Faculty Council Minutes -- September 2013

September 20, 2013
Rosen Center Conference Room
Faculty present
Donn Johnson – ENTO (Chair)
Mike Evans – HORT (Chair-elect 2014)
Burt Bluhm – PLPA
Walter Bottje - POSC
Garry McDonald – HORT
Tim Kring - ENTO
Kristofor Brye – CSES
Andy Proctor – FDSC
Scott Osborn – BAEG
Kathy Smith – HESC
Rick Rorie-ANSC
Dan Rainey-AEAB
Leslie Edgar-TAEE (Substitute for Don Edgar)
Jackie Wiersma- HESC
Mary Savin- CSES
Kelly Way-HESC
Others Present:
Alice Griffin – Student Affairs Coordinator, Bumpers College
Jessica Hulse- Administrative Specialist-Bumpers College Dean's Office
Carmen Alessi- Assistant to the Dean
Administrators Present:
Nathan McKinney- Assistant Director, Agricultural Experiment Station (substituting for
Clarence Watson)
Call to Order – Donn Johnson, chair, called the meeting to order at 2:30 p.m.
Approval of Agenda – Motion made and seconded to approve the agenda. Motion adopted by voice approval.
Approval of Minutes – Motion made and seconded to approve the April 19, 2013, Faculty Council minutes. Motion adopted by voice approval.

Administration Reports
Division of Agriculture – Assistant Director, Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station- Nathan McKinney
Two years ago the Division of Agriculture lost several million dollars in earmarks and specialty grant contracts. The last two years the Division has been able to gather money from other resources. Essentially, state funding has remained level, 57% of the state budget is state funded, 9-15% is federal appropriations and the remainder is coming from 12 different sources. The biggest losses have been in federal competitive grants. There was a 2% cost of living raise given to all classified and non-classified employees. All classified employees are eligible to apply for a merit raise averaging 3%. Under the circumstances the Division is proud of what has been done.

The House of Representatives and Senate are disagreeing on appropriations, but the bottom line looks like funding is centered on Obamacare being funded or not. There will be funding through November. It is hard to predict where appropriations will be. If Congress signs an appropriations bill, the Division will receive them.

Developments in the Farm Bill are that versions are favorable to research, if they are eventually passed the Division will be OK. The Division will push for a balance between competitive funds and formula funds. Congress would be wise to balance both formula and competitive funds. The Specialty Crops Research Initiative has not survived any of the new Farm Bills, it may revive in the future. AFRI is still tied up in appropriations; there is no money to fund it. All of the funding in AFRI is subject to appropriations. A 5-year grant might get one year of funding.
Arkansas Biosciences Institute has favorable news. There has been state by state arbitrations, a federal panel of judges has decided we will get the same level of funding that the ABI has received in the past. It will receive funding of $1.5-$1.6 million from now on. In ESCROW funds, $22 million in interest went to funding the expansion of Medicaid, but research will not see that money. The 2013 equipment request has been fulfilled, and will serve many labs for a long time.

There is little information on the NSF EPSCoR proposal. The 2014 topic for Arkansas is advanced materials and devices, a broad category that will probably cut a lot of the Division out. It will be Spring 2014 before anything else is known. The 100th Anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act is celebrated this year; extension offices will be holding many events across the state, everyone will be invited. The Division has managed to consolidate funds adding up to $4.4 million to replace the old foundation seed plant that is nearly 60 years old, obsolete, almost non-functional and dangerous. The Division has been strategically filling certain faculty positions. There were six positions filled this year. There are many others that need to be filled but budget considerations have caused the Division to be rather judicious in doing that.

Please click on the link for Dr. Watson's report.
Bumpers College — Donn T. Johnson on behalf of Dean Mike Vayda
Please click on the link for Dr. Vayda's report.
Bumpers College—Alice Griffin on behalf of Associate Dean Lona J. Robertson
Discussions continue on the advising proposal some departments have strong feelings supporting and not supporting the proposal. Human Environmental Sciences highly favors having professional advisors to help with their heavy advising load. The idea and concept they like, although they feel professional advisors should not have voting privileges.

The key to the proposal is not to replace faculty advising but to alleviate some of the pressures of the first two years of a student's life here for the faculty performing their assessments. Questions would still be directed to the faculty. Transfer students would not be included with the new freshman advising process. It is time consuming to go through a student's transfer report, when 299t's come up the department would be contacted. The substitution process would still consist of going through the faculty advisor. Faculty advisors would handle recruitment aspects instead of the professional advisors. Through the UA Success system, students will know they have a faculty mentor and a professional advisor. The overall sentiment is that something is going to have to be changed, and this was one element or role that could be adapted without losing the sense of engagement with students. Departments with high transfer numbers may not benefit since they will have to look at the transfer courses anyway. The idea of helping with the advising aspect is a great idea, but in practice it may not remove that much of the faculty's workload. UA Success training will be next week and may help to answer questions. The advising proposal will be discussed further next month if there is a request to do so.

Please click on the link to view the Advising Concept Paper.
Honors Program – Curt Rom, No Report

International Programs – Leslie Edgar, Director
New director of International programs, Leslie Edgar, has met with all department heads to discuss activities and processes within their departments. There is a new International Programs office located in the Dean's office, room AFLS E-113, Diana Bisbee will answer student questions and give out information. The IP website is currently being updated. There are two faculty run programs, Dr. Lanier Nalley and Dr. Keith Bramwell are recruiting students for Mozambique, there is additional information posted on the website.

Human Environmental Sciences professors, Dr. Lona Robertson, Dr. Kathy Smith, and Dr. Kelly Way, are organizing a split tour with HESC, Apparel Studies and Hospitality students. They are seeking 20 students to go to China in early summer 2014. More details on these programs will be announced. A reminder that there are institutional policies in place to track students going on internships. The Study Abroad office will be keeping these records.
University Faculty Senate- Dr. Mary Savin
A vote will be held at the next Faculty Senate meeting to add collegiality language to the promotion and tenure document. There are two places in the policy series that this would be added.

Please click on the link to view the Faculty Senate's Report.
Graduate Council Report- Dr. Jackie Wiersma, Representative, No Report
Please click on the link to view the Graduate Council's August 15, 2013 meeting minutes.
Standing Committee Reports:

Promotion and Tenure Committee – Donn T. Johnson on behalf of John Clark, Chair

Dr. John Clark, elected Chair, announced the committee will meet November 18, 2013.
Nomination Committee – Scott Osborn, Chair

The committee and chair will need to be identified to solicit nominations for the Faculty Council Chair-elect position by the October meeting.
Awards Committee – Kate Shoulders, Chair

The awards committee has met and selected Kate Shoulders as the new chair.
Scholarship Committee – Rick Rorie, Chair-elect

Awards 2013-14 to date are a moving target. Some scholarships are being pulled back due to students transferring to different departments, no longer meeting the criteria, and not attending classes on a full time basis. Some additional awards are coming this spring, money has been reallocated as students drop out of the programs. The bottom line was $613,000 this year, as opposed to $567,000 awarded last year. The department level awards are up, the college levels are down. The awards foundation funds run on a three year average.
AFLS Curriculum Sub-Committee – Dr. Mike Thomsen, Chair (presented by Dr. Mary Savin)

The following course changes were approved:

Request Number
Course Number
Action: Approve or Reject
POSC1123 / ANSC1123
POSC6123 / ANSC6123
FDSC4114 to FDSC4113
Major Change
• AEED MS. Program change to add AGED 5563
• AFLS MS. Change the name to Master of Science in Food Safety
There are Graduate-Level Coursework Opportunities in Technical and Scientific Writing. Input is needed from your faculty. CSES 5053 Scientific Writing will tentatively be offered in the fall, but not likely to be regularly offered according to Dr. Bacon.
HESC Curriculum Sub-Committee – Dr. Kelly Way, Chair (presented by Kathy Smith)

There are Minor changes, but no vote is required. The focus is on orientation classes, and what it means to be a student in HESC. There has to be an orientation class for program accreditation. One of the main goals for orientation is not to duplicate the UNIV 1001 course.

The following major course change was approved:

Course 425V be deleted as it is no longer offered.

Please click on the link to view the HESC Curriculum Sub-Committee Meeting Notes.
Old Business – Leslie Edgar, Ad Hoc Committee Representative

In 2005 the faculty council of Bumpers College voted to accept a plus/minus grading system. The system was supposed to be used in all courses at that time, this study shows that it is not being used in all courses. There is an option to use the system. The study assessed both student's and faculty's perceptions of the plus/minus grading system. No students were duplicated in the study. 924 faculty participated in the study, 82 responded. The final research peer article is currently in press. There are two recommendations to faculty council:

1) The researchers recommend Bumpers College faculty adopt one uniform grading system (either plus/minus, straight letter, or some other system) for use in all courses.

2) The researchers also recommend the elimination of the A- if a new system is not adopted and followed by all faculty.
This grading system will be re-visited as old business next meeting after the faculty has reviewed the findings of the studies.

Faculty feedback was given on Amy West's statement requesting the reconsideration of the 12-Point Grade Scale Policy.

Please click on the link to view the Plus/Minus Grading Perceptions Talking Points.
New Business – Donn T. Johnson, None

Announcements – Donn T. Johnson

The College Faculty Meeting is on Dead Day, December 13th from 10 am to 12 noon in Hembree Auditorium.

The next Faculty Council Meetings are October 18th and November 15th in the Rosen Center Conference Room.


Motion made and seconded to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 4:30 pm.
Submitted by Jessica Hulse