Senate Council Minutes - August 2, 2004
The Senate Council met on Monday, August 2, 2004 at 3:00 pm in the Keeneland Room of the W.T. Young Library and took the following actions.
1. IRIS Project update from Phyllis Nash
Since a quorum was not present, Cibull suggested hearing Nash's IRIS update first. The Chair thanked Nash for attending and yielded the floor. Nash provided information regarding how the IRIS system would impact students, discussed the upcoming "blueprinting phase" of the project during which numerous workshops will be held, and expressed how strongly the campus management team (including Financial Aid, Student Billing Services, the Registrar's Office, etc. had endorsed SAP as the vendor of choice. Nash provided handouts to the Senate Council members, copies of which are available through the Senate Council office.
Kennedy asked if medical center billing would be affected by the IRIS project. Nash replied that KMSF may decide to join the project later, though an inventory piece was included for use in the hospital. Nash emphasized the need for end-user training as well as training for the IRIS staff themselves.
Nash related some concern among staff that the implementation of the new system may result in staff downsizing. Nash assured the Senate Council members that the critical thinking skills of staff will be crucial if IRIS is to succeed. Nash went on to outline the responsibilities of SAP versus the responsibilities of various subcontractors and the IRIS team itself.
Nash underscored the need for faculty involvement throughout the project, particularly in the upcoming blueprinting phase during which various workshops will be held around campus. Nash expressed hope that the faculty will be willing to participate in the workshops, lending their expertise to help design the finished product. Nash provided a tentative timeline for the various phases of development and production. She estimated that another twelve to eighteen months would take place before the first phase of the product was ready for end-user training.
Staben asked how the University will avoid developing shadow systems during the different phases of product roll-out. Nash said that interfaces will be written to help avoid shadow systems, noting that parts of the system that rely heavily on eachother will be rolled out around the same time.
Tagavi asked if the graduation agreement could be served by IRIS. Nash replied that the graduation agreement could be accommodated by a later phase of the IRIS project. Greissman noted that the initial phase did not contain a degree audit system, but that once a degree audit system was in place the graduation agreement could easily be integrated.
Cibull asked if the course management portion of the system would help determine class size or predict how many sections per course would be needed. Nash replied that particular information would be decided in advance. Staben expressed frustration that course planning was of major concern to faculty, many of whom felt that not enough communication regarding course and section planning took place between colleges or even between departments within the same college. Staben added that this lack of communication often resulted in students not being able to take the courses they needed due to scheduling conflicts. Nash offered to research the question and provide an answer.
Staben also asked if the new system would include an equivalency calculator for transfer students. Nash offered to investigate this issue as well. Nash reiterated the need for intensive faculty involvement during the blueprinting phase, during which answering questions like these will be instrumental in shaping the finished product. Cibull suggested Nash send a list to the Senate Council office of the type of faculty she will need to complete the blueprinting phase. Ms. Scott will contact Michelle Nordin, functional lead for this portion of the IRIS project, to obtain information regarding the upcoming workshops.
Kennedy suggested developing a master student schedule. He said that schedules were determined a year in advance and students were made to fit the schedule. Kennedy suggested allowing the students to set the schedule and then organizing the University's resources to accommodate the students.
Cibull suggested the IRIS project coordinators involve the staff of the University who do the day-to-day data entry in the various systems. Staben said the staff, budget officers, administrators from sponsored projects, etc... would be heavily utilized during the blueprinting phase. Nash agreed, but noted that faculty involvement will be crucial to the success of the new system.
Tagavi asked if he will be able to generate e-mail lists for his class rosters from the electronic class rosters generated by the new system. Nash replied that class rolls and grade reporting would be available electronically in the new system, but said she was unsure about the creation of e-mail lists or listservs.
Cibull asked if the IRIS project was on budget. Nash replied that her job was to make sure the project came in on-time and on-budget. Nash said the project was currently meeting its expected budget.
Jones asked how faculty distribution of effort procedures (DOE) would be affected by the new system. Staben replied that not enough is currently known about Tennessee's adaptation of the Faculty Effort System (FES) to adequately answer that question. Nash added that software could not turn bad managers into good ones.
Ms. Scott asked if the IRIS project would support a new course and program application component. Nash replied that the first phase would not support that sort of system, but added that future phases might. The Chair thanked Nash for providing an update and Nash departed.
Thanks to the arrival of Staben and Duke during Nash's presentation, a quorum was present. Tagavi requested that information regarding Watt's statements about suggesting the Senate begin operating on a 12-month schedule be included in the minutes. Cibull challenged the suggestion that Watt had made such a statement. At the request of Cibull, Ms. Scott will review the audio tape of the meeting and will provide a transcribed version of what Watt actually said during the last meeting. The approval of the minutes will be postponed until the approved transcribed quotation can be included in the minutes.
3. Proposed reorganization of the Graduate Center for Toxicology
The Chair noted that an attempt had been made to expedite this issue. He thanked the Academic Organization and Structure Committee (DOC) as well as the Academic Council of the Medical Center (PDf) for moving expeditiously to review the proposal. Jones said that Vore had indicated her strong preference for a September 1 effective date, noting that an October 1 effective date, for instance, would be problematic for a variety of reasons. When Tagavi asked him to elaborate on those reasons, Jones replied that faculty members who were planning to submit grants for October 1 deadlines were uncertain as to which college or department the grants should be submitted. He added that promotions and appointments would be delayed until the issue of college would be decided. Jones concluded by saying that some student recruitment efforts would be hindered by a delay in effective date.
Cibull asked if Jones suggested acting on behalf of the Senate. Jones said he suggested the Senate make its approval effective September 1.
Tagavi made a motion to send the proposal to the Senate with a positive recommendation, to be heard at the September 13 Senate meeting, with an effective date of transfer of September 1. Staben seconded the motion.
Dembo asked if any significant transfer could occur between now and the September 13 meeting. Jones indicated that the approval of the motion would allow Vore and Watt to begin the process. Dembo questioned the practice of promoting a department affiliation that does not yet exist. Jones replied that no packaging would be put in place until the Senate renders its recommendation to the Board. Staben asked if there would be negative consequences if the Senate did not adopt the Senate Council recommendation. Cibull noted that since the Senate acts in an advisory capacity to the Board, the Board could still approve the transfer even if the Senate did not.
Duke asked if any time had been saved in expediting the proposal. Cibull estimated that approximately a month or more had been shaved from the usual processing time. Duke suggested that it may be wise to act on behalf of the Senate, if moving expeditiously was still of value. The Chair noted that if the Graduate Center for Toxicology found the motion to be acceptable then the Senate Council members may be hard-pressed to justify acting on behalf of the Senate.
After further discussion the motion passed without dissent.
4. University Senate committee approval
The proposed committees were approved with the following changes:
The Chair will ask Don Gross to serve as a non-senator on the Academic Organization and Structure Committee.
Tagavi asked why Hahn was not eligible to serve on the Academic planning and Priorities Committee. Ms. Scott replied that only full-time faculty members were eligible to serve as Senators. Tagavi noted that during the phased retirement discussions a GR had been promulgated that contained anti-discrimination language. He said that a specific Senate Rule had been passed that made phased retirement faculty eligible to vote for Senators but not to serve on the Senate. Ms. Scott recalled no such rule, but will investigate.
Staben requested to strike DeSimone from the Institutional Finance and Resource Allocation committee. Dembo asked if that committee will continue to meet with the Staff Senate committee of the same name. Staben replied that for now it was advantageous to do so.
The Chair said he would like to retain Ferrier as co-chair of the Admissions and Academic Standards committee. Tagavi said that co-chairs were not permissible since it was not allowed for in the Senate Rules. Cibull noted that there was no rule against it. The Chair suggested that Braun serve as committee Chair with Ferrier as co-chair at the pleasure of the Chair. The Senate Council members expressed agreement.
Dembo suggested that it was wise to retain a faculty member from LCC on the USP committee.
With the above-mentioned additions and changes, the committee assignments were approved without dissent.
Jones requested an update from the Chair regarding the activities of the Senate Advisory Committee on Privilege and Tenure. The Chair reported that Tom Getchell was appointed Chair of the committee and that he would meet with him later in the week to answer some questions. He reported his recent conversation with Kris Hobson in the Provost's office regarding the need for additional committee names and said he would send an e-mail to the Senate Council to solicit the additional names.
Tagavi asked if the faculty member who had a grievance had been assisted as of yet. The Chair replied he has not, but that he had contacted the faculty member in question to let him know his case should go before the P& T committee.
In other business, Dembo asked if all of the seats on the various Councils of the Senate had the necessary Senate Council representation. Ms. Scott replied that Debski serves on the Academic Council of the Medical Center, the Chair serves on the Graduate Council and Grabau serves on the Undergraduate Council.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:10 pm.
Respectfully submitted by
Ernie Yanarella, Chair
Members present: Cibull, Dembo, Duke, Jones, Kennedy, Staben, Tagavi, Yanarella.
Guests present: Greissman, Nash.
Prepared by Rebecca Scott on August 4, 2004