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Scenes from Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Meeting


Meeting #8

October 4, 2005

1. The meeting was called to order at 1:06 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4, 2005 in the third floor conference room in Green Hall, Chairperson Rice presiding. All members were present except Ms. Black Grubman.

2. Announcements/Correspondence:

a. A letter from some faculty of the College of Engineering requesting that the Administrator Evaluation of Dean Nassersharif be conducted this academic year was discussed. The Committee agreed that this was certainly possible and decided to discuss the request with the Provost when she visits with the Executive Committee on October 18.

b. It was announced that a meeting with the AAUP Executive Committee had been scheduled for 10/26/05 at 3:00 p.m.

3. The Executive Committee met with President Carothers for approximately one hour. Dr. Carolyn Callahan, American Council for Education (ACE) Fellow, accompanied him.

The first item of discussion was the legislation revising the Student Code of Conduct that had been passed by the Senate at its first meeting. President Carothers indicated that there was some significant student opposition to many parts of the legislation and a perception by some students that they had been excluded from full participation in the committee process, especially during the summer. It was pointed out that there seemed to be a misunderstanding on the part of the students just what was intended when the legislation was returned to committee last year, viz., a clarification of the roles of the Student Rights and Responsibilities Committee and the Faculty Senate in writing the Student Handbook, not an instruction to review the substance of the proposals. The President indicated that he was still considering the changes, was concerned about some of the provisions, and might not agree to all of them.

Provost Swan joined the group and the discussion turned to the FSEC proposed University-wide Land Grant, Sea Grant and Urban Grant Initiative Committee. Initial discussion centered on the specific goals of the committee. Sen. Rice and others explained that a major goal was to find ways of broadening University-wide participation in Extension and Outreach projects as a way of increasing the University's visibility in the state and, perhaps, through this increase of stake-holders to spur an increase of state financial support. Outreach already is a part of the mission of various groups spread across the University's colleges. Coordinating and joining these efforts under one roof could increase the impact that these programs make outside the University. Discussion then centered on whether it would realistically be possible to shift responsibilities for Land Grant, Sea Grant and Urban Grant programs to a Vice Provost or Vice Presidential level. There was recognition that a Vice Presidential level position--parallel to the Provost would break up long standing integration of teaching, research and outreach at the University and a move to the Vice Provost for Research may create more problems then it would solve. There was a generalized consensus that the possible charge to the committee should be considered further and hold off forming such a committee until possible goals could be clarified.

After discussing this prior topic Provost Swan left. Discussion continued with President Carothers and Dr. Callahan.

Senator Kowalski raised the issue, initiated last year, of efforts to improve communication between administrative and academic units and to clarify and simplify bureaucratic procedures. It was mentioned that administrative offices at the University all too often adopt a regulatory stance and very infrequently a customer service stance. It was urged that just as the academic side of the University is being required to develop assessment standards as a means to increase accountability and improve the delivery of academic programs, so too should the administrative side be charged with assessing its operations with a view to improving and increasing their efficiency and instilling a more customer friendly approach. President Carothers agreed that he could and would help move this initiative along.

President Carothers next reported that although total enrollments are up this year and are generally near the target totals, the freshman class is smaller than last year as is the proportion of out-of-state students. The smaller number of out-of-state students means lower tuition revenues this year and the small freshman class means smaller revenue contributions from them for several years as they move through to graduation. The President indicated that he doubts the higher enrollment targets specified by the Board of Governors in their construction of next year's University budget are attainable. Tuition rates are sure to be impacted.

President Carothers updated members of the Executive Committee on his ad hoc committee, chaired by Dr. Glenn Ramsay, on ways of leveraging scholarship funds to increase enrollments. He indicated that the committee had discovered that we are presently losing a disproportionate numbers of potential students with SAT scores in the 1050-1200 range because of the University's inability to provide attractive financial aid support. The President indicated his interest in establishing a new scholarship program directed at this group to supplement the present Centennial Scholars program.

Lastly the President discussed the legislative process and some of the legislative leaders who have significant roles and influence in setting the budget for higher education.

President Carothers and Dr. Callahan left at about 2:50. The Executive Committee ended its meeting by discussing the implications of the Presidents remarks.

The meeting was adjourned at around 3:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

James Kowalski