May 21st, 2003

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

Senators attending: Jim Brooks, Frank Clay, Kenneth Melendez, Jackie Myers, Nick Reeder, Shari Rethman, Vann Rogers, Ellen Rosengarten, Marsha Wamsley

Senators not attending: Susan Callender, Roxann DeLaet, Rick Jurus,

Others attending: Laurel Mayer, Mike Smith, Ned Young

Pam called the meeting to order at 2:32 in Room 6142. Because of her voice, she gave the chair to Cindy.

1.      Minutes

Cindy moved to approve the minutes of May 14th, incorporating changes suggested by Jackie. The motion passed.

2.      Announcements

Cindy led a discussion about Senate’s role in the Celebration of President Sifferlen’s service to Sinclair.

3.      FITS

Cindy welcomed Ned Young, who distributed an 8-page handout (attachment FSMA030521-03a), summarizing the current status of the FITS recommendations. He reviewed data about Sinclair’s current standing as fourth among Ohio’s 23 two-year colleges. He and Fred expressed concern that Cincinnati State Technical and Community College (currently fifth) might pass Sinclair, particularly in light of the fact that several faculty will retire this year at Sinclair and several new faculty will be hired. Ned suggested that Senate and FITS consider following events at the other Ohio colleges more closely. Pam pointed out that the Ohio Board of Regents Two-Year College organization can be very helpful with data of this type, and Mike also emphasized the willingness of other colleges to share data. Cindy pointed out that this activity is more important in preparing for future years than in dealing with the current set of recommendations.

Ned explained that the administration proposed to distribute the 4.40% overall average salary increase as a 1% increase plus $1362 for each tenure-track faculty. This accounts for 3.55% of the 4.40%. Twenty-four faculty are being promoted and will each receive an additional $3200 increase in base salary, which accounts for an additional 0.45% of the college-wide average. Seventy-two professors qualify for merit-on-base and will receive increases ranging from $73 to $1280, accounting for the remaining 0.40% of the increase. The distribution for 2004-05 is to be done in the same way, including the 1% increase for all tenure-track faculty. The fixed dollar amount for all tenure-track faculty will be recalculated to again achieve the overall 4.40% increase, but may be higher or lower than $1362 depending upon the number of promotions and the number of professors achieving merit-on-base.

All senators joined in an extensive discussion about the basis for this proposed distribution of the 4.40% overall increase and the impact upon parity, closure and other aspects of faculty compensation. Shari moved to accept the overall increase in base salary and the distribution as proposed, and Cindy seconded the motion. The motion failed.

Cindy moved to accept the proposal with the exception that promotional increases be removed from the calculations to reach 4.40%. The change would mean an increase of about $240 in the fixed-dollar amount for each faculty member. The motion passed.

Jim emphasized that the proposed changes in the cap on overload and summer teaching are a major source of concern about the FITS recommendations. He moved that Senate recommend a modification to emphasize the yearly limits, rather than the quarter-by-quarter limits. Cindy seconded the motion. The maximum of 22 hours per quarter would remain as a target, but the VPI’s approval would only be required for cases in which a faculty member exceeds the yearly limit. The change would provide chairs and faculty with greater flexibility, without changing the essence of the recommendations. After discussion, the motion passed.

Cindy moved to accept the change in health care contributions as proposed in the FITS recommendations, and Shari seconded. Several senators expressed concern about the change, particularly on faculty and staff at the lower pay rates. It is clear, however, that health care costs are likely to continue rising and that increasing the portion paid by faculty is an important goal of the administration. Rejecting the health care change would be likely to result in a pull-back from the proposed salary increase of 4.4%. The motion to accept the FITS health care recommendations passed.

Senate agreed to proceed with the Faculty Assembly meeting scheduled for May 27th and to authorize Ned to resolve the remaining issues prior to that time. Cindy noted that Dr. Jacobs and Dr. Johnson had revised their plans to participate in the NISOD conference in order to participate in the Assembly meeting. Unfortunately, this means they will not be able to present awards to the six Sinclair faculty being honored at the conference.

Ned asked for Senate’s comments on the draft FAQ (attachment FSMA030521-03b) which he had distributed earlier to the Senators. He has received many questions from faculty about the FITS recommendations, and the FAQ address the most frequently asked of those questions. Cindy and others expressed their appreciation for the document and the help it provides. They suggested that one area in which the FAQ could be expanded would be to include more information about the recommended changes in health care contributions. Senate asked Ned to distribute the FAQ to the faculty.

4.      Elections

Cindy described the process for voting for Senate officers at the Faculty Assembly meeting. She distributed forms for proxies and will provide sign-in sheets by division. Junior Senators in each division are to help with the sign-in and with the distribution and collection of ballots. In addition to ballots, Cindy will prepare copies of a comment sheet to obtain feedback from faculty at the Assembly meeting regarding FITS and other issues that Senate should address in the future.

5.      Handbook Changes

Tabled until May 28th.

6.      Open Forum

6.1.           Fred distributed a data sheet on the growth of faculty at Sinclair (attachment FSMA030521-06A). Since 1998-99, the number of FTE students has gone up 20.9%, the number of tenure-track faculty has increased 11.2% and the number of ACFs has gone up 73.9%.

6.2.           Jackie asked about committee positions that need to be filled next year. A list of the positions and the current committee members is available on the Senate website. It is also important to check the Faculty Handbook to verify the requirements for each position.


The meeting adjourned at 4:23.

Submitted by Fred Thomas

Approved by Senate, June 4, 2003