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Senate Council Minutes - March 29, 2004

The Senate Council met on Monday, March 29, 2004 at 3:00 pm in the Gallery of the W.T. Young Library and took the following actions:

Approval of the Minutes from March 22, 2004

The Chair said he would excerpt the section regarding the Oral Communication discussion and provide it to the Senate prior to the Senate meeting. Ms. Scott thanked Tagavi for his changes. Debski requested more time to review the Minutes and suggested that if no changes were submitted in two days then the Minutes would stand as approved. The Chair agreed to accept changes until Thursday.

Graduation Agreement Update

Graduation Agreement Update (DOC)

The visitors and the Senate Council members introduced themselves. The Chair thanked Greissman for attending and asked him to introduce the topic. Greissman discussed some changes to the Agreement since its last review by the Senate Council, noting the use of the word "agreement" in the title rather than "contract".

Jones asked how long the student had to provide a copy of the letter indicating that an impediment to timely graduation existed to his or her academic advisor. Greissman noted that a time frame was not explicit and will adjust the language.

The Chair noted the change to the document on the second page indicating the University would be responsible for tuition payment and asked why the language had been changed. Greissman replied the college deans expressed concern that their college would be charged when they were not at fault, so the language had been changed to "University" to be inclusive of the department, college and administration involved.

Tagavi requested the inclusion of language that explicitly stated that students who were not enrolled in the Agreement would not be discriminated against. Greissman said that since no preference currently existed, none would exist under the Agreement. Grabau noted that many groups of students are allowed to register early because of their Honor student status or involvement in Athletics. Greissman said that nothing along those lines would change with the implementation of the Agreement.

Tagavi suggested adding the word "faculty" in front of the word department so that waivers and substitutions of requirements would be approved by the faculty and not just the administrative head of the unit. Cibull expressed concern that the Graduation Agreement would be used as an excuse to eliminate requirements. Tagavi requested the addition of the word "faculty" to number 1 and 2 of the Agreement. Greissman suggested the wording "by the department and its faculty". Tagavi asked if those were two different entities. Jones noted that the faculty are the policy-making body of the curricula. Greissman said the word "college" was meant to imply the administrators of the college, like the dean. Jones asked how the wording would be interpreted in colleges that didn't have departments. Chard suggested using "department and/or college faculty". Greissman agreed.

Tagavi asked if professional programs that require addition time to obtain degrees are included in the tuition portion of the Agreement. Grabau suggested including a list of qualifying majors and degrees. Kennedy asked if courses that come later in a required series would be paid for if the student's graduation was delayed by not being able to enroll in the first course in the series. Tagavi said it was implied in the wording of the Agreement.

Greissman expressed concern over the philosophical question raised by Cibull. Greissman said the Agreement did not create the problems experienced by Communications in relation to the recent proposal to remove the Oral Communications requirement from the University Studies Program. Cibull said he thought the Agreement could be used as an argument to drop other requirements and was concerned that the original intent of providing resources for a four-year education was being sullied by the University's lack of ability to fund the requirements as they currently stand. He said "the mind set now is 'how do we cut costs', not 'how do we provide traditional education'". Cibull suggested Greissman attend another Senate Council meeting to discuss these concerns.

Greissman argued that all public institutions face these problems and that the Graduation Agreement will force the institution to evaluate how it educates its students. He suggested that the current University Studies Program is wasteful and can be done better. Greissman expressed gratitude for the opportunity to evaluate the pilot Agreement after three years to determine its effect on programs and requirements.

Greissman said he was convinced that curricular maps are the critical component of the Agreement. He reported that the Registrar's Office is programming maps from the 13 pilot programs into their degree audit system. Greissman closed by thanking the Council members for their time, agreeing to come back for a subsequent discussion and suggesting the Provost could become involved in the discussion.

The Chair asked when the pilot program would begin. Greissman replied that on-line registration would be made available Fall 2004 and that a massive advertising campaign would occur.

College of Public Health Proposal

College of Public Health Proposal (PDF)

Samuel discussed the various merits of the proposal and noted the various stages of approval it had undergone. Rogers said the proposal had the support of the staff. The Chair asked if the possible loss of staff positions had been addressed. Rogers said the staff had concerns at first but soon came to realize their jobs would become more important if the school became a college. Wiggs said the students were in favor of becoming a college and stressed the importance to the students of receiving a degree from an accredited college.

Jones reported that Watt addressed the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees about this issue. He reported Watt said when students in the program were recruited they were given a commitment that by the time they reached the point of graduation the degree would be accredited and this was also presented as a reason for urgent action by the Board. Jones asked who had made that promise to the students. Wiggs said the students were given no written materials to that effect. He said they were told the school would seek accreditation.

Cibull said that Watt and Samuel had presented the same issue as a reason why the proposal should be approved. Samuel replied that they couldn't have made the commitment that the school was going to be accredited. Cibull said that this pertained to the merits of the proposal the commitments purportedly made to students was a justification in the Provost's letter of support.

Samuel said there was a letter seeking accreditation that had been signed by Holsinger, Scutchfield and Todd, one without a promise that the school would be accredited because that would be presumptive. Samuel said the doctoral students were intentionally delaying graduation so they could receive their degree from an accredited college. Samuel acknowledged there were problems with the way the material had been presented. Tagavi suggested that promises made to students should not be used as an argument for why the proposal should be approved. Cibull suggested it was incorrect back away from statements that were previously made. He said his other concern was that the amount of grant money the college could attract was not very large. Samuel estimated grant income of about one to one-and-a-half million dollars if accreditation was received, but guessed it might be more than that once the College became competitive.

Kennedy requested to see the letter with the three signatures and suggested drafting a strong statement about not making promises that obliges the University to do things.

Lee addressed the concerns set forth by the Academic Programs Committee of the Senate, noting that the programs that will remain in the College of Health Sciences are large programs consisting of many students. Samuel agreed that removing Health Service Management would not have a monumental effect on the College of Health Sciences.

Kelly discussed the proposal from the perspective of the College of Medicine (COM) Faculty Council, saying the report reflected the discussions held at a Faculty Council meeting as well as a meeting of the general faculty and a website permitting faculty to vote. Kelly reported that while the COM faculty are in favor of the idea of creating a College of Public Health at the University, there was no consensus that this was the appropriate time to do so. He said that while the COM faculty supported the idea two to one, only 50% thought this was an appropriate time to do so. Cibull asked how many COM faculty had voted, and Kelly replied that 90 of the 550 faculty had voted. Edgerton asked about the concern over the timing of the proposal, and Kelly answered that most of the concerns pertained to which resources would remain in the COM and the underfunding of COM programs.

Kennedy asked why COM faculty turn-out was so low. Kelly said that Kennedy's assumption that those who didn't respond thought it wasn't worth their time to do so was not unreasonable.

Jones asked about "new recurring funding" for the college and asked where those funds had come from. Samuel replied that the Chancellor of the MedicalCenter decided how those funds were to be allocated, that most of the funds for the proposed college were already available in the programs to be brought together, and that any new funds did not come out of the current fiscal year budget. He added that faculty lines, funding and people had all been in place as of July 2003.

Rogers said most of the funding had been put in place during the creation of the School of Public Health. He noted that a recent visit from the accrediting agency clarified the number of lines needed. Cibull asked in what way clarification had been received. Rogers replied that questions about research and clinical faculty counting as a whole faculty line had been answered. Samuel added that no money had been added aside from last year's salary increases and that no new lines had been added this fiscal year. He said that the creation of the College of Public Health would clarify a complex situation to unify all components of the field of public health into one college.

Chard asked if the budget would be the same either way, if the total dollar figure would match. Rogers replied that since FY 2002 the school received two new faculty lines by way of the Chancellor's Office, but that Public Health had received nothing new in 2003 or 2004.

Chard said her committee was most concerned with Kelly's letter and Grossman's statement when reviewing the proposal. She said her committee unanimously voted to approve the proposal but included a list of concerns requiring further explanation. Debski asked if any new start-up funds would be required. Chard said no start-up funds should be required. Samuel said money would be saved by consolidating the various departments into one college, though he believed staff jobs would not be in jeopardy. Rogers noted that the organizational structure already exists with staff lines already filled in the existing programs. Samuel said Public Health recently installed a new phone system when Allied Health left the building, but no other start-up expenses were anticipated.

Returning to the discussion of her committee's minutes, Chard said the answer to Grossman's concerns regarding the remaining programs was offered by David Watt's assistant Rita Wilkie. Wilkie reported that Watt had no intention of rearranging the remaining programs in the College of Health Science. Chard said her committee felt comfortable that all key constituent groups who might be affected by the formation of the new college had been contacted and had opportunity for input. Chard said the small voting turn-out from the COM faculty might be due to the impression that "this was as done deal". Her committee suggested that every concern from Kelly's letter be acknowledged and taken into account. Chard said a committee member expressed concern that one of the reasons for fast approval listed by Nietzel in his feasibility letter was the need to fulfill commitments made to students. Chard said that students entering into a program that isn't accredited run the risk of getting a degree that isn't accredited. She said the committee members were sympathetic to the students, but that particular reason did not necessitate Senate action in the specified time-frame.

Cibull asked if the course overlap with the Martin School had been addressed. Samuel replied that an agreement with the Martin School had been reached and that Public Health was committed to not detracting from the Martin School or the Biostatistics program. Jones noted Toma's concerns regarding which courses will be offered by the Martin School and Public Health. Samuel said her concerns had been addressed in a satisfactory manor.

The Council reviewed the letter signed by Todd, Skutchfield and Holsinger that was previously discussed. Lee noted the letter was sent to the accrediting body to request applicant status. Cibull said the letter did not have much to do with what it was purported to say and suggested the commitment made to students should be broached as a reason to approval the proposal.

Debski asked how many Public Health programs are seeking accreditation. Samuel said that aside from the 30 that exist there are four or five more seeking accreditation. He cited LSU's newly established college as an example.

Cibull asked how grant earning of the faculty who were formerly in the medical center would be handled. Samuel replied that he had no intention of redirecting grant funds and provided some examples of faculty who would be in the new college whose grant funds are credited to other colleges.

Chard made a motion to forward the proposal to the Senate with a positive recommendation contingent upon the items in the letter from the COM faculty and Faculty Council being taken into account. Kennedy seconded the motion. Jones asked who should take them into account. Chard indicated the visitors from Public Health. Jones suggested a friendly amendment to include "administrative implementers will take into account". Chard and Kennedy accepted the amendment.

The motion to "forward the proposal to the Senate with a positive recommendation contingent upon the administrative implementers taking into account the items in the letter from the COM faculty and Faculty Council" passed without dissent. The proposal will be presented at the April 12 University Senate meeting. The visitors from Public Health departed.

Section GR VII.A.4 and Section GR IV - Proposed Draft Language

Proposed Draft Language (DOC)

Jones presented the proposal and provided some history. Jones said the Provost would not oppose the proposed language pertaining to faculty input in the review process of deans and chairs. Jones also presented language that would delegate the responsibility for terminating academic degree programs to the Senate. Jones said that the inclusion of the new language was necessary to codify the Senate's responsibility. Cibull expressed concern about programs that were being terminated for financial reasons. Cibull said he wasn't sure if the proposal was in the best interest of the University. Jones suggested faculty should be involved in program termination, not administration. The Chair noted the changes would affect programs only, not educational units.

Chard made a motion to allow Jones to present the proposals to the AR/GR work group with the support of the Senate Council. Jones seconded the motion. Edgerton asked Cibull to elaborate on his reservations. Cibull thought the faculty would not want to dissolve academically viable programs that were no longer in the best interest of the University to maintain. Jones said the new wording would prohibit Administration from independently terminating programs based on academic merit. Cibull said Administration could just remove funding from programs they wanted to terminate. Chard noted the Administration would have to provide financial explanations for doing so. The motion passed without dissent.

University Senate Agenda for April 12, 2004

University Senate Agenda for April 12, 2004 (DOC)

Cibull noted the presence of many potentially contentious items on the agenda. The Chair agreed and said that items unattended to at the April meeting may require a special meeting to be called. Cibull suggested imposing time limits on debate. The Chair suggested finishing all other business by 4:00 pm to allow time for the Oral Communications proposal. Cibull suggested posted the time schedule. Debski noted a time frame is only good if it is followed. The Chair will provide a schedule and will ask the Senate to follow it.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:59.

Respectfully submitted by
Jeffrey Dembo, Chair

Members Present: Chard, Cibull, Debski, Dembo, Edgerton, Grabau, Jones, Kaalund, Kennedy, Tagavi.

Visitors Present: Greissman, Kelly, Lee, Rogers, Samuel, Stoeppel, Wiggs.

Prepared by Rebecca Scott on April 1, 2004