PNW Executive Committee Meeting
January 4, 2019
10:00am, Portage Meeting Facility
Present: D. Detmer, T. Elmendorf, T. Sindone, A. Alavizadeh, K. Scipes, J. Holt, R. Brusca-Vega, L. Pelter, S. Trekles, L. Taylor, V. Quinn
- Welcome Jerry Holt, replacing Saul as Parliamentarian. Saul is doing fine and recovering.
- Vote for Constitution minor change has passed with the faculty and the change is reflected on the website.
- Meeting will be held on January 16thwith Steve Turner and other Student Government and Student Services representatives to discuss the use of the student service fees.
- Detmer reached out to Leah Rosenberry, chair of the Purdue Global Senate, to discuss the structure and nature of the PG Senate. While she is unable to come to our Senate in person, she is willing to discuss via email or through WebEx. Questions asked of Dr. Rosenberry:
- What is the composition of the Senate? Faculty and administrators, and who votes?
- How are Senators determined?
- Is the Senate’s function advisory or have authority over certain areas?
- Purdue Global does not appear to have information about the Senate on their website; how are documents and decisions made available to the institution faculty?
- Response has not yet been received but Detmer will follow up.
- There is a small amount of information on the Purdue Global website about the Senate, that notes that the Senate powers are mostly advisory in nature, and curriculum is not noted.
- Maceo Rainey, Director of Education Talent Search, ask asked to address the Senate on January 11. He will report briefly.
- A discussion is ongoing with the Provost on the academic program creation/change (program viability) form. There is concern about the form being “sufficient” to suspend a program or effect program reopening was brought up, but the Provost has currently declined to discuss the form further with the Senate. Given the potential connection with the SRA and the conflict with the function of the Faculty according to the Constitution, the current interpretation is that the Senate does have power to permanently stop a program, but administration can unilaterally decide to suspend a program temporarily. Provost has agreed to report to the Senate when a decision about suspensions are made.
- There continues to seem to be an insufficient number of foreign language courses offered in Westville. When discussed with Provost, the response indicated that faculty and students need to be willing to travel. However, this response appears to be in conflict with the need to utilize facilities more effectively, as students will not be able to make the choice to take certain classes in certain places/times if they are not offered in the first place. The two campuses have different populations and therefore different characteristics and needs, but the administration does not appear to acknowledge this fully.
- Brusca-Vega suggested that retention rates might be able to be compared between the two campuses if such granular data exists.
- Pelter noted that scheduling of courses in Hammond only or canceling courses at “low enrollment” levels is problematic for Westville students and we have seen students going to other universities as a result.
- Sindone noted that one potential solution is to further encourage or incentivize faculty to teach on both campuses. This might be done through an official Senate resolution. All new faculty already have contracts that indicate that they may be asked to teach on both campuses.
- It was also suggested that a survey or impact study be conducted. Student Government has already started a survey process.
- Detmer suggested a two-part resolution or discussion item from the Executive Committee: 1) call for administration to allow smaller classes in Westville and 2) call for faculty to teach at the other campus (primarily moving Hammond faculty to Westville, as the trend has not been for them to move as often as Westville faculty moving to Hammond)
- Another suggestion is to consider a “master plan” of offering certain programs on certain campuses to specialize the two campuses and therefore drive enrollments for those programs to those places. An impact study of some kind would be required in order to move forward with this.
- Detmer suggested that he and Elmendorf talk about a Westville plan at their weekly meeting and the future of the Westville campus will be an agenda item at the next Senate meeting.
- Stipends for Senate leadership that are not able to get a release have been approved by the Provost for this year. For the future, stipends will not be available as per policy, but if the Senate elects committee chairs earlier in the spring (February), then they will know whether they have a release eligibility to consider for their fall schedules.
- Detmer proposes that FSD 17-30 is revised to remove the stipend provision at the end of the document to go along with this. After discussion, it was decided to table a formal revision, but Detmer will address this as part of discussing the selection of Senate leadership before the Senate.
- FSD 18-07 Multisemester Course Schedule – will be up for action on the 11th. Brusca-Vega noted that summer schedules should also be considered as part of the multi-semester schedule process. Sindone replied that Student Affairs committee members noted that because of the way summer budgets are managed, it is too difficult to create a longer-term plan for summer. Under this consideration, summer courses would ideally be populated more through advising and reference from advisors. Language in the document, however, does not preclude the inclusion of summer, therefore no revision was needed.
- Faculty Affairs feedback form for supervisors received very few comments from Senators. Some minor revisions will be made based on this feedback. FSD 16-31 empowered this survey process in October of 2017, including the carrying out of the entire process. Taylor raised concerns about the summary of administrative feedback being distributed to faculty, and noted that the School of Education faculty discussed the issue and offered similar concerns. Elmendorf replied that individual faculty reviews and administrator feedback comments are also not analogous and therefore summaries of such feedback are not inappropriate to distribute. Given the concerns, however, the revised feedback form will be presented for the Senate’s affirmation as a motion from Faculty Affairs from the floor.
- Elections should be held in February for committee chairs in 2019-2020, and Senate will be notified of this in January. One re-election is possible for chairs of standing committees.
- Constitution stipulates that Senate has to have at least 8 meetings; we schedule 10 each year. A consideration came up to omit the January meeting in the future, given that the holiday break infers that many new developments are not likely to happen. The Executive Committee agrees that given that unification documents are not as plentiful or urgent as they have been in the last two years, a future January meeting is unlikely to be needed. A future document will be presented in April to set the schedule for the following year.
- Curriculum Documents for approval will be presented.
- Curriculum also presents a resolution for the use of Curriculog for discussion.
- Nominations Committee will present on rebalancing term lengths for Senators, given that there is not a balance across departments for current terms. FSD 17-16 provides guidance on providing an approximately equal number of senators on 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year terms. After this year, all elections will be for three-year terms, thus allowing one-third of the Senate being re-elected each year.
- Vice Chancellor searches where the Senate was not contacted have been addressed. The Chancellor was contacted for discussion on this, and he apologized for the oversight. Chair of the committee Lisa Goodnight has accepted Vanessa Quinn as a member of the committee moving forward. Senate has also asked for a student to be part of the committee as well, and Chancellor acknowledged that Student Government has been contacted for a member and was following up. Student Government has not yet followed up yet as far as we know. Airport interviews are scheduled to be conducted on the weekend of January 25.
- Assessment: General Education course list has been modified, and a document will be presented for discussion.