Faculty Council Minutes -- September 2016


DBCAFLS Faculty Council Meeting
Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food & Life Sciences
September 16, 2016
APC Rosen Center Conference Room


Attendees: Daniel Rainey, Chair; Nick Anthony, Chair Elect; Qiuqiong Huang, AEAB; Don Edgar, AEED; Jason Apple, ANSC; Kris Brye, CSES; Fred Stephen, ENTO; Luke Howard (for Andy Proctor), FDSC; Jacquelyn Mosley, HESC; Gary McDonald, HORT; Ioannis Tzanetakis, PLPA; Sami Dridi, POSC; Lona Roberston, Interim Dean; Mike Evans, Interim Assoc Dean; Clarence Watson, AES Research Director; Leslie Edgar, International and Honors Programs; Katy Smith and Laura Herold, HESC Curriculum Sub-Committee; Jeff  Miller, AG Curriculum Sub-Committee; Kalynn Smith, Administrative Assistant


Call to Order (2:30 PM)Dr. Daniel Rainey, Chair


Approval of AgendaApproved


Approval of Minutes (April 2016)Approved



Division of Agriculture – Dr. Clarence Watson, Assoc. V.P. – Research for the Division of Agriculture – Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station


(see page 1 of handouts)

The new Federal budget for Fiscal Year 2017 starts October 1st, and it looks like the government will start the year without a budget in place. There is a continuing resolution that is being introduced in Congress that will either run through December or March. There has been 0.5% across-the-board cut introduced to the CR. We are under the budget cap, so it’s not a matter of lack of money, but rather more symbolic. It is too early to make any definite statements regarding the State budget, but it will be a tough environment due to highways making a big push for more money and the governor having announced that he would like to use money for additional tax cuts. The Division met with new director of Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE), Dr. Maria Markham. She does understand agriculture (she has a personal and professional history in the field, growing up on poultry farm near Hope) and understands the issues of agriculture, so she will serve as a sympathetic ear for the Division.


Dr. Watson next brought to attention the federal changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act will go into effect in December and will impact a number of staff positions within the Division. The new changes raise the minimum of someone to be exempt and will require the use of timesheets for those not being paid the minimum.


The Division has begun to work on 2018 Farm Bill at the national level; all of the authorizations that govern the Division’s federal funding are contained in that Farm Bill. As a national organization, leadership in the Association of Land Grant Universities is pulling together to see what changes may be made in the next bill. It will not take effect until 2018, but the planning process for it starts now.


Dr. Watson ended with a good news/bad news announcement. This last year the Division required everyone to go through the ethics training using the online program (CITI) through the campus; the good news is that the grant audit was removed when the ethics training was mostly completed, but the Division may have to go down even deeper into our employees as a result. For now the Division has been concentrating on faculty, post-docs and grand students, but may have to spread the scope of our training to Program Associates and other support staff.


Bumpers College — Interim Dean, Dr. Lona Robertson


Dr. Robertson updated the Faculty Council about a few items happening around campus. Last Spring, Dr. Steinmetz visited all departments, centers, etc. around campus, and at that time all departments were asked to put together a brief document to send to him highlighting each department’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for future growth. Those documents were all combined into a binder by college and those binders were sent to each Dean. The Deans of all colleges are currently working on synthesizing those documents and preparing for a campus planning process. Concurrently, Dr. Steinmetz put together three committees, one for teaching, research, and outreach. Those committees were asked to go through the binder on departmental self-assessment to identify common themes across campus and identify areas for collaborations across campus. The three sub-committees have submitted their reports to Dr. Steinmetz detailing the top 3-5 priorities for each category. Dr. Steinmetz and the executive committee are now working on putting together a campus document that will identify the campus’ top 3-5 priorities that each college is to use for their planning processes. Because of this, Dr. Robertson alerted the Faculty Council that they should expect to be called on for help to serve on a committee to work with the college for this planning process. The goal is to align the goals of the college to the goals of the campus. Dr. Robertson would like everyone to look at what the campus has decided as their top priorities and drawing from that to build a plan for Bumper’s College. The college plan must also align the teaching / research / outreach goals of the campus and the Division.


The Provost search is still in process though the closing date for applications was August 31st. At that time, there were about 12 applications identified but there are likely more applicants now. The Provost Search Committee met to pair those numbers down and do airport interviews with the top candidates. The Chancellor intends for those candidates to be on campus between October 12th and October 21st and would like to have a new Provost to start January 1st, to be named by late October.


Chancellor’s Investiture will be coming up on October 20th, where the key note speaker will be Dr. E. Gordon Gee, who is a former President of Ohio State University and has been a mentor of Chancellor Steinmetz.


Last but not least, Dr. Robertson mentioned the Chartwells freight farm outside Animal Science. It is a contained hydroponic greenhouse (purchased by Chartwells for approximately $100,000) It will be producing greens that Chartwells will be using for its catering services. AFLS may bring in faculty/student expertise to serve as consultants for this project, but for now Chartwells is following the plan outlined by the seller of the container.


Bumpers College — Interim Associate Dean, Dr. Mike Evans

(see pages 2-3 of handouts)

Dr. Evans ran through the enrollment for Fall 2016, announcing that four departments grew in numbers while undergraduate enrollment increased by 27 or 1.5% but graduate enrollment decreased by 22 or 6.1%. Despite the drop in graduate numbers, we are still in the black with a growth of net five students. University enrollment total is up by 1% with a grand number of 27,194 students (the largest freshman class and ethnic minorities in university history). Next was an elaboration of the out-of-state tuition waivers. Dr. Evans described it as a sliding scale with more academically accomplished students receiving a larger discount.


An idea of an overarching AFLS Ph.D. program was posited, so what Dr. Evans intends to do is to get together faculty to look at two issues of the Ph.D. program. First, there are currently some programs that skirt around being viable (due to low enrollment numbers) and could benefit from collaborating with other departments within the college. Second, there are other departments that want to offer Ph.D. degrees but are currently not viable on their own and thus currently do not offer a Ph.D. Dr. Evans would put together a committee to look at those two issues and come out with a possibility of creating a program, working from a clean slate or come forth with ideas of how there could be restructuring of existing programs. For now, Dr. Evans will start with the new faculty committee to develop a plan using broad strokes, not ironing out details yet.


When opened for questions, there was a request to analyze the decrease in enrollment numbers. Dr. Robertson stated that she prefers to interpret enrollment numbers at the department level instead of the individual concentration level, and mentioned that some of the number fluctuations were expected while others weren’t. She also confessed that some of the numbers she honestly couldn’t explain, although she has spoken with the Recruitment officer about other recruitment ideas to put numbers on the rise. Next the question was posed if there could be any comparison with enrollment affected by changes in personnel. Dr. Robertson said that she felt it was unlikely, though is a possibility. There was a final concern addressed in reference to graduate enrollment within AFLS, because although numbers for graduate students are up across the university, AFLS is behind in graduate enrollment.


International Programs Committee – Dr. Leslie Edgar


(see pages 4-5 and 11 of handouts)

Dr. Edgar was pleased to announce that a new website for International Programs has recently been launched and has current programs listed. The IPO team has been heavily recruiting for these programs; individual flyers have been handed out to departments and IPO representatives have gone to UNIV 101 courses for recruiting. Three programs, for India, New Zealand and Australia, are approaching a deadline of October 1st for applications, so Dr. Edgar urged Faculty Council members to spread the word about getting applications in soon.

As a reminder, Honors College/faculty-led grants are now administered through the Hogs Abroad portal. Program leaders must accept those students into their programs and must communicate with students about those opportunities.


The University has formed a University committee that is focused on the Rome center to determine how best to utilize it. There was a sub-committee created in April that made recommendations for how we could serve the Rome Center (see handout for details). Dr. Edgar asked that the Faculty Council share these with their departments and discuss any suggestions/concerns.


Finally, Dr. Edgar announced six new IPO office mentors helping to recruit, also one assigned to our international scholars looking for how to better serve them.


University Faculty Senate- Dr. Don Edgar


There is a proposal to change the final exams schedule to a four-day final exam schedule; metrics were run to determine if this would create conflicts for students, and results seem favorable towards the change. There will be a vote on that at the next meeting to determine whether or not to go through with this change. We are currently at a five/five-and-a-half day schedule. The suggestion is to make final exams Monday-Thursday to allow colleges to have Commencement on Fridays and not exclude students who might have exams on that day.


Graduate Council – Dr. Ken Korth


No Report


Faculty Council Report – Dr. Daniel Rainey, Chair


Regarding the Nominations Committee update from Dr. Andy Proctor: with the approval of the bylaws changes, Faculty Council only needs two nominees for faculty chair elect; Jason Apple and Doug Karcher are the nominees for this Fall. There is a need to replace Rob Widemann on the Academic Integrity and Code of Student Conduct committee. Dr. Rainey asked the Faculty Council to look for volunteers for that committee – details will be emailed.


Bylaws Document update: the document passed with over 95% approval with approximately 50% participation. There were two votes against the nominations changes and one vote against the appeal to turn the Honors Program into a standing committee; the changes to the bylaws document have been made.


Standing Committee Reports:


Awards Committee – Dr. Kate Shoulders, Chair


No Report


Scholarship Committee – Dr. Doug Karcher, Chair


No formal report, however, a new Scholarship Officer, Kaitlin Gragnano, has been hired and has started work.


AFLS Curriculum Sub-Committee – Dr. Jeff Miller, Chair


(see page 6 of handouts)

Dr. Miller notified the council that there was a need for the FC to vote on a few items. The AFLS Curriculum Sub-Committee met in August and again in September and came out with four courses for consideration and five program changes. The first is a course title change for former Teaching Methods in the Ag Ed program to be more inclusive for other students. The second is a new math course in Food Science brought forth to help equip students with more practical applications on food science, and then two courses that are related from ANSC – one is a grad course to be cross listed ANSC / CSES 5553 “Forage-Ruminant Relations” (was originally a 6k level course); the second course was a new course ANSC 4552 “Forage-Ruminant Relations”. The changes were approved by the Faculty Council.


Next Dr. Miller continued with program changes submitted to the FC, the first being a proposed deletion of BSTCGC (graduate certificate) that has not been used for quite some time and with no faculty to guide that program. There were also some suggested changes in the AFLS Honors Program to add strength and provide students with more opportunities to take more courses that are more relevant to their careers. There is also a proposal to change the title from “AFLS Honors Program” to “Bumpers College Honors Program” as well as to remove the listing of the courses to avoid continually doing program changes.


Next up were three program changes for Agricultural Education – the AECT major core wasn’t aligned across concentrations so it was “cleaned up” in order to become uniform. There were changes to the major four courses so every student in AECT takes the same set of major courses, also added a technical agriculture elective to the core. There was a change to the concentration areas in AGED, ACOM and ASTM to comply with the 27-credit rule for concentrations, as well as a change to the AGED minor to include teacher certification courses so students with the minor will be closer to their certification than they have been in the past. It is believed these changes will help enrollment in courses. There was a motion made to approve the changes; it was seconded and approved.


Finally, a few informational items: the Provost Office discovered that the entire office was out of alignment with number of courses that students are required to take so all newly proposed programs will be held to the ADHE rule of 40 hours of upper-level course hours (student will no longer be able to use upper-level language hours to meet the requirement).


HESC Curriculum Sub-Committee –Dr. Kathy Smith
(see pages 7-9 of handouts)

Previously presented changes to the minor were unapproved due a lack of meeting credit-hour requirements so new changes are being made to comply. The HDFS major currently has 3 concentrations and those concentrations were not in compliance with the 40 hour credit rule, so a proposal was made for changes to two majors: BRKDS will become a major and will no longer be a concentration, and a new HDFS major that will combine Child Development and Lifespan.

Furthermore, the following courses will now be requirements to the HDFS major: PHIL 2103 will be the Humanities requirement for the major, HESC 2603, HESC 4483, and HESC 4603. The internship will now also be a requirement for the major, and new electives are also being introduced for the new major: PBHL 1303 and PBHL 2663.

A motion was made to accept the changes and was approved.


Honors Program – Dr. Leslie Edgar


(See page 10 of handouts)

Dr. Edgar announced a Chair will be announced for the Honors Program standing committee starting next month. A new website has also gone up for the Honors Program and one for the International Programs. Dr. Edgar passed around a resource on the website that is “at a glance,” which makes it easy for students to determine what they need. There will be a mandatory meeting for sophomores-seniors on September 20th that is a collaborative meeting between Bumpers and the Honors College. There are three required forms that are integrated in the website resource. Dr. Edgar noted that students who need thesis hours must fill out a form, and the director (currently Dr. Edgar) will email the mentor and ask for the grade, which is how the grade will be recorded. Fall graduates must defend their theses by November 1 with submission by November 15th; Spring graduates must defend by April 1st with submission by April 15th, otherwise there will be no graduating with Honors (that semester).

The Honors Program has received funding from the Honors College to initiate a mentor program, and seven students were selected to serve. A new grad student has been hired to help Honors students and support them.

Finally, as a reminder, there are minimal guidelines for both thesis and creative project online. At the end of the required Honors meeting a student who has not communicated with Honors staff will be removed from the program. Dr. Edgar also mentioned that Honors students can qualify for one grant per year, and the Honors College is currently funding students between 35-50% of their international study.

Old Business – Departmental procedures on personnel matters due Oct. 15th; there was also much discussion on the personnel document and the status of addendums for each department and whether or not they should be a requirement.

New Business –None 

General Announcements

The next Faculty Council meeting will be October 21st.


 Submitted by Kalynn Smith