THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
April 7, 1994
Signal Mountain Room
ELECTED MEMBERS PRESENT: Jim Avery, Will Bertin, Tom Bibler, Martha Butterfield, Ken Carson, Monte Coulter, Neal Coulter, Lloyd Davis, Fritz Efaw, Howard Finch, Jack Freeman, Nick Honerkamp, Larry Ingle, Loretta Prater, Richard Rice, Ossama Saleh, Greg Sedrick, Edgar Shawen, Clint Smullen, Jim Stroud, Larry Tillman, John Tinkler, Joe Trahan, Jeannette Vallier, Terry Walters, Carolyn Wiley, David Wiley, Sally Young
ELECTED MEMBERS ABSENT: Valarie Adams, Susan Davidson, Robert Duffy, Aniekan Ebiefung, John Garrett, Doug Kingdon, David Levine, Clifford Parten, Ling-Jun Wang
EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS PRESENT: Jane Harbaugh, Charles Renneisen
AMONG THE GUESTS PRESENT: Deborah Arfken, Dan Baker, Richard Brown, Stan Byrd, Ron Cox, Brenda Davis, Tom Ellis, Richard Gruetzemacher, Bill Gurley, Ray Hall, Judy Nixon, Lynn Ourth, Vincent Pellegrino, Gene Schlereth, Stephanie Smullen, Mary Tanner, Ken Venters
The Faculty Rating of the Administration forms will be in faculty mailboxes soon. Professor David Wiley asks that you please complete the ratings as soon as possible, even though he realizes it is a time-consuming task.
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 3:17 by President Tom Bibler.
Approval of Minutes
Dr. Jane Harbaugh noted that THEC had approved the out-of-state tuition waiver, but that approval for it has not been granted farther up the line. The minutes were approved as corrected.
President Bibler announced a change in the order on the agenda. Because the Provost is unexpectedly out of town, he has sent "a fleet of people" to make his reports, among them Dr. Richard Gruetzemacher, who must also leave town. Therefore, agenda item 6a was considered next.
Student Rating of Faculty
Dr. Gruetzemacher reported on the Student Rating of the Faculty. When scores are compared by college and school, there are three core or composite items: 15 ("I have learned a lot as a result of this class"), 16 ("My instructor is an effective teacher"), and 17 ("I would enjoy taking another course from this instructor"). They are the most general; however, these items indicate best the students' overall perception of faculty members' competence.
Scores have been computed across the classes to get average scores. Faculty members are ranked by college, school, and university. Then percentile ranks are drawn. The distributed handout shows these items by percentile rank. This makes it easy to identify the percentage of people who fall below a certain point. Overall, students see faculty instruction as very good; more than 50% have scores over 5. Sixty-one percent of students thought that instructors were a 6, strongly agreeing that they were effective.
Professor Efaw wondered if the percentiles could be reported for each individual.
Dr. Gruetzemacher said yes, but it would take some additional computing. You have to take the sum of all the ratings divided by the number of ratings. Such information will not be published because it is very sensitive. Only the Provost sees it.
Professor David Wiley asked why, if everyone is so good, we still do the ratings.
Dr. Gruetzemacher explained that mean scores less than 4 are held by 9% of faculty.
Professor Wiley asked with scores so high, do we lose our ability to make judgments because variations are so slight? Is there something we could do to change the process?
Dr. Gruetzemacher responded that scores have not changed much as long as he has been looking at them. He believes that a person who regularly gets threes has problems. It is, however, difficult to see differences between 5.2 and 5.8, for example.
Professor Wiley said that these figures are good propaganda to attract new students. Is there a correlation between good teachers and student retention? Is there any correlation with grade inflation?
Dr. Gruetzemacher said there was no way to tie a specific student rating with the student's grade. It would be possible, however, to look at the mean student rating in a particular class of the three core items and also find the mean grade point average of students in that class. Those figures could then be compared.
Professor Terry Walters asked if Dr. Gruetzemacher's office would need some encouragement to do that.
Dr. Gruetzemacher said that his office could if Faculty Council mandated it.
Report from the Graduate Council
Dr. Lynn Ourth presented four items from the Graduate Council and identified people at the meeting who could answer questions.
1. A new course, Math 502: Transform Methods. Dr. Eugene Schlereth
2. Change in Admission Requirements for the M.S. in Engineering Program and the M.S. in Computer Science Program. Dr. William Gurley
3. Clarification of Comprehensive Examination Policy. Dr. Stephanie Smullen
4. Thesis Grading and Stop-Out Provision for Graduate Students. Dr. Deborah Arfken and Dr. William Gurley
President Bibler asked if this meant that Professor Ourth did not want to answer any questions. Professor Ourth suggested himself as a last resort for such questions.
Professor Greg Sedrick moved, and Professor Joe Trahan seconded the motion to approve the items from the Graduate Council. The motion passed 26-0-0.
Report from the Curriculum Committee
Professor Ken Venters presented three items for consideration by Council: the addition of History 328, Engineering course changes, and new student teaching courses. Professor John Tinkler moved and Professor Nick Honerkamp seconded the motion to approve the items. The motion passed 26-0-0. The committee is through for the year; an information item is yet to be disseminated.
Report of the Admissions Committee
Professor Ray Hall reported on the activities of the Admissions Committee. The report is attached to these minutes.
Professor Bibler thanked Professor Hall for his report.
Report of the Athletics Committee
Because Professor Walker Breland is out of town on a field trip, the report of the Athletics Committee will be given at the next meeting.
Report from the Committee on Budget and Economic Status
Professor Will Bertin, Chair of this committee, said that they had had problems getting off the ground because of chair changes and scheduling problems.
Professor Mike Russell had submitted a proposal to reduce tuition for spouses. They discussed it on February 3 and put forward a modified proposal: Spouses should get a 50% discount on standard graduate courses in the UT System (not medical or law school). Mr. Ralph Moser said that he would "walk it through" to see the reaction in the System.
On March 24, they discussed salaries, especially the Department Heads Summary Report. They strongly supported the last item: Funding for adjustments and exceptional merit should not be taken from the regular raise pool, but from a separate one.
The adjustments which had taken place were discussed. While the adjustments were substantiated, were performances equitable? They wanted faculty to have the opportunity to present their own performance.
Tuition remission, library and equipment budgets were also discussed.
Professor David Wiley asked if the committee had any recommendations for Council.
Professor Bertin said that their only strong discussion had been about adjustments. The committee did not make any recommendations.
Professor Bibler asked the committee to look at summer school funding.
Report of the Faculty Rating of the Administration Committee
Professor David Wiley announced that his committee would have the Faculty Rating of Administration forms in faculty hands soon; there has been a printing problem. He urges faculty to fill out the form, even though it will be time-consuming. This year's rating is a kind of trial run; the committee wants to determine if the questions are valid and if the test can be shortened.
Report of the General Education Committee
Professor Martha Butterfield, Chair of the committee, said that the primary focus had been to look at revision of General Education. The SACS recommendations as well as literature reviews were consulted. Many universities now require 50 hours of general education. In the fall, her committee plans luncheons with small focus groups of faculty to discuss what general education should be and what values, skills, and knowledge our students should have when they graduate. Should we develop performance standards for continuation into upper level courses and/or graduation?
Professor Jack Freeman asked if there had been discussion of having a "General College."
Professor Butterfield said the committee has talked about that. This and other matters should be discussed in the small focus groups next year.
Report of the Library Committee
Professor Stan Byrd reported that they had met twice. They discussed the Provost's proposal to replace the dean with an Associate Provost for Information Services. After much deliberation, the title "Director of Libraries" was chosen. The search is in progress.
Professor Rice asked what the significance of the title change was.
Professor Byrd responded that the Provost prefers the term "dean" for an academic position and "director" for a service position.
Report of the Scholarship Committee
Professor Judy Nixon reported that her committee had met three times. This year the Chapin-Thomas fellowship had eight applicants; two scholarships were awarded. Because of the quality of the candidates, the committee had appealed for a third scholarship, but the request was denied.
Fifty-six candidates applied for Brock Scholarships. Thirty to thirty-two will be offered, and twenty-five will be accepted.
Joel Harrell gave a guaranteed financial aid report to the committee, which they accepted.
They also approved others. Two new scholarships have been sent forward by the committee.
The Chancellor and Provost will review current scholarship procedures for reviewing appeals of those who are denied scholarships.
President Bibler thanked all committee chairs and committee members for their hard work this year.
Report from the Provost
Dr. Jane Harbaugh reported on continuation matters. The proposal sent to Knoxville was brief. Although the committee had done a lot of research on continuation, their findings were not well explained in the document which was sent forward. Professor Steve White of the Standards Committee has agreed to expand the background text for the report to give more explanation.
Under the stipulations of the settlement agreement, there has to be provision for support of students admitted with a deficiency. For example, advising for these students must be provided. The handout from UTK's catalogue, for example, shows a support mechanism for such students.
With respect to SACS standards, we are getting ready for the fifth year SACS review. We have to be able to deal with some changes mandated by SACS. One change deals with majors and concentrations. We must clearly define what a major or concentration is and give the number of credits for each. A second requirement is that every major must make provision for at least one elective outside of the requirements for the major. This change affects a number of programs at UTC. Third, SACS now requires that at least 25% of the courses must be taken at the University granting the degree. We currently require 30 hours in residence, but now we would have to require 32.
Capital Outlay/Maintenance Projects Update
Mr. Richard Brown reviewed capital outlay and maintenance for the foreseeable future. He introduced Tom Ellis, who is Director of Facilities Planning and Management. He went on to describe 1994-95 as a Hard Hat Year. We will be undertaking lots of building projects. We are nearing completion of the Health and Human Services Renovation project; it should be finished in mid-June. Unfortunately, the faculty has already outgrown the renovated building.
The Governor has funded the Fletcher Hall project. The architect should begin by July 1. The renovated building will have more than 40,000 additional square feet, including seven more classrooms. In January 1995, the faculty will be moved out of Fletcher and placed in offices as close as possible to their lecture halls. "Surge space" is available in the Memorial Building where Health and Human Services is currently housed. Mr. Vince Pellegrino is looking for more space to acquire. The new math building is the number one project to go forward.
Renovation of Fine Arts space is the number two project. That project is being redefined as the project has grown.
Land acquisition will be critical to build the math, computer science, and engineering building. The University would like to get Bryan Funeral Home and other adjacent areas to expand the campus boundaries. The Planning Committee is also looking at a general classroom building with multipurpose classrooms.
Among the self-liquidating projects which require no state money are the Challenger Center, to be completed between August and November 1994 depending on the weather, and a new 500-car parking garage, to be built on current lot 31. That location is central to campus and will help with parking for events at the arena, Maclellan, and the University Center. One level will be reserved; the rest will be kept open. It will not look like a parking garage, but will blend nicely with the campus.
Professor Jack Freeman wondered if it would hold elephants. Mr. Brown said that they didn't know for sure.
Phase Two of the building projects will involve new student housing at the corner of Houston Street. Instead of the 200-bed unit originally planned, planners are now looking at a 300-bed facility. They realize that students prefer the apartment style to the high-rise type of housing originally planned.
Patten House is finally back on track for interior renovation. It should be for alumni, development, and a faculty club. Most money for this project came through a donor. Mr. Brown expects work to begin in six weeks and to be completed by the end of December.
Professor Richard Rice wondered if wine receptions could be held at this Faculty Club as they do in Knoxville's.
Mr. Brown believed that it would be possible. The first two levels will be for such events, but a final ruling about the legality of alcohol had not yet been made.
Mr. Vincent Pellegrino said that the alumni will be there, but that Development does not want to move there. He is personally not opposed to trying to get an alcohol license.
Professor James Avery said that at this point, faculty would be allowed to "brown bag" alcohol there.
Professor Martha Butterfield noted that the house was to be considered off-campus so that such accommodations could be made.
Mr. Brown also believes that the new stadium is a community project which is needed.
Professor Larry Ingle asked when the last large amount of money had been spent on the existing stadium.
Mr. Brown replied that not much had been spent on renovation; we did spent a lot on painting, safety, and so forth.
Professor Ingle asked if we decided not to keep it up, would the cost then skyrocket?
Mr. Brown replied that it would take a lot of money to bring it up to a high standard.
Professor Jim Stroud asked if the new stadium looked promising.
Mr. Brown said yes; much local money is being raised. The City and County governments have made commitments. We will not own it, just rent it.
Professor Rice was concerned about where teams would practice and store equipment. He further wondered how students living on campus without automobiles would get to the games. Would we provide shuttle buses?
Mr. Brown said that we can address most of these questions on campus. Teams still practice on the Scrappy Moore field. Currently, we do not use the stadium for storage very much.
The arena is to be upgraded by adding another elevator. (Currently there is only one). The University Center will also be renovated. Mr. Rocky Renneisen said that a bond issue would be levied; no state money would be used. They plan to expand the facility toward Maclellan gym. They may bring the bookstore to the expanded Center to free up room in Guerry, create a small theatre or large classroom for use in the evening, expand the kitchen and private dining room areas, relocate child care away from the heavy traffic area, expand the number of ATM machines, and tie in the idea of "wellness" during renovation of Maclellan. In fact, the UC and Maclellan might eventually be connected. A pool might be added to the roof. If faculty have suggestions, they should send them to Mr. Renneisen or to Shannon Smith.
Other capital maintenance includes Maclellan gym renovation, library, Hunter Hall, Central Energy Plant (which would give greater environmental control within buildings), exterior masonry at Frist, and automatic doors to several buildings to conform with ADA standards.
Specialized funds are going to the fiber optic wiring project. Although the underground wires are run to several buildings, wiring inside the buildings needs to be upgraded.
Professor Rice asked which buildings would be affected.
Mr. Brown said the main academic buildings, including Holt, Grote, Fine Arts Center, Brock, Hunter, and the Library.
Professor Stroud said that he didn't know the Fine Arts Center was on the list.
Mr. Brown said that he knew Founders is; he was unable to confirm because he did not have his list in front of him. Further, they have upgraded some theatre lights to take care of a dangerous situation.
Professor Jack Freeman asked if money was being allocated for greenery.
Mr. Brown said yes. They are also planning an irrigation system. Last summer during the drought, they were unable to water plants. They are developing a landscaping plan, which includes a sprinkling system, for four sections of the campus.
Professor Joe Trahan asked if the third floor of Frist would be renovated.
Mr. Brown said yes.
Professor Stroud noted that students complained about the lawn mowing taking place outside of classrooms during class. Others reported similar annoyance.
Professor Monte Coulter asked if the present ballet studio would still be located on campus if the stadium were renovated.
Mr. Brown said yes. South Stadium will remain intact as long as possible. We have a twenty-year land use planning strategy in process.
Professor Rice asked if a copy of this planning strategy could be placed in the library. Mr. Brown answered yes.
Professor David Wiley noted that he had recently received a portfolio listing Tennessee Preferred Providers. He wondered what our status was with regard to this matter.
President Bibler responded that the legislative delegation knows our position; we've reiterated our loss of health care professionals.
Professor Wiley asked if that meant that the legislature was doing nothing to change the situation.
President Bibler responded, "So it seems."
Professor Wiley then wondered what our next move on the chessboard of life was.
Professor Martha Butterfield said she believes that the legislature will hold pat. It was a political move.
Professor Wiley wondered if we shouldn't be thinking of how to get out of the hole.
Professor Butterfield responded that she is very negative about the situation and agrees that it is a deep hole.
Professor Wiley wondered if we should become litigious. Should we develop a legal theory to describe our loss of benefits?
Professor Butterfield reminded us that other campuses (except Martin) have other options. She recommends that we do not get sick.
Professor Larry Ingle said he thought it was time to talk action. Shouldn't we move in a concrete fashion? Should we ask the Faculty Council President to find a lawyer?
Professor Butterfield reminded us that we have some lawyers on the faculty. Why not ask them?
Professor Ingle said that if we do not do anything now, we will have the same discussion again next year. He requests that President Bibler talk to an attorney.
Professor Rice thought it would be wise to have a show of hands to support this request.
Professor Ingle said that he was willing to make a motion to have President Bibler contact lawyers on the faculty to consult about this and report at the next meeting. At least it might create ripples.
Professor Larry Tillman reported that Joe Johnson was at a Blue Cross/Blue Shield meeting here recently. He serves on the Board of Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Professor Rice wondered if that was a conflict of interest. He agreed with Professor Nick Honerkamp that the change in health insurance amounted to a reduction in benefits.
Professor Rice seconded the motion to ask President Bibler to discuss options with lawyers on our faculty.
Professor Tillman suggested being careful where we go. If Joe Johnson is the top of our struggle, it might not have any effect.
Professor Lloyd Davis thought it was all right to start with campus lawyers, but we would probably need one with specific expertise in this area.
Professor Butterfield thought one of the first areas to be explored would be whether the state could be sued in this matter.
Professor Clint Smullen wondered if the reduction in benefits violated the merger agreement.
Professor Honerkamp said it also reduces our retirement benefits unilaterally.
Professor Butterfield thinks we ought to put retirement changes in the lawsuit too.
Dr. Harbaugh suggested not opening up that matter now. At the time of the merger, the differences were helped out by the UC Foundation. The contract with the Foundation still exists. The health insurance issue is already complex; don't make it more complex.
Professor Ingle said that legal advice should be sought to find out what avenues there are.
Professor David Wiley asked if the executive committee had a handle on the concerns that have been expressed.
President Bibler said that he would try to have a report for the next meeting.
The motion passed 26 to 1.
President Bibler said that the retirement dinner held Tuesday night was a success. He read a nice note of thanks from Thor Hall to the Council. President Bibler was bothered by the fact that there was not a large turnout of current faculty. As Fred Armstrong said, "They're only old people here."
Professor Martha Butterfield noted that the "Super Committee" mentioned in the last minutes will report at the next meeting. She invites Terry Walters and his committee to be there.
Professor Mary Tanner noted that the Alpha Society had met April 6. They initiated Horace Traylor and Robert Kirk Walker as honorary members. She was concerned because some departments did not send Alpha faculty members to introduce students from their departments. More than six departments did not have a representative.
Professor Stroud suggested designating a person.
Professor Tanner said that the Head or his delegate is already designated to perform the introductions.
Professor Jack Freeman wants Faculty Council to send an expression of sympathy to Roy Stinnett's family. A "group second" of the motion was followed by a unanimous vote. The secretary will send such a letter.
Dean Renneisen noted that on April 24th, right before the last day of classes, several events will be held on campus, including the Big Orange game. He urges faculty who might want to come to work in their offices to plan accordingly.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 pm.