FACULTY SENATE MEETING
February 12, 2008
Regular Meeting No. 11 of the 54th Session
Present: Chair Martin, Secretary Kellner, Provost Nielsen; Ambaras, Akroyd, Anson, Bernhard, Dawes, Domingue, Evans, Fauntleroy, Fleisher, Hanley-Bowdoin, Havner, Hergeth, Hudson, Levy, Lindbo, Murty, Overton, Ozturk, Poling, Raymond, Ristaino, Scotford, Shamey, Wessels, Williams
Excused: Past Chair Allen; Parliamentarian Corbin; Senator Lindsay, Moore, Schweitzer
Absent: Senator Genzer, Heitmann, Muddiman, Robarge, Walker
Visitors: Lee Fowler, Athletic Director; Suzanne Weiner, Library Administration; PJ Teal, Secretary of the University; Nevin Kessler, Vice Chancellor, Advancement; Thomas Conway, Dean, Undergraduate Academic Programs; Amber Joyner, Student Senate Academics Chair; D. Marquis McCullough, Student Senate (College of Education)
1. Call to Order
Chair James D. Martin called the eleventh meeting of the fifty-fourth session of the North Carolina State University Faculty Senate to order at 3:00 p.m.
Chair Martin welcomed everyone.
This week we are going to be looking at fund raising and development type issues. We are very pleased to have Nevin Kessler with us today.
It seems that a majority of the topics that we discuss here in the Senate usually come back to or are often stopped by the question of where are we going to find resources to do whatever it is that we are talking about doing. These conversations seem only to intensify as questions rise about the national economy, the state economy or granting agencies that seem to be increasingly limited or at least increasingly competitive. Then we also look around us with concern as we watch significant parts of our physical infrastructure age, and again we come back to the question of where are the resources going to come from and if we only had the resources, just think what we could do.
Well, after two days at the Emerging Issues Forum, as well as listening to a lot of the input that has come from the UNC Tomorrow report, we all have to realize more and more that the university system is being looked to for major solutions to all kinds of issues. Be it energy, economic development, health care, preK-12 as well as our more specific mandate for the 13 – 20 education -- as well as our research mission. Internally we are almost painfully aware of the need for adequate resources to function and yet at the same time that we are looking for resources, it seems much of the community looks to us to be that fountain of resources that is going to solve many of the societal needs. This cycle of need for resources and the pursuit of hope and dreams, dreams even from miraculous resources and wealth frankly reminds me of my medieval professional ancestors.
The outcome is with what resources they could amass and I will note that most of those resources did come from private donors, they systematically strove to turn the base metals into gold. Chair Martin performed an experiment using a heat gun to change the color of pennies to gold.
The whole idea of turning pennies into gold is metaphorical for higher education. In a Google search you will find all kinds of articles that will tell you that the average college graduate earns twenty to thirty thousand dollars more per year than the average high school graduate. Currently our tuition and fees at $6,215 means that you can get a 100% return on a four-year investment in just one year. If that is not turning pennies into gold, I’m not sure what it is, and then if you multiply that earning power over the entire career, you have turned pennies into more than gold.
This is just an example of what the alchemists did; they really learned how to understand and control the reactivity of matter. In the process they discovered a lot of new elements. They eventually discovered atomic structure and molecular structure and, in fact, that really does allow us to turn pennies into gold. Can you imagine what the alchemists would have thought if they would have known anything about, for example, the pharmaceuticals that may be discovered right here at NC State and turned into actual products out in the park. Their studies of chemical reactivity and molecular structure really are the basis of the gold of the pharmaceutical industry. They would have had no idea of such gold.
I can’t help but note that my alchemist precursors -- in fact, interdisciplinary scientists, philosophers, artists, engineers -- they had to put all this stuff together in order to pursue their art and their craft. We recognize that really, with modest investment, education systems all around the world can and do turn pennies into gold, but no matter how good we get at adding value to matter, at adding value to knowledge, we still need resources to work with. We cannot turn matter from no matter. We need resources. We need resources of both raw materials and infrastructure, and it is for that reason we need to focus our attention today on things like university advancement, development and fundraising.
Chair Martin acknowledged and thanked Chancellor Oblinger for signing the American Colleges and University Presidents’s climate commitment.
The Sisterhood Dinner will be at the McKimmon Center on February 27 at 6 p.m. Chair Martin will be sponsoring a table for the Faculty Senate.
The Faculty Senate continued a discussion at the strategic planning meeting last Thursday about thinking about the structural relationships between the Senate and a variety of other facets of the university. There will be another meeting on Thursday, February 21, at 1 p.m. and the discussion will be thinking about how we get the already over-committed business people who are the ones most engaged with what is going on to actually serve in a lot of these important capacities.
Dr. Jose Picart, Vice Provost for Diversity and African American Affairs is going through his five-year review. That process begins with a presentation by Dr. Picart at 1:30 p.m. in 126 Witherspoon. There will also be a time for faculty response and input. Chair Martin encouraged everyone to participate.
3. Approval of the Minutes, Meeting No. 10, January 29, 2008
The motion passed to approve the minutes
4. Remarks from Provost Nielsen
The Board of Governors approved our proposed tuition and fee increases for the coming year.
Provost Nielsen stated that one of our master of fine art students, Theresa Fowler, published a novel recently called Souvenir and it is doing very well. He noted that NC State’s Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is the finest in the southeast.
Text books, Cost Of
Provost Nielsen stated that Erskine Bowles continues to be on a mission to help our students get the best text books they can with the least outlay of dollars, and he continues to call on the Chancellor and Provost to call on the faculty to make sure that we are doing everything we can to have our textbooks reasonably priced, fairly used, and be adopted on time by the faculty.
Provost Nielsen stated that one of the reasons our textbook adoption rate is not always as high as it should be is that we don’t have teachers assigned to all of our classes and sections by March for an August teaching assignment. “We have adopted a somewhat different strategy and decided as a faculty in a department or a subset of departments that no matter who is going to be teaching this course in the fall, they are going to use this book. I know you can’t do that all the time but I would like for you to be thinking about where you can do that and do it for the sake of trying to keep these costs low.”
Senator Fleisher wants to know if NC State has a guaranteed buy back policy for the textbooks.
Provost Nielsen responded that the bookstore is working with individual instructors to come to an agreement of a two or three-year time span where the same book will be used, and this is relevant in the introductory courses. When they come to that agreement then they will do a guaranteed buy back.
Chair Martin stated that he received an email from a professor with concerns about the continued push for the buy back idea as though it is in part reinforcing the idea among students that you take a class, bring the books back at the end, and don’t use the material in the next course in your major or somewhere else. Is that concern at all being expressed in the discussions with President Bowles?
Provost Nielsen stated that he agrees with the point. A lot of students, however, sell back a good chunk of their books and given that reality we should make it as cost effective as possible.
Senator Williams asked, “Does the bookstore know how much alternative purchase arrangements students use?” He stated that they sell their books on eBay and buy books on Amazon.
Provost Nielsen stated that they know very well that there is a whole market that is out there and what the situation is.
University Advancement, Development and Fundraising, Nevin Kessler-Vice Chancellor
Vice Chancellor Kessler talked about the planning that is under way for the next phase of the university’s major gift fundraising initiative. He noted that before you start planning for the next campaign you should take a few moments to reflect on what the current campaign has accomplished.
Vice Chancellor Kessler presented some data to give a sense of where the university was then and where it is now. If you look back into the late 1998 and compare that to where we are in 2007 you will see that this campaign more than doubled our annual gift revenue. One of the things a campaign is supposed to do is simply double your annual gift revenue. This campaign was certainly successful in doing that.
The Animal Veterinary Medical Center was made possible by about $30M in private gift revenue. The William and Ida Friday Institute, again, not possible without the private money and then you look at other facilities that we are building or have built on campus that are part of the infrastructure that makes it possible for this university to be robust in engaging our alumni and friends. This campaign was heavier on facilities than many that are currently being run.
Vice Chancellor Kessler stated that we probably did not make endowment aa big a priority for this campaign as many universities do, but we were able to as a result of it make some nice increases. We increased scholarships and fellowships and we see about the same trend with our professorships. The market value increased significantly.
Vice Chancellor Kessler presented a chart to give a sense of where we have come with our endowment. As a result of the market forces 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003 our endowment didn’t really grow very significantly and because endowment wasn’t a major focus of this Achieve! Campaign, we didn’t get huge surges in our endowment values for 2004. We had a significant increase in 2007 and part of that was the way in which we are now looking at the Hoffman Forest and the amount of revenue that it’s generating.
Vice Chancellor Kessler stated one way to look at us is to look at ourselves compared to our peers. It is not fair to compare ourselves to some of these institutions but I don’t think the order would change significantly if we were to only count campus by campus. Among our peers only Virginia Tech has a smaller endowment than NC State.
When we look at endowment per students we are a little better but we are not where we want to be or where we need to be. Endowment for student numbers is too small. Some of the schools that we are competing against have three or four times more endowment per student than NC State. This is an issue, as we think about our future, that we are going to have to address.
How do we compare against our peers? (2006 data)
We are on the lower end of our peer institutions. If we look at giving per alumnus we actually do much better and that suggests some opportunity for us as we move forward.
Giving by individuals—Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine are two of the areas where we have a large number of individuals who are not graduates but who give to the university. They are either engaged through extension, or they are engaged through grateful clients.
Giving by organizations is our historical strengths and only Ohio State and Purdue University do better than we do in giving by organizations, so as I look at this it is clear to me that we have a lot of potential, because we have a huge number of alumni who are not giving at the rate that is possible.
Vice Chancellor Kessler stated that he has made the assumption that the trends in higher education philanthropy have basically been an upward trajectory. It’s had some bias around the volatility of the marketplace that does create a pausing factor in the way in which people give. As soon as the market place settles down you will see giving going up again. I also think giving to public universities is going to continue to grow at the rate or even faster than giving to private universities.
Vice Chancellor Kessler stated, I came from Yale University with a twenty-three billion dollar endowment. There were alumni who were starting to say, “You just have too much money”. With our $535M endowment I feel confident that we can talk about he impact of a $10,000 or $25,000 or a million dollars gift in a way that Yale frankly can’t, so I think you are going to see giving to public universities growing at a rate faster than at some of the private.
Alumni rate participation rates are declining all over the country. I think we can actually buck that trend because of some investments we are going to be making that other universities have already made. The reality is that there are fewer alumni giving larger amounts of money.
Baby boomers have a better attitude toward philanthropy than their mothers and their fathers. Forty percent plan to include charity in their wills among the baby boomers population versus just 23% who are pre boomers.
Vice Chancellor Kessler stated that we have going for us what many public universities have going for them and that is the explosion of enrollment growth that started during the 1960s and grew radically throughout the seventies, eighties, and the nineties. So the success we have had in individual private gift fundraising has come from the graduates from the classes of the forties, fifties, and the sixties. This does not include individual giving to the Textiles Foundation or the Student Aid Association, but this is a count of all major gifts of $25,000 and up by donor. It is a donor count by graduating year. When you compare the number of graduates to the rate that they give, these individuals who had very small numbers in their classes actually were the individuals who made the largest number of major gifts.
We have been much better at engaging our alumni who live in the state of North Carolina than we have at engaging our alumni who live outside of the state of North Carolina. What you will see is that although 105,000 of our alumni live within the state, there are at least another 60,000 who don’t and the nice thing about where most of them live is it’s essentially up and down the east coast.
We have way undercounted our alumni living abroad. We have never really tracked them very well. This is particularly important for our PhD students. We are currently working on an initiative to identify and find our alumni.
What are we doing in terms of post-campaign planning? We are focusing on two things and they both have implications for you as faculty members. We are trying to identify university wide fundraising for everyone. In this past campaign, essentially the university professionals worked on projects that had only an indirect relationship to what was happening in colleges. Very few of them had a direct correlation to what’s happening in the academic units. As we emerge from this campaign, we would like to organize ourselves a bit differently -- to actually work on projects that have a university wide impact and that means a direct impact on the academic units.
What this university needs to do is to figure out how to make some strategic investments in the university advancement program because we are not anywhere near where our peers are and that has had a direct implication on the growth of our individual fundraising efforts.
The consensus that is building is that over the next three to five years, as we prepare ourselves for the next campaign, that our major gift fundraising is going to be focused around these five areas. That doesn’t mean that the individual schools and colleges can’t -- they can, certainly -- fund raise for anything that they want and they can organize it anyway they want to, but as we provide support across the university, this is the model that we are going to work with.
We are going to be talking about the fundraiser priorities and I have put them in four categories. They are the enablers—some of the enablers that we want to focus on as we go into the next five years are going to be professorships, graduate fellowships, research funding, experiential opportunities, that has to do with the students opportunities to get engaged and to study abroad, service learning, leadership development -- those scholarships that really are attractive to students who want complimentary kinds of experiences outside of the classroom.
We are going to focus on endowment and try to find ways to fund facility-type bequests, but clearly if we are going to make some progress in securing the financial future of the university, we have got to have some discipline.
We are going to engage the academic units. What we know as fundraisers is that people are interested in solving problems, and they are also interested in things that cross disciplines. So I think the more cross disciplinary kinds of approaches that we can bring and the fundraising opportunities that we can put around will find a very interesting audience for those kinds of projects.
I sent out an email today to the Executive Officers and to the Development Officers of the school. We have got to focus on increasing the number of individuals whom we have identified among our alumni with the capacity to make gifts of $50,000 or more. To do the kind of campaign that we are envisioning, it would take approximately 16,000 individuals. There is no question that they are among our alumni population.
When I left Virginia Tech, we were very close to having identified 16,000, and Virginia Tech alumni population and the alumni population from this university share a lot of similar characteristics. We just never made the financial investments in the research tools and the personnel necessary to analyze the data and figure out who are they. Of these 16,000 alumni, whom does our fundraiser go and see? They can’t call all 16,000, they have to make some decisions about whom they see. We have to do a much better job of providing fundraisers with that information. We have got to add new fund raisers, certainly to address this group of 60,000 alumni who don’t live in the state of North Carolina. It means that we have to put some people out in the regions to begin to learn more about the passions and interests of our alumni, and we have to enhance the IT infrastructure, because right now we are essentially about a generation behind in terms of our technology infrastructure that supports fundraising. So to make our fundraisers more productive, we have got to give them the tools that allow them to spend less time doing manual kinds of activities.
We need to grow unrestricted annual income for the colleges, and we are going to be doing that by significantly upgrading our annual fund program.
We are going to focus on what’s called the principle gift program, which means we are going to try to identify the fifty to seventy five individuals who have the greatest capacity to transform this university with gifts of five, ten, twenty-five, to fifty million dollars and really put together a university-wide strategy. What is really going to be important for us, is that all the units get together when we decide how we are going to approach people, who is going to approach them, and what they are ultimately going to be asked to do.
We are going to try to take the same approach with corporations. We need more field officers. We need more people out and less people on campus and one of the things we need to do is to put more people into our various regions getting to know our alumni and our friends.
Finally, we are going to build an international development alumni relations program and I am real excited about that.
One of the most important things is that all faculty make sure that they are communicating their work and funding needs to their deans, to their department heads, and to their development officers, because you may be doing great work and it might be directed to some other things that we are raising money for, and it could be easy to work your needs in a particular proposal or approach. I know this faculty is very engaged with external constituencies, but to the extent that you can do ever more of that, that is really important. If you got contact information of people that you are getting to know in the community who have wealth and who like what you are doing, I hope you will share that information with development officers so together you and the development officer can sit down and develop a strategy for how you are going to ask someone for your research or the research of a colleague or your college. Be willing to meet with potential donors and if invited consider helping to write proposals because most development officers do not have a functional expertise or content expertise in your area. We do know how to put a nice intro and a nice inclusion paragraph, but often the meat of the proposal is not something that we have the expertise to write. You are doing this already and as long as your work is cutting edge and you know the more than we do, obviously the more we can promote your work. This baby boomer generation is very interested in funding things that are unique solutions, new approaches, and so that is really important.
Senator Fleisher stated that he is curious how well we do with fundraising from retired faculty.
Provost Nielsen stated that we haven’t paid much attention to faculty in general. Several gifts are out there that retired faculty have given, but he doesn’t think we have gone at it in a particularly systematic way. Because faculty exist in departments and colleges this is known and handled in that way, instead of being handled centrally.
Secretary Kellner stated that faculty tend to want to give locally and they know what their department needs and what can’t be done without funds. We tend to be very concerned about the large foot of the university fundraisers impeding departmental and college funding. What is the correct relationship between University Development and fundraising and development in the academic units?
Vice Chancellor Kessler stated every university that I have been to has a different model. I think that the university should be an organization that essentially supports the academic priorities of the university, and that the academic priorities of the university should be aligned with the priorities of the colleges, so everywhere I have been on both sides. I very much appreciated working with central development as we cultivated and engaged alumni who might have been graduates of college or the music program and who decided for whatever reason they wanted to give gifts to management. I am not interested in doing anything other than providing resources that would allow the individual schools and colleges to accomplish their goals.
We are adding three researchers to grow this number of prospects from the 1600 we have on the system to the 10,000 that we need to have in three years and most of those individuals that we identify will be assigned to the individual colleges. A very small number of them will be assigned to a centralized fundraiser.
The regional program that I am talking about will be of particular use and importance to the small colleges who don’t have large enough groupings of major gift prospects in any one city, but if we have a regional development officer whose responsibilities include the Southwest US, but that person is carrying that individual within their portfolio with the clear understanding that they are working with college-based development toward solicitation that supports the college.
I have worked at three major universities in development and this is the one that has the most strongly decentralized culture around fundraising. I am not sure that is always in the best interest of the university, or the academic units for that matter, but I recognize the culture and I think there are ways that we can complement the activities and entrepreneurship of the academic units with some much needed infrastructure that individual colleges and units can’t afford. There is a limit to what the academic units can do and I think that’s where we can come in and be quite helpful.
Provost Nielsen stated that one of the things he sees missing at NC State is a university sitting on top of the individual colleges/sub units of the university. We are very decentralized in lots of ways. The library, for example, doesn’t have any alumni. Nobody graduated from the library, so when we are dominated by a philosophy that says alumni belong to the program that they came from, the question is well who is the library ever going to get to talk to about big library issues? Where is the balance there that is needed?
Kessler stated that we should maximize individual gifts at this university and to do that we need to be donor-centric which means that the donor drives the process and what we have done historically here is what I would call program-centric fundraising, which means that individuals are approached by a program and they are engaged by a program and that doesn’t always result in the largest gift because that may not be the thing for which they are most passionate. I think fundraisers have to be honest brokers in this process and that means that if you come from a program, of course, you are going to represent that program and you are going to talk about those strengths, but if you hear back from that donor that this really “yeah I will give you $10,000 because I graduated but I’m really passionate about something else,” it’s a different matter. I would love to believe that the culture exists today that, that something else comes back. We hear about it and we make that referral to the appropriate fundraiser and program director -- that is have it work in a really good development operation, because that is how you are going to maximize giving by individuals.
Senator Scotford stated, “The library is an interesting case because I think they have made a real effort in the last few years to establish the small endowments and I think they are attracting a lot of faculty members to give within certain areas. I am interested in Special Collections because they have helped me buy books that I need for my students so I have often thought about giving some money to one of those. When I talked about this with my dean he was unhappy because the bean-counting within development would not give him credit for that money, it would be credited by the library, so I think that is kind of a problem.”
“I also think that the library keeps me very well informed about what they are doing by sending me “Focused” and I always know all the great things that are happening and I have had a running discussion with the “Alumni Magazine” about the fact that faculty are not just sent the alumni magazine, that we would have to a subscription like any other alumnus. There are many business and philosophical models for the relationship with alumni magazine to institutions and I still think that the alumni magazine is a great loss leader for developing relationships with the huge community out there that you want to be reaching, so why not just take some of what they are offering. I think there is a larger view of the strategy and the tactics.”
Kessler stated that Senator Scotford made two very interesting points and one goes to culture. He noted that she would be put in a position where she would have a dean competing against the library. He stated that he hopes that will change over time because, for every time that your dean loses a “gift” to the library, there might be another opportunity for your dean to pick up from another part of the university.
Kessler stated that the Alumni Magazine he has is quite an expensive publication and it is really a matter of dollars and cents as to how many they can send out. He doesn’t have the money in his budget right now, but he would love to see everyone get one of the magazines. He stated that his charge to the Alumni Association is to increase the circulation of that magazine because it is a great resource.
Senator Levy suggested sending the magazine online since it doesn’t cost anything.
Senator Overton wants to know if the kind of problems the donors want to solve lead to scholarships or do they want to solve science and technology problems?
Kessler stated that he believes donors are more interested in solving problems than they are saving the institutions. There are a number of different ways to market the things that enable us to solve problems, for example, you can imagine a scholarship as a component of a gift to support energy research. “I think the way that I would like to see us begin to frame fundraising, is around these themes that relate to societal problems versus give a scholarship. I think universities have been doing that kind of marketing for thirty or forty years and I think it resonated with the World War II generation, they were very loyal to their institutions and many times they didn’t care that much about how that money was used. They trusted the institution to use it well. They wanted to give back to the institution because they gave me a scholarship.”
Kessler stated that the next generation of donors, people in their forties and fifties don’t talk that way. They are much more interested in understanding the specific impact of the gift and they are interested in having that gift solve something that matters to them.
Senator Murty asked, “How many people are in your unit?”
Kessler responded that there are four Associate Vice Chancellors; one for Development, one for Public Affairs, one for Alumni Relations, and one for Advancement Services.
Senator Overton commented that fundraising seems to be now a bigger element for department heads and deans. “Is it perceived that this is the way that you will use them?”
Kessler responded yes, the most successful organizations at fundraising generally have their Chief Executive Officer and in a department, that is a department head, and in the college that is the dean.
Provost Nielsen stated that it is certainly a large expectation for deans and over time it has become a large expectation for department heads.
6. Election Information and Timelines
Chair Martin announced the dates and explained the procedures that will be used to perform the Faculty Senate elections this spring.
The Chair-Elect of the Faculty will be elected this year and anyone that is a member of the faculty may run. Nominations will be solicited from the general faculty and those nominations will need to be submitted by February 26th. Those persons nominated will be asked to make a statement to the Senate on March 11 and, assuming that there are more than two people running, there will be a runoff vote in the Senate. That runoff vote will take place on March 25th. The number of candidates will be decreased to two and then that list of two will prepare a brief CV and statement that will be circulated to the entire voting faculty and that vote will take place March 31-April 7.
College Senators: A memo will be sent to the college committees to let them know how many senators are needed in each college. The plan is to have all elections completed before the last Senate meeting so that we can invite the new senators to the last meeting.
Chair Martin stated, Vernice and I are planning to meet with Nancy Whelchel to set up a template for balloting. Your responsibility as Senators will be to find candidates. When we have the slate of candidates, which would need to be turned in by April 1, we will try to go live with the electronic election on April 14 and run it until April 18, which will allow us to have senators elected before the last meeting. I would encourage that we get at least one more candidate than there are positions to vote for, so that we can have a true election. Typically we have had the senior senator from the college be responsible for all of it, which still probably will be the case, but all of you in your college delegation need to share the responsibility for this. Please work to try to get one more candidate than needed, so we can have a real election and hopefully have a quality selection process.
Once the election is complete we will formally notify from the Senate, but will copy the Senators from the constituency. There will be an option for write-ins.
Chair Martin stated that a senator may serve two consecutive terms and then the senator will be ineligible for membership until two years (one Senate term) following the end of the second term of office.
Senator Bernhard stated that he has been involved in getting people to serve on the Faculty Senate and noted that you can’t even get the number of people needed to fill the slots. It will only happen when the dean leans on his department heads to provide good candidates. If that doesn’t happen, it is a huge amount of arm twisting including of retired faculty just to fill the number of people who will fill the slots.
He went on to state that it is widely perceived to be a waste of time and this year the lack of tickets for the Emerging Issues Forum is a further well known factor. “Why serve that it is a waste of time, we are not appreciated.” That is a wide perception and we need to fight that perception by having support, particularly from the deans and department heads. This also applies to the grievance and hearings panels.
Chair Martin agreed and stated that part of the conversation that they are going to have next Thursday in the Strategic Planning Meeting is trying to work at this whole idea of how to get good people to serve. He plans to send a letter to department heads and deans expressing much of that sentiment.
Chair Martin stated that he also challenges the Provost for support because the use of faculty governance is the best way to make sure we have quality faculty governance. If faculty are involved in critical decision making, you are going to get even faculty who are too busy stepping up to participate. So if the administration works with us, we need to work with the administration, because it is really a two-way street if we want effective governance.
Senator Fleisher suggested offering some incentives to get people interested in running.
Chair Martin challenged the senators to think like an administrator. What resources could you provide if you were department head, dean, Provost? Think from the perspective that Provost Nielsen has to think. What are the things that might actually be possible that might actually be doable? I suspect that if we come up with a creative list we can at least forward it to the administration.
Senator Overton stated that she thinks incentives are great when they work but she agrees what Senator Bernhard that if your dean and department head values it, she doesn’t need an incentive, because that is the incentive.
Dr. Gumpertz suggested that the Senate send out a monthly newsletter so that people would know what the Faculty Senate is working on.
Senator Bernhard stated that the request has to come down from someone with clout and if you win, you have to be supported. It doesn’t happen without the support of people with clout and we who just ask our colleagues to run don’t have that clout.
Chair Martin agreed that the administrative support is needed. We need to make sure that we are called upon to do a lot of the important things, be involved with important decisions and he thinks when people see that their work is valued, they are generally much more willing to make that extra effort.
Grievance Panel: We also have grievance and hearings panel elections in each college. The grievance policy is currently undergoing evaluation. We need someone from the non-tenured rank which is Assistant Professor and Special Faculty; someone from the tenured and Associate Professor rank and someone from the full Professor rank. Each college is going to have a slightly different distribution of those. Those of you from colleges that have a larger number of senators may have more than three people needed.
Hearings Panel: Members of the hearing panel may only be tenured professors.
The difference between the hearings and grievances is the grievances are for any level of grievance, i.e., your salary is not what you think it should be; your annual review needs to be corrected; you didn’t get appropriate lab space; non reappointment of EPA professionals; tenure decisions. Those all fall under the grievance policies. We are working on getting a policy for the hearings because right now we only have a procedure.
The hearings panel, by contrast, addresses cases where a tenured faculty member has been discharged for cause.
Those are the three college based elections that you will need to help find candidates for.
Elections were conducted back in December for the grievance chair panel. These will be the chairs of the grievance committees and the Faculty Senate elects them. We will solicit nominations in the second to the last fall meeting and elections will be during the last fall meeting so that we can have the training at the beginning of the spring semester.
The Governance Committee is currently working on trying to formalize and revise a structure for the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. We are going to try to have something more like a nominating process this year so that we can have the elections at the end of the semester. That way it will be done before the summer break.
There is also the Athletics Council, which is a two-year term of service. This election is done internal to the Senate so nominations will be collected on March 11, so that we can have that election on March 25, just like the election for narrowing down the candidates for the Chair-Elect of the faculty.
The Faculty Assembly delegates are two-year terms and again we will collect nominations on March 11. The Athletics Council and the Faculty Assembly will solicit nominations from the general faculty. Anyone may serve but have to be nominated and both of those are elections conducted by the Faculty Senate.
7. Withdrawal, Suspension, Readmission REGS
Dean Conway stated that the rationale that we have put in the withdrawal policy was that the description in the withdrawal policy that is in the PRR is not really what is happening relative to the way withdrawals are done. The language that was left out talks about the fact that the decision is made by or in conjunction with the dean’s office of each college. There are three types of withdrawals that are done, the medical withdrawal, the psychological withdrawal, and the hardship. All three of those require conversations and decisions at the college level. Acknowledging that the student has had some issues that need to be attended to may be a Counseling Center issue while making a decision to alter the academic record is an academic decision and the Counseling Center really wants to make sure that is articulated in the policy.
8. Continuation of undergraduate enrollment
On the continuation of undergraduate enrollment, a few years ago, a group of Associate Deans reviewed some data on how students were performing and what was happening to students when they started out with grade point averages below the 1.0 level. They found that those students didn’t recover and in many instances never graduated. It was also found in that data that if there was an interruption of the process and if we got the student’s attention and if they changed the way they were approaching college, the students then came back and did well.
This regulation is designed to do three things. It adds criteria for students even in the first semester of enrollment if they have a GPA below 1.0 and eligible for suspension, regardless of whether fall or spring semester. In that set of data it also pointed to transfer students coming in and having similar kinds of experiences. So what the policy describes is suspending students, new freshmen and transfer students, even after the first semester, if the grade point average is below 1.0. It also talks about students in any semester where they perform below 1.0 getting an academic warning notation. The reason for that is that if a student has a 3.8 grade point average and then all of a sudden you see a semester below 1.0, that is a cry for help. It signals that something has gone wrong but there is no way to require that student to do anything because that student’s grade point average is not likely to drop into the category that would formally place them on academic warning, so the policy is requesting an adjustment. So if a student’s GPA does go below 1.0 even in a single semester the academic warning notation is made and the student can be coerced to meet with their academic adviser or person responsible in the college and or Counseling Center.
The third thing that the new suspension policy does is it starts to move toward removing the no fault on summer enrollment. Currently if a student is not suspended going into the summer they can take as many courses as they want in the summer and even if they don’t pass any of them, if the grade point average drops in the summer to where they normally would be suspended, that student can’t be suspended until the following spring semester. When a student is digging a hole in that way we currently have no way of interrupting that. The idea is to be in a position to say, “you should stop, you should rethink this, and we need to adjust the operations here.” So that is what the changes in the suspension policy are intended to do.
The proposed changes on the regulation for readmission
Dean Conway stated that in the first suspension, a student is required to sit out a semester, second suspension student is required to sit out a full year, and a third subsequent suspension a student is required to sit out until they are eligible for contractual readmission.
The big change here is that the students on the first suspension, instead of being readmitted on academic probation, would be allowed to be readmitted on academic warning. We inadvertently created a penalty based on economics. If a student is suspended and readmitted on probation, they are not in good academic standing, and thus not eligible for financial aid. If we readmit a student whose parents or the student can afford to pay to be in school that semester, then they are allowed to come back and participate. A student who is relying on financial aid to continue is not going to be able to come back. The request is that this be adjusted only for the first suspension because what we have seen is that multiple suspensions are signaling a different kind of problem and it is not the request to change that probationary status for a second suspension or a third suspension for the student.
The other adjustments to that policy have to do with making this regulation more administrable by registration and records. There are some things in there that registration and records cannot monitor, so they have to be monitored at the college or departmental level and the language just rearticulates that.
Senator Hudson stated that the Academic Policy Committee responded favorably to the documents. They felt the responses were supportive and they think its ready to come to the Senate.
A motion was made and seconded to vote on the documents together.
Chair Martin suggested that since there is some additional language in the withdrawal policy that it be treated under the assumption that it is good, but keep the option open that we need to correct if necessary.
Senator Levy stated that as he read it, it only applies to undergraduates. It does not apply to graduate students especially students like at the Vet School.
Dean Conway stated, with the exception of the withdrawal policy, the withdrawal policy applies to both graduate and undergraduate. There is a different decision tree when you are dealing with graduate students in that the DGP gets involved in the conversation as opposed to, generally, the Associate Dean.
Senator Levy stated that at the Vet School they don’t have the ability to drop courses or to drop out the semester, it is kind of handled ad hoc and they kind of make it up as they go along.
Dean Conway stated that Dave Bristol works directly with Lee Salter in the Counseling Center to handle those cases.
Senator Levy stated that the concern that he had -- and he asked him -- was that he does not know the case of a student who has asked for a retroactive withdrawal, who’s going to counseling, and has not received recommendation from counseling in favor of that withdrawal. It appears to him that withdrawals are automatically granted no matter what the circumstances are.
Provost Nielsen stated that it is not a change in the policy that it has always been the case that something would go through the counseling center and come back. So that is a bigger issue about is the Counseling Center playing fair.
Senator Levy stated that if the Counseling Center says yes and we decide as a college to deny, that it would be an issue.
Dean Conway stated that he is not sure of that, because it is the college that has the final say so.
The concern when we started looking at this a few years back was that you would get a medical opinion from someone, and then a dean or associate dean could make a determination that was different from the medical opinion. What I propose is that we actually consider this as is making a decision, so you can do things to treat the student’s issue without altering the academic record. That is one of the kinds of conversations in the decision tree that all of the associate deans and the counseling center have to be very much aware of because it really is the case that altering the record has to lie with the college and not with the counseling center. The deans have the right to request all the information that the student has submitted, so that they can make a good decision.
Chair Martin stated, so it’s tabled that as an issue of concern, pending the language that we get coming back.
Senator Fleisher wanted to know how many students after their first semester have a GPA less than 1.0.
Dean Conway stated that when they reviewed it over a five-year period there were about six hundred students.
Senator Akroyd stated that his experience at DGP is that the Counseling Center does have the right to do that. His understanding is that is how it works.
Chair Martin stated that the question is being raised such that we would like to hold the withdrawal policy until we receive the additional language and accept the other two policies.
Provost Nielsen stated that the issue is involved in the change that is associated here but for the sake of moving forward, he would like to see it passed.
Senator Akroyd stated that it would be helpful to discuss it because he is confused about how it works.
Chair Martin noted it as an issue of concern going to the Academic Policy Committee.
The motion passed to accept the revisions.
A motion passed to adjourn the meeting at 5 p.m.