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Senate Council Minutes - April 25, 2005

The Senate Council met on Monday, April 25, 2005 in room 103 Main Building and took the following actions.

1. Approval of the Minutes from April 18, 2005

The Chair asked if there were any corrections to the minutes other than those submitted by Tagavi in advance of the meeting. There being none, the minutes were approved as written.

2. Announcements

The Chair announced having met with the Stillwater Group regarding the Top Twenty Business Plan. He reported that Stillwater would like to meet with the Senate Council. Ms. Scott will determine the availability of Senate Council members for the month of June and such a meeting will be arranged. Thelin and Lesnaw requested more information on the charge of Stillwater, as well as information on the overall cost of the project. Such information will be provided in advance of the meeting with Stillwater.

The Chair announced that he had been invited to serve as a member of the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee, which is trying to align policy issues in light of the University of Michigan Supreme Court rulings. At least one sub-committee is involved in exploring issues relating to Senate Rules and will likely result in future Senate Council considerations. The Chair noted that he had recommended Tony Baxter's input into the committee's deliberations and was pleased that Baxter had been invited to the last meeting.

The Chair announced that an objection had been raised regarding the Master of Arts in Teaching World Languages proposal (MATWL) and offered Thelin, who had raised the objection, an opportunity to explain his concern. Thelin noted that the proposal sought to replace an existing program within the College of Education (COE) and expressed concern that the college dean had not centrally posted the proposal for faculty review, and was therefore in breach of Senate Rules.

Grossman agreed that COE should have been consulted in a more formal way, but noted that he needed more information regarding the college's internal procedures before remarking on whether or not the necessary circulation could occur before the semester's end. Cibull suggested that the proposal be forwarded to the COE for distribution to the faculty, and that the faculty be asked to respond with objections by Friday. Thelin noted that while he supported the proposal and suspected it would receive approval in the college, he hoped that it might be circulated to the college's curriculum committee and to the college faculty. Cibull suggested sending the proposal to the dean's office and requesting that it be appropriately circulated, with the request that objections be sent to the Senate Council office by Friday. Grossman concurred, while Thelin hoped the college dean would call a special meeting of the faculty.

3. Academic Programs Committee

The Chair called upon Grossman to present the committee's two recommendations.

Dance Minor (PDF)

Grossman indicated that this proposal had the full recommendation of the committee. Thelin noted that the manner in which the proposal had been handled was exemplary and commended Rayma Beal on the thoroughness of the proposal. Beal added that in addition to being a minor in the college, students could also seek certification in dance.

Jones asked if a routing sheet had been provided by the department. Grossman replied that while no routing sheet was presented, he had been provided with satisfactory evidence that the department faculty, college faculty and Undergraduate Council supported the proposal.

Beal added that the minor was open to any student, but that students who desired certification would also be required to take the appropriate Education courses.

There being no further discussion, a vote was taken. The recommendation from the committee to approve the proposal passed without dissent.

The next item of discussion was the Graduate Certificate in Health Administration (PDF). Grossman noted that the committee had been concerned that the certificate would be limited to College of Nursing students (CON) and that it was only 9 credit hours in length. He added that the dean of the Graduate School pointed out that while 9 hours was the minimum requirement for the length of a graduate certificate, it was still within the requirement, adding that its length should therefore not be an issue. She also added that other programs specified who could or could not be enrolled in specific graduate certificate programs, and that the established precedent should allow the CON student requirement to apply. Grossman added that a companion graduate certificate for Martin School students was under review and would be forthcoming. Grossman concluded by saying that the committee had voted 4 to 1 in favor of the proposal.

Cibull asked if other colleges, like Medicine and Public Health, had opportunity to review and comment on the proposal since they may have a parallel interest to that of Nursing. Grossman replied that other colleges besides those in the proposal had not been consulted, noting that the corresponding proposal that was forthcoming from Nursing was indicative of an agreement between the two programs only.

Tagavi suggested that the word "program" be dropped from the proposal. He added that there we should switch the "director of graduate studies" with "Graduate Certificate Director". He added that the certificate should be recommended by the DGS and certified by the Dean of the Graduate School. Grossman noted that the Graduate Council had already recommended the deletion of the word "program" when the proposal was forwarded from the Graduate Council.

Jones asked a more theoretical question about the proposal, wondering about the nature of certificates across graduate programs. Lesnaw replied that sometimes graduate certificates were offered as a prelude to degree proposals. Grossman noted that some certificates served as a credential to external review agencies. Thelin added that the purpose of certificates was to encourage interdisciplinary work, and that as such should not apply exclusively to students of any particular college but should be available to all graduate students. Cibull agreed, reiterating that the proposal should be reviewed by other colleges. Duke expressed the view that while she agreed with the proposal in principle and could understand the value it would provide to nurses who sought administrative positions, she also understood that the certificate could appeal to students from across various disciplines.

Grossman noted that the issue of enrollment concerns and the interest of limiting enrollment had arisen during correspondences regarding the proposal. He noted that the intent was to admit two to three students at a time, and that neither program wished to add to the teaching burden of the other program.

Jones suggested that the section pertaining to admission requirements should instead be renamed "requirements to receive the certificate." Tagavi wondered how Martin School students who happened to take the appropriate series of courses could be denied the certificate.

The Chair suggested that the proposal should be tabled until such time that a representative from the program could be present to explain the proposal. Grossman noted that Ed Jennings had been made aware that the Senate Council intended to discuss the proposal and hoped he would be available to attend the next meeting.

Cibull made a motion to table the item until Jennings could attend. Duke seconded the motion, which passed without dissent.

Dembo noted that when he was Senate Council chair some attention had been given to the proliferation of graduate certificates and the suggestion had been broached to compile a list of certificates and note which should be reviewed at the end of five year's time. He suggested that Ms. Scott undertake a summer project to compile such information. Ms. Scott noted that Marilyn Lyons in the Graduate School had undertaken a similar project, including such information as a complete list of graduate certificates, which had received a five-year approval, which had never received Senate or Board approval and were still being offered and which had never been reported to the Council on Post-secondary Education. Kaalund suggested that instead of consulting lists that perhaps the Senate Council should focus on the rules and regulations regarding what did and didn't constitute a graduate certificate. Grossman expressed interest in reviewing current regulations regarding graduate certificates, should such information be available.

4. ACMC ad hoc review committee recommendations

The Chair reintroduced the topic and noted that three concerns had been raised by the Provost and duly responded to by Dembo. The Chair requested that the e-mails regarding the Provost's concerns and Dembo's reply be made part of the minutes.

Dembo thanked the Chair for the many communications he had undertaken over the past week on behalf of the Senate Council and noted that the three concerns of the Provost were not "deal breakers" as far as the committee was concerned. He noted that the Provost's first concern was that the HCCC should be the Health Center College Council, but reiterated that since there was no academic unit known as the Health Center then the committee felt the name should be the Health Care Colleges Council, with the explicit membership of that Council to be named in the appropriate Senate Rules. The Provost's second concern was that another Associate Provost position should not be created. Dembo noted that it was not the intent of the ad hoc committee to dictate administrative action.

Tagavi asked what was meant by "impartial" under item 3 of Recommendation 1 (DOC). After extensive conversation it was made clear that the Chair of the HCCC, while inevitably partial in some concerns, was to be as impartial as possible regarding the fate of proposals emanating from the colleges in question. Dembo reiterated the committee's concern that the appropriate chair of the Council should be somebody who holds an analogous position to the chairs of the Graduate and Undergraduate Councils and who has staff support to further the activity of the HCCC, and therefore offered no objection to striking the term.

Dembo articulated the Provost's third concern regarding the voting status of the HCCC chair. He noted that the Senate Rules didn't specify the voting status of either the Undergraduate or Graduate Council chairs and hoped the HCCC would receive a similar, and analogous, treatment in the new rules.

Cibull made a motion to forward both Recommendations to the Senate with a positive recommendation. Kaalund seconded the motion. Dembo indicated a willingness on the part of his committee to help draft language in the Senate Rules for the Senate's approval.

Grossman suggested dropping the section of Item 3 in Recommendation 1 regarding impartiality, and offered it as a friendly amendment. Cibull accepted the amendment as friendly and Kaalund's second stood. Kennedy suggested the editorial change of calling both items either "recommendation" or "resolution" but suggested that the two terms shouldn't be intermingled. Cibull agreed. The term "recommendation" will be retained.

Dembo noted that he had drafted possible changes to Senate Rules regarding Recommendation 1, assuming it passed the Senate Council, and could conceivably have wording available for Recommendation 2 (PDF) in time for the following Senate Council meeting. Dembo will work with the ad hoc committee, the Rules and Elections Committee and the Senate Council office to produce language in time for the May 2 Senate Council meeting.

Cibull made a motion to table the item, definitely, until the following week. Grossman seconded the motion to table, which passed without dissent.

5. Meeting with the President regarding the proposed resolution

Grabau joined the meeting at this point.

The Chair noted that while the President may remain firm regarding the proposed ARs he suspected he may now have additional information about the current ARs and the way in which current searches should be conducted. Jones noted that the current AR addressed the current process for the conduct of searches regarding deans, directors and department chairs. At the request of various Senate Council members, Jones outlined the content of the current AR in question.

Dembo read a quote from the Senate meeting, two years before, that outlined the Senate's interest in "full and meaningful participation of the faculty" regarding the Senate's participation in the composition of search committees. He added that the faculty are the creative engine of the University and should engage in a meaningful and honest engagement with the Administration regarding campus-wide decision making. He noted that this level or cooperation was currently missing and should be articulated to the President.

The President arrived and the Chair made him welcome. The Chair provided some background regarding previous discussions with the President and invited the President to respond to the draft resolution.

The President said that the AR that was recommended by the Senate is under review. He noted that the GRs would be reviewed by the Board at the May meeting, after which the ARs will be revised. He added that he did not feel compelled to abide by an AR that was not yet in place and that he had obtained a ruling from General Counsel regarding whether or not he had violated the existing AR. He reported that he had not violated the AR in that it pertained to heads of academic units and did not involve the position of Provost.

Jones interjected that the issue of the AR being violated was not related to the Provost search committee issue. The President said he will investigate whether or not such violations had occurred, but wished that individual instances had been brought to his attention at the point of violation rather than after the fact.

Grossman provided some context for the proposed resolution, noting that the Senate unanimously recommended the creation of the AR, which was the product of a joint faculty/administrative committee appointed by the Provost with the authority of the President to create. Grossman said that while nobody thought the President was legally obligated to abide by an AR that wasn't yet on the books, the idea of the proposed AR was to strengthen the implementation of shared governance. He noted that the proposed AR discusses the proportion of faculty on various committees that affect the academic enterprise, as well as the number and types of individuals who should be appointed to any such committee. Grossman invited the President to comment on how he thought the principle of shared governance should be implemented.

Cibull added that another question might be how the President sees the faculty's role in terms of shared governance particularly regarding the faculty's voice in selecting individuals who will be academic leaders, including the Provost and those below him. The President replied that it was vitally important to have faculty input into search committees, adding that he was in favor of selecting the Senate's representatives from a list supplied for that purpose. He noted that he sought input from multiple areas when appointing a committee and was not in favor of the Senate Council simply appointing three representatives to serve. He suggested that as the ARs are reviewed some happy medium could be established that would satisfy both his preference and that of the Senate Council, noting that each perspective as it currently stood may be a bit extreme.

Jones applauded the President's willingness to continue a dialogue in the hope of reaching a compromise. He noted that the President had used the word "representative" to discuss the faculty who served on the current Provost search committee. He cautioned that while there were six faculty members on the committee they were not necessarily representative of the faculty in that they had not been duly elected to serve in that capacity. The President replied that he was willing to consider some compromise, noting that the elected faculty could chose representatives from the non-elected population.

Grabau spoke of the enormous symbolic value that could be gained in granting the faculty more input regarding committee memberships. He asked the President to outline the risks to his office of granting some additional level of input from the faculty to help the Senate Council members understand his position. The President replied that the Senate Council could appoint three members who would be so deeply embroiled in legalistic issues that potential candidates may no longer wish to apply for the position. Grossman noted that the President may inadvertently do so as well, adding that the President could always ask for additional names if he was unsatisfied with the original list provided. He expressed concern that no faculty representatives were on the EVPFA search committee, noting that the EVPFA makes important decisions affecting the academic enterprise. Grossman entreated the President to consider an increased level of faculty participation when making such decisions in the future. Todd asked if Grossman meant that whoever is in that position should make an effort to communicate with the academic side of the University. Grossman replied that he thought it was important for the faculty to have "a seat at the table to give our opinion" when important decisions are being made. The President replied that he understood Grossman's point and remembered being frustrated about similar issues when he was on the Senate as a faculty member.

Cibull suggested that in order to gain a clearer understanding of the President's perspective on shared governance he could include that topic as part of his address to the Senate. The President noted that the Senate was examining issues like expanding the Honors Program and revising the undergraduate curriculum and spoke about the vital role the faculty play in such endeavors. He said he would consider making the issue of shared governance part of his comments to the Senate.

Jones asked if the President would be willing to meet more frequently with the Senate Council to discuss such issues. The President supported the suggestion, noting that decision making happens very quickly and that it would be beneficial to have increased contact with the Senate Council, especially during the interim Provost period. He added that he would like to meet with the colleges more frequently as well. He addressed the ways in which the budget situation had affected the institution and how he hoped that some of those difficulties would go away. He added that the four sources of revenue for the University were state appropriations, tuition dollars, internal efficiencies and fund raising. He noted that while it was unpleasant to implement internal efficiencies in some cases, it was still necessary. He hoped to increase the University's fund raising activity, and looked for 4% and maybe even 5% adjustments to salaries over the next two years.

The President indicated that perhaps there were instances in which not enough faculty input was solicited when making decisions. He thanked the Senate Council members for their time as well as their comments and questions. He added that he appreciated the Senate Council members' comments about showing his vision of shared governance. The Chair thanked the President for sharing his time and thoughts and he departed.

Lesnaw suggested not proceeding with the proposed resolution in a gesture of goodwill for the openness to compromise expressed by the President. She made a motion to withdraw the proposed resolution. The motion was seconded by Cibull.

Grossman spoke in favor of the motion, suggesting that the President was now more aware of the need to engage the faculty on issues of shared governance.

Thelin suggested that any follow-up correspondences to the President should affirm that this is the sort of conversation in which the Senate Council members wished to engage the President. The Chair agreed, noting that the Senate Council members should consider future conversational topics with which to engage the President.

Kennedy spoke in favor of the motion, but added that the Senate Council should not bypass his offer of future meetings, noting that keeping the President close to the Senate Council was crucial in keeping him close to the faculty.

Dembo also spoke in favor of the motion. He added that it was the first instance in which he could recall the President verbalizing his distrust of the faculty. He hoped that by placing that issue on the table it could begin to be addressed in a productive and positive way to help bridge the chasm.

Grabau noted the Lesnaw's motion was a step the Senate Council members could take to encourage the President to trust them. He expressed concern at the lack of trust in something so simple as recommending names for key committees, but hoped that more frequent and regular meetings with the President would present further opportunities for the Senate Council members to gain his trust.

After further discussion the motion to withdraw the proposed resolution passed without dissent. Lesnaw suggested that the Chair should report to the Senate that the President had met with the Senate Council and had begun a dialogue regarding shared governance. Grossman noted that the willingness of the President to compromise should be mentioned as well. Lesnaw added that the Chair should write a letter to the President in which he expressed thanks for the President's willingness to meet with the Senate Council during this and future meetings and to inform him that the resolution had been withdrawn.

There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 5:15.

Respectfully submitted by
Ernie Yanarella, Chair

Members present: Cibull, Dembo, Duke, Grabau, Grossman, Jones, Kaalund, Kennedy, Lesnaw, Tagavi, Thelin, Yanarella.

Liaison present: Saunier.

Guests present: Beal, Todd.

Prepared by Rebecca Scott on April 26, 2005.