Faculty Senate Minutes

October 19, 2011 Division Street Campus, Room 157



I.          Call to Order

Meeting was called to order by Brad Rose, Business Officer. 


Senators in attendance:  John May (Engineering & Media Technology), Trent Eades (English), Keith Norris (English), Charles Cardwell (LA), Mike Rose (LA), Claire Suddeth (Math), Bob Stern (Math), Amy Tankersley (TS), Pam Smith (TS), Darnetta Brown (Nursing) Rick Bower (LS), Beverly Rogers (Nursing) Robert Baird (Division Street Representative), Lara Kajs (Adjunct Rep), David Meredith (Adjunct Rep) Ron Bridges (President), Brad Rose (Business Officer), Nina McPherson (Secretary), Dave Vinson (TBR Rep), Mark Fuentes (Past President), Ken Swayne (Communications Officer), Donn King (Parliamentarian).  Guests:  Emily Casey, Nancy Pevey


II.        Approval of Minutes: Brad Rose


            Minutes of the September 14, 2011, meeting were approved with no changes.


III.       Officer Reports


            Secretary: Nina McPherson – no report


Communications:  Ken Swayne – no report


TBR Representative:  Dave Vinson

Vinson attended a sub council meeting last Friday, Oct. 14.  His notes will be distributed soon.  He said that the proposed academic freedom policy was tabled.


            President: Ron Bridges

            Dr. Wise does intend to respond to all resolutions sent to him by Faculty Senate.


Bridges discussed several communication issues.  Dr. Wise will review the moderation of the Fac_Staff  listserv.  He does want some forum that will allow communication among all segments of the college.  The reply function on the full-time listserv has been changed so that “Reply” will go only to the person who sent the email.  That cannot be changed on the adjunct listserv.  No decision has been made about the D2L email options.


A town hall meeting will be held on October 27 in the Goins Auditorium with state representative Ryan Haynes.  There is not an agenda.  Faculty and staff are encouraged to attend.  Individuals can ask questions themselves or questions can be submitted to Bridges for him to ask.


Bridges discussed Veterans Day Events planned for Nov. 10 and 11.  Displays are planned for all campuses.  A National Roll Call is planned to be held on the 11th in the Bagwell building courtyard.  The names of all service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan will be read in chronological order. Faculty and staff are encouraged to volunteer to be readers.  Rachael Cragle will coordinate the roll call.  There will be brief moments of silence at 11:00 am and also at 2:00 pm.


Bridges discussed parking issues for faculty at the Hardin Valley campus with Dr. Wise.  Dr. Wise has asked Dave Walton to give him some possibilities for additional sparking space for faculty.  Space next to the portables is only temporarily available because a new portable has been purchased but has not arrived.


Bridges discussed the adjunct office area in the library on the Hardin Valley campus Lois Reynolds.  He asked her who is supposed to purchase supplies for faculty who use that office space.  She said that faculty should request supplies from their department.  A Mac computer has been requested for that office space.


Bridges encouraged faculty to support the internal pledge campaign; he is hoping for 100% participation.  A high internal participation rate helps the college when external sources are solicited for contributions.


The Testing Center on the Hardin Valley campus no longer provides testing services for technical certification.  This impacts the CSIT certification testing.  The Testing Center was asked to stop doing the technical certification testing so that more space would be available for other testing more heavily used by our students.  Bridges will ask for more information about this issue.


Bridges has received some inquiries about the policy of allowing retired faculty to teach on a half-time basis.  This has previously been allowed but seems to have been stopped.  He did not know at what rate the retired faculty would be paid, what impact that would have on benefits, whether the retired faculty position slot would be filled.  He will discuss this with the Vice President of Business and Finance.


IV.       Committee Reports


            Adjunct Faculty:  Lara Kajs, Leigh Moore

            Kajs reported on several adjunct faculty issues.

Adjunct faculty at the site campuses don’t have problems getting supplies but it is an issue on the Hardin Valley campus.  Evening adjuncts don’t know who to contact for supplies.  Are supplies for communal use or only for use by adjuncts in the department that purchased the supplies?  Adjuncts are grateful for the office space in the library but they do need supplies.  Lockers have been installed in the adjunct office space on the Hardin Valley campus but people promptly claimed them as their personal lockers by putting locks on them. Only students can reserve time in the library’s group study rooms but faculty do not know what other options they have to reserve the use of a room to have a private meeting with a student.




·         Student Scholarships:  Ron Bridges reported for NBS

Dawn Roberts has secured the old copy center space in the McWherter building for storage space for contributions for the sale.


·         Rules:  Donn King

King is in the process of putting a committee together.  He thinks most of the committee discussions can be held by email.  He thinks there are some issues in the Faculty Senate Constitution that need clarification and might necessitate amendments.  Some of those issues are whether all officers have to be senators or whether the president can appoint any faculty member to be an officer, with approval of Senate members, and whether all officers, except the Parliamentarian, have voting privileges.   King made the following motion, “That Faculty Senate amend its constitution in order to clarify the status of its officers regarding membership and voting privileges.”  The motion was seconded.  Because the motion was unable to be acted upon until the next regular meeting, the motion will automatically be considered by the Rules Committee.


·         Nominating Committee:  Nina McPherson

A committee will be needed at the beginning of the fall 2012 semester.


·         Promotion/Tenure:  Mark Fuentes

Fuentes has emailed eligible faculty about changes in the portfolio that permit streamlining the documentation.  Electronic portfolios can be used now.  Fuentes will have a calendar available at the next Faculty Senate meeting.  Fuentes noted that the first three sections of the portfolio are duplicative of the faculty self-evaluation form.  He questioned whether this was an oversight in the last revision of the form as well as the portfolio.  He will investigate further.


·         Faculty Development: Ron Bridges

Bridges noted that there are now several committees that have some faculty development activity.  He will develop a proposed plan for the next Faculty Senate meeting.


·         Faculty Lecture Series: Trent Eades

Joan Easterly is scheduled to do a presentation on Oct. 27, “Joan of Arc: Heroine, Heretic, Saint.”  The schedule for 2012-2013 has also been developed.


V.        Unfinished Business



VI,       Discussion

            Rules were suspended to allow cross-talk discussion.


            D2L Email

There was further discussion about the D2L email.  Lawana Day discussed the issue with English faculty; they would like to stop using the D2L email.  Ashley Boone discussed with math faculty.  One math faculty would like to keep the D2L email, one would like to get rid of it, and the others would like to be able to keep the option available to those who want it.  We did not make a decision or recommendation.


Darneta Brown asked if we could put a time limit on discussion of agenda items to expedite the meetings.  Some senators were opposed to any limitation so that everyone has the opportunity to be heard.  There are competing interests – discussion versus brevity.  Nothing was finalized.


            QEP – Nancy Pevey

Pevey reported that the SACS visiting team liked the college’s QEP plan; they thought it was feasible and extensive.  They thought the budget should be more developed.


Academic Misconduct Policy Revision – Ron Bridges

At the last Faculty Senate meeting, we discussed upcoming revisions to the Academic Misconduct Policy.  Based on changes to TBR rules, our administration was updating the policy.  The most controversial part of the initial revision was a new requirement to grant some form of "due process" to a student BEFORE an instructor could assign a grade of F for the entire course as a SANCTION for misconduct and that process was to be controlled by the Student Affairs Division, not Academic Affairs.


Faculty Senate was asked to draft a different revision of that policy. The Faculty Senate "Academic Swat Team," appointed at the October Faculty Senate meeting, spent a fair amount of time over the last 3 weeks working on this revision.  Bridges e-mailed Draft 8 of that document to the entire faculty.  Draft 8 was sent out to Learning Council for approval; it has now been approved by LC and is awaiting approval by the President’s Council. 


The "swat team" was able to create a policy that allows for the due process, but that makes it as simple as possible for the faculty member to assign a grade of F for the entire course if they feel it is warranted. According to this version of the policy, the instructor will consult with their department dean on the issue and make the recommendation.  The department dean will be responsible for informing the student of their due process rights and from there, the student must initiate any appeal process.  In this version of the policy, the entire process is within the Academic Affairs (Learning Division).


We did not get what we would have liked, an unchanged policy, but the "swat team" was able to create a better plan than we would have had otherwise.  Bridges has set aside some time in next week's meeting to discuss this if need be.


* The "Swat Team" was a working task force consisting of:  Bob Stern, Mark Fuentes, Trent Eades, Dave Vinson, and Lara Kajs.  Kathy Byrd also helped she was on the TBR committee looking into this issue and had considerable insight into the process. Bridges gave his personal thanks to all of them for their hard work and deliberations.


Dave Vinson mentioned that even though the proposed policy was written by TBR legal staff, an English instructor at MTSU pointed out to them that some of the wording opened the door to the possibility of litigation by complaining students.  The current policy expires December 31, 2011, and a new policy needs to be in place January 1, 2012.  Bridges is considering faculty workshops after a new policy is approved so that faculty will understand the new policy and procedure.



VII.     New Business

            Faculty Hiring Process – Charles Cardwell

Cardwell made a motion concerning the hiring process; motion was seconded and was approved by unanimous consent.  The motion reads, “ Resolved, That the members of the Faculty of Pellissippi State Community College urge our college’ President to initiate a review of current policies and practices for filling line-item faculty positions with the goal of modifying these so as to streamline and accelerate the process; and Resolved, That the members of the Faculty of Pellissippi State Community College recommend certain steps be taken in hiring for line-item faculty positions to provide such a streamlined and accelerated process, as detailed in the attached document.”  (Attachment 1)


VIII.    Announcements

            Date of the next meeting is Nov. 16, 3:30 PM at the Hardin Valley campus, Faculty-staff dining room.


IX.       Adjournment

            Meeting adjourned at 5:15PM



Attachment 1 – Hiring Resolution


Whereas, The current process for filling line-item faculty positions typically ends significantly later in the year than that of many competing institutions; and

Whereas, Said process has resulted in outstanding candidates being hired elsewhere before Pellissippi State has begun even to schedule interviews; now therefore, be it

Resolved, That the members of the Faculty of Pellissippi State Community College urge our college’s President to initiate a review of current policies and practices for filling line-item faculty positions with the goal of modifying these so as to streamline and accelerate the process; and

Resolved, That the members of the Faculty of Pellissippi State Community College recommend certain steps be taken in hiring for line-item faculty positions to provide such a streamlined and accelerated process, as detailed in the attached document.

Steps in hiring for line-item faculty positions

As soon as a line-item faculty position is open, HR will prepare a job description and a proposed advertisement; in addition, the appropriate Dean will appoint a Search Committee Chair.

The Chair will recruit at least two additional faculty members to serve on the Committee. Said recruitment shall be in full compliance with Pellissippi State Policy 00:03:00 (Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination in Education & Employment).

As soon as practicable after the Committee is formed, HR will give the Committee a formal orientation to hiring policies and procedures. This orientation will include affirmative action requirements. Following orientation the Committee will review the job description and proposed advertisements, recommend modifications, and recommend appropriate media for advertising. In addition, HR will, in collaboration with the Committee, set a closing date for acceptance of applications. This date will not be earlier than fourteen calendar days after the last advertisement is scheduled to appear.

HR will place advertisements in both national and local media as soon as possible after receiving the Committee’s recommendations. HR will place at least one advertisement in a discipline-specific publication if the Committee so requests. HR will be solely responsible for making direct contacts with potential candidates to notify them of the job opening if it deems such contacts to be necessary to fulfill affirmative action requirements. HR will document such contacts. Only applications received through the TBR online application system will be considered for employment.

Committee members will be given access to online applications as soon as the first application is received. Each Committee member will complete an initial screening form for each candidate. The form will comprise a series of simple check boxes for educational attainment (Ph.D, Other Doctor’s Degree, ABD, Master’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, at least 18 graduate hours in the teaching discipline) and a determination as to whether the candidate is qualified or not qualified for the job.

The Committee will select the four to six candidates that it deems the best candidates for the job. If HR determines that the Committee’s selection list does not fully comply with Pellissippi Policy 00:03:00 (Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination in Education & Employment), HR may give the Committee a list of candidates, any one of whose addition would bring the list into compliance, and the Committee will select the best qualified among these candidates as an addition to the list of four to six best candidates. HR will schedule all persons on the (amended) best candidates list for interviews. The Committee will also select a list of four to six alternate candidates. This list will be in rank order. In the event that some candidate or candidates from the first list decline an interview offer, HR will fill the resulting interview slot(s) by offering an interview to candidates from the alternate list, taken in rank order, until all interview slots are filled.

The committee will prepare a core set of questions for the interview. [One of these questions will require a teaching presentation (not to exceed 15 minutes)]. HR will review these questions for compliance with Pellissippi State Policies and Procedures. In interviews, each candidate will be asked all of the core questions. The Committee may ask follow up questions based on the response(s) given by the interviewee.

After all interviews have been completed, the Committee will prepare a list of finalists and submit it to the appropriate academic officer (Dean or Vice President). The officer will conduct a second interview, and select the candidate for final vetting prior to being offered a position.

HR will check the references of the final candidate and obtain a criminal background check for any candidate who has not been employed at the college for at least one year.

Upon satisfactory completion of these checks, HR will make a formal offer to the final candidate. Upon acceptance, HR will also prepare a file containing all required documents.

HR will notify all applicants in writing when a position has been filled.