Faculty Council Minutes -- September 2008


September 12, 2008
Rosen Center Conference Room

Faculty present:
Dick Oliver – CSES (Chair)
Teddy Morelock – HORT (for Brad Murphy)
Mike Richardson – HORT
Sreekala Bajwa – BAEG (for Tom Costello)
Park Waldroup – POSC
Laurie Apple – HESC
Gene Milus – PLPA
Jean-François Meullenet – FDSC
Jeff Miller – AEED
Fred Stephen – ENTO
Hayden Brown – ANSC
Duane Wolf – CSES
Daniel Rainey – AEAB

Others present:
Dr. Lalit Verma, Interim Dean
Dr. Donna Graham, Associate Dean for Academics
Dr. Richard Roeder, Associate Dean for Research

1. Call to Order – Dick Oliver, chair, called the meeting to order at 2:30 p.m.

2. Approval of Agenda – Motion made and seconded to approve the agenda. Motion adopted by voice approval.

3. Approval of Minutes – Minutes of May meeting were not available to approve, however members have seen them. The Chair will make an executive decision on approving the minutes and will send them out as soon as they are available.

4. Administration Reports –
A. Bumpers College – Interim Dean Lalit Verma said he was pleased to assume the role of interim dean and will work to have good communication and cooperation with the Division of Agriculture. He has started having individual meetings with department heads in an effort to learn about experiences and successes and to share them at the college level. This will help to identify the extra efforts we can make to be successful.

UA enrollment is at 19,191. Preliminary estimates for the College are that we should be up by 3.7 percent.

At Chancellor Gearhart's retreat, he indicated that he wants to hear from the leadership team and shared his priorities:
• Recruitment and Retention – the Admissions Office (Karen Hodges) will be looking at better ways to work with the University representatives and to improve the program including updating software.
• Diversity
• Marketing Image (logo, slogan)
The Office of Admissions had a consultant review their programs and determined that there needs to be improved coordination with the colleges. The recommendations from the report will be shared with department heads later. We should see some progress now that admission has the attention of the Chancellor.

B. Bumpers College – Associate Dean for Academics Donna Graham shared preliminary enrollment numbers and indicated that there was still some clean-up before the data are sent to the state (census data).

The State is working to establish degree productivity guidelines with minimum thresholds for graduates. The first wave of justifications has been sent, primarily from the Graduate School. We should see the second wave in 3 to 4 months. The current goals are 3 bachelors, 2 masters, and 1 doctorate. These thresholds will not continue. The new proposed thresholds, which are being evaluated, started with a rolling average over 3 years at 10 bachelors, 5 masters and 3 doctorates and may change. Colleges not meeting the targets will be on warning for two years. The accountability will be by degree program and by level (bachelors, masters, and doctorate) separately. The discussion is ongoing and they need to take into consideration the impact to other colleges. The legislature may weigh in. Members raised some concern about the impact on special programs and to the traditional "college at your doorstep" characteristics of the University. The focus of this change is accountability and productivity.

There are three or four consortium development initiatives (paperwork ready to go through campus) for sharing courses across states, regions and even as a national initiative; AG*IDEA, HORT grant, and a new one, BioEnergy, led by Kansas State University (they are asking to create a graduate certificate with some agricultural courses).

With Study Abroad, a couple of departments such as AEAB have Atlantis program grants which are double-degree across eight universities (six European universities (Universiteit Ghent, Ghent Belgium (lead European university); Humbolt-Universität zu Berklin, Berlin, Germany; Agrocampus Rennes, Rennes, France; Universidad de Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain; Università di Piza, Piza, Italy; Slovenká Pol'nohospodárska Univerzita V Nitre, Nitra, Slovakia), the University of Florida and the University of Arkansas (lead American university)) primarily for student exchange. It is a unique degree arrangement, with students studying at three separate universities. It is floating across campus for initiative movement. We have a FIPSE grant with a school in Brazil. Dr. Andy Proctor is also engaged in FIPSE grants in Food Science. These three big initiatives all involve study abroad and transfer of credits. There is a lot of background that has to be taken care of in order for students to be given the proper credits. If anyone is involved in developing such programs, it is imperative that they be sent to the academic level first to make sure that there is enough lead time to assure all offices on campus have reviewed and approved the program and assure that proper credit is granted to students.

Once again, we need to look at our assessment plans. Next year, all departments must provide a report of their results of assessment activities as they relate to the degree programs. We will probably get the Assessment Committee back together in October. We need a strategy for maintaining the data to show what we are providing the students.

C. Experiment Station – Associate Dean for Research Rick Roeder looking forward to a good year, but cautioned that funding is up in the air. Grant money for faculty is generally down, may be due to some vacancies which have now been filled. Grant funding is also lower because Commodity Boards are facing the higher cost of energy, having to make choices. Rice and wheat are down, corn and grain sorghum are up slightly and soybeans are up.

Experiment Stations completed workshops on bio-fuels and sustainability and are currently working on roadmaps for progress.

Expect to break ground in a few days on construction at RREC $11.5M for 33,000 sq. ft. (auditorium-4,000 sq. ft., research labs-25,000 sq. ft., and tearing down the existing building and building a new office building).

Question: Travel in state trucks – can save from 30 to 50% by renting. Mileage charge-backs should be consistent.
Answer: Mileage is charged back to grants. The grantors want to fund the use of vehicles directly related to their grant for research. Not going to buy new vehicles for the University.

Question: Any information about Division of Agriculture retirement buy-out.
Answer: No information. If it is anything like other buy-out programs, it is based on the expectation of a funding decrease and an attempt to get out in front in case budget is not strong.

5. Agriculture Curriculum Committee Report – no response from Dr. Johnson. Two courses with simple changes have been proposed and approved: Swine Production and Poultry Judging.

Question: Is there a moratorium on new courses?
Answer: We cannot keep adding classes without taking some off.

6. Old Business –

A. Hiring Practices, A Discussion with Dr. Sugg – Dick Oliver
Handout – "Hiring Survey"
Handout – June 26, 2008 letter from Dr. Sugg, University Systems President with attachments

Dick Oliver asked if there was any feedback from Dr. Sugg's letter. Since Dr. Sugg indicated that he was going to do a little searching for trends, Oliver took an unofficial survey of peers from surrounding states. The results show little or no hiring of non-tenured faculty and confirm the nationwide survey showing Arkansas leading the nation in hiring non-tenured faculty.

He asked the council members to report on their department hiring. CSES and PLPA are looking for department heads, and search for a Chair position in Animal Well-being is also underway. There are no additional hires pending. Members need to keep track of hiring activities for their departments.

Dick Oliver will send his unofficial survey along with the previous nationwide survey to Drs. Sugg and Shult.

B. Department Head Evaluation Committee – Gene Milus
Handout – "2008 Unit Head Review"

Gene Milus chaired the committee to develop a mechanism for department heads to document their performance and to aid in evaluating their work. The committee used Rob Wiedenmann's example both with the review form and his corresponding goals for the future and wrote the categories in general terms to reflect the areas of department head productivity. The first three items address the three main areas (Academics, Research, and Extension) with the last for personal accomplishments. The format provides a flexible way to customize the report to emphasize areas of strength. The first draft was submitted to the Dean in the summer. It is understood that the department heads have seen this version; however there has not been a formal call for review and comment from them. The committee had hoped to start using the first version by the end of this calendar year recognizing that it is an evolving process.

Suggestion: Change the last item from "personal accomplishments" to "scholarly accomplishments" to emphasize the focus is related to the job. The purpose of this item is to give the department head an opportunity to highlight activities in addition to department head responsibilities, such as research, lectures, and teaching courses. Oliver mentioned that one purpose of the document is to encourage consistency among department heads. Comments and suggested changes on this first draft should be sent to Gene Milus.

Question: Has the team compared the guidance in the Academic Policy Series that addresses documentation of performance for department heads. It would be good to avoid duplication and keep the documentation to one form.
Answer: That is a good suggestion keeping in mind that the draft proposal reflects what the faculty would like to see.

A motion was made and amended to present the draft review format and a statement on goals to Vice President Shult and to the three Associate Vice Presidents.

7. New Business –

A. Election of Faculty Council Chair-Elect – Dick Oliver
Sreekala Bajwa shared Tom Costello's comments – Nominations called in November with results after Thanksgiving. Nominations for Faculty Senate are needed as well. The election was supposed to be in May, but there were no nominations. They need 3 to 5 nominations to fill three slots replacing George Wardlow, Eric Wailes, and John Rupe. The nomination forms were sent out once and will be sent again. Council members are encouraged to round up interest within their departments.

B. Vice-President signature sheet for Promotion and Tenure – Lalit Verma
Handout – "Nomination for Tenure/Nomination for Promotion"
Handout – "Nomination for Appointment to University Professor or Distinguished Professor"
Dr. Verma shared copies of the draft signature sheets from the provost's office, which are pending legal counsel review.

Question: Has Dr. Verma received any requests for positions through the new process with recommendations from Dean and Associate Vice-Presidents on tenure track vs. non-tenure track?
Answer: No.

C. Vice-President's sign-off sheet for off campus duty – Lalit Verma
There has not been any action on the Off-Campus signature sheets yet.

D. Clarification of Post Tenure review process – Duane Wolf
Handout – "C. Post Tenure Review"

Duane Wolf presented the current policy which has not been changed and is considered satisfactory. We need to use what is on the books more effectively.

8. Announcements –

There was a question raised about the election of the next Promotion and Tenure Committee Chair. It is the understanding of the Council members that the chair is elected by the members at their first meeting. Members of the committee are being elected in the departments now.

All faculty awards are due on October 1.

The next Faculty Council meeting will be on October 10, 2008

The Fall College Faculty Meeting will be on December 10, 2008

Meeting adjourned by Dick Oliver, Faculty Council Chair, at 3:50 p.m.