Officers attending: Cindy Beckett, President; Jackie Myers, Vice President; Fred Thomas, Secretary
Senators attending: Derek Allen, James Brooks, Susan Callender, Frank Clay, Myra Grinner, Ryan Murphy, Amanda Romero, Art Ross, Tom Singer, Marsha Wamsley, Charles C. Williams
Senators not attending: Marti Shapiro
Others attending: Laurel Mayer, Ann Hall
Cindy called the meeting to order at 2:32 in the Tartan Marketplace, Room A.
1. Approval of Minutes
Marsha moved to approve the minutes from April 13th, with a correction to the list of FITs members. The motion passed.
Tom moved to approve the minutes from April 6th as distributed. The motion passed.
2. Officerís Report
3. Committee Reports
4. Special Orders
5. Old Business
Cindy shared a question raised by Jeanne Jacobs about the procedure for approving teaching assignments that exceed 66 payhours. Advanced approval now requires the VPIís signature; however, it might be more efficient to grant Deans final authority. Susan moved to leave the approval procedure unchanged for now and Jim seconded the motion. After discussion, the motion passed.
Office Hours Proposal
Jackie is continuing to collect and analyze results from Senateís survey of students to learn how they communicate with faculty outside office hours. A preliminary review indicates that email and discussions before and after class are the methods most often used by students. Cindy noted that several Deans and other administrators feel there should be at least some in-person office hours, but there is still an opportunity to look at alternatives to the current policy. Jackie will provide a full report on the student survey later. Jackie and Jim will work together to revise the previous Senate proposal on office hours.
Cindy noted that she had compiled and distributed faculty comments on the proposal to decentralize merit (attachment FSMA20050420-01).
Cindy reported that she is arranging for the Sinclair Foundation to receive donations for Ellen Rosengartenís memorial. Laurel reported on the recent death of Jim Walter, faculty member in History since 1972. Cindy will continue to investigate possible ways of implementing the proposal submitted by Forrest Cope and approved by Senate for a place of remembrance for those who passed away while employed as full-time faculty at Sinclair.
Spring Assembly and Elections
Cindy reviewed the responsibilities for conducting elections to Faculty Assembly and Divisional offices. After discussion, Senate agreed to hold the Spring Faculty Assembly meeting on May 18th in room 4011. Faculty are encouraged to nominate themselves or others for Faculty Assembly offices prior to May 18th by contacting Cindy Beckett or any of the Senators or Senator officers. A list of positions is available at http://ourold.sinclair.edu/sites/fac_sen/Members/facultysenatecommittees.htm
6. New Business
Distance Learning Proposal
Marsha distributed a preliminary draft recommendation regarding instructional design support for faculty developing distance learning courses. The number of instructional design staff has decreased significantly, since grant funding has ended and the positions were not made part of the regular budget. At present, there are 24 pending course development proposals. Ann said that many other people have held back from submitting proposals because of the backlog. Jackie and Tom said that there are also serious limits in the training available for faculty who want to learn how to develop distance courses. Charlie moved to express Senateís concerns and suggestions in the form of a memo, rather than a formal recommendation, and Art seconded the motion. The motion passed. Cindy and Marsha will work together to write the memo.
Ideas for ďCost Neutral MoniesĒ for FITS proposal
Cindy initiated a discussion about ways in which faculty can help to move the 2005-06 FITs discussion forward by identifying areas of College spending that could be reduced to offset needed increases in faculty compensation.
Tom shared material from Ventura County Community College District (which is a union based campus) in California as one example of an alternative compensation approach. VCCCD uses a step compensation system and specifies that 30% of any additional revenue derived from enrollment growth or from increased funding be distributed to faculty. Under this system, faculty might not receive increases during years with no growth, but they are assured of pay increases when revenue increases. Tom was not advocating a specific negotiating position, but wanted to share another compensation model with the Senate. He encouraged Senators to investigate and explore new and innovative models for Sinclair to consider for future FITS proposals. His work on his NSF grant with Ventura College provided the personal contact to gather the information. He was directed to a website that showed the contract the college has with the faculty. (http://aft1828.com/modules/mydownloads/Contract2001-2004.pdf) and the salary steps (http://aft1828.com/salary_schedule_05.htm).
All Senators joined in a wide-ranging discussion about other ways in which funds can be identified to provide adequate faculty compensation even in the current economic environment. Cindy will share the suggestions with the other members of the FITs team.
Cindy reminded Senators that the next Senate meeting would be April 6th.
The meeting adjourned at 4:03.
Submitted by Fred Thomas
Approved by Senate, May 4, 2005