SENATE OF THE FACULTY, November 14, 1997

The Senate of the Faculty met in the Holman Hall auditorium.

Present: L. Blenman (PP), A. Bomba, G. Buskes, C. Cunningham, R. Dorsey, A. Elsherbeni, W. Gardner, F. Gilbert, D. Graves, K. Green, L. Hanshaw, L. Harper, F. Laurenzo, T. Marshall (P), C. Mullen, H. Owens, T. Ownby (1), J. S. Payne (PP), L. Pittman, S. Prasad (1), T. J. Ray, W. Rayburn (2), J. Reidy (1,P), D. Schlenk (1), S. Schreiber, S. Skemp (1), M. Slattery (P), L. Smith (P), P. Temple (1), M. Tew, M. Van Boening, M. Vinson, K. Wakefield (1), Jay Watson, John Watson (1,P), R. Westmoreland (P), M. Wilder (1), J. Williamson (P), J. Winkle (1), C. Wyandt,

 

Absent: D. Adler (1), K. Beason* (P), N. Bercaw (2), F. Coles* (P), C. Dale* (1,P), A. Fisher-Wirth (1), R. Gordon (1), F. Gu (1), R. Haws* (P), F. Love (1), J. Mizenko* (P), D. Nichols (3), J. F. Payne (1), R. Pulliam* (P), S. Rodgers* (1,P), N. Schroeder (3), W. Scott (3), E. Sisson (2), K. Sufka* (P), E. Young-Minor (3)

* = Prior Notification of Absence Given, (x) = number of absences this session

 

Chair Karen Green called the meeting to order at 2:05.

The Secretary of the Faculty Senate reported on the Faculty Senate web page, which contains the agenda for the next meeting, minutes of previous meetings, and the text of resolutions.

The University Services Committee was asked to choose a new Chair following Senator Barriosí resignation from the Senate.

Chair Green and Senator Williamson will meet with the Provost to prepare a funding proposal to support the Senateís proposal regarding the Graduate School and Office of Research.

Senators Mullen and Wyandt volunteered to serve on Vice Chancellor Mullendoreís faculty focus group addressing student experiences during the first six weeks of enrollment.

Chair Green has been told that the new reduction-in-force policy, which is broader in scope than the previous policy, does not apply to faculty but only is applicable for staff positions.

The minutes of the October meeting were accepted (moved, Ray; seconded, Graves).

Senator Harper, Chair of the Academic Support Services Committee, reported that a donor wants to establish a faculty center. The proposal is to add a second story to the Yerby center. The new area will include a large dining room and be shared with Continuing Education. Senators Graves, Harper, Love, and Schlenk are meeting with the administration. The Executive Committee of the Senate will meet with the Chancellor next Friday. Senators expressed the following opinions: there was concern about sharing with Continuing Education and who would make decisions; concern that the presence of this center might increase activities by Continuing Ed.; resentment that faculty were not consulted about the change but told that it would take place; concern the University Planning Council was not consulted about the new construction; and the belief that the University House should be used as the Faculty Center, as promised, until the proposed construction is completed.

Senator Lewis Smith, Chair of the Finance Committee, reported that the Finance Committee supports the proposed resolution from the Retirement and Insurance Committee regarding use of the "tobacco settlement" money and urges the administration to work towards this end. The resolution passed (moved, L. Smith; seconded, Gilbert).

Senator Cunningham reported on changes to the local faculty activity report, primarily in the areas of modernizing the language and reorganizing the "Service" area. Senators asked that he work towards electronic submission of these reports.

Chair Green began the discussion of the policy on extraordinary teaching assignments. Q: How do other-site students affect funding? A: For the last three years all students have been treated the same with respect to funding, but the direct effect of enrollment on funding isnít clear.

Senator Ray, Chair of the Faculty Governance Committee, facilitated the remainder of the discussion. Faculty are compensated $2400 per course if he or she has a Ph. D., $2200 if not. "Distance Learning" courses are compensated at $1700 per course. Faculty may ride the university van if it travels to the site, but receive no reimbursement for meals, unless he or she stays overnight in Jackson. Faculty are paid as independent contractors and taxed at 45%. Distance Learning is currently offered out of the basement of the Yerby Center. The Business School, Pharmacy School, and Honors Center will have distance learning facilities. Other universities have off-site facilities tied to the regular administrative structure, such as the University of Houston-Clear Lake, instead of being administered by Continuing Education. At MSU and USM a person can negotiate compensation, but not at UM.

The following points were raised by Senators during the discussion. Q: Why are we off-campus? A: Some sense of a directive from the IHL and a desire to increase enrollment. Q: How much will we broaden offerings? Q: Who decides what courses will be offered off-campus? Q: Who advises off-campus students? A: No one. Q: Are resources available to ensure that off-campus courses are equal in quality and scope to those offered at the Oxford campus? Q: How do students get access to professors? A: They come to the Oxford campus. Q: What happens to the resources of the Oxford departments? How are departments compensated? Or overloads? Q: What is the grievance procedure? Q: What academic unit are off-campus students associated with? A: Treated as "undecided" students unless they declare a major, then treated as a member of that department. Q: Are majors being advertised and offered? A: Itís amorphous. There is a Doctorate in Education Leadership in Jackson. Q: When do the level and number of courses merit a full-time presence? Comment: The Graduate Council unanimously opposed the policy. Comment: There are accreditation implications with NCATE and the School of Education.

Senator Ray invited input as the Faculty Governance Committee considers the issue, particularly asking for pertinent questions and suggestions for components of a good policy.

By show of hands the Senate suspended the rules to consider a resolution supporting supplementary funding for the three comprehensive universities (moved, Ray; seconded Cunningham). The resolution passed.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:32. The next meeting of the Senate is Friday, January 7th at 2 PM.