Faculty Council Minutes -- December 2016
Winter Faculty Meeting
Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences
December 9, 2016
Call to Order (10:00 AM) – Daniel Rainey, Chair
Approval of Agenda – Approved
Approval of Minutes (May 6, 2015) – Approved
Division of Agriculture – Dr. Clarence Watson – Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station
Dr. Watson began his report by giving the Faculty Council announcements regarding the federal budget. The Division has been looking at level funding this year due to a continuing resolution (that happened to run out this same day). Congress is in the process of passing a new continuing resolution to avoid a shutdown. The Division anticipates that it will be a continuation of level funding from last year, but Dr. Watson noted there were some early recommendations out of the House to see a $25 million increase if there is to be a budget resolution in the spring.
While the federal budget is fairly predictable, the state budget is not quite as clear. Higher education funding was level in FY 17 and the Division is starting to get ready for the upcoming legislative session to look at the FY 18 budget where there’s a push for more tax cuts and a number of agencies are seeking additional funds that would threaten funding. Dr. Cochran continues to work the legislature to secure new funds, but it is nevertheless a tough environment this year.
A few of the budgetary concerns the Division had this year turned out not to be terribly pressing issues. There were no increases in health insurance this year, but the Division can probably expect some in the next year. There was an increase in fringe benefit rate by 3% for the Division with no additional revenue. In regard to the Fair Labor Standards Act exempt status change, an injunction was issued days before it was supposed to take effect. While some of these federal orders may be overturned after inauguration, it could also go back to the courts, which would take a year or more to settle. Dr. Watson then turned to salaries and bonuses, where he mentioned the Division was not able to do a base adjustment this year. However, Dr. Cochran felt something should be done, so the Division has done two bonus programs, one for classified in summer and one for non-classified this winter. Checks for these bonuses will be issued December 15th. Dr. Cochran passed along his gratitude for everyone’s efforts and would like to do a base adjustment when possible, but currently the money simply is not there.
After calling the Faculty Council’s attention to new hires within the Division (see presentation slides), Dr. Watson wrapped up his report by turning to construction efforts. Construction is well through with the first phase of the soils lab in Marianna, which is paid for with money from the fertilizer checkoff program. Unfortunately, it is taking longer than expected given issues with contractors. The new seed plant in Stuttgart has replaced the old plant, which was becoming unsafe, and has already started processing the first crop. The Division is also expecting completion of the Don Tyson AGRI science center in July. The building will be half lab, half administration and will have a new meeting facility that can house 300 or so individuals.
Please click on the Winter Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 5-12 for Dr. Watson’s report.
Bumpers College —Interim Dean, Dr. Lona Robertson
Since Dr. Steinmetz arrived in his new position as Chancellor for the University of Arkansas, he has put together a team to identify and develop a set of eight campus planning initiatives (see slides for list); Dr. Robertson is serving on the subcommittee for the “Advancing Student Success” initiative, Dr. Evans is serving on “Campus Diversity,” and Dr. Rosenkrans and Dr. Meullenet are serving on “Strengthening Graduate Education” subcommittee.
The College is also developing its own strategic plan to go along with campus planning. It is Dr. Robertson’s responsibility to convey how the Bumpers College strategic plan dovetails with the campus plans in order to retain funding – this is not optional. Dr. Robertson has a small group of people – Sami Dridi, Gary MacDonald, Jason Apple, George Wardlow, Betsy Garrison, and Craig Rothrock – to help flesh out the College’s strategic plan, where after it will go to Faculty Council and then individual departments for input.
There is also a campus-wide 1% reallocation budget mandate which is to help fund the eight strategic planning initiatives. Bumpers College is fortunate in that our 1% will stay within the College, yet it means those funds still have to come from somewhere, so there will be some adjustments in budgets this Spring for FY18. This will be a 1% ($125,000) reallocation per year for the next 3 years. Therefore, anything that is not spent is going to have to come back this year, as our budget is tight this year and is likely to continue to be.
Moving away from the budget, Dr. Robertson announced that beginning in Fall 2018, background checks for faculty will be required. Campus is expecting these to cost less than $50, which means they are very broad, very general checks. Campus is looking specifically for people who have had legal issues that would make them unfit to be around a group of students, such as drug abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, etc.
Finally, Dr. Robertson ended her report with updates from Bumpers on the Road (BotR). BotR is an initiative to re-establish the Bumpers College relationship with parts of the state of Arkansas who thought that the U of A had abandoned them. They believed we were not interested in students from southern and eastern Arkansas, which is untrue; BotR is a new program where our Dean’s Office staff and any department head willing to participate will go on the road in a recruiting effort as well as to reconnect with our alumni and to let business of Arkansas know that we are still here for them. The next trip will be in February to Jonesboro (members from the Dean’s Office went to Stuttgart this past November).
Please click on the Winter Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 13-14 for Dr. Robertson’s report.
Bumpers College —Interim Associate Dean, Dr. Mike Evans
As of Fall of 2016, our college enrollment was 2,173 with a .23% increase; while we’ve maintained our growth in undergraduate student numbers, we had a significant dip in our graduate student numbers, but we are still continuing that positive trend of going up in total enrollment. In regard to student semester credit hours, most units for credit hours were able to increase, and they generate overall by 4. 63%. Our first-year retention (2015 students coming back in 2016) was 82.5%, still a fraction ahead of the university as a whole. Our six-year graduation rate is 67.8%, the university goal is to reach 70% by the year 2021.
To address our graduate student enrollment concerns, a DBCAFLS Ph.D. programs review committee has been formed. These members are currently meeting to brainstorm plans on how to restructure Ph.D. programs to make them more viable, perhaps by merging certain programs together to make them stronger.
Dr. Evans also brought up a couple of items that needed to be addressed to ensure paperwork and approval processes go smoothly. The first is the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), which outlines states that require permission for out of state universities to send their interns to work within that specific state. Administrators who handle student internship paperwork have been brought up to date on internships that need to be recorded for out of state work and the states who require permission (CA, CT, FL, KY, MA, NY, PA, UT). The second item is in reference to the “Learning Outcomes” section on syllabi, which Dr. Evans iterated to the Faculty Council needs to be present, otherwise that syllabus will be kicked back.
Moving on, Dr. Evans noted that online sites that serve as a repository for student notes have become a matter of concern. At this point in time, if a faculty member does not have a statement in his/her syllabus forbidding it, posting student notes from class is not an academic integrity issue. However, Faculty Senate is in the process of passing a new policy to make it an academic integrity violation, and there must be a pre-written paragraph to put in syllabi to cover this. This issue brought up a discussion among a few of the attendees, wherein it was mentioned that “notes” are considered to be and individual’s intellectual property; therefore, a professor’s notes are not owned by a student, leading to academic integrity, but if student synthesizes their own thoughts and turns those notes in to the website, that is not (currently) a violation.
Please click on the Winter Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 15-24 for Dr.
International Programs – Dr. Leslie Edgar
During the last academic year, 1,022 U of A students studied abroad, 80 of whom were from Bumpers College. Dr. Edgar displayed the awardees for 2016-2017 faculty grants chosen by the IPO Committee and the programs they are leading. She also noted that Dr. Proctor and Meullenet were rewarded for their outstanding international service to Bumpers College at this Fall’s Faculty Recognition Reception.
There have been revisions to the IPO website, whereby students can now seek international programs directly through our Bumpers College website and form there launch to the Study Abroad portal. Students will be able to access scholarships from that website as well.
This year, IPO has instituted a new mentor program wherein 6 individuals were selected who have studied abroad and were part of the 22 large-enrollment courses and 12 UNIV courses to promote faculty programs abroad. Dr. Edgar also gave her thanks to faculty who attended the Bumpers College international information fair and study abroad fair.
A reminder was given to faculty that IPO scholarships are due January 3rd electronically and are due in paper form December 22nd. Concern was raised about the deadline, so Dr. Edgar agreed to delay the deadline and will send out a notification email.
To develop contribution to the UA Rome Center, Bumpers College has developed a subcommittee which has offered a report that was accepted by the larger committee, and our recommendations are moving forward. Another subcommittee has been made to work on policies and procedures for international travel and study, as we are adjusting many deadlines such as when faculty must submit faculty-led programs. The goal is to make these deadlines as efficient as possible for faculty to avoid any “wasted time.”
To wrap up her report, Dr. Edgar announced that Bumpers College has signed Memorandums of Understanding with universities in Austria, Malaysia and India. We have also signed two Affiliation Agreements with SAI and Global Experiences. Finally, a thank you to those who worked with Dr. Edgar on the Global Food Opportunities Seminar Series and to her IPO committee.
Please click on the Winter Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 25-30 for Dr. Edgar’s report.
Faculty Council Report – Dr. Daniel Rainey, Chair
Dr. Rainey opened his report by identifying who the Faculty Council representatives are and announcing his thanks for their work this past semester. Moving on to business, Dr. Rainey mentioned the Departmental Personnel Documents are due; the Bumpers College document was approved, but as a result each department must now present their own personnel department. As of this day, there were a few departments who had yet to submit their documents to Dr. Robertson.
Next was the topic of Latin distinction for non-Honors College graduates. AFLS is one of only a few colleges that does not allow non-Honors students to graduate with Latin distinction; if faculty would like for this to change, Dr. Rainey urged those present to discuss this with their Faculty Council representative so they can vote accordingly for the department. Dr. Rainey also passed along the news that there is going to be an official change in the final exam schedule – the university will be going to a four-day schedule (Monday-Thursday, as opposed to Monday-Friday).
Finally, a note on the Nominations Committees – Dr. Rainey is outgoing, so Dr. Nick Anthony will be taking over; Chair-elects were Doug Karcher, HORT, and Jason Apple, ANSC. Dr. Karcher won and will be the new Chair in 2018.
Please click on the Winter Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 31-34 for Dr. Rainey’s report.
Standing Committee Reports:
Scholarship Committee – Dr. Jill Rucker
Dr. Rucker’s report was succinct and brief, announcing that a new scholarship director, Kaitlin Gragnano, has been appointed and is now working in the Dean’s Office. She also announced that the committee met twice this Fall to make active plans for making the awards in the Spring. Dr. Rucker also wanted to remind faculty that the scholarship application link will open January 1st, but it’s not due until February 15th and Faculty recommendations are due February 20th (faculty recommendation are a critical component of the scholarship application and must be included with scholarship, otherwise the application will not be considered). Dr. Rucker was also happy to announce that with 254 applications, our numbers were up from last year, which yielded a total of 180 students.
Please click on the Winter Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 37-39 for Dr. Rucker’s report.
AFLS Curriculum Sub-Committee – Dr. Jeff Miller, Chair
The Curriculum sub-committee had a significant number of program changes that were considered and approved. They are listed as the following:
- AECT AGLE minor—new program
- AECT AGLE concentration—new program
- AECT MS dropped AGED 5563 Thesis Proposal Development and added 3 credits of concentration electives
- CSES deleted the Wildlife Habitat Minor
- CSES added the Soil Science Minor
- CSES revised the ESWS minor to be called Natural Resources minor
- Deleted BSTCGC (graduate certificate program)
- Changed AFLS Honors program title and requirements (title is now “Bumpers College Honors Program”)
- Changed AECT major core to become uniform across concentrations and added technical ag electives
- Changed AGED minor to include teacher certification courses
A significant number of course changes were made as well, and are listed below:
- AFLS 403V Special Problems—new course
- HORT 4703 Greenhouse Mgmt and Controlled Environment Hort.—dual enrollment, every FA, online
- HORT 4803 Greenhouse Crops Production—dual enrollment, SP even
- AGED 1133 Lifelong Agricultural Advocacy—new course
- AGED 3133 Instructional and Presentation Strategies—name change
- FDSC 2111 Math Elements for Food Science and Technology—new course
- ANSC/CSES 5533 Forage-Ruminant Relations—course change; new course number
- ANSC 4552 Forage-Ruminant Relations—new course (undergrad)
- AGEC 4603/5603 Food Economics and Health—new courses
- ANSC 2303 Introduction to Horsemanship—name change
Dr. Miller also announced that the Provost now requires new programs going through must have a maximum credit of 18 (cannot have any more than 18 credits in one concentration – 6 of them may be practical, such as an internship). Here, Dr. Robertson noted that Dr. Martin in the Provost’s Office is looking at every major on campus and will have any department fix their curriculum if a concentration does not fit within these guidelines. Several other course-related changes were also brought up in the meeting, as follows:
- MATH 1203 prerequisites dropped from ASTM 3153, 3173,and 4973
- ENSC 3263 Soil and Water Conservation—name change
- CSES separated ENSC 3221L from co-req for ENSC 3223, but ESWS majors must still take lab
- ANSC 3133 Animal Breeding and Genetics added a non-credit drill
- AGST has two new faculty members; three new courses and a special topics course will be offered; AGST 4023 & 5023 will be taught separately.
- POSC 4233 Value Added Muscle Foods cross-listed with POSC 5233, changed to Spring odd.
Dr. Miller ended his report by informing those present that Dr. Mike Thompson was elected secretary /incoming chair for the AFLS curriculum sub-committee in 2018.
Please click on the Winter Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 40-43 for Dr. Miller’s report.
HESC Curriculum Sub-Committee –Dr. Kathy Smith
Dr. Smith opened with thanks to Laura Herald for assisting as co-chair this year as well as going into next year. She then delved into AMPD course changes as listed below:
- HESC 1403 (Life Span) was added as an additional option for students in the Human Environmental Sciences core of the AMPD program in addition to HESC 2413 Family Relations
- Reflects the previously changed level of AMPD 4071 Pre-Internship to AMPD 3071
- Added ISYS 1123 Business Application Knowledge-Computer Competency or equivalent to the Computers requirement of the degree program.
Next Dr. Smith listed changes for HDFS Bachelor of Science, as the HDFS major was reorganized primarily due to requirements from the state for licensure in BRKD. Now the Birth to K concentration has been transformed into a major to accommodate the state licensure. The Child Development and Lifespan concentrations were merged into another major within HDFS due to overlap within their requirements. The HDFS minor also had changes to incorporate changes made within the majors (see slides for details).
HNHI and GHES did not have any changes this semester.
Please click on the Winter Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 44-47 for Dr. Smith’s report.
Honors Program Update – Dr. Charles Rosenkrans, Chair
Dr. Rosenkrans was elected Chair in the new standing Honors Program committee for this Fall and will elect a new chair in the Spring. In his presentation, he mentioned that the Honors Program has three incoming Honors College fellows and one Bodenhamer Fellow. Our college also has a Truman Scholar, Victoria Maloch. Furthermore, enrollment continues to climb (46 incoming freshmen and 194 current students). Dr. Rosenkrans presented a chart of the student and honors course growth to attendees which showed that our Honors numbers have nearly doubled within the last four years. This information came with a great thank you to the faculty and staff involved in Honors. Other changes within the Honors Program include a shift for the committee from an ad-hoc committee to standing committee.
The Bumpers College Honors Program website has been updated and is being continually revised. Thesis and creative project guidelines have been added, as well as an outlined student timeline with milestones, deadlines, and a list of possible faculty mentors. Please notify the Honors committee if any other additions/modifications are needed for the site.
The Honors Program has also piloted the Honors College-funded student mentor program in the AFLS 1023H course (the college is receiving funding to support this course) and is currently looking for Signature Seminar and Forum topics.
Faculty member Dr. Nick Anthony was the recipient of the 2016 Honors College Distinguished Service Award.
Please click on the Winter Faculty Meeting link above and see slides 48-54 for Dr. Rosenkrans’ report.
Old Business – None
New Business – None
Spring 2017 College Faculty Meeting will be held on May 5, 2017
Agricultural Education – None
Agricultural Economics – Reported that an instructor has finished the last requirements for his Ph.D.
Agricultural Statistics –Hired Dr. Andy Bartlett from Southern Illinois University.
Animal Science – Hired a new faculty member, Dr. Lauren Thomas, as well as a new Arena Manager Chelsea Campbell. She is replacing Danny Belcher, who retired this summer after fifteen years. Lauren Husband has been hired as an Administrative Specialist for the department.
Crop and Soil – Dr. Thad Scott has taken a position at another university as of August, and Dr. Chien left in August as well. Dr. Roosterhuis retired in June, and though Dr. Longer is still here, he will be retiring soon. Dr. Cammy Willett came into the department in April 2015.
Entomology – Losing faculty due to retirements and will be looking for new hires.
Food Science – None
Horticulture – Dr. Margaret Worthington has been hired into the department. Dr. Evans has been temporarily changed to the Dean’s Office as Interim Associate Dean. Dr. Rom left July 1st to serve as the Associate Dean for the Graduate School’s office, and congratulations to Dr. Mike Richardson, who is a Spitze Award winner this year.
Plant Pathology – One new faculty, Dr. Martin Egan, who started July 1st.
Poultry Science – One new faculty, Xiaolun (Jack) Sun, who started in August. Retiring is Yvonne Thaxton at the end of December.
Human Environmental Sciences – Lobat Siahmakoun is a new chef within the department, a new assistant professor and instructor have also been added.
Passing the Gavel – Dr. Rainey made the formal gesture of passing the gavel to the incoming Faculty Council Chair, Dr. Nick Anthony.
Motion made and seconded to adjourn.
Submitted by Kalynn Smith