Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes Summary Oct.21, 2013

Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes Summary Oct.21, 2013

Friday, November 01, 2013

I.  Roll – The following senators were absent: Denis, Freedman, Gingras, Guo, Harkless, Kaen, Kalinowski, Mebert, Minocha, Morgan, Scherr, and Shore. Woodward, Greenberg, and Chaston served as proxies for Caron, Seitz, and Weintraub, respectively.  Mark Rubinstein was a guest. 

II. Remarks by and questions to the provost – Provost Lisa MacFarlane was out of town, so the chair dispensed with this portion of the meeting. 

III. Remarks by and questions to the chair – The chair reported to the senate that the ADVANCE program’s faculty climate survey will be available soon, and encouraged the faculty to participate in this survey.  He asked Barbara White, chair of the Student Affairs Committee (SAC), to speak about the upcoming joint dinner for the Student Senate and Faculty Senate.  She invited all senators to the event, which will be in two weeks, on Monday, November 4th at 5:15 p.m. in the Philbrook dining hall.  The SAC will be sending out a list of student senators who would like to attend and who do not have a meal plan, whom the faculty senators could sponsor for that meal.  The chair encouraged all senators to participate. 

The chair then reported on the Draft Policy on the Protection of Minors [see senate minutes 9-23-13, Item VIII, and addendum to the agenda 9-23/13]. The agenda committee would like input from departments about how such a policy impacts their programs.  The chair will be meeting with Kathy Niels and Pat McCabe to talk about how to move forward, with faculty input, to first craft a policy and then outline procedures to carry out that policy.  Jim Connell commented that this is an important issue of shared governance. 

IV. Minutes – The minutes of the last senate meeting were approved with all ayes except for three abstentions. 

V.  Academic Affairs Committee motion on approval of five-year calendar – On behalf of the Academic Affairs Committee, Michael Ferber chair reported that the committee has examined the five-year calendar, which was established based on previously set guidelines.  Noting that changes to the calendar may be made in the future, should the need arise, he presented the committee’s motion to approve the calendar as prepared by the registrar.  The rationale is as follows:

The Registrar, Kathie Forbes, provided our committee with the calendars for the current academic year (2013-14) and the next four (through 2018-19), as well as a copy of the guidelines approved by the Faculty Senate in 1997 and revised (to shorten the spring term) in 2009.  She gave us two versions of each year, one with a spring term at the present length and the other with a spring term further shortened (classes beginning one day earlier, classes ending three days earlier, reading period eliminated, exam period shortened, and commencement held one week earlier), in case we decided to endorse the shortened term in the light of the student disturbance last April.  As we have decided not to do so, we examined the first set of annual schedules.  As far as we can see they all meet the guidelines and resemble those of the last few years as closely as the shifting of the weeks in any month from year to year permits.  We see no problems, and recommend Senate approval of the five-year calendar.  

We move that the Senate approve the Registrar’s five-year calendar. 

A senator noted that according to the calendar for 2015 and 2016, classes will begin before Labor Day.  After brief discussion, a vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously. 

VI. Motion to update constitution and bylaws – The chair asked agenda committee member Jim Connell to present certain editorial changes to the senate constitution and bylaws.  In the constitution, item 6.c required updating of college names.  Item 6.d was adjusted to omit UCAPC as an example of “other committees” of the senate due to its function as a permanent, rather than standing, committee with membership comprised of both senators and non-senators.  In the bylaws, Item 4 was edited to include wording that would facilitate future references to academic departments.  The department names were also updated.  This motion, according to senate rules, will lay over to the next senate meeting for a vote.  A senator asked about a measure regarding attendance at senate meetings.  The chair responded that the wording on this measure is still in the draft stage, but that the agenda committee didn’t want to hold up the editing changes, and so presented this part today.  The senate parliamentarian thanked the chair and the senate admin for their assistance in these clarifications.            

VII. Report by Mark Rubinstein on enrollments and the first year class – The Vice President for Student and Academic Services presented information about enrollments (powerpoint is available as a link to this document on the senate website).  He showed that 2012 was a peak year for enrollments, which have dropped again this year on the Durham campus, while UNH-M had lower enrollments last year, but higher enrollments this year.  He discussed the rise and fall of enrollments in various colleges across campus, and how New Hampshire compares to other New England states.  He pointed to the state budget cuts for education as a significant factor in the public’s confidence in the quality and cost/value of a UNH education.  In terms of non-resident enrollments, the numbers presented indicate that UNH is still a good value for out-of-state students and the vice president indicated that UNH is building outreach across the country to draw in students from the south and the west, outside of New England.  He also talked about competition with other universities who have similar marketing strategies. 

A senator asked what motivates parents to spend more money to send their resident children out of state to more expensive universities.  The vice president explained that graduate outcome is becoming a weighty factor in selecting a college.  How does UNH demonstrate the hire-ability of their graduates?  How are we tracking our alumni?  What is the ratio of graduate income to indebtedness?  
A senator asked if there has been any change in the fallen confidence level of resident families towards UNH since the state budget cuts.   The vice president said that Andy Smith recently did a poll that indicated that the confidence level of residents is still low, or at best ambivalent. 

Another senator thanked Dr. Rubinstein for outlining core issues for the university, and asked if, in the light of current unemployment rates/poor job opportunities, following the same marketing strategies as other schools will prove successful.  He expressed his hope that the administration would make an effort to highlight the unique educational opportunities provided by UNH in the way of internships and laboratory experience.  Another senator suggested that the public may not really understand what a land/space/sea grant university really is, and asked how administrators are marketing this aspect of UNH.

A senator asked if planners have approached high school juniors and seniors to ask them what they are looking for, suggesting that we might become the student’s first choice, rather than trying to appeal to parents.  Other senators asked about the impact of strong emphasis on STEM fields and the progress of the NAVITAS program.  There was additional discussion on tuition levels and financial aid. 

The vice president concluded his presentation with a discussion of diversity, student debt, and student conduct.  He introduced an online training program for staff and faculty called Kognito

( http://kognitocampus.com/faculty  enrollment key: unh624 ), which is designed to help faculty and staff identify students who may be at risk of harm to themselves or others.  A senator asked if teaching assistants can participate in this training.  The vice president said that the training is available to anyone.    

VIII. Engaged scholarship and creative artistry – The chair expressed concern that there was not sufficient time in today’s meeting to open a full discussion of engaged scholarship.  With accord from several senators that postponing this discussion would be worthwhile, one senator asked the chair for specific things the senate could consider before the next meeting.  The chair suggested that senators look for ways in which the wording “engaged scholarship and creative artistry” appear in university language, and then ask what faculty do with that.  

The chair of the adhoc Promotion and Tenure Standards Oversight Committee, whose committee has been examining this issue, suggested that senators ask what is engaged scholarship? Is it somehow different than other forms of scholarship?  Will it be counted more or less than other forms of scholarship?  Will it be required of faculty?  Is there a difference between “engagement” and “engaged scholarship and creative artistry?”  How is it evaluated?  He suggested that, like all forms of scholarship, this should be judged by non-interested experts, and that it should be valued for what it is, where it is.  

The senator from the music department asked about the source of the words “creative artistry.”  The senator from the theatre department explained that that wording has always been part of the concept of scholarship. 

IX. New business – none 

X. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 4:48 p.m.