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Faculty Senate Minutes Summary Sept. 13, 2010

October 6, 2010

I.  Roll – The following senators were absent:  Morgan and Simos.  Becker, Potter and Reid were excused.  Guests were John Aber and Lisa MacFarlane.

II. Remarks by and questions to the president and provost – The president welcomed and thanked the senators for serving on the Faculty Senate and for their work on the NAVITAS issue.  The president said that NAVITAS has tremendous potential for the university in many respects. On September 21, please join the president, provost and a panel of faculty and staff as they present a progress report on the state of the university and answer questions about strategic initiative priorities for the academic year.  A senator thanked the president for coming to this senate meeting and said that it is important that the president and senate talk with each other.  In response to a question, the president confirmed the affiliation of UNH with the newly named University of New Hampshire School of Law, formerly the Franklin Pierce Law School.  This is an affiliation and not yet a merger, and UNH will appoint some members of the governing board of that institution.  Many of the law school faculty already have collaborations with other UNH faculty, and there will be benefits for students also.  The provost said that, at the state of the university presentation, there will be discussion of some very interesting initiatives and opportunities for faculty to apply for funding.

III.  Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair receives many communications with either information or requests for action.  He plans to forward appropriate informational messages to the senators and to send the requests for action to the Agenda Committee for a decision on possible charges to senate committees.  He will also mention the action issues in his senate remarks, so that senators will be able to give input early in the process.  Recently Mark Rubinstein asked that the senate consider the concept of medical amnesty, which addresses avoiding students’ being inhibited from seeking medical assistance for themselves or others due to a fear of getting in trouble.  A second request for action is regarding a proposed policy on sustainability and energy savings for computers, and the Agenda Committee will decide about a possible senate committee charge for that.  The senate chair announced the upcoming UNH-in-2020 presentation and said that this year’s presentation will be more interactive than last time.  No one has agreed so far to be the senate’s parliamentarian.  There is a precedent for the parliamentarian to be a non-senator.  Until a parliamentarian can be found, the Faculty Senate’s Vice Chair and Professor of Communications Larry Prelli will act in that capacity.  The Discovery Program has started up, and first-year students are now at UNH under that program rather than the General Education Program.  The senate chair thanked the faculty who worked on the planning and implementation of the Discovery Program.  He also asked that faculty send Barbara White questions and input on the Discovery Program start up.  Joanna Young would like a top level information technology committee to be formed.  Currently the senate does not have a technology committee, and the senate’s library committee deals with those issues.  Is that the best way?  The chair of the senate’s Library Committee said that the Steering Committee for Information Technology seems to be inactive and so faculty do not have input.  The senate chair said that the intention may be to form a new committee to take over that function, and he will look into that.

IV.  Minutes – The minutes of the last Faculty Senate meeting were approved unanimously, as modified to correct the title date and change the reference in item VI to the University of Western Kentucky rather than the University of Kentucky.

V.  Graduation rates and grade point averages for student athletes – Steve Hardy, as the faculty representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, provided written and oral information on the UNH student athletes’ graduation rates and grade point averages.  The GPA for all UNH athletes, including gymnasts and track participants, is 3.19 for academic year 2009/10.  The GPA for men’s basketball players has greatly improved.  The federal graduation rate does not count incoming transfers; and outgoing transfers or withdrawals, for any reason, count as non-graduates; but this is the only measure that compares all students with athletes who receive student aid.  On the other hand, the NCAA graduation success rate counts incoming transfers who graduate and does not count outgoing transfers or withdrawals of students who left with good academic standing; and so this measure only allows comparisons with other athletic programs.  UNH athletes of color have a good graduation rate and UNH football players have a fairly good rate.  The rate for men’s basketball players is lower, but there have been changes of coaches and thus transfers of players.  The graduation rates shown in parentheses on the handout are the average rates for division one athletes in that field.  UNH would like to have a faculty liaison for each team but, in the past year, used members of the advisory board to liaison with several teams each.  Faculty who are willing to serve as liaisons are asked to contact Steve Hardy.

VI.  NAVITAS – The senate chair introduced Lisa MacFarlane, who is co-chair of the UNH NAVITAS Task Force and who will answer questions and then leave before the senate debates the matter.  A senator welcomed her and asked how NAVITAS teachers will be selected.  She replied that a faculty member from the UNH corresponding department will be the liaison and work with NAVITAS to identify and hire a qualified teacher for each NAVITAS bridge program course.  The liaison might indicate how teachers are typically found, and where advertising for positions might be done, and what criteria should be stated.  The liaison might also participate in the interview process as desired and could tell NAVITAS to eliminate any candidates who are not sufficiently qualified.  Lisa MacFarlane added that the faculty liaison would then work closely with the teacher who was hired.  NAVITAS instructors use departmentally approved syllabi, assignments, examinations and other forms of student evaluation; the UNH departmental liaison confirms all this and therefore ensures that the NAVITAS course translates directly into the department’s own practices and standards.  In addition, the departmental liaison confirms that the grading standards are consistent with the department’s standards.  The number of consultations might depend on circumstances such as whether the teacher has taught a similar UNH course before.  Simon Fraser University had told the UNH NAVITAS Task Force that, in one case, NAVITAS noticed a problem with a bridge program teacher and asked the Simon Fraser liaison to agree to termination, which was done.  Lisa MacFarlane said that a bridge program teacher could not be hired by NAVITAS or continue teaching the course without the approval of the UNH liaison department.
The teachers of the bridge courses would be paid by NAVITAS, according to their experience and rank, on the same pay scale as if they were working directly for UNH.  However, English as a Second Language courses would be provided directly by UNH which would bill NAVITAS for the cost of hiring those teachers.  A senator said that, since NAVITAS is a for-profit company, it would probably not choose to hire highly-experienced and thus better-paid professors and that therefore the bridge program teaching would not be equivalent to UNH.  However, the department does not need to approve a hire that it feels is not sufficiently qualified; and NAVITAS’ evaluations of instructors do not exclude the addition of the department’s own evaluations.  A senator from CEPS said that his college is usually short of laboratory instructors and teaching assistants, finds it difficult to hire enough, and does not want to be in competition with NAVITAS.  Most graduate student instructors sign a contract saying that they cannot work more than twenty hours per week.  Lisa MacFarlane said that NAVITAS might have to look further to find qualified instructors acceptable to the UNH department.

Lisa MacFarlane said that the UNH liaison department would be remunerated for the liaison work and that the department could decide how to reward the liaison faculty.  Depending on the department and the college, the liaison work could also count significantly for promotion and tenure.  She added that, if a full-time UNH faculty member chose to teach a NAVITAS bridge course as an overload, this would not be part of the UNH work, although that course could be mentioned on the faculty member’s annual report.  A professor from liberal arts said that faculty in his college would need special permission from the dean to moonlight for another institution, and Lisa MacFarlane responded that she could check on UNH policy on this matter.  (Note:  Faculty who wish to teach an overload must have the permission of the dean.)  Such outside work could take away too much from the time needed by tenure-track faculty to do research or publish sufficiently to qualify for promotion and tenure.  Part-time instructors, recently graduated Ph.D.s, adjunct faculty, or professors emeriti might be more likely candidates.

A senator from CEPS asked what would happen when a department reaches its capacity for students, since there is a limit to the number of students that can be in the laboratory courses. Lisa MacFarlane responded that the administration has consulted with the associate deans, who have indicated where they thought space was available, particularly in the summer.  UNH can tell NAVITAS which UNH departments are and are not available for bridge program participation.  However, once a NAVITAS bridge program student completes the requirements successfully and becomes a regular UNH student, that student could later ask a department if he or she could enter that major and, just like any other student, would be advised accordingly.  Requirements for transferring into a major department would be the same for all UNH students, would be decided by the department faculty or chair or the college executive committee according to the custom of that college, and should be equitable and transparent.  If a student does not meet the requirements of the program, the student cannot be in that program but might enter another UNH program which has different requirements or stay in the bridge program longer.

How will the NAVITAS program deal with UNH-Manchester, since that is not a residential program?  Lisa MacFarlane said that UNH-Manchester will not be part of the initial bridge program but that, when NAVITAS students become regular UNH students, they might later be able to transfer to UNH-Manchester. The NAVITAS bridge program would usually take three semesters including the summer, but some students might need more or less time, in order to pass the requirements of the program.  The bridge program would start slowly with a small number of students in three tracks:  in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, the Whittemore School of Business and Economics, and the College of Liberal Arts.  Later each year’s bridge program might graduate up to five hundred students; and thus over time, the UNH sophomores, juniors and seniors originating in the bridge program might number up to 1500 students.  Lisa MacFarlane said that the program would start with few students and high academic standards and then work through problems which may arise.  Any department could choose not to participate.  Lisa MacFarlane asked faculty to send her any further questions or concerns about NAVITAS.

The original motion from the last senate meeting was taken off the table.  Marco Dorfsman said that the Academic Affairs Committee would like to propose a substitute motion which incorporates some of the concerns mentioned at the last senate meeting and that he and the seconder of the original motion accept the substitute motion as a friendly amendment.  The substitute motion is that “the Faculty Senate recommends pursuing a NAVITAS-UNH partnership to create an international pathways program at UNH.  During implementation of the pathways program, particular attention must be placed on the following:

  • Integration of the international students into college community and campus life must be a top priority. The program will implement UNH specific pre-orientation experiences to its pathways curriculum.
  • In the governance structure of the partnership, one of the members of the NAVITAS-UNH Academic Advisory Committee will be appointed by the Faculty Senate, in consultation with the Provost's Office.
  • The faculty will be involved in developing the guidelines for distribution of royalties.  The main priorities are:  (1) covering partnership expenses, (2) paying participating departments for their involvement, (3) supporting university internationalization initiatives like internationalizing the curriculum, and (4) fomenting economic diversity in international matters. 
  • There needs to be a careful review of the feasibility of completion of the proposed curriculum for the various participating programs within four years. Departments will be involved when the university reviews recruiting materials.
  • A full review of the program will take place after five years.   The Faculty Senate needs assurances that the quality of both the students and the programs will meet the standards we set forth.”

Marco Dorfsman said that the program review mentioned above should report to the Faculty Senate.  Some senators said that they need more time for questions about NAVITAS and for consultation with their departmental colleagues, since some departments have not yet had a departmental meeting.  The current proposal is that NAVITAS students would start the bridge program at UNH next June, in 2011.  Senators asked that Lisa MacFarlane return at the next senate meeting for further questions.  A CEPS senator said that, although no department is required to participate in NAVITAS, if one department agrees to do so, courses in some other departments will be affected.  The senate chair urged the faculty to review the NAVITAS issue carefully and be prepared to vote at the next meeting.  The revised motion was tabled until the next senate meeting.

VII.  New Business – Regarding travel options and transportation use on campus, Barbara White said that faculty now have many options on how to transport students.

VIII.  Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned.


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