Faculty Senate

Minutes of the Faculty Senate meeting               Feb 18, 2009


The regular meeting of the 2008-2009 Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:30 p.m. by President Sanders.  The following senators were present for all or part of the meeting: Alexander, Bohorquez, Cramer, Cravero Chesnut, DeWitt, Dore, Esposito, Gilbert, Harvey, Houle, McCrickerd, Mosser, Nelson, Reincke, Sanders, Van Wyke, Vitha, Walker

Absent: Allen, DeWitt


The January 2009 minutes were accepted as amended.

Amendment to the January 2009 minutes inserts the following short paragraph (right after the paragraph that ends with the phrase "on the Support Center tab."):


"Senator Gilbert noted that there was a policy change that was being considered that would delete student emails after 150 days.  He asked that Mr. Morris bring that matter to the Senate before its adoption, as such a policy runs counter to the academic aims of the Drake curriculum."


Report from President Maxwell

President Maxwell’s report began with a recap of the last Board of Trustees meeting in January in Chicago, Il.  The meeting focused on the institution’s fiscal year 2010 budget scenarios.  He reported that the Board reviewed the assumptions within the scenarios and gave positive feedback to the administration.  The meeting also included a retreat concerning the meaning of being an engaged board member.  This examined membership expectations and various ways the Board member serves the university.  Additionally, there was conversation concerning some board committee restructuring which would move routine business to various committees and keep the full meetings focused on strategic issues.


President Maxwell commented on his Distinctively Drake Campaign involvement.  He commented that in this dramatically changed financially environment having continuing relationship building conversations is valuable.  Dialogue Dinners which involve 12-14 people hosted by a trustee, held both here in Iowa and in other states, are not only getting the Drake’s message out but also allows him an opportunity to listen to other viewpoints.  He lays out Drake’s aspirations and gathers their feedback.  Also, he has been involved in Leadership Conversations in locally smaller, afternoon coffee settings, with leading members of the Greater Des Moines area. It has been tallied that President Maxwell has had 54 face to face conversations since October 2008 about the campaign.


President Maxwell responded to a submitted Senator’s question: What are the costs of the three executive searches?  He stated that the Provost search is the only one which he has knowledge of all the costs. The search consultant costs are $65,000 per search and is a one time cost. Additionally, approximately $17,000 was spent mostly for travel and accommodations.


Senator Esposito asked the President to share what are persons, either Board members or community leaders, asking him about the state of higher education.  President Maxwell replied that he receives questions concerning the impact of endowment dollars on any institution including Drake.  He indicated his reply is that since we are a tuition driven institution and there is still a strong demand for Drake, there is still every reason to believe that we are in a solid position.  There still are two critical enrollment target dates, April 15 and May 1st, which we will be closely monitoring.  He continued that the contingency plans for each unit are being merged by Provost Troyer and Vice President Payseur into one list and then prioritized.  He appreciates how the faculty are engaged in the enrollment of our future and current students as this is a key factor in the upcoming budget decision making process.


Report from Provost Troyer

Provost Troyer reported that the phrase ‘over the top’ was used by Vice President Tom Delahunt to show his appreciation for faculty participation in the most recent Admission Visit Day.  A record number of new students attended (91) the President’s Day event.


For the April 2009 Board of Trustees meeting, a program will be held which will include for all Board members what has been previously available to the Academic Affairs Committee.  This will include information surrounding the NSSE data and the Drake Curriculum.  This is an opportunity to show our work to the full Board of Trustees.


He commented on travel costs associated with faculty recruitment which is currently billed to the Provost.  These costs are being reviewed, including asking Human Resources to find out how other institutions proceed with recruitment.  There is an institutional pledge to reduce travel in light of the Climate Commitment and both recruitment and faculty development trips need to be more efficient.


President Maxwell and Vice President John Smith have talked with the Deans concerning the current assignment of major gift officers.  The staff will be deployed by region rather than by unit to save on travel and be more efficient.  These staff members main task is to prospect major gifts and communicate back to the Deans.


Report from President Sanders

President Sanders indicated that the item which was discussed at the end of the January meeting concerning how the proposed curriculum changes will be voted on has been discussed by the Senate Executive Committee.  There is not a provision for a referendum, but we could choose to do a full faculty vote or not.  Senate Executive Committee did feel this is an important aspect to be decided before the revisions are finalized.


The Faculty Roles discussion from early in the Fall 2008 semester is continuing. A Task Force on Faculty Roles is gathering information of formal and informal ways the institution is dealing with this issue.  The Task Force members are: Art Sanders, LouAnn Simpson DeeDee Small, Carol Spaulding-Kruse, Geoff Wall


Old Business – none presented


New Business –

The Senate moved into a Committee of the Whole for the two presentations on the agenda.


Associate Provost Sue Wright presented the Drake Salary Analysis.  Her presentation was limited to the faculty personnel at Drake.  CUPA data is used  for the examination of salaries. A peer group of institutions were selected for the review from various sources including the U.S. News and CUPA listings.  She began the presentation with an overview of historic data beginning with 2001-2002 year.  The information used concerning overall ranking in salary and compensation is from CUPA.  The information to set the average for each faculty rank is from the AAUP data set.


Ms. Wright noted that a factor used to judge progress in the advancement of faculty compensation has been the percent above peer median for each discipline and rank.  This is difficult to measure since salaries are moving targets and considering promotions. She regularly does a previous year comparison and a same year comparison.  For those disciplines which are not easily found in the choosen peer group, she does an estimating process and that specific information is not yet available.


Provost Troyer noted that the data for Assistant Professors has been looked at in detail and it seems to show the least progress.  This matter has been a conversation within the Deans Council.  Ms. Wright noted that in the past the Associate Professor’s ranges were in trouble but that curve has changed.  There was some general speculation what the next couple of years will show considering the current national economic situation.


Senator Espositio noted and Ms. Wright agreed that Drake has fewer full professors now than when this project began.  This fact may change how some persons review that rank’s multi-year changes.


Senators were asked to send their questions to Associate Provost Wright. Secretary’s note: Following the meeting, the complete powerpoint presentation was posted to the Faculty Senate blueView group.


Vice Provost John Burney presented two handouts (a portion of the Drake Mission explication concerning Learning Outcomes and a portion of The Essential Learning Outcomes from the AACU) and invited conversation concerning the work of the Drake Curriculum Task Force.  He requested to discuss the topic: what is a liberal education.


Mr. Burney requested that the group stay away from the details of the draft at this time. He desired to know what the group thought about the current draft framework noting that one of the newer principles is that any one outcome may be a combination of general education, major and co-curricular work. 


Senator Nelson noted that he was unclear about the sequential progression of the outcomes.  He indicated he liked the integration.  Senator McCrickerd noted that the proposal is not just building blocks of content but also about skill building.


President Maxwell expressed the whole  LEAP approach notes that the whole burden is not within general education.  Senator Vitha asked what would we stop doing?  If there is new, then what do we do with the old.  He also noted that some of the resistence is due to the fact that the plan sounds like more for faculty to do. 


Senator McCrickerd referenced that the LEAP document explores what employers want and what is successful for the student after graduation.  She offered that Drake may want to take what we are doing and tinker or do we do a radical change.  We are talking about a philosophical changed based on research and still be practical.


Senator Sanders noted that a lot of what the Task Force is doing is recognizing that we can be more intentional about what we are doing and fit the best parts together better.  He continued that Drake needs to look at and think about what we can do to do more of something rather than merely replacing something.  He feels the development of the engaged citizen is a good example.  It took some faculty development time and energy and that is being more creative and intentional with what we have.


Senator Walker noted that best practices need to be incorporated into the Drake Curriculum and be mindful that various units have state regulations or other governing bodies to be in compliance.


Senator Esposito was concerned that our present general education not lose its rigor. He also feared there would be duplication within a major and general education.  When asked, Senator Esposito indicated that the majors should be examined to ensure that integrated learning is happening and there that there is a breadth of learning.


Mr. Burney announced that on March 6th there would be a campus wide discussion of the AOI’s. He thanked the Senate for their time spent on this very serious topic considering these economic times and the upcoming presence of a new provost.


Upon proper motion and vote, Senate ended at 5:00 p.m.          Nancy Geiger, Secretary