FACULTY SENATE MINUTES

May 22, 2002

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

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

Not attending: Frank Clay

Others attending: Barry Grady, Gary Tucker

Russ called the meeting to order at 2:33 in room 6142.

1.      Minutes from May 8, 2002

Cindy moved to approve the minutes. The motion passed.

2.      Vote on the OATYC Nominees

Pam reminded the Senate about the Ohio Association of Two-Year Colleges (OATYC) program to recognize outstanding full-time and part-time faculty and about the nomination materials distributed earlier. She also distributed copies of two additional nominations. After reviewing and discussing the nominations, Senate selected John Weaver as Sinclair's full-time faculty nominee for the OATYC Teacher of the Year award and Diane Mitchel as Sinclair's part-time faculty nominee.

3.      Academic Policies recommendations vote

Pam reminded the Senate of 19 proposed Handbook changes distributed earlier. She also described the draft summary of Handbook changes to be considered by the Board of Trustees at its next meeting.

Susan asked about the reasons for deleting a significant number of Handbook sections. Pam replied that the Academic Policies Committee had attempted to produce a shorter, more convenient document particularly by omitting information that was readily available on the intranet or in other ways. Russ also noted that it is much easier to insure that faculty have access to current forms if they are maintained on the intranet, with references provided in the Handbook. Forest expressed concern about the proposed deletion of the Organizational and Governance charts (sections 1.5 and 1.6), since they provide an important summary of the relationships within the College. The proposal was amended to retain sections 1.5 and 1.6 in the Handbook. Ellen moved to approve the proposed changes as amended and Ken seconded. The motion passed.

4.      Distance Learning Policy vote

Russ reminded the Senate of the proposed Distance Learning Policy, distributed earlier.

Russ reported that several faculty had expressed concern over the proposed requirement that faculty contact students on a weekly basis. Although the requirement may be appropriate for web-based courses, it may not be realistic for TV and print-based courses. He also noted that some schools put the responsibility on students to initiate contact.

Bob reported that some faculty had told him they felt the proposal was very general and could be interpreted in many different ways. Some faculty also feel that there are major differences between web-based courses and courses using other distance media, and these differences are not adequately reflected in the proposed policy. Ellen also reported that faculty had told her the requirement for weekly contact was not realistic for TV courses, and she agreed that the proposed policy was vague.

Bob noted that the proposed policy refers to a separate Compensation Policy, but the Compensation Policy has not yet been developed.

Cindy suggested that the earlier parts of the proposed policy seem well done, but that problems may begin with Sections C and D. These sections seem directed primarily to web-based instruction, and there may need to be separate policies for TV, print-based and CD-based instruction.

Vann, a member of the advisory board for Distance Education, reported that there was substantial input from faculty during the development of the proposed policy and that most of the issues mentioned by Senators were discussed by that group. The group decided to strive for a uniform policy that would apply to all distance media.

Several faculty are also concerned about issues of intellectual property as they apply to distance learning. Russ reported that the proposed intellectual property policy was just returned from Sinclair's attorney, but he and others at Sinclair have not yet had an opportunity to review the attorney's comments. The intellectual property policy will be a topic at the next Monitoring Task Force meeting.

Russ will share Senate's comments with Peggy Falkenstein. Senate thanked the Distance Learning team for its hard work.

5.      Elections

Russ reported that Ken Kimble and Ned Sifferlen will both be at the Assembly meeting on May 30 to discuss the outcome of the FITs process. Since the meeting will also include discussion about proposed Constitutional amendments, there may not be enough time to conduct Senate elections.

Russ referred to a suggestion he made earlier to hold the Senate elections on June 3 and 4 in conjunction with the vote on the proposed Constitutional amendments. One concern is that there might not be an opportunity for faculty to make nominations from the floor. Cindy proposed that nominations be accepted during the Assembly meeting, but the voting occur in conjunction with the vote on the amendments. Senate agreed to the proposal. Russ will distribute information about the process to faculty via email.

6.      Faculty Ratio Update

Russ summarized the most recent work of the Faculty Ratios Task Force. The group has collected a large amount of data related to the topic, and is focusing on the process by which Special Adjunct positions will be eliminated over the next few years. They are working on a letter to Deans, asking about their plans for the transition.

One question is the possible impact on overload of eliminating Special Adjuncts. Special Adjuncts now teach about 15.5% of their total load as overload. About 17% of ACFs' total load is overload and about 22% of tenure-track payhours are overload. Several tenure-track faculty teach 70 to 90 payload hours per year, and some teach over 120 hours per year. There may be a significant problem if courses now taught by Special Adjuncts are shifted to overload for ACF and tenure-track faculty.

Mike asked if there was any discussion of raising the current limit of 57 hours per year, since many faculty are now well above the limit and they should have the option of teaching extra overload. Russ replied that If the limit is raised, it is likely to include all distance learning and other assignments that may not be included under the current limit. Also, if the limit is raised, it will be much more strictly enforced.

Ellen asked if there had been discussion about the impact of reassigned time on the faculty ratios. Russ replied that reassigned time had not been a major topic for the Faculty Ratios Task Force, but one possibility would be to replace some reassigned time with compensation through Personal Service Agreements.

Forrest commented that the limit of 57 hours may be appropriate.

7.      Conflict of Interest Policy

Russ reported that the draft policy was revised in response to the Senate's comments. He also verified that membership in Senate is a part of normal duties and does not need to be reported under the policy.

8.      Monitoring Task Force meeting, Thursday, May 23rd

The agenda for the next Monitoring Task Force meeting includes the meeting June 3 with ACFs, intellectual property, distance learning policy, and the Senate retreat with administrators.

9.      FITs meeting, Tuesday, May 28th

The next FITs meeting should provide information, which will be shared with Senate on May 29th and with the Assembly on May 30th.

Ken expressed his appreciation for the work of the current FITs team, and asked about lessons from this year's discussion that could be helpful for future years. Russ replied that the current FITs process was not intended to be permanent and could well be revised. Cindy suggested that the non-salary issues (such as parity, benefits, and parking) could be addressed more effectively if discussion on them begins much earlier in the Fall. Russ also noted that there will be a need for some change in the faculty membership of the team for next year.

Forrest asked for verification about the process for paying collegewide merit. Russ replied that it is expected to be paid as a lump sum in August. STRS will consider the payment as part of the compensation for the 2001-02 year.

10. Open Forum

10.1.       Russ reported that the Department Chairpersons Council (DCC) executive team will meet with Senate at its next meeting, May 29.

10.2.       Forrest asked for clarification about the process for conducting faculty evaluations and for establishing faculty development plans. Pam described the process as specified in section 2.6.5.2 of the Faculty Handbook, including the participation of faculty and the role of the Senate President.

10.3.       Forrest shared information about policies regarding sick time. Since the sick time covers only base load, faculty may loose their compensation for overload. He also reminded Senate that faculty can be required to teach at any time the College is in session, including nights and weekends.

10.4.       Forrest asked about the process by which part-time faculty can resolve problems. The Part-Time Committee, headed by Dan Brazelton, has responsibility for overseeing their concerns.

10.5.       Cindy will coordinate the schedule for Senators to staff the voting June 3rd and 4th.

10.6.       Pam reviewed the schedule for Fall Faculty Development Day. There will be a keynote panel, two short workshops and one longer workshop, then a late lunch and departmental activities.

10.7.       Pam reported on a faculty question about the relationship between STRS and Social Security benefits. STRS retirements benefits may cause a reduction in Social Security benefits.

10.8.       Pam reported receiving a letter from Betty Montgomery, congratulating faculty on the recent Met Life College Excellence award for Sinclair's excellence in serving diverse populations.

The meeting adjourned at 3:59.

Submitted by Fred Thomas

Approved by Senate, May 29, 2002