Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes Summary April 28, 2014
Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes Summary April 28, 2014
Meeting called to order at 3:12 on April 28, 2014
I. Roll – The following senators were absent: Harkless, Lauer, Mebert, Mulligan, and Shannon. Afolayan and Vashisth served as proxies for Mellyn and Wu, respectively. Gingras was excused. Lisa MacFarlane, Bruce Mallory, Barbara White, and Lu Yan were guests.
II. Remarks by and questions to the provost – The provost began her remarks by updating the senate on the recent Board of Trustees meeting, where the capital budget was a main topic of discussion. She announced that the monies to renovate Hamilton-Smith have been approved through internal funding. The only item requesting state funds in the biennium will be the Integrated Biological Sciences facility which will involve some renovation of space. The Board also voted on an uplift in the system operating budget margins from 1.7 to 1.9. The Board would like to see the USNH system margins at around 3. The university will project forward in order to proactively plan for future years.
There was also a conversation in the Educational Excellence Committee about academic technology. The Board has been perennially interested in the investments being made in academic technology in the context of our academic meeting. The Board was asked to read materials from EDUCAUSE and an article on academic technology by Cecelia Rouse, a professor of educational policy at Princeton, in preparation for this meeting. Her review examined the question of whether academic technology improves student outcomes and accessibility, and her conclusion was that it depends on several factors. The three student representatives to the Board in attendance were very helpful in this conversation. Tim Quinney, the undergraduate student rep to the Board, put together a thoughtful and thorough powerpoint, Ian Cohen, the graduate student rep, and Toby Afolayan also spoke powerfully on the topic.
Next, the provost updated the senate on the searches still going on, announcing that the search for a new dean of the Paul College has been paused. The provost noted that she is re-examining how we structure our searches for and hire deans in an effort to increase the success of these searches.
Three candidates have been here related to the Carsey search, and one or two of them should be back soon for a second visit. A Senior International Officer candidate is on campus today. In Institutional Research, the committee is looking to put in an interim from one of the administrator registries so that there is more time to examine what that position will look like going forward. The provost asked the senate vice chair to report on the search for the AVP for Community, Equity and Diversity. Alberto noted that three finalists are coming to campus next week.
The provost noted that she will be unable to attend the final senate meeting this year because she will be at the Law School with the university president. She pointed out that the law school has risen in the rankings 49 places to now be included in the top 100 law schools in the country. She thanked the senators for their tremendous work and hospitality in this academic year.
A senator commented about the training that has been discussed in the past to help prepare faculty in hiring new colleagues. He recalled a conversation in the senate earlier this year that referred to the number of female faculty in Assistant Professor positions. At the time, the question was asked if this was a sign of doing better at hiring women for these positions, or if it was a sign that we were doing poorly at advancing female professors. The provost noted that there is national data that suggests that women take longer to advance to full professor. She would like to examine that national data, and suggested that any support that is offered to women, across colleges and disciplines, will be offered to all faculty in order to institutionalize that support appropriately.
A senator from the Paul college commented on the searches for new deans, noting that failed searches are hard on colleges in general, hurting senior leadership. He expressed appreciation for the provost's apparent awareness and sensitivity to this issue. The provost responded that she has been asking other institutions how they handle this, and has received a wide range of responses. She said that our current method needs adjusting so we can do better in the future.
A professor from the Law School asked if the problem with hiring deans is a pool quality problem or a process problem, noting that in the world of Law Schools, it is common to hire from the outside for pool development. The provost added that there are many different methods for such hiring, she is hoping to find middle ground, noting that this seems to be a challenge in higher education in general, particularly with the changes in the job description for college deans these days. She referred back to the earlier question of faculty development and asked how we can support leadership development as part of that process. A senator asked how our search record compares to other institutions, and the provost replied that due to confidentiality issues, that would be very hard data to gather.
A visitor to the meeting, a professor from the philosophy department, reported that she had heard about the de-selection process of books at the Dimond Library and went to the library on April 2 to learn more. She reported that she was told that 55,000 books were to be discarded by April 25, and said she was told there was to be no consultation with faculty in this matter other than library faculty. She asked if the provost had been aware of this plan. The provost responded that the point had been made quickly and clearly to the library staff that there had been a mis-step and that the process has been paused while the library works with faculty representatives to figure out what is to be done. She noted that all libraries de-selects books as standard operating practice, and that it is not her habit to micro-manage such practices. She said that the library was following certain protocols and noted that it seems clear that we need to review some of these protocols. She thanked colleagues who have written to her helpfully regarding this topic. She reported that off-campus storage areas are full and the library is looking into the cost of using of PODS to store the books until decisions can be made.
The above visitor claimed that the criteria she had been given for the de-selection was any book that had not been checked out since 1965, and added that she had emailed a library staff member to request the opportunity to review the list of books being de-selected in order to identify books relevant to the philosophy department. She said that her request was denied. The provost said that she is very eager to get the facts and collect data and correspondence to identify where this process went off track, reaffirming that there has been a mis-step.
The senate chair commented that there are five criteria used in the de-selection process, quoting a letter received from Val Harper from the library staff. These five are: Date of publication/ currency, in house/circulation usage, condition of material, value to research discipline, alternative format/availability of print item from other libraries. He suggested that the question is whether these criteria were followed.
Another visitor, a professor from the history department, expressed concern that this action by the library is a signal that UNH is moving toward greater support of STEM fields with disregard to the Humanities. The provost adamantly stated that this is not the case, using the example of the tremendous financial commitment to renovate Hamilton-Smith, the iconic symbol of the humanities at UNH, with internal funding rather than seeking state funding, to re-affirm the university's commitment to the Humanities. The provost also said that the comments she has received from department chairs regarding the library action have been very helpful.
The senate chair indicated that the culling of books included Biological Sciences and all departments. He noted that there is a shared outrage at the lack of communication and faculty involvement and said that as a faculty, we will be part of influencing development of policy.
The senator from the library thanked the senate chair for the reminder that Biological Sciences volumes were the first to go. She noted that not all librarians are in agreement on this issue.
A senator from the English department noted her concern that it seems that not all the books have been protected, stating that students have talked about retrieving books from the dumpster and that reports of books being covered by tarps do not inspire confidence in the safety of the volumes. She also asked about an issue with the height of bookshelves in the library, the provost indicated that this was a concern of a local fire inspector.
A senator from the management department asked about the plan for the process of selecting interim deans in the face of the complications with the searches for deans. The provost said that she would be discussing that with the executive committee of the Paul College on Wednesday.
A senator noted that the library issue is not so much a problem of the need for a de-selection, but a problem with the process, the lack of information and lack of consultation with faculty.
The provost congratulated everyone on a great year and said that she looks forward to seeing everyone at convocation and commencement.
III. Remarks by and questions to the chair – The chair recognized and thanked Professor Judy Robb for her excellent work on shepherding the university through its recent NEASC accreditation review. Her boundless enthusiasm, detailed knowledge of the accreditation process, and her greatly tested patience is very much appreciated. She performed an important service for the university.
IV. Minutes – The minutes of the last senate meeting, April 14, 2014, were presented for approval. A senator from the English department noted that her comments in the previous meeting had not been fully included in the minutes, relevant to the recommendations by the Student Affairs Committee on the practices of professors to facilitate the affordability of course materials for students. It was suggested by the chair of the SAC that her suggestion for faculty to encourage students to develop the practice of purchasing books as an important part of their education could be included in today's discussion of the SAC's recommendation and thereby duly noted in the minutes of this meeting. After this discussion, the minutes were unanimously approved with two abstentions.
V. Vote on Motion from the Student Affairs Committee in response to Student Senate Resolution XXXV-08 – online course material information availability at enrollment – this motion was presented at the April 14, 2014 Faculty Senate meeting where a friendly amendment was suggested. The current motion reads:
Moved on recommendation from the Student Affairs Committee that the Faculty Senate endorses the following recommendations:
Prior to the time of student course enrollment, post on the UNH Booklist your required books and other course materials (e.g., on-line materials, clickers) by logging on to Blackboard and scrolling down the middle column to the link, "UNH - Booklist Creation / FACULTY BOOKLIST FORM." At your earliest convenience submit your list of required books and other course materials to the bookstore(s), as this gives students more time to shop around before purchasing or renting books and other materials. Request that the bookstore promptly send you an itemized list of the cost of the book(s) and other materials so you can revise your list if the total cost is more than anticipated.Request paperbacks when available.If at all possible, assign texts that do not contain consumable components (e.g., access codes, tear-out pages, one-time use software) as they cannot be rented or resold.Consider using an open source website to locate text material;
Consider including in your syllabus the following UNH Office of Multicultural Student Affairs website that lists alternative, low cost on-line booksellers and renters: http://www.unh.edu/omsa/books.html, as well as the following UNH Bookstore link that posts the cost of textbooks that are new, used and for rent: http://unh.bncollege.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/TBWizardView?catalogI... a relatively small portion of a text is assigned, consider alternative instructional materials.Use an earlier edition of the text(s) if there appear to be minimal substantive changes and if sufficient copies are available given your course enrollment.If a text might not be used, designate it as "recommended" rather than "required."Place one or more copies of your assigned text(s) in the library reserves and/or in your department for student use, and note this option in your syllabus.Inform students that their local library may be able to secure required texts through inter-library loan.At the department level discuss the possibility of establishing a price range for course material expenses when multiple sections are offered.If you use clickers, please consider having a few loaners available for students to borrow and mention this possibility in your syllabus. Please consider giving students options regarding technology used in and out of the classroom. For example, if all readings are online, state on your syllabus that UNH computer labs are available to complete assignments and projects.Like disabilities accommodations, in your syllabus give students the opportunity to speak to you privately about procuring texts and other course materials and, as an alternative and also stated on the syllabus, invite them to discuss their issues with a third-party, preferably a member of the Financial Aid Office, the University Advising and Career Center, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA), or the Center for Academic Resources (CFAR).Please do not use third party vendors to create and grade your quizzes and/or exams, as students should not bear the financial burden of assessment that is the responsibility of each instructor.
Possible Institutional Responses to Issues of Student Affordability & Access regarding Texts and other Course Materials
At parent and student orientation sessions provide information on how students can purchase textbooks and other course materials (including the links in #7 above), and emphasize that savings can be significant and that it is the student's responsibility to secure these savings. Also have this information posted on University and department websites and included in department and university literature.Review the UNH Book list system to (a) increase the rate of faculty participation, (b) enhance communication between faculty and book vendors during the ordering process, and (c) maximize transparency for students regarding course costs.Apply UNH STEM monies to procure STEM-related course materials for students in financial need.Lobby the New Hampshire legislature about the issue of college affordability given the large percentage of UNH students in financial need.Develop a procedure that enables UNH students to purchase course materials from on-line vendors w/o the need of a credit or debit card.Purchase "clickers" (e.g., 200) and create a system of loaners for students based on need.
A senator from the English department suggested that it is crucial to convey the value of book-buying to students, and to reaffirm the value of these books to students' education.
Another senator asked if the faculty, by supporting these recommendations, would be supporting each item individually or generally. Joe Onosko indicated that the motion is worded gently, not as a list of requirements, but recommendations. A senator asked how these recommendations would be communicated to faculty campus-wide. The chair indicated that the Agenda Committee will handle that. A senator from the economics department asked if this includes e-books and other electronic versions of books. A friendly amendment was suggested to be added to Item 4 in the first section of the motion to add the words "and/or e-books" to Item 4, which will then read:
"4. Request paperbacks and/or e-books when available."
The motion, thus amended, was put to vote and passed unanimously with one abstention.
VI. Vote on motion from the Academic Affairs Committee on the review of the Confucius Institute contract with UNH – This motion was presented at the April 14, 2014 Faculty Senate meeting. The motion was amended in the Academic Affairs Committee (AAC), and is thus considered a friendly amendment. Michael Ferber, chair of the AAC, noted that there has been a lot of conversation about this issue in the past two weeks. He reported that the COLA dean has decided to appoint his own committee to investigate the Confucius Institute (CI) contract, and that the dean has expressed disagreement that the senate has any authority in this matter. The AAC welcomes the appointment of the dean's committee but does not agree that the senate has no authority over this, noting that the contract with the CI was signed by the university president and has implications for the entire university, not just COLA. Thus, the AAC motion is intended to assert the senate's authority in this matter, but not to compete with the work of the dean's appointed committee. The motion asks the dean to appoint at least one member of that committee from the senate membership, as well as a faculty member from the UNH-Manchester campus be included, as they have a CI instructor there. The AAC is compiling a list of questions to be posed to any committee formed to investigate the CI. The revised motion is as follows:
On recommendation from the Academic Affairs Committee:
We welcome the recent news from Dean Fuld of COLA that he will appoint a committee of professors and lecturers to review the Confucius Institute and its relationship to UNH. We trust it will be thorough in its range of inquiry, from the source of funds and purposes of the CI in Beijing to the benefits of having the CI staff teach Chinese here. We will cooperate in any way we can with this committee.
We regret, however, that Dean Fuld declines to appoint a joint committee with the Faculty Senate, which we think would more adequately represent the University-wide concerns about the CI as well as the legal basis for its presence here. We also assert the authority of the Senate to review and develop policies concerned with the academic mission of the university as a whole, and we believe the contract with the CI affects that mission. We note, too, that the contract envisages that the CI at UNH will work with the public schools in New Hampshire and Maine, will make contact with business leaders in the region, and the like—matters well beyond the purview of COLA alone.
Rather than appoint our own committee at this time, the Senate:
(1) Asks the Dean of COLA to make sure that at least one member of its committee is a current Senator, so that he or she can keep the Senate informed of its work, and
(2) Asks that a professor from the Manchester campus be included on the committee, since a CI lecturer teaches there, and
(3) Asks that the committee invite the Chair and/or members of the Academic Affairs Committee to present whatever documents it has gathered and questions it has raised, and
(4) Charges the Academic Affairs Committee to continue to monitor the CI and the work of the COLA committee, and when its report is made public to review it and report to the Senate.
Michael reiterated that his committee has no opinion regarding the outcome of the investigation, only that it requests that there is a thorough investigation. The senate chair noted that no second was needed and opened the discussion on this matter.
A member of the agenda committee expressed discomfort with the idea that the dean would appoint which senator gets to represent the senate on this committee. The chair read a portion of an email from Dean Kirkpatrick that indicated that Dean Fuld may be selecting a COLA colleague to serve on the committee who also is a senator. Dean Kirkpatrick also indicated that Dan Reagan from UNH-Manchester has already requested a presence from UNH-M on the committee.
Michael indicated that the goal of the AAC is to have this issue reviewed rather than try to enter into a jurisdictional dispute with the dean's office. The senate chair agreed that he would like to see this move forward, but is unwilling to give up the senate's prerogative, and would like for the senate to be closely consulted.
A senator asked if there is a way to change the wording of the motion to include selection of the senator who will serve by the senate chair or agenda committee.
Another senator asked what the charge and scope of the dean's committee would be, pointing out that faculty have oversight of course content and curriculum, not the dean's office. Michael noted that the CI is embedded in the department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, who have close oversight of the curriculum for the CI on this campus, which is different from the Confucius Institutes at some other institutions in the USA. He also pointed out that he has not seen the charge to the dean's committee and reminded the senate that the dean has every right to appoint any committee he would like.
Another senator asked if CI is a university institute or a COLA institute, suggesting that if it is a university institute that the dean's power to review the CI is limited. A visiting faculty member agreed with this point, noting that this institute is called CI-UNH but is housed in LLC, meaning that it operates in COLA but in agreement with UNH.
A senator from the AAC committee asserted that this is a difficult issue, noting that with the CI, we are bringing instructors to this campus who do not enjoy the same academic freedoms that the rest of the UNH faculty enjoy. Another senator asked if the senate should ask to select its representative to the dean's committee, pointing out that whether the dean agrees is not the issue, but rather that the senate should ask for that right. Another senator from the AAC said that having two senators appointed to the committee would strengthen the senate's representation on the committee. Michael asked who would choose the two senators.
Rebecca Glauber, a member of the AAC, suggested a friendly amendment to Item 1 of the motion, to change the wording to "...'at least two members' of its committee."
Jim Connell of the Agenda Committee also suggested a friendly amendment to Item 1 of the motion to include the wording, "...current Senator(s), 'appointed in consultation with the chair of the senate,' so that (they) can keep the Senate informed..."
Another senator from the AAC noted that the primary role of these senators on the dean's committee is to represent the senate, not any other entity. The senate past chair asked if it might be pointed out to the dean that the softened wording of the revised motion has been strengthened by the senate in these two friendly amendments. Michael agreed and said that it is possible that he and his committee members might be asked to meet with the dean to discuss this matter.
The motion, with the two friendly amendments in place, was put to a vote and passed unanimously.
VII. Discovery Committee report on the 2013-2014 academic year – Barbara White presented the annual report on the work of the Discovery Committee. She thanked the members of the committee for their efforts. She noted that the work of the committee has slowed somewhat this year, with 19 courses being reviewed for category and/or attributes. They have been doing a re-format review of courses that were approved in one format and have been revised to another format (to an online course, for example) to make sure the courses in their revised format are very similar to the course in its original format.
The Discovery Dialogue this year ("Water, Water Everywhere) involved a number of collaborations on campus on the topic. The Dialogue topic for next year is "Ideas for Good," a Discovery Dialogue on Social Innovation. She noted that they were creating more formal ties with English 401 with the dialogues to tether the topic to reading materials for that course. Barbara invited senators to get involved with activities on both the Durham and Manchester campuses. She also noted that the Discovery Committee would like to highlight the work of faculty members teaching Discovery courses on the Discovery webpage. She invited senators to suggest faculty who might be featured there.
A senator asked what the procedure is for developing a new Discovery course, saying that there is no availability for new Discovery courses in COLA. Barbara responded that the development of new courses is influenced by the balance of courses across the colleges and disciplines. Now that there is a balance of courses, any new course would require the retirement of another course in that category or discipline. An advisory committee of associate deans examines the need and merit of new courses, which prevents too many small, unseated courses. If a faculty member would like to suggest a new Discovery course, the best avenue is to have a conversation with the college associate dean.
The senate past chair asked for a clarification of dilution of core curriculum. Barbara explained that general education courses in the past have had a tendency to expand in such a way that there are so many courses that the classes become under-enrolled. The senator suggested that "maximizing enrollments" may be a better term than "dilution." He suggested that a limit on the number of courses offered per semester within a department might be a better solution to this problem, suggesting that each department gets a "fair share" of Discovery courses each semester, which is a different count from what they have as Discovery courses altogether.
Barbara asked if he meant that, for example, a department could have ten Discovery courses, but only offer five each semester. The senator agreed that this method would allow for faculty who are on leave and not available to teach particular courses without penalizing that department's options for offering Discovery courses, keeping department enrollments more consistent over the long-term. Barbara said that such a request would need to be made to the associate dean of the college, pointing out that the Discovery Committee makes no decisions regarding class size or capacity.
Another senator said she has spoken with Dean Fuld on this issue and agreed that it is critical to not limit the courses being offered. She said that under-enrolled courses are particularly hard hit.
She asked if there was a way to examine the number of Discovery courses are offered semester by semester. Barbara indicated that she does those reports and can make them available. She suggested that it is important to put the selection of courses offered semester by semester into the hands of the department.
The senate chair thanked Barbara and her committee for their important work.
VIII. Report from the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee (UCAPC) on the proposal for the Carsey School of Public Policy – (Appendix VIII.A. senate agenda 4-28-14) Lu Yan, the chair of UCAPC, summarized the committee's work and report, noting the cooperative work of Bruce Mallory and the members of that committee. In general, UCAPC agreed that the establishment of the Carsey School is a positive thing, particularly in view of the substantial donation to that end, but there were some concerns, and UCAPC came up with four items it would like to see addressed:
"1. Following the requirement of the UNH policy on the establishment of Schools, specify that new hires, whether joint or not, will be made in agreement with departments and deans.
2. Specify how tuition revenues will be allocated to the School and relevant Colleges.
3. Specify the metrics for evaluating the School's performance, including the total number of new students, grants, publications, and impact of publications in areas of policy-making and academic citations.
4. Specify how financial aid to graduate students will be modified along with the fluctuations in the School's revenues."
Jim Connell of the Agenda Committee proposed the following motion, and the senate chair invited discussion:
The Agenda Committee moves that:
The Faculty Senate accepts the UCAPC report on the Carsey School of Public Policy and endorses the proposal and recommends to the provost the establishment of a new Carsey School of Public Policy. The acceptance of the Carsey School proposal is contingent on the appendices recommended in the UCAPC report being provided.
A senator from the Economics department asked if the questions being posed by UCAPC were not the same issues that had been dealt with in the creation of the Marine School. Lu Yan said that these issues were vague in the documents her committee reviewed, and seemed to be dependent on future conditions. She expressed hope that the issues will be addressed in the appendices, but was concerned that, if the Carsey Institute resources are not as strong as have been projected, the result might be an undercutting of other schools.
Bruce Mallory, director of the Carsey Institute and a visitor to today's meeting, addressed the items above. He said that any joint hires will be in agreement with the deans. He said that his committee's recommendation to the provost was that the RCM rules be re-examined so that the graduate tuition formula more closely resembles the undergraduate formula. He noted that the metrics for evaluating the school's performance were modeled after the Marine School. In regards to financial aid to graduate students, Bruce noted that there are no plans to modify the funding, but rather he described the current method for funding used by the Carsey Institute, where currently a dozen or so Graduate Assistants are supported by grants and contracts through the Carsey Institute, and $20,000-30,000 of the Institute's funds are being used to support additional graduate students.
A senator stated that some time has been spent in the past defining the policies to establish new schools, including the Marine School, and said that this discussion should have happened earlier.
A member of the senate agenda committee pointed out that this motion to support the UCAPC report will be laid over until the next meeting for a vote, and asked Bruce Mallory if his committee could address these issues before the next meeting. Bruce said that he could make the full proposal available to the senate.
The motion was laid over to the next senate meeting.
IX. Report from the Finance and Administration Committee regarding the UNH School of Law Financial impact – postponed until the next meeting
X. Report from the Academic Affairs Committee on department policies on on-line courses – postponed until the next meeting
XI. Report from the Academic Affairs Committee on J-term – postponed until the next meeting
XII. New business – Sterling Tomellini from the Chemistry department proposed the following motion:
Motion: That the proposed dual major in sustainability be sent to the University Curriculum and Academic Planning Committee for review and consideration.
Rationale: The College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS) Curriculum and Academic Planning Committee (CAPC) voted 5-4-0 to recommend approval of the dual major in sustainability, the Committee also felt the proposal required additional consideration and at the same meeting voted unanimously (9-0-0) to have the dual major reviewed by the entire CEPS Faculty and 8-0-1 to request that the Senate send it to UCAPC. It is the view of the CEPS CAPC that the intent of the committee has not been properly communicated with claims to the contrary that the faculty in CEPS had approved the dual major. The motion asks that the
intent of the CEPS faculty CAPC be honored by the Senate.
A senator from the Physics department seconded the motion. A member of the agenda committee suggested that the motion and rationale be distributed to the senators for their review before the next meeting, and the motion was laid over to the next meeting for discussion.
XIII. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.