Faculty Council Minutes -- March 2015

Faculty Council

Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences

March 20, 2015

APC Rosen Center Conference Room


Call to Order – Dr. Bluhm called the meeting to order at 2:30 PM

Approval of Agenda – Agenda is approved as presented.

Approval of February 20, 2015 Faculty Council Meeting Minutes –Motion was made to approve the minutes as amended.  Motion was seconded and approved.


Administration Reports

Division of Agriculture - Associate Vice President – Research AAES, Dr. Clarence Watson

See Page 1 of reports.  Federal budget – met with the Arkansas delegation in early March.  We had staffers from all 6 offices show up.  Both Senators along with Representatives Womack and Crawford joined in the discussions.  The LGU is asking for increased funding for Hatch, Smith-Lever, McIntire-Stennis and AFRI.   State budget – 2 – 2 weeks from revenue stabilization.

Health insurance premiums will increase in 2015 due to claims that greatly exceeded premiums paid in this FY due to an increase in catastrophic claims, mainly as premature births, cancer, and late-stage renal failure.  There are several options being considered by the UA System.  The employee portion will increase in July. 

In regard to the grant writing workshop discussed at previous meetings, it will be held April 29th and 30th.  Depending on how this goes and if there is a large demand, it might be considered having another one in the future.

USDA did release their policy of how to comply with the executive order on open-access for publications and data from federally funded research and have it phased in by 2016.  There were a lot of details left out, so questions remain.  USDA proposals will have to have a data management plan.  They did explain what the Centers of Excellence in the Farm bill means.  It is basically going to be a tie-breaker on AFRI grants - COE’s will always win.   


Bumpers College – Dean and Associate Vice President for Agriculture, Dr. Burt Bluhm for Dr. Vayda

See Page 2 of reports.  The first issue is the health insurance premium issue.  See handout for discussions/options.  The other is the list of calendar items. 

Bumpers College – Associate Dean, Dr. Lona Robertson – no report

International Programs Update – Director, Dr. Leslie Edgar

See Pages 3 & 4 of reports Dr. Edgar is currently in Bangladesh. 


Honors Program Update - Dr. Curt Rom - no report


University Faculty Senate – Dr. Don Edgar, Chair

There were 2 topics of discussion by the Provost.  There is a coalition on intercollegiate athletics.  There will be a new governing model with two memberships for each member institution that participates.  It is more of an academic integrity unit.  Also, Faculty Appreciation Week April 6 – 10th.  Many events across campus. 

Graduate Faculty Council - Dr. Jacquelyn Wiersma

See Pages 5 & 6 of reports.  There is a current proposal to modify the course review process.  There is also a proposal to do away with 4000 level that some graduate students take and make it a 5000 level course.  This would be a clerical change only.   If most faculty are in approval of this change, then it would proceed to a possible vote.  Dr. Wiersma will send an e-mail before the next Graduate Faculty Council meeting to receive input from the departments via Faculty Council reps.                                                             


Faculty Council Business – Dr. Burt Bluhm, Chair

We now have a new Nominations Committee.  Dr. Andy Proctor is the chair, with Dr. Ashley Dowling and Dr. Dan Rainey comprising the balance of the committee.  We will be seeking nominations for one Senator and one Graduate Council member to be elected.  We also have a college personnel document writing committee.  They have scheduled April 2nd as their meeting time.   The question was raised as to who was the Faculty Council parliamentarian, and it is Dr. Don Edgar.


Standing Committee Reports:

Promotion & Tenure Committee – Dr. Bruce Dixon, Chair – no report


Awards Committee – Dr. Godwin-Charles Ogbeide, Chair – no report


Scholarship Committee – Dr. Rick Rorie, Chair

We are seeing applications coming through.  The process is somewhat complicated but some of the glitches have been worked out; other parts are unduly complicated.  The scoring is somewhat convoluted. 


AFLS Curriculum Sub-committee –Dr. Ashley Dowling for Dr. Mary Savin, Chair

See Page 7 of reports.   There was one course change – FDSC 6443.  Motion was made to approve.  Motion was seconded and approved.


HESC Curriculum Sub-committee –Dr. Kathy Smith, Chair - no report


Old Business

3 year review policy and procedure.  Motion was made to approve the current language from the committee.  Motion was seconded and approved as presented in February.  In regard to the bylaws pertaining to elect a Chair-elect for Faculty Council.  It states that there must be 3 people on the ballot.  If there are not 3 nominees, the bylaws do not address how to proceed.   There was discussion about the possibility to incentivize participation through a one-time bonus, possibly from the Dean’s office.

New Business

See AFLS Curriculum Sub-committee above.


Please share the list of announcements and calendar items from Dr. Vayda with your departments.

Dr. Kris Brye brought up the subject of an ad hoc committee that was appointed by the Dean sometime in 2014 with a focus on interdisciplinary tracks to have some of the currently taught courses that fit into themes.  There a perception that “tracks” would be able to show up on a student’s transcript and/or diploma to show that there was an emphasis on certain areas of competency.  This is erroneous.  The only way to get something on the diploma is for it to be a listed minor.  As a result, we will not be pursuing tracks/concentrations/etc.

Please remind Unit Heads that new cycle of P & T begins soon.

Faculty meeting April 17 @ 2:30 p.


Motion was made to adjourn.  Motion seconded and approved.  Meeting adjourned at 3:11 p.m.


Submitted by Carrie Whitmer