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, Marsha Wamsley
Senators not attending: Rick Jurus, Shari Rethman, and Ellen Rosengarten
Others attending: Karen Blake, William LeJeune, and Laurel Mayer
Pam called the meeting to order at 2:32 in room 6142.
Frank moved to approve the minutes for Jan. 22, 2003 as distributed. The motion passed. Fred distributed CDs to the Senators with a searchable record of the minutes since September 2001.
2.1. Pam explained that the normal Senate meeting room (6142) was needed for promotion and tenure meetings on Feb 12th and 19th, so the Senate meetings for those dates will be held in the Conference room on the second floor of Building 9.
2.2. Pam confirmed that the Winter Quarter Faculty Assembly meeting will be held Wednesday, Feb. 26th, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm in room 4011. Agenda items will include FITs and STRS supplemental retirement.
Pam explained the need to clarify procedures for Open Forum items in order to insure that they are dealt with appropriately and efficiently. It is not clear, for example, if the discussion of an item under Open Forum can serve as the one-week notice required by Robert’s Rules so that Senate can then act officially on the item at the next meeting.
Jim asked about the follow-up procedure for any Open Forum items that are tabled, and Pam confirmed that they would then become agenda items for a future Senate meeting. Some Open Forum items, however, may instead be directed to other sources (such as Human Resources) for resolution or the item may simply be a request for information that does not require action.
Vann said that some faculty view Senators as ombudspersons, the people to contact with a wide variety of questions or concerns. Jim agreed and said that Open Forum should be very open, providing an opportunity to raise new issues or to discuss almost any matter or concern to faculty. Some issues can be settled quickly, while others need to become action items for Senate. Cindy and Pam noted that the Senate agenda normally does not include “New Business” as a separate item, and Open Forum has served the function of allowing Senators to introduce new topics for discussion and possible action.
Pam, Frank and others asked about the extent to which Senate should be proactive, initiating new action items in addition to responding to requests and initiatives from other groups. Vann, Ken and Fred expressed their opinions that Open Forum should be an opportunity to initiate new issues, but that Senators must decide which issues Senate needs to pursue seriously. Pam pointed out that Faculty Forum is another vehicle by which faculty can bring new issues to the attention of the Sinclair community, and Jim added that Faculty Forum has a broader audience, including the Trustees.
Vann asked about the issues currently on the matrix for action, and Pam listed faculty workload, distance learning compensation and parity as the outstanding items. Most of these are now under consideration by other groups but Senate could take a more direct role, for example by drafting its own proposed revision to the distance learning compensation policy. FITs is currently looking at workload, including the 0.75 pay rate for labs. Jim suggested that Senate could work for change in other ways, for example by proposing a Handbook change on lab payment. Mike Smith and Jim Johnson can play an important role in consideration of these issues through their contacts with other Ohio colleges.
Frank asked about possible Senate initiatives related to possible budget cuts if the “sin tax” is not approved. Jackie emphasized that capital funds cannot be redirected to cover operating expenses.
Fred suggested that some of the possible initiatives Senate has discussed, such as leave policies, apply to all Sinclair employees and may require increased coordination with Staff Senate and other organizations. Pam agreed, and said she had discussed the issue with the leadership of that group.
Nick, Ken, Frank, Cindy, Pam and others contributed to a broad discussion about ways in which Senate could take more initiative in dealing with important issues, including those currently on the matrix and some that are not now on the matrix. Pam asked Senators to identify key agenda items for future meetings, and to forward them to the Senate officers.
The meeting adjourned at 3:30.
Submitted by Fred Thomas
Approved by Senate, Feb. 12, 2003