THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT CHATTANOOGA
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
September 4, 1997
Signal Mountain Room
Elected Members Present: Ralph Anderson, Jim Avery, Boris Belinsky, Mike Biderman, Martha Butterfield, Karen Casey, Prakash Damshala, Joe Dumas, Fritz Efaw, Gene Ezell, Marvin Ernst, Phil Giffin, Jim Hiestand, Renée Lorraine, Deborah McAllister, Jonathan Mies, Judy Miler, Greg O'Dea, Verbie Prevost, John Phillips, Laurie Prather, Verbie Prevost, Farhad Raiszadeh, Marea Rankin, Barbara Ray, Rebecca Rochat, Ann Stapleton, Jim Stroud, Felicia Sturzer, Kristin Switala, Larry Tillman, John Trimpey, Margaret Trimpey, Bruce Wallace
Elected Members Absent: Tatiana Bilgildeyeva, Laurie Prather, Mac Smotherman, Vicki Steinberg
Ex-Officio Members Present: Sheila Delacroix, Jane Harbaugh, Charles Renneisen, George Ross, Bill Stacy
Among the Guests Present: Karen Adsit, Deborah Arfken, Laura Baker, Gene Bartoo, Marilyn Benson, Richard Brown, Marc Cutright, Herb Burhenn, Betsy Darken, Nick Honerkamp, Steve Kuhn, Mark Mendenhall, Chandra Milliron, Carolyn Mitchell, Deborah Parker, Vince Pellegrino, Gene Schlereth, Glenda Sullivan
Important Actions and Announcements
*The Council passed a motion to have the General Education Committee conduct an impact study on the new General Education proposal. An interim report will be provided to the Council at some point during Fall semester, and a revised General Education proposal will be presented to the Council by semester's end.
*Chancellor Bill Stacy has pledged $150,000 for a "technological innovation fund" to meet the technological needs of individual faculty members.
Call to Order
President Gene Ezell called the meeting to order at 3:16 PM.
Approval of Minutes
Professors Jim Hiestand and Jim Stroud moved and seconded approval of the minutes, and the minutes were approved as written.
Executive Committee Report
President Ezell welcomed Chancellor Bill Stacy to his first Faculty Council Meeting. He informed the Chancellor that the administration implements automatically any action passed by the Council. Chancellor Stacy acknowledged this helpful protocol tip. President Ezell then welcomed new members of the Council, and had them introduce themselves. He asked Professors Farhad Raiszadeh and Jim Avery to hold elections, after the Faculty Meeting on September 9, for Council representatives from the School of Business Administration and the College of Education and Applied Professional Studies respectively. President Ezell also reported that the Board of Trustees had passed UTC's MS Degree in Athletic Training.
Committee on Committees
Committee on Committees Chair Verbie Prevost indicated that a replacement was needed for Professor Oralia Preble-Niemi on the Committee on Committees. (Professor Prebel-Niemi graciously resigned from the Council when it was discovered that one too many representatives had been elected from her Division.) Professor Martha Butterfield nominated John Mies to serve on the Committee. Professors Jim Stroud and Greg O'Dea moved and seconded that the nominations be closed, and Professor Mies was elected unanimously. Professor Prevost then indicated that two students, John Kelly and Katherine Baker, had been recommended by Dean Charles Renneisen for the Student Conduct Board. Professors John and Margaret Trimpey moved and seconded that the students be appointed to the Board, and the motion passed unanimously. Professor Gene Schlereth commented that two members of the Standards Committee were needed on the Curriculum Committee. This would bring the total number of Curriculum Committee members to nineteen, a number higher than that required by the Handbook. Professor Prevost indicated that it was acceptable to have more members than required. Professor Schlereth pointed out that the more members appointed to the Curriculum Committee, the more difficult it is to get a quorum.
Provost Search Committee
The indefatigable Professor Prevost then addressed the Council in her capacity as Chair of the Provost Search Committee. She reported that the Committee had received many excellent applications, and had formed subcommittees to consider them. A first round of finalists for the position should be announced within a few weeks. Professor Prevost indicated that the Committee welcomes faculty input. Professor Margaret Trimpey thanked Professor Prevost for keeping the faculty informed of the Committee's deliberations.
General Education Committee
Gen Ed Committee Chair Betsy Darken presented a spirited address to the Council on the new Gen Ed proposal. She feels there is a general lack of attention to General Education on campus; departments, she observed, tend to zero in on what affects them directly rather than looking at the entire General Education program. She urged Council members to read the Gen Ed "yellow book" carefully and to persuade their colleagues to read and discuss the proposal. She suggested that the faculty consider the proposal from two different perspectives. First, is the proposal academically sound? Will it produce the type of graduates we want at UTC? Second, is it feasible to implement this proposal? She hopes the faculty will aim high, will push the boundaries of what seems feasible in order to effect what is best for our students. She also noted that there is a widespread perception that research is more likely to be rewarded than teaching. It will take time away from research to develop new courses, to grade more writing assignments, etc. Yet the faculty at large--and each individual faculty member--must decide how much teaching should be valued at UTC. Professor Darken also noted in passing that there are two typos in need of correction in the Gen Ed yellow book: On page 7, under No. 3, the "and" should be deleted after the phrase beginning "complete Writing Center assignments. . ., " and a period should be substituted for the semicolon. On page 22, top paragraph, "a freshman composition course" should read "no freshman composition course."
Professor Darken continued by relaying that her Committee members have been keeping their ears to the ground for news of Gen Ed proposal concerns, and have had their ears "yanked" on several occasions. The Committee has therefore recommended that the Council postpone the intended vote on the Gen Ed proposal so that the Committee can conduct an impact study for the proposal. Such a study would involve extensive input from faculty and administration. President Ezell moved on behalf of the Executive Committee that the Gen Ed Committee conduct an impact study and report back to the Council before the end of the semester. Professor Stroud asked what would be involved with an impact study. Professor Darken said the Committee would consider practicalities, do some fine tuning, most likely make some changes. Professor Jim Hiestand suggested that the study might consider the impact of the proposed 4-hour English courses. Professor John Trimpey said that the challengeability of these courses might be considered. Professor Marvin Ernst mentioned the problem of transferability. He also asked if a draft of the final document could be provided before a final proposal is considered. Professor Darken stated that she would be glad to provide an interim report. Professor Fritz Efaw asked if the Committee could go to the administration and say "We need more money." Professor Darken has been informed that the Committee may do so. Professor Stroud suggested we not limit our thinking to what is financially feasible but should concentrate on academic matters. Professor Darken noted that there are some potential problems with the proposal that are academic in nature. Professor Martha Butterfield commented that there would be a span of time between adoption and implementation that would allow for consideration of implementation issues. Professor Stroud called the question on the motion for the Gen Ed Committee to conduct an impact study and provide a revised proposal to the Council before the end of the semester. The call for the question passed, and the motion passed unanimously.
Professor Darken then asked the Council for feedback on the present proposal. Professor Wallace asked whether anything in the proposal needed to be implemented right away. In response to an inquiry from Professor Darken, Provost Summerlin indicated that a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation team is due in the Fall of 2000. Professor Felicia Sturzer commended the Committee on its philosophy statement and on its efforts to involve the faculty in the development of the Gen Ed document. She commented that the document reads as if each course will be required to have each student give four oral reports. Is this realistic? Professor Darken responded that what was intended was for each student to give at least four oral reports during the course of the baccalaureate education, and that this point would be clarified. Professor Ralph Anderson reported that his department, school, and college has had discussions on the Gen Ed document. He expressed the hope that faculty members outside of the social sciences would be able to develop courses for Category C. He also noted that Category G was more far reaching than Category E, and provided more opportunities for innovative courses to be developed outside as well as within Arts and Sciences. He suggested that while SACS has asked for more emphasis on oral communication at UTC, it may be that this requirement may be met within various courses outside the English department. Further, because many of our students are already familiar with basic computer skills, we may not need to include computer skills in a particular, required course. Professor Darken responded that it was the intent of the Committee to expand Category C to include social science applications, and that it was hoped that the spirit of Category G would infuse the entire proposed Gen Ed curriculum. She pointed out that not all departments have oral communication courses, and that most professors don't teach these skills. There are those in the English department, however, that feel that their department is not the place to teach oral communication. She also stated that it is a documented fact that our students tend not to be sufficiently computer literate. Professor Marvin Ernst suggested that rather than having oral communication taught in the English department, courses across the campus could be designated with "O" for emphasis on oral skills and "W" for emphasis on writing, and advisors could advise students accordingly. He asked the Committee to consider this possibility.
Professor Stroud reinforced Professor Sturzer's congratulations for the Committee, and said he thought the proposal was on the side of the angels. He is concerned, however, about the writing requirements. Some departments require less writing not because they are more interested in doing research, but because communication skills other than prose writing are emphasized (as in the Music Department, for example). He stressed that he was concerned not that writing is required, but that the proposed proportion of writing may be too high for some departments. Professor Efaw wanted to know just how much computer literacy would required of students. Auto mechanics, he offered metaphorically, can involve anything from changing the oil to rebuilding an engine. How much should students know about the way computers work? Professor Darken answered that she didn't have a clear definition of computer literacy for UTC students, but that she would hold the Computer Science Department hostage until they provided one. Two Council members suggested simultaneously that computer scientists may not be the best people to provide such a definition. Amused, Professor Darken said that a computer scientist of her acquaintance, in the course of teaching skills to colleagues, would often find it necessary to say something like "Oh--you don't want to know how things work; you just want to get from point A to point B." Several Council members conceded that how to get from point A to point B pretty much covers what they want to know about computers. Professor Stroud added that he didn't want to know how his car worked, either. Coming to the defense of computer scientists, Professor Joe Dumas explained that if learning to drive a car were like learning computer skills, drivers would have to relearn how to drive and relearn the roads virtually every year. Because the field of computer technology is changing at such a rapid rate, it is necessary to learn some basic principles of computer literacy that will remain relatively steadfast in the face of change. Professor Wallace concurred, suggesting that students need to be familiar with philosophical aspects of computer science, and not just how to key punch.
Professor Gene Schlereth agreed with Professor Stroud that the writing requirement may be excessive for some departments. What he feels most competent to teach is the syntax of mathematical equations, not the grammar of English prose. He fears that students might become proficient at writing about how they feel about solving math equations, without being able to actually do them. Professor Darken offered that when she has students write about math, she asks them not about their feelings but to explain how they arrived at their results. Moving back to the issue of oral skills, Professor Dumas asked the following: If the English department is not the place to teach oral communication, and other departments are not the place, where is the place? Professor Margaret Trimpey reported that there is extensive material available on teaching oral communication skills. Professor Butterfield suggested that summer institutes could provide instruction in the area. Professor Sturzer asked how long the proposed summer institutes would last. Professor Darken speculated that they would last a few weeks. Professor Efaw reiterated his concern about funding. Have we concrete assurances from the Provost and Chancellor that the program will be funded if approved? Chancellor Stacy indicated that there is a conceptual commitment to find funding for whatever program we approve. Professor Boris Belinsky indicated that he had one simple question: Why does this proposal have to be completed by the end of the semester? President Ezell stated that that deadline was recommended because the approval process by our full faculty, officials in Knoxville and the Board of Trustees could take a considerable span of time. Professor Belinsky then asked when the interim report would be provided. Professor Darken was unable to commit to a specific date, but felt that it would be provided relatively soon. She invited departments to hold meetings with Gen Ed Committee members (as the Music Department plans to do) or to provide written responses to the proposed document (as the Library has). In response to some expressed confusion, President Ezell clarified that the Council will vote on a completed Gen Ed proposal and impact study before the end of the semester.
Chancellor Stacy indicated that he enjoyed hearing the faculty discuss academic matters, and hopes that the faculty will develop the most academically challenging Gen Ed program possible. He asked the faculty to suspend belief about UTC's current financial situation when developing or considering the proposal; grants can be sought both within and beyond the Chattanooga area to fund the approved program. (He mused that if, say, $300,000 were needed to implement the program, this is an amount that Vice Chancellor Vince Pellegrino could earn by sundown.) If necessary, the Chancellor continued, we will simply get Vice Chancellor George Ross in a corner and tell him "You've got to pay for this." The emphasis in our deliberations on Gen Ed, the Chancellor suggested, should be on what we want to do and be. We should not postpone any more than is necessary because the task at hand is difficult; when we decide what we should do, we should do it. He agreed that we need more attention to computer literacy and communication on the campus. He has asked Acting Dean Greg Sedrick to chair a faculty committee to look at technological needs. The Chancellor, along with Vice Chancellor Ross, Provost Summerlin and Vice Chancellor Pellegrino, have also pledged $150,000 for a "technology innovation fund" to meet technological needs of individual faculty members. (Proposals of a few hundred up to several thousand dollars could be considered by some current campus committee or by a new committee.) The Chancellor indicated he was concerned as well about shelving for books in the library and about the need for new carpeting in the library. He has also learned, in walking around campus and talking to students, that the UTC band has needed new uniforms for some time. He relayed that when UT President Joe Johnson asked the Chancellor's wife Sue if anything was worrying the Chancellor, Sue Stacy answered that the Chancellor was concerned about technological needs, carpeting needs, and band uniforms. Daunted by the prospect of technological needs, the President asked Mrs. Stacy how much a band uniform costs. As a result of the conversation, UTC was granted $60,000 from a UT alumni fund for new band uniforms. President Johnson told the Chancellor that Mrs. Stacy had "solicited him," and the Chancellor is now working hard to get his wife a dinner date with a carpet manufacturer. The Chancellor concluded his remarks by observing that UTC has terrific academic prestige around the country. Especially now in these financially difficult times, it is important that we treat UTC and one another with care and concern, and with the respect afforded us by peer institutions.
President Ezell asked for questions and comments about Chancellor Stacy's remarks. Professor Hiestand noted observantly that the Chancellor had been carrying around a red folder. He suggested that the University's financial situation might improve if the Chancellor switched to a black folder. The Chancellor seemed amenable to this helpful financial tip.
Acting Provost Tim Summerlin reported that enrollment had reached 8548, a 3% improvement over last year. He then responded to the Council's request for a feasibility study of an Outreach University program. The Provost stated that the purpose of Outreach University is to reach out to more students by providing more flexible formats. An excellent Task Force has been appointed to work on the program, and has been joined by representatives from five regional community colleges. Four committees of the Task Force were formed to study curricular matters, delivery systems, services, and communication/marketing respectively. Presently available curricular options were found in UTC's Human Services Management department, which includes degrees in Allied Health Management and Human Services Administration. It was anticipated that these programs would appeal to a large audience, and especially to those who hold Applied Associate degrees. Last May a questionnaire was sent to four community colleges asking students if they would be interested in these programs if offered at times other than 8:00 AM through 3:00 PM. (Assistant Provost Deborah Arfken was instrumental in developing this questionnaire.) There were 664 responses. Thirty-four per cent of respondents indicated an interest in Allied Health management, 23% in Work Force Management, and 16% in Human Services. The core course Human Services 201 has been offered at nontraditional times last summer and this Fall, and there has been less response than the Task Force had hoped for. Yet the general response is that the Outreach University program is excellent, and this program, like most University programs, will take time to develop. Down the road, we may use the campus governance process to determine that another kind of baccalaureate program would best serve regional needs. Yet the commitment to serve nontraditional students is something the Administration plans to go forward with. The Provost added that we have also provided distance education in Criminal Justice at Roane State Community College, and are committed to offering courses in Psychology for Cleveland State Community College. There is also regional interest in Industrial Engineering Management.
Provost Summerlin believes it is important to our general mission and to enrollment management in particular to continue with this program, to do everything we can to link our capabilities to community needs and thereby enable under served and nontraditional students to get degrees. (While the impact of this year's telephone blitz on enrollment has not been determined definitively, there is momentum for creativity in getting students registered.) The Provost concluded by saying that more coherence is needed in Outreach University, and that Associate Provost Jane Harbaugh has agreed to shepherd Outreach University's collective efforts. She will profit from the cooperation and aid of Admissions, Financial Aid, faculty, etc.
The hour was late, but President Ezell noted that Professor Butterfield had had her hand up for some time. Professor Butterfield responded that she actually just had her elbow propped up on the table. But since she had been given the floor, she suggested that a motion might be in order concerning how the Council wishes to proceed with Outreach University. At the Council's bidding, President Ezell indicated that the Executive Committee would prepare a motion concerning Outreach University to be presented at the Council's next meeting.
President Ezell announced that he had made an executive decision to finish this year's Council meetings by 5:00 PM whenever possible, and asked Associate Vice Chancellor Richard Brown if he would present his report on construction at the next Council meeting. The Associate Vice Chancellor graciously agreed, and President Ezell promised to place the report on construction first on our next meeting's agenda.
Announcements and Adjournment
Dean Charles Renneisen announced that there were plans for an extension of the University Center in the direction of Maclellan Gym. The funding for the construction will not involve tax dollars; there will be a student referendum on September 15 and 16 on raising student service fees by $8.00 to fund this project. Vice Chancellor Pellegrino noted that the October 2nd Council meeting had accidentally been scheduled during Rosh Hashanah. President Ezell promised to reschedule that meeting, and will announce the change at the next Council meeting. The President adjourned the meeting at 5:03 PM.
Renee Cox Lorraine Renee-Lorraine@utc.edu
Cartoons dedicated to technology, computer science, and IBM's "Deep Blue"