Faculty Council Minutes- October 2004

October 14, 2004

12:30 p.m. Rosen Center Conference Room
Faculty Present: J. Rupe, Chair, A. Szalanski (ENTO), R. Gergerich (PLPA), T. Killian (HESC), T. Costello (BAEG), L. Parsch (AEAB), T. Yazwinski (ANSC), A. Proctor (FDSC), Mike Richardson (HORT), C. West for M. Stewart (CSES)
Others Attending:
G. Weidemann, Dean
D. Graham, Associate Dean
B. Dixon, Graduate Council
J. Emmert -- Agriculture Curriculum Committee
F. Scott (AEED)
D. Donoghue (POSC)
1. Call to Order -- J. Rupe, Chair, called the meeting to order at 12:30 p.m.
2. Agenda -- J. Rupe asked for recommendations for any revisions to the agenda. Motion passed to approve the agenda with no changes. All were in favor.
3. Approval of Minutes - The minutes of September 2004 meeting of the Faculty Council were presented for approval. L. Parsch suggested two minor changes. J. Rupe made a motion to approve minutes as amended. Motion passed, all in favor.
4. Reports --
A. Dean Weidemann
The Personnel Document has gone forward to the Provost. It was brought to the Dean's attention that an "Affirmative Action" statement must be included in the front page of the document. Until all approvals are made, we will still work under the old document. Also, by-laws must change in order to coincide with the new Personnel Document. This change needs to take place by the fall Faculty Meeting.
The Grading System Changes being attempted by the Council are indeed going through the correct process. Once passed the Council, the process will then continue to the Faculty Senate.
Several classroom dedications will be happening within the next couple of weeks.
Rooms/auditoriums, which have been renovated, include the Plant Science 007 classroom, the Home Economics Auditorium, and the Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences Auditorium.
B. Dean Graham
1. Alice Stephens has accepted the position of Coordinator of Advising and Retention and will be starting on November 1, 2004.
2. Randy Gottfried, CIV Coordinator, has accepted a new position at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. We will be advertising for this position shortly. Any recommendations for changes to this position or technologies in the classrooms would be greatly appreciated.
3. The Athletics NCAA guidelines and the monitoring of athletics will be changing. They are asking for feedback for the monitoring of the progression of students. Also, the athletic department will provide a schedule for practice times. A new policy will include progression of 40/60/80 for athletic students.
4. The UAConnect conversion continues to have problems. Enrollment numbers are still not in. Projected enrollment shows the College should be up about 7%.
5. The next stage of strategic planning is underway. We will be summarizing the data from sessions held last week. We will be pulling together the comments and goals to help set some priorities and benchmarks for the next five years.
C. B. Dixon, Graduate Council -- (Handout)
1. The proposal by Dean Saxena to increase the number of hours taken by graduate assistants was withdrawn. However, there is still ongoing discussion about the amount of state money being used to pay graduate tuition. So the topic of who is paying graduate school tuition has not gone away.
2. Vice Provost Nancy Talburt has raised the issue on the efficacy of "concentrations" in master's degrees. Her contention is that the word is not well defined and used loosely by various departments in describing programs in the Graduate catalog. The attachment gives a number of examples to substantiate her point. Dean Koski raised this issue at the last meeting and asked the Council members to consult their respective faculties to get a sense of faculty preference on this matter. Issues that emanate from this are:
a. What really defines a "concentration"?
b. Does a master's degree reach a level of sophistication that a specialty can be defined?
c. Should there be some official designation on transcripts if a master's student has specialized in some sub-specialty of the discipline.
5. Standing Committee Reports
A. Agriculture subcommittee -- D. Graham
Program Changes
1. A proposal to the Curriculum Committee will include changing the name of the General Agriculture Masters Program to Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. The reasoning behind the change is, because of the nature of the program, certain uses negated the word "General" from the original name. There have also been a couple of editorial changes to the catalog for clarity. There has been a sentence added to the description for the program, which states that the Master of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences is designed to prepare the practitioners of diverse background prospective to a very complex environmental, social and community biologically diverse problems in the agricultural industry, education and agencies. Also, there is an insert of text "to include web based courses" in the catalog under residency requirements.
L. Parsch moved to support the changes. T. Costello seconded. All were in favor.
Discussion ensued regarding:
a. Adding a BioScience major -- This has been a recent topic of discussion during the last Curriculum Committee Meeting. This is not a proposal, but only discussion.
b. A decrease in the number of majors and concentrations in the College -- It has not been mandated to reduce the number of majors and concentrations, but was suggested to increase efficiency in reporting.
6. Old Business --
1. L. Parsch - Change to the Grading System (Handout)
L. Parsch presented the Council with two sample ballots describing the changes to the grading system. The Council is to decide which ballot will be presented to the College Faculty for their vote.
Sample Ballot A included an Intermediate Grade (8-scale) option and a Plus-Minus (12-scale) option. Sample Ballot B included the Plus-Minus (12-scale) option only.
After explaining the rationale, benefits and trade-offs of each ballots' options, L. Parsch asked the Council to vote on whether or not to present either ballot to the College Faculty. The Council agreed that that a ballot should be presented. All were in favor. He then asked the Council to vote on which ballot to present to the College Faculty. After much discussion, debate and some wording changes to clarify options, the Council voted on Ballot A (6 to 2).
It was also decided by the Council that the ballot should be administered to the College Voting Faculty by email.
2. Affirmative Action Statement-
L. Parsch moved to amend the Personnel Document to include an Affirmative Action to be incompliance. M. Richardson seconded. All were in favor.
7. New Business --
1. Vacancies on Campus Committees
B. Ahrendsen sent a memo from Campus Committee on Committees listing openings to several committees on Campus. J. Rupe encouraged the Council to pass the word to help fill these positions.
8. Inquiries from the Faculty - None
9. Meeting Adjourned
The meeting was adjourned at 2:05.
Respectfully submitted,
Tracy Joslin, Recording Secretary