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Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate » December 2, 1999

Faculty Senate Minutes

1999 No. 552
December 2, 1999
 

For All Faculty

The regular monthly meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order on December 2, 1999, at 3:03 PM, in the LaSells Stewart Center by President Kenneth Williamson. There were no corrections to the minutes of November 1999.


Meeting Summary

– Special Report: Election Results
– Action Items: Executive Committee Election; Faculty Salary Resolution; Access to Senate Listserv
[Motion 99–552–01 through 03]
– Discussion Item: Post-Tenure Review, P. Risser
– New Business: Finals Schedule


Roll Call

Members Absent With Representation:
K. Hardin, J. Leklem; H. Koenig, D. Herrmann; M. Lowrie, D. Connell; P. Nelson, S. Woods; D. Plaza, M. Edwards; R. Robson, H. Parks; and B. Warner, C. Langford.

Members Absent Without Representation:
Azarenko, Biwan, Breen, Brodie, Bruce, Burke, Candolfi, Carson, Daley, Denning, Esbensen, Farber, J. Field, K. Field, B. Frank, Green, Gross, Hemphill, Hooker, Huyer, Jepson, Kerkvliet, Krause, Lajtha, Lomax, Lundin, Peters, Plant, Powelson, Righetti, Sanford, Strik, Tesch, Thompson, Trehu, Tynon, White, and Yim.

Faculty Senate Officers, Ex-Officios and Staff Present:
K. Williamson, President; G. Matzke, President-Elect; Ex-officios: R. Arnold, C. DeKock, and P. Risser; R. Iltis, Parliamentarian; and V. Nunnemaker, Staff.

Guests of the Senate:
G. Beach, L. Burns, I. Delson, D. Erickson, and A. Hashimoto.


SPECIAL REPORT

Election Results

Gordon Matzke, President-Elect, thanked those who agreed to candidacy and reported that Henry Sayre (Professor, Art) was elected President-Elect and Bruce Sorte (Professional Faculty, Agricultural Sciences) was elected Interinstitutional Faculty Senate representative.

In addition to Matzke, the Ballot Counting Committee consisted of Kent Daniels, Rubin Landau, and Sylvia Yamada.


ACTION ITEMS

Executive Committee Election

Executive Committee candidates were: Paul Biwan, Stella Coakley, Vicki Collins, Jennifer Cornell, Jack Drexler, Rubin Landau, Tom Plant, Ann Rossignol, and Richard Thies.

Ballots were distributed and counted during the meeting. A run-off ballot was necessary due to a tie between third and fourth place. Those elected to two-year terms were: Stella Coakley (Professor, Botany & Plant Pathology), Vicki Collins (Associate Professor of English and Director of the Writing Intensive Curriculum Program), and Rubin Landau (Professor, Physics).


Faculty Salary Resolution

Steve Davis, Faculty Economic Welfare and Retirement Committee Chair, presented the following resolution:

Whereas, Faculty salary increases at OSU in the 1990`s have been few and generally small; and

Whereas, Faculty salaries at OSU are significantly below the mean of our peer institutions (in `98/`99 the OSU average salaries were 84.3%, 89.7%, and 94.1% of the peer institution averages for the ranks of Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor, respectively); and

Whereas, The OUS has developed a model for bringing faculty salaries up to the mean of our peer institutions over the next three biennia; therefore, be it

Resolved, that the Faculty Senate and University Administration form a Task Force whose charge would be to examine models by which salaries will be increased to equal the mean of our peer institutions and select a reasonable model and time frame to achieve these goals. This Task Force should report to the Faculty Senate and the Administration no later than June of 2000.

Following very little discussion, motion 99-552-01 to approve the Faculty Salary Resolution passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.

President Williamson thanked the committee for preparing the resolution and noted that the Faculty Senate would work with administration to create a task force, as called for in the resolution.


Access to Senate Listserv

Senator Burton, Science, presented Motion 99-551-05, made by Senator Daley, Agricultural Sciences, that was carried forward from the November 1999 meeting:

To allow all Faculty Senators to have access to the Faculty Senator e-mail list.

Senator Burton explained that Senator Daley was unable to attend the meeting, but had agreed to Burton's alternate motion:

That all Faculty Senate Senators have access to electronic communication within the Faculty Senate.

President Williamson accepted Burton's motion as a friendly motion, and noted that he had a letter from Daley agreeing to Burton's motion. Senator Thies, Science, seconded the motion.

Burton explained that, if his motion passed, the current Senators list would still be accessible only by the Senate Office and a new discussion list would be created where Senators could unsubscribe themselves, if desired.

Motion 99-555-02 passed by voice vote with several dissenting votes. Williamson thanked Senator Daley for the motion and noted that the Executive Committee had discussed how to handle this issue prior to Daley's motion.


DISCUSSION ITEM

Post-Tenure Review Guidelines

While introducing OSU President Paul Risser, President Williamson outlined the events leading up to this discussion item. The Task Force on Post-Tenure Review presented a report in 1998, containing guidelines, which was approved by the Faculty Senate and forwarded to President Risser. Questions arose during the October 1999 Senate meeting regarding document changes made by Dr. Risser which resulted in inviting him to explain his rationale.

President Risser felt that the document was excellent and that the Post-Tenure Review (PTR) Guidelines are a model for other institutions. He noted that when institutional PTR documents were presented to the State Board, OSU was the only institution to have virtually no questions posed by the Board.

Risser explained that the changes were made for reasons of credibility and responsibility. Changes were made only in the five-year review section and no changes were made in the annual review process.

Credibility - The original wording allowed for only the faculty member calling for a review. Risser felt that either the unit head or the faculty member should have the prerogative of requesting a review before the end of the five-year interval. The added wording is capitalized:

If a faculty member OR UNIT HEAD so requests, at any time during the five-year interval between regularly scheduled peer committee reviews, a peer committee review will take place.

Responsibility - The document provided for a peer committee to determine less than satisfactory performance and drafting of a professional development plan. Risser changed the wording since a peer committee would have no institutional responsibility or accountability but could place the University at financial and legal risk. Decisions regarding changes in responsibilities or sanctions must be made by the unit head who has line responsibility to the University. The added wording is capitalized, the stricken wording is in brackets:

Should the peer committee OR UNIT HEAD conclude that a faculty member's record is less than satisfactory in teaching, scholarship, or service the UNIT HEAD, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE peer committee and the faculty member under review, [in consultation with the unit head,] will draft a professional development plan. In the event of repeated unsatisfactory reviews and failure to achieve the goals of an agreed-upon development plan, the [peer committee] UNIT HEAD (in consultation with the [unit head] PEER COMMITTEE) may recommend redistribution of effort, reassignment within the unit, or the imposition of sanctions,...

Senator Landau, Science, explained that his main concern was with the process and felt that it should be much closer to the way the tenure process is handled. He felt that the changes take the faculty out of the decision-making process and that faculty should be the ones helping to develop the plan. His second concern was wording in Dr. Risser's cover memo indicating that faculty do not have institutional responsibility. Risser responded that he felt there was great faculty responsibility built into the document since there is a parallel review by both the unit head and faculty. The process switches to the unit head having primary responsibility only when one's performance is judged to be unsatisfactory.

Senator Doescher, Agricultural Sciences, felt that the changes in responsibility conveyed too much power to the unit head. He suggested that the section read ‘Should the peer committee and unit head conclude that a faculty member's record is less than satisfactory...’. He expects a backlash across campus because faculty are not well informed and doesn't think they realize how much time and effort is involved.

Senator Leklem, Home Economics and Education, preferred the original wording since he, too, felt that too much power was being given to the unit head and stressed the importance of better checks and balances. He also felt that the information needs to be disseminated to faculty. Risser felt that the document had been widely distributed. Williamson suggested that additional forums could be held to help disseminate information in the guidelines.

In response to President-Elect Matzke questioning when the document will be implemented, Provost Arnold noted that the State Board has not taken action since some institutional documents are not complete. Risser felt that it did require Board approval.

Senator Gardner, Science, did not agree with the administration on the changes. He also expressed difficulty with the word ‘and’ proposed by Doescher since it isn't clear whether the peer committee's decision would be a majority, unanimous, two-thirds, etc. He felt that inserting ‘and’ would have to be seriously thought through.

In response to concerns about checks and balances, Senator Sayre, Liberal Arts, noted that the faculty member who was dissatisfied with a recommendation could file a grievance against the decision. Risser agreed that there are several checks in place: the peer committee, a college-level committee, the Provost, then the Grievance Committee. Senator Landau didn't feel this was a valid argument since he referred to the committee's annual report which indicated that the Grievance Committee members didn't feel that the Committee works properly. He prefers that the peer committee and unit head make separate recommendations. If the two recommendations are not in agreement, it would be up to the supervisor of the unit head to review the recommendations.

Senator Langford (proxy for Warner), Liberal Arts, expressed nervousness about the underlying assumption that somehow the judgment of the unit head is somehow better than that of a peer committee. He also agreed that checks don't always work.

Senator Doescher moved that the ‘or’ preceding ‘Unit Head’ in the second change be replaced with ‘and’; motion seconded. Motion 99-552-03 to approve the above motion was declared defeated by President Williamson after a voice vote with many in support. After a hand count was called for, the motion was declared defeated by a count of 49 in opposition and 27 in favor.


INFORMATION ITEMS

– Faculty Senate's at the University of Oregon and Southern Oregon University have approved the PEBB resolution approved by the OSU Faculty Senate in November, and Western Oregon University will soon be voting on the resolution.
– A reception for Senators hosted by President and Mrs. Risser immediately followed the December Senate meeting.
– Annual reports for most 1998-99 Faculty Senate committees/councils are available on the Senate website at: http://osu.orst.edu/dept/senate/comm.htm<


REPORT FROM & DIALOG WITH THE PROVOST

Provost Arnold's report contained the following items:

– Congratulations to those elected to Senate leadership positions.

– Thanks to those members and officers completing their terms.

– Administrative Searches:

Provost - Dean Tim White, Health and Human Performance, will assume the responsibilities of Interim Provost and Executive Vice President on January 17. A search will be initiated immediately.
Dean of Distance and Continuing Education - Currently in the final stages of negotiations with an external candidate.
College of Forestry Dean - Currently engaged in conversation with the candidate recommended by the search committee.
Alumni Executive Director - Currently working with an executive search firm.
Senator Rossignol, Health and Human Performance, felt that Arnold has done a wonderful job as Provost. The ensuing applause echoed her sentiment.


REPORT FROM & DIALOG WITH THE FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT

President Williamson's report included the following items:

– Improving Diversity - Williamson felt that this was a faculty issue and that a process needs to be institutionalized. The Executive Committee needs faculty involvement in three initiatives they are putting forth:
1) The Faculty Senate is sponsoring a Diversity Forum on January 19 from 3:00-5:00 PM in MU 206. The Forum will address students' concerns and training opportunities presently available. Faculty input is needed to determine future directions.
2) The Committee on Committees has been asked to examine the possibility of creating a Faculty Senate Diversity Council.
3) The Advancement of Teaching Committee has been asked to examine the possibility of adding a diversity question to the present teaching evaluation form. The purpose of the question would be to flag concerns by students related to the diversity climate in the classroom.

– Strategic Planning - The difficulties associated with last year's budget process have resulted in an effort to define a strategic planning process for the university. The hope of this effort is to produce a framework for decision-making in the budget allocation process and for the possible reductions in programs and activities.

President Williamson felt it is important that the resulting strategic planning process incorporates faculty concerns. He outIined the following difficulties associated with the process that the Faculty Senate and its leadership will need to be ever vigilant about in the coming year.

1. The time scale to develop the strategic planning is short.
2. Strategic planning often fails.
3. Strategic planning for growth is different than strategic planning for reductions.
4. The university's activities of teaching, research, service, and outreach are going to be difficult to contain under a single strategic plan.
5. Strategic planning usually requires strategic investments which requires discretionary funding.
6. Present planning is centered on growth which will be difficult to displace by any strategic plan.
7. The external environment is changing so rapidly that it will be difficult to create a strategic plan from within that will be adequately responsive, visionary, iconoclastic, and radical.
Senator Thies indicated that many faculty already feel that they are expanding beyond the levels available. Senator Ahern, Science, questioned the University's priorities.

– Athletics - Williamson acknowledged the outstanding accomplishments of Mitch Barnhart in his short tenure. When Barnhart arrived, the financial situation in athletics was critical. The deficit was $8.6 million and, at the income and expenditure rates at the time, the deficit would have exceeded $12 million. During the past three years, Mitch has reduced the deficit to $6 million. The annual budget is now balanced, although it must be recognized that this was accomplished with additional university funding of $2 million per year. A plan is presently in place that will eliminate the remaining deficit with an identified revenue stream.


NEW BUSINESS

Senator Brooks, Business, expressed concerns about the finals schedule. He explained that there is a half hour break between finals at other campuses and he suggested last year that this be looked into at OSU and has heard nothing. He didn't feel it was fair to students to allow only ten minutes between finals. Brooks requested that someone look into this issue and report back at an upcoming Senate meeting. Williamson reported that this has been discussed during several meetings of the Academic Advising Council. Since the finals schedule is tightly constrained, there would not be enough time during the week to schedule the necessary finals if a half hour was inserted between each final. Brooks noted that other institutions can schedule a half hour between finals and questioned why it was not possible here. Williamson indicated that the issue was referred to Barbara Balz who reported that it would not be possible; the Senate will invite Balz to explain the reasons why it is not workable.

Senator Thies mentioned two additional factors: 1) not all faculty understand that a two-hour final actually lasts only one hour and fifty minutes, and 2) many universities are on a semester system and fewer courses may be offered.

IFS Representative DeKock noted that OSU may differ from other institutions since the number of available classrooms is low.


Meeting was adjourned at 4:37 PM.

Respectfully submitted:

Vickie Nunnemaker
Faculty Senate Administrative Assistant