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Minutes of the Faculty Senate meeting                    March 11, 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: Allen, Alexander, Cravero Chesnut, DeWitt, Dore, Gilbert, Harvey, Houle, McCrickerd, Mosser, Nelson, Reincke, Sanders, Van Wyke, Walker
Absent: Bohorquez, Cramer, Esposito, Parsa, Vitha

The February 2009 minutes were accepted as amended.          Senator DeWitt was not present

Report from President Maxwell
- The current indicators calculated concerning the Fall 09 entering first year undergraduate seem to be conflicting, reported President Maxwell.  The number of already received tuition deposits is slightly less than last year at this time yet the number of campus visits is up. He also indicated that data from some peer institutions are also showing a decrease for Fall 09 new students.  The financial aid packages will be going out soon.  He and other administrators remain cautiously optimistic.

Report from Provost Troyer
- Provost Troyer presented a follow up set of comments concerning the Fall 09 undergraduate admission status. Vice President Delahunt has indicated that many students are reporting a great experience when they are on campus for an admission visit.  The on campus housing signup begins March 30 for the current Drake students and Fall registration will run through April 12th. These two events will be important indicators for Drake concerning the status of Fall 09 enrollment.

- The Provost indicated that he senses excitement in the Dean’s Council and the Advancement division. He noted the efforts to create an intermediary stage to full funding of an endowed professorship.  This step is a Research Fellowship which will provide $45,000 for three years. This period of time will not only help the faculty member but will move that donor, potentially, to support a longer range relationship such as a fully endowed professorship.

President Maxwell noted that this is an example of the innovative ideas and conversations which are happening in the world of development and within the current Distinctly Drake campaign.

Report from President Sanders
-- President Sanders announced that Senate elections for the 09-10 year will begin after Spring Break. He intends to ask committee chairs to prepare a summary of this year and itemize possible topics for the future.
-- The Senate Executive Committee has decided to wait to discuss how the curricular reform voting will be handled.

Senator Allen expressed a concern about the Academic Freedom and Tenure (AFT) Committee. She noted that it and all other Promotion and Tenure Committees are important.  The membership selection is critical, she believes, as well as the training in procedures and AAUP Guidelines. She asked if there might be help from the administration on this matter.  Senator Reincke noted that a Task Force a few years ago reviewed Promotion and Tenure documents from the various academic units.

Old Business – none presented

New Business –
Senators McCrickerd and Van Wyke moved and seconded Motion 09-05:
Amend the Academic Charter Sections concerning Academic appointments

Associate Provost Sue Wright presented background on the issue. She noted that some current faculty appointments are not accounted for within the Academic Charter language. The intent with this amendment is to give the persons hired the benefits of the Academic Charter provisions.  Ms. Wright continued that the main portion of the amendment is the five position descriptions. Other portions of the motion concern moving existing sections and title changes for sections.

Senators asked questions concerning various faculty title distinctions and the length which an appointment can be within a category.  

The motion passed with a unanimous voice vote.

Senators McCrickerd and Chesnut moved and seconded Motion 09-06:
Amend the Academic Charter Sections concerning Tenure Decisions

Associate Provost Wright indicated this change is being proposed by the Deans Council. It will serve to clarify what procedures need to happen when a negative decision concerning tenure has been made at the Dean’s level. This change is to speak clearly that appeals are possible. And all units are to make sure that appeal language is clear in all documents to ensure transparency for all concerned.

Senator Gilbert suggested that the communication needs to include rationale and information concerning the appeal process.  Ms. Wright agreed that the information needs to be complete and suggested that each unit have complete procedures described.

Senator McCrickerd asked if a position decision could be overturned. The answer was yes. The follow-up question asked if a favorable decision could be overturned. The answer was that the appeal process does not make decisions. The process and procedures used to make the decision are what are considered in the appeal. Senator Allen asked if a faculty committee gave a negative vote and a dean gave a positive recommendation what would happen. Provost Troyer indicated that he would inquire about the process and criteria upon which the decision was made.

The motion passed with a unanimous voice vote.

Paul Morris, Chief Information Officer and Brooke Benschoter, Director of Marketing and Communications made a joint presentation concerning the Drake portal, blueView.  They shared with the Senate some enhancements.  For example: the email channel will return after spring break and the email and calendar icons will be joined since they are within the same collaboration suite. An additional feature will be the iTunesU channel to provide podcasting to Drake students only.

Also from the survey, there were concerns about the number of clicks to navigate within the MyDUSIS channel. The presenters will be seeking feedback concerning the establishment of a MyDUSIS tab to better serve the faculty, staff and students.  They are planning to learn from users, within a focus group environment, what they use and how to make it better.

Grades, midterm and final, can now be sent, in bulk from Blackboard to DUSIS. This functionality depends on the grading schema within Blackboard being setup correctly.

Upon proper motion and vote, Senate ended at 4:45 p.m.        Nancy Geiger, Secretary