Faculty Council Minutes -- October 2013

October 18, 2013
Rosen Center Conference Room

Faculty present
Donn Johnson – ENTO (Chair)
Walter Bottje - POSC
Garry McDonald – HORT
Ashley Dowling - ENTO
Thad Scott – CSES (Substitute for Kristofor Brye)
Andy Proctor – FDSC
Scott Osborn – BAEG
Cindy Moore – HESC (Substitute for Kathy Smith)
Rick Rorie-ANSC
Dan Rainey-AEAB
Don Edgar-AEED
Mary Savin- CSES
Mike Thomsen - AEAB

Others Present:
Jessica Hulse- Administrative Specialist-Bumpers College Dean's Office

Administrators Present:
Dr. Clarence Watson- Associate V. P., Dr. Mike Vayda – Dean & Associate V.P.

Call to Order – Donn Johnson, chair, called the meeting to order at 2:30 p.m.

Approval of Agenda – Motion made, seconded and agenda approved.

Approval of Minutes – Motion made, seconded and approved/amended the September 20, 2013, Faculty Council minutes. Only meeting notes, no email additions allowed.
International Programs – Leslie Edgar, Director
On Thursday, November 21st from 10:30-11:30 a.m. (location TBA) the committee will host the first International Seminar Series. Glen C. Shinn, Texas A & M University Professor Emeritus and Borlaug Senior Scientist will present.
Please click on the link for the International Programs Update
Division of Agriculture – Associate Vice President, Dr. Clarence Watson
During the federal shutdown the Division faced several issues with federal funded grants, contracts, and programs. Last week the state ordered everyone be taken off of state funded projects and be furloughed if there was not another place for them. Grant funded employees and some faculty were affected. The Division managed to find alternative sources of funding for those affected by the shutdown, including development funds. Now that the government has reopened employees will be moved off of those funds. The University may face a similar situation in mid-January. The Division is alerting department heads on problematic grants to get employees transferred in time. Budget negotiations continue on the federal side and the success of those talks are pending.

Congress has begun to negotiate on the Farm Bill again, the House and Senate have differing versions of the bill. Arkansas is represented by Boozman and Crawford. The research title of the Farm Bill is relatively non-controversial. There is a significant difference in the house and senate versions of the nutrition and commodities title. If the differences can be negotiated there will most likely be a Farm Bill passed, if not we will be in limbo. At this point none of the federal programs have been authorized. Specialty crops are in a special class and occasionally congress will approve mandatory funding. When the Farm Bill expired, the programs no longer had authorization or money. When they reauthorized the program they moved money from mandatory to discretionary funds. At present, the Farm Bill and extension have expired, there is no appropriation for federal programs at this point. We receive roughly 10% hard money funding, plus any additional funding from those programs. Federal research funding is tied up in that as well. A professional PR firm has been employed to help run the campaign demonstrating the value of the federal programs we have been using.

There are two upcoming construction projects taking place. Ground was broken on expansion of a Soil Test Lab in Marianna, Ark. This is an expansion of the current lab and no down time is expected there. It has been staged in such a way that employees can work out of the old building while renovations are going on. This project is funded by donations from the Soil Test Review Board. A new Foundation Seed Facility in Stuttgart, Ark. is also in development for construction. This is a $4-5 million project funded by various promotion boards including, rice, soybeans, and wheat. This project should take approximately two years to complete. The Division Award Luncheon will be January 10th in Little Rock at the Clarion hotel off of HWY 630.
Bumpers College —Dean Mike Vayda
On the campus side, the Dean's Executive Advisory Board meeting was held at the beginning of October, the last meeting was in March. Fourteen different employers in the region are represented on the Board. The board offers a reality check and sounding board for the Bumpers College. The board had two tangible suggestions for the college. The first was to assemble an advisory board of faculty members for Donna K. Graham, the new Director of Employer Relations for Bumpers College. The DEAB would also like to see company representatives in the classrooms, creating more pipelines to internships, and in general, faculty having more of an engagement with the private sector.

Bumpers College is working to interdisiplinize the current curriculum. Specific areas within the current majors are being reviewed, not to create new courses but to look at existing courses that could provide a further dimension for students. Themes that were addressed are food entrepreneurship, international agricultural development, and food safety. These disciplines allow students to have a bit more business cognizance before they enter the workforce. Dr. Robertson and Dr. Vayda will send a call for faculty to serve on small committees in this regard.

The feedback on the Academic Advising Concept Paper has been received. The administration is not trying to force anyone into anything, but rather looking to respond to workload issues for high advising load departments. The proposal addresses the heavy advising workload and the Provost's priorities within the top 50 university campaign. Going forward, a pilot program with departments that are willing would be favorable. The Provost is focused on advising and the student experience. The Early Alert program has received a lot of praise at a university wide level. UA Success was discussed and there has been little feedback from the faculty. The program has been received as better and easier to use than others in the past. UA Success allows fast tracking of student and faculty interactions and seems to have flexibility to it. There are still bugs to be worked out but it seems like it will be a good tool and has synced with UAConnect fairly well, the key will be how the students use it. New freshman are learning about it and there is a training module online for students, faculty and advisors at: http://success.uark.edu.

A proposal for Ag statistics has been percolating over the summer stemming from a Dean's group to a faculty working group. In September, the proposal went to the Deans' group meeting. The Deans' asked to meet with a faculty committee for further input. The objective is to stabilize teaching and use of statistics on this campus. There is a need to have a core group of statisticians, as well as a need for applied statistics in each unit. A strong foundation in statistics for programs is needed for programs to be viable. The proposal is focusing more on the applied statistics opportunities.

Late in the spring, the faculty of Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAEG) floated a proposal to the Engineering College and Bumpers College as well as the Division of Agriculture to possibly migrate the BAEG department to Engineering. Promotion and tenure review from Bumpers College and Engineering College has become a double jeopardy situation. The decision will be based on what is in the best interest of the faculty.

Bumpers College broke ground on Saturday for the Hawkins Terrace on the south side of the AFLS building where the concrete slab is currently. Bill and Suzanne Hawkins and the Alumni Society board have made contributions for this project. It is a three season terrace, covered structure, for 10 months a year use. There will be wireless internet access and seating. There has been a long standing need for a place for students to congregate and a study hall. The terrace could also serve as a tailgating venue. Horticulture students have been involved in planning an outdoor teaching garden for the space as well.

Last spring Facilities Management committed to a renovation of the AFLS building basement. This is an 8,000 sq. ft. space. A users group was put together with architects to design alternate uses for this space. It is projected to be used for a teaching laboratory and six classrooms. About sixty seats will be in each classroom. The project has been very cost effective and moving forward quickly, the projected target date for completion is August 2014.

Dr. Leslie Edgar will be honored in early November at the APLU meeting in Washington D.C. as an outstanding teacher nationally by APLU and USDA.
Honors Program – Curt Rom, No Report
University Faculty Senate- Mary Savin
There has been much discussion regarding the collegiality proposal. After making amendments to the proposal, a motion to approve the amended proposal was voted on and passed.
Please click on the link to view the Faculty Senate's Report.
Graduate Council Report- Thad Scott
The council met yesterday, primarily it is business as usual. One issue that has resurfaced is the requirement of a standardized test score for admission to the Graduate School, to begin Fall 2014 admissions.

Please click on the link to view the Graduate Council's Report.

Standing Committee Reports:
Promotion and Tenure Committee – John Clark, Chair, No Report

Nomination Committee – Garry McDonald
Currently the committee is soliciting nominations for a chair-elect (College Faculty Bylaws state, "Nominations from the College Faculty should be submitted in writing and will require signatures of at least seven (7) members of the voting Faculty."). A ballot with names of at least three nominees, each with a brief biography, will be distributed and faculty vote on before the next Faculty Council meeting in November.

Awards Committee – Kate Shoulders, Chair
The next meeting of the Awards Committee will be held on October 23rd.

Scholarship Committee – Rick Rorie, Chair-elect
The Scholarship committee met a few weeks ago. The big item of business is the timeline and procedures for awarding scholarships for 2014-15. One of the issues raised was that the Foundation accounts should have cash in hand when making awards as opposed to estimating what funds will be flowing in and making awards in that amount. Donors have been asked to provide funding a year in advance. The committee is looking at using a University scholarship, so it is not confusing for the students to know which application to use. The College has proposed piggybacking off of the University wide scholarship. The students would then be eligible for departmental and college scholarships. The committee is working towards streamlining one deadline for all of these scholarships, this would create one portal for students to use when applying. It is important that students fill out a FASFA application as well.
AFLS Curriculum Sub-Committee – Mike Thomsen, Chair
The committee met a week ago. Interdisciplinary curriculum opportunities will be considered as they come before the committee. Several course changes have been approved by the committee on first and second reading and are presented to the Faculty Council for their approval. The course changes were approved by the Faculty Council committee.
Please click on the link to view the AFLS Curriculum Sub-Committee Report.

HESC Curriculum Sub-Committee – Kelly Way, Chair – No Report

Old Business – Donn Johnson, Chair
The report by the Ad Hoc Committee on the plus/minus grading system recommended that the Bumpers College faculty adopt one uniform grading system (either plus/minus, straight letter, or to eliminate the "A-" grade) for use in all classes. There was no motion to support one of these options by the Faculty Council.

New Business – Donn T. Johnson, None
Announcements – Dr. Donn T. Johnson
The College Faculty Meeting is on Dead Day, December 13th from 10 am to 12 noon in Hembree Auditorium.
The next Faculty Council Meeting is November 15th in the Rosen Center Conference Room.
Motion made and seconded to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 4:00 pm.

Submitted by Jessica Hulse