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Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate » January 10, 2002

Faculty Senate Minutes

2002 No. 573
January 10, 2002
 

For All Faculty

The regular monthly meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order on January 10, 2002, at 3:03 PM, in the LaSells Stewart Center by President Nancy Rosenberger.


Meeting Summary

- Action Items: Installation of elected Officials and Senators; Approval of Parliamentarian; and a Resolution on Terrorism [Motion 02-573- 01 through 04]
- Discussion Items: Student Evaluation of Teaching Instrument; Service or Business Centers; and Modem Pool Elimination
- New Business: None


Roll Call

Members Absent With Representation:
Bowman, C. Raab; Bruce, Eklund; Franklin, J. Wilson; Jennings, J. Arrington; Middleton, P. McMillen; Rogers, T. Skubinna; and S. Shaw, M. Carson.

Members Absent Without Representation:
Baggott, Balz, Bontrager, Braker, Breen, Cloughesy, Collier, Costello, Daugherty, Davis-White Eyes, DeCarolis, Douglas, Ellinwood, Floyd, Haggart, Hamm, Jones, Lomax, Moulton, Mundt, Oriard, Pegau, Raja, Stang, Strik, Unsworth, and Winner.

Faculty Senate Officers, Ex-Officios and Staff Present:
N. Rosenberger, President; Bruce Sorte, President-Elect; Ex-officios - T. White, J. Geddes; R. Iltis, Parliamentarian; and V. Nunnemaker, Senate Staff.

Guests of the Senate:
D. Arnett, T. Barr, K. Calvery, J. Corbett, J. Dolan, S. Francis, J, Hagemeister, R. Hill, E. Holsberry, M. Keppinger, M. Merickel, C. Pederson, I. Pfund, L. Risser, D. Simpson, J. Smith, J. Sorte, S. Spears, K. Steele, and R. William.


ACTION ITEMS

Installation of Elected Officials

President Rosenberger installed President-Elect Bruce Sorte; Executive Committee: Dianne Erickson, Angelo Gomez and Janet Nishihara; and Interinstitutional Faculty Senator Dan Edge. Newly elected Senators were asked to stand and were declared installed: Agricultural Sciences: Dan Arp, Bill Boggess, Patrick Breen, Anita Brown, Bruce Coblentz, Paul Doescher, Bernadine Strik, Elizabeth Webb; Associated: Jackie Balzer, Lois deGeus, Angelo Gomez, Phyllis Lee, Joe Majeski; Business: Ilene Kleinsorge, Jonathan Moulton; Engineering: Mark Costello, Nick Wannamacher, Solomon Yim; Extension: Marvin Butler, Bill Rogers; Forestry: Rakesh Gupta, Kathy Howell, Mark Reed; Home Economics & Education: Liz Gray; Information Services: Larry Landis; Liberal Arts: Tracy Daugherty, Paul Farber, Jim Foster, John Maul, Maria Olaya, Becky Warner; Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences: Joseph Jennings, Niklas Pisias, Michael Unsworth; Pharmacy: Bill Boyce; Science: Kevin Ahern, Stella Coakley, Rubin Landau, Terri Lomax, Barbara Taylor, John Westall; and Student Affairs: Rich Shintaku.

Rosenberger thanked those who were newly installed for their willingness to take on additional duties.

Approval of the Parliamentarian

Motion 02-573-01 to approve Robert Iltis as Faculty Senate Parliamentarian passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.

Resolution on Terrorism

President Rosenberger explained that the following resolution was the result of a visit by College of Forestry faculty with the Executive Committee. They were concerned about acts of terrorism that had occurred in both Oregon and Washington in relation to biotechnology and forestry.

Resolution on Terrorism

Whereas, Oregon State University, and its faculty, have been openly and vigorously encouraging the public debate about the applications of biotechnology in agricultural and forestry systems, and will continue to do so; and

Whereas, Oregon State University, and its faculty, have also been conducting research to develop improved production methods, and to study and minimize undesired effects of biotechnology; and

Whereas, Acts of terrorism only polarize, distort, and risk discrediting legitimate ethical and technological concerns; and

Whereas, There is no legitimate rationale for acts of terrorism that destroy university property, harm longterm research projects, and risk lives; and

Whereas, Recent acts of terrorism have caused extensive damage to field sites and university buildings; therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Faculty Senate of Oregon State University declares that these acts of terrorism violate the fundamental freedoms of inquiry and discourse upon which universities in free societies are based.

Resolved, That the Faculty Senate instead encourages those with strong concerns to use the University to make their cases public, and to debate their strengths and merits in an open forum.

Senator Reyes, Engineering, questioned the use of the word 'terrorism' since there different forms of terrorism. Greg Meilan, College of Forestry, stated that terrorism includes more than just acts against lives and felt that the term was correct.

Senator Pisias, Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences, questioned why the resolution was limited to Forestry. It was suggested that it may be appropriate to use the term 'biological research.' Another suggested using the term 'about applications of biotechnology.'

Steve Strauss, College of Forestry, urged restricting the resolution to biotechnology since it is a discreet area of activity and terrorism in recent years.

Senator Clinton, Liberal Arts, moved to amend the resolution by striking the word 'biotechnology and agricultural and forestry systems' in the first Whereas and replacing it with 'scientific research' and making the same substitution for 'biotechnology' in the second Whereas; the motion was seconded. There was no discussion. Motion 02-573-03 to amend the resolution passed by voice vote with one dissenting vote.

Senator Brayman-Hackel, Liberal Arts, moved to amend the resolution to add 'against scientific research' following each time the word 'terrorism' is used; the motion was seconded. Motion 02-573-04 to amend the resolution passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.

Motion 02-573-02 to approve the resolution as amended passed by voice vote with one dissenting vote.


DISCUSSION ITEMS

Student Evaluation of Teaching Instrument

Ray William, Advancement of Teaching (AOT) Chair, provided a brief background of the rationale of their proposal to change the Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) Instrument. William explained that the AOT was originally asked to add a diversity question to the SET and discovered that it is an extremely complex topic that may require multiple questions. He reported that Nana Lowell from the University of Washington will be visiting OSU on March 6 and 7 and will participate in a faculty forum and workshops to discuss the issue of adding a diversity question. He noted that the Committee has received input from about 400 faculty since this project began.

He explained that the OSU Survey Research Center feels that the current SET form could be improved since some questions actually ask more than one question and others are not always clear. The University of Washington has given permission to use the first and second general questions, which have been validated:
  1. Your performance in this course was?
  2. Your assessment of completing readings and homework was:

    • Inspire critical thinking?
    • Challenging?
    • Too much/not enough?

The responses from these two questions would be used for promotion and tenure purposes, merit increases, and for awards at OSU.

The AOT chose to recommend 12 standard questions since they could find no models using less than a total of 12. The intent is to develop a form that has a scannable reverse side that would allow individual faculty to select which additional questions to be used, thereby allowing faculty to tailor the form to their particular course. This tailoring would satisfy ABET requirements in the College of Engineering.

The Committee has also been attempting to integrate the teaching, Extension, and Distance Education requirements in the SET. Another consideration is promotion and tenure and awards, with the major criteria being to improve teaching.

The estimated cost of the proposed forms would be about $6,500 to the university with an additional departmental cost of 2.5 cents for each reverse side of the SET copied.

The AOT plans to bring forward two motions in February:
1) It is moved that OSU adopt the modified student assessment form as proposed (Wording of questions may be improved with betatesting winter quarter).
2) It is moved that OSU develop a policy regarding distribution of assessment results such that the first two questions be used for P&T, merit, and awards; all twelve (12) questions (front side of form) be reported to faculty and supervisors to improve teaching within departments; and results from personalized assessment questions (back side of form) be reported to faculty only.
William requested that Senators review the proposal on the web with their colleagues and be prepared to vote in February.

Senator Ciufetti, Agricultural Sciences, expressed concern about questions one and two since many of the large science courses are team-taught which the proposed form does not address. William responded that the AOT found no instruments at any university that addressed team-taught courses and acknowledged it was an area that needs work.

Senator Brooks, Business, questioned the validation as it pertains to awards. He was unsure if the validation was appropriate for awards and noted it may also not be appropriate for merit raises. Brooks suggested that the recommendation state that this was to be considered a measure to be used but was not considered to be 'the' measure.

Senator Coakley, Science, felt it would be more appropriate to change questions 11 and 12 to numbers 1 and 2. She also questioned the change in the rating scale and asked Senators to study this carefully prior to the vote.

William encouraged comments and questions be directed to the Advancement of Teaching Committee.


Service or Business Centers

President Rosenberger briefly outlined that the concept of the service or business centers, which has been a topic of discussion by the Redesign Team, would be to centralize services such as travel, grant administration, personnel, budget planning, human resources, purchasing, advising, graduation audits, etc. These centers would be intermediary between central administration and college/departmental administration. Conceivably, each center would serve several colleges. Rosenberger felt it was timely for faculty to enter this discussion since several administrators will be attending an intensive training in January to discuss service centers, among other issues.

Bruce Sorte, Senate President-Elect, presented a proposed service center model. He has spent six years thinking about these centers and talking with others about their concerns. He felt that the goal of the centers must be more than just saving money and eliminating positions. Perhaps more realistic goals would be to 1) save administrative time and resources that could be devoted to programmatic time and initiatives, and 2) increase timeliness and effectiveness of administrative decisions and bring the decisions closer to those who are impacted by those decisions.

Sorte felt that landscape or overview documents were essential to the planning process. From his research, he has found very few examples of large scale administrative service centers that haven't significantly reduced the services that faculty are used to receiving. He also felt that centralizing administrative functions, without local support, will cause departmental units to become more creative in how they work around those centralized functions.

The basic building blocks regarding service centers include:
  1. Bringing authority back closer to those doing the work. Concern has been expressed that, without local control, institutional knowledge or understanding of a particular discipline will be lost. He felt that a reasonable geographic proximity between faculty and administrative functions is a few hundred yards.
  2. Handling policy level decisions differently - perhaps rotating responsibility amongst department heads.
  3. Recognizing that service centers will most likely be more expensive during the first few years.
Sorte suggested a pilot test to build confidence in the concept. Spend the money to monitor, adjust, and report on what happens during the test. The College of Agricultural Sciences is willing to contribute up to .4 FTE to assist in accomplishing the test. The pilot test should last at least six months and the University should be willing to abandon, or markedly change, the concept if it is not successful. He anticipates that there may be a 30% savings in administrative costs in affected areas, but there may also be a significant decrease in the amount of time, and paperwork, it takes to accomplish tasks.

Sorte's presentation will be posted to the Faculty Senate website.

Senator Raab, Home Economics & Education (proxy), questioned what impact a centralized approach would have on federal funding.

Vice President Mark McCambridge, Finance & Administration, emphasized that faculty need to understand that there is no predisposed plan and he welcomed comments from the faculty. He acknowledged that there may be functions that are appropriate at the unit level and some that are appropriate at the central levels.

Senator King, Business, was concerned about hidden costs that will not show up as a cost associated with the service center, i.e, money will be spent in the form of time on the part of chairs and faculty tracking down information that formerly resided locally. He did like the thought of committing to some form of experimentation and be willing to change if the proposal doesn't work.

Another individual expressed concern about successfully obtaining outside funding and noted the rejection of a particular funding opportunity specifically due to lack of local administrative staff. He also felt that a personal history with a particular staff person, developed over a long period of time, is important when coordinating a seminar series requiring travel arrangements, etc., that are necessary for the series to be successful.

Senator Ahern, Science, expressed concern about functions that may appear to have shared commonalities and noted that even human resources has differences and felt that local expertise makes more sense. He was also very concerned about centralizing advising. He suggested that service centers concentrate on only the most common functions and not assume that accounting or purchasing are the same across campus.

Senator Li, Agricultural Sciences, reiterated the importance of local familiarity with various processes that affects the success rate of obtaining grants and funding. She felt it was important to identify skills needed at the local level.

Senator Coblentz, Agricultural Sciences, questioned why, in light of recent events pertaining to differing budget figures, any sane person would want to see accounting functions centralized at OSU.

Senator Smythe, Science, expressed difficulty in understanding how moving functions out of local control is more effective. Sorte responded that, by combining resources, it may be possible to walk into one office and accomplish multiple tasks that formerly required processing and approval from various offices.

Senator Boggess, Science, felt it was necessary to have some authority delegated down from central administration rather than everything going up. Sorte noted that his proposal is a transitional process so that no jobs would be lost and skill sets would be changed in the process.

Senator Pisias, Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences, feels that we need to tell administration services need to be accomplished in a service center. He was concerned about the amount of time that may be spent waiting to talk with the appropriate person in the centralized system if others are vying for their attention at the same time.

Senator Erickson, Science, asked for case studies of successful centers elsewhere or studies of attempts that have failed.

Senator King expressed the need to include processes in the discussion rather than just structure.

Senator Boyce, Pharmacy, questioned whether the service centers would be free of charge or if departments/colleges would be charged for their use.

Senator Taylor, Science, noted that there are issues of accountability in terms of responsibility.

IFS Senator Edge observed that one size fits all probably won't work and variations will probably be necessary.


Modem Pool Elimination

President Rosenberger explained that there is a proposal to eliminate the current modem pool. In a message read by Rosenberger from Provost White, he noted that, although a decision was made, administration continues to hear strong arguments on both sides of the issue and seeks input from the Faculty Senate. He emphasized, however that, if the modem pool is not eliminated, savings would have to be made in other areas.

Curt Pederson, Vice Provost for Information Services, Jon Dolan, Virtual Academic Lab Administrator - Network Engineering, and Jim Corbett, Director of Administrative Services, each explained various aspects of the proposed elimination.

Pederson apologized for a memo distributed with an incorrect elimination date of January 15. The memo also did not indicate that he would be working with Robert Hood on a communications strategy. Pederson has heard from about 300 individuals since the message went out, with most of the responses being against elimination. He is interested to learn how much faculty now value internet access compared to 1997/98.

Pederson explained that, since there is still a deficit of under $1 million on the general fund side that is being paid back by Information Services (IS), other cuts will need to be made. He also noted he had been told by Clara Pratt that the OSU Budget Reconciliation Group proposed elimination of the modem pool as one of their top recommendations to save money in 2002-03. Current financial pressures have made it necessary to move more quickly to cut costs.

Pederson commended Jon Dolan, Greg Edmaiston, and Tom Easley for providing coverage during Shay Dakin's absence while she is fighting bone cancer.

Jim Corbett provided financial background information. In FY '01 Telecommunications accounted for 23.3% of the IS budget while the Library accounted for 76%, and the remainder was split between the other IS units (Communication Media Center, Web Services, Network Engineering, Central Computing, and Administration).

Telecommunications, which includes the modem pool, saw a net loss of $58,909 in FY '01. There are currently resources in the fund to cover the loss, but they cannot continue to lose money nor to take money out of other funds since a service department is not allowed to carry a negative amount and deficits must be covered from the Education and General funds.

Reasons for immediate resource issues:
  • reduction in revenue due to decrease in long-distance usage
  • increases in operating costs include salary increases (must be self-covered in a service department) and vacation liability (approximately $73,000),
  • GASB 34/35 (general accounting changes that affect equipment reserves) - the impact is still unknown with the dollar amount between $133,000 and $1.1million for this year depending on whether it is spread out over one year or five years
Corbett explained that many cost recovery options have been discussed over the last 5-6 years, including:
  • charge individual users a monthly fee (ISP model) - not allowed by Oregon law since OSU would be in competition with commercial vendors
  • assess the department/unit based on a percentage of users (active/retired)
  • general fund allocation - if the allocation was adequate, there would be no discussion of options
  • general fund reallocation within IS - becomes a matter of what services are eliminated and what remains
Jon Dolan discussed modem pool usage and cost issues.

Telecommunication usage:
  • about 4,000 use the modem pool monthly, which is down from 5,000 in June 1999
  • 5% of the customers use 25% of the available time during peak availability
  • of the 4,000 users, 25% are non-students (faculty, staff, emeritus, affiliates, and others); the 25% has remained consistent from the beginning in both users and hours
Costs (monthly operational charges to keep the phone lines active and modems responsive):
  • 284 modem lines are served by 12 T1 phone circuits (each T1 circuit supports 24 56k lines)
  • each T1 circuit costs $1,000 per month (the total of all lines is $144,000/ year) in circuit costs alone - this figure does not include replacement, maintenance or staffing costs
Proposals:
  • elimination of 6 of the 12 circuits would save $72,000
  • restrict access to students only
  • adjust time restrictions downward for students
  • seek alternative funding for the remaining service for the next fiscal year to move the modem pool service out of Telecommunications
Curt Pederson presented information regarding the impact of the modem pool elimination:
  • personal financial impact - users would be required to pay for their own ISP service which creates a hardship for lower paid employees
  • without an ISP, users will lose remote communications with students and colleagues
  • there is a disruption while changing service providers
  • users don't want to change the way the OSU network is accessed
Pederson noted that students will also be impacted since there will be fewer available hours.

Senator Ahern, Science, questioned whether there was any way of having legitimate phone numbers to do legitimate OSU-related work. He noted that users cannot access the OSU modem if they have cable vs. dial-up access. Dolan responded that they are looking at ATT access for faculty and, if the modem pool is left in place, there is still a funding issue. Pederson responded that it is difficult to restrict usage to those with legitimate needs.

Senator Landau, Science, expressed the feeling that it seems that the proposed elimination is backwards. It should be the students who are losing access since the faculty need access to do their jobs. He felt this was one more case where money was being spent on student services and being taken away from the support of faculty, i.e., research and teaching. Pederson responded that ASOSU President Justin Geddes felt that this will likely no longer remain a free student service beyond the next round of Technology Resource Fee funding. The students need to present a proposal to maintain the modem pool with the fees they already pay or IS will recommend that the service be discontinued.
Senator Niess, Science, expressed concern that the decision was made without input from faculty indicating which services they needed to perform their job. Pederson noted this was a short-term financial solution.

Senator Busse, Agricultural Sciences, stated that her department has six faculty off-campus who must use the dial-in. Pederson responded that there is an option of paying $13 per month for a commercial ISP.

Senator Pisias, Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences, asked if there was a list of services that would have to be cut if the modem pool was not eliminated. Pederson responded that the self-support services include: voice communications, voice mail and the modem pool.

Senator Dollar, Liberal Arts, felt it was unfair to eliminate student access to the modem pool since there are web-based courses that require usage of the web.

IFS Senator Edge suggested reducing the number of modems so people are forced to use other methods. Pederson noted that suggestion was considered and rejected because it didn't seem ethical.

Senator Selker, Agricultural Sciences, suggested billing departments for the service provided. Dolan noted that additional costs would be incurred if a billing component was added, which may reduce the cost-effectiveness of the service.

Pederson closed with the comment that ISP's complain about OSU's service when they phone people to sell their ISP service and OSU employees/students state that their family uses OSU's free service. ISP's feel that OSU's service does take away revenue from them and the community.


INFORMATION ITEMS

Faculty Senate Calendar
Faculty Senate meetings for 2002 have been scheduled from 3:00-5:00 PM on the following dates: February 7, 2002; March 7, 2002; April 4, 2002; May 2, 2002; June 6, 2002; October 3, 2002; November 7, 2002; and December 5, 2002. Senators are advised to check the monthly agenda to determine the meeting site.

Library Committee Decision on June 2001 Referred Item
At the June 2001 Faculty Senate meeting, Senator Wrolstad requested that the Valley Library's policy of handling recalls of books be revised. The request was forwarded to the Library Committee who reviewed the issue and recommends that current policy be maintained, although they encourage the Circulation staff make more widely known the informal practice of directly contacting holders of recalled books when a particular book is urgently needed. The entire Library Committee memo can be viewed on the web at:
http://osu.orst.edu/dept/senate/committees/library/agen/reports/01172002.html

Faculty Senate Handbook Update

Faculty Senate Handbook materials have been updated and can be found on the Senate web site at:
http://osu.orst.edu/dept/senate/handbook/index.html.

Senators Electronic Discussion List
At the request of several faculty, an electronic discussion list has been created to facilitate discussion among faculty about issues of interest regarding Oregon State University. All subscribers will receive copies of each message posted.

To subscribe, send a message to lyris@lists.orst.edu and in the body of the message type:
join-discussion@lists.orst.edu
To unsubscribe send a message to lyris@lists.orst.edu and in the body of the message type:
unsubscribe discussion

NOTE: You must subscribe and unsubscribe yourself from your own computer since it will either unsubscribe or subscribe whatever individual is assigned to the e-mail address the message is being sent from.

REPORT FROM & DIALOG WITH THE PROVOST

Provost White's report focused on Education issues. He reported that a December 17 discussion between President Risser, Provost White and Education faculty reaffirmed that the unit will continue as a School of Education which reflects the value to OSU and the State of Oregon. The focus of the School of Education will be in three integrated areas:
  1. primary and secondary teacher and counselor education;
  2. leadership and health education; and
  3. 4-H and Youth Development (whose faculty indicated a preference to be affiliated with the Education unit).
The unit has been established for excellence in teacher education and related research fields that support that excellence, and to help produce the best teachers and alleviate the great teacher need the confronts Oregon and the nation.

There is currently an internal search for new leadership in the form of a Dean, and faculty have been asked to submit nominations. A Dean of Education should be in place by the end of January.

Provost White noted that the School of Education will participate fully in the redesign process.

Senator Thies questioned whether there would be a return to a four-year education degree. White responded that Education has been asked to develop, within the existing degrees, undergraduate pathways to initial licensure. He noted this was not a directive to discontinue the MAT program, but to develop content areas that make sense to develop an undergraduate pathway.


REPORT FROM & DIALOG WITH THE FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT

President Rosenberger mentioned several issues the Executive Committee (EC) will be bringing forward to the Senate: a proposed Distance Education Committee, the formation of a joint task force with Academic Affairs regarding University Assessment, and revised Diversity Council Standing Rules.

She also reported that the EC had met with President Risser and a result of that meeting was to hold small group conversations with President Risser and interested faculty, facilitated by a member of the EC. These sessions will begin in January and are scheduled to continue through May. Invitations will be issued to all faculty.

Rosenberger noted that President Risser and Provost White will begin meeting with the EC on a quarterly basis in an effort to improve communication.

She noted that it was earlier proposed that the academic redesign be decoupled, to the extent possible, from the administrative redesign, and it appears as though that is occurring. The Executive Committee is working on the academic redesign process and related issues to be addressed.

One of the ways Rosenberger would like the Senate to be more proactive, particularly in light of redesign, is to have Senate apportionment units caucus to discuss issues.


NEW BUSINESS

There was no new business.


Meeting was adjourned at 4:55 PM. A reception to welcome new Senators was held in the Myrtle Tree Alcove following the meeting.

Respectfully submitted:

Vickie Nunnemaker
Faculty Senate Staff