Home | Archive | Subscribe/Unsubscribe | Contact CJ | Media Relations

Faculty Senate Minutes Summary Sept. 27, 2010

October 27, 2010


I.  Roll – The following senator was absent:  Simos.  Caramihalis, Curran-Celentano, Dinapoli, Kalargyrou, and Morgan were excused.  Guests were John Aber, Karen Hersey and Lisa MacFarlane.

II. Remarks by and questions to the provost – The provost said that Michael Ferber has put together a university-wide “state of the art” lecture series, so that faculty can make presentations about their work and discuss intellectual matters.  Professor Nancy Kinner will do the inaugural lecture on October 7.  Regarding new venture funding, the three categories are curriculum innovations for groups of faculty to do large-scale curriculum redesign, a research and engagement academy for individual faculty in all disciplines to obtain mentoring and colleague interaction to help put grants together, and research leveraging for groups of faculty who are ready to apply for a large grant.  Further information on this can be found on the university’s website at http://www.unh.edu/strategicplanning/newventuresfund.html.  In response to a question about how the 2003-2008 Academic Plan relates to the current strategic plan, the provost said that, since he thinks that the five themes in the Academic Plan are still useful, he has kept that plan on the university’s website but without the dates.  A former senate chair said that many faculty had thought that plan would be renewed with modifications in 2008 and that a long-time charge to several senate committees is to review various aspects of the components of the Academic Plan and report to the Agenda Committee and the Faculty Senate.  The provost said that he would welcome dialogue on that plan and its themes, although it should not now be considered the current plan, since so much effort has recently been put into the strategic plan.  In response to a question about the relationship of departments to the proposed school policy, the provost said that there is a proposal to combine marine biology, oceanography, and ocean engineering into a school but that the proposed policy on schools and also the proposed marine school will first be reviewed by the Faculty Senate.  A senator said that the finances and accountability for course delivery are tangled with the proposed policy on schools; and she asked how new schools can be formed without robbing existing degree programs of needed faculty resources.

III.  Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair said that Mimi Becker will serve as senate parliamentarian.  The new charge on computer energy savings policy has been sent to the senate’s Campus Planning Committee, and the medical amnesty issue will be the charge of the Student Affairs Committee.  The Agenda Committee will meet with Joanna Young and Terri Winters to discuss information technology and academic technology and the fact that the Steering Committee for Information Technology appears to be defunct.  The senate’s Library Committee has been dealing with information technology matters, but now perhaps there should be a senate committee on information technology, since this is a fast-growing area and there is a university chief information officer.

IV.  Minutes – The minutes of the last Faculty Senate meeting were approved, unanimously except for two abstentions, as modified to change the last word in item IV from “Harvey” to “Hardy” and to change the reference in the introduction of the NAVITAS motion in item VI from “should” to “must”.

V.  NAVITAS – The senate chair introduced Lisa MacFarlane, who is co-chair of the UNH NAVITAS Task Force and who will answer questions and then depart before the senate debates the matter.  The senate chair said that the senate’s Finance and Administration Committee sent some written questions to Lisa MacFarlane and that this email and her response were distributed to the senators.  She also made the draft of the proposed NAVITAS contract available in her office to the committee members, although the contract could not be distributed widely because of confidentiality issues.  The senate’s committee representatives found that the description of the NAVITAS contract had been stated accurately to the senate and that there do not seem to be any insurmountable hurdles remaining.  If NAVITAS is approved, about twenty-five students would start the bridge program in May of 2011.  The UNH English-as-a-Second-Language Program would start to prepare soon.  One or two UNH departments would be asked to identify a faculty liaison to work with the NAVITAS academic coordinator and start to look at the syllabus and the hiring process and to work with newly hired teachers.  The departments involved might perhaps be the English and Mathematics Departments.  There will be an academic governance structure with an academic advisory committee and implementation group with faculty input.  Senators who vote in favor of the NAVITAS motion are not committing their department to participate in NAVITAS.

At today’s senate meeting, in response to a question about the courses in the NAVITAS bridge program which meet one day a week for four straight hours, with the rest of the day for support work, Lisa MacFarlane said that the four-hour block would include breaks, time for individual instruction, and flexibility when teaching in the students’ second language.  The four-hour blocks have been used successfully by NAVITAS for fifteen years in many institutions including Simon Fraser University; there may be flexibility in how this class can be done; and there are many support mechanisms.  Some UNH faculty expressed concern about the four-hour blocks, but others said that they had done such courses successfully.

NAVITAS bridge program students are expected to pay UNH directly for room, board and fees at the standard rate.  Although UNH does not guarantee that the NAVITAS students will have rooms in the UNH dorms, the intent is to house them in clusters in the residence halls.  Those students could use UNH support services but usually will access the NAVITAS support services first.  After the students successfully complete the bridge program and are admitted to UNH, they will use the UNH support services and may make more use of those services than the average UNH student.  Lisa MacFarlane said that NAVITAS will have many resources available for teacher orientation and that the ESL Program staff could also be very helpful.  Usually the ESL staff would not be present during the four-hour class, although an individual teacher might be able to make other arrangements.  The beginning bridge program students, although perhaps not yet able to pass the TOEFL exam, will be fairly competent in English.  In the graduate program of the English Department, there is a sub-specialty in ESL; and working with the NAVITAS students would be good for the graduate students in that area.

There is a termination clause in the NAVITAS contract for cause.  Lisa MacFarlane said that the five-year review will be modeled on the review used by Simon Fraser University, which had good assessment, surveys and external review; and their self study was five hundred pages long.  In response to a request for the program review from Simon Fraser University, Lisa MacFarlane said that she might be able to provide that.  During the bridge program, along with English language study, the students would take foundation courses such as some of those in the Discovery Program.  Many people have worked hard on the proposed NAVITAS-UNH contract and have resolved many issues and tried to clarify the few that could not be totally resolved at this time.  Lisa MacFarlane said that there are no red flags now and that we expect to be able to work through any problems which may arise, because NAVITAS seems to be a solution minded group which is flexible and accommodating.

The motion from the last senate meeting was taken off the table with the modification in the first sentence to change “should” to “must”.  The 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.”

A former senate chair said that he would vote for the NAVITAS program, because it contains more advantages than disadvantages.  He added that, regarding previous discussion on whether the senate vote matters, it definitely does matter.  He said that he has worked closely on shared governance matters and that NAVITAS comes under the Faculty Senate purview because "The distinctive responsibility of the faculty is the academic mission of the university….the faculty has primary responsibility for such fundamental areas as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, faculty status, and those aspects of student life which relate to the educational process. On these matters the power of review or final decision lodged in the governing board or delegated by it to the president should be exercised adversely only in exceptional circumstances and for reasons communicated to the faculty."  The senator said that, if the Faculty Senate were to vote NAVITAS down and the administration went ahead, he would understand that to be a serious violation of shared governance meriting consideration of censure or a vote of no confidence.  A senator said that the administration has questioned whether the NAVITAS contract is an academic matter or simply an admissions matter.

Another professor said that NAVITAS seems to him and his department to be a good idea and could be stopped in five years if it does not work.  He added that it is in NAVITAS best interest to work hard to make their program work here, because other universities in this country will be watching what happens at UNH.  A senator said that the NAVITAS proposal has been very thoroughly studied and has worked well elsewhere, that UNH would benefit from more international students for both diversity and financial reasons, and that UNH has oversight and a way out if needed.  UNH does not foresee renovations for housing for NAVITAS students in the near future, and the forecast is that the number of UNH students will stay about the same.  UNH would have to provide space for instruction, but there would be only a few classes at first and royalty money will be paid to UNH.  Marco Dorfsman said that UNH’s NAVITAS Task Force assumed that there would be no capital charges now.  A senator said that Lisa MacFarlane had said that, if NAVITAS supports a graduate student teaching assistant, NAVITAS would pay that student’s UNH tuition.  [Lisa MacFarlane wishes to clarify that, while she did not say that the department would be required to pay the tuition, she cannot guarantee that NAVITAS would pay full graduate tuition for a student that it employed on a separate contract.]  The senator also said that she stated that, if a UNH department got lots of NAVITAS royalties and a dean wanted to cut that department’s funds which come via the college, she would ask the provost to tell the dean not to do that.

The senate vote on the NAVITAS motion stated above passed with two nays and no abstentions.  The senate chair said that Lisa MacFarlane had told him that the senate’s roll in NAVITAS is not complete and that the senate would have a say in other parts of NAVITAS implementation.

VI.  Intellectual property policy – Karen Hersey is a professor of law at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and specializes in intellectual property law.  She said that the UNH policy is media neutral and applies to intellectual property of whatever tangible form, whether on line or not.  The UNH policy states initially that the university has the right of ownership if the work is developed by employees pursuant to duties for which the individual is paid or if developed using university facilities or resources beyond those open to the public.  However, the policy then gives an exemption for scholarly works, waiving the university’s rights of ownership and saying that the scholarly works are not required to be assigned to the university, although the university retains the right to use the materials for educational or research purposes.  The exemption includes scholarly and artistic work of any type.  Thus the faculty member owns the work and can use it at UNH or elsewhere, but UNH retains a royalty-free, non-exclusive right to use, display and modify the work for educational or research purposes.  If a faculty member signs over rights to a journal for publishing, the faculty member can only sign over the rights owned and not the rights encumbered by the university.  However, in practice this aspect is murky.  The university may currently be considering some modifications to clarify its policy.  The faculty union has copyright lawyers on call.  If a faculty member is paid for nine-months work and does intellectual work during the summer, is that covered by the policy?  Karen Hersey replied that non-teaching materials prepared during that time would belong to the individual if no university resources were used.  Items for trademark should be officially registered as trademarked.

VII.  New business – A professor asked the senators to reserve late afternoon of November 8 for a potluck dinner for students.

VIII.  Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned.

email this page!

We welcome your story ideas, letters, photos, notable events, achievements, obituaries and/or memorium.

If you would like to submit an item, please contact the Editor at 862-1567.

Deadline for submissions is Tuesdays at 4 pm.

Print this article Print
Email this