Faculty Senate Minutes 

March 21, 2012

Blount County Campus/Room 146 (DRAFT)


I.          Call to Order: Mark Fuentes (standing in for Brad Rose)

Meeting was called to order by Ron Bridges, Faculty Senate President.  Senators in attendance:  Sally Lighter (BCT), Linda Ellams (BCT), John May (Engineering & Media Technology), Trent Eades (English), Keith Norris (English), Lawana Day (English), Joan Easterly (LA), Charles Cardwell (LA), Mike Rose (LA), Claire Suddeth (Math), Bob Stern (Math), Pam Smith (TS), Darnetta Brown; Robert Baird (Division Street) Ashley Boone (BC), Bob Boyd (Magnolia Avenue Campus), Lara Kajs (Adjunct Faculty), David Meredith (Adjunct Faculty), Dave Vinson (RBR Rep), Nina McPherson (Secretary), Mark Fuentes (Past President), Ken Swayne (Communications Officer),  Guests:  Marilyn Harper, Nancy Pevey, Tyra Barrett, Kelly Rivers.


II.        Approval of Minutes: Mark Fuentes


            Minutes of the February 15, 2012, meeting were approved with no changes.


III.       Officer Reports


            Secretary: Nina McPherson – no report


Communications:  Ken Swayne – no report


TBR Representative:  Dave Vinson –

Vinson said that the sub-council will meet in April.  Vinson did refer to the email he sent earlier concerning information in TBR’s Task Force on Adjunct Faculty (TFAF). The committee is divided into four action teams:

1.       DEFINITION ACTION TEAM: that the definition of “adjunct faculty” in TBR Policy be clarified, revised as needed, and used consistently throughout all relevant TBR policies and guidelines.

2.       COMPENSATION ACTION TEAM: that compensation practices for adjunct faculty be actively addressed

3.       QUALITY TEACHING ACTION TEAM: that best practices in training adjunct faculty including orientation, technology in teaching, and pedagogy be systemically identified and shared

4.       COMMUNICATION ACTION TEAM: that best practices in Communication, Working environment, and Inclusion and recognition practices be identified and shared

Vinson is on the Compensation Action Team and Mark Fuentes is on the Definition Action Team.  Vinson emailed this section from the task force:


“(Tutors) (whose qualifications are not defined clearly and definitely based on my research so far) are now getting paid $15.5 per hour at Nashville State Community College.  As we have all done the math, a $480-per-hour compensation rate for an adjunct with an advanced degree equals $1440 per semester for one course.  If a semester lasts about 15 weeks (including the final exam week), the adjunct makes $96 per week.  Moreover, if the adjunct works 10 hours per week (i.e., answering students' emails, training, teaching, grading, and preparing for lecture), s/he makes $9.6 per hour, which is less than $15.50 per hour paid to tutors in spring 2012.”



            President: Ron Bridges

Announced that on April 10th, Pat Myers and the Foundation will sponsor a presentation of regalia ceremony for President Wise.


The selection committee has narrowed down the list of candidates for Vice President of Academic Affairs to four.  On campus interviews will be conducted during March 26 thru March 29.  The process will be much the same as the one used for the presidential search.  The candidates will tour every campus.  All employees will have the opportunity to ask each candidate questions during an open forum.


Academic departments should select their Faculty Senate representatives before the next Faculty Senate meeting in April.  All out-going and new senators should attend the April Faculty Senate meeting. 


Bridges discussed an unintended consequence that arose from the Faculty Hiring Adhoc committee work.  One of the concerns was the length of time required for Human Resources to schedule candidate interviews.  For this semester’s round of interviews, several departments have given the scheduling responsibilities to their secretaries. This decision was made between the deans and Lois Reynolds and was supposed to be voluntary by the departments.  This change is not a final decision and is still being considered by Lois Reynolds.


Cohort and Accelerated Programs.  The Complete College Tennessee Act includes a requirement to “incorporate the use of block scheduling and cohort programming as a means of delivering educational programs within the Tennessee community college system.”  For the complete document, see the following website:




The importance of this for faculty members is that TBR, based on this legislation, will be asking more of us to teach in cohort, block scheduling and other accelerated formats.



Dr. Wise has formed a committee to explore the overall process of the student perception of faculty and recommend changes.  The committee will investigate the purpose of the for the process, the use of data, types of questions used, and the process of conducting the survey.  The committee has only met by email.  A chair has not been designated.  The Student Perception is tied to promotion/tenure.  The promotion/tenure policy is scheduled to be reviewed this year.  Faculty Senate will form a committee to review the current policy and make a recommendation about the policy. 


Bridges reported that Rebecca Ashford, Vice President of Student Success and Enrollment Management, is forming several subcommittees to periodically feedback on services provided by units in her department.



IV.       Committee Reports

            Adjunct Faculty:  William Gwin/Leigh Moore

Although not concerning only adjunct faculty, there was discussion about the problem of Pellissippi and local school systems not having spring breaks at the same time.  Faculty teaching dual enrollment classes might not be able to take advantage of having spring break.  Although there was considerable discussion there was no resolution to the problem.   


Student Scholarships:  Michael Lusk – no report


Rules:  Trent Eades, Reporting for Donn King

Eades reported that the committee is continuing to work on wording for a constitution change providing for more time between the dates nominees for president-elect are announced and the dates for voting.


            Nominating Committee:  Nina McPherson – no report


            Promotion/Tenure:  Mark Fuentes

Departments conducted their peer review meetings last week, March 12-16.  Department deans will make recommendations to the Vice President of Academic Affairs by March 26.  The Vice President of Academic Affairs will make recommendations to the President by April 20.  The President will notify candidates of his decision by April 27.  The President will make recommendation to TBR on April 30.


            Faculty Development: Ron Bridges and Nancy Pevey

Pevey reported that programs for inservice are still being developed.  Some programs will be conducted over a period of time and not just one day.


            Faculty Lecture Series: Trent Eades and Keith Norris

            Katie Lovett’s “Women in Film” was presented today.  The rest of the schedule for spring semester is:

March 28, 3:30 “Science vs Religion  --  David Howell  (co-sponsored with Gnosis)

April 19, 12:30  Sexy Shakespeare II: The Further Adventures of the Amorous Bard of Avon:  --  Ed Francisco (co-sponsored with Gnosis)

Norris said that many faculty have volunteered to do lectures.  Faculty have not been recruited for this, they have volunteered.




Advising Issues Ad Hoc Committee: Ron Bridges

Tankersley was not able to attend the Faculty Senate meeting.  Bridges said that Tankserley will provide a committee report at the April meeting. Committee members met with their academic departments last week.  Using feedback from those meetings, the committee will finalize its recommendations. There was discussion that it is unrealistic to expect faculty to be able to advise any and all majors.  No final decisions have been made.  FERPA requirements make advising difficult.  And advising high school students is very problematic because of FERPA. 


Student Behavior Ad hoc – Michael Lusk - no report


Faculty Hiring Adhoc Committee – Charles Cardwell

Cardwell reported that he is scheduled to meet with Kae Carpenter when she is on campus.  There is continuing discussion with Human Resources about the form used to evaluate employee applicants.


Post-retirement Adhoc Committee – Tyra Barrett

Barrett reported that an information request was sent to other TBR colleges about their use of post-retirement employment.  Information received showed that some do offer it.

There is not one guideline that is used by the colleges who do offer post-retirement to faculty.  A retiring faculty member who met with the Vice President of Business/Finance in the fall of 2011 was told that the decision not to offer post-retirement employment to Pellissippi faculty was not a financial decision.   The original Faculty Senate proposal to the college from several years ago was to offer post-retirement employment to faculty for fifteen hours, at half of the faculty salary, for up to four years.  The committee is not ready to make a final proposal to Faculty Senate yet.


V.        Unfinished Business - None


VI,       Discussion

            Student Perception of Faculty – Ron Bridges

Majority of discussion is included in the President’s report section of the minutes.  There was some discussion about the process currently used.  Forms are distributed to students in the classroom and then faculty leave the room unattended.  Students can abuse this unattended time by discussing the rating (s) of the faculty.  Although it is not required, faculty can request other faculty to distribute the forms and stay in the classroom to ensure that appropriate behavior is followed.


            CDC Process – Bob Stern

Stern discussed an issue concerning proposed mathematics course catalog changes presented to the Curriculum Development Committee.  The math department spent considerable time reviewing the math course prerequisites.  The department submitted its proposed changes, which involved increasing the ACT prerequisite scores for several courses, to the CDC during fall semester.  CDC approved the proposal and sent it on to the Interim Academic VP.  The department did not hear anything further about this proposal until February 29.  The Interim Academic VP then turned down the proposal.  Math faculty are concerned that they were not notified of this action until it was too late to revise their proposal or work on a compromise of some type.  Among the Interim Academic VP justifications was that the Math 1130 course is one of the targeted courses in the QEP plan and thus should not have any changes made to it at this time that would confound conclusions about the effectiveness of the QEP.   



Textbooks – Charles Cardwell

Cardwell discussed the issue of the bookstore setting an earlier deadline for textbook orders.  This was precipitated by changes in the federal law requiring that students have textbook information, specifically costs, at the time of their registration.  This requires that that information be available when early registration begins.  Although this creates problems for some academic programs, there seems to be no solution.


Student Government Association – Trent Eades

Some students are interested in establishing a student government association.  Jake Hamric will facilitate a discussion about this on April 5th, 3:30pm, in the Goins Auditorium.  Eades asked that Senators encourage interested students to attend.


VII.     New Business:



VII.     Announcements-

            Ken Swayne reported that the robotics team from Pellissippi State competed in the IEEE  SoutheastCon 2012 Hardware Competition.  Contenders included two other community colleges and 51 four year institutions.  The team placed 13th out of 54, one position behind the UTK team and ahead of such top-ranked institutions as Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and the University of Florida.


Next meeting-Wednesday, April 18, 3:30 PM – Hardin Valley Campus, Room, TBD


IX.       Adjournment

            Meeting adjourned at 5:05pm