UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 12 September, 2005




I.  Roll – The following senators were absent:  Afolayan, Baldwin, Burger, Frankel, McCann, Morgan, and Sheriff.  Excused was Robertson.  Guests were President Ann Hart, Cliff Brown, Joanne Curran-Celentano, and Gregg Sanborn.  Sean Kelly was a guest observer.  

II.  Communications from the chair – The senate chair said that the Faculty Senate deals with academic policy and those aspects of student life which relate to the educational process.  Shared governance is working well now and is taken seriously by the administration.  Shared governance requires work and participation from faculty, and the senate chair will ask faculty members to serve on university-wide committees.  Lines of communication are important between the administration and faculty and between faculty and students.  In accordance with the senate motion passed on 9/13/04, the Faculty Senate will have a student observer, who this year is Sean Kelly, Chair of the Student Senate’s Academic Affairs Council.  By invitation, President Hart will frequently join the Faculty Senate at the beginning portion of the senate meetings, and Provost Mallory will occasionally do so.  That will provide a good opportunity for administrators and faculty to share information and concerns, and the administrators will depart before deliberation and votes in the Faculty Senate.  Senators communicate with amicability and civility and use Roberts’ Rules to facilitate communication even when disagreement may exist.

III.  Remarks by and questions to the president – President Hart said that this year the university has a very large first-year class, and therefore faculty should be aware that students may be more than usually stressed.  The university has extended freshman orientation into both the first and second semesters.  Forty of the inquiry seminars from the Discovery Program are being offered this year.  The president extended an invitation to all faculty to attend the academic convocation on September 13 in Murkland Hall, with a panel discussion by the ten faculty authors of papers on globalization, as part of the Discovery Program.  On September 20, there will be a dialogue in the Memorial Union Building, on the situation resulting from Hurricane Katrina; and senators are asked to invite their colleagues and students to participate.

Although there were a number of student arrests over the Labor Day weekend, the situation is stable except for concern about the large number of persons at parties in some basements with inadequate exits in case of fire.  The renovation schedule for Demeritt Hall is dependent on locating spaces in other buildings, for the occupants to move into during the reconstruction in Demeritt.  Construction on the Gables Apartments is scheduled for completion this year.  The president meets regularly with the senate’s Agenda Committee, and she has other regular meetings with the Faculty Senate chair and vice chair as well.

IV.  Remarks by and questions to the chair – The senate chair said that the senators have received an orientation document explaining senate policies.  All senators are expected to serve on a senate committee, which will usually meet on the Monday afternoons on which the Faculty Senate does not meet.  The Agenda Committee serves as a conduit for senate business.  Please send any new business to the senate chair, the senate program coordinator, or the Agenda Committee members.  Suggestions for agenda items have come from the senate’s summer planning sessions, from faculty, and from the administration.  The job of the senate chair is to act as an honest broker.  If you have a concern, please confer with the senate chair or the Agenda Committee first. 

The senate has been asked to identify two faculty emeriti and three current faculty to serve on the Committee on Recognition of Philanthropy and Service, which advises on naming programs, buildings, etc.  Please ask your colleagues and give suggestions for nominees to the senate chair.  In addition, last May, in an effort to bring student study behavior better in line with standard, university-level expectations, the Faculty Senate passed a motion on the number of hours that students spend studying per credit hour.  The provost asks all faculty senators to communicate to their departmental colleagues that the last paragraph of that motion, after listing action items for other persons and groups, says: 

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.

V.  Discovery Program implementation – Joanne Curran-Celentano, who is the director of the Discovery Program, reviewed the background of the Discovery Program by reiterating that in 1999 the Faculty Senate created an ad-hoc committee tasked with the charge of reviewing the General Education Program at UNH and that the outcome of the General Education Study Committee was submitted to the Faculty Senate in March of 2002 recommending the creation of the Discovery Program.  A second committee formed by the Faculty Senate (Discovery Program Implementation Committee) prepared an implementation plan following a year of study; and two years ago the Faculty Senate passed a motion on the implementation of the Discovery Program.  As a result of that motion, the Faculty Senate now is charged with monitoring the six-year implementation and voting on the key components of the Discovery Program, after the pilot phase as outlined in the implementation timeline.  The program director was appointed, and the Discovery Program Advisory Committee (DPAC) was formed effective in the fall of 2004.  The advisory committee has a majority of faculty members, and Cliff Brown is the co-director.

The first-year experience of the Discovery Program includes an assessment of the students’ math and information technology abilities, university dialogue and a town hall meeting, English 401, and Inquiry 444.  The first-year Inquiry 444 seminars should have no more than twenty-five students and use an inquiry model exploring multiple perspectives and encouraging discussion, problem-solving, and research orientation.  Inquiry 444 courses may be interdisciplinary, team taught, and writing intensive when possible.  The ten required Discovery categories are biological sciences, foreign cultures, fine and performing arts, historical perspectives, humanities, physical sciences, quantitative reasoning, social sciences, social identity and the individual, and technology, environment and society.  Some courses may be dual listed and count for up to two categories.  Inquiry 444 counts as a category.  The capstone experience and the university writing requirement components constitute the “integration with major”, and both components are currently under study.  Discovery is a theme and strategy of the Academic Plan, and not all references to Discovery in the Academic plan refer to the Discovery Program.  The only courses within the Discovery Program that have a cap at twenty-five students per faculty are the Inquiry 444 courses. Thus, many courses in Discovery categories may be similar in size to general education courses. Discovery courses will have inquiry as the over-riding pedagogy.

The timeline for 2004/05, which was completed, was to establish the Discovery Program Advisory Committee, review the categories, pilot the Inquiry 444 courses, and seek external funding.  In 2005/06, the intent is to examine new and existing courses for consideration for approval within the Discovery Program categories, to pilot university dialogue and the town hall meeting, to plan math and technology assessment of incoming students’ abilities, to continue to pilot the Inquiry 444 courses, and to establish a subcommittee to study the capstone component.  The implementation plan continues with action items for each successive year; and in academic year 2009/10, if the implementation phases and components have been approved by the Faculty Senate, full implementation of the Discovery Program for all entering students would occur.  One goal of the program is to help students to become confident and competent inquirers. 

The Discovery Program implementation was a topic at the department chairs’ workshop in August. Department chairs were asked to identify a departmental faculty member to work as a liaison with the DPAC on identifying and developing courses to submit for approval in the Discovery Program categories.  These courses may or may not be current general education courses.  Many general education courses approved by the General Education Committee will become Discovery Program courses approved by the Discovery Program Advisory Committee.  Faculty development workshops are planned and ongoing, to assist faculty in course conversions incorporating inquiry pedagogy and in developing Inquiry Courses.  The provost is providing support for the implementation of the Discovery Program, and course development funds are available.  A faculty-guided assessment model will be built into the Inquiry 444 courses, with the support of a Davis Foundation Grant for assessing the goals and developing the assessment tools with faculty.  The goals of the Discovery Program are clearly listed in the Discovery Program report, and benchmarks for the Discovery Program will include the capacity and support of the Inquiry 444 courses, the implementation of courses in the categories, and RCM implications.  The impetus of the Discovery Program was a charge by the faculty and not the administration. 

Cliff Brown said that the Discovery Program's University Dialogue will engage members of the campus on the topic of globalization and that information about the dialogue is available on line.  In a multi-disciplinary approach, nine UNH professors have prepared papers on globalization.  The professors will introduce the dialogue and lead the discussion as part of the Academic Convocation on September 13.  The papers will then serve as a resource for class discussion and assignments.  There will be a web site on which people can post comments about the topic; and campus films, residence hall activities, and a series of authors' forums will provide additional opportunities to become involved in the discussion.  In the spring, the dialogue will culminate with a town hall meeting.  The topic, globalization, was identified by a committee of faculty, staff and students, who also selected the nine professors to write the papers.  A senator expressed concern that those nine faculty include only two women.  Joanne Curran-Celentano said that other faculty may argue the points made in the nine papers.  She added that this is a pilot project and that the program is looking for feedback on the methods used.  A senator expressed concern that the program may seem like a juggernaut.  The senate chair replied that the Faculty Senate must be in the business of dealing with juggernauts.  He noted that reports and discussion on the Discovery Program will occur in the Faculty Senate’s Academic Affairs Committee and that this committee will make its recommendations to the full senate throughout the year.  The senate is charged with approving or not approving implementation of each component of the Discovery Program.

VI.  Alumni Association Board of Directors – Gregg Sanborn, who is the Executive Director of the Alumni Association, said that he has worked to set a new direction for the association, in order to collaborate more closely with the UNH schools and colleges and to get alumni more involved in that effort.  There is a desire to have an alumni mentoring program for UNH students.  There are 109,000 living UNH alumni.  The Alumni Association Board of Directors includes alumni and also one representative each from the faculty, the Student Senate, the Graduate Student Organization, the Parents’ Council, and UNH-Manchester.  It is important to have the faculty voice heard on the board, in order to give information and to report back to the UNH faculty.  There are usually four meetings per year on Saturdays, which this year will include September 17, January 14, April 22 and one meeting in June.  Each board member also serves on one committee of the board.  The board sets the direction and policy of the Alumni Association.  Please ask your colleagues and suggest to the senate chair a faculty nominee to this board.

VII.  Minutes – The senate unanimously approved the minutes of the 5/2/05 Faculty Senate meeting.

VIII.  Senate standing committees – The list of senate committee members and charges was sent to the senators.  Each senator serves on one senate standing committee.  This year the committee chairs are Bill Stine of the Academic Affairs Committee, Allen Drake of the Campus Planning Committee, Curt Givan of the Finance and Administration Committee, Lynn Kistler of the Library Committee, Tony Tagliaferro of the Research and Public Service Committee, and Lynette Ament of the Student Affairs Committee.  The Agenda Committee members are David Richman, Jeff Salloway, Mimi Becker, Ed Hinson, Frank McCann and Torsten Schmidt.  The senate chair plans to meet with the current and past chairs of each senate committee to discuss this year’s charges.

IX.  Responsibility center management review – Last year, the chair of the senate’s Finance and Administration Committee helped to spearhead the RCM review.  Now there are seven RCM review subcommittees which will assess how RCM works as a tool, how it works for academics, and what the RCM implications are for the university.  There will be a series of open meetings and a web site at which faculty may bring up issues and concerns, and faculty may also send their concerns about RCM to David Richman or Mimi Becker.

X.  Senate special committees – Two special committees of the Faculty Senate are the Professional Standards Committee and the University Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee.  Members of both are elected by the faculty.  The chair of the Professional Standards Committee is Jeff Salloway, the vice chair of the senate; and this year that committee plans to consider professional misconduct policy and gender equity.  Although most members of UCAPC are elected by the faculty from their school or college, a minimum of two UCAPC members at any time must be members of the Faculty Senate; and to complete that number, the senate chair has requested that the chair of the senate’s Academic Affairs Committee ask a member of that committee also to serve on UCAPC.  UCAPC deals with any curriculum changes which affect more than one college of the university.  The recommendations of all senate committees should be brought to the Faculty Senate for a decision by the senate.

XI.  Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            _______________________________________________________________________________________________

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