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Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate » June 8, 2006

Faculty Senate Minutes

2006 No. 614
June 8, 2006
 

The regular monthly meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order by President-Elect Mike Quinn on June 8, 2006 in the LaSells Stewart Center.


Meeting Summary
  • Action Items: Revisions to Academic Regulation 17; Revisions to the Standing Rules for: Diversity Council and Library Committee; and Faculty Panels for Hearing Committee Election [Motion 06-614-01 through 06]
  • Discussion Item: President Ed Ray
  • Special Report: Interinstitutional Faculty Senate Recap - M. Carson
  • New Business: Resolution in Support of Baha'i Students in Iran [Motion 06-614-07]

Past President Jeff Hale presented Keith Prickett with a plaque in appreciation of his three years as a student worker in the Faculty Senate Office. His creativity and innovation allowed the Senate to streamline operations and, among other things, have the ability to conduct elections, volunteer for committees and review Baccalaureate Core courses all on line.


ACTION ITEMS

Academic Regulation 17 Proposed Revisions

    Sherri Argyres, Academic Regulations Committee member, presented for approval the following revisions to AR 17.

    AR 17. Grades (proposed deletions are bracketed in red and proposed additions are bolded)

    When a requirement of a course has not been completed for reasons acceptable to the instructor and the rest of the academic work is passing, a report of I (incomplete) may be made and additional time granted. The I is only granted at the discretion of the instructor. The instructor documents the deficiency and the deadline for completing the missing work. A record of the deficiency shall be kept on file in the unit or department office. The additional time awarded shall in no case exceed one calendar year. To remove the I grade, the student must complete the deficiency within the allotted time and the instructor will then submit the appropriate grade. If the student fails to complete the work within the allotted time, [the instructor has the option of either submitting a substitute grade or allowing a permanent grade of I to remain on the student's record. The I grade will ha e no effect on the student's grade point average.] the Registrar's Office will automatically change the I grade to an F (failure), an N (no-credit), or a U (unsatisfactory), as appropriate, on the student's record. The resulting grade could have an effect on the student's grade point average. Under no circumstances shall a student who earns an A-F grade or an N or U grade have their grade changed retroactively to an I grade.

    Rationale: Students not completing incompletes in a timely manner can cause great difficulty for themselves and instructors when and if they do get around to changing the I grade. AR 17 gives students one year to finish course requirements; however, students with legitimate reasons needing an extension can petition to do so or they can opt to withdraw from the course. Additionally, faculty have requested a way to reduce the prevalence of requests by students to have grades changed - typically to change F grades to I grades from previous academic terms or years, which then changes the gpas and academic standing of these students. There are also petition processes for other circumstances, i.e., students with a medical emergency have the option to petition for a drop or late withdrawal. Additionally, this change provides support to faculty when requested by students to change a letter grade to an I grade.

    Discussion:
    • In response to a question inquiring whether there was already a 12-month deadline for I grades to be changed, Barbara Balz, Registrar, stated that an I grade may remain for 12 months; after that time the I becomes permanent under the current system.
    • Senator Wilcox, Health & Human Sciences, was strongly opposed to the proposal and felt it was, in effect, relying on some machine to turn an I into an F grade, as opposed to an instructor changing the grade. He suggested that the instructor indicate the default grade that the I would change to if the work is not completed rather than an automatic F.
    • Balz indicated some felt that the current I policy is being abused in particular cases since some students opt for an I when it is too late for a W, knowing that the I can remain permanently.
    • Senator Iltis, Liberal Arts, requested specific evidence indicating an abuse of I grades and that the increase in I grades has been substantial. Balz was not prepared to present data, but did note that there are many I grades that have been on the books in excess of one year.
    • Argyres explained that the instructor still has the option at the end of 12 months to submit a letter grade, rather than allowing the I to change automatically to an F. Even if the grade changed to an F, the instructor may still submit a change of grade to another letter grade. Another reason to handle the I grades in a timely fashion is that faculty have related instances of students requesting removal of an I grade up to four years later, and there is no way to assist the student in resolving the situation if the instructor has since left and no records remain of the students' work.
    • Senator Doescher, Forestry, questioned when the policy would be implemented, and noted instances of a faculty member who forgot to change an I grade. Balz stated that the soonest the change could be implemented would be fall 2006.
    • In response to the effect this policy would have on I grades already on the books, Balz stated there would be no effect.
    • Senator Oriard, Liberal Arts, recognized the value of not allowing a grade change after one year, but the shift to an F was troubling. He noted that an I grade should not be a mechanism to avoid completion of a course. He strongly supported prohibition of a letter grade changing to an I.
    • In response to Senator Jovanovich, Engineering, questioning whether this policy also applied to graduate students, Balz stated this applied only to undergraduates.
    • Senator Matzke, Science, spoke in opposition to the proposal and felt there would be many instances of the I converting to an F and the regulation states that the grade cannot be changed. She felt the system was working fine as it is. Argyres clarified that the grade cannot be changed to an I after one year, but the faculty member can submit a grade change from an F to another letter grade.
    • Senator Barker, Liberal Arts, felt the proposal was fair and noted that she receives pressure to give students I grades, which is not fair when other failing students take the final and receive a letter grade. She liked placing the onus on the student to resolve the grade situation.
    • A faculty member from Business related personal experience with students requesting I grades and noted the prevalence seems to be increasing.
    • Another faculty member supported the proposal because it appears to be a better policy.
    • Senator Dempsey, Associated, felt that, from an academic success point of view, it would be positive to create a culture on campus of the expectation of a contract between the faculty member and student resulting in a timely removal of the I grade.
    • Senator Ciuffetti, Agricultural Sciences, was in support of the proposal and felt it was not appropriate for an I to remain forever. She noted that a large number of faculty are not taking responsibility to change the grade after a period of time.
    • Senator Parks, Science, has not noticed a problem in Math.
    • Senator Gomez, Associated, felt that the current policy is more fair than the proposal.
    • Past President Hale supported the proposal and felt the current policy was unfair to students who are not trying to maintain their gpa by using the I grade, have actually received the grades they deserve and have an honest gpa. He felt there needs to be some incentive for faculty to resolve the I grades.
    • Senator Jepson, Science, expressed concern for students who receive an I due to medical reasons. Argyres noted the student has the option of either completing the course within a year or dropping or withdrawing from the course due to medical reasons.
    • Senator Roberts, Liberal Arts, supported the policy because it is a way of motivating faculty and students to resolve the I grade. She finds the unfairness of students maintaining their gpa through the use of I grades to be very disturbing. The only way she assigns an I grade is if she and the student have a signed contract stating the date by which the student will complete the remaining work; if the date passes and the student has not upheld their end of the contract, she submits a change of grade request and assigns the letter grade earned by the student.
    • Senator Asbell, Health and Human Sciences, felt it was the student's responsibility to clear the I within a year. She questioned whether the Registrar's Office can notify faculty that a particular student is within a month of the one year period. Balz stated that all departments have access to that information and can run a Data Warehouse query to determine how many I's are outstanding, in what courses, by instructor and the length of time since it was assigned.

    Senator Galloway, Extension, called for the question. Motion 06-614-02 to end debate passed by voice vote with several dissenting votes.

    Motion 06-614-01 to approve proposed changes to AR 17 passed via show of hands.


    Proposed Standing Rules Revisions

    Sherri Argyres, Committee on Committees member, presented for approval proposed revisions to the Standing Rules for the Diversity Council, Library Committee, and Student Recognition and Awards Committee (proposed deletions are bracketed in red and proposed additions are bolded):

    Diversity Council Proposed Standing Rules

    The Diversity Council addresses ongoing planning and implementation of university diversity initiatives, including equity, access, educational environment, and cultural competence. The Diversity Council has authority to make recommendations regarding policies and practices in areas of faculty development, recruitment and retention of faculty and students, scholarship/research and curriculum in consultation with appropriate standing committees, if applicable. The Diversity Council also provides a forum for communication among faculty regarding OSU's diversity related activities.

    The Diversity Council reports directly to the Faculty Senate.

    The Council consists of seven faculty members, with at least three being teaching faculty. There shall be two student members, one of whom may be the Multicultural Affairs Task Force Director, or designee. In addition, ex-officio, non-voting members shall include the Director of Community and Diversity, the Director of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, and the Director of Difference, Power, and Discrimination, or designees.

    Rationale: The committee is being reconstituted and this proposal better reflects duties of the Council.

    Motion 06-614 -03 to replace the current Standing Rules with the proposed Standing Rules passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.

    Library Committee Standing Rules Revisions

    The Library Committee advises the University Librarian in 1) meeting the learning, instruction, and resource needs of students, faculty, and staff; 2) formulating library policies in relation to circulation, budgets, services, and development of resources for instruction and research; [and] 3) interpreting the needs and policies of the library to the University; and 4) identifying and addressing issues regarding scholarly communication (e.g. print and electronic journals and books). The committee consists of nine Faculty members, ideally providing a broad representation of academic disciplines, and three Student members, including at least one undergraduate and one graduate student, and the University Librarian, or designee, as an ex-officio, non-voting member. One faculty member may be retired.

    Rationale: The Scholarly Communication Task Force has merged with the Library Committee at the recommendation of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, consequently, it is important to include this facet (#4) of the Library Committee's work.

    Motion 06-614-04 to revise the Standing Rules to add #4 above and provide for a University Librarian designee passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.

    Student Recognition and Awards Committee Standing Rules Revision

    The Committee consists of [eight] ten faculty, eight Students, and a representative from Financial Aid, ex-officio, non-voting.

    Rationale: Due to the workload of the committee, and in particular by the chairs, in selecting and notifying the award recipients, coordinating the awards program, writing the script, etc., additional faculty are needed on this committee.

    Motion 06-614-05 to revise the Standing Rules to increase the membership passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.


    Consideration of Degree Candidates

    President-elect Quinn noted that Barbara Balz is retiring this summer and acknowledged her work as Registrar for the past 16 years and chair of the Commencement Committee for the past 15 years.

    Barbara Balz, Registrar, recommended for approval the proposed lists of degree candidates and honors subject to final confirmation of all degree requirements. There were 4,410 students who were candidates for 4,581 degrees which included: 3,627 Bachelors, 669 Masters, 167 Doctors and 118 Professional degrees. There were 153 students who were candidates for two degrees and 9 students who were candidates for three degrees.

    The Class of 2006, OSU's 137th graduating class, had 1,029 seniors who qualified for Academic Distinction and included 485 'cum laude' (gpa 3.50-3.69), 289 'magna cum laude' (gpa 3.70-3.84), and 255 'summa cum laude' (gpa 3.85 and above).

    Motion 06-614-06 to approve the proposed list of degree candidates and honors passed by voice vote with no dissenting votes.

    In reference to the previous AR 17 discussion, Balz noted that I grades in place at the time of commencement will remain an I indefinitely.


    Faculty Panels for Hearing Committee

    Voting for members of the Faculty Panels for Hearing Committee occurred during the meeting. The Board's Administrative Rules define criteria and procedures for the imposition of sanctions for cause, including termination of appointment (OAR 580-21-320 through 580-21-375). If such a sanction is to be imposed, the faculty member is entitled to a formal hearing of charges by a hearing committee to be selected from a faculty panel that has been duly established.


    DISCUSSION ITEM

    Discussion with President Ray

    President Ray made the following observations, and then responded to questions from the floor:

    Ray noted that the financial challenges seem to be daunting. He clarified that his comment regarding doing 'less with less' did not mean that we want to do a less effective job of anything, but that we need to be more focused and purposeful given the amount of resources available. He stated it was important to 'right size' our efforts because he felt that many are literally 'working ourselves to death.' He acknowledged challenges related to unmet needs, i.e., facilities, faculty and staff compensation, etc. He also spoke of the need to make consistent decisions at the appropriate level, with appropriate consultation.

    Enrollment Management - Ray's sense was that a university enrollment management plan was needed. He felt that, with the current resources, the enrollment target should be 17,000. He outlined the following issues that may change over time that could change that target number.

    • One element of being a top-ten university is that we expect to do better with first-year retention (currently 82%) and six-year graduation rates (currently 62%); if these rates increase, there will be fewer lower division classes and more upper division classes which cost more to offer than lower division - these changes would decrease the level of enrollment.
    • Another element is that OSU would be more selective and admit students who are better prepared. Ray noted that the profiles of OSU's comparator group show a higher percentage of undergraduate students enrolled in Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Business.

    Ray was pleased that the Senate has been discussing what level of enrollment can be managed. He mentioned that several colleges have been discussing increasing the number of course credit hours, i.e., 3 vs. 4 credit hours, and noted that these decisions need to go through the proper governance groups, such as the Curriculum Council and Budgets and Fiscal Planning. He expects these groups to engage in a dialogue with the appropriate unit(s) related to the proposed changes, and ask why the changes are appropriate for the university, what impact do they have across the university, and what we collectively agree ought to be happening in individual units.

    Ray indicated that OSU needs to develop its own enrollment plan, in varying circumstances with regard to resources, to be used in future conversations. He felt that it's time to recognize that each OUS institution has different needs and each should determine what the cost is per student to provide an appropriate, quality education based on available resources.

    Priority Decision Making - Ray noted the need to consider both context (Strategic Plans have been created) and governance. The Strategic Plans should be used as a guide in determining the order in which projects will be completed. He outlined a plan that makes sense to him related to deferred maintenance which is to designate a floor in one building where classroom upgrades would demonstrate what could be done if more resources were available.

    Senator Huber, Agricultural Sciences, expressed concern about the emaciation of individual units when they are forced to self-fund pay raises. Ray responded that there is a need to make reductions in good programs, which otherwise would not occur if the resources were available, and noted that none of the choices were good. He also felt it was important to preserve the core activity of each unit. His hope is that, eventually, each college will be able to assist faculty in understanding the reallocation by providing them with a statement indicating where resources were reallocated from, the implications of the reallocation, and how it is most consistent with the Strategic Plan.

    Senator Oriard, Liberal Arts, felt there was a need for a campus wide discussion of what OSU aspires to be as a university (in more specific terms than aspiring to be top ten), what the educational experience for students should be, and questioned if this type of conversation would be initiated at any level. Ray responded that he is interested in a dialogue related to the elements of an enrollment plan, which would be necessary on a college/departmental level to determine the aggregate number. He also felt that there should be a Senate, as well as university wide, discussion related to the Baccalaureate Core - what is it, why is it there, what should it consist of? He indicated there should be parallel processes at the university, college, Senate and dean level to address these issues.

    A Forestry faculty member referred to the report that is being prepared for the Forestry dean. Ray responded that part of what Dean Salwasser wants to get out of the committee process is a sense of how to move forward in a more effective way than has occurred in the past. Ray considers this an opportunity for faculty, staff and students to indicate what they think should change in Forestry and whether the dean can effectively pursue needed changes. The provost will meet with the dean next week to discuss the results and expectations.


    SPECIAL REPORT

    Interinstitutional Faculty Senate Recap

    Mina Carson provided a brief recap of the June IFS meeting and included the following items:
    • The Board sponsors 'coffee meetings' with faculty and reiterated to IFS that any faculty are welcome to attend - OSU IFS Senators will inform OSU faculty when these meetings will be held locally.
    • Geri Richmond, the faculty representative, is rotating off the State Board and Dalt Miller-Jones, who also serves as a PSU IFS Senator, will replace her.
    • The Chancellor's Office is working on a proposal to rationalize the ORP and TDI investment process and choices. Carson noted that Larry Curtis is working on this issue with the Chancellor's Office.
    • A draft policy package has been created by the Chancellor's Office related to faculty salaries that proposes to elevate OUS to the peer average.


    DIALOG WITH THE PROVOST

    Provost Sabah Randhawa's report included the following:

    • He will be meeting with the deans next week to discuss university issues, including those raised during the Senate meeting, and determine what to work on over the summer. Before fall term begins, he will draft a report outlining what was done well during the academic year, status of issues, and ideas of how to move forward.
    • On May 24 he attended the Student Recognition and Awards Banquet where over 100 students were recognized for their academic performance and superior extra curricular achievements. He shared that students expressed to him how appreciative they are of the education they are receiving. He noted that the June 18 commencement will be the largest graduating class in OSU's history. Randhawa acknowledged that these achievements are only possible due to the commitment to education and the value placed on education, as well as the work and time contributed by both faculty and staff. He personally, and on behalf of the university administration, thanked the faculty for their efforts and contributions in helping to shape the future of over 4,400 graduates. He related that both he and President Ray tell audiences that OSU is very fortunate to have an outstanding faculty, of which they are very proud.
    • Randhawa acknowledged and thanked retiring faculty for their contributions in helping to shape OSU.


    • NEW BUSINESS

      Adel Faridani, proxy for Senator Flahive, Science, presented the following motion in support of Baha'i students in Iran, which was seconded:

      The Faculty Senate of Oregon State University wishes to express its concern about the ongoing denial of higher education to Baha'i students in Iran on the sole basis of religious belief.

      According to the International Religious Freedom Report 2005 released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor of the U.S. Department of State, public and private universities in Iran continue to deny admittance to Baha'i students. While recently, for the first time, Baha'i applicants were permitted to take part in the nationwide exam for entrance into state-run universities, for those students who passed the exam matriculation was again conditioned on their denying their faith.

      Iran enjoys the distinction of being one of the 48 member states of the United Nations in 1948 that unanimously adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 26 of the Declaration states that "everyone has the right to education" and that "higher education shall be made equally accessible to all on the basis of merit". The Declaration also establishes the right to freedom of religion.

      As teachers and researchers committed to our university's mission to "promote economic, social, cultural and environmental progress for people across Oregon, the nation and the world", we affirm the importance of these fundamental human rights.
      We urge the Iranian government to allow everyone to enjoy the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration "without distinction of any kind such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."

      Faridani supplied the following information in support of the motion: the denial of higher education to Baha'i students has continued for over 25 years and jeopardizes the whole community as a viable entity of society; although Baha'i students were allowed to participate in the nationwide exams for university entrance, the government used these results to identify the capable, young people in this community and target them for future persecution; the United Nations has expressed concern regarding monitoring of Baha'i students by the Iranian government. Faridani felt there is a strong sense of urgency since the climate in Iran is becoming more dangerous and noted it was important to inform the public of these actions and encourage them to speak out in an appropriate manner. He also felt that the motion was focused on the mission of educators.

      Motion 06-614-07 passed by voice vote with no further discussion and no dissenting votes.


      Roll Call

      Members Present:
      Agricultural Sciences: Anderson, Coblentz, Dreher, Huddleston, Mallory-Smith, Penner, Savage, T. Eyehrant for Sorte, Thompson
      Associated Faculty: Arthenayake, Beach, Dempsey, Eklund, Elmshaeuser, Fernandez, Gillies, Gomez, Hughes, LeBeouf, Minear, Oldfield
      Business: Banyi, LeMay, Raja, Wu, Yang
      Education: Ward, White
      Engineering: Huber, Hunter-Zaworski, Jovanovic, Levien, Lundy, Pence
      Extension: Galloway, Godwin
      Forestry: Brunner, Clauson, Doescher, Freitag, Puettman, Reuter, Sexton
      Health & Human Sciences: Acock, Asbell, Bowman, J. Murray for Braverman, Friedman, Grobe, Ho, Wilcox
      Liberal Arts: Barker, Carson, Folts, Iltis, B. Tilt for Kingston, Lunch, Melton, Mutschler, Oriard, Roberts, Shaw, Valls
      Library: McMillen
      Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences: Benoit-Bird, Skyllingstad, Spitz, Wheatcroft
      Pharmacy: Muhmad, Stevens
      ROTC: Klink
      Science: A. Faridani for Flahive, Gitelman, Jansen, C. Manogue for Kimerling, Mason, Matzke, McCune, Parks, Taylor
      Student Affairs: Etherton, Langford, Larson, Schwab, Tsuneyoshi, Winter
      Veterinary Medicine: Estill, Mosley

      Members Absent:
      Agricultural Sciences: Bolte, Brewer, Cassidy, Curtis, Duncan, Edge, Engel, Gregory, Jepson, Meink, Wolpert
      Associated Faculty: Barr, Dorbolo, Greydanus, Larkin, Rosenberg, Ross
      Business: None absent
      Education: None absent
      Engineering: Bose, Lee, Momsen, Sillars
      Extension: Butler, Carr, Hathaway
      Forestry: None absent
      Health & Human Sciences: None absent
      Liberal Arts: Brayman Hackel, Edwards, Farber, Helle, Henderson
      Library: None absent
      Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences: Duncan, Torres
      Pharmacy: Nauman
      ROTC: None absent
      Science: Barofsky, Brown, Giebultowicz, Grunder, Ho, Jones, Lajtha, McLeod, Rajagopal, Smythe, Spatafora
      Student Affairs: Hoogesteger
      Veterinary Medicine: Jennings

      Guests Present:
      M. Albright, B. Balz, B. Becker, R. Burke, P. Dysant, M. McCambridge, K. Prickett, S. Willard Argyres

      Faculty Senate Officers, Ex-officios and Staff Present:
      Officers: M. Quinn, President-Elect; J. Hale, Immediate Past President; and Ex-officios: T. Bentley-Townlin, L. Cuiffetti, S. Randhawa, E. Ray, M. Beachley

      Respectfully submitted:
      Vickie Nunnemaker
      Faculty Senate Staff