Faculty Council Minutes -- November 2015
Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences
November 20, 2015
APC Rosen Center Conference Room
Call to Order
Approval of Agenda – Approved
Approval of September 18, 2015 Faculty Council Meeting Minutes – Approved
Division of Agriculture – Associate Vice President – Research AAES, Dr. Clarence Watson
A substitute for Dr. Watson reported on his behalf, as he was unable to make the meeting due to medical issues. There was not much to communicate, save for that we are still under a continuing resolution, but that everything seems to look good for the next three months. There was little to report in regards to budget, as there is no federal budget at the moment. However, there was word about the jointly funded craftsmanship workshop whose turnout equated to approximately half the campus; due to its success, the goal is to offer this workshop on an ongoing basis. Also, a notice was issued to be prepared for USDA officials. Concluding the Division of Agriculture report, there was speculation among attendees about benefits (board voted to make it mandatory for employees to contribute toward their own retirement, as it was discovered that significant percentage of UA employees contribute nothing).
Bumpers College – Dean and Associate Vice President for Agriculture, Dr. Vayda
Dean Vayda opened his report by drawing attention to website issues and assured attendees that staff have been working to identifying and fix these issues. He asked for patience and that any problems discovered be reported to Robby Edwards. In his second announcement Dean Vayda mentioned that Diana Bisbee is retiring; she will be leaving in January 2016, and two positions will be replacing hers, one for International Programs and another for online education.
The third item to be discussed was in regard to a committee of four faculty members has been made for the purposed of coming up with a strategic plan rewrite to be completed in December. It will be taken out to department heads at the December retreat. In reference to May commencement, there was discussion about changing the way we do our college commencement; allusions were made to other colleges that have their Masters and Ph.D. students at the college event, along with suggestions that perhaps we should follow this model. Because we have department heads on stage, it was suggested that we line up candidates by department so that students can shake hands with heads of their department as they graduate. Attendees agreed to these changes. Finally, Dean Vayda closed his report with a reminder that the Fall Faculty Council will meet again on December 11th, 2015 at 10 AM. There will be a reception for faculty immediately after.
Bumpers College – Associate Dean, Dr. Lona Robertson
International Programs – Director, Dr. Leslie Edgar
Dr. Edgar announced that the University is moving forward with all international programs for Spring and Summer while monitoring world events, and important International Programs deadlines range from January 1st - February 15th (IPO scholarship applications are due February 1st).
Dean Vayda quickly mentioned that our ISIS system is being renamed to UAConnect, and Dr. Edgar wrapped up with an announcement that she is looking for an international scholar to give the Spring Global Opportunities Seminar, and to please let her know of any suggestions. A question was raised about mentoring students outside of the college, and Dr. Edgar clarified that faculty are indeed allowed to mentor such students.
Honors Updates – Director, Dr. Leslie Edgar
The Dean of Honors College continued to reinforce that the Honors College has the capacity to do more, that there are opportunities for faculty as well as students. Bumpers College currently has the largest class of Honors students (55), and work is being done on strategies to help manage and mentor these students. It will fall to faculty to mentor these students, and Dr. Edgar is looking at ways to provide incentives for faculty to do so. Please give ideas to Dr. Edgar so that she may pass them along.
In other news, the Honors Faculty Committee is in the process of identifying a new structure (what are the requirements of the college, guidelines to what is an acceptable thesis project – whether it’s a research or creative project – putting hard deadlines in place, etc.), and Dr. Edgar mentioned there is a new electronic library system related to students publishing theses, and that work is being done to make this process more familiar. Course grants done last year where money was given to department to add courses will not be done this year, but Dr. Edgar is willing to help anyone who wants to put forth a proposal for funding for their course. Dr. Edgar wants to have two honors courses for each department by 2016, and mentioned that the HFC is particularly interested in core courses to be turned into Honors courses (these are more “fundable”). Dr. Edgar closed her report by sharing important upcoming dates (a Mixer Dec. 1st, an Outstanding Thesis Competition on Dec. 7th, and Honors Student Graduation Reception on Dec. 18th) and by mentioning that there is a desire to do a Peer Mentoring Program to alleviate some of the burden from faculty.
Student Networking and Curricular Enhancement – Director, Dr. H. L. Goodwin
In discussion of the capstone courses and their development – students are currently enrolling in the Simmons Forecasting capstone. By mid-January/ early February, we will be able to announce a second capstone with Compass Group; it will involve students from six different departments and feed into the Innovation Café concept. Dr. Goodwin asked that ideas for future capstones start work immediately, as it will take several months, and note that capstones are sponsored by the external companies.
Dr. Goodwin’s second topic reported on further development of some communication intensive/soft-skilled courses and course work. There is a lot of work being done with AECT. The program is started with the professional growth career skills, and associated with that is the Dean’s External Advisory Board, who are stake-holders very engaged and excited about a new program called Industry Insiders – it’s meant to provide “mentorship possibilities” for students who want to engage with outside professionals who are alumni of Bumpers. Also, Dr. Goodwin reported on the development of the five year strategic plan, namely that it is an “interesting” process, but they are moving forward.
University Faculty Senate – Dr. Don Edgar, Chair
A handout was provided on behalf of Dr. Edgar, who could not attend the meeting. The main concern of this report revolved about insurance/health benefits and retirement (what that will look like in the future, that it is unclear, etc.). The Faculty Senate is trying to get someone higher up to come and clarify. Also reported were changes to the code of student life due to state mandates and policy changes with which the UA needs to align.
Graduate Faculty Council –Dr. Thad Scott, Chair
The Graduate Faculty Council voted to approve a motion that was made regarding dual credit courses. Definitions of degrees are as follows: Master’s Degree – minimum of 30 semester hours beyond Bachelor’s Degree, 50% of which are Graduate-only semester hours in the field of study; Doctoral – minimum of 72 Graduate semester hours beyond Bachelor’s, 42 of which are beyond the Master’s Degree. There is concern that there was substantial non-compliance university-wide with these definitions. To help circumvent future stress regarding this issue, the Graduate School encourages departments and programs to eliminate the use of dual credit courses in favor of making those courses into 4000/5000 level courses. If you continue to use dual credit, be vigilant about following these rules, which are effective immediately.
Faculty Council Business – Dr. Burt Bluhm, Chair
Dr. Blum’s topic was the Faculty Chair Elect for 2016. There were only two nominees, but a third was offered in meeting. The election was put forth to an email vote.
Standing Committee Reports:
Promotion & Tenure Committee – Dr. Don Johnson, Chair
Awards Committee – Dr. Kate Shoulders, Chair
The Awards Committee met and recommendations were made for the Faculty Awards — John W. White, Justice, and Alumni Advising. Dr. Shoulders was charged with reevaluating the Justice award due to ambiguity with service component. In relation to student awards for Spring, please make sure students are being nominated. Dr. Shoulders concluded with the emphasis of the option for representatives to have a substitute to attend meetings on their behalves, as there has been low attendance at previous meetings.
Scholarship Committee – Dr. Doug Karcher, Chair
AFLS Curriculum Sub-committee – Dr. Mary Savin, Chair
A substitute presented on Dr. Savin’s behalf. The report began with mention of three coursescourse changes that the AFLS Curriculum Sub-committee recommended for action: approval of two new Food Science courses, Food-BorneFDSC 5423 (Introduction to Foodborne Diseases and a), CSES 1201L lab, both of which had been approve upon second reading by the committee. The third course…; no program changes. Zero(Plant Science Laboratory), and FDSC 4304H (Food Chemistry, honor section). For informational items, zero-credit courses indicatingfor undergraduate involvement and research are moving their way through the university level. By Also by way of information, the college ofcollege’s communications requirement is being updated to include Professional Growth and Critical Career Skills, AFLS 3993, to replace Debate, (COMM 2373), as Debate is no longer offered.
A motion was made to approve the two Food Science classes as presented and was approved. Next was a motion to approve the CSES course, which was met with skepticism by attendees; further information was requested, given, and the motion was denied.
HESC Curriculum Sub-committee –Dr. Laurie Apple for Dr. Kathy Smith, Chair
College Personnel Document – Dr. Bluhm reported that this document was released through the Faculty Council Reps a couple meetings ago for faculty review. Dr. Ogbeide provided feedback from his unit, who determined the document is not fair/not clear/ambiguous, and asked if there was a way to amend phrasing regarding clinical professors. After some discussion, it was determined that each unit should come up with their own specific criteria to avoid those very concerns. A movement was made to approve the document as presented, and the motion carried 6-1.
Fall Faculty meeting December 11th 10-12 with a reception afterwards.
Motion was made to adjourn and approved.
Submitted by Kalynn Smith