Faculty Senate Minutes Summary-Feb. 5 Meeting
February 21, 2007
I. Roll – The following senators were absent: Balling, Bartos, Burger,
Calculator, Carr, Ferber, Morgan, Quigley, Reid and Schiller. Excused were
Bachrach, Brunet, Haskins, Jolley, Miller, Robertson, Sharkey and Tenczar.
Joanne Curran-Celentano was a guest.
II. Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair met
with the Academic Leadership Council on January 30 and reported to them
that, since the Faculty Senate will not deliberate on the Discovery Program
until after work-to-rule and since approval by the Faculty Senate is required
in order to change the requirements to the Discovery Program categories,
implementation of the program will likely not be possible for 2008/09.
The senate chair and vice chair met with the university president last
week. She will continue her interim presidency at least until June 1 and
perhaps as long as another year if needed. The senate chair and vice chair
told her that faculty want a presidential candidate who can implement the
university's vision for the future, not create that vision. The Faculty
Senate had done some work on the vision last summer, but further work on
that is in abeyance pending the end of the contract negotiations. The senate
chair added that the initial description of the Discovery Program on the
university website is worded so that the reader might not realize that
the program has not been approved, unless the reader followed an additional
link for clarification. The president was responsive to this issue and
made the distinction between the Discovery Program and the concept of discovery
as a theme at UNH.
The Academic Freedom Forum has been rescheduled to allow more planning
time and will be held in the Piscataqua Room in Holloway Commons on Wednesday,
Feb.28, from 3 to 5 p.m. Regarding the contract negotiations, the parties
did not agree on a fact finder and have asked for an appointed fact finder.
The fact finder’s report will require about two months to generate
and will not be binding. A senator said that former administrators who
become or return as faculty members retain the higher administrative salary.
Thus departments which have many former administrators appear to have top-heavy
salaries. Should the salaries for former administrators who are appointed
to academic departments be distributed among all departments of the university?
A senator said that such a policy was used in the past. Should former administrators
retain their high salaries? Since these are bargainable issues, the senate
will take no action on them. Nationally, administrators are normally hired
with tenured faculty status.
The grade point average for UNH students is now a 3.0. Four year ago the
senate’s Student Affairs Committee produced a report which will be
sent to all senators and which found that grades, especially B’s
and A’s, have risen significantly over a twenty-year period. A senator
said that there is even one large course in which all students receive
A’s. How does the grade point average compare among the schools and
colleges at UNH and also between general education and non-general-education
courses and between writing intensive and non-writing-intensive courses?
The senate chair will ask the Office of Institutional Research to provide
information on those issues. Also, the University Writing Center did a
survey which included the perception of faculty and students on grading
practices in writing-intensive courses.
A new dean for WSBE, Daniel Innis, will start on July 1. A new dean is
expected to be named for COLSA within ten days. Searches have begun for
deans of the university library and the School of Health and Human Services.
A senator expressed concern that most of the Library Dean’s Search
Committee members are from the library and asked if that is standard practice.
The library is important to faculty in the whole university, but the only
members of the committee not from the library are Brigitte Bailey from
Liberal Arts, the CEPS dean, and a faculty emeritus. Please give input
to Senator Bailey on your priorities for the library dean’s position.
The search advertisement is posted on the web. The senate chair will express
to the provost the concerns about the number of non-library faculty on
the search committee.
The senate chair received a memo from Roger Beattie giving information
about how minority students are doing at UNH. There were 202 freshmen minority
students at UNH last semester. Twenty-seven of those were suspended or
excluded, and forty-nine received honors status with a 3.2 grade point
average or higher. Of 468 sophomore, junior and senior minority students,
twelve were suspended or excluded; and ninety-nine received honors status.
The university administration has sent a memo directing that faculty and
staff contact the president's office prior to sending invitations to many
categories of persons including many national and state office holders
and candidates and even Durham town council members. However, a number
of faculty have such people speak to their classes on a regular basis and
do not want to ask for the administration's permission to do so, because
this is an interference in academic matters. The senate chair will discuss
this issue with Vice President Murray and ask that the administration send
another letter with revised wording. Also, some type of guidance should
be given to faculty, departments, and political candidates, so that visits
by political candidates and their security people do not disrupt classes,
as has happened in the past.
III. Committee charges – The EOS policy proposal documentation was
sent to all senators, and the charge has been sent to the Research and
Public Service Committee for action when work-to-rule ends. Also, the Agenda
Committee will set up an ad-hoc committee, to consider whether formal procedures
for quasi-judicial senate actions are needed and, if so, what protections
should be afforded to the Faculty Senate and the administration, if the
senate were to consider any quasi-judicial action. This matter is senate
business rather than shared governance and should be dealt with during
work-to-rule. Todd DeMitchell will chair that ad-hoc committee, and Senators
Feldman and Wrighton will be members.
The senate's Academic Affairs Committee is being charged to review, when
work to rule is over, the question of a possible interdisciplinary program
on 9/11 and terrorism. The senate's Student Affairs Committee is being
charged to consider, when work to rule is over, whether the university
has suitable systems in place for international students and their recruitment.
The senate's Academic Affairs Committee and Student Affairs Committee are
being charged to review, when work to rule is over, whether the senate
should encourage the university administration to make a commitment to
support excellence among the undergraduates by offering the same package
of scholarships and benefits to national merit scholars as the university
offers to scholarship athletes. In this proposal, any national merit scholar
who comes to UNH would receive this package of benefits as long as the
student maintains a 3.0 grade point average on a year-to-year basis. This
would avoid having a student lose a scholarship after dropping under a
3.0 for a single semester.
IV. Minutes – A senator asked for modification of the minutes of
the last Faculty Senate meeting, in order not to imply that all senators
had objected to the provost’s comments in his recent letter about
faculty obligations during work to rule. The senate unanimously approved
the minutes of the last Faculty Senate meeting as amended, changing a sentence
in the last paragraph of item V to read “Today some senators said
that the statement in the provost’s letter is incorrect and inappropriate”.
V. COLSA reorganization – A formal recommendation for the COLSA
strategic plan and structural reorganization has been sent to the faculty.
When given a choice only between this reorganization plan and a plan put
forward by the administration, the COLSA faculty voted to approve the new
department organizational structure recommended by the faculty committee,
with three departments plus the Thompson School and agricultural programs.
All the farms would be managed centrally, with a coordinating council.
There would be many overlapping, interdisciplinary programs; and there
is a strategic plan to go with the structural reorganization. At the next
senate meeting, the history and status of COLSA departments can be discussed.
If the administration were proposing to eliminate departments and their
faculty, then the faculty contract would require certain steps and time
lines; but that is not occurring at present. Programs are being restructured
rather than eliminated, and therefore the displacement clause in the contract
should not be activated. There will be a joint meeting of the Agenda Committee
and the AAUP in March regarding the reorganization; and that meeting should
not be confused with a displacement action, because the reorganization
does not indicate that current faculty are being eliminated. The senate
chair will reconfirm that with the provost.
VI. Presidential search – The senate vice chair said that he does
not see that any individual or group had inappropriate influence on whether
or not candidates for president were deemed to be a good fit. The search
committee is moving toward small changes in the search process, to make
it more effective and give more time to get to know the candidates. A senator’s
idea of anonymous email discussion with candidates was warmly received
and might be done in the future. The committee is reconsidering the criteria
and also the candidates from the original pool, and the consultants are
working to find new candidates as well. The revised search process will
be documented soon.
VII. Parking spaces – A faculty member sent a request that the senate
consider a resolution calling on Parking Services to stop taking away parking
spaces from faculty/staff lots (such as the Alumni Center lot) for special
events and to explain why attendees at, for example, a nursing conference
should have superior parking rights to people who teach and work here.
That is a bargainable issue, and there may be an existing agreement regarding
lot closure. The senate chair will share with the AAUP leadership the concerns
about this matter.
VIII. Adjournment – Today’s meeting was adjourned.