THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
February 20, 1997
Signal Mountain Room
Elected Members Present: Ralph Anderson, Tatiana Bilgildeyeva, Martha Butterfield, Prakash Damshala, Robert Duffy, Joe Dumas, Fritz Efaw, Gene Ezell, Marvin Ernst, Leroy Fanning, Jim Hiestand, Bruce Hutchinson, Tom Kozubowski, Craig Laing, Renee Lorraine, Deborah McAllister, Bob Marlowe, Gail Meyer, Judy Miler, Greg O'Dea, John Phillips, Laurie Prather, Bill Prince, Barbara Ray, Mike Russell, Joyce Smith, Jim Stroud, Kristin Switala, Margaret Trimpey, Shela Van Ness,
Elected Members Absent: Verbie Prevost, Farhad Raiszadeh, David Shepherd, Larry Tillman, John Trimpey, Bruce Wallace
Ex-Officio Members Present: Sheila Delacroix, Jane Harbaugh, Fred Obear, Charles Renneisen, George Ross, Tim Summerlin
Among the Guests Present: Deborah Arfken, Tom Bibler, Richard Brown, Herb Burhenn, Chuck Cantrell, Barbara James, Lanny Janeksela, Ziad Keilany, Immaculate Kizza, Donald Klinefelter, Ellen Neufeldt, Kit Rushing, GeneSchlereth, Daniel Sciarra, Maria Smith, Felicia Sturzer, Randy Walker, Colbert Whitaker
Important Actions and Announcements
*Council approved 20 undergraduate curriculum items and 2 proposals from the Graduate Council (see addenda).
*The following motion was approved: "Pending the completion of the BESC's Summer School Report to the Provost, the Committee strongly recommends that instructional expenditures for the upcoming summer sessions be at least commensurate with those incurred last year."
*$1,435,000 has been impounded for fiscal year 1997-8. Other cuts are expected for the remainder of the present fiscal year.
Processional piano music was "Czardas" by V. Monti, which was accompanied on the tambourine by Ms. Irina Polyakova.
Call to Order
President Gene Ezell called the meeting to order at 3:17 p. m.
Approval of Minutes
Professors Mike Russell and Kristin Switala moved approval of the Minutes. Professor Gene Schlereth stated that on the first paragraph of p. 3, line 13 should read that is the prerogative of the departments "to establish prerequisites, and that the Curriculum Committee determines who signs off on proposals." Professor McAllister noted that her name was misspelled a total of 4 times on page 3. The first-year rate for the Faculty Club is $150. "FLAG" should read "FLAN" on p. 3. (Apologies are extended to Professor McAllister, and for p. 3.) The minutes were approved as amended.
Board of Trustees Meeting: Chancellor Obear
Chancellor Fred Obear reported on recent developments at UTK and UTM discussed at the Board of Trustees meeting, and announced that next spring's meeting will be hosted by UTC. President Ezell announced that Professor Martha Butterfield will become a member of the UT Board of Trustees on July 1 of this year. Chancellor Obear noted that July 1 is just about the time he will be leaving.
Chancellor Search Committee: Professor Gail Meyer
Professor Gail Meyer announced that the Committee had prioritized the candidates for the Chancellor position, and will soon be selecting five or six candidates to be interviewed for the position. Professor Bruce Hutchinson asked why, in light of Sunshine laws, the Committee is not required to release the names of top candidates for the position. Professor Meyer answered that this was a good question. Her understanding of the response is that while candidates have been prioritized, no candidates have been officially eliminated. It is not deemed necessary to divulge the Committee's priorities to the public. [This suggests that the University might want to do more prioritizing of sensitive material.] In any case, Professor Meyer indicated that the names of the top candidates will be released before the Committee contacts them about interviews. This should happen soon, and the new Chancellor should be announced by June.
Budget and Economic Status Committee: Professor Tom Payne
Professor Bruce Hutchinson moved that the agenda be interrupted for a special report from the Budget and Economic Status Committee (BESC). The motion was seconded, and passed by voice vote with one "no." Professor Tom Payne then moved on behalf of the BESC that "Pending the completion of the BESC's Summer School Report to the Provost, the Committee strongly recommends that instructional expenditures for the upcoming summer sessions be at least commensurate with those incurred last year." In the lengthy discussion that followed, Professor Ralph Anderson asked if cuts were planned for this year's summer school budget. Acting Provost Summerlin stated that due to recent and impending budget cuts, $100,000 had been cut from this year's summer school expenditures. Professor Mike Russell suggested that this year's expenditures should be higher than last year's in order to be "commensurate," in that faculty have received raises in the meantime and thus will require higher summer school salaries. Professor Ziad Keilany asked if he might address the Council, and was granted permission to do so. In an intense and elegantly expressed presentation that was greeted with silent attention, Professor Keilany began by relaying that in the 30 years he had spent at UTC, he had always understood that it was a right, not a privilege, for UTC faculty to teach summer school. He believes that the proposed cut in summer school spending is disgraceful. Students expect experienced, full-time faculty members to teach them, and students will leave UTC if such faculty are not provided. If the current trend continues, he predicted, summer school classes will soon be the purview of adjunct professors. Further, many faculty members rely on the extra funds provided by summer school in order to get by; new faculty often come here at least partially because of the right to teach summer school. As long as faculty can get a sufficient number of students for summer school classes, they should be entitled to teach those classes. It is typical of an institution that values inanimate objects over faculty, he continued, that next year's proposed budget includes $60,000 for lockers, $50,000 for a score board, and $50,000 for Patton House furnishings. Moreover, cutting the summer school budget could provide a financial burden for next year, as summer school not only pays for itself but generates a profit. Why cut a profitable enterprise? In doing so, the University is cutting its own throat. Summer school is of vital import to both faculty and students. If faculty relent on this issue, Professor Keilany concluded, our rights will be trampled--and the fault will be our own.
Chancellor Obear asked if passing the BESC's motion would entail that summer school is at the top of the list of faculty budget priorities. The Council has made other budget recommendations in the recent past, including increasing the library budget; would those recommendations be superseded by this one? Professor Hutchinson responded that because summer school pays for itself, the issue of sacrificing other important programs for summer school expenditures is a red herring. The Chancellor suggested that comparing the import of summer school funding to the funding of other important programs is no more of a red herring than comparing summer school funding to funding for a score board, the latter of which comes from capital outlay monies that cannot be used for summer school. Professor Gail Meyer noted that not all faculty who are able to procure enough students for s summer school class are presently allowed to teach; some faculty must wait, two, three or more years for an opportunity to teach summer school. Vice Chancellor George Ross suggested that the Council defer action on the motion until the BESC finishes its report to the Provost on summer school. Professor Payne responded that the Committee has not only made short-term recommendations about this year's summer sessions but will make long-term recommendations about summer school in general. While the final report will take some time to complete, the BESC recommends that the summer school budget not be cut in the meantime. The Chancellor noted that this summer will involve two fiscal years (before and after July 1), and that the Provost is still waiting for news of cuts predicted for the remainder of this fiscal year. To deal with cuts in both or either fiscal year(s) presents a special challenge for the Provost. Professor John Trimpey asked whose responsibility it is if a college or department overruns its budget. Acting Provost Tim Summerlin responded that each individual unit (the Provost's office, a given department) is responsible for correcting any budgetary overruns, and has 24 months to make the correction. Chancellor Obear remarked that Provost Summerlin has a $200,000 deficit to deal with from last year.
Acting Provost Summerlin suggested that perhaps he should say a few words about this issue. (Ensuing laughter eased some tension.) He stressed that no one enjoys recommending summer school cuts, would have to be perverse to take pleasure in it. He believes that a strong argument can be made for increasing the summer school budget, and remarked that he would expect Council members to vote as conscience dictates on the motion at hand. He then made the following points: 1. Whether summer school is a right or a privilege is a matter of some ambiguity. Traditionally, summer school decisions have been made more on the basis of history or tradition than on the basis of where students are and what they want. Each school and department must be assessed individually in terms of summer school needs, and we must determine how to get the best return in terms of enrollment. 2. The Provost has asked the Deans if anyone who had planned on teaching summer school will now not be able to teach due to cuts, and thus far has heard of no such cases. 3. If we look closely at what we should be offering, when it should be offered and by whom, there is no reason why we cannot come very close to matching summer school enrollments from last year. 4. There are a host of ways to increase the amount of summer instruction. We must look at what courses are most needed by students. Then it must be determined what it will cost to teach a particular course within a particular department. In departments where there is particular pressure to offer more courses, a small number of students might best be taught by a professor whose salary is relatively low; a larger number of students would warrant a higher-paid professor. Professor Jim Hiestand asked if the Provost meant that it would be necessary to pinpoint a particular salary that a department can afford for a class needed and then search for a professor with a roughly corresponding salary. In practice, he thinks, such a process would be extremely difficult to effect. Professor Butterfield wanted to make sure the 1/32 policy for each credit hour taught in summer school would not be altered in any way. The Provost responded that as he had indicated at a previous meeting, he had no plans for any changes along these lines. Professor Kristin Switala asked if there were enough junior faculty to teach summer courses if senior faculty turn out to be too expensive for a department's budget. Further, will there a move to using adjuncts to teach summer school? Provost Summerlin responded that there is no plan to replace professors with adjuncts in summer school courses. Professor Dumas suggested that there is still a danger that we may be moving in this direction. Provost Summerlin then replied that one possible scenario would be that a full professor who generally teaches two summer school sections might instead teach one section, with the other section being taught by a junior faculty member or an adjunct. But there is no plan to replace, for example, two full professors with five adjuncts. He also noted that some departments presently use adjuncts, and some do not. Professor Bruce Hutchinson then relayed that he had prepared a report on summer school several years ago, and he has yet to receive a response from the administration on this report. Among other things, Professor Hutchinson determined that given a professor who makes $50,000 per annum, it would take only 8 students to make a profit on a summer school course taught by this professor. Professor Keilany added that no one has ever identified a flaw in Professor Hutchinson's report. The Provost replied that Professor Hutchinson's report was an admirable analysis, has not been forgotten, and is being examined by the BESC and others. Professor Colbert Whitaker, a visitor to the Council, noted that 90% of the discussion had been about expenditures, and not about qualitative aspects of summer school teaching. The most efficient and profitable way to teach summer school may not provide the best quality of teaching, and this could be destructive to both institutional morale and instructional goals. Dean Charles Renneisen indicated that he agreed with Provost Summerlin that students want as many courses as possible to be taught in the summer. He also added that transient students from other Universities sometimes decide to transfer to UTC on the basis of the summer school courses they have elected here. Professor Margaret Trimpey called the question, and Professor Barbara Ray seconded the motion, which passed by voice vote with one "no." The motion that this year's summer school expenditures be at least commensurate with last year's then carried by voice vote with one "no." (While the Secretary is keenly aware of the import of discussing the summer school budget, she will be sending a dozen roses to Professor M. Trimpey.)
Curriculum Committee: Professor Gene Schlereth
Professor Schlereth moved approval of the entire curriculum package (see addendum). Concerning the proposed Geology major requirements, Professor Meyer asked if Geology students would be apprised of what science courses are most appropriate to elect. Professor Habte Churnet assured Professor Meyer that they would be. Professor Bruce Hutchinson observed that the Council had previously decided that all proposed curriculum proposals should include a list of course objectives. Many of the courses in the packet did not include such objectives. He indicated an intention to move to separate those course proposals without objectives as soon as he could determine exactly which ones they were. Professor Schlereth stated that the Curriculum Guidelines did not specify course objectives as a requirement for proposals. Professor Hutchinson countered that the Curriculum Guidelines should not take precedence over Council decisions. However, in the spirit of collegiality he would let the present set of proposed courses off the hook if the Curriculum Guidelines were to be changed and future course proposals were to contain objectives. Professor Butterfield and others backed Professor Hutchinson up on this recommendation. There was no more discussion on the motion to approve the entire curriculum package, and the motion carried unanimously by voice vote.
Professor Maria Smith moved approval of proposals on the revised M. Ed. in Guidance and Counseling and the revised procedure for grade appeals in the Graduate Division (see addendum). The motion passed by voice vote with one abstention. Professor Butterfield asked if the grade appeals proposal would require two readings by the full faculty. Associate Provost Harbaugh indicated that in her opinion it would. The Chancellor suggested that the faculty could vote to waive the first reading if they so desired. Dr. Harbaugh indicated that there is also a precedent for adjourning a meeting and then reassembling. (What with secret prioritizing and back-to-back faculty meetings, no one could claim this campus isn't shrewd.)
Budget Report: Vice Chancellor George Ross
Vice Chancellor Ross reported that $1,435,000 had been impounded for fiscal year 1997-8. Other cuts are expected for the remainder of the present fiscal year ending June 30. A recent Chattanooga Times article was incorrect in stating that no cuts would be imposed. Budget hearings are being held with various units on campus and are nearly complete. A preliminary report will be presented to the System Office next week; Vice Chancellor Ross will report on this event at the next Council meeting in March. Vice Chancellor Ross also announced that the previously reported retirement benefit increase in TIAA-CREF from 10% to 11% is incorrect. There has been a retirement rate increase in TCRS from 4% to 7%. This will affect about 490 (mostly nonexempt) employees. With respect to the impoundment, Professor Butterfield remarked that we must face that cuts will have to be made, even in areas important to faculty and students. But as with the current financial crisis in Health Care, we must also do what is right. She also suggested that students may become an important bargaining chip in that they are likely to complain--and be heard--when they are compelled to bear the brunt of the impending budget reductions. Faculty Council must be involved in the budget process, but it is important to remember that the entire University is in this together. Vice Chancellor Ross reported that Professor Payne and President Ezell sit in on administrative budgetary hearings, and help is solicited from the general faculty as well. Provost Summerlin indicated that he appreciated Professor Butterfield's comments, and that he had recently sent a memorandum to faculty (dated Feb. 18) urging departments to discuss their 1997-8 budgets among themselves. Any Head that does not call a meeting for this purpose should be urged by the department's faculty to do so. Professor Wallace asked if there were any specific cuts we can expect, and if cuts would be across the board. Chancellor Obear indicated that cuts would not be across the board. He did remind the Council that 80% of our budget goes for salaries and fringe benefits, however, and that it has been necessary to freeze or close out certain positions in past budget crises. Professor Jim Stroud stated that he had shared the contents of the Provost's memorandum on the 1997-8 budget with his students and had urged them to contact their representatives about the problem. Professor John Trimpey asked if there is any portion of our budget over which the System has no jurisdiction. The Chancellor replied that funds come straight to UTC from the Office of the Governor and the General Assembly.
Assistant Vice Chancellor Richard Brown bore good or bad tidings, depending on one's degree of attachment to nicotine. He announced that in any building with a smoking area, no smoking is allowed in private offices. If complaints are brought to campus security about smoking in offices within buildings in which there is no designated smoking area, those complaints will be investigated and acted upon. This policy is in accordance with OSHA guidelines, and any questions or complaints may be directed to Safety Inspector Jim Pulliam at the Office of Safety and Environmental Health. Professor Wallace reiterated a past complaint about smoking in the lounge of the Fine Arts Center. Dean Renneisen indicated that he had also heard students complain about that area. Assistant Vice Chancellor Brown promised to look into the problem. When asked why there was no smoking lounge in Holt or Lupton, he responded that Holt contained dangerous chemicals and that Lupton is full of highly flammable materials. Professor Switala asked if the Art Department contained dangerous chemicals as well. The Council looked to Professor Wallace, who seemed noncommittal on this matter.
Professor Tom Bibler announced that he has been at UTC for 26 years, and that there has been talk about the privilege of having a Faculty Club ever since he arrived. He praised the lovely atmosphere, good food and conviviality at the new Faculty Club, and urged faculty to send in their membership dues at the special, low rate of $150. Apparently moved by Professor Bibler's remarks, President Ezell handed Professor Bibler a check on the spot.
New Business, Announcements and Adjournment
President Ezell reported that he had received an anonymous letter containing allegations of misconduct in the Athletics department. While he was concerned about various misconceptions in the letter, he did like the part at the end in which the writer indicated that President Ezell was "a man of integrity." The Chancellor is also very concerned about the contents of the letter (except for the part about President Ezell), and is eager to dispel any rumors that may be circulating as a result of its erroneous contents. President Ezell indicated he would discuss the letter with the Executive Committee and provide a full report and response at the next meeting. He then moved on behalf of Professor Verbie Prevost that Ms. Sharon Kolling and Ms. Robin Fortenberry be appointed as alternates to the Student Conduct Board. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote. Professor Hutchinson asked when the 1997-8 academic calendar will be available. Acting Provost Summerlin indicated it should be complete and could be attached to the Faculty Council Minutes. Professor Lorraine reported on three upcoming events during Women's History Month: an Affirmative Action panel with Professors Stephanie Bellar, Betsy Darken, Jim Hiestand, Ralph Hood, Bruce Hutchinson and Loretta Prater (Tuesday, March 4, 10:50 -12:05, Raccoon Mountain Room); a Same-Sex Schools panel with Professors Lorraine, Marcia Noe, Leila Pratt, Jim Ward, and students Shannon Schanley and Maria Weidner (Wed., March 26, at 2:00-3:30, Raccoon Mountain Room); and a dramatic presentation of the life of ex-slave, abolitionist and women's rights advocate Sojourner Truth by the acclaimed, Boston-based actress Kathryn Woods (Friday, March 7, 8:00 p.m., Roland Hays Auditorium). Admission is free, classes relevant to the subject matter are welcome, and gourmet refreshments for the Sojourner Truth event will be home-baked by a campus sorority and purchased at the Winn Dixie by the Women's Studies Committee. President Ezell apologized to all of those guests of the Council who had had to wait to be called upon until all Council members had spoken their piece; he was doing his best to adhere to Robert's Rules, and meant no disrespect. This man of integrity adjourned the meeting at 5:11 p.m.
Renee Cox Lorraine
Cartoons dedicated to Black History Month