Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes 2014-10-29

SENATE MEETING 10/29/14

Wilson Auditorium, Dickinson Hall, Metro Campus

Minutes

 

The meeting was called to order at 2:11 pm by President William Roberts.

 

The minutes of the September meeting and the agenda for this meeting were approved.

 

University President Drucker gave a report.

He said that the success of the University is dependent on the success of alumni, staff, and faculty. Last Sunday’s Open House at Florham was a huge success, with several thousand families attending. He commended the faculty on their turnout and performance. The Metro campus Open House will take place in two weeks.

Next he discussed the fiscal health of the University. Fiscal 2014 was the fifteenth consecutive year in which the University had a surplus. This surplus has added to the endowment and to facilities. This helps to attract retain students, faculty, and staff. Unrestricted funds were 132 million dollars in June, up $15 million from the previous year. Last year the University raised $7 million, one of the best years ever. Our long-term debt has gone down 20 percent in the past few years. The endowment is now approximately $60 million. There are still many problems, including the affordability of tuition.

Full-time fall undergraduate enrollments are up 225 from last fall, and continuing students are 227 more than budgeted. Full-time graduate enrollment is up 289 over last fall, and there have been hundreds of international applications for spring 2015, so that another couple of hundred students more than last spring are expected. We expect to balance the budget, even with a 3.5 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA).

The New Jersey economy has not recovered as much as in other states, and tuition reimbursement from the state has been reduced; essentially we are getting no money from New Jersey. We are competing with cheaper community colleges and public universities. We have increased efficiency, and kept expenses essentially flat, while offering a superior educational product. We have raised about $1.5 million in endowed aid for scholarships. Last week we received a $500,000 gift from the Dreyfuss Foundation. Next fall the Pharmacy School will have a full complement of four classes. We have opened the second floor of the building, and will be taking the top floor as well in 2016; at 60,000 square feet, it is our largest building in New Jersey except Dickinson Hall.

The Vancouver campus opened eight years ago with eighteen students, and now has 630. It was built to hold 400-450; last year it doubled in size to accommodate up to 1000 students. It has provided a significant surplus in last few years. We have started the process to establish a Masters in Hotel and Restaurant Management there.

This fall the Wroxton campus had its largest intake so far. This is the fiftieth anniversary of the Wroxton campus. It is also the fiftieth anniversary of the Association of University Presidents, founded by Peter Sammartino; their first meeting was at Wroxton in 1965.

The past year saw the completion of a number of capital projects: at Metro, improvements to Becton Hall, the Rutherford Room in the Student Union Building, and the Engineering and Nursing Labs. At Florham, the rebuilding of the Barn Theater. There have been 150 projects completed on the two New Jersey campuses this past summer.

There is now an Emergency Management Team to establish an Ebola protocol for students who will be going home to other countries for Thanksgiving and Xmas.

As for health care, the renewal process starts next year. No one knows for sure about the renewal or the effects of the Affordable Care Act; but probably rates will rise, and perhaps the so-called Cadillac tax (a 40% excise tax) will be eliminated. Earlier this year, everyone enrolled in the health plan received a rebate for the third time in three years. The University is trying to keep the 75/25 balance of payments for health care premiums.

A new University Strategic Plan was developed last year. This is now a five-year plan rather than a three-year plan. (Most institutions have five-year plans.) The Plan aims to improve affordability and value, increase public and private support, and establish new initiatives. It has four aspirational objectives, goals which require extraordinary vision, planning, resources, and effort to accomplish. These are: a School of Health Sciences; retooling the Silberman College of Business; expanding the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management; and undertaking an aggressive capital campaign to fund these initiatives and build the endowment.

Pres. Drucker remains very optimistic, thanks to all of those who take care of our students, and to great work from our faculty and staff.

 

Questions for the President followed.

Senator Schiemann: Which administrator is responsible for the New Jersey Speaker Series, and what are the benchmarks for measuring its success? Drucker: I am responsible. It was my decision, and I believe it will be very successful. Two weeks ago, Madeleine Albright spoke, and next week Alan Alda will appear. Schiemann: My students loved it, but the house was only about half full. What are the benchmarks? Maybe not ticket sales, but what will it give the University? Drucker: It comes in the form of public relations, advertising, and branding. Many people (alumni and others) are saying that it’s great to hear the FDU name on CBS radio, or in the Star-Ledger. We had about 1500 people at the first event. We would like to see the house filled, but we will not be paying for any shortfall; the series is still well worth it. Ordinary advertising costs us three to four times as much as this series does. Other colleges have been asking to come in on the series with us. I am not sure why we have been doing so well this year (as the Open House shows); is it from the women’s basketball team winning the NCAA championship? our great programs? the Speaker Series? All of these are helping.

Sen. Harmon: Could you speak about joining the United Nations Global Compact as part of the Strategic Plan? Drucker: It’s a commitment to support global sustainability, which is something we very much believe in.

Vice-President Darden: Regarding the Speaker Series, how can we maximize the use of the unsold seats by offering them to students, alumni, and so on? Drucker: We have faculty and students, donors and prospective donors; and guidance counselors from high schools. Sen. Singer: The list of speakers’ names is impressive, but you can only buy a ticket for the entire series, and I can’t afford that. Drucker: That is the only way it could work. Interested faculty can ask their Provost, or University Advancement, for tickets. The cost of the remainder of the season is prorated. Sen. Hutton: The rationalization for the Speaker Series is branding. I speak as a marketing professor when I ask: How are these events being chosen by people who don’t have expertise in branding and marketing? Drucker: We did research about success of this series with colleges that have been previously involved. It costs more to clear a bad snowfall than this series costs us. We have an excellent enrollment management team. Hutton: Can you name one person on that team with marketing expertise? Drucker: I’m not going to discuss individuals.

 

The Planning and Budget Committee report was given by Sen. Adrignolo.

He said that Pres. Drucker had covered most of what he had intended to discuss. He thanked the committee members. Each year our goal is to produce a surplus, and incidentally a COLA. Thanks to increased enrollment, a COLA will be given this year. We used to be able to put salary adjustments into the July (preliminary) budgets, but our finances haven’t been good enough, so now we do it this way. Even though our bond rating isn’t good, our fiscal position is reasonably good, and better than in the last twelve years. The University is in better shape than in recent years. But it would take only one big scare, one really bad year, to change the picture. If we had a much bigger endowment, we could ride out several bad years.

He then made a personal comment on the Speaker Series: He would have consulted Sen. Hutton first. But having thought about it, he purchased two tickets to the series and gave them to Student Government Association leaders. Without passing judgment on whether it’s a good idea, he suggested that since we’re in it, let’s try to make it a success.

 

The Faculty Rights and Welfare Committee report was given by Sen. Anastosopoulos.

FRW’s primary focus is compensation. Last spring he and Sen. Slaby (deputy chair) had met with Pres. Drucker and made recommendations; the latter promised to fulfill the recommendations if the budget allowed. They requested a 2.5 percent COLA plus $500,000 in equalization. They are pleased that Pres. Drucker has recommended a COLA, and that the COLA was higher than they had requested, although the $300,000 equalization is less than they had requested. There is a current concern about the formula for equalization, as requested by Provost Capuano.

Next he discussed the University sexual harassment policy. Two years ago FRW asked that it be involved in formulating such a policy; many FRW recommendations were accepted, but they want more faculty participation in the various stages of filing a complaint, rather than only upon appeal.

Although the University is giving free flu shots, there are not enough shots for the entire University community. Since the University is promoting healthy living, prevention should include shots for all. FRW also had Ebola concerns, but Pres. Drucker has addressed this issue.

The Dickinson Hall parking lot has thirty spaces, of which sixteen are designated for administrators or staff (the President, Vice-Presidents, assistant Vice-Presidents, and so on), and only fourteen for faculty. Half of the designated spaces are usually unoccupied. FRW recommends that, beyond reserving single spaces for the President, the Provost, and so on, the spots should be designated only for faculty and administration together, with the rule being first come first served.

He returned to the question of the equalization formula. First, FRW had originally recommended that lecturers be part of the equalization process, as part of the faculty. With $300,000 rather than the requested $500,000 in equalization funds, FRW decided to omit them from process. Compared with our peer group, the mean salary for FDU assistant professors, who are newly hired at (close to) market rates, is only about $4,000 below the group mean, while that of associate professors is $18,000 below, and full professors $22,000 below. But FRW has decided that some assistant professors may also be below the desired mean, and should be included in equalization.

They are still working on two formulas for equalization; one is the formula used for the last equalization, eight years ago; the other is a new formula that Sen. Slaby has found used by several universities. There are some fundamental agreements: Equalization is to be given only after COLA and not before; it should try to cover as many faculty as possible; and it should include four types of criteria (rank, years in rank, years at the University, and academic discipline).

Sen. Cohen: Since salaries of liberal arts faculty are usually already less than the salaries of business faculty, should academic discipline or CUPA be less of a factor in equalization than other criteria? Sen. Hutton: It is a myth that Business School faculty get less than liberal arts faculty. It is also a myth that women get less than men. We don’t need a formula; corporations develop target salaries rather than rewarding employees for time served; this would automatically eliminate gender inequities. The main problem is that former administrators are still getting money from the University, even though they are gone or retired. Sen. Schiemann: I have the same perception as Sen. Cohen. We need more data, so that we will not have such differences of opinion about the true state of affairs. Sen. Anastosopoulos: FRW represents the entire University; this will be a useful discussion within FRW, not in the Senate as whole. Anyone who is interested can contribute. Provost Capuano: That data has been provided to FRW, probably the most accurate salary database in University history. Sen. Hutton is correct; some former administrators who are now back in the arts faculty have higher salaries than some faculty in SBC. But in terms of mean salaries, the mean Becton salary is $88,000, and the mean SBC salary is $107,000. We have to spend more to hire new marketing and financial faculty.

Sen. Anastosopoulos: We don’t mind the notion of disseminating data, but certain data includes private info about particular faculty, so we can’t disseminate all data generally. To Sen. Hutton he added: We are trying to devise a formula that includes target salary, but is dependent on rank, years, and discipline. We can use CUPA for averages to adjust individual salaries, and we can try to create a minimum. It has been only about ten days since we got the full data from Provost Capuano; there has not been enough time to digest all the data, so the full details have not been worked out yet. In reply to Sen. Hutton’s question as to why faculty should be rewarded for time served, Sen. Anastosopoulos added that faculty may be getting hired at market rates, but the longer they stay, the farther below market rate their salaries become.

Sen. Denning: I’d like to know the dollar amount it would cost to bring every faculty up to the market rate. Sen. Hutton: It would cost about $4 million a year. Sen. Houle: Is there a reason not to simply divide the money equally among all faculty? Sen. Anastosopoulos: We voted that down, because it doesn’t address the issue of equalization. Sen. Slaby: Our goal is to try to match our peers, so to divide a flat sum equally would be to lose that goal entirely. Sen. Anastosopoulos: We are open to all comments from any faculty.

Sen. Ng: In his report, Pres. Drucker said there would be $400,000 equalization; Sen. Anastosopoulos said $300,000. Sen. Anastosopoulos: This discussion started two years ago; the administration asked to include merit as the basis for part of the equalization. We felt no need to work out the formula until a specific amount was allocated. We thought equalization included merit, but since it would be problematic to include merit, with all its questions to be resolved, Provovst Capuano suggested 75 percent of the total amount ($300,000) should be used for equalization, and the other 25 percent ($100,000) to be given later on merit or other criteria. Ng: What if we don’t agree on what constitutes merit? Does the $100,000 go back to the University? Sen. Anastosopoulos: I don’t know. Provost Capuano: we don’t use the term “merit”; we say “performance-based measures.” It would be virtually impossible to do this across the entire University with one formula, so we are now working on developing a methodology with criteria based on teaching, service, and scholarship. We are trying to keep it as simple as possible, to reward and incentivize faculty. Once the methodology is developed, we will send it to FRW and hopefully come to an agreement. Equalization can begin with the November 16th pay period (or will be retroactive to November 16th); the performance-based increases will be annualized as of next year.

 

The Academic Policies and Research Committee report was given by Sen. Harmon.

At its last meeting the Senate passed a motion for an electronic system to report violations of the Academic Integrity Policy by students. Part of the motion, about automatic notification to Dean of Students, was tabled. APRC and the Executive Committee consulted the University counsel, who agreed that such notification would create no additional risks, so they are now bringing the motion to the Senate:

“The Dean of Students may be included in the automatic reporting chain in regard to the nature and outcomes of academic integrity student violations.“

Sen. Singer: For clarification, no professor is obligated to report such a violation, if the professor chooses to resolve the issue without a formal process. Sen. Adrignolo: Suppose an allegation is made and then discovered to be false—why not wait until it is adjudicated, before it is uploaded? Sen. Harmon: Such allegations are not public knowledge. Only if and when a decision is made by the grievance committee, and it is decided to enter it onto the student’s transcript, is it made generally available. Prov. Capuano: This would not give Deans of Students any information to which they do not already have access, but simply make it easier for them to access the information. They have far more sensitive information regarding students.

The motion was passed, 19 for, 2 against, no abstentions.

APRC received sixteen nominations for persons to whom to award an honorary degree at next spring’s Commencement. They gave positive recommendations to ten of the sixteen. Sen. Adrignolo: What criteria do you use? Sen. Harmon: We have criteria, which I mentioned last year: contributions to the world, being an inspiring role model, having a connection to FDU, visibility, fundraising potential. Also, perhaps, adding esteem to the University, being younger rather than older, and having good presentation skills.

He went on to discuss changes to the Core curriculum. APRC expects to work with the Provost and the Deans on syllabi for Core substitutions. Sen. Adrignolo: Does this mean that APRC isn’t working on this now? Harmon: A separate committee is working on Core proposals, which are sent on to APRC when vetted by colleges and schools. Prov. Capuano: The first meeting of that committee is tomorrow.

In regard to the Strategic Plan, Sen. Harmon mentioned operational objective 4.2: to standardize General Education requirements for similar degrees across colleges. APRC will start that conversation at next meeting. The Plan states there would be an intercollege task force for this, but meanwhile APRC is starting to work on it.

He went on to midterm reports. In February 2011, the Senate considered expanding the midterm progress report (previously only for freshmen and special populations) to all students; this was approved pending further clarifications. Recently APRC received a report from Task Force on midterm progress reports, to decide if the Senate should be asked to remove restrictions on the applicability of progress reports. Sen. Denning: The Middle States self-study period is under way; the committee considered the ease of transfer of various curricula between colleges. Has APRC reached a decision? Sen. Harmon: No, we are beginning to consider the issue. Many questions remain about how to apply academic policies across colleges and campuses. Sen. Kovacs: Sen. Denning is talking about the transferability of credits across programs or colleges. Prov. Capuano: The first step is to get all BA and BS programs down to (or close to) 120 credits. Next, we must look at all Gen Ed requirements and make them as uniform as possible, so that transfer between colleges will be easier. Sen. Harmon: APRC and the Senate ought to see the rationales for these changes. Sen. Schiemann: I disagree. Becton College has agreed on integrating Gen Ed requirements across colleges; SBC has already reduced credits to 120; so this is more of an inter-collegiate question rather than a University-wide APRC question. Sen. Singer: I know the number of credits for a degree are going down, but I understood that all such reductions needed to come from the academic departments; why must we reduce major credits rather than touch Gen Ed? Capuano: No one is telling the colleges to reduce major credits. Sen. Harmon: You might allow colleges and departments to do such things, but from a University-wide perspective it might not seem a good thing to do, which is why APRC should have oversight. Dean Weinman: I think it’s a smaller issue than it seems to be; with Core requirements already changing from thirteen to eight credits, it means simply eliminating one course. Sen. Harmon: I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, but faculty should have governance over educational policy.

In regard to the Middle States report, Sen. Adrignolo asked: Who is writing about shared governance for the Senate? Capuano: Our Middle States task force has many working groups. One of them has that assignment. Pres. Drucker and Metro Provost Kiernan decided the constitution of each working group. Sen. Cohen: I support Sen. Adrignolo’s concern; faculty should definitely be represented on that particular working group. Sen. Tuluca: Or else the report should come to the Senate before being decided.

 

The Faculty Handbook Committee report was given by Sen. LoPinto.

Current FHC deliberations include consideration of the several issues, including clarification of the language in the Faculty Handbook, XVII.1.6, to indicate that Deans cannot require nine-month faculty members to receive their approval for summer teaching at other institutions. Handbook XVII.1.6 now reads as follows:

“Non-University Employment: Teaching or other employment at another institution of higher learning requires the approval of the College Dean.” This would be changed to read:

“Non-University Employment: Teaching or other employment at another institution of higher learning during full semesters requires the approval of the College Dean.”

Sen LoPinto went on to say that the in section 14.2.2 the Handbook says that full-time faculty has priority over part time faculty. At present Handbook XIV.2.2 states the following:

“Normally, full-time faculty shall have priority over part-time faculty in summer session and overload teaching assignments.” FHC wants to delete the word “normally.” The Executive Committee recommends changing “normally” to ”subject to qualifications.”

In regard to violations of the Handbook, the Handbook Committee intends to explore violations and bring recommendations for action to the Executive Committee.

 

Sen. Schiemann added a comment in regard to the Speaker Series: Faculty and students were given tickets only because the University bought and distributed them to fill up more seats.

 

President Roberts added that all subsequent meetings for the year would be held at the Rutherford Rooms on each campus.

 

The meeting was adjourned 3:56 pm.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Allen Cohen

Acting Recording Secretary