Faculty Senate Minutes
September 17, 2008-3:30 PM, Pellissippi Campus
I. Call to Order
Meeting was called to order by Tom Gaddis. He announced that President Scarbro was absent due to a very serious family health problem and that Mark Fuentes would conduct the meeting in her absence. Senators in attendance: Joe Zitka (BCT), Denise Reed (BCT), Mae Jean King (BCT), Ken Swayne (EMT), Sami Ghezawi (EMT), David Gilbert (EMT), Lawana Day (English), Trish Roller (English), David Key (LA), Charles Miller (LA), Anita Maddox (LA), Meg Moss (Math), Linda Streebeck (Math), Daryl Thomas (Math), Brad Rose (NBS), Cathy Clay (NBS), Yolanda Kirkpatrick (NBS), Nina McPherson (Library Services), Caroline Best (Transitional Studies), Tom Gaddis (Division Street), Brenda Ammons (Blount County ), Jane Stribling (Magnolia Avenue), Mark Fuentes (BCT, President Elect), David Vinson (Math, TBR Rep). Guest: Todd Duren (CGY).
II. Suspension of Rules
Tom Gaddis recognized President Elect Fuentes, who made a motion to suspend the rules so that Dr. Anthony Wise, Vice President of Learning, could discuss various issues with faculty senators; motion was unanimously passed.
III. Question & Answer Period Anthony Wise
Dr. Wise discussed several issues with Senators –
The college is six weeks into the fiscal year and there is continuing concerns about the state’s fiscal stability, both this year and next year. There is a possibility of an impoundment this year and there might be a three to five percent cut in next year’s budget. Headcount is 8,744 this year and is expected to be approximately the same next year. The college will probably try to hold next year’s enrollment at the same level by offering the same number of sections as this year and having the same number of faculty as this year. Administration will probably look at maximum enrollments in some classes.
The ID cards that are being used in the Transitional Studies lab will be used collegewide beginning Fall 2009. The card will be used for library services next year. Other uses of the card, such as cafeteria charges, will be investigated. There has been some discussion of an employee ID card but there is no plan for one at this time.
The college is being required by TBR to hire an environmental control officer. The position will be assigned to Dave Walton. Job responsibilities have not been clearly detailed yet.
The college will hire a full time Director of Safety and Security by January 1, 2009.
The cost of textbooks continues to be a major concern. Some textbooks are now available in electronic format. Departments need to review the college’s textbook policy before textbook adoptions are made.
There were some financial aid problems for students. Some of the problems were due to Banner, EdAmerica, some internal, and some were problems caused by combinations of the three.
IV. Approval of Minutes: Tom Gaddis
Minutes of the July 16, 2008, meeting were approved with no changes.
V. Officer Reports
Secretary: Nina McPherson – no report
Communications: Ken Swayne – no report
TBR Representative: Dave Vinson
Dave has been appointed to a statewide workload taskforce, representing the community colleges. He does not know the exact charge of the taskforce. A sub-council meeting is scheduled for October.
President: Wanda Scarbro – no report
VI. Committee Reports
Adjunct Faculty: Jonathan Morrell – No report
Student Scholarships: English department –
The English department has identified three people (Trish Roller, Eddie Francisco, and Laurie Stapleton) to be co-chairs of the Book Sale committee. They are currently trying to identify storage space and trying to determine dates for the book sales. It was suggested that they talk to Dave Walton about storage space.
Rules: Charles Miller –
Discussion of constitutional changes will be discussed during the New Business section of the agenda.
Nominating Committee: Nina McPherson – No report
Promotion/Tenure: Susan Thomas – No Report
Faculty Emeritus: Mark Fuentes
The proposed policy will be discussed during the Unfinished Business section of the agenda.
Faculty Bill of Rights Ad Hoc: Anita Maddox –
A committee has been formed and has met once. Issues were identified and research will begin.
VII. Unfinished Business –
Computer competency requirement
Mae Jean King reported on research her program has done on this topic. Both Walters State CC and Nashville State Technical Community College both require computer competencies of their graduates. WSCC requires students to either show competency by passing a test or by taking and passing a course within their first 30 hours. Other Senators discussed the problem that now several courses require different types of computer skills, from the use of Word to Photoshop, but are frustrated that students do not have those skills when they sign up for the course. This requires the use of class time to teach those computer skills rather than the use of those skills on the course competencies. Transitional Studies courses to second year courses require students to be proficient in specified computer areas. The problem is the difficulty of not having an identified computer course anymore that all students are required to pass. Joe Zitka made a motion, seconded by David Vinson, which states that the Faculty Senate is in favor of supporting a college-wide computer competency requirement; the motion passed with 12 in favor and 9 opposed. Mae Jean King will chair a Faculty Senate ad hoc committee, with committee members still to be identified, to develop a proposal for FS consideration
Online student perceptions
The discussion was the length of student comments on the online form. Anita Maddox made a motion, seconded by Sami Ghezawi, that the student comment area on the online student perception form be limited to 230 characters, the same as the ground classroom form. The motion passed unanimously.
The second draft of the policy, presented at the July 16, 2008, Faculty Senate meeting, was voted on and passed unanimously. This revised policy will be sent to Dr. Wise for discussion at Learning Council.
VIII. New Business
The Summer 2009 schedule has not been finalized yet. Faculty were concerned about scheduling the 4-week terms without an appropriate break between them. Faculty need more time between the first and second 4-week terms to grade students’ coursework and students need more time to determine whether they should take the second sequence of some classes in the second 4-week term. David Vinson made a motion, seconded by Brad Rose, stating that the Faculty Senate requests that there be a full week break the first and second 4-week terms. The motion passed 11 to 5.
The Faculty Senate Rules Committee examined the need to revise the Faculty Senate Constitution to accommodate the creation of the Transitional Studies academic department and also the appropriate number of tenured faculty Faculty Senate representatives for each academic department. The constitutional change would read:
Article IV – Membership
Section 1: Faculty Senate Membership and Terms
B. Representation: Each academic department of the College is entitled to elect three representatives to the Faculty Senate. Library Services and Transitional Studies are entitled to elect one representative each to the Faculty Senate. (If Transitional Studies becomes comparable to the other academic departments in the number of assigned faculty, it will automatically be elevated to three representatives.) At least one of the three representatives from each academic department during any given academic year must hold academic tenure.
Mark Fuentes made a motion to accept the changes; discussion of the changes will be during this Faculty Senate meeting and the next meeting. Faculty Senate vote on the change will be at the next meeting. Senators had no problem with the Transitional Studies change but there was considerable discussion about the number of required tenured faculty representation. It is difficult to get faculty in some departments to be willing to serve on Faculty Senate. Some faculty are encouraged by supervisors to get involved because it can be used to build resumes for promotion. Some Senators feel that non-tenured faculty would be at risk of not being able to speak their minds at Faculty Senate meetings. Discussion of the proposed changes will continue at the next Faculty Senate meeting.
Load hours for faculty
Concerns were expressed about the impact of anticipated budget problems and faculty load. Faculty were concerned that load hours will be increased to 18.
President Edwards has formed a committee to formulate a dress code. Although this will not impact faculty or students, Senators were concerned that a more formal dress code will impact the lowest paid segment of the college, the clerical and support staff. A policy could impact students who are serving as college ambassadors. Senators felt that instances of inappropriate dress should be a matter of discussion between the supervisor and the employee and should not be addressed in a college wide policy that would have an impact on financial concerns of employees.
Photo ID tags
This issue was discussed in Dr. Wise’s comments.
A student organization has formed that will address recycling efforts and awareness of the need for recycling. Concern was expressed that the large paper recycling containers were not regularly emptied. No one seemed to know what company was handling this or the schedule of emptying the containers.
New parking tags
Some faculty were concerned about the design of the new tags as well as the problems associated with them. Some felt that they obscure drivers’ view as well as aesthetically unappealing and would like for the college to use the smaller tags. Some faculty were concerned that security officers should be able to easily identify current tags from expired tags.
X. Announcements-Next meeting-Wednesday, October 22, 3:30 PM-Division Street Campus
Meeting adjourned at 5:00pm