Draft to be approved 9/19/12
The Metropolitan State College of Denver
Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
3:20pm – 4:50pm
Tivoli 320 A, B & C
Attendees: Akachem, Anastasia, Bagwell, Balogh, Bisio, Bonham, Butler, Camp, Carnes, Carter, Collette, Cook, Davis, DelCastillo, Denn, Dormer, Duburguet, Dyhr, Ethier, Evans, Flemon, Forgash, Gatlin, Ghosh, Gibson, Glatz, Grady-Willis, Hagen, Hallam, Hasley, Hathorn, Hernandez-Julian, Hill, Hoffman, Holloway, Hutto, Izurieta, Jackson, Jacobs, Jiang, Karris, King, Kleinfeld, Komodore, Krasner, Liu, London, Louden, Lubinski, MacDonald, Matthews, McKenzie, Mowder, Murphy, Odell, Ortiz, Pantos, Posey, Preuhs, Pytlinski, Reid, Rivas, Rogers, Ropp, Rucki, Sahami, Seeley, Shopp, Sidelko, Simpson, Stephens, Svonkin, Szypulski, Tollefson, Wagner, Weber, Worster, Yeh, Zeiler, Zhang, Zhu
I. Call to Order
II. Approval of Previous Meetings Minutes (at Senate Website), VOTE.
Minutes were approved.
- Committee Vacancies are still available. Caucus Chairs will help senators select an opportunity to serve. Contact: Zsuzsa Balogh in SPS, Grant Denn in LAS, or Letitia Pleis in ScoB.
- Affiliate and Category II Senate Elections are being run by the Elections Committee. A notice to Category II faculty went out this week and nominations are being accepted. The announcement for the three affiliate senator openings will be sent out as soon as HR forwards the contact information to the Elections Committee for all affiliate faculty. Please pass the word along in all departments that nominations are being accepted.
- The Senate Diversity Committee is continuing its cycle for the Faculty Climate Survey. The first survey occurred about three years ago and a protocol was established for making the survey recurring. The committee plans to send out the survey in the spring.
- One Senator is still needed for the college committee that is establishing policy for developing schools (LAS, SPS, ScoB) into colleges now that Metro is a University. Senator Gipson will be serving on that committee but another senator is needed. If interested, please email President Sahami as soon as possible.
- There is a Senate Task Force forming to discuss the number and distribution of department Senators. This topic was discussed at the last Executive Committee meeting and there are already a few people who have volunteered but more participation is needed. Please contact President Sahami if interested. This taskforce was charged with looking at the size of the Senate and the number distribution from departments and is expected to make a recommendation to the Senate this semester.
IV. PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION: Changes to Senate Membership Requirements (Article III of the Constitution) - Rules Committee
Senator Ropp, Rules Committee Chair, introduced the discussion of Article III of the Constitution which defines Faculty Senate membership qualifications.
The faculty shall consist of individuals who hold current contracts to teach for Metropolitan State College of Denver and whose current assignment includes at least six credit hours of scheduled teaching. Department chairs shall also be classified as faculty. Individuals appointed for teaching or instructionally related responsibilities on a per credit, per term basis are excluded.
The purpose for changing the Article is for clarity and consistency. She listed the options that were being presented with opening up this discussion. A survey will be sent out this week asking the Senate its preferences and the results will be presented at the next Senate meeting.
A discussion was opened on the minimum teaching requirement for senators.
Senator Hernandez believes there has been some concerns in the past regarding ‘the 6-credit rule’. He supports the ‘no credit hour requirement’ since the rule is not enforced.
President Sahami explained that the rule is enforced but there have been differences of opinion on what the Article means. Clarifying the language will relieve the need for the Rules Committee to adjudicate this question every year. And, because senators can be randomly subbed in and out at any particular time, the Senate chose not to micro-manage department representatives unless the senator was appointed to serve on a committee.
Senator Posey, Women’s Studies, remarked that she comes from a small department where there are three faculty members who do not teach full loads. If this rule is enforced it would mean no representation from Women’s Studies.
Senator Pytlinski, Art, spoke in favor of removing the minimum teaching requirement despite the risk. She believes the benefits outweigh the risk.
Senator Wagner, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, spoke in favor of the middle option. He believes there should be some teaching and many faculty teach at least 3 credits.
Senator Svonkin, English, asked for someone with more institutional memory to explain why the rule was implemented, how long ago, any of the history, its intended purpose and how it impacts chairs.
President Sahami responded that the history of the minimum teaching requirement stems from the emphasis that the Faculty Senate was held to be a body for teachers rather than for faculty appointed to serve in an administrative role. This emphasis on teaching faculty was to aid in the debate on curricular issues the Senate addresses and decides upon with its three committees that deal with curriculum. The Senate body is made up of folk who teach. Last year the Senate voted and confirmed that chairs are faculty and qualify to serve as senators but the same minimum teaching requirement that faculty members must meet would not be set aside for chairs.
Vice-President Ortiz spoke in favor of keeping the same half-time minimum teaching requirement rule because having a faculty contract means teaching half-time. The Senate is for faculty to decide their particular issues and veering out of the 50% teaching minimum membership requirement changes the outcome of those decisions.
Fact Rep MacDonald agreed with Vice-President Ortiz but pointed out that the Curriculum chair had three classes of release time last year and did not qualify for Senate membership by virtue of his job on the Senate so mathematics cannot be the only criteria. If, philosophically, the Senate is about representing the faculty and not defining faculty, exclusion of certain faculty groups should not be the goal. She supports the middle ground of a minimum of 3-credit hours or the ‘no teaching requirement’.
President Sahami reiterated that the Elections Committee will be sending out a preference poll this week and results would be presented next meeting.
V. PRESENTATION, DISCUSSION and VOTE: Proposed Handbook Change: Removal of Appendix A from Handbook.
President Sahami discussed the Handbook process and what it entails. The Handbook Committee has members from all levels of the school including the President and Vice-President of the Senate and it is responsible for submitting proposed changes to the President’s Cabinet. This proposed change came up over the summer and so the faculty have not had a chance to vet it until now.
The proposal before the Senate is to take Appendix A, which lists the minimum qualifications for each level of rank and every department and its degree requirements for affiliate faculty, assistant professor, associate professor, etc., out of the Handbook and place it into a yet to be determined document. The idea is to make changes to Appendix A more expedient once it is no longer a part of the Handbook. The proposed new location for Appendix A nor the future process of how to effect changes has been identified.
Discussion was opened to the Senate floor.
Senator Hagen, History, spoke against approving this change. As a past chair of the Senate RTP Committee, she has seen over time that if it is not in the Handbook the faculty does not have the protection. She has seen Appendix A used time after time to the benefit of the faculty so she is speaking against this change.
Senator Krasner, Philosophy, asked if the Senate voted this change into effect today would there be further votes on where it would go and what is done with it or would it be out of the Senate’s hands afterwards.
Senator Preuhs, Political Science, asserted that it is one thing to vote to remove something from the Handbook and another to not know its destination for future use.
Senator Svonkin, English, believes that the Senate should not rush into voting for something until the motivation and alternative plan for the proposed change can be explained.
Vice President Ortiz believes that this document should be taken out of the Handbook because it is difficult to change it. But before this important piece of faculty protection is handed over, she would like to see something codified and in writing on who will be able to change it.
Senator Hagen, History, agrees that departments set minimum standards but departments can turn on faculty. Once this is out of the Handbook protections will be gone. Multiple times, the RTP Committee has used the Handbook to protect faculty against departments.
Senator Butler, Human Services, asked if it would be appropriate to table the discussion until the Provost can discuss this proposal with the Senate. She made a motion to table. Motion was seconded.
Motion to table discussion – the Senate moved to discuss the motion to table the discussion.
Discussion was opened to discuss tabling the discussion.
Senator Matthews, Music, was in favor of tabling the motion. He wanted to get more information about the change and he wanted time to get feedback from his department since that is the function of a senator.
President Sahami explained the vote.
Vote was called to table the discussion:
A = Yes = table the discussion
B = No = vote today
The motion was tabled.
President Sahami will ask the Provost to attend the next Senate meeting at her next availability.
Vote was called.
The Senate was Adjourned.