THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
October 16, 1997
Signal Mountain Room
Elected Members Present: Jim Avery, Boris Belinsky, Mike Biderman, Tatiana Allen, Martha Butterfield, Karen Casey, Valerie Copeland-Rutledge, Prakash Damshala, Marvin Ernst, Fritz Efaw, Gene Ezell, Phil Giffin, Diane Halstead, Jim Hiestand, Renée Lorraine, Deborah McAllister, Jonathan Mies, Judy Miler, Verbie Prevost, John Phillips, Verbie Prevost, Farhad Raiszadeh, Marea Rankin, Rebecca Rochat, Mac Smotherman, Ann Stapleton, Felicia Sturzer, Larry Tillman, John Trimpey, Margaret Trimpey, Bruce Wallace
Elected Members Absent: Ralph Anderson, Joe Dumas, Greg O'Dea, Laurie Prather, Vicki Steinberg, Jim Stroud, Randy Whitson
Ex-Officio Members Present: Sheila Delacroix, Bill Stacy, Tim Summerlin
Among the Guests Present: Tom Bibler, Herb Burhenn, Betsy Darken, Dick Gruetzemacher, Lanny Janeksela, Roy Maize, Ralph Moser, Vince Pellegrino, Gene Schlereth, Greg Sedrick, Clint Smullen, Mary Tanner
Important Actions and Announcements
*The Council approved several Curriculum proposals, and revised Curriculum Guidelines (see addenda).
*Acting Provost Tim Summerlin gave a presentation on SACS accreditation (see addendum).
*Professor Marcia Noe will be a contestant on "Jeopardy!" on a date yet to be announced.
Call to Order
President Gene Ezell called the meeting to order at 3:15 PM.
Approval of Minutes
Professors Felicia Sturzer and Larry Tillman moved and seconded approval of the minutes. The minutes were approved as written. [On the Faculty Council list, Professor Diane Halstead's rank is Associate, and her term ends in 1998.]
President Ezell began his report by addressing some faculty concerns. On the subject of faculty attendance at Graduation and Commencement, he reported that although there will be no roll call at these events, faculty will soon receive a letter indicating that they are expected to attend. President Ezell asked Chancellor Bill Stacy to speak to the matter of invocations at Graduation. The Chancellor observed that there have been problems with prayers at Graduation being both too narrow and too broad. Although Judeo-Christian beliefs are part of the heritage of UTC, we find it important to recognize other beliefs as well. The Chancellor believes our best hope in dealing with this issue is to locate individuals who understand the intellectual and theological implications of offering invocations in a University setting; he has therefore asked three qualified UTC faculty members to provide prayers at the next three Graduations. The matter will then be reconsidered and readdressed if necessary. If nothing else works, he continued, we could return to a fervent prayer that is meaningful to at least one person; if it offends everyone else, at least we'll know that the individual offering the prayer meant what was said. Professor Sturzer asked if the three faculty members selected would necessarily be offering prayers. Professor Martha Butterfield thought not necessarily. The Chancellor responded that prayers had been requested, but that exactly what would be offered would be up to the three faculty members who had been asked. On another matter, President Ezell relayed that a faculty member had been unable to locate a Faculty Council representative to express a concern at a Council meeting. He reminded Council members that it is among their responsibilities to report such concerns. Professor Verbie Prevost noted that it is not necessary for Council members to agree with concerns that other faculty members ask to be reported. At-large Professor Marvin Ernst indicated that he would be happy to be contacted about any such concerns and would present them to the Council. President Ezell then reported that anyone who is not sure where to send the United Way forms distributed recently may send them to Ms. Sandy Zitkus in the Provost's Office.
President Ezell asked Professor Verbie Prevost to report on the recent meeting of the Faculty Counselors to the (UT) President. Professor Prevost reported that one of the topics discussed was where to draw the line on the use of adjuncts. Representatives from UTK and UTC were concerned about the overuse of adjuncts. Of the UT campuses, UTC has the highest percentage of adjuncts. UT Martin, on the other hand, is frustrated by the lack of qualified adjuncts locally available to them. UT Memphis representatives expressed concerns about professors beyond the age of 65 who are not performing their jobs adequately. Other representatives added that they are also concerned about professors under 65 who are not performing their jobs adequately. President Johnson reported that a 1.5 to 2% raise is expected in January. He also remarked that in his estimation, tenure is not in any immediate danger in Tennessee. UT is considering the possibility of a "Professor II" rank to provide further incentives for full professors. When the various campuses were reporting their accomplishments, UTC representatives were envious to hear that UT Martin faculty members receive new computers in their offices every three years. UT Martin is also celebrating a 20% enrollment increase.
President Ezell then asked Professor Butterfield to report on a recent meeting of the Board of Trustees. Professor Butterfield, a new member of the Board, reported that while in the past it was felt that having faculty members on the Board could involve conflicts of interest, thinking has recently changed; as a result, there have been faculty representatives on the Board for four years. There is also one student member on the Board, and the faculty member is chosen from the same campus as the student member. (Student-faculty teams rotate among the four UT campuses.) Professor Butterfield reported that: a) UT Memphis has had a Master's program in Physical Therapy approved, and a proposal for a Master's degree in Physical Therapy at UTC will come before the Board in February; b) copies of UT's latest Financial Statement and Investment Report are available to anyone who wishes to examine them; c) easements and sewer construction along the Scrappymore field have been approved; d) funds that departments can expend for outside speakers or consultants has been raised from $500 to $3000; e) UTC's proposal for the 30/60 hour rule passed internally, and does not need approval from the Board; f) the Governor hopes to move Tennessee into the "top five" education states in the country. (Professor Butterfield noted that further funding will be needed to achieve this goal). f) Chief Academic Officer Homer Fisher will study concerns regarding the overuse of adjunct faculty, but no changes are planned for the immediate future; g) financial gains from the phased retirement program have exceeded one million dollars. (Professor Hiestand asked if replacement costs were taken into account in calculating these savings, and the answer was no). Professor Butterfield was disappointed to report that the new math building at UTC has dropped to sixth on the list of construction priorities in the Capital Outlay budget. She asked the Board if safety concerns were considered important in determining priorities, and the response was that safety issues were among the criteria used in such determinations. President Johnson was apprised of safety problems at Grote Hall during his recent visit, but Grote is not on UT's list of construction priorities. The Chancellor offered that Grote will be subjected to a quick-fix this year, but that multi-million improvements will be needed next year. The next UT Board meeting will be on February 12 and 13 at UTC, and there are plans to have UTC faculty members give presentations about their work. Finally, Professor Butterfield relayed that while UTC has a student technology fee of $15, the technology fee is $100 at UTK and $55 at UT Martin. Our fellow campuses thus have a lot more dorm connections, a lot more technological assistance, and a lot more stuff. UTK has a 24-hour computer lab available to faculty, staff, and students, and like at Martin, UTK faculty members receive new computers every three years. Professor Butterfield hopes that UTC can improve its technology situation quickly.
Professor Gene Schlereth moved approval of the entire package from the Curriculum Committee (see addendum). Professor Valerie Copeland-Rutledge stated that English as a Second Language is a certification area for teachers, and that it should be made clear that the new course proposed on English as a Second Language will not provide a teacher with a license in the area. Professor Schlereth suggested that information to this effect could be included in the Bulletin, and suggested that Director of Records Brenda Davis and Professor Arlie Herron be contacted about the matter. Professor Butterfield inquired about the change of prerequisite for English 122. Professor Schlereth replied that a grade of C or above in English 121 (rather than a "passing grade") is now being proposed. Professor Butterfield applauded this change. In response to an inquiry from Professor Hiestand, Professor Clint Smullen stated that the Computer Engineering program is within two courses of meeting accreditation requirements, and that such accreditation would be sought in the future. Professor Bruce Wallace observed that the course description of CPSC 110 more closely conforms to what is taught in 102 than in 110; he has been told, however, that the course description for 110 is being revised. There was no further discussion, and the curriculum package passed 25-0-2. Professor Schlereth then commented on the revised curriculum guidelines presented to the Council (see addendum). The guidelines will be available from Professor Schlereth or from Mrs. Elizabeth Baily in Associate Provost Harbaugh's Office. The new guidelines require course objectives for new course proposals, and offer new instructions for making copies of proposals for the approval process. Copies of proposals can still be charged to the Associate Provost's Office. Professor Margaret Trimpey asked if only one rationale is needed for a new program with multiple courses, or if rationales are needed for all the courses involved. Professor Schlereth answered that having an overall rationale for a new program would reduce the need for separate course rationales. Finally, Professor Schlereth reported that with nineteen members on his Committee, it is quite difficult to reach a quorum. As a result, the Committee has found it necessary to take action without a quorum. President Ezell recommended that the Curriculum Committee offer suggestions to the Executive Committee as to how this problem might be resolved.
General Education Interim Report (Or, "The Debate Continues")
Armed with an overhead projector, Gen Ed Committee Chair Betsy Darken reported that the Committee's three main goals are to foster "Critical Thinking" and "Communication" and to provide "Coherent Bodies of Knowledge" at UTC. The Committee believes that one of the best ways to achieve these goals is through the use of writing in course work. Professor Darken stated that writing is a powerful tool for learning to think more deeply, analytically, and synthetically. The Committee believes that writing can enhance learning in all disciplines, and that the benefits and uses of writing in education are sometimes misunderstood. The Committee had proposed that writing be expanded in English 121 and 122 by increasing those courses to 4 hours each. Due to practical problems, however, the Committee is considering the possibility of keeping English 121-122 at 3 hours each and requiring another 3 hour, writing-intensive course, either in the English department or within a particular discipline. Some departments, Professor Darken continued, are concerned about the writing requirements in their particular disciplines; the Music Department, for example, has taken issue with the requirement that writing constitute one-third of the grade in Fine Arts Gen Ed courses. Learning to listen to music, department members argued, is more important than writing about music. Professor Darken observed that the Music Department seemed unaware that they already have a one-third writing requirement for their Gen Ed courses. There is a "big fight" between the Gen Ed Committee and many Math and science faculty about writing requirements in Categories F and D. Some of these faculty members have argued that coercing faculty members to change their teaching methods in Gen Ed courses is a violation of academic freedom. Professor Darken showed an example on her overhead projector of how writing could be used in developmental math (Question: "How do you know that the sum of one-half and one-third is more than one-half and less than one without performing any computations?"). She also offered samples of a multiple choice quiz and a quiz that used writing in Biology, and asked the Council which they thought would best measure learning or understanding. Professor Ann Stapleton asked if the quiz would be for future Doctors or non-Doctors. It was suggested that courses for those students not planning on becoming MD's might be appropriate. Professor Darken agreed that different teaching methods might be needed for different types of students. The General Education Committee feels strongly about writing requirements, however, and what faculty in Categories D and F will ultimately recommend about writing remains to be seen. The debate, she said, continues.
Concerning the broad area of "Communication," Professor Darken reported that the Committee is still deliberating on how oral skills might best be taught at UTC. The Committee has suggested that the final exam in Computer Science 110 might be a good measure of what should be expected of our students in the area of computer literacy, and Professor Terry Carney has devised a set of computer literacy requirements based on that exam. The Math Department, Professor Darken added, would like to see the technology requirement eliminated from their discipline. To better present "Coherent Bodies of Knowledge," the Committee has proposed Humanities I and II and "Science as a Human Experience" (as well as reflection through writing). HUM I and II is an interdisciplinary sequence that would consist partially of a common body of great (or "pretty good") texts from the Western tradition, such as Machiavelli's The Prince. Like the proposed writing requirements, HUM I and II has given rise to "tremendous angst." History Department members would by and large prefer not to teach "great books" (outside the field of History, at least) and have relayed that recent trends are to teach world history rather than Western history. A concern from the English department is that HUM I and II would turn faculty into dilettantes. Some faculty have also suggested that students need to learn facts before they can synthesize competently. The debate, Professor Darken remarked, continues. Professor Darken also reported that the Category D2 title "Science as a Human Experience" is "totally offensive" to some science faculty. This has perplexed some Committee members, who suggested renaming D2 "Science as an Inhuman Experience." Professor Stapleton suggested that the title "Science Matters" might be borrowed from a fine textbook of the same name. Professor Jonathan Mies reported that Science and Math would be sending a report to the Committee before Fall Break. Finally, Professor Darken reported that since no one from the Social Sciences showed up at the Category C meeting, the original proposals for Category C would probably remain intact. Professor Butterfield reported that the College of Health and Human Services is meeting about the Gen Ed proposal on Monday, Oct. 20. Professor Schlereth asked how the Gen Ed Committee would be addressing various complaints about the proposal, and wondered if the Committee would be making recommendations that a particular department found unacceptable. Professor Darken replied that the Committee would have to consider all the information available and then vote. Professor Wallace asked if departments could requests visits by Committee members. Professor Darken answered that such invitations were welcome. (Apparently, Professor Darken is getting a kick out of these departmental visits).
Death Benefits Committee
Professor Tom Bibler wished to further publicize the Death Benefits Committee, which provides funds, upon a faculty member's death, to designated heirs with financial problems. The Committee was established by AAUP and was donated to the Faculty Council. It is managed by Professors Bibler, Ken Carson, and Ed McMahon. A voluntary contribution of $20 is requested of those who wish to join the Committee. Those who join will designate an heir. When the fund is expended, members will be asked for another $20. Professor Bibler reported that fortunately, no one on the Committee has died recently. Professor Rebecca Rochat asked if adjuncts could join, and Professor Bibler answered that they could. Professor Jim Hiestand wondered rhetorically if it was significant that the Gen Ed report was followed by the Death Benefits report. Professor Margaret Trimpey noted that we may all be dead before the Gen Ed Committee has finished its proposal. (Requests for death-benefits contribution forms may be directed to Professor Bibler).
Chancellor Bill Stacy reported that he was proud to represent UTC at a recent budget meeting of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. UT President Joe Johnson boasted about UTC's performance funding score of 95, the highest in the state. The Chancellor reminded the Commission that UTC had lost $2.8 million by not being fully funded, and expressed his strong hopes for full funding in the future. There was also some discussion of the possibility of tuition waivers for area out-of-state students, but no changes have been made at this time. The Chancellor then reported that faculty will be receiving information from the Technology Innovation Fund Committee between Oct. 22-29, that there will be a Dec. 1 deadline for grant proposals, and that grants will be awarded December 9-16. Individual grants will include those up to $500 and those up to $1500; there will also be group grants available of $5000 to $8000. The Chancellor then announced that Dean Mary Tanner and Professor David Brodsky will be heading up a Committee to prepare for SACS Accreditation in the year 2000. These efforts will be accomplished chiefly by faculty, and will involve planning, setting goals for learning, testing learners, redefining goals, and retesting learners. On another matter, the Chancellor suggested that the state should be encouraged to match student technology fees. While it is imperative that all UTC faculty members have new computers at their desks every three years, technology purchased with student fees would best be accessible to students. By mid-semester, the Chancellor continued, freshmen should know basic computer skills; by the time students graduate, their computer skills should be far more extensive. The Chancellor also reported that UTC has submitted 20 grant proposals to the UC Foundation, and it is expected that 4 to 6 of the proposals will be funded. (The proposals include one from the Gen Ed Committee; the Chancellor noted in passing that Professor Darken is "dynamite.") A gift of $50,000 for the MS in Athletic Training has been received, and $1,000,000 has been pledged for football upgrade. There are also plans for new physical therapy and athletic training labs at the Healthplex, and a study of a child-care center is being undertaken with Erlanger. Library renovation is a $350,000 to $500,000 project; negotiations are being held with carpeteers who will provide carpeting at minimal cost. A benefactor has promised to provide funding for whatever carpeting is still needed after negotiations with carpeteers have ended. UTC will continue to seek funding for the Library. Dean Sheila Delacroix reported that videos of the unfortunate shelving situation in the Library are available to concerned parties.
Acting Provost Tim Summerlin gave a vigorous presentation to the Council on plans for the SACS Accreditation visit in the year 2000. A summary of his remarks is provided in the addendum entitled "SACS Timetable." (More information on "Quality 2000" will be sent to each department on campus). The Provost stressed that the forthcoming accreditation preparations will be more extensive than in the past, and will thus be a learning experience for everyone. All of the requirements listed in the SACS Timetable document are "musts." Professor John Trimpey asked if institutions like Vanderbilt, Chapel Hill and UTK are being asked to undergo the same extensive preparations required of UTC. Provost Summerlin responded that while there is no Procrustean bed everyone must fit into, expectations of other institutions will be similar to those outlined for UTC. Dean Mary Tanner stated that any institution in the Southeast is expected to meet SACS criteria, and that institutions not meeting these criteria are suffering the consequences. Dr. Dick Gruetzemacher relayed that because the University of Florida offered only one "iteration of assessment" instead of the multiple iterations required by SACS, the institution is having to endure visits from an accreditation team every six months to a year until it is in compliance. Both the Provost and Professor Butterfield stressed that Quality 2000 should not be looked on as a threat or a chore. We need to identify what we want our students to learn and be able to do, and to keep things as simple as possible.
Old and New Business; Announcements
Under Old Business, Professor Marea Rankin stated that since she last reported in Council that her car was regularly blocked by other, illegally-parked vehicles in Lot 12, her car has continued to be blocked (a total of ten times). Professor Rankin finds this situation distracting, and awaits definitive action. Under New Business, Professor John Trimpey reported that some of the individuals who were registering students by telephone last summer were placing students in closed classes or signing them up for independent studies without contacting the professors in question. President Ezell will look into this matter. Under Announcements, Professor Prevost announced that eleven one-hour telephone interviews of Provost candidates have been completed. Six final candidates will be identified by the end of next week. Professor Prevost added that her Committee is doing incredible work, and includes cunning sleuths. It was discovered, for example, that one candidate has been asked to step down from his or her current position; another is one of four finalists for the Chancellor's position at the University of Louisiana at Shreveport. Professor Prevost also announced that English Professor Marcia Noe will be a contestant on "Jeopardy!" on a date yet to be announced. Professor Butterfield announced that Blue Cross has a new "Point of Service" plan which is has fewer restrictions than Preferred Care but not as many as the HMO. Contact Professor Butterfield for further information.
President Ezell adjourned the meeting at 5:13 PM.
Renée Cox Lorraine
Cartoons dedicated to Music Department