UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 30 January, 2012

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UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
2011-12 FACULTY SENATE

JANUARY 30, 2012 - MINUTES SUMMARY

 

I.  Roll – The following senators were absent:  Baldwin, Ballestero, Chavda, Frierson, Shannon, Simos and Sparrow.  Guests were John Aber, Lisa MacFarlane, Ted Howard, Kent Chamberlin, Kelly Whittier and Kristen Woytonik.

II. Remarks by the provost – The provost welcomed the senators back to the new semester.  He said that the January term has had increasing enrollments, primarily for on-line courses and that the January term is successful and increases flexibility for both students and faculty.  Work for this spring will include the academic review and discussion of new schools, as well as working with budget concerns.  The provost said that the administration does not foresee closing academic departments or firing faculty.  The faculty Separation Incentive Program will be completed soon, and new faculty hires will depend on the results of that program.  He said that the use of electronic textbooks may save students a lot of money and give faculty more flexibility.  The Board of Trustees is discussing the structure of the university system.  Former UNH professor Ross Gittell is the new chancellor of the Community College System of New
Hampshire.

A senator asked, if a larger proportion of UNH students take their first two years in a community college, what will that mean for UNH?  The provost replied that this might upset the in-state/out-of-state balance of students at UNH.  The situation would depend on agreements between the institutions and on what courses the students took elsewhere.  The senate chair and the provost discussed possible changes to the university system and how such changes might affect UNH.  In response to a question about new administrators, the provost said that Steve Marchand, former mayor of the city of Portsmouth, has been hired in the UNH Foundation as director of corporate relations, in order to strengthen the relationship between the university and business leaders throughout the state.  Also, Mica Stark is the special assistant to the president for governmental relations and strategic initiatives, but he was already a UNH employee.

III.  Report on internationalization – Ted Howard said that the President’s Panel on Internationalizing UNH gave the following key panel recommendations for near-term actions:  hiring a chief international academic officer for central support and leadership, establishing a plan for a web-based data and information management system, and setting up a plan for emergency evacuation and risk management insurance.  Long-term actions are planned in learner-centered and faculty/staff-centered areas, policies, procedures, leadership and advancement.  The panel requests Faculty Senate action, such as a motion to recommend implementation of the UNH international program and include specifics in the manner of the senate's 9/27/2010 motion on NAVITAS and with an explicit link to a clause in that Faculty Senate motion XV-M1 regarding the use of royalties generated from the UNH-NAVITAS contract.  Context for the panel’s work includes faculty-driven activities such as study-abroad-managed programs, an International Affairs Dual Major, the International Research Opportunities Program (IROP), and other international research and scholarship.  Planning efforts have included the Provost’s Commission in 1990, the NEASC interim report in 2008 after accreditation in 2003, the Academic Plan draft revision in 2006, and the Strategic Plan of 2010.  Key points from the Strategic Plan are:  (1) how do we expand and extend international education to students, alumni and friends, (2) what investments should we make in international teaching, research, and outreach, (3) what policies and procedures should be centralized or decentralized, (4) what organizational structures are appropriate, and (5) what should our priorities be?

The president’s charges to the panel are to:  expand offerings in the international curriculum, foster reciprocal relationships, increase funding significantly, and bring the world to UNH.  The panel structure includes Co-chairs Ted Howard and Lisa MacFarlane, Kent Chamberlin as a representative appointed by the Faculty Senate, and four working groups on the four areas of long-term action.  The panel's time line for 2011 includes an initial panel meeting in late January, working groups in February, a round-table event on March 4, incorporation of the round table results by the working groups, integration of panel results by early April, open forums on April 12 at UNH and April 14 at UNH-Manchester, working group and panel revisions in early May, a draft for panel approval in August, a report to the president in mid-October, and distribution to the Faculty Senate in late October.  Learner-centered recommendations are to: (1) collect, analyze and use data to guide actions, (2) internationalize the existing curriculum at home at every possible level for all learners, (3) incorporate Asia/Africa/Middle East regional programs, (4) develop assessment tools, (5) secure funding opportunities, and (6) strengthen programs for international students, scholars and their families.  Faculty and staff-centered recommendations are to internationalize the faculty, so that they can internationalize UNH, and to develop and invest in regional interest networks, engage the deans in a leadership role, commit significant New Ventures Fund money, and enhance faculty support systems, for example Sponsored Programs Administration, development funds and Fulbright funds, with regional interest networks as an organizing framework.

Policies and procedures recommendations are to implement management systems to support international activities including risk and crisis management, insurance and funding, sustainable financial management, and international memoranda of agreement, as well as to develop and implement assessments to evaluate internationalization efforts.  Leadership and advancement recommendations are to create a full-time chief international academic officer (CIAO) position with an information management system, an interim international activities facilitator, and CIAO led  five-year implementation, as well as to re-organize the central administration’s support of international activities.  The proposed international organization chart includes existing positions and a number of proposed new positions as the amount of international activity and revenues increase.  Most new positions would have to wait until NAVITAS expands at UNH and thus the university has more money in hand from NAVITAS.

The senate chair said that UNH departments would oversee NAVITAS courses and receive funds directly rather than through the deans.  Lisa MacFarlane said that the direct payments to departments are one form of revenue from NAVITAS and that others include thirty percent of the tuition from the NAVITAS first-year students, the entire tuition from NAVITAS students when they matriculate at UNH, and some funds for institutional initiatives and investments, such as for international faculty, students or programs.  Currently UNH has on campus seventy-eight NAVITAS students, who are seventy percent from China and the rest from countries including Vietnam, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Mongolia, Malaysia, Turkey, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirate.  Lisa MacFarlane said that NAVITAS is trying to develop a network which is more global.  She added that the NAVITAS students seem happy to be here and are fitting into the program well.  As for UNH students, twenty-five percent of the graduating class will have some international experience; and the majority of those students are from liberal arts or WSBE.  A professor replied that developing international programs is easier in some academic fields than others.  Ted Howard responded that, in the sciences, developing a partnership with a well-recognized science school abroad might be possible.  Regarding regional programs, currently UNH has a Latin American Program and an Asian Regional Program, but they are small. 

IV.  Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair extended a cordial welcome to the new faculty senators.  He said that he had arranged for the letter to be sent to faculty regarding course syllabi, as specified in senate motion XVI-M3.  He added that the Campus Planning Committee has sent to the senators an updated report on parking, in order to respond to questions raised at the time of the first report.  The budgetary crisis motion passed in the last senate meeting can be seen on the senate's web page.

V.  Minutes – The minutes of the previous Faculty Senate meeting were approved with all ayes except for two abstentions.

VIStudent letter of appreciation – Kelly Whittier, Chair of the Academic Affairs Council of the Student Senate, read a letter of appreciation to the UNH faculty and staff as follows:

As members of the Academic Affairs Council for the Student Senate of the University of New Hampshire, we would like to take the opportunity to show our appreciation for your hard work and sacrifice over the past academic school year.

We realize that this past year has certainly not been the easiest financially due to the recent state budget cuts which have put a severe strain on the University; as students we would like to recognize the various restraints that have been pressed upon you due to the current salary freeze along with any inconveniences that the current hiring freeze may have caused.

As representatives of the student body of the University of New Hampshire, we truly appreciate and admire your dedication to our institution and your commitment to academic excellence through these trying times. As a result of the sacrifices endured by the faculty, students have been allowed to continue their education without exorbitant cost. The actions of the faculty and staff of UNH have not gone unnoticed, and we thank you for your excellence.

Sincerely and with utmost gratitude,

The Academic Affairs Council:  Kelly Whittier (Chair), Lauren E. Saucier, Adam J. Babinat, William F. McKernan, Gabby Aguilera and Amber Glassman

VII.  Report from UCAPC, on the sustainability dual major – The UCAPC chair said that the proposal for the sustainability dual major had been submitted to the deans but that the deans' recommendation had not yet been forwarded by the deans to UCAPC as requested.  Therefore UCAPC has not been able to consider this matter this year.

VIII.  Motion from the Academic Affairs Committee, on January-term length – The Academic Affairs Committee proposed a friendly amendment to the motion which the committee had presented at the previous senate meeting.  Today's amended motion was as follows:  “The Faculty Senate mandates that all four-credit on-line January-term courses be four weeks long, beginning shortly after Christmas, in order to allow time for contact with the instructor or participation in course discussions comparable to the time so devoted in ordinary semester-long courses.  This requirement shall take effect in academic year 2012-13.”  In response to a question, the senate chair confirmed that the Faculty Senate is responsible for approving the academic calendar.  A senator spoke against the change from three to four weeks and in addition asked why the motion did not also cover courses which are not on line.  One reason is that there is a wide range of how courses are offered on site and abroad.  Some on-site courses may be taught in all-day sessions, for example.  However, the committee thought that four-weeks should be available for faculty thoroughly to cover the material in four-credit on-line courses and that this would be comparable with the length and intensity of summer courses.  Most staff are away from the university between Christmas and January 1, but instructional technology staff can be made available during J-term.  The IT staff might be needed in order to fine tune the instructor's and the students' access to the technology needed for the course.

One senator said that January-term evaluation data should be gathered before passing the motion, but another senator said that the intention of the motion is to offer more time for those faculty who feel that three weeks is not enough time to teach their course effectively.  How faculty use that time is up to them, and the amount of time needed may depend on the type of course.  The committee wanted to create a four-week window of opportunity to present the on-line J-term courses.  By passing this motion, the senate would be saying what the calendar for on-line J-term courses should be, but the senate would not be saying how the time must be spent or what the contact hours must be.  However, the support staff should be available during that time.  A senator said that J-term should be similar to summer school.  Another professor said that condensing a course too much makes the learning experience more difficult.  A friendly amendment was proposed to substitute “the January-term E-learning session” instead of “all four-credit on-line January term courses”.  An additional amendment was proposed but rejected as friendly and was voted down by the senate.  The final motion which was approved by the Faculty Senate with a vote of twenty-five ayes, eight nays, and two abstentions was as follows:   “The Faculty Senate mandates that the January-term E-learning session be four weeks long, beginning shortly after Christmas, in order to allow time for contact with the instructor or participation in course discussions comparable to the time so devoted in ordinary semester-long courses.  This requirement shall take effect in academic year 2012-13.”

IX.  Motion from the Academic Affairs Committee, on evaluating on-line courses – The Academic Affairs Committee proposed a motion as follows:  “The Faculty Senate mandates that all on-line courses and all January-term courses whether on-line or not include a student-evaluation questionnaire, as all other courses currently do.  This requirement shall take effect in the summer of 2012.”  This motion was postponed until the next Faculty Senate meeting.

X.  Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned.

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