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Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate » January 11, 2007

Faculty Senate Minutes

2007 No. 618
January 11, 2007

The regular monthly meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order by President Bill Boggess on January 11, 2007 in the LaSells Stewart Center.

President Boggess, in his last address to the Faculty Senate, thanked Senators for the honor and opportunity of serving as Faculty Senate President. He noted it was important to continue the ongoing conversations regarding student engagement and learning, faculty benefits, academic freedom and professional responsibility, the role of service and how it plays into P&T decisions, the university budget and financial outlook, and the overall vision and direction for the institution. He also thanked Vickie Nunnemaker for her assistance during the past year.

Meeting Summary
  • Action Items: Installation of Elected Officials; Approval of Parliamentarian; Category I Proposal - BS in Accountancy [Motion 07-618-01]
  • Special Reports: Interinstitutional Faculty Senate - P. Doescher; Advanced Academy for Teaching and Learning - P. Saunders
  • Discussion Item: Baccalaureate Core Panel - M. Dempsey, L. Gray, K. Kincanon, J. Trempy
  • New Business: None


Installation of Elected Officials

President Boggess then installed Mike Quinn as President. Quinn presented Boggess a plaque expressing appreciation for his service to the Faculty Senate that included the following quote:
The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone. You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it. ~ Elaine Agather

Quinn then installed:
  • President-Elect Lynda Ciuffetti.
  • Executive Committee members: Leonard Friedman, Goran Jovanovic and Tony Wilcox who join the continuing members - Moira Dempsey, Lani Robertson and Terryl Ross.
  • Interinstitutional Faculty Senate Senator Joanne Sorte who joins the continuing members: Paul Doescher and Kate Hunter-Zaworski.
  • Quinn then introduced each newly elected Senator and declared them installed.

Approval of Parliamentarian

Hearing no objections from the floor, Quinn declared Michael Beachley installed as Faculty Senate Parliamentarian.

Category I Proposal

John Lee, Curriculum Council Chair, presented for approval the Bachelor of Science in Accountancy Category I proposal. He noted that the Curriculum Council unanimously approved the proposal and that the Budgets and Fiscal Planning Committee fully supported the proposal. Motion 07-618-01 to approve the proposal passed by voice vote with no discussion or dissenting votes.


Interinstitutional Faculty Senate Recap

Paul Doescher, IFS Senator, related the purpose of IFS: To serve as a voice of the faculty of the institutions of the Oregon University System in matters of system wide concern; to consider statewide policies and to make recommendations thereon; and to endeavor to strengthen the participation of faculties in the governance of the various institutions, through representatives of their own choosing. He emphasized the importance of IFS to faculty and to the State of Oregon and noted that IFS typically meets with state legislators, governor's aides, the Chancellor and OSBHE members.

He encouraged faculty to convey concerns to the OSU IFS Senators: Joanne Sorte, Kate Hunter-Zaworski, Mina Carson (IFS President) or himself. His recap of the December IFS meeting included the following items:

  • Budget - Possibility of budget cuts; OUS has a five biennia plan to increase the state's investment in higher education. Faculty were encouraged to personally talk with legislators and relate the effect of budget reductions at OSU.
  • ORP and TDI - For now ORP will be left as is, but will likely be discussed during the legislative session. Due to changes in PERS, it is recommended that all faculty participate in a 403(b) (TDI) plan to ensure they will have an adequate income during retirement. Faculty have expressed concern related to the proposed loss of providers resulting from the OUS streamlining effort.
  • Do's and Don'ts when dealing with Legislators - Neil Bryant, former legislator and current OUS consultant recommends:
    • Write personal notes; email is not as effective.
    • Keep correspondence less than one page.
    • When scheduling a personal visit, be kind to the staff since they are often related to the legislator.
    • Expect to meet with a legislator for only five minutes - be concise.
    • Don't miss a class to meet with a legislator - they will often ask.
    • Emphasize key issues, such as those that affect educational quality (student/teacher ratio).
    • Do some homework on the legislator you're scheduled to meet with:
      • Did they or their spouse go to college?
      • What was their major?
      • What are key issues in their district?
      • What is their OUS voting record?
  • Phone calls are not as effective as personal visits.
  • Invite a legislator to attend a class.
  • Be helpful and truthful.
  • Prioritize your request.
  • Keep in mind that letters to the Editor in local newspapers are read by legislators.
  • Provide a sincere 'Thank you.'
  • Don't do anything weird on your campus when the Legislature is in session.

Advanced Academy for Teaching and Learning

Peter Saunders, Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, outlined the Academy mission which provides support to achieve professional excellence in teaching and learning by encouraging and facilitating the scholarship of teaching and learning.

The type of assistance provided by the Center includes:
  • Workshops to assist faculty in understanding changes related to higher ed and k-12 issues.
  • Open forums to discuss teaching issues (large classes, grade inflation, discipline problems).
  • Confidential meetings with faculty to discuss issues.
  • An impartial observer during class with a follow-up meeting to discuss teaching behaviors and, if they wish, creation of a plan to improve teaching over time.
  • Mentoring for faculty who teach large classes.
  • A website providing available resources, such as rubrics, teaching portfolios, etc.
  • Teaching and Learning Innovation Grants in the amount of $2,000 to assist faculty in making changes (e.g., purchasing student assessment systems).
  • Access to videos showing best teaching practices.
  • A safe place in which to talk and practice teaching.

Saunders noted that the College of Health and Human Sciences provided 215 Milam for the Advanced Academy for Teaching and Learning where workshops are held, and he partnered with Herman-Miller, Inc. and Smart Technologies who sponsored the furniture and interactive white boards. Next to MIT, OSU has one of the best teaching and learning facilities in the nation. He noted that they work with both individual faculty members as well as departments.


Baccalaureate Core Panel

Moira Dempsey facilitated a panel that addressed Baccalaureate Core issues with the intent of stimulating conversation and ideas. The panel members were: Liz Gray, Human Development and Family Sciences and Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Health and Human Sciences; Kerry Kincanon, Head Advisor, University Exploratory Studies Program and Chair, Academic Advising Council; and Janine Trempy, Microbiology, Associate Dean for the College of Science, and Chair, University Council on Student Engagement and Experience (UCSEE).

Question: Does OSU's Baccalaureate Core provide the opportunity for engagement and learning that we desire for our students?
Gray - Noted that the Bacc Core, developed in 1987, was intended to give students a well rounded Liberal Arts education; to be able to communicate in the area of the physical and biological sciences, humanities and arts, and in social sciences. She felt that the program has achieved in offering student choices in a variety of content, but the intent was not to create opportunities for student engagement. Students need opportunities for small group learning with faculty, to develop self-confidence, and the ability to think critically. She felt that student engagement related to the Bacc Core is failing. Information from NSSE and senior exit surveys indicate that students are not provided with engagement opportunities in the Bacc Core. She made the following suggestions: look at the process of the Bacc Core, including who teaches the courses - is it master teachers or TA's; look at the pedagogy and skills given to those teaching the courses; and look at improving the quality rather than throwing out the idea of a Bacc Core.

Kincanon - The opportunity for engagement exists, but he was unsure if engagement was being fully executed across campus. He felt that since no one is explaining the purpose of the Bacc Core, many students don't understand it or why it is necessary; it's important to let students know why general education is important.

Trempy - Opportunities can be found anywhere. Faculty brought in during the late '80's were asked to implement the Bacc Core but, at that time, they didn't know about student engagement. Other institutions have updated their Bacc Core and incorporated student engagement and learning. She suggested looking at other models and stated there is a desire by faculty to re-examine the Bacc Core.

The discussion included the following:
  • Senator Carson, Liberal Arts, indicated readiness to hear a discussion regarding changes to the Bacc Core.
  • Senator Jovanovic, Engineering, felt that the development of critical thinking is the first step, and the next step is creative thinking. He would like the Bacc Core to be revisited and incorporate creative thinking. He questioned whether there were boundary conditions that would be revealed during an analysis of the program that would provide guidance in changing the courses. He also noted that every program needs to be reviewed periodically.
  • Dempsey encouraged faculty to think without boundaries to create thoughtful conversations and noted that incremental steps may be necessary.
  • Senator Friedman, Health and Human Sciences, questioned whether the committee has thought in terms of multi and cross-disciplinary courses.
  • Gray responded that different models of engagement are being explored, particularly within some colleges; however, there are some infrastructure barriers that will need to be overcome.
  • IFS Senator Sorte noted that, after serving on the Baccalaureate Core Committee (BCC), she came to value the worth of the Bacc Core and the effort that went into it. Evolution is a natural part of the Core, and courses such as WIC have been added over the years. The BCC reviews a Bacc Core category each year to determine if courses are still maintaining expectations of the Core; one expectation is that a variety of majors be represented within courses. There is a good foundation for making future changes; the issue is how to keep Bacc Core classes small enough to create an environment of engagement.
  • Parliamentarian Beachley noted that about 25 years ago an interdisciplinary course called Connections taught by faculty from Liberal Arts and Science was well received by students, but was discontinued due to finances; he encouraged revisiting this course and others like it.
  • Senator Roberts, Liberal Arts, doesn't feel just changing the Bacc Core will create engagement, and felt that content and presentation are vital factors. She suggested asking students with what they are engaged since engagement is relational.
  • Trempy suggested that some environments are more conducive for faculty/student engagement and is currently looking at potential points of flexibility. She noted that Jay Noller, BCC co-chair, is setting up prototypes for learning outcomes for various sections.
  • Senator Rosenberger, Liberal Arts, recalled an OSU 2007 discussion of the Bacc Core being more issue oriented, which may be a way to deal with the multi-disciplinary approach. Students could build projects around an identified issue that could possibly incorporate a portfolio with capstone courses.
  • Senator Bogley, Science, questioned what Kincanon hears from students regarding personal connections with faculty members. Kincanon responded that smaller classes promote engagement, while engagement in large classes varies depending on the faculty member.
  • Senator Frietag, Forestry, noted that problems experienced by students in accessing Bacc Core courses may limit their engagement. Students first schedule required courses and fill in with whatever Bacc Core courses are available and may enter the class prepared to not be engaged since it may not be a course in which they are interested.
  • Senator Kingston, Liberal Arts, noted that her department has purposely allowed large courses for students who need a Bacc Core option. This is a result of budget issues (more students generates additional revenue), which goes against student engagement; she suggested that budget rebasing may need to be revisited.
  • Senator McAlexander, Health and Human Sciences, felt it was important during orientation courses and advising sessions to explain the purpose of the Bacc Core, as well as the outcomes, which allows students to make informed choices.
  • Senator Wilcox, Health and Human Sciences, didn't feel that engagement and learning was the place to begin since issues raised (primarily budget related) also apply to majors. He suggested asking what philosophy is being promulgated and does it reflect the institutional identity, character and what the faculty endorse.
  • Senator Selker, Agricultural Sciences, felt that OSU needs to define a new level of academic standard.
  • Senator Gomez, Associated Faculty, felt that the question should be how do we maximize opportunities for student engagement and learning, and noted three categories: 1) engagement is a process, 2) how we package the content of all courses, and 3) structural issues that enhance or impede accomplishment of the goal (i.e., budget, number of faculty, etc.). He suggested that the Faculty Senate try to improve the situation.
  • Senator Roberts didn't feel it was a bad thing that students are sometimes forced into areas unknown to them since it exposes them to areas they would not have explored otherwise.
  • Senator Marshall, Business, felt it is not so much that the Bacc Core needs to be revised in a curricular sense, rather the delivery methods need to be reviewed.
  • Senator Curtis, Agricultural Sciences, requested looking at the existing core, courses in it, number of students and in what they are enrolled. In particular, he felt that undergraduates don't write well.
  • Senator Mason, Science, felt it was good for students to have a broad liberal education. Need to determine whether low enrollment Bacc Core courses should be dropped and additional sessions of successful courses offered.
  • Senator Oriard, Liberal Arts, noted that a lot of the Bacc Core courses are taught by adjuncts since faculty have left and not been replaced.
  • Trempy noted that, aside from funding issues, it usually defaults to those who are good at teaching, but questioned where the value system is when time is put into student engagement which draws them away from other aspects such as scholarship and research; there is no recognition in the P&T process. Those who have the time (i.e., instructor pool) usually end up teaching Bacc Core courses.
  • Hoogester, Student Affairs (proxy for Winter), felt that the purpose of the Bacc Core needs to be articulated by students, faculty and staff; need to determine how it can be supported.
  • Senator Asbell, Health and Human Sciences, suggested requesting assistance from Peter Saunders to determine how delivery issues should be resolved.
  • Saunders made several points:
    • A major concern is that there are different types of students at OSU who learn in different ways, which raises issues for faculty since there is not one method of delivery. There will be students who do not appreciate engagement and do well on their own, but there is a negative effect on students who do need engagement. There is a need to understand more about students and student motivation.
    • After setting up expectations for students in year one, there is a need to follow through in subsequent years; this is part of the OSU experience.
    • Many students believe that it is the faculty's responsibility for them to learn; faculty must give back the responsibility to students.
  • Senator McLeod, Science, suggested that perhaps it's not so much how the Bacc Core is structured, rather how it is clustered and how students are moved through as cohorts. He also suggested the use of TLC and mentoring from upper class students to enhance the experience.
  • President Ray questioned the outcomes we are getting, the objectives we want to achieve and how to assess whether we are successful or if changes are needed. He noted two measures in the NSSE survey where results were disturbing: 1) OSU students were not challenged to think; they felt that memorization was more important, and 2) OSU students felt they were less engaged in learning experiences outside of the formal classroom. Need to think about what, if anything, could be done in the Bacc Core to change these results.
  • Past President Boggess stated the need to set expectations early in a student's career.
  • Senator Alexander, Student Affairs, questioned what we hope to get out of the Bacc Core and is it being measured to determine whether or not the hope is being achieved. He also questioned expectations beyond the NSSE results. Gray responded that, what HHS wants, is student success, retention, to help students feel connected to the faculty, create a sense of self, and academic content. She and others are determining how these measures are applied to the Bacc Core. Trempy stated that the graduation rate is important to her.
  • Senator Trujillo, Liberal Arts, perceived fear and trepidation in anticipation of the demands that will be placed on faculty. He outlined a successful 12-credit interdisciplinary block taught last spring with three faculty team-teaching and hoped that more of these experiences would be possible.


Provost Randhawa welcomed new Senators, Executive Committee members and officers. He thanked the retiring Senators for their service and thanked Bill Boggess for his valuable input. His report included the following:
  • During the New Senator Orientation he shared that both he and President Ray value and appreciate the interactions and the governance structure at OSU. He stated that faculty are the heart of the institution and their input is critical in the decision-making process.
  • He thanked the panelists and participation from faculty. He felt the importance of the Baccalaureate Core cannot be underscored and noted that it provides an opportunity to reach every undergraduate student; the knowledge and skills of the general education are fundamental to the development of the person. Randhawa mentioned that there are interesting models that could be learned from in the process of improving the Bacc Core. He noted that resources earmarked for faculty/student ratio could be available from the Governor's budget.
  • He has initiated a process with the Provost's Council to review synchronization across the university. The charge reads: To enable us to function differently than we have in the past regarding setting university-wide priorities and to ensure that local decisions are synchronized in the best overall interests of the university. The intent is to complete the process before May so that the Provost's Council clearly understands unit priorities and how the priorities impact other areas of the institution. One outcome is to determine how to avoid past unintended decisions in one unit that negatively affect other units.


President Quinn noted that discussions regarding important issues may be held during the coming months, such as student engagement, Baccalaureate Core, and proposed revisions to the Promotion and Tenure Guidelines; he invited Senators to participate in these discussions that will shape the future direction of OSU.


There was no new business

Roll Call

Members Present:
Agricultural Sciences: Curtis, Dreher, B. Sorte for D. Edge; Hartley, Ketchum, Parke, Pereira, Rossignol, Savage, Selker, Thompson.
Associated Faculty: Achterman, Arthenayake, Averill, Bruce, Dempsey, Eklund, Elmshaeuser, Fernandez, Gaines, Gillies, Gomez, Greydanus, Hoff, Minear, N. Houtman for Oldfield, Pribyl, Ross.
Business: Banyi, Marshall, Raja, Wu, Yang.
Education: Ward, White.
Engineering: Bell, Bose, Higginbotham, Huber, Hunter-Zaworski, Jovanovic, Pence.
Extension: Godwin.
Forestry: Doescher, Freitag, Kellogg, J. Tynon for Reuter, Sexton.
Health & Human Sciences: Asbell, Bowman, Braverman, Cardinal, Friedman, Hooker, McAlexander, Wilcox.
Liberal Arts: Carson, Edwards, Folts, Gross, T. Daugherty for Helle, Kingston, Melton, Oriard, R. Thompson for Orosco, Plaza, Roberts, Rosenberger, Steel, Trujillo, Valls.
Library: McMillen.
Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences: Spitz.
Pharmacy: Indra, Ramirez, Stevens.
ROTC: None present.
Science: Blair, Bogley, Flahive, Gitelman, Ho, Jansen, Lee, Mason, Matzke, McLeod.
Student Affairs: Alexander, Benton, Larson, L. Hoogesteger for Winter, Yamamoto.
Veterinary Medicine: Valentine.

Members Absent:
Agricultural Sciences: Anderson, Bolte, Cassidy, Gamroth, Gregory, Hayes, Jepson, Mallory-Smith, Torres.
Associated Faculty: Dorbolo.
Business: No absences.
Education: No absences.
Engineering: Lee, Momsen, Sillars.
Extension: Carr, Galloway.
Forestry: Puettman, Zahler.
Health & Human Sciences: Acock.
Liberal Arts: Lunch, Walls.
Library: No absences.
Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences: Benoit-Bird, Skyllingstad, Wheatcroft.
Pharmacy: No absences.
ROTC: Sullivan.
Science: Arnold, Field, Grunder, Jones, Kimerling, Lajtha, McCune, Rajagopal, Taylor.
Student Affairs: Langford, Schwab.
Veterinary Medicine: Estill, Mosley.

Guests Present:
T. Barr, R. Brooks, V. Tolar Burton, L. Gray, B. Johnson, K. Kincanon, I. Kleinsorge, K. Kuo, S. Leslie, P. Saunders, G. Shellhammer, D. Towns, J. Trempy, E. Wilson Huey.

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

Respectfully submitted:
Vickie Nunnemaker
Faculty Senate Staff