THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
November 15, 2001 Signal Mountain Room
Elected Members Present: Rob Bailey, Linda Cundiff, Susan Davidson, Joe Dumas, Marvin Ernst, Steve Eskildsen, Dawn Ford, Zibin Guo, Diane Halstead, Karen Henderson, Jim Hiestand, Michael Jones, Charles Knight, Irene Loomis, Deborah McAllister, Claire McCullough, John Mies, Sarla Murgai, Marcia Noe, Teresa Norris, Joe Owino, Vicki Petzko, Oralia Preble-Niemi, Verbie Prevost, Cheryl Robinson, Leland Robinson, Chris Stuart, Judith Wakim, Barbara Walton
Elected Members Absent: Tom Bibler, Roland Carter, Fritz Efaw, Vance Lesseig, Valerie Rutledge, Terry Walters
Ex-Officio Members Present: Bill Stacy, John Trimpey
Among the Guests Present: Deborah Arfken, Dan Baker, Lanny Janeksela, Philip Kazemersky, John Phillips, Mary Tanner, Larry Tillman, Gavin Townsend, Randy Walker, Sandy Zitkus
Call to Order:
President Ernst, with great enthusiasm, called the meeting to order at 3:03 pm.
Approval of the Minutes of November 1, 2001:
The minutes were approved without question, as they should be.
Report from Departmental Honors
Dr. John Phillips gave the following report. The Departmental Honors Committee submitted 3 candidates for departmental honors for approval by the Faculty Council. The three candidates were: Hajar Kadivar, Biology, for highest honors; Rebecca Burt, Biology, for honors; and Andrea Crilly, Political Science, for highest honors. All three candidates were approved by the Council.
Dr. Phillips then reported that at the committee's first meeting this semester, they voted to abolish the designation of highest honors and beginning December of 2003 to just have the designation of honors. The rationale for this decision was that students began to believe that they should get the recognition of highest honors no matter how well they did on their projects. The committee recommends removal. Another rationale has to do with the inconsistency of how departments apply the designation.
Dr. Leland Robinson asked how common is it at other schools to have highest honors or some equivalent?
Dr. Townsend responded and gave an explanation about the term highest honors here at UTC. He stated that at first a small percentage of students were submitted for highest honors. That has since "flip-flopped" to where the majority of students are now being submitted for highest honors. The designation has lost its distinction. This also puts the committee in an awkward position when the projects submitted do not meet the criteria for highest honors. It creates conflict between the committee and the submitting departments.
Dr. Leland Robinson stated if other schools have highest honors, what will other schools think of our students when they don’t know we have eliminated the highest honors? Isn't this putting our students at a disadvantage? Why not toughen up the criteria?
Dr. Townsend stated that the designation is not that common. The criteria is very specific as outlined in the Departmental Honors manual. It doesn’t mean that departments follow or interpret the guidelines as written. Then when the committee interprets the guidelines and has to inform the departments that their recommendation doesn't make sense then you have an unnecessary problem. The motion is to remove the designation as of December 2003.
Dr. Ernst commented that this issue needs discussion as it affects other departments across campus.
The motion to remove the highest honors designation as of December 2003 was moved and seconded and then opened for discussion.
Dr. Prevost stated the concern that a certain GPA is also required and sometimes the projects are quite good but the student does not have the required GPA to receive highest honors.
Dr. Dumas commented that students needed to be rewarded for exceptional work. They should have the understanding that the criteria must be met, both GPA requirements as well as exceptional work on the project to receive highest honors. He stated that both designations should be kept.
Dr. Phillips commented that for a student to receive honors itself isn’t ordinary. Faculty need to be reminded that highest honors is exceptional and criteria should be met.
There followed a lengthy discussion about the pros and cons of the designation, "highest honors". It was then determined that this issue needed further discussion and clarification and therefore was turfed to the Standards Committee by voice vote.
Report from the Graduate School
Dr. Deborah Arfken gave the following report on the Graduate School. The following proposals were presented for Faculty Council approval.
The Physical Therapy proposal was approved with a vote of 22 - 0 - 3.
The Political Science proposals were approved with a vote of 26 - 0 - 0.
Hepatitis A occurred in a food service employee and was handled with Health Dept. input. We are pleased that only one employee was affected.
The reallocations report has been sent to Knoxville. President Fly and Tom Bower will be informed on December 3 about our needs; it’s a financial and political process that we must follow.
The Provost search committee needs to be formed and get started.
We still plan to make distribution of funds for compensation but are waiting for Nashville to decide just how much the state is short in funds. We will make the adjustments as soon as we can. These adjustments will be made at the professor rank and the associate professor rank. We are still waiting for Nashville to get its act together.
Lupton Fund requests are being processed; the committee will decide soon how to distribute these funds; priority will be assigned; what is proposed that could not have happened before these funds?
The December commencement will include President Fly as the speaker. Hurry up with the grades so that these can be processed ASAP.
Dr. Claire McCullough asked what about adjustments for assistant professors?
Dr. Stacy – not at this time; the assistant had the fewest number of persons that were below average in compensation.
Dr. Noe – who made the decision on which individuals to adjust?
Dr. Stacy – the deans, provost, department heads, asked why are they so low? Dick Gruetzmacher also involved.
Dr. Noe – how many will be adjusted?
Dr. Trimpey - about 35 or 40.
Dr. Stacy - we are still trying to get the whole group at 100% of the peer average. This group was the furthest away and will be brought up to within 85% of the peer average.
Dr. Leland Robinson – did a department head deny anyone that was in the group that was 80-85% from the national peer average?
Dr. Trimpey – not really because there was no paper trail for the one in question.
Professor Sarla Murgai asked if librarians are in this pool?
Dr. Trimpey – there were no faculty adjustments to be made in the library due to the faculty are all at the 80-85% of the peer average.
The Deans Council nominates Dr. Deborah Arfken to serve on the Provost Search committee.
Also, Dr. Harry Miller’s wife has passed away.
President Ernst reported that the EDO/EDE Committee has been formed. Dr. Deborah McAllister has agreed to serve as chair.
President Ernst distributed a nomination form for people to serve on the Provost Search Committee. Several deans have submitted names to serve on this committee. These deans were informed that the submitted names will be considered as nominations, not necessarily as the designated member. He also suggested that the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council develop a slate of individuals that the Faculty Council members can have input on but the Executive Council be empowered to choose the candidates for the committee. The Faculty Council members will be notified of the slate of individuals by November 26.
The student association were able to get the Hamilton County legislatures to come to campus on November 28 at 1pm. Student Representative Tiffany Smith gave the following report. There is an organization called the Governmental Affairs Committee at UTK that informs the students about the money situation in Nashville. At UTC we have the Governmental Affairs Commission with Dr. Paul Posner from the Political Science Department serving as faculty advisor. We have been meeting for the past month and planning the forum. Formal letters have been sent to all Hamilton County delegates. We have heard from 2 that are going to be here. Encourage the legislators to come by sending them emails or calling. Representative Bobby Wood is the chair of the delegation and will be here. There will be an informal lunch at 11:45 before the forum and the meeting will follow at 1:00pm in the Tennessee Room. We are expecting widespread media coverage so we need to pack the room so that we show a good presence for TV. Encourage faculty, staff and students to attend. There is a Tennessee for Higher Education web site that will inform you of what is happening in Nashville. Please log on and be informed. 1300 students responded to a survey about the budget crisis here on this campus. Some students were not aware of how serious this is. Students also wrote notes about specific concerns. Voter registration will also be going on that week; all UT campuses are participating in this effort.
President Ernst wants to request that the Budget Committee make a presentation at this forum and also requested that the information presented not all be negative, but realistic. (President Ernst then passed the gavel to Dr. Preble-Niemi to conduct the meeting since he had a 4:00 class.)
Dr. Dan Baker proposed that we not "play nice" when the delegation comes to campus. He then proceeded to explain that he serves as the executive secretary for the Tennessee Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. He then gave a passionate presentation on the following points. The state senators are virtual cowards. The house is more amenable to tax reform. He sent an email out to the raven group about the tacte website. He presented a few facts guaranteed to really "tick you off" and hopefully involved in the current budget crisis. Given current funding levels, Tennessee would need to reduce enrollment by 21,800 students or roughly 12% to serve the remaining students at the levels of instruction, services and equipment at facilities as their counterparts throughout the South enjoy. Nashville talks about enrollment "caps", not enrollment "cuts". One way they are capping it is in decreasing the amount of grants that are available to poor students in proportion to the loans. Loan percentages are going up. When adjusting for inflation, Tennessee faculty earn $11,000 less now than they did in 1991. What is it going to take to get us angry? Faculty are not responding; are they informed? Students are also not informed. The conclusion is that legislatures are not going to budge unless they are really shaken up. Some are approachable, some are not, and writing letters will help. A form letter will be made up for us to use; this will be placed on the web site; write letters from your personal perspective; include vacant positions, recruitment issues, retention issues, summer school issues; get the students to write letters, this is very effective; make it a part of your courses; we need to get involved now.
Dr. Fritz Efaw – we need to get involved; legislatures need to be pushed; students are involved we need as a Faculty Council to get involved; this is an ongoing struggle and we need to address it.
The website that Dr. Dan Baker mentioned is www.utc.edu/~tacte
The meeting was adjourned at 4:04 pm.
Submitted with great joy at the prospect of the upcoming holiday season!
Faculty Council Secretary