UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 14 November, 2005

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UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
2005/06 FACULTY SENATE

NOVEMBER 14, 2005 - MINUTES SUMMARY 

 

I.  Roll – The following senators were absent:  Afolayan, Baldwin, Burger, Deem, Frankel, Kenefick, Kistler, Lugalla, Macieski, Morgan, Quigley and Reid.  Excused were Brown, Finkel, Kallianpur, Lewis, Thomas and Schlentrich.  Sean Kelly was a guest observer.

II.  Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair said that he has worked with the administrators of Blackboard to make available to all faculty a comprehensive, confidential and secure survey of the provost’s job performance.  Please urge your departmental colleagues to participate in the provost review survey, which has been extended until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  The director of affirmative action and equity is ill today, and we will try to reschedule her presentation to the senate. 

III.  Minutes – The senate unanimously approved the minutes of the last Faculty Senate meeting.

IV.  Creating institutions and linkages, such as the former faculty club, which enhance a sense of community among faculty – Campus Planning Committee Chair Allen Drake said that, while faculty have sufficient opportunities to attend scholarly gatherings and also performance, entertainment and sporting events, the Campus Planning Committee believes that UNH needs better opportunities for social interaction among faculty, in order to boost morale and enhance faculty retention.  Many options might be considered.  Perhaps once-a-week socials could be scheduled at a local restaurant, or a “happy hour” could be arranged outside of Durham.  Perhaps the college deans could host more than one intra-college social event per year.  Perhaps the university president or one or more vice presidents could host gatherings of selected faculty each year.  The holiday skating party is not sufficient to fulfill this need.  To get additional input from faculty, perhaps there could be a survey of the faculty senators or of the faculty as a whole, either via email or via the Blackboard program, and also information should be gathered from the deans and other administrators.  Faculty need a venue not only for social purposes but also for networking, in order to enhance their strategies for teaching and research and to gather advice from senior colleagues about matters such as promotion.

Senators discussed current and past efforts to enhance faculty interaction but felt that more effective, better organized, and continuing measures need to be taken.  The former faculty/staff club in Hood House had a better location and ambiance than the current Huddleston Hall space, which is noisy and has limited hours.  A professor suggested that receptions should be held after intellectual events which have broad appeal.  Since faculty now live in a very wide area, the kind of casual socializing that occurred in the past is much more difficult.  A faculty member pointed out that, years ago, the university made available some land for faculty housing and that perhaps faculty should now encourage the Board of Trustees to use some of the university lands for a faculty/staff residential area.  A professor suggested that the committee should not only recommend having more organized events structured to bring faculty together socially but in addition should publicize an inventory of opportunities such as the bi-weekly breakfasts for women in science.  The senate chair said that, in the senate’s summer planning meetings, the senators frequently expressed a need for better faculty interaction and enrichment of life on campus.  The Campus Planning Committee chair said that he would arrange for a Blackboard site, in order to gather more faculty input on these issues.

V.  UCAPC membership – Don Quigley has agreed to serve on UCAPC as a representative from both the Faculty Senate and COLSA, to complete the UCAPC term of Tom Davis from COLSA.  The faculty seats on UCAPC are now filled.

VI.  Committee on Recognition of Philanthropy and Service – The senate chair asked faculty to contact him who are willing to serve on the Committee on Recognition of Philanthropy and Service.  John Carroll is already serving on that committee, and two more current faculty and two faculty emeriti are needed. 

VII.  COLSA interim associate dean selection procedure – The senate chair has solicited input from COLSA senators and their faculty colleagues regarding this selection procedure and received responses indicating that there is no consensus on this matter.  Since there is no strong agreement in COLSA and since the senate chair and the Agenda Committee believe that the Faculty Senate should not interfere in the internal affairs of a college unless there is agreement that a serious problem exists, the Agenda Committee recommends that the senate not take up this matter.

However, a number of concerns about shared governance have come together recently, which impel the Agenda Committee to recommend that the Faculty Senate reaffirm its core values regarding how fundamental academic decisions are made.  The faculty must have a central voice in those decisions.  Jeff Salloway on behalf of the Agenda Committee made a motion as follows, for discussion today and a possible vote at the next senate meeting:

On behalf of the faculty of the University of New Hampshire, the Faculty Senate reaffirms that the central activities of the University are and must be teaching and learning.  We use these terms in their widest possible sense, and we mean them to include the concomitant activities of research, artistry, and outreach.

The Faculty Senate recognizes that there never will be resources fully adequate to do everything possible; but as we make and support choices among alternative uses of our limited resources, we emphasize that the standard by which fiscal decisions must be judged is their effect on academic goals of teaching and learning, never vice versa.  A good budget system serves academic priorities; it does not define them.       

The Faculty Senate reaffirms as well its commitment to the principle that the faculty has primary responsibility for curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, artistry, 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, or delegated by the President to other administrative officers should be exercised adversely to the reasoned view of the faculty only in exceptional circumstances and for reasons communicated to the faculty.  We commend the efforts the President has made and continues to make to give the faculty its central voice in matters pertaining to teaching and learning, the setting of academic goals and priorities, the allocation of resources, and the recruitment of administrative officers.  We expect administrative officers at all levels to continue to give the faculty its central voice in these matters.

The Faculty Senate, as the faculty's representative body, remains the custodian of teaching and learning at the university.  At this time, the Faculty Senate reaffirms its responsibilities under principles of shared governance in the processes of:

            1. Assessment and revision of Responsibility Centered Management as a tool for maintaining and improving teaching and learning and to meet the goals of the UNH Academic Plan.

            2. Assessment and restructuring of colleges, centers, and institutes as these affect teaching and learning.

             3. Recruitment of administrative officers - including vice-presidents and their principal assistants, as well as deans and their principal assistants.  Faculty must continue to have a central voice in any process that results in the selection of an administrative officer, at any level, whose work and presence will affect those matters, listed above, for which the faculty has primary responsibility.

            4. Periodic review of performance of key administrators.

The COLSA senator, who had initiated the request for senate action on the COLSA associate dean search procedure, said that he concurs that there is not a clear enough consensus for the senate to pass a motion on the COLSA search procedure.  He stated, however, that this selection process was by no means the first case of inadequate faculty input on recent administrative searches and that he supports the above senate resolution.  He hopes that the senate chair will make clear to the administration what appropriate faculty input in search procedures is and is not.  Other professors made friendly amendments about capitalization, punctuation and style.  Discussion ensued about whether there should be standard search procedures for faculty fellows.  Another friendly amendment was made and accepted to add to the motion that the Faculty Senate will be the legislative body that reviews and develops policies concerned with the academic mission of the university.  The motion will be revised and presented for a vote at the next senate meeting.

VIII.  ROTC Board of Governors – Senators Frank McCann and Ed Hinson have agreed to serve on a group which will consider whether there should be a ROTC Board of Governors.  The resulting recommendations will be reported to the Faculty Senate.

IX.  Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned.                                                                                             

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