October 24, 2001

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

Senators attending: Cindy Beckett, Frank Clay, George Hageman, Rick Jurus, Kenneth Melendez, Bob Reas, Ellen Rosengarten, Karen Winston

Not attending: Susan Callender, Forrest Cope, Roxann DeLaet, Mike Smith

Others attending: Karen Blake, Laurel Mayer, Gary Tucker

Russ called the meeting to order at 2:35 in room 6142

1.      Minutes from Oct. 17, 2001

Cindy moved to approve the minutes as distributed, and Frank seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

2.      Legal opinion regarding FITs meetings (continued from Oct. 10 & 17)

Russ distributed a letter from Sinclair's attorney, Janet Cooper, detailing her opinion that FITs meetings are exempt from the Open Meetings Act. The opinion is based on the fact that the Board of Trustees is the decision-making body for Sinclair Community College and the Board has not delegated its decision-making authority with regard to salary and benefits to either the FITs team or the Sinclair Administration. Since FITs meetings do not involve a "decision-making body," there is no requirement that they be open to the public.

3.      Faculty Workload: Quick Faculty Survey

Russ distributed a draft "Quick Tenure-Track Faculty Survey," on workload prepared in cooperation with Joan Patten of IPR. He suggested that an additional choice be added to question 3, to determine if faculty teach overload because courses in their department do not easily add up to 15 payhours.

Ken suggested that choice e, "Prefer overload to increased class sizes," be deleted.

Laurel recommended that the instructions emphasize that workload includes work done at home, grading homework, etc.

Cindy suggested that "Administrative responsibilities" be added as an additional choice under item 2. Fred asked whether or not it was desirable to ask respondents to identify their administrative reassigned hours to help interpret responses. The group agreed that the point of the survey was to measure total workload, regardless of reassigned time.

Laurel also suggested an additional question be added to determine why people who don't teach overload make that choice. Choices for an additional item on this point could include "pay," "other responsibilities," "outside employment" and "other."

Russ will continue to work with IPR and bring a revised draft back to Senate.

General discussion followed about overload, with Senators mentioning 2 cases of faculty teaching over 30 payhours this quarter and another who is teaching 45 payhours. The faculty member teaching 45 hours had emphasized to the Senator that the overload was accepted willingly, not as a result of inappropriate pressure. Other Senators expressed concern that such heavy loads could impact the quality of teaching.

Ken expressed his concern that some faculty seem to believe that very large teaching loads are less serious with web courses, whereas the web courses often involve more work per payhour than do classroom courses.

4.      Resolution regarding late registration (continued from Oct. 17)

Karen Winston reported that she had discussed the proposed resolution with Department Chairs Council and with faculty, and there was some disagreement. Generally, faculty seemed to want the existing late registration policy to be strictly enforced, while chairs wanted discretion in enforcing the policy.

Gary said DCC wanted to support the policy, but also wanted freedom to deal with late registrations on a case-by-case basis, considering such issues as registration purges.

Much of the discussion focused on possible alternative procedures. One question was whether or not faculty should sign to approve late registrations. That can be difficult in the case of part-time faculty who may only be on campus once a week. Another option may be to shift late registration to the two days prior to the start of classes, rather than the first two days of classes.

Senators noted that the problem of students missing the first part of the course also occurs with students who are properly registered but do not attend until later. Late registering students may cause more difficulty for faculty, however, since they may feel they have a right to insist that faculty repeat the missed material. There may be an advantage in making students go through some hoops before they are allowed to register late.

Karen Blake will take the issue back to Counselor's Council for additional discussion and report back to Senate.

5.      Review of Consultant Visits to Instructional Division (continued from Oct. 17)

Russ referred to the report on Consultant Visits to the Instruction Division, distributed Oct. 17. He stated that several items mentioned in the report are in process, but others are not. He suggested that the document could provide a basis for Senate to become more proactive.

Cindy asked about the origin of the visits, and Pam explained that they were commissioned by the Provost and the visits included input from Senate officers.

Russ identified issues raised by the report where Senate might be more actively involved as including abandonment and space utilization, especially problems with insufficient faculty offices. Ellen and Cindy serve on College committees that deal with space issues and Russ has now been invited to participate on the Five-year Master Plan Committee. Russ emphasized that faculty input on issues of this type must be provided early in the budget procedure.

The discussion continued seamlessly into the next agenda item.

6.      Senate Operating Procedures and Priorities

There was a broad and open discussion about Senate priorities, including several “off-the-record” comments.

Several Senators agreed that there is a need to integrate Senate priorities more closely with the Learning College and Vanguard initiatives. Workload issues, for example, are tightly linked with statements by most experts that interactive learning environments (whether on the web or in a classroom) require relatively low student-teacher ratios.

Retrenchment was mentioned as an issue that remained on the Monitoring Task Force matrix for ten or more years, then was removed with no real resolution. Some other items on the matrix deal directly with student learning, but others may be primarily of interest to limited groups at Sinclair.

Senate decided to devote its next meeting to learning about Vanguard.

7.      Open Forum

7.1 Senate will not meet Oct. 31, 2001. The next meeting will be Nov. 7.

7.2 The new Allied Health representative to the Personnel Committee will be Sue Raffee. Russ clarified that ACFs are eligible to serve on the Committee.

7.3 Ellen asked Senators and other faculty to participate in a fund-raising campaign for Nu Pi, the Sinclair chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. Katie, the Highlander Cow will be on display at Young’s Jersey Dairy until Nov. 10. Donations to help bring Katie back to Sinclair can be made at the Phi Theta Kappa office in 8025 or the Sociology Department office in 12-351.

7.4 Cindy invited Senators and other faculty to have their lungs tested on Oct. 25th.

7.5 The next Senate meeting will be for 2 hours (2:30 to 4:30) on Nov. 7. The Health Care team will report first, then Senate will devote 1.5 hours to learning about Vanguard.

The meeting adjourned at 4:10.

Submitted by Fred Thomas

Approved by Senate Nov. 7, 2001