Faculty Council Minutes -- February 2016
DBCAFLS Faculty Council Meeting
Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences
February 19, 2016
APC Rosen Center Conference Room
Attendees: Daniel Rainey, Chair; Nick Anthony, Chair Elect; Qiuqiong Huang, AEAB; Don Edgar, AEED; Jason Apple, ANSC; Kris Brye, CSES; Fred Stephen, ENTO; Andy Proctor, FDSC; Jacquelyn Mosley, HESC; Gary McDonald, HORT; Ioannis Tzanetakis, PLPA; Sami Dridi, POSC; Dean Michael Vayda, AES Academic; Dr. Nathan McKinney, AES Research (for Dr. Watson); Leslie Edgar, International and Honors Programs; Doug Karcher, Scholarship; Katy Smith, HESC Curriculum Sub-Committee; Kalynn Smith, Administrative Assistant
Call to Order (2:30 PM) – Dr. Daniel Rainey, Chair
Approval of Agenda – Approved
Approval of Minutes (January 2016) – Approved
Division of Agriculture – Assoc. V.P. – Research for the Division of Agriculture – Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, Dr. McKinney for Dr. Watson
Dr. McKinney’s report was quick and to the point. His first item regarded the FY 17 federal budget request, informing Faculty Council the President has made only modest increases in two categories (AFRI and 1890 extension service), so APLU is asking for more money in several categories, including capacity funds as well as competitive funds. Dr. McKinney also stated that mark ups will not be until later this year, but right now funds are flat with only those modest increases to go on. His second topic regarded the several reconstruction projects currently in progress; the soils lab in Marianna is nearly complete, the foundation seed plant in Stuttgart has “steel in the air,” and the Don Tyson agriscience building is still in the design phase, but that is almost finished. Finally, in reference to CITI training for research, the Division has to certify everyone with a competitive grant, as those without certification will not be eligible to apply. Fortunately, the Division is almost at 100% compliance as of today (February 19th).
Bumpers College — Dean and Associate Vice President for Agriculture, Dr. Mike Vayda
Dean Vayda opened his report with congratulations and thanks to Bruce Dixon and his committee for putting together the personnel document. It has been distributed to faculty for vote with permission from the Provost to schedule said vote. At a future date, addenda will be needed from departments to add to the document; Dean Vayda mentioned that a list will be created in an attempt to have the same eight things addressed by the departments so that there is uniformity in the document. The Dean expressed concern that faculty needs to discuss oddities within the document, such as what constitutes a quorum and what constitutes a vote, as these items are currently left vague.
Dean Vayda’s second item referenced budget season. Meetings will take place in the coming weeks, and one of the topics to be addressed is enhancing our graduate education, calling for more graduate assistantships. The social and behavioral sciences could benefit from becoming more “robust,” and, naturally, we will need more facilities to achieve these goals. A formal presentation before the Chancellor regarding these topics will be held March 1st. Dean Vayda included information about a previous proposal for using funds for graduate education; a budget request was made last year, though due to inactivity on the proposal, about half a million dollars were uncommitted. Among other goals to achieve will be raising the minimum for all campus-funded GAs (right now they stand at $1,000 with an ideal of raising to $1,333 per month – for Ph.D.s), and instituting a bridge funding program in cases where more money is needed (there is currently an application process for this). Here the report turned attention to Dean Needy’s plan to institute a two-for-one policy for making a simultaneous offer to the top two Ph.D. student candidates; if both candidates accept, they will both be funded for a year with the Graduate School covering one student’s costs for the first year then the department would need to find additional funds.
Lastly, Dean Vayda addressed the two hires in progress at the Dean’s Office – the Financial Officer has left, so we are in the midst of a search for a replacement, and will be interviewing candidates in the next weeks. Also, a new position for a Web and Social Media Coordinator is in the works. As the title suggests, we are directing the new hire to work with the web workers in the departments to proactively address the departments and provide strategies.
Bumpers College —Associate Dean, Dr. Lona Robertson
International Programs Committee – Dr. Leslie Edgar
The International Programs report opened with news of 41 scholarship applications to the program. The faculty committee will notify 24 of the 41 students that they will be receiving funds. Dr. Edgar adopted a serious tone when noting that this was the first year students didn’t have 30 days to sign financial agreements, which consequently forced students to make commitments without knowing if they had funding from our end. She asked the Study Abroad Office to make sure this never happens again. The faculty council discussed shifting the deadline for financial agreements to late December or January to help circumvent this issue.
In addition to the scholarship awards, International Programs is getting ready to release grant rewards for faculty-led programs. June 15th will be the application deadline for these programs, and Dr. Edgar encouraged faculty to look at two-year programs specifically.
Final note: university-wide, faculty-led programs are up by 30%, however, student applications are up just slightly, giving rise to the concern that there is too much faculty growth (more programs than students).
Honors Program Update – Dr. Leslie Edgar
Dr. Edgar passed around a handout of guidelines to help Honors students with their programs, a document which the program was previously lacking. Honors is progressing with the incorporation of more honors courses in various departments. Dr. Edgar noted that an existing course adding an honors component is a minor change, and encouraged departments to have 6 honors hours. If support is needed, Dr. Edgar will lobby to get financial support and any other needs. Her goal is to have a list of those course updated by May.
Dr. Edgar also announced that she is developing bylaws to move the International and Honors committees toward permanent committees.
Student Networking and Curricular Enhancement – Dr. H.L. Goodwin, Director
University Faculty Senate- Dr. Don Edgar
No report. However, there was a discussion among the faculty council about the status of healthcare and a significant discussion about instructors and non-tenure faculty who were not planning to be around for more than three years.
Graduate Council – Dr. Thad Scott
No report. The council took this opportunity to discuss previous announcements, namely the new course formats. The council addressed sentiments of being “forced” to convert dual-credit courses to single-credit. The justification for this was that too many graduate students are filling their requirements with 4000-level courses (this is potentially a vulnerable point with our accreditation review next year). Dean Vayda encouraged faculty to “take the path of least resistance” and comply with the new rule, as it is truly not much of a difference, but merely a new definition and slight change in the course for the graduate students. However, the concern expressed by the council is that this was not faculty approved.
Faculty Council Report – Dr. Daniel Rainey, Chair
Dr. Rainey spoke about reconstituting a new nomination committee, as three people are rotating off Faculty Senate this year, and therefore three people are needed for the three vacancies by the end of May. There will also be two new people to elect next year. There was discussion about calling on some to create a nominations committee.
Standing Committee Reports:
Awards Committee – Dr. Kate Shoulders, Chair
Scholarship Committee – Dr. Doug Karcher, Chair
The scholarship committee’s January 29th meeting was to give early scholarship awards to incoming freshmen. Dr. Karcher announced that the committee was late in updating data, and that scholarship data will be made available to reviewers today (February 19th). Recommendation letters are also due today. The committee will meet March 14th to make recommendations on all awards for freshmen students; this information will be forthcoming in the next week or two.
AFLS Curriculum Sub-Committee – Dr. Jeff Miller, Chair
Dr. Miller notified the council that three courses are in the process of approval. Two classes in the Horticulture department are sitting – the 4703 was moved to an online class and 4803 is now being taught in the Spring of even years as there’s less demand for it. There was a motion to accept all three courses, and the motion carried. A program change was also brought to the council: to drop a thesis development proposal class and add a three credit hour elective. Dr. Miller sought a motion to approve, and the motion carried. AEEDMS dropped and inactivated AGED 5536 “Thesis Proposal Development” and added 3 credits of concentration electives for thesis students.
HESC Curriculum Sub-Committee –Dr. Kathy Smith
Brief and to the point, Dr. Smith notified the council that a significant number of courses will be coming through for their approval at a future date.
Old Business – Update on the revised College Personnel Document – the goal is to have it voted on a week from today. The faculty council discussed some of the items left out of the new personnel document. A discussion about nominations for faculty chair followed, focusing on the point that although it was voted to stay at three, ironically no one wants to stand. This prompted a suggestion to reconsider that number. The council also discussed the rotating chair from department to department, talking about incentivizing being faculty council chair and to appeal the Dean for creating a RIF fund.
New Business –None
The next Faculty Council meeting will be March 18th.
Motion made and seconded to adjourn.
Submitted by Kalynn Smith