UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 2 May 2005

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UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
2004/05 FACULTY SENATE

MAY 2, 2005 - MINUTES SUMMARY

 

I.  Roll – The following senators were absent:  Burger, Drake, Herold, Kaen, Kenefick, Powell, Quigley, Schlentrich, Sheriff, and Vangundy.  Excused were Broussard, Carroll, Laue, Nagy, Pescosolido and Shea.  Guests were Carrie Doyle, Susan Entz and Steve Hardy.  Jenna Coulp-Yu was a guest observer.  

II.  Communications from the chair – The senate chair said that the provost intends to appoint a task force to consider, during the summer and fall, whether the current situation corresponds to the senate’s intent in 1992 when the senate passed a motion that American Sign Language could fulfill the foreign language requirement for baccalaureate students.  This task force will have faculty representatives from each school and college and one member from the provost’s office.  The senate chair thanked the faculty senators for a very productive year of hard work and civility; and she also thanked the Agenda Committee and the senate program coordinator.

The Agenda Committee proposed and, after a brief discussion, the senate unanimously passed the UNH Faculty Senate Resolution for Continued Congressional Funding for Land Grant College Research and Teaching, to be sent to the New Hampshire members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives.

The University of New Hampshire is the Land Grant University for our state and carries, as a key component of its program, the responsibility to train the next generation of agronomists, farmers, and educators.  The university has a responsibility as well to ensure that New Hampshire has the capacity to develop new knowledge that will support the state’s agricultural economy as it makes the transition to 21st century agriculture.  Research, teaching and service to the food production and marketing industry in the state is carried out by the College of Life Science and Agriculture’s faculty, students and extensionists.  The funding to support their work is the result of a federal-state partnership, funded on the federal side by grants under the McIntire-Stennis and Hatch acts.  With the establishment of the Land Grant Universities some 150 years ago, the federal government undertook the critically important role of investing in the future to ensure the long term productivity of our soil and water resources and to support the production of food and fiber so essential for a healthy population and economy, both statewide and nationally.  New Hampshire is a small state, not dominated by industrial farming systems.  We need to invest public resources to ensure that family farms, small-scale food production, and our forest products systems will be able to remain significant components of the local and regional economies.  The present cost-sharing federal-state partnership has resulted in $1,687,967 of federal dollars being matched by the state’s $4,983,473.  This match is very likely to be lost if the federal funds do not continue.  Such a reduction would cripple UNH’s mission as a Land Grant institution, as it would result in the loss of more than 50 faculty and staff positions along with at least 35 graduate students.  This social capital represents the leadership needed to carry us forward to a sustainable future.

Therefore, be it resolved that the University of New Hampshire’s Faculty Senate, which represents the faculty who deliver those academic programs and research initiatives comprising the university’s investment in agricultural education and research, urges you to support continued investment at the current level to fund agricultural research and education under the McIntyre-Stennis and Hatch Acts’ budget lines.  We ask that you, as members of New Hampshire’s Congressional Delegation, support your own state’s welfare and future economic health and thus vote to continue to fund these critical programs.

III.  Minutes – The senate unanimously approved the minutes of the 4/18/05 Faculty Senate meeting, with an amendment to change the second sentence in the second paragraph of item VI from “Except for English 401, Thompson School courses may not be used for general education, writing intensive or foreign language requirements in the baccalaureate program” to “Generally, Thompson School courses do not satisfy general education, writing or foreign language requirements in baccalaureate degree programs.  However, the Thompson School writing course (COM 209) may be used to satisfy the group 2 (writing skills) requirement for general education.”

IV.  Report from the Ad-Hoc Committee on Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental and Pre-Veterinary Education – Jeff Salloway, the committee’s chair, moved that the senate accept the committee’s report and forward it to the provost for action; and this motion passed unanimously.  There had been concern that, under RCM, programs not located in a specific school or college might not receive needed funds.  Since Pre-Veterinary Education is a defined major and a popular course of study within the Department of Animal Sciences and Nutrition, whereas the pre-medical and pre-dental programs are advising programs only, the committee recommends no changes to Pre-Veterinary Education.  The committee also recommends no changes to the Advising Center components of pre-professional education at this time.  However, the committee recommends the creation of a Pre-Health-Professions Program with several courses which would constitute the core of a Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Program.  That program should receive RCM distributions and provide mentoring for faculty and science application experiences for students.

V.  NCAA academic progress monitoring – Steve Hardy and Carrie Doyle presented information on a series of reforms which will be instituted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.  The reforms will track graduation rates and will penalize teams whose scholarship athletes do not stay in that school and earn acceptable grades.  The graduation rates of UNH scholarship athletes are above the graduation rates for UNH students in general.  The combined academic progress rate for the UNH teams is 972, which is in the tenth percentile; but for the 2003/04 academic year, three UNH teams would have been subject to contemporaneous penalties, if the penalties had been in effect for that year.  Faculty are asked to review the handouts on these matters and contact Steve Hardy or Carrie Doyle with any questions or concerns.

VI.  Commencement and honors convocation changes – Susan Entz, Director of Presidential Events and Programs, said that Nancy Kinner, Chief Faculty Marshal, is sending to all faculty a letter encouraging faculty to participate in commencement and honors convocation and describing new procedures for the ceremonies.  Honors convocation has been moved to the night before commencement, so that parents can attend both ceremonies in one trip to campus.  This year at commencement, faculty will line up in columns by school in order to welcome that school’s graduates as they enter the field.  For the honors convocation, faculty will park in D Lot and use the Sky Box Lounge in the Whittemore Center as a robing room.  For commencement, faculty will park in H Lot and use rooms 025 and 027 under the Field House grandstand as a robing area.  The robing rooms will be secure during the ceremony.  Receptions will be held behind the Whittemore Center following honors convocation and in front of the Field House and also in Lundholm Gymnasium following commencement.  After the ceremonies, Susan Entz will send a survey to faculty, in order to get input about the procedures and arrangements.

VII.  Thompson School – Guy Petty made a motion which David Richman seconded that “Academic Policy 05.33 (fs) Thompson School Courses” be amended to read:

         Baccalaureate and Associate in Arts degree candidates may take 200-level Thompson School courses for credit with the following stipulations:

1.      The TSAS course must be transferable to UNH at the time it is taken.

2.      Grades received in TSAS courses will be recorded on the student’s transcript but will not affect or be included in the student’s GPA.

3.      TSAS courses may not be used for general education, writing intensive, or foreign language requirements.  TSAS courses may be used for major or minor requirements only if specifically approved on a course-by-course basis by the department granting the major or minor and when the student meets the usual minimal grade requirements of that program. 

Guy Petty said that item one was unchanged and that item two was changed to remove the reference to 200-level courses.  However, he indicated that the proposed change from numbering Thompson School courses as 200-level courses had just been voted down by the Faculty Senate on 4/18/05 and that he would accept that as a friendly amendment to change item two back to the previous version referring to 200-level courses as follows:  “Grades received in 200-level courses will be recorded on the student’s transcript but will not affect or be included in the student’s GPA”.  He said that today’s motion is only to remove the former item three which said in part that “BA/BS candidates may take a maximum of 16 credits of TSAS courses….Normally a student may take no more than 4 credits of TSAS coursework per semester….”  The former item four would become the new item three.  He said that the former item three should be eliminated, because COLSA has approved new undergraduate offerings which include more TSAS coursework than current policy allows and that these required TSAS course offerings necessitate extensive petitions to circumvent the old stipulation three.  He said that not removing the sixteen credit maximum would hurt certain baccalaureate programs in COLSA.

Kelly Giraud, Coordinator of the Community Development BS Degree Program, wrote a letter and spoke in favor of the proposed change, saying that the restriction to a maximum of 16 credits is not necessary and is detrimental to many outstanding baccalaureate students.  Also, students who transfer from the Thompson School into the UNH baccalaureate program may transfer up to 64 Thompson School credits into UNH.

Sam Shore spoke against the motion, saying that credits for courses taken at other institutions may be transferred for UNH credit only if a grade of C or better is earned in the course.  However, UNH baccalaureate students receive credit for a TSAS course if a passing grade of D- or better is earned; and the grade does not affect the grade point average.  He suggested changing the motion either (1) to require a C to get credit for the course or (2) to make failure or poor grades affect the GPA.  The senate chair pointed out that today’s motion would remove a restriction for UNH baccalaureate students and not for Thompson School students.  Today’s motion came from the COLSA Academic Affairs Committee which had passed it unanimously.  The senate’s Academic Affairs Committee, the Agenda Committee and the COLSA dean support the motion; but the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee does not.  Sam Shore made a friendly amendment, accepted by Professors Petty and Richman, that the motion should be that BA/BS candidates may take more than 16 credits of Thompson School courses but would need a grade of C or better to receive credit for Thompson School courses.  The amendment passed unanimously and so did the motion.

VIII.  Recommendations from the Task Force on Academic Expectations and Student Behavior – On behalf of the Student Affairs Committee, Lynette Ament presented the following motion and the committee’s report on the task force recommendations. 

The rationale is that, in May of 2003, the UNH Faculty Senate approved a motion to constitute a task force to study the “links between student behavior and the university community’s expectations of student achievement.”  In April of 2004, the Executive Summary of the Senate Task Force was released.  The Task Force identified four major high-priority links with associated recommendations critical to elevating and giving greater visibility to the academic mission of UNH:  1) faculty/student interaction, 2) the articulation of faculty expectations, 3) academic advising, and 4) student culture.  In September of 2004, the Faculty Senate asked the Student Affairs Committee to examine the Executive Summary and make recommendations for priority areas that are relevant to faculty.  We have identified those priority areas where we believe Faculty Senate should place support.   

The motion is that the following actions should be undertaken by the persons and groups listed below: 

Responsible Party

Link

Sub-item

Faculty

Link II: The Articulation of Faculty Expectations

Recommendations: With the aim of enculturing a focus within the UNH community on the “life of the mind,” and making it a coherent and consistent part of all major university activities from the admissions process through graduation, the Task Force recommends that faculty:

i. Should encourage students to initiate conversations with professors both in and outside the classroom and should communicate to students that faculty are interested in having more contact with them.

ii. Should clearly post and inform students of office hours, and be present as scheduled.

 

Department Chairs

Link II: The Articulation of Faculty Expectations

Recommendations: With the aim of enculturing a focus within the UNH community on the “life of the mind,” and making it a coherent and consistent part of all major university activities from the admissions process through graduation, the Task Force recommends that the department chairs:

i. Should ensure that courses are scheduled across all weekdays and class times.

 

 

Link III: Academic Advising

Recommendations: To ensure greater recognition of the importance of academic advising to student development and to the overall mission of UNH, academic advising should be restructured with greater and more consistent attention to a focus on academic vision. The Task Force recommends that the department chairs:

i. Should ensure that one early fall faculty meeting is used specifically to discuss the academic vision and content of, and advising procedures in, the department’s major.

 

Student and Academic Services

Link I: Faculty-Student Interaction

Recommendations: In order to facilitate the mutual desires of students and faculty for more opportunities to interact and get to know one another, the Task Force recommends that Student and Academic Services:

iv. Should require first year students to enroll in at least one small class each semester of the first year in order to socialize them into academic learning.

 

Link III: Academic Advising

Recommendations: To ensure greater recognition of the importance of academic advising to student development and to the overall mission of UNH, academic advising should be restructured with greater and more consistent attention to a focus on academic vision. The Task Force recommends that Student and Academic Services:

iii. Should develop and publish a list of faculty members interested in advising student groups and should encourage all student groups to have faculty advisors.

 

 

Link IV: Student Culture

Recommendations: In order to nurture the sense that “the life of the mind” permeates multiple aspects of life in a college community and in recognition of students’ desires to be engaged participants in the UNH community, coming together around common issues, events and activities, the Task Force recommends that Student and Academic Services:

i. Should provide greater training and assistance for RAs in planning the use of unstructured dorm time with components that integrate academic activities as part of their floor/dorm activities.

 

Student Senate

Link I: Faculty-Student Interaction

Recommendations: In order to facilitate the mutual desires of students and faculty for more opportunities to interact and get to know one another, the Task Force recommends that Student Senate:

i. Should encourage students to initiate conversations with professors both in and outside the classroom and should communicate to students that faculty are interested in having more contact with them.

 

Link III: Academic Advising

Recommendations: To ensure greater recognition of the importance of academic advising to student development and to the overall mission of UNH, academic advising should be restructured with greater and more consistent attention to a focus on academic vision. The Task Force recommends that Student Senate:

i. Should encourage student clubs and organizations to give attention to the GPA/academic standards of their members and to talk about these issues collectively in their clubs/organizations.

 

Provost’s Office

Link I: Faculty-Student Interaction

Recommendations: In order to facilitate the mutual desires of students and faculty for more opportunities to interact and get to know one another, the Task Force recommends that the Provost’s Office:

i. Should financially support inquiry and peer-based learning.

ii. Should organize public lectures/events and encourage attendance by faculty and students (in collaboration with the Office of Media Relations).

 

 

Link II: The Articulation of Faculty Expectations Recommendations: With the aim of enculturing a focus within the UNH community on the “life of the mind,” and making it a coherent and consistent part of all major university activities from the admissions process through graduation, the Task Force recommends that the Provost’s Office:

ii. Should support extended library opening hours.

iv. Should ensure that the new faculty orientation specifically focuses on UNH’s expectations of academic engagement and faculty-student interaction.

 

Associate Deans

Link III: Academic Advising

Recommendations: To ensure greater recognition of the importance of academic advising to student development and to the overall mission of UNH, academic advising should be restructured with greater and more consistent attention to a focus on academic vision. The Task Force recommends that the Associate Deans:

ii. Should give special attention to undeclared and transfer students, because of the special problems they present, and should ensure that those students have faculty advisors and access to faculty from different depts./programs.

iii. Should ensure that majors are always advised by faculty in their area.

v. Should offer an annual workshop for faculty on academic advising.

vii. Should communicate information about students’ and advisees’ grades and behavioral violations to faculty in a timely manner.

President’s Office

Link IV: Student Culture

Recommendations: In order to nurture the sense that “the life of the mind” permeates multiple aspects of life in a college community and in recognition of students’ desires to be engaged participants in the UNH community, coming together around common issues, events and activities, the Task Force recommends that the President’s Office:

i. Should ensure that there is faculty and administration support for all sports teams and for arts, cultural and political events that will encourage students and faculty to get involved.

 

A senators said that accountability is needed for this to be a motion and that the senate should leave it as a recommendation from the Student Affairs Committee which should work on this more next year.  The Student Affairs Committee chair asked that the motion be tabled and that the Agenda Committee give the Student Affairs Committee more specific direction for next year.

IX.  Student study hours per credit hourOn behalf of the Student Affairs Committee, Liza Finkel presented the following motion.  The rationale is that the Student Affairs Committee was asked to examine the number of hours that students spend studying per credit hour.  It is the committee’s understanding that the original intention behind this request was to see if there were indeed additional study requirements in place for those classes which meet for 3 hours per week but provide 4 hours of credit.  When these classes were originally introduced, it was understood that additional readings, reflection, projects or other outside assignments would be required in these courses to make the workload commensurate with the additional credit.

The UNH Center for Teaching Excellence is currently creating a database providing information from the past eight years of teaching evaluations, broken down by course number (4xx, 5xx, etc.) and is in the process of breaking the data down by college.  We also gathered information from other colleges, particularly from our regional peers (University of Maine, University of Massachusetts, University of Connecticut, etc.) regarding their expectations about student study habits.

Although the UNH Center for Teaching Excellence was able to give us some important information about student self-reports of study time, the center currently does not have that information organized based upon the number of credit hours earned.  However, we did find some interesting information regarding UNH student study habits compared to expectations.  UNH currently states that the expectation is that students will study (on average) 2-3 hours per week outside of class for every hour spent inside class.  This expectation is communicated to new students at both the June and the September orientations and is provided to those students in a letter in June. This standard of expectation is widespread among other universities, including Boston University, University of Massachusetts, University of Connecticut, University of Maine, and many others.

However, according to the information collected by the UNH Center for Teaching Excellence, students currently claim to spend 4.7 hours per week outside of the classroom per class. This number can only be used as a general accounting, as it assumes (a) that during the final week of class students give an accurate accounting of the amount of time they have spent throughout the semester and (b) that there is an even distribution between three-credit and four-credit classes in the database.  However, even as a very general accounting, this still suggests that UNH students are not spending the expected “2-3 hours per week for every hour inside class”, since this would mean anywhere from 6-12 hours per week for a given class.

The motion is that, in order to assess further the different expectations between 3 and 4 credit-hour courses, the UNH Center for Teaching Excellence should gather data specifically to examine these differences.  The Center for Teaching Excellence should also conduct and publicize a series of seminars, pamphlets, etc., focusing on ways to help faculty create additional meaningful assignments that will force students to spend more time thinking critically about class materials, integration between disciplines, and application of learning.

In order to bring student study behavior better in line with standard, university-level expectations, the provost should alert deans and department heads to the university-wide discrepancy between student self-reports and university expectations.

In addition, the orientation process for new faculty should have, as a key session, an orientation to teaching at UNH, including the expectations and what our students are like.  The current new-faculty orientation spends very little time focused on preparing faculty members to teach at UNH. 

Also, department chairs should set up new faculty members with mentors within the department, who can observe the new faculty member and offer guidance and support in terms of teaching style, assignments, etc. to ensure that coursework is appropriately demanding of students’ time and effort.

The Provost’s Office and the Office of the Vice President for Student and Academic Services should improve the university’s efforts to make sure that both faculty members and students are aware of the wide array of resources that can provide help.  For example, many students are not aware of the Writing Center or the Center for Academic Resources; and many faculty are not aware of these centers and how they can help students or how other university resources can help faculty members in the planning and creation of their classes.

Finally, the primary responsibility for ensuring that students are aware of our academic expectations is for faculty to communicate these expectations to the students. While it is helpful that expectations are communicated to the students during orientation, it should be remembered that for most students the orientation session was a long time ago.  Therefore faculty should take time within their early class sessions in the semester, to discuss their expectations for students to succeed, i.e. presence, participation and note taking in class, completing readings, using external resources (library, writing center) for assistance, etc.  Additionally, faculty members should be prepared to create assignments and examinations that require more student work, preparation, and a greater depth and understanding of the topic at hand.

During the senate discussion, the committee chair said that this motion assumes that additional data will be presented to the committee and that the discussion will continue.  A professor expressed concern about increased faculty work load.  Another senator said that faculty should give assignments that push students to study at the appropriate level.  The motion passed on a voice vote with three nays and three abstentions.

X.  Plagiarism - On behalf of the Student Affairs Committee, Liza Finkel presented the following motion.  The rationale is that Terri Winters of CIS met with the Student Affairs Committee to review her research into available technologies for detecting and discouraging plagiarism.  She identified a piece of software called “Turnitin” that she feels is most appropriate for our needs.  It is used by a large number of other universities and can be integrated into Blackboard which we already use and for which we already have technical support.  Faculty often indicate that they suspect plagiarism but are not able to find “evidence” that it has taken place.  This software, which searches a large database of e-journals as well as student papers previously submitted to Turnitin, can help provide that evidence. 

The cost for the software, for one year, integrated with Blackboard, will be $11,056.25.  For 3 years it would be $27,356.25, including Blackboard integration.  The software can only be purchased for use by the whole faculty; it is not something that we can buy for one or two people to use. 

Faculty members could either access the software through Blackboard or through the Turnitin website (if they prefer not to use Blackboard).  Students submit their papers, and the program provides a report to faculty of what percentage of the paper is “original.”  The program highlights plagiarized parts of the paper and provides a link to the website where the material was originally published.  As students add their papers to the website, the database grows.  Terri was not sure how the program distinguishes between a correctly cited quote and plagiarism, but she is going to find out for us.  There is no problem if all faculty do not use the software, as it searches an already established database.

The motion is that, as a part of a broad effort to address plagiarism on campus, the university should adopt Turnitin for a period of at least one year.  During that year, the Student Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate should continue to explore other strategies for preventing plagiarism.  In addition, CIS should document how many faculty members are using Turnitin and how useful they find it; and CIS should report that information to the Student Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate.

A senator said that CIS should also ask faculty who do not use Turnitin why they chose not to use it.  The committee chair said that the database is very large and easy to use and has a quick turn-around time and that its use would be optional.  The committee recommends that the program be paid for in the same way that Blackboard is funded.  The committee could inquire about foreign-language capability.  The motion passed on a voice vote with one abstention.

XI.  Report from the Library Committee – Lynn Kistler said that, although the university library’s revenue was recently increased by 3.4%, the cost of acquisitions, especially journals, is increasing much faster.  The library would like to cancel journal subscriptions which cost more than $75 per use.  Any canceled journals would still be available through Infotrieve or through interlibrary loan, usually with a one-day turn-around time.  A free table-of-contents service is available.  The senate’s Library Committee recommends (1) that journals with high use (greater than 100) should be kept, even if they have a higher cost per use, and (2) that the library should determine the actual turn-around time for getting articles from journals considered for dropping.  That information should be posted on the library web site along with the list of journals which may be dropped.  Faculty are asked to review that list and give input.

Regarding the Patriot Act, the library has formed a committee to determine what records are currently being kept and to formulate a policy on record keeping.  Current policy varies widely, and much of the electronic information is handled by external vendors.  The committee plans to (1) finish gathering the data by the end of the semester, (2) formulate a policy to be implemented by next fall, (3) work with external vendors on removing records wherever possible that identify specific users, and (4) train staff on what to do if they are asked for user information by government personnel.

XII.  Report from the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee – The UCAPC chair stated that the committee sees no reason not to approve the following changed or new minor programs:  (1) Race, Culture and Power, (2) Adolescent and Youth Development, and (3) Deaf and Hard of Hearing Studies.  Concerns about the mathematical content of a new course (Quantitative Methods in Epidemiology) were resolved via an agreement for collaboration and dialogue between the Mathematics Department and the Department of Health Management and Policy.  The EOS university institute proposal has been withdrawn.

XIII.  Report on actions by the Academic Standards and Advising Committee – Sam Shore of the senate’s Academic Affairs Committee summarized the cases dealt with by the Academic Standards and Advising Committee and gave a brief analysis of the students taking courses on a pass/fail basis.  In addition, he described data regarding the exclusion, suspension and dismissal of students. 

XIV.  Adjournment – The 04/05 Faculty Senate was adjourned.

UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

2005-06 FACULTY SENATE

May 2, 2005 - MINUTES SUMMARY

I.  Roll – The following senators were absent:  Brown, Burger, Dorfsman, Drake, Ferber, Givan, Griswold, Jacobs, Kaen, Kenefick, Macieski, Nicovich, Nimmo, Quigley, Reid, Sample, Schlentrich, Sheriff, Stine, and Vangundy.  Excused were Broussard, Carroll, Haskins, Morgan and Nagy.  Jenna Coulp-Yu was a guest observer.

II.  Election of officersThe Agenda Committee proposed a slate of officers for next year’s senate:  David Richman as chair, Jeff Salloway as vice chair, Mimi Becker as past chair, and Ed Hinson, Frank McCann, and Torsten Schmidt as at-large members of the 2005/06 Agenda Committee.  Other nominations were invited from the floor.  The proposed slate passed unanimously.

III.  Adjournment – The 2005/06 Faculty Senate meeting was adjourned.

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