I. University Senate:
The University Senate met on Monday, February 19, 2018.
Remarks by Senate Chair:
Prof. Rodriguez reiterated some of the questions that faculty have raised regarding the Kaplan acquisition and advised that the Higher Learning Commission would be meeting on Thursday [Feb. 22] to conduct a “public comment” session prior to deciding whether to approve the acquisition. He further stated that the Senate had asked to be placed on the agenda to comment and had been refused.
President Daniels Remarks:
The president reminded everyone that next year is the University’s 150th anniversary and encouraged all of the units including the regionals to plan activities to celebrate the occasion. On another matter, he noted a 35-45% rise in the use of electronic IT support (including WiFi) between 2002-16. Traffic had increased five times with the cost rising from $223,500 to $415,095 between FY13 to FY17. The balance of his remarks dealt with the Kaplan question. He asserted that a recent letter from the AAUP was “full of errors,” that there was no ongoing investigation of Kaplan going on, and that the authors of the letter “ought to be ashamed of themselves.”
- 17-10 – Nominees for Vice Chair of the Senate (For Discussion): Nominees will make presentations at the next meeting.
- 17-11 – Resolution on the use of commercial metrics for faculty evaluation (For Discussion): The College of Liberal Arts has contracted with Academic Analytics for a one-year trial. See resolution as Attachment A.
Report for information by Committee Co-Chair Prof. Deborah Nichols. The initial meeting of the committee identified five key concerns:
- There was a clarification of the administrative responsibilities. Frank Dooley is overseeing regulatory issues and Gerry McCartney is drafting the business plan to be sent to the trustees. McCartney is also examining other possible organizational arrangements such as the University of Maryland University College.
- There are questions and concerns regarding:
- Quality control of the curriculum.
- The organizational chart and approval for curriculum issues.
- Questions about Kaplan marketing practices.
- Questions about retention efforts to maintain enrollment for nontraditional students.
- An FAQ has been developed and is available.
- The HLC is meeting February 22-23 to vote on the Kaplan acquisition. The result will be sent to Purdue in 2-3 weeks. The HLC can approve, approve with conditions, deny with an indication of why, or grant temporary approval for a candidacy period.
II. Intercampus Faculty Council:
The IFC met at PNW, Westville, on February 16, 2018.
The belief was expressed that under the Purdue-Kaplan deal that the new Purdue University Global would be exempt from the public disclosure laws. Considerable concern was expressed over the lack of faculty oversight for the curriculum of the new entity and for protections for faculty rights. It was also uncertain what effect the new PUG would have on the regional campuses.
Lecturer Policies and Procedures:
It was agreed to support a proposal going to Senate to make a system-wide policy change to make CLs officially “faculty” and not “staff.” There was also a sentiment that LTLs should also be classified officially as “faculty.” There was general consensus that there ought to be system-wide consistency on these definitions and how they are counted in relation to faculty lines.
At IPFW the separation of the IU and Purdue programs continues to cause enrollment and financial concerns, especially is the IU programs eventually move to another location. PNW reported that there were serious issue over the refusal of administrators to honor promises made to faculty and students during the unification process and recent instances of administrators attempting to usurp the curricular authority of the Senate.
III. West Lafayette Faculty Affairs Committee:
The Faculty Affairs Committee met on March 3, 2018.
Senate Representation for Honors College:
A motion was brought forth for action that would add one member to the “Advisors” to the Senate so that the Honors College could have a non-voting member of the Senate. The motion was adopted. The PNW representative voted yes.
There have been some complains, mostly about problems with prescription benefits, and FAC is investigating and collecting information.
Change in Lecturer Policy:
Concern was expressed over whether the addition of CL positions was done at the expense of tenure track positions because the current policy links the two by stating percentages of the faculty that CLs cannot exceed. The PNW representative expressed the opinion that since West Lafayette is much larger, and deans have more authority over lines, than on regional campuses it might appropriate to have a different policy for regionals than for West Lafayette. He indicated that prior to unification there was in the Westville campus a very clear reduction in tenure track positions accompanied by a growth in CL positions. Suggestions were made to (1) decouple the CL and tenure track linkage through the current percentage-based policy and (2) to have separate policies for West Lafayette and the regionals, or at least a statement in the policy that CLs could not be increased if there was a corresponding reduction in tenure track positions.
University Senate Document 17-11
19 February 2018
To: The University Senate
From: University Senate Faculty Affairs Committee
Subject: Use of commercialmetric provider companies for faculty evaluation
Disposition: University Senate for Discussion
Whereas: At least one College at Purdue has hired a private company (“Academic Analytics”) on a trial basis to supply metrics on faculty productivity and effectiveness; and
Whereas: the American Association of University Professors has investigated such efforts and found, in part, that “measuring faculty ‘productivity’ with an exclusive or excessive emphasis on quantitative measures of research output must inevitably fail to take adequate account of the variety and totality of scholarly accomplishments;” and
Whereas: Rutgers University faculty have forbidden the use of data obtained from companies such as Academic Analytics for promotion and tenure decisions and “in decisions affecting the composition of the faculty, graduate and undergraduate curricula, and grant writing;” and
Whereas: Academic Analytics typically does not make its data available to faculty members;
Therefore, be it Resolved that: The University Senate recommends that Purdue University and its faculty units should use extreme caution in partnering with Academic Analytics and similar companies, and should never rely on such data for promotion, tenure, raise, retention offers, allocation of faculty lines or other resources, or hiring decisions. When such data are obtained, faculty members should be given access to the data in order to be able to check their accuracy and completeness, and should be given an opportunity to respond to perceived inaccuracies and incompleteness.