Faculty Senate

Minutes of the Faculty Senate meeting               December 12, 2007


The regular meeting of the 2007-2008 Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:30 p.m. by President LouAnn Simpson.  The following senators were present for all or part of the meeting.  Bohorquez, DeLaet, Dore, Esposito, Harvey, Houle, Keefer, Nelson, Reincke, Sanders, Saylor, Simpson, Swilky, Torry, Vandegrift, Walker, Younger

Absent: Allen, Conley, Parsa, Vitha


The November 2007 minutes were accepted as amended. (In the Report from President Simpson, the Campus Council meetings are being held every other week not weekly)


Report from President Maxwell

- The Planning Council has developed 50 objectives and will begin prioritizing this list. The goal is to present these to the campus governing bodies in January 2008.  He reported that there have been good discussions in the group with a few major goals being developed. 

- A consulting firm is assisting in the current stage of the Capital Campaign with documents to articulate the existing case statements and a steering committee is almost formed. 

- The Board of Trustees meeting this January will be outside Des Moines. The prime focus of that session will be strategic planning and the capital campaign.


No questions were presented to President Maxwell.


Report from Provost Troyer

“Today is a milestone date” stated Provost Troyer.  “Associate Provost Sue Wright and I have looked forwarded to this for four years, as today the HLC (Higher Learning Commission) Self Study Report was mailed.” There was a round of applause.  He continued that the 217 page report is the result of many significant and thoughtful contributions.  There was another round of applause.


The full HLC report will be available on the web yet this week.  Now the task is to prepare for the February 2008 on site visit.  Ms. Wright will be making many of the visit arrangements.  She will contact faculty and staff who are requested for meeting with the team.  Ms. Wright commented that the Self Study Report was a product of up to 100 people from the Drake Community.  Provost Troyer indicated there will be a reception on February 5th at 3:30 p.m. which will include a statement from President Maxwell concerning the Site Team’s exit interview.


Report from President Simpson

- Student Senate was addressed by Vice President Payseur concerning the divestment from Sudan issue.  The students were in favor of such an action.  The student Community Outreach activities recently have been quite successful including the Holiday Wish Tree.  The Student Handbook Guidelines were to be voted on by the Student Senate.


Student Senator Ben Olson made a presentation concerning iTunesU.  It is a fast emerging distribution mechanism which would include podcasts (stored on Drake’s server), powerpoints and audio/video content.  He indicated that if this were implemented, various recording equipment would need to be made available.  At this time, about ½ of nation’s top universities use this as an approach for faculty and students to communicate.  Mr. Olson indicated that students are really excited about this as a possible addition to Drake.


Senator Vandegrift asked what the costs would be.  Mr. Olson indicated that the service (iTunes software) is free. There would be equipment (recording and server) costs.  President Maxwell offered that as much as the idea is appealing, it would be important to have a solid understanding of the product and higher education uses before any investment is made.  Other concerns were voiced such as any copyright issues, course attendance concerns and overall trust in whether quality student/faculty interactions happen through iTunesU.  Mr. Olson agreed that he would not want this to replace the Drake classroom experience but rather be a supplement.


President Simpson announced that there are two Spring 2008 Senate meeting date changes she’d like to propose for Faculty Senate.  The Senate, with proper motion and vote, moved the January regular meeting to January 30th and the May meeting to May 7, 2008.


The Campus Council, with Senate representatives Jan Walker, Nancy Reincke and LouAnn Simpson, have met to address the issues presented with the proposed student handbook changes.  The Council has taken some time to separate policy from procedures and when various versions of documents take effect.


Unfinished Business – none presented


New Business

Senators Delaet moved and Nelson seconded motion 08-01:


Deeply disturbed by the gross violations of human rights and ongoing genocide in the Sudan,


Recognizing the status of genocide as a crime under international law, and 

Reaffirming Drake University’s mission-driven commitment to responsible global citizenship,


The Drake University Faculty Senate strongly urges the Drake University Board of Trustees to divest funds in Drake University’s endowment portfolio from companies doing business in the Sudan that have been targeted for divestment by the Sudan Divestment Task Force or the Yale Law School Report on divestment from the Sudan.

To this end, we urge the Board of Trustees to consider the issue of Sudan-related divestment.  Faculty Senate representatives would welcome an opportunity to discuss the issue with members of the Board.


Senator Harvey asked if today would also be used to plan the discussion with the Board of Trustees.  President Maxwell indicated that he has already shared with Board Chair Hubbell that divestment conversations are happening on campus.  He will continue the discussion of getting the topic on the Board agenda which is set by Board’s Affairs Committee. He will keep the Senate Executive Committee informed. 


There were two friendly amendments suggested and accepted.  (1) The word and taken out of the first sentence before Recognizing (2) In the motion, the words Drake University and Drake were deleted.


On a voice vote, the motion as amended passed unanimously.


Senator Dore opened the discussion of possible expansion of the summer term end date.  He promoted that the intent was to not have a empty week in August without course offering opportunities.  Margie Davidson, Director of Student Records and Academic Information, spoke to the assembly that Federal guidelines require that courses are not offered outside a term and that terms themselves do not overlap. A draft motion was distributed and there was interest in the topic being placed on an upcoming agenda.


Faculty Senate adjourned at 4:32 p.m.  Nancy Geiger, Secretary