Faculty Senate Meeting
September 12, 2003
Leon Giles called the meeting to order at 12:10 p.m. while people continued to wait in the food line. Giles announced that the upgrade in lunches would continue throughout the year.
The minutes from the May 23 meeting were approved as presented.
Dennis Barrrett presented the senate list by committee assignment. We have two posts vacant: a representative to the Graduate Council. Nancy Sampson nominated Gordon Von Stroh. He was elected by unanimous consent. Next was the intellectual property committee representative. Leon Giles encouraged the senate to take this committee seriously; it is an important assignment and we need assertive representation. Chip Reichardt nominated himself, and he was approved by acclamation.
Leon Giles said we are about to embark on a new period of time concerning governance issues with the Board of Trustees. Discussions from this summer with board members resulted in an increased awareness of the importance of communication. Giles explained the concept behind the G-6 committee; they had agreed to confidentiality and so that makes it harder to talk with the Senate about certain things. At present, we are in the confidentiality period. Things will be coming out soon and then there will be open discussion with the Senate. Comments will come back to the G-6 group in October from the Board of Trustees. Recommendations will probably not go as far as we would like, but we have a place from which to begin to gather trust between Trustees and Faculty. The faculty representation on G-6 will be Leon Giles, Cathryn Potter, and Dean Saitta.
A Provost Conference will be held on October 23 on shared University governance issues, which will provide a context for the Board of Trustees meeting on October 24. It is hoped that the trustees will participate in the conference with faculty. The attached document is the first public exposure of the G-6 and the upcoming conference. This will go out on paper and electronically. No faculty will be skipped in disseminating this information. No keynote speaker was available from a small pool of possibilities, so we have a different way of setting the tone for the conference.
Provost Bob Coombe began his report with an enrollment update. In general, we are in good shape. We will be close to budget. Undergraduates were budgeted at 4,105. We are at 4,146, as of the third day. With graduate programs, a number are doing very well. GSIS is having a great year. GSSW is doing fine. They are renovating their building for a hundred new students. Enrollments are also up in the college of education, AHSS, and NATS. The one place where there is a continuing concern is University College; they are down again this year. However, last year we started low and ended the year very well.
Developments on Bridges to the Future ProgramThis program ended up being larger than what we anticipated. We had 57 events, and involved about 55,000 people. It was a great success. Coombe thanked those who taught in the public curriculum. We are continuing the program this year. Focus groups were held this summer for themes for this year. People wanted more of a chance to voice their own opinions. An ad hoc group has been appointed with Marc Holtzman as the point man. Carol Farnsworth, Dean Saitta, Jim Davis, and Buie Sewall are on the committee; they are to think about budget. Dean Saitta reported from the group. The broad theme will be Bridges to the Future: Democracy at Home and Abroad. Sub-themes include Nation BuildingDo we have any business doing this? Faith and Government. Ved Nanda asked about the international focus. Coombe assured him there would be an international component. In a structural change, more time will be allotted for people to speak their minds. We will still be linked with Colorado State.
University Planning and Advising Committee will be starting this month. Last year we did well with the Public Good. This is related to Bridges to the Future Program. Items on the agenda: Academic Quality (for example, the impending change in sabbatical policy), Ethics, Diversity, and Relations between faculty and staff. (Jesus Torvino has come up with a strategic plan to improve relations.)
The provost will send out a report soon from his office about budget and priorities.
Concerns from the floor about senate committee priorities. Arthur Best asked about the Committee for Academic Freedom. Where do we want to stand on this? Giles asked if anybody was familiar with the Academic Bill of Rights. Coombe will be meeting with the Chancellor this afternoon about the issue. Helga Watt mentioned an article in the mornings Post, which indicated we are part of this already. We have been cited as being 98 percent democratic, but nobody was asked (in the room). Don Hughes said we were looked up as to party affiliation and reported. The issue is passed to Academic Planning committee. Joe Szyliowicz asked for a report at the next meeting. Giles wanted to know where the information is coming from. We need more information about the document itself, the implications for curriculum, and the charge of discrimination against conservative thinking.
Dennis Barrett asked about a job description for the President. Is it being worked on? We still have yet to receive clarity about how the Senate might be involved in contributing to this.
Cathryn Potter pointed out that Holtzman is giving a number of talks about his vision for the university. Is the president part of UPAC? Giles asks about the working relationship between Provost and Presidents office. Coombe has encouraged him to get to know deans and faculty.
Leon Giles reported that we need to have a new chair for the Personnel Committee. Don Stedman has resigned from the Senate and the new committee needs to give serious consideration as to who will be the new chair.
Giles has scheduled a joint committee meeting for Personnel and Academic Planning, at 10 a.m. on September 19, before the New Faculty Luncheon. The purpose is to address new policies on copyright, heavily pushed by music industry, and the patent agreement that governs all university personnel. We need to get moving on this fairly quickly. Bill Anderson asked the location of the meeting; DCB 140 is the answer.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:10 p.m. so that committees could meet and get started on their priorities for the year.