The University Senate
of Michigan Technological University
Minutes of Meeting 498
10 November 2010
· Presentation of the 2010 Research Award Winner
· Presentation of AQIP updates
· Presentation of Graduate Student Government
· Proposal 2-11 “Academic Renewal” was passed
· Proposals 3-11, 4-11, 5-11 and 6-11 were introduced
1. Call to order and roll call. President Rudy Luck called the University Senate Meeting 498 to order at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, November 10, 2010. The Senate Secretary Marty Thompson called roll. Absent were Senators Koszykowski and Kangas, and representatives of Army/Air Force ROTC, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Library, Advancement, IT and Research.
2. Recognition of visitors. Guests included Max Seel (Provost Office), Anita Quinn (Human Resources), Ravi Pandey (Physics), David Nitz (Physics), Christa Walck (Provost Office), and students Jacob Acre, Blake Carlson, Michael Conway, Tim Deyound, Russell Goddard, Bryan Thorne, Zachary Halverson, Matthew Carlson, Michael Caragnetto, Kelly Haynes, Robert Pizzey, Kody Deswarats, and Rebecca Gast.
3. Approval of agenda. Luck asked if there were any changes; there being none Luck declared the minutes stood approved.
4. Approval of minutes from Meeting 497. Luck asked if there were any changes; there being none Luck declared the minutes stood approved.
5. Presentation: “2010 Michigan Tech Research Award Winner” by Senator Brian Fick and Dr. David Nitz.
Pandey introduced the award winners Brian Fick and David Nitz. Fick and Nitz are particle astrophysicists with a specialty in ultra-high energy cosmic rays. Hamlin asked if there was a limit to the amount of energy a proton could have. Nitz said there was a limit and discussed several parameters that define such a limit. Onder asked if the particles originate form a natural phenomenon. Fick affirmed the statement. Moran asked how they were looking at the particle shower. Fick said the field of view was large. Moran asked if other things could give the observed signal. Fick said the difference between particles was small. Nitz said it was difficult experimentally. Luck thanked the award winners.
Walck, Assistant Provost, started by discussing the criteria for accreditation. She noted the timeframe of the PEAQ program, adding that Tech has switched to AQIP, which is a continuous accreditation process. Walck discussed the advantages of AQIP over PEAQ. She listed the action projects, accreditation and strategies in place for AQIP cycles of improvement. AQIP accreditation is a seven year cycle. Walck described the nine categories that comprise the system portfolio. She then provided a summary of the action projects. Luck asked what it meant that the faculty diversity goal was completed. Walck said the process was accomplished in its defined scope. Mullins asked if there was a report online that details the action projects that were completed. Walck said that information will be online as soon as the website is finished. Seel noted that a completed project means the project, as defined, is completed. Walck said the projects can also be found at the AQIP website, which has the information Tech sent them. She then listed four active projects. Seel noted there was an additional project to assess general education, which is under discussion. Walck said UN courses will be assessed. She then mentioned the goal is to develop processes and practices to accomplish our stated goals. Walck discussed the AQIP project: Increasing Gender Diversity of Faculty and Students. Luck asked if Walck shared the view that Tech would be the ‘place to go’ for STEM-educated women. Walck said she did, noting that President Mroz needs to increase brand awareness. She concluded by listing ways in which we could all help the project. Mullins asked what constitutes success or completion. Walck said it means that we accomplish our stated goals. Seel said if we could increase female students and faculty by doing the items stated it would be a huge success. Walck said identifying the process is important. Seel noted that we need to make these improvements. Walck said the core of AQIP was getting the stated processes in place. Seel said the accreditation visit comes next year and stressed the importance of keeping the number of projects manageable. Luck thanked Walck.
7. Presentation: “Graduate Student Government” by Ben DePew and Jarod Maggio
Depew and Maggio introduced themselves and described the role of graduate students on the Tech campus. Maggio provided some background on his position in the GSG and the organization itself. He stated the four key areas students want to see improvements as, healthcare, salary, parking and housing. Moran asked if graduate students had a health plan, adding that SDC access would be helpful. Maggio said that currently healthcare and SDC membership are separate. Moran clarified that Maggio was advocating a more affordable and subsidized in-house healthcare clinic. Maggio affirmed this noting that Portage Health Systems was a separate business and was looking for a low cost subsidized clinic on campus. Depew then discussed pay noting that graduate student stipends were below the poverty line. Luck asked what the poverty level was. Depew said it was $10,830. Scarlett asked if the stipend data was normalized for the cost of living. Depew said no. Christianson said many of the institutions cited do not index their numbers for the cost of living. Mullins noted that the funding approach is different at other institutions. Luck summarized that stipends are low. Maggio discussed parking. Hamlin noted the parking data presented is a non-normal distribution and the mean is not meaningful but the median should be used. Dewey noted that faculty at the cited institutions get free gym memberships, but pay for parking whereas Tech does the opposite. Hyslop said the distribution of parking costs from different institutions was quite large. Dewey said the fringe benefit committee noted this is a benefit and cannot be compared to student parking. Mullins asked the occupancy rate of the new hillside residence hall. Pierce said 82%. Dewey asked if undergraduates are still in Daniel heights. Pierce said 61% of those residents were graduate students. Scarlett asked if the USG offers legal advice for off campus housed students. Maggio said no. Maggio summarized the presentation by reiterating the key areas discussed. Luck thanked the GSG representatives.
8. Report from the Senate President
Luck announced the chess club tournament dates and prizes. He added that the president and provost approved the Electrical and Computer Engineering department charter. Dewey asked about the content of the ECE chair search. Seel said there was chair search procedures, but they were aware of upcoming proposals to change the charters. Luck said that it was approved because it is not known the outcome of the new charter proposals. Luck presented the tuition revenue of each departments noting an overall total of $31 million in tuition for the semester. Luck noted the difference from what was shown on website. Seel said financial aid accounts for the discrepancy and amounts to about one-third of the tuition. Luck then noted the breakdown of tuition based on the department. Scarlett asked how this data was determined. Seel said it must be based on revenue per student credit hours. Luck then presented the data based on colleges, proving the CSA is on top. Storer noted the SFRES should be separate from Environmental Engineering. Luck said he will massage the data some more before its presentation at the BOC meeting. He added that anyone seeking to add BOC items to do so before November 9th. Luck concluded by thanking the senate executive committee for their hard work.
9. Report from Senate Standing Committees
Onder, Elections Committee, said sabbatical leave committee nominees are needed. Luck asked if those who received sabbaticals were asked to serve on this committee. Onder said no. Dewey asked the length of the term. Smigowski said the term was three years. Onder said he has two nominations for CATPR.
10. Old Business
Proposal 2-11: “Academic Renewal: An Amendment by Replacement of Senate Policy 110.1 (Proposals 21-02 and 30-04)”
Snyder, Instructional Policy Committee, said the clarifications discussed last meeting were incorporated. He went over these changes individually. Luck asked for discussion. Mullins said the policy was not clarified and is rarely used. He noted one must apply for reinstatement first and that several things in this policy are in conflict with the reinstatement policy. Snyder said you have to be enrolled and therefore have to be reinstated. He added that the student would be considered in good standing if renewal is approved. Mullins said that it was not specified how to do this (academic renewal). Snyder noted that there is not a decision written into this policy. The student only has to meet with an advisor to go through this process. Mullins confirmed there was no approval required. Snyder said yes, the student only need apply for it. Luck noted 18 students applied for renewal in the last 10 years. Mullins felt there was a conflict with reinstatement rules and this renewal policy. Seel said students need to be reinstated before they can enroll. Moran asked if the only way to reenroll was to have previously been reinstated. Mullins said there are certain standards for reenrollment which are different than the standards for renewal. Snyder said there is a five year span for academic renewal. Mullins asked how the application process for renewal and reinstatement would occur. Dewey said these were separate processes. Mullins restated his concerns about the restrictive nature of the renewal policy. Snyder said there are other possible approaches to academic renewal, but there are other institutions that require the entire transcript. Mullins said the grades are wiped away. Snyder said the renewed grades are indicated while retaining the original grade. They do not get credit for any course taken in a renewed term. Snyder noted the course content might change after the five year wait, justifying retaking the course. Luck asked Snyder if he could state the differences between the new and old version of this proposal. Snyder said in the existing policy the C grades in a renewed term will count for credit. Mullin said the small number of applicants do not require such a restrictive policy. Snyder said this reflects the number of students returning to Tech as opposed to another institution. He asked if credits should expire in time. Mullins was concerned that the departments had no role in this and therefore no oversight. Snyder said that a returning student may not stay in the same major. Scarlett asked if this version of the policy get past through the registrar and dean of students. Snyder said the registrar yes, but dean of students was not involved. Mullins thought the terminology of renewal implies a simpler more generous approach and the changes are still barriers. Luck noted the changes that were made were favorable and justified the five year limit. Storer motioned to vote on the proposal; Scarlett seconded the motion; it carried unanimously on a voice vote. The proposal was voted on. It passed on a voice vote.
11. New Business
Proposal 3-11: “Amendment to Senate Proposal 24-10: International Dual Graduate Degrees”
Storer, Curricular Policy Committee, clarified the rationale for streamlining the policy. He noted that rather than requiring full senate approval, each proposed new program would be voted on for approval by the CPC and the GFC. Storer noted the revised version will be on the senate website.
Proposal 4-11: “Amendment of Senate Proposal 11-10: Graduate Certificates”
Storer, Curricular Policy Committee, described the clarifying language being added to the policy defining credits that can be applied towards the certificate.
Proposal 5-11: “Redefining Departmental Governance” and Proposal 6-11: “Proposal to Establish University-wide Procedures to Search for, Hire, and Evaluate the Performance of a Departmental Chair or School Dean”
Scarlett, Academic Policy Committee, reminded everyone that the charter document was held off until the chair evaluation and search process had been written, as these documents are cited in the proposed charter document. He added that grievance policy was a contentious issue but as a senate controlled issue it should be dealt with separately. Caneba discussed the proposed chair search and evaluation policies. Scarlett requested senators take the proposal to their constituency and offered to come to departments to discuss the proposal. Snyder asked for an explanation of the grievance policy as it applies to chair selection. Scarlett said departments introduced mechanisms in the various charters to deal with discontent in the selection of a chair by the dean. He added that the administration feels such grievance policies are university policies and not department policies, and consequently should be consistent across campus. Snyder said the grievance policy is designed for individual faculty and not a class action. He added that the grievance goes back to the president. Scarlett said we can address the grievance issue once we have resolved charters. He added that departments control the search process and make recommendations to an administration that chooses from that list. Caneba added that the chair evaluation process would happen yearly. Snyder felt shared governance was being limited to minor issues. He added that this proposal describes having department heads rather than chairs. Luck asked how this differed from current practice. Snyder said some department charters have much more discretion on who becomes chair. Dewey added that the unit can decide on the search procedure. Moran asked if the policy would take that discretion away from the department. Luck said an external search would be preferred if finances permit it, but internal candidates can apply. Dewey said the issue is whether the department can make that choice or if that is being taken away. Scarlett said he will accept suggestions. Luck said the intent is to get the best person for department chair. Dewey asked that the terms ‘department head’ and ‘department chair’ be defined clearly. Luck said you can vote the person (chair) out. Dewey said he is confused as to whether the policy defines a ‘chair’. Cooper asked for clarification of text describing the search committee. She added the internal search language and definition of the evaluation committee was confusing. Scarlett said he will compare the recently approved search and evaluation procedures. Luck ended the discussion by referring additional comments to the committee.
12. Adjournment. Storer moved to adjourn; Christianson seconded the motion. President Luck adjourned the meeting at 7.45pm
by Marty Thompson
Secretary of the University Senate