UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 5 MAY, 2011

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UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
2010-11 FACULTY SENATE

MAY 2, 2011 - MINUTES SUMMARY  

I.  Roll – The following senators were absent:  Akdeniz, Carter, Dinapoli, Morgan, Simos, Sparrow, and Veal.  Guests were Mark Huddleston, John Aber, Christina Bellinger, Christina Caiazza, and Jessica Knapp.

II. Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair described a rearrangement of the senate agenda and said that only the 2010/11 senators could vote in the 2010/11 section of today’s meeting.  The Institutional Review Board has sent to the senate chair a planned change in the procedure to require training for the use of human subjects in research.  The change was approved unanimously by the Institutional Review Board.  The senate office will forward the relevant information to the senators.

III.  Minutes – The minutes of the previous Faculty Senate meeting were approved as amended, so that the first sentence of the second paragraph of item II will be:  “A faculty senator expressed concern about the importance of a liberal education and said that this part of the university’s mission was left out of the president’s New Hampshire senate testimony.”

IV.  Reports by UCAPC on RCM review, schools policy and the marine school – Christina Bellinger, who is the chair of the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee, said that members of UCAPC met several times to discuss the proposed structure and governance document presented by the provost in January of 2010.  UCAPC suggested several changes and additions to the document, to emphasize the role of faculty in the proposal process and as teachers and researchers engaged in interdisciplinary schools.  Changes suggested by UCAPC were as follows.  The document is very "top down" in its nature.  UCAPC would like to see a stronger statement about the faculty role in the governance of schools.  Section I, on background and rationale, should have a stronger rationale for interdisciplinary schools at UNH.   What is the value of interdisciplinary schools to the institution?  Section II, on essential characteristics of a school, should have a clearer statement of the distinction between a school and an institute.  In section III, on governance structures and process, item A on proposing and approving a school should include a copy of the memorandum of understanding between the departments or colleges involved.  Also, the organization and structure description should include a plan for leadership of the school, including the faculty role in the director appointment process and clear obligations among the units involved as to who offers courses or curricula and with what resources.  A three to five-year budget should be included.  Full proposals should be submitted for review by relevant faculty governance groups.  The obligations of colleges to contribute teaching, research, and/or service time of faculty to the school and its degree programs should be explicitly stated in any MOU.  Letters of appointment must address the complexity of interdisciplinary work and the multiple affiliations of the faculty member.

Regarding management and membership, when choosing a director of a school, there should be a transparent search that is either internal or external, as UNH does with faculty directors or deans.  The credentials for directors of schools should include qualifications for full professor.  There should be a statement about who actually appoints school directors.  Would it be the provost or the deans?  When there are differences among departments or colleges that are sponsoring schools, how will the differences be adjudicated?  The MOU and letters of appointment must be very clear.  UCAPC will weigh in on curriculum.  Clear and precise letters of appointment are needed to lay out faculty responsibilities to their home departments and the interdisciplinary schools regarding teaching, research, and service (including advising).  Regarding finances, schools are not RCM units.  The MOU must spell out sources of revenue and annual budgets.  The MOU must also spell out what would happen if the proposed school is unable to raise the necessary funds to meet a matching grant.  Regarding the school’s mission and strategic planning, there has to be a protocol for program displacement if a school disbands.

The provost's office has indicated that UCAPC’s suggestions are reasonable and will be incorporated into the final proposal, but a final draft of the template has not yet been sent to UCAPC.  The provost's office has asked UCAPC to hold off on the interdisciplinary schools question until the proposals from Marine Sciences and Earth Systems Science are ready to be reviewed.  Marine Sciences are working through their models with their deans, to make the models compliant with the template as it has been written and amended.  It is likely that we will have a template and a proposal to review in the fall semester.  UCAPC did not work on the RCM charge, because UCAPC was focused on the interdisciplinary schools proposals; and so RCM review should carry over to next year’s UCAPC.

V.  Report on faculty trends, by the Academic Affairs Committee – The chair of the AAC said that the committee gathered data on the trends of tenure track, non-tenure-track and extension faculty from fiscal year 2004 to 11/1/2011.  Over that time span, tenure-track faculty went down from 658 to 633.7 full-time equivalent faculty.  Research faculty were reduced from 80 to 69.7 FTEs; clinical faculty increased from 16.1 to 48.8 FTEs; and lecturers increased from 109.6 to 145.7 FTEs.  The total non-tenure-track faculty, excluding post doctorals, went up from 206.7 to 265.9 FTEs.  Adjunct faculty increased from 48.1 FTEs to 56.6 FTEs, and extension faculty went from 23.6 to 23.9 FTEs.  During this time span, the student/faculty ratio increased by fifteen percent.

VI.  Vote on two Discovery Program exemptions Barbara White, who is the chair of the senate’s Discovery Committee, presented a draft document on the Discovery Program Requirements, Academic Policy and Guidelines.  Two of the changes will require a senate vote, as indicated by the “(fs)” designation.  The first change is a note to faculty in item 5.31(fs) which would read as follows:  “05.31(fs) Waiver of requirements in a prescribed curriculum.  The requirement of a given course in any prescribed curriculum may be waived by the faculty of the student’s college.  The student’s petition must be approved by his or her major adviser and the dean of his or her college.  Note to Faculty:  Waiver of requirements in the Discovery Program.  Students may petition the Discovery Committee in order to waive or replace a requirement.  The student’s petition must be approved by his or her major advisor and the dean of his or her college.”  The second change requiring a senate vote is item 5.33(fs), part 3, which would read as follows:  “3.  TSAS courses may not be used for general education (1984-2009), writing intensive, or foreign language requirements.  Only TSAS courses that are at 400-600 level and Discovery approved may count for Discovery requirements.”  On behalf of the Discovery Committee, Barbara White moved that the Faculty Senate approve the proposed wording of items 5.31 and part 3 of item 5.33 of the Discovery Program Requirements, Academic Policy and Guidelines.  These changes should also be reflected in the undergraduate catalog and the “Student Rights, Rules and Responsibilities” document.  The Faculty Senate approved the motion unanimously.  In the future, the Discovery Committee will likely propose a motion to the Faculty Senate stating that inquiry courses may not be offered on line. The committee has discussed this and agrees unanimously that the Inquiry course should remain face-to-face; however, the committee would like to see this policy included in the Discovery guidelines and requirements document.

VII. Discussion on the president’s past remarks- The senate chair said that, after the 4/25/2011 senate meeting in which the president’s remarks to the New Hampshire legislative committee were discussed, the Agenda Committee drafted a motion for possible consideration only if the senate were to decide today that it wishes to take further action on the matter.  The president will also speak with the senate later in today’s meeting.  A senator said that faculty felt denigrated when the president described higher education in such negative terms.  Another senator said that UNH students are receiving a good education which meets their needs and that the silos are not broken.  A professor said that faculty at UNH use electronic media often in their courses and also offer many on-line courses now. He added that face-to-face teaching is useful and important to students and that the president’s remarks about that were very disappointing.  A senator agreed but said that there is no need for a censure vote, especially after the vote of no confidence by the AAUP.  He added, however, that the president’s implication that UNH could continue to deliver an excellent education with significantly less funding is false, since the academic budget has already been cut and, if further cuts are made, UNH will only be able to deliver less. He suggested that faculty should take the high road now. Another senator agreed, saying that the president’s remarks were poorly framed but that censure at this point is not productive.  He said that we do a lot with what we have but that it is not clear that we cannot do better.  We are always trying to improve education as much as possible, and the president spoke to that reality. The senator added that students will be more attracted to the new building than to new faculty.

A professor said that he disagrees with the most recent speaker and stated that there was a problem with miscommunication in the president’s legislative testimony.  In addition, when the president spoke with the senate last week, he expressed understanding about that; and yet his subsequent written statement about the testimony said that any view of his testimony as at all critical of UNH or its faculty is “flat out wrong.”  The professor also said that statements by the Board of Trustees and the president referring to the AAUP vote of no confidence as a labor tactic are counterproductive. The vote of no confidence was a statement from faculty that the president’s testimony was not representative of the faculty.  The document on shared governance, agreed to by the administration and the Faculty Senate, said that the administration and the faculty would work together in good faith and that faculty would have a significant voice in academic matters.  The senator added that the Faculty Senate must decide whether or not it should make a statement about this situation.  Another professor said that the Agenda Committee prepared the resolution to make clear that the Faculty senate is not the AAUP.  The Faculty Senate is the appropriate forum for today’s resolution.  With twenty-one ayes, thirteen nays, and two abstentions, the 2010/2011 faculty senators made a straw vote that a formal statement by the senate is needed.  Then Gary Weisman moved and Betsy Boulton seconded the following resolution.

The Faculty Senate recognizes the extreme difficulty posed to New Hampshire's citizens and state government by the present economic conditions and acknowledges the challenges faced by UNH's leaders.  A primary responsibility of the faculty is to maintain the university's core values in teaching and learning in all circumstances.  We are concerned that President Huddleston's recent characterization of our pedagogical practices, curricular programs, degrees and students' capacities implied to the public that the faculty has failed in that responsibility.  The remarks were ill-advised and the implication is false.

Teaching and learning through face-to-face interaction between professors and students remain central to a quality education at the University of New Hampshire. Therefore, in order to ensure that long-term implementation of strategic initiatives does not inadvertently pull us from our core academic values, the Faculty Senate calls for more constructive administration-faculty interactions concerning the relationship between our strategic initiatives, programs and values.  Those interactions will require improved communication, wider inclusion of faculty in implementation, and copious deliberation.

A professor said that in normal times he would agree with this resolution but that now is the time to circle the wagons, in order to avoid contentious moves at a time of potential budget cuts. Another professor said that his department is concerned that, although one aim of the resolution is to separate the Faculty Senate from the AAUP, the public will assume that this resolution means that the Faculty Senate is on the side of the AAUP.  He suggested removing the following sentences from the resolution.

A primary responsibility of the faculty is to maintain the university's core values in teaching and learning in all circumstances.  We are concerned that President Huddleston's recent characterization of our pedagogical practices, curricular programs, degrees and students' capacities implied to the public that the faculty has failed in that responsibility.  The remarks were ill-advised and the implication is false.  Teaching and learning through face-to-face interaction between professors and students remain central to a quality education at the University of New Hampshire.

After other senators spoke for and against the motion, some professors suggested postponing the vote until next week.  However, the 2010/2011 Faculty Senate will end today; and the 2011/2012 senate would not normally meet again until the fall.  Other senators said that better communication and improved shared governance are needed and that the senate should act today; and a senator pointed out that no motion on censure is being considered.  Ben Chandran moved and William Wansart seconded an amendment that the following section of the motion should be deleted.

We are concerned that President Huddleston's recent characterization of our pedagogical practices, curricular programs, degrees and students' capacities implied to the public that the faculty has failed in that responsibility.  The remarks were ill-advised and the implication is false.  Teaching and learning through face-to-face interaction between professors and students remain central to a quality education at the University of New Hampshire.

Another senator said that the part about face-to-face teaching should not be deleted and that the deleted portion should only be the following: “We are concerned that President Huddleston's recent characterization of our pedagogical practices, curricular programs, degrees and students' capacities implied to the public that the faculty has failed in that responsibility.  The remarks were ill-advised and the implication is false.”  The senate voted to retain the following sentence:  “Teaching and learning through face-to-face interaction between professors and students remain central to a quality education at the University of New Hampshire.”  Other senators spoke against the remaining amendment and for the need to speak up clearly today about the president’s testimony and the need for thorough shared governance.  Tony Pescosolido made and Roslyn Chavda seconded a motion to table the resolution until the nearest appropriate later time.  After discussion of “Roberts Rules,” the senate chair stated that this motion to table would require a majority vote.  The motion to table passed with nineteen ayes and seventeen nays.

VIII.  Remarks by and questions to the president – President Huddleston said that he did not find the resolution discussed in today’s senate meeting to be objectionable.  He continued by saying:  I accept the admonition from the last Faculty Senate meeting; I heard what you said; I could have paid more attention to my word choice. He added that in the future he plans to interact more often with faculty about academic matters and not just about financial issues.  He said that he has been a liberal arts professor and dean and has been president of a liberal arts college.  He said that he is passionate about liberal arts but that dealing with the budget is necessary in order to preserve the core of the university’s mission.  The president’s job is to get faculty the resources needed so that faculty can do their jobs.  The president said he will try to communicate better with the faculty and to connect better with the academic units on campus.  He said that everyone wants him to spend more time with them but that he will seek a better balance.

A senator said that she came to UNH because it has a good liberal arts education and that she is concerned that the president’s comments seemed to show a desire to change that.  She added that faculty at UNH teach mostly traditional students and that the teaching results in a good graduation rate.  The president replied that he is concerned about our being able to keep doing what we do, because American higher education is being pounded by a lot of outside forces and much of that is outside our control. He said that he worries about purveyors of alternate models of education who will put more pressure on us.  The president added that we need to find out how to continue to do what we do but with less funding.  The budget situation is getting harsher, and he feels urgency to avoid a fate which he does not want to befall the university.  He added that UNH needs to be a sustainable enterprise.  A senator replied that one of the salient issues is the relationship between the Strategic Plan and ongoing academic work.  UNH faculty and administration had a shared governance summit and came to an agreement on shared governance.  There is need for cooperation between the Faculty senate and the administration on the implementation of the Strategic Plan, so that the academic values of the university are not inadvertently lost.  He added that the Blue Ribbon Panel Report referred negatively to contemplative academics, and that resonated for faculty with the president’s testimony to the legislative committee.  The president agreed about working together and asked that faculty and administrators try to find a mid-point for their internal clocks, regarding the speed of decisions about change.  He said that we should deepen the conversation but work as fast as possible.

A past senate chair said that, when the president speaks outside the university, he represents the whole university.  The senator said that today’s conversation and the one at the last senate meeting were constructive, but then the president said the following in his recent written statement to all UNH faculty and staff:  “Any analysis of my testimony that suggests that I was in any way critical of UNH or the faculty and staff who make it great is flat-out wrong.”  The senator said that this statement seemed to be a negation of what the president and the Faculty Senate had discussed together.  The senator added that comments stating that the AAUP vote of no confidence was a labor tactic rather than a response to the president’s legislative testimony are too combative.  The president replied that, in his latest written statement, he meant to say that he understood how people could construe what he said differently but that he had not meant to imply criticism of UNH or its faculty.  In response to a question, the president said that lectures are not obsolete and never will be.  He added, however, that the role of lectures as the primary method of pedagogy is likely to wane in the future, because learning can be better conveyed now using other media also.  The senator replied that face-to-face lectures work well and that most faculty and students do not want to see that decline significantly.

IX.  New business – Discussion ensued on possibilities for addressing the resolution about the president’s testimony, as well as on the usefulness of Robert’s Rules for the Faculty Senate.  Then the vice chair spoke about the good work and many wonderful qualities of the outgoing chair and presented him with an engraved gavel.  Larry Prelli said that Edward Hinson has been hard working, directive and wise, with a deep commitment to the Faculty Senate as an institution.  He has upheld shared governance at the university and underscored the vital work we do as custodians of the work of the mind.  He meets challenges head on but with a humane vision, kindness and optimism.  Edward Hinson then thanked Sallie Ricker, who is the program coordinator of the senate, saying that she has been a valued colleague throughout the year and had helped to guide the senate successfully through its business.

X.  Adjournment – The senate chair said that the report on intellectual property rights, by the Library Committee, and the report on controlled substances policy, by the Research and Public Service Committee, will be emailed to the faculty senators.  The meeting was adjourned.

UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

2011-12 FACULTY SENATE

MAY 2, 2011 - MINUTES SUMMARY

I.  Roll – The following senators were absent:  Akdeniz, Dinapoli, Fagerberg, Graham, Harrist, Hartter, Johnson, Kalargyrou, Manalo, Marx, Simos, Sparrow, Varki and Veal.  Excused were:  Asbjornsen, Mellyn and Pohl.

II.  Election of officers – The senate chair presented the slate for the 2011/12 Agenda Committee.  The slate includes Lawrence Prelli as senate chair, Willem deVries as senate vice chair, Edward Hinson as past senate chair, and at-large Agenda Committee members Louise Buckley, Arthur Greenberg, Deborah Kinghorn and Dan Reid.  The senate chair said that nominations could be accepted from the floor but only if the nominee had stated that he would serve if elected.  The original slate was approved unanimously.

III.  Remarks by and questions to the chair – The 2011/12 senate chair said that this senate is convening during a challenging time and that the senators’ input will be very important.  He expressed the hope that the Faculty Senate and the administration can work together on the many challenges the university faces.  We must ensure that our colleagues can continue their work on teaching and scholarship, and we must endeavor to minimize the effect of reduced budgets on the quality of education.  The Faculty Senate is the one place where faculty from the entire university come together to decide on academic issues.  Faculty must deliberate on what should endure, what should change, and what constitutes quality education at UNH.  The role of faculty in shared governance must be upheld; and the administration must take action on academic matters only after proper shared governance has taken place.  That will require improved communication and wider consultation with faculty.  Those are our vital interests.  Welcome to the 2011/12 senate.

IV.  New business – A senator said that there is precedent for scheduling an extra meeting when needed.  Marco Dorfsman made and Steve Tuttle seconded a motion to hold a Faculty Senate meeting next Monday, May 9, to deal with the resolution, which was tabled today by the 2010/2011 Faculty Senate.  After discussion, an amendment was passed that the meeting should be from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.  The original resolution had been prepared by the Agenda Committee in order to acknowledge the situation and move on to indicate constructive solutions; and the resolution was intended for the administration rather than the public.  The formal actions of the Faculty Senate are part of the voice of the faculty in shared governance.  All substantive motions passed by the senate go onto the senate website which could be accessed by the public.  The senate voted to meet next Monday, May 9, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. to deliberate on the resolution.

V.  Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned.

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