Faculty Senate Minutes
Monday, February 27, 2017
Clinton Hall 126, 3:30PM-5:00PM
Senators Present: Asaduzzaman, Babnich, Barut, Bolin, Castro, Chand, Chopra, Crameer, Decker, Dehner,
Ewing, Hendry, Hull, Koehn, Johnson, Mahapatro, Moore-Jansen, Mosack, Muthiachareon,
Myose, Price, Pulaski, Rife, Rillema, Ross, Shaw, Shukaev, Walker, Willlis, Yildirim
Senators Absent: Ahmed, Anderson, Birzer, Brooks, Close, Deibel, English, Kreinath, Lancaster, Solomey, Taher, Wehebe
Senators Excused: Bryant, Keene Woods, Rokosz
I. Call to Order – Meeting called to order at 3:32PM by President Yildirim
II. Informal Statements and Proposals –. None
III. Approval of Minutes
1. Minutes of the February 13, 2017 meeting were accepted as presented.
IV. President’s Report –
1. Shocker Start - Designed by Unclassified Senate President Becky North is currently available on MyWSU under the Faculty/Staff tab.
2. President’s Advisory Budget Committee – President Yildirim reported that the Revenue and Efficiencies Committees will be setting up a web forum for individuals to submit ideas. An on-campus forum has been scheduled for March 7th, details will be sent via email. The Priorities Committee is developing a plan for strategic investments.
3. Teaching Advancement Committee – The committee met today and discussed how to adapt the tenure and promotion process as well as ranks to teaching faculty. A presentation to the faculty senate will be made mid-to late March.
4. SPTE committee – There were many faculty members who volunteered to serve on this committee. President Yildirim stated he will try to have one individual from each college as well as one student representative.
5. Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) Meeting – The Council of Faculty Senate Presidents met and discussed the following:
i. GED College Credit – The discussion on this item is beginning at KBOR. It is suggested that scores above 170 (GED Exam 200-point scale) should receive college credit. Only 6% of students score over 175. President Yildirim stated that the general direction is that institutions will be asked to recognize the results of the exam.
ii. Continued implementation of credit for prior learning policy – a final recommendation will be made soon. All KBOR schools may adopt the same grade of 3 or above. If the same grade is not adopted, then content areas will need to meet to finalize a grade.
iii. President Yildirim noted that ESU has passed a resolution opposing the “Muslim Ban.” The Emporia Faculty Senate has been proactive.
iv. Tuition Models – There was discussion of whether different tuition models would increase retention. One idea floated included a flat tuition model where 12-18 credit hours would have the same cost. This might encourage students to take more credit hours.
V. Committee Reports - None
VI. Old Business - None
VII. New Business
1. Bachelor of Applied Arts (BAA) - 1st Reading – Senator Jeff Pulaski, Interim Director, School of Art, Design and Creative Industries
provided an overview of the proposed BAA degree program.
i. The BAA in Media Arts would be one-degree program with four tracks – audio production, animation, filmmaking and game design.
ii. Why now? The program has been talked about for years, and there have been numerous requests from students. Recently the Mindfire Academy lease became available.
iii. The degree is a vocational-oriented degree which prepares students for a career path. It is technically grounded and there are connections between tracks. The 120 credit hour program consists of 21 credit hours of a common core, 15 credit hours of electives, 30 credit hours of general education and 54 credit hours in a specific track.
iv. The 21 credit hours of a common core creates a cohort that would go through the core and the professional practice courses. The 15 credit hours of directed electives were meant to be interdisciplinary and allow students to have a secondary concentration in another area, or possibly a certificate or a minor.
The 30 credit hours of general education are within the HLC guidelines. KBOR has no minimum number of general education courses, but does have a 45 credit hour transfer policy. Most tracks in the proposed degree program also have fine arts general education courses.
v. The proposed program has support from the students in the College of Fine Arts, the Student Government Association and Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate.
vi. Senator Dehner reported on the vote and discussion that took place at the General Education Committee meeting. The vote was split. There were two sticking points.
• The first was the 15 credit hours of electives. Initially the electives were not seen as directed15 hours (revised since the committee discussion). Also15 credit hours would not get a student a minor.
• The larger issue was the 30 credit hours of general education and the precedent this would set. With limited exceptions (Mechanical Engineering, online nursing degree completion, and a since ended paramedic training program) degree programs have required 42 hours of General Education.
• The applied degree is described as a new degree which is designed to be more than technical training, but less than a broad-based Bachelor’s degree. However, the committee looked at other applied degree programs such as is found in Texas and discovered that their applied degree programs require 42 general education credits – although this standard is mandated by state law.
• The committee felt this was an issue that should go before the entire general faculty as the general faculty voted on the general education requirements. The General Education Committee did not feel they were empowered to make the decision.
vii. Following Senator Dehner’s comments the discussion continued. Additional concerns/comments discussed included:
• Whether we can vote to approve and state that the 30 credit hours of general education is just for this case, in other words vote with no precedent attached.
• Associate Professor in the School of Music Aleks Sternfeld-Dunn and others commented on the interdisciplinary nature of the degree which was viewed as strength. In addition, Sternfeld Dunn stated that “Students could go to a community college or technical college that offer these types of programs, but we want to make a stronger case for spending two more years and getting a bachelor’s degree.”
• President Yildirim asked Dr. Vizzini about pressure from KBOR to have programs that are 120 credit hours. Dr. Vizzini stated that designing programs which were 120 credit hours would let the Regents know that we were listening to them.
• There was disagreement as to whether this needed to go to the entire faculty for a vote and how quickly a general meeting could be called if one was needed. President Yildirim asked President-elect Shaw, Chair of the Rules Committee to look into this.
2. Continuation of the First Year Seminar on a pilot basis for 2017-2018 President-elect Shaw shared survey results from the
fall seminars. A Qualtrics survey and an American Association of Colleges and Universities
(AACU) writing rubric were used as assessments. Overall the survey results were positive
with the exception of note-taking. The rubric scores improved, but the magnitude was
small. Questions/concerns that were raised by members of the senate included:
i. What will happen when we go from optional to mandatory?
ii. It was suggested that the goals be reshaped and more clearly determine what we are trying to leverage.
iii. What kind of data will show that the seminar impacts student retention? Part of the evaluation process needs to be correlated with retention
iv. Will we be able to look at the retention rate for this cohort?
v. Need another year of data to make sure it is worth doing.
3. Student Bill of Rights and Book Selection –President of SGA, Joseph Shepard
i. President Shepard thanked the faculty senate for their support and asked that faculty members adhere to the finals schedule. Students are reporting that they are not getting enough time in class before the exam.
ii. SGA elections will take place April 3rd and President Shepard asked senate faculty to encourage students to take part in the election process.
iii. SGA currently has an amendment to the Student Bill of Rights on the floor. SGA is asking that the President of the university allow the SGA president be present (at least to listen and observe) at meetings requested by students that directly impact students. If the amendment passes, President Shepard would like Faculty Senate support it. Comment from senator: suggested that it should go beyond being an observer to being a participant.
iv. President Shepard commented that students are having difficulty purchasing textbooks because of the cost. He would like to work with the bookstore and the faculty senate to get books at a reasonable price as well as to figure out how students can find out in advance which texts are required.
4. Academic Affairs Update – Provost and Senior Vice President Vizzini
i. KBOR nothing additional to report. The governor vetoed the tax bill, but there is a sense that there is a middle ground and that we will get beyond the financial concerns.
ii. President Yildirim asked if the BAA proposal would set a precedent and if there are similar proposals on campus. Provost Vizzini responded that he was not aware of any. He felt that the BAA would be a good springboard for a career.
iii. Senator Dehner noted that in a previous senate meeting he asked Provost Vizzini if WSU/WATC merger would come before the senate. Provost Vizzini responded that he did not see why it wouldn’t. When President Bardo was asked he stated it would not come before the senate and that there were no curricular concerns. When asked where he stood, Provost Vizzini responded that if there were no curricular concerns he would back the president.
iv. Q: What is binding between the Administration and the SGA Student Bill of Rights. Provost Vizzini: The Student Bill of Rights comes from the President and KBOR and can’t be seen as binding. Q: If their resolution is not binding will the President meet the spirit of the resolution. Provost Vizzini: I don’t believe it is good practice for a body you empower to bind you in power.
v. Q: Is the faculty activity recording changing in 2017? Provost Vizzini: We added the risk-taking piece. The Faculty Affairs Committee of the senate is looking at the FAR. President Yildirim noted that there was some concern among faculty regarding the new portion and it was not discussed in the faculty senate or in the committee. He expects that Faculty Affairs will discuss the changes and it will be an on-going three- year process. Provost Vizzini pointed out that we don’t ask what have you done for diversity, it is not covered, but it is part of the strategic plan. Comment: Concern that we (faculty) are being evaluated on something that we are not sure of – positive risk-taking. Provost Vizzini: There is value in the attempt. We do allow for proposals that are unfunded, but what about all of the other things you do? We wish to applaud faculty who have tried something and failed. Q: When will the FAR for 2017 be available? President Yildirim and Provost Vizzini agreed that if significant changes needed to be made, it could be rolled out in 2018. Comment: It would be helpful if in the next section examples could be provided.
VIII. As May Arise
1. President-elect Shaw announced that the questions submitted to President Bardo have been answered. Faculty can access the President Bardo’s Q&A from the Faculty Senate homepage.
2. Channel 12 interviewed Senator Dehner before the meeting.
IX. Adjournment – at 5:06 PM