Faculty Senate Minutes

April 15, 2009-3:30 PM, Blount County Campus

I.          Call to Order

Meeting was called to order by Tom Gaddis.   Senators in attendance:  Wanda Scarbro (President), Mark Fuentes (President Elect), Tom Gaddis (Business Officer & Division St.), Nina McPherson (Secretary & Library Services), Charles Miller (Parliamentarian & Liberal Arts), Dave Vinson (TBR Representative), Martha Merrill (BCT), Mae Jean King (BCT), Sami Ghezawi (EMT),David Gilbert (EMT), Lawana Day (English), Trish Roller (English), Sharon Reedy (English), David Key (LA), Anita Maddox (LA), Meg Moss (Math), Linda Streebeck (Math), Daryl Thomas (Math), Caroline Best (TS), Ashley Boone (Blount County), Jane Stribling (Magnolia).  Guests:  Mary Monroe-Ellis.  2009-2010 Senators in attendance:  Sydney Gingrow (English), Trent Eades (English), Anne Preston (Math), Trish Roller (who will be representing TS). 


II.        Approval of Minutes – Tom Gaddis

Minutes were approved as written with no changes.


IIII.     Officer Reports

            Secretary: Nina McPherson – no report


Communications:  Ken Swayne – no report


TBR Representative:  Dave Vinson

Sub-council will be meet April 16 and 17.


            President:  Wanda Scarbro

At the Learning Council meeting on April 14, Dr. Wise discussed faculty load hours for the web classes.  TBR has a couple of committees that are researching faculty work load issues, and the load for web courses is one of them.  Nothing has been proposed yet, but the whole issue of faculty work load is being investigated. (See attachments 1 – Web Load Hours Sept. 2003 and 1a – Course Term Report WEB Enrollment)


President Scarbro has received an inquiry about the process used for selecting the Outstanding Full-Time and Outstanding Adjunct Faculty awards.  The nomination paperwork was changed a couple of years ago because people felt that it was difficult to answer all of the questions on the form.  The simplified form makes it easier to nominate people, but the faculty who vote on these awards do not see the nomination paperwork. Instead, nominees are asked to respond to one question, and the response to that question is what is shown on the ballot, not the original nomination information.  This topic will be addressed again in July after additional information from Ann Satkowiak is received.


Issues of quality control for web classes and dual enrollment classes were discussed at the Learning Council meeting on April 14.  Some type of certification might be initiated for any instructor teaching a web section on D2L.  It was not clear whether this idea came from an internal group or from TBR.  A motion concerning this issue is included in Section VII New Business.


            Changing the name of the college apparently will happen; a date for the change is not known.       The word “Technical” will be removed from the current name.


Linda Randolph is retiring.  She has been primarily responsible for the content of inservice.  While a total redesign of in-service will not be approved, any in-service program ideas should be submitted to Wanda Scarbro between now and June 30 and after that date to Mark Fuentes. 


IV.       Committee Reports

Adjunct Faculty:  Jonathan Morrell – No report. 


Student Scholarships:  Trish Roller 

Trish reported that the annual book sale was a success and that $6,000 was raised for scholarships.  She expressed appreciation for all of the help the committee received.  The Liberal Arts Department will be responsible for the 2010 sale. She suggested that we re-establish the tradition of having a previous year book sale committee member assist with the sale for the following year.


            Rules:  Charles Miller – no report


            Nominating Committee:  Nina McPherson – No report


            Promotion/Tenure:  Mae Jean King

The process for the peer review meetings seemed to go well for everyone. Mae Jean is rotating off of Faculty Senate next year, but she has volunteered to serve as            co-chair of the Promotion/Tenure Committee to help them with the process.


Faculty Emeritus: Mark Fuentes – No report


            Faculty Bill of Rights Ad Hoc: Anita Maddox – no report


            Budget Ad Hoc Committee:  President Scarbro

Committee members are Wanda Scarbro, Michael Lusk, Toni McDaniel, Bob Stern, Marilyn Harper, and Anne Swartzlander.  President Scarbro met with Ron Kesterson on two occasions and wrote a summary of those meetings. (See attachment 2 – President Scarbro’s Budget Notes.) The committee met two times as a group and then conferred with Ron Kesterson. He answered a series of questions written by the committee. (See attachment 3 – Faculty Senate Budget Ad Hoc Committee Questions and Answers) The stimulus money will help with the budget for the next two years, but by the third year of 2012, the college must make permanent cuts of $4.2 million. By rule, the stimulus money cannot be used for recurring expenses, such as salaries or utilities. Instead, it must be utilized for non-recurring items, and it must be spent by Sept. 2011. (See attachment 4 – THEC American Recovery and Reimbursement Act, State Fiscal Stabilization Funds, General Guidelines for 2008-09 & 2009-10) Other documents received from Ron Kesterson concerning budget information are Attachment 5 – Higher Education Budget Briefing and Attachment 6 – Pellissippi State Technical Community College State Appropriations.  Unknown factors that will impact the future are state elections and what, if any, reorganization of the state’s higher education system will occur. Also, any increase in enrollment and tuition will alter the budget outlook. Several possibilities exist as to the impact for faculty. It seems possible that an increase in class size for some courses might be necessitated. It is likely that no new tenure track faculty positions will be created. An overall plan for how PSTCC will handle this budget reduction by 2012 has not been finalized at the present time. The college is hoping that additional enrollment, tuition increases, and the shifting of funds will help get the college through the next two years. The Senate discussed the idea whether the college was top heavy with administration.  Although the number of vice presidents might be lower than other TBR colleges, the number of administrators at the next level might be higher. (For all budget information, see attachments numbered 2-6.)



V.        Discussion

            Moderation of Faculty-Staff listserv

The faculty-staff listserv is the only moderated college listserv.  Others such as the Fulltime listserv or Faculty listserv are not moderated. President Scarbro authored a document detailing what she learned from a meeting with Jerry Bryan. He stated that no list of distinct criteria for the moderation exists, but the overall intent is to allow information to reach the appropriate people only.  He expressed concern that the college needs to ensure that emails do not create a hostile work environment and explained that the college is legally responsible for anything disseminated through a college listserv. Some faculty have sent emails to the fac_staff listserv that were not published, but they did not receive any explanation as to why the email was disallowed. Hopefully, some type of notification system can be initiated in the future. Several senators expressed grave concern over this moderation and felt that it was essentially censorship. One individual felt that a follow-up with the ACLU might be in order. A resolution concerning this matter is included in Section VII New Business.  (See attachment 7 - Moderated Listserv.)


            Hiring and tenure process for Transitional Studies Faculty

Tenure is awarded within an academic discipline, not within a department.  Faculty teaching in a discipline such as math or English in Transitional Studies will receive tenure within the math or English department.  This arrangement requires that the hiring process be a shared process between the Transitional Studies and the appropriate academic department.  Faculty who are hired to teach Transitional Studies courses will also be expected to teach college level courses for their academic discipline.  Faculty in these departments who might not know a Transitional Studies faculty member well should thoughtfully and carefully review all faculty promotion packets before tenure and/or promotion peer meetings.  It was pointed out that although faculty are required to attend peer review meetings where promotion and/or tenure are voted on, faculty are not required to vote on every person up for review.  Based on this information, President Scarbro does not see the need to revise any of the college policy or procedures concerning faculty promotion and tenure.  (See attachment 8 - Tenure)


            DSP courses

President Scarbro met with Dr. Wise and Mary Monroe-Ellis as a follow-up to the last Faculty Senate meeting in March to obtain additional information on DSP courses.  Dean Monroe-Ellis has respectfully requested more time to do assessments of the newly re-designed programs.  She feels that the new programs are so radically different from the old programs, assessment has been difficult (i.e., comparing apples and oranges.) Faculty members in the Transitional Studies Department have been working hard to make this redesign a successful program.  It appears that TBR will not mandate one program for all colleges in the system but will monitor college success rates for these programs. (See attachment 9 - DSP Information.)


VI.       Unfinished Business

            Introduction of new senators

            A roster of Senators for 2009-2010 was distributed. 



Professional standards document

Even though the professional standards policy would not apply to faculty, faculty were concerned about its impact on staff positions. The president’s intent for this document was that the college would provide a professional appearance and attitude. While the first version of the document was quite stringent, the second one was much more innocuous. Apparently, administrators are interpreting the document for their staff members on an individual basis. Until further action is requested by staff, the resolution presented at the March meeting of Faculty Senate has been withdrawn.


VII.     New Business

            Proposal of new officers

Mark Fuentes presented his slate of Faculty Senate officers.  Mark does not have a candidate yet for the Parliamentarian position.  Although Mae Jean King will co-chair the Promotion/Tenure Committee, a Senator still needs to be identified to be the other co-chair of the committee.  Mark             made a motion that the slate of officers be voted on at the July meeting.  (See attachment 10 – 2009-2010 Faculty Senate)


Mark Fuentes presented the calendar of meeting dates for 2009-2010.  (See attachment 11 – Faculty Senate Meeting Dates and Locations Academic Year 2009-2010)


            List-serv moderation

Sydney Gingrow and Trent Eades presented a resolution requesting that the college cease moderation of the Fac_Staff mailing list.  A motion was made and seconded to accept the resolution, and the Senate voted unanimously for its approval.  The resolution will be delivered to President Edwards and the three listserv moderators, Dr. Wise, Peggy Wilson, and Jerry Bryan.  The resolution reads as below:


Faculty Senate of Pellissippi State Technical Community College




Whereas, The Faculty Senate of Pellissippi State Technical Community College notes that the Fac_Staff mailing list has been traditionally used for open discussion among college employees; and


Whereas, Open discussion among employees is appropriate and essential in any institution, particularly one in academia; and


Whereas, The moderation of the Fac_Staff mailing list prevents open discussion of issues important to college employees and thus amounts to censorship; and


Whereas, The PSTCC administration has not made available an uncensored forum of equivalent reach and utility; therefore be it


Resolved, That the Faculty Senate urges the administration to cease moderation of the Fac_Staff mailing list.



            Web Teaching Certification and Dual Enrollment Classes

Additional information is needed for this topic. Some of the concerns voiced included the idea of what body would do any certification and what it would entail. Concern was expressed that if this idea is a TBR initiative, it might lead to future intrusion into academic decisions that should be decided by each college. Also, what impact would any certification have on dual enrollment courses?  The following motion was made by Nina McPherson, seconded by Anne Pressley:  Faculty Senate strongly opposes any and all attempts by TBR to require standardization of web courses and also the requirement of faculty certification to teach web and dual enrollment courses.  Requesting additional information before voting on this idea, the motion was tabled until the next Faculty Senate meeting in July.



VIII.    Announcements-Next meeting-Wednesday, July 15, 2009, at 3:30 PM at Hardin Valley Campus


            Appreciation to Wanda Scarbro was unanimously expressed by all Senators for the outstanding job she did as President of the Faculty Senate last year and this year. 


IX.       Adjournment

            Meeting adjourned at 5:55 PM




1.   Faculty Web Load

1a. Course Term Report WEB Enrollment

2.   President Scarbro’s Budget Notes

3.   Faculty Senate Budget Ad Hoc Committee Questions and Answers

4.   THEC American Recovery and Reimbursement Act, State Fiscal Stabilization Funds, General     Guidelines for 2008-09 & 2009-10

5.   Higher Education Budget Briefing

6.   Pellissippi State Technical Community College State Appropriations

7.   President Scarbro’s Moderated Listserv Notes

8.   Tenure in the Transitional Studies Department

9.   DSP Information

10. 2009-2010 Roster of Faculty Senators and Officers

11. Faculty Senate Calendar for 2009-2010