Unit heads November 26, 2002Unit Heads Meeting
November 26, 2002
G. Weidemann, P. Siebenmorgen, D. Graham, R. Roeder, M. Power, S. Lim, F. Stephen, M. Cochran, D. Hensley, L. Verma, J. Barrentine, R. Buescher, D. Herring, M. Warnock, K. Lusby, W. Bottje, D. Motes, D. Kluender, C. Kennedy, R. Eason, L. Earnest, E. Colburn, M. Phillips, V. Skinner, D. Chapman, F. Bourland, C. Derren
Introduced Dr. Chris Deren, new Director of the Rice Research and Extension Center.
Three candidates will be interviewed for the Poultry Science Head position in December and January.
We will watch closely the upcoming legislative session. As we entered the new budget year, I asked everyone to hold back ten percent of the appropriated budget from the Station and the College in case we had to have a budget recission. My feeling now is that a rollback probably will not occur so you don't have to hold that ten percent. That was a contingency to allow us to adjust to the Amendment 3 issue. We will still need to watch the State budget very carefully. I urge you to continue to be somewhat conservative in your spending. I believe we will get through this budget year unscathed but will have to watch what happens in the legislative session beginning in January. There are many issues that they will consider in the next session; my feeling is that Higher Ed or the Division of Agriculture will not get much help. We will probably have budget discussions this year without a good idea of what our budget will be.
2. Grant Policy
Cooperative Extension is handling more of their grants and contracts through their office. The grants and contracts policy was discussed with Drs. Shult, Lyles and French. Those of you involved should have seen a memo essentially saying that all Extension grants and contracts would flow through their office. A revised memo that will be sent stating that on split appointments, if it involves research that is appropriate to the Experiment Station, then it should flow through the Experiment Station grants and contracts office. If it is clearly an Extension type activity, it should flow through their grants and contracts office. This determination can be made by who the lead PI is on a project. If the project involved is a research related activity, it is most appropriate that it would go through the Experiment Station.
3. Communication with Faculty
We continue to have complaints from faculty that information given to you at Unit Heads meetings is not shared with them. There are some faculty with the College and the Station that feel like they are not being updated. The minutes from these meetings are being posted to the College/Station website so the faculty will have access to the information. Please let your faculty know that they can look up the minutes on the web page. Also, I know that many of you take notes during the meetings and would encourage you to share those notes with your faculty.
4. Progress Reports
This deals with 2010 goals for the College and the AES. (D. Graham included goals in folders handed out to academic departments.) As part of the campus effort, we have set goals for ourselves in academics as well as research-related activity to be reached by 2010. We are making great progress on some of those. On the research side, we are making progress on federal research expenditures, overall research expenditures, etc. I believe we have a good chance of reaching our 2010 goals. On the academic side, the numbers for student quality continue to look good. In looking at the 2002 numbers, the one issue that disturbs me is our freshman year retention. It is down significantly from where it was the previous year. This tells me either we are dealing with a single year anomaly or we have a problem area. We are not going to reach our retention goals if these numbers continue to soften. I urge each of the Heads in the academic units to pay particular attention to this. I would like each of the academic heads, at the conclusion of the fall semester, to call each and every student who did not re-enroll for the spring semester. We will get the list of students that our records show did not re-enroll for the spring term in your units. Please call each student and follow up with them personally. Donna has included in your folder a survey used by campus that you can utilize as you talk to them. The purpose for the call is not to encourage them to come back but to determine why they left. By accumlating this data over time, it will show us some of the common reasons for our students leaving. We can then use the information to work together to address these issues. I know that some of you as unit heads will feel uncomfortable doing this but I believe it will be a useful exercise if you will do it personally. If you are extremely uncomfortable with making the calls yourself, you should designate one faculty member to do the followup. I do not want a secretary to call them. We need to be diligent in addressing our retention issues.
5. Walton Gifts
* Graduate Fellowships - Results should be available around the middle of December.
* Chairs and Professorships - no time line given yet; there will be a rough cut first to eliminate a portion of the pool and then there will be a longer process to determine funding on the remaining applications. I do not know at this time if the results of the first cut will be communicated to colleges. I did not forward a few from this office due to requests for new positions. As explained to Unit Heads previously, it was necessary to be very conservative concerning new positions. Will communicate to the Unit Heads that had proposals that were not sent forward.
* The College Promotion and Tenure committee will meet on December 6. We have 17 P&T documents to be considered this year, a record number.
6. Logo Usage
Discussions have been held with Dr. Shult regarding the letterhead, business cards, etc. and how to accomodate the fact that, particularly for our on-campus units, we operate under two logos...one for the Fayetteville Campus and one for the Division of Agriculture. Dr. Shult has been working with the communications group, both in the AES and CES, to revise the guidelines for logo usage (handout). As you look at these draft guidelines, I will appreciate your input to share with Dr. Shult. The suggestion for on-campus units is to use letterhead that has both the Division and the Campus logo. Business cards required more discussion as using both logos on a card looks too crowded and the color process is complicated by the two different red colors used by the Division and the Campus. The suggestion for faculty is that if they are primarily on an Experiment Station appointment, it is most appropriate for them to use a business card that has the Division logo on it. If their appointment is primarily academic, it's more appropriate for them to use the Campus logo. I use two business cards. If I am doing Associate Vice President business, I use the card with the Division logo and if I'm doing dean business, I use the card with the Campus logo on it. Faculty has this same option. Two sets of envelopes should be used, one for Division and one for the College.
Dr. Shult has been very diligent about creating a presence for the Division of Agriculture. I believe this is a healthy approach. The logo change is to help create a Division brand that is recognizable across the State. A final set of logos will be forthcoming from the Communications Departments, probably soon after the first of the new year.
7. Thank you letters for Scholarships
In the folders given to the academic units is a list of students who have not written thank you letters to the donor(s). There are about 50 names on the list. If these students do not write their letters and give to Shirley Lere before December 10, their spring scholarship will be canceled. This policy is in our guidelines. Shirley has followed up by writing letters and other forms of communication to try to get these students to turn their letters in to her. Please look at the list, identify your students, find them and explain the ramifications if they don't write the letter by the last day of classes. If there is an "nn" by the students name, that means that it is not necessary for them to write. If there are questions about the contact name for a scholarship, please contact Shirley Lere. She will have that information. Some departments turn in notices for the spring. Those also have to be in by December 10 for those scholarships to be awarded in a timely fashion.
We will be implementing four steps to better monitor our student retention. (1)We have employed a graduate student who is engaged in the study of retention. He is developing a survey of those students who dropped out this last year; (2) We are cleaning up inactive files and will be looking at those that are within the last six years and will conduct a follow-up study as to why they left the College or the Institution; (3) We have trained faculty on the Retention Management System Survey (RMS Survey). This is an assessment at the beginning of a student's academic career which was self reported by the student that gives, among other things, the tendency to drop out. We will be following that group of students who self reported their lack of interest or motivation or other characteristics that identify them as students who are likely to leave; (4) also we have implemented the exit interview. In your packet is the exit interview form that Dr. Weidemann talked about earlier. The second form is for the same purpose but written in a different way. An exit interview is supposed to be a conversation you have with a student, either over the telephone or in person. These forms will provide two ways to accomplish this. When completed, please mail to the dean's office.
9. I have included a list of distance ed courses that will be offered in January.
10. Academic units also have a list in their folders of what is called "sunset" courses. Some of you have been very diligent and returned your answers. Some have not. Those of you with question marks in the columns must respond to me by tomorrow (November 27) or the courses will be deleted in the fall. If you want to keep a course active, please look over the list and respond.
11. Web Pages
The University is developing standards for a content management system. This is software that lets your web page be edited easily. It will not require a web page expert to change the format or text of your web page. This system is to be in place by the first of year. Some of you may be asked to alter the looks of your web page when this goes into place. Dave Edmark is your contact if you have particular questions.
Some of you have been talking about our grades in algebra, chemistry and other courses. We are pulling data that will be shared with you regarding transfer numbers, Ds, Ws, Fs and Is in these classes to determine the facts and to be sure we are not considering isolated incidents.
The Undergraduate Progress Committee has met. We are looking at the number of hours our students are enrolling in each semester. Our semester averages are 12 hours or less. This effects our graduation rate. We need to address some of those issues.
Duane Wolf chaired the Undergraduate Research Proposals Committee. Those announcements will be made very soon.
Catalog revisions - these come very early in the spring. Please start looking at your catalog copy now.
Next year, I will ask that you do a full year of schedule of classes so start making plans for that. As a reminder, we are going fully electronic for the fall schedule of classes. There will be no printed copies. There will be a couple of pages of instructions for students. I anticipate an increase in the demand on computer usage and scheduling of your advising time. You are to be complimented on the decrease in the number of changes.
Along the lines of the conversations we had this morning about legal issues, I want to share with you comments and complaints from students that you need to keep in mind. One of those is asking for assignments outside of the semester where they seep over to dead day or go after finals. They are outside of what we define as the period of time they are in the class. This is not allowed. If you hear of incidents among your faculty, you need to correct this. Another complaint is the instructor not following the syllabus. Dr. Weidemann interjected that there is potential for a lawsuit over this type of complaint. We have deflected several serious complaints of similar situations. Dr. Graham continued to explain that making changes to the syllabus during the semester is also considered not following the syllabus which is considered a legal contract by lawyers. Another issue is inappropriate comments that faculty make in front of students. Some students keep logs of comments made by their instructors. This includes comments a faculty member may make about a student in front of another student. We need to take care of these problems ourselves before they turn into problem issues. Dr. Weidemann reminded that we cannot reveal anything about a student's performance to other students.
Concerns: Along the lines of the conversations we had this morning about legal issues,
I want to share with you comments and complaints from students that you need to keep
in mind. 1) One violation is that faculty members are asking for assignments outside
of the semester where the assignment is to be completed on dead day or go after finals.
This is outside of what we define as the period of time they are in the class. This
is not allowed. If you hear of incidents among your faculty, you need to correct this.
2) Another complaint is the instructor not following the syllabus. Dr. Weidemann interjected
that there is potential for a lawsuit over this type of complaint. We have deflected
several serious complaints of similar situations. Dr. Graham continued to explain
that making changes to the syllabus during the semester is also considered not following
the syllabus which is considered a legal contract by lawyers. 3) Another issue is
inappropriate comments that faculty make in front of students. Some students keep
logs of comments made by their instructors. This includes comments a faculty member
may make about a student in front of another student. We need to take care of these
problems ourselves before they turn into problem issues. Dr. Weidemann reminded that
we cannot reveal anything about a student's performance to other students.
12. Reported on visits to stations and departments and thanked them for taking the time to make the visits productive and a learning experience. Attended a couple of commodity board meetings. Working on establishing research priorities for this year and will communicate more to Unit Heads later. Also working on safety issues at stations, housing and overtime. Reviewing position descriptions for all classified and non classified positions at the research and extension centers and branch stations to ensure that we have up-to-date, accurate position descriptions.
After determining that the on-campus administrative staff had no items to address, the fall administrative staff meeting was canceled. We will have one in the spring.
In lieu of the fall meeting, members of the Business Office are traveling to various off-campus sites visiting with the staff as part of our ongoing effort to understand the locations, the functions and any unique operating circumstances in our off-campus units. I want to thank each of you who have hosted us for extending your hospitality and spending time with us. We feel these have been very positive visits and will continue them throughout the year.
In response to the questions about the foundation investment guidelines, Mark mentioned that the Foundation prints a very nice booklet about this and how it works. I will request copies of this booklet to be sent to each of you. If you need additional copies, let me know.
The first page shows campaign totals for the College and the Division combined. The goal is a little over $69,000,000, we've raised $47,308,000 or 68% of our goal so we are right on track. The overall campaign total, again beginning July 1, 1998 through the end of October, 2002, is $665,683,000 including the $300,000,000 gift from the Walton family. Our new goal is $900,000,000. The last page of the handout shows the$300,000,000 challenge. Over the last couple of months, we have really felt the effects of the economy. Our corporate support, our foundation support, continues to hold steady. We've done pretty well this year campus-wide and the College. However, looking at immediate gifts, designated as under $10,000, and major gifts which are a one-time gift of $10,000 or more, we are seeing some down numbers. We are .08% of our goal in our major gifts campus-wide. In regard to the $300,000,000 challenge, 24 percent of our time has elapsed. This does not include any mens or womens athletics gifts. We have raised about 19 percent of the money so we are behind. The agreement with the Walton family is that if we do not raise an additional $300,000,000, we could be asked to give some of that money back. That could affect what happens with chairs, professorships, and fellowships. Not sure if that will happen, but there is a sense of urgency to continue the push to raise the matching funds. The challenge ends June 30, 2005 when the campaign ends. The good news is that the Division and the College continue to press forward with good response.
We had a couple of dedications and appreciate everyone coming to those. The Coombs Auditorium in the Plant Science Building and the Abernathy Building at the Research and Extension Center. We've raised money for three more classroom renovations. Noal and Joanne Lawhon made a gift to renovate classroom 7 in the Plant Science Building, Carroll and Sue Walls gave us a real estate gift with a value between $50,000 and $75,000. This money will be used to renovate a classroom in HES in the Home Economics Building. We received a recent commitment from AgHeritage Farm Credit Services of $40,000 to renovate Agri 301A. We're excited to see the money coming in to help renovate classrooms. Thanks to Donna for all her help in sorting the classrooms needs out.
Dr. Weidemann commented that we continue to make progress but asked each and every one to let Mark or Chuck know of anyone that has the means and/or interest of making a gift to the College or to the Division so that they can follow up. We have had some significant gifts that have been more or less unsolicited. For example, we hosted Mr. Hayes in the Chancellor's box at a football game,an Entomology graduate years ago, and he made a planned gift in excess of $800,000 for scholarships for the college.
Note: Handouts may be reviewed by contacting Unit Heads or the Dean's Office.
The meeting adjourned at 12:10.