FACULTY SENATE MINUTES

Sept. 24th, 2003

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

Senators attending: Jim Brooks, Susan Callender, Frank Clay, Myra Grinner, Kenneth Melendez, Jackie Myers, Nick Reeder, Shari Rethman, Ellen Rosengarten, Marti Shapiro, Marsha Wamsley, Charles Williams

Senators not attending: none

Others attending: Laurel Mayer

Cindy called the meeting to order at 2:32 in Room 6142.

1.      Announcements

1.1.           Cindy welcomed the new and returning Senators, and each introduced herself or himself.

1.2.           Cindy distributed printed copies of the correct versions of sections 1.5, 1.6, 1.7 and 1.8 of the Faculty Handbook. These were to replace an outdated version that was inadvertently used in the Handbooks distributed to Senators during summer.

1.3.           Cindy distributed a proposed agenda template (attachment FSMA2003-09-24-01A) for use by Senators during Senate meetings. The template provides the agenda and work areas for action items and deadlines related to each agenda item. After brief discussion, Senate agreed to use the template in future meetings.

1.4.           Cindy reminded Senators about the Senate retreat scheduled for Friday morning, Sept. 26th and the joint meeting with Sinclair administrators scheduled for that Friday afternoon.

2.      Orientation to Faculty Senate

2.1.           Meeting Schedule -- Cindy led a discussion of the planned schedule of Senate meetings for the 2003-04 academic year. Unless specific issues call for additional meetings, Senate will meet on alternate Wednesdays during Fall and Winter quarters, with the Senate officers meeting on the Wednesdays when Senate does not meet. During Spring quarter, issues related to FITS and to updates for the Faculty Handbook will probably require weekly Senate meetings. When possible, Senators were asked to make suggestions about specific agenda items to the officers at least one week before each meeting.

2.2.           Recommendations / Resolutions – Cindy reviewed the procedures by which Senate can enact recommendations and resolutions. Resolutions deal with matters over which Senate has complete authority and can act without specific approval of other groups. Recommendations apply to cases (such as changes to the Faculty Handbook) in which the change must also be approved by other groups within Sinclair’s administration. Any member of Senate or any tenure-track faculty member may propose recommendations or resolutions. Non-senators are asked to submit proposed recommendations or resolutions to one of their division Senators. Blank forms for recommendations and resolutions will be emailed to Senators and placed on the Faculty Senate website.

Cindy explained the role of the “matrix,” which serves as a guide to Monitoring Task Force in dealing with pending issues. It also serves as a means by which Sinclair’s Board of Trustees can stay informed about progress on these issues. Monitoring Task Force now consists of Pam Chambers (Senate President), Cindy Beckett (President Elect), Jeanne Jacobs (Vice President for Instruction), and Steven Johnson (Sinclair President). The updated matrix is available on the intranet at http://ourold.sinclair.edu/sites/fac_sen/Recommendations/Matrix/Matrix.htm

2.3.           Responsibilities – Cindy reviewed the responsibilities of Senators, as outlined in a packet that Pam distributed earlier to all Senators. She emphasized the importance of Senators working to facilitate bi-directional communications with faculty in their divisions. She also emphasized the need for Senators to distinguish their personal opinions from the majority opinions of their constituents and from the decisions of Senate.

Cindy described some of the committees on which faculty and Senate need to be represented and asked Senators to submit recommendations of faculty who are willing and qualified for the committees.

Jim noted that Gordon Cowperthwaite has now retired after many years of serving as the editor of the Faculty Forum. Jim has agreed to serve as the new editor, and he asked that Senators encourage faculty to submit articles for the publication. In recent years, there have typically been only enough submissions to publish one issue per year. Jim hopes to return to publishing at least two issues per year. Cindy added her support to expanding and improving the Faculty Forum. Since it is distributed to all faculty, she suggested that ACFs and part-time faculty also be encouraged to submit articles.

2.4.           Handbook – Cindy briefly reviewed the Senate’s responsibilities with regard to changes to the Faculty Handbook. As President-Elect, she is responsible for overseeing that process. There are a number of changes that need to be made for next year, including several name changes (for example, what was “President’s Council” is now the “Sinclair Leadership Team.” Other changes that Senate is likely to consider this year include procedures for hiring ACFs and a proposal to include the policy on Acceptable Use of Information Technology in the Handbook. With rare exceptions, all changes must be submitted to the Board of Trustees by itsJune meeting in order to be implemented on Sept. 1st. Cindy distributed changes to the Assembly Constitution (attachment FSMA2003-09-24-02A) and Bylaws (attachment FSMA2003-09-24-02B) which were approved earlier in a vote by Faculty Assembly but have not yet been incorporated into the Handbook.

Fred promised that at the next Senate meeting he would provide each Senator with a CD that includes a Word version of the Handbook and also the minutes from Senate meetingsover the last two years. He said the format should make it easier for Senators to search and find information they want.

Nick asked which version of the Handbook (print, Word or the PDF file on the intranet) is actually the official one. Susan asked if new faculty received a print version of the Handbook, and Cindy replied that she understood they did.

3.      Minutes from June 4, 2003

Ken moved to approve the minutes as distributed. The motion passed.

4.      Set Agenda for Fall Meetings

Cindy identified several issues that should be expected to come before Senate soon, including Distance Learning compensation, Shari’s proposal to delete the reference to Special Adjuncts in section 2.4.5 of the Handbook (attachment FSMA2003-09-24-04A) and Ken’s proposal regarding procedures for promotion and tenure. She also said that Joe Tobias and Jeanne Lasko had asked to meet with Senate to discuss issues related to the cost of textbooks.

Shari moved that Senate invite Joe and Jeanne to participate in a Senate meeting, and Susan seconded. The motion passed.

All Senators joined in a discussion of possible other items for consideration during Fall quarter. Suggestions included possible fixed-term or rotational appointments for department chairs, inconsistency in policies that require some faculty to attend meetings outside normally contracted times (for example in early September, before Fall Conference), the FITS Fall Survey, the role of the new assistants to Sinclair’s President, Sinclair activities to promote diversity, ways of monitoring the impact of the new 66-hour limit on teaching, and possible procedures for dealing with cases in which Senators miss a large number of Senate meetings. Cindy encouraged Senators to send other ideas to the Senate officers.

Senators also discussed plans for a retreat to be held September 26th. The morning will be devoted to informal discussions among the Senators, aimed at bringing new Senators “up to speed” and at establishing future Senate priorities. In the afternoon, Senate will meet jointly with Sinclair’s senior administrators with much of the focus on “rocks”—significant, complex issues that impede progress for the College.

5.      Open Forum

5.1.           Shari briefly explained her proposal to delete the reference to Special Adjuncts from section 2.4.5 of the Faculty Handbook (attachment FSMA2003-09-24-04A). The current section could be interpreted as indicating that Special Adjuncts have priority over part-time faculty in the assignment of classes, whereas the intent is to use the Special Adjunct classification only in cases where part-time faculty are not available to teach the classes. Shari will coordinate the proposed change with DCC (Department Chairperson’s Council), and Senate will act on the proposal at its next meeting.

5.2.           Cindy said that she will email Senators a list of all full-time faculty.

5.3.           Charlie asked about the procedure by which Senators can express their interest in serving on specific committees or can suggest other faculty for those committees. Pam asked the Senators to send their suggestions to her.

The meeting adjourned at 3: 59.

Submitted by Fred Thomas

Approved by Senate, Oct. 8, 2003