THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
November 10, 1988
Chattanooga Room A
ELECTED MEMBERS PRESENT: Bibler, Breeden, Cochran, Darken, Hiestand, Honerkamp, Ingle, Kuhn, Marlowe, Noe, Pringle, Printz, Sanders, Schonblom, K. Smith, R. Smith, Sturzer, J. Thompson, M. Trimpey, J. Vallier, B. Walton, Wiley
ELECTED MEMBERS ABSENT: Ahmadi, C. Anderson, Churnet, M. Edwards, Kleiman, LeWinter, McDonald, Ozbek, N. Riley, Taylor, Venters
EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS PRESENT: Ernst, Harbaugh, Jackson, Obear
AMONG THE GUESTS PRESENT: Chalker, Costry, Gaston, Hutchinson, McDougal, Noel, Oglesby, Perry, Pinder, Posey, Sparks, Stern, Templeton, Tinkler, Winningham, Wood
Call to Order
Faculty Council President, Peter Pringle, convened the meeting at 3:20 p.m.
The Mission Statement
This was a continuation of the November 3, 1988 meeting; therefore, the motion to adopt the mission statement was still on the floor. (For a copy of the mission statement handout see Appendix E of the Faculty Council Minutes of 11/3/88).
Professor Ken Smith discussed paragraph four, sentence three. He noted that the English Department has seventeen full-time faculty, four one-half time faculty and twenty-two adjuncts. The adjuncts teach mostly freshmen courses and some do not have master's degrees. He believes this sentence in the mission statement is misleading the public. Graduate students are frequently enthusiastic and loyal to the institution. The adjuncts frequently teach two classes at Chattanooga State, two classes somewhere else and two classes for us in their attempt to make a living. Why are they perceived as more effective than graduate teaching assistants? Professor Marcia Noe agreed with Professor Smith. The English Department depends heavily on ephemeral part-time teachers. Professor David Wiley pointed out that the sentence in question seems to foreclose the future. It implies that graduate students aren't so good. With logical development of graduate programs at UTC, we may want to utilize graduate teaching assistants in the future. Professor Eric Schonblom said that some of these arguments were voiced in the Committee. The sentence is an affirmation of current policy. The problem of inept adjuncts in certain classes is not a mission problem, but rather a management one. We do not want to cast aspersions on adjuncts by linking them with graduate students. The fraction of classes at this institution taught by full-time faculty is far larger than at Knoxville. This sentence represents a compromise of the Committee's views. Professor Wiley asked if we were discussing and taking notes or if we were suggesting different language and deletions. President Pringle said this was up to the will of the Council. We are advising the Chancellor who will receive the minutes of both this meeting and the previous one.
Professor Larry Ingle expressed interest in the subtitle of this document. Is it rhetoric? What kind of change did the authors have in mind? Professor Schonblom said it was the Committee's attempt to come up with one sentence that would describe this campus. He reported attending a meeting in Nashville two years ago at which a long-time member of the Board of Trustees stood up and said, "Knoxville is...," Martin is..." and "Chattanooga is...a lot like Martin." This sentence is an attempt to represent our campus as distinctly different. Professor Ingle asked if the change referred to was economic and cultural. Professor Schonblom said yes. Professor Ingle asked if political change was included. Professor Schonblom asked him to define political change. Professor Ingle said in the `60's a political change was sought in the community. Would UTC be a catalyst for that? Professor Schonblom said yes that this was one function of an educator. Professor Wiley said he was bothered by the word, "catalyst" because a catalyst takes no active part in a reaction. It doesn't change. He was also bothered by the fact that this is so similar to the motto of the Helen D. and Charles MacArthur Foundation. The University should be something that does change. Perhaps "exfoliation" would be better.
Professor Nick Honerkamp returned to the graduate student issue. The sentence does not preclude the use of graduate assistants as teachers in the future because it is not mentioned in the "bullets." It is the "bullets" that speak to the future. It may seem disingenuous, but it is stating the case as it exists now. Professor Jim Hiestand asked whether or not this document, after all this work and debate, will be binding. President Pringle said the document describes the current state of things and does not preclude future changes. Chancellor Obear said the document will be taken seriously in terms of the boundaries and constraints on the role and scope of the campus. It does not specify the details of how we are to carry out our responsibilities. The document is intended to be in effect for the next five years. Professor Noe moved to amend the motion to adopt the mission statement by deleting the third sentence of paragraph four. Professor Felicia Sturzer seconded. Professor Honerkamp said this sentence was not limiting. Professor Schonblom said it was a true description of our classes. Professor Ken Smith asked if it is true, when we don't know what percentage of classes are taught by full-time faculty. Professor Schonblom said this was not what the sentence was addressing. Professor Sturzer said the sentence has a negative connotation whether or not it limits the future. Associate Provost Marvin Ernst would prefer we say what we are committed to, not what we are against. We are committed to having full-time faculty maintain continued and in-depth interaction with students at all levels. A student commented (The Secretary regrets that we failed to have the students identify themselves by name and so they will be referred to in the minutes simply as students.) that he had been at Sewanee for a year and a half and was now majoring in history here. He has always had full-time professors teach his classes and the classes have been rather small. Professor Ken Smith reiterated that the English Department has twenty-two adjuncts. Professor Betsy Darken said the sentence was misleading as stated. We need more courses taught by full-time faculty. A student suggested the insertion of "primarily" to be more ambiguous. Professor Bruce Hutchinson said that the public and students were not used to the nuances between faculty and adjunct faculty. He believes the sentence is misleading.
The amendment passed by a vote of 13:6:0.
Professor Darken then questioned the last sentence in paragraph four. She pointed out some of our classes are large. She moved that small classes be deleted and that the Chancellor come up with a more accurate phrasing of the situation here. Professor Noe seconded. Professor Printz asked for a clarification. If we leave the sentence in, does this mean we are more likely to do it? Are we describing what we do or what we would like to do? She is particularly concerned about "personalized advising" which she believes we are not doing now. President Pringle felt that having the sentence in the mission statement would provide some leverage for the faculty and Council. Professor Wiley said we could use it as a barb to irritate the Chancellor. If it is a goal, it should be identified as such; it ought to be a "bullet." A student commented that he was a geology major and some of his classes were quite small. Professor Darken reiterated that we do have some large classes and that this is really not debatable. The present tense of the sentence implies current status and is therefore, incorrect. Professor Honerkamp said the purpose of the document is to distance ourselves from others. It is a political document and the sentence is generally true on a comparative basis. He does feel that "a small class" needs to be defined. Professor Ken Smith said 100+ is big by any definition. President Pringle said he thought classes of this size were an exception. Professor Wiley said he regularly teaches classes of sixty to seventy. Professor Printz said that two or three years ago she did a mini-study on this and there was only one science course on this campus available to freshmen that had sixty or less. Many "D" courses, especially in fine arts, had over sixty, too. She believes it is better now. A student said that the large courses are primarily general education; many major courses are small. President Pringle said general education courses make up about one-third of all courses offered. Another student said he had completed 128 hours and had had only two classes with more than fifty. Another student asked that we avoid personal experience comments as largely irrelevant. Professor Jack Thompson pointed out that "small" is relative. A science course at UTC of one hundred is still small compared to a class of one-hundred and fifty or two hundred at UTK. Professor Schonblom said the laboratory parts of those science courses are usually much smaller. Professor Bruce Hutchinson said we need to be careful. We have numerous 30+ classes in the upper level business courses. Therefore, he believes small is different depending on the level (freshman vs. junior/senior) being referenced. Associate Provost Ernst said many graduate classes were larger than thirty. A student suggested we be ambiguous, i.e., not claim all classes are small. Professor Schonblom noted the Committee had gone through four years of mission statements. A principal defect in them was that in order to cover everything, they added so many modifiers that there was no content left. He would rather be wrong in single instances and right in the majority of cases than throw in an ambiguous adverb and leave the reader unable to determine what is meant.
The amendment failed by a vote of 7:13:0.
Professor Wiley then called attention to the "Guidelines and Processes for the Development of Mission Statements," the first statement. He noted that the contrast between regional and comprehensive was new to him. He believes this is not addressed in our mission statement. It does say we are "an emerging metropolitan university" which suggests we are regional. He said we are comprehensive in the sense the AAUP uses; i.e., having diverse baccalaureate programs including first professional, but not engaging in doctoral level education. We need to find out what THEC means by comprehensive. We need to say we are more than an emerging metropolitan university. We attract people from a wider region. To expand our horizons beyond our metropolitan circle is part of our mission. He wondered why the statement doesn't address more of the issues posed in the Guidelines. We are emerging a lot more than Martin and need to be clearly delineated.
Professor Printz asked about the extensive schedule of night courses. She thinks only the professional areas have night classes. What about Arts and Sciences? Professor Schonblom said this was raised in the Committee and the sentence represents a compromise.
Associate Provost Ernst asked why the specialist degree was not mentioned. Professor Schonblom said it was implied and not included due to lack of space.
Professor Sturzer asked what the University will do to achieve bullets one and six. Professor Schonblom said the Better Schools unit requirements will result in better-prepared students. ACT scores are increasing for entering students. We will improve advising deficiencies. Professor Ron Smith asked how this would be measured for exiting students. Professor Schonblom said we would use all the current means, plus any new ones we could think of.
Professor Honerkamp moved the memo from David Chalker, SGA President (See Appendix A). He thought it ought to be a "bullet." Professor Ingle seconded. "Over the next five years, the University will" was removed by common agreement so that the proposed "bullet" would read like the others. Chancellor Obear said he did not object to the thought behind the amendment. It is an appropriate idea to be incorporated in a University statement to follow the mission statement. It is inappropriate for the mission statement which has diligently avoided mentioning resource needs. President Pringle said that the Committee would have agreed with the Chancellor. Mr. Chalker said that something as fundamental as a library is different. It is not endorsing a particular department or philosophy of education. The library is the heart of the campus. It is a laboratory for everyone involved with the University. It needs to be in there. Chancellor Obear said it is no more basic than appropriate access to other instructional equipment, than faculty salaries, than facilities in which instruction is carried out, etc. We could go on and on. Resource issues seem not to belong in this document. Professor Noe spoke for the amendment and offered a new wording. She believes the library collection is woefully weak. She worded the "bullet" to read, "To improve research and instructional opportunities for students and faculty by expanding UTC's library collection." One of the students pointed out that the library is a selling point to new students. Professor Jeannette Vallier said that an expanded library would be necessitated for any new doctoral programs. Mr. Chalker reiterated that the library was more than a resource--it is fundamental to the functioning of the University. If a pro-library bullet was a straight jacket for the University, it was one it ought to wear. Professor Printz commented that at least three of the other bullets were resource issues. One of the students suggested we put Brian Patten and Jerry Haskew on it and try to attract big-name librarians from Auburn, etc. Perhaps we could build a community library here. Chancellor Obear added we could explore joining the Metro-Conference of Libraries. He said he was not against the library as a goal or against the centrality of it as an issue. He found the Noe re-wording helpful. He still believes that resource shortfalls are not part of the mission. The Noe re-wording was accepted as a friendly substitution for the amendment. Professor Schonblom said the primacy of the library and our commitment to it is a given underlying the entire mission statement. Mr. Chalker said certain things should be a given in regards to the library, but they have not been in the past. This is a way to make sure a top-notch, prestigious library is right up there with doctoral programs and anything else the University decides to do in the next five years. This covers so much. This has passed the SGA Executive Committee and they believe it will improve the quality of the University today and will increase the value of UTC diplomas ten years down the road by increasing the quality of the University.
The amendment as re-worded passed by a vote of 19:1:0. Professor Ingle commended the students for their interest. Dean Joe Jackson said he was impressed with these students and appreciated their support of the library.
Professor Ingle asked if the final version of the mission statement will speak for the Chancellor and administration alone or for the entire UTC community. Chancellor Obear said it would be presented as a document to which all University constituencies have had an opportunity to contribute and perfect. It will be a statement of all the University.
Professor Printz asked about the Guidelines statement concerning plans to expand or reduce instructional sites and their resources. She wondered if UTC intended to stay the same. Chancellor Obear said he raised the same question. Professor Schonblom said we do plan to stay the same.
Professor Wiley had a question about the "Process" section of the Guidelines. He was told that the timetable was moved ahead by THEC. The mission statement will at some time come back to the campus. When exactly the Board of Trustees would deal with it is uncertain. The Chancellor said it was not at all clear that the references to doctoral programs will be allowed to stand.
Professor Printz asked if the Chancellor would clean up the service component. Chancellor Obear said he had a personal commitment to do so. President Pringle said he hoped it would speak to something other than elected public office.
Associate Provost Jane Harbaugh said she thought all omission of developmental studies in the document might be a tactical error. She asked what language veiled that area in the statement. Professor Schonblom said it was omitted. There is a statement that we will attempt to improve academic quality and implicit in that is the expectation of some reduction in developmental studies. We hope that the need for developmental programs will decline as the quality of incoming students rises. Professor Betsy Darken stated forcefully her belief that the developmental programs do improve students' academic performance.
The original motion passed as amended by a vote of 16:1:1.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
Faculty Council Nugget
We're "Movin' on Up!"--METRO CONFERENCE of Libraries--Here We Come!