FACULTY SENATE MINUTES

Nov. 5, 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/Officers not attending: none

Others attending: Bill LeJeune, Laurel Mayer, Tony Ponder, Barb Wallace, Ned Young

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

1.      Announcements

None.

2.      Minutes from October 22, 2003

Frank moved that the minutes be approved as distributed. The motion passed.

3.      Diversity Committee Report

Jim explained that he is not a member of the Diversity Committee but had been invited to join with that committee and others interested in diversity issues when the group met in a retreat with Sinclair’s senior leadership on Sept. 25th. He said the discussion at the retreat identified several successes and strengths related to diversity at Sinclair, particularly in the many opportunities that are being provided for students. The discussion also identified possible areas for improvement, including the need for better communication and the need to engage more students in diversity-related activities. Jim emphasized that the Diversity Committee is also concerned with faculty and staff issues, but the primary emphasis of the discussion at the retreat was on activities that directly involve students. Jim has been invited to a follow-up meeting on Tuesday, November 18th, where results from the retreat and “next steps” will be discussed.

Pam added her compliments to the Diversity Committee and to Student Services for their efforts in promoting positive interactions and learning experiences for the entire Sinclair community. Fred, Pam, Jim and others expressed their desire to see increased communication and coordination between Faculty Senate and the Diversity Committee.

4.      Sinclair Spam

Ken expressed concern that too much email is being distributed internally at Sinclair using the “zzz” distribution lists. Some of the information distributed is only of interest to a much smaller group and some includes very large attachments that rapidly fill mailboxes.

Cindy asked if there is or should be a policy that requires advanced approval to use the “zzz” distribution lists. Several Senators expressed the opinion that use of the lists should be more restricted, but there was also concern that no one person should control all of the messages.

Nick, Shari, Laurel and others suggested that much of the material now being distributed through the “zzz” lists would be more appropriate for the President’s Bulletin. Unfortunately, the current format for the President’s Bulletin makes it inconvenient to read, and Bulletin seems to have lost much of its effectiveness as a way to disseminate information. Several Senators suggested that the best way to limit use of the “zzz” email lists is to provide better alternative ways to distribute announcements. Pam and Cindy will continue discussion of the topic with the administration.

5.      FITS

Pam welcomed Ned, Tony and Barb to the meeting, and Ned led a discussion about the current activities and plans of the FITS team. He reviewed the results of the 2003 Faculty Compensation Survey (attachment FSMA20031105-05A), which he had distributed earlier. He noted that there continue to be important gaps between faculty’s ratings of importance and their ratings of satisfaction, although the gaps have generally decreased since last year’s survey. Areas in which there are major gaps continue to include health care and summer and overload pay. Barb noted that faculty completed the 2003 survey before September 15th, so they had not yet seen the full impact of the 2003-4 increases on their pay.

Ned emphasized that it was very helpful during the last FITS discussions for faculty to go in with clear ideas about where they wanted to focus the discussion. Since the current FITS agreement covers two years (2003-4 and 2004-5), the next opportunity for a major new focus will be in the 2005-6 discussion. The FITS team is already planning for that discussion. Possible priorities for 2005-6 and beyond include adjustments to the starting salaries and salary ranges, possible incorporation of distance learning compensation into the FITS process, possible retirement incentives with purchase of service credit, and gap items from the faculty survey.

There was a wide ranging and enthusiastic discussion among Senators and faculty members of the FITS team, based on the ratings and comments provided in the Faculty Compensation Survey. The group explored retirement incentives, health care, the comparison of Sinclair salaries to national benchmarks, the merit system, closure for full professors, parity, distance learning compensation and other issues related to FITS. Distance learning compensation and parity emerged as two issues that need to be pursued actively in the near future, without waiting for the end of the current two-year agreement. A consultant could be helpful in identifying the specific parity issues that need to be addressed.

6.      Senate Meeting Schedule for the Remainder of Fall Quarter

Pam reminded Senators that Nov. 12th had been included as a tentative Senate meeting, depending upon the issues that needed attention. After discussion, the Senate decided that it would not be necessary for the full Senate to meet on that date. Instead, Pam encouraged Senators to participate in a joint meeting of the Senate’s Resource and Personnel Committees.

7.      Rock Priorities

Deferred to Nov. 19th.

8.      Open Forum

8.1.           Jackie reported that some faculty are unsure about apparent changes to the process for banking hours. As described in the Faculty Handbook, requests to bank hours are to be submitted directly to the office of the Vice President for Instruction, but recent instructions seem to suggest that the request must first be approved by department chairs. Some faculty also feel there may have been a change that now prevents them from banking CWW and other hours which are excluded from the new 22-hour limit. Pam and Cindy agreed to seek clarification of these policies.

8.2.           Pam reported that the Monitoring Task Force has not yet met, although Senate officers have met with Vice President Jacobs.

 

The meeting adjourned at 4:22.

Submitted by Fred Thomas

Approved by Senate, Nov. 19, 2003