Draft to be approved 3/20/13

    Metropolitan State University of Denver

 Faculty Senate

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

3:20pm – 4:50pm

Tivoli 320 A, B & C

 

MINUTES

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Attendees:  Anastasia, Badwan, Bagwell, Bahl, Balogh, Bernhardt, Beery, Bisio, Butnor, Carnes, Collette, Cook, Corash, Davinroy, Davis, DelCastillo, Denn, Doe, Dormer, Duburguet, Evans, Flemon, Forgash, Gatlin, Giordano, Glatz, Grady-Willis, Gurley, Hagen, Hallam, Hasley, Hathorn, Hernandez-Julian, Hill, Hoffman, Holloway, Huang, Hutto, Izurieta, Jackson, Jacobs, Jiang, Johnson, King, Kleinfeld, Krasner, Krugman, Lamb, Liu, Londen, Lyons, Malpass, McKenzie, Medina, Monico, Mowder, Murphy, Odell, Ortiz, Pantos, Pleis, Pytlinski, Reid, Reimer, Ropp, Rother, Rucki, Sahami, Saxe, Schatz, Sgoutas, Shopp, Sidelko, Simpson, Stephens, Svonkin, Tollefson, Vogt (for ABonham), Wagner, Wanberg, Weber, Worster, Zhu  Guests:  Ayesse, Ballard, Curl, Golich, MacDonald, Murphy, Paul

 

 

I.                 The Senate was Called to Order.

 

II.              Approval of Previous Meetings Minutes (at Senate Website), VOTE.

 

 A Vote was called to approve minutes from 02/20/2013.

 The Minutes were approved with a vote of 41 to 2.   

 

III.           Announcements/Updates

-           There are still some Lyris list communication issues revolving around who should have access. The campus IT Strategic Planning Committee will be looking at the policy. Several faculty have made up lists and anyone who would like to be added should forward a non-MSUDenver email address to President Sahami.

-           The 2013 Faculty Senate Teaching Excellence Awards are under way and application packets are due March 13th.

-           The Faculty Senate Climate Survey was distributed last week through campus mail. This is the paper climate survey being administered by the Faculty Senate Diversity Committee.

-           The Campus-wide climate survey which is an online survey is starting March 11th - 17th. Please encourage faculty to participate in both—one faculty survey informs the Senate and the community of faculty about strictly faculty issues—the campus-wide survey has a larger scope looking at things like employee satisfaction and its results are recorded in the Chronicle of Higher Ed.

-           The Tenure Rights Taskforce draft of the new Chapter 12 has been received and distributed. Feedback from faculty has come in that the document is large and confusing and President Sahami will be working on an Executive Summary with Ellen Slatkin to outline the things that have changed. He proposes that a future Faculty Senate meeting be devoted solely to discussion of the draft.

-           The Auraria Campus Sustainability Council is forming and needs one member from the Faculty Senate.

                         Senator Wagner, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, spoke about his work to get the Sustainability Council started. It began as an ad hoc group and two years ago it became an official subcommittee for AHEC. It is a quad-institutional group with three members from each of the four institutions.

 

IV.              Committee Report & PRESENTATION, DISCUSSION and VOTE:  Unanimous recommendations and one split decision - FS Curriculum Committee with GUEST: Assoc. Dean P. Ballard (Document Attached as: FSCCReportMarch62013.pdf;  Please watch for addendum from Sen. Hernandez-Jullian on March 5th)

 Senator Hernandez presented a two-part report.

 

Report to Metropolitan State College of Denver Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee

February 20, 2013

 

Unless otherwise noted, packets are approved unanimously.

 

LAS 1112121 MTH

New course on Computing.

 

LAS 12135 EAS

Revisions to the Water Quality concentration.

 

LAS 121313 MTH

Revisions to CS major with course modifications and new course.

 

LAS 121316 EAS

GS designation for Integrated Earth Systems.

 

LAS 121325 THE

Changes to the Theater program, course modifications, and new courses.

Making the two concentrations in the major more parallel.

 

LAS 121327 THE

GS and MC for Introduction to Black Thater I.

 

LAS 121331 CAS

Language Disorders separated into two courses focusing on Child and Adult.

 

LAS 121338 EAS

GS proposal for Geography of Colorado.

 

LAS 121340 AAS

Change in name of department, new courses, course modifications, and program modifications.

Department name is now Africana Studies.

 

LAS 121341 MDL

New Field Experience Course.

 

LAS 121344 MDL

Program modifications, new courses, course modifications, and course archivings.

SCOB 12137 ACC

Small changes in Accounting Major requirements.

 

SPS 121311 SED

Separate Elementary and Secondary Student Teaching courses merged into one.

 

SPS 121315 HTE

New courses, course modifications, and program modifications.

 

 

General Studies Designations:

AAS 3610: Caribbean History and Culture

HIS and GD designations.

 

THE 3214: Introduction to Black Theater I

AH designation.

 

SCI 2620: Integrated Earth Systems

NPS designation.

 

GEG 2020: Geography of Colorado

SBS I designation.

 

 

Multicultural Designation:

THE 3214: Introduction to Black Theater I

 

 A Discussion was called for the unanimous portion of the committee report.

 

 President Sahami accepted the report on behalf of the Senate.

 

Curriculum approved unanimously by the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee is automatically approved by the Senate unless there is a question posed by a Senator on the Senate floor.

 

 President Sahami introduced the second part of the Curriculum report that did not have a unanimous vote.

 

 Senator Hernandez gave an overview and opened up the discussion of the course that the Curriculum committee approved with a non-unanimous vote.

 

SPS 4500               Teaching Assistantship in the School of Professional Studies

 

 President Sahami reminded the Senate that this packet would require a vote after the discussion.

 

 Senator Balogh, Engineering Tech, member of Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee spoke in support of the packet and that other faculty would like to create courses similar to this one on a one by one independent study basis.

 

 Senator Hernandez spoke to additional concerns of others on the committee that if this type of course were to become common on campus this topic should be deliberated by a larger group, as well as, what safeguards and protections need to be put in place to make sure this is fair to students and the faculty who mentor them.

 

 A Discussion was called.

 

 Senator Davinroy, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, asked how the course would fit into the curriculum, whether it was an elective and could it eventually become a required class and delay some students graduation.

 

 Associate Dean Paul Ballard came to the podium to accept questions.

 

 Senator Pytlinski, Art, asked Professor Ballard to elaborate more on how curriculum was written to limit student access to grading.

 

 Vice-President Ortiz, Technical Comm, asked if the class would be cross-listed with other departments.

 

 A Vote was called to decide the status of Packet SPS 4500.

 

A = Approve Packet SPS 4500.

B = Oppose Packet SPS 4500.

 

 The packet was approved by a vote of 43 to 26.      

 

V.                 RESPONSE TO MOTION, DISCUSSION and Q & A with the PROVOST: Response to Senate SRI Motion  - Provost V. Golich

 Provost Golich gave an overview of the participants on the Faculty Evaluation Taskforce which began convening in 2010. She followed a slide presentation. Forums were conducted during the Spring of 2011. Provost Golich referred to the Oct 7, 2011 FETF notes that reflect the taskforce’s decision to include the two scaled items in Section I of student comments as summative compliments of the evaluation. At the Proposed Tenure Review Promotions and Emeritus Status Meeting on March 9, 2012, the Executive Summary of Changes were shared which indicated that student ratings of instruction would be included according to the proposal that was made. She reported that she conferred with Metro’s General Counsel in response to the posed question on whether student comments could be considered potentially libelous. The answer was that, due to the anonymity of the contributing student, there would be possible. And, finally, President Jordan was willing to discuss this issue at the next Board of Trustees meeting.

 

 A call was made for questions or comments.

 

 Senator Hagen, History, was a member of the taskforce and she recalled that her understanding of and what she assented to was that student written comments were formative. A circulated FETF document that was forwarded to members stated that the summative portion of the SRI would be numerical.

 

 Senator Svonkin, English, would like to hear from other senators from the FETF committee who had voiced their surprise at the use of written comments at an earlier meeting and that it was not the way they had understood the SRI usage.

 

 Senator Dempere, Finance, recalled his experience on the committee and believed that the spirit and voice of all faculty should be brought to these issues and if there is something that is happening that does not support the will of faculty then it should be revisited.

 

 President Sahami spoke about his observations of the committee and making presentations to faculty about how evaluations worked. He believes that the Provost intended that the evaluation process should be fully vetted by the faculty and if the plan was communicated poorly the factor that should be considered now is that faculty strongly believe that written comments should not be included.

 

 Vice-President Ortiz, Technical Comm, serves on the RTP committee and was told that portfolios were intended to make the faculty member look good and written comments do not. The RTP committee is requesting them taken out so that portfolios can do what they were intended to do.

 

 Senator Hagen, History, relied on the notes and she read them into the record that supported what she in turn reported to the faculty.

 

 Senator Odell, Human Performance Sports, served at the very end of the FETF taskforce. She reported that her Dean of SPS told faculty that comments would appear in portfolios based upon the Handbook. Her student comments were scanned and emailed to her for use in post-tenure review. She asked the Senate to pursue a productive effort to change and start the process again from a holistic fashion. The faculty in her department were notified and knew what was coming.

 

 President Sahami asked Senator Odell did she, while serving on FETF, obtain the understanding of the use of written comments in post-tenure review before being notified by her Dean.

 

 Senator Lamb, Hospitality, Tourism and Events, did not serve on the SRI committee but he explained his class load, typical class size, and the projection of 1600+ student evaluation comments. He asked who administered it, who decided what comments do or do not get put in, and were they good or bad comments being included.

 

 Senator Lamb spent two years working on a Peer Evaluation Taskforce that was designed to eliminate the other objectionable peer evaluations and that taskforce gave birth to the Center for Faculty Development. He asked if the Center for Faculty Development should be working with faculty to make them better when negative SRI comments are found and believed that a dossier should show faculty in a good light. He asked if a faculty member moves to a different institution would those comments go with them.

 

 Senator Svonkin, English, argued against the use of SRI written comments. Where once student evaluations did not exist and may have been developed to address poor teaching or inappropriate behavior of a teacher, the direction of this current model is on the opposite end of the spectrum where student evaluations have much more weight. He pointed out how unpleasant practices could become if students were influenced to write evaluations by the instructor. Making students happy is not what faculty strives for.

 

 Senator Svonkin made a motion that the Senate take a poll to see whether or not the faculty senators present felt it was a good idea to include into the process these written evaluations. The motion was seconded.

 

 President Sahami reminded the Senate that a similar poll had been voted on four weeks ago where the Senate heard from the RTP committee members who included social scientists who shared their expertise and he invited them to comment again.

 

 President Sahami opened the motion to discussion.

 

 Senator Hernandez, Economics, asked if he could propose an alternative motion.

 

 President Sahami offered the option of amending the motion in discussion of the motion.

 

 Senator Hernandez asked about the process of changing the Handbook.

 

 President Sahami confirmed with Senator Svonkin that he did not accept Senator Hernandez’s amendment to his motion and informed Senator Hernandez that another option was to move to table to motion.

 

 President Sahami allowed Senator Hernandez to voice his motion before the vote on Senator Svonkin’s vote.

 

 Senator Hernandez made a motion to refer this matter to the Handbook Committee to specify clearly whether comments should be included.

 

 President Sahami acknowledged Senator Fleming’s Point-of-Order to return to Senator Svonkin’s motion.

 

 A call was made for discussion of Senator Svonkin’s motion.

           

              A vote was called on Senator Svonkin’s motion to reaffirm that faculty do not want comments included in SRIs.

 

      A = Approve that faculty do not want comments included in SRIs

B = Oppose that faculty so want comments included in SRIs  

 

  The motion was approved by a vote of 58 of 7 that senators do not want comments included in SRIs.

 

 Discussion of Senator Hernandez’s motion was opened. The motion was seconded.

 

 Senator Hagen brought the Handbook and quoted from section IV to IVc regarding tabulation of student ratings of instruction.

 

 Senator Hernandez made a motion that a Senate committee be charged with preparing a proposal that is voted on by the Senate and then referred to the Handbook Committee to make a change in the language so that it is clear and unambiguous what is meant by student ratings of instructions.

 

 President Sahami reminded the Senate that this motion does not require a vote. As a member of the Senate anyone can make such a request of the President.

 

VI.              PRESENTATION, DISCUSSION and (2) VOTES: Summer Budget and Scheduling - FS Welfare Committee (Document Attached as: Summer proposals.docx)

 

 Secretary Rucki, gave a quick update of the subject that were defined as short-, medium- and long-term proposals. The long-term proposals will require further research before making a formal proposal to the Senate so the committee would like to entertain votes on the first and second proposals.

 

      Proposal I: Return class sizes for summer to 13 and to maintain school averages of 25 per section; and

 

Proposal II: Remunerate faculty at a per credit rate which equals Annual salary/24.

 

  A Discussion was opened on the votes.

 

 The Vote was called on minimum summer class size.

 

                             A = Approve summer minimum class size proposal.

                                   B = Oppose summer minimum class size proposal.

   

 The first motion passes with a vote of 63 to 4.

 

             The Vote was called on Remuneration.

 

      A = Approve motion on Remuneration.

B = Oppose motion on Remuneration.

 

 The second motion passes with a vote of 51 to 7.

   

VII.           SECOND READING of MOTION TO CHANGE BY-LAWS, DISCUSSION and VOTE: Changes to Multi-Cultural Curriculum Review (MCCR) Committee section in By-Laws - MCCR Committee (Document Attached as: Change of Committee to include Service Learning Designation V2.doc)

 

 Senator Carnes, Management, Multi-Cultural Committee Chair, presented the bylaws change second reading.

 

 A call was made for questions or comments. President Sahami reminded the Senate that this is a Bylaws change that will require a 2/3rd majority to pass.

 

 Senator Hernandez asked if both readings must be read in consecutive meetings.

           

 He made a motion to table this motion until service learning designation is approved by the next meeting pending Purple Book Committee approval.

 

  Senator Carnes had no objection to tabling the vote on the motion.

 

 The motion was tabled.

 

 

VIII.        PRESENTATION and DISCUSSION: Joint SGA and Faculty Senate Resolution to BOT -SGA and Faculty Senate Joint resolution task force. (Document Attached as: jointresolutions.doc)

 

 President Sahami stepped down as chair of the session and turned over the podium to Vice-President Ortiz.

 

President Sahami introduced the participants on the committee who worked together to develop the two resolutions on summer policy and fiscal transparency of the college. These are running through the Student Government Association which represents 22,000 students and the Faculty Senate which represents 1,900 faculty members, the two largest constituent groups on campus coming together to look at how things are done.

 

 The first topic was fiscal transparency.  Since 2009, the Senate Faculty Welfare and Budget Committees have been requesting data, access to CUPA materials, budgets, trying to get a handle on what exactly the expenditures were for summer and how these things work with what the actual overhead was in order to better inform faculty and make decisions. After four years of spotty responses to these requests has prompted this action. Audits in the last four years have indicated a greater need for better communications and to communicate financial processes better. Climate surveys have indicated a lack of transparency and trust in the fiscal decision making process. The committee’s goal was to open the books and resolve one of the largest opportunities that have arisen in the climate surveys.

 

 There are basic responsibilities for public institutions to disclose their finances in an accessible manner which is emphasized in the Colorado Open Records Act, the Sunshine Laws, as well in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights that looks at how tax dollars are spent.

 

Best practices of public institutions start with fiscal transparency. Much better decisions are made when everyone is on the same page on where they stand financially. News generally isn’t good but when everyone has an understanding of it, the community tends to come together a lot better to make better decisions.

 

 Summer School – President Sahami was informed by faculty who had been at Metro for over 40 years that it was originally set up as a year-round college and faculty had three semesters and the model had been around for quite some time. Faculty compensation was originally proportional to the academic load with a greater relative number of classes during the summer and more of a load balancing. Metro was basically for people who worked, took night classes, transfer students, etc., and Metro would accommodate them year round.

 

 Summer Faculty salaries have been steadily lowered in the last few years. President Sahami discussed the changes in faculty salaries up to the present summer proposal. When reviewing the data on expenses for summer that the Provost forwarded to the Senate, President Sahami pointed out several puzzling items that were listed under summer expenses. He pointed out two mathematical fallacies in the data. President Sahami posed the question of what expense has to be added to run a summer class and the answer was two things: faculty salaries and the other was cost for course materials—with course materials being amply covered by course fees.

 

The following is text from the slide presentation President Sahami used (see file link for tables):

      Relative Faculty salaries have been steadily lowered over the last few years:

      Defining a full summer load (25% remuneration) as 8 units then 9 units

      “Roll off” of salary at 6 units

      “Roll off” at salary level

 

      Expenses for Summer Session

      Total Faculty Compensation equals Salary and Benefits; benefits are 22% of salary for fulltime faculty and 14.5% of salary for affiliate faculty

      Academic Department support staff @ 2/12 of annual compensation

      Academic Department instructional materials @1/12 of budgeted annual costs

      Institutional student scholarship obligations

      Library support @ 2/12 of annual costs

      AHEC Given that Summer CHP = .0809% of total

      % of AHEC Contribution attributed to Instruction = 52.2%

      Overall contribution to ACHEC = $9,774,401

      Calculation = $9,774,401*.0809%*52.2% = $412,817

      This represents 4.2% of total annual AHEC contribution

      Other key departments needed to support summer session delivery, e.g., Access Center

      Assessment & Testing

      Financial Aid

      Admissions

      Registrar

      Advising

      Non Department Expenses, e.g., Student Bad Debt

      Operations for MSU Denver-only buildings

      UNIVERSITY OVERHEAD PER CLASS: $8, 424? -$ 7,818?

 

      Known Encumbrances of Summer Courses

      Faculty Salary

      Course Materials

      Paid for by Course Fees

             

      Faculty Salaries and Class Size

      Current Salary Scheme: (Base *0.25)/9 per unit.

      Tuition: $241.35/unit  ($724.05 for 3 Unit class)

 

      Faculty Salaries and Class Size

      Proportional Salary: (Base *0.25)/6 per unit. (Welfare Committee Proposal)

      Tuition: $241.35/unit  ($724.05 for 3 Unit class)

 

      Faculty Salaries and Class Size

      Income and profit from 3 unit class: (Faculty Base Salary $55,00)

 

 Senator Dempere, Finance Department Chair, commented on the impact and economic damage of significant changes to summer scheduling and urges that the changes be delayed for one year so that students can be notified and have time to plan. He referred to slides that showed the impact to the Finance Department’s class scheduling and possible strategies to minimize the damage. (Please see file link.)

 

 Erienne Romaine, Senator and Parliamentarian of the Student Government Assembly, thanked the Senate for giving students their time. She informed the Senate that the resolutions have not been reviewed or voted on by the full Student Senate yet and the ultimate decision has not been determined yet but the resolutions will be presented for first reading on Friday. Their greatest concerns are that this is a policy that greatly impacts students and they were never notified or included in the decision making process which is concerning. The students plan to work with the administration going forward but that now this is the direction that they are going to take. Students think it is fair that Student representatives also see the budget to actuals. The SGA president has been told by administration that she has always been provided with budgets but she has not always had budgets to actuals which may paint a very different picture. If students agree to move forward with summer changes on the basis of financial need, then they would like to see a clear representation of what financials are. Furthermore, students need time to plan, so these resolutions show their support of postponing this by at least a year or until such time as budget to actuals can be reviewed.

 

 Laura Noe, SGA President, informed the Faculty Senate that budget to actuals have not always been provided and that makes it hard for her to understand why summer school needs to be cut so much. The majority of students at MSU Denver are transfer students, as she is, and they want to graduate as soon as possible and enter the job market. She relies on summer school to complete her degree on time and without summer school she will not be able to finish in five years. Student planning is key to success and late notification of class cancellations can add an additional year to their degree completion. If summer school needs to be cut dramatically, this should be a decision made by all constituency groups. Students had no knowledge of these changes until President Sahami came to a recent SGA Senate meeting. She wants all concerned to come together and figure out the best way to move forward to benefit students and faculty as well.

 

 Brogan Davey, SGA Senate Speaker Pro-tempore, reviewed the resolutions. He spoke about fellow students that could be affected in terms of graduation. Metro’s mission is to increase graduation rates and continue to compete with other big name institutions. He hopes that the Board of Trustees agrees with their proposal.

 

 Simon Ayesse, SGA Dir of Academic Affairs, attends Faculty Senate meeting and he listens and takes the students role very seriously and he feels that Metro has a really good track record but the two resolutions represent a place where shared governance fell a little short of the mark. He hopes that all involved will move forward and bring the campus together on otherwise potentially divisive issues. He then spoke as a student and emphasized how extremely important summer classes were. He is graduating on time because he took Dr. Jordan’s advice and loaded up on classes and took a full load in the summer. That is the goal of Metro to encourage students to do what he has been able to do and some of the policy changes have the potential of steering Metro in the wrong direction. If changes are necessary for the health of the institution and need to be accepted, what is needed for that to occur is information. Delay, discussion, and transparency are the greatest needs right now.

 

 President Sahami asked senators to share the two resolutions with department faculty and prepare for a vote next meeting. The Student government meets every Friday and may actually vote before the Faculty Senate on the two resolutions.

   

IX.           Motion to Adjourn

 The Senate was adjourned.

 

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