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2004-2005 - October 20, 2004

Faculty Senate Minutes

OCTOBER 20, 2004

Present:  Jim Acheson, Aria Amirbahman, Dean Astumian, Eisso Atzema, Robert Bayer, Richard Borgman, Mary Brakey, Rodney Bushway, Sandy Caron, Robert Cashon, Laura Cowan, John Daigle, Raphael DiLuzio, Marica Douglas, Michael Eckardt, Mahmoud El-Begearmi, Amy Fried, James Gilbert, Alexander Grab, Michael Grillo, Robert Gundersen, Nancy Hall, William Halteman, Marie Hayes, Dianne Hoff, James Horan, Mel Johnson, Scott Johnson, Robert Kennedy, Dennis King, David Kotecki, David Lambert, John Maddaus, Deirdre Mageean, John Mahon, Kathleen March, Stephen Marks, Kathleen McIntyre, Jessica Miller, Howard Patterson, Michael Peterson, Paul Rawson, Alan Rosenwasser, Douglas Ruthven, Thomas Sandford, Ann Schonberger, JulieAnn Scott, Michael Scott, Denise Skonberg, Touradj Solouki, Stellos Tavantzis, Bob Whelan, Gregory White

Absent:  Peggy Agouris, Carla Billitteri, Nellie Cyr, Todd Gabe, Stephen Gilson, Michael Greenwood, Ludlow Hallman, John Jemison, Len Kass, Harlan Onsrud, Liam Riordan, Mario Teisl.

The Meeting was called to order at 3:20

Senate President Howard Patterson opened the meeting by explaining that there was a full agenda for the meeting that committee reports would be limited to three minutes each, he hoped that each committee chair would focus their report on one issue facing their committee.

He has contacted the Chancellor’s office regarding the Presidential Search and the response was that a decision would be made of the final committee members and the decision would be made shortly.  We will be updated.

QUESTIONS FOR ADMINISTRATORS:

Senator Laura Cowan had a question for President Kennedy which she had hope to pose to him during the Executive Committee meeting, but had run out of time.  One of her committee’s projects this year is to study old motions that have not been acted upon.  A motion was passed in March 2003 was to create a web-based policy handbook so that policies and practices/administrative practices would be accessible to the faculty members.  She wanted to know if there had been any progress on this.

President Kennedy said that there had been little or no progress on this project, and he felt that it was extremely important.  He said that the staff in his office would be willing to work on something like this with a senate sub-committee.  He also stated that there is already a lot of information on the UMS web-site that could be integrated on a similar web-site here  and that there were colleges here that had information such as this listed on their respective web-sites.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Environment Committee, Laura Cowan

They are looking at the issue of honoraria for outside reviewers.  There is a system mandate that programs must undergo a review every ten years.  These reviews require external reviewers to visit campus, and to write up extensive reports on the reviews. We no longer offer honoraria to these reviewers, and this may affect the quality of the reviewers and the process.

President Kennedy said that he thought she said that the university was no long able to pay for these reviewers.  It is not that the university is unable to pay these reviewers,: we do in some cases and don’t in others.  He said that in some disciplines it is a long tradition that reviewers are paid honoraria and in others it is not.  There is nothing that precludes the university from paying for the reviewers.

Senator Grillo asked how that decision would be made.

President Kennedy said that the Provost’s office receives requests from the various colleges to pay honoraria to reviewers and, to the extent that they can, they do contribute to honoraria.  Ultimately it comes down to finances.

Senator Marks said that his department, Sociology, is one of the departments who requested honoraria for its external reviewers.  They were told flatly that they would not be allowed to pay an honoraria, period.  Despite the fact that his discipline strongly expects to pay external reviewers, Sociology was told that no exceptions could be made to this policy, and that any exceptions would be unfair to other departments.

President Kennedy said he knows that honoraria have been paid in the last two or three years.  He said the process is unfair in the sense that in some cases honoraria is paid in others it is not.  There are disciplines where it is not expected.

Ann Schonberger stated that her department had a review last year and she was also told that they could not pay the reviewers and it appeared from the instructions manual regarding reviews they received from the Provost’s office that that had been a practice because one of the items in the manual was a form for the reviewers to provide their social security numbers and home address so that honoraria checks could be sent.  One reviewer turned her down because there was no honoraria, in principle one reviewer told her that this is important work and shouldn’t be done for free.  Ann was told that they couldn’t use their own money to pay the honoraria because it was against the policy of academic fairness.

President Kennedy said he would ask the Provost to look into past practices in this matter over the last year or two because he is not certain whether his information is accurate. There is obviously a disparity of opinion on whether we pay or not.  There is nothing to preclude us from doing this.

Senator El-Begearmi asked whether it would be possible to pay this even for the disciplines that do not expect it, perhaps to provide a symbolic “thank you”.

At this point, Howard Patterson cut off the discussion for reasons of time allowed.

Academic Affairs, Michael Grillo

Senator Grillo and Howard Patterson met with Dr. Robert Dana, the Dean of Students, who will be making a presentation at this meeting on the student advising center.  The committee has two motions coming forward today one on the Ad Hoc Committee for Student Evaluations and the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee on General Education, both of these motions were passed last year.

Interdisciplinary Studies, Kathleen March

Senator March said that the committee has met.  There are two things which want to focus on, cross campus dialogue and a motion that was passed in 2003 on guideline for an interdisciplinary faculty group.  She will post the guidelines to the Faculty Senate folder on First Class.  These working groups would have the ability to propose courses and would also be able to apply for funding and grants.

University Environment, Laura Cowan

No new report.

Research & Public Service, Douglas Ruthven

Senator Ruthven announced that the senators had a handout at the door that lists the reconstituted makeup of the Research Council.  This is, in spirit, the makeup that the Faculty Senate proposed two years ago.  He has some concern about the numbers, but feels it is a good makeup.  If you have people you wish to nominate, please speak with them first and then send their name to Doug.    Michael Eckardt pointed out that the Chair of the Faculty Senate Research & Public Service committee is not ex-officio.  He or she will be a member of the Research Council.  There will also be a graduate student representative and a library representative on the committee.

Constitution & Bylaws, Marie Hayes

Senator Hayes stated she had been away at a conference for two weeks, and was still looking for people to serve on her committee.  They will be looking at the senate constitution.  The faculty handbook seems to be the proverbial “black hole” she doesn’t think that the handbook can happen in one year, they will try.  Committee members at this point are Scott Johnson,  Nancy Hall, Amy Fried, Alex Grab and James Horan.  They are hoping to make some meaningful changes in the constitution this year.

Library Advisory Committee, Dianne Hoff

Senator Hoff stated that the library committee is very diverse this year, which she thinks is a real strong point.  The committee members include administrators, students, faculty members (both on the senate and not ).  They have two goals this year, one issue is the scholarly journals at the library, the committee does not want to be perceived as becoming complacent.  They will follow up on a couple of motions that were passed last year.  The second goal is how do we position Fogler Library regarding its needs and its role in regards to the campus strategic plan and in light of the new system strategic plan.

Workload Committee, Thomas Sandford

No report.

Committee on Committees, Stephen Gilson

Senator Gilson was unable to attend.  The report was given by committee member James Horan.

Senator Horan described the process involved in choosing the new ad hoc committee to discuss the chancellor’s actions he said the committee on committees would be meeting this week to look at the nominees. He questioned Howard Patterson as to whether the chancellor had decided if we would be allowed more faculty members on the presidential search committee, Howard said the chancellor’s office would be notifying us on this shortly.

Board of Trustees Representative, Dana Humphrey

Dana Humphrey was out of town and did not attend.

Finance and Institutional Planning, Todd Gabe

John Maddaus gave the report for Senator Gabe who was unable to attend.

Senator Maddaus reported that the committee has met, they reviewed the ’05 budget which is the current budget.  They have asked questions regarding items which will shape the ’06 budget, and will have more discussions about the’06 budget.

Howard Patterson announced that earlier in the day the executive committee had met with both the Provost and President about the implementation of the UMS Strategic Plan and its vision for our campus.  If anyone has a person they want to nominate for the implementation committee please notify the senate office.  He asked President Kennedy if he had anything to add.  President Kennedy said that at the last senate meeting they had discussed implementation and that since that time a few things had come more into focus.  He mentioned at the last senate meeting he indicated that this campus needs to develop its own vision and articulate that for the future of this campus.  In meetings with the Chancellor and other campus presidents, he mentioned that the Board of Visitors would be an excellent group to help us plan for the future.  Orono’s plan to include the BOV was accepted well by the other presidents and the chancellor and may be used as a model for the other campuses.  Provost Mahon may want to comment further on the formation of various committees.  The committees, with the help of faculty on campus and the faculty senate should have excellent representation.  They want it to be a very participatory process.  He is hoping that by November 4 or 5 these committees will be in place.  The Chancellor will be updating the Governor and the Legislature on the strategic plan in January.  Chancellor has told the BOT that he will have the implementation plans for the campuses ready to present to the BOT in March.

Provost John Mahon stressed that the senate should understand we are focused on the University of Maine.  He said that no one should leave the meeting focused on somewhere else.  The SP has nine overarching goals. It is his job, along with the senate’s, to make sure that our SP addresses these goals.  He said this should not be difficult.  Renew capital assets maintain and upgrade facilities, were two of the items he used as examples, which we are doing right now.  He reiterated that our focus should be on the University of Maine.  Howard interjected and said that if people want to serve on these various committees, they should feel free to nominate themselves.  Dr. Mahon also stated that President Kennedy did not give himself enough credit for the work he is doing with the BOV.  The BOV want to be a staunch articulator of the UM vision.

DISCUSSION:

Howard started the discussion by referencing the handout that Dr. Mahon had brought to the meeting.

Dr. Mahon said he did not have to read the MAPI document, that it was self-explanatory.  He said it was discussed by the President and the Chancellor last year and the program was designed to help smaller programs move up to the next level in order to become self-sustaining.  They want the reports in by December 1.  Our goal is to try and award these in the Spring 2005 semester.  He said not to throw the handout away, because they would be asking for applications again in the Spring for the Fall semester.  There was a question about the number of awards, Dr. Mahon said three or four.  President Kennedy added that $200,000 had been set aside as a base budget for this program.  He was asked to clarify the MAPI funds as opposed to programs eligible for the MEIF funding.  Dr. Mahon stated that if the MEIF would not fund certain programs in colleges that are eligible for MEIF funds, then MAPI funds could be used for these programs.  Another question was whether programs that were not eligible for the MEIF funding would have a priority over programs that were.  Provost Mahon said that his understanding is yes, but there would also be balancing.  He gave the example that if someone came up with an exemplary, knock-your-socks-off proposal, he would hope that that would be considered.

Guest Speaker, Robert Dana, Dean of Students

Update on the Initiative to Improve Retention and Graduation Rates

Dr. Dana passed out a handout titled Retention Initiative for First Year Students.  The retention initiative resulted in conversations between VP Gelinas, President Kennedy and Dr. Dana over the summer months.  It was predicated by a pilot program being done with students who were in extreme need. These were students who were about to be put out of the University of Maine on academic action and they were given a life-line if they agreed to come to the Dean of Student’s office.  Sixty percent of these students were retained over two years.  They decided then, after talking to Bob and Doug and some of the Associate Deans, that it might be a nice idea to extend this intervention model to first year students as they came into the institution, to see if in fact by reaching out early, we could recognize students who were in trouble.  They help students in the social side of the institution, help them to network with support groups on campus.  Their intent was to see each new student four times in the course of a year, his office saw 76% of them before fall break.  Dr. Dana said he was very concerned about this group of students, he does not know if they are in trouble or are doing very well.  He is interested in taking a closer look at this group.  He has a team of retentionists who are going to the dorms, and seeing these students in small groups.  There are students who are still seen regularly by his office, there is a group of students who are at extreme risks; financial problems, relationship problems, familial problems, inability to learn problems, mental illness, physical illness.  He has met with the associate deans of the colleges along with Michael Grillo, Chair of the Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Committee, and Howard Patterson, President of the Faculty Senate, and Howard and Dr. Dana have discussed this program several times, and what is clear to Dr. Dana as the program proceeds and is consistant with the literature on these models, is that there has to be a hard link with the academic side, a hard link with the social side, and there has to be a hard link to support services.  What is missing currently is a hard link to the academic side.  Michael, Howard and Dr. Dana have been working on ways to ensure that this program isn’t just good, but that it be excellent.  Each program well have a liason who works directly with the Dean of Students Office, so that they can reach out to faculty.  They want the retentionists to be better trained in academic issues.  Dr. Dana and others are going to MELMAC to apply for a grant to help them with retention.  He is proposing the formation of a steering committee which would be comprised of an academic dean, Dean Anne Leffler of Liberal Arts & Sciences has agreed to serve on this committee,  an academic associate dean, Al Kezis has agreed to serve on the committee, Michael Grillo, Linda Deshane, and himself.

Dr. Dana then took questions from the floor. Mel Johnson asked how they would know if this program is successful, or if it could not be sustained, would the program be stopped.  Dr. Dana answered that as long as funds are available they would continue to work at it.  He also stated that they would not have any real numbers until the end of the second year.  He hopes to have data at that time that will show that students who go through this process are retained at a higher rate.  Another question was whether there was any data on these students, such as are they from the lower end of SAT scores, the higher end, etc.  Dr. Dana said that the 20% or so of students who are not retained have a huge variety of problems.  There are students with academic problems through one, two or three semesters that are still here.  There is not just one indicator that shows how a student will perform.  A question was posed about whether there is an exit interview process in order to discover why a student is leaving school.  He answered they do some exit interviews, but there is a whole group his office is not affiliated with who leave without an interview.  He also stated that his office withdraws students every single day, there are students out there who have huge problems.  He said the students who do come in to tell them they are leaving do fill out reports as to why, but he also saw a student who left who could not articulate exactly why she was leaving.  If we do see the student and they give us a reason we can try to work with them.    Also there are many good reasons why students leave.  Ann Schonberger also said that these figures should be looked at by gender, women students have challenges that men don’t.  Senator El-Begearmi wanted to know if this intervention could help the student reach the decision to leave as opposed to trying to make them stay.    If they have concrete reasons, they will help them look in other directions.  Howard interjected and stated that if we want to improve retention and graduation rates we need the whole campus working together, deans, graduate deans, student affairs, faculty, etc.

Howard gave an update on the new Ad Hoc Committee on the chancellor’s actions during the summer. Committee on Committees would be meeting at the end of the week to form the Ad Hoc Committee.  He expects that an update will be given at the next meeting.  John Maddaus had a question about the legality of forming the committee without a motion approving it as an Ad Hoc Committee.  He said the discussion about the committee at the last meeting was long and arduous, and a lot of the question were about process, and was confusing to many of us at the time.  After Jim McClymer read Dean Astumian’s motion Howard referred the motion to an ad hoc committee.  John said that he spoke to Howard after the meeting to reiterate that there was no such committee in existence, that the senate had not vote to have such a committee, and to this point the senate has not done that.  He still feels that there should be a motion to go through the senate to create this ad hoc committee before the committee can be formed an initiate it’s work.  Jim Horan, Parlimentarian, said that as the motion was referred to the ad hoc committee, it was essentially approved by the senate to be formed at the meeting.  Kathleen March noted that the motion was referred to the Executive Committee and the Executive Committee decided to form the ad hoc committee.  Howard said Doug Ruthven made the motion to table the motion and refer it to an ad hoc committee, and that motion was voted on and passed.   John Maddaus had prepared a motion on shared governance which included the formation of the ad hoc committee.  Jim Horan again stated that there was no need for the motion.  Kathleen March agreed and pointed out that it was within the Executive Committee’s purview to form an ad hoc committee.  There was more discussion regarding whether or not this committee was a legitimate.  Douglas Ruthven reiterated that his motion to table the motion at the last meeting included the creation of the ad hoc committee.

NEW BUSINESS

Motion to Establish the Ad Hoc Committee on Student Evaluations, Michael Grillo, Academic Affairs Committee

PREAMBLE:

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 established Ad Hoc Committee on Student  Evaluations should  consult the work done previously in the committee chaired by Doug Gelinas.

MOTION:

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.

The motion was made and seconded. Ann Schonberger asked that the motion be amended to direct the ad hoc committee to consult the work of the last committee to work on student evaluations, which occurred 4 or 5 six years ago.    Dean Astumian suggested that the amendment be added to the preamble part of the motion.  Michael said he would accept that as part of the preamble as it is only the motion that carries forward.  Ann Schonberger provided this language for the amendment of the preamble:

The motion passed unanimously.

Motion to Establish the Ad Hoc Committee on General Education, Michael Grillo

Academic Affairs Committee

PREAMBLE:

The Faculty Senate, at its February 25, 2004, meeting unanimously approved a Motion on General Education presented by the Academic Affairs committee.  In part, the motion states:

“3) The Faculty Senate hereby creates an ad hoc Committee on General Education (Constitution, Article VII, Section 3).  This committee will serve through the end of the Spring 2005 semester.  It will monitor progress and develop policies on general education, as described in section 4) of this motion.  The chair of this committee shall be appointed by the President of the Faculty Senate and shall be a member of the Faculty Senate.  One member of the committee shall be selected by the Committee on Committees for each general education requirement, from among the faculty teaching courses that qualify for that requirement.  Additional faculty members shall be added, if necessary, to ensure that each College (including the Honors College) is represented.  The Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Chair of the Undergraduate Program Curriculum Committee and the Director of Institutional Studies (or their designees) shall serve ex officio on the Committee.”

MOTION:

The Faculty Senate authorizes the President of the Faculty Senate and the Chair of the Committee on Committees to create an Ad Hoc Committee on General Education, which will work with the Provost or designee to investigate and monitor the progress and develop policies on how and when outcomes assessment data will be collected, the management and appropriate use of outcomes assessment data, and procedures for future revisions of the list of courses that qualify for each general education requirement, as well as of the categories themselves, as described in the motion from February 25, 2004.

Michael Grillo explained that this motion was much the same as the last one as it is just creating the ad hoc committee.  A question was asked regarding the wording which points to “develop policies on general education, as described in section 4)” and this section is not included in the motion.  The person asking the question said that some people are concerned with general education motions, because it is normally a “make work” type of thing.  Michael replied that the motion was simply authorizing a committee which was already created in February of 2004.  He then referred the comment to Marie Hayes, who was Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee last year.  Marie Hayes pointed to the fact that the NEASC expects faculty senates to be very active in developing academic program excellence.  There was some discussion about the need of general education courses for students.

The motion was made, and seconded.

The motion passed.

Meeting adjourned at 5:05 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen March, Secretary

 


Back to 2004-2005

Faculty Senate
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The University of Maine
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