THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
October 20, 1988
Signal Mountain Room
ELECTED MEMBERS PRESENT: C. Anderson, Bibler, Breeden, Churnet, Cochran, Darken, M. Edwards, Hiestand, Kleiman, Kuhn, LeWinter, Marlowe, McDonald, Noe, Pringle, Sanders, Schonblom, K. Smith, R. Smith, Taylor, Thompson, M. Trimpey, Venters, B. Walton, Wiley, J. Vallier
ELECTED MEMBERS ABSENT: Ahmadi, Honerkamp, Ingle, Ozbek, Printz, N. Riley, Sturzer
EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS PRESENT: Ernst, Harbaugh, Packard, Renneisen
AMONG THE GUESTS PRESENT: Bartoo, M. Butterfield, Chalker, Hannah, Kingdon, Meadows, Wofford
Call to Order
Faculty Council President, Peter Pringle, convened the meeting at 3:16 p.m.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the September 15, 1988 Faculty Council meeting were approved as distributed. President Pringle then called upon the new Director of Personnel, Dr. Richard Hannah. Dr. Hannah introduced Peri Meadows who has replaced Sandy Tudos as the benefits person in the Personnel Office. Ms. Meadows has a master's degree from West Virginia and comes to UTC via New York. She was welcomed by the Council.
Committee on Committees
Professor Jocelyn Sanders, Committee on Committees Chair, recommended two committee replacement appointments (Appendix A) and said that this made the Committees for this year complete as far as she knew. She promised a revised membership list for the next Council meeting. The two appointments were approved without dissent. As a matter of information, Professor Sanders announced that Marea Rankin from the Library will serve on the ad hoc publicity committee chaired by Shannon Smith.
Professor Doug Kingdon, Chair of the Curriculum Committee, presented three items from that Committee (Appendix B). He pointed out that while the new courses, Music 230 and 232, may be repeated, only one hour credit may apply to a degree. The items were all approved without dissent. President Pringle asked about the deadlines for new courses to the Curriculum Committee in time to make next year's catalog. Professor Kingdon replied that the catalog deadline was January 1 and that the Curriculum Committee needs to have acted by November 15th. Professor Betsy Darken asked if the January 1 deadline was a recent development. Professor Kingdon replied it had been in effect for some years.
Budget and Economic Status Committee
Budget and Economic Status Committee Chair Martha Butterfield stated that there was a mistake in due dates and the full budget report would be presented to Council at the November 3, 1988 meeting. With respect to the health insurance issue, Professor Butterfield circulated a newspaper article from last Wednesday's Chattanooga Times. The President of Blue Cross-Blue Shield was quoted as saying that due to the expense of the alternative plan, Blue Cross does not plan to bid on it and they don't expect anyone else to bid on it. This leaves us with the current plan which is unacceptable. The article also indicated that T.C. Thompson's Children's Hospital, the Miller Eye Clinic and the Ambulatory Surgery Center at Erlanger have been added to the current plan. There has been no official word either from U.T. or from the State Insurance Board that this is, in fact, the case.
Professor Butterfield had requested that the preferred provider list be distributed to all members of faculty and staff. Dr. Hannah of Personnel said he would send the list to Department Heads. The Department Heads feel that Personnel should distribute this list to all faculty and staff.
The State Insurance Commission was supposed to send out an updated insurance booklet. It is still not available. As of this date you still must call the 800-number at Blue Cross to check who is on the current list.
Professor Butterfield reported a conversation on the alternative medical plan that she had had with Paul Starnes on the alternative medical plan. He is concerned about the cost of such a plan. He does believe that there is a lot of pressure on the Governor and Legislature to do something. She also shared comments which had come from faculty and department heads as a result of the Times article on the insurance mess:
1) it's unacceptable to make changes that lower our benefits and services;
2) we work for pennies, so insurance is important;
3) our salary is already pitiful and then they take away our health benefits and that just makes the health plans more of a major issue;
4) there are horror stories about calling the 800-number--their spouse is in a major situation and the 800-number person tells them to write a letter;
5) is there a probable cause for an anti-trust suit when there is a sole bidder and no bid?;
6) it is unacceptable for UT administrators to know of drastic changes in the insurance package and to fail to give the faculty and staff the courtesy of informing them of the changes taking place.
7) "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."
After all these comments, Professor Butterfield polled her Committee and came up with the following recommendations to the Faculty Council:
1) Request that the UT Administration address the "MESS" in a brief letter to all employees.
2) Request that the UT Administration appoint a committee of faculty and staff from all four campuses to work on the insurance problem and attempt a resolution.
3) Request official notification from State Insurance Committee and/or Blue Cross regarding the addition of T.C. Thompson's Children's Hospital, the Miller Eye Clinic and the Ambulatory Surgery Center at Erlanger. Reading it in the paper is not good enough.
4) Request that Richard Hannah, Director of Personnel at UTC, seek answers to the following questions:
a. Can the state self-insure? i.e., to write and administer its own insurance plan without using an insurance company.
b. Can the UT System self-insure its employees?
c. Can UT and/or UTC seek private insurance?
d. Is it feasible for UTC/UT employees to join in existing city or county health insurance plans?
Depending on the answers to these questions, the Committee requests that further explanation of the mechanisms for accomplishing these tasks be explored by Dr. Hannah, that he report his findings to the Council on November 3, 1988 and that an updated list of preferred providers be sent by him to all faculty and staff.
These recommendations were approved without dissent. Professor Eric Schonblom proposed that each member of the local delegation up for re-election be contacted to ascertain their position on the health insurance debate. After some pressure applied by President Pringle, Professor Butterfield agreed to do so.
In a response, Dr. Hannah stated he had no advance notice of the Blue Cross position. He read it in the same article. He has received from Blue Cross verbal assurances of the three additions to the provider's list, but he has nothing in writing. He is very uncomfortable with the nature of these communications with Blue Cross. The root of the problem is that Blue Cross feels that new institutions are believed not to be constrained by the cost-containment conditions of the original contract. It is a dollar problem. Dr. Hannah said he will check on these things and thanked the Council for elevating his status to that of lawyer. He will do his best. He decided not to send the PPO list to everyone because to do so would cost $800 which his budget doesn't have. He believes it is adequate for Deans and Department Heads to have the list.
Professor Eric Schonblom, Standards Committee Chair, said that last year the Faculty Council voted to strengthen the Handbook requirements to keep students informed of their progress by requiring written midterm grades in undergraduate courses. As a convenience to instructors, forms for midterm grades were made available by the Provost's Office. Some confusion has arisen among students concerning whether midterm grades were official and whether they would be mailed to parents.
As a matter of record: a) midterm grades are a form of personal, confidential communication between faculty and student. They are not a part of the formal record. b) the format for the grade report, provided that it is written, is up to the faculty member. It is appropriate to tell students, among other things, what fraction of the course they have completed, what assumptions were needed in determining the grade, and what a student is expected to do to "make a B," or to achieve any other goal chosen by the instructor. Grades can be given as letter grades, with or without pluses or minuses, or as slashed grades (such as "A/B" borderline). Numerical grades or class standings are acceptable if keyed to a grading scale. The Provost's form is not required. If there is a high degree of uncertainty in a grade, for whatever reason, that uncertainty should be indicated.
Professor Ken Smith asked how confidential this procedure is. Professor Schonblom replied that it needs to be confidential in the same ways other grades are. Professor Smith commented that in his fiction writing course where some students get off to a slow start, he gave some "D's" on 0% of the grade. Provost Packard said she had received some positive comments from parents whose students had done well. She had received no calls of complaints. She also mentioned that no grades are mailed to parents. Professor Ken Venters commented that students who are failing are frequently not there to receive this midterm grade. Provost Packard said her office does send letters to those students who are listed as non-attendees urging them to contact the Advisement Office. Professor Ken Smith asked when these students were notified. Provost Packard said approximately three weeks before midterms. Professor Smith suggested this perhaps should be done earlier. The Provost said this could be done.
Professor Betsy Darken expressed concern about students who, several semesters later, call up and complain about an "F" they received in a class they never attended. She believes the Records Office sometimes changes the grade to a "W" in such cases. Provost Packard assured her that the Records Office would only do this if there had been a clerical error; any thing else would cause the matter to be sent to the Petitions Committee. The Provost promised to look into any specific case that Professor Darken uncovered.
Professor Jeannette Vallier commented that at the last university at which she taught, instructors could personally drop students who did not come to class. She found this very convenient. The Provost said that this is something the Standards Committee might want to look into.
Professor Darken said many of the faculty object to the paperwork involved in midterm grades. She would like the Records Office to issue the forms with the students' names already on them. President Pringle pointed out no one had to use the forms. Professor David Wiley has his grades computerized and doesn't want to have to conform to a specific format. Professor Darken reiterated her request for names on forms even if the use of the form is voluntary. Professor Wiley sees no reason for the forms to require an instructor's signature.
In his role as Handbook Committee Chair, Professor Schonblom noted that the University continues in "official" use of the 1984 Faculty Handbook, which is the last one approved by the U.T. Board of Trustees prior to their moratorium on handbook changes. At that time it was proposed that all campuses would have separate handbooks, each containing those things mandated by the State (such as travel regulations), those things requiring system approval (such as tenure criteria), and those things to be determined on individual campuses (such as faculty representation on academic committees). The three-section proposal evolved into an alternate proposal for a system handbook with guidelines for all campuses, supplemented by separate sections specific to campuses. The proposal for a system handbook has been dropped, due principally to objections from the Knoxville campus, and we are now returning to something closer to the 1975 three-section idea. It is hoped that the Trustees will agree to an updated UTC Handbook during 1989.
In the meantime, contractual aspects of the 1984 Handbook continue in force, while a number of changes have been implemented in local governance (such as ex-officio representation on Faculty committees) and in administrative procedures (such as the calendar and obligations of promotion and tenure committees). Another change, midterm grades, was discussed under the Academic Standards Committee report.
There were no questions on his report.
President Pringle asked Professor Paul Watson to bring Council up to date on current plans for a new football stadium. Professor Watson said that at its October 8 meeting, the Athletics Board approved unanimously a project to explore the funding of a new football stadium in the 15-18,000 seat range with capabilities for expansion at some future date. The cost is estimated at twelve million dollars with three million dollars coming from the State primarily for land acquisition; three to six million dollars from city/county government; three to six million dollars from private donations. There will be a trade-off between these last two sources. There are two primary sites being considered now: one near Engel Stadium and the other downtown where there are foundry facilities just off the freeway.
Professor James Hiestand asked if this presentation was for information only. It is his understanding that the Council has no jurisdiction. Professor Watson said he had come to answer questions. Professor Wiley asked if the UTC budget would support the operation of the new stadium. Professor Watson replied that it would, but that the cost would probably not be a lot more than was currently being spent on Chamberlain Field. There would also be corporate seats sold and these monies would be available for upkeep. We might not get all the way up to "sky-boxes," but we would have "above-the-ground" boxes. He was asked if alcohol would be available in such boxes, and he replied that this had not even been mentioned.
Professor Wiley then asked if a stadium of this size would help or hinder the move to another conference. Professor Watson said it would make a move at some future time possible if the University evaluated that move in a favorable light. There is no current discussion about expanding the stadium. There has been discussion in the media. The proposed stadium fits our current need and allows for the future as well.
Professor Martha Butterfield asked if there was any discussion about the city and county owning the stadium and UTC renting it from them. Professor Watson said the proposed funding will require city/county interaction. Specifics of those interactions have not yet been addressed.
Professor Darken asked that the sources of funding be repeated. Professor Watson did so. Then Professor Darken commented that it was her impression that when you seek money from the state for something like this, something else loses in priority. The campus is in desperate need of classrooms and decent faculty offices. If UTC pushes for stadium monies from the state, it will lose out on classroom buildings, etc. Professor Watson said he would certainly not argue against new classrooms; however, sometime in the very near future, expenditures will be necessary to improve Chamberlain Field it it's not replaced. The three million dollars is only slightly more than would be required for renovation and a new stadium would free-up excellent space for classrooms on this campus. Mr. David Butler added that the stadium monies would not compete with state capital funding for UTC. Professor Wiley said even though the monies came from different budgetary accounts, the psychological effect on legislators remains. They would feel UTC had already received money. The danger remains.
Professor Maurice Edwards asked if the feasibility study done by Sports, Inc. was available to the public as had been promised. Professor Watson said Sports, Inc. had provided a lot of information, whether or not it had done so for the information Professor Edwards referred to specifically, he did not know. The Athletics Board has heard a number of arguments from Sports, Inc. and received much information from them.
Professor Ron Smith asked if an 18,000-seat stadium precluded the move to I-A. Professor Watson said it probably did because of the demanding budget requirements in I-A. It is hard to make it at the bottom of I-A. At least 50% of all I-A programs are in debt and the average debt is at least a million dollars.
Professor Schonblom asked if, in the new stadium, he would get seats comparable to those he now holds on the forty-yard line in Chamberlain Field. Professor Watson said these questions had not been addressed yet and that he might have to arm-wrestle Coach Wilkes for good seats. Professor Watson reminded Council that the Athletics Board resolution did not promise to get shovels and start digging a new stadium, rather it promised a narrowly-focused plan of action regarding a possible stadium. Professor Margaret Trimpey asked about the timeframe. Professor Watson said five years hopefully.
Professor Darken reiterated that the physical development of facilities for academics and sports are tied together, despite being in different budgets. If the energies of the administration are channeled into getting a stadium, academic facilities suffer. We have been working on a new classroom building for at least the last eight years. The math facilities are extremely poor and the Math Department has been promised a new building for a long time. Why are we spending time, effort and apparently, money trying to get a new stadium when we lack adequate academic facilities? Mr. Butler replied the stadium is not on the UTC capital outlay list; nor is it on the list sent to THEC. Professor Darken asked who argues for a stadium. Mr. Butler replied, "Whoever Bryan Patten can get." Professor Darken said the legislators see dollars going to Chattanooga and it doesn't really matter what budget they go to. She would much rather have the three million dollars for academic facilities so that our students are not demoralized by their surroundings. Professor Darken would like Council to make the feelings of the faculty known on this issue. President Pringle promised that the Executive Committee would ask Chancellor Obear to identify where the money comes from, who lobbies for it and whether stadium money does detract from academic facility funds. Professor Edwards expressed support for Professor Darken's views and asked how the proposed stadium fit with the Mission Statement. This needs to be clarified because it relates to the priorities of the University. President Pringle noted that the Mission Statement would be an agenda item at the next Council meeting.
Dr. Joel L. Davis Resolution
There was some confusion about this resolution. Dr. Robert Marlowe had drafted it and sent it to President Pringle who had not yet received it. Professor Wiley moved that the Executive Committee be authorized to send the resolution in the Council's name. This passed without dissent.
Student Access to Chickamauga Room
A resolution from the Student Government Association (Appendix C) was presented by Dean Charles Renneisen and SGA President David Chalker. Dean Renneisen stated that areas similar to the Chickamauga Room on other campuses were open to students and that there were no problems. President Chalker said that while this was a student-initiated proposal, it was not a "burning issue" with the SGA. He urged its passage and suggested that rules for the room's use be established by Council. Professor James Hiestand asked if students had partial access to the room now. President Chalker said they could use it now as guests of present faculty. Professor Wiley said he was bemused by the procedural aspects of this entire subject. He feels the Chickamauga Room just sort of appeared. He does not believe Council established the regulations governing it. He supports the students' request. He prefers to eat downstairs with the "curmudgeons" except on those occasions when he wants to have more "august feelings about food." He has noticed that the special is cheaper upstairs and he doesn't believe this is fair. He moved that the Chickamauga room be open to students. The motion was seconded.
Dean Renneisen presented some background. There was a Faculty Club on Oak Street which proved not to be economically viable. A need for such a facility led to enclosing the end of the Game Room as the Chickamauga Room. Many of those who dine there are visitors to the campus. He believes we also need a private room for dinner meetings for various campus groups. The old Back Porch will be converted to this purpose. He also noted that all the money in the Center comes from student activities fees.
Professor Jeannette Vallier commented that students have full access to the parking lot under the library and that it's a mess. She suggested that a dress code might be appropriate. President Chalker said such a dress code would need to apply to faculty as well.
Associate Provost Jane Harbaugh was asked in her capacity as "institutional historian" about the formation of the Chickamauga Room. She said it was a logical project and that it was the work of a committee, but she doesn't remember whether or not it was an official Council committee. Dean Renneisen reminded Council that the Patten House was still being discussed as a possible Faculty Club. Perhaps the Faculty Club Committee needs to be revived. Council did not seem to think so.
Provost Packard commented that she had never seen anyone turned away from the Chickamauga Room. Professor Wiley said that he had. Professor Betsy Darken suggested that the room could be opened to students for a trial period to see if problems developed. Professor Schonblom said that frequently all of the space, or at least all of the table service was in use. He questioned whether there was room for students even if they did not use it frequently. He also noted that it was the only location on campus devoted to dining and being collegial. Dean Renneisen supported Professor Wiley's motion. Professor Tom Bibler wondered if some of the student activity fees could be used if the room were opened to students to replace the atrocious "Chinese out-house" wallpaper.
Professor Edwards reported the results of an unscientific poll of thirteen colleagues; he found none in favor of opening the room to students. Their arguments included: tradition; need for confidentiality; small "d" democrats need for desirable ethos, especially in view of "rampant egalitarianism" on this campus; students come in and faculty will stop going. Professor Ron Smith expressed concern over possible lack of silverware and the probability of food all over the floor as in the "pit" downstairs.
President Chalker said the nature of the room would cause students to be well-behaved. Professor Ken Smith spoke in support of the motion because he likes rowdy behavior at lunch.
The motion failed by a vote of 11:11:2.
Report from Executive Committee
President Peter Pringle reported the following:
1. UT Board of Trustees approved at its meeting of October 15 the proposal to change the degree program from B.A. in Biology to B.S. in Biology.
The Board also approved proposed Capital Outlay and Capital Maintenance Programs for 1989-90 through 1993-94. Details are attached to the minutes (Appendix D).
2. He received a report on the meeting of the State Insurance Committee held in Nashville on October 12. That is attached to the minutes (Appendix E).
3. He received the resignation from the Council of Professor Ken Smith, Department of English, a representative from the Humanities, effective at the end of the semester. He will ask Dr. Sturzer, the senior member of that division, to arrange the election of a successor before the first meeting of Faculty Council in the spring semester.
1. Professor Caryl Taylor expressed her concern over the reception area in Frist. She believes it's to become a classroom, but nothing is being done. Mr. David Butler said it has not been approved. He will await a work order from Dr. Earl Davis.
2. Professor Jocelyn Sanders pointed out that the picnic area by the Oak Street Market desperately needs trash cans. Mr. Butler said these have been ordered.
3. Professor Betsy Darken thanked Mr. Butler for the Math/Brock signs.
4. Professor Jeannette Vallier reported a plugged drinking fountain on the third floor of Holt.
1. Professor Steve LeWinter asked that traffic in front of the Fine Arts building be slowed. Mr. Butler said a move to close Vine Street had not been successful, but there is a proposal to put in curves and park areas to slow traffic. He also wants to put "sleeping policemen" on Oak Street.
2. Professor Schonblom distributed a list of "non-member concerns" (Appendix F). These were referred to the Executive Committee by unanimous vote.
3. Professor Jeannette Vallier said the English faculty needs more copies of mail addressed to all faculty and staff. There currently are no copies for adjuncts. Associate Provost Harbaugh promised to look into this problem. Provost Packard reminded Council that the mailroom takes addressing literally. If mailings are to include adjunct faculty this needs to be communicated explicitly to the mailroom.
4. Provost Packard announced that Associate Provost Marvin Ernst will chair the SACS Self-Study Steering Committee. This will begin this fall and we will have subcommittees to address each criteria. We will have the accreditation visit in either the fall or spring of 1991.
5. Provost Packard also announced that the Blue Ribbon Mission panel will meet next Saturday. The Mission Statement will be brought to Council and there will be one open hearing. The statement and the minutes of Council's deliberations and those of the hearing will all be forwarded to Chancellor Obear. A draft of the statement will also appear in The Student Echo.
6. Provost Packard thanked the one person who invited her to his office. She hopes more will take her up on the "reverse open house" invitations. Such visits help her to understand the campus experience. She is also establishing brown bag lunches to be open forums for discussion. All faculty will be invited sometime. Her office is setting these up. These will also help her keep in touch.
7. Professor Schonblom expressed concern over the current problems between the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera Association (CSOA) and the musicians. The solutions will require sacrifices, and he hoped it wouldn't be just the musicians who are called upon to make them. We need a quality symphony orchestra in Chattanooga. It improves our quality of life and the quality of life of our Music Department. Professor Jocelyn Sanders said the musicians have agreed to a play and talk--playing at the CSOA's proposed pay rate while negotiations continue. The problems still exist. There is still no contract, lack of funding and poor management.
8. Dean Renneisen noted that the open hearing on the mission statement will be held in the Signal Mountain Room in November and will be the regular meeting of the Sertoma Club.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.
Faculty Council Nugget
If you play your cards right (and pay big bucks) perhaps you may be able to get
"above-the-ground seating" in the new stadium to watch Ric Schonblom and Harold
Wilkes arm wrestle.