Meeting 549 Minutes

The University Senate
of Michigan Technological University

Minutes of Meeting 549
23 April 2014

Synopsis:
The Senate

  • Presentation: “President’s Evaluation Results 2013-14” by Madhukar Vable
  • Presentation on Shared Governance by President Glenn Mroz 
  • Presentation: “Driving Better Outcomes for your Faculty and Staff” by Marvin Turner of TIAA-CREF
  • Presentation: “2014 Updates from the Graduate School” by Jacqueline Huntoon 
  • Presentation: “The Alliance for Computing, Information and Automation” by Daniel Fuhrmann
  • Proposal 2-14:  “Proposal to Modify Senate Procedure 506.1.1:  Evaluation Procedures for Department Chairs and School Deans”  passed
  • Proposal 29-14:  Required Oral Examination Attempts”  passed
  • Proposal 30-14:  “Amendment to Academic Suspension and Dismissal Policy”  passed
  • Proposal 31-14:  “Proposal to Amend Senate Policy 701.3: Non Faculty Academic Appointments”  passed
  • Proposal 32-14:  “Notification Time for Changes in Fringe Benefits and Questions for Healthcare Insurance Consultants”  passed
  • Proposal 33-14:  “Proposal to Shelve Contemporary Culture Concentration in the CCM Program” passed
  • Proposal 34-14: “Proposal to Shelve Media Concentration in the CCM Program”  passed
  • Proposal 35-14: “Proposal to Shelve Language and Diversity Concentration in the CCM Program”  passed

1. Call to order and roll call. President Brian Barkdoll called the University Senate Meeting 549 to order at 6:22 pm on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. The Senate Secretary Marty Thompson called roll. Absent were Senators DeWinter, Panian and Cadwell and representatives of Army/Air Force ROTC, Materials Science & Engineering, Academic Services A, Academic Services C, Administration, Enrollment, Finance and Graduate Faculty Council.

2. Recognition of visitors. Guests included Max Seel (Provost’s Office), Glenn Mroz (President’s Office), Bonnie Gorman (Dean of Students), Paul Tomasi (Counsel), Laura Bullett (Dean of Students Office), Dan Furman (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Jackie Huntoon (Graduate School), Jim Frendeway (School of Technology), Ruth Davidson (TIAA-CREF), Marvin Turner (TIAA-CREF) and Renee Hiller (Human Resources).

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

4. Approval of minutes from Meeting 547. Barkdoll asked for approval of the minutes. Snyder moved; Mullins seconded. It passed unanimously on a voice vote.

5. Presentation: “President’s Evaluation Results 2013-14” by Madhukar Vable
Vable, Chair of the Administrative Policy Committee, started by presenting the overall survey response rates, the definition of the sub-groups (faculty, represented staff, professional staff and administration), and statistical methods used to compile the data. The president and executive team averages were mostly above three using a 1-5 scale. Among the top scores were question 5 (The executive team has created an environment in which research is valued), question 7 (The executive team has developed structures that promote professional development), question 13 (The executive team works to ensure the active recruitment of a diverse faculty, staff and student body, and question 14 (The executive team creates an inclusive environment where individual differences are respected and supported). Among the lowest scores were question 17 (The executive team has created an IT environment that meets my work needs), question 2 (The executive team provides a high quality package of fringe benefits), and question 3 (The executive team works to ensure fairness in the allocation of salaries and benefits within the university). Overall trends observed in the comment sections focused on problems with IT, erosion of benefits, lack of shared governance and the lack of response by the president and executive team to employee concerns. A lack of fairness in salary allocation was universal for all employee sub-groups. Vable noted that 45% response rates is of concern.

President Glenn Mroz commented on the results of the survey. He said the staff are working alongside administration and are generally more sympathetic than faculty. 70% of people enjoy working here, which is a winning situation. People enjoyed the budget transparency and the forums hosted by the senate. Mroz noted the Federal Affordable Care Act requires an institution cover more than 60% of medical costs and the State of Michigan limits publicly funded institutions to cover a maximum of 80% of healthcare costs. Staying in that range can be tricky. Mullins asked if Mroz had any comments on IT. Mroz said IT is a big thing and runs so many operations. He encouraged everyone to take the IT survey. Beck expressed his concern that the IT survey was designed poorly. Mroz said if next year’s budget is approved the raise given for promotions will increase to $8,000 for assistant to associate professor and $11,000 from associate to full professor.

6. Presentation on Shared Governance by President Glenn Mroz [SLIDES]
Mroz discussed the organization of the governing body of the university and the University Senate. He discussed aspects of shared governance in terms of the organizational and operational relationships. Mroz said that one of the things he heard from the staff this year that has been disturbing is that some people have tried to eliminate staff liaisons from Senate committee meetings.  He said that that's something that needs to be worked on next year.  Vable asked Mroz if he will come up with an action list in response to the survey results. Mroz said he will go over it and determine what can be addressed. He cited complexities with addressing issues beyond the control of the administration. Caneba commented on the issue of transparency at the departmental level raised by the survey. Mroz said the departmental charters guide functioning of the department. Wood asked about the participation rate. Mroz said the results seem representative and the 45% rate probably is close to results attained if everyone would have participated in the survey. Waddell noted Mroz's comment about staff liaisons on Senate committees. He said that sometimes, information filters up and it might not be accurate.  Waddell said that this proposal [Proposal 8-14] originated with the Fringe Benefits Committee which he chairs, and then went to the Executive Committee.  He said the issue wasn't staff, but vice-presidents, who have been assigned as liaisons to every Senate standing committee.  In some cases, a vice president liaison might directly supervise the chair of the standing committee, and the people on that standing committee might not feel free to speak up about things that are of concern to them.  Waddell said that the issue was not that vice presidents would not be allowed to attend, but that they would be invited to attend or not.  He said that he had traced the history of the liaison assignments, and the original intention was that when a committee needed information, it would be able to invite a vice president to come in and provide that information.  Over time, however, some vice presidents began attending committee meetings whether they were asked to come or not.  The concern was that this might have a chilling effect on open discussion within that committee.  Waddell asked about the Michigan Tech organizational chart that Mroz had displayed, and pointed out that this chart indicates that the University Senate reports directly to the Board of Control. Waddell said in the past, it was common for senators to communicate directly with the BOC. He asked Mroz if this practice has changed.  Mroz said it is an issue of communicating with all board members versus one or another. Seel said anyone can send something to the board individually, but official senate communications should follow formal paths for official business.  Waddell noted BRAC committee communicating directly to board members was allowable. Mroz suggested presenting this at the first senate meeting next fall to establish a sense of shared governance.

7. Presentation: “Driving Better Outcomes for your Faculty and Staff” by Marvin Turner of TIAA-CREF
Turner, TIAA-CREF, introduced himself and the mission of TIAA-CREF to serve the education community. Ruth Davidson, TIAA-CREF, discussed improving retirement outcomes. Mullins said the cost-share from the university has changed and the data is probably not current. He asked if we could see projections before and after university contributions decreased to determine the change in the number of people who are still on track for their retirement. Davidson felt it might be possible to isolate the data sets. Turner said they will work with human resources to determine if employees are saving enough for retirement.  Wood asked if Social Security is included in these calculations. Turner affirmed and indicated it was about 40% of the numbers being shown. Annuities supplement that. Caneba inquired about estate planning and management. Turner said they offer full financial planning and a broad range of products. Fuhrmann asked if there is a way to translate a statement balance to a monthly payment one might receive after retirement. Davidson said those types of calculators are on the website. Wood said these presentations should be made available to the entire university not just the senate. Davidson said there is information online, but this type of talk is best for institutional planners and representatives not the employees as a whole. Snyder said our benefits office routinely puts information on Tech Today which not everyone looks at. Hext said there is a need to communicate more effectively and individual mailings are used for some of the new programs planned next year.

7. Presentation: “2014 Updates from the Graduate School” by Jacqueline Huntoon  [SLIDES
Huntoon, Dean of the Graduate School, provided a list of the accomplishments from this year’s Graduate Faculty Council (GFC). She provided numbers for the different types of graduate students, time-to-degree and support mechanisms. With the increase in the number of non-departmental interdisciplinary programs a common governance structure was developed.  

8. Presentation: “The Alliance for Computing, Information and Automation” by Daniel Fuhrmann
Fuhrmann, chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, framed the discussion in terms of developing 21st century programs that require the strengths of different units. Specifically, the Michigan Tech “Alliance for Computing, Information and Automation (ACIA)” which is an agreement between the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Sciences and the School of Technology. The goal is to promote cooperation among academic programs, collaborations in research and open new pathways for faculty and students. No new administrative structures or personnel are required so this presentation is informational rather than for senate approval. Mullins asked about IT impact and activities in terms of supercomputing. Fuhrman said supercomputing is a separate activity. This is more related to ubiquitous computing as found in smartphones and small devices. Oliveira asked how ACIA members will be decided. Fuhrman said this is an administrative alliance, so all interested faculty are members. Nooshabadi asked if Fuhrman would come back in the fall to elaborate on this program. Furhman affirmed his interest in doing so.

9. Old Business
a. Proposal 2-14: “Proposal to Modify Senate Procedures 506.1.1: Evaluation Procedures for Department Chairs and School Deans”
Kilpela read a written statement and resigned from the Senate. Nooshabadi asked for clarification of the version of the proposal being voted on. Vable said we are voting on the new proposal as written. Waddell asked for the rationale for including the term ‘normally’ in the current version. Specifically, that the proposal wouldn’t pass the administration if it retained the requirement for an administrator to abide by a 2/3 vote of faculty. Vable affirmed that Seel indicated in past senate meetings the requirement that an administrator accept a 2/3 vote of faculty would not have passed administration. Consequently, a compromise which included the word ‘normally’ was added. This preserves what the senate would like to see but permits the administration to overrule the faculty vote in extreme situations. Mullins said that a written explanation for overruling faculty vote is a part of this proposal. Vable affirmed. Barkdoll called a vote by clicker. The proposal passed by majority vote.

b. Proposal 29-14: Required Oral Examination Attempts”
Barkdoll asked for discussion. There being none he called a vote by clicker. The proposal passed by majority vote.

c. Proposal 30-14: “Amendment to Academic Suspension and Dismissal Policy”
Barkdoll asked for discussion. There being none he called a vote by clicker. The proposal passed by majority vote.

d. Proposal 31-14: “Proposal to Amend Senate Policy 701.3: Non Faculty Academic Appointments”
Barkdoll asked for discussion. There being none he called a vote by clicker. The proposal passed by majority vote.

e. Proposal 32-14: “Notification Time for Changes in Fringe Benefits and Questions for Healthcare Insurance Consultants”
Mullins provided a friendly amendment that the notification period be defined as being before the open enrollment period. Waddell said the committee supports the amendment. Barkdoll called for a vote by clicker. The proposal passed by majority vote.

f. Proposal 33-14: “Proposal to Shelve Contemporary Culture Concentration in the CCM Program” and Proposal 34-14: “Proposal to Shelve Media Concentration in the CCM Program” and Proposal 35-14: “Proposal to Shelve Language and Diversity Concentration in the CCM Program”
Barkdoll asked for discussion on the three proposals. There being none he called a single vote for all three proposals by clicker. Proposals 33-14, 34-14 and 35-14 all passed by majority vote.

10. New Business
None.

11. Report from the Senate President
Barkdoll thanked everyone for their service. 

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

Administrative Policy Committee. None. 

Curricular Policy Committee. None.

Elections Committee. Riehl announced the completed results of several senate elections for open positions. He then held elections for the Academic Integrity Committee, the Conflict-of-Interest Committee, the Faculty Distinguished Service Award Committee, the Misconduct in Research, the Scholarly and Creative Endeavors Inquiry Committee, the Public Safety Oversight Committee, the Athletic Council and the Sabbatical Leave Committee.

Finance Committee. None.

Fringe Benefits Committee. None.

Institutional Planning Committee. None.

Instructional Policy Committee. None.

Professional Staff Policy Committee. None.

Research Policy Committee.  None.

13. Adjournment.  
President Barkdoll adjourned the meeting at 8:51pm

 

Respectfully submitted
by Marty Thompson
Secretary of the University Senate