Minutes of the Wichita State University Faculty Senate

Monday, 3:30 pm, March 25, 2013; CH 126

Members Present: Baker, Barut, Bergman, Brooks, Bryant, Close, Decker, DeSilva, Driessen, Hamdeh, Horn, Hull, Jacobs, Johnson, Kagdi, Klunder, Kreinath, Lewis, Matveyeva, Miller, Moore-Jansen, Mosack, Oare, Rillema, Ross, Smith, Yildirim
Members Absent: Anderson, Liu, Lu, Mukeerjee, Pulaski, Toops
Members Excused: Besthorn, Celestin, Rokosz, Yeager

Summary of Action
a. Accepted the proposed Post Tenure Review Policy and Procedures

I. Call to Order

President Bob Ross called the meeting to order at 3:31 pm

II. Informal Statements and Proposals – President Ross spoke on behalf of the Senate in support of the WSU basketball team in its very successful run in the NCAA “March Madness” Tournament.

III. Approval of the Minutes: – Minutes of the March 11, 2013, meeting of the Faculty Senate were approved with no dissent. http://webs.wichita.edu/?u=facultysenate&p=/m31113/

IV. President’s Report: President Ross reported on the following recent activities:
A. VPAA Search: Dr. Anthony Vizzini has agreed to accept the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs beginning July 1.
B. The Council of Faculty Senate Presidents met at this month’s KBOR meeting and continued to discuss the following on-going issues:
a. Post Tenure Review – all KBOR institutions are to present their individual policies and procedures by the end of the academic year.
b. KBOR Faculty of the Year Award – Similar to the WSU Faculty Senate, the COFSP chose to support no further action on the award.
c. Faculty involvement in Administrative Reviews – supported the implementation of five-year reviews of Academic Deans with faculty input into the process. The Senate Executive Committee will investigate this recommendation and report back.
C. The Strategic Planning Committee will meet during a two-day retreat next week and President Ross will brief the Senate on the outcome of that retreat.

V. Committee Reports:
A. General Education –(1st reading) Paul Rillema, chair, distributed the current informational pamphlet about the general education program and presented several slides of background information to provide a basis for the action of the committee. A persistent problem in the administration of the program is that students take further studies courses in an area rather than an introductory course. This is not a premeditated action but rather the natural consequence of the fact that approximately half of our entering students are transfer students and 85% of all students transfer credits from another institution. Thus, many request for exceptions arise, often when students are about to graduate. Senator Rillema reported that the Senate’s General Education Committee approved the following changes to the general education program.
Tier 1 Basic Skills (4 courses total)
• Proposed Change: Change the name of courses in Tier 1 from Basic Skills to Foundation Courses
• Rationale: Use of the term foundation is consistent with the language used by KBOR in the Foresight 2020 document (foundational skills).
Tier 2 - Introductory curses (7 courses total)
• Proposed change: Allow approved advanced general education courses (Currently Further Studies and I&P Courses) to count as introductory courses
• Rationale: Currently, exceptions to use advanced general education courses as introductory courses are common place. The proposed change better reflects current practice and will allow transfer students and students who begin general education classes on campus more flexibility (approximately 85% of WSU students transfer credits from other institutions).
Tier 3 – Advanced Courses (Further Study and I&P) (3 courses total)
• Proposed change: Uncouple the connection between introductory courses and further studies courses – in the same discipline.
• Rationale: The current policy “a further study course is taken in a disciple once a student has completed an introductory course in the same discipline “(WSU Undergraduate Catalog, 2012-2013, p. 19) has not been adhered to and exceptions to the policy are common. The proposed change not only reflects current practice but maintains the integrity of the program. Students must always meet the distribution criteria. Additionally, if a department so desires, it has the ability to place prerequisites on advanced courses and prerequisites can be enforced in Banner. A student who is capable of taking an advanced course would have the flexibility to do so and a student who has already taken an advanced course would no longer be required to take an introductory course after the fact.

B. Faculty Affairs – Post Tenure Review proposed policy, 2nd reading, Walter Horn, chair, presented the second reading of the Post Tenure Review Policy and Procedure developed by the Faculty Affairs Committee. The Senate approved of the changes made to the original document and voted to accept the document as amended with no dissenting votes.

VI. Old Business: None

VII. New Business: Honors College Concept --
Trisha Self, chair of the Senate’s Honors Committee, presented a report on her committee’s concept of an Honors College at WSU. The Honors Committee is seeking the Senate’s affirmation and support of the concept of an Honors College at WSU. The proposal was developed by a special “working group” composed of a sub-group of members of the Senate Honors Committee and other members selected from the WSU community. The following people served on the “Future of Honors at WSU Working Group”:
Moriah Beck, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Elaine Bernstorf, College of Fine Arts
Kimberly Engber, Emory Lindquist Honors Program, Chair
Melissa Mallon, Libraries
Scott Miller, College of Engineering
Jeremy Patterson, College of Education
Trisha Self, College of Health Professions
Larry Spurgeon, School of Business
Melvin Kahn, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Will Klunder, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Andrew Longhofer, Honors Undergraduate Fellow
Gaby Valverde, President, Emory Lindquist Scholars
Ms. Self’s presentation was a summary of the salient points of the plan that is available in its full form at http://webs.wichita.edu/?u=facultysenate&p=/honorscollegeprop. The concept of the proposal is to create a WSU Honors College that is dedicated to intellectual innovation. The vision of the working group is to establish a Wichita State Honors College culture that stimulates intellectual curiosity, welcomes diversity, promotes responsibility, and inspires transformative leadership. The new Honors College will benefit the University by the recruitment of excellent students and faculty, increasing enrollment, and enhancing the academic reputation of the university. Student will benefit from the Honors College through an emphasis in academic rigor, improved advising, undergraduate research opportunities, and enhanced opportunities for advanced degrees and employment.
Admission to the college will be competitive, based on ACT or SAT scores, high school or college GPA, and essay. Admission and scholarship decisions will be made by an Honors Admissions Committee. A number of general university scholarships should be awarded through the Honors College.
Honors College students will be encouraged to live in the Honors College residence hall for their first year, with an option to live there in subsequent years. Classrooms and laboratory spaces located in the residence hall will be available to all Honors College students.
Similar to the current Honors Program, the Honors College core curriculum will be comprised of Honors-only courses that fulfill some General Education requirements. The Honors College will support development of more interdisciplinary, inquiry-based 100-level seminars and 300-level colloquia. Faculty will be encouraged to experiment with alternative teaching methods and scheduling schemes.
All students who successfully complete the Honors College curriculum requirements will receive an Honors College diploma. The Honors College degree will require 9 to 12 credits in Honors-designated General Education courses and either a 12- to 15-credit interdisciplinary Honors minor or Honors major track that includes a capstone project or research experience.
Academic departments will continue to offer departmental honors tracks that culminate in a thesis, creative project, or experiential learning project. Colleges might develop interdisciplinary or inter-professional honors tracks. Honors Minors may include: Leadership, Sustainability, Global Transformations, and Integrated Arts. Students who complete either an Honors minor or an Honors major track will receive a transcript designation. Minor curricula will be developed by Honors Faculty Fellows in consultation with an Honors Student Advisory Council.
The Honors College will be established in four phases. The first phase, conducted during the Spring Semester of 2013, includes the development of the working document defining the Honors College at Wichita State, presenting the document to constituency groups and university administrators, selecting Honors Faculty Fellows to develop the initial Honors Minor, organize task forces for admissions, recruitment, and scholarships for students, and residential life and co-curricular activities.
Activities scheduled for phase two during academic year 2013-2014 include: recruit an initial class of 100 honors students, recruit and hire a Dean, submit Honors minor proposal, and determine faculty and staff requirements. During the third phase (Summer/Fall 2014) the Honors living-learning community will be opened and program development will continue. Phase four (Spring/Summer 2015) planning includes increasing the number of Honors students to 400 and the hiring of an associate/assistant dean and academic advisor(s).
The National Collegiate Honors Council has identified these best practices that are common to successful and fully developed honors colleges:
• contains a fully developed honors program
• equal collegiate unit within a multi-collegiate university structure
• honors college is headed by a fulltime dean reporting directly to the chief academic officer of the institution
• operational and staff budgets comparable to other collegiate units of equivalent size
• exercises increased coordination and control of departmental honors
• exercises control over honors recruitment and admissions
• exercises control over its policies, curriculum, and selection of faculty
• curriculum offers significant course opportunities across all four years of study
• honors college curriculum constitutes at least 20% of a student’s degree program
• honors thesis or honors capstone project is required
• offers substantial honors residential opportunities
• honors distinction is publically announced and recorded ( such as by announcement at commencement ceremonies, notations on the diploma and/or the student’s final transcript)
• may be involved in alumni affairs and development and may have an external advisory board.
The Senate voted to support the Honors College concept with 1 vote against.

VIII. As May Arise – A representative of the Student Government Association asked for the Senate’s endorsement of the SGA request for WSU to be designated as a “smoke free” campus. The Classified Senate has endorsed the designation previously and the SGA will appeal to the Unclassified Senate as well. President Ross responded that the Faculty Senate would take the request under consideration and bring the matter to a vote at a later time.

IX. Adjournment - The meeting of the Faculty Senate was adjourned at 4:45 pm.
Submitted by Walter Horn
Secretary of the Faculty Senate