THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
March 23, 1995
Signal Mountain Room
ELECTED MEMBERS PRESENT: Tom Bibler, Ken Carson, Prem Chopra, Betsy Cook, Neal Coulter, Robert Duffy, Aniekan Ebiefung, Howard Finch, John Garrett, Nick Honerkamp, Larry Ingle, Doug Kingdon, Renée Lorraine, David Levine, John Lynch, Jim Macomber, Anna Panorska, Tom Payne, Loretta Prater, Katherine Rehyansky, Mike Russell, Greg Sedrick, Jim Stroud, John Tinkler, Margaret Trimpey, Jeannette Vallier, Ling-Jun Wang, David Wiley
ELECTED MEMBERS ABSENT: Valarie Adams, Jim Avery, Mary Brabston, Martha Butterfield, Lloyd Davis, Ahmed Eltom, Jim McDonell, Maria Smith, Sally Young
EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS PRESENT: Jane Harbaugh, Grayson Walker
AMONG THE GUESTS PRESENT: Deborah Arfken, Eugene Bartoo, Richard Brown, Rod Evans, Dick Gruetzemacher, George Helton, Ted Miller, Mary Tanner, Randy Walker, Colbert Whitaker
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 3:20 p.m. by President Tom Bibler.
Approval of Minutes
Professor Randy Walker asked that "not" be deleted on p. 2, four lines up from the bottom, since Physical Therapy DOES need occupational therapists to teach the occupational therapy courses.
Professor David Levine pointed out that, at p. 3, 1. 10, "Psychology" should instead read "Psychology, Sociology and Biology."
Professor Renée Lorraine asked that on p. 4, paragraph 9, "Tennessee Leave Act" should instead read "Federal and Tennessee Leave Act."
Professor Mary Brabston had previously communicated to Professor Sally Young that the minutes should reflect that she is in the Management, not the Marketing, department.
The minutes were approved as amended.
Student Rating of Faculty
Professor Ken Carson recapitulated the last Council discussion on student rating of faculty and provided the February 28 draft of the rating form. At the last meeting, he pointed out, it was moved to table the recommendations of the rating committee until it could address three issues concerning the form: 1) its title: not "Student Evaluation of Faculty," but "Student Rating of Faculty"; 2) the inclusion of a question about each students midterm grade; and 3) the inclusion of the question whether the course is in the students major. These matters are now included in the form, and Professor Carson asked the Council to adopt the recommendations made by the committee. Professor David Wiley moved adoption of the new rating form, Professor Lorraine seconding.
Professor Nick Honerkamp asked why the form for faculty rating of administration is so much longer than the proposed form for student rating of faculty. He suggested that the faculty rating of administration forms provide more information. With the proposed form for student rating of faculty there is likely to be a loss, not a gain, in the amount of information gathered.
Professor Carson responded with two points: first, that committee members felt that the present form may appear to gather a great deal of information without actually doing so, and second, that professors are free to collect other information in addition to that requested on the form.
Professor Deborah Arfken asked whether the form was to be used for graduate as well as undergraduate students; if so, "graduate" should be added to the box on class standing.
Professor Eugene Bartoo pointed out that graduate students usually do not receive midterm grades.
Professor Colbert Whitaker said that, since graduate-level classes usually meet only once a week, the form appeared to be geared to undergraduates.
Professor Carson said that it makes no differences that graduate students receive no midterm grades; they can simply indicate that.
Professor Whitaker suggested that the item "Graduate" be included in the forms indication of "class standing."
Professor Carson said that changes would be packaged in an amendment to the motion before the Council.
Professor Arfken pointed out a typographical error in the form: "slightly" is misspelled in the section "Instructor Evaluation."
Professor John Lynch pointed out that some of the questions on the form ask for information that can be obtained from other sources.
Professor Carson responded that there was still a need to ask them, since there is no way in the ratings process to identify individual students.
Professor Lynch said that there is an apparent imbalance in the form, which asks eight questions about the students and only one about the instructor. Might the effect of this not be to intimidate the student?
Professor Carson responded that that would be an unintended consequence.
Professor Mike Russell suggested that the question about the effectiveness of the teacher might receive lower responses from students than in the past, since the existing form allows them to vent their spleen on other items before they get to it.
Professor Doug Kingdon pointed out that any teacher may add questions to the form to obtain desired information.
Professor Russell asked whether the form might not be pruned, and some of the prose cut out of the introduction.
Professor Carson responded that the committee had believed it important to indicate the dual purpose of the form and to point out who would and would not see the information it generated.
Professor Kingdon suggested that the form show consistency in the use of the words "rating" and "evaluation."
Professor Carson responded that the use of the terms as interchangeable was an oversight that would be corrected.
Professor Lorraine asked whether professors would still see students handwriting on the forms; would it be too expensive to change this feature of the rating process?
Dr. Dick Gruetzemacher said yes, it would; if that feature were changed, there would be no hope of getting results back to professors in a timely fashion.
Professor Carson pointed out that instructors can forewarn students before the rating form is distributed, so that they can bring typed comments to class to add to it.
Professor Russell, referring to the second paragraph of the forms instructions to students, said that both the instructors and the administration, not just instructors, will make use of responses to the open-ended questions.
Professor Carson responded that the intent is that instructors use them.
Professor Russell said that, in fact, both groups will use them.
Professor Carson pointed out that changes need to be made throughout the form of the word "evaluation" to "rating."
Professor Russell asked that the second paragraph of instructions to students be amended to reflect the fact that both instructors and administrators will use the information generated by the open-ended questions.
Professor Carson suggested that the word "primarily" be omitted.
Professor Larry Ingle suggested that "but" in the third line be changed to "and," and the first "also" be omitted.
Professor Carson agreed on these changes and reviewed others: in the "This Course and You" section, last item, drop the word "class," add a box for graduate status at the end, change the spelling of "slightly."
Professor Wiley renewed the motion, as amended by the changes suggested. Professor Lorraine agreed.
The motion passed by voice vote.
Report from the Provost on the Reappointment Process
Provost Grayson Walker said that the Deans Council has been considering the reappointment process. The intention of the process has been to make sure that probationary faculty members do not fail to receive feedback on their performance. This has been done, but the reappointment process is still deficient in some respects. Provost Walker provided Council members with a calendar of the reappointment process. The office of the Provost, he pointed out, keeps a reappointment folder for each probationary faculty member which contains a few items that indicate whether the faculty member is making satisfactory progress toward tenure. When the Rank and Tenure Committee reaches a decision, we must be certain that that decision is communicated to the faculty member. The department head recommends to the Dean, the Dean to the Provost, and the Provost to the Chancellor, and the reappointment folder should have a complete record of all these proceedings. In addition, the Committee should have an up-to-date curriculum vitae, copies of student ratings of the faculty member, and the faculty members most recent EDO. Furthermore, some new documents have been added: a one-page statement of teaching philosophy and goals; written commentary by the faculty member on the results of student rating of instruction, to help provide context for administrators using these ratings and to help the faculty member use the information provided by the ratings; and written discussion by the department head, giving special attention to items that receive responses below departmental expectations. This is intended to be a developmental process. The document goes on to discuss recommendations, the appeals process, and the scope of the document itself, which is not intended to supplant the Faculty Handbook. It will be distributed to all probationary faculty and to chairs of Rank, Tenure, and Reappointment Committees.
Professor Jim Stroud pointed out that in the past the procedure has been that the Rank and Tenure Committee communicates with the department head, who then communicates with the faculty member.
Provost Walker responded that the new Faculty Handbook makes a change in this traditional procedure.
Associate Provost Jane Harbaugh said that two letters are usually sent by the committee, one to the faculty member and another to the department head. The letter to the department head might contain the vote and certain other comments which may not go directly to the faculty member.
Professor Wiley pointed out that this procedure assumes the importance of student rating of faculty, because we are not developing other modalities to evaluate teaching, such as direct peer evaluation or visitation. We need to develop such modalities so that student ratings do not assume undue importance.
Provost Walker noted that in certain units other techniques are indeed used to evaluate teaching, and that those are commented on in the letter of the Rank, Tenure and Reappointment Committee to the department head. Although the University currently has a wide variety of instruments to evaluate teaching, the only one all units have in common is the student rating of faculty.
Professor Wiley expressed bewilderment about what the committee is supposed to do; formerly, nothing was put on paper except the recommendation. He asked Provost Walker whether he anticipated that future committee reports would be longer.
Provost Walker said that generally reports are very brief, but there are exceptions. Everything in the folders can be read by everyone; they are open to the faculty member. Generally, the system works well, but it does show student rating of faculty as the only common instrument in use throughout the University.
Professor Ingle asked why the committees decision is communicated by the Dean to the faculty member rather than by the department head.
Provost Walker suggested a proposal to the Faculty Handbook Committee to change that, since it creates an awkward situation. We need a simple linear process which ends with the Chancellor, who notifies the faculty member.
Associate Provost Harbaugh noted that legal advisors had in the past counseled the University to keep the Chancellor out of the chain, since he must hear appeals. That is the reason for the procedure as outlined in the Handbook.
Professor Russell noted that his department is now considering some new procedures for the evaluation of teaching; a friend at the College of Charleston has made some suggestions, such as interviewing alumni. A candidate up for reappointment could also attach other materials to the statement of teaching philosophy, such as sample tests or syllabuses.
Professor Lorraine pointed to a legal problem in the preparation of Rank and Tenure Committee reports; if they refer to "ineffective teaching," legal difficulties may arise, but not if they state that the faculty member "needs improvement." She noted that there might be difficulties in the case of a tenure chairs writing anything negative about a faculty member. She asked whether the head has any responsibility to communicate decisions to the committee. Suppose the committee votes unanimously to promote a faculty member, but the head decides not to recommend promotion; must that decision be communicated to the committee?
Provost Walker responded that the Handbook requires that it be communicated. He said that when a rank and tenure committee examines a faculty member for reappointment or tenure any concerns about performance need to be expressed to the department head. If they are expressed in writing, that becomes part of a file that anyone can read. If, on the other hand, they are expressed in a visit of the committee chair with the head, the question is raised whether the views of the committee are being adequately communicated to the head.
Professor Stroud said that his concern was rather with whether the chair of the committee communicates directly with the faculty member involved.
Professor Lynch pointed out that there is not only evaluation of faculty by students, but also evaluation of students by faculty, i.e. the grades the faculty member gives. Should they not also be included as information in this process?
Provost Walker said that we have tried to avoid making the reappointment process more elaborate. The faculty members teaching portfolio would have those materials, and the department head and faculty member could go through that portfolio to formulate goals for the following year in a cooperative atmosphere.
Professor Anna Panorska noted that in the section on "Communication," it is stated that "Concerns at any level should be expressed in a letter." She asked whether "any level" included the levels of Provost and Chancellor.
Provost Walker said that we probably need to clarify that, so that the faculty member does not hear about concerns from more than one source in the administration.
Professor Stroud asked what exactly is the function of the Rank and Tenure Committee? To advise the department head or the faculty member? He said that he had always believed that it was to advise the department head, and that it was thus inappropriate for the committee to communicate directly with the faculty member.
Associate Provost Harbaugh pointed out that there is a national debate on that issue, which we at this University cannot resolve.
Departments have been allowed to take a variety of approaches. Currently, we say that the Rank and Tenure Committees function is both those things cited by Professor Stroud.
Professor Stroud expressed concern with the etiquette of the matter; what constitutes good manners and respectful behavior toward colleagues and administrators?
Associate Provost Harbaugh said that there is also an underlying philosophical issue; there is a judgment to be made whether communication can be accomplished more effectively by the Rank and Tenure Committee or by the department head. Perhaps it would be best not to resolve the issue definitively.
Professor Honerkamp said that if the committees notification were omitted some departments might take umbrage and see that as a faculty prerogative that was being removed.
Provost Walker presented a second item, a one-page sheet entitled "SACS Criteria." Our University has a 30-hour residency requirement and, in addition, a requirement that the last 60 hours of academic work must be at a senior-level institution. SACS has changed its accreditation criteria, so that instead of having the last 30 hours required to be taken at the institution granting the degree, and now requires that at least 25% of credit hours must be earned at the institution granting the degree. Our minimum degree requirement is 128 hours, but we cant just divide that by four, since requirements for certain degrees far exceed 128 hours. Standards adopted by MTSU, UT Martin, ETSU, and UT Memphis are listed on this sheet. We will develop a proposal of our own for the Academic Standards Committee. Some institutions offer flexibility in interpreting the word "last."
Associate Provost Harbaugh noted that Curriculum Committee members are aware that the presence in Chattanooga of a two-year institution generates appeals by students to take certain courses at times when they should not. The 30-hour upper-division rule is very weak. MTSUs 48-hour rule is more hardheaded than ours. In addition, our Petitions Committee frequently relaxes the rule.
Professor Wiley endorsed Professor Harbaughs views, and noted that a revision of our rules might result in higher enrollment in upper-division courses, and more such courses for our faculty to teach.
Provost Walker said that the analysis of statistics generated by student rating of faculty has not yet been completed, and no percentile chart is yet available, but one will be prepared later.
Report of the Curriculum Committee
As Professor Ken Venters was unable to be present, Professor Doug Kingdon presented the report. It consisted of three proposals: Sociology/Anthropology/Geography scheduling of classes, change in catalogue description of Geography 486, and a new course proposal, EDUC 426. Professor Kingdon reported very little dissension or indeed discussion on these proposals by the Curriculum Committee, and moved passage of the proposals, Professor Russell seconding. The motion was passed by voice vote.
Report of the Graduate Council
Professor Greg Sedrick brought forward a new degree program, Specialist in Educational Leadership. He reported that favorable votes had already been achieved in two readings of the proposal before the Council, and moved that the proposal be accepted, Professor Kingdon seconding.
Professor Russell expressed mixed feelings about the proposal. He had spoken with the chair of the Public Education Foundation who did not endorse the proposal because the availability of the Ed.D. seemed to make it redundant. Is this a top-quality program not duplicated by other programs in Education? Professor Russell noted that it reminded him of the old Doctor of Arts in Humanities, a degree intended to prepare teachers, which collapsed. He asked for remarks about the academic viability of the program.
Professor Stroud pointed out that there is still a Doctor of Musical Arts, a viable program which may be either education- or performance-oriented.
Associate Provost Harbaugh said that the Doctor of Arts was a short-lived attempt to prepare college instructors to teach lower-division courses without writing the dissertation, not the same thing as a Doctor of Musical Arts.
Professor Eugene Bartoo said that the Ed.S. degree is not meant to be similar to the doctorate, but intermediate between the Masters and the doctorate. It is not meant necessarily as a stepping stone to the doctorate, but as a terminal degree addressing the needs of those who will occupy positions of leadership in schools. He said that the comments of the head of the Public Education Foundation are flattering, because they imply that coursework for the degree is essentially at the doctoral level.
Professor Russell asked which M.S. programs were already in place in the School of Education.
Professor Bartoo responded that there are M.Ed. programs, but only one M.S. program. M.Ed. programs exist in elementary, secondary, special education, educational administration, and counseling.
Professor Russell asked why the program in Educational Administration might not fulfill the goals of the leadership degree.
Professor Bartoo responded that the degree in administration is license-driven, intended to lead to a principals certificate, whereas the specialist program is not designed especially for principals. Site-based management asks teachers to take a stronger leadership role, and this program is intended to help with that.
Professor Russell pointed out that teachers are already doing this without special degrees.
Professor Bartoo responded that the department hopes the specialist degree would provide increased strength and competence in this process. The coursework deals less with school administration and more with curriculum matters.
Professor Russell asked whether most courses would be offered at night.
Professor Bartoo said yes, that it would be advantageous to the program for most of the students to be actively working in the schools. Much of the work in the program will be based in live school situations.
Professor Bibler pointed out that the state recognizes a pay scale between the Masters degree and the doctorate. In Tennessee, this has not been tied to a degree program, but to a certain number of hours of coursework. In some states, for example Georgia, a degree program must have been completed. So this program would meet Georgias requirement and improve the situation in Tennessee.
Professor Colbert Whitaker said that there are two levels of recognition established by the state for pay purposes; one is the M.A. plus 30 hours, and the other specifically identifies the specialist degree. It is worth about $2,000 and has long been established. Tennessee now requires "professional endorsement" for administrators, and that requirement might be met by this degree.
Professor Russell asked how common the specialist degree is in other states.
Professor Bartoo responded that there are about 300 such degrees around the country.
Professor Wiley remarked that the title "specialist" does not seem to describe the program; perhaps it should be given another name. The title suggests a two-year degree or an Army noncom, not a post-Masters program.
Professor John Garrett said that although the program seems to be a fine one, to call it a degree in educational leadership is false advertising. It deals with no macro-issues, no issues of educational reform or resources. Perhaps the name of the program should be changed to "Advanced Educational Practice" or something similar.
Professor Bartoo responded that such a title was discussed. The department wished to orient the program toward people working in school buildings, which are the units of educational reform. The curriculum of the program will at times deal with policy questions at the "macro" level, but will focus primarily on improvements at the level of the school building.
Professor Garrett said that resources have a great deal to do with leadership; there is a great difference between exercising leadership in a poor school and in a rich one. The whole modus operandi is different.
Professor Bartoo responded that the focus of the program will be on knowing what to do with the resources available. As important as issues of policy are, the curriculum is not constructed around them. There is one course, 607the Seminar in Educational Leadershipthat does deal with "macro" policy questions.
Professor George Helton pointed out that in the course 612, Educational Change Strategies, students are required to analyze a major reform effort.
Professor Stroud asked whether this is not the kind of degree that has traditionally been used to quality supervisors or coordinators at system level.
Professor Bartoo responded that it is not, although graduates might later achieve positions of greater responsibility. The program is not geared to adding an additional license.
Professor Carson inquired about admission requirements for the program. The primary factor in the quality of the program is the quality of the students, he noted, and the GRE scores and grades required of program entrants are not very high.
Professor Bartoo responded that the department is interested in getting good students, but mainly interested in attracting those presently working in schools on school improvement projects. The program is designed to serve this geographical area, not to attract students from afar. He said that the requirement of 3.25 or better in a Masters program is not low.
Professor Carson asked whether all who meet the stated requirements will be admitted.
Professor Bartoo said that there would be a cohort group of no more than 20, and that admission would be competitive. The program would be driven to a great extent by the experience of the students in their schools.
Professor Russell asked why students need an M.S. degree before entering the program. Some Masters degrees are of very low quality.
Is it necessary that they have them?
Professor Bartoo responded that students need some background knowledge to begin the program. In addition, the requirement is a reaffirmation of advanced education at the Masters level.
Professor Lorraine said that she was impressed by the course descriptions and the proposal as a whole. She called the question.
Professor Ingle stated that he was at both Graduate Council meetings when the program was discussed, and voted in the minority in both cases. He said that this is a defining momentthe first post-Masters program seen on this campusand therefore an important decision. The most important single feature of a university is its faculty. The faculty are the heart and soul of the university. Look at the cover sheet on the first proposal. These people reviewed the document; they did not approve it. But none of these administrators offered any criticism in any form. The librarian did not criticize the lack of additional money here for library acquisitions. Professor Ingle stated that the library is woefully inadequate and in need of resources. He said that this program was defined at one point as a "cash cow," which apparently means its going to make money. Where does that money go? The Provost signed this document, but raised no questions about it. The Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Provost for Graduate Studies read this proposal as well, and Professor Ingle believed that neither one raised questions.
Professor Arfken pointed out that she had "bled all over" the document "at least twice."
Professor Ingle continued that the faculty had reached the time to take a stand. He stated that he had problems with the program and did not regard it as ideal. He saw conceptual problems: how does one teach reform? 20th -century history illustrates that reformers dont come from such programs. This program, he said, would divert resources from what we ought to be doing. The South has historically lagged behind in the achievement of educational excellence and programs designed as "cash cows" will not help the University achieve excellence. He asked that the faculty say "no" to the program.
The motion to approve the program passed by a vote of 19 in favor and 7 opposed, with one abstention.
Mr. Richard Brown reported that construction on Fletcher Hall and Maclellan Gymnasium has been halted by the Governor. He is optimistic that the projects will be reinstated in 1995-96. At the campus level, we are proceeding with design and development and faculty will continue to be relocated from Fletcher Hall to temporary space.
Professor Bibler inquired about the acquisition of Metropolitan Hospital.
Mr. Brown responded that the University is considering the acquisition of the hospital and something should be known about those plans in three to four weeks.
Professor Honerkamp inquired whether we can expect that Brock Hall might again lose electrical power for six hours. Can this be explained?
Mr. Brown explained that there was failure in a major piece of equipment in the electrical feed to Brock Hall. Temporary repairs have been made and parts have been ordered, but work with an outside vendor makes it difficult to insure promptness. He expressed regret for the inconvenience.
Professor Honerkamp pointed out that he had lost his EDO in the power failure.
Professor Stroud asked what is being done to the little bridge on Vine Street.
Mr. Brown said that the state DOT is doing bridge stabilization because the bridge was unsafe. It is hoped that in the future this area will be connected to the Riverwalk.
Professor Wiley pointed out that no provision has been made for pedestrian traffic, so that the grass in back of the Fine Arts building has been damaged, and on the other side there is random foot traffic through the parking lot.
Mr. Brown said that provision could be made for pedestrians and that his office would look into the matter.
Professor Wiley said that painted crosswalks are needed in front of the new Palmetto State building.
Mr. Brown responded that the location of crosswalks had been postponed until the construction of the Challenger Center was complete, but that now he will take action on the matter.
Professor Margaret Trimpey pointed out that there are traffic problems in the area of the library, Holt, and Cadek as a result of restricted access to Vine Street.
Mr. Brown noted that some safety measures had been taken, but that he would provide a security officer to direct traffic.
Professor Ling-Jun Wang asked whether there is any mechanism resembling the student rating of faculty which might be used to evaluate the performance of the Physical Plant office. He pointed out that it had taken two months to consider the desirability of installing an exhaust system which he had requested for a laboratory.
Mr. Brown suggested that Professor Wang send a note or contact Tom Ellis about the problem. Work should not take two months.
Professor Wang said that it usually takes about ten phone calls to get action.
Mr. Brown suggested two numbers to call for action: Tom Ellis number, 4018, or his own, 4525.
Professor Wang suggested that more than an administrator may be needed in the Physical Plant office; perhaps a dictator is indicated.
Professor Carson remarked that the temperature in Holt Hall during the last two weeks has been wonderful.
Mr. Brown remarked that there is more monitoring and accountability in these matters now and that all buildings will be reviewed and recalibrated.
Professor Wiley asked the faculty to be sure to return the Evaluation of Administration forms. So far, only 38% have been returned.
Professor Garrett remarked that the Economics Department only received the forms on Monday, and that they will take a few days to complete.
Professor Wiley inquired about the status of the library search.
Provost Walker said that salary is now being negotiated.
There was no new business.
Professor Bibler asked that the annual request form of the Committee on Committees be returned with responses as quickly as possible. He also announced that invitations to the retirement dinner on April 4 had gone out in the mail, and that it is desirable for as many faculty as possible to attend.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:02 p.m.