UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 30 AUGUST, 2010





I.  Roll – The following senators were absent:  Peshkova and Simos.  Sharp and Woodward were excused.  Guests were John Aber and Lisa MacFarlane.

II. Remarks by and questions to the provost – The provost said that this year the student move in went very well.  He cited a book entitled Higher Education and commented that a university education tries to teach students to be open minded and persuaded by facts rather than ideology and categorical thinking. The state of the university address will discuss the strategic plan, with a summary followed by a longer discussion/question-and-answer time than previously. NAVITAS will be a part of that discussion, and Lisa MacFarlane and Marco Dorfsman have worked on that issue.

III.  Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair said that the senate’s Academic Affairs Committee worked during the summer on NAVITAS, and he thanked the senators who did that work and also those who attended the summer planning seminar.

IV.  Minutes – The minutes of the 5/3/2010 Faculty Senate meeting were approved, unanimously except for four abstentions.

V.  Orientation – The orientation materials were emailed to the senators prior to this meeting, and the senate’s Constitution and Bylaws are available on the senate website. The senate meetings are guided by Robert’s Rules of Order.  The senate is a body which carries on faculty shared governance and works with the administration to make that partnership clearer in its details.  The responsibility of the Faculty Senate is the academic mission of the university.  The principle of shared governance in universities was formalized in the 1966 Joint Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities (jointly formulated by the American Association of University Professors, the American Council on Education, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges).  The joint statement asserts that:

“The faculty has primary responsibility for such fundamental areas as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, faculty status, and those aspects of student life which relate to the educational process.  On these matters, the power of review or final decision lodged in the governing board or delegated by it to the president should be exercised adversely only in exceptional circumstances and for reasons communicated to the faculty.”

The Faculty Senate is an elected, representative body; and so please take steps to share the information discussed in the Faculty Senate with your departmental colleagues and consider how they feel about the issue when you vote in the senate. Each senator has been assigned to a Faculty Senate committee which will review and make recommendations on its senate charges. The standing committees of the senate are the Academic Affairs Committee, the Finance and Administration Committee, the Campus Planning Committee, the Research and Public Service Committee, the Library Committee, and the Student Affairs Committee; and there are several other senate committees such as the Professional Standards Committee and the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee, which are elected committees and thus are staffed by non-senators. The 3:10-5:00 p.m. time on Mondays alternates between the Faculty Senate and the senate committee meetings.  The committees work on the charges presented by the Agenda Committee and bring recommendations for a decision by the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate is currently seeking a faculty member to be its parliamentarian.  The university president, the provost and the senate chair give remarks in the senate and respond to questions. Each senator has the right to be heard once before other senators, who have already spoken on that topic, speak again.  Senators are asked to address the chair rather than individual senators.

If you want to bring up a new idea or proposal, raise your hand and be recognized by the chair.  If you want to change some of the wording of a motion under debate, ask to be recognized by the chair; and then move to amend by adding words, striking words or both.  If you like the idea of the motion under debate but you want to reword it substantially, you may move to substitute your motion for the original.  If the originator of the motion agrees that your proposal is a “friendly amendment”, it could supersede the original. Alternatively, if your motion is seconded, debate can proceed on both motions. Eventually the senators will vote on which they prefer.  If you feel that the subject under debate needs more study or investigation, then move to refer it to a committee.  If you want more time to study the proposal under debate, you may move to postpone debate until a definite time or date.  If you are tired of the current debate, you may move to limit debate to a set period of time or a set number of speakers; but this requires a 2/3 vote.  If you’ve heard enough debate and if no one else has the floor, you may move to close debate.  If you want to postpone a motion until some later time, you may move to table the motion.  If you want to end the meeting, move to adjourn. 

If you are unsure that the chair has correctly announced the results of a vote, you may, without being recognized, call for a “division of the house”, at which point a standing vote must be taken.  If you are confused about a procedure and want clarification, without waiting to be recognized, call for “point of information”.  If you have changed your mind about a vote taken earlier in the meeting for which you were on the “winning” side, you can move to reconsider.  If a majority agrees, the motion comes back to the floor as if the vote had not happened.  If you want to change a senate action that was voted on at a previous meeting, you may move to rescind the motion.   If you have given the senate previous written notice that you intend to move to rescind, a simple majority is required.  If you have not provided written notice previously, you must have a 2/3 majority to rescind.  If you want to kill a motion which was introduced by another person, you may, before any debate on the motion has occurred, state “I object to consideration.”  You do not need to be recognized by the chair to do this.  Your motion requires no second and is not debatable, but it requires a 2/3 vote to pass.  Speakers may be interrupted only for the following:  a point of information, to obtain information about business; parliamentary inquiry, to obtain information about the rules or to ask about the correct motion to accomplish a desired result; a question of privilege if you cannot hear, a safety issue arises or there is a problem with the room; a point of order, if you see a breach of the rules or improper decorum in speaking and raise the point of order immediately after the error is made; and an appeal of a chair’s ruling.  Senators may also get further information from the Parliamentary Procedure Motions Chart, regarding requirements for seconds, debate, amendments, majority, and reconsideration.  The Faculty Senate may proceed more informally than this suggests, but these rules act as a back stop when needed.  (Sources include Robert, Henry M., Robert’s Rules of Order Revised (10th Edition) Public Domain; Kennedy, Beverly “Quick Reference”, http://www.robertsrules.org, 9/26/2004; http://www.cwru.edu/orga/gradsenate/rules/handbook.html, 9/26/2004; and California State Association of Parliamentarians’ Survival Tips on Roberts Rules, http://www.roberts-rules.com/par101.htm, 9/26/2004.)

VI.  NAVITAS– The senate chair said that the Faculty Senate has heard many updates on NAVITAS. Last spring during work to rule, the Academic Affairs Committee chose not to work on NAVITAS; but the Finance and Administration Committee discussed and reported on NAVITAS to the senate.  However, the senate passed a motion stating that hearing that report did not imply approval of NAVITAS by the senate. Since work to rule is now over, the Faculty Senate could move ahead on NAVITAS, hopefully expeditiously; and the Academic Affairs Committee worked on that during the summer. Lisa MacFarlane and Marco Dorfsman have been co-chairs of the UNH NAVITAS task force which has reported to the president.

Marco Dorfsman said that a number of documents on NAVITAS were sent to the senators earlier today. He said that many faculty worked on the strategic plan and that one of the sections of that plan was internationalization.  International students are poorly represented at UNH, since there are only about 30 or 40 out of 1100 undergraduates. NAVITAS is large and has a number of pathway programs into universities.  Marco Dorfsman said that, although there has been a history of difficulties with international recruiting, NAVITAS has a history of successfully handling these matters with integrity.  UNH appointed a task force to investigate the possibility of a partnership with NAVITAS, and that Task Force did extensive work and made a report which was included in the materials sent to the senators today.  Members of the task force visited Simon Fraser University which has a partnership with NAVITAS and discussed that program with many people there.  After exhaustive research, interviews with individuals involved in various NAVITAS programs all over the world, review of tracking data for students in various programs, a site visit to the Fraser International Institute which is the NAVITAS pathway program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver in British Columbia, review of financial documents, review of templates for potential contracts, and extensive discussions, the task force recommended to President Huddleston that UNH pursue negotiations to develop the partnership. 

NAVITAS is a for-profit company but seems to work well with the host universities. Please review the “frequently-asked questions” document. Most concerns have been discussed. Marco Dorfsman said that now we as faculty senators need to make a decision on the recommendations of the task force. Over the summer, the Academic Affairs Committee discussed this matter via email and telephone; and some of the members met together from time to time but without a quorum. So the committee has not yet had its say but will make a report to the senate very soon. Lisa MacFarlane asked that senators express their thoughts and concerns now and said that the frequently-asked questions document is evolving.  Marco Dorfsman said that the information sent to the senators today includes reports on four NAVITAS programs currently being opened in the United States:  at the University of Western Kentucky, the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, and the University of Massachusetts-Boston.  Marco Dorfsman said that, at this point, a NAVITAS-UNH partnership seems advisable, because it will increase internationalization, produce revenue, potentially improve undergraduate academics, offer extra employment to graduate students and faculty who might be interested, and offer development opportunities to participating departments and programs.  As an individual, Marco Dorfsman made and Larry Prelli seconded a motion as follows:  “the Faculty Senate recommends pursuing a NAVITAS-UNH partnership to create an international pathways program at UNH.  A full review of the program should take place after five years.  One of the members of the NAVITAS-UNH Academic Advisory Committee should be appointed by the Faculty Senate, in consultation with the Provost’s Office.”

In response to a question, Lisa MacFarlane said that the university’s tax exempt status, federally and for the town, would not be affected by a partnership with NAVITAS.  Marco Dorfsman said that the regular UNH admission office would approve the NAVITAS students who complete the requirements of the bridge program and that the UNH admission office could address any concerns that may arise.  Lisa MacFarlane said that UNH would set the standards for UNH admission ahead of time and NAVITAS would meet those standards.  Students beginning the NAVITAS bridge program would receive help from NAVITAS on their English abilities and understanding of the culture and procedures here.  She said that she talked with deans and some department chairs and confirmed that UNH will set the entrance requirements both for UNH admission and for acceptance into departments.  She added that UNH has in place a minimum TOEFL Program (Test of English as a Foreign Language).  At the end of the bridge program, the students will have to take the TOEFL exam and obtain the required score in order to qualify.  Marco Dorfsman said that the NAVITAS program brings in students to the bridge program, which is equivalent to the freshman year but also includes support courses which do not give university credit.  The NAVITAS bridge program includes summers and eight courses in a special NAVITAS section. Those courses will each meet one day a week for four straight hours, and the rest of the day will include support work.  The bridge program will last for one year and then, if the student meets the standards set by UNH for the bridge courses, the student could transfer into UNH as a sophomore. It is possible that some students may have to take an extra semester or two in the bridge program in order to meet that standard. Some UNH departments or programs may have additional requirements over and above the requirements for UNH admission.

In response to a question about whether there is a plan for including the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, Lisa MacFarlane said that, although the majority of NAVITAS students are interested in the other colleges, we may be able to develop the NAVITAS program to include these colleges. She said that the current effort is a first step; there is a five-year review built in; and we can make adjustments as we go along at any time.  UNH would like NAVITAS to look at all its programs.  Lisa MacFarlane described the financial advantages to UNH as follows.  NAVITAS provides the bridge program, and UNH provides the space and computer labs and such.  NAVITAS would pay UNH faculty, who want a course overload, UNH lecturers or graduate students or others approved by UNH as qualified, at the same rate as UNH pays. The students in the bridge program are clients of NAVITAS and would pay UNH dormitory and dining hall fees. Our ESL (English as a Second Language) Institute will provide the English instruction, and NAVITAS will pay for that. UNH provides collaboration and oversight on the standards of the bridge courses, and NAVITAS pays 30% royalties to UNH.  Those royalties pay for oversight by UNH departments, for UNH space and computers, and also for central initiatives that further other kinds of international efforts at UNH.  She said that Simon Fraser University has a formula for compensation of departments; and UNH might start with that; and that issue could be addressed by the implementation group after NAVITAS is approved. Then after the first year or so, when the NAVITAS student is admitted to UNH, that student pays out-of-state tuition to UNH and does not receive the financial aid that often goes to in-state students.  Based on fifteen years of tracking all students at NAVITAS partnerships, the projection is that about 87% - 94% of the bridge program students become students of the host institution.  Demographics tend to show that the availability of potential traditional UNH students is expected to decrease, and so NAVITAS may fill that gap.

A professor asked, although NAVITAS has not had a university partnership terminated, whether there is a clause in the contract to say that UNH is constrained from using things it has developed during the relationship with NAVITAS.  Lisa MacFarlane responded that sections of the contract do deal with how the partnership could be adjusted or terminated.  NAVITAS would own the four-hour pedagogy piece and their recruiting materials, but not the ESL Program or courses provided by UNH.  She added that NAVITAS has a good track record in the quality of its relationships with universities.  NAVITAS has a network into elite secondary schools, and that is an important contribution.  NAVITAS makes its money from student payments to the bridge program.  After the students complete that part and are admitted to UNH, they would pay UNH directly.  NAVITAS would hire people, who were approved by the UNH supervising department, to teach the bridge program.

UNH and NAVITAS put together a slate of courses such as English 401, calculus, economics, chemistry, and some Discovery Program courses and asked UNH department chairs if this was plausible.  There will be a partnership between the UNH department and the NAVITAS instructor.  The UNH departments will supervise the courses and the syllabi, etc.  Each department should see that its standards are being held to by the NAVITAS course.  Lisa MacFarlane said that UNH accepts transfer credits from accredited institutions with much less oversight than UNH will have with NAVITAS.

A professor expressed the concern that bringing in lots of international students might create a university within a university and said that it is important that UNH have a plan for helping the new students interact and mingle with the local students.  He also is concerned that UNH should maintain economic diversity, encourage the students in their out-of-class life, and replicate the models for recruiting international students that other campuses are doing.  Marco Dorfsman said that UNH cannot invest enough money and time to succeed sufficiently at international recruiting.  He added that the UNH task force’s top priority is to integrate properly the international students into UNH life; the cohort of NAVITAS students will be very small at first; and there will be an effort to disperse them among the other UNH students.  Lisa MacFarlane said that there has been a lot of planning with UNH residential life and other programs here, on how to achieve this integration.  She added that NAVITAS is aware that UNH is interested in global diversity; and she said that many countries now have a growing middle class, that some of the students may have financial aid from their own government, and that there will be a five-year review of the NAVITAS program.

A professor asked, since NAVITAS provides a protected environment for its students in the bridge program, will UNH’s costs increase when those students gain admission to UNH after the bridge program?  Marco Dorfsman said that his group asked that question at Simon Fraser University and found that after the bridge program many NAVITAS students continued to want more advising or to take advantage of instructor’s office hours.  He added that, in some ways, that is a good thing and that, if it becomes a problem, UNH could negotiate about that.  However, faculty at Simon Fraser liked the fact that students came to them for help.  Lisa MacFarlane said that NEASC has indicated that NAVITAS will cause no issue with UNH accreditation, and she added that we will check on ABET but that there is no reason to think it would be a problem. She said that, if a student wants to transfer into an ABET accredited department, the department will ask if the student is qualified.  Departments have academic standards; and if a student does not meet those, the student cannot stay in the program.  She said that UNH accepts all kinds of transfer credits from other institutions and that does not affect UNH’s accreditation.  There will not be separate education for NAVITAS students after they are admitted to UNH.  The motion was unanimously tabled until the next senate meeting.

VII.  Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned.


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