Faculty Council Minutes -- November 2016


DBCAFLS Faculty Council Meeting
Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences
November 18, 2016
APC Rosen Center Conference Room


Attendees: Daniel Rainey, Chair; Nick Anthony, Chair-Elect; Qiuqiong Huang, AEAB; Don Edgar, AECT; Jason Apple, ANSC; Kris Brye, CSES; Fred Stephen, ENTO; Andy Proctor, FDSC; Jacquelyn Mosley, HESC; Ioannis Tzanetakis, PLPA; Sami Dridi, POSC; J F Meullenet, AES; Lona Robertson, Interim Dean; Mike Evans, Interim Assoc Dean; Leslie Edgar, Asst. Dean; Ken Korth, Grad Council rep;  Jeff Miller, AG Curriculum Sub-Committee; Charles Rosenkrans, Honors Program; Kalynn Smith, Administrative Assistant


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


Approval of AgendaApproved


Approval of Minutes (October 2016)Approved



Division of Agriculture – Dr. Jean-François Meullenet on behalf of Dr. Clarence Watson, Assoc. V.P. – Research for the Division of Agriculture – Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station


The Division came with a few small updates, reporting that the Ag Science building is on track for its June 17th, 2017 finish date and that the research wing is coming along well. Also, the second phase of the soils lab in Marianna is scheduled to start within the next few days; and the seed plant in Stuttgart is now operational.


As a reminder, Dr. Meullenet mentioned to the Faculty Council that they should be aware of the 2% merit-based bonus (all Division faculty should have received emails regarding this topic).


Bumpers College — Interim Dean, Dr. Lona Robertson


A new Provost, Jim Coleman, has been named and he will begin January 3rd, 2017. Dr. Coleman will be on campus again sometime after Thanksgiving and will be meeting with various groups of people. Dr. Coleman will be the person signing P&T letters this year. While Dr. Saxena believes that he will be consulting with Dr. Coleman on P&T letters, it will ultimately be Dr. Coleman’s decision on all promotions including DP and UP.

Campus Planning process is moving forward; eight committees are being formed, one for each of the campus planning priorities. Bumpers College itself has five planning initiatives that have been drafted; Jason Apple, ANSC; Sami Dridi, POSC; and Gary McDonald, HORT have been representing the college faculty and will be meeting again to form the college’s five initiatives and see how they fit with campus-wide initiatives.

There is a movement by HR to start conducting background checks for new faculty hires. This initiative is with the executive committee of the Faculty Senate at this time and it will be taken to Faculty Senate for approval. Dr. Robertson noted that these are not the most extensive background checks (they run about $50/person).

Ending her report with a list of important upcoming dates, Dr. Robertson mentioned that there will be a Dean’s Council Retreat on December 14th that will be focusing on campus planning for the College. December 17th is Fall Commencement (Dr. Robertson mentioned that it will not last three and a half hours like it did last year) and January 13th at the Embassy Suits will be the Division and College awards luncheon. Lastly, there has been no feedback from upper administration concerning the departmental personnel documents (FDSC, AECT and CSES have been submitted to council).


Bumpers College — Interim Associate Dean, Dr. Mike Evans


(see pages 1-3 of handouts)

Dr. Evans opened his report with news regarding internship compliance reporting. As members of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, we must comply with the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) when sending students out of state for internships. We must record all necessary information when students undertake internships out of state, so this means the admins who enter students into the internship will also fill out a spreadsheet to log this information which will be compiled and turned into Dr. Evans. There are several states listed on Dr. Evans’ handout that require prior permission before students are sent on an internship to any locations in those states. State universities operating in other states have caused some conflict and controversy in the past, so the states who are signatories to SARA listed rules by which they will comply that dictate how universities are to be managed within other states. Internships fall under these rules and regulations (the number of students sent out on an internship has been limited at each location site, but Dr. Evans assured Faculty Council that AFLS would not reach those numbers, so this should not be a concern for our university).


Next Dr. Evans mentioned the Learning Objectives and “External Resources” (i.e. other things students will have to obtain for class that are not provided) on course syllabi – these terms must be on syllabi or new course submissions that lack this information will be kicked back to the department / faculty for correction.


In relation to student graduation, it was announced that for a student to graduate with honors or distinction, there were a few rules of which the College has recently been made aware. In order to graduate with Latin distinctions (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude), a student MUST be in Honors and 50% of their academic credits must be from UA. Students NOT in Honors can graduate “with distinction” (“high” distinction and “highest” distinction). A question was raised about whether or not that policy serves our students well, citing that it could raise issues for hard-working students who have simply not decided to enroll in Honors and how their transcripts will be interpreted with Latin distinctions versus “high”/”highest” distinction. This could raise potential issues for employment and transfers. This incited a conversation among the Faculty Council, who seemed to agree that the technicalities would definitely not serve students well. It was decided that this would be taken back to departments for discussion and will be brought up in a subsequent Faculty Council meeting Dr. Robertson also mentioned that catalogue copy is due the end of February to the early part of March.


International Programs Committee – Dr. Leslie Edgar


Our College met with the Associate Dean of the Rome Center and made recommendations about what we could do to contribute. Dr. Edgar wasn’t sure that the Associate Dean approved of our recommendations so we are still trying to figure out how to move forward. Dr. Edgar noted that they are looking for full courses. Currently the courses for Summer 2017 and Fall of 2017 have already been filled, so they are looking for courses in Spring 2018 and beyond. Full details on how to handle fees and credit have not been determined.


The Chancellor has eight committees charged with campus planning, and there is supposed to be a strategy coming out of the Chancellor’s eight committees to internationalize education on our campus. Dr. Edgar has requested that our college see the briefs that come out of the Graduate School and International Education committees to be sent to the Chancellor’s committees. Developing a comprehensive international education program will include an articulation strategy; right now there is a discussion that no further MOU will be signed unless there’s actually something that will drive outcomes from those memorandums regarding student and faculty exchanges and research collaborations. There will be some type of international curriculum that will be created. Dr. Edgar isn’t sure exactly what that will look like, but speculated that perhaps students will be required to take a number of courses that have been identified as courses that serve as the international education program. There will also be some faculty development in place.


Leaving on a few small notes, Dr. Edgar mentioned that the deadline for faculty-led programs in 2018 is being moved up to July 1st of 2017. Dr. Edgar also gave thanks to the Horticulture department for their help with International Education Week events and mentioned that IPO is looking to host an international speaker for the Spring semester.


University Faculty Senate- Dr. Don Edgar


The University P&T committee is going to look at how to align the P & T checklist with the annual FSR. The University P&T committee will also be charged to look at reviews for multiple years because not all departments have their internal reviews done annually. This raised a question, as it was believed internal annual reveiw is part of the Provost’s Academic Policy series.


Ending on a couple of small notes, Dr. Edgar mentioned that the Research Council is going to expand membership from one to two individuals, so there will be two members from each college and University Libraries and School of Law. Also, a decision has not been made on whether or not to contract finals week to a four day period.


Graduate Council – Dr. Ken Korth


Dr. Korth has sent around an email about changing the grad faculty status rules whereby instructors can have permanent status; right now instructors must be temporary if not listed under grad faculty status. This is renewed every year, and this was born out of a desire from the grad school to simplify matters. The Graduate Council met yesterday and decided to leave it as-is, so these will continue to be renewed every year.


Next, Dr. Korth mentioned a few items that he requested faculty contact him with their responses. First: the Graduate Council has been considering an issue regarding Ph.D. transfer students. Currently, if a Ph.D. is transferred in, their course credits do not transfer in with them, and so they do not appear on their UA transcripts (students could petition to receive credit from international institutions). A question was raised wondering if there is a reason not to allow that. Second: should post-candidacy Ph.D. students be required to register for summer credit hours since they are still using university facilities? Third: in addition to new faculty getting background checks, it has been proposed that new grad assistants will undergo a check as well (looking primarily for abuse, sexual misconduct, drug violations).


There was some discussion among the Faculty Council about course equivalencies, namely whether or not a department has the right to decide if a course from another institution can qualify as fulfilling a course requirement at the UA. Dr. Robertson believes that it is the right of the department to decide, and if for some reason a department no longer wishes to allow a certain course to serve as an equivalent course to course they teach, then they can go through the appropriate channels (department and college curriculum committees and on up the CIM approval process?) to have it removed as an equivalent.


Faculty Council Report – Dr. Daniel Rainey, Chair


Dr. Rainey had just a couple of reminders for the Faculty Council: Jason Apple and Doug Karcher have been announced as the nominees for Faculty Council Chair-elect; if departmental representatives’ terms are expiring, be sure to remind the Chair to have an election for a new representative.


Standing Committee Reports:


Awards Committee – Dr. Kate Shoulders, Chair

No Report


Scholarship Committee – Dr. Doug Karcher, Chair

No Report


AFLS Curriculum Sub-Committee – Dr. Jeff Miller, Chair


(see page 4 of handouts)

Two new courses were brought to the Faculty Council for approval – AGEC 4603 (Food Economics and Health) and AGEC 5603 (Food Economics and Health). A proposed title change for ANSC 2303 from Natural Horsemanship to Introduction to Horsemanship. The changes were approved by the Faculty Council. Dr. Miller announced that the POSC 4233 course was adding a cross-listing with POSC 5233 and its offering has been changed from the Spring of even years to Spring of odd years.


Mike Thompson will become the new Curriculum Committee chair in January.


HESC Curriculum Sub-Committee –Dr. Kathy Smith

No Report


Honors Program – Dr. Charles Rosenkrans


(see page 5 of handouts)

Dr. Rosenkrans announced that three faculty members on the Honors committee will be stepping down at the end of the year and that suggestions for representatives would be welcome. Consequently, the Chair election has been postponed until 2017.


In regard to current Honors courses, Dr. Rosenkrans reiterated that the College has a large listing of Honors courses that are available; many are full, but there are other Honors courses that will be offered in the Spring.


In regard to Honors students, the Honors Committee had a review of the program requirements and discussed whether or not a department representative must serve on an Honors Committee. Currently, an Honors student must have an Honors faculty member on their committee – Dr. Rosenkrans posed the question of whether or not the College wants to maintain that requirement. The Honors Committee also made a modification to the student thesis requirements to include a third option – currently, there are creative and standard scholastic theses, and it was suggested to add an experiential thesis option. Also, Honors will now provide $400-$500 for students going to Belize and Study Abroad will go for 30 – 35% funding.


Dr. Rosenkrans mentioned four Honors Students will be graduating in December. Honors College Airfare Study Abroad Grants are due Feb. 1, 2017 for summer programs.


Old Business


The Faculty council discussed Departmental procedures on personnel matters. A call was made to be sure to work on these documents and have them submitted.


New Business –None


General Announcements


The next Faculty Council meeting will be December 9th, 2016 in Hembree Auditorium.




Submitted by Kalynn Smith