Minutes Summary Faculty Senate Nov.18, 2013
Minutes Summary Faculty Senate Nov.18, 2013
Meeting called to order at 3:10 on November 18, 2013
I. Roll – The following senators were absent: Fagerberg, Kaen, Mellyn, Morgan, Shannon, and Tenczar. Woodward served as proxy for Caron. Kidwell was excused. Bruce Mallory was a guest.
II. Remarks by and questions to the provost – The provost was traveling, and unable to attend. The chair dispensed with this portion of the meeting.
III. Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair reminded the senate about the upcoming nominations for the academic year 2013-2014 faculty awards. He encouraged the faculty to participate in presenting these nominations, calling them an important way to “support our own.”
IV. Minutes – With one friendly correction, the minutes of the last senate meeting were approved with all ayes except for one abstention.
V. Motion to update senate bylaws, Item 3.C – Deb Kinghorn, representing the agenda committee, re-opened the discussion of the motion, laid over from the last senate meeting, to add the following items to Item 3.C of the senate bylaws, as there has been no clear guideline on the topic to this point. She reported that she has researched faculty senate policies at other institutions and found that a policy regarding attendance is standard for such bodies:
3.C.1 Departments that do not elect and seat a senator will be contacted by the chair of the senate to state that the department will not be able to bring motions forward on their own nor will the department have a vote on senate business until the department seats a senator.
3.C.2 If a senator misses three Senate and/or committee meetings in a semester without securing a proxy as per 3.C, the senator shall be contacted by the Senate Chair to discuss the situation. Failing improved participation, the Agenda Committee, upon recommendation of the Chair, may declare the seat vacant and contact the department for a replacement. It is the right of the department to respond to the vacancy.
A senator asked if this wording of 3.C.2 was lacking an additional step; what if a department is content to maintain a non-attending senator as their representative? The chair stated that representation is the right of the department, and without representation the department has no vote on senate matters. Another senator asked if such wording in our bylaws might not call negative attention to the senate, considering the difficulty of securing a proxy, especially in small departments. To her, it is in everyone’s best interest to show up and participate in the work of the senate, and she has difficulty imagining senators who would not take this role seriously. The past chair pointed out that the senate does not report to anyone else regarding attendance; these guidelines are for the purposes of self-governance, providing a written standard to promote awareness more than mandate behavior.
A senator asked if, based on these guidelines, the senate chair should contact all members of the department of a non-attending senator who does not respond to personal queries from the senate chair, rather than communicating only with the department chair, since all department members are impacted by their representation or lack of it. The chair responded that such a broad communication might seem to be reaching too far into the workings of the department.
Needing no second, the motion was put to vote, passing with 27 ayes, 5 nays, and 2 abstentions.
VI. Motion on the holding over of substantive motions – Jim Connell, representing the agenda committee, re-opened for discussion the motion laid over from the last senate meeting. Jim reminded the senators that the purpose of this motion is to make official a practice that has been common for the senate for some time. Holding significant motions over until the next meeting allows senators to take information back to their respective departments for information and input. He also reiterated that this rule may be suspended at any time in order to vote on an item within the same meeting in which it is introduced, should there be a need to do so. This rule shall be placed on the senate website in the area of “Special Rules Adopted by Senate.”
Motion: The Faculty Senate shall vote on main motions of a substantive nature, unless otherwise decided as below, at the regular meeting following the meeting when the motion was introduced. On introduction, the main motion may be debated and all subsidiary and incidental motions are in order. If a motion entailing further delay (tabling, postponement to a certain time, commitment, etc.) is adopted, that delay, provided it is no sooner than the next regular meeting, shall apply. If the previous question is adopted during the initial consideration, only consideration at that meeting shall end, with no vote being taken; consideration, including debate, as below, shall resume at the appropriate future meeting.
When consideration of a substantive main motion is resumed at a subsequent meeting, it is fully open to debate and amendment and may be voted upon at that meeting provided no amendment is adopted at that meeting that substantively alters the fundamental intent of the motion. In that case, it shall be delayed as if it were a new main motion.
Upon adoption, this rule supersedes any previous rules on the subject.
Rationale: The above has been the custom in the Faculty Senate with the often cited advantage of Senators being able to consult with their departments before voting. Many assumed it was a procedural rule, but recent research by our new administrative assistant has failed to disclose any such a rule having been adopted. This has left the Chair and the Agenda Committee in an ambiguous situation they wish to resolve.
It may be noted that “substantive” is not defined. The chair, when a motion is introduced, makes the determination. The chair should, as in all such matters, rule conservatively. As with any decision by the chair, a member can appeal the chair’s decision and, the appeal being seconded, a vote will be taken.
Should the chair proceed to a vote on a main motion and a member feel the vote is in violation of this rule (or any other), they should raise a point of order and the chair will rule.
Even should a main motion be substantive, the Senate may still suspend the rules in order to vote at the meeting when the main motion was introduced should it desire or need to do so.
There was no discussion. When put to a vote, the motion passed unanimously.
VII. Discussion on the potential changes to the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Inclusive Excellence Position – The chair described to the senate the reconceptualization of this recently vacated position. The chair brought information about this change to the agenda committee, who felt that the senate should be informed of the process and progress. The chair has been serving on the committee that is looking at what the new position should be. President Huddleston will make the final decision on this position because it involves a reorganization, first of the reporting line, moving out of the provost’s office to a position which would report directly to the president. The position would also be re-named. Currently, Chief Diversity Officer is the name under consideration. Faculty development, which is part of the current portfolio of the position, will stay within academic affairs. The current timeline would have this position filled by July – September, 2014, which means that the position should be advertised by December 2013.
There was discussion in the senate regarding the tasks of this position. The response was that the portfolio of this position includes coordinating issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion, in regards to students, faculty, and staff across programs, as well as curriculum and processes for hiring are all parts of the portfolio of this position. Several senators asked for a definition of “inclusive excellence,” expressing concerns that the term is poorly defined.
Clarifications during the discussion included the relationship between this position and the Affirmative Action Officer, who reports to the provost’s office and deals with compliance with state and federal regulations. It was also clarified that this position is not the same as the Vice Provost for Internationalization.
Other faculty members emphasized the importance of this position both in terms of the work to be done and symbolically as a representation of the university’s determination to become a truly diverse community.
A senator asked if this position was a reflection of the growth of the administrative arm of the university, asking if there are not other administrators who might take on such responsibilities, recognizing the value of the position, but asking if there were more fiscally conservative ways to meet these needs. In light of reductions in faculty positions across campus, she asked the chair to ask the administration to look at the balloon of administrative hiring. A second senator reiterated this concern. The chair indicated that he would discuss this with the provost.
A member of the agenda committee asked if the senate could be provided with a list of the past accomplishments of this office to give some sense of what has been done up until now. Some senators shared specific stories of concerns they had regarding past experiences with the concept of inclusive excellence.
A senator commented that the actual accomplishments of this position up to this point might need to be separated from our feelings about this position going forward; perhaps the vision and effectiveness of the new hire will bring the position into a new place. She suggested that scaling back support of diversity is a dangerous message to send, and that this is important work.
The senate vice-chair asserted that this position would also be responsible for engaging with communities of color outside of campus.
As senator asked why the position would need to be moved out of academic affairs to the level of the president’s office. The past senate chair indicated that such a move would send a clear signal that diversity is something that we wish to promote not just in the academic area of the university, but to engage the entire university community. He then asked the chair if there might be a multiplication of administration regarding faculty development; would there need to be an additional hire for faculty development, creating even more administrative positions? The chair said that his impression from speaking with the provost was that it was a reconfiguration rather than an addition of yet another position.
A senator asked if the shift of position indicates an increase in the salary connected with the position, or if it would be a lateral move financially. The chair indicated that there has been some concern that the position might actually be downgraded, and that he has the sense that it would be a level exchange, noting that whether the position is diminished or promoted would be a statement.
A senator asked if this position were not filled, would the university’s ADVANCE grant be impacted negatively. The chair replied that it probably would not.
VIII. Discussion of the Carsey gift and the proposed School of Public Policy – Professor Bruce Mallory was invited by the senate chair to discuss the Carsey gift and its relationship to the School of public Policy. Bruce discussed the early planning stages to create a school of public policy, expanding on the work of the Carsey Institute. The concept is that of an interdisciplinary graduate school. Currently there is an ongoing search for a director of this school.
1967 Alumnus Marcy Carsey gifted $7.5 million to the university in 2002 for the establishment of the Carsey Research Institute. The new gift, totaling $20 million, will be paid out over multiple years and added to the previous gift, providing both endowment and some current use funds. Ms. Carsey has been well pleased with the work of the Carsey Institute. The proposal is to create a foundation and hire a director to guide it, utilizing a university wide planning committee of 25 people from across the university community to establish plans, principles and details.
The plan is to have a proposal drafted by mid to late January, 2014 for review by the provost’s council. He suggested that UCAPC might be a venue for dissemination of this information to the senate. The school should serve as a resource to existing research and teaching programs to help them translate their work into information that is useful to policy makers, focusing on areas of poverty, sustainability, and community development.
A senator asked what incentives will exist for schools to participate with the Carsey School, especially in regards to P&T committees and their encouragement of faculty to participate. Bruce replied that these would be joint or shared appointments, as the Carsey Institute currently employs. This summer the Carsey Summer Faculty Fellowships will be reinstated, providing seed money for faculty to advance their own work and in return, provide a policy brief for the school. The Carsey Institute will be the research capacity of the school, still endowed by the initial gift. The Institute will report to the Carsey School and then to the graduate school.
A senator asked if this gift is an indication of a donor dictating curriculum at the university, or if Ms. Carsey was solicited for this donation. Bruce responded that the Institute was aware of her interests in economics and social justice, and said that the school agenda will be to produce knowledge valuable to policy makers. He said that Ms. Carsey has shown no interest in dictating academic activity or content.
Another senator asked what financial impact the new school will have on the university. Bruce indicated that the cost of the Carsey Institute involves the space plus half of the salary of the director, and then generate grants and contracts shared by the two colleges that support the Institute. He indicated that there will be a plan to guarantee funds for the university, and that the school will be expected to raise its own funds through the endowment or other means.
The chair thanked Bruce for this information.
IX. Report from Student Affairs Committee on the charge on Responsible Conduct of Research – Barbara White, representing the Student Affairs Committee, offered the following report:
November 18, 2013
From: Faculty Senate, Student Affairs Committee
Re: Charge sent in October, 2013 from the Agenda Committee:
Review the attached email request from Julie Simpson and the UNH Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarly Activity (RCR) Committee and formulate a response to the request for an update of the Academic Honesty section of the Student Rights, Rules and Responsibilities policy.
Committee recommendation and response:
The Student Affairs Committee agrees that edits to the Academic Honesty section of the Student Rights, Rules and Responsibilities policy to: a) include in the definition of plagiarism/academic dishonesty that plagiarism/academic dishonesty does not include “honest error” and b) that this definition of extends to undergraduate theses and research projects as well as graduate theses and dissertations, is appropriate. This action aligns both the UNH policy on Misconduct in Scholarly Activities (MISA) and the Students Rights, Rules and Responsibilities section on Academic Honesty (Section 9).
Barbara reported that the request from Julie Simpson and the UNH Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarly Activity Committee was to update the Academic Honesty section of the Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities (SRRR) policy to bring it in line with the Misconduct in Scholarly Activity (MISA) policy. The committee found no problem with this desire to align the language, leaving caveats for honest mistakes in both documents, noting that this grants latitude to faculty to determine individually way “honest error” means.
There was some discussion regarding what the definition of honest error might be, and whether students have a clear idea of what it means both to plagiarize, and to make an honest error.
A senator said that the MISA wording applies to federally funded activities, and that including this wording in a UNH setting stretches the intended definition. He further stated that MISA obligates employees, not students. There was a continued discussion about the conflation of standards of academic honesty, misconduct in scholarly research, and plagiarism and classroom activities. A senator pointed to section 3.4 of the MISA standards, which states that student plagiarism is not covered by MISA but is to be covered separately by the SRRR.
A senator asked if a response could be formulated to Julie Simpson that the MISA policy and the SRRR are explicitly separate, and thus the wording should not be changed. The senate vice chair and chair will take that message back to the Responsible conduct of Research and Scholarly Research Activity Committee.
X. New business – A senator asked for follow up on a motion from last year in regards to criterion for grants. The senate vice-chair will review last year’s motions and report back.
XI. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 4:51 p.m.
Academic Affairs Committee
Motion to Extend the On-Line Course-Registration Period One Week into the Term
December 2, 2013
Both the Registrar and the Vice President for Student and Academic Services have recently expressed the view that it would be helpful to students if they could add or drop courses on-line during the first week of classes, and that it would be feasible technically. Currently students may register on-line only up to the first day of classes; after that they must get a paper add-drop form and have it signed by the instructor.
We considered some objections to this proposal from the point of view of the instructor, who will want to know how many students are enrolled from day to day, may have a policy about attendance at the first class meeting, and the like, but we think these may be met if the Registrar will have set up an automatic notification of the instructor whenever a student signs up after classes have begun. All controls placed by departments, such as “permission-required,” would remain in place, as would capacity limits, so students would still need to fill out paper forms to have such controls lifted in their case. First-year students would not be allowed to register on-line, as they are more likely to need to discuss the course(s) in question with the instructor or their adviser.
We also think this would make late registration somewhat more efficient and more frugal with paper.
We therefore move that the Faculty Senate recommend extending on-line course registration until the end of the first week of classes, with the proviso that all standing restrictions will still apply (and still require paper permission forms) and that instructors will be notified by the Registrar immediately after a student is enrolled.
Academic Affairs Committee
Report on Student Senate Resolution regarding Blackboard Use December 2, 2013
The student Senate on November 17 passed a resolution asking the Faculty Senate and academic departments to “implement Blackboard usage standards in which professors are required to provide a Blackboard course site for every class, and . . . these standards also require that every professor must post a digital copy of their syllabus (including a course schedule) to their respective course site by the first day of classes.” (The full text of the resolution is in the appendix (PDF).)
The Academic Affairs Committee thinks the intent or spirit of the resolution is not unreasonable, but we also think the Faculty Senate lacks the power to “require” any instructors to make use of Blackboard. We can only recommend or urge them to do so. It is clear that behind the limited use of Blackboard that the resolution wants us to require is the desire to have instructors voluntarily use other features of it as well, such as discussion boards; posting syllabi would a first step toward such general use. Our Committee thinks we cannot even urge instructors to use these features, since some of them have deliberately chosen not to do so, often for well-considered pedagogical reasons. But since the student resolution calls only for posting syllabi and schedules, we can support it short of making such posting a requirement.
We therefore propose a Senate resolution:
The Faculty Senate urges all instructors of all ranks to post their course syllabi and schedules on Blackboard, and make them “available” to the enrolled students by the beginning of the term.
This resolution will be communicated to all chairs and deans.
University Panel on Teaching and Learning, at UNH and Beyond Co-sponsored by the Faculty Senate and the Office of the Provost
Teaching and learning are central to the mission and the life of the university and to the sustainability of our communities. Given the rapid advances in understanding the complexity of teaching and learning, what will our classrooms, our instruction, and learning environments look like in the next decade? How can research advance our understanding of the processes of learning and pedagogy, and contribute to new scholarship in the subject area disciplines? What new tools—technologies, analytics, environments—can we use to improve our students’ learning, promote equity, and enhance their lives? More specifically, how will the University of New Hampshire respond to these challenges and advance the quality of teaching and its impact on learning from pre-school through graduate school as part of its commitment to community engagement?
These questions are at the heart of the University’s mission. As a comprehensive research-intensive public university, UNH has long had a strong commitment to excellence in teaching, shared by faculty, staff, administrators, and students. To meet the challenges above, the University Panel on Teaching and Learning, at UNH and Beyond, is jointly established by the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Senate.
The Panel, consisting of broad representation across the university, is charged with developing a plan that defines a university-wide structure with the capacity to: 1) enhance and integrate a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the cognitive and social processes of learning; and 2) contribute to sound pedagogical approaches for implementing that understanding in a variety of instructional settings. The questions of how individuals learn and how we best structure teaching to maximize learning will be coupled with the development of a delivery system for disseminating engaged scholarship. In particular, the Panel is charged with creating a plan which recommends ways in which:
• UNH can organize administrative units, centers, resources, and activities related to teaching and learning more effectively;
• UNH can extend faculty development in the areas of teaching and learning;
• UNH can sustain research and scholarship on the learning sciences and pedagogy;
• UNH can improve the efficacy of our collective teaching mission and the teaching mission of PK-12 schools in NH;
• UNH can make excellent use of emerging technologies to extend our reach and enhance our residential experience;
• UNH can better use the calendar and our physical setting to enhance and accelerate learning;
• UNH can garner external support; and, in concert with our mission
• UNH can better engage with external partners—Pre-K to 20, in the private, public, and non-profit sectors--in service of the state and region.
Among the questions the Panel will engage are:
• How do our administrative structures support or inhibit our collective efforts in understanding and improving teaching and learning within the university and in NH PK-12 schools?
• What more might we do to support faculty and NH educators as they consider the learning sciences and their implications for pedagogy?
• How can technology be better used to enhance and extend the vitality of face-to-face interactions, and to enlarge classrooms globally?
• How can teaching and learning be assessed to improve instructional practices and student outcomes?
• What more should we do to extend our reach to Pre-K to 12 schools, to underserved school districts, to professional adult learners, and to community partners?
• And, while many of our faculty are explicitly scholars of teaching and learning, many more are thoughtful practitioners in and across the disciplines, working from research, experimenting with pedagogy, and excited to share what they learn from their students. How can we encourage and reward that work as a scholarly activity, through professional and cross-disciplinary faculty development, through discipline-based movements in pedagogy, through support for scholarly dissemination?
Upon implementing the Panel’s recommendations, UNH will have a coherently organized and integrated educational mission. On campus, we will continually rejuvenate our on-campus teaching mission with pilot projects, scholarly assessment, engaged learning, innovative curricula, and high-impact activities. Off campus, we will work with schools, teachers, districts, and community partners to address the needs of the state and the region. We will develop and test the flexible pathways, modalities, and means by which we provide access to opportunity for current students, for those pre-college students who seek academic enrichment and acceleration, and for those who throughout their lives, refresh their skills and rejuvenate their spirits. Our impact will be seen in the excellence of the educational experience on campus, in the quality of our graduates, and in the strengthening of public education throughout New Hampshire. We will become the University of Choice.