Meeting 551 Minutes

The University Senate
of Michigan Technological University 

Minutes of Meeting 551
24 September 2014

PDF version of Minutes 551

Synopsis:

The Senate

  • Proposal 2-14 “Proposal to Modify Senate Procedure 506.1.1: Evaluation Procedures for Department Chairs and School Deans” passed
  • Proposal 23-14 “Proposal to Establish Michigan Technological University Copyright Policy Regarding Scholarly, Academic, and Artistic Works” passed
  • Proposal 32-14 “Notification Time for Changes in Fringe Benefits and Questions for Healthcare Insurance Consultants” passed
  • Proposal 2-15 “Amending the Senate’s Constitution” passed
  • Proposal 3-15 “Creating a Visiting Professor of Practice Position” passed

Senate minutes are time-indexed [in square brackets] to the relevant segments of the streaming video of the meeting.

1. Call to order and roll call. [00:00 – 06:30]
President Craig Waddell called the University Senate Meeting 551 to order at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, September 24, 2014. The Senate Secretary Marty Thompson called roll. Absent were Senators DeWinter, Cadwell and Stancher and representatives of Army/Air Force ROTC, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, Visual and Performing Arts, Academic Services A, Academic Services B, Academic Services C, Enrollment, Finance, Technology, Staff Council and Undergraduate Student Government.

2. Recognition of visitors.
Guests included Max Seel (Provost’s Office), Jackie Huntoon (Graduate School) and Theresa Coleman-Kaiser (Administration).

3. Approval of agenda. [06:31 – 11:16]
Waddell noted that Item 6.g. of the agenda, “Proposal 4-15 “Ensuring Confidentiality of Learning Management System (LMS) Content and Student Records” was sent back to the Academic and Instructional Policy Committee. Provost Seel asked that the term “Pending Board approval as amended by the administration” be changed to a “Point of information for Senate” in Item 6.d. of the agenda, Proposal 13-14 “Improving Communication with the Board of Control”. Waddell accepted the amendment.

Waddell asked for approval of the agenda as amended. Mullins moved; Scarlett seconded. No discussion. Waddell declared the agenda approved.                                            

4. Approval of minutes from Meetings 550. [11:17 – 11:51]
Waddell asked for approval of the minutes. Wood moved; Scarlett seconded. No discussion. Waddell declared the minutes approved.

5. Report from the Senate President. [11:52 – 37:15]  LINK TO REPORT

Part 1: [11:52 - 37:15]
Waddell discussed working efficiently on the senate while still maintaining the principles of shared governance. He framed the specific needs of the senate to be actively engaged in terms of time and information. Key modifications to optimize senate efficiency, include:

  1. Use Time Between Senate Meetings to Make Meetings Themselves More Efficient
  2. Distribute the Senate’s Workload
  3. Reducing Expectations for Alternates
  4. Time Savers for Particular Committees, Officers, and Administrative Assistant
  5. Be Cautious of Creating Time-Sinks Ourselves
  6. More Efficient Use of Meeting Time

Archer requested that we use Google-groups rather than Simba to communicate within the senate executive committee and within individual committees. Waddell tasked the IT committee to assist in coordinating the transition to Google-groups.

  1. Additional time-saving suggestions include ‘consensus’ versus ‘discussion’ topics on the agenda.

Part 2: [37:16 – 1:05:11]
Waddell presented the following information items and need to address the following issues:

  1. A policy for E-Cigarettes.

Before a discussion and possible vote in the senate, it was suggested that first educating people on where the issues are regarding e-cigarettes should take place in a university-wide forum.

  1. Filling positions for liaisons.

Brian Barkdoll has been appointed liaison to the Graduate Faculty Council. A policy needs to be written to guide the senate executive committee in deciding how to fill liaison positions.

  1. Unfilled Senator and Alternate Positions.

An alternate is needed for ME-EM, Academic Services A, B and C, and senators for Academic Services A and Enrollment. Scarlett requested a bylaw change to define a mechanism to fill vacant positions in cases where units are not providing senates or alternates.

  1. Unfilled Standing Committee Chair Positions.

The Fringe Benefits and Administrative Policy Committees need to select a chair.

  1. Outside Consultant on Design and Implementation of the Senate’s 2014-2015 President and Executive Team Evaluation Survey.

Waddell recommended a survey design consultant for annual surveys of the university president. Provost Seel said President Mroz will not pay for an external consultant. Waddell cited previous attempts at getting an inside consultant (MTU employee) who declined. It was decided that all faculty members skilled in survey design be invited to a meeting of the Administrative Policy Committee (APC). Scarlett said he will modify 503.1.1 and send it to the APC. The APC will be charged with addressing this issue.

  1. Waddell reminded everyone of the Senate Tech fund account #3298
  2. Removal of faculty members appearing on Rate-My-Professor (RMP) who no longer work at MTU.

The objective is to have the RMP scores reflect people who actually work here. The provost will work with Human Resources to generate a list of current faculty, which will be passed along to the Center for Teaching and Learning which will in turn communicate with RMP

  1. Faculty-Staff Club Proposal Moving Ahead
  2. Increase in TechFit Benefit
  3. Wellness Programs Participation Survey

Waddell requested everyone complete a wellness program participation survey which is expected to be available in the next few weeks.

  1. Who Is and Who Is Not a Senate Constituent?

Citing Section I.M.2.a of the Senate’s Bylaws, Waddell charged the executive committee to enforce bylaws and remove administrators from senate constituent roster. Based on changes in the organizational chart, some people currently listed as senate constituents are no longer constituents and therefore the list needs to be updated.

  1. Request/Question on Comp Time.
  2. Request from the Center for Teaching and Learning to Provide Feedback on Online Evaluation of Teaching
  3. Request to Revise the Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty Handbook to Address the Status of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty.
  4. Request to Review and, if Appropriate, Revise Michigan Tech’s Policy on Excused Absences.
  5. Two Board of Control Members will Complete Their Terms on December 31Provide feedback to online teaching evls from CTL
  6. Next Senate Meeting: Chief Housing Officer and Director Travis Pierce on the Portage Lift Bridge Rehabilitation Project

6. Unfinished Business

a. Proposal 2-14 “Proposal to Modify Senate Procedure 506.1.1: Evaluation Procedures for Department Chairs and School Deans”  [1:05:12 – 1:06:23]
Proposal 2-14 was approved by the senate. The administration reviewed it and responded with some modifications. Mullins moved to approve the proposal as amended. Scarlett seconded. No discussion. The proposal passed unanimously on a voice vote.

b.  Proposal 13-14 “Improving Communication with the Board of Control”  [1:06:24 – 1:08:39]
The response by the Board of Control to senate approved Proposal 13-14 was discussed as a point of information.

c.  Proposal 23-14 “Proposal to Establish Michigan Technological University Copyright Policy Regarding Scholarly, Academic, and Artistic Works”  [1:08:40 – 1:14:30]
Senate approved Proposal 23-14 was modified by the administration. The modifications to the original proposal require senate approval. Mullins moved to approve the proposal as amended by the administration. Nooshabadi seconded. Scarlett noted that the differences in the senate and administration approved policies center on a non-competition agreement and the university’s authority over the logo. The proposal passed on a majority voice vote with one dissenting vote and one abstention.

d.  Proposal 32-14 “Notification Time for Changes in Fringe Benefits and Questions for Healthcare Insurance Consultants” [1:14:31 – 1:17:03]
Senate approved Proposal 32-14 was modified by the administration. The modifications to the original proposal require senate approval. Beck moved to approve the proposal as amended by the administration. Nooshabadi seconded. No discussion. The proposal passed unanimously on a voice vote.

e.  Proposal 2-15 “Amending the Senate’s Constitution”  [1:17:04 – 1:46:45]
Substantive changes being made to the Senate Constitution in this proposal are: 

Section A. Consistent language regarding the dual roles of department chairs, deans and associates as they are also academic faculty and senate constituents, but not eligible to act as senators or alternates.

Section B. Distribution of at-large senators. Changes in language to allow not more than one senator to come from a given unit. Discussion.

Scarlett moved to include wording ‘exceptions may be granted by the Executive Committee’ as a friendly amendment. Mullins seconded. Waddell accepted the additional text as a friendly amendment. Discussion.

Section C. Removal of term limits for senators.

Section D. Terms for newly elected and continuing senators to begin at the end of the spring term.

Section E. Reference to Roberts Rules in the bylaws will refer specifically to the 11th Edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

Section F. Terms for Senate Officers to begin at the end of the spring term. This change is consistent with the bylaw changes defining the commencement of terms.

Scarlett moved to strike Section B. Mullins seconded. No discussion. Waddell accepted the friendly amendment.

Riehl moved to strike Section C. Wood seconded. Discussion. Waddell asked for a vote to remove Section C. Section C will be removed from the proposal by a majority vote.

Wood moved to approve the amended proposal. Nooshabadi seconded. No discussion. The proposal as amended passed unanimously on a voice vote. Proposal 2-15 now moves as revised to the constituency for a vote. The Senate Executive Committee will run an election of the full constituency.

f. Proposal 3-15 “Creating a Visiting Professor of Practice Position” [1:46:46 – 1:49:05]
The proposal comes from the Provost’s Office and supported by Academic Policy Committee. An amendment was added in committee to clarify the definition of academic rank. Wood moved to approve the proposal as amended. Nooshabadi seconded. No discussion. The proposal passedunanimously on a voice vote.

g.  Proposal 4-15 “Ensuring Confidentiality of Learning Management System (LMS) Content and Student Records”
Removed from the agenda.

h.  Proposal 5-15 “Annual Evaluation Procedure for Department Chairs and Academic Deans” [1:49:06 – 1:54:55]
This proposal comes from the Administrative Policy Committee. The requirement for informal annual evaluation as defined in this proposal is redundant to an optional evaluation which currently exists in all departmental charters. Discussion. Scarlett moved to send proposal back to the committee. Mullins seconded. No discussion. The senate voted unanimously to send the proposal back to the committee.

7. New Business
a. Proposal 6-15 “Compensation for Senate Officers and Release Time for Chairs of Senate Standing Committees” [1:54:56 – 2:03:01]

The proposal originated with the Senate President. To enhance shared governance this proposal would address the most pressing needs, which are time and information. Specific changes to current practice are:

  1. Release time for committee chairs.
  2. Compensation for the staff member acting as vice-president.
  3. Increase in Senate’s annual budget.
  4. Request the Senate approve the current compensation package for senate officers.
  5. Correspondence/communication about compensation include relevant parties.
  6. President of Senate should be the financial manager of the senate budget and not the University President as is currently done.

b. Proposal 7-15 “Shelving the Master of Engineering Degree in Civil Engineering (EGR3)” and Proposal 8-15 “Shelving the Master of Engineering Degree in Environmental Engineering (EGR4)” [2:03:02 – 2:05:21]
The proposal originated with the Graduate Faculty Council (GFC).

8. Committee Reports
None. 

9. Public Comments
None. 

10. Adjournment.  
Scarlett moved to adjourn. Wood seconded.  President Waddell adjourned the meeting at 7:35 pm

 

Respectfully submitted
by Marty Thompson
Secretary of the University Senate