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Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate » Minutes » 2007 Minutes » March 8, 2007

Faculty Senate Minutes

2007 No. 620
March 8, 2007

The regular monthly meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order by President Mike Quinn on March 8, 2007 in the LaSells Stewart Center.

Meeting Summary
  • Action Items: Approval of Minutes [Motion 07-620-01]
  • Special Reports: Faculty Forum Recap - L. Curtis; Promotion and Tenure Process Review - B. Edwards, A. Gillies, A. Gomez, J. Trujillo
  • Discussion Item: Raising Admission Standards - K. Peterson, M. Quinn
  • New Business: None


Approval of Minutes

The January and February 2007 minutes were approved as distributed.


Faculty Forum Recap

Larry Curtis provided a recap of the February 27 Faculty Forum regarding potential changes to the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) and Tax Deferred Investment (TDI) plans. The recap included the following:
  • Goals of the Retirement Plan Redesign
    • To make it easier for employees to take advantage of the retirement savings plan. The goal is to increase the number of employees investing from 1-in-5 to 3-in-5.
    • To contract for high quality investments and services.
    • To require plan sponsor support and compliance.
  • Why redesign now?
    • The current plans are at least 10 years old and are not adequately serving today's needs.
    • The new plans will have enhanced administrative services.
    • OUS must comply with new federal regulations for 403(b) plans that go into effect in January 2008.
  • Plan Components
    • The investment platform will include mutual funds, fixed annuities and variable annuities.
    • The recordkeeping/trust and custodian platform will include transactions and statements, participant services, and advising and education.
  • Success Factors
    • High quality mutual funds and annuities.
    • Open architecture investment menu is superior to simply reducing the number of TDI vendors.
    • Consolidated recordkeeper is designed to drive down costs for all participants and to improve participant access and education.
    • Investment advice by a neutral third party.
    • No new fees for mutual fund window/self-directed account.
  • End Goals
    • Encourage and support employees' variable savings for retirement.
    • Top tier investments, responsive to participant preferences.
    • One-stop shopping for easy participant service.
    • Meet federal compliance requirements.
  • Next Steps
    • Advisory committee will review options through March 2007.
    • Plan redesign concepts should be finalized by end of 06-07 academic year.
    • No changes anticipated before fall 2007.

    Curtis addressed concerns that have been expressed:
    • Participants want to maintain current vendors - the mutual funds will likely allow that to happen.
    • Participants want to maintain their financial advisor - this will not likely occur.
    • Why should we pay for a recordkeeper? Participants are already paying for a recordkeeper, but it's not apparent since the fee is rolled into the plan.

    Additional information related to the Faculty Forum can be viewed online.

    Promotion and Tenure Process Review Project

    Barbara Edwards, Anne Gillies, Angelo Gomez, and Juan Trujillo provided an overview of a Promotion & Tenure Process Review Project co-sponsored by the Association of Faculty for Advancement of People of Color (AFAPC), President;s Commission on the Status of Women (PCOSW), and the Faculty Senate Promotion and Tenure Committee.

    Since national literature indicates that members of marginalized groups have different P&T experiences than the majority, the intent of the study, which began in 2003-04, was to explore OSU faculty members' experiences with the P&T process across units, disciplines and identities. The report and PowerPoint used in their Senate presentation is available for viewing online.

    Gillies explained that invited participants were faculty who were promoted or tenured between 2002 and 2004, as well as others who learned of the project by word of mouth, and included 36 faculty from eleven colleges, Extension and the Library. She noted that, due to confidentiality, they were unable to obtain the names of faculty whose experience with the P&T process was unsuccessful, so the report is skewed in favor of those who were successful.

    During the faculty interviews, concerns surfaced related to fairness, majority status, transparency, and commitment to candidate success. They also found that differences between units can create a relative advantage or disadvantage for candidates.

    Although they did not recommend changes to the Promotion and Tenure Guidelines, they did make recommendations that would make the process appear more fair, transparent and equitable.

    • Clarify roles
      • Convene conversations between faculty, Faculty Senate and administration to clarify roles
      • Revise procedural guidelines and flowcharts to include individuals' roles in each step of the process
      • Offer/require workshops for department heads and administrators to address all aspects of the 6-year process
      • Assess impact and outcomes
    • Clarify expectations
      • Initial agreements should include: position description, scholarly expectations, performance standards and a departmental support plan
      • Management of agreements
      • Assess and adjust
    • Ensure broad representation of perspectives and expertise in P&T decision-makers at all levels
      • Explicitly seek multiple perspectives in forming department and college committees
      • Regularly evaluate impact
    • Increase transparency of the P&T process and develop quality assurance measures
      • Design and implement rigorous institutional assessment
      • Departments develop and disseminate internal P&T procedures
      • Departments take steps to ensure that candidates understand the process and their rights at each stage

    Comments from Senators included the following:

    • Excited with the recommendations and felt this was a good start.
    • Suggested offering workshops for both junior faculty and department heads.
    • Suggested including college level support plans in addition to the proposed departmental support plans.
    • Suggested addressing quality issues vs. quantity issues, encouraged mentorship, and focusing more heavily on peer review teaching.

    Senator White, Education, questioned whether there was clarification of inconsistent university policies related to P&T Guidelines. Gomez responded that is a possibility and suggested clarification of roles at all levels. Gillies noted that the recommendations include online posting of departmental/college P&T procedures.

    Senator Sillars, Engineering, referenced clarification of scholarly expectations and noted that young faculty may not recognize that their research is atypical and should be in consultation with the department chair. Trujillo responded that a determination needs to be made regarding what types of scholarship will and won't count, while respecting principles of academic freedom.

    Senator Rosenberger, Liberal Arts, was in favor of the third recommendation that suggests rotating faculty on the P&T committees and including participation by outside people since some issues are implicit and an outside individual would have the ability to question issues and make them explicit. She suggested another study to survey P&T committee participants to determine a sense of the requirements put forth.

    Senator Selker, Agricultural Sciences, felt that the recommendations touch 10-50% of faculty and questioned how the recommendations will be promulgated and how they will be evaluated in terms of understanding and acceptance. Gomez responded that it will require some entity to ensure that the recommendations occur, likely the Faculty Senate Promotion and Tenure Committee. The expectation is that the group presenting the recommendations will continue until the project is handed off. Gillies added that they will continue seeking additional information to refine their recommendations.


    Raising Admission Standards

    Kate Peterson, Assistant Provost for Enrollment Management, and Mike Quinn, Faculty Senate President, presented information relating high school GPA to student success. The PowerPoint presentation used during this discussion is available online. There have been discussions of whether OSU should raise the minimum high school GPA required for automatic admission and what the related implications would be. Peterson noted that the admission GPA at the UO is 3.25 compared to OSU's 3.0 GPA.

    Arguments in favor of increasing the GPA include:

    • High school grade inflation
      • Between 1990 and 2005 the overall high school GPA increased from about 2.68 to about 2.98.
    • High cost of remedial course work
      • There seems to be a correlation between a high failure rate in MTH 111 and a lower GPA.
    • Low graduation rates
      • Based on a 6-year graduation rate, 90% of those with a high school GPA of 3.75 graduated compared to a 40% graduation rate for those with a 3.0 high school GPA.
    • Perceived quality of the institution
      • The fall 2004 OUS Selectivity Chart showed that OSU was second with an average high school GPA of 3.48; the UO was first with 3.49.
    • Predictive use of the Insight Resume
      • Students scoring 6.0-9.9 on the Insight Resume, which measures non-cognitive variables, typically earned just above a 2.3 GPA after the first year at OSU compared to a GPA of just above 2.55 for those scoring 15-16. The Insight Resume is used only for those students who do not fully meet the automatic admissions criteria.

    Arguments against increasing the GPA include:

    • Financial implications
    • Disproportionate impact on undergraduate diversity (ethnic and socioeconomic)
    • Adverse impact on low income families

    What are we trying to achieve?
    • Reduce freshman class size?
    • Increase freshman to sophomore retention rate?
    • Increase 6-year graduation rate?
    • Reduce remedial course offerings and the associated costs?
    • Increase perceived quality, institutional prestige?

    Comments included:

    • Increasing the GPA is the wrong way to go since OSU is the land grant institution and serves all the demographic communities in the state.
    • OSU should work on public relations efforts, and the numbers being reported need to be reviewed carefully.
    • Unsure that opportunities should be restricted, but felt there is a need to demand quality from the students.
    • Need to look carefully at how we are producing teaching and learning quality.
    • Concerned by assumption that elimination of the automatic admission process implies that OSU is admitting fewer minorities.
    • Concerned about use of GPA since research suggests that the strongest success is linked to parental education success and income.
    • The same discussion occurred previously; interested to know whether the number of students failing math has increased; need to remember that a 3.25 GPA is an automatic admit.
    • If there is a need to raise standards, select standards that provide the best predictive model and have a less discriminatory impact.
    • The focus should be to determine how to solve the systemic problem at the high school level rather than raising the GPA.

    Senator Mallory-Smith, Agricultural Sciences, questioned how many students are denied admission. Peterson responded approximately 25%. Mallory-Smith questioned the difference between grade inflation at OSU and high school grade inflation. Quinn stated that the number of students graduating with honors has increased from about 12% to about 18% over a 10-year period.

    Senator Mason, Science, noted that the six-year graduation rate doesn;t account for students who transfer out and requested the 'real' six-year graduation rate. Peterson responded that this concern is not unique to OSU and there is currently no reliable way to track transfer students. Provost Randhawa responded that the graduation rate of students who start at OSU is 61-65%.

    In response to Senator Dreher expressing shock at how ill-prepared students are and suggesting the need to look at the quality of incoming students, and Senator Selker expressing the feeling that we are currently using a poor predictor, Michelle Sandlin stated that a regular admit is a 3.0 GPA in the 14 subject areas required by the state, applicants must submit SAT/ACT scores, and must graduate from an accredited high school.

    President Quinn encouraged additional input be directed to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.


    Provost Randhawa made the following observations related to P&T:

    • He thanked the faculty participants and those who worked on the Promotion and Tenure Process Review Project. He felt that most of the recommendations make a lot of sense and, in particular, he felt it is critical that mentorship occurs and includes effective annual evaluations and feedback.
    • He reported that he is starting a process with the individuals who report directly to him that involves an OUS audit to determine the evaluation process and feedback provided by those individuals; this will allow him to determine if appropriate mentorship is occurring.
    • He also felt that unit expectations should change over time, but acknowledged it is problematic when the change occurs in the sixth year, and stated that sufficient time should be allowed for change by the faculty member; he noted this requires a collective effort from everyone to make it happen. He is concerned about the variability across campus in terms of how things are integrated and how feedback is provided. It is important to have checks and balances to determine if the unit P&T guidelines are in line with the university P&T guidelines.

    Provost Randhawa noted that 73 dossiers were submitted for consideration this year.

    Senator Edwards, Liberal Arts, questioned whether department chairs are held accountable for providing mentoring to junior faculty. Randhawa responded that he has started a process this year with the deans and will hold them accountable in terms of their reviews and the effectiveness of the reviews of their direct reports. He stated that mentoring must be provided and that some units are very good at it.

    In response to Senator McCune, Science, suggesting that P&T might be the key to mentoring, Randhawa stated that the P&T Guidelines are not the issue, rather, implementation of the Guidelines is the issue.


    President Quinn provided the following updates:

    • Promotion and Tenure Guidelines - The Faculty Senate P&T Committee has completed a review of the P&T Guidelines and the Executive Committee will discuss their recommendations. Proposed revisions will likely be discussed at the April Senate meeting and voting could occur in May.
    • Baccalaureate Core Review - The Baccalaureate Core Committee is close to completing the learning outcomes, which will be posted on the web. There will be at least one faculty forum and one student forum to discuss proposed changes to the Bacc Core. The Faculty Senate will likely discuss the changes in October and vote in November. A major issue being addressed is the desire from some units to move from three to four-credit courses.

    Senator Pence, Engineering, questioned the incentive for moving to four-credit courses. Quinn responded that the motivation from one chair is to increase the amount of writing as well as the rigor of the course.


    There was no new business.

    Roll Call

    Members Present:
    Agricultural Sciences: Curtis, Dreher, Hartley, Hayes, Ketchum, Mallory-Smith, Pereira, Selker, Thompson.
    Associated Faculty:Achterman, Averill, Dempsey, Dorbolo, Elmshaeuser, Fernandez, Gillies, Gomez, Greydanus, Minear, Oldfield, Pribyl.
    Business: Banyi, Marshall, Raja, Wu, Yang.
    Education: Ward, White.
    Engineering: Bell, Bose, Huber, Hunter-Zaworski, Pence, Sillars.
    Extension: Galloway.
    Forestry: Doescher, Freitag, Kellogg, J. Tynon for Reuter, Sexton, Zahler.
    Health & Human Sciences: Acock, Asbell, C. Raab for Bowman, L. Etuk for Braverman, Cardinal, Friedman, McAlexander, Wilcox.
    Liberal Arts: Carson, Edwards, Gross, T. Daugherty for Helle, Kingston, Melton, R. Thompson for Orosco, Rosenberger, Trujillo, Valls.
    Library: McMillen.
    Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences: Spitz.
    Pharmacy: Indira, Ramirez, Stevens.
    ROTC: Sullivan.
    Science: Blair, Bogley, D. Finch for Flahive, Ho, Lee, Mason, Matzke, McCune, McLeod, Parks, Rajagopal.
    Student Affairs: Alexander, Benton, Langford, Winter, Yamamoto.
    Veterinary Medicine: Valentine.

    Members Absent:
    Agricultural Sciences: Anderson, Bolte, Cassidy, Gamroth, Gregory, Jepson, Parke, Rao, Rossignol, Savage.
    Associated Faculty: Arthenayake, Bruce, Eklund, Gaines, Hoff, Ross.
    Business: No absences.
    Education: No absences.
    Engineering: Higginbotham, Jovanovic, Lee, Momsen.
    Extension: Carr, Godwin.
    Forestry: Puettman.
    Health & Human Sciences: Hooker.
    Liberal Arts: Folts, Lunch, Oriard, Plaza, Roberts, Steel, Walls.
    Library: No absences.
    Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences: Benoit-Bird, Skyllingstad, Wheatcroft.
    Pharmacy: No absences.
    ROTC: No absences.
    Science: Field, Gitleman, Grunder, Jansen, Jones, Kimerling, Lajtha, Taylor.
    Student Affairs: Larson, Schwab.
    Veterinary Medicine: Estill, Mosley.

    Guests Present:
    B. Becker, B. Edwards, V. King, K. Kuo, M. McCambridge, A. Metzger, K. Peterson.

    Faculty Senate Officers, Ex-officios and Staff Present:
    Officers: B. Boggess, past president; M. Quinn, president.
    Ex-officio: S. Randhawa, E. Ray, M. Beachley.
    Staff: V. Nunnemaker.

    Respectfully submitted:
    Vickie Nunnemaker
    Faculty Senate Staff