Faculty Council Minutes -- February 2009

FEBRUARY 13, 2009
Rosen Center Conference Room

Faculty present:
Mike Richardson – HORT (Chair)
Laurie Apple – HESC (Chair-elect)
Sreekala Bajwa – BAEG
Hayden Brown – ANSC
Kristofor Brye – CSES
Latha Devareddy – FDSC
Jeff Miller – AEED
Cindy Moore - HESC
Brad Murphy – HORT
Fred Stephen – ENTO
Park Waldroup - POSC

Faculty absent:
Ken Korth – PLPA
Daniel Rainey – AEAB

Others present:
Larry Purcell – Graduate Council
Donn Johnson – Agriculture Curriculum Committee

Administrators present:
Donna Graham, Associate Dean for Academics
Mark Cochran, Associate Vice President for Agriculture - Research

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

Approval of Agenda – Motion made and seconded to approve the agenda. Motion adopted by voice approval.

Approval of Minutes – Motion made and seconded to approve January 16, 2009 meeting minutes. Motion adopted by voice approval.

Administration Reports

Bumpers College – Associate Dean Donna Graham

A college retreat is currently planned for April 2 to discuss issues such as graduation rate, low enrolled programs and classes, and teaching FTE's per department. Time has not been set yet but the retreat will be held in the Union. All Bumpers College faculty will be invited to participate. D. Graham will ask for feedback via electronic survey for topic ideas from a broader spectrum of individuals.
A response to the provost must be prepared prior to May 1, 2009 on programs not meeting productivity standards. The College must submit a list of programs with imbedded courses, cognate programs, considered a mission specific program (such as PhD programs since the University is a PhD granting program, etc.) D. Graham's office will ask department heads for feedback.

The Division of Agriculture has proposed to campus that our program reviews be conducted on a 10‐year cycle to conserve money. Campus administration is asking for feedback as other colleges may want to change to a 10-year cycle versus a 7-year cycle. The suggestion is to have a 5-year report if the 10-year cycle is approved.
A new bill is being introduced as the "transfer of credit bill" where all hours taken at a community college must be counted in degree programs at four year institutions. Campus administration is working to write exceptions for the bill. The other piece of that bill requires each four year institution to develop transfer guidelines if a community college is within 50 miles of campus.
Question: Are four year degrees offered at Northwest Arkansas Community College?
Answer: No, but UA Fort Smith would like to do so.

Students have petitioned for a maximum of two exams on any one given day. A request has come from the Athletic Department to study activities prior to the final exam period as too many instructors are giving "finals" prior to the exam period.

Question: Are the final exam rules and regulations in the catalog?
Answer: It may be in the faculty hand book, but D. Graham will confirm.

Jeff Shannon will chair the dean's search committee and will be asking for nominations for committee memberships from the faculty, stakeholders, and affiliates. The nominees should be those with a global view and understanding. Please submit nominations directly to Jeff Shannon.

Question: How many people will serve on the search committee?
Answer: We do not know at this time.

The budget outlook is the same – flat.

Dale Bumpers College's commencement ceremony has been moved to Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center for May 9, 2009.

Division of Agriculture – Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Associate Vice President-Research Mark Cochran

Much of what is going on are works in progress. Reports on the stimulus package a month ago are irrelevant today. Things are moving quickly on the budget side. After great effort, targeted construction opportunities for higher education in the stimulus package were few. However, some opportunities may be presented in stimulus funds embedded within particular state or federal agencies. We are pursuing those opportunities. Originally $100 million for agricultural research on the Senate side for AFRI now has been entirely removed.

The statewide budget may appropriate a small increase but there may be stimulus funding for "agricultural, food and rural" research in agencies other than USDA such as NIH. Actual flows will depend upon state revenues. A flat budget will be good compared to many sister institutions. Reports from surrounding states at recent SAAS and NASULGC meetings indicate many are looking at 15 to 30 percent cuts over the next two years.

University Faculty Senate – Nan Miller, (not present)
Handout – Faculty Senate Report, February, 2009. A policy was approved that requires professors to work to reschedule exams for students that have more than two final exams in a single day.

Agriculture Curriculum Committee – Donn Johnson
Handout – Agriculture Curriculum Committee Actions. D. Johnson announced that all the Committee's minutes are posted at http://bumperscollege.uark.edu/183.htm. Cindy Moore has replaced Tim Killian on this committee.

D. Graham mentioned this Committee will meet within the next two weeks. D. Graham suggested adding the Faculty Council Committee to the circulation. M. Richardson asked D. Graham to circulate it so the committee can provide feedback.

D. Johnson mentioned that Drs. Johnson, Rothrock, Miller and Rom are interested in forming an interdisciplinary group to discuss course design, content, and courses needed in the sustainability area. They are receiving requests to change course names to add sustainability in the titles.

D. Johnson mentioned there was discussion regarding possible change in Bumpers College "English Comp policy". The Ag. Curriculum Committee has requested clarification on policy history.

A motion was made and seconded to approve the Agriculture Curriculum Committee actions.
• Major changes to ENTO 4133
• Inactivate HORT 1203
• Minor changes to AFLS 5001 and AGEC 5303
• Changes to Turf Management Minor

Motion adopted by voice approval.

HESC Curriculum Committee – Laurie Apple
There is no report as the Committee has not met yet this semester.

Graduate Council – Larry Purcell
L. Purcell reviewed the proposed Grade Point Average Requirement for Graduation being discussed by the Graduate Council. An email regarding this has been sent to all faculty council reps. The Graduate Council will discuss this in their February 19 meeting and faculty input is desired.

Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.85 to graduate with a master's degree, a minimum GPA of 3.0 to graduate with a PhD.

When a student's cumulative GPA drops below a 2.85, he or she will receive notice of academic probation. If they have minimum hours of 15 and GPA is below 2.85, they are dismissed. Calculation of GPA is for the current program.

Question: Will the committee be allowed to select the courses for calculation purposes?

Answer: It is understood that the courses going into that respective GPA have been approved by the student's graduate committee.
So far, there have been few comments, suggesting that most are in favor of the change. However, a couple of faculty council members said there were negative comments in their department, suggesting that this change would provide a loophole for graduate committees to change "required" courses mid‐stream to prevent students from going on academic suspension.
Question: Has this not always been an issue?
Answer: The rules have changed in that all grades are counted now.

In responding to the concern of lowering standards, it was mentioned that departments are allowed to set their own standards and make them higher than the Graduate School.

Old Business – M. Richardson

New Business – M. Richardson
Laurie Apple was introduced as the new AFLS faculty Chair‐elect

M. Richardson referred to a draft proposal handout of current Faculty By-Laws regarding voting membership and a list of voting faculty. M. Richardson asked what constitutes a voting faculty member. An off-campus faculty member can petition through their unit to become a member of the voting faculty. The issue is how long that off-campus faculty member sustains his or her membership. Modification of the By-Laws is needed to keep record of which member petitioned for voting membership and how those records are maintained into the future.

It was mentioned that increasing the number of voting faculty members makes reaching a quorum more difficult. Currently, 40 percent constitutes a quorum.

In the BAEG Department, there are some faculty who are split between multiple colleges. A suggestion was made that those faculty members should designate which college they want to be considered a member of voting faculty.

Question: How often do off-campus faculty petition to become members of the voting faculty?
Answer: No one has petitioned in the past five years. There may be off-campus faculty
who are not aware that they can petition to become a member of the voting faculty.

It was noted that originally each department recommended which of their faculty members were considered voting faculty.

Question: Is Ag Stats an academic unit?
Answer: Ag Stats should be listed under Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences

A sub-committee has been formed including Hayden Brown, Kristopher Brye, and Dan Rainey to review the draft proposal of the current Faculty By-Laws and submit some potential solutions as to voting membership in Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

D. Graham asked M. Richardson to review the sequence of elections of faculty senators, chair-elect of Faculty Council, various committees, etc. M. Richardson has already been coordinating a timeline for these elections to meet By-Law requirements.


Motion made and seconded to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 3:27 p.m.

Submitted by
Carmen Alessi