EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
Present: Bryant, DiMagno, Fuller, Logan-Peters, Miller, Sawyer, Siekman, Spann, Wolf
Absent: King, Prochaska Cue, Scheideler, Whitt
Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2002
1.0 Call to Order
Bryant called the meeting to order at 3:03 p.m.
No announcements were made.
3.0 Chancellor Perlman
3.1 Teaching and Learning Center and Other Budget Issues
Item postponed due to lack of time.
3.2 Graduate College Reogranization
DiMagno reported that admission of graduate students is currently taking place but that the letters of admission from the Graduate College are not getting out in a timely manner. He asked if the reorganization of the Graduate College is contributing to the delay. SVCAA Edwards stated that the office personnel in the Graduate College have remained the same and that the reorganization should have no effect on work being done by that unit. He suggested that DiMagno contact Dean Lawson to report the delay. Bryant asked when the reorganization of the Graduate College will take place. Chancellor Perlman stated that it will occur at the end of this academic year. He pointed out that it should be a transparent change and that an Associate Dean might be put in place to manage the office. SVCAA Edwards stated that the position of Associate Dean would be an internal search and that this person would be responsible for graduate admissions.
3.3 Potential for Next Round of Reductions
Chancellor Perlman reported that indications from the Appropriations Committee are that the state deficit could be $180 million. He stated that this could result in the university receiving more cuts. He pointed out that faculty should start contacting their state senators to encourage them to support the university by opposing further budget cuts. He noted that additional budget cuts would take effect July 1st. He stated that he does not want to make any further cuts that would result in people losing their jobs. He noted that he is unsure how and what he would cut if further budget cuts are required of the university. He pointed out that he is comforted in knowing that the process of budget cutting has been an open one. He stated that he will be looking at the Academic Planning Committees recommendations. He noted that there have been some faculty members who have strongly supported the Teaching and Learning Center and that some of them see the cutting of the center as a symbolic attack on teaching. He pointed out that this is not the case.
3.4 Communication with Executive Committee Over the Next Month
Bryant discussed this issue with the Chancellor in a previous meeting. He noted that the Chancellor will keep the committee informed of the budget situation.
3.5 Issues on the Horizon
Evaluation of Administrators
Bryant reported that the Committee believes that administration is not getting all of the information it needs because people have concerns regarding confidentiality of evaluations and fear of retaliation. He stated that the Committee is exploring the possibility of the Senate conducting evaluation of administrators. He noted that an ad hoc committee has been formed to review how the process is being done at other institutions. Chancellor Perlman and SVCAA Edwards stated that accurate evaluations of administrators are important and they would be interested in reading them.
Director of Admissions
Chancellor Perlman stated that negotiations with a candidate for the position of Director of Admissions are currently underway. SVCAA Edwards reported that the Dean of Teachers College search would probably not take place until the completion of the states site visit of the college and the national accreditation are completed in the fall. Sawyer pointed out that there should be a discussion within the college to determine what the goals of the college are and what the college wants to be to the state before the search begins. SVCAA Edwards stated that some professors in the college are having these discussions and he encouraged the faculty members of the college to be engaged in these conversations.
Redirecting Funds for Faculty Positions
Chancellor Perlman reported that currently Deans decide where funds from open faculty positions should go within their college. He stated that the administration is proposing to capture some of these funds in order to move them to understaffed colleges. He stated that a sufficient amount of funds would remain in the college in order to hire a person at an entry level position, but any excess funds would revert to the Office of Academic Affairs where it can then be moved to a different college. He pointed out that departments can argue against the transfer of the excess funds and that Deans would still have flexibility within their own colleges because the core of the position would remain. He noted that some departments and colleges are in desperate need of resources. Wolf asked if the new Dean of Undergraduate Studies would be involved in these decisions. Chancellor Perlman responded that he/she would be involved. Fuller wondered how this change would impact the Deans budget.
4.0 SVCAA Edwards/VC Owens
4.1 Search for Dean of Undergraduate Studies
VC Owens reported that there have been conceptual discussions on the position of Dean of Undergraduate Studies but further discussions will be needed to finalize the duties and responsibilities of this position. He stated that East Campus will be involved because this position facilitates undergraduate studies on both campuses. SVCAA Edwards stated that a primary reason for creating the position was to improve the college experience for freshmen and sophomores. He stated that the position will try to bridge the gap between Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and the Registrars Office. He noted that they are trying to fund this position through reallocation of administration funds. He pointed out that this position will be the result of a shift and not an addition of an administrator.
Miller asked for clarification on the position and how it will work in the present administrative structure of the campus. SVCAA Edwards stated that the Dean of Undergraduate Studies would not have direct responsibility over students but that a number of units, such as the honors program, foundations program, and general studies, would report to this Dean. He noted that the Curriculum Committee and other aspects of the undergraduate program would fall under the responsibility of this Dean. He stated that plans call for the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies to be a resource center for students to obtain information and to gain assistance for students in things such as applying for awards and grants.
Wolf noted that the position sounds bureaucratic and he questioned how this position would affect the quality of education. SVCAA Edwards stated that one of the points of this position is to have it clearly defined as being the coordinator of undergraduate academic offerings. He noted that the Dean would meet with faculty of large classes to discuss various problems and concerns they may have, work with Graduate Teaching Assistants to improve their teaching, work with students and across college lines to improve the undergraduate experience on campus. Miller asked if Academic Affairs was currently doing some of this work. SVCAA Edwards stated that some of the work is currently being done in his office but that it is spread out among several people. He noted that the Dean of Undergraduate Studies would oversee and coordinate this work and would assume leadership of the learning communities.
Sawyer pointed out that the main task of this Dean would be to work on retaining students. He asked if there is information indicating why students leave. Chancellor Perlman stated that the Nowell Levitz consulting team is studying this problem and information on it should be available in their report which is due in three months.
Fuller asked if the search for this position would be internal or external. SVCAA Edwards stated that he originally started with the assumption that it would be an internal search because local knowledge of the campus would be advantageous, but that an external search is now being considered because of concerns expressed by a number of people. He pointed out that an external search would be more costly and that it would possibly strain the budget. Wolf pointed out that someone coming from the campus might feel beholden to the administrators which could possibly restrict or limit his/her efforts. He noted that hiring someone with a different vision from outside the university might be better and he urged that a national search be conducted. Sawyer suggested that the Levitz report might provide useful information that would pertain to this position and that it would be wise to delay the search until the report is made. Spann suggested that the person hired should have recent undergraduate teaching experience. He pointed out that students today are much different from students in the past and that it would be helpful to have someone who has experience working with them. Miller noted that retention and recruitment of students is a huge issue that must be addressed. SVCAA Edwards pointed out that currently no one oversees the retention of students. He stated that this Dean would specifically focus on retaining first and second year students. Bryant stated that an argument for an external search is to avoid replicating what has already been done on campus in regards to recruiting and retention of students. He stated that it would be helpful to get someone with experience in these areas. He pointed out that often an internal search is viewed as a way of just advancing a pre-selected person. SVCAA Edwards stated that no one has been pre-selected for this position and all applications will be considered.
Bryant pointed out that there is a complicated maze of requirements for undergraduate students that should be reviewed. SVCAA Edwards stated that he hoped the Dean of Undergraduate Studies could provide leadership in making the system easier for students. He pointed out that the requirements were established by the faculty and that they would need to be consulted if any changes were made to the requirements. DiMagno stated that there are concerns that students are not getting adequate advising when they enter the university. Fuller stated that students attending New Orientation Workshops are provided help and assigned advisors. She noted that if they are undeclared majors, they fall under General Studies who assigns advisors for the students. SVCAA Edwards stated that many undeclared students are in the College of Arts & Sciences and they have access to its advising center.
Logan-Peters questioned whether the position should be classified as a Dean. SVCAA Edwards stated that they have looked at other institutions that have a similar position and they are usually classified as a Dean. He stated that administration hopes to have someone who can fully focus on undergraduate studies. He pointed out that appointing a Dean would also separate the position from the Office of Academic Affairs.
4.2 4.8% Proposal for Salary Increase and How it Might Be Allocated
Bryant stated that the Executive Committee would like the Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee (FCAC) to start working on their recommendations for faculty salary increases. He noted that the Executive Committee is concerned that the proposed 4.8% increase could be decreased. He stated if this should occur, a satisfactory performance should receive a higher percentage than what was given this past year. SVCAA Edwards pointed out that the salary increase decision is ultimately up to the Chancellor. He noted that the Chancellor is committed to adjustments being made on the basis of merit. He stated that there might be a better way to handle the increases from the way it was done this past year. VC Owens stated that increases need to be tied to faculty performance which directly ties into the faculty evaluations. He stated that he empathizes with the Chairs in the difficulty of writing faculty evaluations. He pointed out that there seems to be a disconnection between faculty evaluations and the percentage of increase faculty members receive. Wolf noted that many faculty members wonder if it is worth the effort of going through the merit evaluation process when it results in increases skewed by the guidelines established by the SVCAA. He asked SVCAA Edwards if he could give his word not to duplicate next year the same restrictions on the distribution of merit raises within departments mandated this year. The SVCAA stated no he cant because other people are doing the ratings for the evaluations. Wolf pointed out that the consequences had something to do with the rules that department chairs received from the SVCAA. Wolf noted that the SVCAA is in the position to modify those rules or to make them more clear or not put restrictions of the sort that the SVCAA put on the department chairs last year. Fuller pointed out that the requirement for having a range of increases for departments was particularly troublesome. SVCAA Edwards stated that the administration is open to consideration of all ideas. He suggested that people should not get prematurely entrenched in defense of something that the administration is not yet committed to. He stated that the intent was to get away from a situation where people dont want to be candid on annual faculty evaluations. He noted that there needs to be a mechanism in place to prevent everyone in a department from being given an above average evaluation.
Miller asked if the recommendations made by the FCAC are seriously considered. SVCAA Edwards stated that those recommendations are very important and no decisions concerning salary increases are made until they are received. He pointed out that the FCACs recommendations may not be fully accepted but they definitely have an influence on the final decisions that are made. He noted that the FCAC was instrumental in helping to establish the increments of raises for faculty promotions. VC Owens pointed out that an issue that needs to be considered in regards to promotions is where the funds will be coming from this year. He noted that in the past open faculty lines have helped to provide these funds, but these will no longer be available due to the budget cuts. Miller stated that the FCAC met last week and discussed how market forces are determining faculty salaries. Bryant pointed out that faculty whose workloads are increasing because of the budget cuts are concerned that this increase in the workload will not be recognized and that they will not get much of a salary raise. He stated that faculty who are doing a large portion of the work need to be recognized.
4.3 Support for the Library
Bryant reported that he and President-Elect Miller met with Dean Giesecke to discuss the budget cuts to the library. He pointed out that this is an important resource for campus community and that it will be badly hurt if they receive more additional cuts. Everyone agreed and stated that the budget cuts are hurting the campus.
4.4 Issues on the Horizon
VC Owens reported that he has received the names of candidates from the search committee for the Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. He stated that they hope to bring the candidates to campus in the near future.
5.0 Unfinished Business
No unfinished business was discussed.
6.0 New Business
No new business was discussed.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:20 p.m. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on Wednesday, February 27th, at 3:00 p.m., Academic Senate Office, 420 University Terrace. The minutes are respectfully submitted by Karen Griffin, Coordinator, and James King, Secretary.