University Senate

Meeting 542 Minutes

The University Senate
of Michigan Technological University 

Minutes of Meeting 542
22 January 2014

The Senate

  • Presentation: “Building a Doctor of Physical Therapy in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula” by Jason Carter
  • Proposal 10-14: “Amendment to Senate Policy 201.1: Office of Ombuds” passed
  • Proposal 11-14: “M.S. in Kinesiology” passed
  • Proposal 12-14: “M.S. in Accounting” passed
  • Proposal 13-14: “Improving Communication with the Board of Control” passed
  • Proposal 14-14: “Honors College at Michigan Tech" passed

1. Call to order and roll call. President Brian Barkdoll called the University Senate Meeting 542 to order at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22, 2014. The Senate Secretary Marty Thompson called roll. Absent were Senators Oliveira, Caneba and Cadwell and representatives of Army/Air Force ROTC, Biological Sciences, Cognitive and Learning Sciences, Materials Science and Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, Academic Services A, Administration, Advancement, Enrollment and Finance.

2. Recognition of visitors. Guests included Max Seel (Provost’s Office), Jason Carter (Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology), Joel Tuoriniemi (School of Business), Theresa Coleman-Kaiser (Administration), R. Eugene Klippel (School of Business) and Bonnie Gorman (Dean of Students).

3. Approval of agenda. Riehl motioned that Proposal 1-14 be tabled. Mullins second. President Barkdoll asked if there were any modifications to the agenda. The modified agenda passed unanimously on a voice vote.          

4. Approval of minutes from Meetings 541. Scarlett motioned to approve the minutes; Riehl seconded; it passed unanimously on a voice vote.

5. Presentation: “Building a Doctor of Physical Therapy in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula” by Jason Carter [LINK] 
Carter started by noting the degree program is a Central Michigan University (CMU) program and therefore is not following the normal degree approval process. He then proceeded to present the advantages this programs offer in the short- and long-term to MTU. Seel noted that he has discussed the development of the program over the past two years with the senate. Carter discussed the initial exploration and feasibility studies of a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program dating back to 2007. Discussions with hospitals in MI, WI, MN and Il indicate a strong need for PT and a desire to partner with MTU if a program were developed. In 2011 MTU and CMU agreed to establish a joint program and drafted a memorandum of understanding. Received accreditation from Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) in December 2013. Secured funds to perform core renovation to the ATDC. which are currently underway. Carter provided schematics of the ATDC renovations which will be the on-site classroom for the DPT students enrolled in the joint program. The first students in this program will be on campus in August 2014. Carter provided an overview of the three year DPT curriculum, structure of clinical education and a student-centered picture of the joint MTU/CMU program. Carter concluded by discussing the value of the joint MTU/CMU DPT program to upper peninsula hospitals, clinics and the participating universities. He noted this is an extension of the MTU human health initiative from the Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative (SFHI). The benefits to MTU are access to CMU’s clinical network, assurance of MTU student acceptance into the program, the growth of the Department of Kinesiology & Integrated Physiology and the eventual development of a DPT/PhD program. Waddell asked if students would enter the program with a master’s degree. Carter said a baccalaureate degree in their area is required. Seel said Governor Snyder mentioned in his State of the State address that Michigan universities can work together to develop new programs rather than duplicate programs. Mullins asked what the financial split between CMU and MTU would be. Seel said the current investment is ATDC renovations of $250,000 and CMU will pay MTU rent for the ATDC space. CMU pays for the teaching faculty as they will be part of this CMU program. The goal is a 1/3 MTU and 2/3 CMU split. Mullins asked how much the tuition would be and to which institution the tuition would be paid. Seel said it is a CMU program so tuition will be paid to them. Mullins asked how much doctoral tuition was at CMU. Carter did not know. Mullins said $550 per credit. Carter estimated approximately $400,000 net revenue per year. Approximately 1/3 of that amount is expected to come to MTU. Mullins confirmed the amount was the total net versus the net amount coming to MTU. Carter affirmed. Mullins asked to see the financial analysis. Carter said the provosts are working on the details and when the memorandum of understanding is signed we should have that data. Mullins says CMU charges less for in-state graduate tuition, which is a good idea, but MTU does not and wanted to know how such discrepancies would be worked out. Carter said we are establishing this joint program with CMU with the long-term plan of expanding our own program. Mullins said MTU should consider adopting a tuition model that charges different tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. Scarlett asked what the senate needs to do if anything or if this presentation was informational. Carter said this was an information session. Scarlett asked if this type of degree program, with MTU as the minor stakeholder, does not need to come through senate for approval. Carter affirmed this, noting it is a satellite CMU program. Scarlett asked if the degree will name both institutions. Carter said only CMU will be listed and the accreditation agency wouldn’t allow listing two universities on the degree. Mullins asked what the role the Department of Kinesiology & Integrated Physiology faculty will be in this program. Carter said they will not play a major role but according to the MOU the dean will discuss the financial model and evolve the program as needed. The undergraduate enrollment numbers are expected to grow as a result of this program and the department will need to adjust for that. Mullins asked how many PT faculty are at CMU. Carter said 8-10. Barkdoll thanked Carter on behalf of the senate.

6. Old Business
a. Proposal 10-14: “Amendment to Senate Policy 201.1: Office of Ombuds”
Vable said the changes were made to conform to BOC policy changes. Barkdoll also noted MTU is currently looking for an ombudsman. Barkdoll asked if there was any discussion. There being none it was brought to a vote. It passed unanimously on a voice vote. 

b. Proposal 11-14: “M.S. in Kinesiology”
Mullins confirmed with Seel that the Professor of Practice position requested in the proposal would be given. Seel affirmed. Barkdoll asked if there was any discussion. There being none it was brought to a vote. It passed unanimously on a voice vote.

c. Proposal 12-14: “M.S. in Accounting”
Mullins asked if the needed faculty were present to support the degree. Nooshabadi said the course changes that were requested were not made. Charlesworth disagreed with Nooshabadi’s statement and said the committee agreed the coursework was adequate. Nooshabadi disagreed. Vable said if Nooshabadi seeks to delay voting on the proposal, we could vote on such a motion. Nooshabadi motioned to delay the vote to rework the proposal for future presentation. Barkdoll restated the motion to withdraw Proposal 12-14 from further consideration. No second. The motion does not pass. Charlesworth said this issue was raised and discussed with Nooshabadi and all committee members decided they were content with the proposal as written. Tuoriniemi said the committee had concerns regarding the existence of courses that were not regularly offered. The courses were subsequently removed to address those concerns. A second point the committee raised was students falling out of sequence. No changes in the sequence of the program were made to address this concern. Barkdoll asked what would happen if students fell out of sequence. Nooshabadi said they would have to wait to retake the course. Tuoriniemi affirmed there would be a delay to retake courses but also noted this sequence is consistent with 95% of comparable programs throughout the nation. Nooshabadi repeated his comments about retaking courses. Charlesworth checked with Kristi Isaacson in the graduate school who said such programs are not unusual and is a standard curriculum. Storer said course changes are not reflected in the version of the proposal being displayed to the senate. Tuoriniemi said the course changes were made, but confirmed that the version of the proposal being displayed was a prior version. Charlesworth said the changes in question have been made. Barkdoll concluded the discussion and asked for a vote. It passed with a majority by voice vote.

d. Proposal 13-14: “Improving Communication with the Board of Control”
Vable, speaking for the Senate Executive Committee, said a problem that has existed for some time is being addressed. The senate gets bypassed when new Board of Control (BOC) policies are created. This proposal asks the BOC to introduce proposals at a given meeting and vote at a subsequent meeting. The goal is to permit time to react. Vable said time is being spent finding changes and making corrections so this proposal requests policy changes be communicated directly to the senate. Riehl asked how “non-emergency” is defined for a proposal and who would decide such a status. Vable says the same wording exists in senate rules. Scarlett noted that is parliamentary terminology that comes from Robert’s Rules. Riehl asked how such a term would be applied to rule out arbitrary giving a proposal emergency status. Vable said it’s a term describing the proposal that would have to be agreed upon by the senate. Riehl said the senate has no oversight on what the BOC decides is an emergency. Vable confirmed that we have no control over what the BOC classifies as an emergency. Nooshabadi said BOC voted on the tobacco issue without senate involvement. Mullins said most of the governing boards for state universities follow parliamentary procedure and asked Seel why MTU does not. Seel didn’t know why BOC procedures are different. He added that all are in agreement that improving communication is a good idea, but wasn’t sure the BOC would change as a result of this proposal. Vable said given that the system is complex we need a formal way of proceeding. Mullins said most governing boards are parliamentary, but our BOC is an exception in that they act somewhat informally. Seel agrees with the principle but cannot predict the response. He noted the board tries to maintain good communication. Vable said BOC policy says it will follow regular parliamentary procedure. Waddell asked Vable how the senate would provide input to the board. He noted we need to go through the Vice-President for Governmental Relations, Dale Tahtinen to communicate with the board. Vable said we have a history of communicating directly with the BOC. Waddell said he was informed that we should not communicate directly with the BOC. Seel clarified that the request was to submit things through the Tahtinen, secretary of the BOC. The BOC has email and contact information publicly available, so there is no effort to avoid communication. Vable affirmed that he has communicated directly with the BOC. Nooshabadi said a formal policy will improve communication. Barkdoll asked if there was any discussion. There being none it was brought to a hand vote. It passed unanimously.

e. Proposal 14-14: “Honors College at Michigan Tech"
Scarlett, speaking for the Senate Executive Committee, discussed the creation of an honors college. He noted this is a B-list issue that we are to comment on. Several existing elements on campus will be reorganized into an honors college. Mullins asked from where the proposal originated. Scarlett said Seel approached committee. Seel cited the existing Honors program, Pavlis Institute, the Enterprise Program and other high impact practices. The proposal is to combine all these and replace the Institute for Leadership and Innovation (ILI) with an Honors College. Seel stated that parents about an Honors College. The goal of combining all the high-impact practices will provide synergy, national recognition and additional funding mechanisms. Mullins asked if ILI is logical place for this. Seel said ILI will cease to exist to make way for the new Honors College. Riehl asked about funding sources and costs for the program. Seel said there will be a one-time cost for a new dean. The new program is expected to attract donors. Barkdoll asked if there was any discussion. There being none it was brought to a vote. It passed unanimously on a voice vote.

7. New Business
a. Proposal 1-14: “Proposal for Consistency in Vehicle Registration Fees for Staff/Faculty Parking”

b. Proposal 15-14: “Request for Change in Board of Control Policy 6.7 on Sabbatical Leave”
Froese, Research Policy Committee, said the proposal originated from a discussion with the Dean of Forestry. The change from 50% to 80% compensation to faculty while on a full year sabbatical might act as an incentive to take two semester sabbaticals, which might have more impact. He noted there are relatively few two semester sabbaticals and that overall sabbatical participation is low. Mullins asked the number of sabbaticals approved. Froese said 10 total approved of which three were full year. Mullins said three is a small number. Seel said 10-19 sabbaticals per year (one and two semester combined) is common in most years. Froese said 1/3 of sabbaticals are full year. Mullins asked if the goal of the proposal was to promote full year sabbaticals. He added that department chairs get nothing for one semester sabbaticals. Froese confirmed that amount. Mullins asked if the remaining amount is retained by the department. Seel confirmed. Mullins asked if department chairs have provided feedback about this proposal. Seel said after it came from the School of Forestry Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES). He noted that it is not feasible to staff courses for a full year with the remaining 20%. Mullins asked what the right number was. Froese said there is no cost to the unit, but noted that for a one semester sabbatical no money is retained. For a department, 20% of a full year is better than 0% of a single semester. Mullins asked if department chairs had another number they like better. Seel said 50% is the standard. Froese said there is minimal adverse effect as most faculty take one semester sabbaticals and the departments get no excess funds. Waddell asked if data were avail on how often chairs hire replacements with 50% sabbatical funds and how this compares to other institutions. Froese said most universities have 50% sabbatical pay but noted several variations. Specifically, universities that offer 80% sabbatical pay also require one year sabbaticals except in special circumstances. He noted there was room to evolve this proposal. Waddell asked if 67% sabbatical pay might be considered and asked what percentage department chairs prefer. Froese said the committee is amenable to modifications and has no data on latter question. Vable said he served on the Sabbatical Leave Committee and one requirement for sabbatical approval is the department chair has to say the teaching duties are covered, but how that occurs is up to the chair. Seel said it is a chair’s decision and most approve sabbaticals. Mullins asked what would make this proposal more successful, 67 or 80%. Seel said there was some concern about how this will work out and requiring two semesters would cause major changes. Froese said sabbaticals are defined by BOC, so this would be a request and therefore amendments can be made. Mullins said one can calculate the needed amounts to cover teaching for various percentages. Scarlett said finding replacement instructors is generally difficult. Mullins said 2/3 might be another number to consider. Froese stated that sabbaticals benefit all parties.

c. Proposal 16-14: “Procedure to Enhance Confidentiality and Anonymity in Administrators Review Surveys
Vable, Administrative Policy Committee, said the proposal was written to address the lack of participation on administrator evaluation surveys due to the perception that confidentiality can or will be compromised. A second factor was that if someone goes on leave, their participation is limited. He discussed the organization of the survey to ensure confidentiality. By enhancing security of anonymity the hope is this will cause enhanced participation.

8. Report from the Senate President
Barkdoll discussed adequate representation on executive team member search committees at BOC breakfast. If change is made in a policy the goal is to strengthen BOC-senate communication to ensure documents match.

9. Reports from Senate Standing Committees
Academic Policy Committee. Scarlett said an Intellectual Property (IP) lawyer was on campus to interact with faculty and staff and to address emerging IP concerns. A video is available for those unable to be present for the presentations. Scarlett said that a lack of an IP policy implies MTU owns everything we input into digital members. Mullins disagreed. Scarlett referred Mullins to the documents the committee made available to the senate constituency which implies a lack of comprehensive IP policy defaults all products to MTU ownership. Seel said it was informative that the university owns certain products which are subsequently given back to individual faculty that produce the material. Mullins cited a University of Michigan policy. Seel said all universities recognize the university owns material produced by faculty and explicitly give it back. Barkdoll said an interim policy in place now would help. Scarlett asked everyone to discuss the documents with constituents.

Administrative Policy Committee. Vable said the committee is reviewing chair and dean evaluation procedures. Two statements were found that raised issues: (1) the search process, and (2) a specific statement regarding when administration decides contrary to a faculty vote, which requires a reason for overruling the faculty be provided. The chair of the search committee puts forward names as each unit decides who gets recommended to the administration. Therefore the person is supported by both parties. Vable said when senate approves wording it will go in the policy. Vable put forth a motion for voting at next meeting. Seel pointed to specific wording stating that wording stating that 2/3 vote by faculty to not permit reappointment must be honored by the administrator was never the case. Vable said the appointment must be acceptable to both the faculty and the administration. Seel said that participation is good, but this text may not be approved. Vable said the senate will decide on the wording.

Curricular Policy Committee. None.

Elections Committee. None.

Finance Committee. Mullins said the committee is reviewing the university’s audited financial statement which was recently made available. His preliminary examination noted considerable reshuffling of multiple aspects of the financial statement, which Mullins remarked to Reed when he presented the university finances to the senate. Another feature that jumps out is a net decrease in operating expenses (salaries) and a significant drop in fringe benefits. A $1 million decrease in operating expenses and a $2.7 million decrease in fringes over the last year. This suggests the university budget was balanced by decreases in salaries and fringe benefits. A detailed analysis is forthcoming at a future meeting.

Fringe Benefits Committee. Waddell said the committee is considering a request to explore the  feasibility of including SDC membership as an employee benefit. One possibility might be to index the TechFit benefit to an amount not less than the cost of annual SDC membership while still allowing TechFit to be used for any eligible expense. When adjusted for inflation, American Association of University Professors (AAUP) data on total compensation indicate that over the past 10 years, total compensation (salary plus benefits) for the average instructor has decreased by $425 per person.  The proposed change in the TechFit program would help to compensate for that loss in total compensation.  The proposal would also enhance wellness initiatives at Tech and, hence, could reduce overall healthcare costs.

Institutional Planning Committee. None.

Instructional Policy Committee. None.

Professional Staff Policy Committee. None.

Research Policy Committee. The idea of an IT committee was raised. It was decided that we do not have a good match in our current group of standing committees to discuss IT concerns. The senate executive and senate executive committee noted it members should be knowledgeable about IT and maybe an ad hoc committee would be useful. No action was taken regarding this issue. Barkdoll asked if there would be senators interested in being on such a committee. Brown asked what authority the senate would have over IT issues. Barkdoll speculated that it would only be advisory although there are academic issues. Froese said this is not to unfairly target IT, but to look into issues for review and to communicate problems and solutions.

10. Adjournment. President Barkdoll adjourned the meeting at 7:07 p.m.


Respectfully submitted
by Marty Thompson
Secretary of the University Senate