University Senate

Meeting 571 Minutes

The University Senate
of Michigan Technological University

Minutes of Meeting 571
09 December 2015

PDF version of Minutes 571

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


The Senate

  • Proposal 7-16: “Amending the Senate Procedure 506.1.1, Evaluation Procedures for Department Chairs and School Deans” passed

 1. Call to order and roll call. [00:00 – 02:10]
President Brian Barkdoll called the University Senate Meeting 571 to order at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 9, 2015. The Senate Secretary Marty Thompson called roll. Absent were Senator Cai and representatives of Army/Air Force ROTC, Computer Science, Engineering Fundamentals, Materials Science and Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, Visual & Performing Arts, Administration and Undergraduate Student Government. 

2. Recognition of visitors. Guests included Bonnie Gorman (Dean of Students Office), Brendan Lefebvre (Student), Ann Kitalong-Will (Vice President for Administration’s Office), Ann Beffel (Vice President for Administration’s Office) and Jacqueline Huntoon (Provost’s Office).

3. Approval of agenda. [02:11 – 02:59]
Toorongian moved to approve. Wood seconded. The agenda passed unanimously on a voice vote.                                                                                                                                          

4. Approval of minutes from Meeting 570. [03:00 – 03:45]
Wood moved to approve. Kerfoot seconded. The minutes passed unanimously on a voice vote. 

5. President’s Report [03:46 – 08:16]
President Brian Barkdoll discussed hiring a proposal editor. 

Searching for a Staff Senator-at-Large. 

Still considering moving senate meetings to the daytime, although it is too late to make changes for this year. 

Plan to discuss the university president search process with the Board of Trustees at breakfast with the senate executive committee on December 18th. 

Nooshabadi inquired about publishing the senator’s attendance records on the senate website. Discussion. 

6. Reports from Senate Standing Committees   [08:17 – 15:32]

Academic and Instructional Policy Committee. None. 

Administrative Policy Committee. Working on a proposal to define university-wide committees. 

Curricular Policy Committee. Met with a representative from the Department of Physics to discuss a degree proposal. 

Elections Committee. None. 

Finance & Institutional Planning Committee. None. 

Fringe Benefits Committee. Working on a report comparing retirement and parental leave benefits at peer-institutions. 

General Education and Assessment Committee. None. 

Information Technology Committee. None. 

Professional Staff Policy Committee. None. 

Research Policy Committee.  In discussions with the Graduate Student Government (GSG) and administrators to address concerns graduate students have about funding. Ongoing discussions about journal pricing with the Library. Publishers are raising fees to compensate for libraries dropping subscriptions due to excessive costs. This circular process is resulting in problems, confusion and lawsuits. Discussion. 

7. Unfinished Business [15:33 – 54:15]

a. Proposal 7-16: Amending the Senate Procedure 506.1.1, Evaluation Procedures for Department Chairs and School Deans
This revised proposal comes from the Administrative Policy Committee. Nooshabadi reiterated the key revisions to the policy being amended. Discussion. 

Point of Order. Debate is occurring while a motion to approve the proposal has not been made. 

Nooshabadi moved to approve the proposal. Discussion.

Clancy moved to amend the proposal with language that would prevent chairs or deans undergoing review from being reviewed in consecutive years as a result of implementation of this proposal.

Oliveira seconded. Discussion.

The amendment passed by unanimous vote. 

Nemiroff moved to strike Item #5. Revised item #5 states that comments will only be viewed by the chair evaluation committee and be summarized for others to read.                            

Froese seconded. Discussion.

Nooshabadi moved to amend the amendment to revision #5 to give individuals making the comments to decide whether their comments should be presented verbatim or summarized by the chair evaluation committee.

Motion not supported.

The amendment passed by majority vote. 

Nemiroff moved to strike Item #6. Revised item #6 states that the final report written by the dean/provost will not be shared with the department

Waddell seconded. Discussion.

The amendment passed by majority vote. 

The changes were considered substantial. The proposal will appear as unfinished business and be voted on next meeting. 

8. New Business [54:16 – 1:23:40]

a. Proposal 9-16: Reducing Deductibles on Michigan Tech's Healthcare-Insurance Plans
The proposal comes from the Fringe Benefits Committee. Waddell said this proposal is a request for modest financial relief for employees due to the major shifting of costs from the university onto the employees. Discussion. 

9. Public Comments [1:23:41 – 1:29:00]
Anne Beffel commented on multiple problems associated with the early review process on a new chair and made suggestions to develop a more constructive process. 

10. Adjournment
President Barkdoll adjourned the meeting at 6:59 p.m.


Respectfully submitted
by Marty Thompson
Secretary of the University Senate