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November 16, 1995
Signal Mountain Room
University Center

ELECTED MEMBERS PRESENT: Tom Bibler, Martha Butterfield, Terry Carney, Ken Carson, Prem Chopra, Neal Coulter, Robert Duffy, Ahmed Eltom, Leroy Fanning, Nick Honerkamp, Bruce Hutchinson, Phil Kazemersky, Doug Kingdon, Tom Kozubowski, Eric Lane, John Lynch, Jim Macomber, Gail Meyer, Anna Panorska, Tom Payne, John Phillips, Verbie Prevost, Bill Prince, Barbara Ray, Katherine Rehyansky, Mike Russell, Joyce Smith, Sally Young, Shela Van Ness

ELECTED MEMBERS ABSENT: Mary Brabston, Betsy Cook, Shawn Evans, Renée Lorraine, Jim McDonell, Maria Smith, Kristin Switala, Margaret Trimpey

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS PRESENT: Sheila Delacroix, Fred Obear, George Ross, Grayson Walker

AMONG THE GUESTS PRESENT: Richard Brown, Jim Henry, Ralph Moser

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 3:24 p.m. by President Martha Butterfield.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes were approved as circulated.

Committee Reports

Report from the Executive Committee

President Martha Butterfield welcomed Terry Carney from the College of Engineering, our new at-large representative (replacing Larry Ingle, who resigned). Professor Carney said that he has been charged with making one motion that dies for lack of a second each month.

Committee on Committees

Chair Ken Carson said that there were a few changes in the committee list. Gerald Levasseur, who is no longer on the faculty, has been replaced by Professor Joe Dumas of Engineering on the Faculty Research Committee. Professor Jenny Smith replaces Professor Kate Jones on the Part-Time Faculty Committee. Professor Barbara Ray reported that Leila Mullis is no longer on the faculty and should be replaced on the TEP Committee.

Departmental Honors Committee

Professor Jim Henry, Chair, distributed a list of projects which had been approved by the committee. Professor Prem Chopra moved approval; Professor Barbara Ray seconded the motion, which passed by voice vote. He also distributed a list of students who are beginning their honor projects. Professor Tom Bibler moved approval. Professor Prem Chopra seconded the motion.

Professor John Phillips said there had been a problem with students who change their graduation date. He wondered if there was a way to do something about it. Professor Henry said that he is still perplexed by what students do. It was suggested that directors of theses keep track of graduation dates and report changes to the chair of the Honors Committee. The motion passed by voice vote.

President Butterfield said she wished there was a forum for students to present their findings for the University community.

Old Business

Professor Mike Russell said he had investigated the state of the pension program. Shelley Puls essentially told him that faculty did not know how to manage their own money, so Retirement Services would do it for them. If you get divorced, none of the pension can be signed over to your ex-spouse, even the 401(k). Professor Russell found that hard to believe because we contribute to it. Even if you move to another university which does not have a TIAA/CREF, you cannot touch the money. If you die and name a beneficiary, that person does get it all, either as a lump sum or as a pension.

President Butterfield had faxed Thor Hall’s findings to the Memphis campus, which is now concerned with the issue and plans to pass a resolution similar to ours. The senate leaders are going to try to approach the matter from a catastrophic illness standpoint.

Professor Russell said that there is currently a lawsuit related to property division in case of a divorce. Ms. Puls has said that it will take a change in the state law to effect a change in the retirement policy.

Dr. Frederick Obear said that several students and faculty members have discussed the article in the paper about our wonderful score this year and what can be done with the formula funding money. He explained that we do not get the one million right away; it will be part of next year’s budget, and we may not get it all. How much we get will depend on how big the pot is. Even if we got it all on July 1, it is not an increase of one million dollars; we just get more money than last year. It’s the difference between this year’s funding and last year’s.

President Butterfield reported that Barbara Verhine is trying to work out a system to avoid duplication of minutes for Faculty Council members.

New Business

Professor Shela Van Ness said that e-mail privacy is a concern. A 1986 case ruled that bosses can read an employee’s e-mail if they tell the employee that they are going to do so. She believes that the University should have an e-mail policy to protect faculty and other users.

Provost Grayson Walker said that he has recently received materials from the system which explain what you can put on Home Pages and so forth. He recalls nothing specific about e-mail, but the system is trying to develop some policies. He warns that if you save e-mail on your hard-drive, trashing it does not necessarily get rid of it; it can be reconstructed. He will e-mail Knoxville to see if he can get some action.

Professor Eric Lane wants a copy of the guidelines, because he is setting up a site on the World Wide Web. Provost Walker said to contact Professor Lloyd Davis, who has copies.

President Butterfield asked if a committee was needed to look into the question. Provost Walker explained that we already have an Information Resources Committee which is handling it. Knoxville has asked us not to develop our own policy.

Professor Doug Kingdon said there are cases in court already. If a company owns the equipment, the company can inspect what’s in it. Professor Mike Russell said that he too had read about that case in Newsweek. He believed our situation was different, because that office had networked computers, whereas we have individual accounts.

Professor Van Ness said that a case in California concerned a union’s reading of e-mail and asking employees not to use it.

Mr. Vincent Pellegrino thanked faculty for their generous contributions to the faculty-staff development campaign. We already have 78% participation, which makes it a subject to brag about in the quest for outside donors. He sees the Faculty Club as a place for exchange of ideas, fellowship, and a meeting place. He asked faculty members who have friends who would like to donate eighteenth-century furniture to contact him.


Faculty will soon be getting ballots to nominate candidates for Faculty Council President. The next president will serve a two-year term. Because President Butterfield has not yet heard from Professor Ken Venters, chair of the Curriculum Committee, she does not anticipate another Faculty Council meeting until January. At that time, we will have a busy schedule, with Rocky Renneisen’s NCAA report and the Custom Publishing report.

Professor Gail Meyer asked about the status of the General Education Committee’s report. President Butterfield remarked that she had hoped the Committee would be finished by spring, but she is not sure because other matters have come up. Right now, the committee is considering three proposals: a core curriculum, an open general education program, and one allowing for depth, which includes computer skills and oral communication. Students would have more flexibility, such as being able to take any literature course (including one taught in a foreign language). All proposals include two semesters of laboratory science. The Committee meets next week to consider a revised model. They are also looking at a freshman seminar type of course to be housed within individual colleges which has a prescribed content. There may be performance testing to exit the course. The college would introduce subject matter germane to that field, including possible jobs and what these jobs entail. It will probably take until the 96-97 academic year to finalize general education.

She anticipates an open debate about standards.

Professor John Lynch said that he is worried that students can graduate without reading a novel. Has that issue been discussed? President Butterfield said yes. The lunches last year with faculty brought out many important issues, as well as how economics and politics affect many disciplines.

Professor Nick Honerkamp said that he is in the midst of advising and has noted that the process with graduating seniors is strange. He has some who have applied for graduation but who do not yet have check sheets. They have been told that they will get them in January, but he thinks advisors need such lists now. He believes that there are just too few personnel in the Records Office. Provost Walker said he will check on that.

Professor John Phillips presented an information item from his colleague Kristin Switala, who is ill. Many people had contacted her about CARL UnCover, so she prepared a list of instructions which will be distributed with the minutes.

After examining the instructions, Professor Bill Prince noted that if you use the service in the library, you can just "click" on it. Professor Verbie Prevost mentioned that there is a Web site to check availability of books in print.

President Butterfield wished all a Happy Thanksgiving.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sally Young


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