UNH Faculty Senate
Summary Minutes from 16 April, 2012
UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
2011-12 FACULTY SENATE
APRIL 16, 2012 - MINUTES SUMMARY
I. Roll – The following senators were absent: Dinapoli, Fagerberg, Peshkova, Shannon, Shore, Simos, Townson and Woodward. Guests were John Aber, Kelly Whittier and Patricia Donahoe.
II. Remarks by and questions to the president and/or provost – The provost thanked the faculty senators for the work they have done on a number of substantial issues so far this academic year. He said that the state-of-the-art lecture by Professor Rochelle Lieber on April 5 went well, and he invited faculty to attend the next state-of-the-art lecture which will be held on April 26. The provost said that admissions for next year are looking good and that the acceptances are ahead of last year especially for out-of-state students. A senator commented that soon the Navitas students will be matriculated and pay full tuition. When asked about the process for approval of the new Campus Master Plan, the provost said that there will probably be more discussion after the upcoming fora. The provost also said that cluster hires were first done in COLSA last year, when eight faculty were hired together for three departments, to build strength and provide an exciting platform. He added that the cluster hires enhance faculty excellence and are done to attract faculty around a cluster idea that is exciting for them. The provost said that he has asked the deans to think about cluster hires but that this will include department hires. A senator said that some department hires do not lend themselves to cluster hires. The provost replied that cluster hires are a trend and not a requirement.
III. Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair said that, at the previous Faculty Senate meeting, Bob Swarthout had said that the Graduate Student Senate had concerns about possible teaching assistant job cuts which might come from the academic review. The Graduate Student Senate believes that funding which has already been committed to teaching assistants should not be cut. In response, the Faculty Senate chair sent a letter to the college deans, with copies to the provost and the Graduate Council, saying the following:
On April 2, 2012, the chair of the Graduate Student Senate expressed concerns about possible violations of current expectations and representations of support to teaching and research assistants, as part of the colleges’ responses to the ongoing financial review of academic programs at the University of New Hampshire. I write you to request that you put the graduate students’ concerns to rest by ensuring that all currently-funded graduate students will not have those commitments and representations withdrawn during their programs without academic cause. This matter is urgent, given that students need to make their plans accordingly.
The senate chair said that this senate has been hard working and has taken on many difficult issues and now needs time for the senate as a whole to process its committee recommendations. Because of the very full agenda, the senate chair said that the Faculty Senate will meet on April 23, April 30 and May 7, at its usual time and place. The Campus Planning Committee chair replied that her committee had planned to meet with Doug Bencks to discuss the Campus Master Plan, during the April 23 meeting time, and did not feel able to reschedule that meeting. The senate chair said that the senate needs the additional time to accomplish a number of tasks and that he would work with the CPC to try to find a solution. He added that he had met with UCAPC, regarding its evaluation of the proposed new schools policy in general and also of some proposed new schools. UCAPC is a senate committee whose charter stated in senate motion X-M1 that:
UCAPC is intended (1) to serve as an appeals and fact-finding body to consider academic and curricular matters which have inter-college and/or campus-wide effects or which are likely to affect the quality or integrity of the realization of the university’s academic mission and (2) to advise the Faculty Senate on its findings and recommendations. The Faculty Senate will consider the UCAPC’s recommendations, act and forward the recommendations arising from the senate’s deliberations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The UCAPC does not replace the curriculum and academic policy committees of the schools and colleges. However, the UCAPC has the authority to review the decisions of those bodies when those decisions are deemed by the Faculty Senate, the VPAA, or affected parties to have impacts beyond the school or college in which they originate. The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) and the Agenda Committee of the Faculty Senate have the authority to assign cases to UCAPC, normally after consultation with each other. Other units would ordinarily present their concerns to either of these entities for referral to UCAPC. After its review, UCAPC will report the results of its deliberations to the Faculty Senate. Following the outcome of deliberations in the senate, the senate’s final recommendations on UCAPC’s recommendations will be reported to the Vice President for Academic Affairs by the senate’s Agenda Committee.
The senate chair said that, while it is important for UCAPC to listen to a variety of interests, UCAPC and the senate must act in accordance with their missions. The senate’s constitution says the following.
The distinctive responsibility of the faculty is the academic mission of the university. In particular, the joint statement asserts that, "The faculty has primary responsibility for such fundamental areas as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, 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 should be exercised adversely only in exceptional circumstances and for reasons communicated to the faculty." This constitution provides for the faculty to exercise this responsibility through an elected Faculty Senate.
A decision on schools must be made which is best for the university as a whole. The senate chair passed out a letter sent by a group of faculty in favor of the schools proposal. Also, the AAUP president at UNH sent a letter as follows.
I have reviewed the release concerning "Interdisciplinary Schools at UNH" with the AAUP-UNH Contract Administrator, Chris Balling and we see serious contractual problems in connection with this proposal. To be specific, we cannot agree to amend the contract to accommodate the loose, non-specific descriptions of lines of authority and faculty responsibilities contained in the document. Specifically, we cannot allow tenure decisions or individual workloads to be dealt with in any other way than currently specified in our contract, i.e. through the administrative actions of Department Chairs and College Deans.
The practice of tenure-line faculty reporting to Directors is explicitly allowed only as an exception to usual practice for the Thompson School and the Library as these practices were established pre-contract. Any future exceptions to this must be bargained.
This document was passed out to the senators today and will be sent to the provost and the UCAPC chair. UCAPC will report to the senate on April 23.
IV. Minutes – The minutes of the previous Faculty Senate meeting were approved with all ayes.
V. Report from the Professional Standards Committee, on policy for changes in faculty status – The chair of the senate’s Professional Standards Committee proposed a motion at the previous senate meeting and again today as follows.
Whereas it is the tenured and tenure-track faculty that forms the essential core of the university, and whereas the system of colleges and departments forms the stable organizational structure of the tenured and tenure-track faculty within which the fundamental rights, duties, and assessments of the faculty are applied, and whereas other organizational structures of the faculty, both temporary and long-term, (e.g. programs, centers, institutes, schools, etc.) are formed against the background of the college/departmental structure in response to various particular needs and goals of the university, and whereas it has come to the attention of the Faculty Senate that upon occasion tenured faculty have come to be without a fixed assignment to a full-fledged department within a college of the university, and whereas such an extra-ordinary position engenders enduring and manifold difficulties for all concerned, be it resolved that the Faculty Senate endorses as a principle and recommends as university policy that every tenured or tenure-track member of the faculty have clear assignment to one (or, in the case of joint appointments, more) department(s) and college(s) in the university and that the fundamental rights and duties conferred by membership in a department cannot be curtailed or abridged. Where due-process grievance procedures result in special adjustments to the assignment of responsibilities of a tenure-track faculty member and his or her department, nothing in that agreement will abridge the basic rights and duties involved in participation in the department. The university should seek stringently to avoid entering into any agreements that violate this principle.
The PSC chair said that the AAUP president, who is a PSC member, was accepting of this motion. Jo Laird moved and William Berndtson seconded an amendment to delete the first three “whereases” of the motion. This amendment passed with all ayes except for two nays. Also, because UNH-Manchester has divisions rather than departments, a friendly amendment was accepted to add after “fixed assignment to a full-fledged department” the words “or, at UNH-Manchester, division” and to add after “(or, in the case of joint appointments, more) department(s)” the word “, division(s)”. The amended motion passed unanimously and reads as follows.
Whereas it has come to the attention of the Faculty Senate that upon occasion tenured faculty have come to be without a fixed assignment to a full-fledged department or, at UNH-Manchester, division within a college of the university, and whereas such an extra-ordinary position engenders enduring and manifold difficulties for all concerned, be it resolved that the Faculty Senate endorses as a principle and recommends as university policy that every tenured or tenure-track member of the faculty have clear assignment to one (or, in the case of joint appointments, more) department(s), division(s) and college(s) in the university and that the fundamental rights and duties conferred by membership in a department cannot be curtailed or abridged. Where due-process grievance procedures result in special adjustments to the assignment of responsibilities of a tenure-track faculty member and his or her department, nothing in that agreement will abridge the basic rights and duties involved in participation in the department. The university should seek stringently to avoid entering into any agreements that violate this principle.
VI. Motion on internationalization – After presentation at the previous senate meeting, on behalf of the Agenda Committee, Ed Hinson proposed the following motion, as the senate’s response to the Report of the President’s Panel on Internationalizing UNH.
1. The Faculty Senate endorses the principle of the internationalization of UNH and commends the President’s Panel for its thorough report.
2. The Faculty Senate calls for periodic three-year assessments of the Navitas Program's royalty collection and distribution, starting during its third year of implementation (2014-2015).
Rationale: The first distribution of royalties is divided according to a formula that allocates approximately one-third to academic departments offering Navitas courses and two-thirds to the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The departments are free to decide how best to make use of their Navitas funds. (For instance, the Department of Mathematics received approximately $14,000 that it could allocate to any number of activities, including travel fund supplements, classroom renovation and equipment, supplemental pay for a department Navitas coordinator, and student scholarships.) The Vice President for Academic Affairs will use its funds to meet operational costs associated with the Navitas program, as well as to pursue objectives to further develop the internationalization initiative, including a national search for a senior administrative position charged with overseeing and centralizing internationalization activities at UNH. Given that UNH finds itself continuously grappling with unstable financial circumstances, the Faculty Senate finds it imprudent to lock in any revenue stream for pursuing this strategic objective without periodic review of how royalties are distributed. For instance, should the principal units charged with implementing the institution’s core academic mission – the academic departments and the colleges that house them – come under serious budgetary duress, opportunities for diverting revenues where they are most needed should remain open. In sum, this part of the motion calls for flexibility over time in the distribution of royalties enjoyed from the Navitas Program that, presumably, will grow over time.
3. The Faculty Senate perceives a potential danger in implementing the recommendation to make “cluster hires” and “joint appointments” of as many as twelve new “interdisciplinary” faculty hires during the last three years of the report’s five year plan. At current and projected rates of hiring new faculty, these hires would constitute a substantial portion of all available opportunities to hire during those years. The deans and the provost will have to exercise a great deal of wisdom and sensitivity to the evolving conditions in the colleges, to ensure that devoting this many hires to internationalization does not simultaneously weaken other mission-critical needs in the university. On-going and effective consultation with academic departments will be crucial to proper implementation of this recommendation.
4. The Faculty Senate calls upon the interim internationalization facilitator and, possibly, a future internationalization administrative director to provide in the periodic three-year report to the Faculty Senate (1) data that show the current state of internationalization at UNH, including but not limited to the percentage of students participating in study abroad programs, numbers of Navitas students, and total revenues from Navitas and their distribution; (2) assessment of the level of internationalization those data show at UNH; (3) resources needed to maintain that level of internationalization, or (4) measurable benchmarks and the resources needed to bring internationalization to a higher level, and (5) the extent to which the benchmarks targeted and the methods used in the university’s efforts toward internationalization are pursued in accordance with the principle of shared governance.
The motion passed with all ayes except for two nays and two abstentions.
VII. Motion on shared governance – On behalf of the Agenda Committee, Louise Buckley proposed the following motion on shared governance, at the previous senate meeting and again today.
Whereas the senate constitution states that “the principle of shared governance in universities is long established by tradition and was formalized in the 1966 Joint Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities (jointly formulated by the American Association of University Professors, the American Council on Education, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges)”, and whereas the Joint Statement asserts that the distinctive responsibility of the faculty is the academic mission of the university, inclusive of “such fundamental areas as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, faculty status, and those aspects of student life which relate to the educational process,” and whereas the Faculty Senate Constitution “provides for the faculty to exercise this responsibility through an elected Faculty Senate,” therefore the Faculty Senate resolves that shared governance requires significant faculty representation through senate appointments to any university-level committee or commission dealing with charges that directly or indirectly pertain to the university’s academic mission (e.g. ad-hoc committees, presidential panels or commissions, strategic initiative committees); and the Faculty Senate further resolves that, although senate appointees will participate in advancing the respective charges put before those committees, panels, or commissions, the primary role of the senate appointees is to serve as representatives of the Faculty Senate and its responsibility for the overall academic mission.
This motion clarifies that it is not sufficient shared governance for the administration to appoint a faculty member who is an advocate of the committee's charge. After discussion, James Connell moved and Ed Hinson seconded an amendment to add before “and the Faculty Senate further resolves” the words “but excluding those few committees that require specialized technical expertise or whose charge involves regulatory oversight (e.g. the Radiation Safety Committee, the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects, the University Instrumentation Center, and the Animal Care and Use Committee)”. This amendment passed unanimously. Then Ihab Farag moved and Roslyn Chavda seconded an amendment to add at the end of the previous amendment the words “and any committee that the Faculty Senate chooses to exclude”. This second amendment passed with fifteen ayes and fourteen nays. The amended motion passed unanimously.
VIII. Motion from the Academic Affairs Committee, on e-courses – At the previous senate meeting and again today, the AAC chair presented the committee's statement and motion about the future of “e-UNH”. The number of on-line courses (e-courses) at the university has been growing exponentially during the last three years, and e-courses now represent a significant proportion of all courses taught. About twenty e-courses were offered in the January term of 2011, and forty-six were offered in 2012. About thirty such courses were offered during the summers of 2010 and 2011, while at least sixty-five are planned for this summer. There are new initiatives from the administration to promote e-courses, such as “e-meritus” courses to be taught by professors emeriti or emeritae and the offering of “e-lecturers,” who will teach only e-courses, to departments willing to expand the number of such courses. Indeed the overall expansion of on-line courses is due mainly to decisions by the administration. This expansion has not come from any duly-constituted body of professors, except insofar as some departments have chosen to promote e-courses or at least allow them. It is true that many students want to take such courses; and quite a few professors, lecturers, and adjuncts have asked to teach them. However, the prime motive behind the administration’s promotion of these courses seems to be financial: they make money. The administration has not even argued, as far as the committee is aware, that on-line courses are superior to traditional courses or even their equal, in educational benefit.
The committee is not prejudging the quality of on-line courses here. Some of them may well be excellent; and we are aware that several experienced professors have been teaching them, at least to try them out. We recognize that all UNH colleges have offered training sessions for faculty interested in teaching e-courses. Every year brings new developments in technology, and we can only guess at what new programs and devices might enhance the pedagogical possibilities of e-courses just a few years from now. However, there has been a good deal of controversy about the e-courses' quality and about their long-term impact on the nature and structure of university education. There has been much debate as well about their effect on the position of professors. These questions, as far as we can tell, have not been thoroughly discussed by any university-wide body of professors, other instructors, and administrators; and many departments have yet to hold a meeting about this. Little is said about e-courses in the Strategic Plan. We therefore make a motion with three parts:
(1) We call on the administration to make known what it foresees as the role and scope of e-courses. Is there a plan? Does the administration foresee expanding e-courses to a certain point and then pausing? What is that point? (2) We call on the administration to sponsor jointly with the Faculty Senate a series of open forums next fall in which the pros and cons of on-line teaching are debated. (3) We ask all departments that have not yet done so to hold discussions in which the value of e-courses and their role in department curricula are thoroughly considered.
A senator said that, after a course is approved, there should be a mechanism to track any change in how the course will be offered, i.e. electronically or not. The AAC chair said that perhaps this could be in a subsequent motion; and he added that, although some may think differently, he does not believe that a course which changes to an e-course should be considered the same course. An amendment to delete the last two sentences in the first paragraph of the motion failed, with a vote of ten ayes, seventeen nays and two abstentions. A friendly amendment was accepted to add in the last paragraph, after “a series of open forums”, the words “starting this spring and continuing”. The motion including the friendly amendment passed unanimously.
IX. Motion on Promotion and Tenure Standards Oversight Committee – On behalf of the Agenda Committee, Louise Buckley presented a motion that:
The Faculty Senate accepts with gratitude the report of the ad-hoc Committee on Promotion and Tenure Standards, presented by committee Chair Jeffry Diefendorf on April 2, 2012, and makes the following motion.
The Faculty Senate calls for the formation of an ad-hoc Promotion and Tenure Standards Oversight Committee, by the senate. The committee is charged with ensuring (1) that all academic departments consider and respond in writing to promotion and tenure issues raised in the report that are relevant to respective practices, (2) that the Offices of the Deans of each college (including Manchester and the university library) consider and respond in writing to promotion and tenure issues raised in the report that are relevant to their administrative practices, and (3) that the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs consider and respond in writing to promotion and tenure issues raised in the report that are relevant to its administrative practices. The committee is empowered to recommend working groups bringing together representatives from department, college, and higher administrative levels to address issues that require collaborative action based on review of the responses collected from all three levels.
The ad-hoc committee membership should consist of an elected senior faculty member from each of the seven colleges who has served on the college’s promotion and tenure committees, two Faculty Senate appointments, an administrative representative from each of the seven Offices of the Deans, and one representative from the Office of Academic Affairs. The chair of the committee will provide a report to the Faculty Senate at the end of the academic year.
Two senators asked that the motion include a specific committee seat from the Thompson School, not as part of the COLSA representation. The senate chair said that the Agenda Committee will consider that request, and he asked that senators discuss the motion with their departmental colleagues. Consideration of this motion was postponed until the next senate meeting.
X. Motion on budgetary detail – On behalf of the Agenda Committee, Art Greenberg presented the budgetary detail motion as follows.
Whereas the preamble to the Faculty Senate Constitution states: “The distinctive responsibility of the faculty is the academic mission of the university. In particular, the joint statement asserts that, ‘The faculty has primary responsibility for such fundamental areas as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, 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 should be exercised adversely only in exceptional circumstances and for reasons communicated to the faculty.’” And whereas the Faculty Senate Constitution “provides for the faculty to exercise this responsibility through an elected Faculty Senate,” and whereas the “Faculty Senate is designed to work in close communication and collaboration with the Board of Trustees, principal administrators and the Council of Deans, the PAT and Operating Staff Councils, and the Student Senate, each of which have their own distinctive responsibilities as well as overlapping areas of concern,” and whereas decisions about initiatives that impact academics at UNH often involve reallocation of scarce budgetary resources, and whereas timely action is expected of the senate, therefore, in order to be able responsibly to discharge its oversight of the academic mission, the Faculty Senate calls upon the administration to provide timely and complete budgetary proposals for new academic initiatives (e.g., Inclusive Excellence, Internationalization) that will impact current academic practices, including but not necessarily limited to: (1) data that establish the need for the initiative, in terms of problems or issues the initiative purportedly addresses; (2) specification of the sources of funding from which resources for the initiative will be allocated or reallocated; (3) identifiable and measurable benchmarks that indicate progress in advancing the initiative over a five year period; and (4) plans for three or five year periodic review of the initiative’s costs and benefits. The Faculty Senate further calls upon the administration also to include in revenue generating initiatives (e.g., e-learning graduate programs or professional certificate programs): (1) details about the starting budget for the initiative, (2) evidence for the initiative’s feasibility in generating new revenues, (3) evidence-based projections over three- and five-year increments of anticipated revenues from the initiative, as well as anticipated corollary expenses needed for pursuit of the initiative, (4) plans for three-year periodic review of the initiative’s success in generating anticipated revenues, (5) contingency plans to maintain, scale back, or eliminate the initiative should revenues generated fail to meet expectations, and (6) identification of alternative revenue sources should the initiative be maintained without reaching the anticipated levels of revenue generation.
Consideration of this motion was postponed until the next senate meeting.
XI. Report from the Discovery Committee, on Discovery Program implementation – The Discovery Committee chair thanked the committee members for their work. She asked that students list four or five course options when attempting to register for an inquiry course. The committee’s charge included to review the continued implementation of the Discovery Program. This year, the committee has reviewed 42 courses for category and/or attributes (e.g. writing intensive). Of these, 9 were inquiry courses, 5 of which were 444 courses. This brings the total courses reviewed to date to 619. Of these, 154 are currently-offered inquiry courses, 88 of which are 444 courses. The committee has also reviewed a total of 37 transfer courses. We are focusing our program review on the inquiry requirement in the Discovery Program, in preparation for NEASC and the mandated fifth-year review. In a recent report, 1,412 rising sophomores and 288 rising juniors have not yet met their inquiry requirement. Data suggests that there were sufficient inquiry seats available, and reasons for students missing them remain unclear. We will continue to monitor this trend, as well as the mix of 444’s and inquiry attribute courses. The current projections suggest that we will be short inquiry seats for the next academic year, and we are currently discussing solutions with the associate deans. Guidelines for who should teach inquiry courses were developed by the Faculty Senate's Discovery Program Committee and confirmed at its meeting on February 29, 2012. Faculty are asked to read the entire implementation charge report, which is only summarized here.
The Discovery Program, in connection with the Center for Teaching Excellence, will provide faculty development opportunities and resources on “Teaching in Discovery” and on inquiry pedagogy for all instructors of discovery courses. A department and program audit was completed for capstone. All programs reported planned or developed capstone options. Capstone requirements begin for all discovery students in academic year 2013. Discovery course proposals may now be submitted electronically through the Discovery Course Proposal System, which has been updated based on user feedback solicited from each college. We currently have 6 pilot inquiry attribute courses being taught in COLSA and CEPS (BIOL 411/412; CIE 402; ECE 401; ME 441; NR 401). These courses are currently being assessed by the Center for Teaching Excellence. We currently have 5 academic variances (4 in CEPS and 1 in COLA) for one discovery category to be met with a suite of required courses. In addition, in November, 2011, the Discovery Committee approved a petition from the Department of Environmental Engineering to allow ENE Industrial Processes and Municipal Processes majors to meet the Discovery Biological Science requirement by taking ENEhttp://www.unh.edu/fac-senate/pub/minutes/4-16-2012FS.htm 756. All academic variances remain in effect for a period of five years, at which time they will be subject to review.
The Discovery Program Office is receiving more queries from faculty, students and parents about discovery requirements. In addition to forwarding queries to appropriate individuals, we recently posted a discovery self-audit sheet as a resource on our website. The Discovery Program, in collaboration with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, hosts approximately two events per semester for faculty on topics such as inquiry pedagogy, integrating the university dialogue into courses, and the course syllabus as a teaching tool. These events have been well received, as shown by attendee feedback. Next year’s theme for the university dialogue will be Live Free or Die? A University Dialogue on Freedom and Responsibility. This topic was chosen by the University Dialogue Committee, comprised of college faculty representatives, administration, staff, and student representatives. The University Dialogue Committee spent time this year considering how best to structure the dialogue. The university dialogue is one of the key integrating features of the Discovery Program. This educational program reaches all students and serves to amplify civic engagement and critical problem solving by focusing on a single, broad theme and exploring that theme in and out of class throughout the academic year. We propose three essential aspects to include both faculty and student fellows. One senior faculty member from each college for a total of six will be selected each year. Faculty fellows lead the integration of the university dialogue into courses and curriculum during the academic year within their colleges and, collectively, advise programming campus wide. Faculty fellows also write a short essay on the topic to be published in a monograph and work as the faculty cohort for INCO 620. Discovery student fellows participate in a theory-to-practice seminar, INCO 620, (capped at 15) that explores democratic theory from a deliberative perspective, dialogue and small group facilitation, civic engagement, and social justice. Topics include moral disagreement, skills in public engagement and facilitation, creating social change, and moving from talk to action in the public sphere.
Campus-wide conversations include at least three large events per year hosting relevant, compelling, and deliberative conversations. These conversations are facilitated by students and welcome faculty, staff, students and community members. At least one conversation per semester will be planned in advance by the faculty fellows for curricular integration. Additionally, we expect to be ready to capture the moment when local, state, national or global events indicate the value of a fruitful and broad-based public engagement conversation. We are still determining funding and are seeking support in a request to the UNH Foundation. We are working on a new program linking the inquiry attribute to a month-long (May) semester at sea. The topic of the inquiry course would be aligned with the topic of the university dialogue. More information will be released in the near future. The Discovery Committee's written report also contained information regarding its charges two and three, which were reported on in previous senate meetings.
XII. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned.
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