UNH Faculty Senate
Summary Minutes from 4 May, 2009
UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
2008/09 FACULTY SENATE
II. Remarks by and questions to the provost – The provost thanked the senate for passing a motion to equalize the fall and spring semesters and said that the planning for the January term is moving forward. He said that many people are working to gather the answers to the questions on that subject posed by the Faculty Senate and the senate’s Student Affairs Committee. He added that there would be three full weeks available for a January term, if it began on January 4 and the spring semester began on January 25 or 26, 2010. He is setting up a curriculum work group which will include a representative from the Faculty Senate, the assistant deans, the director of academic technology, and others. Two other working groups will also be created: one from the registrar’s office and another on logistics such as housing, dining, etc. The provost said that the groups should be able to answer the questions in the next month or six weeks and that a decision on the January term must be made by July 1, so that new courses could be marketed. January courses may be a creative mix and include non-traditional ways of sharing information and learning. Regarding January repair courses for students who have had difficulty with a course, a senator asked if the students would find out that they had failed a course in time to enroll in a repair course in the January term. The provost suggested that faculty and assistant deans should flag the at-risk students and tell them in advance about the repair courses in case of need. The provost said that he will look into possible stimulus funds which might cover some start-up costs for the January term. Senators questioned how a course might fit into three weeks and how many contact hours could be provided, and the provost suggested that creative use of evenings and on-line contact might be included.
The provost said that, due to concerns about the economic situation, UNH had extended more invitations for fall enrollment than usual and seems to have been very successful in attracting students. About 150 to 200 more first-year students than the target of 2900 are projected at this time, with about fifty-five percent resident and forty-five percent non-resident students. The provost expressed concern that the trend of faculty submissions of grant proposals continues to decline, with a fourteen percent reduction in submissions so far this year compared to last year and the lowest dollar value in submissions in the last six years.
The provost discussed the accomplishments of the last six years, which include work on the Academic Plan and progress towards implementation of the Discovery Program. He added that in 2004 the Faculty Senate passed a statement on diversity which has been a critical touchstone for the university. Then the university dealt successfully with concerns about responsible student celebrations and behavior on campus and in the town of Durham. Also, the senate clarified the search processes for senior academic administrators, including searches when “emergency” appointments are contemplated. The responsibility center management fifth year review was accomplished, and changes were proposed for the policy on university institutes. COLSA was reorganized; extended library hours for students were arranged; and the Faculty Senate passed a motion that American Sign Language courses may count toward fulfillment of BA language requirements at the discretion of the academic major. There is an on-going review of the tuition policy of the study away managed programs. In 2006, the Academic Leadership Council was created and includes monthly comments by the Faculty Senate chair; and in spring of 2008 the fifth-year accreditation report to NEASC was completed. During the current academic year, the Blue Ribbon Panel on Research submitted its report; the feasibility of a merger with Pierce Law Center was considered; and the joint statement on shared governance was passed by the Faculty Senate. The provost thanked the senate chair and the faculty for their cooperation and said that he looks forward to continuing to serve the university in the Education Department next year and to working to ensure that the culture of shared governance and mutual respect continues.
III. Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair thanked the senate’s program coordinator for her excellent work. He expressed his appreciation for the important contributions of the faculty senators and especially the committee chairs. He said that a number of issues remain for consideration by next year’s senate, including outcomes assessment, promotion and tenure issues, the roll of research faculty and clinical faculty, and a possible January term. He invited faculty to bring to the senate any matters which it should review. He also suggested that faculty should discuss who owns the intellectual property of an on-line course.
IV. Minutes – The minutes of the 4/27/09 senate meeting were approved by acclamation, with a modification to append a copy of the questions to the administration from the Student Affairs Committee regarding possible academic calendar changes.
V. Franklin Pierce Law Center merger exploration – Professor Nick Smith, who is the co-chair of the Exploration Working Group charged by President Huddleston in November to evaluate the prospects of a merger relationship between the Franklin Pierce Law Center and UNH, said that the group’s report is available on line and that an open forum will be held on May 15. He invited faculty to give their input at the forum or electronically. The working group found that the FPLC is fiscally strong, has good enrollments and applicants, and would be an asset to UNH, assuming that certain issues can be addressed. There are many synergies that would work well. However, moving the FPLC to Durham would be costly, and any merger must be at least financially neutral to UNH. Therefore, the working group recommended that FPLC should remain at its Concord location for the near future and that a site review be made in five years or so. The FPLC would join the university as a separate RCM unit. FPLC is currently ranked as a third tier law school but is in the top ten in intellectual property law and has a newly renovated and roomy facility. FPLC does not specialize in environmental law at this time. UNH would like FPLC to agree to provide a tuition discount to NH resident students.
VI. Misconduct in scholarly activity – The Professional Standards Committee moved that the Faculty Senate pass a motion approving the revised Misconduct Policy on Scholarly Activity, in accordance with the recommendations set forth by the Professional Standards Committee and the AAUP. The revised wording of the MISA policy is shown in the document entitled “Proposed Changes to UNH Policy on Misconduct in Scholarly Activity” and dated 4/27/09. A senator said that footnote six in item 9.3 of this document is unclear, where it refers to who will determine what disciplinary action is to be taken and says in part that, for “a case involving an undergraduate student, the Vice President for Student and Academic Services will determine disciplinary action. (If the student is an undeclared major, the student’s College Dean will serve.)” The Professional Standards Committee chair said that she will ask that this section be clarified. The motion then passed by acclamation.
VII. Policy on institutes – The Faculty Senate passed by acclamation a motion that next year the senate should continue to review the policy on institutes. This is a separate issue from the policy on schools, and the senate should consider both matters individually.
VIII. Academic performance of UNH athletes – Steve Hardy, who is the UNH faculty representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association and chair of the Athletics Advisory Committee at UNH, said that graduation rates for athletes are recorded in two ways. The federal graduation rate (FGR) is only for athletes on grants and does not count incoming transfers; and outgoing transfers or withdrawals, which occur for any reason, count as non-graduation. This measure can compare athletes to all students. On the other hand, the NCAA graduation success rate (GSR) counts incoming transfers who graduate and does not count outgoing transfers or withdrawals with good academic standing. This measure may be a fairer one but only allows comparisons with other athletics programs. UNH athletes did better than other division one athletes on the GSR, and UNH’s black football players have done extremely well. Men’s basketball does not show up well on the FGR but does well on the GSR, because there have been many changes in coaches and UNH athletes in good academic standing have followed the basketball coaches to other institutions.
The NCAA member institutions have adopted an academic reform package designed to improve the academic success of athletes. This new measurement is the Academic Progress Rate (APR). High-performing teams receive public recognition from the NCAA, and teams that score below 925 and have a student-athlete who failed academically and left school can lose scholarships. Teams with APR scores below 900 face additional sanctions. UNH has seven teams that earned the public recognition from the NCAA. The UNH athletic team grade point averages are near those of all UNH students; and UNH athletes are in second place behind those of the University of Vermont.
IX. Report from the Library Committee – The chair of the senate’s Library Committee said that the committee has been working with the dean of the library and with library faculty to learn about new electronic possibilities in the preservation and communication of faculty research. UNH is moving to establish an electronic institutional repository coordinated by the University Library. By doing so, UNH would be joining a national movement to preserve scholarly work in digital form, to make it publicly accessible, and thus to broaden scholarly communication. The repository will house a range of data, and faculty will have several options for storing and making public (or not) the research and teaching materials they choose to deposit. The Library Committee has considered this plan and is supportive of this initiative. The repository will preserve the intellectual legacies of the UNH community and will make faculty work as widely available as possible for as long as possible. Studies have shown that open-access scholarship in electronic repositories is more frequently cited and has a larger impact than scholarship that appears only in print media. It seems particularly appropriate for public, land-grant universities such as UNH to make the research findings of its faculty as freely available as possible.
The Library Committee chair said that faculty need to create a policy to articulate the relationship between UNH faculty and the institutional repository and that next year’s Library Committee should bring a proposed policy for approval to the Faculty Senate. Policies developed at other institutions range from Harvard University’s open access mandate, requiring faculty to make all published journal articles publicly available via their institutional repository, to several public university policies that merely urge faculty to do so. For the program of the Faculty Open Access Symposium and for information about institutional repositories, open access issues, and authors’ retention of rights over scholarly publications, please see the University Library’s website at http://libraryguides.unh.edu/openaccess.
X. Field trip guidelines and study away policy – The Student Affairs Committee chair said that, although the university now has three authorized providers of buses and vans for field trips, the committee has received from the administration no information about costs; and that is needed before the senate can make a decision on the field trip guidelines. She said that additional information is also needed from the administration, about study away tuition changes. Mimi Becker moved and Larry Prelli seconded a motion that field trip guidelines and study away policy should be taken up by the Faculty Senate next year and that the experimental time period for study away should be extended for one more year in addition to the three years previously stated. The motion was approved by acclamation.
XI. Administration and faculty positions – The chair of the senate’s Finance and Administration Committee said that, although there is some ambiguity about the definition of faculty and of administrators, data obtained from the USNH Factbook shows that, from 1999 to 2008, the number of UNH faculty has not increased and that the number of executives has gone up somewhat.
XII. Curriculum change process – The chair of the senate’s Academic Affairs Committee said that, because of concerns that one program might cancel a course which is a requirement for another program, the Academic Affairs Committee recommends and the senior vice provost agreed that the provost’s office should identify programmatic changes and especially course cancelations continuously updated on blackboard and also should notify the department chairs. Next year the Academic Affairs Committee should take up charges on outcomes assessment and also on the relationship between UNH and the Thompson School.
XIII. Thanks to the senate chair – On behalf of the Faculty Senate, Paula Salvio thanked the senate chair for his distinguished service, the good leadership he gave to the senate, and his dedication to shared governance
XIV. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned.
2009-10 FACULTY SENATE
II. Election of officers – In May of each year, the outgoing senate chair conducts an election by the senate members for the next year’s Agenda Committee members, for one-year terms. Additional candidates may be nominated from the floor, if they have agreed to serve if elected. Today the 2009/10 senators approved by acclamation the slate proposed by the 2008/09 Agenda Committee as follows: Paula Salvio as chair, Ed Hinson as vice chair and Gale Carey, Ben Cariens, Joanne Curran-Celentano, and Larry Prelli as members at large. Marco Dorfsman will be an ex-officio member as past chair.
III. Remarks by and questions to the chair – The 2009/10 senate chair welcomed the new senators and said that the Agenda Committee will meet regularly this summer. In addition, the faculty senators will be invited to a summer meeting to discuss agenda items for the coming year.
IV. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned.
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