Meeting 552 Minutes

The University Senate
of Michigan Technological University

Minutes of Meeting 552
8 October 2014

PDF version of Minutes 552                                             

Synopsis:
The Senate

  • Presentation by Travis Pierce: “Disruptions likely to be caused by the 18-month-long rehabilitation of the Portage Lift Bridge.”
  • Proposal 2-15 “Amending the Senate’s Constitution” passed
  • Proposal 6-15 “Compensation for Senate Vice President” passed
  • Proposal 7-15 “Shelving the Master of Engineering Degree in Civil Engineering (EGR3)” passed
  • Proposal 8-15 “Shelving the Master of Engineering Degree in Environmental Engineering (EGR4)” 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 – 02:08]
President Craig Waddell called the University Senate Meeting 552 to order at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, October 8, 2014. The Senate Secretary Marty Thompson called roll. Absent were Senators Caneba and Schmierer and representatives of Army/Air Force ROTC, Materials Science and Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts, Academic Services A, Academic Services C, Advancement, Enrollment, Finance, Graduate Faculty Council and Staff Council.

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

3. Approval of agenda. [02:09 – 02:33]
Waddell asked for approval of the agenda. Mullins moved; Scarlett seconded. No discussion. The agenda was approved unanimously by voice vote.                                 

4. Approval of minutes from Meetings 551. [02:34 – 03:30]
Waddell asked for approval of the minutes. Wood moved; Mullins seconded. No discussion. The minutes were approved unanimously by voice vote.

5. Guest Presentation [03:31 – 10:09]  
Travis Pierce, Chief Housing Officer and Director presented, “Disruptions likely to be caused by the 18-month-long rehabilitation of the Portage Lift Bridge.” Additional information can be found at:

http://www.mtu.edu/bridge-construction

6. Report from the Senate President. [10:10 – 45:11]  LINK TO REPORT
Waddell provided a recap of the Senate President’s report to the Board of Control at the October 3, 2014 meeting. He cited the accomplishments of the senate. In rising to President Mroz’s challenge of shared governance, the senate has accomplished multiple objectives and now seeks time, information and resources to enhance its contribution to shared governance. Key challenges:

  1. Employee engagement.
  2. Structural problems with the Senate.

Summer activities by senate officers and committee chairs.

  1. Communication with the Board of Control.

Waddell said there is no direct communication between the Senate and the Board of Control, which is inconsistent with Tech’s organizational chart. This becomes a source of uncertainty as to whether official communications from the University Senate with the Board of Control were effective. One simple procedure would be for the Secretary of the Board of Control to copy the Senate President on official communications with board members to confirm receipt of information originating with the senate. Breakfasts have taken over as an informal channel of direct communication between senate officers and committee chairs and the Board of Control. Weir suggested the senate invite one or more board members to a special senate meeting. Waddell affirmed he will invite the Board of Control to a senate meeting.

 

Waddell reminded everyone of the new Senate webpage:

http://www.mtu.edu/senate

7. Unfinished Business
a. Proposal 2-15 “Amending the Senate’s Constitution” [45:12 – 51:13]
Proposal 2-15 was approved by the senate at the last meeting. Waddell reiterated the specific changes to the Senate Constitution which are itemized in the minutes for Meeting #551. The Senate Constitution (Article X) states that all changes to the constitution must be approved on two occasions within a six month period. If approved again, the proposal needs to be ratified by a two-thirds majority of the Senate Constituency. If approved by the Senate Constituency, it will become effective upon Board of Control Approval. Discussion regarding voting procedure of the full constituency.

Wood moved to approve the proposal. Vable seconded. The proposal passed unanimously on a voice vote.

b.  Proposal 6-15 “Compensation for Senate Vice President”  [51:14 – 1:09:05]
Waddell discussed revisions to the proposal since introduction at the last meeting. Revisions include:

  1. Compensation for standing committee chairs removed.
  2. Summer compensation removed.

The key item retained in the final version of the proposal is compensation for the vice-president. Seel defined the compensation for the vice-president (a staff member) as a bonus payment to the person as opposed to the release time paid to the unit for the senate president and secretary (faculty). Velat said that all senate officers should be given either a flat rate compensation or a percentage of pay for release time. Discussion.

Velat moved to send the proposal back to committee. Barkdoll seconded. Discussion. The motion was rejected as it was out of order.

Mullins moved to approve the proposal. Vable seconded. The proposal passed with a majority on a voice vote. One dissenting vote. Two abstentions.

c. Proposal 7-15 “Shelving the Master of Engineering Degree in Civil Engineering (EGR3)” [1:09:06 – 1:13:15]
Mullins affirmed with the Graduate School that there were no students impacted by the shelving of this degree. Discussion. DeWinter moved to approve the proposal. Snyder seconded. The proposal passed with a majority on a voice vote. One dissenting vote. No abstentions.

d.  Proposal 8-15 “Shelving the Master of Engineering Degree in Environmental Engineering (EGR4)”  [1:13:16 – 1:13:53]
Scarlett moved to approve the proposal. Vable seconded. No discussion. The proposal passed with a majority on a voice vote. One dissenting vote. No abstentions.

8. New Business
None.

9. Committee Reports [1:13:59 – 1:15:30]
Academic Policy Committee.  None.

Administrative Policy Committee.  None.

Curricular Policy Committee.  Barkdoll said there will be some cleaning and amending of proposals which will be brought to new business next meeting.

Elections Committee. None.

Finance Committee.  None.

Fringe Benefits Committee.  None.

Institutional Planning Committee.  None.

Instructional Policy Committee.  None.

Professional Staff Policy Committee.  None.

Research Policy Committee.  None. 

10. Public Comments [1:15:31 – 1:24:52]
An inquiry was made about the status of a proposed e-cigarette expert to make a presentation to the Senate. Waddell said there was no response yet. Discussion. Froese felt the issue was insignificant compared to enforcing the existing cig policy and noted the administration has requested input on an e-cigarette policy without explaining why it is making this request. Waddell expected it might be a due diligence issue for the university. Concern about enforcing the existing policy was referred to the Administrative Policy Committee.

11. Adjournment.  [1:24:53 – 1:25:04]
Mullins moved to adjourn. Vable seconded.  President Waddell adjourned the meeting at 6:55 pm

 

Respectfully submitted
by Marty Thompson
Secretary of the University Senate