Faculty Council Minutes -- December 2007

Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
10:00 am
Hembree Auditorium

1. Call to Order – Dr. Charles Rosenkrans, chair, called the meeting to order at 10:00 am as he welcomed everyone to the Fall DBCAFLS Faculty meeting.

2. Approval of Agenda – Motion to approve agenda was made and seconded. Motion passed.

3. Approval of Minutes of the Spring (May 6, 2007) Meeting of the College Faculty:
C. Rosenkrans will send them to all faculty electronically for approval.

4. Report from College Administration

A. State of the College, Dean Greg Weidemann

Remarks are posted on the Web.

For the seventh straight year, undergraduate enrollment increased in the college and now stands at 1342. The greatest growth occurred in Food, Human Nutrition and Hospitality; Environmental Science and Animal Science.

The college continues to make progress towards the 2010 goals as part of the overall campus initiative to improve student quality, increase enrollment, improve retention and graduation rate and increase diversity as well as other measures. In particular, freshman retention remains above the 2010 goal of 85 percent.

We should be pleased that we had the highest minority enrollment ever in the college this fall.

A faculty task force, chaired by Bruce Ahrendsen, has been appointed to critically examine our current curriculum and make recommendations for change.

As a college we will reduce teaching FTEs slightly to provide needed budget flexibility should it be needed in the '08-09 budget.

B. Academic programs update, Associate Dean Donna Graham

View Power Point Presentation (Academic Report Fall 2007)

Dr. Graham will post the enrollment numbers on the web site.

Dr. Graham congratulated everyone for their dedication to their students and recognized that this reputation is known across the campus.

Assessment – It has been difficult for some departments to develop appropriate measures of their outcomes, but we are making that shift. There is no clear format on how to do this but it should fit your program. The audience should be you and your program. Programs We must refocus on the what outcomes they we are trying to achieve with ourtheir programs. The next accrediting review for all of our programs will be in ten years.

Department maps were distributed to department heads to assist programs to identify target areas for recruiting. A major shift Dr. Graham identified a major shift in enrollment involves out-of-state students. Over one-third of the students from this summer's orientation were from Texas.

Dr. Graham just completed a study of those students who dropped out of our programs with a 28 percent return. One of the most common responses from the students is a conflict with workinging hours. The faculty We must work together to develop ideas to help students prioritize their needs of study and financial support.

Dr. Graham reported on factors impacting instruction in the college. One is that the college is approaching a greater investment in technology. There is a big computer demand from everyone and space is very limited particularly for computer labs. Another demand is coming from community colleges and working audiences that want us to develop web based courses or programs. We will have to review what we will be able to deliver and market demand. Some groups have obtained grant funding, one of which is Mike Evans, to develop course sharing across several states.

Dr. Graham reported on current issues under study on campus. three issues that may affect the college faculty. 1.) Incomplete grades: Because of the large number of The first issue is incomplete grades. So many incomplete grades being are submitted each semester that there is a group it has created to a review the of policy. 2.) A second issue is grade reporting. Faculty must maintain the records and the material that assisted them in determining the final grade. Campus administration is studying how to implement a campus wide system of electronic retrieval that everyone could use.. 3) The third issue is classroom space utilization. There is a push to centralize classroom scheduling.

5. Report of Faculty Council, Charles Rosenkrans

The Faculty Council have questioned if the by-laws should be changed to include a representative of off-campus faculty.

Undergraduate students are still complaining very upset about the plus minus grading system. About half the faculty follow this policy. It has been discussed at Student Advisory Board meetings as well. The faculty need to think about formulating a response. Students suggested making it mandatory or dropping it altogether.

6. Report of Standing Committees

A. Curriculum Committees

1. Human Environmental Sciences Sub-Committee, Tim Killian

A handout was provided and T. Killian gave an overview of curriculum changes and actions taken this semester.

2. Agriculture Sub-Committee, Curt Rom

The Committee recommended and approved Faculty Council's revisions to the AEAB Bachelor of Science Degree, the AEAB Master of Science Degree, and the Food Technology concentrations.

Three courses were also recommended for approval, including the AFLS 5001 Agriculture Seminar. The Committee approved and recommended changes to three courses in the College.

The Committee recommended and approved to Faculty Council the following: the Dean appointed a Curriculum Review Task Force to review the college curriculum requirements and structure with respect to the current Bachelor of Science and agricultural curriculum and to confirm they are appropriate and relevant in a contemporary context. The Committee will report to the Dean and Faculty Council and Agricultural and Food Sub-Committee any recommendations that they may have.

The next meeting will be Friday, December 14, 2007 at 1:30 p.m. in the APC conference room with Donn M. Johnson (ENTO) serving as chair for the coming calendar year.

B. Promotion and Tenure Committee, Donn M. Johnson

Handout provided

The committee met on Thursday, November 29, 2007 to consider the nominations of seven faculty members in the College. Candidates included two for promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor, with tenure; two for promotion from Associate Professor to Full Professor; and three for appointment from Full Professor to University Professor. Committee recommendations will be summarized for each candidate and forwarded to the Dean, per related policy documents.

The committee voted to direct the chair to write a letter of appreciation to Ms. Carmen Alessi, Assistant to the Dean, recognizing her excellent work in facilitating the transition to electronic promotion packets. This letter was sent to Ms. Alessi with a copy to Dean Weidemann.

The committee voted to meet during the spring 2008 semester to discuss and prepare recommendations to the faculty on the following items:
Adding a requirement that each promotion packet contain a 2-page summary of accomplishments
Clarifying the linkage between promotion and tenure votes (for candidates for promotion to associate professor with tenure)
Substantive criteria for appointment as a University Professor
Format, content, and packaging of electronic packets
Use of a common format for Faculty Service Review and A/P/T documents

7. Report of Special College Committees and Interests

A. Honors Program, Duane Wolf

A handout was provided. Total enrollment has been relatively stable the last four years at around 100 students. Animal Science has the majority of honor students, followed by Ag Business and Poultry Science. Nineteen students graduated with honors, 21 graduated without honors, 17 were dropped because they did not meet the 3.25 GPA and 15 changed colleges. A major concern remains those enrolled in the Honors Program that did not complete the Honors Program requirements. This year we will have the largest group to graduate with 15 students. Five students published in the latest issue of Discovery. There were over 250 state-wide SURF proposals to be considered, 27 from Fayetteville. Mentors will receive a letter as to which students will receive a grant. Enrollment for last semester included 21 in orientation with 17 in the other two class offerings.

Honors Program Review – The review team met with members of the Honors Program including instructors, mentors, Honors Faculty Committee, and a number of students from the Honors Program. The Honors Program Review Team met with the Honors Faculty Committee with specific recommendations. The committee was very complimentary to the strong research opportunities for students. Feedback from the students and the faculty was not strong related to our one-hour course offerings. The Honors College encouraged student enrollment in honors courses in Arts and Sciences, which we have done for a number of years.

The Review team recommended:
Greater participation from among the faculty
Consider increased recognition of the Honors Program in P&T and salary decisions
Increase the awareness of the value of the Honors Program within the Division of Agriculture and the department heads
The Director should provide a stronger message to the students at orientation about the value of the Honors Program
Establish specific dates for submission of the honors thesis proposal
Provide more opportunities for these students to interact with the faculty

D. Wolf will have specific proposals for consideration at the spring meeting.

B. Nominations and Elections Committee, Tom Costello

Results were distributed from the election held earlier this semester. An upcoming election will be for chair-elect of the Faculty Council. We have two nominations and need one more. A ballet will be sent to everyone as soon as we get the third nomination.

An election this summer regarding changing the by-laws as to the composition of the faculty passed.

C. Faculty Senate, John Rupe

In September the Provost reported on the D rule for transfer students who request credit for Ds they received in courses taken in their majors. Those students who petitioned and those who did not petition had the same withdrawal rates. Those who did not petition did better academically. Bill Warnock spoke on the review of all programs on campus done every seven years. A committee will be formed in the near future regarding sustainability and stewardship looking at how green the campus is and encourage energy conservation and other green activities.

An ongoing concern is the increase in the number of students enrolled at the U of A with no increase in the number of faculty or classrooms, particularly for core course as they fill up rapidly.

The University budget is a concern of faculty in regards as to where and to whom the money is being applied.

D. Graduate Council, Mike Thompson

Thirteen members of our faculty have been approved for graduate status, four as adjunct professors. One change to policy approved by the Council is to allow ex officio members serve on graduate student committees. It was suggested that the language be reviewed and edited for clarification purposes.

8. Old Business

A. Ad Hoc Committee Non-Tenure Track Hiring Practice, Fred Stephen

The committee met this summer with Dr. Cochran during the week of July 23, 2007 regarding post-tenure review. The Faculty Council on September 14 voted unanimously to charge this committee to continue to represent the college faculty during discussions with the Division administration. The called college faculty meeting on September 25 reinforced this by vote. A short review was given at this meeting of the written report given to the administration regarding the four cornerstone issues presented by Dr. Cochran. The Committee wanted to know if the faculty was in agreement with this written report: 52 voted yes and 5 voted no, but there was no quorum. An electronic ballot was sent out in October with 169 eligible to vote. There was a quorum with 75 ballets returned of 88 percent in favor and 9 percent opposed. Because they never received a written proposal from the Division administration, they met on November 26 with Drs. Shult and Cochran.

First cornerstone position – We are in agreement with administration. Second cornerstone position – The current post tenure review system has not been adequately tested. Unless there is demonstration that it has failed, there is no reason to change. Third cornerstone – Defining what is tenure. The committee's position is there is only one tenure in the university system as it is written policy, conferred by the president of the university. Administration is in agreement. Fourth cornerstone – Core faculty in each unit consisting of tenured faculty and for flexibility include other faculty that would not be tenured to address certain problems. Administration thinks this is very important. Discussion on this is in the early stages.

It was requested that voting results are given as soon as possible to all faculty, not just the Faculty Council representatives.

B. Resolutions Committee Report, Charles Rosenkrans

A second committee, consisting of a representative from each department, was established to develop procedures to resolve the conflicts between the faculty and Division administration. They met throughout the summer and submitted a resolution draft at the September meeting with nearly 90 percent in agreement. Milo Shult asked for those members who are willing to meet again to meet with the Resolutions Committee. A motion was made to invite Dr. Shult to a special called faculty meeting the week of January 18, 2008 to discuss issues in general, but in particular, the Resolutions Report and Dr. Shult's ideas regarding improving communication. The Faculty Council and Resolution Committee are charged with preparing specific questions for this meeting. Motion passed by voice approval with some opposition. A motion was made to charge the Ad Hoc and Resolutions Committees to meet together prior to the January 18, 2008 special called faculty meeting with Dr. Shult to prepare questions. Motion passed by voice approval with some opposition.

9. New Business

A. Latin designations for student honors

The Faculty Council voted to limit the Latin designation at commencement to Honors Program Graduates, but the Dean asked for a broader vote on this issue. This allows the honors college students to have some additional designation that holds them separate and apart from the general student body. This will impact 10 to 15 graduates per year and a significant number of students would lose this honor. The Board of Trustees have given this responsibility to the faculty to decide these designations. A motion was made to table this issue. Motion passed by hand vote with some opposition.

Curt Rom suggested that because students accomplish other achievements or win other awards, Faculty Council give us some additional guidance on the use of other designations that might be used to recognize other student achievements such completion of a research project. These criteria have been used by other universities.

B. Faculty initiatives for DBCAFLS


10. Announcements (by department)

Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness – None
Agricultural and Extension Education – New faculty member, Dr. Leslie Edgar
Agricultural Communication – None
Agricultural Statistics – None
Animal Science – None
Biological and Agricultural Engineering – None
Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences – None
Entomology – None
Food Science – They have been rated as one of the top 10 Food Science departments in the country.
Human Environmental Sciences – New faculty members, Dr. Robert Harrington and Dr. Charles Ogbeide
Horticulture – None
Plant Pathology – None
Poultry Science – None

11. Passing of the Gavel to Dr. Dick Oliver, 2008 Faculty Council Chair

Dick Oliver gave a big thanks to Charles Rosenkrans for a job well done. He also recognized a lot of challenges are ahead for the faculty to work on together as a team and encouraged involvement by the faculty.

12. Meeting was adjourned by Dr. Charles Rosenkrans, Chair 2007 at 11:55 a.m.

Submitted by Carmen Alessi