Minutes of the Faculty Senate Meeting
March 10, 2010, 3:30 p.m.
ENGR 209

Neil Allison, Chair
Linda Jones, Secretary (J. Parry, Recording Secretary)
Minutes Status: Approved

Roll Call:


Officers: Allison, Rupe, Brady, DiBrezzo, Freund

Senators (elected): (ALFS) Karcher, Milus, Miller, Rom, Ahrendsen,;(ARSC) Comfort, Turner, Parry, Landman, Scheide, Shobe, , Freund, Brady, Kral, Rhoads, Van Brahana; (WCOB) Bouwman, Hardgreave; (EDHP) Kissinger, Stegman, Dibrezzo, Smith-Nix; (ENGR) Gordon, Heymsfield; (LAW) Brummer; (LIBR) Kirkwood; (At-Large) Curington, Fort, Allen, Gay, Murphy, Riggs, Johnson, Billings, Turner, Salisbury, Martin.

Senators (admin):, Gaber, Smith, Geren, Nance, McMath, Lewis.


Officers: Jones (excused)

Senators (elected):

Senators (admin):

I. Call to Order.

Meeting was called to order at 3:31 p.m. by Neil Allison, Chair.

II. Roll Call.

John Rupe called the roll, filling in for Linda Jones.

III. Approval of Agenda.

The agenda was approved once the posthumous degrees “new business” was moved to the first item. Motion made, seconded, and passed.

IV. Approval of Minutes.

Minutes from February 10, 2010. Motion made, seconded, and passed.

V. Reports.

a. Provost’s Report, Sharon Gaber.

• Search for new graduate school deans. We’re slowing the dean of “the graduate school and international education” so we can concentrate on the “research” one.
• Benchmark institutions. Past administration had considered 54 institutions. That was difficult for institutional research and others. Looked at the “peer institutions” of other schools and discovered most of them considered only 10-20. Looked at fall enrollment of students, ACT rank, retention rate, 6-year, graduation rates, Pell Grant rate, percent of full-time students, how many in cohort, research expenditures, federal research expenditures, tuition and fees, state appropriations, high school GPA, endowment, and endowment market value, for example. Then arrived at a new list of 12 “Benchmark Institututions” but Chancellor felt it was important to retain SEC peers so, those added to original 12, gives us 17 total including UC MO, Columbia, O of OK, U of TS, and many others … including a few “aspirational peers.” You can still find the old benchmarking peers as well. We’re not restricted to just those for peer-review letters but we should consider them. As response to a question: where your personal peers are also could be a valid criteria “clearly.” The “list” is a “sample of what it might be.”
• Appointments, promotion and tenure. We’re still moving forward with processing those applications digitally.
• Exploring the possibility of centralized classroom scheduling. In some units accreditation is tied in with this and that will be considered. But as we get additional classrooms/buildings on campus, we need to work on these issues. We may bring in a consultant and/or on-use GIS assistance, etc. There is a conversation emerging.
• There is also conversation about background checks for certain groups of people … related to state, federal law and UA system. They are looking at some faculty groups; she’s working with Don Pederson about that. This will likely include groups working with vulnerable populations like children or the indigent. As we get a list, perhaps this summer, of what this might look like, she will share with faculty.

b. Senate Chair’s report, Neil Allison.

• Slight change in who attends faculty executive committee meetings for the faculty senate. We have invited her to join us at 4 p.m. each time for the duration of Provost Sharon Gaber’s service to UA.
• Act 182. This obscure act has been bouncing around. It appears that state senator Sue Madison called a meeting of people considered about its implementation and invited several people, including the chancellor and the provost to that meeting; our administrators then kept the faculty informed. Both administrators made it clear to all, including Jim Purcell (director of ADHD), that we did not like the consequences of 182 for our campus.
• We’re working on electronic submission/processing of tenure and promotion applications

VI. New Business

A. Posthumous degree. Curt Rom presented. Policy created in 2005 … “student who dies while enrolled in a degree program at the UA Fayetteville” … attending classes and making degree progress at the time of death; the student must not have been dismissed, etc. at time of death nor died during commission of a felony, and other considerations. The register creates a list for a committee to consider, and faculty ultimately make recommendation to the president and the board of trustees. Additional requests for students not meeting stated conditions MAY make application to the committee on posthumous degrees. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for these degrees in, broadly, “university studies.” Recipients are recognized at that year’s commencement. Responding to question: faculty in a particular program are not prevented from awarding “a regular degree.” Any deaths between now and then also would be eligible; committee can act quickly. Terry Martin advises that programs wishing to award the “regular degree” consult Board policy as the student MAY need to have been in his/her final semester. The motion for the honorary degree arrived moved and seconded from the committee and was adopted unanimously.

B. Motion from the Executive Committee: “It is moved that a fall break to established on the Monday and Tuesday of the eighth week of classes.”

• Will not be in time for fall 2010
• Angie Smith-Nix, chair of the university calendar committee, noted that her committee had brought to executive committee a unanimous recommendation for Thanksgiving week (all of it) as the “fall break.” She reported the reasons for that decision as well as split polling data on Thanksgiving versus October break. They do not support the proposal here … they are still gathering data, as asked by the faculty senate executive committee the last time calendar committee presented. Two additional days would be added somewhere … the calendar committee and the provost would work that out.
• Several points were made both pro and con for a fall break, generally, and WHEN it might happen. Labs (with live samples) will be affected, student summer employment will be affected, students may take the whole week off for both Thanksgiving and October if we go that route, October is a truer/more pedagogically-defensible practice/in keeping with the rhythm of the semester, we could manipulate the finals schedule to accommodate those lost days w/o a lost week (in particular in once-a-week courses), there are many schools that don’t get out until just before the Christmas holiday, but most schools also start after Labor Day, Registrar Dave Dawson notes that there are consequences for end-of-term processes in his office so it may be good to see what the whole proposal (including changed days elsewhere) would look like.
• Also said, Monday and Tuesday or most affected because of Labor Day already being “lost.”
• Other comments: Thanksgiving is not in the right place ?, two days is not long enough, especially in light of the week long spring break in place for that semester, a whole week causes fewer problems for particular classes, the typical length however is 2-3 days according to the research of the Calendar Committee.
• Maddie Bookout, ASG president, noted that a poll of 1000 students (700 responded) produced an unclear result … Thanksgiving was supported but only by about six percentage points over the October break; she reported the ASG was interested in seeing additional research so, especially in light of not making a change in time to go into place this fall.
• Smith-Nix also points out the calendar committee’s recommendation was, if October, for the 9th week to accommodate eight week classes smoothly.
• Smith-Nix reported results of faculty polling about their preferences.
• Moved and seconded to send back to calendar committee for next month, as they gather more data. Motion passed 20-11. The committee is to bring back a motion based on the data they are gathering right now.

C. Consent Agenda. Adopted unanimously.

VIII. Announcements.

A. David Gay announces rejuvenation of several campus council committees including fringe benefits and the 4/28 meeting of the Campus Council this semester.
B. David Gay also announced a new committee has been formed to evaluate the Purdue evaluations; he is chairing and announced other members. People can send comments to dgay@uark.edu. Other members include Sharon Gabor, Inza Fort, Paul Hewitt, Tom Jensen, Mark Killenbeck, Charlie Rosenkrans, Kathy van Laningham.

IX. Adjournment at 4:36 p.m.