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THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES

November 18, 1999
Raccoon Mountain Room
University Center

Elected Members Present:
Pedro Campa, Fritz Efaw, Gene Ezell, Diane Farone, Dawn Ford, Phil Giffin, Ron Goulet, Lee Harris, Jim Hiestand, Mike Long, Irene Loomis, Deborah McAllister, Gail Meyer, Burch Oglesby, Cliff Parten, Edward Rozema, Mike Russell, Marsha Scheidt, Lauren Sewell, John Trimpey, Margaret Trimpey, Rick Turpin, Steve Underwood, Mike Whittle, Sally Young

Elected Members Absent:
Tom Bibler, Roland Carter, Charles Knight, Valerie Rutledge, Ken Smith, Mac Smotherman, Sherry Young

Ex-Officio Members Present:
Bill Berry, Richard Brown, Sheila Delacroix, Jane Harbaugh, Richard MacDougall

Among the Guests Present:
Herb Burhenn, Richard Gambrell, Lanny Janeksela, John Schaerer

Actions and Announcements

Council approves a proposal from the Curriculum Committee.

Council receives a report on Mocs Express.

Provost Berry discusses equity adjustments.

Call to Order

President Verbie Prevost called the meeting to order at 3:03 p.m.

Approval of the Minutes of October 21, 1999

The minutes were approved as distributed.

Report from Curriculum Committee: Professor John Trimpey

Chair John Trimpey noted the Economics proposal had inadvertently been duplicated without the vote of the committee. He said the proposal was considered on October 15 by Curriculum Committee members who voted 11-0-0 to approve it. Council voted 20-0-0 to approve the proposal.

Professor Trimpey announced a reversal of the order in which General Education proposals are reviewed by the Curriculum and General Education Committees. Beginning with the Spring 2000 semester, all proposals will again go first to the Curriculum Committee for consideration. This change reverses an accommodation made by the Curriculum and General Education Committees a few years ago to ease the flow (and perhaps flood) of General Education courses through the committee process.

Report on Mocs Express: Dr. John Schaerer and Mr. Richard Gambrell

Dr. John Schaerer, Special Assistant to the Chancellor, presented a draft of a vision statement for the Mocs Express project which he said would be used to guide the work on the project. He said the statement had evolved over several weeks of discussion between the Mocs Express policy committee and Computing Services. He said Faculty Council was one of a number of bodies, areas, and divisions on campus that would be asked to review and comment on the statement. Noting that Banner had not met all the needs of the university, he said the vision statement expressed a course of action which would draw from the best components of both Banner and the legacy system and any other software that might meet the needs of the university. In addition to the vision statement, he shared a very tentative work schedule that outlined when enhancements were expected to be completed. He said the university would be hearing more about the work plan as priorities are set in conjunction with the divisions and departments of the university, adding that comments and feedback on the vision statement and the work plan would be solicited over Raven as well.

Dr. Schaerer announced that the Mocs Express project team would be chaired by Richard Gambrell and that other members would be Glenda Sullivan, Tony Lease, Deborah Arfken, Dick Gruetzemacher, Vanasia Parks, Karen Adsit, Randy Whitson, and Cindee Pullium. He said this committee would meet from time to time to discuss the implementation of the work plan and various technical considerations.

Copies of the draft of the Mocs Express vision statement were distributed. (see attached) Mr. Richard Gambrell said several drafts of the vision statement had been reviewed by the policy team. A draft has also been sent to students via the Scrappy mailing list and has been or will be presented to various groups on campus such as Faculty Council to elicit feedback. He said the policy team wanted to get feedback from a variety of groups to get a clearer sense of where the campus thinks Mocs Express should be in three to five years.

In reviewing the items in the vision statement, Mr. Gambrell noted specifically the goal of having the various software packages work together. He said many campus applications are developed and supplied by the university-wide system, occasionally resulting in some information having to be entered twice. He said he hopes the campus shares the goal of having these applications interface more easily.

Professor Lee Harris said he attended a presentation last year on "classes in a box" and has also attended the discussions of the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable. What software will be part of Mocs Express and what will faculty have to seek elsewhere? Mr. Gambrell said Mocs Express was primarily focused on administrative process—registering and paying for classes, getting grades, and so on—while TLTR had a teaching and learning focus. He said there were some areas where discussion and cooperation between the groups would be helpful. As an example, he said a properly registered student should have access to the web materials for a class without anyone having to do anything special, i.e., all parts of the system should recognize that the student is allowed in. Mr. Gambrell said the off-the-shelf software referred to in the vision statement was primarily Banner or other types of administrative software not written by the university. He said he would recommend that custom programming only be undertaken for those items that are special and unique to UTC. He said the phrase "naturally flexibly integrated" referred to the need for applications across campus to work together in a more or less transparent way although he thought it would take some time for that to happen. Provost Bill Berry said he thought there would be a need for close communication between the UTC Technology Committee, the Mocs Express team, and several other committees with technology interests.

Professor Ed Rosema said he and others in the Math Department checked records manually at the beginning of each semester to see that students met the requirements for the various courses. He asked how Mocs Express would aid that process. Mr. Gambrell said one of the goals was to make data more easily and readily available. He said the request could be analyzed and a determination made as to whether or how the feature could best be incorporated into Mocs Express.

Professor Gail Meyer said she supported any efforts to make student dealings with the university easier but expressed concern that the campus might move from face-to-face advising toward something web-based. Mr. Gambrell said Mocs Express would make it easier for students to do business with the campus from an off-campus setting at a time and place of their choosing and added that future technologies would probably make face-to-face electronic advising a viable option at some point. He said he expected a lively campus discussion about the nature of advising. Professor Meyer said advising went beyond helping the student figure out which math class to take, noting that the conversations often went in many directions. Associate Provost Harbaugh said she thought Mocs Express would be more concerned with scheduling of time than with advising. Mr. Gambrell said curriculum planning and scheduling could be a component of the system. Professor Mike Russell said he understood that departments that were overburdened with students to advise might want a more automated system and might want some kind of web option. He said his preference, however, was to continue to meet with the students face to face, adding that he didn't necessarily want to talk to a student at 10 p.m.

Referring to the vision statement, Professor John Trimpey said he could not think of a context when he would want to automatically send email to a student. President Prevost said she knew of faculty who obtained class rolls in advance and mailed syllabi to the students. Professor Margaret Trimpey said Nursing faculty frequently sent materials and information to students ahead of time, adding that they would like to be able to do this by email and save the postage.

Professor Lauren Sewell noted that the current system does not prevent students from registering for courses for which they have not met the prerequisites. Will Mocs Express identify these students? Will it do replacement grades and check prerequisites? Mr. Gambrell said he wants the system to be able to enforce the straightforward and clear-cut kinds of rules, adding that he and others are currently working on enhancements and data structures that may permit cross-checking for prerequisites and so forth. He said the team had already discovered that prerequisites are very complicated and subject to interpretation. He said the rules would have to be clearly defined within the database. He said he and the others on the project did not want to create a situation that would make it more difficult for the student to conduct business with the university. Professor Meyer said one of the problems for the programmers would be dealing with students who are currently enrolled in a prerequisite and but would not technically meet the requirement before they registered for a new semester. Professor Sewell said it would be helpful if Mocs Express could generate a list of the students meeting prerequisites at the beginning of the semester.

Professor Margaret Trimpey said her department found it very important to have up-to-date information on student addresses, telephone numbers, and email. Can students update this information as part of the registration process? Mr. Gambrell said students can be given the opportunity to provide that information as part of the registration process and felt it was something Mocs Express could handle fairly soon.

Professor Russell observed that rules are sometimes bent for good reasons and said he hoped the system would have an override feature that didn't involve a lot of red tape. Mr. Gambrell said the system, if properly designed, should deal with overrides in a straightforward way. He said each portion of the system would be offered for review and feedback before any general release to the campus.

Professor Hiestand asked what happened to the concerns faculty voiced last spring about replacement grades and developmental course grades in Banner. Does the Mocs Express address that? Dr. Schaerer said the intent of the project team is to enhance the legacy system where those features are already embedded and use that system in conjunction with Banner and any other off-the-shelf software deemed appropriate. He noted Mocs Express was refocused because Banner could not meet several needs of the campus.

Professor Meyer asked where or to whom faculty or departments should send their concerns. Mr. Gambrell said they could be sent to him or to mocsexpress@utc.edu, the email address the team is using for feedback. President Prevost said she knew the team had been working hard on the rap sheet. Mr. Gambrell said he was pleased that they had been able to mount the General Education requirements into the rap system. In closing, Dr. Schaerer encouraged comments and suggestions on the vision statement.

Administrative Reports

Provost Bill Berry

Provost Berry said the Chancellor sent his regrets at not being able to attend the meeting of Council but was attending a meeting in Knoxville, having been appointed by President Gilley to a committee reviewing administrative efficiency and streamlining.

Provost Berry said he has met with the Budget and Economic Status Committee of Faculty Council to discuss a number of questions and concerns the committee had. He said he thought the committee generally endorsed the use of a version of last year's equity process in determining the adjustments for this year. There has been some discussion of introducing a merit factor and factors for time and rank into the distribution of the $100,000 that is available this year. He said department heads would be eligible for adjustments but would be looked at on the basis of nine-month salaries as faculty at their rank in their respective disciplines. Any adjustment would be based on nine-month monies and not 12-month monies. A few faculty who are deemed "clinical instructors" will also be eligible for equity adjustments this year.

Provost Berry said the adjustments will appear in the December checks if several logistical hurdles can be overcome. If not, they will appear in January. He said he and the Chancellor and everybody else wishes more money was available for adjustments. He thanked all the colleges and divisions that trimmed costs to make the equity adjustments possible.

Provost Berry has been appointed by President Gilley to an ad hoc group charged with identifying problems between the systems office and the campus offices. He said that taskforce has produced a rather long and surprisingly candid list of problems and would have a final report to circulate very shortly. He said he felt President Gilley genuinely wanted to reduce some of the frustrations in the system to campus interactions.

In response to a question about whether UTC would be seceding from the UT system, Provost Berry said it was a report "with fast feet but ultimately without legs." For UTC to return to being a private university, he said the Chattanooga community would have to raise $35 or $40 million to make that fiscally possible. He said he did not see that happening. Despite some frustration within the UT system, he said any invitation to join the Board of Regents should be thought about long and hard. He said there had been a number of signals recently from the central UT administration that campuses would be given a little greater autonomy than in the past. He said he thought President Gilley had shown a genuine interest in what this campus was doing and had established a very good relationship with Chancellor Stacy.

Professor Fritz Efaw asked whether one-fifth or one-sixth of the faculty would undergo the cumulative performance review process this year and whether there were any rules for the review. Provost Berry said one-sixth of the faculty would undergo the process this year under the implementation guidelines approved by the faculty, noting that the guidelines called for individual departments to decide the order in which people are reviewed. Professor Efaw asked if money was available for faculty successfully completing the process this year, and Provost Berry replied that money was available.

Professor Efaw asked if a faculty member could apply every year and take advantage of any monetary rewards that might be offered. Professor Gene Ezell said he thought yearly applications would open the door for faculty to do the same with other awards or rewards. Provost Berry said it was comparable to a faculty member who had excellent years for five straight years when there was little or no money available and an ordinary year in the sixth when more money was available. Professor Efaw said he was talking about the performance review process, not the annual evaluation. Provost Berry suggested the same scenario could apply to both. Professor Efaw asked again if any language existed in any of the documents that would preclude a faculty member from applying every year. Professor Hiestand said the Handbook contained language to the effect that the process would take place every six years after a faculty member was awarded tenure. An inconclusive discussion ensued at this point in the meeting and again later in the meeting between Professor Efaw and other members of Council concerning whether faculty could apply and be reviewed every year under the cumulative review guidelines.

Provost Berry said the question of monetary reward was of great concern to the Council of Deans and had also been of concern on all of the campuses of the University of Tennessee. He said several campuses are opting to do bonuses rather than raises to base because of concern about uneven funding over time. Professor Russell asked if UTC was leaning toward the bonus option. Provost Berry said that was the inclination subject to the Chancellor's final approval.

Professor Russell asked if the six years specified in the guidelines included the year the person underwent the review and the five years prior to that, or just the six years immediately prior to the year of the review. Some Council members speculated that, like tenure, it would include the current academic year. With tongue-in-cheek, President Prevost asked Professor Russell if he had a book in 1993 that he wanted to include in the review. Professor Russell said he wanted to get full credit for this year and wouldn't be able to do so because of the time frame involved.

Professor Pedro Campa asked what happened to the disputed items in the cumulative performance review implementation plan. Has Knoxville responded? Is there a final document? He said he viewed the vote on the implementation plan as a temporary vote and suggested the document could be reviewed and voted on again by the faculty. Provost Berry said the Board of Trustees approved the implementation plans from each of the campuses at the June meeting with the stipulation that certain editorial matters be ironed out. He said, to date, UTC does not know what those are, but he could have some information as early as tomorrow.

Professor Efaw asked if any administrators, department heads, or deans would be subject to cumulative performance review this year. Provost Berry said that under the implementation plan for this campus that several administrators, department heads, and at least one dean would go through the process this year. SIZE="4">

New Business

Professor Hiestand observed that the 1999-2000 faculty-staff phone books had not arrived in offices and that they seemed to be distributed long after the student books. Vice Chancellor Richard Brown said he would check on their status.

Adjournment

President Prevost said it was pointed out to her that she did not seek a proper motion to adjourn at the last meeting, but declined to name Parliamentarian Hiestand as the complainant. Seeking and receiving an appropriate motion, President Prevost adjourned the meeting at 4 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Breeden

Secretary

 

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