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January 19, 1995
Signal Mountain Room
University Center

ELECTED MEMBERS PRESENT: Valarie Adams, Jim Avery, Tom Bibler, Betsy Cook, Neal Coulter, Lloyd Davis, Aniekan Ebiefung, Fritz Efaw, Ahmed Eltom, Howard Finch, John Garrett, Phil Giffin, Nick Honerkamp, Larry Ingle, Doug Kingdon, Renée Lorraine, David Levine, John Lynch, Jim Macomber, Jim McDonell, Anna Panorska, Loretta Prater, Katherine Rehyansky, Mike Russell, Greg Sedrick, Maria Smith, Jim Stroud, John Tinkler, Margaret Trimpey, Jeannette Vallier, David Wiley, Sally Young

ELECTED MEMBERS ABSENT: Martha Butterfield, Ken Carson, Prem Chopra, Robert Duffy, Ling-Jun Wang

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS PRESENT: Jane Harbaugh, Fred Obear, Charles Renneisen, Grayson Walker

AMONG THE GUESTS PRESENT: Brenda Davis, Tim Summerlin, Ken Venters, Randy Walker

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by President Tom Bibler at 3:15 p.m.

Approval of Minutes

President Bibler asked if there were additions or changes to the minutes. Hearing none, he declared them approved as distributed.

Curriculum Committee Report

Professor Ken Venters, Chair, presented several items for Council’s consideration. He clarified several points. Professor Doug Kingdon moved and Professor Nick Honerkamp seconded the motion to approve the report. The motion passed unanimously.

Report from the Provost

Provost Grayson Walker first discussed the Distinguished Teaching Professorship Program. After distributing a two-page description of the program (attached to these minutes), he discussed the selection process. For this round about twenty completed applications were turned in. It was difficult for the Dean’s Council to make a choice. One important factor was the teacher’s statement of teaching philosophy. Although they were remarkably different, they were uniformly good, and all showed the faculty member’s interest in students.

They also looked at how each person ranked with respect to the stated qualifications. Finally, Dean’s Council debated about the top candidates. Those who were not selected this round will be invited to apply again. Professors Sally Young and Gene Van Horn were recognized at this year’s Faculty Honors Day.

Provost Walker hopes that we will add two more professorships next year. If our development campaign is successful, we can add more in the future.

The professorships in this program must be available to every faculty member; that’s different from some endowed professorships. The Provost thanked Chancellor Frederick Obear for his support of this program and said that he would like to see it expanded to five or six professorships per year.

With respect to the Voice Response Registration Proposal, the Provost said that two systems are being discussed. The first is a telephone registration system, similar to the one that Middle Tennessee State University has been using. In this system you call a number, the computer generates a menu of options, the user presses keys on the phone and completely goes through the registration process by phone. A few programs, such as nursing where there are many restrictions, can not use this program.

At MTSU, they also give out grades by phone. The student calls, gives an ID code, and receives his grades. MTSU does not mail grades unless the students request them in written form. Interestingly, about 10% of the students never call to request the grades in any form.

MTSU also plans to have on-line reports on the status of financial aid; eventually they will set up a system so that students may vote in SGA elections by phone.

Both staff and students seem to like the system. We are looking at this system for UTC from a variety of vendors with a range of services.

The other system under consideration is computer-based, similar to the one used at the University of Georgia. Students can use any computer terminal with Internet access. Computer registration is superior to phone registration because you can see the computer screen and note what is open rather than having to wait for a voice.

This type of system could be put into place fairly easily here. You could even register students while you are advising if you are hooked into the network.

What system we decide to get depends in part on the conclusions drawn by the committee which is examining the advisement process. We must look at cost factors too. Provost Walker eventually will develop a proposal to present to the Chancellor.

Professor James Stroud asked how close we are to having computers in our offices on the network.

Provost Walker responded that they are pretty far off in the Fine Arts Center, but that seven major academic buildings are near completion.

Professor David Wiley noted that they do have twisted fiber access.

Professor Mike Russell asked how we could know if students who call in have been advised.

Provost Walker said that they were looking into that. They want to strengthen the advisement system rather than weaken it. Apparently MTSU has ignored the situation. He thinks the student could be assigned an ID number by the major department when he has been advised.

Professor Russell asked whether the computer could check to make sure that a freshman was not registering for a 300 level course.

Professor Walker noted that we already have a system which flags issues like that.

Professor John Lynch commented that advising is a problem now. His department tries to track at least their majors and thinks that they may see only half of them. He does not think that the present system of prerequisite checks works completely because faculty members will make exceptions.

Professor Stroud said that the faculty has had an uphill struggle trying to get the control over advisement; he would hate to see us lose any of that.

Professor Nick Honerkamp noted that prerequisites could be programmed in and that the system might actually improve advisement. It is easy to miss a prerequisite when looking at a RAP sheet.

Provost Walker commented that the faculty had made good points. He believes we can improve what we are doing.

The Provost then discussed the maternity leave policy. He checked with chief academic officers around the state, and there seems to be no clear policy. Instead it seems to be handled on a case-by-case basis. There seems to be consensus that it is better to do it case by case than to have a concrete policy. If he remembers correctly, the recommendations of the former group which studied this issue were not implemented.

Dr. Jane Harbaugh agreed that the Provost’s recollection was correct.

Professor Stroud asked what the recommendations were.

Dr. Harbaugh did not know; to her knowledge, she did not see a final report.

Professor Renée Lorraine said that she recalls it was two weeks with pay or a semester without pay.

Provost Walker said that the administration did not expect colleagues to take classes for free for a long period of time; those who have helped out have been paid on a course overload basis. Otherwise, colleagues just helped out for a couple of weeks.

Professor Lorraine said that handling situations on a case-by-case basis was fine with her with our current administration, but she would prefer a policy in case there are administrative changes. She would like a group to examine the policy further.

Provost Walker asked about the Chancellor’s Committee. Doesn’t it have faculty and staff on it?

Professor Lorraine thought that would be good.

Chancellor Obear remarked that we cannot implement anything as a single entity because it is a benefit. We can do the homework and make a recommendation, but it would have to get statewide approval to be implemented.

Professor Lorraine said that it sounded like a five-year process.

Provost Walker commented, "They all are."

Letter from Mrs. Mary Tinkler on Varsity Athletes’ Attendance

President Bibler then read a letter from Academic Advisory Mary Tinkler to Professor David Wiley, which he submitted to Faculty Council concerning athletes’ absences. A copy of the letter is attached to these minutes.

President Bibler had talked to Walker Breland of the Athletic Committee. Professor Breland thinks that the major problem is with golfers because few universities have a golf course and must plan their matches when courses are available.

Professor Wiley said that he appreciated Mrs. Tinkler’s letter. He now realizes that the student had been telling him stories. He publicly apologizes for any perceived criticism of the Athletic Department.

He does point out that he has an absence policy which applies to everyone; it does not depend on the athletic schedule. He believes student athletes think their team absences are different from other absences, but Professor Wiley treats them all the same.

Professor Bibler commented that a University attendance policy would be nice, but even his own department cannot agree on one, so he doubts that the whole University could.

Report on Spring Registration

Ms. Brenda Davis said that she would be giving us preliminary statistics because statistics are generated on the fourteenth day, which is today.

Overall registration went well. Figures are running as expected. We had 7,632 at this time last year; we have 7,606 now. That figure is 92% of fall enrollment, which is the same as it was last year. Official statistics will be forthcoming.

The audit management office has been conducting surveys about fee payment, financial aid, and registration. Fee payment and financial aid are getting better "grades." Registration lines are about the same length, but she believes it is because students forget about having the other registration sites. Only 315 students registered at the other three sites in Fletcher Hall, Holt Hall, and Maclellan Gym. We are not using these sites as we should. If there’s a line on the hill, they try to inform students about the other sites, but they do not want to lose their place in line.

Ms. Davis announced that she has a new registration supervisor, Frankie Lee, who will assign classrooms and so forth. Ms. Davis noted that a new person will need help with classroom selection; Ms. Lee is not familiar with all of our needs and preferences, so please let her know at 4416. With the loss of classes in Fletcher Hall, things will be even tighter in the Fall. She wants faculty to look at their classroom assignments when first made; if there are problems, please contact Frankie Lee at 4416 immediately. Do not wait until the day before classes start.

Professor Jim McDonell commented that he is amazed at how well the registration process works here. He thinks that the staff should be commended.

Professor Margaret Trimpey added that she wanted to express her gratitude to Adult Services. Professor Stroud agreed that they do a fine job.

Old Business

Professor Nick Honerkamp presented an information item. Council approved changing the term of office of the Faculty Council President from one to two years. The Handbook Committee was asked to come up with new wording, which they did. The old and new wording follow.

The relevant portion of 2.3.5, Section 1 reads:

"The term of office for the president is one year. The president may serve for no more than two consecutive full terms."

The new wording reads:

"The term of office for the president is two years. The president may not serve consecutive terms."

This matter will be put to a vote at the February 1 Faculty meeting.

At the suggestion of two people, another item will also be voted on at that meeting: the request to fund the library at the ACRL recommended rate of 6%. Plus there will be election of Faculty Council President.

Professor Lorraine asked if the candidates had been announced yet.

Professor Bibler said not; usually they are announced at the meeting.

Professor Larry Ingle asked if only two people suggested putting the library funding question on the agenda.

President Bibler said yes. He also thought it would be a good idea.

Professor Ingle questioned whether the Faculty Council President has such authority.

President Bibler said he thought he did, unless he is told that he does not.

Professor Ingle thought that Faculty Council had to decide by a certain vote.

President Bibler remarked that the item was not controversial. It was his understanding that there would be more strength in the recommendation if it came from a larger group of people.

Professor Wiley noted that this is not a question of ratification of something by the faculty; anyone could make such a recommendation as a matter of new business at Faculty Meeting.

Professor Honerkamp added that one might also just express an opinion.

Professor Ingle believes that a proposal presented by the President of Faculty Council has more clout than if a regular faculty member proposed it as new business. He is still troubled by the decision.

Professor Lorraine asked if Faculty Council should make a recommendation. She moved full support of putting the library funding issue on the agenda. Professor Doug Kingdon seconded the motion, which passed unanimously, authorizing the President to do what he had already decided to do.

Professor Stroud then asked what the current percentage spent on the library was.

Chancellor Obear noted that he has asked for a financial report on what we are spending on the library and what we have gained from the THEC formula. He wants the figure broken down between staffing costs and acquisitions. He thinks that we are currently funding the library at about 4%, but we already put in more than the formula generates. He does not know whether we are putting more into staff or acquisitions.

Professor Nick Honerkamp said that he had looked at the Faculty Handbook concerning the President’s prerogative to put the resolution on the agenda without a vote. So far as he can tell, the President can do so.

Professor Jim Macomber said that he had talked to six faculty members who thought that the prayer at the beginning and end of the December Commencement was not appropriate because it excluded non-Christians and implied that God is a male persona who lives in Heaven.

Chancellor Obear said that we will continue to have prayer at Commencement until mandated otherwise. We will try to have faculty members to do prayers that are appropriate, not exclusionary.

Professor Honerkamp suggested that we also remember who has done the prayers and not invite back those who had sandbagged us.

Professor Stroud said that he is in conflict with what the University President thinks is appropriate.

Professor Russell agrees. You cannot find an appropriate prayer for a pluralistic audience. He may give the Puritan response of turning his back on the speaker.

Professor Stroud remarked that "appropriate prayer" is likely an oxymoron.

Chancellor Obear does not think that Professor Stroud knows what President Johnson’s idea of an appropriate prayer is.

Professor Macomber requested more diversity.

Professor Stroud said that we have an internationalistic goal, but it seems to conflict with this practice.

Professor Ingle wondered about the status of his question on financing the stadium.

President Bibler asked Chancellor Obear: If the stadium is going to happen anyway, why do we need to contribute millions?

Chancellor Obear said that we are seen as a partner in this project; it frees up space; we will get long-term use of the stadium without cost to us; we will have a share in the structure so that we get priority in choosing dates.

Professor Ingle asked who saw us as a partner.

Chancellor Obear said the city and country governments, state agencies, and the private sector so viewed us.

Mr. Richard Brown was to appear as part of old business, but he had not arrived, so his report will be deferred until later.

New Business

Dean Rocky Renneisen announced that there is a Thomas Fund which finances a scholarship for a UTC student at the University of Maryland Medical School. He wants faculty to let students know about this opportunity. Interested students should see Dean Renneisen for details.

Professor Jim Macomber said that Fortwood now has restricted parking for only one hour for non-residents. The city will be giving warning tickets until January 31. After that, tickets are $10.00. If you regularly park in Fortwood, please make other arrangements.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sally Young


P.S. Having been held up in a meeting, Mr. Brown arrived just after Faculty Council adjourned. He asked that his report on the heating problem be added to the minutes. The Central Energy Plant will adjust their computers so that the library, Holt Hall, Maclellan Gym, Fine Arts Center, Grote Hall, Brock Hall, and the Arena will cycle on after 5:00 p.m. If a faculty member has a cold office, call the campus police, who coordinate hourly with the central energy plant. Even if your individual office is cold on the weekend, you can call them.

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