FACULTY SENATE MINUTES

Sept. 22, 2004

Officers attending: Cindy Beckett, President; Jackie Myers, Vice President; Fred Thomas, Secretary

Senators attending: Derek Allen, James Brooks, Susan Callender, Frank Clay, Myra Grinner, Ryan Murphy, Amanda Romero, Ellen Rosengarten, Marti Shapiro, Tom Singer, Charles C. Williams, Marsha Wamsley

Others attending: Victoria Burchfield, Dona Fletcher, Douglas Kaylor, Bill LeJeune, Laurel Mayer, Thomas Messinger, Alan Scherr

 Cindy called the meeting to order at 2:33 in Room 6142

1.      Introductions

Cindy welcomed the new and returning Senators. Each person present introduced herself or himself.

2.      Minutes

Ellen moved that the minutes from June 2, 2004 be approved with 2 minor corrections suggested by Jim. The motion passed.

3.      Operational issues of Senate meetings

Cindy recognized Derek, who distributed a summary of Robert’s Rules of Order from www.robertsrules.org. Cindy explained her intention to conduct Senate meetings in accordance with Robert’s Rules, for example, in asking that there be a motion and a second prior to discussion of a topic. The goal is to insure that Senate meetings are as effective and as efficient as possible.

4.      Distribution of Faculty Handbook and other materials

Cindy distributed notebooks containing printed copies of the 2004-05 Faculty Handbook to all Senators. The notebooks also contained contact information about the Senators and Senate Officers and a copy of the Matrix Faculty-Administration Issues. (The material is also available on the web through links at http://ourold.sinclair.edu/sites/fac_sen/.)

Cindy suggested that Senate develop an internal matrix to track action on issues considered by Faculty Senate. She and others identified the Fall Quarter schedule, test scanning procedures, faculty workload, and office hour policy as some of the issues that still need to be resolved. Cindy will coordinate with the heads of Department Chairpersons’ Council and Staff Senate with regard to this matrix.

Cindy explained that she will prepare and distribute the agenda for future Senate meetings. She asked Senators and others who have items for future agendas to contact her and to provide advanced electronic materials when possible.

Cindy emphasized her intention to keep Senate focused on making faculty lives better. She plans to conduct focus groups with groups of faculty, perhaps organized by division or building, to help identify issues and needs that extend beyond the concerns that are now included in the FITs discussions and the discussions about health care and other benefits. Jim suggested that the focus groups be linked with the internal matrix. Susan noted that it is important for the Senators to play an active role in the focus groups. Dona said the sessions should be kept open enough to ensure that new ideas could emerge.

Cindy, Ellen, Jim, Frank and others cited examples of faculty concerns that they had heard discussed, including issues related to professional development (e.g., that the faculty has grown but the number of available sabbaticals has not grown) and workload (e.g., continuing difficulties with the 66-hour limit).

5.      Discussion of Instructional Master Plan

Cindy led a brief discussion about the Instructional Master Plan, including ways in which it can be further developed and implemented as a valuable guide for faculty.

Cindy emphasized her intention to find a variety of ways to increase the engagement of faculty and to increase the pride that goes with being a Sinclair faculty member.

6.      LRC renovations

Cindy welcomed Doug Kaylor (new Director of the LRC), Tom Messinger (Director of Facilities Management), Alan Scherr (architect) and Victoria Burchfield (Administrative Secretary of the LRC). Doug gave an update on the planned LRC renovations, including a summary of the numerous ways in which faculty, staff and students have participated in the decision-making process. The current LRC space has not changed substantially in several decades. It needs physical modifications (such as better air flow), but the major need is to update the space to serve the changed information and learning environment of the 21st Century.

Some of the major changes to be included in phase one of the renovation include closing the current stairwell and building two new stairways with a central service point between them on the lower level. Some of the space on the upper gallery level will be recaptured to provide more exhibits, computers for student use, archives and new faculty offices. On the lower level, the garden will still be central but more open with a café at its center. Books will be more visible, there will be nine group study rooms, and computers (both desk-top and wireless laptops) will be more available. The area around the bell tower will become a developmental support center.

Amanda said that students have sometimes had difficulty obtaining current materials in the LRC and asked about plans for revising the LRC materials themselves. Doug replied that there are about 10,000 books that have been on the shelves for over ten years without ever circulating. The LRC staff has worked with the Nursing Department, for example, to remove unneeded materials and to add new items. Doug expects to work withall faculty in a similar way.

Jim asked about the capacity of the new facility, and Doug replied that it will be about 100,000 volumes.

Derek asked about the schedule for the renovations, and Doug replied that they expect to submit a design to the Board of Trustees soon. They hope that phase one will be completed by the end of 2005. Susan asked about plans for student use of the LRC during the renovations. Doug replied that there will be a minimal collection (12,000 to 14,000 volumes) and about 40 workstations available in a temporary LRC on the second floor of building 7.

Dona and Frank asked about the planned faculty offices. Doug and Tom replied that these will be walled offices, not cubicles, because of requirements of the space. This does not reflect a systematic change from cubicles back to walled offices. Ellen expressed concern that cubicles may not provide the privacy required under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) for faculty to talk with students. Tom replied that in cases where the need for privacy is clearly demonstrated walled offices will be provided; however, there is not sufficient space available to provide walled offices for all faculty.

Cindy asked about the plans for the space freed elsewhere by moving some activities to the renovated LRC. Tom answered that most of the discussion has emphasized the need for additional classrooms.

Marsha asked about signage and suggested that many students do not recognize the name, “LRC.” Doug agreed that these are important concerns and said that work is continuing about how best to address the issues.

Jim asked about the plans for an extended entrance to the LRC, perhaps connecting with the “gerbil run” from the main parking garage. Alan replied that this is still part of the master plan and might be built later, but it will not be part of the phase one renovations.

Cindy asked about the cost of phase one, and Tom replied that the Board of Trustees has approved $8,000,000 for both the physical project and other associated expenses.

Fred asked if the LRC plans might be impacted if Sinclair moves to a multi-campus system. Doug replied that there are many community colleges that run multiple library sites. At this point there have been discussions on the topic, but no specific plans have been developed. Initially the needs of students at other sites would be considered on a department-by-department basis. Fred also asked if there was an assessment plan to measure the success of the planned changes. Doug replied that an assessment plan will be developed.

Cindy, Frank and Ellen asked about bathrooms, sprinklers and handicapped access. There will be new bathrooms, sprinklers are not required since the building is concrete, and handicapped access via elevators will be improved.

Susan expressed her support for the innovative nature of the planned improvements. Alan expressed his appreciation for the important work done by the many people who have participated in designing the LRC renovations.

7.      Open Forum

7.1.           Cindy reported that she has asked the Delta Team for a master list of college-wide committees to assist in coordinating appointments and other participation of faculty.

7.2.           Ellen reported that she is continuing to coordinate the arrangements for a paver to recognize Pam Chamber’s work as President of Faculty Senate.

7.3.           Jim reported that he expects to publish an edition of the Faculty Forum this quarter. He asked Senators and others to contact him about their ideas for articles.

7.4.           Cindy reported that there is about $3700 in a Senate account, contributed in 1985 and intended for paying legal fees related to faculty issues. After brief discussion, Derek moved to table the discussion. Martha seconded the motion and the motion passed.

The meeting adjourned at 4:22.

Submitted by Fred Thomas

Approved by Senate, Oct. 6, 2004