UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from  19 October, 2009

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
2009/10 FACULTY SENATE

OCTOBER 19, 2009 - MINUTES SUMMARY

 

I.  Roll – The following senators were absent:  Charpentier, Chavda, Fraas, Kaen, Lanier, Morgan, Simos, and Tobin.  Guests were John Aber, Doug Bencks, David Cross, Daniel Innis and Anne Lawing.

II.  Remarks by and questions to the provost – The provost displayed two new books recently published by UNH faculty members.  He said that the University Press of New England is now affiliated with four universities in the area and is an efficient publisher which can publish books under the University of New Hampshire’s imprint.  The provost also said that the U.S. News and World Report ranked UNH in the top ten in the country regarding graduation performance.  Also, in the 2009 College Guide and Rankings, the Washington Monthly ranked UNH as number 11, for its efforts to keep students in college through graduation.  In addition, the strategic initiative document will be presented to the steering committee group in the next few days and then made public.  The provost said that this document includes a section on interdisciplinary schools and that he will bring this to the Faculty Senate.  The responsibility center management review has begun, and the Central Budget Committee is meeting.  There will be a presentation to the Faculty Senate on RCM on November 16.  The provost said that the NAVITAS proposal sounds very good and that the faculty who are involved in that program at Simon Fraser University tend to have a favorable opinion of the NAVITAS system.  Also the student demand for the NAVITAS program seems to be large. 

III.  Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair said that the “mandatory” harassment training has been reviewed by the labor board, which stated that faculty who are members of the bargaining unit are not required to participate.  Therefore the training program is now considered optional for tenure-track faculty.  The senate chair also said that the provost will be meeting with the department chairs this week to get faculty input regarding the liberal arts dean search, and so faculty should communicate with their department chairs about the search.  The previous several searches for senior administrators led to the appointment of internal candidates, and therefore many faculty would like to have a national search this time with the inclusion also of internal candidates.  NAVITAS will be discussed at the next senate meeting; and so senators should contact Marco Dorfsman if they have any questions or concerns or would like to review materials over and above the article senators received, from the Chronicle of Higher Education giving information about NAVITAS.  Although a prompt decision is desired, the decision must also be deliberative.  Attention must be given to quality courses and instructors and the adequacy of classroom space and housing.  The senate chair said that the NAVITAS issue will become a charge for the senate’s Academic Affairs and Financial Affairs Committees.

IV.  Behavioral Intervention Team – Anne Lawing said that there is a flyer for faculty to post in their classrooms and also a wallet card describing what to do when a person sees a distressful or threatening situation on campus, with contact numbers such as 911 for emergencies, the UNH Police Department number for non-emergency situations at 603-862-1427, the Counseling Center at 603-862-2090, and the Student and Academic Services Office at 603-862-2053.  The Behavioral Intervention Team members are the Dean of Students, Assistant Vice President for Student and Academic Services and Director of Residential Life, Director of the Counseling Center, Director of Education and Promotion, Health Services, Associate Provost for Academic Achievement and Support, and Deputy Chief of the University Police Department.  When a student’s behavior is threatening to self or others or disruptive to the university’s mission, the team may choose to seek more information, provide advice and counsel to those faculty or staff working with the student, or intervene using tools including the Code of Conduct in the Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities, the Administrative Separation Policy, and the Health Withdrawal Protocol under the authority of the Executive Director of Health Services.  The team may require a student to be evaluated for self harm/suicide or risk of harm to others.  The student may be required to document that he has received appropriate help, before the student can return to the university.  Recent changes to the Administrative Separation Policy will come to the Faculty Senate for approval; and the senators have received the document for review, via email.  Faculty senators suggested putting the contact numbers at the front of the university directory and in the manual of Student Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities.

A senator asked what the procedures are for notifying a faculty member, when there is a likelihood of a potentially dangerous situation with a student who is in the faculty member’s class or when there has been administrative separation.  Faculty are concerned that, even when the associate dean is notified, the information may not reach the faculty teaching that student.  Anne Lawing replied that this matter has been discussed with the associate deans, who said that they would redouble their efforts to provide appropriate notification.  There should also be notification if the student is reinstated.  Recently The New Hampshire has been publishing the local police log of student arrests, and that log is also sent to the associate deans and some others.  Arrests are on the public record, and also a letter is sent to the student’s parents.  These matters are discussed during student orientation.  A senator asked how notification would be made if someone were arrested but found innocent.  Students are told that, if they wish to be reinstated when the case has been settled, they should submit the results to the university.  A senator said that there should be a process whereby notification would occur to the associate deans, appropriate faculty, and others whom the university had notified of the original separation or suspension.  Suspension is done under the conduct system and establishes a conduct record, whereas separation is another process.  Withdrawal is a voluntary process different from that for administrative separation.

A senator said that the telephone number for the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program should be included in the flyer.  Another senator replied that the flyer was developed in consultation with many people and that therefore the SHARP number should not be added to the flyer without similar consultation.  Then Barbara White, who is the chair of the Faculty Senate’s Student Affairs Committee, said that the senators have received on email the proposed version of the administrative separation procedures and the previous version which is dated 1995.  The section on administrative separation for reasons of health-related behaviors is currently being discussed, refers to involuntary separation to prevent threats to self or others, and has been revised in order to clarify parts of the 1995 version.  She had asked senators to get input from their departmental colleagues and send it to her by October 9; and she received no objections to the policy.  This section is on page 37 of the Student Rights, Rules and Responsibilities manual and can be accessed electronically at: www.unh.edu/student/rights/).  The Student Affairs Committee recommends a motion that the Faculty Senate endorses the revised Administrative Separation and Procedures for Re-Admission in the Student Rights, Rules and Responsibilities manual, to be published in January, 2010.  The procedures, which pertain to mental health issues, would cover all UNH students whether on campus or in UNH-sponsored study abroad programs.  The senate voted unanimously to table the motion until the next senate meeting.

V.  Proposed WSBE business school – Daniel Innis, who is the dean of the Whittemore School of Business and Economics, said that WSBE’s current building has been renovated but does not have enough space for the school’s needs, since the number of students and faculty has greatly increased.  When planning for the new facility for WSBE, the values came from discussions with the WSBE community and reflect the general trends in business schools.  Those values include an environment of collaboration and interaction with spaces for informal interaction, adaptability to address new ideas in teaching and research, an integrated and cross-disciplinary curriculum, public engagement, technology, and sustainability.  The university has made significant strides in fund raising for this construction.  A location for the new building is needed close to the downtown; and four buildings are slated for demolition, including Grant House and the three wooden buildings across from Stoke Hall.  The new building would have lots of informal and public spaces and a large, south-facing courtyard, which might accommodate tents for events such as commencement.  The senate spoke about where the current occupants of the buildings proposed for demolition might have their future offices.

Many senators expressed strong concern that a large number of current parking spaces near the new building would be demolished and not replaced.  Doug Bencks, who is the director of campus planning, said that eighty parking spaces would be destroyed and not replaced but that bicycle parking would be included in the plan.  A professor said that there is also talk about removing UNH visitor parking spaces from C lot, which would further aggravate the situation.  Other concerns are that, while the fund raising may cover the construction costs of the new building, the university would have to find money for moving displaced offices/housing, as well as for providing maintenance, heating and utilities for the new building.  The director of campus planning said that the four buildings to be demolished are old and inefficient and had been slated for removal, in the campus plan.  Dean Innis said that the new building would accommodate about eighty-five percent of the WSBE classes and that the rest of the classes would be held in other campus buildings.  He added that most of the classrooms which accommodate sixty to eighty persons in the new building would be registrar controlled and thus available for non-WSBE classes.  The campus planner said that McConnell Hall would continue to provide classroom and office space or student service functions.  Faculty should send input to Daniel Innis and Doug Bencks, with a copy to Anita Klein, who is the chair of the senate’s Campus Planning Committee.

VI.  Minutes – The minutes of the last senate meeting were approved unanimously, with one abstention.

VII.  Motion on Human Subjects and Animal Use Policies –  Ed Hinson, who is the chair of the Professional Standards Committee, said that the UNH Policy on Misconduct in Scholarly Activity (MISA) was revised and approved last spring.  However, because the MISA policy was referred to, in the UNH policies on Use of Human Subjects in Research and Care and Use of Animals, changes in those references in the latter two policies should be made.  Specifically, because the MISA definition no longer includes “other serious deviation from accepted practices”, violations of the human subjects or animals policies are no longer under the purview of the MISA policy for investigation and sanctions.  Because UNH has federally-approved Assurances for Human Subjects and Animals, investigation of violations and sanctions in these areas are covered under those assurances.  Therefore the reference to MISA in the human and animal policies should be removed.  In addition, a reference to the UNH Financial Conflict of Interest policy should also be removed.  The human and animal policies refer to but do not name the institution official responsible for establishing and enforcing the policy, and the official in this case is the vice provost for research.  Ed Hinson moved and Anita Klein seconded that the Faculty Senate recommends that the designated changes be implemented by the UNH administration.  Thus, item 8 of the Policy on the Use of Human Subjects in Research would be:   “Enforcement.  The Institutional Official is responsible for establishing and enforcing this policy.  Violations of this policy fall under the purview of the Assurance.”  Item 7.1 of the Policy on Care and Use of Animals would be:  “Enforcement. The Institutional Official is responsible for establishing and enforcing this policy.  Violations of this policy fall under the purview of the Assurance.”  This motion passed unanimously.

VIII.  Motion on January-term course evaluationsOn behalf of the Agenda Committee, Larry Prelli moved that the Faculty Senate endorse use of the 2009 summer system of administering on-line course evaluations for on-line and hybrid courses at the conclusion of the January, 2010, term with the expectation that Institutional Research will submit a proposal for Faculty Senate consideration by March 1, setting out on-line evaluation procedures for use during the 2010 and subsequent summer sessions and during the 2011 and subsequent January terms.  This motion would expedite the on-line review process for J-term while leaving opportunity for more careful consideration of this process thereafter.  This motion would enable (1) the J-term experiment to proceed with minimum confusion in view of difficult time constraints, (2) Institutional Research to design with care an approach to on-line administration of course evaluations in the future, and (3) senate consideration of that design before the 2010 summer session.  The motion refers only to the procedure for and not the content of the course evaluations.  A senate committee will consider the wider issues this spring.  Also, the current motion refers only to course evaluations for on-line and hybrid courses.  Thus, if a course has an on-line portion, the evaluation could be on line.

Erik Swartz said that he is chairing a committee formed by the senior vice provost, to deal with the issue covered by this motion.  He said that the administration has arranged for a separate section in Blackboard to be created, which would not be accessible by the instructor.  However, the return rate is much lower for on-line evaluations, and some of the questions are not applicable.  Several reminders should be sent to the students, regarding the on-line evaluations.  The original motion passed unanimously except for two abstentions.

IX.  Update from the senate’s Academic Affairs Committee – The chair of this committee said that he will bring to the senate at a later time the charges on monitoring the university’s study away policy and on outcomes assessment.  He said that, a few years ago, there was a violation of shared governance in the alteration of the fee structure for study away.  As a result, a summit meeting was called of all the study-abroad leadership; and his committee will review the results of that process.  Secondly, outcomes assessment is a complicated issue.  One and a half years ago a pilot program for outcomes assessment was approved.  He added that soon the Academic Affairs Committee will present to the senate a motion regarding continuing the pilot study and that the committee will then consider how much or whether to review outcomes assessment.

X.  Recommendation on the Behavioral Intervention Team Barbara White, who is the chair of the Student Affairs Committee, said that the Behavioral Intervention Team is available to assist faculty with student issues which may pose harm to the individual student or to others.  The Student Affairs Committee met with Dr. Anne Lawing and requested that she and Dr. David Cross present information about the BIT to the faculty senate.  On behalf of the Student Affairs Committee, Barbara White moved that the Student Affairs Committee recommends that members of the Faculty Senate review with their faculty colleagues the information from the Behavioral Intervention Team’s presentation to the senate on 10/19/09 and consider inviting Drs. Lawing and/or Cross to present at a departmental faculty meeting or college/school gathering.  The senate voted unanimously to table the motion until the next senate meeting.

XI.  Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Click HERE to return to the main Faculty Senate Minutes page.