UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from  1 May, 2006




I.  Roll – The following senators were absent:  Bartos, Berenguier, Burger, Carroll, Dorfsman, Frankel, Haskins, Lugalla, Macieski, Morgan, Naumes, and Tenczar.  Those excused were Ament, Brown, and Nagy.  A guest was Vice President John Aber.

II.  Remarks by and questions to the chair – The  senate chair said that, due to the curtailed senate meeting and other factors, this year’s senate will pass on certain charges to the 0607 Faculty Senate.  He recommends that the following issues be brought to the senate floor early in the fall:  curtailment, academic calendar change, recommendations regarding the Task Force on Academic Expectations and Student Behavior, scholarly misconduct, Greek affairs, and the capital campaign.  In addition, follow up should occur on study away, scholarship guidelines, and Discovery Program implementation.   

The senate chair said that an overarching concern is shared governance.  He expressed his thanks to all faculty senators and also to all those faculty members who have served on committees and task forces in the past year.  Without this participation and the work it involves, faculty would have little input into shared governance.  He added that the Faculty Senate must be a decisive voice in choosing the new interim president of the university and in deciding on the composition of the search committee for the new president.  Careful collaboration is more important than a quick decision.  The past senate chair asked that faculty who have ideas about nominations and criteria send them to the 0607 senate chair right away.  The past senate chair said that the chancellor has told her that he intends to engage the faculty in this discussion and that, if the Faculty Senate is not available during the summer, he will begin by consulting with the Agenda Committee of the Faculty Senate.  The process for choosing the new president will be more democratic and more formal than the process for choosing the interim president.  A senator suggested that faculty might vote electronically on faculty to serve on the search committee for the president.  Another professor said that the university policy manual may state what the process should be. 

The senate vice chair said that this summer the faculty senators will be invited to visioning seminars so that the new senators can discuss the senate’s goals, vision and structure.  A COLSA professor said that the president had indicated that fifteen or twenty tenure-track faculty might be let go as part of the programmatic review of that college, and the professor asked if the Agenda Committee knew if the current president will make that decision or pass it on to the next president.  The past senate chair said that the president recently made commitments to the chairs of the COLSA departments, saying that she would take seriously the need for strategic planning regarding the proposed departments, the time frame, and any termination of faculty.  The president had said that she was not in a hurry to get this decided before the June meeting of the Board of Trustees.  The strategic planning may occur in the fall.

After discussion, the Faculty Senate unanimously passed a motion that the Faculty Senate requests and expects to have a voice (1) in the selection of the interim president of the university, (2) in the formulation of the job description for the new president, (3) in deciding what the structure of the president’s selection committee will be, and (4) in selecting some of the faculty members on the selection committee.

III.  Minutes – The senate unanimously approved the minutes of the last Faculty Senate meeting.  The chair of the senate’s Library Committee said that she has looked up the answer to a question posed in that senate meeting; and she reported today that the university library does not have any video surveillance. 

IV.  University Institutes – The senate’s Research and Public Service Committee had been charged to consider and make recommendations on the draft of the guidelines on University Institutes.  Faculty were concerned that EOS had hired faculty members in the past without sufficient input from the academic department with which the faculty member would be affiliated.  There should be a more formal process for this. 

Item four of the Policy on University Institutes currently reads as follows, including the referenced footnote:

Faculty associated with a University Institute will have teaching and governance responsibilities in graduate programs related to the Institute[1].

[1] Faculty with Institute responsibilities may include tenure-track, research, clinical, extension, adjunct, and affiliate faculty.  It is expected that faculty associated with a University Institute will also hold appointments in academic departments or programs.

The Research and Public Service Committee recommends that the following statement be added to that footnote:

Appointment of research faculty in a department will be according to policy guidelines.  Appointment of research faculty to a department will require the approval of the faculty in that department, in accordance with their by-laws, as well as the concurrence of the appropriate dean(s) and the vice president for research and public service.

A faculty member suggested adding that the approval required would be by the faculty in whatever department is most germane to the subject in question.  Another professor responded that the original recommendation covers this concern already, because the dean would decide, if there were a disagreement between departments.  The past senate chair questioned why the vice president for research and public service would be included rather than the dean of the Graduate School or the provost.  The vice president for research and public service said that both he and the provost approve those new faculty hires.  The senate chair suggested adding “and the provost” to the original recommendation.  He said that this recommendation from the Research and Public Service Committee will be submitted to the administration and that no vote by the senate is needed.

In addition, the senate’s Academic Affairs Committee had been charged to review the course approval section of the University Institute Proposal, to monitor means by which University Institutes create courses, and to insure that there is proper faculty consultation.  The committee recommended that the Faculty Senate pass the following motion concerning University Institute course approval:

Preamble:  The Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate notes the lack of a formal University Institute course approval policy.  Having studied both the UNH policy defining University Institutes and the EOS proposal to become a University Institute, we have concluded that:

  -  It is unclear exactly what the composition of the EOS University Institute Curriculum Committee will be and how some of the members will be selected.

  -  Logically, co-listing courses in EOS and departments implies a two-track approval process as practiced at present.

  -  An unambiguous statement of the approval process should be stated in both the university policy defining University Institutes and the University Institute proposal from EOS. 

Motion:  The Faculty Senate requests that the Provost's Office revise the university policy and EOS revise its proposal so that

(1) courses proposed by University Institutes are evaluated and approved by an appropriate degree-awarding department or departments, as well as by the college or colleges and the Graduate School,

(2) the evaluation and approval process achieves the same level of checks and balances as those used by departments, and

(3) an unambiguous statement of the approval process is included in both the university policy defining University Institutes and the University Institute Proposal from EOS.

Further, we request that the EOS proposal should be revised to

(4) clarify what the composition of the EOS University Institute Curriculum Committee will be and how the members will be selected.

After discussion on cross listings, the senate passed the motion unanimously.

V.  Recommendation two of the Report of the Task Force on American Sign LanguageThe Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate proposed that the senate pass the following motion. 

Preamble:  The Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate received the Report of the Task Force on American Sign Language that includes six recommendations.  Six motions were offered by the committee in response to five of the six recommendations in the report and were passed by the Faculty Senate on 3 April 2006.  Our seventh motion in response to the report concerns recommendation two.  Recommendation two states:

“That American Sign Language courses now offered on the UNH Durham campus to satisfy the foreign language requirement be subject to a rigorous review of their academic quality, by a process analogous to the UNH undergraduate program review process, said review to be completed by the end of academic year 2006-2007, with results and a recommendation from the provost forwarded to the Senate by Fall 2007.”  (p. 10 of the report)

Motion:  The Academic Affairs Committee has received a description of a plan to review the American Sign Language courses now offered on the UNH Durham campus to satisfy the foreign language requirement.  The Faculty Senate endorses the plan for the review.

The chair of the senate’s Academic Affairs Committee said that the review plan is a complete one and includes an outside review team.  A professor said that a thorough review is needed, because for thirteen years American Sign Language students have consistently reported that they spend significantly fewer hours in class and also studying outside of class than the foreign language students do; and yet the average grade in American Sign Language courses is an A minus.  What would happen if the review is conducted and finds that the American Sign Language process is inappropriate and will continue to be so?  The committee chair replied that the senate could deal with such a situation at that time if it were to happen.  The motion passed with many ayes, one nay and one abstention.

VI.  Sponsored research and export control – Vice President John Aber said that the Office of Sponsored Research has made some changes suggested in a recent review of that office.  He added that a major survey has been conducted on the research environment at UNH and that he will post the results on the website.  As a result of discussions on export control issues, there will be awareness training for faculty; and several policies will be brought to the Faculty Senate next year for approval, in an effort to limit problems regarding export control.

VII.  Thanks to the chair – The members of the Agenda Committee expressed their thanks to the Faculty Senate chair for his leadership and wisdom this year.

VIII.  Adjournment – The meeting of the 2005/06 Faculty Senate was adjourned.                               



I.  Roll – The following senators were absent:  Bartos, Brunet, Burger, Carr, Clyde, Dorfsman, Frankel, Haskins, Macieski, Morgan, Naumes, Pohl, Shubov, Slomba, and Tenczar.

II.  Election of officers – The 2005/06 senate chair presented a slate of nominees for next year’s senate officers and Agenda Committee members and also asked for nominations from the floor, with the proviso that any nominee must have stated a willingness to serve if elected.  The slate prepared by the 2005/06 Agenda Committee includes Jeff Salloway as chair, Bill Stine as vice chair, David Richman as past chair, and Mimi Becker, Jennifer Jacobs, Ruth Sample, and Torsten Schmidt as at-large Agenda Committee members.  A motion was made and seconded to table the vote until the senate could be convened later and consider at least two alternative slates.  The motion to table was defeated on a voice vote.  The senate approved, unanimously except for three abstentions, the slate recommended by the Agenda Committee.

III.  Communications from the chair – The 2006/07 Faculty Senate chair said that he expects that the senate will exercise responsible activism and acute oversight in the coming year.  The university is undergoing a time of transition in its administration, and the senate will help provide continuity.  Visioning seminars for the senators will be held this summer to discuss goals and charges for the senate and its committees for the coming year.

IV.  Adjournment – The meeting of the 2006/07 Faculty Senate was adjourned.


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