Agendas & Minutes
HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY Academic Senate Minutes 02/24/04
Chair MacConnie called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m. on Tuesday, February 24, 2004, in Nelson Hall East, Room 102 (Goodwin Forum).
Members Present: Butler, Cheyne, Cranston (for Yarnall), Dalsant, Derden, Dixon, Dunk, Fonseca, Fulgham, Green, Kinney-Newsom, Kornreich, MacConnie, Marshall, Meiggs, Mortazavi, Moyer, Mullery, Newsom, Oliver, O’Rourke-Andrews, Paselk, Paynton, Schwab, Shellhase, Snyder, Sonntag, Stamps, Thobaben, Varkey, Vrem, Wieand.
Members Absent: Coffey, Klein, Platin, Richmond, Sanford.
Proxies: Meiggs for Paynton (1st half of meeting).
Guests: Steve Smith (CNRS), Val Phillips (AHSS), Susan Higgins (COPS), Steve Martin (UFPC), Sharon Chadwick (UFPC).
1. Approval of Minutes
It was moved and seconded (Cheyne/Dunk) to approve the minutes of February 10, 2004, as revised. Voting occurred and MOTION PASSED WITH ONE ABSTENTION.
2. Announcements and Communications
Chair MacConnie announced the following:
A copy of the agenda from the statewide senate chairs meeting is included in the packet, along with two documents on a proposed transfer policy and reducing excess units to degree. The bulk of the discussions at the statewide meeting focused on the transfer policy, reducing excess units to degree, and the budget reduction processes being used on different campuses. The Statewide Academic Senate, Academic Affairs Committee is seeking campus input on these policies.
The University Budget Committee (UBC) had its first meeting on February 19. The notes from the meeting will be on the University Budget Office web site (http://www.humboldt.edu/~budget/Pages/Committees.htm). The web site will also include links to the documents that are reviewed by the Committee. The agenda for the first meeting included: an overview of new budget process and policy; staggering of the membership of the UBC into 3-year terms that run fall to fall; an overview of the CSU 04/05 budget by President Richmond (also on web site), and a review of a budget fact sheet, distributed by the CSU.
Chair MacConnie reviewed the Budget Fact Sheet (handed out at the meeting). It is based on certain assumptions, including 1) the January 10 budget from the governor, 2) that Proposition 57 will pass, 3) the Legislature will not make substantial modifications to the governor’s budget. The fact sheet shows a 9% reduction in the General Fund appropriation. The column on the left shows the governor’s proposed cut, and the column on the right shows the CSU’s proposed cuts.
The other side of the Budget Fact Sheet presents what is happening at HSU. All of the information is preliminary. The current estimate for HSU is a $5.2 million dollar reduction. Given the unfunded mandatory costs that need to be covered, HSU is planning for a 10% reduction scenario, or an $8.3 million dollar reduction.
The next meeting of the UBC will be March 26. Several events will take place in the meantime, including the March 2 election, a Budget Summit meeting on March 10 in Long Beach for campus presidents, campus academic senate chairs, campus associated students presidents, and a Trustees meeting on March 16. It is hoped that there will be a decision on summer term before March 26.
A report by the Faculty Affairs Committee with recommendations on the Whistleblower Protection policy and its application on the HSU campus is included in the packet as an information item. The report has been forwarded to the President.
3. Committee Reports
General Faculty President: The slate for next year’s election is being compiled. Nominations are still needed for several positions. Senator Wieand requested help with recruiting nominations for the election. Nominations can be sent to the Academic Senate office, and will also be taken from the floor at a meeting on February 25.
Academic Affairs: There is no update yet on summer session.
The question was raised as to what is happening with salary savings. Salary savings will be available at the major unit level, and decisions on how the money will be allocated will be made at the vice-presidential level. The Academic Affairs budget committee will be making a recommendation to the Provost’s Council on how the salary savings will be applied in the individual units. The money will remain in Academic Affairs, but what will happen beyond that has not yet been determined. It will be resolved before the end of the semester. The golden handshake will be a major factor; if signed, it is possible, according to system-wide data that is available, that as many as 15% eligible faculty may take part.
Student Affairs: A call for nominations for the outstanding student awards has been sent out, and nominations are due March 12. It is an excellent opportunity to recognize students by nominating them for one of the several awards.
Educational Policies Committee: The Committee is working on a report in regard to on-line course evaluations and welcomes input from colleagues who are using on-line course evaluations.
Associated Students: Marchette Stamps, a newly appointed student representative to the Senate was introduced.
Students are angry about the governor’s budget, including the proposed fee increases, the elimination of EOP, and the excess units initiative which makes students feel like they are being counted and treated like widgets. Students lobbied in Sacramento over the weekend, meeting with local elected officials including the staff of Patty Berg and Wes Chesbro. The entire A.S. Council has sent personal letters to each elected official and faculty are encouraged to do the same. Another rally is also being planned. Currently A.S. is focusing on the March 2 election and will be offering food and drink for those who have voted (or promise to vote) on the quad from 11-2. There will be an open mike. Messages have been written on blackboards in classrooms (please don’t erase) to encourage students to vote. Several other measures are being taken to encourage everyone to get out and vote. Everyone was encouraged to get active and support the campaign to save higher education.
Senate Finance Committee: The Academic Affairs Budget Committee will meet on March 8 to begin developing budget policy.
University Curriculum Committee: Outcomes, assessment, and survey documents for the student-designed major program were approved and are ready for program review.
CFA: A coalition is still being put together and everyone is invited to join. Addresses for elected officials and a template of a letter will be distributed for a letter-writing campaign. For more information contact: email@example.com or call Robin Meiggs at x4531.
Faculty Affairs Committee: Activity to date includes a continuing presentation on RTP at today’s Senate meeting; future revision of more components of the RTP process, including assessment standards; adoption of the CSU and State Whistleblower Project policy to HSU (in today’s packet); review of the coaches multi-year appointment and performance review documents for adoption as a new appendix to the HSU Faculty Handbook. The Committee continues work on remaining assignments as time permits.
4. TIME CERTAIN: 4:30 P.M.
RTP Discussion continued (Ken Fulgham)
[Hand-outs distributed at the meeting]
Models continue to be developed based on input from various meetings. The proposals on the new hand-outs reflect comments from the last Senate meeting and additional comments from the Senate Executive Committee. The hand-outs include:
- § The Current RTP Review process
- § Proposal G Modified
- § Proposal H Modified
- § Pathway of Review Options (version 5)
[Note: Option #04, 2nd line, PROVOST + IUPC should read, PROVOST + UFPC]
An additional hand-out including “Performance Review,” “Periodic Evaluation,” and “Periodic Evaluation of Probationary Faculty Unit Employees” was distributed.
The term “department mentoring” was removed from Proposals G & H and replaced with appropriate language based on the current Contract.
The distinction between models is: using Model G, there are two levels of review up to the Provost before the third level which would go to the President; and using Model H, there is only one level of administrative review up through the Provost before going to the President.
Discussion points included:
- § The action plan referred to in earlier proposals is now part of the Professional Development Plan (PDP), which is a combined mentoring and action plan.
- § The inclusion of service credit on the proposals is not clear; many candidates may have two years of service credit, not just one.
- § Would like to have something built into the system to be able to flag a file that may need extra review. It is understood that this option is always available. It is difficult to develop a model that will fit every case, but the language in Appendix J could provide for the option of more extensive review if desired.
- § More explanation was requested on the periodic evaluation that stops at the Dean level on years 1, 3, and 5. The PDP is listed under the file type, but the action is listed as “Periodic Evaluation”. As explained by the contract, periodic evaluation involves looking at student evaluations, peer reviews, administrative reviews, etc. What is the candidate putting together in years 1, 3, and 5? What is being evaluated? The probationary faculty member would be evaluated based on his/her student and peer evaluations. In addition, the probationary faculty member would develop a PDP in collaboration with the IUPC so that clear expectations are set. It is a form of mentoring, more than anything else.
- § Would the probationary faculty member be creating a WPAF during those years? The probationary faculty member would be encouraged to maintain the WPAF, but the file will not go forward through the IUPC and the Dean.
- § Concern was expressed that the President is not part of the review process until the very last year. If the President has a different idea about what sufficient for tenure or promotion, a grievance could be filed. The current RTP process does not involve the President until the 7th year, so this does not reflect a change.
- § Will the PDP become part of the WPAF in the even years? The PDP would be articulated by the probationary faculty member in conjunction with the mentoring he/she received from the IUPC and the department chair. The PDP would be part of the WPAF.
- § During periodic evaluations, typical submissions would include the previous year’s evaluation letter as evidence of the suggestions that were made and a revised resume would be submitted to show what was accomplished since the last evaluation. Guidance would be developed based on a PDP, that might not be necessarily limited to student evaluations. More information is needed.
- § Concern was expressed that the PDP would go up to the Dean. If the plan is developed by and agreed upon by the department chair and IUPC and the Dean has a different perspective, what would the appeal process be?
- § The issue of appeal is interesting - would some kind of process be put in place to deal with appeals with the models that have shortened review processes? If the potential exists for faculty members to be asked to do more than what is expected in years 1, 3, and 5 – is that grievable? Would like to see wording in place, so another area of grievance is not created.
- § According to the contract, the President has the right to do whatever he wants to do regarding the evaluation of a probationary faculty member. The requirement for a more full and complete review would have to come from the President, not the Dean. We wouldn’t be creating another potential grievance. Having some kind of PDP could even possibly reduce grievances, if it is agreed upon and signed off by the IUPC, the Dean, and the probationary faculty member.
- § What happens if there still isn’t agreement between the probationary faculty member and the Dean? Some administrators may make their own interpretations of Appendix J – perhaps in such a case, a higher level of review could be requested, if a disagreement exists.
- § One view of the PDP is that it would be for the entire period, up through tenure and promotion. Departments know what is needed and/or desired. The PDP would go all the way to the Provost early on and would be approved. It could still be modified as needed over time.
- § Should the department’s expectations be told to candidate in hiring letter? This would be a condition of appointment, not part of the review process.
- § The department’s criteria, i.e., a check-off list, could be included in the documentation for the 1st year review. How does one add a suggestion for the PDP and who may make suggestions? What is the point of having the PDP come to the Dean, i.e., does the Dean have an opportunity to respond?
- § What would the timing be for deciding a full review is needed in the periodic evaluation years. If there are problems that were not foreseen, and a full review file was not prepared, what happens?
- § When someone decides on the full review, what materials go all the way up? Need to clarify who develops the PDP and who has input and at what point in the process.
- § Some of the issues surrounding the PDP could be handled by the letter of appointment, which is signed by the Provost and reviewed by the Dean. It would let a faculty member know what expectations are as early as possible.
- § Concern was expressed at the lack of review at the College level of the PDP.
- § Need to have a better understanding of what is to be included in the PDP in order to choose between models. It is not clear that the PDP will provide sufficient feedback.
- § What is wanted for inclusion in the PDP for everyone to be comfortable with it?
- § Model G would provide for a PDP to be developed over time. The PDP is something that has a long-term vision that changes over time, according to the probationary faculty member’s opportunities and circumstances. It should create continuity for the review process, and be looked at by the Provost early in process.
The feedback and comments provided will be helpful to the Faculty Affairs Committee. Need to take a straw poll and have a sense of which model to work on, rather than trying to have the Committee write language for Appendix J for more than one model.
A straw vote was taken: Twenty-one were in favor of Model G and zero were in favor of Model H. Please send further comments to Senator Fulgham via email.
5. Discussion: Proposed Transfer Policy
[see “Q & A on Proposed Transfer Policy” in packet]
The proposed transfer policy was one of the agenda topics from the statewide senate chairs meeting. The Statewide Senate will be holding its 1st reading of the proposed transfer policy at the March plenary session and a 2nd reading at the April session and is seeking campus input into the process. One of the key issues they are looking for feedback on is: What should a transfer policy framework look like and how would we achieve consensus on what that particular framework might be?
Much the discussion had to do with access, the fact that 2/3 of students in the CSU are transfers, and the need to look at time-to-degree. A couple of solutions that have been identified are dual admissions or the 45/15 pattern. Dual admissions has been proposed before and was not supported by the community colleges, but may be re-visited. The 45/15 pattern involves the 60 transferable units required for a student to transfer into the CSU and having 39 of those units for the lower division general education requirement, 6 of the lower division units applying towards the major; and the remaining 15 units to develop a series of specific courses that would be applicable to the CSU school that student would apply to.
The Statewide Senate would like to hear people’s concerns and feedbacks. The process is moving along very quickly. The proposal will be on the agenda for the March Board of Trustees meeting, minus the specifics of the 45/15 part of the proposal.
- § An advising problem arises, as some advisers recommend that students take lower division GE requirements immediately, while other advisers recommend that students do not take all lower division GE at once, but save some for later.
- § This is a very complex issue that can be looked at in a lot of different ways. One of the reasons the 39 units of GE is in there is to try to make this palatable to people. It is more likely that this will be agreed upon in the end by having every major agree on 45 units, whether they’re GE or not. What are the problems that majors will have coming to agreement system-wide on 45 units? The question is really, can you agree on the 45 units and that is what feedback is needed on.
- § Not convinced that the plan will help students graduate with fewer units, but it will solve some political problems. May also help as campuses become more impacted and students become more mobile in the future. The CSU has no control over the community colleges and what is required for an A.A. degree may not be what is needed for a major.
- § Concern was expressed that it may have the opposite effect for students – community colleges don’t always have the ability to offer the courses students need to transfer. It may create a worse problem for reducing time to graduation.
6. Discussion: Excess Units
[see “Context on ‘Excess’ Units” in packet]
- § Not entirely clear on what Excess Units means. Students should be able to change majors. Getting locked in too early is not a good idea or a sound practice in education.
- § Transfer policy and Excess units go together – not separate issues.
- § Seems contradictory to be campaigning for higher education but at the same time trying to limit the amount of education students get.
- § Educationally, it makes sense for students to take more units and stay longer, but in the current budget climate, every additional unit a student takes beyond what they need to graduate, keeps another student out of the university system. Need to take a look at the UC system average (124 units). One of the arguments for the UC lower average is expense plus restrictions that inhibit changing of majors. Need to focus on double majors/minors, certificates, etc.
- § Why not have a surcharge for students who are willing to pay for a double major, excess units, etc. Why should students be limited?
- § One comparison made to the UC is that the CSU “rescues” folks, i.e., the student population is a different group with more of a range. A lot of HSU students are not full-time, which impacts what classes they take. There are different situations regarding excess units.
- § We see ourselves more and more as a business, and students are the clients. This is definitely not a student-friendly argument.
- § This is not a student-friendly policy. Issues that need to be brought up include: remedial courses; the mixed messages that are being sent; and how does financial aid fit into this? The policy jeopardizes the notion of equal opportunity education for all.
- § HSU seems to be having difficult meeting its enrollment targets, and therefore shouldn’t be needing to reduce numbers of students.
- § Recommend that a resolution be drafted to opposed the initiative, since there seems to be no agreement with the proposal.