University Senate

Meeting 545 Minutes

The University Senate
of Michigan Technological University

Minutes of Meeting 545
5 March 2014

The Senate

  • Presentation: “University Club” presented by Theresa Coleman-Kaiser, Asst VP for Administration
  • Presentation: “Facilities Management” by Kerri Sleeman, Executive Director of Facilities Management
  • Proposal 17-14: “Reinstate Ecology Concentration for the B.S. in Biological Sciences” passed
  • Proposal 18-14: “Proposal to Amend Senate Policy 312.1; Syllabus Requirement for all Courses at Michigan Technological University” did not pass

1. Call to order and roll call. President Brian Barkdoll called the University Senate Meeting 545 to order at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The Senate Secretary Marty Thompson called roll. Absent were Senators Caneba, Panian and Cadwell and representatives of Army/Air Force ROTC, Cognitive and Learning Sciences and Computer Science, Geological and Mining Engineering & Sciences, Materials Science & Engineering, School of Technology and Visual & Performing Arts, Academic Services A, Advancement, Finance, Technology and Staff Council.

2. Recognition of visitors. Guests included Max Seel (Provost’s Office), Theresa Coleman-Kaiser (Administration), Kerri Sleeman (Facilities), Bonnie Gorman, Jackie Huntoon (Graduate School), Ronald Strickland (Humanities) and Mike Meyers (Center for Teaching and Learning).

3. Approval of agenda. Barkdoll asked for approval of the agenda. It passed unanimously on a voice vote.                                                                                                                                    

4. Approval of minutes from Meeting 544. Oliveira said the taxable percentage was 25% not 27%. Barkdoll asked for approval of the amended minutes. It passed unanimously on a voice vote.

5. Presentation: “University Club” presented by Theresa Coleman-Kaiser, Asst VP for Administration [LINK]

Coleman-Kaiser discussed the history and current status of a University Club. A faculty association existed until the 1990s, about the same time as MUB renovations took place. She discussed possible locations and potential purposes of a university club. A survey indicated that the MUB and library café are primary places for people to meet. Off-campus the Library and KBC were among the most popular social interaction sites. The Lunch and Learn events, as well as departmental social events are the key reasons people seek meeting space. This discussion of a university club is due to faculty requests, administration considerations and climates that foster informal interactions. University subsidy of the club will need to be addressed. She sought feedback over issues of needs, space requirements and use, membership and costs.

Barkdoll asked if there has been any feedback to these issues. Scarlett said his constituents support idea of a university club. Oliveira said a club may help in the process of recruiting faculty candidates. Mullins said similar benefits [as Oliveira stated] would exist for seminar speakers and noted a club would be a benefit to the campus.

6.Presentation: “Facilities Management” by Kerri Sleeman, Executive Director of Facilities Management [LINK
Sleeman, discussed aspects of facilities management, including custodial and maintenance services, energy management, engineering services, grounds and gardens, husky motors and transportation services. She read submitted questions from senate constituents.

Question one inquired about the funding model for transportation services. Sleeman discussed the organization of transportation services and noted Parking Services is supported by the fees. She cited $28,000 for snow removal in January.

Question two asked if the parking fees addressed the problems that implementing parking fees was intended to solve. Sleeman said there are more than enough parking spots and they are not overselling parking spots.

Question three asked if any departments are paying their employees parking fees as an additional benefit. Sleeman said departmental accounts cannot be used to pay for parking permits. Visitor permits can be purchased. Admissions uses visitor permits the most. Additional questions regarding vehicle registration permit exchange and number of vehicles able to register were discussed. Scarlett noted that providing registration information each year is a hassle. Sleeman asked why. Miskioglu asked why we need to provide registration information each year if we do not change vehicles. Sleeman said it would be nice to simplify the process, so you don’t need to come to the office to renew a permit each year, but offered no solution. She said four cars is an industry standard and part of the software which cannot be changed. She noted the four cars refers to four ‘active’ vehicles and some people have more than four cars among which they rotate active status.

Sleeman provided an update on the progress of a smoke free campus noting the cost savings associated with less cleanup.

Nooshabadi asked why the parking lot gates are left open. Sleeman said a decision was made last fall to determine the impact of leaving the gates open because new gates and software is very expensive. In spring, many of the gates were not working properly so were not put down.

Mullins asked if parking fees would stay the same next year. Sleeman said that the recommendation is to keep them the same.

Velat asked about the decision-making process because last year the grey permit cost of $10 doubled to $20 and some of the grey lots changed classification to high-cost (red) lots. Sleeman didn’t know. Velat cited two locations that switched from grey to red which is a $125 cost increase. He was interested in the decision making process. Sleeman did not know.

7. Old Business
a. Proposal 18-14: “Proposal to Amend Senate Policy 312.1; Syllabus Requirement for all Courses at Michigan Technological University”
Barkdoll asked for discussion. Seel said this proposal is a student request and not coming from administration. The goal was to have one location for all syllabi.

Undergraduate Student Government (USG) passed a resolution in favor of the proposal. LaForest said the idea is that before classes begin students can locate syllabi and begin to prepare for the course. He cited multiple reasons, including planning the semester, purchasing textbooks and general issues of scheduling and preparation. Mullins noticed the slippage from simply posting the syllabus on Canvas to now having it available weeks before the semester. Beck said faculty are busy too and now this makes another obligation before class begins. LaForest said the issue of weeks before the semester was his own comment and not something required by the proposal.

Riehl said his syllabi are posted a day or two before classes and noted the time commitment. Scarlett said his constituents were evenly split on this issue. Many seek language requiring the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) to post syllabi to Canvas.

Scarlett was concerned that this proposal may seem harmless but may take a life of its own requiring increased effort. He cited several examples including putting dates in calendars. LaForest said transfer or new students might benefit from syllabi in one location.

Barkdoll summarized both sides of the issue, which centered on convenience at having syllabi in one location versus faculty making their own decisions on syllabus distribution.

Snyder said faculty are already required to produce a syllabus. Scarlett said his unit members were surprised that units don’t archive syllabi. Waddell said students have gotten by for 700 years without archiving syllabi and it is the faculty who have the right to decide how to deliver syllabi to students. He said faculty should decide and it is an academic freedom argument.

Scarlett asked to insert text, “the CTL will post syllabi for faculty who choose not to post on canvas.” Waddell said that specific point is not at issue. Beck said every time the university adopts new software there is a learning curve versus one person learning new software.

LaForest said even if proposal doesn’t pass, consider posting syllabi. Barkdoll said this discussion has raised awareness of students concerns.

Barkdoll asked for a vote on the amendment to the proposal. It did not pass.

Barkdoll asked for a vote on Proposal 18-14 as written. The proposal did not pass.

b. Proposal 17-14: “Reinstate Ecology Concentration for the B.S. in Biological Sciences”
Charlesworth, Curricular Policy Committee (CPC), said the program has been modified since it was originally shelved.

Snyder said the program was shelved approximately five or six years ago. Mullins reminded the senate that a program must be shelved for at least five years per policy.

Snyder said the department has hired more people, many of which want the program back and feel it will encourage recruitment.

Mullins sought clarification of the dates so we can follow the proper procedure. The CPC didn’t know when the program was originally shelved. Seel said it was shelved before the five year requirement was put in place. Snyder said the program was shelved before former chair Gibson came here so it must be about six years. Seel said the five year requirement was passed two years ago. It doesn’t require state approval, but needs to follow senate procedure.

Mullins said the new courses are only required by the binder.

Barkdoll asked for a vote. The proposal passed unanimously on a voice vote.

8. New Business:
a. Proposal 19-14: “Proposal for a New Non-Departmental Master of Science in Data Science”
Charlesworth, Curricular Policy Committee, says the proposal has the full support of committee.

Mullins said the Finance Committee (FC) approved. He asked how costs and revenues will be shared/distributed. Brown said they are examining cost/revenue sharing but that has not been specifically addressed in the proposal. Huntoon asked if there was a specific question [Mullins] had in mind. Mullins asked how costs would be shared and administratively handled. Huntoon said revenues from tuition go into the general fund and requests can be made for new equipment, for example, to the provost using the normal process. Seel referenced page 13 which described the required resources, including a lecturer in math and a junior faculty hire in computer data science in 2015. He added that revenues never go back to a department and the proposal’s description of resources is complete. Mullins asked for a review of policies for new degree programs after three and six years. Seel said that is the case for every program. Mullins asked in if a policy requiring three and six year review of programs will be brought before Board [of Control]. Seel said no, but is preparing a presentation about programs meeting expected enrollment projections.

b. Proposal 20-14: “Proposal for a New Non-Departmental Graduate Certificate in Data Science”
Charlesworth, Curricular Policy Committee, said this is introduced in parallel with and contingent upon Proposal 19-14.

c. Proposal 21-14: “Proposal to Change Degree Title from Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Technical Communication to Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Theory and Culture”
Charlesworth, Curricular Policy Committee, said the committee is mixed on this proposal. The main concern is why it is renamed, as opposed to shelved and a new degree developed even though content is the same. Strickland said faculty discussed this and voted to change the name. The notion of shelving only came up yesterday, but the policy was not intended for shelving a name, more suited for a program. Nooshabadi said the concern was whether it was a new program.

d. Proposal 22-14: “Proposal to Change Degree Title from M.S. in Rhetoric and Technical Communication to M.S. in Rhetoric, Theory and Culture”
Charlesworth, Curricular Policy Committee, said this is introduced in parallel with Proposal 21-14.

e. Proposal 24-14: “Avoiding Conflicts of Interest on Senate Committees”
Waddell said this proposal started in the Fringe Benefits Committee and was referred to the senate executive committee for further deliberation. Language was added to avoid apparent conflicts of interest by those serving on senate standing committees. Waddell referred to senate bylaws regarding committee appointments and conflicts of interest involving administrators and pertinent staff. Barkdoll said the senate standing committees need administrative information and involvement, but also need time independent from administrators to deliberate.

f. Administration Amendment on Proposal 15-14: “Request for Change in Board of Control Policy 6.7 on Sabbatical Leave”
Barkdoll introduced the amended proposal as a new proposal per senate policy. The senate approved Proposal 15-14 was modified and approved by the administration. The most notable change was the 80% pay for full year sabbaticals was changed to 67%.

Froese, Research Policy Committee, said although a cost-benefit analysis is not available, this is a nice step. Only time will tell whether it impacts sabbatical rates. The proposal as amended has positive support from constituents.

g. Proposal 23-14: “Proposal to Establish Michigan Technological University’s Copyright Policy Regarding Scholarly, Academic, and Artistic Works”
Scarlett, Academic Policy Committee, presented the proposal. He noted the fundamental problem is common law, which provides the basis for copyright. The teacher exception meant that the employee retained copyright, but in 1975 the federal government passed the Copyright Act which replaced common law. The teacher exception was not mentioned. Consequently, courts have interpreted this to mean the teacher exception is not dead.

Scarlett said that digital measures listings are the intellectual property of the university and extends to everything one puts there. He discussed some existing discrepancies with artistic work and whether the documents signed upon employment are binding. It may apply to textbooks or articles because the policy doesn’t specifically state that it does not.

The committee after reviewing policies, revised the University of Michigan policy rules. Scarlett summarized that the university owns all and returns scholarly works to faculty. He asked senators to speak with their constituents. The proposal has had no legal review although the administration has examined it. Senate will need to decide if legal review of the policy should be pursued.

Mullins said the proposed policy is similar to all BigTen school’s policies. Scarlett cited University of Michigan as it will also be applicable to state laws.

Velat said no reference is made to research results. Scarlett said research results are specifically discussed in the original document each of us signed upon hiring. It covers aspects of how inventions are brought to market.

Beck asked when the MTU document referenced by Scarlett was created. Scarlett didn’t know. Beck said that document text may vary depending on the date of hire. Scarlett said the document should be on file and it may have changed over time. He also noted that a contract document supersedes a policy which itself supersedes a law.

Beck asked when this proposal will come up for vote as he needs time to review and provide feedback.

Froese said copyright issues create confusion and noted the videos from when the lawyers were on campus discussing IP issues are on the senate website.

h. Proposal 25-14: “Proposal for a Minor in Statistics
Charlesworth, Curricular Policy Committee, comes with bachelors in statistics (Proposal 26-14) and has the full support of the committee. The financial statement is forthcoming. Kendall said the main issue was hiring but the provost agreed to a new hire. Mullins asked how much needed to replace a faculty member no longer present. Kendall noted the requirement for resources such as a lecturer to cover teaching and comes with full department support. Barkdoll asked the provost to comment. Seel declined to give specific financial information about faculty pay.

i. Proposal 26-14: “Proposal for a New Bachelors of Science Degree in Statistics”
This proposal was introduced together with Proposal 25-14. 

9. Report from the Senate President
Barkdoll said the senate evaluation is under examination. 

10. Reports from Senate Standing Committees
Academic Policy Committee. None.

Administrative Policy Committee. Vable stated via email that the chair and dean evaluation proposal is being finalized. The president and executive team evaluations are underway and a timeline was provided for compiling and distributing results.

Curricular Policy Committee. Charlesworth said the committee is working on the general education proposal. A constituent cannot bring her own proposal but should go through her unit’s senator.

Elections Committee.  Riehl provided an update to this term’s available positions.

Finance Committee. The committee is reviewing the audited financial statement from the university.

Fringe Benefits Committee. Administrative Comments on Proposal 7-14: “Proposal to Amend Senate Proposal 22-00: Recommendations on Medical and Health Insurance Benefits” Waddell, Fringe Benefits Committee (FBC), said that proposal 7-14, which passed the senate was modified and approved by the administration. The administration only accepted item #12. He provided options for future courses of action on the proposal.

Option one would be to let the proposal die.

Option two would be to work with the Benefits Liaison Group (BLG) to revise and resubmit the proposal. He noted two main concerns. First, consultants are not made available to FBC for questions. Second, the notification of benefits changes from 90 to 30 days, to include health and retirement changes.

Waddell said the committee, with Director of Benefits Karen Hext, will discuss the proposal to index the TechFit benefit amount to the SDC annual membership fee. Progress is being made. This added benefit is only applicable to Tech facilities. Every dollar spent on wellness returns 3.27 in reduced healthcare costs. Hext said the dependent benefit will be reexamined to determine how to integrate it into the new proposal.

Barkdoll asked how to get consultants to address FBC concerns and not only BLG questions. Waddell cited past examples of deficiencies in the BLG process, such as questions about moral and behavioral hazards which were not investigated. Beck said 59% in HDHP and wondered why that was so high. Both PPO and HDHP health plan data should be presented to all employees to help people decide which program is best for them. He asked if the BLG could survey HDHP plan holders to determine if people forego needed healthcare to determine how our employees are effected by shifting costs.

Institutional Planning Committee. None.

Instructional Policy Committee. An instructor evaluation tool has been requested by students. Specifically, on in which students can view the results. Meyers said students raised this issue as a means to get students more information and to compete with questionable websites that provide instructor evaluations with dubious statistical methods.

Professional Staff Policy Committee. None.

Research Policy Committee. None.

11. Adjournment. Scarlett moved to adjourn; Froese seconded the motion. President Barkdoll adjourned the meeting at 7:14pm


Respectfully submitted
by Marty Thompson
Secretary of the University Senate