Officers attending: Cindy Beckett, President; Jackie Myers, Vice President; Fred Thomas, Secretary
Senators attending: James Brooks, Susan Callender, Myra Grinner, Ryan Murphy, Amanda Romero, Marti Shapiro, Tom Singer, Marsha Wamsley, Charles C. Williams
Senators not attending: Derek Allen, Frank Clay
Others attending: Barb Adams, Patty Clark, Al Giambrone, Laurel Mayer, Daniel Ricica, Jim Willis
Cindy called the meeting to order at 2:34 in Room 6142. Cindy and the others present expressed their deep regrets at the death of Ellen Rosengarten and discussed possible ways in which Senate might honor her service as a faculty member and as a Senator.
1. Approval of Minutes
Amanda moved to approve the minutes from Nov. 17th as distributed The motion passed.
2. Officer’s Report
Instructional Council Meetings (Dec. 3 and Jan. 7)
Cindy reported that the new tuition payment plan was off to a good start despite a few minor difficulties. She also encouraged Senators and all other members of the Sinclair community to participate in the events planned to commemorate Martin Luther King Day.
Leadership Counsel (Dec. 8)
Jackie reported that Steve Jonas gave a report to Leadership Counsel about early planning for the levy campaign.
Charles asked about the status of possible plans to restructure the College as a part of regional expansion. Cindy replied that no decisions have been made about what structural changes (if any) are needed to prepare for expansion but many alternatives are under consideration. Possibilities that have been mentioned include 12-month, full-time chairs or associate deans. Cindy emphasized that the discussion is continuing and that it is not at all clear what the outcome will be.
Cindy reported that members of Leadership Counsel have toured two YMCA facilities and reviewed possible scenarios for conducting Sinclair courses at those locations.
Board of Trustees Meeting
The time for the Board of Trustees meeting was changed and no Senate representative was able to attend.
3. Committee Reports
4. Special Orders
4.1. Office hours
Cindy reminded Senators about the revised proposal to change Sinclair’s office hour policy (attachment FSMA2005-0112-01) that was distributed earlier. Jim moved to approve the proposal and Charles seconded. After brief discussion, the motion passed.
Jim asked about next steps. Cindy replied that she will sign the recommendation and forward it to Dr. Jacobs. Senate should receive a response within 30 days. If the recommendation is approved, the new office hour policy will be incorporated into the Faculty Handbook and will become effective Sept. 1, 2005.
5. Unfinished Business
Discussion of meeting with Dr. Schuster (Tabled Nov. 17)
Cindy reported that Sinclair is now seeking to hire an attorney to work at the College three days per week. Discussions should resume after that person is hired. It is not yet clear what areas Dr. Schuster and the new college attorney will address first.
6. New Business
Cindy referred to the summary of faculty comments on the academic calendar that was distributed earlier (attachment FSMA2005-0112-02). She noted that only about 15 of the 50 comments were negative, including several that were concerned only with the fact that graduation is scheduled for a Friday. Ann said that she understood the calendar was a “done deal,” and Cindy agreed that it is now set for 2005-06. The calendar for future years might be revised significantly, depending upon next year’s experience. Cindy also noted that while much attention has been focused on the changes to Fall Quarter it is also significant that Winter Quarter 2006 will start on a Tuesday and will have only 9 Mondays.
All Giambrone expressed his appreciation for the fact that faculty and chairs had an opportunity to provide input to the calendar. He also expressed his continuing concern that math students may be hurt by the uneven number of weeks in the three quarters, by the loss of Thanksgiving as a time to study and by the long break between Fall and Winter Quarters.
Cindy and Charles said that several other departments are also concerned about the five-week winter break. Jim Brooks and Jim Weiss both suggested that while the faculty comments opposing the change were less numerous than those in favor, those comments often seemed more thoughtful and more focused on students. Jackie and Laurel suggested that Wright State might be a source of data to assist in considering future calendar change. Jackie noted that many students take courses simultaneously at Wright State and Sinclair and in some cases their exam week schedule conflicts with required classes at Sinclair. Susan, Amanda and Fred emphasized the need for a continuous assessment of the calendar process and its impact on students.
6.2. Proposed Merit Revisions
Cindy welcomed Barb Adams, Patty Clark, and Daniel Ricica of the Personnel Committee to the meeting. She also distributed copies of a memo that was sent by the College-wide Merit Task Force to Dr. Jacobs and asked that the memo not be distributed outside of Senate.
Cindy explained that the College-wide Merit Task Force (Cindy, Jackie, Al Giambrone and George Sehi) had met several times, charged with reviewing the process of merit determination. Broader issues of merit (such as the 55% limit on the number of faculty receiving merit and the application of merit to base for Professors) were not part of their charge. After extensive discussion, the Task Force reached a consensus that the best option is for divisional merit committees to award merit for up to 45% of the faculty based on all areas of faculty performance. Faculty who applied but were not awarded merit at the division level would then be considered by the College-Wide Merit Committee for the remaining awards.
There was extensive discussion about the proposed change, including questions about implementation and about the continuing need for fairness and objectivity. Senate emphasized the importance of engaging faculty in the discussion and the importance of holding a vote of all tenure-track faculty before the final plan is implemented. Information about the Task Force’s recommendations will be distributed to faculty in advance of the Assembly meeting on Jan. 26th and the matter will be discussed at the Assembly meeting. Based on input from faculty, Senate’s Personnel Committee will be responsible for developing a specific plan.
Feedback on Range Closure Letters
Cindy reported that the Faculty Workload proposal tabled at the Senate meeting on Nov. 12th (attachment FSMA20041117-02) will be considered as a Special Order at the Senate meeting on Jan. 19th.
Cindy reminded Senators that the Winter Faculty Assembly meeting will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 26th in room 4011.
Cindy reported that Ned Young will meet with Senate on Jan. 19th. It appears that the discussions for 2005-06 will produce a one-year agreement without radical changes. More time is required to consider substantially different models. Jim reported that some faculty are questioning why the College needs a new model when it did not meet the old one.
The meeting adjourned at 4:05.
Submitted by Fred Thomas
Approved by Senate, Feb. 9, 2005