Faculty Senate

Minutes of the Faculty Senate meeting                 October 21, 2009


The regular meeting of the 2009-2010 Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:30 p.m. by President Houle. The following senators were present for all or part of the meeting: Courard-Hauri, Chesnut, Clapham, Cramer, Cravero, DeWitt, Dore, Gilbert, Houle, Klipec, Knepper, Lyons, Mosser, Parsa, Petersen, Reincke, Vitha, Walker, Van Wyke

Absent: Bartschat, Esposito

Upon proper motion and vote, the September 2009 minutes were accepted.

Secretary’s Note:             Three Athletic schedules were distributed to Senators in attendance.


President Maxwell Report

President Maxwell reminded the body that the Futures II Conference will be held on October 30th.  He requested that an effort be made by any interested attendee to make reservations soon so that complete physical arrangements can be made in a timely manner. 

He continued with a fundraising update.  In spite of the current economic condition, President Maxwell felt this fall has brought him a sense of positive momentum, such as some actual gifts coming in to Drake.  A sizeable increase has been documented in fundraising contacts made (by the President and the Deans) and upwards to 92% capture of valid addresses for alums!

During the last Board of Trustees meeting, the concept of a three year strategic budget was endorsed while noting that many uncertainties will continue. The 2011 Budget will be prepared using various scenarios similar to last year.

President Maxwell reported that currently there is an increase in undergraduate applications for Fall 2010. Drake is participating in the common application process this year which may make a difference in how we all feel about this number at this point in the year. Overall campus visit numbers are up from last year yet the direct participation numbers in the Visit Days is lower.

Senator Petersen noted that due to the time of day, during a Visit Day, which faculty are invited to meet students, there are faculty who do not have a chance to meet with parent/ potential students.  President Maxwell would share that observation with Vice President Tom Delahunt.


Senator Reincke asked if Drake was seeing an increase in students due to the new Veteran’s benefit program.  President Maxwell indicated that Drake did sign up to join Yellow Ribbon program. Nancy Geiger, Drake Veteran’s Certification Officer, offered that this new benefit program cannot be cited as bringing students to Drake at this point. Currently, she believed that 10-12 students are receiving benefits via that new program.


Senator Parsa asked if there is knowledge as to why the application number has increased, so that we repeat the success, again and again.  President Maxwell indicated that there is some information from the Admitted Student Questionnaire but nothing really different that what has been noted before, that is Drake academic programs and academic quality.  Senator Clapham asked if there are changes in the number of international students seeking to study at Drake.  President Maxwell replied that Drake is looking to expand the overall international footprint not just the number of students who come to us.


Provost Renner Report

Provost Renner noted that not only did the first year retention rate increase (89.4%) but so did the six-year rate of graduation (75.8%).  He shared that the published list of schools, in the Chronicle of Higher Education,  with multiple Fulbright Scholar awards this past year had only one other school with a higher number. 


Provost Renner stated that around Fall Break there was a big increase in students with H1N1.  Also, recently an upgrade has been done to the computer hardware which should allow for more routine work to become more efficient, in the future.

Senator Lyons asked for a general explanation of the review which occurs of all staff positions.  President Maxwell indicated that this small group review began last year. The group reviews each position request, makes recommendations and is a monitoring mechanism. Provost Renner indicated that sin June 2009, there has been a similar sort of review being done with faculty positions. The general rule is that each open faculty position is up for review.  Senator Reincke asked how this relates to the three year budget process when positions and processes may move around the institution.  Provost Renner agreed that is it an issue if the budgeting and personnel were to be tightly created.  He hoped the two processes would allow for the creation of opportunities not roadblocks. Senator Reincke asked how many additional faculty (net) has Drake added in the past few years.  Sue Wright, Deputy Provost, noted that some have been added especially due to the increased enrollments.


President Houle Report

Vice President Payseur is creating a Building and Grounds Advisory Council which will include the Faculty Representative to the Board Building and Grounds Committee.  David Courard-Hauri has accepted an appointment to the new Council. Other faculty representation will be sought.


Noah Carroll, Student Senate liaison, made a brief report citing various budget expenditures and the approval of the Drake Outdoor Leadership Club.


New Business

Sue Wright, Deputy Provost, presented Faculty Salary information beginning with some background information beginning in 2002.  She articulated the basic caveats and procedures for salary consideration.  The yearly salary increase pool for 2009-10 was 1.5 million.  Over the past seven years, 12.6 million has been added to Drake salaries.   In response to a Senator’s question, Sue reported what information was available about other higher education institutions. She indicated of the nine schools who have replied to her survey, only two other schools have stated they would have a salary increase this year. She indicated it is her intention to review this again in December.

Ms. Wright expressed that the basic goals are to raise Drake salaries to be competitive with peers and attract and maintain quality faculty.  In the past Faculty Senate interest, she provided a set of same year comparisons.

In response to a gender and rank questions, Ms. Wright indicated that these distributions are available, especially to the Deans.  She noted that any data posted to the Institutional Research web site does not include all breakdowns by department to preserve privacy.

Senator Parsa asked if continuous appointment persons are included in the data.  Ms Wright indicated it depends on their home unit.  Other comments were made concerning the institutions designated as peer schools and the current Drake per diem.

Ms. Wright handed out a brief summary of the presentation.


The meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m.