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THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES

April 4, 1996
Signal Mountain Room
University Center

ELECTED MEMBERS PRESENT: Betsy Alderman, Tom Bibler, Mary Brabston, Martha Butterfield, Terry Carney, Ken Carson, Prem Chopra, Neal Coulter, Ahmed Eltom, Leroy Fanning, Nick Honerkamp, Bruce Hutchinson, Phil Kazemersky, Tom Kozubowski, Renée Lorraine, John Lynch, Jim Macomber, Bob Marlowe, Gail Meyer, Anna Panorska, Tom Payne, John Phillips, Verbie Prevost, Bill Prince, Mike Russell, Joyce Smith, Maria Smith, Kristin Switala, Margaret Trimpey, Sally Young, Shela Van Ness

ELECTED MEMBERS ABSENT: Robert Duffy, Shawn Evans, Doug Kingdon, Jim McDonell, Barbara Ray, Katherine Rehyansky

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS PRESENT: Jane Harbaugh, Charles Renneisen, George Ross

AMONG THE GUESTS PRESENT: Bill Aiken, JoAnna Antzak, Deborah Arfken, Richard Becherer, Richard Casavant, Larry Ettkin, Gene Ezell, Linda Fletcher, Jim Hiestand, Larry Kleiman, Carolyn McMahon, Mark Mendenhall, Carolyn Mitchell, Ralph Moser, Judy Nixon, Vince Pellegrino, Greg Sedrick, Ken Venters, Carolyn Wiley

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 3:20 p.m. by President Martha Butterfield.

Approval of Minutes

Tom Payne observed that he had circulated a memo about what the committee had done and that Faculty Council was not to expect another! (On page 2, the minutes read, "Tom Payne said he will circulate a memo.") The minutes were approved as amended.

Committee Reports

Student Rating of Faculty

Chair Ken Carson explained that the committee had two recommendations: After the current supply of rating forms has been exhausted, a note should be added explaining to students that the rating form is not the appropriate place to make complaints about such matters as sexual harassment or failure of the professor to meet class. Also, the committee wanted to remind administrators that the written student comments were not to be copied.

Professor Mike Russell moved, and Professor Tom Bibler seconded the motion to approve both recommendations.

Professor Bruce Hutchinson asked if it was required that the administration read these comments. If it is not, shouldn’t they be given immediately to the instructor? Professor Carson explained that the Committee had considered that recommendation, but disagreed and did not act on it. He approves that suggestion and believes it should be given as a charge to next year’s committee. President Butterfield said she thinks it is part of the procedure because department heads should be able to work with faculty who need guidance about their teaching. Professor Jane Harbaugh was not able to clarify the matter further, so President Butterfield said that she would check into it and report back to Council.

Professor Mike Russell noted that at least in the College of Arts and Sciences, the written comments went first to the dean, then to the department heads. President Butterfield recalled that she had expressed concern about this practice at an earlier meeting. Many faculty got their ratings too late for the EDO conference and for improving their teaching. Professor Russell said that the experts who spoke about evaluation of faculty worried that administrators could separate out a few negative comments.

Professor Verbie Prevost noted that if the evaluations come from the top down, context is lost. As an example, she taught a Freshman Seminar last semester in which only CAP students were enrolled; most people would not know that.

Professor Renée Lorraine asked why only medians were given. Why weren’t means included? Professor Carson said that last year’s committee decided that the median score is a better measure of tendencies. It does, however, reduce the ability to have inter-faculty comparisons.

Professor Gail Meyer asked, "To whom do students feel that they are addressing the comments?" She noted that most sound as if they are addressing someone other than the instructor. Professor Carson noted that the instructions tell students the results will be seen by others. With regard to recommendation one, Professor Nick Honerkamp said that he thinks telling the teacher that he or she should show up for class is all right. Professor Carson said the committee wanted to make sure students knew that there was a way to make formal complaints.

The motion passed by voice vote.

Graduate Council

Professor Greg Sedrick, chair, said that there were four recommendations, and he wanted to take them one at a time.

Professor Leroy Fanning moved, and Professor Terry Carney seconded the motion to approve the proposed change in engineering. There was no discussion, and the motion passed 28-0-1.

Professor Renée Lorraine moved to approve the change proposed by English. Professor Tom Bibler seconded the motion, which passed 30-0-0.

Professor Renée Lorraine moved to approve, and Professor Kristin Switala seconded the motion to approve the Criminal Justice proposal. Professor Mike Russell commented that he likes the number of research projects, but wondered why the starting date was listed as Summer 1996. Professor Ken Venters explained that some of the courses are being offered in summer school with 510 numbers. With approval of the curriculum change, they can change the course numbers.

The motion passed 30-0-0.

Professor Renée Lorraine moved and Professor Nick Honerkamp seconded the motion to approve the changes in the MBA program. Professor Terry Carney questioned the economics requirement; he thought it was not defined well. Professor Bruce Hutchinson said that his department had worked out a compromise with the School of Business. The course would have two hours credit. Although the course description is in the materials Council members received, they have not yet developed the syllabus. That will be written for the Fall of 1996. When Professor Carney asked why he had not signed off on it, Professor Hutchinson explained where his signature could be found on the sheet. The motion passed 28-3-0.

President Butterfield said that Larry Kleiman had discussed the proposals at the recent Counselors to the President meeting and that the UT system people were impressed.

Faculty Rating of Administration Committee

Professor David Shepherd said that his committee had addressed the issue of the response rate of the faculty rating of administration survey. They sent questionnaires to ask why people do or do not respond. Most people said that they thought the low response rate could be attributed to the fact that faculty thought it had no effect; others believed the form was too long, that faculty feared reprisal, or that faculty were apathetic.

Professor Shepherd commented that it seemed unfair to say it had no effect. It is only one piece of information, and we shouldn’t expect it to have an immediate effect. In his letter accompanying the survey this year, he will explain the process to people. For instance, in a small department, the forms do not leave Institutional Research. He agreed that the form was probably too long, because many people had no way to judge the administrator’s performance on many issues. He recommends that next year’s committee shorten the form evaluating the Provost and Chancellor.

Professor Margaret Trimpey moved, and Professor Tom Bibler seconded the motion to receive the report. Dean Timothy Summerlin said that he agreed with Professor Shepherd; it is a valuable piece of information. One negative remark does not make you want to get rid of the writer of the comment. He believes that the Provost should have information about the effectiveness of deans, but he thinks the form ought to be about one quarter of its current size.

Dean Summerlin also wanted to go on record as saying that next rating period, he would let faculty have their comments first and that he would see them later.

Professor Mike Russell asked if the department heads get the written comments of their faculty. Professor David Shepherd said that these go to the dean, not to the department head.

Professor Bruce Hutchinson said that as department head, he never got comments in the School of Business. His dean did talk with him generally about them. President Butterfield said that she had shared Knoxville’s procedure with the committee, but it is a much more formal procedure. Memphis is looking at a similar system. She thinks it was intended that they get the comments unless it is a very small department.

Professor David Shepherd said that he will find out and let people know in the cover letter which goes out with the form.

Professor Renée Lorraine observed that even if the comments were typed, heads might recognize certain situations.

The motion passed by voice vote.

Part-Time Faculty Committee

Chair Joyce Smith said that the Committee wanted to find out more about the profile of part-time faculty because it is a large and diverse group. Their four major concerns were salary, advancement, security, and benefits. The Committee came up with recommendations to address these problems. Professor Terry Carney moved to receive the report and endorse their recommendations. Professor Nick Honerkamp seconded the motion.

Professor Mike Russell said that he was in sympathy with their concerns, but he realizes that some departments do not even have money for phones for full-time faculty. Professor Bob Marlowe said that our recommendations should not be construed as being a departmental charge; financial issues need to be addressed at a higher level. Professor Kristin Switala said that her husband is an adjunct professor in Philosophy and that all the concerns in the report are true. She heavily supports it.

Professor Shela Van Ness feels that these issues are at the core of good teaching. She wants to have a committee to work on the problems next year. It’s a question of allocation of resources, space, and the like. It deserves a committee. Professor Renée Lorraine asked if that was an amendment. President Butterfield said it could be addressed by the part-time committee. The motion passed by voice vote.

Library Committee

Professor Mike Whittle, chair, reported that Faculty Council had already voted on his committee’s recommendations; this is just their report. Professor Tom Payne moved, and Professor Nick Honerkamp seconded the motion to receive the report. The motion passed by voice vote.

Professor Martha Butterfield asked if we had the "Current Contents" system yet. At the Counselors to the President meeting, this system was discussed. Professor Whittle said that they are currently negotiating to get the system.

Handbook Committee

Professor Nick Honerkamp explained their five recommendations and one new item, the matter of promotion, tenure, and reappointment checklists. Because not everyone was aware that use of these checklists was required, Professor Honerkamp wanted to include them in the appendices. Professor Tom Bibler asked if his committee had addressed the calendar. Professor Honerkamp said no. There is apparently some variance in the calendar and there should not be. He is not sure that the Handbook Committee should be in charge of being watch dog on that matter. President Butterfield said that she and Professor Gene Ezell had looked at these matters with the Provost. At future meetings, they will try to make the items needed even more specific. The timeline for appeals also needs to be considered. Professor Jane Harbaugh said that she thought the time for appeals issue had already been resolved with the last revision of the Handbook. President Butterfield explained that the calendar in the Handbook is not the one which had been sent out by the Provost.

President Butterfield said that we need to receive the report and take three items—numbers 3, 4, and 5—to the full faculty. Professor Leroy Fanning moved and Professor Maria Smith seconded the motion, which passed by voice vote.

New Business

Mr. George Ross presented results of his findings on salaries for Hamilton County, Chattanooga City, and UTC teachers. Although the public school figures are current, UTC’s date back to the 1980’s. The figures will be circulated with the minutes.

Professor Bruce Hutchinson said that the figures showed that all teachers are underpaid, but further, it really demonstrated compression of UTC salaries. He appreciated Mr. Ross’s work, but what he had really wanted to know is how our salaries have changed relatively over the last decade with respect to public school teachers. He believes that public school teachers have received larger percentage raises over the last decade. What has been the per year percentage increase versus the average percentage increase at UTC?

Professor Margaret Trimpey said she believed that public schools have two budgets, one from the state and one from the city or county. Professor Hutchinson agreed, and said that he is interested in the combined salary. President Butterfield noted that we have not had a raise for two years. If we get three percent this year, it is like averaging one percent per year.

Mr. Ross asked for clarification. If he starts at 1986 and shows annual change, is that what we are interested in? Professor Hutchinson said yes; please go year by year and show the percentage change in salary.

Professor Honerkamp interjected, "Once we know that, so what?" Professor John Lynch thought that it is important to know the facts; they might provide good propaganda. Associate Provost Harbaugh noted that the State of Tennessee is fiftieth in funding public education.

Professor Terry Carney said that salary compression is central, but it has nothing to do with city and county teachers. Our new hires provide enormous compression with long-term faculty. The administration should look into this. He would like to see salary compression data within our own ranks.

Professor Mike Russell said that his wife, a city school teacher, has had a higher percentage of raises over the last ten years than he has. Professor Leroy Fanning said that if you are a full professor, there is nothing to help you within the confines of the University except receiving a Guerry Professorship.

Professor John Lynch noted that although we have nine-month contracts, we get paid over a twelve-month basis. Some UTC faculty might like to be paid over nine months and invest the money. Professor Harbaugh explained that UTC was required to pay faculty over a twelve-month period at the time of the merger. Mr. Ralph Moser confirmed that all UT campuses do this. Professor Tom Bibler said that CEA had voted at least three times to adopt our twelve-month pay system and has been turned down by the Department of Education because of accounting practices. Professor Carney suggested that it is cheaper for the University to pay us the way they do.

Professor Kristin Switala was concerned about the process by which students are informed about scholarships. She has reason to believe that many students may not be informed about scholarships they are eligible for. Professor Verbie Prevost said that when her children inquired, they were sent all the information they requested; she believes that the key is to ask. Professor Gail Meyer’s experience was that if the students apply to UTC and are eligible for certain scholarships, they get some information automatically. Mr. Bill Aiken said that he was familiar with the incident Professor Switala alluded to and that he had met with the student and parents. In fact, the student was not qualified for some of the scholarships; further, she was a joint enrollment student and had not visited her high school guidance office. Professor Harbaugh explained that the shut down of the federal government led to a one-month delay this year; it is the federal government, not UTC, which is responsible for the slowness.

Mr. Aiken said that although the situation Professor Switala mentioned was not the fault of the University, they are always interested in improving communication. Announcements about financial aid awards should be coming from Joel Harrell next week.

Mr. Mark Swafford of the Student Government Association said that they will produce a Student Planner in August with dates for sporting events and the like. He asked people who had dates of department events to send them to Student Affairs so that they could be included in the planner.

He said that SGA was concerned about student evaluation of the faculty and urged faculty to work with students rather than fight with them. In Knoxville, the Sunshine Law has been invoked to make it possible to publish faculty evaluations. Professor Gail Meyer observed that she had found published evaluations helpful when she was a student here in the seventies.

Old Business

In the absence of Mr. Richard Brown, President Butterfield noted that the Metro Building is now being cleared of asbestos. They will start tearing out non-support walls soon. The progress in Fletcher and new student housing is more apparent. Construction on the new parking garage will begin as soon as school is out. The Alumni Office has moved, and the committee is still working on furnishing the Faculty Club part.

The resolution about evolution went to all legislators and the Governor. President Butterfield received only one reply, from Senator Douglas Henry. At this point, a monetary amount has been attached to the bill in committee; Senator Henry believes that there is little chance the bill will be heard.

President Butterfield reported that they had discussed extension of the 401(k) contribution at the recent Counselors to the President’s meeting. Although the money is not in the governor’s budget, negotiation is ongoing. If you are interested in urging the legislature to approve the extension, write to encourage them to vote for House Bill HB2038 or Senate Bill SB2366.

Concerns

Dean Rocky Renneisen said that the NCAA peer review committee will be here soon. Their visit occurs every five years.

The results of the SGA elections are: Jonathan Hutchins, president; Jason Graves, vice-president; and Elicia Jenkins, treasurer. Three were nominated for consideration as the student member of the THEC board: Kelli Wooten, Tad Jenkins, and Matt Geren. The governor will select one of these to serve.

Professor Bruce Hutchinson said he wanted to raise a concern from the Economics Department, which was put into the position of being able only to react, rather than to participate in the economics changes in the MBA curriculum proposal. During the past year, since the Economics Department moved to the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business Administration (SOBA) revised the MBA curriculum, to change Economics 501’s credit hours from three to two, and rewrote the course’s description and syllabus.

He believes that there are three possible representation relationships among equals:

1. A group picks its own representative. Economics had no opportunity to do this.

2. If you do not have a representative, you are told who your representative is. This was not done.

3. If a person is picked without your input, the person should be knowledgeable. This did not happen.

Economics was not invited to the SOBA meetings. The School of Business Administration says that Jeff Clark was the economics representative on business committees. When economics moved, Professor Clark stayed in the School of Business because of his unique position; he negotiated this with the Dean and Provost. Professor Hutchinson did not feel that Professor Clark was representing the Economics Department in the School of Business.

Economics first realized what was happening when Professor Leila Pratt was asked to sign off on an economics syllabus. She refused. Then Professor John Fulmer called him (Professor Hutchinson) to ask him to sign off on some matters. Professor Hutchinson told him that approval of curriculum is the prerogative of the faculty, not of the department head. Then Economics was given two days to write a syllabus (Econ 501) for a course that the School of Business Administration had been working on for a year. The reason Professor Hutchinson did not speak out about this matter during the discussion of the MBA revision is because he did not want to question the value of the proposal. Professor Hutchinson believes that changing another academic unit’s courses without involvement of that unit should not be tolerated by Faculty Council.

Professor Nick Honerkamp said that he did not understand how the School of Business could write a course with another department’s name on it. Professor Hutchinson said that was his point exactly. Professor Ezell asked if the course description was written by Professor Clark. Professor Hutchinson said no. Professor Mike Russell asked where the description was; Professor Hutchinson explained that it had now been written by the economics faculty. Other changes were made by taking economics content from existing courses and putting it in other business courses. Professor Hutchinson explained that Economics 501 was still being taught by economics faculty, but the School of Business implied that if Economics did not agree with their proposal, the School would take it over and put it under their own heading.

Professor Tom Payne believed that commitments should be made to strengthen communication. The course in question has been taught by economics faculty, and the School of Business still wants them to do it. They still want economics to be a supporting department of the School of Business. The course description is not in the packet because they are still working it out with economics.

Professor Hutchinson noted that the concepts economics course was discussed between the Provost, Graduate Council, and the President of Faculty Council; the Economics Department had no input until after that discussion. Professor Terry Carney remarked that situations like this are why we have cover sheets; if economics did not think it was done right, they should not have signed. Professor Greg Sedrick said that he agreed with Professor Carney. As a result of this, Graduate Council plans to revise their cover sheet. The current sheet is only an acknowledgment that the proposal has been seen; the new one will have approval and disapproval check-offs as well as a place for comments, like the undergraduate approval sheet.

President Butterfield said that no specific courses had been identified in what she saw. She thinks Professor Hutchinson has raised a good point. Similar issues came up when revision of General Education was discussed. We must be careful that one school or department does not develop a course and present it to another department for approval.

President Butterfield wondered if Professor Hutchinson thought Faculty Council should take action. Professor Hutchinson explained that he had no suggestion for action, but wanted Faculty Council to know that Economics had been cut out of the process entirely by the School of Business. He believes that curriculum issues concerning course content and hours which affect another academic unit should be announced early on so that the unit has an opportunity for input.

Announcements

President Butterfield announced that faculty will receive General Education proposals soon. No vote will be taken this year, but the committee wants feedback.

At the recent Counselors to the President meeting, Memphis brought up the question of cashability of TIAA-CREF. Eli Fly recalled that Chattanooga had already asked for it. The system people are beginning to find out the extent of interest. The State does not restrict cashability of 403(b). The Legislative Pensions Committee may be willing to look at the cashability issue.

Because everyone’s budget is tight, other campuses are looking at non-traditional ways of funding needs. For example, Bradley University’s students voluntarily paid $100/student to put computers into dorm rooms. Work is being done to streamline payments from finance. A paperless system is being explored, which would include electronic filing of travel reimbursement forms.

A streamlined phased retirement plan, different from UTC’s current practice, is being considered. A professor may work for 50% of the normal nine-month contract, based on his or her salary at the time of retirement. Pro-rata pay raises would be given. The teacher would have to sign a contract for a certain number of years. The university would pay health insurance and Medigap amounts.

Professor Terry Carney reported that he had heard from Coach Robert Espeseth that the rowing team was not going to be permitted to compete in Atlanta this weekend. He thinks it is unfair not to let these fifty students, who have spent six days a week preparing for the event, participate.

Mr. George Ross said that he knew there was an insurance problem, but he did not know a decision had been made. Professor Carney said that he had heard it from Coach Espeseth two hours ago. He was certain that students would sign a waiver.

Professor Leroy Fanning asked what action we could take to help them get to go; President Butterfield reiterated the question. Professor Fanning asked if there could be a temporary policy on the issue. Professor Carney said that Coach Espeseth had received the word from Mr. Richard Brown.

Professor Fanning said that the University would get negative publicity from this and that we should try to prevent it. Mr. George Ross said that he would check on it right after the meeting and try to do something.

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 5:07 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sally Young

Secretary

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