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Minutes of the Faculty Senate meeting                      March 10, 2010


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: Chesnut, Clapham, Cramer, DeWitt, Dore, Esposito, Gilbert, Holman, Houle, Klipec, Knepper, Koch, Lyons, Mosser, Petersen, Reincke, Van Wyke, Vitha Walker

Absent: Bartschat, Courard-Hauri


Upon proper motion and vote, February 2010 minutes were accepted.  Several hardcopy athletic schedules were distributed.


President Maxwell Report.

Fall 2010 undergraduate admission numbers seem quite strong at this time. The applications are up over twenty percent as compared to last year. The acceptances are being kept at approximately the same level as last year thus increasing selectivity. Financial aid awards will be going out soon and will be a vital indicator of which students want to come to Drake. 

President Maxwell and Provost Renner have just returned from the annual ACE meeting. President Maxwell shared a significant, general theme he brought back from that meeting: it feels good to be at Drake as compared to other institutions at this time. He noted that other conference attendees were feeling financially paralyzed including requiring layoffs and furloughs. There were concerns about government intrusion, compliance and taxes. Also, the concern that federal money sent in block state grants may turn into increased state intrusion.  Finally, the sense of some attendees is that their student body population was becoming mediocre, which he did not fear for Drake. He stated again: it is good to be at Drake.

The CUPA national faculty salary data has been released. President Maxwell stated that almost half of the survey respondent institutions did not have a salary increase this past year. Many institutions reported salary reductions.


Provost Renner Report

Provost Renner announced that the Troyer Research Fellowship application is out. He indicated he looks forward to this new opportunity for Drake faculty.

The Provost also mentioned he is well aware of the web site and hardware issues recently and is looking forward to those being corrected.


President Houle Report

President Houle announced that John Holman will complete the Senate service through May 2010 for Ann Cravero.

He noted the 2010-2011 at-large senator nomination ballot is out now and the election ballot is scheduled to be available at the end of spring break. College and School elections can proceed directly thereafter.

President Houle indicated that the anticipated Drake Curriculum report from the UCC will not be released before April 1st, thus there will not be a special early April Senate meeting.

Student Senate Liaison Noah Carroll was introduced. Her Student Senate report indicated that Student Senate looking at their bylaws and considering changes including the position of a First Year Senator. The Student Senate has approved a Drake Day of Service.  Ms. Carroll also introduced Erin Hogan.  Ms. Hogan announced the March 26-27th Relay for Life and encouraged faculty participation.


Old Business   none presented


New Business            

Senators Vitha and Cramer moved and seconded motion 10-08:

Motion to set Spring Break for the Spring 2011 semester as March 14-18, 2011

The question was asked if these dates correspond to the Des Moines Public School system. The reply was yes.

The motion passed with a voice vote.


Senators Mosser and DeWitt moved and seconded motion 10-09:

Motion to revise the charge of the University Curriculum Committee (UCC)

                              as stated in Section III of their February 2010 report

Section III: The University Curriculum Committee (UCC), a subcommittee of the Faculty Senate, will recommend educational policy for the University regarding proposals that involve campus-wide requirements or that have origins, requirements, or implications that go beyond the individual colleges. Individual colleges and schools retain authority over their own curricula and programs.

The UCC will approve new majors, minors, concentrations, and programs, graduate and undergraduate, and changes to existing majors, minors, concentrations, and programs, graduate and undergraduate that have cross-college origins, requirements, or implications. These proposals must be submitted to the Council of Academic and Administrative Departments (CAAD) for review and comment on potential cross-college implications before submission to the UCC.

The UCC will approve individual courses for the categories of the general education program and approve assessment procedures for the general education curriculum.

The UCC will make recommendations to the Faculty Senate and Provost, as appropriate, for revision of the general education curriculum or coordination of cross-college programs.

The UCC will approve individual courses with interdisciplinary designations such as INTD.

The UCC will forward all committee actions to the Faculty Senate for inclusion in a provisional agenda. The Faculty Senate may, at its discretion, review these actions. All UCC decisions will proceed as directed by the UCC, unless a subsequent action by the Faculty Senate directs otherwise.

The UCC will have faculty representation from each of the divisions of the College of Arts and Sciences, each of the professional schools, and Cowles Library. One administrative representative from CAAD and an administrator designated by the Provost (normally the Associate or Vice Provost who is appointed Director of the Drake Curriculum by the Provost) will serve on the committee in an ex-officio capacity. Members serve three-year terms.

The committee will elect one chair and one vice-chair from the faculty members of the committee. The chair shall be a tenured faculty member. The vice-chair shall be liaison to the Drake Curriculum Analysis and Planning (DCAP) committee and shall, if tenured, serve as chair the following year.

Provost Renner indicated that he was not in favor of the motion as the proposed wording did not go far enough. He stated that he believes the faculty as a collective own the curriculum and he has too much power with the current arrangement. He continued that shared governance is breached when there is not a system to collectively handle these issues. He endorsed starting over with the committee’s charge as this revision does not go far enough.

Senator Esposito indicated that he was in favor of the proposal. He cited a difference between setting education policy and approving courses. He noted that each academic unit has a workable system where many faculty have direct chances to provide curricular input. He would have a concern about a university wide committee taking on such tasks.

President Maxwell offered that the UCC should be asking a different set of questions that what persons in a discipline ask, such as how does the course relate to the University’s mission, where are the resources and is this a course duplication. He stated that right now those questions do not get asked until reaching the Provost or President. He said: “We have too much authority”.

Provost Renner reiterated that the responsibility of owning the curriculum is with the faculty and it has been seeded to an administrator. Senator Reincke stated she was reluctant to impose another layer of oversight in the current curriculum system. Senator Esposito noted a concern for him was that the UCC is an appointed committee and there are issues which arise when trying to staff such a university wide group.

President Houle pointed out that the proposal does three things:

a) provides more clarity concerning new program approvals, b) establishes a curricular agenda item for the Senate which is an elected body, perhaps to be handled via a consent motion and c) asks that the UCC chair be chaired by a tenured faculty member.

Senator Gilbert questioned a specific piece of the motion. He did not see the point of inclusion in the Senate agenda of these matters.  President Houle gave an example of how a consent agenda works, noting that such a mechanism provides communication and awareness. He pointed out how, if necessary, a portion of that consent agenda can be taken out and reviewed separately by the elected body. He urged support of the motion.

Senator Knepper asked who would decide if something was cross college. Was the definition based on required courses offered outside of one department or by a percentage? He felt this was unclear. The reply was that determination would stay within the units. Senator Lyons asked if there would be a difference in procedures of a program within an academic unit vs. a program which crosses academic units. Another concern raised was that the current UCC is uncomfortable weighing in on intra-college curriculum. They review the learning outcomes for the AOI (Areas of Inquiry) but not for each unit. Senator Mosser noted that UCC needs to be the forum for cross unit initiatives.

Senator Chesnut, speaking about Pharmacy, would be concerned about their accreditation rules noting that their students are not only undergraduates.

Senator Vitha indicated he would vote no for the current motion.

Senator Clapham expressed a concern with UCC’s role with the Drake Curriculum and the possible responsibilities of the reorganized Associate Provost position. Senator Reincke noted that when UCC was originally created there was not an Associate Provost working so closely with curriculum.  Provost Renner acknowledged that there will continue to be a point person from his office working with the Drake Curriculum, someone coming from the current Drake faculty.

Senator Reincke asked if the FYS courses go through the UCC. The reply was no.

Margie Davidson, Director of Student Records and Academic Information, was acknowledged. She presented the body with the ‘food for thought’ that the public face of the curriculum is the catalog and degree audit. She cited that at present there is not a functioning, systematic mechanism to use to update these as any changes are not universally known by her office.

Senator Klipec wondered if there should be time for the UCC to respond to these concerns address here today.

Senators Klipec and Gilbert moved and seconded to table the motion.

The procedural motion failed.

Senator Vitha wondered if there would be value in having a smaller, nimbler committee review programs. Senator Dore, noting that she voted against tabling, believed the proposed changes are good. She noted that if there was a desire for more control, the issue can be raised again.

Senators Gilbert and Koch moved and seconded an amendment to strike the words “and Provost” and “or coordination of cross-college programs.”

The UCC will make recommendations to the Faculty Senate and Provost, as appropriate, for revision of the general education curriculum or coordination of cross-college programs.

The amendment passed.

The main motion as amended was put to a vote. With a voice vote, the motion passed.


With a proper motion and vote, the meeting ended 4:41 p.m.