October 17, 2001

Officers attending: Russ Marcks, President; Pam Chambers, Vice President;
Fred Thomas, Secretary

Senators attending: Cindy Beckett, Susan Callender, Frank Clay, Forrest Cope, Roxann DeLaet, Rick Jurus, Kenneth Melendez, Bob Reas, Ellen Rosengarten, Karen Winston

Not attending: George Hageman, Mike Smith,

Others attending: Karen Blake, Laurel Mayer, Gary Tucker, Steve Whiting

Russ called the meeting to order at 2:32 in Room 9207.

1.      Letter Requesting that FITs Meetings Be Open (continued from Oct. 10)

Russ reviewed the letter from Steve Whiting that was described at the meeting of Oct. 10. He reminded Senate that Steve Johnson had shared the opinion of Sinclairís attorney that Ohioís Sunshine Law does not apply to FITs meetings.

Cindy commented that there is a perception among some faculty that Senate does not provide enough information about FITs meetings or does not provide the information soon enough. She suggested faculty surveys as a way in which Senate can obtain information from faculty in advance of the FITs sessions.

Russ suggested that additional Assembly meeting focused exclusively on FITS may help improve communication. Also, Ned Young plans to do a faculty survey this quarter for the FITs team.

Forest commented that open FITs meetings might help to give faculty a better understanding of what is happening, but that it is difficult for faculty to understand the discussion if they only hear part of it.

Steve Whiting joined the meeting, and described his reasons for requesting that the meetings be open. He felt that faculty have not always been aware of what is being or has been negotiated. Many do not understand, for example, how salaries were set for this year. Faculty are often apathetic until the final stages of the processes, and then it may be too late. In August, he contacted Martin Susec, Chief Counsel with the Ohio Attorney Generalís office, and was told that Ohioís sunshine law applies to almost all meetings, and that Sinclairís FITs team meetings did not appear to fall within the 6 exemptions although a case of this type has never been tested in court. Steve said that he has not yet decided whether to pursue the matter legally, but asked that Senate provide him a written answer to his request.

Several Senators noted that Senate could open the FITs meetings (at least those which do not include administrators), but doubted that Senate is required to do so. Disadvantages of open meetings include possible leaks of strategy, as well as potential misunderstandings.

After further discussion, Cindy made a motion: Faculty Senate denies the request at this time to have FITs team meetings with administration open to anyone who would like to attend. Ellen seconded the motion. After further discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Additional discussion followed about ways of improving communication with faculty about FITs discussions. Cindy made a motion: Faculty Senate charges the FITs team prior to the end of Fall quarter to survey priorities of Faculty Assembly as to compensation issues, including fringe benefits. Frank seconded the motion. After further discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

There was additional discussion about ways in which information about FITs can be communicated more fully and more rapidly. One problem is that some information may be shared with faculty prematurely. Cindy emphasized the need to provide consistent information across the divisions. Ellen expressed the opinion that information needs to be distributed quickly, and that faculty can understand if it is described as an early report. Ken emphasized the need for Senators to receive timely updates themselves so they will be able to share the information with faculty.

Russ said that he has obtained financial statements from the administration and expects to receive the current statement in 30 to 60 days. The statements will be forwarded to the FITs team.

2.      Minutes from Oct. 3 and Oct. 10, 2001

The minutes of the two previous meetings were approved as distributed.

3.      Handbook Revisions (change of file names)

Russ distributed a recommendation, #RCF0102, to change file names associated with forms that are incorporated into the Faculty Handbook. Cindy moved to approve the changes. The motion passed unanimously.

4.      Review of Constitution and Bylaws

Russ indicated that there is a need to review the Faculty Assembly Constitution and Bylaws for errors, ambiguities or outdated sections. Fred expressed concern that the documents are not clear on the question of whether or not Senate officers (President, Vice-President and Secretary) can vote in Senate. In the past, some officers have voted, while others have felt that they did not have the right to vote.

Bob made a motion that the Constitution and Bylaws be reviewed in their entirety by the Personnel Committee, specifically to include membership in Faculty Assembly and voting rights of Senate officers. Frank seconded. Discussion included a possible timeline, with Russ noting that the changes would need to be completed by May in order to be included in the next revision of the Handbook. The motion passed unanimously.

Ken moved, Pending further clarification from the Personnel Committee, Senate interprets voting rights to include officers. The motion passed unanimously.

5.      Karen Blake Ė Late Registration

Karen described the concern of Counselorsí Council, that counselors are being directed by their deans to sign students into classes even after the classes have met several times. The counselorsí main concern is retention, since students who join the class late are less likely to succeed. Also, students who do enroll on time may be forced to waste time as the instructor accommodates late-registering students. The problems seem to be especially severe for web courses.

Roxann indicated that students testing out of DEV courses after the course begins are a common problem. Cindy expressed the hope the R16 will help reduce the number of incorrect registrations and decrease the problem.

Ellen, Ken and others expressed the opinion that the problems caused by late registration vary greatly, depending upon the particular course. Some courses can easily accommodate late registrations while others cannot.

Russ said that under current policy, students are not supposed to register after the class has met except with the Deanís signature. The problem is that the current policy is not enforced.

After further discussion, Karen Winston moved that Senate prepare a resolution to support the Counselorís Council request that the existing policy regarding late registration be enforced. Cindy seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously. Karen agreed to prepare the resolution for the next meeting.

6.      Review of Consultant Visits to Instructional Division

Russ distributed the report, and deferred discussion to the next Senate meeting

7.      Open Forum

7.1 †††H-drive access

Russ reported that he had learned from Ken Moore the College is instituting a procedure that will allow faculty to access their H-drives from off campus.

7.2 †††Health Care Team

Russ led a discussion about the benefits of asking faculty members of the Health Care Team to come to Senate. Senators supported the idea, and also requested a written report from the Health Care Team.

7.3 †††Personnel Committee

Russ asked that Senators continue their efforts to identify new members for the Personnel Committee where needed.

7.4 ††Time for setting Senate procedures

Cindy asked that the agenda for the next meeting include time to discuss Senate procedures.

7.5 †††Team on redistributing LRC space.

Cindy reported that her dean had invited her to serve on a team chaired by Jeanne Jacobs that is looking at possible restructuring of space in the LRC. She suggested that Senate might be asked to provide additional members.

The meeting adjourned at 4:07.

Submitted by Fred Thomas

Approved by Senate, Oct. 24, 2001