Faculty Senate Minutes

Meeting – February 20, 2008

Pellissippi Campus

3:30 p.m.



I.                   Meeting was called to order by Mark Fuentes at 3:30 p.m.  Senators in attendance:   Wanda Scarbro, Mary Monroe-Ellis, Mark Fuentes, Nina McPherson, Dave Vinson, Denise Reed, Mae Jean King, Sami Ghezawi, David Gilbert, Lawana Day, Charles Miller, Anita Maddox, Anne Kinggard, Caroline Best, Judy Fethe, Yolanda K. Sankey, Garry Pennycuff, Kathy Byrd, Jane Stribling.  Visitor:  Ron Bridges


II.                Minutes of January 23 meeting were approved.


III.             Officer Reports:

a.       Secretary:  no report

b.      Communications Officer:  Ken Swayne was not able to attend the meeting but asked President Scarbro to report for him.  Some faculty are not receiving emails from the FSENATE-L listserv.  He asked that those who are not receiving emails to check the junk mail folder in Outlook to see if it is showing up there and if it is, to please contact the Computer Helpdesk to tell them of that problem. 

c.       TBR Representative: Dave Vinson thanked Kathy Byrd for attending the sub-council meeting for him. 

d.      President:  President Scarbro reported on several discussion items she had with Dr. Wise.

Class Size – Previously she had been asked to find information about the size of classes.  At last month’s meeting she reported that Dr. Wise told her they had increased by only 1, from 20 to 21.  After reporting that, she was asked to find the mean size of classes.  President Scarbro asked Dr. Yarbrough for the median number class size.  The following information for sections with enrollment between 6 and 80 was provided (data generated-Feb. 8, 2008):

            Term                Mean               Median


            Fall 06                 21.00               20

            Spring 07            20.21                19

            Fall 07                 21.24               20

            Spring 08             20.99               20


Following discussion of this information, the Senators asked President Scarbro to obtain information about the number of classes with enrollments higher than 39, ask for statistics from Spring 1998 to Spring 2008 showing the mean, medium, and the standard deviation per department if possible for all courses offered during that time frame.


Election of New Senators – Elections for the following Senate positions need to be completed by the March meeting:


Business and Computer Technologies (replacement for Mark Fuentes)

Engineering and Media Technologies (replacement for Ken Swayne)

English (replacement for Lawana Day)

Liberal Arts (replacement for Anne Kinggard)

Mathematics (replacement for Judy Fethe)

Natural Sciences (replacement for Garry Pennycuff)


Posting of Advising Charts – At the last Faculty Senate meeting, Kathy Byrd asked if the advising charts could be eliminated for the last two weeks of the semester rather than the last week only.  Based on discussions at Learning Council and an email from Cheryl Slayden, the need for the distinct two week advising appointment period may disappear.  The hope is that Banner will allow students to do more of the registration procedures themselves and see their advisors at other times than just the two weeks of registration.


Advising Update Sessions – Sessions are scheduled for March 10 through March 20.  Banner SSB training is scheduled for that same time period.


Mary Monroe-Ellis, Transitional Studies Dean, is asking that all students who need two DSP subject areas, DSPW only, or DSPR only to be seen by a trained DSP advisor.  DSPM only students can be seen by any advisor.  Details are not finalized yet but will be by the time of the advisor update sessions.


A new drop and add approach will be used in the future.  No one will be allowed to add a class after it has met one time without the permission of the instructor.  This is an attempt to make Day One truly Day One.  Further discussion of this issue was moved to the Discussion section of the agenda.


Organizational Chart – The new chart is still not ready but will be posted on the college web site once it is complete. 


IV.             Committee Reports:

a.       Adjunct Faculty: Jonathan Morrell/Jesse Wilkerson had no report

b.      Student Scholarships:  Sami Ghezawi reported that plans for the book sale are moving along.  Sale prices have not been established yet.

c.       Rules:  Don Thomas had no report

d.      Nominating Committee: Nina McPherson announced that Mark Fuentes was elected to the position of President Elect of the Faculty

e.       Promotion/Tenure:  Anne Kinggard reported that faculty packets are in Bagwell 209.  Peer meetings are scheduled for March 10 through March 20.  She asked that Deans need to be reminded to get the packets in on time, not allowing any extensions.

f.       Faculty Emeritus Committee:  Mark Fuentes reported that all of the paperwork has been submitted to Dr. Wise who will see the process from this point.


V.                Unfinished Business:

Delivery of in-service – Don Thomas could not attend the committee meeting to begin discussions about in-service due to health problems so he asked President Scarbro to meet with the committee members.  Committee members are Don Thomas, Anita Maddox, Mae Jean King, and Ron Bridges.  They discussed the configuration of in-service, day(s) scheduled for in-service, professional development versus information sharing.  The committee is scheduled to meet again later on in the spring.


Efficacy of online courses – Dr. Yarbrough provided comparison statistics for distance learning courses and traditional courses by departments.  Statistics showed that failure and withdrawal statistics are consistently higher in the distance learning courses.  Since President Edwards and TBR are supporters of distance learning, it was felt that the distance learning courses will not go away.  At this time Faculty Senate feels that it can take no further action on this topic.


Revised Online Observation Form – A draft of a new form was distributed by President Scarbro.  Prior to revising the form, she discussed it with several people including some of the math faculty and Audrey Williams.  Some of the objections to the form included the observer having to have access to emails as part of the process.  In the D2L system, granting such access would equal total access to all email.  Consequently, the form was altered to make a part of the observation completed in a one on one situation either physically or virtually.  Kathy Byrd made a motion, seconded by Charles Miller, to support the new revised form.  The motion passed unanimously.  President Scarbro will present the new online observation form to Learning Council shortly.


VI.             New Business:

Anne Kinggard proposed that faculty develop a Faculty Bill of Rights.  Faculty understand that students’ rights have to be protected but often faculty feel vulnerable.  President Scarbro will discuss this idea with Dr. Wise.


VII.          Discussion

Equalization of salaries – President Scarbro

President Scarbro received several emails from faculty about the equalization of salaries.  She discussed the emails with Dr. Wise.  The process was already underway when he assumed his new position last May but did not know when it actually started.  President Edwards requested staff equalization raises but was told by TBR that at least 51% of any additional money had to be spent on faculty raises.   Faculty names with their degree attained, years of college level experience, and years at PSTCC were entered in a spreadsheet.  Out of 193 full time faculty, 63 people, or 33%, received a raise.  The staff raises were about the same percentage.  The college has contracted with UTK to conduct another salary equalization study from this point. UTK is being used because their price for this type of work is more reasonable.  UTK will be working with staff to develop Personnel Assessment Questionnaires.  Although much of the overall statistical information will be available, individual records will not be public; spreadsheets will not be publicly available.  Peggy Wilson will be setting up information sessions for faculty to ask questions of the UTK people.  Dr. Wise said that vice presidents and department heads had no role in determining equalization raises, the vice presidents did know of the study but Learning Council did not.  He said the process was kept quiet so that if any problems occurred with funding, no one would be upset.




Faculty Senate constitution changes related to elections – Nina McPherson

Mrs. McPherson suggested that some changes need to be made to the Faculty Senate Constitution to clarify some issues with the election for the President-Elect of the Faculty and other Faculty Senate officers.  Charles Miller made a motion to move this discussion to the Rules Committee, motion was unanimously approved.


Banner Issues – President Scarbro

President Scarbro has received several emails from faculty about the lack of degree audit capability in Banner.   Jerry Bryan, Vice President of Information Services, explained that Banner does have degree audit capability in its Curriculum, Advising and Programming Planning (CAPP) solution.  A brief description of it is at http://www.sungardhe.com/Products/Products.aspx?id=836.  A programmer does not have to be hired to implement CAPP.  However, it is labor intensive to maintain because of the complicated articulation agreements the college has.  Dr. Wise told President Scarbro that the college will hire a temporary person before April to work on CAPP and will attempt to have a permanent position for this in the 2008-2009 budget; the new position will have to be approved by TBR.  For several months, SIS will be maintained for returning students, but Banner’s CAPP will have to be used for new students. 


Financial Aid Disbursement – President Scarbro

President Scarbro received an email from a faculty member who questioned whether financial aid could be disbursed based on attendance and academic progress rather than being disbursed all at one time.  This faculty member was concerned that students attend classes only until they have met the college attendance requirement to be eligible to receive their financial aid check but do not attend class after that.  President Scarbro will follow up on this inquiry with the financial aid office, but doling out money in installments is not a viable alternative.


Medical Coverage for Adjunct Faculty – President Scarbro

President Scarbro received an email questioning whether medical insurance was available for adjunct faculty.  Health insurance is required of international students; they can obtain coverage through a policy that the college makes available to them.  President Scarbro discussed this with Karen Queener, the college’s Human Resources Director, who said that part-time employees have never been able to get health insurance through the state.  President Scarbro will discuss this matter with the Faculty Senate’s adjunct representatives to see if they want to pursue this further.


New Drop and Add Procedure

There was further discussion of this new procedure.  Faculty were concerned that they were not directly involved in this dramatic change to policy.  The proposal is that students will not be allowed to add a class after it has met one time without the permission of the assigned faculty.  Faculty had questions about how this process would really work.  There are some cancelled classes.  Locating adjuncts to get their signature will be extremely difficult.  Many times students want to change sections to be in classes taught by faculty with teaching styles that are better matches for the student’s learning style.  There are many students who are expunged and need to attempt to re-enter their classes.  David Vinson made a motion to inform COSA about this new policy; motion was seconded by Kathy Byrd.  After further discussion, David withdrew his motion.  Charles Miller made a motion, seconded by Kathy Byrd, to be sent to Dr. Wise about this new procedure.  The following motion was passed unanimously:


Faculty Senate is opposed to implementation of the new policy requiring a student to obtain the faculty member’s signature in order to add a class that has already met until Faculty Senate has gathered additional information and had more discussion about the implications of this new policy.



VIII.       Announcements:

Mark Fuentes asked faculty to announce in classes that the Marketing Department is hosting a resume writing workshop on March 10, at 12 noon in the Cafeteria Annex. 


            The next Senate meeting will be March 19 at 3:30 pm at the Blount County Campus.


IX.             The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 p.m.