Jan. 15, 2003

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

Senators attending: Jim Brooks, Susan Callender, Frank Clay, Roxann DeLaet, Kenneth Melendez, Jackie Myers, Nick Reeder, Vann Rogers, Ellen Rosengarten, Marsha Wamsley

Senators not attending: Rick Jurus, Shari Rethman

Others attending: Forrest Cope, Barry Grady, Laurel Mayer, Alan Scherr, Matt Simon

Pam called the meeting to order at 2:37 in room 6142.

1.      Minutes from Nov. 20th

Frank moved to approve the minutes for Nov. 20, 2002 as amended. The motion passed.

2.      STRS and Supplemental Retirement (Personnel Committee)

Pam welcomed Forrest Cope, who distributed a recommendation from the Faculty Senate’s Personnel Committee (attachment FSMA030115-2A). Current Handbook policies (section 2.9.4) allow retirees to teach 15 payhours per year for three years at a rate of one-fourth their final base pay. The Handbook also allows them to teach 6 additional payhours per year at the overload pay rate. The 6-hour limitation has been removed as an STRS requirement, but is still part of the Sinclair Handbook.

Forrest said the Committee recommends that the 6-hour limit be removed by deleting the phrase “up to the limit prescribed in STRS rules” from the Handbook. The Committee also commented that it might be appropriate to allow faculty to begin supplementary retirement at any time after they retire rather than requiring that it begin immediately after retirement. Forrest also said the Handbook requirement for retired faculty wait 60 days before returning to work is not necessary to satisfy STRS regulations, although faculty returning sooner would receive reduced benefits.

Frank, Cindy, Ken, Ellen and others emphasized the need for flexibility in staffing and felt that removing the 21-hour limitation would benefit both the College and the retirees. Fred expressed some reservation that eliminating the 21-hour restriction might make it easier for the College to delay replacing retirees with new tenure-track hires.

Pam asked Forrest to return to the next Senate meeting for continued discussion.

3.      LRC Renovation (Matt Simon and Alan Scherr)

Pam introduced Matt Simon, library consultant, and Alan Scherr, project architect, who provided an update on the LRC renovation project and requested input from Senate. Alan emphasized that the project is still in its planning phase and he reviewed some of the extensive efforts that he and Matt are making to collect ideas. The library will certainly continue to exist, but it may be changed substantially and it may be reduced in size. Alan said he realized that the project involves sensitive issues and said it would involve cultural as well as physical changes. The essential problem is that the LRC occupies 113,000 ft2 of space that do not appear to be used extensively. With growing enrollments the College needs to recapture space, perhaps by returning some of the currently dispersed activities to the LRC. The goal is to reinvent the 30-year old LRC space to make it more efficient, more visible, more accessible and more student-friendly.

Susan asked if the new environment of the LRC might be “sterile” like that of the teleports. Alan said strongly that it would not be, and mentioned as an example the intention to cover much of the concrete with softer materials. He said another goal is to modernize and broaden the function of the LRC to include a broader range of types of activities. Web-based resources and OhioLink, for example, may now make it possible to eliminate some of the print materials. Alan mentioned Tutorial Services, the Developmental Learning Center and BIS and CIS labs as examples of activities that might be considered for consolidation within the LRC. Sinclair’s student population and learning methods have changed since the LRC was originally designed, and it may be desirable to change the Learning Resources Center into a Learning Center.

Matt reiterated the importance of listening to students, faculty and others and emphasized the importance of identifying needs not just wants.

Frank asked about the time frame for the project. Alan and Matt replied that they hoped to have a concept and budget ready by March and to complete the project by the end of 2004. The library will remain open throughout the project.

Fred asked about how the LRC project fits with the goals of a Learning College if the net result will be to reduce shared spaces while increasing the space devoted to more traditional classrooms. Matt replied that the shift to more open learning environments through the Sinclair portal and other means was developing gradually. Sinclair now has large numbers of students who want and need the more structured environment of more traditional classrooms. In Matt’s discussions with students, many indicated that they needed more guidance than is sometimes available in the current LRC and open labs.

Ellen and Ken express strong concern that moving departmental labs to the LRC might be very damaging to the ability of those labs to respond quickly to departmental needs and to serve the real needs of students. Alan replied that the planning process includes careful consideration for the operational needs of any labs that might be candidates for relocation.

Frank asked how the planning process for the LRC renovation differed from that for the CIL. Alan answered that the CIL plan was too rushed and did not have a sufficiently clear vision as to how the building would actually be used. The LRC plan is being developed more carefully, and Alan promised that the LRC renovation would not repeat the mistakes of the CIL. Matt and Alan also emphasized that the new LRC space will be flexible enough to allow for future changes.

Marsha asked whether the new LRC would include space for students to work in groups, and Alan replied that it would.

Alan closed by emphasizing again that the goal of the project was to serve students by providing an enhanced learning space. He distributed his card and invited Senators and others to contact him through Pat Iversen in Physical Facilities with additional questions or suggestions.

4.      Open Forum

Jim distributed a flier (attachment FSMA030115-4A) about a meeting on possible changes in STRS retiree health benefits. The meeting will be held Friday, Jan. 31st at 1:00 in Room 2331. Panel members will be Carol Wilcox (STRS), Judith Borus (AAUP) and Steve Jonas (SCC).

The meeting adjourned at 3:55.

Submitted by Fred Thomas

Approved by Senate, Jan. 22, 2003