Faculty Council Minutes -- January 2009

JANUARY 16, 2009
Rosen Center Conference Room

Faculty present:
Mike Richardson – HORT (Chair)
Laurie Apple – HESC
Sreekala Bajwa – BAEG
Hayden Brown – ANSC
Latha Devareddy – FDSC
Ken Korth – PLPA
Jeff Miller – AEED
Brad Murphy – HORT
Daniel Rainey – AEAB
Duane Wolf – CSES

Faculty absent:
Fred Stephen – ENTO
Park Waldroup - POSC

Others present:
Nan Miller, University Faculty Senate
Mike Thomsen – Graduate Council

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. M. Richardson gave the Faculty Council a charge to review the Council's By-Laws.

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 November 14, 2008 meeting minutes. Motion adopted by voice approval. Motion made and seconded to table the approval of the Fall Faculty meeting minutes of December 10, 2008 until the Spring Faculty meeting on May 1, 2009.

Administration Reports

Bumpers College – Associate Dean Donna Graham

Productivity analysis of degree programs is in place. We must determine how to move forward with new productivity metrics. A college retreat is planned in March or April to discuss issues such as graduation rate, low enrolled programs and classes, and teaching FTE's per department. The overall objective is to have a plan in place and set goals for ourselves.

Jeff Shannon of the School of Architecture will chair the search committee for Dean of the Bumpers College. No one else has been appointed to serve on the committee at this time. J. Shannon plans to interview some Bumpers College faculty as to what we are looking for in a Dean.

Budgeting will be very conservative this year. Campus will ask for a modest increase in tuition to be used for salary increases. Endowments are down due to drop in markets, possible reducing scholarship monies for 2009.

The college is looking to join the AG*IDEA consortium (http://www.agidea.org/). Ruth Williams, a board member of AG*IDEA, was invited to visit with our faculty through various meetings. Member institutions will be able to participate in distance education programs and/or courses in agricultural and related sciences with other institutions. Faculty feedback is needed.

Question: Do we get to try out the AG*IDEA anytime soon?

Answer: We cannot share across campuses unless you share in the tuition cost. We can join as an affiliate or in a program area. There may be a budgetary gain as a program affiliate.

The College is working with Extension this spring to have eight different recruiting events in this district or region of Northwest Arkansas to assist our recruiting efforts.

D. Graham announced the addition of new staff member, Ashley Marshall, at the front desk of the Dean's Office. Ashley replaces Michelle Chavez.

The University will not print College catalogs this year. However, Bumpers College will have 100 copies printed for sharing with each department.

The College is sponsoring a table at the MLK banquet on January 19, 2009. Posters with the week's events have been displayed around campus.

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

Rick Bennett has accepted the position of Plant Pathology Department Head and will start March 1, 2009. Poultry Science has commenced the search for the Department Head and Center Director. The Search Committee has identified a list of nominations and the search is ongoing.

Food Science has formed a search committee for the position of department head and will work to develop a position description and announcement.

Building Projects: The new building at the Rice Research and Extension Center should be dedicated next fall.

Space assessments for each department are ongoing to determine current and future building and space needs on campus.

Budget: Uncertainty remains at both the State and Federal level. State budget is likely to be flat. We will be conservative with new hires this spring. The House has taken action on the stimulus package with limited details. Higher education and research and development communities had numerous applications to be considered. Some research components of the House version have $3 billion allocated to the National Science Foundation with $1 billion for facilities and $2 billion for environmental and global competitiveness. Other allocations include $2 billion to NIH with $1.5 billion for biomedical research that addresses diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancer and heart disease. The Department of Education has an allocation of $1.9 billion. The Senate has yet to approve a bill.

Each state's higher education boards have submitted proposals in terms of bricks and mortar and infrastructure. No details yet but have been asked to provide more information.

AFRI (formerly CSREES) – There is $190 million targeted to support competitive grants programs. We are awaiting final word on appropriations. Note that some programs require a letter of intent to be submitted before the RFP comes out. Interested grant writers need to be very aware of these letters, as failure to submit a letter of intent will prevent acceptance of a proposal.

University Faculty Senate – Nan Miller
Handout – Faculty Senate Report, January 14, 2009.

Agriculture Curriculum Committee – Donn Johnson (not present)
There is no report. The Committee will be meeting the week of January 20, 2009.

HESC Curriculum Committee – Laurie Apple
There is no report as the Committee has not met yet this semester.
Graduate Council – Michael Thomsen
M. Thomsen presented a summary of two policies regarding 1) Grade Point Average Requirement for Graduation and 2) Academic Probation Policy for Graduate Students. An email regarding these policies has been sent to all faculty council representatives. The Graduate Council will discuss this in their February meeting and faculty input is desired. M. Thomsen has not received much feedback from faculty at this time.

M. Richardson will resend the email from December 20, 2008 to the faculty again to review these two policies as they have not been voted on yet.

Question: What are the strongest arguments M. Thomsen has heard against implementing these policies?

Answer: M. Thomsen is not aware of any arguments, but he believes the issue is that it will be difficult for Committees when clearing the degrees.
Old Business – M. Richardson
Department head evaluations have been assigned to a committee and will meet in April.
New Business
M. Richardson reviewed the Faculty Council scheduled meeting dates.

M. Richardson announced that Jeff Miller has agreed to serve as our college parliamentarian.

M. Richardson announced a nominations committee must be formed consisting of three people and are to be selected from among the Faculty Council members. The nominations committee is charged with soliciting nominations for various offices or committees.

The Faculty Council would like to thank Tom Costello for his many years of service to the Faculty Council and for serving as the nominations officer for the faculty during that time.

A runoff election between Dan Rainey and Laurie Apple is needed to determine Chair‐Elect for 2009. The council also thanks Hayden Brown and Nilda Burgos for their willingness to serve.

Some instructors have questioned the change to policy which now requires instructor consent to sign up for thesis or dissertation hours. It is too early to tell if the policy will affect workloads of the departments or of the Dean's office, so nothing will be addressed at present.

D. Graham suggested the faculty must get involved in how the College will progress over the next 5 to 10 years. M. Richardson suggested the Faculty Council coordinate providing ideas, background and solutions and alternatives in advance of the upcoming retreat.


Student Awards due February 2, 2009

The Leadar Group in Extension has changed travel plans and is now going to Greece. They are looking for faculty members or students who may be from Greece to discuss the Greek culture, etc. D. Graham will forward an email to M. Richardson with specific requests.

D. Wolf announced the SURF Grants have been awarded and two students from the Honors College received grants.

Next Faculty Council meeting – February 13, 2009 at 2:30 pm in the Rosen Center


The meeting adjourned at 3:35 p.m.

Submitted by
Carmen Alessi