Faculty Senate Minutes

Meeting – January 23, 2008

Magnolia Avenue Campus, Community Room

3:30 p.m.


I.  Call to Order 


Meeting was called to order by Mark Fuentes at 3:30 p.m. Senators in attendance: Wanda Scarbro,  Mark Fuentes, Nina McPherson, Ken Swayne, Donnie Thomas, Dave Vinson, Mae Jean King, Sami Ghezawi, Dave Gilbert, H.L. Ford, Lawana Day, Charles Miller, Daryl Thomas, Judy Fethe, Yolanda Sankey, Garry Pennycuff, Kathy Byrd, Jane Stribling, Jonathan Morrell, Jesse Wilkerson.  Guest present:  Rick Patton.


II. Approval of Minutes – Mark Fuentes


Minutes of the November 28, 2007, meeting were approved with 3 changes.


III. Officer Reports


Secretary – Nina McPherson had no report.


Communications – Ken Swayne had no report.


TBR Representative – Dave Vinson

A Faculty Sub-Council is scheduled for this Friday, Jan. 25, in Nashville.  Due to health problems, Dave cannot attend the meeting; Kathy Byrd will be his substitute.


President – Wanda Scarbro

Information from her meeting with Dr. Wise:

Reviews of college policies occur on a 5-year schedule; policy 06.01.04, Professional Ethics is being reviewed presently.


Although faculty at site campuses are encouraged to sign up for drop and add hours because those hours are difficult to cover, they are not required to do all of their advising hours during that time.  Those were the only hours “open” for faculty sign up for spring semester.  That problem will not recur because all of the advising time slots will be opened to everyone at the same time.  If blocks of advising slots at site campuses become difficult or impossible to cover, the site deans will have to solve the problem.


Appointments to new positions are:  Lee Anne Touzeau as Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Services, Mary Bledsoe as Assistant Vice President of Student Success, and Melanie Paradise as Registrar.  Mary Monroe-Ellis has been recommended to be Dean of Transitional Studies (not formally approved by TBR yet.)


President Scarbro presented a revised online faculty observation to Learning Council.  Some of the deans had questions about the form.  President Scarbro will continue to revise the form and present it to Faculty Senators again.






IV. Committee Reports


Adjunct Faculty – Jonathan Morrell/Jesse Wilkerson had no report.


Student Scholarships – Sami Ghezawi

Book sale is scheduled for March 25-26 at the Pellissippi Campus; plans are to use the Student Lounge. Drop box locations are AL116, Al219, AL252, MC 242, MC253, MC229, Bagwell 228.   Dates for site campus sales are not finalized.  Community Relations asked for information about the type of items that would be included in the sales.  Previously books, CDs, DVDs, and magazines have been sold and will be again.  Prices for items have not been set yet.


Rules – Don Thomas had no report.


Nominating Committee – Nina McPherson

There are two nominees for President Elect of the Faculty, Mark Fuentes and Paul Ramp.  Election will be by email and will be conducted next week.


Promotion/Tenure – Anne Kinggard

Anne was unable to attend today’s meeting due to illness but reported to President Scarbro that everything is still on track.  There was discussion about the schedule faculty must follow to submit the annual self evaluations.  If faculty members are not up for promotion or tenure, they questioned whether the self evaluations had to be submitted as early as is currently scheduled.  President Scarbro will bring this subject up at the next Learning Council Meeting.


Faculty Emeritus – Mark Fuentes

A draft of proposed changes to college Policy 06:01:05 Faculty Emeritus was distributed by Mr. Fuentes.   As proposed, the application process is different.  The current department head would make a recommendation to the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, who would then forward the recommendation to the President of the College.  Under the existing policy, faculty make the recommendation to the college’s Promotion and Tenure Committee, which then makes a recommendation to the President of the College.  Benefits would remain the same.  In order to make a motion for this revised policy, the Chair of the Senate meeting was passed from Mr. Fuentes to President Scarbro.  A motion was made by Mr. Fuentes and seconded by Mr. Miller to accept the revised policy.  There was discussion about what constitutes “outstanding contributions” and how department heads might use different criteria to make that determination.  Currently, department heads use different criteria to assign the category of “exceptional” on faculty evaluations, and there was concern that this problem would also be the case in determining “outstanding contributions” for Faculty Emeritus recommendations. Ms. McPherson made a motion to delete the word “outstanding”, motion was seconded by Mr. Miller.  The motion failed with a vote of 6 ayes and 14 nays.  Ms. Byrd made a motion to change the word “outstanding” to “significant”; motion was seconded by Mr. Miller.  The motion passed unanimously.  Mr. Fuentes made a motion, seconded by Mr. Swayne, to change the second sentence to read “Full time faculty who have served…” The motion was passed unanimously.  Mr. Thomas called for a vote on the amended policy. The amended policy was approved with a vote of 19 ayes and 1 abstention.       


V. Unfinished Business

Delivery of in-service

Mr. Thomas said that a committee meeting will be held at 2:30 PM before the next Faculty Senate Meeting.




Efficacy of online courses in general

President Scarbro has discussed with Dr. Yarbrough statistics concerning courses offered in web format and also face to face format.  Dr. Yarbrough will generate statistics for Faculty Senate consideration.


VI. New Business – No new business



VII. Discussion

Mailbox and hours credit for courses

Faculty had questioned the status of a U.S. postal service mailbox that had been on the campus by the flag poles.  President Scarbro reported that the U.S. postal service had removed the mail box due to low usage and has no plans to replace it.


Faculty requested clarification of how faculty course credit loads are determined and whether the same policy was uniformly followed by all academic departments.  It was also questioned whether faculty receive the same amount of credit if the course is face to face and also offered as a web course.  In CSIT, faculty receive 5 hours credit for 3 hours of lecture and 3 hours of lab.  Faculty teaching that same course in web format receive only 4 hours credit and must serve as a lab monitor for 3 hours in a lab.  The amount of credit is determined at the department or dean level, not a level above that. 


Withdrawal of web students after drop deadline

Faculty requested to be notified when a student is granted a late withdrawal for a web course.  Such students might have completed some assignments or exams in the D2L course that professors took time to grade even though the student had obtained a late withdrawal.  Dr. Wise said that faculty are notified of the few withdrawals that fall into this category by updated course rolls and that faculty are supposed to check those rolls periodically, even after the drop deadline.  D2L does automatic drops for a period of time near the beginning of the semester, but after that point, faculty should review course rolls occasionally.  President Scarbro will continue to investigate possibilities of faculty notification, perhaps with a multipart form.


Increase in enrollment and additional monies

Spring 2008 semester enrollment is up 8.5% over spring 2007 semester enrollment; fourteenth day enrollment figures are not available yet.  Some financial decisions are mandated by TBR or the state legislature, such as pay raises mandated but not funded by the state or the TBR mandate to purchase Banner.  President Scarbro will continue to investigate how the decisions to allocate the college’s budget are made.


Class Sizes

When this item was discussed with Dr. Wise, President Scarbro was told that the average class had increased by only one since 2001, from 20 to 21.  Some high enrollment courses are off-set by smaller technical courses.  There are approximately 1,000 extra students over last year’s enrollment and only a few new faculty positions added during the same time.  Cutting the average class size to 35 students would require at least an additional $1 million dollars; money for that expense is not in the budget.  When asked about administrative expenses, Dr. Wise said that Pellissippi State has a smaller administration than many of the other community colleges.  Senators asked President Scarbro to follow-up on this issue by requesting statistics for the median class size. 






Kathy Byrd

Faculty at Blount County want to put notices on their office doors notifying advisees that they are not available for advising assistance during the last two weeks of the semester.  Early registration is scheduled for April 7th through the 18th, followed by the last week of classes, followed by final exams.  Those last two weeks are an especially busy time for faculty.  Although students can consult with faculty during faculty office and campus hours, advisees who do not schedule an advising session with their faculty advisor during the two weeks of early registration should not be able to interrupt faculty for advising during those last two weeks, unless the faculty member agrees.  President Scarbro will investigate this issue further.



VIII. Announcements – No announcements


Next meeting will be February 20, 2008, at 3:30pm at the Pellissippi Campus Faculty Staff Dining Room.


IX. Adjournment


The meeting adjourned at 4:45 PM.