THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
November 20, 1997
Signal Mountain Room
Elected Members Present: Tatiana Allen, Boris Belinsky, Mike Biderman, Prakash Damshala, Joe Dumas, Fritz Efaw, Gene Ezell, Phil Giffin, Jim Hiestand, Renée Lorraine, Deborah McAllister, Jonathan Mies, Greg O'Dea, Laurie Prather, Verbie Prevost, John Phillips, Verbie Prevost, Farhad Raiszadeh, Marea Rankin, Rebecca Rochat, Ann Stapleton, Felicia Sturzer, Vicki Steinberg, Jim Stroud, Larry Tillman, John Trimpey, Margaret Trimpey, Bruce Wallace, Randy Whitson
Elected Members Absent: Jim Avery, Martha Butterfield, Karen Casey, Valerie Copeland-Rutledge, Marvin Ernst, Diane Halstead, Judy Miler, Mac Smotherman
Ex-Officio Members Present: Sheila Delacroix, Bill Stacy, Tim Summerlin
Among the Guests Present: Bill Aiken, Richard Brown, Lanny Janeksela, Ralph Moser
Call to Order
President Gene Ezell called the meeting to order at 3:15 PM.
Approval of Minutes
Professors Felicia Sturzer and Boris Belinsky moved and seconded approval of the minutes. The minutes were approved unanimously as written.
President Ezell reported that the Executive Committee had been discussing concerns about student evaluation of faculty, including getting evaluations back to faculty members in a timely manner, how often senior faculty should be evaluated, and to whom students' written comments should be sent and how they should be used. In a response to an inquiry from Professor Felicia Sturzer, he reported that at some UT campuses senior faculty are evaluated every other year. Professor Ralph Anderson asked who would be considered "senior" among the faculty, and President Ezell suggested that tenured full professors and perhaps others would count as senior. He then announced that there will be an open meeting with Tennessee legislators at 1:00 PM on Nov. 24 in the Raccoon Mountain Room. The visitors will include UT President Joe Johnson and Mr. Walter Lambert from the Office of Federal Affairs. Ballots for a new Faculty Council President for 1998-2000 will be sent to the full faculty from Secretary Renee Lorraine around Dec. 1, and should be returned to her in the Music Department by Dec. 15. President Ezell's successor will be elected at the full faculty meeting on January 22. Professor Jim Stroud asked if Faculty Council Presidents may succeed themselves. President Ezell replied that while Presidents were often re-elected when they had one year terms, his best guess was that Presidents serving two year terms are not re-electable.
Chancellor Bill Stacy reported that the administration is moving forward on the million dollar scholarship deficit for 1997-8. The Chancellor and his staff has met with the Audit Committee of the UC Foundation, and the Foundation has agreed to buy out $350,000 of the $400,000 deficit in the University Honors Program. (The other $50,000 will have to be recovered by UTC). This deficit resulted from funds being added to the program that were not budgeted. Concerning Spring Planning, Chancellor Stacy will ask the Faculty Council to address the issue of UTC's mission, goals and objectives, and to consider issues such as what the faculty want to accomplish at UTC, how we will define research, how we can increase recruitment and retention, what the role of faculty governance should be, etc. (The Chancellor expressed his concern that the faculty is not as empowered in governance as it should be.) Students, alumni, K-12, the Chattanooga Community and the UT system will also be involved in the planning process. He then communicated his belief that the budget of a public institution such as UTC should be very public, and that the budget meeting planned for February will be moved out of Founders and into a more open forum. The Chancellor will present a "first 100 days" report on these matters around Thanksgiving. Professor Jim Stroud suggested that when consulting with community businesses about planning, arts institutions such as the Chattanooga Symphony and the Hunter Gallery should be consulted. The Chancellor agreed. Professor Bruce Wallace suggested that regional colleges be consulted in formulating our goals.
Vigilant Parliamentarian Jim Hiestand then interrupted the discussion to announce that he had checked the Faculty Handbook, and that a Faculty Council President may no longer serve consecutive terms. President Ezell thanked Parliamentarian Hiestand warmly and asked that this important point be duly noted in the minutes.
Old and New Business
There was no old business. Under new business, Professor Fritz Efaw expressed a concern about the relationship of summer school funding and the December 31st deadline for submission of summer school courses for "Stars." There was a motion passed, he explained, in the October 30 Council meeting to recommend returning to the summer school level funding of 1996, and there seemed to be administrative support for this motion. But it was subsequently announced that summer school funding for 1998 will not exceed the relatively lower funding level of 1997. If it is possible to return to the 1996 levels, it is important that this be announced before December 31. While it is important not to deceive students into thinking that more courses will be offered that can actually be funded, he added, it is also important that students know in advance what courses will be offered. Acting Provost Tim Summerlin noted that although summer school will be more expensive with the 2% anticipated salary increase, he has asked the Deans not to factor this increase into their summer school budgets. He has discussed the issue of summer school with the Chancellor's staff, and he plans to make a request for an increase in summer school dollars. He considers this request an important priority. He added, however, that funding summer school even at 1997 spending levels was a big stretch last year, and it appears at the present time that we are not in any better position for 1998. In response to an inquiry, Provost Summerlin stated that only a partial list of summer courses are listed in the Spring Stars, and that the official summer listings will be distributed later. Professor Farhad Raiszadeh noted that we are losing summer school students to Chattanooga State, where students can determine at the present time exactly what summer courses are available. The Spring advisement period is a good opportunity to advise students about summer school, and we would do well to have a definitive list of summer courses at that time. Professor Margaret Trimpey stated that some students will need summer courses listed in the Stars in order to graduate in a timely fashion; she asked for some verification that UTC is committed to offering courses listed. Provost Summerlin answered that while our intent is to offer everything listed, the list must be tentative. In September of last year we put out a schedule that was simply too large to support financially. We should not make an implied contract we cannot honor. We must decide what the appropriate role and scope of summer school should be at this institution, and base funding on those decisions. He added that the recommendations of the Budget and Economic Status Committee on summer school (presented at the October 30, 1997 meeting) seemed to him quite sane and reasonable. Professor Felicia Sturzer commented that while students need to make plans, so do the faculty; September may be too early for many faculty members to make plans for summer school. Having a later, separate summer listing will also provide more accuracy. Vice Chancellor Bill Aiken reminded the Council that students need time to apply for loans for summer school. Professor Bruce Wallace suggested that at other institutions, a course can be offered if enough students sign up for the course in advance. President Ezell asked when summer registration would commence, and a response was that it should begin by March if not before. Professor John Trimpey stated that while he sympathized with the problems involved in funding summer school, he thought that we should set aside in advance a particular amount for summer school, and then work within that limit. We are currently playing Russian Roulette with summer school funding, and we can do some serious damage if there is not an acceptable ratio between expenditures and revenues. The Chancellor applauded Professor Trimpey's remarks. Professor Efaw noted that UTC always makes a profit on summer school. Professor Trimpey replied that a profit is expected, and that we need to determine what an appropriate net profit should be. We should not be ignorant by this time next year, he urged, about summer school funding for 1999. He suggested that we ought to be able to determine which courses are most needed in order for students to graduate in a timely manner, and to guarantee that at least those courses (perhaps a third of the schedule) will be taught. Provost Summerlin noted that the Deans compiled a list of such essential courses last year.
President Ezell announced that there would be a large stack of Curriculum proposals at the next meeting, and that the General Education impact study may be considered as well. Council members should come prepared for a lengthy and information-rich session. Professor Verbie Prevost urged faculty to participate in the sessions with the remaining Provost candidates. Having a large turnout at these sessions is important both to us and to the candidates.
President Ezell adjourned the meeting at 3:55 PM.
Renée Cox Lorraine
Cartoon dedicated to adjunct faculty