THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
October 3, 1996
Signal Mountain Room
Elected Members Present: Ralph Anderson, Tatiana Bilgildeyeva, Mary Brabston, Prakash Damshala, Joe Dumas, Fritz Efaw, Marvin Ernst, Gene Ezell, Leroy Fanning, Jim Hiestand, Bruce Hutchinson, Craig Laing, Rene Lorraine, Deborah McAllister, Bob Marlowe, Gail Meyer, John Phillips, Verbie Prevost, Bill Prince, Farhad Raiszadeh, David Shepherd, Joyce Smith, Jim Stroud, Larry Tillman, Joe Trahan, Margaret Trimpey, Bruce Wallace
Elected Members Absent: Martha Butterfield, Robert Duffy, Tom Kozubowski, Judy Miler, Barbara Ray, Mike Russell, Kristin Switala, John Trimpey, Shela Van Ness
Ex-Officio Members Present: Sheila Delacroix, Jane Harbaugh, Fred Obear, Charles Renneisen, George Ross, Tim Summerlin
Among the Guests Present: Herb Burhenn, Carolyn Mitchell, Mary Tanner
*As noted in the minutes of the previous meeting, undergraduate curriculum proposals will now be charged to Associate Provost Harbaugh's office and graduate curriculum proposals to Assistant Provost Deborah Arfken's office. Departments will send the proposals to Graphic Services themselves, but may charge the copies to account numbers that can be provided by the appropriate undergraduate or graduate office.
Processional guitar music was provided by music major Brian Adams.
Call to Order
President Ezell called the meeting to order at 3:20 p. m.
Approval of Minutes
Secretary Lorraine announced that Departments will still be responsible for sending curriculum proposals to Graphic Services, but may charge the copies made to account numbers that can be provided by Associate Provost Harbaugh's Office (undergraduate proposals) or Assistant Provost Deborah Arfken's Office (graduate proposals). Acting Provost Tim Summerlin thanked Drs. Harbaugh and Arfken for coming to visit him to request funds for this new policy. On behalf of many happy departments, Secretary Lorraine thanked Drs. Obear, Summerlin, Harbaugh, and Arfken for developing the new policy, and also thanked Professor Butterfield for suggesting it and Professor Mike Russell for pointing out the problem that resulted in it.
Professor Gail Meyer corrected the minutes by noting that Chattanooga State is not a University. She also stated that the meeting was adjourned not at 4:38 p. m. but at 3:38 p.m. [The Secretary concedes to the conscientious Professor Meyer that the Council did not adjourn at 4:38, but would counter strongly, if she were of a disposition to do so, the contention that the meeting was adjourned at 3:38. After considerable discussion at a subsequent Chancellor's Breakfast, it was determined that the time of adjournment for the meeting of September 19 will remain a mystery]. The minutes were approved as amended, with one "nay" vote from Professor Joyce Smith. Secretary Lorraine inquired as to what was troubling Professor Smith, and the response was that at least some adjunct or part-time faculty members, including Professor Smith, were still not receiving agendas and minutes. Secretary Lorraine indicated that she would see to it personally that Professor Smith received minutes for the next and future meetings, and will also send her minutes from this year's past meetings.
Committee on Committees
Committee on Committees Chair Verbie Prevost announced that Professor Clint Smullen should be added to the Classroom Technology Committee. Acting Provost Tim Summerlin has replaced former Provost Grayson Walker on the Academic Standards Committee. Professor Cliff Parton, not Jeff Parton, is on the Library Committee. Professor June Hanks is on leave and will need to be replaced on the Curriculum Committee. Professor Nancy Tripp has only been at the University for two years, so has not served three years (as indicated) on the Student Rating of Faculty Committee. Professor Tatiana Bilgildeyeva asked why the Instructional Excellence Committee was not included in the Faculty Council Committee list. Acting Provost Summerlin said that Professor Sally Young has been appointed as chair, but that a few slots on the committee have yet to be filled.
Professor Prevost asked for nominations from the School of Education and Applied Professional Studies and the School of Engineering to replace Professors Ken Carson and Phil Kazemersky on the Committee on Committees. Professor James Stroud nominated Professor Leroy Fanning, who was elected by voice vote. Professor Farhad Raiszadeh nominated Professor Prakash Damshala, who was elected by voice vote as well. [Professor Craig Laing has replaced Professor Carson on the Council.]
Acting Provost Summerlin announced that he had been asked by the Executive Committee to speak about developing a policy for problem resolution between students and faculty. He noted that while we have a policy for dealing with sexual harassment, a grade appeals process, and a student honor code, we have no policy regarding general misconduct of faculty, staff, and administrators in their interaction with students. He suggested that an examination of Section 4, Part 3 of the Handbook, on General and Special Appeals Procedures for faculty, might serve as a starting point for developing such a policy. Among other things, this procedure recommends dealing with a problem within a reasonable period of time and "at the administrative level closest to the locus of the complaint," and suggests that every effort should be made to resolve complaints informally. Professor Fritz Efaw asked for examples of misconduct that such a policy might address. Acting Provost Summerlin mentioned abusive behavior, giving no warning as to when important exams would be held, or a professor's excessive absences from class. He suggested that a student's initial reaction to such behavior would ordinarily begin with a conversation with the instructor. If not resolved at that level, the student would then proceed to the department head, etc. In some cases, the student may prefer to report directly to the Head. Dean Renneisen believes that the policy is needed because many students are not aware of how to file a complaint. Professor David Shepherd asked if an instructor would be informed of a complaint by his Head before the complaint was relayed to his Dean. Provost Summerlin responded affirmatively. Professor Meyer observed that many students would be uncomfortable criticizing a professor when the professor holds a certain power over that student. Professor Margaret Trimpey suggested that perhaps a time-line could allow complaints to be made after grades are distributed. Several Council members were concerned by the prospect of an onslaught of frivolous student complaints such a policy might invoke. (An interesting exchange occurred between Professors Stroud and Hiestand on students' religious sensibilities. Professor Stroud expressed a concern that some students complain when they are taught about religious beliefs other than their own. Professor Hiestand believes that some professors have not been sensitive enough to the religious views of their students.) Provost Summerlin reiterated that the vast majority of complaints could be handled informally, and that only a few "volatile cases" would proceed to higher administrative levels. It was agreed that the proposed policy should be included in both student and faculty handbooks. Dean Renneisen recommended consulting with legal staff about the policy.
President Ezell asked if it would be appropriate for Provost Summerlin to draft a policy along these lines for the Council to examine. A discussion followed concerning the appropriate roles for the administration, faculty, and students in the drafting of such a policy. Professor Bruce Hutchinson suggested that the policy should be generated by the faculty, and perhaps by the Handbook Committee. Provost Summerlin indicated that this was his original assumption. Handbook Committee Chair Gail Meyer felt that it is not the role of the Handbook Committee to draft policy, but rather to properly format policy the Council develops for the Handbook. Professor Stroud indicated that if he were on the Handbook Committee he would appreciate a draft from the Provost. Professor Stroud, Dean Renneisen and others felt that students should have input in drafting the policy. On the basis of this discussion, President Ezell asked Acting Provost Summerlin and Handbook Committee Chair Gail Meyer to confer with SGA president Jonathan Hutchings about drafting a policy on resolution of problems between students and faculty or staff. They agreed to do so and report back to the Council. Professor Damshala suggested that Provost Summerlin might want to consult with seasoned faculty members in the process of drafting the policy. (Professor Jim Hiestand suggested that faculty members who had received multiple complaints from students might be particularly useful sources.) Provost Summerlin will take Professor Damshala's suggestion under advisement.
Vice Chancellor George Ross reported that he would be able to present a revised budget report to the Council by the second week in November. He has asked the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors and the Provost for advice on reallocating funds, which is necessary due to the slight decrease in enrollment this year.
Old and New Business
There was no old business. Under new business, Professor Leroy Fanning asked about the present mission, goals, and objectives of CECA. Provost Summerlin responded that an Advisory Council for CECA has been appointed in response to CECA's separation from University Computing Services. The Advisory Council includes members from various academic units and two members from the community. It will assemble and receive a "charge" on October 8. He pointed out that the Center now has a valuable opportunity to redefine its mission and objectives in a creative and innovative way. Although CECA will not be involved in day-to-day computing problems, the Advisory Council has been invited to think in a fundamental fashion about how CECA can be meaningfully connected to all academic programs. Professor Bruce Wallace asked what other University computing committees presently exist. Chancellor Obear stated that we now need to re-examine the administrative committees that relate to academic computing.
Professor Stroud asked when the campus would be fully wired, and noted that unwired buildings present problems for faculty advisors. Vice Chancellor Ross responded that all academic buildings would be wired within ten to twelve months, and that the entire campus should be wired within two years. Chancellor Obear reported that we have advanced the campus wiring schedule by borrowing funds that will be repaid by future student technology fees.
Professor Gail Meyer expressed a faculty concern. Some of her students were hesitant to go to Convocation because their 11:00 classes had not been canceled. They did not wish to disrupt the proceedings by leaving early. At least some of the students attended classes with an adjunct professor who indicated he had received no notification that 11:00 classes had been canceled. Professor Joyce Smith added that she had not been contacted either, and knew about convocation only from the Echo and the Chattanooga Times. While general mailings are sent to departments for adjunct faculty, not all of these mailings reach their destinations. After a brief discussion about how this problem might be remedied, Associate Provost Harbaugh stated she would confer with Secretary Lorraine about possible solutions to the problem. She invited faculty members to contact her if they had suggestions along these lines. Professor Ernst asked if Convocation appeared in the Stars, and was told that it had been so listed.
President Ezell announced that there would be a Systems visit with UT President Joe Johnson on Monday, October 7, from 11:15 to 12:15 p.m. in the Raccoon Mountain Room of the University Center. Faculty, staff and students are invited. [President Johnson will be able to provide information about the Chancellor Search Committee and Process.]
Dean Renneisen announced that student directories will be available next week in the lobby of the University Center, and will include information on faculty and staff. Professor Meyer reported that two checkbooks had been stolen from the fourth floor of Grote, and recommended keeping checkbooks safely hidden. Professor Hiestand announced that he had been fooling with his computer spell-checker again, and had found that the checker's alternative for "Hiestand" was "heister." Upon being presented with this information, Professor Stroud expressed doubts about his having nominated Professor Heister as parliamentarian. Following Professor Hiestand's lead, Chancellor Obear reported that a spell-checker had also suggested "redneck" for Professor Irven "Resnick." Provost Summerlin added that he had actually received a memorandum that referred to Professor Resnick as "Irven Redneck, Chair of Excellence in Judaic Studies." [Clearly the originator of the memo was unaware of the oxymoronic nature of this reference.] Because it seemed apparent that other Council members had humorous computer tales to tell, President Ezell strongly recommended that the Council adjourn immediately. The meeting was adjourned at 4:20 p.m.
Renee Cox Lorraine