SUMMARY REPORT ON THE FACULTY SENATE
Dante Scala, Chair, Faculty Senate XXI
Associate Professor of Political Science
Submitted by the XXII Faculty Senate Agenda Committee
December 4, 2017
The accomplishments of the 2016-17 Faculty Senate include the following:
The Senate approved a change in policy on transfer credit (#XXI-M1), allowing up to 72 credits within an associate degree program to be allowed to transfer, provided certain requirements are met.
The Senate approved an adjustment to the AY 2017-18 calendar (#XXI-M7) that cancelled classes the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and eliminated Fall Break.
The Senate approved a five-year academic calendar (#XXI-M11), covering AY 18-19 through AY 22-23.
The Senate approved a motion (#XXI-M15) to change UNH policy and have all semester or longer absences be referred to as leaves of absence.
The Senate approved a series of recommendations (#XXI-M16) regarding the UNH Writing Program, including a mandated “sunset period” whereby every five years a department has to review and resubmit courses, with syllabi, that are to maintain the “writing intensive” designation. The Senate also agreed to consider bringing the Writing Committee under its purview by making the Writing Committee a Faculty Senate Committee, similar to the Discovery Committee.
The Senate approved a motion (#XXI-M17) supporting the creation of a residential and administrative center for the Honors Program, and urged the administration to seek out alumni and donor support to fund the project.
This committee also monitored enrollment strategies of the university, and placed a senator on an enrollment management committee to increase faculty participation in strategic decisions involving admissions.
In conjunction with the Student Affairs Committee, this committee also examined the administration’s ongoing review of the Navitas program.
TEACHING EVALUATION IMPLEMENTATION
The Senate approved a set of questions (#XXI-M4) related to student experiences in online courses. These questions were put forward by a special Senate committee on the implementation of new teaching evaluations, headed by Alberto Manalo.
TEACHING EVALUATION STANDARDS
An ad hoc committee on Teaching Evaluations Standards wrote a report on alternatives to the current system of assessing the teaching of courses at UNH. The committee, led by Christopher Bauer, also wrote a motion (#XXI-M18) approved by the Senate, supporting the development of a formative teaching assessment process that embodies the goal of continual improvement for all faculty, and which provides earlier, more productive engagement of students in this process within each course.
The Senate called on the administration to adopt guidelines for public / private ventures (#XXI-M12), including periodic reporting to the Senate; attention to University mission; potential conflicts of interest; and potential effects on the local municipality.
The Senate approved a motion (#XXI-M13) requesting that UNH adopt a tobacco-free policy for all UNH campuses, consistent with the “Healthy UNH” tobacco-free campus initiative, and that the UNH Administration commence necessary plans for implementing this policy upon its adoption.
This committee also presented reports to the Senate on parking space capacity; how the university decides on construction and renovation projects; and decision-making on the placement and selection of sculptures on campus.
FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION
The committee successfully restored regular meetings with the Vice President for Finance and Administration and staff to discuss budgetary matters.
It also maintained regular communication with representatives to the new advisory committee to the President on the UNH budget.
It examined the rationale for the new charges for use of meeting rooms in the Memorial Union Building.
It monitored the RCM budget model, and assessed the current allocation of teaching positions to lecturers and tenure-track professors, as well as the growth of faculty positions compared to the growth of administrative positions.
This committee worked with Academic Technology, Information Technology, and Communications and Public Affairs on the following issues:
- possible revisions to departmental and college websites
- control of web presence, ensuring faculty involvement and protecting academic freedom
- appropriate system for faculty and research-group webpages
This committee offered faculty input on the following software packages under consideration by the administration
- Student Success Collaborative (student advising)
- New course evaluation software
The Faculty Senate endorsed the Library’s efforts at long-range planning (#XXI-M10), and encouraged the administration to ensure a baseline for collections budget increases over a 4-6 year timeframe.
RESEARCH AND PUBLIC SERVICE
The Senate approved the Revised UNH Misconduct Policy developed by the Director of Research Integrity Services (#XXI-M6).
The Senate requested the Dean of Students (#XXI-M14) to amend the SRRR (Student Rights, Rules, Responsibilities), so that the procedures and standards of the University’s Misconduct in Scholarly Activity (MISA) Policy will take precedence in determining whether misconduct was perpetrated in connection with federally funded research that falls within the purview of the MISA policy.
This committee also worked with the administration on policy concerning unmanned flying vehicles.
Along with Academic Affairs, this committee offered input into the administration’s review of the Navitas program.
This committee also addressed ongoing issues surrounding mandatory reporting requirements for UNH faculty.
It also monitored the development of an administration policy regarding animals in the classroom.
The Senate gratefully acknowledged (#XXI-M2) the gift of the late Professor Robert Morin to the University. It also expressed its disappointment that the administration did not consult with faculty and deans in the use of the gift, particularly for non-academic purposes.
The Senate pledged (#XXI-M5) to do all within its power to uphold the values of tolerance, inclusion, diversity, civil discourse, and free speech and to speak out forcefully against any and all acts of prejudice or intolerance within the UNH community.
The Senate amended the Bylaws (#XXI-M3) to update the position title of an administrator. It also amended the Bylaws (#XXI-M9) to include the newly formed Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, & Food Systems as an academic department eligible to elect Senate members.
In response to a right-to-know request from Judicial Watch, the Senate passed a motion (#XXI-M8) outlining its expectations that the administration would make the narrowest possible release of information based on the university’s paramount concern to protect free speech and scientific inquiry. It also encouraged faculty leadership and administrators to work together to educate the UNH community about the potential for public disclosure of electronic communications transmitted via the university’s network. The Senate also cautioned academic departments and programs against the use of university resources to advocate a partisan political position.
Dante Scala, past chair, Faculty Senate
4 December 2017