|THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE AT
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES
April 6, 2000
Signal Mountain Room
Elected Members Present:
Elected Members Absent:
Ex-Officio Members Present:
Among the Guests Present:
Call to Order
In the absence of President Verbie Prevost, First Vice President Tom Bibler called the meeting to order at 3:02 p.m.
Approval of the Minutes of March 2, 2000
The minutes were approved as distributed.
Report from the Executive Committee
Professor John Trimpey moved and Professor Gene Ezell seconded that Council endorse the resolution on TIAA-CREF cashability included in the Council packet. Dean Deborah Arfken said she thought item no. 5 of the resolution should say "receive up to 100%" rather than 10%. With this correction, Council approved the resolution unanimously on a voice vote.
Professor Tom Bibler said the information on Tennessee HB2318/SB2572 was included in the packet as an item of information. The bill deals with the transferring of credits among higher education institutions in Tennessee. The bill passed the House unanimously and was to be considered by the Senate during the week of April 10.
Professor Bibler said he did not know if Council wanted to discuss the bill or respond to it in some way or not. He said General Education Committee Chair Betsy Darken called him about 20 minutes before the meeting to say the committee had passed a resolution that indirectly related to the bill. The resolution, as copied down hurriedly by Professor Bibler, stated, "In addition to their status as GE requirements, statistics and intensive writing should be designated as graduation requirements."
Professor Gail Meyer, a member of the GE Committee, said UTCs GE requirements match up quite well with the TBR schools except for these two items. She said there was concern that these courses, which some view as important parts of the degree program, would be lost if this bill becomes law.
Council discussed how the GE resolution might impact the number of hours in degree programs and whether the state legislature might move to limit extended degree programs. Professor Ezell said the UT Board of Trustees has been pushing for programs that permit students to graduate in four years without having to attend summer school. After further discussion, Council decided to put the GE resolution on the agenda of the next Council meeting. Parliamentarian Jim Hiestand noted he had been unusually patient in allowing the discussion to continue.
Report from the Curriculum Committee
Professor John Trimpey offered a proposal for a procedural change in the section of the Curriculum Committee policies entitled, "Conversion of Provisional and Experimental Courses to Regular Courses." He noted that Council approved the previous statement in 1979. The statement that a provisional course [199r or 499r] be "offered no more than two times in a three year period" would be changed to "offered no more than two times in a five year period."
Professor Jonathan Mies said the committee thought the change would protect against the habit of offering a provisional course as a regular course. Professor Trimpey said the proposal was not intended to limit the number of 499s a department could offer. For example, he said under the new language a student could not take three consecutive 499s on proposal writing, but could take three consecutive 499s on different topics. The proposal was approved on a voice vote with one abstention.
Report from Graduate Council
Dean Arfken reported that the UT Board of Trustees voted in January to change its policy on certificate programs. At one time they required a program to have 24 hours, but they have now changed that to nine hours. The completion of a certificate program will be recorded on the students transcript and they will receive an appropriate certificate from the university. Programs will be academically coherent and will generally be comprised of existing courses with an occasional new course. She said the two certificate programs being offered to Council passed Graduate Council with unanimous votes.
Professor Stephanie Smullen said Computer Science is proposing to offer two masters level certificate programs, one in internet applications programming and one in computer networking, two topical areas where she said there is area demand. She said graduates who have been in the field for a few years often need a few courses to update their skills and that these certificate programs are geared to that need. She said the certificate programs would be accomplished with the current personnel and resources. Each certificate program will have nine hours (3 three-hour courses) plus a two-hour capstone project. She said her search of the Academic Common Market revealed that these programs will likely be unique in the state and in the South.
Professor Giffin asked if the material was so advanced that an undergraduate couldnt do it. Professor Smullen said it might be possible for seniors to consider the courses. The certificate proposals were approved 23-0-2.
Report from the Handbook Committee
Professor Hiestand outlined six proposed changes to the handbook (see also attachment). 1) Eliminate contradictory dates regarding the election of an adjunct member to Council. Also add verbiage to simplify the nomination process for this member. 2) Implement the October 7, 1999 vote of Council regarding the awarding of Faculty Development grants. 3) Delete descriptions for two defunct committees. 4) Add the Director of the Walker Teaching Resource Center as an ex-officio member of the Student Rating of Faculty Instruction Committee. 5) Add changes on post-tenure review in response to comments from the UT Board of Trustees. Professor Hiestand said the changes were mostly minor, noting that section l on his handout was probably the most substantive. To address that concern, the committee added more specific language taken directly from the AAUP. 6) Add a statement on professorial behavior requested by UTC administration. The new statement was taken directly from the UTK faculty handbook.
Professor Giffin asked why adding the Director of the Teaching Resource Center to the Student Rating of Faculty Committee was necessary. Professor Hiestand said that recommendation came from the committee, and he did not know the particulars. Committee member Fritz Efaw said Chair Mike Russell (who was not present) should address the question, adding that Dr. Adsit attended committee meetings much like Dr. Dick Gruetzemacher, another ex-officio member.
Professor Hiestand said the Handbook Committee declined to draft language for three items, pending further guidance from Council. He said the handbook committee was not a policy making body and felt that these items were beyond their jurisdiction. These were 1) establishing standards for faculty discipline short of dismissal, 2) resolving whether a faculty member could be promoted before being tenured, and 3) defining standards for promotion of untenured faculty such as lecturers, laboratory instructors, and clinical professors.
The recommendations from the Handbook Committee passed on a voice vote with one "no" and one abstention.
Report from the Academic Standards Committee
Chair Fran Bender said the committee was recommending that the 42-hour rule for students receiving a B.A. degree in Arts and Sciences be abolished. She described it as a convoluted issue and said the committee had been working on it for two years. She said the issue arose primarily because of the new GE requirements. (see attachment for background and committee rationale)
The committees research showed the rule to be a holdover from the University of Chattanooga which did not offer a B.A.degree with a minor. UTC added a minor beginning with the 1988/1989 academic year, adding 18-21 hours to the schedule and leaving some majors with only three to seven hours of electives. Professor Bender gave examples of the kinds of problems students and faculty currently encounter with the rule. She said the committee ultimately decided that the spirit of the B.A. degree could be preserved even without the 42-hour rule.
Professor Meyer said a related issue was the soon-to-be-implemented requirement that students have 42 hours of 300 and 400 level courses. She said the B.A.Chemistry students are going to have a hard time getting that many hours of upper division courses without going over 128 hours. She said they might be able to do it in their minor, depending on the department and how hard it is to get into upper level courses. She said she thought some consideration should be given to getting rid of the minor. She said she wasnt sure if faculty realized the impact the 42-hour rule for upper level courses was going to have when it begins in the fall and added that she thought it would create a whole new set of issues for departmental curriculum committees. She said she wasnt sure the changes being proposed by the committee would be of much value to Chemistry students and suggested that abolishing rules like this often have an unintended or unexpected domino effect on other aspects of the curriculum.
Professor Margaret Trimpey said her understanding was that the Petitions Committee had given the Records Office the flexibility to move between the old and new requirements for the upper level 42-hour rule for at least some period of time after it goes into effect in the fall. Professor Meyer said she had not heard about that policy and has been advising students to take courses that would prepare them for the change.
Professor Giffin said there seemed to be a trend over the last few years toward requiring more courses in the major. He said he thought that was the wrong direction and that students should not be allowed to concentrate so much effort in one particular subject. He said Economics did not have nearly the number of hours that some majors had.
Following additional discussion, the recommendation to abolish the rule limiting students to 42 hours in one department for the B.A. degree in Arts and Sciences passed 12-3-9.
Professor Bender said the committee had also been asked to respond to an SGA resolution calling for pluses to be added to the grading system. Since the committee would not accept pluses without minuses, she said it had no recommendation to make at this time about changing the grading system.
Report from Mocs Express
Mr. Richard Gambrell of Computing Services said that Dr. John Schaerer sent his regrets about not being able to attend the meeting. With the aid of a computer and projector, Mr. Gambrell showed Council the Mocs Express web site (www.mocsexpress.edu). Saying it was a place for faculty and others to get updated information about he project, he said the site was currently more of a demonstration site than the integrated, interactive site they plan for it to be.
He reviewed the vision statement brought to Council last fall and said the Mocs Express Committee has tried to take the statement seriously. He said the project committee has most recently been wrestling with the idea of how Mocs Express fits into the larger University web site.
He noted the first phase of Mocs Express began last fall and mainly involved fee payment and handling of money. This spring the project team has focused on adding GE requirements to the rap sheet, improving registration tools, and upgrading a number of internal functions to help Graduate Studies and the Admissions and Records Offices. He said they would shortly be introducing interactive forms to the web page so that prospective students can more easily request information from the university. He said he hopes rap sheets and an enhanced list of course offerings can soon be available over the web.
Beginning this summer and into the fall the team also plans to provide enhancements to the admissions and recruiting area. He said they will also begin implementing a web-based room scheduling system that will eventually be available across campus.
He demonstrated what the rap sheet with the new GE requirements will look like. Professor Lauren Coulter asked if the new rap sheet would include the courses that apply to minors, noting that omission as a deficiency of the current rap sheet. Mr. Gambrell said that item was on a list of possible enhancements that the project team has been wrestling with. He said the committee has been working on setting priorities but said he did not have a specific place for that enhancement in the overall plan at this time.
He said the committee will work to enhance the registration features during the coming year, and showed how students might be able to pull up course schedules on the web. He said the program might help them select the courses and then provide a link for the student to register for the course.
Professor Sally Young asked if students would still need an advising code or if this was just information for the student to review before seeing an advisor. Mr. Gambrell said the information would hopefully assist the student but that the student would still need to see an advisor. He said by the fall the team hopes to have a new log in and authentication system ready but said it would not replace the advisor code.
Professor Tom Bibler asked whether the program would indicate whether the course was a fall or spring course. Mr. Gambrell said he thought it was in the interest of the University to do that but did not know how soon the team would be able to provide that feature. He briefly demonstrated the graduate student rap sheet.
Moving to web design, Mr. Gambrell said the project team had adopted a constituency-based design wherein the University would have different kinds of pages for different kinds of people, i.e., faculty, students, alumni, parents, visitors, prospective students, and so forth. Each group would have their own menus and a variety of choices within those menus. He said the team has been creating a template of all the possibilities and demonstrated a few examples. He said the initial implementation would be more limited, and that the team would identify information currently available and then fit it into the template. He demonstrated a possible prototype of a campus map which he said would address a long-time concern about the Universitys web site.
Professor Ed Rozema asked how long it would be before the University could implement a web site like the one being demonstrated. Mr. Gambrell said the team was working in that direction and that progress depended somewhat on the available manpower and the outcome of several budget initiatives. He said he hoped some form of the web site could be ready by the fall. University Relations Director Chuck Cantrell said a web graphic design team has been reviewing four different proposals for a new UTC home page and will submit two of those shortly for consideration by the full committee.
Report on Library Serials
University Librarian Sheila Delacroix said the library had again reached the point of needing to evaluate the funds spent on continuing obligations, such as serials, journals, magazines, and the like. She said the evaluation was needed in order for the library to continue to provide appropriate information resources within the fiscal realities of the University budget.
After extensive discussions with the Library Committee, the Council of Deans, the Provost, several academic departments, and among the librarians, it was decided that the problem needed a different, fresher approach than was used during a similar evaluation five years ago. She said the reason a different approach was possible was because the campus had benefited from the student technology fee which has subsidized most of the electronic databases, including several that are largely full-text, for the past two years. The campus has also benefited, she said, from the establishment of the Tennessee Electronic Library, which receives some state funding, and which has subsidized a small group of electronic databases this past year including Expanded Academic Index.
She said these initiatives would allow the library to take a different look at the spiraling costs of journals and serials. She explained that several of the databases are "aggregator" databases and include many titles that are full-text. The library has developed a study that compares the librarys print and microform holdings with titles that are available in full-text in the aggregator databases. Aided by overhead transparencies, she showed how it was possible for the library to be paying for some information three, four, or five times in different formats.
She also showed examples of 1000+ new titles that are available to the campus as a result of the subscriptions to the aggregator databases. She said the library could not have afforded individual subscriptions to these titles but could have access as a result of the database subscriptions.
Professor Fritz Efaw asked if the online catalog has links to the full-text journals in the databases. Professor Delacroix said the library has committed to adding those links as a part of this initiative. She said in "Phase 1" the library would review all serials where the library is paying for access in more than one format. She said just because a journal was available in full-text electronically did not mean the library would automatically cancel a paper copy. Some titles are used too heavily in paper and others have a content this is heavily graphical, she said. In response to a question from Professor Mike Whittle, Professor Delacroix said that, while some full-text databases are beginning to include graphical material, they still do not do justice to the fine art work and photography in some print publications. She emphasized there would be no wholesale canceling of duplicative titles and assured Council that all titles would be looked at individually. She noted that, even after some duplicative materials are cancelled, the campus would still have access to more full-text titles than at any time in the past. She said the way people access information is changing as a part of the reality of "where we live and how we live."
She said some libraries have established the elimination of duplicate access as a "rolling" process, i.e., every time they subscribe to a new full-text database, they match those full-text titles against paper subscriptions and then eliminate the duplication. She said she did not think UTC had reached that point yet.
Unfortunately, she said cancelling the duplicate subscriptions would not balance the librarys budget next year or provide any fiscal flexibility, so the second component ("Phase 2") of the librarys evaluation would involve evaluating all titles that cost over $1000 per year. She displayed an overhead transparency outlining the top expenditures. In response to a question from Dean Arfken, Professor Delacroix said the most expensive journal was the Journal of Molecular Biology at $4923 (1999 price, does not reflect 2000 increases). She emphasized that any reductions in these titles would be handled in conjunction with the appropriate academic departments. She said the library would provide free document delivery for any titles that are ultimately cancelled as a part of Phase 2.
Professor Meyer asked about departments that are required to have certain titles for accreditation. Professor Delacroix said a lot of accrediting bodies are now starting to call for access rather than ownership but added that all accrediting bodies are different. She said every department that talks to the library about accreditation has a different set of guidelines. She said libraries are lobbying these accrediting agencies to direct their guidelines toward access and away from physical copies. In response to another question from Professor Meyer, Professor Delacroix said some of the expensive titles on the overhead transparency may not be full-text electronically in which case they would be provided by document delivery.
Professor Whittle asked if there would still be a limitation on the number of copies the library could order from particular journal via document delivery. She said some limitations were imposed by the Copyright Clearance Center. She said the Centers guidelines do recommend a library purchase a title after a certain number of articles are requested from a particular journal. She said a study done by the Librarys ILL unit showed that people ordered articles from a wide array of journals, not just the same few titles over and over again. She said adding two or three titles in print would not fill the need.
Professor Lee Harris asked if departments could review the list for their areas and swap out print journals of equal value. Professor Delacroix said the library would be happy to work with departments that wanted to do that.
She said it would take people a while to become accustomed to accessing information electronically, but noted the societal shift toward electronic information. She said she thought anyone who had been to the budget hearings should understand the Universitys fiscal struggles and be aware that the Library and other campus departments are going to have to live within their budgets. She emphasized there would be no wholesale cancellations, noting again that Phase 1 would review duplicative materials for possible cancellation and that Phase 2, in conjunction with academic departments, would review high tickets items for access via document delivery. In closing, she said the campus would still have access in some format to more serials than in the past even after the completion of Phases 1 and 2.
Professor Pedro Campa expressed concern that the library was abandoning its archival function to conserve materials. Professor Delacroix said every library in the country is wrestling with that issue. She said the question of archiving has to be balanced against the question of available dollars. She said most of the decisions to eliminate paper and go with electronic databases are based on cost and accessibility, pointing to the $18,000 for Expanded Academic Index which provides access to 2000 titles.
Professor Campa complained that he thought the library was trashing materials the university had already paid for, pointing particularly to the card catalog. He noted the years of work that went into creating that catalog. Professor Delacroix said, while she had no problem with the removal of the card catalog, she would have been happy to give it to Professor Campa if she had been at UTC when the decision was made. She said she understood the concern about archiving.
Vice Chancellor for Operations and Campus Safety
Vice Chancellor Brown said there would be a review of the master plan on Reading Day, April 25. He said a time and place would be announced later. The campus and guests from the community will be invited to review the plan.
Professor John Trimpey asked if someone could present a financial report at the next meeting. Professor Bibler said he would pass the request along.
Professor Campa asked if a student who takes Western Humanities in the English track could count the course two times, once in the major and once for GE. Professor Meyer said her understanding was that, under the old GE you could not take a GE English course and have it count toward the major, but that you could under the new GE. Some discussion ensued on this point with several Council members expressing the opinion that it was a departmental option whether it could count for both GE and the major under the new GE.
Professor John Trimpey said he wanted to make a motion but that he wanted to explain it first. He said in the past Council had from time to time made recommendations to higher administration about how raise allocations should be handled. He moved that, if raises were 3% or less, they be distributed across the board. Professor Campa seconded. Following some discussion, the motion passed on a voice vote with one abstention.
Professor Campa entertained Council with his perceptions of the new UT travel policy. He said the talk about the campus having more independence was clearly absurd. He also said it was a slap in the face to the travel resources in this community and added that he didnt see any benefit to the school or the community from this new policy. He said, as a poor campus, the UTC faculty were already being very thrifty with their travel dollars. Vice Chancellor Brown said the Executive Staff had discussed this policy and shared his concern. He said they were going to poll local agencies and see if they would give similar discounts.
Professor Meyer asked if it was true that UTC would no longer have a payroll office once the new financial system was installed in Knoxville. Will checks be mailed to those without direct deposit? Vice Chancellor Brown said he understood that the people setting up the system had not answered all of those questions. Professor Bibler asked what would happen to people who didnt have checking accounts. Vice Chancellor Brown said the people on that project needed to address that issue and the issue of student employees who may not have access to electronic transfer.
Dean Arfken reminded everyone to attend Southern Voices: The Autobiography Conference April 6-8.
First Vice President Bibler adjourned the meeting at 4:49 p.m.