Faculty Council Minutes -- January 2016

DBCAFLS Faculty Council Meeting
Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences
January 15, 2016
APC Rosen Center Conference Room


Attendees: Daniel Rainey, FC Chair; Nick Anthony, FC Chair-elect; Qiuqiong Huang, AEAB; Don Edgar, AECT; Chris Brye, CSES; Andy Proctor, FDSC; Godwin Ogbeide, HESC; Ioannis Tzanetakis, PLPT; Sami Dridi, POSC

Mike Vayda, Dean / Assoc. V.P. – Education; Clarence Watson, Assoc. V.P. – Research; Lona Robertson, Associate Dean; Leslie Edgar, Honors Program/International Program Director



Call to Order (2:30 PM)Dr. Daniel Rainey, Chair


Approval of AgendaApproved


Approval of Minutes (November 2015)Approved



Division of Agriculture – Assoc. V.P. – Research for the Division of Agriculture – Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, Dr. Clarence Watson


(See pages 1-2 of handouts)

Dr. Watson opened his report with news of the new year-end budget deal. The FY 16 Ag Appropriations were passed (here Dr. Watson clarified that the numbers listed on the handout are in millions). There was a $25 million increase in the AFRI program, so more competitive grant money will be made available. There were also small increases in the 1890 Institutions; in the last farm deal, a Congressman from Ohio got Central State University added to the list of the 1890 land grant, but there was no increase in the budget. In the last appropriation bill, Congress added enough money to offset that inclusion so other members of the list didn’t have to divide their funding. Afterwards, presidents of the 1890s and APLU sent letters to Congress requesting that no more universities be added to the land grant list unless funding is provided. Immediately following the addition of Central State, Louisiana added Grambling as a land grant. It has not been accepted at this point, but this sets a precedent that other non-land grant 1862 universities could apply for that status. If there is no increase in funding, this could be a threat to our own federal funds (there is no formal definition of a land grant, wherein lies the problem). Dr. Watson also drew attention to the 1994 Research and Extension, which refers to tribal colleges/Native American land grant institutions which chose to withdraw from APLU. APLU will not be advocating for their funding this year. He also mentioned that the FY17 budget was a two-year budget deal; the President’s budget is expected around February 10th, and Congress may be aggressive with their mark-ups this year, which may happen earlier than normal (however, election year may interfere with this).

Moving on, Dr. Watson announced that the Division is initiating a series of research compliance training. Nathan McKinney will be doing export control training, as we have had violations in several of these areas this past year and Rosemary Ruff will be coming around to provide training on general research compliance issues. Also, several construction projects are under way: the soils lab in Marianna is seeing the new portion of the building essentially complete with a few minor things to be fixed so that remodeling of the old portion of the building can begin (construction should double the size of the facility); the seed plant in Stuttgart started raising steel, and should be in operation in less than a year; progress is proceeding with the new Don Tyson building, which is nearing the end of the design phase, and bids may begin as early as March whereas construction may begin sometime in Spring, with a completion in 2017.

Finally, Dr. Watson concluded with news about the new Mission/Vision/Value Statement. The Division is getting ready revamp its outdated strategic plan, so it worked with an outside firm to develop something more meaningful and streamlined, which should act as a kickoff to the strategic planning process.

While taking questions, Dr. Watson was asked about the salary enhancement program, where Dean Vayda contributed – no specific numbers have been quoted on the campus side, and there will be a budget hearing process where each college will be requested to make a presentation. After Dr. Watson’s report there was discussion about insurance/retirement potential changes, but no concrete information was exchanged, as no resolution has been reached yet.


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


Dean Vayda’s report was three-fold, the first point of which regarded Chancellor Steinmetz, who has now replaced former Chancellor Gearhart. He has made a goal to meet with every department’s faculty on campus, and Dean Vayda asked that faculty please confer with department heads to make sure they are on the chancellor’s agenda before May 31st.

The second point – Chancellor Steinmetz has announced the initiation of a strategic planning process in the spring. Each department is asked to develop a White Paper that highlights its strengths, weaknesses, and challenges. The strategic planning process will be used for financial resource allocations in the future.

The third point – Dean Vayda had a conversation with Provost Saxena and Terry Martin about comments regarding the personnel document. There were two requests for further changes from the Provost’s office: consider electing college Promotion &Tenure committee as a standing body with 3 year terms (the rationale for this is institutional memory – consistency with review of packages, optimal fairness – and to avoid perception of advocacy from departmental members) and, regarding P&T Committee/honorary professorships, to consider constituting a separate committee consisted of Distinguished and University Professors. They also recommended that the College play a role in that committee in two steps: to provide nominations for potential candidates and to be an evaluative body for external reviewers. This year there were multiple nominees, but Provost Saxena wants only one nominee per college (this brought up a discussion among the Faculty Council).


Bumpers College —Associate Dean, Dr. Lona Robertson


Dr. Robertson opened her report with thanks to those who participated with Lydia Blaylock in the student learning outcome assessments, which were started in preparation for the Higher Learning Commission reaccreditation visit in April 2017. Every academic program must have measures of student learning outcomes and must prepare a report based on data collected from those outcomes; Ms. Blaylock formulated assessment plans as well as the best way to collect and store data. Dr. Robertson reported that Ms. Blaylock was very pleased with the progress everyone has made. There is a March 1st deadline for every program to have an assessment program in place.

Dr. Robertson’s second point was the topic of U of A Cares – as campus has grown, it has become easier for students to “disappear” – not showing up for class, absent from their dorms, etc. – so faculty are encouraged to file a report through uofacares.uark.edu if a student has stopped attending, concerned about behavior, etc. Student Affairs will follow up and see if the student is okay. Dr. Robertson clarified that this does not violate FERPA, and that the UA Success program is an academic function whereas U of A Cares is a student affairs function.

Changing the topic, Dr. Robertson announced that she has seen the first projections of Fall ’16 enrollments; campus is aware that we could have a freshman class of 5300 students. Campus wants to limit it to 5100, and Chancellor Steinmetz would like to make it a 50/50 split of in-state and out-of-state students (this applies only to undergraduates).

In reference to the Graduate catalog – it’s time to update. Changes are due to Dr. Koski on February 29th. Faculty can change general information easily, but anything to do with curriculum must pass through Campus Curriculum processes first before it goes to the catalog.

Last but not least, Dr. Robertson mentioned renovations. Plant Science 7 has been remodeled with new paint and an 80 inch monitor has replaced the projection system. Home Ec. 217 is now a regular classroom for 32 students, and Home Ec 028 has been used to expand the computer lab to hold 40 students. All three rooms are ready for classes to start; if you have/know of a problem with a classroom, please report to Dr. Robertson.

As a final small note, scholarship applications are due by February 15th and student awards are due by February 1st.


International Programs Committee – Dr. Leslie Edgar


(See page 3 of handouts)

The deadline for the International program in Belgium was January 15th. Others are February 1st. Numbers are light for programs in Belize and Greece, and a decision was made to hold/postpone the China program until 2017 which is in collaboration with Fulbright. Please encourage students to apply via hogsaborad.uark.edu portal, which contains applications to be submitted to the front office.

There was a funding workshop for the Office of Study Abroad on January 21st in Kimpel 105 from 3:30-4:30. Also, International Programs found a Global Food Opportunities seminar speaker, Dr. Robert Kemerait who will be on campus April 18th from 1:00-2:30 in Hembree. Dr. Kemerait is a Plant Pathology professor with international experience in Haiti and the Philippines.


Honors Program Update – Dr. Leslie Edgar


The current project is to provide students with guidelines, which are under work by a sub-committee. There are no formal guidelines at the moment, so Dr. Edgar is in the process of ensuring that students will know the minimum expectations of being a member of the Honors Program. A goal has been set to finalize these guidelines early in the Fall ’16 semester. There is the potential for Honors projects to be funded to work in communities on a specific issue. The project should allow students to enhance / demonstrate their skills and build their network.

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


No Report


University Faculty Senate- Dr. Don Edgar


No Report


Graduate Council – Dr. Thad Scott


No Report


Faculty Council Report – Dr. Daniel Rainey, Chair


No 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


No Report


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


No Report


HESC Curriculum Sub-Committee –Dr. Kathy Smith


No Report


Old BusinessAfter administration left, the council discussed the proposed changes to the Personnel Document presented by Dean Vayda. Concern was expressed that a separate UP/DP committee would not have a broad enough breadth of expertise to review all candidates, (after December 2016 there would be no UP/DP from the Social Science areas in the college). There was also concern, in the future with retirements, that there may not be enough UPs/DPs in the college to constitute a committee of 5-7 members. Council representatives also expressed concern over establishing a panel with 3-year terms for P&T. Issues discussed were consistency of panel members which was viewed positively but there is a fair amount of institutional knowledge on the committee each year now. Concerns was also raised around the candidates desire to have some input into who would represent them at the college P&T meeting.


New Business –None


General Announcements


Faculty reports need to be turned in so that an updated list of voting faculty can be made. Please report back to Carmen with a list of active faculty members in your department as quickly as possible. As by-laws currently stand, faculty must be on campus to vote. However, you can petition to have off-campus faculty votes included as well.


The next Faculty Council meeting will be February 19th.



Motion made and seconded to adjourn.


Submitted by Kalynn Smith