Faculty Council Minutes -- December 2014

Fall Faculty Meeting
Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences
December 12, 2014
Hembree Auditorium


Call to order - Michael Evans, Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.


Approval of agenda – Motion made to approve with one correction - Dr. Scott will present for Graduate Council instead of Dr. Wiersma.  Motion was seconded and agenda was approved.

Approval of Minutes - Motion made, seconded and approved the May 2, 2014 Spring Faculty Council minutes.

Division of Agriculture – Associate Vice President – Research AAES, Dr. Clarence Watson

Dr. Cochran sent his apologies for being unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances.  Update on the budget – the current Continuing Resolution (CR) under which the government has been operating expired at midnight.  The House passed a budget, the President is supportive of the budget, and it is in the Senate for a vote and probable approval.  Our formula funds will remain level and there would be a 3% increase in the AFRI (Agriculture Food and Research Initiative) budget.  State budget – General Assembly begins Jan 12 with clean slate as a result of elections. We have a new majority in both Houses, a new Governor and new Legislators.  We have begun looking for support for funding to replace some of the funding we have lost in the past years due to inflation and unfunded mandates.  Activities – several Department Head searches that went on.  We hired two new Department Heads - Dr. Betsy Garrison – HESC. She comes to us from LSU.  Also, in November – Dr. Wayne McKay joined us as the Department Head for HORT.  He came from University of Florida.  We currently have active searches for Department Heads for BAEG and ENTO.  We hope to conclude these searches in early 2015.  Expenditures – we had another good year.  Research expenditures are up by approximately $4 million, somewhere around $70 million dollars in the Division.  This was good enough to get us a 19th rank with NSF.  That is an upward move of two places.  Awards – remained level at around $20 million.  Planning a grant writing workshop – probably the week of April 27.  This will be a two-day workshop and then a follow-up the next year for advanced writing for select participants.  That workshop will give select participants a chance to receive advanced one-on-one assistance.  Dr. McKinney will be handling the contract and we are about to get it finalized.  There will around 18 participants, divided 50/50 between the campus and the Division.  Construction projects - Soil Test Lab expansion/renovation in Marianna is expected to be completed in early 2015.  It is funded by the Soil Test Review Board.  Also, the Whittaker Arena roof renovation is essentially complete.   The Foundation Seed Plant in Stuttgart is expected to break ground in 2015.  It is being primarily funded by some of the promotion boards.  Congratulations to several of our faculty who made Fellow of their respective societies.   George Wardlow, Pengyin Chin, Terry Siebenmorgen, and Vic Ford.  Positions – in regards to the Division, we had 8 new hires.  At the present time, we have 13 positions either advertised or approved.  We are anticipating more in 2015, some due to retirements.  As of October 13th, we’ve hired Safety Officer Kyle McKaughan, replacing Joe Tokar who retired in October.  As of Dec 24th, Dan Street will be our new Construction Coordinator.


Bumpers College —Dean and Associate Vice President for Agriculture, Dr. Mike Vayda


I want to take this time to recognize Dr. Evans for his work as chair.  I want to extend my thanks to you all.  Due to your efforts, we are being respected and recognized on campus as an institution of choice, particularly in the areas that advance the businesses associated with foods, family and the environment.  This is being reflected in the record student credit hour production, record enrollment, and the highest student credentials in recorded history.  Our student retention/graduation rates remain among the top at the University and certainly in the State.  This is all attributed to all the work you do.  We are welcoming two new Department Heads – Betsy Garrison in HESC and Wayne McKay in HORT.  Since May, we’ve had new Administrative staff appointments.  Terry Bumgardner has joined us as the Director of Development.    H.L. Goodwin was appointed as Director for Curriculum Enhancement and has been working closely with the Dean’s Executive Advisory Board and Donna K. Graham in student enhancement activities.  Vicky Watkins will be starting in January.  She will be replacing Alice Griffin.  We are restructuring both Jody Davis’ position and Vicky Watkins’ position.  Vicky Watkins will focus on retention and curriculum coordinator issues working with Dr. Lona Robertson. Advising, registration, class activities go through Jody Davis.  New Hire – Jeb Asirvatham, Instructor in AEAB.  We also hired two professional advisors – Christina Woods and Lucas Simmons.  I have received a lot of good feedback that they are not only assisting the students by also the faculty by reducing their workloads.  We have multiple positions in process of hiring. Two tenure track in ANSC beginning interview phase very shortly. POSC - Nutritional Biochemist is underway.  HESC has launched a cluster hire search for 2 positions, both tenure track.  Good opportunity for engagement and multi-disciplinary overlap in multiple departments.  On the horizon, we have some searches that have been authorized.  PLPA had a failed search that will be re-advertised shortly.  HESC – Dr. Garrison has set up a new system of Assistant Directors that report directly to her - Kathy Smith, Bob Harrington, and Tim Killian.  She has also started a Faculty enhancement fund program for scholarly research and AES block grant program.  AFLS classroom project – 6 new classrooms, 300 student seats, should be ready for use in August 2015. It will include a 100 stadium seat auditorium like Hembree, offices, 24 seat wetland classroom.  This is being funded by campus.  It will be scheduled through R25.  Programming – Global Food Opportunities seminar, Bob Zeigler.  Working to expand Int’l programs.  Food 4 Thought – Charlie Arnot from the Center for Food Integrity.  Executives in residence – Bernie Murphy last year, and Jimmy Taylor in HOSP this fall.  Jennie Popp has been working on campus-wide service learning opportunities.  Multi-disc team capstone projects – Terry Bumgardner, Dr. Robertson and I have been engaged with prospective donors with strong interests in funding these team capstone projects.  Career Fairs – every January, the International Poultry and Egg Foundation holds their annual meeting in Atlanta – this is a great hiring opportunity for students in POSC ANSC FDSC HESC AECT, etc. to meet with industry leaders.  Development – As a result of DEAB recommendations, we have received $400K, we have raised 3.44 mil.  First Campaign steering committee meeting was held Nov 21, 2014.  On the horizon – the focus of the capital campaign is going to be on the campus-wide interdisciplinary programs.  There will be a strong emphasis on expanding Graduate Assistantship support.  We just had our Department Head retreat this week and that message was heard loud and clear.  We also need to have a long conversation this coming year on placing curricular value on the curriculum innovations and student learning enhancement activities that we have initiated over the last three years that have been very successful according to feedback from both students and faculty.


Bumpers College —Associate Dean, Dr. Lona Robertson


We have experienced record enrollment this fall with over 26K students.  The Chancellor’s goal is 28K. In regard to Bumpers College enrollment, we have lost the BAEG students yet still show an increase in enrollment.  The percentage is skewed due to the change.  One thing the college has done to improve the graduation and retention rates at the College level is to put Christina Woods and Lucas Simmons in place to assist with advising.  Enrollment numbers, retention rates, and graduation rates were presented.


International Programs — Director, Dr. Leslie Edgar


We had 47 Bumpers College students study abroad in 2014.  This is down from approximately 55 in 2013 mostly due to requiring that the programs students choose have learning objectives, are registered for credit, and are being directed by an individual. Dr. Jeff Miller is recognized as our 2014 Outstanding International Education Faculty member.  There are still some openings in some of our programs for 2015.  Openings available for Ghent, Italy, Belize, Vietnam.  Also have openings in internship programs in Latin American, Ghent and exchange courses in France.  We’ve identified our three hub areas – Europe, Latin American, and Asia.   We are working on collaboration with the Rome center.  Reminders - Scholarship applications are due Feb 15.  Faculty – if you are traveling internationally in an official University capacity, please complete the travel registration forms on Study Abroad website.  Thanks to IPC members.  Student numbers and 2015 programs were presented including Ghent, Belize, Vietnam, Latin America, Asia, France and Rome.


Honors Program — Director, Dr. Curt Rom


There are 127 current students in the Honors Program.  We had 72 who are Honors eligible but do not participate.   36% in pre-professional programs.  The impact of Honors Studies is higher graduation rate along with higher acceptance and assistantship rates in professional and graduate schools.  Employers say that Honors Studies are key differentiating hiring determinants.   Our Fall 2014 Honors Graduates were Julia Allen, Grace Heymsfield, Andrea Love, Leah Malvar and Bonifacio Lopez-Torres.  Mr. Lopez-Torres also received a silver ribbon recognition for Excellence in Honors Capstone Project.   Thank you to the mentors of these students for their help.  Honors Study Abroad grants for Spring are due in September; for Summer intersession, Summer and Fall are due in November.  Students can apply for two Study Abroad grants.  We had three Bumpers students receive SURF funding.  In the Bumpers College, we received six grant proposals and we have funded six.   We have several new courses coming on beginning this spring.  Travel grants are available to students.  Our activities are run by the Honors Student Advisory Board.   We had Charlie Arnot come for the Food for Thought workshop.  All presentations, including Distinguished Lecture series, are available on the College YouTube channel to be used as teaching resources.  Our students had a Study Abroad workshop and a Thesis Completion workshop.  We will be having a Food for Thought workshop this spring with Kathleen Laughlin, CEO of Walmart Foundation.  Thank you to the Honors Committee who are involved from advising the Honors students to sitting in on the Honors thesis.  Dr. Rom spoke about the impact of the Honors Programs, achievement, engaging education, exceptional experiences and Honors Student Advisory Board. 


University Faculty Senate- Dr. Mary Savin


Update on the University Faculty Senate activities from Fall 2014.  We only voted on a couple of items.  One was a motion presented by the Teaching Council in regards to the attendance policy. Recommendations were proposed to strengthen the policy to encourage students to come to class.  Originally, there was a paragraph about how to deal with student absences and make-up work.  There was a lot of discussion that occurred as a result of the proposed policy changes.  The last paragraph was stricken even before the Faculty Senate came back and voted.  Several amendments were made to what the Teaching Council had brought forward.  The amended proposal was approved by Faculty Senate.  All of this information is available on the Faculty Senate website if you wish to review the original policy and the new one.  The resolution about eVersity came forward as well and was voted on.   It was put forward to the Board of Trustees that they delay implementation of e-Versity while concerns, such as duplication of effort, lack of a clear business plan and the existence of many on-line courses were addressed.    There were several reports presented this semester. 


Graduate Council - Dr. Thad Scott for Dr. Jacquelyn Wiersma


Dr. Scott had two brief informational items.  What is Graduate Council?  It is a body of faculty, campus wide, that represent the various colleges and interdisciplinary graduate programs.  The majority of the Council’s work is to review and approve any curriculum or program changes for the graduate school.  It also reviews and approves the appointment of graduate faculty from both the current faculty and the adjunct faculty.  The College will be looking to replace Dr. Wiersma who will be rotating off the Council, so please volunteer if interested.  The Graduate Council passed a resolution regarding students providing refreshments of their own defenses.  This was done to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.


Faculty Council business:

First, an update on the 3 year review policies and procedures.  Dr. Kris Brye has been heading a committee to re-write the policy and then incorporate it into the College personnel document.  Secondly, the College personnel document is currently going through revision.  The reason for this revision is because the University’s document and potentially the Division’s document, our College document had contradictions with the University document in language and timetables.  Dr. Burt Bluhm was elected to new Faculty council chair elect.


Standing committee reports:

In order to reduce the length of the meeting, written reports were submitted in advance.    Dr. Evans opened the floor for questions.  There were none.  (Reports included as attachment)

            Promotion and Tenure – Dr. Dixon – See Page 1 of handouts

            Nominations – Dr. Way – See Page 2 of handouts

            Awards - Dr. Ogbeide – See Pages 3 & 4 of handouts

            Scholarship – Dr. Rorie – See Pages 5 & 6 of handouts

            AFLS Curriculum – Dr. Dowling – See Page 7 of handouts

            HESC Curriculum – Dr. Smith – See Page 8 of handouts


Old Business – None

New Business - None

Departmental announcements

AECT – Dr. Wardlow - no report

AEAB – Dr. Halbrook – We have a new instructor in our department – Dr. Jeb Asirvatham, who joins us effective December 1, 2014.

ANSC – Dr. Looper – We have had 2 faculty leave the department.  Dr. Haydn Brown passed away and Dr. Grieder has retired.  We have 5 new faculty searches ongoing at this time – 3 on campus and 2 in Little Rock.

CSES – Dr. Bacon - none

ENTO – Dr. Robertson - Dr. Wiedenman stepped down at the end of June to go back into a faculty role.  Dr. Roeder, Dr. Cartwright and Dr. Robertson have been acting as co-Department Head.  There is an on-going search for a replacement, with applications closing January 30th.  Looking forward to interviewing in the Spring.

FDSC – no report

HORT – Dr. Mackay, new Department Head – Dr. Craig Anderson retired at the end of December. Marilyn McCord retired.  Shannon Mason has been hired as instructor for floral design, special projects and curriculum coordinator.

PLPA – Gene Milus and Dave TeBeest retired.

POSC – Karen Christianson was added to faculty.

HES – Dr. Garrison.  We received approval to interview for cluster hire in childhood obesity. 


Announcements from the floor

HL Goodwin – My new position is student networking and curricular enhancements.  The Dean’s Advisory Board will be ramping up again in the Spring.  There will be lots of activity with capstone courses as a way to activate speakers that are coming in for the course in Professional Growth and Critical Career Skills.  Dr. Bernie Murphy, donor, will be on campus the week of Feb 9th.  He will be speaking in this class and looking to coordinate one of the multidisciplinary capstone projects.  Dr. Rom mentioned the activity in co-listing some of the Honors classes.  We will be working to coordinate with the Executives in Residence – they are feeling underutilized.  There has been a lot of growth in the Career Development Center with the work of Donna K. Graham.  I want to encourage you to activate use of that center for the benefit of your students.  It is currently underutilized but is a tremendous tool to teach students how to network better.


Spring Faculty Meeting is scheduled for May 1, 2015.


Closing remarks from outgoing Chair, Dr. Michael Evans – Thanks to everyone – it has been a pleasure serving as your Chair this semester.  The best thing about this semester was getting to know colleagues and please help out the next Chair.

Dr. Evans presented Dr. Burt Bluhm as the chair-elect, then presented the gavel, making Dr. Bluhm the Chair.  Dr. Bluhm thanked Dr. Evans for his service and also for his offer of assistance in transition.


Motion made, seconded and approved unanimously at 11:38 a.m.


Submitted by Carrie Whitmer