THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
January 30, 1997
Elected Members Present: Ralph Anderson, Tatiana Bilgildeyeva, Martha Butterfield, Joe Dumas, Fritz Efaw, Leroy Fanning, Jim Hiestand, Bruce Hutchinson, Craig Laing, Renee Lorraine, Deborah McAllister, Bob Marlowe, Gail Meyer, Greg O' Dea, John Phillips, Verbie Prevost, Bill Prince, Barbara Ray, Farhad Raiszadeh, Mike Russell, Dave Shepherd, Joyce Smith, Jim Stroud, Shela Van Ness, Bruce Wallace
Elected Members Absent: Robert Duffy, Marvin Ernst, Gene Ezell, Tom Kozubowski, Judy Miler, Kristin Switala, Larry Tillman, Margaret Trimpey, John Trimpey
Ex-Officio Members Present: Sheila Delacroix, Fred Obear, Tim Summerlin
Among the Guests Present: Tom Bibler, Chuck Cantrell, Terry Carney, Dick Gruetzemacher, Lanny Janeksela, Loretta Prater, Gene Schlereth, Clint Smullen, Greg Sedrick, Gene Schlereth, Mary Tanner, Robert Weaver, Dan Webb
Important Announcements and Actions
*Council approved a new section on "Academic Disputes" for the Handbook.
*39 Curricular items were approved, and one from FLAN was tabled.
*Council approved several recommendations of the Committee on Faculty Evaluation of Administration, including new evaluation forms for the Provost and Chancellor.
*The new mascot is here to stay.
*Faculty members who handle Honor Court violations by themselves are asked to forward the names of the students and the circumstances of the actions to the Chair of the Honor Court.
Processional gospel music was presented by UTC graduate and Chattanooga State Music Coordinator Neshawn Bynum.
Call to Order
First Vice President Verbie Prevost called the meeting to order at 3:20 p. m.
Approval of Minutes
Vice President Prevost asked for corrections and additions to the minutes. Professor Farhad Raiszadeh stated that the last sentence of the paragraph under "School of Business" on p. 4 should read "of the Business credit hours required in their particular concentration. . . ." He also indicated that Assistant Dean John Fulmer was a contact person for the AACSB. Provost Summerlin added lightly that "O Solo Mio," listed as processional music, should read "O Sole Mio." (The Secretary apologizes for her Italian, which is limited chiefly to names of pastas.) The minutes were approved as amended.
Announcements, Part I
Vice President Prevost announced that since it was her lot to preside over the meeting, she considered it her prerogative to change the order of the agenda. She invited Professor Tom Bibler and Personnel Director Dan Webb to address the Council. Professor Bibler announced that the Faculty Club will be open for lunch five days a week from 11:00 to 2:00 starting February 10. No reservations are necessary. Faculty members will be receiving membership cards soon. About 100 faculty members have joined the Club, and the special offer of $100 for the first year's membership is still available. Professor Shela Van Ness asked if membership dues could be collected through payroll deduction. Professor Bibler responded that Knoxville officials do not look kindly on this idea, but that faculty members can be billed and pay their dues in increments if they so desire. Director Webb had a "brief commercial message": the faculty will soon be treated to sexual harassment prevention training. He and his staff have been training UTC staff for two years now, and they have now prepared a ninety-minute presentation/discussion for faculty. Questions to be addressed include "What is sexual harassment? How is it recognized? What are the responsibilities of faculty members if harassment occurs among students in their classes? What if one observes harassment outside of one's classes? What should you do if you're harassed? How can one protect one's self against sexual harassment? What is the procedure if an individual is charged with sexual harassment?" Director Webb concluded by expressing his hope that all UTC faculty will take advantage of the workshops to be offered, which should benefit both individuals and the institution at large.
Vice President Prevost announced that Professor Greg O'Dea has been elected to replace Professor Joe Trahan in the Humanities Division of the Council. In response to an inquiry by Vice President Prevost, Professor Raiszadeh indicated that the School of Business plans to elect a replacement for Professor Mary Brabston soon. Vice President Prevost then asked Professor Martha Butterfield to report on the progress of the changes in the 30/60 hour rule and the residency requirements passed in Council last Spring. Professor Butterfield, who has been looking into the delay on this proposal, indicated that it will be presented to the full faculty for a first reading in April and for a second reading next Fall. The proposal will require an impact study, for which Institutional Research Director Dick Gruetzemacher will gather data. Finally, Vice President Prevost announced that since all UTC students have been assigned e-mail accounts, there have been faculty complaints about difficulties getting into e-mail (using UTC programs like Cecasun). It is hoped that this concern may be addressed at the next Council meeting in February.
Chair Gail Meyer reported on the concern raised last semester about delays in retention, tenure and promotion appeals. The Council had hoped to set a deadline for responses to such appeals, but Provost Summerlin has reported to the Handbook Committee that Knoxville will not allow such deadlines to be included in the Handbook. The Provost described problems that had occurred due to egregiously late responses to appeals; in a couple of cases appeals were still in progress when the departments in question had already begun a search for the complainants' replacements. He recommended that the Handbook state that such appeals be initiated and responded to expeditiously. Because the Handbook already calls for grievances to "be clarified at the earliest possible time," however, the Handbook Committee had no formal proposal for the Council to consider along these lines. Moving to the topic of academic disputes, Professor Meyer moved to include in the Handbook a document requested by the Council (see addendum on "Academic disputes"). The document had been drafted as a result of consultation with Provost Summerlin, and was sent to the SGA president for comment. Professor Meyer amended the distributed document to read "occasionally" instead of "periodically" in the first sentence, and to omit the second paragraph in its entirety. In response to an inquiry about the importance of freedom of expression discussed in the second paragraph, Professor Meyer responded that this topic is already covered in the Handbook. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.
Committee Chair Gene Schlereth moved approval of 40 curricular items (see addendum). Professor Schlereth reminded the Council of how easy it is to make him happy. Professor Deborah McCallister asked why the sign-off sheet of the Chemistry proposal on changes upgrading the prerequisites for Chemistry 121-122 had not been sent to the College of Education for approval. (Math 135 or equivalent is now being proposed as a prerequisite for 122, along with the previously required CHEM 121 or 125). Chemistry 122, Professor McCallister explained, is a requirement for Education's B.S. in Secondary Natural Science, and Chemistry's change in prerequisites would thus have an impact on the curriculum of Secondary Natural Science students. Professor Meyer indicated that Math 135 is being proposed as a prerequisite for CHEM 122 because students are not prepared for 122 without 135 or its equivalent. Professor Martha Butterfield asked how it is determined who "signs off" on proposals, and Professor Schlereth indicated that who signs off is the prerogative of the initiating departments. Professor Bruce Wallace urged departments to make a careful study of other departments that could affected by curriculum changes. Professor Butterfield then remarked that the School of Nursing will also be affected by the change in prerequisites for CHEM 122. Professor Schlereth indicated that if the Chemistry proposal is passed, the School of Nursing or other departments or schools may send an information item to the Curriculum Committee on changes made necessary by the Chemistry proposal. Professor John Phillips asked why Chemistry had changed its Foreign Language requirement from one year of German to an option of one year of German, French, Russian, or Japanese (with German strongly recommended). Professor Meyer replied that Professor Tom Rybolt had undertaken a study of publications in the field, and found that the most represented languages were English, German, Russian, Japanese and French. The department thus decided to allow students some latitude in this area. Professor Meyer added that the Petitions Committee often allowed Chemistry students to substitute languages other than German, and that the department was particularly disappointed to hear that the Petitions Committee had allowed a Chemistry student to substitute two years of Spanish for the one year of German required of Chemistry majors.
Professor Bruce Wallace asked why instruction in Macintosh Computers was not being included in the CPSC 251, "Introduction to Operating Systems." Professor Terry Carney responded that the objective of the course is to teach operating systems in the abstract, and not any particular brand of computer. Professor Clint Smullen pointed out that it would be impossible to teach all particular operating systems, and that Apple now commands only 5% of the computer market. Professor Wallace indicated that he did appreciatethe proposed CPSC courses, which will further familiarize students with the world wide web. Professor Dave Shepherd added that for Macintosh users such as himself, Windows '95 is almost as good as a Mac.
Professor McCallister stated that the College of Education is also concerned about a change in the Foreign Language curriculum. FLAG (Latin) 207 and 208, proposed to be dropped from the FLAG curriculum, are required in some Education degree programs, and their deletion would involve revising the state matrix of degree requirements in Education. Professor Wallace moved and Professor McCallister seconded the motion that the FLAG proposal be tabled until this problem is worked out. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote. There was no more discussion, and Vice President Prevost called for a vote on all the curriculum proposals except the one tabled from FLAG. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.
Faculty Evaluation of Administration Committee
Committee Chair Dave Shepherd once again moved approval of his Committee's recommendations to the Council: that faculty evaluation of administration should be a meaningful part of the EDO process for administration; that the evaluation process should take place in a timely manner (normally, in January and February); that all forms should be processed by Institutional Research; and that the evaluation items for the Chancellor and Provost presented previously (see Nov. 21 minutes) be accepted. Professor Ralph Anderson commented that the faculty had no way of knowing if the faculty evaluation of administration process would be handled "meaningfully." Professor Mike Russell reiterated his concern about the confidentiality problem involved in presenting written comments directly to Heads. While most Heads would appreciate constructive criticism, some Heads might seek retribution for negative comments, and their faculty members might have to live with that retribution for decades. Comments on Heads, Professor Russell continued, would best be sent to Deans and communicated orally to Heads; Deans should be mature and competent enough to communicate this information thoroughly without putting the faculty member in jeopardy. Professor Shepherd responded that his Committee had discussed this problem at some length. An untenured assistant professor on the Committee was particularly appreciative that a full professor such as Professor Russell would raise this concern. However, the Committee decided against Professor Russell's recommendation for three reasons. First, if a Head (or administrator) cannot see exactly what was written, there is less of a chance that the administrator would be able to correct any deficiencies. Second, a Dean or other supervisor might inadvertently make clear who wrote a comment anyway, or might present the comment in such a way as to present a false sense of security. Third, there are other avenues that faculty have access to for particular grievances against administrators. Professor Russell replied that he could understand the difficulties with both positions. But he warned the faculty that if we continue to send faculty comments about Heads directly to those Heads, negative comments could ultimately be injurious to faculty. He advised that some faculty members might want to "sanitize" these written comments and use other avenues for grievances. As Professor Betsy Darken might say, faculty members in the situation Professor Russell describes might find themselves between the dreaded she-monsters Scylla and Charibdis: the six-headed Scylla of a Head seeking retribution, or the sinking, Charibdisian feeling of writing an essentially meaningless or uninformative evaluation. Evidently the Council is not overly concerned about Scyllaian Heads, however; Professors Gail Meyer and Martha Butterfield moved and seconded approval of the Faculty Rating of Administration's original proposal, and the motion passed by voice vote with two abstentions.
Mascot Identification: Chancellor Obear Thwarts Attempts to Kill a Mockingbird
Chancellor Fred Obear indicated that he did not volunteer to speak about mascot identification, but was willing honor the Executive Committee's request for him to do so. He noted that the change of mascot is not one of his accomplishments at UTC for which he seeks most to be remembered. He explained that the initiative to change the mascot began last summer, when the Alumni Council, the SGA and the Student Alumni Council all agreed to give up the controversial "Chief Moccanooga" only if UTC could retain the appellation "Mocs." The Chancellor appointed a seventeen member task force to consider the issue. The task force consisted mainly of students and alumni; other individuals on the task force included one concerned faculty member. The cheerleaders were represented because the Chief was part of their squad. Other campuses that had changed mascots were consulted, and they highly recommended seeking professional help in the development of a new mascot. (One reason for this is that an appealing, well designed mascot can be a strong revenue-generator.) SME, the professionals that were hired to help with the mascot, have developed mascot designs for other campuses and for professional sports teams. SME was paid a substantial sum, but two-thirds of this sum came from revenues generated by the Chief. The UTC task force ultimately presented the Chancellor with more than one choice of a mascot, but strongly and unanimously recommended the first choice of a mockingbird. The Chancellor pointed out that the mockingbird is the Tennessee state bird, and is generally known as a bird with "an attitude." (The University of Delaware also uses its state bird, the "fighting Blue Hen," as its mascot. The Chancellor was intrigued that a sports team would be represented by a hen. He noted that our mascot is not gender-specific.) Since the mockingbird will be riding a train in at least some of its representations, the mascot will link the campus to the local area as well as to the state. The original plan was to announce the new mascot at the basketball game on February 10, but somehow an image of the new mascot was leaked to the Echo and the local papers. (The image leaked is accurate except for the color scheme. A representation of a mockingbird standing alone, without its train, is fortunately still under raps.) The Chancellor noted that it is impossible to please everyone when choosing a new mascot. In any case, the decision has been made and those responsible for that decision plan to weather the storm of resistance. (The Chancellor also reported that retired Professor Thor Hall had mentioned to him that the first few lines of the UTC alma mater are also in need of an overhaul. But this is not a problem the Chancellor is inclined to look into at this time. The Secretary decided to look into it, however, and found that the first four lines of our alma mater are as follows: "Lookout Mountain o'er us guarding/ ceaseless watch doth keep/ In the valley stands our college/ where the shadows creep." )
The Chancellor was pleased to be greeted with several expressions of strong support for the new mascot. Reportedly, the mockingbird is a fierce creature known to attack cats and other small creatures. Professor Russell cautioned that mockingbirds will also attack human beings. (A mockingbird driving a train would doubtless be even more treacherous. A little known piece of information about mockingbirds, according to L. B. Tross's L'Histoire des Oiseaux au Cinema--unfortunately now out of print--is that mockingbirds were used as trainers for the murderous creatures in Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller The Birds.) Getting into the spirit of things, Chancellor Obear relayed that a particular mockingbird of his acquaintance regularly flings its little body, with considerable force, into his office window. (Given the proximity of Associate Provost Harbaugh's Office to Chancellor Obear's Office, the Secretary will now send the completed minutes to Dr. Harbaugh's office via a student worker.) Professor Martha Butterfield suggested that with a little imagination, much could be made of the "mock" in mockingbird. Our cheerleaders could "mock" the other team or the other team's cheerleaders, for example. (Perhaps a new group of "Sugar Mocks" could be formed to mock the "Sugar Mocs." Ha ha, just kidding. But seriously, is there a danger the new mascot will lead to Moc women being referred to as "chicks?") The Chancellor offered that former UTC coach Sharon Fanning used to mock opposing teams by showing up in the other team's colors, a strategy that often left our rivals hapless and confused.
Professor Meyer expressed a concern that some announcers have been saying "UT Chattanooga" instead of "UTC." She prefers the latter. The Chancellor assured Professor Meyer that we should continue to be referred to as UTC. There were also a few concerns expressed about the mascot. Professor Russell opined that the depictions he'd seen of the bird look more like a "demented chicken" than a formidable opponent. Professor Stroud commented that our use of "Moccasin" referred not to a shoe but to the snake-like shape of the river at Moccasin Bend; rejecting the term "Moccasin" thus results in a loss of regional connections. In any case, critics of the new UTC Mockingbird (and those who might appreciate another, less scrappy side of the creature) might remember the words of Atticus "Finch" (played by Gregory "Peck"): "It's a sin to kill a mockingbird. . . .Mockingbirds don't do anything but make music for us to enjoy. Don't eat people's gardens. Don't nest in corn cribs. Don't do one thing but just sing their hearts out for us." Mockingbirds are not only aggressive, then, but are capable of virtuosity and heartfelt expressions of great beauty. (This should bring a new significance and sense of purpose to UTC's "Singing Mocs.")
Acting Provost Summerlin indicated that he did not volunteer to talk about the ACT probe, but was willing to honor the Executive Committee's request for him to do so. He asked Vice President Prevost what the Executive Committee wanted to know about the ACT probe. Professor Prevost said the Committee would like to know what happened and what changes have been made as a result of what happened. Provost Summerlin reported that xeroxed copies of an ACT exam turned up in two local high schools last October. Teachers were told to have students fill out these actual tests as if they were practice tests. Some of the teachers realized they were dealing with actual tests, and the leak was eventually reported to the ACT headquarters. Because ACT exams are held at UTC, the ACT people sent an investigator to our campus; Lieutenant Robert Ratchford, a fingerprint expert in Campus Security, was also involved in the investigation. Everyone at UTC who could have been involved in any way with ACT testing was fingerprinted. It at first seemed unlikely that the test in question came from UTC, as UTC officials were comfortable with our security in the area. Yet according to the ACT investigator, physical evidence showed that the form in question was indeed a UTC form, and fingerprinting showed that the form had been handled by a UTC employee. Not all of the particulars of the situation are known to the Provost, but it was determined unnecessary to take the matter to a court of law. What occurred was absolutely unacceptable, however, and resulted in the retirement/resignation of the Supervisor of the UTC Testing Center. ACT did not require this individual to be fired, but stipulated that the individual should no longer deal with testing materials. Reasonable security measures were also suggested. UTC will continue to offer the ACT exam, and the last round of testing ran smoothly. On a happier note, the Provost also reported that THEC had approved our new Bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy, and that Spring undergraduate enrollments were up 1.5 % and graduate enrollments up 4.1%.
Old and New Business
There was no old business. Under new business, Professor Jim Hiestand asked why the coffee and milk machines in Holt had been replaced with a redundant Coke machine. Professor Bob Marlowe had heard that the coffee machines are not profitable. Professor Hiestand still wondered why two Coke machines were needed, especially since the new sodas offered are more expensive. Professor Mike Russell wanted to know if it was acceptable to smoke in offices; the smoke from individual offices sometimes leaks out into general offices, causing irritation and discomfort for office staff and others. Chancellor Obear responded that state law does not preclude smoking in private offices, but that Vice Chancellor Richard Brown would know more about the particulars of this matter. Professor Bruce Hutchinson asked the Executive Committee to explore having the Council take a more pro-active role in the UTC budget process. He is deeply concerned about the $1.2 formula recommendation for summer school salaries being reduced to around $800,000, and has also heard that current budget proposes a $500,000 cut in the Library budget. The Faculty Council's role in the budget process should be an active, ongoing part of the entire process, he stressed, and not just commentary after the fact. Provost Summerlin responded that while $857,000 was budgeted for summer salaries, $1.2 million was spent, and that the summer salary budget has not lowered in the last few years. He also indicated that formula decreases in the library budget are not always approved by thelegislature, and that we may very well retain the Library dollars recommended to be cut. He agreed with Professor Hutchinson that the faculty should take an active role in the budget process. Chancellor Obear pointed out that the Budget and Economic Status Committee (BESC) is represented on the campus Budget Committee, and consults with Vice Chancellor George Ross. Professor Hutchinson countered that he had heard the BESC had not met at all last semester. His central point, he expressed strongly, is that the faculty should be taking a much more active role than they do now in the budget process. He added that budgeting $850,000 on summer school salaries is (to paraphrase)extremely unwise.
Announcements, Part II; Adjournment
Honor Court Chair Gene Van Horn asked Professor Gail Meyer to read to the Council the following message: "Faculty members who handle Honor Court violations by themselves are asked to forward the names of students and the circumstances of the actions to the Chair of the Honor Court." The Honor Court believes this recommendation to be important and urges the faculty to comply. There were no more announcements, and Professor Leroy Fanning moved adjournment. Having handled the Council's deliberations with considerable aplomb, Vice President Prevost adjourned the meeting at 4:45 p.m. Advancing from the depths of Grote Hall, Council members climbed up, so far that through an opening we saw some of thebeautiful things that Heaven bears: and thence we issued forth to see again the stars.
First cartoon dedicated to the Music Department, singing mockingbirds, and Coach Sharon Fanning; second cartoon dedicated to Scylla and Charibdis
Renee Cox Lorraine
The choice of Wagner in the first cartoon is particularly appropriate. Writing of the difficulty of the vocal parts in his music drama Tristan und Isolde, Wagner warned (in prose frighteningly similar to his music) that "". Wagner was not so concerned as to make the vocal parts less demanding, however, and his words proved to be eerily prophetic. Tenor Ludwig Schnorr died in a frenzy shortly after performing the part of Tristan, and soprano Marie Wilt commited suicide after learning the part of Brnnhilde in three weeks, saying "That finished me." (I'm not making this up.)