FACULTY SENATE MINUTES

Jan. 16, 2002

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

Senators attending: Cindy Beckett, Susan Callender, Frank Clay, Forrest Cope, Roxann DeLaet, George Hageman, Kenneth Melendez, Bob Reas, Ellen Rosengarten, Mike Smith,

Not attending: Rick Jurus, Karen Winston

Others attending: Laurel Mayer, Gary Tucker

Russ called the meeting to order at 2:30 in room 6142

1.      Minutes from Nov. 28, 2001

Cindy moved to approve the minutes as distributed. The motion passed unanimously.

Russ asked for clarification about item 5.2 of the minutes on a handbook change regarding distance education pay. Cindy, Forest, Bob and others reaffirmed their opinion that the proposed handbook change described a pilot pay structure that should not be formalized in the handbook at least at this time.

2.      FITs (Faculty Issues Team)

Russ reported that the faculty portion of the FITs team met on Jan. 15, and has begun to look at the College financial statement. The first meeting with administration is scheduled for Feb. 5.

On behalf of the FITs team, Russ distributed a draft of the survey that will be used to collect information about faculty priorities and asked for input from Senators. Cindy suggested improvements in the way that some questions were stated and also recommended that the order of the questions be randomized so as not to suggest a predetermined set of priorities.

Forest expressed concern about the question on institutional merit, and Russ emphasized that the immediate goal was to assess faculty opinions on how or if this should be included in the FITs discussions. The administration's position on this is not yet clear, particularly since institutional merit is a smaller factor in determining faculty income than it is in determining the income of professional and support staff. Laurel and Russ felt that the institutional goals (which apply to both faculty and staff) are being set in ways that make at least mid-level bonuses quite attainable. Gary asked for verification that this is a lump-sum bonus, not something added to base, and Russ replied that it was indeed a bonus.

Cindy expressed concern that since institutional merit is calculated as a percentage of base pay it favors faculty with more longevity and those who started at higher pay rates. Russ noted that this could be negotiated differently, for example as a fixed amount for all faculty. Ellen suggested that faculty may not have enough rewards for longevity.

Ken raised questions about the structure of the questionnaire, particularly as to how a person would indicate that she or he is opposed to one of the suggested components of the agreement. After discussion on this question, Russ emphasized that Senators will be distributing the form to faculty and may need to clarify the procedures. Faculty are encouraged to add comments to explain their opinions, and there will be an Assembly meeting to collect additional information.

Cindy asked why the questionnaire included "ACF" as a category of respondents, since the questionnaire is intended only for tenure-track faculty. Russ replied that the FITs team wants to know if there are differences in priorities among different groups of faculty, and some ACFs might respond even if that is not the intent.

Forest and Mike suggested that sick days be added as another item on the questionnaire, specifically the limit on the number of days that can be accumulated and reimbursed at retirement and the policy of counting partial days missed as if they were full days.

There was additional discussion about the new position in Human Resources and some concern that this might decrease the role of faculty and chairs in selecting new faculty. Mike, Pam, Cindy and Russ all expressed confidence that the new system will help the process to function more smoothly and departments will still play the central role. The new position is needed in part because Sinclair expects an increased number of retirements, and will deal with part-time and ACF positions as well as with tenure-track.

3.      Monitoring Task Force

Russ reported that a number of pending Senate recommendations had been returned marked "disapproved." The old form under which the recommendations were submitted had only two options, "approved" or "disapproved," with no option for continuing review. Russ proposed a new process designed to assure a prompt response while also allowing for extended review when necessary. Cindy, Mike and Ellen suggested that there should be a fixed "expiration date" for recommendations, beyond which the administration must request an extension and provide a rationale for the delay. Senators favored a six-month expiration date, with two possible extensions. If the administration has not acted or requested an extension by the deadline, recommendations would be automatically approved. Russ will explore the process further.

The second issue discussed by Monitoring Task Force was intellectual property. Pam, Russ and Jim Houdeshell will meet Jan. 17 to prepare an analysis of the proposed changes and their justification. Steve Johnson is researching intellectual property policies at other League colleges. One concern is that the current policy was written prior to the implementation of Distance Education at Sinclair and does not deal effectively with new issues that have arisen.

4.      Status of Recommendations and Resolutions

Russ distributed a report on Status of Senate Recommendations and briefly explained the administration's opinion on each. In several cases, many components of the recommendations have been implemented even if the full recommendation is "disapproved."

One recommendation that generated discussion among Senators was RCF0004, "Conversion of ACF to TT." The administration has suggested that there might be a mandatory review of each ACF position every three years. Gary noted that this seems to be a return to the old model. Russ said that there will be a meeting of Monitoring Task Force that is devoted exclusively to ACF questions.

On RCSP0101 proposing handbook changes on "Grievance Rights for ACF," the administration has agreed to some of the proposed changes but not others. Fred asked if the administration is effective exercising a "line-item veto," or if the recommendations must come back to Senate for additional action. Several Senators expressed their interpretation that each recommendation must be considered as a total package.

5.      Email policy

Russ reported that the revised proposal for an email policy is available on the intranet. It is also under review by Sinclair's attorney. Senate will resume its consideration of the policy at a later meeting.

6.      KPI regarding part-time and full-time faculty ratios (deferred from Nov. 28, 2001)

Deferred to the next meeting.

7.      Ad Hoc Committee on Virtual Office Hours

Russ distributed a proposal developed by Tom Singer to create an Ad-Hoc Committee on Virtual Office Hours. The committee would consist initially of faculty who are experienced in use of the web, with additional members from ISS and the web support/design team to be added later. Russ asked Senators to identify representatives from their divisions to serve on the committee.

Fred and Ken raised questions about limiting the committee to faculty with substantial web experience, particularly if the committee's work may lead to a general change in Sinclair's office hour policy.

Cindy suggested that the topic might be dealt with through a Senate recommendation, without the need for an additional committee. Russ and others were concerned that there are a variety of complex issues that need careful consideration. The topic was tabled until the next meeting.

8.      Open Forum

8.1.           Frank asked if Sinclair Central is becoming a one-stop location that will consolidate all academic counselors. Pam replied that there has been discussion about a shift of that sort, but no decision has yet been made.

8.2.           Ellen reported that the Long-Range Planning Committee is now discussing plans to remodel the new building that Sinclair is purchasing. Cindy reported that the Committee discussing plans to remodel space used by the LRC is no longer active.

8.3.           Cindy proposed that Senate congratulate Kathleen and Jennifer Sooy, part-time faculty in political science, for their selection as "2001 Adjunct Teachers of the Year" by the Ohio Association of Two-Year Colleges. The proposal was accepted unanimously.

8.4.           Pam asked that Senators and others forward ideas to her about faculty training and development, particularly regarding Spring and Summer Institutes.

The meeting adjourned at 4:14.

Submitted by Fred Thomas

Approved by Senate, Jan. 23, 2002