THE university SENATE OF


Minutes of Meeting 458

16 January 2008


The Senate

(1)   heard that the Administration has approved Proposals 6-08, "Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Nanotechnology," and 7-08, "Theatre and Electronic Media Performance BA"

(2)   heard that the Senate will sponsor a forum for tenured and tenure track faculty on the decertification election, tentatively scheduled for 5 pm, Tuesday, 12 February

(3)   heard a presentation on NCAA'S strategic positioning platform for division II, by Pat Joyce

(4)   introduced Proposal 15-08:  "To Amend the Plan C Option for Master of Science Degree Programs," Proposal 13-08:  "Revision of Proposals 6-60, 11-69, 2-75, 14-94, and 25-94 – to change "quarters" to "semesters," and Proposal 14-08:  "Minor in Law and Society"

(5)   learned to use "clickers" and voted to use them for the election at the next Senate meeting

(6)   heard a Presentation of the December Senate Report to the Board of Control as presented by Martha Sloan.


President Sloan called the University Senate Meeting 458 to order at 5:33 pm on Wednesday, 16 January 2008, in Room B45 EERC.

Secretary Glime called roll.  Absent were at-large Senator Nick Koszykowski, representatives from Army/Air Force ROTC, Academic Services A and B, and Student Affairs..  Liaison in attendance was Lakshmi Krishna (GSC).  Academic Services C and  Auxiliaries currently have no elected representatives.


Guests included Max Seel (Dean Sci. & Arts), Lesley Lovett-Doust (Provost), and Jackie Huntoon (Graduate Dean).


President Sloan announced a number of changes to the agenda.  Items 5 (presentation on "Research Initiation Funding" by Provost Lovett-Doust, postponed 4 weeks), 9a (Proposal 9-08:  Policy for Program/Departmental Evaluation), and part of 9b (Revision of Proposals 8-94 and 26-95 to "Reflect Conversion from Quarters to Semesters") were deleted from the agenda.  Items 9e ("Clicker Demonstration" by the Elections Committee) and item 9f (Presentation of the "December Senate Report to the Board of Control" by Martha Sloan) were added to the agenda.  Item 9d (Proposal 15-08:  "To Amend the Plan C Option for Master of Science Degree Programs") was moved to the first item of New Business.

L. Davis MOVED and P. Nelson seconded the motion to approve the agenda as modified.  The motion to approve PASSED on voice vote with no dissent.


MTU is in Division II.  Division III offers no scholarships.  Division II athletic programs can divide 36 scholarships among as many students as they want, giving them partial support.  MTU gives 75 full rides; hockey students are fully funded.

When asked, most athletes said that the distinction of Division II is that they are not in Division I.  NCAA would like to change that distinction to something meaningful.

Our program consists of an NCAA Division II institution w/ DI men’s ice hockey, six women’s programs, seven men’s programs, 320 student-athletes, athletic scholarships:  70 athletic scholarships are divided among approximately 185 student-athletes.  Programs offered include  men/women basketball, men/women cross country, football, men’s ice hockey, men/women Nordic skiing, men/women tennis, men/women track & field, and women’s volleyball.  Possible future programs are women’s soccer and men/women alpine skiing.

MTU has graduated athletes of distinction.  For example, Dawn Zarling Plaithewaite is now an assistant women's basketball coach at the University of Michigan.

The NCAA organization has a new symbol with six facets:  learning, service, passion, sportsmanship, resourcefulness, and balance. 

Our athletes have higher GPA's than the general student body of MTU (student-athletes 3.19, student body 3.00).  Our coaches have the philosophy that a student has to be successful in the classroom to be a successful athlete.  Our athletes contribute in service to the Make a Wish Foundation and provide labor in building houses for Habitat for Humanity, among a number of invisible types of service contributions.  The NCAA hopes to improve sportsmanship by encouraging fans to root for teams, but not to root against teams. 

Athletes contribute to the diversity of the University:  83.7% White/Non-Hispanic, 7.7% Black/African American, 7.4% non-U.S. Citizen, 1.2% Hispanic/Latino.  They likewise add geographic diversity:  54% Michigan, 16% Wisconsin, 14% Minnesota, 9% other states, 5% Canada, 2% other countries.  The athletic gender ratio is more balanced than that of the University (University:  male – 78.7%, female – 21.3%;  athletic participation:  male – 74.2%, female – 25.8%; scholarship allocation:  male – 67.2%, female – 32.8%)

Joyce outlined reasons to be proud to be in Division II.  The philosophy includes minimizing missed classes through scheduling.  They are proud that the athlete graduation rate (70%) is 10-15% higher than that of the total student body (62%), with an 82% success rate, second only to the University of Michigan.  Upper class mentors and coaches work hard to encourage freshmen, who are usually afraid of faculty, to talk to faculty about dates when they will miss class and to be proactive in making up missed work. 

The NCAA provides additional financial assistance for students who need more than four years to complete their degrees.  The teams form partnerships with the community in such projects as Habitat for Humanity.  Our head football coach and head hockey coach are the only coaches who don't teach.  We have a program to be proud of.

Division II offers a unique fiscal model for intercollegiate athletics that redefines the institutional value for sponsoring sports and offering athletics scholarships.  It encourages innovative policy and program decisions unique to the NCAA, such as the development of Division II National Championships Festival and a national community engagement program.  Its former student-athletes include governors, senators, entertainers, corporate leaders, and professional athletes.

Faculty can become involved in several ways:  FAN in the stands, service on Athletic Council, service on ad hoc committees involving athletics.

Joyce is the faculty representative to the Athletics Department.  He is one of only three persons at MTU permitted to talk to the NCAA in time of trouble.  He makes sure that academic integrity is maintained in the athletic department, looks out for the welfare of the student athletes, and makes sure that we maintain institutional control over the athletic programs..

Joyce stated that travel would get a little easier next year when Erie is no longer in our schedule.  Senator Solomon asked if any new schools would be added.  Joyce explained that Tiffin had been added.

5.     New Business A

Senator Gorman introduced Proposal 15-08:  To Amend the Plan C Option for Master of Science Degree Programs.  He explained that Plan C now requires an oral exam.  The intention is to change this to allow a written or oral exam or both.

6.     approval of minutes from meeting 457

 Polzien MOVED and P. Nelson seconded the motion to approve the minutes of Meeting 457 as presented.  The motion PASSED on voice vote with no dissent.

7.     President’s Report

President Sloan reported that the Administration has approved Proposals 6-08, "Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Nanotechnology," and 7-08, "Theatre and Electronic Media Performance BA."

The Senate Executive Committee has approved sponsoring a forum for tenured and tenure track faculty on the decertification election, tentatively scheduled for 5 pm, Tuesday, 12 February.

Please let President Sloan know of tenured graduate faculty who would be interested in being considered for the Senate representative on the Committee to Review the Graduate Dean. Two candidates have already been nominated. The Senate will vote on this position at the next meeting.

8.     New Business B

a.  Proposal 13-08:  "Revision of Proposals 6-60, 11-69, 2-75, 14-94, and 25-94"  presented by Rosalie Kern

These revisions would change the wording from "quarter" to "semester."  She explained that in Proposal 14-94, the first change in item 2 should be left as in the original because it is historical information that refers to the date the original proposal was to take effect.

b.  Proposal 14-08:  "Minor in Law and Society"  presented by Hugh Gorman

Gorman explained that  the department currently offers a concentration in this major.  The proposal would permit a minor for students from other departments.

c.  Use of clickers for elections, presented by the Elections Committee

The committee distributed clickers to all Senators and guests who tried them out; then Senators used them to vote whether to use them in the election at the next meeting.  The vote was affirmative.

d.  Presentation of the December Senate Report to the Board of Control, presented by Martha Sloan

The theme of the Board of Control meeting was strategic goal #1:  Attract and support a world-class and diverse faculty, staff and student population.  The Senate has contributed to this goal through new academic programs, including majors, minors, certificates,  and second degrees; family friendly policies - extending tenure clock, spousal accommodations, and child care; passing proposals regarding increasing diversity and international opportunities; and fair treatment.

The challenges facing us include salary issues, rank distribution, and aging faculty/staff.

In the 1985 long-range plan for the next 20 years, our goal was "A compensation structure that will place Michigan Technological University in Rating Level 1 or above for a Category 1 university."  Sloan explained that category 1 was doctoral research universities – those in the top quintile, above the 80th percentile.  In The Strategic Plan 2006, we purported a similar goal to "Attract and support a world-class and diverse faculty, staff and student population" – "...Provide an outstanding work environment and support opportunities for all members of the Michigan Tech community; provide competitive compensation."

Sloan presented a series of graphs (Appendix) demonstrating how MTU faculty salaries had steadily fallen below those of our peer institutions and other research schools in our own state.


Professor Salary Peer School Comparisons Then and Now

1983-1984                                        2006-2007

CMU                            $48.2K          Georgia Tech          $129.5K

RPI                                 47.2             CMU                           127.0

Georgia Tech               44.8             Lehigh                       112.7

Clarkson                       44.7             Colorado Mines        112.1

Lehigh                           43.7             RPI                              111.7

MICHIGAN TECH       41.8             Missouri Rolla              98.5

Colorado Mines          40.5             Clarkson                       94.6

Missouri Rolla              37.8             Cal Poly SLO               86.9

Cal Poly SLO               36.2             MICHIGAN TECH       86.6


The Cal State system has a 2007 contract with the California Faculty Association for increases over four years of 20.7% in base pay with step increases for an overall 24.87% increase. 

MTU had aspired to be in the level 1 group by 2005.  In 1983-84, we were in the middle of the list for faculty salaries.  In 2007-08 we rank ninth out of nine.  When we were an M.S. level university, we consistently ranked level 1 or above (1* meaning 95th percentile or above) for MS level universities.  When we became a doctoral level university, our rank fell and fell until we are now at level 5, the lowest quintile.  For many years, MTU and Michigan State had roughly equal professorial salaries; however since 1997 or so Michigan State's salaries have been consistently higher and are now 27.5% higher. The MTU peak salary was $95.4K in 1998.  From 1986  to 2002 (except for 1992), mean MTU professor salaries in 2006 dollars were in the nineties.

All MTU’s peer schools have a higher percentage of professors than MTU does.  The next lowest of the peer schools, Clarkson, has a percentage that is 14.6% higher than MTU’s.  The average of our peer schools has a percentage that is 44.9% higher than MTU’s.  MTU’s rank distribution is quite stable.


Salaries for All Ranks, Peer Schools and Weighted Mean


Mean Professor Salary

Mean Assoc Prof Salary

Mean Asst Prof Salary

Georgia Tech




Carnegie Mellon








Colorado Mines




Rensselaer Poly Inst




Missouri Rolla








Cal Poly SLO




Michigan Tech




Weighted Mean





Michigan Tech’s salaries are the lowest among our peers for professor and associate professor.  Michigan Tech’s average associate professor salary is below the peer schools’ average assistant professor salary.  Cal Poly, a Master’s level school, has assistant professor salaries below MTU’s.  The weighted mean of peer schools is 13.1% higher for assistant professors, 19.6% higher for associate professors and 31% higher for professors.

Because of the compound effect of the lowest rank distribution with the lowest salaries, the salary of a typical peer school faculty member is roughly $20K higher than the salary of a typical MTU faculty member.

The reaction of the Board of Control and the President was that perhaps we should rethink who our peer schools are.  This is perhaps a good idea.  Approximately half the schools in our chosen peer group are private.  We should have some schools that are aspirational schools – those we would probably never equal but should strive toward.  Many of the schools on that list were chosen as technical and in isolated areas but are not a good match in other ways.

Senator Davis pointed out that the curve on the graph indicates that we have been losing ground for the last seven years.  Sloan agreed. 

Sloan added that the graph is just based on salary, not compensation.  There are lots of variables involved in compensation, such as age, number of children, and other variables that make comparisons difficult.  [Secretary's note:  MTU has also lost retiree health benefits during that time period.]

Our demographics have also changed over the past decades.  The percentage of MTU faculty at age 60 and above has nearly doubled in ten years.  All other age groups have been relatively flat.  This reflects a national problem of the aging professoriate.

She concluded with the question "Can we become a world class university with salaries that are worst of class?"

Davis inquired what the theme would be at the next meeting.  Sloan responded that based on a conversation of Board members with the Senate officers at breakfast, the Board had decided to re-order the topics and to discuss research at the next meeting.

Senator Turnquist commented that industry is hiring at starting salaries of $60,000, making it very difficult to compete to get good faculty. 

Senator P. Nelson added that as these older faculty are retiring, they are in some cases replaced by beginning faculty at salaries as high or higher than the retiree's salary.

8.     Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 6:40 pm.


Respectfully Submitted by Janice M. Glime

Secretary of the University Senate