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THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES

September 16, 1999

Signal Mountain Room
University Center

Elected Members Present:
Tom Bibler, Pedro Campa, Fritz Efaw, Gene Ezell, Ron Goulet, Lee Harris, Jim Hiestand, Mike Long, Irene Loomis, Deborah McAllister, Gail Meyer, Cliff Parten, Edward Rozema, Mike Russell, Valerie Rutledge, Marsha Scheidt, Mac Smotherman, John Trimpey, Rick Turpin, Steve Underwood, Mike Whittle, Sherry Young

Elected Members Absent:
Anne Bailey, Roland Carter, Charles Knight, Burch Oglesby, Lauren Sewell, Ken Smith, Margaret Trimpey

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

Among the Guests Present:
Karen Adsit, Deborah Arfken, Herb Burhenn, Betsy Darken, Chris Matawa, Clint Smullen, Monty Wilson

Actions and Announcements

Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable members report on summer institute and upcoming discussions.

Council passes recommendation from General Education Committee on transfer students.

Eli Hirsch, author of Cultural Literacy, is announced as Convocation speaker.

Call to Order

President Verbie Prevost called the meeting to order at 3:02 p.m.

Approval of the Minutes of September 2, 1999

The minutes were approved as distributed.

Election to Fill Graduate Council Vacancy

Professor Sherry Young was elected by acclamation to be Faculty Council representative to Graduate Council.

Report on Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable

Drs. Karen Adsit, Chris Matawa, and Clint Smullen, and Mr. Monty Wilson discussed the roundtable that has grown out of the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Institute they attended this past summer along with SGA President Eric Larsen. Dr. Smullen said the focus of the institute was on how teaching and learning could be improved or enhanced by technology. The UTC attendees felt some of the institute’s ideas had value for the university, and so they have organized an informal roundtable to discuss issues related to teaching, learning, and technology.

Professor Matawa said he had expected to return from the institute with a short list of specific technologies but quickly discovered the institute was centered on teaching and learning. The institute focused on campuses as teaching and learning communities that identify and implement technologies based on their ability to enhance teaching and learning. The institute fostered the idea that all stakeholders on a campus—essentially everyone—should engage in broad-based discussions of technology in terms of teaching and learning. Professor Matawa noted all campuses are different and that discussions at UTC might lead to different outcomes than at other colleges.

Dr. Smullen emphasized the roundtable was not a committee and had not been appointed by anyone; its members are campus people with an interest in technology as it relates to teaching and learning. He said the roundtable members are inviting everyone in the campus community to participate in discussions about the direction of technology on campus. Any consensus reached in the discussions would go to the appropriate campus committee or person, he added. Their goal is to initiate discussions on various topics over the course of the fall and spring semesters.

Dr. Adsit said the first discussion would take place on September 22 at 3 p.m. in Fletcher 100 and would address "Enhanced Learning through Electronic Communication." The October meeting will focus on teaching online while the November discussion will look at presentation equipment and how it can be used to improve teaching and learning in the classroom. She said she hoped the outgrowth of this grassroots discussion would be the identification of the issues that are the most important to the students and faculty. They hope a range of voices and opinions will be present at the meetings.

Dr. Smullen reiterated the discussion would not focus, for example, on which email software was the best but rather on whether it was really valuable for faculty to communicate with their students through email. He said the facilitators for the first discussion would be Professors Jim Henry and Valerie Rutledge.

Professor Rutledge said knowledge about technology and skill in using it would not be prerequisites for attending, just an interest in the issues and a willingness to participate.

Professor Mike Whittle said the Chair of the Classroom Technology Committee was confused about the committee’s role in light of this new initiative and asked whether the committee was now redundant and should be abolished. Dr. Smullen said the roundtable was not a committee and would not overlap the role of any existing committee. Dr. Adsit added that issues arising from the roundtable would be directed to a committee like the Classroom Technology Committee, the University Technology Committee, the Instructional Excellence Committee, or some other committee or person. She said the roundtable members view it as a grassroots forum to generate discussion about teaching, learning, and technology.

Provost Bill Berry said he applauded the efforts of the roundtable. He said the discussion avoided the extremes on the question and addressed the issue of how technology might improve the ways students are taught.

Professor Fritz Efaw asked for a clear definition of technology, adding that if they meant computers they should say so. Professor Matawa said that was a question to be threshed out during discussions in the roundtable. He said a consensus in roundtable discussions might help guide campus decision-makers in the allocation of resources. Professor Efaw expressed concern that vague discussions of technology often degenerate into technobabble. Dr. Smullen said roundtable discussions would focus not on technology but on what the campus wants to do with technology.

Dr. Efaw said he attended a multi-day brainstorming session on technology 2-5 years ago on campus. He said some recommendations were supposedly sent forward to Knoxville and that as far as he knew nothing ever came of it. Monty Wilson said he recollected that conference and that many of the suggestions from those meetings had to do with enhancing the campus network. He said he used the outcomes to marshal support for getting the campus wired.

Professor Efaw asked if anyone knew what happened to the other suggestions, adding that they seemed to have disappeared into a black hole in Knoxville. He said because of his past experiences he was skeptical of efforts such as the one being proposed. Professor Matawa said there was no guarantee this effort would succeed either. He said that was why the roundtable members were appealing for participation, adding that he thought it was worth trying despite uncertainty about past efforts. He said the strength of the roundtable would depend on the range of people participating and the depth of the discussion. Although the roundtable is just a discussion group, he said it was possible that administrators in attendance could be influenced by the discussion.

Noting the term technology can be used in all kinds of ways, Provost Berry said he thought a discussion of a definition of technology would be useful to the campus. He said he thought it would help the technology committee as they review proposals in the spring and that it would also help applicants discern whether their proposals are likely to be fundable. If participation in the roundtable discussion is good, he said the outcomes could play directly into the funding recommendations coming out of the technology committees in the spring. He observed that the committee system on campus is sometimes viewed with distrust and that this roundtable offers faculty and students an opportunity to inform the decisions and recommendations of the technology committees in a less formal way. He said he thought the discussions would help UTC to define technology for the campus, to set priorities for the technologies deemed most useful to teaching and learning, and to meet various parts of the university’s mission.

Dr. Adsit pointed out that the discussions could also indicate the need for some changes that do not require approval by any body. She said they might indicate to her in the Teaching Resource Center, for example, that she needed to plan programs focused more on some areas than others.

Professor Jim Hiestand asked about the first paragraph under "A Student’s Perspective" in the roundtable handout. Dr. Adsit said that section was written by the student representative but that her perception was that he felt students should be able to get on board and use technology whether they were currently accustomed to it or not. She said her perception was that he sees technology as one avenue to make the campus a more cohesive, connected place. Professor Hiestand said he felt that perception was different from what was stated in the document.

Professor Matawa said he felt various technologies could add or detract from the learning process and that that needed to be part of the discussion. Professor Mike Russell said he felt the lecture method still had value and hoped it would not be undermined by this new technology thrust. He said some colleagues felt like they had to do a soft-shoe routine or something comparable to keep the attention of students. Professor Matawa agreed the lecture method still had value and said that viewpoint needed to be represented in these discussions. He said that just throwing technology into the classroom would not add value to the student’s learning experience. He said he hoped that the roundtable discussions would identify technologies that would add value.

Committee Reports

General Education Committee:

On behalf of the committee, Chair Betsy Darken offered the following recommendation regarding transfer students and the new General Education requirements:

"Any high school graduate who starts college from Fall 1999 through Summer 2001 at an institution other than UTC will have the choice of adopting the UTC 1998-1999 catalog. This option is in addition to the usual options of adopting the UTC catalog in effect at the time of first entry into college or the UTC catalog current at the time of entry into UTC.

This special provision is subject to the usual restriction that a catalog is valid for a maximum of 10 years. That is, a student who wishes to use the 1998-1999 catalog must graduate before the Fall of 2008."

Professor Hiestand asked if the recommendation would apply to students right out of high school. Professor Darken said the student would have had to have started college somewhere else.

President Provost asked if the recommendation covered students who had participated in dual enrollment programs. Professor Darken said the recommendation was carefully worded so as not to include dual enrollment students. President Prevost said Chattanooga State had several concerns about whether courses taken in the dual enrollment program would transfer to UTC. A discussion ensued about how many Hamilton Co. students were enrolled in the dual enrollment program and how many courses they might be taking. It was thought that about 500 students were in the program and that each student could take at most four courses. Professor Bibler said Chattanooga State was concerned about using a catalog that included courses that were no longer being offered or that had been substantially changed. Professor Darken said UTC students who adopt the 1998-1999 catalog would have the same problem. Professor Mike Russell pointed out that dual enrollment students who take courses that do not fit under the new General Education program would still get credit for those courses as electives. He also said he thought advisement would play an important role.

Provost Berry said he thought the transfer issue and the dual enrollment question should probably be considered separately. He said one of the complicating factors was that UTC had not answered all of its questions about the General Education program which made it difficult to give clear, consistent answers to transfer and non-transfer students and to advisors on other campuses. He said he thought the recommendation on transfer students was both fair to the student and practical for UTC.

The recommendation passed 17-0-0.

Convocation Committee:

Chair Valerie Rutledge said Eli Hirsch, the author of Cultural Literacy and other books, would be the featured speaker at Convocation on Wednesday, October 6 at 10 a.m. The committee hopes he will be available for other events during that day as well. More information will be going out to the campus community shortly.

Executive Committee:

President Prevost said the Executive Committee discussed the interval between classes and recommends that faculty monitor the problem during the fall semester. If it continues to be a significant problem, then Council could consider having a committee study the problem in more depth and make a recommendation. The facilities/campus master planners are also monitoring the situation.

She said the Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Development Grants is meeting and will report to Council in October. The Ad Hoc Committee on Minority Hiring and Retention will begin meeting shortly.

Administrative Reports

Provost

Provost Berry met recently with representatives of Chattanooga State and Cleveland State, the two in-state feeder schools who send UTC more transfer students than any other two-year institutions. Discussion centered on standard General Education articulation agreements as well as program specific articulation issues. He said the program specific issues may be more difficult to resolve since some of those requirements are mandated by the state or required or encouraged by an accrediting body. He said he thought it was a good meeting despite the confusion over some General Education questions that UTC has not yet answered. He said the meeting’s focus was on making reasonable and responsible decisions for the students involved yet protecting the academic programs. He said there would be additional meetings with these two institutions, and he thanked those who participated in the recent meeting.

Vice Chancellor for Operations

Although Vice Chancellor Richard Brown had no report, President Prevost said several people had asked her why campus mail envelopes were being stamped "Priority Campus Mail." Vice Chancellor Brown said he did not know but would check on it.

New Business

Professor Efaw asked about the status of monies raised during Campaign 2000, saying he had understood the money would be used to expand professorships or create new ones. Following some discussion, it was decided that Vice Chancellor Margaret Kelley would be the best person to report on that effort. President Prevost said she would invite her to the next meeting of Council. Provost Berry pointed out that the perception of the amount of money raised should be balanced by the reality that most pledges are paid over time.

Professor Efaw asked about the distribution of summer school teaching opportunities. He said the opportunity to teach summer school was desired by a lot of faculty, so much so that some departments used a rotation system. He said it seemed to be easier to get summer teaching assignments in some parts of the university than others. He said he felt there was more student demand for classes, for instance, in Economics than they were being allowed to teach.

Provost Berry said he had a great interest in managing the available summer school monies. He said he was not convinced that UTC had been budgeting as much for summer school as they should and said an argument could be made for more classes to be taught. On the other hand, he said some fiscal people could argue that the decision is less clear since various costs are not included in some summer school calculations. Some students may graduate early and thereby deplete the fall enrollment, causing the state allocation to be lower than it might have been otherwise. So UTC might think it had made money on summer school when it had not. He said the economics and equity issues related to summer school did need to be reviewed.

Professor Russell discussed some of the battles that had been fought over summer school including an effort to get UTC summer school stipends closer to those at UTK. Provost Berry said he had encountered several methods for determining summer school salaries including basing it on a percentage of the regular salary. Some institutions pay by rank and some add additional dollars for years at rank. He noted an experiment at one university where summer school pay was reduced and the savings were transferred into nine-month salaries in an effort to spread the money more equitably.

Professor Irene Loomis asked if any of the monies from the 15% tuition increase at Knoxville were used for faculty raises. Provost Berry said they had set aside some monies for faculty who successfully completed performance review but said he did not know about allocations beyond that.

Professor Rozema asked about the status of Banner. President Prevost said the Chancellor had planned to report on that matter but was unable to attend the meeting. Provost Berry said his perception of the meetings he has attended was that consideration is being given to continuing some operations on an improved legacy system. He said a review by some of the technical people that described the legacy system as crippled and breaking down was accurate but related to the hardware rather than the software. Their reports suggest that the recent purchase of HP hardware would permit refinements of the legacy system which would allow some areas to function quite effectively. He said the campus community would have to discuss how it feels about a possible hybrid system. He said the decision ultimately hinges on how the technology can best be used to provide better service to UTC students. Vice Chancellor Aiken said his perception was that the campus was at a critical juncture in making decisions on the student information system and that he expected Chancellor Stacy to continue meeting with the campus community until a consensus is reached on the issue. Others echoed those sentiments, noting the Chancellor’s open meetings on the topic.

Adjournment

President Prevost adjourned the meeting at 4:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Breeden
Faculty Council Secretary

 

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