Faculty Senate Minutes 


January 25, 2012 Magnolia Avenue campus: MA 124


I.          Call to Order

Meeting was called to order by Ron Bridges, Faculty Senate President.  Senators in attendance:  Sally Lighter (BCT), John May (Engineering & Media Technology), Sami Ghezawi (Engineering & Media Technology), Trent Eades (English), Keith Norris (English), Lawana Day (English), Joan Easterly (LA), Charles Cardwell (LA), Mike Rose (LA), Jonathan Lamb (Math), Claire Suddeth (Math), Bob Stern (Math), Michael Lusk (NBS), Amy Tankersley (TS), Darnetta Brown (Nursing); Rick Bower (LS), Ashley Boone (BC), Robert Baird (Division Street), Bob Boyd (Magnolia Avenue Campus), Leigh Moore (Adjunct Faculty), David Meredith (Adjunct Faculty), Brad Rose (Business Officer), Nina McPherson (Secretary), Donn King (Parliamentarian), Dave Vinson (TBR Rep), Mark Fuentes (Past President).  Guests:  Sharon Burlingame, Marilyn Harper, Nancy Pevey, President Wise.


II.        Suspension of Rules

Ron Bridges called for a suspension of rules in order for President Wise to provide some updates about the college.


Although the college’s budget will not be finalized until the legislature votes on it, things look promising.  If the legislature accepts the THEC proposal, we could receive a 7.85 increase, $1.4 million.  The increase would be due to the new performance funding formula and extra money from a hold-harmless clause.  The hold harmless clause is due to increased enrollment several years ago at a time when the state did not have the financial resources to fund increases in the performance funding formula.  The worst case scenario would be a smaller increase in the budget, but there would be an increase.  Once he knows what the budget for the college will be, President Wise will have open meetings to discuss the funds. 


If the legislature approves a bond issue for new higher education facilities, two projects for Pellissippi might be included, a $4.5 million expansion for the Magnolia Avenue Campus and $26.5 million for a new building on the Hardin Valley campus.  The college would have to match those funds with 10%.


The college is in the final process of finalizing the closing of the purchase of the Strawberry Plains building.  President Wise feels that adding that location will help fulfill the mission of the college by providing access for a population that has been underserved; less than half of the population in the eastern section of the county has higher education degrees.  He expects significant support from the community.  When asked about impacts on other campuses, he expects the impacts to be positive.  It will free up space on other sites and should improve parking availability at Division Street.  When asked if he expects smaller class sizes, he was hopeful but not optimistic.  He thinks that a 3% increase in enrollment will provide enough income to pay for the Strawberry Plains building.  He said the college is investigating the possibility of locating the 2+2 programs at Strawberry Plains and perhaps renting space to business and industry.  When asked why there was no faculty input into the decision to purchase the Strawberry Plains building, he said that a location in the northeast section of the county was included in the campus master plan in 2007.  Although it is not in the northeast section, it is east and did meet the requirements of planning when $8.5 million was made available in the stimulus funding.   


In regards to the academic vp search, he said there were 40+ applicants.  The selection committee will meet on January 31 to review the applications and reduce the number.  The final applicants will be brought on campus for interviews, including opportunities for interaction with them on all of the sites.


President Wise discussed some organization changes.  Mary Bledsoe has assumed the responsibilities for handling student conduct issues; she now has the title of Dean of Students.  Previously Dr. Ashford has handled those responsibilities.


Spring semester enrollment statistics will be released soon.  Although spring might be down some, it appears that fall semester will be up.  He was asked if changes in financial aid rules might impact summer enrollment but no one knows yet.  Dave Vinson suggested that this is an issue that needs to be explained to legislators.  President Wise said that he has received a recommendation for the open financial aid director position and expects to make that decision soon. 


President Wise said that a process for developing a new campus master plan will start soon.  He expects faculty to have opportunities to provide input.  A location in the northeast section of the county could be included in that plan.


When questioned about the possibility of students proposing a Student Government Association, he said that he was open to student initiatives.


President Wise was questioned about the sometimes very short time span given to faculty to respond to new policies.  There are times when this is unavoidable.  There are times when he will present something at President Staff meeting  but table it for a month to give Faculty Senate time to consider it.



III.       Approval of Minutes: Brad Rose


            Minutes of the November 16, 2011, meeting were approved with no changes.


IV.       Officer Reports


            Secretary: Nina McPherson – no report


Communications:  Ken Swayne – no report


TBR Representative:  Dave Vinson

Vinson emailed faculty some possibilities concerning the TBR common calendar possibilities.  Some faculty have already expressed opposition to not being able to make assignments conduct any testing during the Thanksgiving break.  Dave will report voting results on Monday, January 30.  Instead of providing one long email as his report on sub-council meetings, he is considering breaking the report up into smaller chunks.


            President: Ron Bridges

Wise had already discussed time lines for decision making but Bridges said that Wise has involved him in decision making.  Faculty who requested that post-retirement employment be discussed at this meeting, has now requested that it be withdrawn.  Faculty who are still interested can continue investigating the possibilities.  Bridges and Charles Cardwell are re-writing the procedures for hiring faculty.  The academic vp search is progressing; there are 40 plus applications.  That list will be narrowed down to 10, who will receive telephone interviews.  That list will be narrowed down and the top 5 or 6 will be invited to interviews on campus. 


V.        Committee Reports

            Adjunct Faculty:  William Gwin/Leigh Moore

Moore reported that cubicle office furniture has been installed in the adjunct office in the ERC.  The need for office space for adjuncts at the Magnolia Avenue campus was discussed.  John May discussed the situation of an adjunct who travels approximately 200 miles a week to teach dual enrollment classes and asked if it was possible for this adjunct to be reimbursed travel expenses.  Although there is nothing in TBR policies preventing this, the college administration has refused requests previously. Faculty Senate in a previous year has passed a resolution requesting travel pay be allowed for adjunct faculty.  Senators approved by acclimation a motion to re-affirm a resolution passed last year requesting that adjunct faculty be reimbursed for travel between campuses when required for their teaching schedule.


Student Scholarships:  Michael Lusk

Lusk reported that planning is progressing.  The theme for this year’s sale is “Leap to the Booksale.”  The college bookstore is contributing some items for the sale.  Ads will be placed in local newspapers.  Approximately $750 has already been earned by selling some books to professional book buyers


            Rules:  Donn King

King reported that some people have expressed interest in changing the election schedule so that there is more time between the presentation of the slate of candidates and the start of voting.  This will allow time for discussion with the candidates.  Trent Eades and King will present proposed changes at the February meeting.   


            Nominating Committee:  Nina McPherson

McPherson presented candidates for President Elect who have been nominated and have accepted the nomination.  No other candidates were presented at the meeting.  The slate of candidates is Tyra Barrett (Business & Computer Technology), Charles Cardwell (Liberal Arts), and Bob Stern (Mathematics.) Voting will be by email using BallotBin.  Voting will be open for seven days, January 30 thru February 5.  Members of the Nominating Committee will count the votes on February 6.  The election is determined by a simple majority vote, 50% plus 1, of those voting.  If none of the three nominees receive a simple majority vote, there will be run-off between the two nominees who receive the most votes.  That election will also be conducted by email.  An email will be sent to full-time faculty with those two nominees’ names within two working days of the first ballot count, by February 8.  The election will be open for five days, until February 15.  The Nominating Committee will count the ballots the next working day, February 16.  The nominee receiving a simple majority of the vote will be declared the winner.


            Promotion/Tenure:  Mark Fuentes

All packets have been delivered to department deans.  Packets will be moved to Bagwell 209 for review.  Approximately 10 faculty have elected to use electronic portfolios, which will be available in D2L.  Fuentes will send out information soon.  All portfolios, regardless of format, will be available for review February 13 thru March 2.  Department meetings for voting will be held March 12 thru March 16.


Faculty Development: Ron Bridges and Nancy Pevey

Pevey reported that the budget for the QEP has been revised, adding more funding for the Instructional Development Committee.  A limited amount of additional money has been added  for travel related to QEP activities.  QEP has started investigating ideas for programs for fall in-service; suggestion boxes will be placed around campus. 


            Faculty Lecture Series: Trent Eades

            Programs for spring semester are:

February 21 - Susan McMahon “Stem Cells: The Hope of the Future”

March 21 - Katie Lovett “Women in Film”

April TBA - Tyra Barrett “Economics: the Musical

GNOSIS and the  Faculty Lecture Series is co-sponsoring the following:

            February 1 – David Key “The 1920’s: Consumerism, Culture, and Conflict”

            February 22 – David Vinson “The Order of Everything”


Advising Issues Ad Hoc Committee: Amy Tankersley

Tankersley has recruited a representative from every academic department to serve on this ad hoc committee.  Rachael Cragle and Ben Sugg are also on the committee.  The committee has met once to identify issues, such as faculty advising responsibilities, length of advising period, and training needed.  Cragle is open to ideas for changes and improvements.


VI.       Unfinished Business

Based on a Senate Resolution last November, the administration has been reviewing the faculty hiring procedure.  Ron Bridges and Charles Cardwell have met with VP Lois Reynolds, VP Peggy Wilson and Karen Queener to discuss the process and forms used for hiring faculty.  Human Resources is concerned with being able to document why specific individuals were not selected for interview/hire.  Cardwell’s committee is now working to produce a process an updated candidate evaluation that meets both faculty needs and Human Resources needs.   Cardwell invited interested faculty to join him in this process.


VII,     Discussion

            Student Behavior: Michael Lusk

Lusk wants to form a committee to review student behavior issues, including policies and the BIT.  The new student conduct policy will also be considered.  Bridges will send an email asking for volunteers to be on the committee.


New Student Conduct Policy:  Ron Bridges

The new policy went into effect on Monday, January 29th.  It includes academic and classroom misconduct.  Senators were concerned about changing policies after the start of the semester.  Discussion about the policy will be continued in the Student Behavior ad hoc committee chaired by Lusk.


New Facilities Usage Policy: Ron Bridges

The new policy was developed in response to litigation; an individual is claiming that his First Amendment rights have been violated.  The new policy is designed to make it harder for outside groups to use the campus.  Groups using the campus have to be affiliated to the college in some way and activities have to be related to the educational mission of the college.  Some faculty feel that we should not have to ask permission.  Kae Carpenter, a TBR attorney, will be on campus on February 6 for a roundtable discussion with faculty about this policy and the new student conduct policy.


Common Calendar: Ron Bridges

Discussed earlier in Vinson’s report. 


Meeting with New TBR Community College Chancellor: Ron Bridges

Everyone is invited to attend an introductory meeting with Chancellor Nichols.  The meeting will be at 12:05 in McWherter 305.



VIII.    New Business:



IX.       Announcements-Next meeting-Wednesday, February 15, 3:30 PM - Pellissippi Campus, Faculty-Staff Dining Room


X.        Adjournment

            Meeting adjourned at 5:40pm