September 22, 2004 Motions.
Motion to Reauthorize the Workload Committee of the Faculty Senate
September 22, 2004
The University of Maine System Strategic Plan refers to “appropriate faculty student ratios and faculty/staff ratios” as well as benchmarks for enrollment, retention, and graduation rates among other faculty workload criteria. With a number of such prospective issues related to faculty workload possible during this coming year, it is requested that the authorization for the ad hoc workload committee be extended for this coming year in order to address these issues, as needed.
The Faculty Senate reauthorizes the Workload Committee for continuation through the coming 2004-2005 academic year, so that they may continue in their exploration of workload issues with respect to the University of Maine System Strategic Plan.
Voting Results: Motion passed unanimously.
October 20, 2004 Motions.
A Motion on Review of the Student Evaluation Form for Faculty Teaching
Motion by: Academic Affairs Committee
Effective teaching is vital to the accomplishment of the University’s mission of providing quality education to the citizens of Maine. Evaluation of teaching must be conducted in the most appropriate way to reflect this goal.
Student evaluations are mandated in the AFUM agreement as a means of improving instruction. Each department or unit can change its evaluation instrument, in conjunction with administrative review. The student evaluation instrument, which is often used as the default form by the University of Maine community, was introduced on a trial basis over 20 years ago and has not been revised since. It is not clear which aspects of teaching performance the form measures, and the form has never been validated, i.e. compared to other instruments.
Whereas student evaluations are the only way in which many units assess teaching performance for purposes of reappointment, tenure and promotion,
Whereas the non-traditional teaching approaches such as encouragement of active learning and team work, which are vital to the faculty mission to improve retention, are underemphasized by the current default evaluation instrument, and
Whereas the current instrument may negatively impact academic quality by emphasizing instructor qualities rather than performance (for example, question #13), it is proposed that:
Faculty Senate will establish an ad hoc standing committee to review and revise the current default student evaluation instrument. The committee will work closely with faculty senators, the Center for Teaching Excellence, representatives of the Provost, students, and other groups on campus concerned with this issue. The committee will consult contemporary research studies to recommend revisions to the current student evaluation instrument in a report to the Senate early in 2005.
As a result of these recommendations, departments or units may wish to change to the revised instrument, which may be done without initiating and undergoing administrative review.
Voting Result: The motion passed unanimously.
Motion to Authorize an Ad Hoc Committee on Student Evaluations
October 20, 2004
The Faculty Senate, at its April 28, 2004, meeting unanimously approved aMotion on Review of the Student Evaluation Form for Faculty Teachingpresented by the Academic Affairs committee. The Motion states:
“Faculty Senate will establish as ad hoc standing committee to review and revise the current default student evaluation instrument. The committee will work closely with faculty senators, the Center for Teaching Excellence, representatives of the Provost, students, and other groups on campus concerned with this issue. The committee will consult contemporary research studies to recommend revisions to the current student evaluation instrument in a report to the Senate early in 2005.”
The Faculty Senate authorizes the Chair of the Committee on Committees to create an Ad Hoc Committee on Student Evaluations which will report to the Senate in Spring 2005.
Voting Results: Motion was made, and seconded. The motion passed.
Gen Ed Ad Hoc Care
November 17, 2004 Motions
Demonstrated Needs Motion, Academic Affairs
Motion by: Michael Grillo
The majority of discussions deciding where the University should invest its faculty have been driven by plans originating from the Administration at campus and System Office levels. While such planning in accordance to a centralized vision laudably co-ordinates the efforts of the numerous, diverse programs of the University, for the maximum effectiveness of the University’s meeting its mission, such planning needs balancing by the realities that the faculty face in meeting current and future curricular, research, and outreach responsibilities.
The University of Maine Administration will formally canvass the faculty to determine where resources are required to respond to critical teaching, research, and outreach needs. They will look for indicators that signal dire needs within programs, such as reliance upon a high proportion of adjunct faculty and overload teaching, formal self-assessment, recommendations by external program reviewers, accrediting boards, professional organizations, and state agencies, undergraduate student needs for their majors and general-education requirements, inappropriate class sizes, increased graduate student enrollments, and marked growths in programs. Once the University of Maine Administration has collected these data, they will distribute it to the Faculty Senate, by 16 March, 2005, and present a plan of how they will address these deficiencies.
Michael said that the Demonstrated Needs Motion has been discussed for more than a year. It attempts to work as a complement to the Strategic Plan, one which would work as a mode of identification of a variety of factors. He thinks that if the colleges can identify needs and these can be catalogued it would be helpful to know. It would also help us identify our strengths. He said it is not meant to be antagonistic, but rather a realist and pragmatic process.
There was discussion regarding the motion. Michael stated he felt that the motion would be a platform for faculty voice, and shared governance. It shows us our shared commonality. Some of the comments addressed the labor and time involved to the various programs and what will be done with the data collected. President Kennedy thought it would be difficult if not impossible to collect this data, and this information is being collected for the strategic plan. Janet Waldron is setting up meetings with the Deans which pertain to these same issues. Scott Johnson stated that there isn’t a department on campus that doesn’t need something, that the motion would create more bureaucracy and the March 16 date was not reasonable. There was lengthy and involved discussion from both sides of the issue. A friendly amendment was suggested “will formally canvass the facultysenators…” as opposed to faculty in general. Michael preferred “chairs and directors”.
Voting Results: A vote was called, the motion did not pass.
Maine Day Motion, Academic Affairs
Motion by: Michael Grillo
The tradition of Maine Day goes back to 1935, when then President Author Hauck designated a day for the students, faculty, and staff to work together in cleaning up the campus. Every four years, the Senate needs re-authorize the institution of Maine Day.
The Faculty Senate re-authorizes Maine Day for the years 2006-2010. Maine Day will occur on the last Wednesday of the Spring Semester. Classes will be canceled on that day with the exception of classes, including laboratories, which meet two or fewer times per week. Within 30 days after Maine Day, the group that has overall responsibility for organizing the event shall submit to the Senate a list of projects that were accomplished and the number of people who participated. The Faculty Senate will reconsider the policy of Maine Day in the Fall of 2008.
Michael introduced the motion. There was no discussion.
Voting Results: Motion passed, 19 for, 7 abstentions.
Program Review Motion, Academic Affairs
Motion by: Michael Grillo
As the University of Maine addresses how it will shape itself under the new System Strategic Plan, it must ready itself for the possibility of reduced allocations from the System Office and other forms of economic loss. Discussions by several constituencies, including the Board of Trustees, Board of Visitors, System Office, and the Administration, surrounding these possible changes have included probabilities of program reductions and eliminations, the losses of positions, and other significant changes that would change the essential nature of the University of Maine. Since the course content, curricular integrity, determination of programs, and pedagogy of the University lies within the purview of the faculty, the Faculty Senate, as its representative body, calls upon the Administration to negotiate with and achieve the Senate’s ultimate approval in all actions that affect the faculty’s fulfilling the University’s academic mission.
Section 305.1 of the University of Maine System Policy Manual covers Program Approval, Review, Suspension and Elimination (Effective: 1/29/87 & Last Revised: 7/12/93; 7/97; 3/99; 10/00) spells out how Administrators might identify a program for change; all faculty members should familiarize themselves with these procedures, which the System has posted electronically at http://www.maine.edu/acadaff.html#Anchor6 . The motion below adheres to these guidelines, specifically in their stating that any program elimination should include under Program Suspension section 2, subsection “b. The specific rationale for the suspension of the program. … c. The relationship of the program suspension to the institutional mission and to other programs at the institution. … [&] g.) The input obtained from meeting and discussion with the appropriate faculty committees and with the Associated Faculties of the University of Maine System prior to completion of the proposal.” Likewise, the document calls for faculty participation in the Program Elimination process section 2, subsections “b.) The specific rationale for the elimination of the program including an indication of the campus process used to reach the recommendation. [&] c. The relationship of the program elimination to the campus mission and to other programs on the campus.” These quoted sections call for the establishment of clear campus procedures, and also call for open discussions in identifying the relationships among programs. The following motion provides the necessary framework in which these processes might take specific form on this campus, to best engage the Faculty in such important discussions. As the representative body of the Faculty of the University of Maine, the Faculty Senate would certainly qualify as the most central of “the appropriate faculty committees” called for by the System Policy Manual.
Finally, the status of the University budget and any projected reallocations may, in part, dictate the levels of potential changes to academic programs. Early information would be extremely helpful to all participants in review and planning decisions.
Before making any decisions about the futures of any academic programs, the Administration will present its criteria for the evaluation of all academic programs to the Faculty Senate for Senate approval. When the Administration implements these permitted criteria in any manner which affects the future of any academic program, it must return to the Senate for approval of its proposed actions.
As stipulated in the AFUM-UMS Agreement, Article 23, the Administration must prepare an impact study of any program suspension or elimination with the faculty. This present motion requires the Administration to share that impact study in full with the faculty. Should the Administration wish to curtail a program, the Administrators must bring this request before the Senate for a vote as the motion of 28 March, 1992 states and the actions of 18 December, 1996 support.
Given the AFUM-UMS Agreement contract dates of the faculty, no decisions or implementations affecting any program may take place over the Summer, when the faculty are off-contract.
In light of the importance of economic planning for all decisions on academic programming, the Administration must present a summary of FY06 funding needs and projected new revenues (showing multiple scenarios based on different levels of tuition increases) to the Faculty Senate by 26 January, 2005.
This motion is being presented due to some sections of the Strategic Plan which pertain to program cuts. Michael strongly urged senators to read this section of the Strategic Plan. The motion calls for the spelling out system policy, that there be a criteria for program review. He feels the faculty should be asked for input when programs are under review or assessment. The motion also asks that we have a clear relationship between these reviews and the UM budget.
Howard asked President Kennedy for his opinion on the motion. Kennedy said that the motion appeared to be the same as policy that was already in place. He took issue with some of the wording of the motion. Michael said that the motion just asks that the Administration provide their criteria for program elimination. Janet Waldron addressed the last paragraph of the motion and said that the administration will not have a budget prepared by January 26, 2005. A lot depends on the legislature as to what our appropriation will be. Until late June or July we will not know what our resources are. She will share what she has before then, but not by January. Concern was expressed that this motion was duplicating efforts of the Finance & Institutional Planning committee. Horan said that the motion seemed redundant.
Voting Result: A vote was called, 8 for, 8 against and 11 abstained. Howard Patterson cast the deciding vote against the motion.
Motion to Restore Full Funding of External Reviews, Environment Committee
Motion by: Scott Johnson
According to Section 305.1 of the University of Maine System’sAdministrative Procedures Manual of Academic Affairs, “all academic degree programs are to be reviewed within an established time frame not to exceed ten years.” This review consists of a program’s self-study and “a report by external reviewers based on a review of the self-study, additional materials as required, and a site visit.” In order to produce their extensive reports, two or three external reviewers typically visit the UM campus for about two days.
This process of external review is provocative in a positive way. It stimulates self-scrutiny by the departments even before the review happens. The reviewers can be extremely useful catalysts in sniffing out problem areas, suggesting programmatic refinements, additions, and eliminations, and helping departments envision alternative ways of doing things. For these reasons, it is of the utmost importance that highly qualified, experienced, and thoughtful reviewers are selected to conduct the reviews.
According to the System’s “Academic Program Review” item #5, “Funding for external reviews will be provided through a special fund in the budget of the University of Maine System.” It has been standard practice here for Chief Academic Officers to reimburse reviewers for their travel, food, and lodging, and to pay them honoraria for their professional service. Quite recently (as of a year or so ago), without any consultation with the faculty, this practice was changed into a “no honoraria” policy. Reviewers are now reimbursed for their expenses, and that is all. Moreover, the administration will now pay only $1500 for the total expenses of up to three reviewers. The remainder of the cost of expenses is supposed to be split between deans’ budgets and departments’ operating budgets. Many departments do not even know of this policy change, because they are not yet scheduled for an external review, and have not yet been subjected to the policy.
The “no honoraria” policy is unprofessional and embarrassing, both to the University of Maine as a whole and to the department who must offer apologies in the process of recruiting reviewers. It can undermine the quality and credentials of the external reviewers and it may tarnish the review itself. Not funding these reviews compromises their quality and their value in program improvement.
We move that the University of Maine System and its central administrative offices at the University of Maine fully fund the expenses and honoraria payments of external reviewers who come here to participate in program reviews. Further, this return to fair pay for services rendered should begin immediately. “Full funding” of honoraria will typically mean a baseline honorarium of $500 per day for each reviewer, although the fair payment standard may vary from discipline to discipline. The honorarium is separate from the reviewer’s travel and living expenses.
Scott previewed the motion. The Academic Affairs manual states that external reviews will be funded by the University of Maine. He said that most departments have a problem coming up with the funds to pay outside reviews. Kathleen March stated that she was disturbed that some departments have had their reviews funded and other have not. She was in favor of this motion. A question was asked about the financial implications of the motion. Scott said that the provost said that money must come from somewhere to pay for these reviews, perhaps other programs. President Kennedy stated that UM receives $1,500 from the system for program reviews, but receives nothing for accreditation reviews, so those monies would have to come from other academic program. Kennedy felt that the motion should have been given to the finance committee, which is working with Janet Waldron. Someone asked how much money is involved. Scott Johnson answered that reviewers in some program request $500 a day, $10,000 is not an unreasonable figure per review, so $100,000 per year is not unrealistic. More questions were posed regarding who pays for these reviews. Howard asked Claire Strickland how much money was estimated. She said $100,000 was an accurate estimate. Someone asked if there has been a recent change in the amount of funding from the system office. Todd Gabe offered to have the finance committee review how much money has been spent in the last few years on these reviews. Other questions were posed to Scott, and he finally decided to withdraw the motion as he did not author it, and felt that the author should be present to answer. Doug Ruthven suggested that he table the motion instead.
Voting Results: A vote was taken on tabling the motion. The vote passed.
December 15, 2004 Motions
Motion by: Kathleen March, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee
The strategic planning efforts initiated by the University of Maine System offer the opportunity to strengthen and enhance our position as the leading comprehensive University in Maine and the potential for becoming one of the top public institutions of higher learning in New England. To effect change within the University community requires that its members willingly engage in and understand the implications of the planning efforts. The motion outlined below requests that specific actions be taken that will ensure that the community can participate fully in the planning efforts.
To actively engage the University community requires that transparency exist at all levels and that discussions that alter the implementation of strategic initiatives remain possible. As such, the following steps should be in effect prior to proceeding with the initiation of a strategic planning effort at the University of Maine
• That the development of teams, committees or other entities charged with developing tactics, plans or objectives related to strategic planning efforts be done in consultation with the faculty senate.
• That the membership of teams, committees or other entities charged with developing tactics, plans or objectives related to strategic planning efforts be done in consultation with the faculty senate.
• That open meetings with detailed discussions of objectives and implementation strategy be held prior to initiating actions that may affect the mission and functioning of the University.
• That members of the University community be kept fully apprised of the possible implications of actions, tactics and objectives related to the strategic planning efforts. In addition, the faculty senate should be given detailed updates on plans, tactics and goals by strategic planning committee chairs prior to the implementation of any major initiatives related to strategic planning.
There was no discussion.
Voting Results: A vote was called for. 29 in favor, none opposed, 4 abstensions. Motion approved.
President and Scholar Motion
An institution of Higher Education has a unique structure and needs. As such, it is best served by a chief executive officer who comprehends those needs and can advocate for the institution successfully in all venues.
The President of The University of Maine should have a sufficiently strong scholarly background as to (1) understand the complexities of an institution of higher education and (2) warrant tenure in a department of the University.
Kathleen explained that the motion doesn’t mean that the President should be tenured in the position. It states that the person chosen as President should warrant tenure.
President Kennedy said that in this case the motion should be sent to the Chancellor’s Office, not the President’s Office. It was noted from the floor that the letter that is normally sent to the President’s Office should then be forwarded to the Chancellor’s Office.
Voting Results: A vote was called. 26 in favor, 5 opposed, 4 abstentions. Motion approved.
The President of The University of Maine should not function without a contract.
There was some discussion whether this was the purview of the Faculty Senate and not the administration. Marie Hayes quoted the Faculty Senate Constitution, which states that it is under the auspices of the senate to endorse such a motion.
Voting Results: 30 in favor, 0 opposed, 3 abstensions. Motion approved.
Motion on the Evaluation of the President
It is of utmost importance for The University of Maine to be represented by a strong President who can candidly put forward to the system the views of The University of Maine campus community. To enhance the credibility of the President and to improve presidential transitions, we support the following principles for evaluating the President.
The President of the University of Maine shall be evaluated on a regular basis by the faculty, following a process similar to that established for other UMaine administrators by the Faculty Senate in May 2002.
The Senate Executive Committee shall forward their evaluation of the President to the Chancellor and the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
The Chancellor and the Board of Trustees shall include this information in their evaluation of the President.
The Chancellor and Board of Trustees shall inform the Faculty Senate of The University of Maine regarding the basis of its evaluation.
Voting Results: 27 in favor, none opposed, 4 abstensions. Motion approved.
January 26, 2005 Motions
February 23, 2005 Motions
Tenure Clock Motion
Motion by: University Environment Committee, Constitution & Bylaws Committee
* Approximately 45% of U.S. universities have policies that allow faculty to stop the tenure clock for the birth or adoption of a child. Many also allow for such extensions for eldercare.
* The American Association of University Professors’ model policy on Family Responsibilities and Academic Work includes a call for universities to adopt a standard policy and procedure, rather than ad hoc arrangements.
* Such policies are important in recruiting and retaining excellent faculty. As the Faculty Senate of the University of Florida put it, “peer institutions, other leading higher education institutions, and corporations, many of which compete with us for the best faculty, have instituted a variety of policies and programs to address the fit between family life and work.
* A wide range of universities – both public and private – have policies that allow faculty to stop the tenure clock for the birth or adoption of a child. These include the University of Delaware, the University of Michigan, the University of California at Berkeley, MIT, Stanford, Duke, the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Virginia Tech, and the University of Connecticut.
* Such a policy will bring the University into line with the rapidly increasing numbers of institutions which offer such adjustments to the tenure clock; will support our tripartite mission of teaching, research and service; will enhance our ability to recruit and retain excellent faculty; and will promote our diversity goals.
We recommend that the administration of the University of Maine adopt a more flexible policy for granting requests for extensions to the years allowed before promotion and tenure decisions. This policy would normally include, but are not limited to, extensions for reasons such as:
Voting Results: Motion passed, 34 for, 1 opposed, none abstained.
Amendment to the Bylaws for the Appointment of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee
Motion by: Constitution & Bylaws Committee
(Only the affected paragraphs in the Bylaws have been included here, with changes underlined and highlighted)
The following changes in the wording of the Bylaws is proposed for the purpose of:
BYLAWS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE FACULTY SENATE
ARTICLE I. ELECTION OF SENATE OFFICERS At the March meeting, the Committee on Committees shall present at least two candidates for Vice President/ President‑ elect, at least one candidate for Secretary and Board of Trustees Representative and at least one candidate for each position on the committee on Committees. The agenda for the April meeting shall include the names of those nominated. There shall be an opportunity for nominations from the floor at the time of the election in April. Each office shall be voted on separately by secret ballot, where there is a contest, and a majority of the votes cast shall be necessary for election. In the event that no candidate receives a majority, a second vote shall be taken between the two highest candidates. In the event the Vice President ‘s office becomes vacant prior to the expiration of the term, the Senate shall hold a special election. At a regularly scheduled meeting of the Senate, the President shall inform the members of the vacancy, ask the Committee on Committees to secure nominations, and set the time for the election at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the full Senate. At the time of election, the procedure shall be as outlined in the paragraph‑ above. In the event the Secretary’s office becomes vacant prior to the expiration of the term, the President shall in consultation with the Executive Committee, appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the term.
ARTICLE II. COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP The new President of the Senate shall designate the Chairperson of the Committee on Committees. The Committee on Committees, except as otherwise noted, shall make recommendations to the President of the Senate for all faculty members of each standing committee. The President shall appoint the members of each standing committee, and parliamentarian, and designate the chairperson who serves at the pleasure of the President. Except in unusual circumstances, a faculty member may serve concurrently on only one standing committee. Ex officio members, where specified in the composition of a committee, shall have all rights of membership. The President shall be an ex officio member of each standing committee. To insure that each College is represented on the Executive Committee, the President may appoint members to serve “at large” on the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE IV. STANDING COMMITTEE
Section 1. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
A. Function. The Executive Committee has broad responsibility for planning and facilitating the activities of the Senate. This committee assigns, coordinates and reviews the work of the committees of the Faculty Senate. The Executive Committee conducts the business of the Senate on a temporary basis, if in its judgment, an emergency exists.
B. Membership. The members of the Executive Committee are the President of the Senate, the Vice President/President‑elect, the Secretary, the Chairpersons of the Committee on Academic Affairs, Committee on University Environment, Committee on Finance and Institutional Planning, Committee on Committees, Committee on Research and Public Service, Parliamentarian and Representative to the Board of Trustees.
Leonard Kass introduced and explained the reasons for the motion. There was considerable discussion regarding the motion.
An amendment was suggested regarding Article II that the third sentence “The President shall appoint the members of each standing committee, and designate the chairperson who serves at the pleasure of the President.” Be changed to include “The President shall appoint the members of each standing committee, and parliamentarian, and the chair of each committee, who serves at the pleasure of the President.”
A vote was taken on the amendment to the motion. 27 for, none against, two abstained.
Voting Results: 25 for, 2 against, 1 abstained. The motion passed.
April 27, 2005 Motions
Process to Communicate Budgetary Information During the Summer Months
Motion by: Finance and Institutional Planning
April 27, 2005
The University of Maine operates on a fiscal year that begins on July 1. The budgetary planning process, initiated about six to eight months prior to the beginning of the fiscal year, typically adheres to the following timeline:
Late fall: VP Administration & Finance, University Administration, and Director of Budget begin to conceptualize budget adjustments and expected offsets for upcoming fiscal year.
November-December: VP Administration & Finance, Provost, and Director of Budget meet with Deans and Directors to discuss current year budget status and projected needs for the following year.
January: Presidents’ Council, Board of Trustees, and System-Wide CFO’s/Finance personnel hold separate meetings to discuss preliminary budget parameters, based on the state budget and appropriation.
February: Presidents’ Council holds meeting to discuss preliminary budget scenarios, including assumptions about tuition and financial aid.
March: VP Administration & Finance, Provost and Director of Budget present draft preliminary budget in a series of meetings (e.g., full faculty senate, finance and institutional planning committee) and open university forums.
Mid April: Budget forms are due at the System office.
Late April: President, Provost and VP Administration & Finance meet with the Chancellor to discuss/review preliminary budget.
Mid May: System Trustee Finance/Facilities Committee reviews budget, student charges, and state appropriation allocation.
Early June: System Trustees approve budget and student charges for upcoming fiscal year.
Under this timeline, the budget is finalized after the end of the spring semester when many faculty members are involved in off-campus research projects and/or travel. The budget approved in June may differ from the scenarios presented in March because of changes in the state appropriation or formula used to allocate the system appropriation across campuses, differences between actual and expected student charges, differences between expected and actual negotiated salary increases, and a host of other factors. Updated financial information and continued communication during the summer months will facilitate faculty input into budgetary changes and help units plan for the upcoming year.
In the event that circumstances require substantive changes to the preliminary budget scenarios, university administrators (e.g., VP Administration & Finance, Provost and Director of Budget, etc.) shall make every effort to meet with representatives from the faculty senate (e.g., outgoing and incoming Presidents, members of outgoing and incoming executive committees, members of outgoing and incoming finance and institutional planning committees, etc.) to discuss revised budgetary information and options. At a minimum, university administrators will post updated budgetary information and options on the VP Administration & Finance website and/or in the faculty senate First Class folder. Similar meetings and communications shall take place if other financial “emergencies” occur during the summer months.
The motion was move to the floor and seconded.
Voting Results: A vote was called 34 for, 1 against, 1 abstained.
Create an Ad Hoc Committee for Public Service and Outreach
Dr. March introduced the motion. Dr. March stated that outreach and public service is a vital part of a land-grant university. Its purpose is to develop opportunities for increasing and enhancing the visibility of the University of Maine in the area of outreach.
Motion to Create an Ad Hoc Committee for Public Service and Outreach
Service and Outreach are a vital component of faculty work and integral to the land grant and sea grant mission of the University of Maine.
Faculty Senate hereby creates an ad hoc committee for Public Service and Outreach. The purpose is to develop opportunities for increasing and enhancing visibility of UMaine in the areas of public service and outreach.
There were some questions regarding the formation of ad hoc committees.
The motion was moved and seconded.
Voting Results: A vote was called. 29 for, 2 opposed, 6 abstained.
Dr. Mick Peterson introduced the next motion for the Academic Affairs Committee. He stated that this motion is only reiterating what already exists in University policy. The BOT has required that student input has to be part of teaching evaluations.
The Board of Trustees of the University of Maine requires that student input be considered when evaluating teaching effectiveness. In the past this requirement was interpreted to mean that all students must fill in the same student evaluation form, the “bubble sheet.”
However, in the 30 years since the teaching evaluation form was first used at the University of Maine, there has been considerable research into effective survey design and design of discipline specific teaching evaluations. During this period of development, professional accreditation organizations have also begun to focus on student surveys and outcomes-based evaluation to evaluate effectiveness as a part of program accreditation. The University of Maine has responded by formally approving the use of a number of alternative evaluation forms for student evaluation of teaching. University tenure and promotion documents have also been updated to remove specific references to the question numbers used on the “bubble sheet.”
Appropriate evaluation tools will result in feedback that is helpful and informative. This feedback will maximize teaching effectiveness and ensure that students are given the best opportunity to have a voice improving their learning experience.
Deans, heads of academic units and peer committees on the UMaine campus are encouraged to make use of the most appropriate of the available instruments for student evaluations of teaching. These should reflect best practices for evaluation of teaching effectiveness. A choice of well-normed evaluation tools will help ensure that bias is limited and will provide feedback that is more appropriate for the educational experiences in a particular discipline.
Supplemental evaluation methods should be considered whenever possible, including outcomes assessment and peer evaluations, to ensure that the best possible learning experience is provided for the students at UMaine and that the UMaine community engages in continuous improvement of instructional quality.
A question was posed as to who decides what method to use in teaching evaluations. Dr. Peterson stated that decision was ultimately Dr. Gelinas’ decision, even though there are many courses that use evaluations other than the standard bubble sheet. He said that currently it is an open process. There is no strict policy regarding evaluations.
A question was posed as to how contractual language regards these evaluations. Dr. Horan stated that the contract says that teaching evaluations will be required, it does not specify what type of evaluations have to be used. JulieAnn Scott, Vice President of the Assocation of Graduate Students, made a comment that if the bubble sheets are not mandatory that students would be very happy to hear this.
Voting Result: 33 voted for, 0 opposed, ??