the same. The Chair said two options to resolve this are creating a resolution and executing an MOU.
    5. Chancellor Holford said this was set up with the idea that once after the census semester, the list would be provided, but it could be administered in many different ways. He said he is indifferent as to whether the Senate creates a resolution requesting this done annually or have it written in the Provost’s Office policy that it will be supplied.
    6. The Chair advised L. Artz to discuss their preference with the committee.
    7. Chancellor Holford said he would ask Provost Latif to speak to Institutional Research.
  • Ed Policy (Dave Kozel)
    1. Kozel said the committee will meet after this.
  • Faculty Affairs (Rob Hallock)
    1. Hallock gave a presentation disseminating the results of the Faculty Administrative Survey.
      1. Mitra said the information provided is irrelevant considering the sample size and creates misperceptions.
      2. Merkovsky said many faculty members are unfamiliar with vice-chancellors, and future surveys should be preceded by introductions by VCs.
      3. Mitra said the responsibility of the Senate is to maintain transparency and accountability with faculty.
      4. Kozel pointed out that the survey instructed participants not to respond to anything they were unsure of and highlighted the value of the survey in identifying gaps in knowledge among respondents. He pointed out that the limited number of responses might reflect a lack of awareness about the roles of those surveyed, suggesting it’s unclear if the respondents are closely involved with the subjects of the survey or just casually reacting. He likened this to how students evaluate faculty and suggested that similar feedback mechanisms should be in place annually for administrators, where subordinates assess their performance to provide a comprehensive view of their effectiveness to their superiors.
      5. The Chancellor expressed concerns about the method and public nature of presenting these results. He noted that, unlike confidential student evaluations of teaching, the public disclosure of this data could be construed as a vote of confidence or lack thereof. He emphasized that such disclosures are subject to the Open Records Act, making them publicly accessible, which may not align with the intended purpose of providing constructive feedback. He advocated for a discussion on how to achieve meaningful evaluations that accurately reflect administrative performance without compromising the privacy or intent of the process.
      6. The Chair said this is not meant to be an instrument to attack the administration.
      7. Mitra said there is nothing wrong with conducting a survey, but efforts should be taken to prevent misperceptions. He raised concerns about the low participation in surveys and the potential misperceptions that could arise from making such results public. He suggested that while conducting surveys is beneficial, the results should be handled internally to facilitate discussions on improvements without creating public misunderstandings.
      8. Merkovsky said it is well-known, especially to stats instructors, that small sample sizes usually result in negative biases.
      9. Mitra observed a 71% response rate to questions regarding Senate leadership…
      10. Tobin said this indicates that responses are based on familiarity with those being evaluated. She said she is optimistic that faculty-administrator relations will improve.
      11. Bhandari said this indicates that the non-responses to administrative questions likely stem from respondents’ lack of familiarity with the positions being surveyed.
      12. Merkovsky asked if administrators could introduce themselves during new faculty orientation. The Chancellor said they began doing this two years ago.
      13. Bhandari expressed uncertainty about whether the presentation on feedback scheduled for the May meeting should be public and suggested that the matter requires consideration.
      14. Kramer said he heard comments from faculty stating disinterest in participating in the survey because surveys are ineffectual.
      15. Artz said surveys in which results are not shared is discomforting and yields surveys meaningless.
      16. Buggs said implementing a basic confidence interval using the sample size based on individual participants.
      17. Spaulding suggested polling those being surveyed about whether they would like their results shared. R. Merkovsky and R. Hallock said a blanket policy would be preferable.
      18. Bhandari asked if Exec would have access under R. Merkovsky’s resolution. R. Merkovsky said he was open to a friendly amendment. The Chair said Exec meetings are not public.
      19. The Vice-Chair asked if it’s possible to declare a portion of Senate proceedings as “off the record.”
      20. The Parliamentarian said it is part of parliamentary procedure that any body can move to executive session, in which case the session is closed and the deliberations are private. No action taken in executive session is official, and what happens in executive session has to be reported back to the public meeting at the discretion of the executive session if they want something to take effect.
      21. The Vice-Chair said there should be a priority to avoid contention.
      22. Mitra said it has nothing to do with the survey itself. It is about the process. He wanted to make clear that the current conversation is about the appropriateness of making this public.
      23. Artz asked if going to executive session would satisfy the motion. The Parliamentarian confirmed.
      24. Barrow asked if it would be preferable to table the current discussion until a distribution policy can be established.
      25. Hallock expressed support for the motion, acknowledging the divisiveness caused by the current situation but noting its benefits, such as highlighting the faculty’s unfamiliarity with Vice Chancellors. He expressed confidence that future actions would address these issues. R. Hallock mentioned that the full results would be reviewed by the Executive Committee and shared with the evaluated individuals, clarifying that his comments were his own views and not necessarily representative of the entire Faculty Affairs Committee.
      26. Tobin wanted clarity on the difference between executive session and Executive Committee.
        1. Merkovsky motioned to prevent the results from being discussed at the following Senate meeting.
        2. Majority in favor, two opposed.
        3. Motion passes
  • Ed & Assessment (Ali Alavizadeh)
    1. The committee will meet this afternoon to discuss the Gen. Ed curriculum and evaluation process.
    2. Election for Gen. Ed Chair.
      1. The Vice-Chair discussed the Gen. Ed review process, noting that a vote could have been called during the recent convocation, but a decision was made to use a survey instead. She mentioned that the Gen. Ed Chair responsible for curriculum assessment would receive a $3,500 equivalent but emphasized a preference for a course release due to its practical benefits. She explained that the Provost could potentially negotiate the cost of a course buyout. The Vice-Chair highlighted the importance of the Gen. Ed Chair role, as it impacts all degrees and involves significant legal considerations. She mentioned that the Chancellor views this as potentially a three-year project, with the first year focused on laying the groundwork. The Vice-Chair encouraged thoughtful consideration of who is appointed as Gen. Ed Chair, emphasizing the importance of having clear deliverables at each step of the process.
      2. The Chair said the release is for both fall and spring semesters, each semester.
      3. The Chancellor said that realistically, university general education reform is likely a three-year process. This timeline considers the necessity for each program to discuss how the new general education model will impact them. He expressed optimism about achieving this within three years, suggesting that should be the target goal.
  • Nominations, Elections, & Awards (Meden Isaac-Lam)
    1. Isaac-Lam reported that the Nominations Committee is currently seeking a volunteer from the Faculty Senate to join the University Task Force for Student Wellness. Additionally, M. Isaac-Lam has sent out reminders to senators whose terms are expiring, awaiting confirmation on whether they will be replaced or re-elected. M. Isaac-Lam also confirmed DN’s earlier statement that no other nominations were received for the Faculty Senate Vice Chair position, thus DK will assume the role.
    2. The Chair acknowledged MI on her recent appointment.
    3. Isaac-Lam thanked the Senate and the Chancellor
  1. West Lafayette Report (Lee Artz)
    • Artz reported that the Senate Chair at West Lafayette had addressed Senate Bill 202 extensively, acknowledging the ongoing challenges from the American Association of University Professors and the NAACP against similar legislation nationwide. He highlighted the importance of collaboration and communication between the administration and the Faculty Senate, which had been beneficial at West Lafayette. L. Artz noted the discussion of childcare services at West Lafayette, though it was unclear if this was relevant to our location. Additionally, he mentioned that faculty were advised not to schedule exams during the solar eclipse in the afternoon. He praised our own Ed Policy Committee for being ahead in assessing AI regulations compared to West Lafayette. Lastly, he touched on concerns from the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee regarding recent court rulings against affirmative action programs, emphasizing the challenges in maintaining diversity within student and faculty bodies.
  2. IFC Report (Geoffrey Barrow)
    • Barrow said there is no report and no calendar meeting.
  3. SGA Report (David Bolton)
    • Bolton provided an update on SGA appointments.
    • Working with advisor to arrange a summer retreat.
    • Members to be appointed to Strategic Planning Committee.
    • The current senate is the most diverse in campus history.
    • Merkovsky commended D. Bolton and SGA for the work.
    • S asked J. Buggs about work being done with the Transit Triangle. J. Buggs said SGA is working MI City and they have a grant to reinstitute transit.
  4. Open discussion (as time permits).
    • The Chair announced that a Service Learning Fellow application is available for 2024.
    • SB 202 panel being led by the Chair and D. Detmer on Wednesday the 17th at 3:30 PM. Hosted by AAUP Chapter
  5. Adjournment
    • Meeting adjourned at 12:10 PM