09-09-2015 Faculty Senate Minutes

Faculty Senate

Meeting Minutes

 

September 9, 2015

Present:                            Antoinette Maniatty, Frank Wright, Debbie Kaminski, Katya Haskins, Audrey Bennett, Alexandra Rempel, Lois Peters, Jonas Braasch, Diana Borca-Tasciuc, Murali Chari, Stan Dunn, Amir Hirsa, Chris Bystroff, Jenifer Monger, Atsushi Akera, Gregor Kovacic, Prabhat Hajela, Ning Xiang, Ken Simons, Chulsung Bae, Marcus Flowers, Ernesto Gutierrez-Miravete (via Skype)

Next meeting:                    November 11, 2015 : 8:15am-9:45am, Sage-5711

 

The following people were not present but sent their regrets: Dan Lewis, John Tichy, and Wayne Bequette.

 

1)  Welcome by the President of the Senate

 

Meeting opens at 8:23am with Professor Maniatty welcoming the group and thanking them for their service. Thoughts ahead are for a productive year.

 

2)  Approval of the Minutes – April 6, 2015 (General Faculty) and May 13, 2015

April Minutes: Professor Akera motions, Professor Wright seconds. All in favor. So moved.

May Minutes: Two changes were noted; 1) Attendees-Ernesto’s last name was misspelled. 2) Section 4c-Jen Monger is the Assistant Institute Archivist. Professor Wright motions, Professor Akera seconds. All in favor. So moved.

 

 

3)  Welcome New Members

Professor Maniatty welcomed the new members to the senate and placed importance on the work that the faculty senate does pointing out that without the faculty’s involvement, the programs will not be successful.

 

4)  Appointments

a)     Chair of the Faculty: Professor Issacson, who was elected Chair of the Faculty, will step down in his role due to family circumstances. According to the Constitution, the senate can appoint an eligible Senate member to fill  the vacant office until the next general election. Professor Maniatty has approached Professor Bystroff and he has agreed to take on this role. There was a motion to approve the appointment by Professor Wright and it was seconded by Professor Akera. All in favor. So moved.

 

With Professor Bystroff now serving as Chair of the Faculty, a senator for the School of Science will need to be found.

1.     ACTION ITEM: Professor Bystroff will continue to reach out to faculty members in the school.

 

b)     Faculty Committee on Honors: Professor Koratkar has been nominated to replace Professor Tichy as the  School of Engineering representative since Professor Tichy is on the Executive Council. Professor Schroeder has been nominated to replace Professor McLaughlin as the School of Science representative because her  term has ended. There is still a vacant seat on the committee for a representative from the School of Humanities & Social Sciences and Professor Maniatty will continue to reach out to faculty members. There was a motion to approve the nominations by Professor Hirsa and it was seconded by Professor Bystroff. All in favor. So moved.

 

c)     Committee on Academic Standing: Professor Saulnier’s 3 year term ended and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee has appointed Professor Malmborg to replace him. In addition, Professor Piper has stepped down and Professor Magdon-Ismail has been appointed as his replacement.

 

d)     Task Force on Academic Advising: Professor Schadler, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education, has created this task force. Professor Hanna is leading the group, which includes one representative from each school, one Student Senate member, one Faculty Senate member and 1 Tenure/Tenure Track faculty member. The committee guides students in both personal and professional advising. Professor Schadler is currently looking into IT tools that will assist with this endeavor.

 

2.     ACTION ITEM: Professor Bystroff will contact Professor Bennett regarding potential candidates.

 

5)  Old Business/Review of Action Items: May 2015 Mtg

a)     Faculty Handbook Update: The revisions have been reviewed by the Provost, HR and Legal and the Executive Committee has reviewed changes and submitted their changes back. Those changes have been again reviewed and the Executive Committee and the Provost will meet and review the document.

 

b)     Digital Measures for TA’s Update: Professor Peters wanted to thank Professor Dunn for his work on this. The goal is to have an Institute wide standard of evaluating TA’s and Professor Dunn’s office is in charge of overseeing this.  Professor Dunn spoke and apologized for any confusion last semester regarding this initiative. The issue going forward is not about adding questions to Digital Measures, but in running the reports because   of data mappings and information that is not currently in Banner. He has spoken to Josie Seddon on this topic. Digital Measures needs to integrate names of courses and course sections. As it stands todays, a TA is not mapped to a course section and although they are in the process of doing this, it has not yet been standardized. They want it ready before the end of the fall semester but won’t know more until the end of this week. They are shooting to get this ready for the fall semester. Professor Dunn will review the proposed questions with the senate to get feedback. A question was raised to make sure that TA’s provide their feedback to the questions. It was discussed that the questions will vary according to schools. It was decided that for now, the standard questions will be used and additional questions can easily be added later. Professor Bystroff asked if we will be looking at other peer institutions to see what they have done. Professor Dunn said he will reach out to his peers and incorporate this into our approach.

 

3.     ACTION ITEM: Professor Dunn will follow up and report on the status of this task and work with senate on suggested questions.

 

c)     Biography & Eulogy Policy Update: Professor Akera spoke. The policy still needs to be implemented and the Provost will issue a letter to the Deans regarding the changes to Emeritus status process. Professor Akera will send a draft letter to the Provost that he can revise.

 

4.     ACTION ITEM: Professor Akera will send a draft letter to the Provost on changes to the Emeritus process.

 

6)  New Business

a)     Summer Arch Initiative: The Summer Arch initiative is a future requirement to have rising juniors attend a full summer session between their sophomore and junior years, followed by an “away” semester. A memo from President Jackson was sent to the Provost and several other Institute leaders at the end of May 2015. This memo listed the Core Committee members and sub-committee breakouts to examine issues related to the initiative. The impact on financial aid, residence life, contractual agreements with faculty and other areas will need to be assessed. The committees met over the summer and a visiting committee went to Dartmouth and Northeastern to speak with them about their summer program.  The committee is rolling out pilot programs before implementation and will include the creation of focus groups. One for the freshmen students entering this fall and the other for the students entering as freshmen next fall. The plan is that this be a requirement for the students entering as freshmen in the fall of 2017, with possible exceptions for student athletes. The Provost will meet with the departments to discuss and Professor Schadler has already met with the School of Science on this initiative. The Poly has asked for an interview on this topic. The Provost has drafted a memo to the Deans and Department heads and will share this with the EC for their input as well. The EC has already met with Professor Schadler and the Provost and have been thinking about a possible open forum with the Faculty Senate and Student Senate on this topic. The speakers would be members of the task force committee. The plan is to have a website to house the information and provide a place to allow for suggestions. A question on how this would affect the co-op program was brought up. It was mentioned that most are nine month assignments and it would be more of a challenge.

 

5.     ACTION ITEM: All Senators to send any comments and suggestions to Professor Maniatty.

 

 

b)     Forum on Revenue Generation & Cost Containment: One of the biggest challenges we face is budgetary and the faculty can play a role in this. The committee that can work on this item is the senate Planning and Resources committee. The goal for the committee to look into where campus resources are underutilized and suggest areas for improvement. We want to work together with the administration and the goal is to have the faculty be a resource for them. The committee’s charge is broad because it’s intended to be supportive to the needs of the institution as a whole. Professor Bystroff suggested that the committee should include natural resources as a focus as well. The Planning and Resources committee is comprised of 5 members of the faculty and 5 from the administration and is chartered to work on whatever is being considered. The Provost spoke. A much stronger endowed base is difficult for us versus higher ranked universities. The budget relies upon tuition, research and philanthropy. Currently, roughly 20% of the faculty generates 80% of the research dollars. We need to have larger synergistic centers moving forward and how do we generate that focus. How can we as a faculty develop into those research leaders? We have a strong international alumni base so how do we bring in more endowment funds. What we say as a faculty creates an environment and also affects revenue and has to be a positive focus.

 

6.     ACTION ITEM: Professor Akera will send a suggested charter to the Planning and Resources committee.

 

 

Professor Wright motions to adjourn. Seconded by Professor Akera. All in favor. So moved. Adjourned at 9:50am.

 

7)  Action Items Summary

 

1.     ACTION ITEM: Professor Bystroff will continue to reach out to faculty members in the school.

 

2.     ACTION ITEM: Professor Bystroff will contact Professor Bennett regarding potential candidates.

 

3.     ACTION ITEM: Professor Dunn will follow up and report on the status of this task and work with senate on suggested questions.

 

4.     ACTION ITEM: Professor Akera will send a draft letter to the Provost on changes to the Emeritus process.

 

5.     ACTION ITEM: All Senators to send any comments and suggestions to Professor Maniatty.

 

6.     ACTION ITEM: Professor Akera will send a suggested charter to the Planning and Resources committee.