Faculty Council Minutes -- October 2014

Faculty Council

Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences

October 17, 2014

APC Rosen Center Conference Room


Call to Order – Michael Evans, chair, called the meeting to order at 2:30 p.m.

Approval of Agenda – Dr. Evans requested that attendees review the agenda.  There were no corrections or additions.  Motion made, seconded and approved agenda.

Approval of minutes - Motion made, seconded and approved unanimously the September 19, 2014 Faculty Council Meeting minutes.

Administration Reports

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

Update on Department Head searches:  HORT – should be hired by end of next week.  ENTO -the search has been launched.  BAEG – launched search, still in job description phase.  In terms of budget, everything depends on the election.  The Division has been working State Legislators to get more funding.  Federal – still under Continuing Resolution until after the election.  Until then, especially the Senate race, “all bets are off”.  We suspect that 2015 budget will include level funding.  Farm Bill – we are starting to see some results from some of the money that was included in the mandatory programs and had some awards under the specialty crops.  We are continuing work on the grant writing workshop to be held around mid-2015.  We will be splitting that with Dr. Rankin’s office and there will be approximately 50 – 60 seats available, split equally between the Division and the rest of campus.  It will probably be on some type of competitive basis since the number of seats are limited.  We are planning a follow-up workshop for that for those that have a grant in mind that you’re working on, they will come and work with you on a one-on-one intensive basis.  That will probably be limited to 10 – 12, split equally between the Division and campus.


Bumpers College –Associate Dean, Dr. Lona Robertson

Retention and Curriculum Director Position - I need a faculty member to serve on the search committee.  We have it narrowed down to 4 finalists, so should be a short process.  There will be a telephone conference call on October 28th, to determine how to proceed in the process.  Interviews will be held November 10 and 11.  Gary McDonald volunteered to be the faculty representative on the committee.


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

We have a number of faculty awards but a low number of applicant/nominees.  Is that a matter of concern or not?  Dr. Downing said that most people don’t like to self-nominate.    Most people are not comfortable self-nominating.  Dr. Evans said that he’s hearing from faculty that they are feeling overwhelmed so they don’t put this type of thing as a high priority item on their lists.  If there are no applicants, or none that merit the award, then is it OK to not award?  Another thing that came up was confusion about eligibility.  There seems to be a perspective among faculty that the awards are linear – that you have to get one before you are eligible for the next.  This is especially true in regards to the Jack Justus Award and the John W. White award but there is no such prerequisite.  We need to look at the designations of what the donor intent was and what our guidelines were for the award.  We will work with the committee to clarify what the intent of each of these awards are so that they are more distinct.   Some feel that their percentage appointment in a particular area are criteria, but that also is not true. 

On Oct 30th is the Food for Thought event. Dr. Charles Arnot with the Center for Food Integrity will provide the public presentation from 3 – 5 pm.  We are very fortunate to have three Executives in Residence.  They are Jimmy Taylor for Hospitality Innovations, and Kelly Kemp in Agricultural Communications.  Starting in early December yet doing more in the spring is Alexis Coffman.  She will be working with honors program and leadership development.  Please keep in mind ideas for an Executive in Residence in your departments.  Bumpers Distinguished Lecturer is not completely finalized but there will likely be an announcement in the next week or so.  Dates will either be March 31 – April 1, or April 1 – 2, 2015.  Walton College and Fulbright College will be partners in co-hosting.  The Scholarship luncheon is on Oct 24th.    We need more donors to attend.   We are looking for new ways to maximize interaction between students and donors.  On the same day (Oct. 24th), Alumni Assoc. Honors event, one of the honorees will be one of our own alum, Ewell Welsh.  Last week, approved cluster hire in HESC in Child Obesity.  There will be at least 2 hires. 

Discussion item:  You may have heard about a Global Retail Innovation Center and a Center for Entrepreneurship.  Both of these charges are being led by the Walton College but these are University-wide efforts.  These are centerpieces of the Emerging Capital campaign.  It also dovetails with the University’s goal of becoming a Top 50 public research University.  These are ways to distinguish the University from other Universities across the country. I will be working with the other dean’s to define what these things are and we need to be involved.  There are areas in each center for every department in the College to be involved.  In some of the initial conversations I’ve had, people have said it “will take a lot to move it forward”.  Think back 10 years when we were talking about an Honors Program in our College, in Fulbright College, etc.  Suddenly, $300M dollars were donated and those things happened.   Think of this as the foundation to receive a transformational gift in order to fund this goal. 


International Programs Committee - Dr. Leslie Edgar – no report


Honors Program Update - Dr. Curt Rom - no report.       


University Faculty Senate – Dr. Mary Savin

Update on the attendance policy.  Before it even got to discussion, the Teaching Council dropped the last paragraph that addressed that a professor ‘had to’ create make up points if a student had an excused absence.  This paragraph was deleted before it even got to motion.  Other changes – there was a sentence in the policy that was added by the Teaching Council that said that the policy included both undergraduate and graduate students. It was removed as it turns out that it is not in the graduate handbook or graduate policy that anybody could confirm.  This would need to go to the Graduate Council so it was taken out of the policy.  There was also some concerns about the statement that was being added that said that attendance should be considered mandatory.  The intent was to say “students should consider attendance to be mandatory” so it was revised to read as such.  There had been concern about the statement that said that if students were forced to be absent because they were sick.  It was discussed that when students are absent, a lot of times, it is their choice.  A change was made in the terminology.  The policy was voted on after the changes by the Teaching Council.  It was mentioned by Dr. Savin that the Faculty Senate had inquired as the state of the elections to replace 2 senators.  Dr. Evans said that would be discussed later in the meeting.  Dr. McDonald asked Dr. Vayda and Dr. Robertson what the College’s policy would be.  It will be the same as the university policy that says that it must be stated clearly in writing in the class syllabus. 


Faculty Council Business – Dr. Michael Evans, Chair – no new business

Postponed discussion 3 year tenure review policy.  Dr. Bright could not be here.  This will be covered extensively at the November meeting.



Standing Committee Reports:

Promotion and Tenure Committee – Dr. John Clark – No Report


Nominations Committee – Dr. Michael Evans for Dr. Kelly Way

We have 2 senate positions and faculty chair-elect are vacant.  All 3 are vacant due to resignations during the term.  We will have to have 2 separate elections as one is for 1 year, the other for 2 years.  We now have 2 candidates for Senate.  We will have 3 people to run for the 2 seats.  It has been very difficult to get people to run.  As for Faculty Chair-Elect, we cannot run that election right now because we are required to have 3 people on the ballot.  Generally, people are saying they are too overwhelmed to take on another task. Currently the by-laws require that there be 3 people on the ballot.  There was much discussion about how to resolve if there are not enough candidates to run election.  It was suggested that everyone consider how to amend the by-laws in order to have the election from the floor at the Fall Faculty meeting. A suggestion was made to vote on the change to the bylaws today.  “A position may also be filled by a nomination and faculty vote at any college wide meeting”.  Senate vote will go ahead; each member of Faculty Council will go back to their colleagues and try to round up candidates.   Dr. Evans suggested that the Faculty Council eliminate chair-elect position, then elect just a faculty chair.  It was also discussed possibly making the vote via e-mail to change the bylaws.  If no one has come forward by December, then ask the faculty at the December meeting.  Dr. Savin explained the complicated system of chair and chair-elect in the Faculty Senate.  It was eventually decided that following that system was not an option.  Once again, it was requested that council members go back to their departments to try to secure candidates for the election.


Awards Committee – Dr. Charles Obeite, Chair – No Report


Scholarship Committee – Dr. Rick Rorie for Dr. Bruce Ahrendsen, Chair – no reports


AFLS Curriculum subcommittee - Dr. Ashley Dowling

See Pages 1 & 2 of Reports - There were some changes to classes as outlined on the handout.  AECT had some concentration changes.  POSC certificate program would formalize the agreement with Pine Bluff, make it a certificate program.   There were no questions regarding the changes, so there was a call for a motion to approve en masse all proposals and changes.  Motion made, seconded.  Approved as printed on the report by AFLS curriculum subcommittee report.


HESC Curriculum subcommittee – Dr. Kathy Smith

See report for minor and major changes but no action required until approved by the faculty.


Old business – none

New business – none

Announcements – regarding schedule of November meeting.  Dr. Evans will clarify via e-mail when the next meeting will be held.  It will probably be on the 21st, not the 14th as listed currently.  Dr. Evans will speak to Carmen Alessi to see why it was scheduled for the 14th.  If the 21st is available, all members will receive an e-mail.


Dr. Wang – regarding Brazilian students.  Would like to know if there is another big batch of students coming.  Who is responsible for admitting those students?  Dr. Evans

 suggestedshe contact Dr. Robertson via e-mail to get more information.



Motion to adjourn.  Motion seconded.  Unanimous approval.  The meeting adjourned at 3:42 p.m.

Submitted by Carrie Whitmer