Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes 2014-12-10

SENATE MEETING 12/10/14

Rutherford Room, Student Union, Metro Campus

Minutes

 

The meeting was called to order at 2:04 pm by President William Roberts.

 

A motion to alter the agenda was approved.

 

Vice-President Darden reported on the timeline of events regarding the General Education Task Force proposed by Provost Capuano. On November 10th, the Provost asked the Dean’s Council to form a Task Force to create uniform Gen Ed requirements for all B.A. degrees at Becton, University, and Petrocelli Colleges. This Task Force would have representatives from each department and school that participates in Gen Ed, and would be chaired by the three college deans. With eight departments, ten schools, and one institute among these three colleges, this would create a Task Force with more than twenty members.

The APRC chair was informed of this situation on November 12th by an email from Provost Capuano. On November 19th the Executive Committee discussed their concerns that any Provost-appointed and Dean-chaired Task Force would supersede faculty jurisdiction over curriculum as specified in the Handbook. The Executive Committee asserts that any inter-college Gen Ed Task Force should originate in the Senate with faculty controlling its structure, membership, and leadership, as well as the final approval for any changes to Gen Ed.

On Dec 9, the Executive Committee submitted a memo to Provost Capuano specifying a Task Force model that would be acceptable, with ten faculty representatives (four from University, four from Becton, and two from Petrocelli,) plus the three college deans, to be co-chaired by elected faculty representatives from Becton and University. The Senate caucus from each of the three participating colleges would vote for the Task Force faculty members for their own college. The caucus of each college may also decide to appoint a non-senator to serve as their representative on the Task Force. This model ensures faculty control over any Task Force.

 

Senator Harmon read a resolution from the APRC saying: [GET]

“The APRC is unanimous in rejecting suggestion of Dean’s Council in regard”;

For this task force the APRC wants a clear charter; a clear time frame; transparency, and openness.

Today the Executive Committee agreed unanimously to bring a motion before the Senate: “We believe the faculty has unambiguous jurisdiction over University curriculum. Therefore, the Faculty Senate will only endorse a Gen Ed Task Force whose composition, membership, and leadership is formally ratified by the Senate Executive Committee and the full Senate.”

Campus Provost Kiernan: Silberman College of Business uses half the undergraduate curriculum in General Education; you can’t leave them out. VP Darden: The Dean’s Council decided Silberman would not be involved; this concerns only the Gen Ed requirements for BA degrees, and therefore does not include SBC. Dean Mills: I was not a party to this email exchange over the past few days. When I read Bill’s email this morning, I was taken by surprise. At Dean’s Council we had very preliminary discussion on how to approach this matter. We suggested forming a task force; we had no firm opinions on how it should be constituted. Dean Weinman and I agreed that it should start in January to meet the timelines. I think all of the Deans agree that Gen Ed is within the purview of faculty. I think the Executive Committee recommendation is a good idea, although I would agree with Joe that SBC be involved. Darden: We decided that any task force with twenty members would be too unwieldy. Sen. Singer: I don’t think anyone would argue against adding a couple of people from SBC.

 

At this point Pres. Roberts stepped aside to talk to Provost Capuano, who had just arrived, and inform him of what had been discussed. Capuano: Nothing has been decided in Dean’s Council. The suggestion was made that we have as much representation as possible; we didn’t want to leave anyone out. But I understand the concern that it might be too large. My email was for the purpose of initiating a dialogue, not of finalizing anything. The first step was the reduction of undergraduate degrees to 120 credits. This is the next step, and we have a year for this to be worked out. I assumed that we would have discussions, and if this is the forum in which to discuss it, then that is fine. My email was sent several weeks ago, and I never heard a reply from Joel Harmon in regard to this matter. We should create it together. Dean Rosman also agreed that SBC did not have to be represented because they have no BA degrees. If the Senate feels otherwise, we can discuss that. Harmon: Most of us have enormous respect for you and the Deans; it wasn’t made clear to us that this task force hadn’t already been underway. Capuano: The goal is to get a dialog going. I would like to know what the proposal is exactly; I read it quickly late last night, and some things were not clear. Darden: A caucus of Senators from each college would determine the faculty representatives; and the task force should be chaired by faculty, not by Deans. Harmon: I call the question. Capuano (to Darden): Nothing you’ve just said goes against the intentions of the initial discussion of the task force. Harmon: the motion to call the question has been seconded. As a point of order, the President is required to call the question. Pres. Roberts reread the motion. The vote on the question was 28 for, 0 against, 1 abstaining. The vote on the motion was 29 for, unanimously.

 

Provost Kiernan gave a presentation on the Middle States Decennial Review for 2013-16.

At every meeting of the Board of Trustees he gives an update on Middle States. What is it? The Middle States Committee on Higher Education (MSCHE). It is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Committee on Higher Education Administration as a regional accreditor, one of six altogether. We’ve been accredited continuously since 1948. The last accreditation was in 2007; there is a complete accreditation once every ten years, with a full report; halfway through, a Period Review Report is required.

Why do we do this? It leads to institutional improvement through a peer review process; and eligibility for title IV Federal funds for students requires regional accreditation.

In November 2013, the three-year process began. From December 2013 to February 2014, Pres. Drucker appointed the co-chairs of the Middle States task force (Joe Kiernan and Donalee Brown) and the Self-Study Design Team. In March 2014, the Board of Trustees reviewed the Self-Study Design, Pres. Drucker appointed a Steering Committee, and Working Groups were formed. The SSD plan calls for four working groups, arranged according to MS standards. Each group is co-chaired by faculty and staff. In April 2014, the MSCHE liaison visited FDU, and approved the Self Study Design. In fall 2014, the Working Group drafted reports to the Steering Committee; in two days those reports will be posted.

In spring 2015, the Working Group reports will be finalized. Fall 2015 is the period for community review and comment; this may be done in the spring, so the first drafts would be constructed in February or March. The SSD will be finalized and submitted to MSCHE. In January 2016, a Verification of Compliance with Accreditation-Relevant Federal Regulations Report is due to MSCHE (this is a new requirement). Four new regulations will be added for 2016. We will probably need a special task force for this report, not necessarily including faculty; it concerns information technology, financial aid, and finance.

In spring 2016 will occur the MSCHE site visit. This will be complex, with visits to FDU sites all over New Jersey and outside the US. It will involve probably ten to twelve people, including experts on finance and assessment. Last year sixteen of fifty-three institutions got either warnings or probation from MSCHE. Most problems are with assessment. By fall 2016, we expect to have our accreditation reaffirmed by MSCHE. There is no doubt that we will get re-accreditation, but the question is what kind of follow-up recommendations they will come up with. We are too complex not to have some issues.

Standards for accreditation include (the most significant in bold):

1. mission and goals

2. planning, resource allocation, institution renewal

3. institutional resources

4. leadership and governance

5. administration

6. integrity

7. institutional assessment

8. student admissions and retention

9. Student Support Services

10. Faculty

11. Educational offerings

12. Gen Ed

13. Related educational activities

14. Assessment of Student Learning

 

We will have our own suggestions and recommendations within SSD.

These fourteen standards will be cut down to seven for the next review, but everything in them will be incorporated into the seven.

Sen. Schiemann: I assume that shared governance is included under “leadership and governance.” Kiernan: In each case the first question is, are we in compliance or not? Second, there are certain research questions we have to answer; third, under each standard, there is a list of what they call fundamental elements. It is not a checklist, but if you miss one in your narrative, someone on the visiting team will ask about it. The top element in this case involves “collegial decision making,” but everything else is about the role of the governing board. Schiemann: So what will you put in narrative about shared governance? Kiernan: I don’t know. Petros Anastosopoulos is chair of the subcommittee of Working Group D charged with drafting a response on #4. Sen. Anastosopoulos: We have three faculty; we’ve answered one or two questions; I brought one to the Executive Committee to get a sense of how they feel the faculty is empowered. Kiernan: Their report has to go to the Working Group, then the Steering Committee. Schiemann: I suggest that you mention the Speaker Series and ??? when you are discussing shared governance. Sen. Adrignolo: What percentage of schools under review lose their accreditation? Kiernan: Kean, Bergen Community College and others have been put on probation. MS will send a team to review the situation. Usually schools are able to get off probation. The number of schools that actually fail to fix it, and lose accreditation, is very small. But if you get to that position, it’s reported in the newspapers and is public knowledge.

Sen. Harmon: In regard to Sen. Schiemann’s question, there are places to address such questions in depth. This is not one of them. No good can come out of it. Sen. Kovacs: I agree. Kiernan: Any recommendations that MS makes, you will have to fix or it will stick. Sen. Anastosopoulos: In terms of process, we look through documents, discuss process with appropriate bodies, such as student groups and so on. Kiernan: I am currently Accreditation Liaison Officer.

Sen. Denning: I support Joel’s comment. If we have no students, there will be nothing to fix about shared governance.

 

The FRW report was given by Sen. Anastosopoulos. He gave progress reports on two issues.

The first issue is participation of faculty in an advisory panel convened for cases of sexual harassment brought by students. Since the previous meeting, Pres. Drucker asked the Senate President to come up with five names of faculty to participate in such a panel. FRW discussed this and said that of course faculty have to participate. It feels as though the University considers it urgent to get these faculty representatives. Pres. Roberts has volunteered. Anyone who wishes to, please let us know. About twenty years ago, FRW was asked to create a Sexual Harassment policy, and we did. In those days, perhaps cases were brought to courts, and courts mandated that companies develop policies and go through training. In our case, we did it to be in compliance with federal rulings. Two years ago, we came up with a broader policy (sexual harassment and also antidiscrimination) to be in compliance with state regulations. At the end of the process, there is an advisory panel consisting of faculty and administration. At the last meeting, David Rosen said we have such a panel already, the University Review Committee; I asked him to give advice as an attorney. There is some overlapping of responsibilities here. The University Review Committee exclusively reviews faculty, not staff; the review panel deals only with discrimination and sexual harassment of all employees, not just faculty. Sen. Denning: Are students part of this process? Sen. Anastosopoulos: Yes—faculty, employees, and students. Denning: do we have a clear differentiation between harassment and illegal behavior? Sen. Anastosopoulos: That’s up to the courts. Sen. Singer: It’s listed on the Federal website under EOC. Sen. Behson: There is comprehensive language in the campus procedures as well.

The second issue is salary equalization. As background, the FRW was asked by Provost Capuano about three months ago to come up with a recommendation for allocation of $300,000 of equalization money. We think we are very close to agreement. We make recommendations on COLA, on policies, and so on. Each recommendation has to be substantiated. Two years ago we made a specific argument that the University needs money for equalization. What do we mean by equalization? Over the years, faculty salaries have stagnated; the longer faculty members stay here, the farther they fall behind peer institutions. We have new faculty members with little or no experience, who can get hired at higher salaries than faculty who have been here for years. Pres. Drucker said that several years ago he asked the faculty to figure out how to distribute it, and the faculty said he had done this deliberately, figuring that they wouldn’t be able to agree on how to do it. So we want to resolve this as quickly as possible. We weren’t asked to bring it to the Senate and the Executive Committee for approval, but we are doing so because we want feedback. We have agreed to consider discipline, years in rank, and years of service. We have agreed on some caps for maximum equalization, and three years minimum service. Last time we agreed to increase the caps for each rank by the amounts of the COLAs that have taken place since then. But we still need to discuss whether there should also be individual caps ($5000 per faculty member, per example). Our intention is to be as inclusive as possible. The Provost gave us statistics: for full professors the average FDU is $22,000 behind our peers, for associates $18,000 behind, and for assistants only $4,000 behind, so should we drop assistants from this equalization? I said that some assistants might need special consideration, so we included them. We agreed to omit lecturers.

Sen. Peabody: Let’s say that the University makes a lot of money in the next few years. How often will equalization come up? And do we have to redo it each time? Sen. Anastosopoulos: We do redo it each time; the personnel of FRW changes and has the right to decide. Sen. Bronson: Pres. Drucker is committed to the 60th percentile of our peer group as our ultimate goal. A clear majority of the committee voted for the parameters. We think most people will agree on parameters. Sen. Anastosopoulos: Last time personal raises were capped at about $6000. This time we’ve lowered them, because we want the money to spread to more people. Sen. Salierno: The 60th percentile is a moving target; if this is 10% of what we need, will we be there in 10 years? Will we ever be there? Bronson: No. But if peer groups keep making more money, and we keep getting raises, that’s a good thing. Sen. Sinha: This is a good time to review CUPA factors; some of us have been put in CUPA categories incorrectly, and some of us are in two or more categories. Sen. Slaby: We received the CIP codes from Provost Capuano, and there was no verification. Capuano: The list of CIP codes are more complete than ever. For the sake of transparency, I’ll ask the Deans to send each of you your CIP codes.

Sen. Ng: What about the other $100,000 earmarked for equalization? Sen. Anastosopoulos: To explain the background: two years ago, the Provost said we had to develop performance criteria. We said, give us the money first, then we’ll discuss performance criteria. Sen. Bronson: Pres. Drucker said that the Board of Trustees wanted performance criteria; Bill Roberts said, let’s separate equalization from merit; I said, if you do that, we will go to the faculty and try to come up with measures of which the Board of Trustees will approve. I asked Pres. Drucker what he meant by merit; he said, what he cares about is service to the students. If we incorporate that, the administration can go back to the Board of Trustees, to say that the faculty is committed to counting the service to students. I think to make the University thrive, you need not just all our programs, but a commitment to serve the students. Capuano: We will soon start in Dean’s council to draft criteria for performance-based criteria, which we will share with the Senate, and we won’t implement anything without agreement, but we will also be incorporating teaching and scholarship.

 

The APRC report was given by Sen. Harmon.

I’ve already mentioned that APRC is working on General Education. APRC has also agreed to make faculty involvement in admissions standards a priority issue for the spring.

In regard to midterm progress reports, there have always been pros and cons about expanding this to include all students. APRC offers this motion:

“The expansion of midterm progress reporting beyond the freshman and special populations should now go to faculty referendum.” That would be after everyone gets to read the task force report. Sen. Bronson: If we send a referendum to the faculty first, how will that look in the newspapers? How will that look to parents? Say we approved that it won’t be mandatory. How will that look in the papers? Sen. Behson: I agree philosophically with Gary, but there are certain conditions that apply to expanding this, which were discussed in the Senate long ago, and we don’t yet know whether those conditions were met. Sen. Cohen: I disagree respectfully. This would be a new report for all students, in addition to the grades that are always given at the ends of semesters, so we will not be terminating reports that we have always given. In addition, these midterm reports have always been optional, unlike true grades. Provost Capuano: Most of our peer institutions now provide midterm grades. Sen. Harmon: APRC is not taking a position for or against. But given that there are different points of view, it may be time to ask the entire faculty. Sen. Schiemann: I call the question. The question was voted, 21 for, 0 against, 5 abstaining.

Sen. Harmon reread the motion for the vote. The motion passed: 20 for, 3 against, 3 abstaining.

 

The UPBC report was given by Sen. Adrignolo:

Meetings on next year’s budget requests begin in January.

 

The Handbook Committee Report was deferred until January meeting.

 

In regard to the reintroduction of the giving of plaques to departing Senate presidents to note their service, Pres. Roberts thanked Sen. Adrignolo and Provost Capuano for recognizing the achievements of past presidents. He called up past presidents Petros Anastosopoulos and Jeff Hsu to present them with plaques.

Sen. Anastosopoulos said that Sen. Adrignolo, along with past presidents Helen Brudner and Jim Fatemi, have been pillars of our faculty.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 3:52 pm.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Allen Cohen

Acting Recording Secretary