Faculty Senate Minutes March 5, 2007 Summary
April 4, 2007
I. Roll – The following senators were absent: Afolayan, Balling,
Burger, Calculator, Chaston, Ferber, Griswold, Kaen, Kistler, Morgan, Niser,
Robertson, Schiller, Tenczar, and Walsh. Excused were Bachrach, Bailey,
Becker, Carr, Dolan, Haskins, and Naumes. Katherine Steere was a guest.
II. Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair said
that the AAUP and the administration have agreed that there is a need for
the proposed meeting between the AAUP, the Agenda Committee and the administration
regarding COLSA displacement; and the meeting is expected to be held during
the week of March 19th.
John Aber has indicated that he will step down as vice president for research
and public service. At last week’s meeting with the Academic Leadership
Council, the senate chair conveyed to the administration the sentiment
of the Agenda Committee that there should be a full search committee and
that the Faculty Senate should be represented on that committee, since
the position of vice president for research includes responsibilities for
the protection of academic freedom. Also, a suggestion was made that the
position title be changed to vice president for research, public service
The senate’s University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee
has unanimously recommended approval of a new major in society and politics,
at UNH-Manchester. The senate chair made clear to the Academic Leadership
Council that, like all new programs, this proposed major must now be submitted
to the Faculty Senate for approval. The chair reviewed for the Academic
Leadership Council the process of approvals for all new academic programs,
including the proposed new program in international gastronomy and the
proposed School of Community and Environmental Planning and School of Marine
The Central Budget Committee is considering overhead cost returns but
has not had the usual faculty representation since the start of work to
rule. Now, the Agenda Committee has agreed to exempt the Central Budget
Committee from the recall due to work to rule, as provided for in senate
motion XI-M3 on 11/13/06. Therefore the senate chair will begin attending
the CBC meetings on March 6 and is urging other faculty representatives
to do so as well.
At the behest of the Agenda Committee, the senate chair brought up to
the Academic Leadership Council the issue of faculty orientation on RCM
matters; and there was substantial agreement that faculty need a primer
on RCM, to assist them as they make decisions on such issues as office
location, because there could be dramatic effects on where overhead cost
returns go. There is an RCM 101 on the UNH web page, and the administration
will review this to ensure that it is accessible and clear.
III. Minutes – The senate unanimously approved the minutes of the
last Faculty Senate meeting.
IV. Presidential search – The senate vice chair said that the search
committee is making good progress on the search. If necessary the current
interim president may stay on for another year, but the committee may be
able to complete the search by this summer.
V. Potluck dinner for Student Senate – The Agenda Committee suggests
that the senate hold a potluck supper for the sixty student senators on
Monday, April 16, at 5:30 p.m. in room 18, the MUB Entertainment Center.
The senate chair asked the faculty senators to bring food to that dinner
and to state in advance what the dish will be, in order to avoid duplication.
There will not be a stove available, but there will be connections for
crock pots. The Student Senate observer at the Faculty Senate said that
she will notify the student senators about the dinner which will be held
VI. UCAPC – It is now time to start the election process for new
representatives to the senate’s University Curriculum and Academic
Policies Committee, which is an appeals and fact-finding body to consider
academic and curricular matters which have inter-college and/or campus-wide
effects or which are likely to affect the quality or integrity of the realization
of the university’s academic mission. UCAPC is a senate committee
and gives its recommendations to the Faculty Senate. The senate then considers
the UCAPC’s recommendations, acts and forwards the senate’s
recommendations to the vice president for academic affairs. UCAPC is exempt
from the recall due to work to rule, as stated in the Faculty Senate minutes
VII. Motion on electronic grade submission – David Feldman moved
and Frank Birch seconded that the drop-down menu on the electronic grade
submission form should show the description of what the letter grades mean,
rather than the letter grades themselves. A senator suggested that the
software should deal automatically with issues such as classes in which
all students receive A’s, perhaps changing the grades to C’s.
Another senator said that he had seen data collected by the UNH administration
showing that, in many colleges, A’s are given more often than any
other single grade. A professor pointed out that, since the “A-plus” grade
does not exist, that conflates the “A” grade statistically.
Should the issue of grade inflation be considered along with the issue
of course evaluations? In addition to the letter grade, should the transcript
show the grade distribution for each class or the student’s rank
in the class? A professor said that, in some classes, to rank the students
would be a disservice. In some small, upper-level courses in certain years,
the students do deserve B’s and A’s, because those students
are bright and hard working. Not every group of students is the same, and
so the average grade will differ. Therefore there should not be a mechanical
system of second-guessing professors’ grades.
A senator said that it might be okay to add more information beside the
letter grade but not to substitute ranks for grades. A senator said that,
if faculty wrote a paragraph instead of assigning a letter grade, that
would take care of problems related to pickaprof.com. However, such a solution
could have legal ramifications. A professor said that he will vote against
the above motion, because he is in favor of having the task force look
at all the related issues together, as soon as work to rule ends. Since
most other institutions of higher learning give letter grades, UNH students
need letter grades for scholarships and other matters; and so it would
create problems for students if this university did away with the traditional
letter grades. Another professor said that we should not discuss remedies
until we have defined the problem. Therefore he opposes the motion and
prefers a thorough review by a task force. The proposer of the motion said
that his motion would not affect the task force and only says that the
drop-down menu on the electronic grade submission form should show the
description of what the letter grades mean, in order to remind faculty
of the definition of those grades. Other faculty said that they do not
need a reminder of the definitions. The senate voted, unanimously except
for one abstention, to table the motion until the next senate meeting.
VIII. Oak Room – The administration has announced a plan to close
the Oak Room. Elizabeth Slomba moved and Cesar Rebellon seconded that David
May, who is the executive director of business affairs and who administers
the Oak Room, should be invited to the earliest available Faculty Senate
meeting to discuss the proposed closing of the Oak Room. As stated in the
10/30/06 Faculty Senate minutes, the Faculty Senate has its own issues
separate from those of the administration; and the Faculty Senate has a
responsibility to do its own business. Therefore senators agreed that this
motion would not violate the spirit of work to rule. The motion passed
unanimously except for one abstention.
IX. Adjournment – Today’s meeting was adjourned.