University of Denver
President Leon Giles opened the meeting at 12:09. Giles announced that the provost would not be present due to his involvement with the Center for Teaching and Learning conference.
The minutes were approved; corrections are to be directed to President Giles
Highlights: Paskus described the charge of the committee: to monitor the academic experience of student athletes and to recommend policy--academic and otherwise. The work of the committee is done through monthly meetings and meetings with the Board of Trustees. He discussed a few of the issues addressed during this academic year.
Discussion: Nancy Sampson pointed out that five years ago DU addressed some of these recruiting issues university-wide. DU established a policy regarding applicants in general who come to visit DU. If an applicant visiting DU is identified at a bar or drinking while underage, he or she will not be admitted to the university. She wanted to emphasize that DU is not doing something at the last minute about potential recruiting problems. Gordon Von Stroh cited a recent issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education and asked if the FAC has been following the national conversation regarding a consortium of faculty senates that are addressing athletics issues. Paskus replied that he worked for NCAA prior to coming to DU and keeps abreast of the issues. Faculty senates nationally have very little input on athletic program policy. The DU senate has the potential to have more impact than at other places. Additionally, we are lucky that Dianne Murphy is pretty receptive to senate involvement. Committee members have been trying to track those kinds of trends. Von Stroh said that his question refers more directly to the consortium of faculty senates. Giles clarified that it is not so much a consortium of faculty senates but of interested faculty groups. Paskus said it is called the Drake Group. Sampson said that it is mostly 1-A programs--money schools attempting to work together. Helga Watt asked for information regarding the composition of the FAC committee. Paskus said faculty members, administrators, and student representatives sit on the committee. Watt added that student relations and financial planning are also represented.
Giles said the senate is heavily involved in that committee.
Administrator Evaluation Survey (second reading)Ron DeLyser
DeLyser reported that the policy was amended slightly to include comments from the floor following the first reading. He read the amended motion. Divine called the question. Vote: the motion carried. Giles reported that he and DeLyer will meet with Sheila Summers-Thompson to finalize the process.
Recommendations for University policy change concerning assignment of w grade (first reading)Andy Divine
Giles explained that the policy change is a recommendation to the administration. There will need to be discussion with deans and the undergraduate council. Divine added that Cathy Reed made a motion for the recommendation at the last senate meeting. The second reading today will allow time for the change, should it pass, to be implemented by fall quarter. The motion requests that University Policy be changed to allow students to drop a course within the first two weeks of classes without a grade of w being posted to the students transcript. Bill Anderson directed the senators attention to the minutesCathys recommendation was a proposal rather than a motion. Giles said the senate should determine whether it was the first reading of the motion. The body voted to accept Cathys statement as the first reading of the motion. The Senates motion requests adoption by the Provost and Registrar after further review by the Graduate and Undergraduate Councils. The question was called. Vote: the motion carried.
Addendum: The formal motion reads: The faculty senate strongly recommends to the graduate and undergraduate councils that they pass a policy to change the timeline for entering grades of W from the end of week one to the end of week two; to be in effect beginning fall quarter/semester 2004.
Barrett stated that NCR was recommending a change of wording in the budget section of the bylaws to minimize conflict of interest when setting Senate budget priorities. He invited senators to be in touch with NCR with any questions. NCR also is working on an important proposal regarding the faculty review committee. University council and the review committee will need to offer input before the proposal is brought to the senate. Jenny Cornish asked who constitutes the executive committee. Giles said that the president, president elect, chairs of standing committee, executive secretary, editor of the Faculty Forum, and two members elected at large comprise the committee. The executive committee does have the ability to appoint another member in order to bring better balance to the committee. Giles said the NCR proposal is more monumental than it seems. Until a few years ago, the senate had little input regarding the budget. Last year, Coombe invited the executive committee to become more involved in the process.
DeLyser explained that the survey is more of an information item than an action item. There has been correspondence between the student relations committee and the executive committee regarding the survey to determine faculty expectations. The survey will be web-based and ready to go early in spring quarter. Von Stroh asked for an explanation of the surveys intended use. Why should faculty fill it out? DeLyser said the conversation arose out of discussions regarding the use of student evaluations. The committee thought it important to determine what the faculty perceives as valuable in evaluations with the hope of finding an approach to involvement in the faculty evaluation process.
Giles thanked the senators for moving forward on this. This first year is a pilot project. The most contentious issue turned out to be the $5000 stipend concerning release time. There is only $200,000 in the pot. The intent is to spread the funds as widely as possible across the university. In some units buying out faculty instructional release time will be possible; in some units it wont. Most of the units have developed internal plans. Within the next few days, the process will be finalized. There is variety in how the divisional committees are constituted. Processes are more flexible this year for expedience. We will evaluate effectiveness and make necessary changes for next year. He anticipates that committee members will want to apply for funds and will have to make adjustments in the process. Bill Anderson called for a meeting of AHUM senators. Saitta called for a meeting of the SOCS committee members. Jack Donelly has concerns with buy-out issue. How was the $5,000, including fringeswhich is not two courses at adjunct replacement--figure arrived at? How can deans override university policy? Divine said that the wording stipulates two courses at adjunct rates with fringes. He doesnt know where the figure came from. It used to be a standard rate. Donelly said that is the pressing issue. Divine said that figure did not come out of committee. Giles said the committee will revisit this. Donelly asked if it could be revisited in next several days as people will have to make budget decisions. Giles said yes. Donelly asked about the deans reinterpreting university policy and who initiates this discussion. Giles will have a discussion with the provost regarding that issue. Giles asked if the senators feel the process is moving forward well. Consensus was yes.
Giles has been trying to get a hold of Joy Burns to talk about this. One of the G-6 recommendations was to add an academic to the BOT. He wants to ensure we have a process for nominating members. He asked John Lowe what is considered an adequate package. Lowe responded that it is a very difficult question to answer. If youre talking about someone local and well known to the board, the BOT might need minimal information. They might need much more for someone unknown: a resume dossier, describing credentials, what that individual might be able to contribute to theBOT and university as a whole. Giles added that a biography would be helpful as well as comments regarding what the individual might contribute. He encouraged senators to send forth some names.
Academic Planning: Saitta reported nothing much new has happened. He and Giles were interviewed for The Source regarding the Academic Values, Rights, and Responsibilities statement. Giles said they were promised a review of the story before it comes out. The interview turned out to be much more extensive than he thought. They also are working with PR people to get broader exposure in the Denver community. They are moving cautiously to ensure the most positive impact possible. He hasnt talked with anyone in the university that has not been supportive of the position the senate has taken. The statement was distributed to entire faculty. He has not received any negative response; he received one positive response from a dean. Saitta said he has received positive responses.
The provosts office sent out a very strong statement today regarding final examinations. It was circulated earlier to the executive committee. The provost has taken a strong stand. Barrett clarified that the provosts position is that you must give your exam on the date that it is scheduled. Watt said that one problem she finds is that papers given as finals should be due on the exam date rather than the last day of class. Another is that the policy speaks only to final exams. Faculty can get around it by giving other exams during the last few weeks of class. Coombes view is that the last exam given in a course is a final exam and should follow university policy. Lisa Conant asked if the wording should be modified to ensure that understanding. Bill Anderson said this has been an ongoing problem. He asked if a letter could go out to students asking them not to schedule their tickets home before consulting with the instructor or the exam schedule. Giles concurred.
NCR businessBarrett said he has list of absences, but it is not accurate. Be sure to sign in.
Graduate affairs process Von Stroh reported that the graduate council has undertaken a process for evaluating new programs to see where there may be overlaps. Senators can get a copy of their policy through him.
Student evaluationsGiles said there is on-going work at deans level on how to evaluate courses. This always is a sensitive area for faculty. The original intent of evaluations was that they were to be a feedback mechanism for faculty to improve teaching. They have evolved heavily into infrastructure in ways that were never intended. Ron DeLyser explained that the discussion arose from a memo that came from Sheila Summers Thompson to the provost and academic deans. She proposed three questionsexcellent course, excellent instructor, learned a great deal in this course. She also proposed a standardized six-point scale. The memorandum also should be taken in context with discussions among the provost, Summers Thompson and deans regarding using things like teaching portfolios and the like in addition to student course evaluations. The committee composed a memo to go to the provost responding to the proposal.
Alton Barbour questioned the validity of the course evaluation tool. DeLyser said the main issue is to get senate involvement in the process. Barbour suggested that Chip Reichardt be involved as an expert. David Cox asked if DeLyser is looking for a statement of support. DeLyser reiterated the original reason. Conant asked if the personnel committee should have the issue now. Divine moved to endorse the work of the committee and ask that the memo go on to the provost. He underscored that we are not talking about supporting the three questions. Dixon said she was confused and asked about the three questions. DeLyser said that divisions have the choice of adding questions. Wilcots asks what we can do if we object to using the documents for promotion, tenure, and merit increases because of concerns regarding students racist, sexist, and political biases? Are we required to evaluate every course? Giles believes that we are required. Donnelly said that he refused to give up the tool despite the possibility of biases because it is the only way to get rid of incompetent teachers. Cox asked if we need to be involved in the process before we get into the deeper discussion. Barrett said that we should make the motion this time and vote after a second reading at the next meeting. Divine asked for a straw vote that is not binding but would give the committee a direction. Vote: the straw vote carries. Barrett asked if this proposed communication has been sent to all senators. DeLyser said no. Giles clarified that the committee can communicate to the provosts office.
Saitta said that undergrad council will meet today. He noted that nothing from Marsico has come to the council. If you have anything that is of concern, please send it to the undergraduate council. Sampson said she too is concerned that undergraduate council meetings are being cancelled frequently.
Chancellors Faculty RoundtableFriday, April 23, 2004
Next Faculty Senate MeetingFriday, April 9, 2004
Adjournment: President Giles adjourned the meeting at 1:38.