Faculty Senate Minutes, March 8, 2024

June 7, 2024

Faculty Senate Minutes, March 8, 2024

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


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

Voting Members Absent:
Frank Colucci, Shontrai Irving

Non-Voting Members Present:
Tony Elmendorf, Alan McCafferty

Others Present:
Chris Holford, Niaz Latif, Tim Winders, Anne Gregory, David Bolton, Meghan Cook, Colin Fewer, Emily Hixon, Michael Lynn, Mike Biel, Becky Stankowski, Maged Mikhail, Mike Johnson, Adele Minix, Catherine Murphy, Rachel C. Smith, Anne Gregory, Cheng Zhang

Note: Technical complications with the audio system during the March 8 Senate meeting led to unclear recordings and transcription errors. The following meeting minutes have been compiled from real-time notes taken during the meeting.

  1. Determination of quorum.
    • Quorum determined at 10:02 AM
  2. Call to order.
    • Meeting called to order at 10:02 AM
  3. Approval of the agenda.
    • Motion for approval by R. Merkovsky
    • Seconded by R. Hallock
    • Approved by voice vote
  4. Approval of the minutes from February 9, 2024
    • Motion for approval by S. Rezak
    • Seconded by R. Merkovsky
    • Approved by voice vote
  5. Remarks by the Senate Chair
    • The Chair said the Vice-Chair is currently attending a Provost Search Committee meeting and will join the Senate meeting afterward.
    • The Chair said documents relating to a presentation by A. Mitra later in today’s meeting are currently being distributed.
      1. Senate Budget Committee
        1. The Chair discussed ongoing efforts to enhance faculty knowledge of the budget and input into the budgeting process
      2. Convocation
        1. Two major items to discuss:
          1. Budget Presentation
            1. The Chair said he will present on the current budget situation at the Faculty Convocation on March 29, providing context and starting a conversation about priorities and feedback.
          2. Non-instructional staff numbers compared to faculty numbers
            1. The Chair said he will also discuss staffing issues at the Faculty Convocation, providing context and starting a conversation about priorities and feedback.
            2. Discussions will include comparing PNW to peers and initiating a dialogue with the Chancellor for context and response.
          3. Budget Survey
            1. Two surveys are planned to assess faculty knowledge on budget matters before and after the convocation.
            2. The Chair said those interested in budget matters should consider requesting a seat on the Senate Budget Committee.
          4. Funding requests
            1. Secretarial support
            2. Two-semester release for Gen Ed overhaul, pending faculty interest.
            3. Compensation for five faculty members to write the Faculty Handbook over the summer.
              1. The requested amount for the handbook project was for five individuals at $5,000 each. This amount was based on Executive Committee discussions of compensation for the post-unification Faculty Senate Constitution development.
              2. The offer returned was for five individuals at $3,000 each.
              3. The Chair sought input on accepting this offer or renegotiating for a higher rate.
              4. Kratovil asked if this would be in addition to teaching salaries over the summer. The Chair said there are no restrictions so far as he knows. The Chancellor said the only limitation would be the university regulation on the total percentage that can be earned over the summer relative to annual base salaries. If you were teaching a course, you would have no problem receiving an additional stipend to work on the handbook. On the other hand, if you were teaching two courses or had research income over the summer, the total compensation would need to be further examined.
              5. Artz asked if the Senate would still pursue this project if funding were not made available.
              6. Kozel said settling on the lowest bidder was ill-advised.
              7. The Chair said he was not in attendance at the last pre-Senate meeting and did not have the opportunity to clarify the rationale behind the requested amount. He said he would contact Interim Provost Latif to discuss this further.
            4. Senate Bill 202
              1. A town hall meeting was called to discuss SB 202, which seems to be problematic despite what was said by the Board of Trustees.
              2. The Chair expressed concerns over its imposition of post-tenure review with an ideological component and its contradictions regarding inclusivity and DEI efforts.
              3. Faculty were encouraged to contact the governor with their views on the bill.
            5. Remarks by the Chancellor
              • Chancellor Holford shared updates on his initial 60 days, highlighting meetings with legislators and university presidents, faculty achievements, optimism for unprecedented opportunities ahead, and several accomplishments and initiatives at Purdue Northwest. These include major Department of Energy awards, leadership in cybersecurity and industrial decarbonization, a new doctorate in clinical psychology, advancements in the Mechatronics and AI programs, the upcoming launch of an Impact Lab focused on innovation and commercialization of quantum computing technologies, Purdue Northwest’s designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution, hosting significant academic competitions, and the hockey team’s success.
              • He emphasized the importance of the ongoing provost search, encouraging broad faculty participation.
              • He shared plans to visit each college to learn about departmental highlights for external promotion.
              • The Chancellor expressed interest in a new model for budget discussions with the Senate, aiming for collaboration on shared goals and resources. He also discussed the necessity of General Education reform and creating a unified Faculty Handbook, offering financial support through the Provost’s Office to kickstart these initiatives over the summer. The Chancellor concluded by emphasizing the value of negotiating resources for mutual goals between faculty and administration.
                1. He acknowledged the following faculty-selected Founders Day award recipients:
                  1. Outstanding Faculty Scholarship Award
                    1. Julia Rogers
                  2. Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award
                    1. Hubert Izienicki
                  3. Outstanding Faculty Engagement Award
                    1. Jodi Allen
                  4. Additional acknowledgments for faculty awards from within the Purdue system:
                    1. Martin Luther King Jr. Dreamer Award
                      1. Gisele Casanova
                    2. Purdue for Life Foundation’s Special Boilermaker Award
                      1. Shontrai Irving
                    3. Purdue University Focus Award
                      1. Kwangsoo Park
                    4. He noted this is the first time ever that PNW has had three faculty members recognized at the system level. This is also the third consecutive year a PNW faculty member has received the Martin Luther King Jr. Dreamer Award.
                    5. Additional opportunities and accomplishments mentioned:
                      1. We have now received our third major DOE award for industrial decarbonization, making us the state leader, if not a national leader, in these efforts.
                      2. We are a leader in cybersecurity and moving towards a degree in applied artificial intelligence
                      3. Approval of Psy.D., with the first incoming class at the doctoral level in the fall.
                      4. The master’s in social work degree is in its final stages of approval by the MSW.
                      5. Mechatronics program
                      6. Membership to Bloch Tech Hub, a consortium led by the University of Chicago to focus on innovation and commercialization of quantum computing technologies.
                      7. We are now eligible to apply for HSI grants.
                      8. PNW will host the statewide science Olympiad. PNW also recently hosted the regional Science Olympiad.
                      9. Academic Superbowl
                      10. Provost search is a critical hire. The Committee is starting to select candidates.
                      11. The hockey team won yesterday’s game, 11 to 3. They are now heading to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Division I National Tournament.
                      12. Plans to relaunch the Provost/Chancellor meetings with colleges beginning in April.
                      13. Discussions on the following items will take place with Senate leadership over the summer:
                        1. Gen Ed reform
                        2. Budget
                        3. Unified faculty handbook
                      14. The Chair mentioned that spring textbook decisions are due March 15, during spring break. The Chair said it sends a poor message to faculty.
                    6. Remarks by the Provost/VCAA
                      • Interim Provost Latif was not in attendance today.
                    7. Unfinished Business
                      • Budget Request
                        1. Because budget requests were discussed during his remarks, the Chair said the General Education curriculum should be discussed instead.
                          1. Artz said his department is reluctant to start the process due to repeated delays in the past.
                          2. Buggs said students are discontent with how standards have been changing, especially within CHESS.
                          3. Alavizadeh said his department expressed willingness to review their Gen Ed courses.
                          4. The Chancellor said the role of the Faculty Senate is to set guardrails on Gen Ed, but it is not necessarily a mandate. The Chair said if the Faculty undertakes this process, it should be to set the general parameters.
                          5. Artz asked if the Gen Ed committee can undertake this to provide parameters. A. Alavizadeh said the committee has discussed this task and is determining what previous chairs and committee members did.
                          6. Kozel emphasized the importance of revisiting the General Education curriculum to ensure students graduate with a broad and necessary set of skills and knowledge. He acknowledged that while faculty might not be eager to take on additional work, it’s essential to set clear expectations for what students should learn. The goal isn’t to prescribe specific courses, but rather to ensure students have a foundational understanding in key areas such as English, communication, and math. By doing so, the university can guarantee its graduates are well-prepared and well-regarded, regardless of their degree program. This approach aligns with the Chancellor’s view on identifying essential student competencies and working collaboratively to achieve shared educational goals.
                          7. The Chair highlighted the complexities involved in revising the General Education curriculum, emphasizing that understanding the practices of peer institutions is a crucial but time-consuming task. This exploration is essential to ensure that Purdue Northwest remains competitive and aligns with broader educational standards and innovations. Given the substantial effort required, the Chair reasoned that providing funding to those undertaking this work would be appropriate, as it acknowledges the significant challenge and importance of the task at hand.
                          8. Buggs said that given the recent solidification of the University College and restructuring of the advising process for our incoming students, this is the perfect time to work on this initiative.
                          9. Merkovsky cautioned against turf battles.
                          10. Kraft said one issue is confusion with how the process operates.
                          11. The Chair said this could be examined further at the next Senate meeting or at the Faculty Convocation. He asked Senators for their preference. R. Merkovsky said that convocation would be preferable to obtain a broader sense of opinion. L. Artz asked if there would be enough time to research peer institutions. The Chair said the discussion would entail looking at a framework.
                          12. Convocation was agreed upon for the discussion of a Gen Ed revision framework to take place.
  • Faculty Convocation
    1. The Chair said Convocation is currently set in Gyte in 103, looking for an alternate room, and will report back after the break.
  1. New Business:
    • Curriculum Documents Approval

The following proposals can be accessed at pnw.curriculog.com

  1. ENGL – 20500 – Intro Creative Writing
  2. SOC – 26100 – Basc Hlp Sklls Hum Srv
  3. SOC – 30600 – Methods In Human Serv
  4. SOC – 36100 – Institution Soc Welfr
  5. SOC – 36400 – Child And Fam Welfare
  6. SOC – 40300 – Developing Countries In Global
  7. SOC – 40400 – The Environmt & Social Justice
  8. SOC – 40500 – Power, Social Control & Media
  9. SOC – 40600 – People’s Movemt & Social Power
  10. SOC – 43100 – Services For The Aged
  11. Kraft – 24000 – Introduction to Social Policy and Programs
  12. Social Services Minor
  13. Spanish Translation Undergraduate Certificate
    1. Artz said 17 proposals were added to those listed on today’s agenda, for a total of 30 curriculum proposals currently up for approval.
    2. The 17 additional proposals are as follows:
      1. CGT 33300 Multimedia Anim Game Design
      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. ITS – 25000 – Fund Of Info Assurance
      13. ITS – 35000 – Fundamentals of Cryptography
      14. ITS – 35200 – Disaster Recovery&Plan
      15. ITS – 37800 – Security Operations Practice
      16. ITS – 46600 – Data Visualization Technology
      17. ITS – 47800 – Cyber Security Practices
    3. Motion for approval by L. Artz
    4. Seconded by R. Merkovsky
    5. Approved by voice vote
  14. For Action:
    • FSD 23-10 Resolution on Curriculum Process
      1. During the discussion on FSD 23-10 Resolution on Curriculum Process, issues with audio resulted in four incoherent recordings. These technical difficulties prevented clear dialogue from being accurately extracted from the discussion. To address this and ensure it doesn’t recur in future meetings, discussions will be held with the appropriate channels to identify and implement preventive measures.
      2. He motioned to table the discussion
      3. Motion fails
      4. Approved by voice vote, one opposed.
  1. Discussion Items:
    • Economics Program Suspension
      1. During the discussion of the Economics Program Suspension, audio issues resulted in four incoherent recordings. These technical difficulties prevented clear dialogue from being accurately extracted from the discussion. To address this and ensure it doesn’t recur in future meetings, discussions will be held with the appropriate channels to identify and implement preventive measures.
      2. The Executive Committee will consider and discuss the suspension of the Economics Program.
  1. Reports from Senate Standing Committee Chairs
    • Gen Ed & Assessment (Ali Alavizadeh)
      1. Alavizadeh presented the committee report and motioned for approval
      2. Approved by voice vote
    • Nominations, Elections, & Awards (Meden Isaac-Lam)
      1. Isaac-Lam said there are three items in her report:
        1. Acknowledgements of Founders Day award winners.
        2. No additional nominations for Vice-Chair. D. Kozel is currently the only nominee.
        3. Senators with expiring terms:
          1. Spaulding
          2. Dorman
          3. He
          4. Woldemariam
          5. Isaac-Lam
          6. Hallock
          7. McGonigal-Kenney
        4. Introduction of A. Mitra
        5. 37 total reps.
        6. The Parliamentarian said a resolution was passed by the Senate after unification mandated that any reduction in Senate membership should be done by attrition.
        7. The Chair said there have been requests from Senators to change their standing committees, which is challenging. The best option would be to reach out to committee members and discuss switching.
  • Student Affairs (Michelle Spaulding)
    1. Spaulding said Student of the Month forms are being revised.
    2. Researching AI policies.
  • Curriculum (Lee Artz)
    1. Artz said there will be fewer proposals up for approval at the next meeting.
    2. Excessive student substitutions and exemptions within departments are being assessed.
  • Ed Policy (Dave Kozel)
    1. Kozel said the committee will be working on a draft AI policy document over spring break and expects to present it at the next Senate meeting
  • Faculty Affairs (Rob Hallock)
    1. Hallock said the committee is continuing to work on a faculty and administrative survey that will be distributed via Qualtrics after spring break.
    2. Bhandari asked if there will be sections on deans and department heads. R. Hallock confirmed there will be.
  1. West Lafayette Report (Lee Artz)
    • Artz said PUWL President Chiang met with the Senate to discuss student mental health awareness on all campuses.
    • Document passed on using AI in the classroom.
      1. Kozel said Ed Policy is working to draft what should be considered when assessing the use of AI in the classroom. The intent will be to provide guidelines, not restrictions.
    • Senate passed 94% in the affirmative against Senate Bill 202.
  2. IFC Report (Geoffrey Barrow)
    • Barrow said IFC discussed graduate school students and postdoctoral grads.
    • Representatives insisted that the regionals must be taken into consideration.
  3. SGA Report (David Bolton)
    • Bolton said SGA has been working with the Chair to draft a statement regarding Senate Bill 202. He read the following statement:

To Whom It May Concern,

We, the members of the Purdue University Northwest Student Government Association, hereby relay the following message regarding Senate Bill 202:

As a self-governing entity on the Purdue University Northwest (hereafter PNW) campus, and our primary goal to promote safe, free, and creative environments for all students, in conjunction with faculty, take great issue with the proposed Bill 202 proposed by the Indiana State Senate. Upon reviewal and discussion of said bill, we believe that this bill will nullify the impact of historical and current topics that are being taught to our students. With the implementation of this bill, we hinder the ability for certain topics to be discussed, and will further the silencing of voices that need to be heard. To be more specific, faculty members that attempt to bring informational content within the classroom, while in some cases controversial, does not lead to automatic negativity. It is through controversial conversations that change and improvement are achieved. Without the Women’s Suffrage Movement (1920s), the Civil Rights Movement (1960s), and other major social movements have proven to be controversial, but led marginalized demographics in this country to better opportunities.

The First Amendment, which defends the right to free speech, will be neglected if this bill is allowed to pass. Faculty and students will not be allowed to teach and learn the content of certain topics that are essential to some disciplines, and essential to the understanding of the human condition.

It is strongly advised by the Student Government Association of PNW, in support of our Faculty Senate, that this bill not be passed. We wish that deep consideration of the negative implications this will have on our school system and educational practices in the future. Our goal here at PNW is to grow the learning environment and mindsets of our faculty and students by allowing the study of all topics. To pass such a bill would rid our members, and ultimately our country of that what makes us integral to each other; that being the ability to learn and grow from our history, and advance our understanding of knowledge and diversity within the social context.

With Great Concern,

Student Government Association,

Purdue University Northwest

  • SGA is in discussions with Director of Public Safety Miller to populate Parking Committees.
  • Election season is continuing. The first week of April will be voting season. Open forums for discussions and debates among candidates are set to take place
  • SGA is excited to welcome L. Artz, who will be attending their meeting to speak about the war on Gaza.
  • Buggs suggested that Senate Bill 202 appears to aim at reducing faculty authority, implying that the administration might be less concerned about the impact on those whose influence the bill seeks to diminish. Therefore, initiatives to engage students for their viewpoints or to develop a unified student response should have been prioritized earlier.
  • The Chair said since the bill has passed, the next place of action is the Governor’s Office. The Chair said he would assist D. Bolton in making contact if desired.
  1. Open discussion (as time permits)
    • Juneteenth recognition
      1. The Chair suggested G. Barrow take this back to IFC.
    • Artz said there is a fast for Gaza taking place in several locations throughout the region. He said to reach out to him for more details. Taking place March 15.
    • The Chair said on behalf of N. Jackson there is an Equal Pay Day event taking place regarding equal pay for equal work. Flyers for the event were distributed.
  2. Adjournment
    • Meeting adjourned at 12:03 PM