Faculty Council Minutes -- May 2008

Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences
Friday, May 2, 2008
10:00 am
Hembree Auditorium

1. Call to Order – Dr. Dick Oliver, chair, called the meeting to order at 10:00 am.

2. Approval of Agenda – Motion to approve agenda was made and seconded. Motion passed.

3. Approval of Minutes - Motion to approve Fall, 2007 minutes was made and seconded.
Motion passed.

4. Reports

A. Administration: Dean Greg Weidemann

Remarks are posted on the Web.

The college has not yet received the budget allocation from campus. The state has revised its budget forecast and has reduced budget allocations for next year. This will result in a reduction in available funds for the campus for next year. Funds available for campus will be reduced by approximately $1 million. The Dean has worked with the department heads to reduce teaching FTE's slightly so there would be some budget flexibility going into the next budget year. The priority of the College will be to provide a raise program equivalent to that provided by the Division and to complete the budget reconciliation. Our current budget is $7.2 million with 92 percent going to salaries.

Dale Bumpers College remains one of the fastest growing colleges on campus and have been over the last decade. Growth slowed some this fall with campus growth at 3 percent and Dale Bumpers College at 2 percent. The reconciliation process has been a challenge. Over the past two years there has been $365,000 that we need to pick up on the college side in faculty salaries as well as some maintenance and operating costs of some of the departments to balance out the load based on teaching responsibilities maintenance and operating costs within some of our units. It has had an impact on our teaching assistants (TAs) numbers. The college has typically had 17 to 18 TAs and we are now down to about 10 teaching assistants. It has impacted our ability to increase maintenance and operating costs on the teaching side and has impacted faculty hires and some staff support.

In anticipation of a need for some budget flexibility, the college has reduced its teaching salary load going into the next budget year. The college has asked for 3.5 faculty positions in the critical growth areas. Looking at a two or three year window, we will ask for particular needs in the next budget year but lay the groundwork for anticipated needs over the next couple of years. It has been an effective strategy, allowing the college to stay on message.

The college has asked campus to pick up the remaining costs of the budget reconciliation which is $53,000 and asked for funds to increase TA support back to 15 and for funds to allow for some critical staff hires. In the near future, some areas identified for additional growth will need to add faculty capacity. The 3.5 positions the College has asked for is to catch up with the current growth. Then priorities will be where we see anticipated growth over the next couple of years or where we are going to have to add faculty capacity. Particularly as you continue to add faculty capacity in the growing programs, at some point in time there must be an adjustment of the maintenance and operating costs and staff support. There is also a need for additional administrative support in the future.

One time requests include renovating space in the School of Human Environmental Sciences to maximize the use of that building. The foods lab will be completed this summer, a food lab across the hall needs to be addressed. There is space remaining in this building and have encouraged campus to secure the funds to provide for additional space located in the old creamery and meats lab. The Infant Development nursery school facility is aging and too small and we are working with campus to raise private funds to address that particular need.

The Dean recommended the college continue to keep the focus on recruitment and retention, addressing the priorities established in the management plan, addressing the changes recommended by the Honors Program Review Committee, and completing the comprehensive review of the college curriculum.

Dr. Weidemann announced the July 31, 2008 retirement of Dr. Sung Lim, Department Head of Plant Pathology.

Dr. Weidemann reminded everyone that he has accepted the position of Dean and Director of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Connecticut and thanked everyone for the opportunity to work with them. He also reminded the faculty of the college commencement ceremony for Saturday, May 10 at Pauline Whitaker Animal Science Center at 1:00 p.m.

B. Associate Dean Donna Graham

Dr. Graham announced there are 253 graduates walking at commencement this year. She gave an update on some new academic initiatives taking place across the region and across the United States. As Dr. Graham attends professional meetings, one of the most discussed issues is how to fill faculty voids and how to keep the curriculum moving forward especially in graduate programs. With the convergence of technology, distance education is becoming a possible solution to fill curriculum voids. Dr. Graham discussed four initiatives to form academic consortiums that the college is considering. Dr. Graham participated in a grant across the southern region to study how to form partnerships with various degree programs. One area to be studied is in Agriculture Education, because the discipline has several distance education courses on the Web in many states. The second area is in Poultry Science because very few institutions offer instruction in poultry science and there are very few courses on the Web. This grant is funded over a five year period.

A second area of discussion is the Great Plains Idea which is distance education alliance of 10 universities It has been in operation for over 10 years and has been successful. At the APS meeting in Washington D. C. this past fall, the academic deans agreed to create a national consortium affiliated with the Great Plains Idea call AG-IDEA. It is to create different program areas across the nation with universities coming together to fill discipline voids. The college has tentatively agreed to join the AG-IDEA.

Another Arkansas project involves four states who will create an alliance called ACCEPtS in plant sciences. This alliance will allow for course sharing across four states, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi. The latest invitation was in bio based fuels science and engineering to create a graduate certificate composed of courses offered by multiple universities. This will involve several disciplines in engineering and agriculture for the partnership.

Dr. Graham shared four or five common themes that exist in all of these consortium discussions. The audience can be international. Most are multi-state collaborations. There is a common tuition or agreed flat rate and the tuition is shared across the institutions. They are Web based instruction but allow for traditional on-campus students as well as working professionals.

Regarding recruiting efforts, the Extension Service has contacted the college regarding networking possibilities to assist the college in recruiting and to help CES hire graduates to work in smaller counties in Arkansas. Some students have suggested they must stay close to home for one to two years to attend local community colleges due to cost differences and then transfer to the University of Arkansas. The college must increase partnerships with the community colleges and work on some articulation agreements. Other efforts to be studied are feeder schools from out of state as the College has had an increase in out-of-state students.

The college will introduce a peer mentoring program in the fall with the idea of keeping students engaged by having students talking to students. The peer mentoring program will be evaluated after two years. The first pool of students interviewed were very positive regarding this program.

The college must focus more on career development aspects from the recruiting perspective as well as help our students recognize career opportunities.

At the Recruiting and Retention retreat there was discussion regarding emotional intelligence, as well as the concept of developmental advising.

Changes will be made in the Justus Teaching Seminar. It will be moved to the first week before classes begin in August with a tentative date of August 19, 2008. The award winners will make the presentation at that time and we will add a few workshops to assist getting ready for teaching for the next semester, such as ideas that work in the classroom – maybe some poster sessions or some short workshop sessions that may help faculty gain new ideas.

The college is working with Career Development Center to develop a career fair specifically for Dale Bumpers College to be held in early October. One area of emphasis is to start with freshmen and work through seniors to provide more information sharing for the younger group. Some interview sessions will actually take place. The advisor training for May 13 is for those working for summer orientation or will be advising in the summer and then the August 19 session will be for those covering larger topics.

A study must be prepared about our technology investment in the college. The technology costs are depleting a majority of maintenance and operating costs with all the software being used in the classes. Campus administration is studying classroom utilization.

Dr. Graham reminded the faculty that May 13 is the last day to submit grades. She also complimented the faculty on the positive feedback she receives from students who come by the Dean's Office for assistance. Dr. Graham expressed appreciation to the faculty for their contribution to the family friendly atmosphere of the college.

C. Faculty Council – Dick Oliver

D. Oliver reminded the faculty of the importance of being involved or engaged in College issues. He would like to see more participation in the semester faculty meetings as it helps faculty find where they can contribute and know what is going on with the College. The Faculty Council will be looking for a chair-elect in the near future. Mike Richardson is the current chair-elect. The college, on a continual basis, will be looking for department representatives to serve on various committees for the college and for the university.

The Faculty Council voted to continue using our current policy for the Latin designations at commencement.

After discussion within each department, the plus/minus grading system is preferred by approximately 50 percent of the college faculty. The Faculty Council voted to continue using the plus/minus grading system for another two to four years and then review it again.

There is a need for a better procedure to evaluate department heads. The Faculty Council will work to improve this evaluation form.

D. Oliver, as Faculty Council Chair, has been attending department heads' meetings as suggested by Dean Weidemann. By attending these meetings, there has been improved communication for the faculty and the Faculty Council.

At the December, 2007 faculty meeting, it was suggested that there be a joint meeting of the two resolution committees. This meeting was held on January 8, 2008. A decision was made to hold meetings jointly with Vice President Shult. D. Oliver then sent a letter to Dr. Sugg asking that he take action on these issues that have not been resolved. The Resolutions and Cornerstone Committees met with Vice President Shult on February 18, 2008. The meeting included some exchange of ideas, but the committees were still not satisfied with the outcome. Issues discussed with Vice President Shult included the signature lines on the Promotion and Tenure documents and the Off Campus Duty Assignments. Vice President Shult presently does not review the Off Campus Duty Assignments. The faculty feels like the post-tenure reviews are fine but Vice President Shult asked that the Division be allowed to come in after two consecutive unsatisfactory performance ratings or three in five years of unsatisfactory performance ratings.

The Faculty Council has decided not to take action at this time regarding the addition of the signature line on the Promotion and Tenure documents.

D. Oliver introduced a Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences Faculty Council statement. A motion was made and seconded to vote on the Faculty Council statement, then was opened for discussion. After much discussion a motion was made to end the discussion with 48 for and 26 against. A vote of two-thirds is needed to end the discussion. The motion failed. A motion was made and seconded to amend the Faculty Council Statement to delete the second bullet point. Motion passed with majority for and 10 against. Voting was done by show of hands.

Statement I
DBCAFLS Faculty Council Statement - April 18, 2008

The faculty of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences has serious concerns about the leadership and future direction of the Division. In fall 2005 the Vice President for Agriculture elected to discontinue the practice of hiring primarily tenure-track faculty in the College. A significant majority of the faculty have repeatedly expressed their disagreement and disappointment with this decision and have continued to stress to the Division Administration their acute and fundamental concerns about this and related issues. After two and one half years of discussion, failure to change the Administration's views leads the faculty of this College to express their sentiments to the President of the University.

We continue to believe that the practice of arbitrary and unpredictable hiring of tenure-track faculty is detrimental to our national reputation and is diminishing our regional and national stature in agricultural research, education, and service.

Our distrust of Division of Agriculture Administration is high and faculty workplace morale is low.

Statement II
DBCAFLS Faculty Council Statement - May 2, 2008

The faculty of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences has serious concerns about the leadership and future direction of the Division. In fall 2005 the Vice President for Agriculture elected to discontinue the practice of hiring primarily tenure-track faculty in the College. A significant majority of the faculty have repeatedly expressed their disagreement and disappointment with this decision and have continued to stress to the Division Administration their acute and fundamental concerns about this and related issues. After two and one half years of discussion, failure to change the Administration's views leads the faculty of this College to express their sentiments to the President of the University.

We continue to believe that the practice of arbitrary and unpredictable hiring of tenure-track faculty is detrimental to our national reputation and is diminishing our regional and national stature in agricultural research, education, and service.

The faculty voted by paper ballets on the amended Faculty Council Statement with 107 for, 12 against, and 1 non-vote. Motion passed by majority vote.

A motion was made and seconded of "No Confidence for Vice President Milo Shult". After much discussion and debate, the motion was made and seconded to postpone the vote of "No Confidence" until the results of the approved statement is determined. Motion passed by majority (two-thirds) vote.

D. Standing Committees

1. Agriculture Curriculum – Donn Johnson

D. Johnson gave everyone a handout. There are three new courses, one in Horticulture and two in Poultry Science. There are two course changes, one in Entomology and one on Food Analysis. There was discussion on two new programs being proposed in sustainability. Bumpers College departments were asked for suggestions on possible courses as electives for these two new programs.

2. Human Environmental Sciences Curriculum – No report

3. Promotion and Tenure – Don Johnson

D. Johnson provided handouts. The committee met in December, 2007 and then again in April, 2008 to bring the following recommendations about the promotion and tenure process to the faculty for a vote.

a. All candidate packets must include a one-page Executive Summary listing the candidate's percentage Teaching, Research, Service/Extension assignments and a summary of accomplishments in each of these areas since the last promotion. The Executive Summary should address both quantity and quality of work. This document will be the first section of the candidate's packet.

b. All electronic APT documents must be compiled as one .pdf file; not as individual files.

c. Each candidate packet shall contain only information since the candidate's last promotion (except for the vitae, which will be cumulative).

A motion was made and seconded to accept the Promotion and Tenure Committee report. The motion passed.

A motion was made and seconded to refer the Promotion and Tenure Committee report to Faculty Council for including the accepted changes into the Promotion and Tenure documents.

E. Special College Committee and Interest Reports

1. College Honors Program – Duane Wolf

D. Wolf provided handouts. The Honors Program is maintaining enrollment of approximately 100 students. This year there are 17 honors graduates, which is the largest group ever to graduate. The SURF proposals included six Dale Bumpers College students, which counted for over 20 percent of the total number awarded to the Fayetteville campus. The college continues to be successful in receiving Honors College grants. They are still working on getting the course offerings organized. As a result of the review of Honors College, there are some recommendations they will implement this summer and fall. They are working on some initiatives with the Honors College to allow some course offerings and some financial support. There are new opportunities for the Honors College with the Honors College Dean taking the interim Provost position. D. Wolf and Dean Weidemann presented seven faculty members with mentor awards. These faculty members are Pengyin Chen, Jerald C. Foote, Luke R. Howard, Lona J. Robertson, Michael R. Thomsen, Eric J. Wailes, and Catherine Wallack.

2. University Faculty Senate – Nan Miller

N. Miller provided handouts and asked if there were any questions to contact her.

3. Graduate Council – Mike Thomsen

M. Thomsen reminded everyone that the Graduate Council is a body that oversees graduate programs and they set policy pertaining to graduate students. Thirteen members from the college have been added to the Graduate Faculty. M. Thomsen reported on a new rule regarding doctoral students. After doctoral students pass their doctoral candidacy exams, they need to be enrolled in at least one hour each semester. He provided handouts regarding policies for terminating graduates assistants. They are to be given 60 days notice. The Graduate Council will be forwarding a recommended change to this policy in the near future.

4. College Nominations and Elections – Scott Osborn

T. Costello will send an email ballot requesting five nominations for selecting three representatives for Faculty Senate. The election will be held May 9th or after they receive five nominees. T. Costello suggested faculty could send nominations via email or fax. Please include nominee's committee service record. Nominee forms were made available at the meeting.

The UA Committee on Committees requested three nominees and will select one representative. T. Costello asked the Faculty Council Chair, Dick Oliver, to call for nominations and elect a representative immediately during the Spring Faculty Meeting.

The UA Program Review Committee suggested that John Rupe be re-elected to serve from Dale Bumpers College.

In late fall, the Faculty Council will need to select a Chair-Elect. Nomination forms were made available at the meeting.

6. New Business

1. Special Recognition – Dick Oliver and Jeff Miller

Dean G. Weidemann was presented with a watch, plaque, and resolution from the Faculty Council Chair, D. Oliver, representing the Dale Bumpers College faculty.

2. International Programs Program – Allen Powell

The International Programs Program Advisory Committee has been created and will be acting in the same advisory capacity as the Honors Program committee. Allen Powell was elected as the first chair. The study abroad program included 83 students this past year with students studying abroad for internships in 25 countries.

3. Gamma Sigma Delta – Bruce Dixon

The members of Gamma Sigma Delta expressed appreciation for the continued support of their programs by the college.

7. Announcements (by department)
Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness – Martin Redfern retired on November 30, 2007. New hire, L. Lawton Nalley
Agricultural and Extension Education – New hire for fall 2008, Don Edgar
Agricultural Communication – None
Agricultural Statistics – None
Animal Science – None
Biological and Agricultural Engineering – None
Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences – New hire, Thad Scott
Entomology – New hire, Ashley P. G. Dowling
Food Science – New hire, Latha Devareddy
Human Environmental Sciences – None
Horticulture – New hire, Garry McDonald
Plant Pathology – New hires, Burton Bluhm and Ioannis Tzanetakis
Poultry Science – None

Teddy Morelock attended the most faculty meetings with February 15, 1974 being the first one he attended. Dr. Morelock will receive a $20 gift certificate to a local Fayetteville restaurant.

Meeting adjourned by Dick Oliver, Faculty Council Chair 2008 at 12:00 p.m.

Submitted by
Carmen Alessi