Excused: Senators Lindbo, Lindsay, Robarge, Scotford
Absent: Senator Fauntleroy, Muddiman, Poling, Wessels
Visitors: Marcia Gumpertz, Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Diversity; Katie Perry, Senior Vice +Provost; Thomas Conway, Dean, DUAP; Lee Fowler, Athletic Director; Betsy Brown, Special Assistant to the Provost; David Rainer, Associate Vice Chancellor for Environmental Health and Public Safety; Tom Younce, Director, Campus Police
- Welcome and Announcements
Chair Martin welcomed Senators and Guests.
The Executive Committee meeting has been postponed until Thursday, December 6, 2007.
2. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 6, November 6, 2007
The motion passed to approve the minutes.
3. Call to Order
Chair James D. Martin called the seventh meeting of the fifty-fourth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:00 p.m.
4. Remarks from the Chair
Thoughts on Campus Safety
As a laboratory scientist I think a fair amount about safety. Periodically in a formal sense to evaluate and correct structural issues. But for a safe operation of my laboratory, I must instill, both in me and my associates, a culture of safety…that more often than not is a culture of common sense.
Why lab coats? An extra line of defense. A bit redundant if clothed any way, but it does serve to increase the longevity of clothing, and significantly increases modesty if the barrier protecting ones skin needs to be removed in the event of a spill.
Why safety glasses? Probably the most important piece of safety hardware. Do you know many blind chemists? You only have one set of eyes. If they are ever damaged by an accident, repair is difficult to impossible. Accidents are not events we plan on…that is why they are accidents. Only twice in my career my eyes have been protected with safety glasses, but I wear them any time I step into the lab.
So what does this have to do with campus safety?
First I note that safety and security is something we would like to be able to CONTROL. Unfortunately for the most part, we can’t. But what we can do is CREATE an environment/culture that minimizes the likelihood of an incident.
And secondly we can ensure there is protective gear and appropriate structures to address any incidents that do occur.
These I believe are the intent of the GA Task force on campus safety that David Rainer will be discussing with us today.
As we consider campus safety, I am a bit cautious in considering the recent safety/security incident of the noose found in the bathroom of Sullivan shops in light of the above perspectives. But this is an important issue (or probably set of issues) that is of concern to faculty. I have talked with several people, faculty and staff, black and white, and listened in order to understand the incident and the response. I have read the Chancellor’s response several times and have discussed the situation with him. I stand behind his condemnation of the act, irrespective of intent, as unacceptable. I also concur with the comment of Ruth Sheehan in Friday’s N&O that while “the symbol of the noose might be powerful, it is (must be) tissue-thin in the face of a community that will not allow it to hold sway.”
However, it is in considering aspects of our community that I can understand some of the reaction to the response to the incident. Yes, there are those who would use incidents such as this to promote their own agenda and cause. Yet I have heard from enough folks with no specific agenda to know that reaction to the incident response is not just a matter of grandstanding. There clearly are significant issues that we need to work at with respect to strengthening our community. We have on our campus disenfranchised populations for whom it is likely that no official response will result in the feeling of safety. When you look at the demographics which show that 86% of SPA administration is white whereas 52% of the service and maintenance employees are black (http://www.ncsu.edu/diversity/faculty_staff/pdf/ncsustaffgenderandrace19972006_000.pdf) it is not hard to see where perceptions of disenfranchisement might originate. Did we have our safety glasses off when the accident occurred?
Sadly, in the Senate this year we have seen other aspects of community disenfranchisement. I am still scratching my head to understand how the 37% disadvantage for females hired as assistant professors to succeed is not an issue of equal opportunity; but our office says we are in compliance. As we (the Senate) have been looking into the grievance and hearings issues, whether on campus or system wide, I fail to understand the lengths to which attempts are made to use legal technicalities to prevent a faculty member’s grievance from even being heard. I have even been told, “that the role of the Chair of the Faculty Senate does not include being an advocate for specific faculty members … who have ongoing personnel issues.” While not acting to defend faculty, if the Chair of the Faculty cannot advocate ensuring that University policies are followed in cases for specific faculty, then we only create greater disenfranchisement. Failing to consider these, our safety glasses are removed. When accidents occur there may well be permanent and unrepairable eye damage.
With respect to campus safety and our community, there are many things we do very well. This is evidenced by the fact that our crime rate is extremely low…much lower than one would expect for most towns of 30-40,000 people. But just as every time I inspect my lab I must critically look for potential safety and security risks, we must do the same as we look at our campus community.
We clearly can and must do more CREATE a strong community built on equity and justice. This will create an environment/culture that minimizes the likelihood of safety/security incidents.
We must also ensure there is protective gear (infrastructure) and appropriate structures (procedures) to address any incidents that do occur.
- Remarks from Provost Nielsen
Provost Nielsen reported that they have chosen a designer and are in the process of negotiations to proceed on steps to build the new library on Centennial Campus. He stated, because the design of the library is going to be so important, they went through an elaborate process of bringing in six firms. “It was a very interesting process.”
Provost Nielsen stated, it has become a concern to him about how we fund libraries. A strategy was adopted during Chancellor Fox’s time that we would get the library funding and then keep it at 3% of the general operating budget for the university. About three years ago it was 3% for the first time and lasted for approximately one year and then started to fall again down to 2.8%.
When you look at the library’s funding it is a complicated mix. There are general appropriations. There are ETF funds that go into it and there is some F&A funding that goes into it and there is also a little money from General Administration. Provost Nielsen has asked the University Budget Advisory Committee to begin the process of looking carefully at the library budget in total by bringing all the pieces together. He stated that in this process we will re-examine whether this 3% level is a good arbitrary level.
Provost Nielsen stated, when faculty got a 5% average raise last year and EPA and SPA received a 4% increase the vast majority of the people in the library were not eligible for the 5% but just for the four percent. When that happens, that is a big piece of the budget, so automatically the proportional share for the library goes down. We will be examining those things through the University Budget Advisory Committee.
Search for the Vice Chancellor for Information Technology (CIO)
Provost Nielsen reported that the search continues to progress on schedule and they are aiming for on-campus full multiple day public interviews with the finalist for late January or the first week of February.
Space utilization has risen on the agenda of Erskine Bowles and the Board of Governors in terms of how well we are using the resources that we have here. As we think forward to the growth of the enrollment of the institution and of the UNC system the question of space is the most daunting. Enrollment growth dollars can help us keep pace with the needs for faculty and staff, but they don’t help us at all with space so there is this whole other argument and funding that have to go on about capital versus operating. We are going to face a lot of scrutiny in the coming years about how much space we need in order to accomplish the enrollment growth that we are anticipating, so space utilization comes into play there. That is to make sure we are using our space as well as we can now so that we are fully justified in asking for space.
Summer School (Can we attempt to get appropriated support for summer school)
Summer school is currently self funded on the basis of tuition as opposed to during the academic year, when we get an appropriation to go along with tuition to fund things. The legislature has not seen fit to fund summer school the same way they fund everything else. Should this be a priority in terms of the system’s approach to legislative funding and others? You may disagree with me but I think, on behalf of our institution, I said yes they should and that summer school was an important part of our ability to use our facilities, teach our students, get our students graduated, and to meet the demands of our highly structured curriculum. It’s hard to tell what may happen relative to summer school and summer school funding, but it is clearly on the agenda for General Administration about how can we fund summer school better by getting legislative support.
Senator Hudson stated that President Bowles mentioned going to a trimester system. She wanted to know how would it balance financially if we went to a trimester system and received money from the legislature to fund the third term.
Provost Nielsen stated that there is an interesting part of this -- the other institutional support that is built in to the funding formula and the enrollment growth formula is predicated on serving the other institutional support needs that a campus needs over twelve months, based on tuition formula that only comes in the two semesters. So if we went to coverage of summer school, or even went so far as (and it’s a much different question} having a trimester, versus funding for summer school, then, in either one of those cases there would probably need to be an adjustment in the funding formula that was already supposedly money coming into the institution during the two academic terms that pays for other institutional support during the summer.
Chair Martin: Yesterday I was in a meeting looking at retention graduation rates with Thomas Conway and discovered that the GA counts in terms of semester hours toward graduation, summer school as a semester so when our numbers are figured in they count the three semesters per year. Do you know anything about that and/ or can we use that as leverage in some of this argument?
Dean Conway stated that they count every summer session. Since we have two summer sessions, for each one of our students, if they graduate in four years, they are counting two semesters for each year plus two summer sessions that they had the opportunity to enroll for their graduation time and the elapsed-time-to-graduation calculation. So they are already using it in some way.
Provost Nielsen stated that our four-year graduation rate last year jumped one point and a half and our five year graduation rate jumped about two and one half points, so there is about a four point improvement in graduation rate for this six year rate that is going to be coming two years from now which would get us up to about 74% in terms of six year graduation rate within two years. That is assuming that there wouldn’t be any improvement in the graduation rate from the fifth year to the sixth year. We had to set up some targets on graduation rate and we negotiated down to a 75% graduation rate within five years. I think the progress that we are making there will get us in that direction.
6. Campus Safety
David Rainer-Associate Vice Chancellor for Environmental Health and Public Safety
I would like to tell you a little bit about what is going on with respect to public safety and how a lot of what we are currently doing is being driven by outside forces, which is really a good thing because there has been a lot of interest in campus safety that has come from General Administration and I think it has had a positive impact. I think it’s going to generate some money for the campus to implement some programs.
After Virginia Tech a lot of people became interested in campus safety. Erskine Bowles established a campus safety task force. The Attorney General of the State of North Carolina has a campus safety task force. The presentation I’m going to be giving you is a presentation that was given by Leslie Winner who is the Vice President and General Counsel of the University of North Carolina, given to the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors adopted this report about three weeks ago.
We always talk about the fact that the University of North Carolina system is a relatively low crime place and the reality is it is a relatively low crime place particularly on our campus. We track crime statistics of all the University of North Carolina campuses and all campuses in the United States are required to maintain an inventory of all crimes that occur on our campuses. We are required to report those on an annual basis to the federal government under a law called the Clery Act, a law that was passed in response to a murder that occurred on a college campus in New Jersey.
With respect to our campus the University of North Carolina system is about one sixth of the current crime rate in North Carolina as a whole. The murder rate on college campuses is extraordinarily low compared to the nation as a whole. Regardless of how good we are we are very concerned about what occurs on our campuses and I think there is room for improvement.
The Virginia Tech report is available online and is something that you might want to peruse. There were so many missed opportunities that occurred that probably could have prevented that incident. I encourage people to look at it.
We encourage a culture of openness; all of our spaces on campus are public spaces. Most of our buildings we consider public buildings. We certainly want people to come to the library. It’s an open environment so freedom of thought and expression is something that we considered as we went through our recommendations and made recommendations about how to harden our campuses. One thing you should keep in mind is when you look at all the crimes that occur on our campus we have more crimes occurring in our library than in any other place on campus. The library is where the people are and the crime is where people congregate.
Athletic facilities are the second area where we have an extraordinary amount of crime on campus. Most of the crimes that occur are crimes of opportunity, primarily theft, but we have to balance these core values of keeping our campus open versus locking them down.
We expect a reasonable amount of privacy (especially in residence halls), need for confidential personal information, avoidance of stigmatization of people striving to overcome disabilities. There is a lot of misinformation about how federal rules, laws and regulations govern the release of information, particularly as it relates to students. When we have gone back and looked at those particular laws and regulations, there are a lot things that we can do to educate the campus community about what can be reported and how it can be reported.
Provost Nielsen asked, Would you not say that until Virginia Tech the culture of the country and college campuses was to err on the side of privacy and to interpret all of those laws where there was an opportunity to interpret one way or another, as" don’t tell" rather than tell, and it is almost completely flipped now since the incident at Virginia Tech?
Rainer stated that he would agree one hundred percent. There was also an interesting article in the New York Times about how a lot of people use these laws and regulations as excuses for inaction. As we sat through this task force we have campuses in the mountains, at the beach, in Raleigh, in Charlotte, and in Chapel Hill. We didn’t want to implement rules, regulations, and directives that would not be relevant to all the campuses. We didn’t want to waste resources, we wanted to build on each other, and we wanted to use each campus as a resource for each other, so that we could not have redundancy in a lot of things that we came up with.
The report is sliced and diced into these categories. The recommendations have finally been put up on the UNCGA website but none of the attachments are there. If you would like the attachments, contact Jim Martin or myself. The major themes and concerns in the report are preventing violent crimes on campus, being prepared to respond to crimes and safety emergencies, and coordinating safety, disaster, prevention, response and recovery.
I was chair of the subcommittee that came up with the recommendations of being prepared to respond to crimes and safety emergencies. One of the things that we recognized immediately was that we needed to have people who were trained on campus and we needed to have groups of people on campus who could evaluate the risk and threat that was posed from various directions. One of the things that the committee decided was that we have threat assessment teams with representation from various organizations across the campus to evaluate these kinds of things. Right now we have what’s call the morning report that discusses everything that has occurred during the prior twenty-four hours. There are several deficiencies with the morning report.
Protocol to identify and respond to students who pose a threat, including caseworkers - One of the things that you find is that we really need someone to be able to collate and track information. You need someone who ties all the information together and has all the responsibilities for a lot of the things that the threat assessment team would. The case worker would be a point of referral so one of the things we would like is if we have people who are problematic across campus. We want to train people who to report to. If you have a student that is a problem and you report the student to the Counseling Center, that is a problem for Campus Police because if it goes to the Counseling Center, the Counseling Center has certain confidentiality rules that they have to meet, but if you made that referral to Student Affairs, for instance, they are not bound by the same confidentiality rules. If you made the referral to Campus Police they are not bound by the same confidentiality rules. We want to have one source to report these kinds of things.
It is very important to have accredited counseling centers. Counseling centers on campus are extraordinarily important and a creditable number of students go through our counseling centers. Our counseling center happens to be very understaffed according to the accreditation standards.
Adequate Mental Health Coverage—All of our insurance policies differ from campus to campus. Some have better mental health coverage than others. Students who were covered through State Employees and the State Health Plan now have fairly good mental health coverage but there is no standard out there.
Senator Evans asked, Has anything been done as far as a protocol here on campus and who we report to and when is that information going to be disseminated to the faculty? If you have a student that you have a problem with, where should that information go?
Rainer stated that on November 27th he is meeting with Provost Nielsen, Chancellor Oblinger, Vice Chancellor Stafford, and Vice Chancellor Leffler to review the report. A lot of the recommendations in the report are already being acted on in one way or another. We have several campus safety committees that are already reviewing these things. The Chancellor has already accepted a recommendation to accept the Threat Assessment Team. We are in the process of deciding who is going to be appointed to the team, how we are going to train them, and how we are going to get a protocol in place, so most of these things are ongoing, but will take time to implement.
Secretary Kellner: You mentioned Counseling Center, Student Services, and Police and said that they have differing rules regarding confidentiality but I think what we are looking for is the answer to the question. Who should be contacted or should we choose which one, depending on the unique nature of the student involved?
Rainer stated that right now his recommendation is to call Campus Police. Again, this is something that we are working on through the committee. We have already written a job description for this case worker. We want to change our system to make life easy for everybody.
The committee looked at the funding issue and made recommendations about funding and the number one priority for funding as a result of the committee’s recommendation is to hire case workers and to train assessment teams across the sixteen campuses. The legislative committee of the UNC system is asking the legislature for money to fund this.
Once someone is identified as a person of concern who all, who will know that the person is a person of concern?
Rainer stated that he thinks the committee is going to have a tough nut to crack because it is going to have to decide whether people should be here or shouldn’t be here and what is the operating paradigm for the committee. How can the committee operate in the context of the state personnel rules? We haven’t figured all that out and it gets really complicated.
Tom Younce, Director of Campus Police stated that if the Campus Police finds someone violating the rules or violating the law, someone who is a continuing threat they will trespass them from the campus and if they come back they can physically arrest them and take them into custody.
Senator Levy stated that a lot of times because you only see students an hour a day or a few hours a week it is really hard to pin things on them but you get a feeling that there is a danger. We have gotten basically no feedback so we have all been in the dark. We don’t talk about it because it’s a privacy issue among the students. We are basically put into a position where, we don't even take time to bother to even report because we don’t know if anything is being done. There is a concern.
Rainer stated, very often, individual faculty members make a report to different places across campus and nobody connects all the dots about issues associated with that individual. The system that we are proposing be established will funnel everybody through one portal that by default will be connecting all the dots.
You are probably aware that freshmen students take an alcohol awareness course on line and have to finish it by the first semester or they can’t register for the second semester. There are a lot of industrious people out there now. There is a mentalhealth.edu that we are currently looking at, but probably as a training tool for faculty and staff. This tells you how to look for, how to approach people or not approach people, so in terms of the educational component that is something that we are looking at now.
We will be posting information on our website about HIPPA and FERPA.
The mental health professional issue is there is no consistency across campuses about whether or not parents are involved. If you are taking a student as a tax deduction, regardless of that student’s age, you are entitled to information that you could not get if you were not taking the student as a tax deduction. We want to figure out how to let parents know that they are entitled to receive information about their students.
There are some specific laws in North Carolina that are a significant impediment for the mental health professionals that prohibit them from reporting and or give them no protection if they do report. Those are some things that need to be changed.
We already do have a comprehensive program on campus. We already provide residence hall advisors and campus police with training about these particular issues. We have assigned campus police to individual residence halls to foster our community oriented policing. We already have campus designed standards for new buildings and for major renovations that incorporate these concepts of environment design standards. They are posted on the university architect’s website.
One of the things that we are working on at the state level is addressing this issue of construction renovation budget to include money for safety and security. We don’t get money for any security systems on campus for maintenance and operation. We have got to try to change how the legislature looks at funding a lot of these things.
Senator Hanley-Bowdoin stated, I am in a building with an electronic lock system and they are trying to bill the individual faculty for the maintenance of that system and it seems to me that a fundamental expectation as an employee or a student here is that security not be my responsibility to pay for. In light of everything that has happened, I think this is another example of the fact that there hasn’t been enough financial support behind these efforts and that people are put at risk because of silly little things.
Rainer agreed and stated that the issue is when we build a building we get money for keys and locks but don’t necessarily get money for card access which is really important because these are things that recognize what we ought to do.
We are looking at the issue of close circuit television surveillance cameras in certain public spaces on campus. We have them in the animal handling areas. We have them in areas where people handle cash. We do have them at the free expression tunnel. We want to be strategic in how we implement those things.
I think we are fortunate that we do background checks across our campus for faculty, staff, and students. I think what you are going to find is that President Bowles is going to mandate that across all the campuses. You may be aware that we are doing background checks on people who apply for new jobs if they are currently employees. This is a very positive program and we do keep people off campus who shouldn’t be on campus.
We don’t do background checks on students. All students now who apply to the UNC system are required to answer seven questions about themselves and those questions are things like, Have you been convicted of a crime? Have you been charged for the crime and was that dismissed? If you were in the army, were you honorably discharged? There is a current standing committee that reviews a lot of student applicants’ answer yes to one of those questions. There is a committee that looks at those applications for students who are otherwise academically qualified.
Senator Hanley-Bowdoin asked, What about verifying the truth?
Rainer stated that he thinks the Registrar is going to start randomly checking and doing background checks. Fundamentally there is a problem and that is if you commit a crime as a minor, the chances are that that is not going to be a public record. There are huge gaps in that.
Another thing that the UNC system is doing is sharing information across campuses so if a student is kept off of one of the campuses for some reason that information goes into a standard database.
When the committee talks to applicants, generally if they report one thing they have been involved in other things. They are selective in what they tell.
Senator Ambaras stated, on the seven questions that students are required to respond to one of them is have you been dishonorably discharged from the military. If that is the only question that they answer in the affirmative, what goes on at that stage, because discharge from the military for dishonorable reasons can have all kinds of ramifications?
Rainer stated that if you answered yes to any of the questions and is otherwise academically qualified there is a committee that looks at the application and talks to the candidate to understand what the issue was, and the one thing I want to say is that when people really get in trouble, it's when they lie on their application.
Senator Ristaino stated that there are a number of old buildings on this campus that were built in the 1940’s that have lower level windows that pop open or doors have half glass It seems like there needs to be a survey on campus of buildings to determine which ones are highest risk for safety and then put some money in repairing some of them.
Rainer stated that they have done a baseline risk assessment to do some of that and the State of North Carolina after 911 had the National Guard do assessments of facilities. Fundamentally the problem is money and the other thing that I think is working in our favor is that technology is changing fast. We currently estimate $5,000 to put in one card access point. There is new technology out there that lets you install a card access lock without hard wiring it so that number is likely going to be dropping to $1500 to secure a door.
Senator Ristaino stated that there is money for new shiny projects like the library, which is great, but there are issues of safety in some of our buildings with undergraduate students studying, so maybe we need to think about the existing infrastructure.
Rainer stated that they have not been able to get state appropriated money for security related items. The legislature didn’t even appropriate money for sprinklers in the residence halls.
Senator Hanley Bowdoin stated that she is in a building that is less than three years old and they have glass windows in all the interior doors and they raised the issue when they moved in and were told that the glass windows were installed so someone would know what was going on on the other side of the door and wouldn’t accidentally push the door in somebody’s face. “I’d rather have a door pushed in my face than have someone come down the hall and collectively pick out where people are. What we did was put blinds up because I don’t want people sitting in my office area at 11 p.m. at night by themselves and have someone come down the hall and know that they are there alone. Some of these needs are conflicting and we need to set a priority as to which is the more important need.”
Rainer stated, some of them you will never resolve because there are a lot of people who would prefer to have windows in classrooms so that someone whose walking by can see what’s going on in that classroom if there is a problem. I think the important thing for us is through our design guidelines and standards.
Engage in all-hazards emergency planning
We do have a written all-hazards plan on campus. We train regularly. We have mutual aid agreements with the City of Raleigh, with the Wake County Sheriff, and Highway Patrol. We have run all kinds of drills with emergency response agencies.
The incident command system is a federally mandated method of communication that people use in case of an emergency. All of our emergency response personnel know how an incident command system works. It’s a very important system because it establishes the chain of command and it fosters a logical way of decision-making in an emergency.
We conduct tabletop exercises on campus. I think that we are an anomaly in that we involved our cooperate officers in a lot of those training programs. We recently did a pandemic tabletop drill that included the Executive Officers. We ran a train derailment drill that involved the Executive Officers, students, faculty and staff.
We have done a terrorist drill at Carter Finley Stadium. We have used Centennial Campus for a terrorist drill that involved a chemical and gas attack.
The City of Raleigh, when they have received funding for a drill. has involved the campus so we are really good at this.
The whole issue of an active shooter always comes up. After the Columbine incident how police train for and respond to emergencies involving an active shooter has changed. When there is an active shooter policy don’t respond to the scene and wait for reinforcements. Police are now trained in a way to marshal the few resources that respond immediately and are trained to go right in. All police officers in the State of North Carolina currently receive active shooter training. We have sent several of our campus police officers to train the trainer programs so they can regularly train our campus police on how to respond to active shooters.
Emergency Notification and Communications System
One of the things that we have really been interested in working on is emergency notification and communication systems. Everybody thinks that this is easy in the days of email and text messaging and electronics. It’s not easy because all of these systems fail. We have implemented a text message program across campus. We are being very slow and deliberate about how we roll out these programs because right now we push out information on the university website. We have a system of building liaisons that we contact in case of emergencies through fire protection. We have agreements with the campus radio station to put out information. We have agreements with the public media. We are going to the text message and one thing I want everyone to keep in mind is that text messages get no priority over voice, calls, and cellular networks. Our goal is to have redundant systems in place. If five hundred people see the email that we are broadcasting over the university website, they are going to talk to others, so we are relying on a lot of redundant systems to get messages out and people communicating with each other.
We have bought a siren voice system that is going to be deployed in January. There are eleven poles that will be going up on campus. It’s going to cover main campus, Centennial Campus and the College of Veterinary Medicine Campus. It’s the much improved version of the old air raid system. The system that we have purchased will allow us to send emergency voice messages and or will let us send a tone warning out.
Accreditation by CALEA or IACLEA
We are already accredited by CALEA
Budget Allocation is a state issue that we are working on.
Campus Law Enforcement should have MOUs and mutual aid agreements -- we already do. We even have agreements with Wake County emergency. If there was a health emergency in the county the agreement gives Wake County the ability to take over the McKimmon Center as a medical triage facility.
Police radios should have VIPER interoperability – This refers to the fact that a lot of emergency agencies can’t talk to each other. WE solved this problem four years ago and we spent four hundred thousand dollars. Our campus police can talk to the Raleigh Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Department and the State Highway Patrol.
We want the North Carolina Justice Academy to develop courses for police that relate to campus policing issues.
NC State Initiatives
- We are putting in that early warning and alert system
- We have gone to text messaging and would like you to sign up
- We are building a liaison listserv; it’s something that has worked out very well through fire protection. They have more than 150 buildings covered across campus with a primary contact and a secondary contact that they would push information to.
- Our Fire protection division is working on a building fire warden program, which is a program that is currently being implemented.
There is a section on the homepage on emergency information. We are changing that to emergency orientation information where we are going to talk about all the safety and security programs and provide other information and links.
Provost Nielsen stated that it occurred to him while listening to a conversation at General Administration that there are a lot of things that get done at General Administration on behalf of the small institutions out there that just don’t have the infrastructure to allow good work to be done. It occurred to him how tremendously advantaged we are to be at a big school that has a very effective set of infrastructures. I would add that the Faculty Senate is one of those infrastructures because some of the smaller campuses have a really ineffective Faculty Senate. Some of the things that David is talking about and that Chief Younce has implemented demonstrate that we are in real good shape on most things that relate to the supporting structures that we need. Thanks to Dave and Tom for working on this and we are far ahead of our peers in most of these things.
Rainer added that they get good support both financially and otherwise. I think we are the only campus that has foresight to put environmental health, campus police, fire protection all in one place and it makes designing these programs a lot easier because you are working within the same organization and sharing dollars and resources.
Senator Moore stated that an “Issue of Concern” regarding the voting procedure used at the October 23, 2007 Faculty Senate Meeting has been examined by the Governance Committee. The “concern” was the procedure used to invoke the secret ballot vote on the Academic Policy Committee report about the General Education Program. The Governance Committee reports the following:
- The lack of clarity in the Faculty Senate bylaws has contributed to this concern. Sections of the current Bylaws may be subject to different interpretations. Article III Section 7 states “Voting…shall be by voice vote…” In Article III Section 9 we find, “…the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules…shall be the basis of parliamentary procedure…” Robert's Rules provides for a secret ballot, but also leaves room for different interpretations of the procedure necessary to enact such a ballot. Reasonable people can differ as to which statement(s) to follow.
- Since the outcome of the vote was definitive, we recommend the results stand without any further action.
- The Governance Committee will be recommending the following Bylaw changes in the near future. This should prevent a similar concern from occurring.
Proposed Article III
Section 7. Voting in the Faculty Senate shall be by voice vote, except that the presiding officer or any member may request a vote by division, secret ballot or roll call. In the case of a request for a roll call or a secret ballot vote, the chair will ask for general consent. When a vote by division, roll call or secret ballot is taken, the record of the vote shall be entered
oin the minutes. At the request of a member and with the concurrence of one-fifth of the members present, the record of the vote of each member of the Faculty Senate on any proposal shall be entered on the minutes.
Section 8. The presiding officer of the Faculty Senate shall have a vote only to break a tie
Section 9. Unless otherwise provided for by Faculty Senate action or Bylaws, the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall be the basis of parliamentary procedure in the Faculty Senate.
APC-on-line course hosting regulation
Senator Hudson, Chair of the Academic Policy Committee, reported that there are two changes that have been proposed in this regulation. The first one is to add clarifying language that helps this regulation link to a similar regulation. The other change is to take out a point in one of the sections that suggests that faculty work out ADA accessibility issues within the drop add period. There was a concern raised that it might be perceived by faculty that students should drop the course rather than faculty work out the accessibility issues. The committee suggested that the phrase be dropped and that the clarifying language be added.
Senator Hudson thinks putting information online is difficult for faculty anyway and so understanding how to make web pages ADA accessible is difficult for many also, so instead of having to refer back to another regulation that may also be confusing the committee thought that having the clarifying language in the regulation would be helpful. “Do we want the clarifying and do we want to remove the phrase about the drop/add period?”
There was concern raised by disability services about the regulation and there was some confusion that perhaps it wasn’t consistent with the webpage accessibility regulation and perhaps it was inconsistent with the ADA guidelines. Ultimately we found out that it is consistent with the ADA guidelines and it is consistent with the other regulation. We don’t want to make it so that we have to make all course components accessable upfront before we have a student with disability in our classes.
A motion was made and seconded to accept the revisions and to leave point five as recommended by the Academic Policy Committee.
Ambaras: Proposed revision 3 you have added “and also for any course component made available to the public”, could you explain that?
Senator Hudson stated, if you have any course component that is rapped, anything that is available to the public has to be ADA accessable. If it is private (as in you have to log in to it), then the ADA guidelines and the webpage accessibility regulation say that it only has to be accessable when a documented disability registers for the course.
Chair Martin stated that he has used WolfWiki as a course project and it is accessable to read by the public not to write by the public. If it is being used as a course project does that mean that it is publicly accessable?
Hudson stated that she has heard an argument that if you are using the wiki that they are publicly accessable, but she has heard that there is a glitch in the system. If it is being used for a course then it is suppose to be.
Chair Martin asked, does the faculty member need to go to the extreme to make sure that everything is rapped you are using it?
Senior Vice Provost Perry responded no. If you have a disabled student, you have to accommodate them and if the other students’ information is going to be available to the world they have to sign a waiver.
Senator Levy stated that it has come up in one of the courses that he is involved in because a lot of it is pictorial. It is available to anyone and the question that has come up is, do we now need to restrict it because there is no way that we can take pictorial keys and make them accessable to someone who is impaired visually. That is not possible unless we overlay it with some kind of spoken descriptor, which goes beyond what we want to do. So are you saying that what we need to do is restrict access to those taking the course or can we allow access to anyone at the university?
Senator Hudson responded that it should only be for those who are taking the course.
Senator Levy stated that graduates come back and use it when they leave. It is a tool that they use in the course.
Senior Vice Provost Perry stated that you don’t have to rap that but if you have a disabled student you have to accommodate them relative to the use of that and if it is not something they can use then you have to provide an alternative.
Senator Levy wanted to know how to make something pictorial compliant.
Senator Hudson stated that there are services through Information Technology and DELTA where people will make your information compliant or help you make it compliant.
Provost Nielsen stated that he thinks the essential point is to use a reasonable person test on any regulation here.
“I wouldn’t want to remove the phrase because if we take it out then the implication is that anything can be done without making it ADA accessable and that is not right.”
Chair Martin stated that support is being removed time and time again so should we basically say that some office will provide that resource. Can we add this?
Senator Domingue stated that the resource is not necessarily free.
Chair Martin stated that this is the reason this becomes an issue of concern.
Senator Domingue stated that she received an accommodation letter two weeks ago for a student. She noted that they could register anytime.
Senior Vice Provost Perry stated that the student cannot retro their request back to the beginning of the semester. Accommodations don’t necessarily mean that you have to make everything on there accessable. You have to somehow figure out how they are going to get through the class, which could be a different solution.
Senator Williams offered a friendly amendment to the revision in Article 4.3. He suggested replacing “worked out” with “the issues can be suitably worked out according to the students’ needs.”
Senior Vice Provost Perry stated that for the students’ need might not be what gets worked out. It might be for the institution’s capabilities.
Senator Hudson stated that people who are supposed to know what they were doing worded the revision. She agrees with Senator Williams, but doesn’t know if it can legally be changed.
Senator Havner suggested using suitably.
Chair Martin stated that suitably raises the same issue.
Senator Hudson suggested the document be agreed upon as written and then make a suggestion to the group to adjust the language.
Chair Martin stated that he needed either a motion to table or a call for question.
A motion was made and seconded to table the document. The motion passed.
- Issues of Concern
Senator Ambaras wanted to know if we could move to a system where the agenda and the announcements could be consolidated onto a single sheet (front and back) in order to save paper.
Chair Martin stated that we could move to a policy where we would only print what is not sent out electronically. The issue will be discussed in the future.
A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting.
The motion passed to adjourn the meeting at 5:05 p.m.