The University Senate
of Michigan Technological University
Minutes of Meeting 501
2 February 2011
· Presentation: “Annual Report from the Committee on Tenure, Promotion, and Reappointment (CATPR)” by Dr. Robert Keen
· Proposals 5-11 passed
· Proposals 6-11 passed
· Proposals 8-11 passed
· Proposals 9-11 passed
· Proposals 10-11 passed
· Proposals 11-11 passed
· Proposals 12-11 passed
1. Call to order and roll call. President Rudy Luck called the University Senate Meeting 501 to order at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, February 2, 2011. The Senate Secretary Marty Thompson called roll. Absent were Senators Koszykowski, Kangas and Sha and representatives of Army/Air Force ROTC, Mathematical Sciences, Physics, Auxiliaries and Cultural Enrichment, Admissions, Advancement, IT, Research, and USG.
2. Recognition of visitors. Guests included Max Seel (Provost Office), Bob Keen (Department of Biological Sciences), Patty Sotirin (Humanities Department), Joe Herbig (Accounting Services), Rhianna Williams (Library), and Jackie Huntoon (Graduate School).
3. Approval of agenda. Luck made a change to the agenda. He asked if there were any changes; there being none Luck declared the agenda stood approved.
4. Approval of minutes from Meeting 500. Onder motioned to approve the minutes; Hamlin seconded; it passed unanimously on a voice vote.
5. Election for Senate Vice President
Onder, Elections Committee, stated the nominees for Senate Vice-President were John Velat and Pattie Luokkanen. Luokkanen and Velat both made brief biographical statements. Luokkanen won the position of Senate Vice-President by a majority vote.
6. Presentation: “Annual Report from the Committee on Tenure, Promotion, and Reappointment (CATPR)” by Dr. Robert Keen
Keen, Chair of the Committee on Academic Tenure, Promotion and Reappointment (CATPR), read the rules on the duties and reporting requirements of the committee and the provost. He noted the committee received no appeals to tenure, promotion or reappointment recommendations in the 2010 calendar year. Keen provided the CATPR membership for 2010 and 2011. He concluded by citing the mechanism to submit appeals of denial of tenure, promotion and reappointment.
7. Report from the Senate President
Luck welcomed the new senators and newly elected vice-president. He informed the senate of administrative approval of proposal 7-11. Luck informed the senate that Michigan Governor Snyder appointed two new Board of Control (BoC) members, Julie Fream and Terry Woychowski. Luck noted the date of the next BoC meeting was February 24th and requested that those wishing to add items to his report submit them by February 8th. Luck, in setting a precedent for awarding committee chairs for their hard work, presented the chairs of the Administrative and Academic Policy Committees with gifts for their work.
8. Report from Senate Standing Committees
There were no reports.
9. Old Business
Proposal 5-11: “Redefining Departmental Governance”
Scarlett, Academic Policy Committee, noted that at this time and after multiple discussions in the senate everyone should be quite familiar with this proposal. Luck asked for discussion; there being none, he called for a voice vote. The proposal passed with a majority vote.
Proposal 6-11: “Proposal to Establish University-wide Procedures to Search for, Hire, and Evaluate the Performance of a Departmental Chair or School Dean”
Caneba, Administrative Policy Committee, noted several editorial clarifications including the events that will trigger a review of a School Dean. He clarified the evaluation procedures for School Deans and search procedure for the Dean of the Graduate School. Moran reported that in Section 2.a.5. regarding search committees, the procedure does not reflect common practices and it should be clarified as to why it is required. Caneba, defined the intent of the verbiage as ‘should attempt’ and is not a mandate. Luck said that it was not required and asked Moran if rewording the section would be helpful. Scarlett proposed a restatement to address concerns of confidentiality. Moran deferred on making exact wording changes but asked that the final wording reflect that it is not a requirement. Snyder noted the limitations of confidentiality for candidates and that candidates usually agree to what information is publicly available. Moran felt that such statements addressed the issue. Christianson noted that the candidate approves of what information is made public. Moran inquired as to whether candidate information was confidential. Seel noted the limitations of confidentiality and the search committee’s requirements to notify and seek permission of the candidate. Moran asked if seeking permission from candidate is standard practice. Seel affirmed that it was. Moran agreed on the proposed rewording. Christianson noted that, at the time of interview the information will be made public. Luck made the wording changes at the suggestion of Scarlett and Moran. Christianson noted the underlying assumption is that a short list of candidate will come to campus for an interview. The changes were accepted. Moran then noted that three year terms are too short for a chair and that a five year term is more appropriate. He suggested that be considered for a future proposal. Seel noted the national average was three to four years for chairs and four to five years for deans in arts and sciences. Gierke requested the opportunity for a faculty initiated evaluation of chair to occur in any year if requested. Moran asked if that could be done by individual departments. Luck said no and noted that an interim review of chair has never been requested and he discussed the development of the evaluation process as it appears in the current proposal. He said the intent is to help chairs be successful. Gierke noted that, opposed to the department chair, in the school dean situation an evaluation can be requested at any time. Luck added that there was a mechanism to initiate a review, but it was so extensive that it was recrafted to have an interim review. John noted his constituents would like to be able to initiate a review in any year. Scarlett said the proposal wording does not prohibit an evaluation, but that it would not be required or reported through the formal administrative structure. Moran agreed that it was not required of all department chairs on campus, but that individual departments could initiate such events. Luck noted the difficulty with having annual evaluations written into the proposal. Gierke noted that their charter has a no confidence provision and this proposal would preclude that. Luck noted the scenario required to have a no confidence vote. Scarlett clarified that a no confidence vote and a reevaluation review are very different and the individual charter documents can address that issue. He added that a no confidence vote is not a feedback mechanism, which this section of the proposal is specifically addressing. Gierke sought information as to whether a no confidence vote would be in conflict with the wording of the current proposal. Luck noted it was ultimately up to the dean and department faculty to recommend a chair be removed. Gierke clarified he was not asking for a no confidence vote, but that if the faculty in a unit asks for an evaluation outside the year three evaluation that one would be performed in any year. Moran thought this was a veiled threat for chairs who have to make tough decisions. Luck suggested that language be put in individual charters. Scarlett added that departments would have the option of preserving that language and cited item #8, which details items not addressed in this proposal. Gierke asked about which document would supersede the other. Luck denoted the difference on the departmental charter issues in this proposal versus the departmental operating documents. Gierke asked if these differences put us back to individual department charters. Moran said this preserves the right for various departments to address issues unique to that unit. Scarlett noted the shared responsibility. Gierke asked how he could be assured this ability would be preserved if he votes in support of this proposal. Luck said that any senator can make an argument for or against the proposal or for future changes in this proposal here in the senate. Snyder noted that there is nothing that says no confidence in evaluation for the university president, but we have done it and it had impact. He added that departments could probably do the same regardless of whether it appears in the charter. Gierke asked that we include in the current proposal text detailing that year three evaluations can be implemented in years four and five if requested by a majority of faculty. Luck restated the proposal and asked for a vote. Luck asked for discussion; there being none, he called for a voice vote. The amendment to the proposal was not approved. Barkdoll noted his constituents expressed concerns for chair votes near 50%. He asked the language for faculty chair votes require at least 2/3 approval of the faculty and only those names be put forward for selection by the dean. Luck asked for discussion. Scarlett noted that proposal item II.A.7.c would be removed to accommodate Barkdoll’s proposal and that no additional language changes were needed. Luck asked what Civil & Environmental Engineering’s charter says. Barkdoll said the charter says the faculty decides which name(s) are submitted to the dean. Onder seconded the motion. Luck asked for discussion to remove item II.A.7.c. Moran said he felt this was a bad idea and risks a failed search. Barkdoll noted that there have been votes near 50/50 and sometimes the chair gains the support of the majority of the faculty. Moran asked if the chair would know the results of a faculty vote. Barkdoll affirmed according to their current charter that the chair would know the voting results. Scarlett noted that repeated searches are time consuming and expensive and hesitated to remove item II.A.7.c. Caneba noted that a polarized department can communicate their concerns about the chair with the dean. Gierke asked if 2/3 refers to eligible voters or votes cast, meaning nonvoters are essentially no. Scarlett said the voting constituency should be defined in the departmental charter. Luck said it meant of all eligible voters. Hamlin expressed a dislike in defining 2/3 vote as meaning only those who show up to vote and not of all eligible voters. Moran felt that a non vote should not be equated with a no vote. Luck suggested that be defined by the department. Plummer suggested rewording item II.A.7.c. Barkdoll asked if the dean would know the voting results. Snyder said yes. Luck stated the name and the voting results should be known to the dean to facilitate the decision. Onder said his department only forwards the name to the dean. Snyder said the names and voting results were submitted to the dean. Moran said their department communicated the names and results to the dean, but not the chair candidate. Luck asked for a vote on the changes to the proposal. The changes to the proposal were not approved. Moran asked eligible voters not be considered. Snyder agreed that eligible should be removed and a non vote not be considered a no vote. Luck restated the request that in referring to a 2/3 vote that eligible voters be changed to votes cast. Christianson said the voting mechanism can vary and include paper ballots, email, etc. Moran said the voting method should be left to the departments and added that departments should also decide what defines a quorum and voting procedures. Luck noted that any issues can be addressed by the senate in the future. Luck asked for a voice vote of the full proposal; it passed with a majority vote.
Proposal 8-11: “Proposal to Change Degree Title”
Gierke, Curricular Policy Committee, restated the goal of proposals 8-11, 9-11 and 10-11, noting the degrees in question would be more appealing to students and employers. He added that the three proposed name changes were unanimously supported by the committee. Luck asked for discussion; there being none, he called for a voice vote. The proposal passed unanimously on a voice vote.
Proposal 9-11: “Proposal to Change Degree Title”
Luck asked for discussion; there being none, he called for a voice vote. The proposal passed unanimously on a voice vote.
Proposal 10-11: “Proposal to Change Degree Title”
Luck asked for discussion; there being none, he called for a voice vote. The proposal passed unanimously on a voice vote.
Proposal 11-11: “Electrical Engineering Technology – Minor in Data Acquisition and Industrial Control” Gierke, Curricular Policy Committee, briefly restated the goal of the proposal and noted the unanimous support of the committee. Luck read the results of the finance committee, which noted that although no financial data was provided, the finance committee saw very little that would be contentious and gave its approval. Luck asked for discussion; there being none, he called for a voice vote. The proposal passed unanimously on a voice vote.
Proposal 12-11: “Modification to Sick Leave Policy in Faculty Handbook”
Luokkanen, Fringe Benefits Committee, characterized the changes in wording as primarily to update the policy to make it consistent with other current policies. Luck asked for discussion; there being none, he called for a voice vote. The proposal passed unanimously on a voice vote.
10. New Business
Proposal 13-11: “Proposal to Establish Guidelines for Accelerated Master’s Program’s at Michigan Tech”
Gierke, Curricular Policy Committee (CPC), stated approval of this proposal would establish an integrated BS/MS. This would be focused on the coursework only master’s degree. Gierke noted that students could use senior rule and double count up to six credits. The BS/MS would total at least 150 credits and have a five year time limit, which would start their junior year. This combined BS/MS applies to existing programs and no new degree programs can be created through this. Barkdoll asked what would be the benefits of this proposal. Gierke said goal was to retain the best undergraduates to go onto MS degrees. He noted a financial incentive. Barkdoll asked about acceptance to the graduate program. Gierke noted that students have to be accepted into MS program under the normal mechanism. Barkdoll asked about financial support of students in this program. Huntoon said there would not be financial support and that this would be a coursework MS. She noted research costs should not increase and students would pay their own way. Luck was confused by the exclusion of research-based masters programs. Huntoon said that this proposal only applies to plan C and D Master’s degrees, which are coursework based. Luck asked why this cannot be applied to research Master’s degrees. Huntoon said the exclusion reflects concerns raised in the CPC. Luck noted that the Department of Chemistry is under the impression this proposal applies to research-based Master’s degrees, which are the only type offered in the department. Huntoon said the GFC would support a research-based plan, but the CPC would be against it. Huntoon said coursework-based Master’s reflect a professional focus degree. Onder asked where the 150 credit requirement came from. Huntoon detailed the approximately 128 credits for a Baccalaureate’s degree and the 30 credits for a Master’s degree, then factored in the six double counting credits to meet both requirements. Onder asked if his department would work if 135 credits are required for the BS degree. Huntoon said this is to be set by the department as total course credits for BS varies. She added the total number was to not be less than 150 credits for the combined degree. Moran asked what the rationale for those in the CPC not supporting a research-based/thesis Master’s degree. Gierke noted the concern centered around taking research credits as undergraduates and have those apply to their Master’s degree. Moran said the thesis defense would guarantee they met all criteria. Hamlin said that risks student failure. Snyder and Moran both stated that the thesis advisor is the one who bears responsibility to ensure student success. Onder stated that the opposite was more true and that the coursework only degree is weaker, rather than stronger, as there is no committee oversight. Moran agreed that the logic seems reversed and the best students would be directed towards the research-based degree. Huntoon said the original version passed by the GFC was for all MS degrees. Snyder said this could be resolved by amending the proposal. Onder said many students do stay for MS degrees and leave for PhD degrees. Gierke added that some in the CPC were concerned this was a 24 credit MS. Depew asked how this conflicts with the senior rule. Huntoon clarified the meaning of the senior rule. Luck suggested the senators discuss this with their constituents.
11. Adjournment. Onder moved to adjourn; Hamlin seconded the motion. President Luck adjourned the meeting at 7:02pm
by Marty Thompson
Secretary of the University Senate