Faculty Senate 07-08

Minutes of the Faculty Senate meeting               October 17, 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, Conley, DeLaet, Dore, Harvey, Houle, Keefer, Nelson, Reincke, Sanders, Simpson, Swilky, Torry, Vandegrift, Vitha, Walker, Younger

Absent: Allen, Esposito, Parsa, Saylor


The September 2007 minutes were accepted after requesting that salary presentation materials be added as attachments.  There was concern that the phrase “made progress” was not appropriate but it was determined to not take that out of the minutes.


There was no report from President Maxwell or Provost Troyer as both were not present due to their travel schedules on University business.


Report from President Simpson

- The Campus Council will meet next Monday.  It includes representatives of the Student Senate, Faculty Senate and the All Staff Council.

- An announcement was made concerning the parking survey being available via the MyDUSIS self service link within blueView.  The survey will close on October 22nd.

-- The November Faculty Senate meeting will be held in the Olmsted Center.

-- Senators received a set of athletic schedules which have been approved by the Intercollegiate Athletic Council.


Unfinished Business

Associate Provost, Sue Wright, was invited to field questions concerning the Salary Task Force Report.  Senator Nelson asked when the next set of CUPA data would be received.  It is expected during the Spring semester which is too late for salary preparations for the January Board of Trustee meeting. 


Senator Swilky asked about how the target salaries are reviewed when some groups contain small numbers. Ms. Wright noted that she works to find a peer group of six schools to create a benchmark.  She further indicated that once the 40% mark was reached by a majority of faculty, then the median was used as a goal.


New Business

The Senate Executive Committee brought forward for discussion the proposed revisions to the Student Handbook. The Senate Executive Committee reported that they had spent some time reviewing the documents and invited Dean of Students, Sentwali Bakari to join Senate for this discussion.


Mr. Bakari offered some background information concerning the Student Handbook, which is considered a guide and set of policies and procedures for students.  The proposed revisions are to update various sections to current position titles and bring various portions up-to-date. He continued that the revisions are not being made for legal reasons, but a matter of preference.


He highlighted a couple of changes beyond position title updates.  One change is that the Academic Life portion would be removed from the Handbook and moved to the General Catalog, including the Academic Plagiarism policy.  Also, the pre-hearing portion of the Code of Student Conduct would change.  The proposed change has the Dean of Students facilitating the hearing and only an appeal would be sent to a panel.  The current method is for a pre-hearing officer to be a faculty member.


Senator Sanders expressed dissatisfaction with not having been given a chance to be prepared to address any issues at the session today.  President Simpson indicated that today’s session was designed to give an overview and then make documents available.


President Simpson stated that once the Faculty Senate approved (or not) the document would go to the Board of Trustees.  The Board is not expected to address the topic until after their January 2008 session.  Thus, there is time to have a discussion and through review.  Executive Committee members who had reviewed various sections of the full handbook gave general remarks.  Senator Dore was concerned about the difficulty to follow sections which had references to an appendix and also had other references fully included.  Senator Walker noted that there were major sections deleted which pertained to academic policies, noting the intent to have these only in the General Catalog.


Mr. Bakari indicated that his presentation is to highlight what he believes to be changes of interest to faculty, the items which are moved to the General Catalog and the streamlining the Student Code process.  When asked, he indicated that the Handbook updating process to date has included involvement from the Student Life staff and a page by page review involving Mr. Tom Tronick, before his retirement last year.


Senator DeLaet hoped that the academic plagiarism sections would stay in both the Student Handbook and General Catalog.  Senator Walker agreed that she noticed several important policies which were to be moved.  She asked what criteria were used to make the placement decision.  Mr. Bakari indicated that the effort was to have academic sections consistently in the General Catalog.   Other Senate members expressed concerns about having academic information where students will look for it, including keeping the policies in both the Catalog and Handbook, even if those publications are not printed.  Senator Houle and Margie Davidson, Director of Student Records and Academic Information, both noted that web use easily allows for one policy document to be available under multiple headings.


The question was asked and answered that the intent is to have the Student Handbook as only an electronic document.  Senator Harvey expressed concern that there is a loss of contact when printed materials are not used, especially with new members of our communities.  An idea was proposed to burn CD’s of the Handbook and/or Catalog.


There was a short general discussion of the proposed procedural changes to the Code of Student Conduct.  Although no specific data was presented, it was stated that most complaints do not currently reach the stage of being presented to a convened Hearing Panel.  President Simpson indicated a serious concern about changing the pre-hearing faculty person to Student Life personnel.  She has experience in these matters and notes value to having someone from outside Student Life being involved in investigating an incident.


Senator Dore indicated the Law School has a practice of reporting annually infractions to their code.  Also, students are quizzed concerning their knowledge of the code during their initial time at Drake. This helps to insure that students know the Code and its content.


Mr. Bakari asked that any notes from the Senate, either style or content, to be sent to him in writing.  The group decided to leave the issue as unfinished business.  The documents will be placed on the Senate web site.


President Simpson asked for other Senate business. 

Senator Dore asked if there would anyone have objection to podcasting the meetings. No objection was received.


Senator Vitha asked for the Senate to consider this year the alignment of recruiting/admission and fundraising materials and presentation to the University’s mission statement of “integration of the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation  He recently went to the Admission Office to review their materials and is not certain that there is a match.  He desired a review of the broad issues involved.  The intent is to know that who we are recruiting (as students or for their support) matches who we say we are.


Faculty Senate adjourned at 4:42 p.m.  Nancy Geiger, Secretary