Meeting 556 Minutes

The University Senate
of Michigan Technological University

Minutes of Meeting 556
10 December 2014

PDF version of Minutes 556

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

Synopsis:
The Senate

  • Proposal 13-15: “Master of Science Degree Program in Applied Physics” passed

  • Proposal 14-15: “Concentration in Biomedical Applications within the degree Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering” passed

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

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

1. Call to order and roll call. [00:00 - 01:47]
President Craig Waddell called the University Senate Meeting 556 to order at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, December 10, 2014. The Senate Secretary Marty Thompson called roll. Absent were Senators Caneba and Stancher and representatives of Army/Air Force ROTC, Geological and Mining Engineering and Science, Materials Science & Engineering, School of Business, Academic Services A, Academic Services B, Academic Services C, Enrollment, Finance and Technology. 

2. Recognition of visitors.
Guests included Max Seel (Provost’s Office), Dan Fuhrmann (Chair, Electrical & Computer Engineering) and Theresa Coleman-Kaiser (Administration).

3. Approval of agenda. [01:48 - 02:26]
Waddell noted that Proposals 4-15 and 18-15 from unfinished business were withdrawn at the request of the respective committees. Proposal 20-15 will not be introduced as new business at this time. These agenda changes were made at the request of the committees originating each given proposal.

Waddell asked for approval of the agenda. Mullins moved. Weir seconded. The revised agenda passed unanimously on a voice vote.

4. Approval of minutes from Meeting 555. [02:27 - 05:55]
Waddell asked for approval of the minutes. Mullins moved. Scarlett seconded. The minutes passed unanimously on a voice vote.

5. Presidents Report [05:56 - 35:38]  [link to slides]
Senate President Waddell discussed the presentation he plans to make at the upcoming Board of Control Meeting. Discussion on how to present the results of the e-cigarette vote and comments to the Board of Control. Waddell concluded by announcing upcoming meetings of interest to senators and constituents.

6. Reports from Senate Standing Committees  
Academic and Instructional Policy Committee.         None.

Administrative Policy Committee. [50:30 - 51:18]        Olson said this year’s redesigned evaluation of the university president is nearing completion. The survey was developed with the aid of a survey design consultant. The mechanism by which comments are processed remains a point of discussion.

Curricular Policy Committee.   [47:56 - 48:35]               Barkdoll said the development of graduate certificates being worked out. Undergrad certificates and minors are being discussed to address concern about double counting credits.

Elections Committee.   [48:36 - 50:29]          Riehl presented the results of the Committee on Academic Tenure, Promotion and Reappointment (CATPR) vote. James Wood and Haiying Liu were elected. Proposal 18-15 was discussed and concerns centered around the fact ad hoc and university-wide committee definitions already exist.

Finance & Institutional Planning Committee.    [35:39 - 47:55]          Mullins said the committee is discussing developing a senate vision statement. Committee is developing focused questions about the strategic plan. The committee is compiling a series of questions as a starting point to develop the Senate’s financial vision statement.

He offered solutions to the decreasing retirement contributions, which will be proposed to the universities retirement planning committee. The committee recommends the benefits office adopt an “opt-out” approach to employee retirement contributions to replace the current “opt-in”. The proposal also includes changes in employer/employee contribution/matching rates. Discussion on the net decrease in take home pay due to increased costs of health plan deductibles and premiums. The improvement in the universities cash position has improved due to severe cuts in benefits, especially retirement and medical.

Froese encouraged Mullins to translate these analyses into a proposal.

Fringe Benefits Committee.            None.

General Education and Assessment Committee.     None.

Information Technology Committee.             None.

Professional Staff Policy Committee.           None.

Research Policy Committee.              None.

7. Unfinished Business    [51:31 - 01:25:53]
Proposal 13-15: “Master of Science Degree Program in Applied Physics”   [51:31 - 52:54]
Barkdoll, chair of the Curricular Policy Committee (CPC) introduced the proposal and noted that the proposal has the support of the committee. Mullins said Finance Committee (FC) reviewed and approved. Barkdoll moved to approve the proposal. Mullins seconded. No discussion. The proposal was passed by unanimous vote.

Proposal 14-15: “Concentration in Biomedical Applications within the degree Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering”   [52:55 - 01:07:17]

Barkdoll said the CPC supports the proposal. Mullins said FC reviewed and approved. Barkdoll moved to approve the proposal. Scarlett seconded. Discussion focused on the changes in coursework and whether the higher level coursework is being removed as a means to enhance the appeal of this degree to women. The proposal was passed by majority vote with one dissenting vote and no abstentions.

Proposal 15-15: “Concentration in Environmental Applications within the degree Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering”   [01:07:18 - 01:08:02]

Barkdoll moved to approve the proposal. Scarlett seconded. The proposal was passed by majority vote with two dissenting votes and one abstention.

Proposal 16-15: “University Leadership Evaluation Committee”   [01:08:03 - 01:21:35]

Vable presented the feedback he received from prior discussion of Proposal 16-15 and sought input from the senate on the following topics:

  1. Name for the committee being created.

  2. What to do with verbatim comments.

  3. Role of survey expert on the committee.

  4. Should this be a university committee versus a senate committee.

  5. Are there any issues that should be included on this years survey?

Waddell cited the Board of Control approved senate policy giving the senate authority to evaluate administrators. This is a B-list item. Vable sought comments. Discussion focused on the composition of the committee and the senate retaining authority over the committee.

Proposal 17-15: “Updating the Senate’s Professional Staff Constituency Units.”  [01:21:36 - 01:25:53]
Weir, chair Professional Staff Policy Committee, introduced the change in composition of the Senate’s professional staff units to more closely reflect the current organization of the administration. Weir moved to approve the proposal. Scarlett seconded. Discussion. The proposal passed by unanimous vote.

8. New Business   [01:25:54 - 01:53:41]
a. Proposal 19-15: “Amending Senate Policy 102.1: Policy on Class Attendance”   [01:25:54 - 01:29:40]

Waddell introduced the proposal to amend the current senate policy to address the specific scenario of making up coursework due to excused absences. Discussion focused on ambiguities in describing the time allowed for making up assignments.

b. Proposal 21-15: “Policy on Michigan Technological University Information Technology Services”   [01:30:00 - 01:53:41]

Nooshabadi introduced the proposal as a means to address the myriad concerns and general dissatisfaction by faculty and staff made known by recent surveys. The goal is to provide employee representation on the IT committees that budgets, develops and plans the IT infrastructure on campus. [link to slides] Discussion centered on the role and authorities of this new senate IT committee relative to existing university committees. Provost Seel clarified that these are advisory committees and the provost has the last say.

Note: As a result of Proposal 20-15 listed in the Agenda for Meeting 556 being removed the proposal will be assigned a new number at a future date. This means that Proposal 21-15: “Policy on Michigan Technological University Information Technology Services” will be renumbered as Proposal 20-15 for future consideration.

9. Public Comments   [01:53:42 - 01:55:33]
Nooshabadi asked Provost Seel if he had a comment on the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics department not putting forth a senator. Brown reminded everyone about the MDOT bridge project meeting.

10. Adjournment.
Barkdoll moved to adjourn. Scarlett seconded. President Waddell adjourned the meeting at 7:25 pm.

 

Respectfully submitted
by Marty Thompson
Secretary of the University Senate