FACULTY SENATE MINUTES

June 4th, 2003

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

Senators attending: Jim Brooks, Frank Clay, Roxann DeLaet, Kenneth Melendez, Jackie Myers, Nick Reeder, Shari Rethman, Marsha Wamsley

Senators not attending: Susan Callender, Rick Jurus, Vann Rogers, Ellen Rosengarten

Others attending: Laurel Mayer, Julie Orenstein

Pam called the meeting to order at 2:35 in Room 6142.

1.      Legal requirements for web documents as a component of records retention

Pam welcomed Julie Orenstein to the meeting, and Julie provided a brief overview of her responsibilities regarding records retention. She went on to describe some of the difficulties that can arise when electronic materials, such as departmental web sites, are changed. A student, for example, might claim that a department’s web site had promised certain things that were not fulfilled. Julie emphasized that disputes of this sort can more easily be resolved if there is a record available to show exactly what the web site did show at the time in question. Departments have long been expected to keep records of similar materials in print, and the switch to web publication should not change that practice.
Cindy asked about the balance between centralized and departmental responsibilities for ensuring that program descriptions on the web are correct and up-to-date. Julie suggested that departments work with Ann Armstrong to be certain that departmental materials are consistent with College-wide standards or to resolve other related concerns.
Nick said some faculty had expressed concern that they were now being expected to keep copies of all changes they make to instructional web materials. Julie replied that the retention policy was not intended for WebCT or my.sinclair materials, which are similar to class assignments. The retention policy is instead directed at departmental and program sites and at promotional materials.
Nick also asked if it was possible for the backup and retention of these web materials to be done in a centralized way by IT. Julie agreed to check on how the backup is now done and to investigate whether that process could be used for records retention.

2.      Minutes from May 21 and May 28

Cindy moved to approve the minutes with minor changes suggested by Jim for the Senate meeting of May 21st. The motion passed.
Fred explained a correction to the minutes for May 28th to accurately reflect the discussion and action regarding Shari’s motion. Frank moved to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion passed.

3.      Announcements

3.1.           Pam announced that Instructional Council would be meeting on Tuesday.
3.2.           Pam noted that she had earlier sent an email to Senators with information about the status of Ohio’s budget process.
3.3.           Cindy reported that all changes to the Faculty Handbook approved by Faculty Senate did go to the Board of Trustees for its approval. This includes both changes approved by Faculty Senate on May 28th and some approved by Senate much sooner, including the copyright policy. All changes need to be approved by the Board as a package to include renumbering for the Table of Contents. All of the changes will be effective Sept. 1st.
Shari asked when the revised Handbook would be available on the Sinclair intranet. Pam replied that it should be available by August.
Cindy noted that there are other Handbook changes still pending, including hiring procedures for ACFs.
3.4.           Pam reported that she would be participating in a meeting on June 12th with Sinclair’s ACFs and senior members of Sinclair’s administration.

4.      Spring Election Meeting, June 6

Cindy reviewed the status of preparations for the election of Senate officers, scheduled for June 6th. She passed around a sign-up sheet to ensure that Senators would be on duty while the polls were open. In response to Cindy’s question, Senate agreed that comment sheets should again be distributed at the election, so faculty could more easily make suggestions about priorities to be address by Senate during the 2003-04 year.
Nick asked for clarification about the process for proxy votes, and Cindy explained that anyone voting as a proxy should either have signed approval from the faculty member or a printed copy of an email granting approval.

5.      Open Forum

5.1.           Fred said the new cap on teaching hours is a major change that resulted from this year’s FITs discussions, and he asked about plans to measure its impact. Pam replied that the FITs team will be meeting in the Fall and plans to begin monitoring the impacts of the agreement. Shari, Cindy, Frank and others joined in a discussion about possible ways to monitor the impacts of the new cap, both in quantitative terms and with regard to the quality of instruction.
5.2.           Cindy expressed concern that some new faculty may make decisions about employment at Sinclair without fully understanding the terms of their employment. The terms are specified in the Faculty Handbook, but faculty have not always received a hard copy of the Handbook and they do not have access to the copy on the intranet until after they become employed.
5.3.           Several Senators suggested there could be additional improvements in the new faculty orientation process, perhaps including a reduced load during their first quarter. The possible improvements need to address issues faced by new part-time faculty as well as new full-time faculty.
5.4.           Marsha and Jackie said that there is also a need to improve the orientation for first-year members of Faculty Senate. The orientation needs to help new Senators understand not just the formalities and processes, but also to understand what issues are on the table and why.
5.5.           Cindy asked for a summary of the main Senate issues suggested so far by faculty on the comment sheets. Pam replied that some of the most frequently mentioned areas were clarification of the expectations for various faculty ranks, lab/lecture hours, office and classroom space, and retrenchment policy.
5.6.           Laurel asked opinions about the validity of concerns expressed in recent emails regarding STRS. There do seem to be significant reasons for concern. He noted that the 457 plan is a little-known alternative method by which Sinclair faculty can better prepare for retirement.
5.7.           Pam expressed her appreciation to all of the Senators and thanked them for their service during the year. The Senators applauded and thanked Pam for her service.

The meeting adjourned at 3:45.

Submitted by Fred Thomas

Approved by Senate, Sept. 24, 2003