THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
October 5, 1995
Signal Mountain Room
ELECTED MEMBERS PRESENT: Mary Brabston, Martha Butterfield, Betsy Cook, Neal Coulter, Robert Duffy, Ahmed Eltom, Leroy Fanning, Nick Honerkamp, Bruce Hutchinson, Phil Kazemersky, Eric Lane, Renée Lorraine, John Lynch, Jim Macomber, Gail Meyer, Tom Payne, Bill Prince, Mike Russell, Joyce Smith, Maria Smith, Sally Young, Shela Van Ness
ELECTED MEMBERS ABSENT: Tom Bibler, Ken Carson, Prem Chopra, Shawn Evans, Doug Kingdon, Tom Kozubowski, Jim McDonell, Anna Panorska, John Phillips, Verbie Prevost, Barbara Ray, Katherine Rehyansky, Kristin Switala, Margaret Trimpey
EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS PRESENT: Sheila Delacroix, Jane Harbaugh, Grayson Walker
AMONG THE GUESTS PRESENT: Rhonda Bovine, Shelley Puls, Sherry Sims, Daniel Webb
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 3:22 by President Martha Butterfield.
Approval of Minutes
Professor Renée Lorraine said that on page 1, the minutes should read "it was moved and approved that an ad-hoc committee would be appointed" rather than "mentioned."
Professor Katherine Rehyansky said that the minutes were approved with this "emendation," not "recommendation." Also, on p. 3, the minutes should read that "the Council send a request to the Chancellor, Provost, and University Librarian," not "Library."
The minutes were approved as corrected.
The mystery of the empty envelopes was explained. Professor Katherine Rehyansky, acting secretary, had bundled the lot and addressed them to Barbara Verhine, who distributes the minutes for the Council. The mail room separated them and returned them to individuals.
Professor Robert Marlowe had to resign from Council for this semester because of a class conflict. Professor Eric Lane will represent his section for the remainder of the semester.
Professor Katherine Rehyansky has agreed to be parliamentarian.
President Butterfield also wanted to thank Professor Larry Ingle for his long and faithful service to Faculty Council. She is sad that he has found it necessary to resign. We have set in motion the process to elect his replacement at the next full meeting of the faculty.
Committee on Committees
Because Professor Ken Carson, chair, could not be present, he was not able to present a report. Professor Neal Coulter asked why the Scholarship Committee had no chair listed. Professor Duffy noted that others have no chairs. Professor Thomas Payne said that several chairs have been elected but not yet been placed on the list; for example, he has been elected chair of the Committee on Budget and Economic Status, and Professor Mike Whittle is chair of the Library Committee. President Butterfield said that she would check on the vacancies.
Report of the "A-Team"
The A-team report from Dr. Bibler concerning the procedures of the Honor Court could not be given today because of an NCATE meeting. The group meets with University of Tennessee attorney Karen Holt on October 9.
Professor Ken Venters, chair, announced that January 4 or 5 will be the last day his committee will accept proposals of new courses which can be included in next years catalogue.
He then presented two items for Councils consideration: An information item for BFIN 421 and a new course proposal, COMM 410.
BFIN 421 prerequisites have been changed to require not only junior and senior standing, but also completion of a Category D course.
Professor Nick Honerkamp moved to accept both items; Professor Renée Lorraine seconded the motion.
Professor Mike Russell asked how many students might be in COMM 410. Professor David Sachsman replied that they expected approximately ten to fifteen students annually and would offer the course once a year. Professor Russell asked If it would be taught as a night class, to which Professor Sachsman replied yes, because it seemed to fit the schedule of most students best. Professor Russell asked about the oral reports mentioned on page four of the proposal. Professor Sachsman said that two reports could be given each evening.
The motion passed 21-0-0.
President Butterfield asked permission to digress from the agenda to allow people from the Salary and Benefits Division to discuss the 401(k) and related matters.
Mr. Dan Webb reported that the letter faculty had received about the 401(k) had engendered confusion. When Eli Fly spoke of a $20 contribution to be made by the University to match the individuals contribution, he did not make it clear whether the university was matching funds. It is not; the minimum contribution monthly to a 401(k) is $20. Even if you put in more, the University will still contribute only $20. We know that this program has been funded from January to June, but because this is an election year, Mr. Webb expects that it will be funded longer.
He noted that each individual should have a three-part retirement plan: a pension, Social Security, and savings [such as 401(k)]. At the bottom of the letter there is a reference to Shelley Puls, our on-campus contact, and Sherry Sims in the Office of Retirement Services (in Knoxville). Members can contact them for more information.
Shelley Puls distributed handouts and discussed the three deferred income plans briefly. The 401(k) plan is a State plan which allows employees to invest anywhere from $20 to 20% of their salary. The State will give you $20/month for six months if you participate in this plan, which has about fifteen options.
The 403(b) is a tax-deferred annuity in which you can invest up to 20% of your gross salary with about eighty investment options.
The 457 is a State plan in which you can invest up to 25% of your gross salary; the State picks the investments for you.
The percentage you can invest in each account varies if you participate in more than one. Knoxville has a computer program to keep track of the permissible amounts to keep you from going over.
The 401(k) and 403(b) plans have loan provisions so that you can borrow against them. There are, however, withdrawal penalties in many situations.
Professor Mike Russell asked why the 403(b) plan did not have the matching $20 as well as the 401(k). Ms. Sims replied that the 401(k) was chosen because all State employees could be included.
Professor Russell asked if the 403(b) might be included in the States matching funds in the future. Ms. Puls said probably not.
Professor Nick Honerkamp asked if the matching funds were a one-shot deal. Ms. Puls said that they expected another six-month approval. Mr. Webb said that it might depend on how many take advantage of it. It is funded in connection with the Flexible Benefit Plan and Eli Fly expects it to be funded indefinitely.
In a related issue, President Martha Butterfield said that she will be pursuing retirement matters with the other senate presidents. They will continue to put on the agenda for their meetings the questions of the cashability of TIAA-CREF funds. Because it is our money, many believe we should be allowed to use it. If we are ill and need it, why should we not be able to get it? The UT campus has already voted to approve cashability.
Report from the Provost
Metropolitan Hospital Purchase
With regard to the purchase of the Metropolitan Hospital, Provost Grayson Walker said that both sides have teams of attorneys working on the contract. They have agreed on a price. The remaining issue is that the current owners need to take out lead, hazardous waste, and so forth. We want to know that they will do it before we sign. He hopes that the attorneys will have the contract worked out in about two weeks. Time is critical, because we need to move Nursing during the Christmas holidays and move Economics out of the library into Guerry. Furthermore, they have a contract with the government to have a smart classroom in that building which must be ready on time.
President Butterfield said that she had heard the current owners were selling property we might need or want, such as the central heat and air unit. Provost Walker said that everything which is an integral part of that building is to stay, such as sinks, lavatories, and the like.
Professor Eric Lane said that he was in the building earlier that day and saw someone there with blueprints. He believed we should get those. The Provost agreed and will check on that.
The University will cable the building from Frist through the parking lot; they already have the money for the cabling.
Conflict of Interest - New UT Policy
With regard to the conflict of interest policy, which faculty should be receiving soon, the Provost noted that the University had adopted a revised policy with a form which must be filled out by each faculty member disclosing outside interests. The current policy is in the Faculty Handbook. We have come under pressure from the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Science Foundation to bring our policy in line with federal guidelines. This document has both state and federal standards. What faculty members receive will have a general policy statement first and then some specific examples of conflict of interest. The section which most directly affects faculty, and which is a federal requirement, is that faculty members may not let outside financial interests affect the results of their research. Most of the sections, however, deal with people who are selling things to the University. Another provision which might affect faculty is that if you have students on the University payroll, you cannot hire them outside the University.
With respect to the privacy of University offices, the Provost was not able to find out anything except that the offices are State property; those who need to get into them are supposed to be able to. Generally, he believes, you would expect civility to reign here.
Mr. Richard Brown said he has instructed his staff to be careful when they are in faculty offices and asked them not to look at things on peoples desks.
Professor Mike Russell said that a friend has sent him an article from the September/October 1995 issue of Academe entitled "Can the Dean Search My Office." It follows a case to the Supreme Court. A university administrator can enter an office so long as he or she is conducting university business, but not just because he or she wants to.
Professor Russell said that he would like to see the civility issue communicated to department heads. The Provost agreed to do so and asked to see a copy of the article.
President Martha Butterfield said that the Faculty/Administrative Relations Committee had some suggestions about such matters last year which we would follow through on this year.
Professor Eric Lane noted that e-mail and network access questions have already arisen; we might want to consider them as well.
Professor Nick Honerkamp said that the Handbook Committee would consider any changes the faculty desires, but he believes we should not legislate every behavior.
President Butterfield asked about faculty being threatened.
Provost Walker said that we have occasional cases of this. Because students have paid tuition, they can attend class, but there is a conduct code in the Student Handbook which addresses student behavior. He suggests following this procedure: If you have a disruptive or threatening student in class, call Security. They will deal with the immediate situation. Then approach the Student Conduct Board. Bring charges against the student through Dean MacDougall. Faculty may not simply tell a student he or she cannot return to class, but the Student Conduct Board may be able to.
Professor Renée Lorraine asked if this meant that we could not remove a disruptive student from class during one class period. The Provost responded that a faculty member could remove a student for one class period.
Professor Maria Smith asked how long it would take the Student Conduct Board to meet and decide. Neither the Provost nor Dr. Jane Harbaugh knew. Dr. Harbaugh says that we have a different situation than private universities because we are public. She thinks that Professor Smith has a legitimate concern which should be discussed with people in Student Affairs. One student should not be able to disrupt the learning of many students.
Professor Mike Russell recalled a student who was disgruntled with a grade kicking over a desk. When Professor Russell told him not to do that again, he became angry. In consultation with the Dean, the situation was resolved this way: the student would come to class only to take examinations. He suggested not going through a committee in every case; often situations can be handled through the Deans office.
Because it is a recurring, though small problem, Provost Walker suggested asking Rocky Renneisen, Richard MacDougall, and Tom Losh to attend a Council meeting and explain their role in such matters.
With respect to salary letters, the Provost explained that his office had stopped sending them when we stopped getting raises. We began getting raises at odd times. He noted that it was more difficult than most would think to generate such letters, because the data base is not always accurate. He and Judy Fry used to double check them with PAF forms. We are not the only campus to discontinue the practice; UTK has also stopped sending them. He said that we could reinstate them if there is widespread concern about the issue.
Professor Renée Lorraine saw no need to get one if there is no raise. The Provost said that if raises were given, he would send out the letters.
Professor Bruce Hutchinson said that he would like to have a salary letter at least once a year. Many people need to have such a letter in their personal file in case something happens to them. There needs to be a record.
Professor Maria Smith agreed that such records are important but wondered if a pay stub would not be enough. She is concerned about the waste of time and money to generate such letters.
Professor Hutchinson responded that there are errors in pay stubs.
Professor Smith suggested sending letters only to those who requested them; that might eliminate the problem.
The Provost commented that the data base on salary is very isolated; within a couple of years, Administrative Computing will be expanded enough to generate the letters accurately.
President Butterfield noted that for many, a contract letter is reassurance that they have a job. We could simply tell people that no news is good news.
Teaching Resource Center
With regard to the Teaching Resource Center, the Committee has located a good person to hire as director for this twelve-month position. Two people were interviewed. The Provost is now negotiating salary with this person who has the requisite experience. We hope to have this person on campus January 1, 1996. We also need a location for the Teaching Resource Center, a central place where all will find it easy to use. The Center will consolidate some services which we have been doing in a fragmented manner.
Once the Provost finished his report, Professor Mike Russell commented on our performance funding increase and asked if the money can be sent to the library to cover the periodicals shortfall.
The Provost said yes, but that the money would not be available until July 1, 1996. He went on to say that it was impossible not to brag about our high rating, but he regretted that some of the articles showed our ranking in comparison with other schools. Not only do we not want to brag at the expense of others, but we also cannot afford to rest on our laurels.
Professor Bruce Hutchinson said that he understood that the money would not be available until July 1, but wondered if the UC Foundation could loan us the money to be paid back when we get the money from the performance funding.
The Provost replied that he had not thought of that possibility. If we developed a plan, we could certainly ask to borrow from the UC Foundations Rainy Day Fund. Generally, however, the UC Foundation does not want to support projects they think the State of Tennessee should be doing.
Professor Hutchinson reiterated that we would be asking for a loan. We will get the State money and could pay the Foundation interest.
Dr. Harbaugh commented that the Foundation feels that they now have less discretionary money. She agrees that the borrowing idea is interesting.
Professor Hutchinson said that he would like to have a year to consider the library cuts more carefully. The Rainy Day Fund sounds appropriate for such a situation.
Dr. Harbaugh explained that the Rainy Day Fund is not what Professor Hutchinson thinks it is; it is not for issues like this, but for income purposes.
Rhonda Bovine, a nurse with Student Health Services, encouraged all faculty to get their flu shots. They will be available in Frist 225 on October 16, 18, and 30 for faculty and spouses. The charge is $5.00. Unless you are allergic to eggs or pregnant, Ms. Bovine believes you should get a flu shot. Because this shot is not a live virus, you will not get the flu; you may, however, have a slight fever or have a sore arm. Either of these is much better than having the flu! Call her at 4453 to set up an appointment. The shot takes about seven to ten days to take effect and lasts six months. Shots will also be available to students, and she asked faculty to encourage their students to get the shot.
Professor Gail Meyer asked how students would get the shot. Ms. Bovine said students can get theirs at any time by going to Frist 225.
Professor Maria Smith asked if Student Health Services was doing TB testing. Ms. Bovine said that they were looking into that. Professor Harbaugh remarked that the Community Foundation has a program on TB prevention. Ms. Bovine said that she will look into the program and will follow up on the matter with Dr. Harbaugh.
Ms. Bovine went on to say that she now has some support, including a secretary, a student worker, and a part-time family nurse practitioner. They are doing Hepatitis B immunizations and are also happy to do blood pressure checks of the faculty.
Some of the recommendations of last years Faculty/Administrative Committee need to be reexamined, including that faculty deserve to be treated with civility.
Their suggestion about mediators needs to be addressed.
Professor Mike Whittle, Chair, distributed a report which will be attached to these minutes. There are three separate issues:
1. The costs of subscriptions to services are increasing exponentially, up 15% over last year.
2. The State allocation to the library has not been increasing that fast; it has been about 2% per year. Thus the percentage of funding for serials has been increasing. Serials would take 99% of the state funding for this library this year if no cuts are made, leaving nothing for books and videotapes.
3. If we cannot get money from somewhere, some serials must be cut. Each department must rank journals; those at the bottom of the list will be cut.
Even if we get some short-term money, that will not help us. We need permanent money or we must make cuts.
University Librarian Sheila Delacroix said that there was a fourth issuetime. The library is sitting on invoices which have been there since August. Their jobber will cancel all titles if the bill is not paid soon.
Professor Honerkamp said he believed that this issue had been addressed during the last meeting by Professor Hutchinsons motion.
Professor Hutchinson said that his motion was Faculty Council should be consulted for input before the plan to cut periodicals was finalized. We should know ahead of time how different areas are to be treated because of size, accreditation, and the like. He thinks that faculty should do all ranking; we know what research materials students need. We have known there was a problem for months; we should not be asked to move quickly now.
Dr. Delacroix showed figures demonstrating increases in cost over time of representative periodicals. The problem has been building for a long time.
President Butterfield asked in how many departments had people been asked to look at the lists. A few hands were raised.
Dr. Delacroix encouraged faculty to ask their department head for a list or to go to the Gopher and look at the list individually.
Professor Renée Lorraine agreed that faculty should be involved. She said that we had voted at faculty meeting to give a higher percentage of the budget to the library but that the Chancellor had said that was not possible unless it came out of faculty salaries. She moves what the Library committee recommended on page one of their letter: that the Faculty Council press the UTC administration to prevent the loss of serial subscriptions without jeopardizing other expenditures. Professor Nick Honerkamp seconded the motion.
Professor Lorraine suggested that if the matter were deferred, we would need even more money next year. The $150,000 shortfall is for this year only.
President Butterfield said that we are going to have to decide whether to have a copy or to look at other ways to access materials. We may not have the luxury of having a copy in our hands in the future. In fact, electronic access formats were much discussed at the recent breakfast with the Chancellor, Provost and George Ross. The University of Illinois has a system we may want to look at. We need to pursue other ways of achieving our goal of access to periodicals.
Professor Tom Payne said we should not cling to the past at the expense of not going forward with electronic databases. Even now, we have some redundancy.
Professor Honerkamp remarked that many journals do not yet have electronic format and may not for a while.
Professor Lorraine asked if microfiche was a viable alternative. Dr. Delacroix said that sometimes microfiche is cheaper and sometimes it is more expensive, but it is always six months behind.
The Provost said that we might be able to pursue the motion without jeopardizing other expenditures. The motion passed unanimously.
President Butterfield reminded faculty that if they are interested in where the money they contributed to departmental gift funds has gone, they can stop in at the Development Office and see the budget.
Professor Gail Meyer had a question about school closings. Because it was announced that UTC would begin at 10:00 on Thursday, students with 8:00 labs and 9:25 classes were confused about whether or not they would be expected to attend. Professor Meyer wondered if the announcement could be made more clear.
The Provost replied that the intent was that everything before 10:00 was canceled. They had tried to give the radio stations accurate times, but there was confusion about whether the 10:00 time referred to staff only or to classes as well.
Professor Meyer reiterated the confusion among both faculty and students. Next time, the Provost will try to provide necessary clarification.
President Butterfield reminded people to ask for the list of periodicals.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:10 p.m.
If you want to be on the agenda, get your information to Professor Martha Butterfield by 3:00 on the fourth Thursday to be on the agenda for the meeting on the first Thursday and by 3:00 on the second Thursday to be on the agenda for the meeting on the third Thursday.