Faculty Council Minutes -- September 2015

Faculty Council

Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences

September 18, 2015

APC Rosen Center Conference Room


Call to Order – Dr. Bluhm called the meeting to order at 2:30 PM


Approval of Agenda – Agenda is approved as presented.


Approval of April 17, 2015 Faculty Council Meeting Minutes –Motion was made to approve the minutes.  Motion was seconded and approved.



Administration Reports

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


See Page 1 of reports - The Federal budgets are flat, but no budgets have been passed.  We are faced with another possible government shutdown if a Continuing Resolution (CR) is not passed in the next two weeks.  We don’t know how this might affect us.  The last time this happened, we were able to avoid any layoffs.  We are taking people off of Federal dollars for the present time to try to minimize layoffs.  Your departments may have received information regarding taking people off of those funds.  We are once again requiring people on Federal funds to take the Responsible Conduct Training for grant recipients.  Graduate students are also required to take training.  The USDA is following suit with NASF and NIH have been doing for years.  If you’ve had the training somewhere else and can document it, it can be substituted for taking it here.




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

See Page 2 of reports -  We have a new Interim Chancellor, Dan Ferritor, and a new Provost, Ashok Saxena.  The Provost will focus on improving graduation and retention rates.  We are now #62 in US News and World Reports.  The Provost will put an emphasis on interdisciplinary programs and look at allocating new enrollment growth lines.  Our ratio of grad to undergrad is holding us back in rankings.  We have been increasing the number and the credentials of our undergrads, but grad students have barely changed.   Thank you to the committee that rewrote the college personnel document.  In 2012, we engaged in a strategic plan writing exercise for the College.  I’m appointing a small committee – 3 department heads and 3 faculty members, chaired by H.L. Goodwin.    We have received a $1.4 M estate bequest from the Hornsby’s from Florida.  I have given a list of note-worthy dates on handout.    


Bumpers College – Associate Dean, Dr. Lona Robertson

See Pages 3 & 4 of reports – Asked if any had used the new degree audit function in ISIS.  It seems to be liked by faculty.  Jody Davis will be available to attend department faculty meetings to discuss/train.  Enrollment at the U of A is 26,754 students, an increase of 4%.  Bumpers College enrollment is 2,168 students, an increase of .4%. 



International Programs and Honors Updates – Director, Dr. Leslie Edgar


See Pages 5 – 10 of reports – International Programs -We have changed strategy from where to travel to “why travel?”.  We are introducing opportunities for travel abroad in University Perspectives classes so students can see the opportunities available earlier in their careers and plan financially.  We had 72 Bumpers College students abroad last year.  We have 7 faculty-led programs.

Honors – We have 99 current honors students and 51 incoming freshman. We are looking to restructure.  I have met with each Department Head and issued a challenge that I would like to see 2 honors courses per department by 2016.  There is a new program that Honors College is piloting this year – embedded courses.  Honors College is providing money for your courses so you can have an international component.  Honors College has also provided a structure to indicate amount of funding they qualify for and simplified the process and put the application on the Hogs Abroad website.  Eligibility for grant funding is based on type of grant - see handout.  Honors College is now making honors student liable for travel grants.  If they take a grant and don’t graduate with honors, they are liable to pay it back.


Student Networking and Curricular Enhancement – Director, Dr. H. L. Goodwin


Regarding the Simmons capstone course – an initiative that was begun about a year ago.  We have learned through this process that if the course includes anything proprietary, you have a massive Pandora’s Box.  We are working through it with the Simmons course.  We have 3 students involved right now.  Simmons intends to make this an on-going course.   Another capstone course being developed is with Compass Group, working with Chartwells hospitality.   We are working on fleshing out this model.  I would like to ask Faculty Council to consider curriculum development and enhancement.  At present, there is no framework to allow me to attend and participate in the curriculum committees.  I would like to request that a change of the bylaws to allow for such participation.  I feel such participation for this position would allow for better feedback to the Dean.  I feel we are at the cusp of a new model, maybe within ten years, we may have to move to what is being called “cafeteria degrees”.   We need to be looking toward that trend in order to maintain traction. 


University Faculty Senate – Dr. Don Edgar, Chair

Dr. Edgar stated there was no new business from Faculty Senate other than to reiterate Dr. Vayda’s comments regarding increasing the number of graduate students.  There was discussion regarding this increase – where would you put these students?


Graduate Faculty Council – Dr. Burt Bluhm for Dr. Thad Scott, Chair

Dr. Scott sent an e-mail regarding double counting graduate credit classes.  If an undergrad student takes a graduate course for credit, can they then also count it toward graduate degree?   


Faculty Council Business – Dr. Burt Bluhm, Chair

The Faculty Council Chair-elect election was held and it was a close election that had to be extended, but congratulations to Dan Rainey.  We had a vote of acclimation for our new representatives to Faculty Senate and Graduate Council.  If we could get enough nominees, we could avoid falling into a pattern of electing via acclimation.  Our new Senators are Kate Shoulders and Ioannis Tzanetakis and for Graduate Council, Ken Korth.  We need two new members of the nominations committee.

Standing Committee Reports:

Promotion & Tenure Committee – Dr. Bruce Dixon, Chair – no report


Awards Committee – Dr. Godwin-Charles Ogbeide, Chair – no report


Scholarship Committee – Dr. Rick Rorie for Dr. Doug Karcher, Chair

The committee met August 18th and did some clean-up of scholarship awards that didn’t get awarded or we didn’t know about, someone dropped out, etc.  We talked about the policy of awarding students scholarships in their last semester.  If they don’t need to take a full load to graduate, it should be up to the Department Head to decide.  Out-of-state tuition waivers are going to a 3-tier system Fall 2016.  The new system will be based on ACT and GPA’s.   

AFLS Curriculum Sub-committee – Dr. Mary Savin, Chair

See Page 11 of reports.   There is a new course and three program changes that have been approved by the Committee.  There is one new minor, one to change Agricultural Business major and three concentrations to ensure that proper MATH courses are taken and one Agricultural Business minor, also to ensure proper MATH courses are taken.   ENSC 1003/1001L has an Honors section beginning Fall 2015 and AGST 4023 will have a one-time spring offering in 2016.  A motion was made to accept the changes, it was seconded and the changes were approved unanimously.


HESC Curriculum Sub-committee –Dr. Jennifer Henk, Chair

See Page 12 of reports.  There are some course changes, program changes and some informational items in this report.  Motion was made to accept all program changes for AMPD and HDFS.  Motion was seconded and the changes were approved unanimously.

Old Business

There was discussion about changing the value of the criteria of the John W. White and Jack Justus teaching awards.  There was mixed feedback from the faculty.  Most were in favor but one department was concerned with adding a service component to a teaching award.  The goal is to encourage more service from the faculty.  A motion was made to accept the changes to the criteria for both the White and Justus awards.  Motion was seconded and the changes were approved unanimously.

Another item of old business is the concept of incentivizing service to the College.  This discussion began at the March meeting.  It involved the concept of the Faculty Council Chair perhaps being on a partial administrative appointment, the possibility of changing the term to 2 years and a College Service award.  Please take these ideas to your units and gather thoughts from them to present at the next meeting.

New Business

Dr. Bryewanted to discuss how important the AgStats position is for the College and the valuable resource they are for everyone.  The position will now be a tenure track position and we hope to have a good pool of applicants. 

During the summer, an ad hoc committee worked on the reworking of the College Personnel Document.  This was sent out for the meeting, but there are a couple more changes to be made.  The updated document will be sent out for feedback.


The next meeting of the Faculty council will be October 16, 2015 at 2:30 at the Rosen Center.


Motion was made to adjourn.  Motion seconded and approved.  Meeting adjourned at 4:13 p.m.


Submitted by Carrie Whitmer