Oct. 9, 2002

Officers attending: Pam Chambers, President; Cindy Beckett, Vice President; Fred Thomas, Secretary

Senators attending: Jim Brooks, Susan Callender, Frank Clay, Roxann DeLaet, Kenneth Melendez, Jackie Myers, Nick Reeder, Shari Rethman, Vann Rogers, Ellen Rosengarten, Marsha Wamsley

Not attending: Rick Jurus

Others attending: Laurel Mayer, Laura Mercer

Pam called the meeting to order at 2:30 in room 6142.

1.      Minutes from Oct. 2nd

Ellen moved to approve the minutes for Oct. 2, 2002 with one spelling correction. The motion passed.

2.      Room scheduling and space utilization (Laura Mercer)

Pam introduced Laura Mercer, who described a major College effort to improve the effectiveness of the system that Sinclair now uses to schedule rooms. The current system is very labor intensive, with requests and assignments generally made manually. Only about 30% of courses are currently assigned rooms using the computer program, Schedule 25, and there is little provision to consider specific characteristics of the rooms needed. Currently at Sinclair, classrooms appear to be used about 50% of the time and labs about 30% of the time, although accurate data is not always available. Many other colleges are worse, but Sinclair's growing enrollments makes it very important to increase utilization.

The College is committed to making major improvements. Rooms will be identified in categories (e.g., art rooms or drafting rooms) and also with specific information about the resources available in each room. Scheduling will be done primarily through the Registration office, but with much more precision in matching rooms to class needs. When departments need to add sections, they will be able to check on-line to identify rooms that meet (or come close to meeting) the location, resource and other characteristics needed. The system will also be linked directly to Colleague, so rooms assigned to cancelled sections will be available immediately for reassignment.

Frank asked about security, citing an example in which students from another department had modified the computers in a lab. Laura replied that the expanded use of computer images should help solve that type of problem. Frank also asked about fixed equipment in labs and about the need to schedule set-up and maintenance time. Laura replied that the College would work with departments to deal with particular equipment issues (for example, by providing locked cases to protect certain items) and that set-up and maintenance time can be included in the room schedules.

Shari said that many labs provide very specific computer software, limited by the software licenses. Laura said that the system could include information about things such as software that make the room unique.

Ken commented that it is important to view the room scheduling in terms of improving student and faculty access to rooms, not just in terms of utilization. He also said that CIS classes often need access to computer operating systems, so the processes that make the computers safe from undesired changes may also make them unusable for CIS.

Cindy asked about the possibility of increased problems in providing keys to faculty if there is more cross-departmental use of rooms. Laura replied that one possibility is to use Tartan cards as keys.

Ellen said it is important to consider faculty schedules in assigning rooms, so the faculty member is not required to walk across campus in ten minutes. Laura said that the system should be able to address that issue.

Susan and Jackie asked how information about the new system will be disseminated and to whom. Most faculty are not directly involved in requesting room assignments. Laura and Cindy replied that department chairs will be most directly affected and they have already been involved in the discussion. Laura and other project members have been giving many presentations, and the project web site provides a great deal of additional information.

Laura and Cindy said one of the most difficult challenges is that scheduling for many rooms is now "controlled" by specific departments. A major goal of this project is to make more of those rooms available for use by classes from other departments.

Laura asked Senators and other faculty to review the materials about the project on the Sinclair intranet at http://ourold.sinclair.edu/sites/spacemgt/index.htm and particularly to examine and comment on the "Work for Review." Laura also asked that faculty contact her with additional concerns or ideas. The goal of the project is to make the system work better for the benefit of everyone. Implementation is planned for Fall 2003, scheduling for which begins in Winter.

3.      Reports:

3.1.           Presidential Search Committee

Pam and Cindy reported that the Search Committee met for the first time on Friday, Oct. 4. It is chaired by Jerry Tatar (Chair of the Board of Trustees) and other members are Marva Cosby (Vice Chair of the Board of Trustee), Jennifer Day (Staff Senate President), Janet Jones (Director, Human Resources), Russ Little (Manager, Web Systems), Jeff Boudouris (Director, Budget & Analysis), Shelly Akpan (President, Student Government), and Steve Cornelius (Department Chairs Council). Faculty representatives are Pam Chambers, Cindy Beckett, and Al Giambrone. The group includes three African-Americans and a majority of the Committee is female. David Ponitz is serving as consultant to the Committee. Since retiring as Sinclair's President, Dr. Ponitz has worked with community colleges around the nation on about 50 presidential searches.

The Committee is charged to work as an advisory group to the Board of Trustees, helping to conduct the national search and to narrow the field of candidates. The Committee members will share information with Senate about the processes followed by the Committee, but much of their work will be confidential.

3.2.           Board of Trustees meeting

Pam reported that the Board met Oct. 1st. Major agenda items included the retirement of President Sifferlen, approval of the new Intellectual Property policy, the pending Distance Learning policies, and a recent survey on student engagement in the learning process.

3.3.           Status report on the FITs survey

Pam reported that Ned Young expects to complete the analysis of the faculty survey within one or two weeks. The faculty members of the FITs team will meet as soon as the preliminary analysis is complete to discuss next steps. The team is very aware of the need to keep faculty and Senators informed about progress.

4.      Discussion of the effective date for Handbook changes

Pam and Cindy distributed copies of the Forward to the Faculty Handbook and reminded Senators that changes can now only be implemented (with rare exceptions) on Sept. 1. Vann asked about a situation in which faculty in one division are being given the option of using either the Performance Review forms in the current Handbook or of using an alternative form which has not received College-wide approval.

Since the Senate meeting room was needed for another meeting, Cindy proposed that Senators come prepared to continue the discussion by identifying pros and cons for more flexibility in the implementation date.

5.      Membership and tasks for the Personnel Committee


6.      Schedule for future Senate meetings


7.      Open Forum


The meeting adjourned at 3:57.

Submitted by Fred Thomas

Approved by Senate, Oct. 16, 2002