|THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
April 20, 2000
Signal Mountain Room
Elected Members Present:
Elected Members Absent:
Ex-Officio Members Present:
Among the Guests Present:
Call to Order
President Verbie Prevost called the meeting to order at 3:07 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes of April 6, 2000
The minutes were approved as distributed.
Report from the Curriculum Committee
Chair John Trimpey offered proposals from History, Computer Science, and Communication, and said the proposals passed the committee unanimously. The proposals passed 15-0-1.
Report from the Graduate Council
President Prevost distributed a new cover sheet for the Physical Therapy proposal which she said reflected the appropriate signatures. Dean Deborah Arfken offered proposals for a new concentration in the Educational Specialist program, a revision of the MBA program, a revision in the Educational Administration and Supervision program, an adjustment in the admissions requirements in the Public Administration program, a revision of the Physical Therapy program, and the addition of two post-masters certificates in the Nursing program.
In the absence of department chair Ziad Keilany who was unable to attend the meeting, Professor John Garrett said he was representing the Economics Department and would speak in opposition to the MBA revisions. Professor Pedro Campa moved that voting on the MBA revisions be separated from the other proposals from Graduate Council. (Although there was a valid second, an apparently befuddled secretary failed to note whom it was.) The motion to separate the voting on the MBA revisions from the voting on the other proposals passed on a voice vote.
In response to a question from Professor Jim Hiestand, Professor Cherry Guinn said the post-masters certificates in Nursing would address a need among people in the medical field who want to change careers or move their career in a new direction but already have a masters degree. These students would be able to add a specialty without having to re-take core courses they have already had. She said some students now pursue a second masters when a certificate would suffice. Professor Margaret Trimpey said it would give these students more flexibility in their careers and allow them to sit for certification exams more quickly. Professor Guinn said students enrolling in the certificate programs would have to meet all the qualifications and requirements for a masters.
The curricular proposals from Graduate Council, other than the MBA revisions, passed 18-0-1.
Regarding the MBA revisions, Professor Garrett said the Economics Department had only 48 hours notice of the proposal. Since the revisions would have a significant impact on the departments teaching load and course offerings, he said department members felt more notice should have been given. He said the proposal purports to remove foundation classes but transfers all but two foundation classes to the core, ECON 507 and BMKT 506. He expressed the view that an MBA program without significant economics content was "a worthless MBA program." He said he had been informed by colleagues at other business schools that accreditation agencies were re-emphasizing the importance of economics as part of the core MBA. He said having an MBA without economics was like having biology without chemistry or physics without mathematics. Further, he said the Economics Department reserved the right to "gloat" if the accreditation body pointed out this shortcoming on its next visit.
MBA director Howard Finch said the School of Business was revamping the MBA to modify elements of the program perceived not to be working well and to eliminate possible discrimination against MBA students with non-business backgrounds. He said the 18 hours of foundations courses currently required for non-business majors have been controversial and unpopular, causing non-business majors to take 49 hours and business majors to take 31. He said some of the best MBA students were non-business majors as undergraduates and could handle the core applications as well as the business majors. He said the students with non-business backgrounds strongly objected to taking so many classes that did not ultimately contribute to the degree. He noted the original MBA was designed for non-business majors who wanted to prepare for a career in commerce. He said the revisions would make the program more accessible to students with non-business backgrounds and create a uniform program that all graduate students in business could take and finish.
Professor Finch noted that economics was not currently a core application and said students lacking undergraduate economics could take a foundation class. He said, as MBA director, that he sees virtually all of the transcripts and that most students, even non-business majors, take economics as undergraduates. He said the demand for the foundation class has been low. He noted the proposal also does away with two and four hours classes, an innovation from an earlier revision that has not worked as well as expected. He reiterated the college was trying to create a level playing field and not discriminate against non-business majors.
Having taught the economics foundation class for many years, Professor Garrett observed that the number of students enrolling in the class has dropped dramatically since Professor Finch began directing the MBA two years ago.
Professor Campa said he found it interesting that none of the cover sheets accounted for reviews by other units being affected by the revisions. He said he thought the bickering could have been ironed out in the Curriculum Committee or in some other forum. Others expressed similar opinions and suggested affected departments should be given more notice of changes.
Professor Richard Becherer pointed out that many business faculty were involved in the revisions and said the School of Business was as interested in accreditation as the Economics Department. He said he thought the program would be evaluated favorably by an accrediting body, but said Business would concede gloating by Economics if problems arose.
Following additional discussion, the revisions to the MBA program passed 7-5-9. On being queried, parliamentarian Jim Hiestand certified it as a passing vote.
President Prevost said Graduate Council was bringing forward a Statement of Professional Fitness for graduate students. She said the Academic Standards Committee had also approved a statement for undergraduate students. In response to a question from Professor Hiestand, Dean Arfken said Graduate Council, Faculty Council, and the UTC faculty passed a similar statement about four years ago which was ultimately turned back by UT counsel who objected to some of the wording. She said the new version attempts to address those concerns. She said the statement was intended to be generic enough to apply to all departments with some specificity added to accommodate the concerns of the UT counsel.
The Statements on Professional Fitness passed 20-0-2.
Report from the General Education Committee
With regard to Tennessee legislative bill HB2318/SB2572, Chair Betsy Darken said the committee unanimously recommended "that appropriate UTC faculty and administrators meet with the Hamilton County legislative delegation and local representatives to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to discuss the ramifications of Tennessee Bill HB2318/SB2572, as soon as possible." She said it was the committees understanding that legislators had become concerned about problems students were having in transferring among the public colleges and universities in the state. Professor Darken discussed the key tenets of the bill and possible implications of the bill for UTC and for other state colleges and universities.
She said her understanding was that the TBR schools already had a core set of GE requirements, but said it was not clear whether individual institutions added to those core courses or not. She noted UTC was much closer to the TBR core than they used to be, pointing out that the TBR schools did not require intensive writing, computer literacy, oral communication, statistics, or a social science (depending on how history is counted). She said it was possible some of the requirements in the UTC GE program would make more sense as graduation requirements. She noted some of the requirements such as intensive writing, oral communication, and computer science have already been integrated into many of majors which left statistics and a social science (possibly) as the gaps. [NOTE ADDED BY COUNCIL SECRETARY ON JULY 7, 2000: Professor Darken has indicated that she was quoted incorrectly in this paragraph. The correct statement is that the TBR schools required oral communication and computer literacy for year's before UTC adopted its new requirements.]
Since it was not clear to the committee what the implications of the bill might be, she said the committee thought it would be helpful for UTC representatives to talk to legislators and to THEC. Saying she had spoken to several people about the bill, Professor Valerie Rutledge said these people thought the bill was "a great thing." Provost Berry said he thought the general intent of the bill was to standardize GE programs for transfer purposes and to avoid unnecessarily complicated transfers wherein students have to repeat courses. He said he thought the bill reflected prudence on the part of the legislature to leave the details to the colleges and universities. He said THEC would be working with a committee of representatives from both TBR and UT schools to develop the details. He said about 75 students would have been impacted if the bill had been in effect last fall.
The proposal from the General Education Committee regarding HB2318/SB2572 passed 14-1-2.
Professor Margaret Trimpey asked if faculty would be represented on the THEC committee that worked out the details of the bill. Provost Berry said the Committee on Articulation and Transfer Issues did have faculty representation. He said the committee had been in place for several years and had broad-based representation.
Professor Darken said she wanted to highlight one or two points in the GE Committee report. She noted problems involving GE implementation and cited several examples. She said that no campus administrator seemed to be in charge of the total program, citing miscommunications with various campus departments. She complained that summer statistics courses were full, a situation which she suggested could have been predicted at the time the new GE program came into effect.
With reference to summer enrollment in statistics classes, Dean Herb Burhenn said it was his recollection that summer statistics classes filled up rather regularly before the implementation of the new GE program. He said the issue needed to be addressed but added that he did not think the new GE requirements were totally to blame. Provost Berry said the Mathematics Department head had told him that he needed to add one more section of statistics for the summer and that they discussed the possibility of adding a statistics class in place of a low enrollment class. He said he did not see it as the problem of overwhelming magnitude that had been described to Council. He said he did think there was a disconnect between responsibility for GE and administrative authority and indicated he was working on better integrating the curricular authority and the administrative responsibility.
Report from Student Rating of Faculty Instruction Committee
Chair Mike Russell said the committee had wrestled with two issues this year--finding ways to improve instruction and trying to make the evaluation process more rational. To improve instruction, he said the committee had worked to develop a peer review panel of about 20 faculty members who evaluate teaching in the classroom on a voluntary basis at the request of the faculty member. He emphasized the panel was an attempt to improve teaching and had nothing to do with the EDO process.
To aid understanding of the evaluation process, Professor Russell said the Director of Institutional Research and the Director of the Walker Teaching Resource Center had prepared a tip sheet to help administrators and others better interpret the numerical data from the student evaluations of faculty, data which has often been the principal criterion for evaluating teaching. He said the committee has also developed a list of alternative criteria which he said was cited in the committee report.
He said the SGA had called him a few times to discuss talking to the committee about ideas for modifying the evaluation form, but he said they never followed through on the calls. Since the form was just modified, he said he hoped it would be used for a while to provide baseline data.
Report from the Departmental Honors Committee
Chair Greg ODea presented a list of student projects for Council to approve. Professor Russell asked what the project "untitled" was about. Professor ODea said it was a collection of original poetry and had since been given a title which he could not recollect. In a correction, he noted the project by Kristi Hawken should have read "highest honors" rather than "honors." He said the projects were being offered to Council pending verification of the final grade point average. He noted the list included three projects which would be completed later in the year, one in August and two in December. He said a few members of Council had expressed concern about acting on projects that were already a fait accompli. He asked if Council would prefer more than one report per year. Professor Margaret Trimpey moved that the committee report at the end of fall semester and again at the end of spring semester. Professor Roland Carter seconded. The motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.
Returning to the list of candidates, Council voted to approve the departmental honors candidates unanimously on a voice vote.
President Prevost acknowledged written reports from the following committees: Academic Standards, Ad Hoc Committee on Minority Faculty Recruitment and Retention, Athletics, Budget and Economic Status, Classroom Technology, Convocation, Curriculum, Departmental Honors, Faculty Rating of Administrators, General Education, Scholarships, Speakers and Special Events, Student Rating of Faculty Instruction.
Provost Berry reported on a recent visit by a consultant on enrollment management, recruitment, and retention issues. He said a copy of the report would be available to interested Council members. Among the more important points made by the consultant:
--Recommended UTC develop more data and use that data more effectively than in the past.
--Stressed the importance of a good web page in communicating with students. Said UTC has a good message to tell but has not been telling it as effectively as it might in the current web pages.
--Recommended that recruiters spend less time on the road and more time responding to queries and following up on initial contacts with the university.
--Recommended training a cadre of students to work throughout the year contacting and re-contacting potential students.
--Saw considerable potential for increasing enrollment among international students while still concentrating initial efforts in Tennessee.
--Discussed program development tools to increase enrollment such as certificate programs, adult scholar programs, and non-traditional programs.
Provost Berry said the Committee on Recruitment, Retention, and Graduation Rates was continuing to meet. He said he would appreciate any help the faculty and staff could offer with phone calls, email, and letters.
He said the Technology Fee Committee was continuing to meet to finalize recommendations for the next round of expenditures. He said the final list would go out over Raven.
Professor Diane Farone asked if an instructional excellence retreat had been planned for this year. Professor Bibler said it would to be held May 18-20 at Watts Bar. He said he understood that Professor John Lynch, chair of the Instructional Excellence Committee, would be sending out information shortly.
Provost Berry reminded everyone of the Campus Master Plan presentation on Reading Day at 11:15 a.m. following the faculty meeting.
Saying he had a concern but didnt know who to address it to, Professor Bibler suggested the campus needed to reconsider the structure of Honors Day, citing the poor attendance over the past several years. He said it was embarrassing to have donors present and awardees absent. He recommended turning the awards over to the individual colleges to plan their own events. Citing the lateness of the year, President Prevost suggested incoming Council president John Trimpey might want to add it to his list of concerns. Professor Gail Meyer said she had observed similar problems with Honors Day and cited several examples. Provost Berry said Convocation posed similar problems and said he didnt know if Council wanted to consider that issue in conjunction with Honors Day or not.
President Prevost asked Professor John Trimpey if he was making a list of the concerns.
Professor Bibler said the Faculty Club would be open for lunch all summer unless demand was less than expected. He invited everyone to participate.
President Prevost announced that the English Department would be hosting a reception for Professor John Tinkler on Reading Day April 25 from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Faculty Club.
President Prevost adjourned the meeting at 4:19 p.m.