UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 5 May, 2003




I. Roll - The following senators were absent: Barcelona, Burger, Calculator, Churchill, Elmslie, Frankel, Giraud, Kraft, Lugalla, Niesse, Pollard, Quigley, Schlentrich, and Ward. Daley and de Alba were excused. President Hart and Tom Davis attended part of the meeting.

II. Minutes - The minutes of the April 21, 2003, senate meeting were approved unanimously, with a modification that the first and second paragraphs of item VI of those minutes should refer to postponing rather than tabling the motion on renumbering Thompson School courses.

III. Communications from the Chair - The senate chair said that the Task Force on the Associate of Arts Degree will meet tomorrow to elect a chair and consider the committee's charge. The newly-elected members of the Professional Standards Committee are Professors Alberto Manalo, Harvey Shepard, and Kristine Baber who was reelected for another term. Continuing members are Professors Grant Cioffi, Richard England, Robert Macieski and David Lane. According to the Faculty Senate Constitution, the vice chair of the senate will be the eighth member and the chair of the Professional Standards Committee.

IV. Communications with the President - The president said that it has been a pleasure to work with the senate this year and thanked the senators for the information they shared with her.

V. University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee - The Faculty Senate confirmed the appointment to the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee of Professors Tom Davis, Elizabeth Dolan, Lisa MacFarlane, Samuel Shore and John Sparrow. Continuing members are David Andrew, Dennis Bobilya, Roger Grinde, Barry Hennessey, Bill Stine and Chuck Zercher, who are the faculty representatives; Neil Vroman, who is the chair of the Academic Standards and Advising Committee; Victor Benassi, who is the provost's designee; the student body president; and a member of the Graduate Student Organization.

VI. Faculty Service - On behalf of the senate's Research and Public Service Committee, Elizabeth Slomba moved that:

(1) The current University Public Service Award should be redefined as the University "Engagement" Award. It should recognize a faculty member primarily for off-campus service/engagement/outreach activities to the community, state and country. The award should be administered annually in the same way as other current university awards for teaching and research.

(2) A new University Service Award should be established recognizing outstanding service directly to the University of New Hampshire. The new award should recognize primarily on-campus service to UNH, such as chairing the faculty senate, membership on active university-wide committees, membership on active college-wide committees such as promotion and tenure, membership on active department committees, and all other forms of uncompensated service. The award should be administered annually in the same way as other current university awards for teaching and research.

(3) Each college should establish its own service awards to be presented annually by the dean of the college to a faculty member and a staff member who have demonstrated exemplary service to that college during the previous year. The award numbers, criteria, and selection process should be determined by the individual colleges.

(4) The University Engagement Award should be named the Alden Winn University Engagement Award in recognition of his total public service commitment to the university, the town of Durham, the state of New Hampshire, and the United States for over fifty years.

A faculty member asked if the university could formally set up a points system for recognition for those who do service in each college. Elizabeth Slomba said that this motion addresses service to professional organizations outside the university. The senate chair said that the senate will discuss with the AAUP whether the Faculty Senate will review the promotion and tenure standards and the AAUP deal with the processes for promotion and tenure review.

A friendly amendment was made and accepted to change the last phrase of the second sentence of the motion to refer to "the local, national and/or the international community." The amended motion was unanimously approved.

VII. Academic Affairs Committee Charges - The Division of Continuing Education Programmatic Review Committee was originally composed of six administrators, one staff member and one faculty member; but the faculty member resigned for personal reasons; and no other faculty member was appointed. So there was no faculty representation on the DCE Programmatic Review Committee. The senate chair has discussed this matter with the provost, the dean of the Graduate School, the dean of DCE, and the UNH-Manchester dean who also chaired the programmatic review committee. The senate's Academic Affairs Committee has reviewed the situation and concluded that shared governance is an essential component of the ongoing activities and smooth running of the university and that this implies that both faculty and administrators should be actively involved in all academic endeavors including programmatic reviews.

Therefore the Academic Affairs Committee moves that it is the recommendation of the Faculty Senate (1) that all future academic and programmatic decisions, including reviews, be made with a suitable balance of representation from the faculty body; (2) that all academic and programmatic review committees have co-chairs (one faculty member and one administrator) and that the chairs have no vested interest in the outcome of the review; (3) that whenever possible, a full and complete use of all available resources (including interviews and the use of consultants) be performed and reported without bias in any written report; and (4) that, due to the serious flaws in the process, this review of the Division of Continuing Education should be discarded and the review should be performed again following the aforementioned recommendations. A representative task force drawn from the UNH and UNH-Manchester faculty and staff should be developed and combined with appropriate administrative personnel to make up this review committee. The motion passed unanimously.

The senate's Academic Affairs Committee has met twice with the Academic Standards and Advising Committee and has had additional talks with Neil Vroman, who is ASAC's chair. The Academic Affairs Committee will continue to work closely with ASAC. Ted Howard, who is the director of the Center for International Education, is still working on a proposal to change some UNH policies regarding study abroad; and the Academic Affairs Committee will review this issue when the proposal is ready. The Academic Affairs Committee chair said that next year the committee could also clarify the "exceptional circumstances" in which a dean might change a grade, referred to on page 29 of the Students' Rights, Rules and Responsibilities.

VIII. Discovery Program - The Ad-hoc Committee on the Discovery Program consists of eight faculty members, four of whom had also been members of the General Education Study Committee which recommended the establishment of the Discovery Program. The ad-hoc committee does not have a chair, but Joanne Curran-Celentano is the convener. On April 22, 2002, the Faculty Senate had passed a motion that (1) commended the efforts of the senate's GESC, (2) supported the basic design of the Discovery Program, and (3) recommended that no further action on the GESC report be taken until a comprehensive plan for implementation be developed and approved by the senate. That implementation plan was to address problems which arise in academic programs where, because of accreditation requirements and other academic constraints, there are few options for students to take additional general education courses outside the major. The implementation plan should also include a commitment from the university administration for resources adequate to implement the proposed program, to include new faculty positions required by it, and to address conflicts inherent in the RCM model.

The Ad-hoc Committee on the Discovery Program met with administrators, Student Senate representatives and others. Representatives of the Academic Affairs Council of the Student Senate indicated that they would introduce in the Student Senate next fall a motion in support of the Discovery Program. Members of the Ad-hoc Committee on the Discovery Program met with the provost in November. He indicated a commitment to the Discovery Program. He expressed the belief that the program could be implemented without additional faculty, and he told the committee members that no new funds would be available for faculty hirings in relation to Discovery implementation. He reiterated a commitment of funds for the director of the program (three years) and for faculty development. The latter is funded through a foundation grant. In regard to the proposed inquiry course, there could be incentives or a removal of disincentives in RCM.

The ad-hoc committee also developed an implementation questionnaire which was distributed to the university departments. The responses will serve as the basis for the implementation proposal and are still being analyzed. The purpose of the presentation to the Faculty Senate was to provide a general overview of the early analysis of the questionnaire responses and to offer a conceptualization of an implementation plan.

Based upon the questionnaire responses, it is evident that about fifty current courses could serve as inquiry courses, as is or with some modifications. Inquiry courses should have no more than twenty-five students per faculty member. Start-up needs, but not running costs, could be met over a period of several years from a $75,000 to $100,000 per year faculty development fund. However, continuing faculty time needs were a big concern. Also, there was concern voiced that interdisciplinary needs would be difficult to accomplish under RCM, if contributions of each faculty member in a team-taught course were not adequately credited. After several years of development, the "First Year Course" pilot program might stimulate development of enough new courses to meet the needs for full-scale implementation of an inquiry requirement.

Several departments indicated that quite a few courses may be able to qualify for more than one discovery content area, as would be allowed under the "double dip" option for Discovery Program courses under the pending proposal. The questionnaire produced a great many comments and many types of concerns that are under evaluation by the committee. The ad-hoc committee intends to circulate a list of the ideas that departments had on what capstone courses/experiences are already available and what resources would be needed in order to develop and implement new capstone courses/experiences.

Because of the uncertainties and the difficulty in funding the Discovery Program, the ad-hoc committee plans to recommend phasing in individual components of the proposal and evaluating each component prior to final approval by the Faculty Senate. The ad-hoc committee's representative, Tom Davis, presented a concept for a six-year implementation plan, which could be initiated as early as next year, in the fall of 2003. The first two years of this process would be foundational, subsequent to which the actual implementation of the program components would begin. In the first foundational year, which Tom Davis referred to as "year minus two", a full-time director for the Discovery Program would be hired. The director's responsibilities would include seeking external, supplementary funding for the program. A faculty advisory committee would be established; and a review would be initiated of the current General Education courses, to determine how they would fit into the Discovery Program content categories. The director and the committee would oversee continuation of the inquiry pilot program.

In "year minus one", the information on Discovery Program categories could be printed in the UNH course catalog; the town meeting concept and the mathematic and information technology assessments would be planned; and the inquiry pilot program would continue. Also, more courses could be accumulated; and submissions of funding proposals would continue.

In the first year of actual implementation, the Discovery categories requirement would apply to the incoming freshman class; inquiry courses would be offered but not required; and inquiry courses could count in more than one Discovery category. The town meeting component would be initiated as a pilot program, as would the mathematic and information technology assessments. The pilot program for the First Year Inquiry Course would continue, with an RCM premium bonus. The capstone requirement could apply to the incoming freshman class and subsequent freshman classes, but there would be a three-year lead time to decide what courses or other experiences would fulfill it.

In year two, the town meeting and the mathematics assessment pilot programs would be continued and follow-up student advising done, along with the offering of remedial courses as needed. The information technology assessment pilot program could also be continued, with remedial offerings as needed. In year three, the town meeting component and the mathematics and information technology assessments would be subject to final evaluation and implemented as requirements, if the Faculty Senate approves this; and the capstone pilot program could be continued.

In year four, the Inquiry requirement would be implemented for the incoming freshman class if possible, drawing upon the stable of Inquiry courses developed over the preceding years; and the capstone requirement would apply to the first cohort of seniors. The assessment of costs and benefits would be on a trial basis, and we could adjust the program as needed. The Faculty Senate would evaluate each component as implemented and would retain the final say on the implementation of each element. The above conceptualization is provided as an example of the possible structure of a phased Implementation Plan. A final proposal will be presented to the Faculty Senate after the ad-hoc committee meets with the new provost and continues the review of information provided. Also, information on the first-year inquiry program at North Carolina State University is available at http://www.ncsu.edu/firstyearinquiry/index.html.

Tom Laue moved and Michele Dillon seconded that the Ad-hoc Committee on the Discovery Program should continue work on the implementation plan and meet with the new provost when he or she comes to campus. A friendly amendment was proposed to add to the motion that the Faculty Senate approves the implementation concept presented by Tom Davis. A professor said that faculty in his department are opposed to the creation of the new Discovery Program categories and their implementation and that he believes this step-by-step plan is dangerous, because the discovery categories come first and may be permanent. The rest could be modified or implemented without changing the categories and courses. Another professor stated that funding for the university may be cut or kept flat and that this could affect implementation of this program. Tom Davis said that the results of the implementation questionnaire indicated that, in order to immediately implement a full-scale inquiry course requirement, perhaps ten full-time-equivalent faculty members would be needed at UNH plus two at UNH-Manchester.

A faculty member said that he rejects the concept of making general education more complex and more burdensome, because that tends to force students to take freshman courses as seniors. Tom Davis replied that the university is well justified in requiring students to sample areas with which they are unfamiliar. A professor said that the university should not start with this plan until we know the final goal and how it will be implemented. Also, a course taught by one faculty member might be approved to fulfill a certain requirement; but that might no longer be appropriate when another faculty member starts teaching the course. The Faculty Senate would be asked to make a decision at the end of each of the pilot program elements. A professor expressed concern that the capstone course would become a requirement in the freshman year, before those students could know what courses would fulfill that requirement in the senior year. A faculty member said that this plan gives a six-year time frame but provides no solutions to the problem of the UNH engineering programs having very tight schedules and accreditation needs. Another professor suggested that science students should be more well rounded. A senator stated that this implementation proposal affects the autonomy of all departments, by requiring the departments to have an inquiry course and a capstone course. Where will departments get the money to have only fifteen to twenty-five students in the inquiry course? Tom Davis replied that not every department would have to have an inquiry course. A professor said that departments must deal with RCM issues and that we do not know the effects of RCM.

A senator said that the ad-hoc committee should meet with the new provost this summer and give him the minutes of this meeting. Then in the fall, the Faculty Senate could discuss this matter further. Elizabeth Hageman made and Bill Stine seconded a friendly amendment, which was accepted by Tom Laue, that the motion would commend for its excellent work the Ad-hoc Committee on the Discovery Program and also ask the committee to continue work on the plan, to meet with the new provost this summer, and to report to the Faculty Senate in the fall. The motion was approved unanimously.

IX. Motion on Student Behavior - Mark Wrighton said that the Faculty Senate's Committee on Student Affairs has found that there exist discernable links among plagiarism, grade inflation, and the use of alcohol and other substances by university students. The disruptions in downtown Durham following sporting events over the last several years clearly mark a shift in attitude in an element of the student population with respect to the proper way to express themselves.

The committee moves that the Faculty Senate of the University of New Hampshire will constitute a task force to study the links between student behavior and the university community's expectations of student achievement. These links include but are not limited to course evaluations, grade inflation, the four-credit-hour workload issue, the effectiveness of freshman orientation, the feasibility and possible effectiveness of a "University 101" course, admissions procedures, and how peer institutions address these issues. The chair of the Faculty Senate will request suggestions from university faculty for membership on this task force and will name a chair. Members of the task force will participate in all relevant university efforts to address these issues (including but not limited to the planned "summit" in September of 2003), and the task force will present its report and recommendations to the Faculty Senate no later than the first meeting of the Senate in April of 2004.

After discussion, a friendly amendment was made and accepted to change the word "discernable" to "presumed", in the rationale of this motion. The motion was approved unanimously.

X. Committee Reports - The senate chair announced that the final report from the senate's Finance and Administration Committee, the reports on handicapped access and on affordable faculty housing from the senate's Campus Planning Committee, and the report on student alcohol use from the senate's Student Affairs Committee have been or will be distributed to the senators in writing. A motion to accept the final report dated April 21, 2003, of the Faculty Senate's Finance and Administration Committee was unanimously approved.

XI. Adjournment - The senate expressed its thanks to the chair and the Agenda Committee, and the 2002-03 senate meeting was adjourned.



I. Roll - The following senators were absent: Barcelona, Burger, Calculator, Cook, Craycraft, Elmslie, Ferber, Giraud, Gutman, Kalinowski, Kraft, Lugalla, Neefus, Niesse, Pescosolido, Quigley, Salloway, Schlentrich, Shea, Sitkoff, Sparr, and Ward. Cioffi, Daley and Richman were excused.

II. Election of Officers - The 2003-04 Faculty Senate unanimously elected Tom Laue as chair, Mimi Becker as vice chair, and Elizabeth Hageman, Ed Hinson and Tim Quinn as members at large of the Agenda Committee. As past chair, Barbara Krysiak will also be a member of that committee.

III. Adjournment - The 2003-04 senate meeting was adjourned.

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