Faculty Council -- March 2009

March 6, 2009
Rosen Center Conference Room
Faculty present:
Mike Richardson – HORT (Chair)
Laurie Apple – HESC (Chair-elect)
Sreekala Bajwa – BAEG
Hayden Brown – ANSC
Kristofor Brye – CSES
Latha Devareddy – FDSC
Ken Korth – PLPA
Jeff Miller – AEED
Cindy Moore - HESC
Brad Murphy – HORT
Daniel Rainey – AEAB
Fred Stephen – ENTO
Park Waldroup - POSC

Others present:
Michael Thomsen – Graduate Council

Administrators present:
Lalit Verma, Interim Dean and Associate Vice President for Agriculture - Academics
Mark Cochran, Associate Vice President for Agriculture - Research

Call to Order – Mike Richardson, 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 February 13, 2009 meeting minutes with correction of spelling of Kristofor Brye's name. Motion adopted by voice approval.

Mike Richardson informed the Council that an undergraduate student and a graduate student from Bumpers College were recommended to Jeff Shannon to serve on the Dale Bumpers College Dean Search Committee. Please submit any recommendations of committee members as soon as possible to Jeff Shannon.

Administration Reports

Bumpers College – Interim Dean Lalit Verma

A college retreat is currently planned for April 2 to discuss issues such as graduation rate, low enrolled programs and classes, and teaching FTE's per department. The retreat will be held in the Arkansas Union. This retreat will consist of unit heads and curriculum members from each department, as well as some members of faculty council. May 1 is the deadline to respond to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education's (ADHE) productivity analysis.

Endowment revenue is down, much like all investments tied to the stock‐market. This could have an effect on overall budgets, as many endowed professorships have salaries and support that is tied to investment revenue. If those funds do not return, those costs would have to be covered from other sources.

Campus budget hearing for AFLS will occur on April 2 – It appears that the college has been underfunded in the past, but not sure how new money will be allocated, whether by student credit hours, numbers of students, etc. Dr. Verma will place emphasis on better funding from the campus for the faculty who are doing the teaching, academic advising and mentoring.

Question: Will funding for scholarships be reduced?
Answer: Yes, some adjustments have already been made by the Scholarship Committee.

Don Pederson is chairing a committee to review all operations on campus and make recommendations regarding cost containment.

Division of Agriculture – Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station
Associate Vice president - Research Mark Cochran

A small increase in state budget has been authorized, but the actual budget will likely be flat, which is great compared to many sister institutions.

USDA research priorities include renewable bioproducts, specialty crops, childhood obesity, and creating markets for environmental services. These are evolving categories and are very fluid.

The Omnibus Appropriations Bill is mired in politics. If the bill does not pass, the Senate leadership has announced they will go to a continuing resolution, which will remove increases and regress back to 2006-07 funding. The hope is that the Omnibus will pass on Tuesday. The President will sign if passed. The bill has made it through the House so far.

There is much disappointment and frustration on how agriculture got zeroed out in the research that was in the Stimulus package. They are reviewing the package for opportunities for our programs in the other agencies that did receive sizeable increases in the Stimulus package.

In our programs we are asking for increases in formula funds, increases in the average, which is the big, national competitive program of the USDA and special projects that we have coming to us.

University Faculty Senate – No report

Agriculture Curriculum Committee – No report

HESC Curriculum Committee – No report

Graduate Council – Michael Thomsen

The Graduate Council decided to drop the proposed change to Grade Point Average Requirement for Graduation.

The Graduate Council is currently looking at graduate faculty status of emeritus faculty. Currently, a retired faculty member remains a member of the graduate faculty until they complete service on existing graduate committees. The Graduate Council is considering making modifications of this to allow emeritus members to maintain graduate faculty status even if that faculty member is not serving on a committee.

A question was posed about spouses serving on the same graduate committee. It was reported after the meeting that the current policy is that spouses may serve on the same masters or doctoral committee provided that neither one is chair.

Old Business – M. Richardson

Kris Brye provided copies of a report on the sub‐committee investigating membership in the college faculty. Issues addressed by the sub-committee include clarifying/formalizing petition process, criteria for faculty membership eligibility, duration of the approved petition, record keeping, unit heads, and unit representatives. A form would be useful in providing a paper trail. Kris Brye's report has been forwarded to Faculty Council representatives and the Faculty Council is asking for feedback from the faculty at‐large.

New Business – M. Richardson

A college representative is needed for the University Core Curriculum Committee chaired by Bill Schwab. A suggestion was made that someone from Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness or from the School of Human Environmental Sciences represents the college as they may have more core courses than other departments. M. Richardson will ask the Faculty Council members to submit at the next Faculty Council meeting names of those who may be willing to serve on the Core Curriculum Committee.

A faculty member requested some clarification about new policies regarding ADC accounts. Dr. Shult is willing to provide someone from the Division or ADC staff to discuss those issues as needed. It was decided that we needed to determine what questions faculty might have regarding ADC and then put together a list for Dr. Shult to address. The Division website outlining ADC Policies is available at the following link: http://division.uaex.edu/policy_management/ADC_Guidelines/. Questions regarding ADC should be provided to your faculty council representative.

Announcements - None


Motion made and seconded to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 3:36 p.m.

Submitted by
Carmen Alessi