To: Dr. Jacobs, Personnel-Curriculum Committee, and Board of Trustees
From: Pam Chambers, President, Cindy Beckett, President Elect, and Fred Thomas, Secretary
Date: May 24, 2004
The Spring Faculty Assembly meeting was held on May 12th. Pam Chambers introduced Dr. Richard Jones who reported on the activities of the Faculty Ratio Committee and on the implementation of the 66- and 72-payhour limits. Ned Young then reported on FITs, including discussion of several outstanding issues. There was extensive discussion in response to both reports.
Nominations for 2004-05 Senate offices were completed during the meeting. Positions with only one nominee were filled by acclamation, with Fred Thomas selected as Secretary and Laurel Mayer as Representative to the Sinclair Leadership Team. Open voting for the contested positions of Vice President and Alternate Representative to the Ohio Board of Regents’ Ohio Faculty Senate was scheduled for May 23rd and 24th. Faculty thanked Pam Chambers for her service as President and welcomed Cindy Beckett as she prepares to be President for the coming two years.
A second Spring Faculty Assembly meeting is planned after the full FITs team meets on May 27th. President Johnson and other senior administrators are expected to participate in that meeting.
Senate has met formally six times during Spring Quarter and has additional meetings scheduled for May 26th and June 2nd. Details about each meeting are available on Sinclair’s Intranet at http://ourold.sinclair.edu/sites/fac_sen/Index.htm. Major topics and action items during Spring Quarter have included:
Senate met with Dr. Jacobs on April 14th for an extensive discussion about priorities and challenges for the Instructional Division at Sinclair and about the development of an Instructional Master Plan. Dr. Huguley met with Senate on May 5th for additional discussions about the Instructional Master Plan.
Senate worked extensively with Nancy Thibeault and the Distance Learning Compensation Policy Committee on an important proposal, designed to make the system simpler and fairer and to integrate Distance Learning more effectively into the College’s general procedures. Some concerns remain with regard to this complex and long-outstanding topic; however, Senate was convinced that the proposal is a very important step forward from the current system and voted to approve.
Senate had extensive discussions with Colleen Whittington about proposed changes in the Department Review Process. Some Senators were concerned that the shift from a two-year to a five-year review cycle might decrease communications, but all welcomed the effort to make the process more efficient and effective, particularly by emphasizing written recommendations and accountability for follow-up.
Senate has begun discussions about possible changes in the policies regarding faculty office hours and alternative class meeting schedules. There is some concern that the current policy may not adequately address the variety of course delivery modes and learning experiences now being used at Sinclair.
Senate was active in working with the Faculty Issues Team (FITs) to move forward on a large number of issues. The coming year will be the second in a two-year agreement with regard to basic compensation; however, other outstanding issues include closure, the pattern of raise distribution, internal and external parity, the 66 and 72 hour load caps, data collection and reporting, early retirement, supplemental retirement and the new faculty search process.
Senators and other faculty have been engaged throughout much of the Quarter in a wide-ranging discussion about possible changes to the faculty evaluation process. There is particular interest in exploring the possibility of a comprehensive “cafeteria” approach. In this approach, faculty might select three measures from a set of eight or ten standard evaluation methods (including student evaluations, peer evaluations, and others) to be used as a basis for the annual evaluation.
Senate met with Sarah Kiewitz and others from a subgroup of the Cultural Diversity Committee to consider the possible addition of “sexual orientation” to Sinclair’s non-discrimination statements. After discussion, Senate voted to express its general support for the change and suggested that the group prepare a formal recommendation.
Senate selected Surinder Jain, Chairperson and Professor of Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology, as Sinclair’s nominee for the 2003-04 OATYC (Ohio Association of Two-Year Colleges) Teacher of the Year. Professor Jain was recognized for his innovative approaches to teaching, his extensive on-campus service, his many community activities and his leadership at the national and international levels.
As Sinclair’s nominee for Adjunct (part-time) Teacher of the Year, Senate selected Frederick Gillenwater of History and Humanities. Mr. GIllenwater provided over 36 quarter hours of outstanding History instruction during the 2003-04 academic year. He also developed new distance learning options for students and delivered two-way interactive courses to high school students in Southeast Ohio. In addition, Mr. Gillenwater developed and provided very successful workshops for other Sinclair faculty in the use of technology to enhance student learning.