Faculty Council Minutes -- December 2015

Winter Faculty Meeting
Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences
December11, 2015
Hembree Auditorium


Call to Order (10:00 AM)Burt Bluhm, Chair


Approval of AgendaApproved


Approval of Minutes (May 1, 2015)Approved


The Winter Faculty Meeting and the accompanying slides can be viewed from this link.

(Skip ahead to minute 10 – slide 8 – for the beginning of the meeting)


Division of Agriculture – Dr. Mark Cochran – Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station


Dr. Cochran opened his presentation with appreciation, and stated that he was proud to represent the Division. He mentioned that our basic/disciplinary research translated well to applied research, which in turn created very solid best practices and policies. Dr. Cochran then went on to address salaries and hiring, informing the room that we had filled 16 faculty positions (still ongoing searches for more faculty in various departments) and that we’ve had success with state funding. Also, in addition to state and federal funding, we need to look for alternative funding; efforts have been made through campaigns, and to date the division has seen over 15 million dollars. When combined with Bumpers, we’ve reached 82% of our goal. Dr. Cochran was very pleased with the investment the poultry industry has made, and mentioned that we are working on renovations for poultry, and then went on to recognize faculty-driven programs that have also raised money.

There are currently several building projects in process – the Don Tyson center (8 different components to the poultry department), Foundation Seed Facility, with delays on the Soil Test Laboratory (replacement of the ’53 facility).

In reference to the budget, we are watching closely for another government shut-down, and have taken precautions in case it might come to pass, despite the low probability (a significant amount of our funding is federal, and we need to be able to work through a shut-down). In terms of state funding, we were able to get a one-time allocation of 3 million dollars. We have had less than a 1% increase in our annual budget recently, and annual increases in our costs, making for tight funds. Fortunately, the Governor is speaking very favorably of the Division, recognizes that agriculture is the biggest industry in the state and is openly discussing our role in the “economic engine.”

There are a couple of things changing the way that higher education is funded within the state: formula-funded institutions (a formula driven by student numbers) and non-formula institutions (division of agriculture falls under this category – we’ve always been on a “justification” budget). The Governor wants to move from these to performance-based funding – he is interested in the value of higher education to the state, the efficiency in which we’re using our funds, and rewarding innovation. Institutions will be asked to evaluate their numbers, should keep about 80% of funding traditional, 10% allocated on performance, and 10% on innovation.

We are extending our current division strategic plan for another year, and will try to work out a five-year plan from that. When considering the plan, we must keep in mind that UAF is the biggest recipient of state funds, and that the Division is the third biggest recipient within the University.

Finally, Dr. Cochran mentioned the arrival of the new chancellor, and hopes we can schedule a reception in Little Rock.


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


Dean Vayda opened his presentation by mentioning that there are 16 hiring actions in this academic year. There are 6 tenure-track searches in various stages – 4 are in partnership with department of agriculture and 2 are campus-funded in HES. Among the hiring actions, many are replacement positions for faculty who have since retired. There was to be voting on the new Personnel document on the day of the meeting. If it is approved, the next steps would go to departmental addenda. Dean Vayda also mentioned that the Dean of Fullbright is working on new policies for non-tenure track faculty.

In reference to the new Chancellor, Joe Steinmetz, Dean Vayda had a one-on-one meeting with him and was left with a good impression. Chancellor Steinmetz is intent to meet with all department faculty (there will be individual faculty meetings – we are working with Carmen Alessi to schedule them).

With VPRED & Advancement, there have been developments of clarified guidelines between a gift vs a grant (deliverables expected, intellectual properties, reviews prior to publication all fall under the “grant” category). A faculty activity tool (online database, make annual reporting easier, hopefully) is in development as well.

There are changes occurring within the Dean’s Office Staff in the form of Diana Bisbee’s retirement, as well as Carrie Sparks and Carrie Whitmer moving to new departments within the University (however, this allows restructuring of positions, enhancing functions).

When addressing facility improvements, Dean Vayda brought up the AFLS classroom expansion, PLSC 007 upgrades (happening over winter break), HOEC computer lab changes, and BioMass Bldg – Trudo Lab Upgrades (working to accommodate new hires). Dean Vayda also wanted to mention that we have made significant investments in start-up packages to ensure scholarly success.

Dean Vayda concluded his presentation with the College Strategic Plan, thanking the Initial Draft Writing Committee. He mentioned that a re-write is in progress, and that the next steps will be refinement by Heads and refinement by Faculty Council. He also mentioned the progress report on the Capital Campaign; the college goal is $11,860,000, and we’ve raised $6,607,549 to date (55.7% raised in 43% of the time). Priorities go to: Departmental Innovation Funds, Endowed Faculty Chairs, Scholarships, Instructional Facilities Improvement Fund (funds can receive donations from multiple donors).


Please click on the Spring Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 15-24 for Dr. Vayda’s report.


Bumpers College —Associate Dean, Dr. Lona Robertson


Dr. Robertson reported on Fall 2015 Enrollment, calling attention to the overall University enrollment: 26, 754. This is an increase of 1.97%. The enrollment for Bumpers College specifically equated to 2,168, showing an increase of 0.51%. Bumpers is currently serving 2,210 students and we are up 1.69% in student credit hours. The one year retention rate for Bumpers is 81.2%, which puts us underneath the University average of 82.1%. However, the Bumpers graduation rate is higher than the university average.

In reference to Academic Integrity, Dr. Robertson stressed that faculty please report students in violation. She also mentioned that the University Final Exam policy states the last exam that is to be given in a course MUST BE HELD on the SCHEDULED final exam date and time – instructors must petition the provost to change this. And finally, assessment – there is an upcoming visit in 2017 for student learning outcome assessment, when Dr. Blaylock will be working with departments and faculty on assessment plans.


Please click on the Spring Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 25-29 for Dr. Robertson’s report.

International Programs Committee – Dr. Leslie Edgar


Dr. Edgar’s update included mention of a modified strategy that will help to target incoming students (shifting focus from where to study to why). International Programs has experienced increased student and faculty participation internationally (901 UA students studying abroad in 2015 – 80 were Bumpers students). IPO faculty international education awards have expanded up to 10k and 2 years. There were 9 IPO funded programs in 2015 (Belgium, Belgium & UK, China Greece, Italy, Brazil/Philippines, India, Belize). There are 7 faculty-led programs to fill for summer 2016. Despite the success, International Programs continues to do more by increasing promotion.

After covering IPO stats, Dr. Edgar reported that she is seeking a Spring 2016 speaker for the Global Opportunities Seminar Series, and asked that we come to her with any suggestions we may have. An MOU has been established with Northwest A&F University, but we are still working through to create an MOU with Yangling and South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou. Furthermore, Dr. Edgar also brought attention to the fact that domestic and international travel follow the same travel policy (visit travel.uark.edu for more information). And finally, Dr. Edgar wrapped up her International Programs presentation with a challenge: to create 5 year plans for international programs in each department by April 2016.


Please click on the Spring Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 30-33 for Dr. Edgar’s report.


Honors Program Update – Dr. Leslie Edgar


Dr. Edgar reported increased enrollment in our honors program (largest freshman class at 55 students), and that we are working on revising the honors program (changing to 9 - 12 credit hours of honors courses and 3 - 6 thesis hours; total degree requirements remain at 15 hours). She asks that we please give input to our faculty representative. Honors is also working on guidelines for research and creative projects and working on identifying firm deadlines for completing degree requirements. Dr. Edgar gave a special thank you to the Honors Curriculum Subcommittee: Charles Rosenkrans, Jennie Popp, Thad Scott & Nick Anthony.

Dr. Edgar also reported on the expanding course offerings; the Honors Program obtained funding for six new Honors course sections, which were listed. Challenge: all departments should have at least 2 Honors courses by May 2016, shift in HC student funding for international programs (please report all students who have issues with funding!); Honors program continues to grow; Fall Honors Graduate and Mentors: Justin Carroll (Mentor: Don Johnson), Kristen Harrison (Hope Ballentine), Lauren Presley (Wen Zhang) Dec. 18 Honors Reception


Please click on the Spring Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 34-38 for Dr. Edgar’s report.


Student Networking and Curricular Enhancement – Dr. H.L. Goodwin, Director


Dr. Goodwin opened his report with a reminder to faculty members that there are a lot of activities at the Career Development Center of which we need to be aware (sharing sessions, mock interviews, career fairs, etc.). For instance, sophomores could take advantage of internships, so knowledge of the career fair would be a great benefit to them. Also, in January, we will begin to start an industry insider program; we will fill out forms for industry insiders/mentors to students, and students should fill out similar sheets so they can be linked with a mentor.

Dr. Goodwin brought further news that the 3993 course is in the catalogue as an AFLS course, and that students who are self-builders should contact Dr. Goodwin for opportunities. In reference to Curricular Enhancement: capstone courses are excellent opportunities for anyone who has an idea for interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary problems for students to work in conjunction with industry. Enrollment will start up in January, and students will be looking at forecasting opportunities (intellectual property has provided hang-ups in the past, so see Dr. Goodwin for advice on how to proceed). These capstone courses come with funds, and graduate students will “lead the team,” so this is not adding another course for faculty.


Please click on the Spring Faculty Meeting link above and see slide 39 for Dr. Goodwin’s report.


University Faculty Senate- Dr. Don Edgar


No Report


Graduate Council – Dr. Thad Scott


Dr. Scott revealed that we adopted agraduate council resolution (held on Nov. 17, 2015) in which we will now comply with ADHE rules, as we have previously been in violation. To clarify: in accordance with ADHE rules, credits for a master’s degree must reach at least 50% at the 5000 level, and that doctoral degrees much reach a minimum of 50% for the first 30 hours and at least 42 of the final credit hours must be at the 5000 level or above. The graduate school encourages departments/programs to eliminate the use of dual credit courses, as this may cause issues for students who may not have sufficient numbers of 5000-level or above credit hours to be able to graduate (if your department decides not to follow this, you must be vigilant to ensure that your students have the appropriate number of credits/hours). ADHE rules will go into effect in the 2016-17 graduate catalog; for dual-listed courses, departments can contact Lisa Kulczak (lkulcza@uark.edu) to initiate an automated transition to stand-alone 4000/5000 level courses. Courses will be evaluated on the number of students enrolled (courses should make with approx. 6 students). Courses will still function the same, but will essentially be listed twice at different levels.


Please click on the Spring Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 40-43 for Dr. Scott’s report.


Faculty Council Report – Dr. Burt Bluhm, Chair


Dr. Bluhm acknowledged the Faculty Council Representatives and that most of the Faculty Council business was centered around the College Personnel Document Drafting Committee. The committee was formulated a year ago to devise a functional document that is compliant with university policy; this document was out for view in Sept./Oct. and it was approved in the Nov. meeting. In reference to elections: 2015 council chair-elect is Dr. Daniel Rainey, and the 2016 results will be a run off between Dr. Nick Anthony and Dr. Jason Apple.


Please click on the Spring Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 44-46 for Dr. Bluhm’s report.


Standing Committee Reports:


Promotion and Tenure Committee – Dr. Don Johnson, Chair


No Report


Nominations Committee –Dr. Andy Proctor, Chair


No Report


Awards Committee – Dr. Kate Shoulders, Chair


No Report


Scholarship Committee – Jill Rucker for Dr. Doug Karcher, Chair


Bumpers scholarships priority deadline passed on Nov. 15, but applications for Bumpers College are open from January 1 through Feb. 15. Students can access essay topic as well as a resume template; faculty should know that scholarship apps will not be reviewed unless student has completed app in its entirety (faculty member MUST submit recommendation letters)


AFLS Curriculum Sub-Committee – Dr. Mary Savin, Chair


No Report


Addendum Post-Meeting: In February 2015, Faculty Council approved the AGLE minor in Ag Leadership, and the program change went to the next step of the approval chain. However, the ADHE changed the curriculum approval forms at some point during the process, so the minor was kicked out the system after our vote to approve. The urgency to re-approve is that AECT has a student graduating in May who meets the criteria for the minor.


Dr. Burt Bluhm electronically called a motion to approve the AGLE minor, and after receiving votes from the majority of departmental representatives, Dr. Bluhm announced that the motion to re-approve the AGLE minor carried.


HESC Curriculum Sub-Committee –Dr. Kathy Smith


No Report


Ad hoc Committee Report/Question and Answer Session:


Personnel Document Committee – Dr. Bruce Dixon, Chair


Dr. Dixon’s report focused on a list of major changes in the DBCAFLS personnel document, which run as follows: emphasis on highest quality personnel, collegiality is formally recognized, all committees must have at least three members, a mandatory annual review of assistant professors, provisions for clinical and research professors (to serve on unit committees), unit rep to college P&T committee elected by eligible unit members, include instructors & clinical positions, unit committee part of annual review of all faculty members (some ambiguity – is there a college peer review policy? Seems to be that there isn’t – it has been left to the individual department), how campus does peer review, third-year review is codified-unit committee involved, post-tenure review codified, promotion/tenure documents unalterable after August 10 (strongly encouraged to get them into your departmental staff a few days before); and unit committee is now part of annual review.

Motion to accept the document was denied and left to an electronic vote.

Please click on the Spring Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 47-58 for Dr. Dixon’s report.


Old BusinessNone


New Business –None


General Announcements


Spring 2016 College Faculty Meeting will be held on May 6, 2016


Departmental Announcements


Animal Sciencereported new hires within the department and retirements; Jack Perkins passed away early in the month


Entomologyreported retirements


Plant Pathology – reported new hire


Poultry Science – reported landmark celebrations


AGS – reported new hires


The Passing of the Gavel


Dr. Burt Bluhm passed the gavel to Dr. Daniel Rainey, the new Chair of Faculty Council



Motion made and seconded to adjourn.


Submitted by Kalynn Smith