Meeting Minutes: September 30, 1993


Chairman Hunvald called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m. in room S110 of the Memorial Union. Present were: Gary Allee, Hardeep Bhullar, Dale Blevins, Irv Cockriel, Vicki Conn, Jay Dix, Hildegarde Heymann, Jean Hamilton, Edward Hunvald, Brent Jones, Eugene Lane, John Miles, Kerby Miller, Loren Nikolai, Deborah Pearsall, Larry Penney, Glenn Pierce, Patricia Plummer, Michael Prewitt, Kit Salter, Don Sievert, Mary Ellen Sievert, Harry Tyrer, Betty Winfield, Don York, Warren Zahler, Roy Utz (Retirees), and Lonnie Echternacht represented Bob Birkenholz. Absent were: John Bauer, Dennis Sentilles, Mabel Grimes (Black Faculty and Staff), and Dean Schmidt (Library). Guests present: Ms. Bonnie Zelenak (Learning Center), Professor William Stringer (Food Science and Nutrition), Gary Smith (Registrar), and Rebecca Lambe (Student Curator).

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of September 16, 1993 were approved with minor revisions.

Report of Officers

Chairman Hunvald announced that the Fall General Faculty Meeting would be held Tuesday, November 9, at 3:40 p.m.. Chairman Hunvald determined that there were four members of Council still not using e-mail and urged them to use it. He also announced that at the next Council meeting Professor Allen Hahn and Mr. Ralph Caruso would be present to discuss computing and plans for the future.

Chairman Hunvald alluded to the problems arising from EPA investigations, and the possibility of the formation of a committee to look into the matter. It was suggested that Professor John David be invited to Council to talk about this committee; it was further suggested that the attorney, Mr. Bill Sessions, be involved.

Action Items

1995-96 Academic Calendar. The academic calendar for the 1995-96 was approved (Jones moved, Cockriel seconded) (see appendix I). Although there will be no campus-wide August or December commencement, nothing prevents individual divisions from holding their own ceremonies.

Discussion Items

Reporting Mid-Term Grades. It had been suggested that mid-term grades be reported to students, especially D's and F's. Ms. Zelenak thought that this might be too late in many cases, and preferred that such reporting take place after the fifth week. Professor Jones asked whether the major intent was for first-year students or for all undergraduates. There were objections that such early reporting would not be appropriate for all courses. It might better be restricted to courses numbered under 200. After general discussion, the matter Page 2 of the 9-30-93 Minutes of the Faculty Council was referred to the Academic Affairs Committee.

Reports of the Task Forces on Retention and Advisement. Ms. Zelenak presented the report of the Task Force on Retention, and Professor Stringer that of the Task Force on Advisement. (The executive summaries of these reports are attached as Appendices II and III. Complete texts are available from the respective chairmen or from the Provost's office.) In the following discussion Professor Plummer and others commented on the ill-preparedness of incoming students in spite of their high school rankings (Professor Miller observed that he had encountered a student who had never heard of the Civil War!).

Professor Bhullar and others mentioned the possibility of academic amnesty (i.e., not reporting a failing grade, but expecting the student to repeat the course), such as is done, e.g., at Earlham College. It was also observed that a lowering of student-faculty ratios might solve the whole problem.

Another topic broached was the desirability or lack thereof in having professors emeriti serving as advisors. They would certainly have the time for advising, as Professor Salter observed, but would students (so Professor Miller asked) respond favorably to persons so far removed from them in age? Would it constitute exploitation of a captive labor force? In response to a question by Professor Miles, Professor Stringer stated that only persons with the knack and desire for advising should serve as advisors. In regard to the incentives and rewards that faculty would have to engage in advising, there were comments to the effect that they seemed too idealistic (Professor Hamilton) in terms of economic commitment by the administration.

Provost Brouder spoke positively to the administration's resolve to make improvements in the matters of both retention and advisement. There remained, however, doubts that advisement would ever play a significant role in promotion and tenure considerations, or that a given faculty member would ever have a letter of appointment specifying that he had, e.g., 25 percent advising responsibilities. Ms. Lambe (student curator) wondered about the evaluation of advisors, and was assured that it would not pose a problem.

Professor Hunvald reminded Council that problems with the General Education Architecture remained. Professor Plummer observed that work was proceeding on the definition of courses to satisfy the Computer and Information Literacy and the Laboratory Experience requirements, and that progress had been made on defining the Mathematical Reasoning requirement. Professor Hunvald asked in what way Faculty Council should be involved in the process without duplicating the efforts of the Committee on Undergraduate Education. Professor Salter observed the costliness of the Sophomore Seminar and the fact that this requirement was likely to be postponed. Professor Plummer brought up the matter of whether a minor or second major might substitute for a cluster, and whether the matter of two clusters might be revisited.

Chairman Hunvald called on Professor Plummer to comment on the suggestion that it would be a good idea for the chairs of all campus-wide committees to provide an annual report for the benefit of their successors, and if there were any inactive members of these committees to let that fact be known.

Standing Committee Reports

Academic Affairs (Hildegarde Heymann)

No report.

Faculty Affairs (Jean Hamilton)

Professor Hamilton reported that her committee was working on the matter of grievance procedures.

Fiscal Affairs (John Miles)

Professor Miles reported that his committee was still working on the Resolution on Faculty Salary Budget Allocations (see page 2 of the August 26, 1993 Council minutes).

Special Projects (Dean Schmidt)

No report.

Students Affairs (Brent Jones)

Professor Jones reported that his committee intended to work closely with Vice Chancellor Schroeder on matters of Retention and Advisement.

Closed Session for Personnel Matters and Adjournment

After a brief closed session during which, however, no new committee appointments were made, the meeting was adjourned at 5:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Eugene N. Lane, Recorder