THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
October 21, 1993
Signal Mountain Room
ELECTED MEMBERS PRESENT: Valarie Adams, Jim Avery, Will Bertin, Tom Bibler, Martha Butterfield, Ken Carson, Neal Coulter, Lloyd Davis, Aniekan Ebiefung, Fritz Efaw, Howard Finch, Jack Freeman, John Garrett, Nick Honerkamp, Larry Ingle, David Levine, Renée Lorraine, Loretta Prater, Mike Russell, Greg Sedrick, Edgar Shawen, Clint Smullen, Larry Tillman, John Tinkler, Ling-Jun Wang, Carolyn Wiley, David Wiley, Sally Young
ELECTED MEMBERS ABSENT: Lawrence Akers, Monte Coulter, Susan Davidson, Robert Duffy, Doug Kingdon, Clifford Parten, Ossama Saleh, Joe Trahan, Terry Walters
EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS PRESENT: Jane Harbaugh, Charles Renneisen, Grayson Walker
AMONG THE GUESTS PRESENT: Deborah Arfken, Brenda Davis, Arlie Herron, Greg O'Dea, Lynn Ourth, Verbie Prevost, John Trimpey
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 3:17 by President Tom Bibler.
Approval of Minutes
The minutes were approved as distributed.
Report from Committee on Committees
Greg Sedrick reported that Will Bertin from Finance had agreed to be Chair of the Committee on Budget and Economic Status. It was moved, seconded, and passed unanimously that Professor Bertin be named chair of this committee.
Report from Handbook Committee
Professor Nick Honerkamp reported that the Handbook is in Knoxville. A copy of the document, which includes a few changes, will be available at the Circulation Counter in the Library. Dr. Bibler reported that Katie High had asked him at a recent meeting what our problems were. Dr. Bibler responded that the system-wide requirements were the problem. President Joe Johnson interjected that he saw no reason why our handbook should not be approved at the next Board of Trustees meeting. (Dr. High was not so sure.)
Report from Graduate Council
Dr. Ourth brought one matter before the body, changes in the English graduate program. It was moved and seconded that the revised "English Graduate Program: Proposed Requirement Changes" be accepted.
Dr. Larry Ingle noted that the Graduate Council had voted 8-5 on the changes. He urged voting against the proposal for two reasons. First, with respect to the curriculum change, twelve of the seventeen universities listed which do not have a thesis requirement do have Ph.D. programs. Ingle believes a thesis is needed to give preparation for those going on to Ph.D. work.
Second, THEC gives more money for graduate than undergraduate courses. The English Department proposal suggests that there is not funding for faculty to direct theses. Ingle wondered where the money went. Why isn't the English Department getting the money?
Dr. Verbie Prevost, Chair of the English Department Graduate Committee, said that the theses are being staffed now.
When asked about courses designated 501R, Professor Prevost responded that such courses include both graduate and undergraduate students. The department prefers to have more exclusively graduate courses.
Professor Mike Russell asked if there was a banking policy. Professor Arlie Herron, Acting Head of the English Department, said that the University has an unused policy. There is not money to implement it.
Professor John Trimpey recalled that Faculty Council had approved granting credit for directing honors projects, theses, and independent studies.
Acting Provost Grayson Walker acknowledged that we needed to look into that.
Professor Trimpey further recalled that Independent Studies had been exempted because giving credit for them would have been too expensive.
Provost Walker had also had some concerns related to funding. If funding were the problem, he would prefer to address funding rather than changing the curriculum. He now understands, however, that the English Department believes that it is a good curriculum change.
Professor Herron remarked that he thinks we should follow suit with other institutions. Further, we have graduate students with different needs. Some will stay here and consider the M.A. a terminal degree; others will go on to a Ph.D. elsewhere. The ones staying here may really need broader course work in English more than the experience of writing a paper. He noted that individual courses have an emphasis on research and that students are required to take one course devoted only to research. He emphasized that students who desired to do either a three-hour project or a six-hour thesis may still do so.
Professor David Wiley asked if the thesis load was currently being funded. Professor Herron replied that there was no simple yes or no because directing a thesis could be considered part of the usual responsibilities of a faculty member.
Professor Wiley asked if the additional courses could be staffed and funded. Professor Herron answered yes.
Professor Wiley asked if that meant that the graduate thesis was dead. Professor Herron said no.
Professor Jack Freeman wondered how many recent graduates did the three-hour paper compared to the six-hour thesis. Professor Herron believed it was about half and half.
Professor Freeman asked for a prediction with three options. Professor Herron said he had no way of guessing.
Professor Ourth mentioned that the Graduate Council is interested in faculty workloads but does not think that the English Department's proposal is the place to address it. He thought it ironic that people who oppose graduate programs would encourage requirement of a thesis, a burdensome part. He reminded the Council that the English Department's revised proposal was an attempt to clarify meaning.
Professor Ken Carson noted that in I/O Psychology, theses are options. Pedagogically, he believed that the English Department's proposal was reasonable because students do have different intents about what they will do with their education.
Professor Ingle agreed that faculty loads should be addressed, but we have said this for years. He also agreed that we must vote on the proposal before us. Although he readily admits he is not an authority on literary analysis, he does understand the English language and pointed to page 2 of the original proposal which reads, "While an independent research project has its charms, students would probably do more writing and conduct more diverse kinds of research in the several smaller projects required in their additional course work." Professor Ingle said masters work should be rigorous work related to research, not "charming." Ingle is afraid that a student could get an M.A. in English without completing a serious piece of writing.
Professor Trimpey spoke for the proposal. He noted that most English departments do not require a thesis; it's usually an option.
Professor Herron noted that faculty will get more compensation for teaching than for directing theses as it now stands.
Professor Clint Smullen noted that two changes are proposed. In addition to the thesis change is deletion of a comprehensive exam. He notes that in the ten points for evaluation of funding for higher education, #7 names a culminating experience and #10 a comprehensive exam. He believes we cannot earn all points in performance funding if we drop #10.
Dr. Prevost remarked that Dr. Marvin Ernst had said dropping the comprehensive exam was not a problem.
Professor Herron explained that the culminating experience is comprehensive.
Professor Shawen noted that the culminating experience might indeed be comprehensive, but that one exam could not be considered to be both #7 and #10, as Professor Smullen had pointed out.
Dr. Ourth responded that Dr. Ernst had said that the change would not affect funding.
Professor Russell noted that one of the reasons that the History Department has not wanted to begin an M.A. program was because the Library is inadequate. If English students switch away from M.A. research, can they be directed more to sources we do have?
Professor Herron remarked that the English Department had tried to build the library to its curriculum, so he guesses the answer is yes.
Professor Trimpey noted that what the English Department was calling a "culminating experience" is much like most comprehensive masters exams.
Professor Smullen did not dispute Trimpey's evaluation, but reiterated that the Department needed two experiences, not just one.
Professor Ingle was still concerned about funding. He recalls asking when the proposal was first made if the library holdings were sufficient. Tom Ware had said yes. Since then, he has said that the English Department doesn't get enough money for library materials. Ingle believes that holdings are inadequate in areas where he has tried to do research. Again, Professor Ingle wonders where the money goes.
Professor Renée Lorraine called for the question. The motion passed 21-6-2.
Update on the Provost Search
Professor Lloyd Davis gave an update on the Provost Search. The Committee reviewed 133 applications, of which 112 are complete now with curriculum vitae and three letters of reference. Of the applicants, seven are African American or other minorities, and twelve are female.
The committee began meeting in the summer and has been meeting every week since school started for one-and-a-half to three hours. They formed three subcommittees to review the many applications and call their references. Those applications viewed favorably by one subcommittee were passed on to the others. A committee member who wanted to examine the dossiers of those not favorably recommended by another subcommittee could do so. Then the committee as a whole voted on a top group of about twelve to put on an interview list. They sent out an appeal to those whose files were not complete. After that, twenty more applications were completed. Fifteen names are now on the interview list, nine of whom are "especially good."
Conference calls are being made by another subcommittee. Most potential candidates have been "listened to" by seven to nine committee members. The committee hopes to have the final six selected by this Friday. By November 1, they should have six people and three alternates. The list will include both a female and a minority, as the Chancellor requested.
The candidates will be brought in for interviews. They hope to have a decision by early January.
Professor Ingle asked if the policy had changed that an Acting Provost could not be considered.
Professor Davis said yes; it was one of two changes made in the charge to the committee this year. The first was that the Chancellor would serve on the committee.
Professor Larry Tillman asked if a person were named in January, when would the person come on board? Professor Davis didn't know. But they did not reject candidates who might have to complete a semester, on the Chancellor's suggestion.
Strategic Planning Report
This committee has a draft document ready for discussion by faculty from 2 to 4 in the Chattanooga Rooms on October 25. You must be there to pick up a copy because it is a draft.
Report from Counselors to the President
Professor Larry Tillman of Physical Therapy, Professor Katy Rehyansky of English, and Professor Tom Bibler (by virtue of being Faculty Council President) are considered counselors to the President. They will meet with the President in January. Please tell one of these people if you have concerns.
When they went to a meeting at the Space Institute in Tullahoma, the main focus was the funding formula. President Johnson sees three areas of trouble: (1) Faculty loads. The number of required courses has gone down; we will have to justify that. (2) Accountability. We advertise low student-faculty ratios, but parents don't always see that in their children's experience. (3) Caring. Higher education is getting an image of not caring about students.
Ely Fly predicts a 3½% raise on January 1. The raise could be from 2 to 4%.
Two other items of interest: UTC is offering an MBA in Tullahoma through Distance Learning, upsetting Middle Tennessee State University. We are also offering an MBA in Knoxville.
Professor Davis inquired if these courses open the door for other campuses to offer degrees at UTC.
The importance of the 60 Hour Rule and 30 Hour Rule was reiterated.
The 60-hour rule reads: "Students who attend a junior or community college at any time in their academic career must complete the last 60 semester hours at a senior college with the last 30 of those 60 completed at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga."
A number of students had been misinformed or misadvised and had taken courses elsewhere which did not count toward graduation as they had expected.
Professor Edgar Shawen moved and numerous members seconded the motion to reaffirm the 60 Hour Rule.
The rationale for these rules is that juniors and seniors should be taking their courses at a senior institution.
Professor James Avery noted that reaffirmation is needed to make sure that advisors are well informed about this matter.
Exceptions which are necessary (for example, if a course is not available here) are handled by the Petitions Committee. There is, however, abuse of this. If a student takes a course off campus in his last ten hours, he could essentially lose 50 hours. However, a student may withdraw the request to count a course if his or her petition is denied, explained Mrs. Brenda Davis. Dr. Jane Harbaugh said that the problem remained that the student had been misled, even if he is penalized only by not being able to count that course.
The motion carried with one abstention.
The 30 Hour Rule reads: "The final 30 hours must be completed in residence on this campus. Special arrangements to allow work taken at other University of Tennessee campuses to be counted as part of this requirement must be approved by the Petitions Committee. A minimum of 30 semester hours, however, must be earned at UTC, with a 2.0 average required on all attempted UTC hours."
It was moved and seconded to reaffirm the 30 Hour Rule.
Professor Clint Smullen said he was concerned about correspondence courses. What would happen if the correspondence grade got to UTC after the student had begun his last 30 hours? He also wondered about Individualized Education Program (IEP) credits.
There has not been much problem with IEP credits because Hugh Prevost has overseen the program carefully.
Professor Trimpey said that some students had not been able to register for second year foreign language courses. It was not mere dereliction on their part; some had switched to B.A. majors their junior year.
Professor Smullen asked about Distance Learning Courses. If students are registered here and taking them at UTC, are they counted?
If it is a UTC course, they would be in residence. It would be all right. If it's from UTK offered here in an interactive class and we get their tuition, it would not be counted. We need to look into this question. Courses which are dual enrollment (such as Marine Biology) are all right.
Professor Martha Butterfield asked if the Petitions Committee had handled such cases. Provost Walker said yes, and that they are usually refused. They can then appeal to the Chancellor. Provost Walker noted that those whose transcripts reflect that they did not take needed courses when they could have are usually refused. Dr. Harbaugh remarked that often faculty who advise in students' majors may slight other university requirements. We need to keep a lookout for both areas. More petitions come in from general university requirements than from students' majors.
Professor Shawen suggested requiring an advisor's signature to drop a course. Dr. Harbaugh thought that suggestion deserved attention.
Dr. Harbaugh asked about what happened if a student completes a correspondence course before beginning the last 30 hours but the grade does not arrive until after they have begun the last 30. Mrs. Davis said such a case would have to go to the Petitions Committee because her office wouldn't know the starting date. But she did note that the grades go into the system as soon as they are received.
A student who enters for his last 60 hours should have the 60 Hour Rule and 30 Hour Rule explained.
The motion passed unanimously.
Groundbreaking for the Challenger Center is October 27 at 9:00. All are invited.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m.