Meeting 555 Minutes

The University Senate
of Michigan Technological University 

Minutes of Meeting 555
19 November 2014

PDF version of Minutes 555

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

The Senate

  1. Proposal 6-15 “Compensation for Senate Vice President” passed

  2. Proposal 12-15 "Degree Name Change from Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology - Earth Science Education to Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology - Earth and Space Science and Integrated Science" passed


    1. Call to order and roll call. President Craig Waddell called the University Senate Meeting 555 to order at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, November 11, 2014. The Senate Secretary Marty Thompson called roll. Absent were Senators Oliveira, Caneba, and Schmierer, representatives of Army/Air Force ROTC, Geological and Mining Engineering and Science, Materials Science & Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, Physics, School of Technology, Academic Services A, Academic Services C, Advancement, Enrollment, Finance, Technology and liaisons from the Graduate Faculty Council and Undergraduate Student Government. 

    2. Recognition of visitors. Guests included Max Seel (Provost’s Office), Bonnie Gorman (Dean of Students), Jackie Huntoon (Graduate School), Theresa Coleman-Kaiser (Administration) and Michael Meyer (Center for Teaching and Learning).

    3. Approval of agenda. Vable moved to approve the agenda. Mullins seconded. The agenda passed unanimously on a voice vote.

    4. Approval of minutes from Meeting 554. Scarlett moved to approve the minutes. Mullins seconded. The minutes passed unanimously on a voice vote. 

    5. Presidents Report [LINK]

    a. Informal issues relating to committee meeting etiquette. Specifically, when and how reasonable objections addressed by the committee in deliberation are brought to the full senate for discussion or to provide information beneficial to decision-making. 

    b. Inquiry from a senator about asking the administration questions. Resolution was that Max has agreed to respond to questions during the Public Comment section of Senate meetings. 

    c. Procedural update: Friendly amendments will be handled according to Robert’s Rules of Order (p. 162) which states, in part, that “Regardless of whether or not the maker of the main motion ‘accepts’ the amendment, it must be open to debate and voted on formally (unless adopted by unanimous consent) and is handled under the same rules as amendments…” 

    d. The Elections Committee needs to fill 36 positions for senators and alternates and 13 positions for Senate representatives on university-wide committees. 

    e. Explanation on the rationale for shifting from unit-run elections to Senate-run elections of senators and alternates. These include:

          (1) Avoiding senators and alternates being appointed rather than elected.

          (2) Ensuring that all of the elections are conducted at once.

          (3) Assembling standing committees and the Executive Committee before the Fall term 

    f. Seven of the eight current vacancies on the Senate are in the professional staff. This may be attributed to a variety of factors, including:

          (1) Voting (but not debate) on most of the proposals that the Senate considers is restricted to academic senators

          (2) Five of the seven vacancies within the professional staff units are in Academic Services A, B, or C. This might indicate that professional staff in the academic units already feel well represented and informed by the faculty senators and alternates in their units.

          (3) When there’s an impending threat that affects everyone—such as proposed cuts in healthcare insurance—more people are inclined to serve on the Senate. We’re not currently facing such a threat. 

    g. The Administration approved the attached Senate Proposal 9-15, “Revising Senate Procedures 108.1.1: Formats for Proposing New Academic Programs.” 

    h. Senate constituents voted to support a ban on e-cigarettes on campus. No details on the ban were clarified, but many comments suggested in indoor ban would be more reasonable than an outdoor ban for libertarian and health-related arguments. 

    i. Waddell read a statement from Senator Jon Riehl regarding The Work Life Programming Advisory Committee 

    j. Senate Proposal 32-14 “Notification Time for Changes in Fringe Benefits and Questions for Healthcare Insurance Consultants” was approved by the Senate on April 23, approved by the Administration with proposed amendments on July 10, and approved by the Senate as amended on September 24. Hence, the Senate is now authorized to pose questions to be researched by any healthcare insurance consultants (such as Aon Hewitt) with whom the Administration contracts. 

    k. Question about which directors are eligible to be Senate constituents. Directors of research centers, as a group, do not have the same status as deans and, hence, should still be Senate constituents. Only those directors whose positions appear on the University’s organizational chart should be considered for possible exclusion as Senate constituents. Awaiting advice from Human Resources on this question. 

    l. Upcoming Meetings:

          (1) President’s Campus Forum (sponsored by the Staff Council): Tuesday, December 16

          (2) Executive Committee breakfast with Board of Control, 8 a.m. Friday, December 19.

          (3) Board of Control meeting, 9 a.m. Friday, December 19.

          (4) University finances and budget forum, cosponsored with the Staff Council, USG, and GSG: Wednesday, January 28 from 2-5 p.m. in Dow 642. 

    6. Reports from Senate Standing Committees

          Academic and Instructional Policy Committee.         None.                                                                       

          Administrative Policy Committee.         None. 

          Curricular Policy Committee.                  None. 

          Elections Committee.                                None. 

          Finance and Institutional Planning Committee.          After reviewing the financial statements for three new degree programs (Proposals 13-15,14-15 and 15-15), the committee gave its recommendation to for each to move forward. 

          Fringe Benefits Committee.                   None. 

          General Education and Assessment Committee.     Scarlett said members of the committee are meeting with units to discuss assessment issues. The committee met with the Assessment and General Education Councils to establish communication and collaboration. 

          Information Technology Committee.     None. 

          Professional Staff Policy Committee.   None. 

          Research Policy Committee.                  Froese said the committee is reviewing the results of a survey performed by the Sponsored Programs Office and will generate a report of their findings. 

    7. Unfinished Business

    a. Proposal 6-15 “Compensation for Senate Vice President”

    This proposal was approved with minor modification by the administration. As such the senate votes on the modified proposal. Madhu moved to approve the proposal as modified. Scarlett seconded. The proposal passed unanimously on a voice vote. 

    b. Proposal 12-15 "Degree Name Change from Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology - Earth Science Education to Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology - Earth and Space Science and Integrated Science"

    Barkdoll restated the rationale to change the name of the degree to be consistent with teaching programs in the State of Michigan. The committee unanimously supports this proposal. Barkdoll moved to approve the proposal. Hamlin seconded. The proposal passed unanimously on a voice vote. 

    8. New Business

    a. Proposal 4-15: “Access to Student Records, Course Management Systems and Permanent Record Systems”

    This proposal aims to ensure confidentiality of student records by defining how the records are used and who has access. Vable asked if this proposal clearly defines who will have access and grade change authority on an instructor’s canvas course. This question of who will be granted access is explicitly answered in Section 2. 

    b. Proposal 13-15: “Master of Science Degree Program in Applied Physics”

    Barkdoll, Curricular Policy Committee, introduced a new physics program to enhance the cross-disciplinary nature of engineering and physics programs, enhance program flexibility and increase student interest.

    c. Proposal 14-15: “Concentration in Biomedical Applications within the degree Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering” and

    Proposal 15-15: “Concentration in Environmental Applications within the degree Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering”

    Barkdoll, Curricular Policy Committee, introduced the two new Electrical and Computer Engineering concentrations in biomedical (Proposal 14-15) and environmental (Proposal 15-15) applications. The goal is to be more diverse. All participating departments wrote letters in support of the program. 

    d. Proposal 16-15: “University Leadership Evaluation Committee”

    Vable defined the membership and charge of the University Leadership Evaluation Committee (ULEC), which will assume the role and responsibilities the Administrative Policy Committee (APC) had in performing the presidential performance survey.

    Membership would be selected to enhance the diversity of the committee to a university-wide committee rather than the senate standing committee, APC. The proposal codifies the policies and procedures being performed. The survey instrument and role of an expert in survey design is defined.

    Seel requested of Vable that the full content of University President Mroz’s responses be made available rather than a summary.

    Scarlett requested the role of the survey expert be explicitly defined. Vable said the expert is a member of the committee as opposed to a consultant, contracted or temporary member.

    e. Proposal 17-15: “Updating the Senate’s Professional Staff Constituency Units”      

    Waddell introduced the change in composition of the Senate’s professional staff units to more closely reflect the administrative structure.

    f. Proposal 18-15: “Selection of Senate Representatives to Ad Hoc University-Wide Committees and Groups”

    Clancey introduced discussion on the composition of and method to form university-wide committees. If approved by the Senate, this proposal will need to receive a 2/3 majority by the voting Senate constituency. 

    9. Public Comments

    Nooshibadi asked Seel about a new proposal addressing zero percent appointments. Seel said there is discussion coming from departments about this issue and if this moves forward, it will come as a proposal to the Senate. A proposal defining zero percent appointments of faculty was discussed in the Senate last year but was not voted on. 

    10. Adjournment.

    Hamlin moved to adjourn. Scarlett seconded. President Waddell adjourned the meeting at 6:25 pm.


    Respectfully submitted
    by Marty Thompson
    Secretary of the University Senate