UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 20 November, 2000




I. Roll - The following Faculty Senate members were absent: Bornstein, Christie, Denis, Draper, Halstead, Macieski, McCann, Morgan, Reardon, and VonDamm. Excused were Beller-McKenna, Dolan, Reid, Russell, Trowbridge and Tucker.

II. Communications with the president - The president presented data on the number of classes which have one hundred or more students. The president said that there were about the same number of these classes in 1997, 1998 and 1999, because they are limited by the number of large rooms available; and she added that the registrar does not have the data to distinguish between classes of one hundred and those of one hundred fifty students. A professor said that the Office of Institutional Research could provide this information and that faculty want to know whether the number of students in the larger classes has increased substantially. The president displayed a map of the university's public service activities throughout the state, including the wide area network, cooperative extension, and the College for Lifelong Learning.

A faculty member mentioned that two articles have appeared in The New Hampshire and the Campus Journal regarding a survey about rape, and he said that he feels the articles exaggerate the problem at UNH. The president asked that professors read the survey study and not just the newspaper articles. She added that, while sexual crimes occur a bit less often than ten years ago, the issue is still a serious concern.

III. Part-time teaching and faculty nomenclature - The provost said that benefits-eligible faculty of fifty to eighty-eight-percent time often teach here for many years and in aggregate teach fourteen percent of the course sections at UNH. There is little change in that category over time. Adjunct faculty, on a per course basis, taught ten percent of the sections over the past five years, thirteen percent five years ago, and nine percent this year. Graduate students do from six to eight percent of the teaching at UNH, and tenure track faculty have taught fifty-eight percent of the sections over the last five years. The provost said that there has been very little change over time for these categories.

A faculty member said that there are some PAT staff whose sole function is teaching. The provost asked him to submit the names so that the provost could look into the situation. Another professor asked, when faculty leave and are not replaced and when faculty go into research, what type of teachers take over those courses. She added that the senate's Academic Affairs Committee will send the provost a request for a more detailed breakdown and also for data covering a period of ten rather than five years. The provost said that, when faculty get course release, the university hires part-time or adjunct faculty to teach those courses.

Another faculty member expressed concern that many eighty-eight-percent-time faculty teach more than a full load of courses. The provost said that the eighty-eight percent category had been used so that these teachers would be benefits eligible. He added that, under the proposed plan, affiliate faculty would not receive compensation; and eighty-eight-percent-time teachers would be called lecturers and would be eligible for benefits and for renewable appointments of one to three years. At the present time, eighty-eight-percent-time teachers often go through no contract review process. Currently, research faculty have to be reappointed every year and have salary coming from grants. The proposal would allow appointments for research faculty for one to five years. Now, adjunct faculty hold academic rank but do not receive pay or fringe benefits. Under the new plan, they might be appointed on a per-course basis with salary; and faculty in residence could become visiting faculty for up to three years.

Currently per-course faculty have a great deal of variability as to their longevity, and two-thirds of the faculty who are not tenure eligible are female. The provost said that we need to look at the rights and responsibilities of contract faculty. He added that the university could become more flexible in the way tenure-track faculty are funded. In the past, only state funding for tenure-track salaries was allowed; but the university now gets more funds from research than from the state and may reevaluate this requirement to some extent.

After input from members of the university community, the nomenclature proposal will go to the chancellor and the Board of Trustees. A professor pointed out that more than forty percent of our course sections are taught by people not on the permanent faculty, and he asked whether this practice is good for students. A faculty member said that we should give the non-tenure-track faculty some sense of stability and the departments some sense of review. Some eighty-eight percent teachers are being changed to tenure-track faculty. Lecturers should have review annually at the departmental level and with the deans. Non-tenure-track faculty are not required to do public service or research, both of which are required for tenure-track faculty. The graduate program is expected to expand somewhat. The university is reviewing the difference between research faculty and research scientists. Only the former can be the principle investigator for a grant. There also needs to be clarity regarding voting rights among these two categories.

IV. Communications with the chair - The senate chair said that the Agenda Committee met with John Seavey who gave an update about the General Education Study Committee, a senate ad-hoc committee which is looking at various general education models and wants to report to the Faculty Senate in February. The senate chair also asked that senators review the document on critical issues of academic planning, which is on the academic affairs web site, and send their input to the Academic Affairs Office. The senate chair said that the president of the Student Senate has asked that the Faculty Senate be told about a Student Senate resolution requesting modification of the university's winter parking ban. The student resolution says that there is rarely major snow in November and that many facilities close at midnight. The students ask that the winter parking ban begin at 12:30 a.m. on December 1 and not November 1. The Faculty Senate will refer this matter to its Campus Planning Committee for review. The chancellor will meet with the Faculty Senate at the first senate meeting in the spring semester.

V. Minutes - The minutes of the last senate meeting were approved unanimously.

VI. University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee - The charge of this committee is very broad and includes advising on "all academic and curricular matters that have intercollege and/or campus-wide effects or are likely to affect the overall quality or integrity of the realization of the university's academic mission". There is a move to have this committee act as a university-wide curriculum committee. A faculty member expressed concern that the original function, of monitoring the interaction between units under responsibility center management, not be lost by taking on the charge of a university-wide curriculum committee. A member of the UCAPC said that some of its members will meet with the provost to discuss the matter. Also, the senate's Library Committee will review whether the UCAPC membership should include a representative from the library faculty.

VII. Adjournment - Today's meeting was adjourned.

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