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, Ellen Rosengarten, Vann Rucker
Not attending: Rick Jurus, Bob Reas, Mike Smith
Others attending: Karen Blake, Gary Tucker
Russ called the meeting to order at 2:32 in room 6142.
Russ introduced Vann Rucker, who has been elected by the Division of Extended Learning and Human Services to serve until the end of this academic year in place of Karen Winston.
1. Minutes from Feb. 27, 2002
The minutes were approved as distributed.
2. Academic Policies
Pam asked Senators to review the proposed changes to the Faculty Handbook that she distributed earlier via email. The Academic Policies Committee was charged to make grammatical changes to the Handbook and proposes, for example, that "chairperson" always be written with a lower case "c" and that acronyms be used in a systematic way to eliminate unnecessary repetition of phrases.
Pam described how the Academic Policies Committee has formed subcommittees to examine the Handbook page-by-page. All recommended changes are then reviewed by the full Committee and must also be approved by Faculty Senate. One major difficulty has been that the terms, "instructor" and "faculty," do not seem to be used in a consistent way throughout the Handbook. The Committee will not recommend changes to those terms until the Assembly has acted on the question of Assembly membership.
Ken asked about a proposed change that seemed to delete references to equal opportunity requirements. Pam explained that references of that sort are being removed from the individual job descriptions, and included instead as a single statement that applies to all positions. There is no change in the actual requirements.
Cindy moved to approve the purely grammatical changes that have been submitted, and Roxann seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Cindy moved to approve the revised email policy, and Roxann seconded the motion.
Russ said he had noticed a few minor changes that he thought were needed. Ellen and Cindy asked for clarification about the range of activities covered by the statement (Section I. D. 3) prohibiting use of electronic mail services for personal monetary gain. Russ agreed that the statement is somewhat vague, but noted that the procedure for a faculty member to obtain pre-approval (for example, for a project to author a textbook using email as a tool for collaboration) probably prevents it from being a problem.
Frank raised broader questions about how Senate approval of the email policy might be linked with Senate recommendations on other related topics, such as intellectual property. Ken expressed concern that the provisions allowing College access to faculty electronic mailboxes (particularly Section I. K. 2. c.) may be too broad, and could be abused.
Russ agreed to share Frank and Ken's concerns with the Provost and Ken Moore. Cindy withdrew her motion to approve the email policy, pending their response. Pam emphasized the importance of having strong faculty backing when Senate takes action.
4. Opinion Poll
Russ asked about the possibility of expanding the upcoming Senate Opinion Poll to include additional questions related to FITs and about possible faculty responses if the FITs team has difficulty achieving agreement. Ellen expressed concern about the methodology of mixing such different issues in a single Opinion Poll. Frank and Forrest described an alternative model in which the Engineering Division has used open meetings to collect information about faculty opinions. Forrest suggested that the effort to collect information related to FITs and to get faculty more involved should be done at a time other than the upcoming poll. The Senate concurred.
Cindy described the logistical arrangements for the opinion poll to be conduced March 13 and 14, including location, refreshments and signs. She passed around sample fliers describing the poll, and invited input about their design and content. She agreed to complete the fliers based on the discussion that followed, and to send Senators a master copy for distribution to all full-time faculty in their divisions.
Russ distributed a draft information sheet about the issues addressed in the opinion poll, for dissemination to faculty prior to the poll. Incorporating input from the Senate, he agreed to revise the sheet in accordance with Senate's suggestions and distribute it to faculty. (The revised information sheet is attached here.)
Senate discussed the details of the process for the opinion poll and agreed that each faculty member will receive an opinion sheet after they have signed a master roster. No proxies are to be used. Faculty will be permitted to cast their opinion in private and free from undue pressure to cast an opinion for a certain point of view. The opinion sheets are to be stored in the Faculty Senate office overnight until they can be counted on Friday morning. The results are to remain secret until the full body of Faculty Senate can be informed of the outcome at the March 20th Senate meeting.
Cindy passed around a sign-up sheet to insure that at least two Senators or Senate officers will be present at all times while the opinion poll is being conducted.
Susan and Russ emphasized the need for everyone to describe this consistently as an opinion poll, not a vote. Senators are responsible for insuring that all full-time faculty are notified about the poll.
5. Open Forum
5.1. Pam informed Senate that the College is now in the process of identifying nominees for awards by the Ohio Association of Two-Year Colleges to outstanding full-time and part-time faculty. She encouraged Senators to share information about this program and also to share information about other recognition received by Sinclair faculty.
5.2. Forrest asked about new parking charges using the Tartan Card. Students or faculty parking in the student lots will now be charged just $0.50 per day if they use their Tartan Card. There has been no change in the cost for faculty who park in employee lots and pay a monthly rate.
5.3. Forrest noted that Norm Grant's wife recently passed away and that Len Smith, faculty member in Engineering, also passed away. He emphasized the need for Sinclair to establish an appropriate memorial for faculty.
5.4. Noting a concern that Senate may not be as visible as it should be, Forrest suggested that Senators consider visiting Department meetings, including those in divisions other than their own. Cindy, Ellen, Susan, Pam and others supported the suggestion, and also agreed that Senators and Officers need to be more active in educating faculty about Senate and in recruiting faculty to participate as Senators or Committee members.
5.5. Forrest suggested that Senate may need to expand its base of knowledge by sending representatives to meetings of organizations that deal with the work of similar bodies.
The meeting adjourned at 3:58.
Submitted by Fred Thomas
Approved by Faculty Senate, March 20, 2002