March 5th, 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, Shari Rethman, Ellen Rosengarten, Vann Rogers, Marsha Wamsley

Senators not attending: Rick Jurus

Others attending: Kay Berg, Karen Blake, William LeJeune, Laurel Mayer, Alan Scherr, Matt Simon

Pam called the meeting to order at 2:30 in room 6142. The order of the agenda was modified to accommodate the visit by the LRC consultants at 3:00.

1.      Minutes from Feb. 19th

Vann moved to approve the minutes with corrections suggested by Marsha and Jim. The motion passed.

2.      Announcements

2.1.           Pam reported that the faculty and administrative members of the FITs team will next meet during Spring break, on March 24th.

2.2.           Pam reported that the Presidential Search Committee will meet March 14th.

3.      Discussion of Meeting Schedule for the Remainder of Winter Quarter

Pam asked Senators for input as to whether the Senate should meet March 12th, in order to complete other business and allow more time during Spring quarter to focus on FITs and other key issues. The Senate agreed to meet March 12th, but will not meet during the last week of the quarter on March 19th.

4.      Open Forum

4.1.           Fred encouraged Senators to accept the invitation sent them by Monica Pfarr to meet on Friday, March 7th, with an external evaluator and discuss the college-wide impacts of the AIM Center’s NSF grants.

5.      LRC Consultants

Prior to the arrival of the consultants, Senators began a discussion about how faculty can influence the planned renovation of the LRC. Ellen shared concerns expressed by Kay Berg about the importance of Sinclair’s retaining a full-service library, including adequate print materials. Based on her experience as a member of the LRC planning group, Cindy expressed confidence that the consultants are very open to input and that the changes will make the LRC better. Ken said he felt it was important that faculty be allowed to comment on the draft plan after it becomes available, not just to provide input during this early planning stages. Pam noted that Senate can also provide input to the process through the Master Planning Task Force. Pam and Shari cited the addition of Sunday hours and the availability of color copiers as important improvements now under discussion.

Pam welcomed the consultants, Alan Scherr and Matt Simon. Alan emphasized that they are still working to formulate their recommendations and have not yet developed a specific proposal. He and Matt feel it is clear that the LRC needs to change to increase usage and bring about other improvements. This is an area of change that affects everyone at Sinclair, and it is not surprising that the discussion has brought forward a wide range of comments and concerns.

In order to improve access to the LRC, the proposal is likely to include Sunday hours. The change can be implemented without a significant increase in energy costs, and it will make other areas of the campus more accessible on weekends. The proposal will also include new ways for students to reach the LRC, both as they arrive from the main parking garage and as they arrive from the bus stops on Third Street. The changes might involve a glass-enclosed area with access to the LRC from the main parking garage walkway and perhaps a new connector between Buildings 1 and 7.

Organization of space within the LRC is critically important to the plan, and there might be some reduction in the number of books. This could raise accreditation issues for some programs, but Cindy noted that many programs are already moving from process criteria (such as counting books) to outcomes (such as measuring student use of resource materials).

Alan emphasized the important goal of increasing usage of the LRC, making it a major learning center for large numbers of students. One possibility is that some existing labs related to basic language and math skills and some specialized library resources might be relocated to the LRC. The new facility will look and feel more like a modern bookstore, inviting everyone to participate in the activities. There will also be changes to the lighting and acoustics, particularly to control noise from people walking through the loge.

Susan, Jim and Ken asked about the ongoing process by which departments and individual faculty will be able to have input to the planning process after the draft plans have been developed. Matt and Alan said that about 400 people have already been interviewed, and the 16-member advisory committee will continue to be very active. There will be detailed consultations with the departments that are most affected. Faculty are also encouraged to consult the web site at http://www.asaohio.com and select the link to “Projects” where they can obtain additional information.

Shari said there are now some print materials, such as design books, that are housed in individual departments and their use might decline if they were all moved to the LRC. Alan agreed that it may be appropriate to continue housing some materials outside the LRC. Shari and Alan also agreed on the need to blend aesthetic and practical considerations in the plan.

Fred asked about the costs of the project, including both capital and ongoing operating costs. Alan said that the costs cannot yet be estimated accurately, particularly since they may involve related staffing changes and other factors outside the responsibility of the consultants. The consultants are paying attention to the need to control costs, for example in their proposal to keep HVAC systems running through the weekends. There might also be a proposal to implement the construction in phases if the expense makes that necessary.

Kay expressed her concern that the project might lead to reductions in important library services, especially since it seems driven in large part by the need to make additional space available for other uses. She encouraged Senators to look at a white paper (attachment FSMA030305-05A) prepared by a Liberal Arts and Sciences task force. The white paper emphasizes the need for the LRC to provide both traditional library resources and services, and modern technology. Only 9% of journals, for example, are now available electronically and electronic subscriptions are often very expensive.

Fred asked if there was an evaluation plan to measure the success of the renovations. Matt and Alan replied that there is currently no such plan, but many of the improvements (particularly increased usage) should be obvious. Shari suggested that a post-operative evaluation could be an appropriate extension to Matt’s current responsibilities.

Pam thanked Matt and Alan for their work and for their openness to input from faculty.

6.      Faculty Handbook Review Process

Pam asked Senators to review the proposed handbook changes to Section 2.2.6 (attachment FSMA030305-06A) and Section 2.6.1 (attachment FSMA030305-06B) distributed earlier by email. She also reported that some ACFs had expressed concern about the proposal, and she asked Senators to assure ACFs in their divisions that the goal of the proposed change is to provide all new faculty with adequate time to get started before they are evaluated. Further discussion was tabled until March 12th.

The meeting adjourned at 4:08.

Submitted by Fred Thomas

Approved by Senate, March 12, 2003