May 8, 2002

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

Senators attending: Cindy Beckett, Susan Callender, Forrest Cope, George Hageman, Rick Jurus, Kenneth Melendez, Bob Reas, Vann Rogers, Ellen Rosengarten, Mike Smith

Not attending: Frank Clay, Roxann DeLaet,

Others attending: Barry Grady, Laurel Mayer, Gary Tucker

Russ called the meeting to order at 2:37 in room 6142.

1.      Minutes from May 1, 2002

Cindy moved to approve the minutes. The motion passed.

2.      Academic Policies -- Approval and Suggestions

Pam explained that there have been questions about the proposed grammatical changes as they relate to copyright, since the proposed intellectual property policy is still under review by Sinclair's attorney. The matter was tabled until the next Senate meeting.

3.      ACF / Monitoring Task Force meeting, June 3, 2002

Russ announced that the Monitoring Task Force (Dr. Sifferlen, Dr. Johnson, Dr. Jacobs, Russ and Pam) will meet with ACFs at 10 am in the Forum of Building 14 on June 3. Cindy said that she had been asked about the nature of Monitoring Task Force and about the purpose of the meeting. Russ will send e-mail to ACFs with more information. He also asked Senators to work with chairpersons in communicating with ACFs about this meeting.

4.      Faculty Ratio Update

Pam reported that the Faculty Ratio Committee met Monday, May 6. The Committee's first priority is to address issues related to the planned elimination of all Special Adjunct positions by the Fall of 2003, or at least by the Fall of 2004.

Laurel expressed concern about the process of replacing the Special Adjuncts, particularly in departments where they now do much of the teaching. Russ made it clear that the Special Adjunct positions are unlikely to be converted to ACFs since there is currently a limit of 80 ACFs. Barry asked if there is any written policy regarding the conversion of positions, and Russ replied that there is not.

5.      Committee reports by Senate members regarding the status of committees on which they serve

Pam emphasized the need for improved communications among different groups at Sinclair, and began the process of reporting to Senate on some of the Committees on which she serves. Vanguard continues to be active and one of its important activities is to solicit and identify best practices that can be recognized and disseminated more widely at Sinclair. The Fall Faculty Development Day planning group has selected assessment as the theme, and faculty will select either two short sessions or one longer session in the morning, followed by departmental programs in the afternoon. The Individual Learning Plan Committee is working on a plan to provide appropriate guidance to students, recognizing that some need more guidance than others do.

Pam also reported that she has met recently with Dr. Jacobs to talk about ways of promoting accurate communications. She also met with Jim Johnson and Jim Brooks, past-presidents of Senate, to discuss their views on Senate's achievements and its unfinished business. She will distribute notes from that meeting later, as part of the process of developing a strategic plan for Senate. Russ supported the plan to document Senate's achievements, such as the Intellectual Property policy, and to move forward in resolving additional issues.

Ellen reported on the Facilities Committee, including the plan to convert the current teleports to classroom use and integrate their function with the Learning Resources Center. Several faculty have expressed serious concern that the change may lead to the elimination of up to 50% of Sinclair's current collection of hard-copy books and other materials.

Forrest suggested that there have been several past initiatives, such as Dynacom and the Transformations program, which could have been more successful if there had been more faculty input during the planning stage. Cindy said that in many cases, including the proposed changes to the LRC, department chairs generally have had the opportunity to provide substantial input. She suggested that the requests for input that now go to chairs should also be sent to Faculty Senate officers. Susan and Ellen supported Cindy's suggestion, emphasizing the need for multiple channels of communication.

Barry commented that the communication problem is especially difficult for ACFs, and mentioned the question of whether or not they are required to participate in Commencement as an example.

Mike suggested that a Senate newsletter might improve communications. He also suggested that Senate identify the Sinclair committees that do not include a Senate member and ask faculty on those committees to provide reports to Senate.

6.      Elections 

Pam reported that she has received nominations for the three collegewide Senate positions now up for election, Vice President, Secretary and Representative to President's Council. Additional nominations can be up to the time of the election. There will be at least one Faculty Assembly meeting this quarter, focused on FITs and the proposed Constitutional amendments. Elections will be held at that time. Dr. Johnson will be in India for ten days, which may delay completion of the FITs discussion and the Assembly meeting to report on FITs.

7.      Open Forum

7.1.           Russ will distribute the Distance Education policy again to Senators, and it will be included as an agenda item at the next meeting. Ken and Laurel mentioned compensation and the timing of communications with students as issues that need further discussion. Pam noted that faculty members with experience in distance education were actively involved in developing the policy.

7.2.           George asked about the deadline for approving Handbook changes. Pam replied that the Board of Trustees must approve changes at its June meeting in order to take effect for next year.

7.3.           Forrest asked about the status of the training and development package developed in cooperation with Eduprise. Russ replied that it is tentatively scheduled as a topic for the next Monitoring Task Force meeting.

7.4.           Forrest suggested that Sinclair consider publishing a newsletter to keep retirees informed about events at Sinclair.

7.5.           Vann described a situation in which a Personal Service Agreement for a faculty member was apparently changed to decrease the compensation without the person's knowledge. Russ will discuss the matter with the VPI or Provost.

7.6.           Russ described a situation in which a faculty member was denied tuition benefits for a non-custodial child, since the child is not a dependent for income tax purposes. This will be clarified, with Senate to recommend a change if necessary.

7.7.           Fred distributed a report on the 26 AAUP Category III institutions in Ohio.

The meeting adjourned at 3:48.

Submitted by Fred Thomas

Approved by Senate, May 22, 2002