DAFVM Faculty Senate

MINUTES

Bost Extension Building 205
Video links to Delta R&E, Coastal R&E, Central R&E
November 10, 2011
1:00 p.m.

Members attending included Gary Bachman, Linda Breazeale, Cody Coyne, Harvey Gordon, Laurie Grace, Wayne Ebelhar, Anna Hood, Carla Huston filled in for Hart Bailey, David Ingram, Matt Interis, David Lang, Danny Magee, Ian Munn, Zhoahua Peng, Amy Schmidt, and Barry Stewart.

Absent: Hart Bailey, Greg Bohach, Andrew Claude, Carol Ellington, Jeff Gore, Lelia Kelly, James Martin, Fred Musser, Lisa Noffsinger, Ty Schmidt, and Jessica Wells.

I. Barry Stewart called the meeting to order.

II. No minutes were provided from the last meeting on March 10 because a quorum was not present then and no business was addressed.

III. Election of officers – Past chair Laurie Grace gave a brief overview of officer duties. The chair attends DAFVM Department Head meetings, which have only met twice in the last two years. The chair provides a voice for faculty in that meeting. The vice chair sits in department head or faculty meetings if the chair cannot attend. Grace thought this officer is responsible for setting up the meeting location and video conferencing requests. The secretary has not been an elected position, it’s been appointed. The minutes have often been kept by administrative assistants. (No discussion of the parliamentarian position took place.) The group discussed absenteeism of officers and members in the past. Grace said absenteeism is addressed in the by-laws.

a. Harvey Gordon nominated Barry Stewart to serve as chair. Anna Hood seconded. Amy Schmidt moved he be elected by acclamation. Linda Breazeale seconded. The motion passed.
b. Ian Munn nominated Matt Interis to serve as vice chair. Linda Breazeale seconded. Harvey Gordon moved he be elected by acclamation. Anna Hood seconded. The motion passed.
c. Linda Breazeale volunteered to act as secretary and keep minutes. Harvey Gordon moved that the Charter and Bylaws committee consider the position of secretary. Cody Coyne seconded. The motion passed.
d. The parliamentarian is appointed by the chair.

IV. Report from the Holland Faculty Senate – Cody Coyne
a. September meeting highlights included the provost addressing the faculty-to-student ratio in light of the increase enrollment. It was noted that money for the recent raises did not come from the state. Consideration is being given to creating a second level full professor position to help align pay throughout the ranks (similar to West Virginia). It was noted that the Athletic Department provided $200,000 to be divided among the colleges to compensate for the inconveniences brought on by the Thursday night football game, even though an additional day was added elsewhere in the academic schedule. The Dean of the Graduate School reported student enrollment increases. He reminded the group that travel funds are available to bring out-of-state graduate students to campus. Additional discussion of degree requirements, faculty grievance procedures, state pride awards, and building projects took place in the September meeting.
b. October meeting highlights included concerns from the Athletic Council regarding student athletes’ grades. It was announced that IHL Commissioner Hank Bounds would attend the November meeting. Academic freedom and the repeat policy were discussed. The guidelines for research professor promotions were discussed. Some department heads requested one set of guidelines for service/clinical, research and teaching. The Academic Operating Policy was examined along with Internet domain names, faculty grievance procedures, academic freedom, teaching credentials, refunds and course credit policies.
c. The next meeting will be Nov. 11 with Hank Bounds in attendance. Complete minutes are online at http://www.facultysenate.msstate.edu/materials/.

V. Committee assignments: Barry Stewart requested volunteers for the Senate’s standing committees before he begins making assignments.
a. Charter and Bylaws – Harvey Gordon and Anna Hood volunteered.
b. Academic Affairs – David Lang and Zhoahua Peng volunteered.
c. Faculty Affairs – Ann Schmidt volunteered and Hart Bailey’s name was volunteered.
d. Ancillary Affairs – Ian Munn volunteered.
e. Resources Committee – No one named to this committee yet.

VI. Unfinished business – Promotion and tenure were mentioned, but no action taken.
VII. New business
a. Meeting time: Barry Stewart asked if 1 p.m. is the best time or if attendance could be improved with a 2:00 or 3:00 start time. Most agreed that the time is not the reason for low attendance. Cody Coyne said a strong agenda always helps motivate members to attend. He suggested greater efforts to invite the vice chair to attend and report at Senate meetings. Wayne Ebelhar requested that agendas continue to be e-mailed to the group ahead of time. He also requested a 1:15 or 1:30 start time. The group agreed to a 1:30 start next month.
b. Barry Stewart asked if the vehicle policy of recording every movement of university vehicles has been a problem. Most reported that it was not a new policy, and they were accustomed to it.
c. Barry Stewart noted a perceived increase in faculty losses in recent months. Others thought their departments were experiencing normal attrition.
d. David Nagel submitted concerns about supervision of state Extension specialists. His written comments were as follows:

The recent implementation of “Regional Specialist” positions coupled with the decision to hire another layer of extension district administrators has raised an old question: “Where should extension professors (state specialists) be administered?”

Transferring administrative and fiscal responsibility back to administrators with statewide rather than limited geographic authority will help alleviate concerns about equal pay for unequal work this new scenario evokes. Since there is now an avenue whereby AREC Heads can meet needs specific to their geographic area, all professorial ranks should be administered by the person charged with statewide responsibility. The current system of “joint” administration is not working. AREC heads control both the fiscal resources and the day-to-day operations of extension professors under their purview. The only input the rest of the faculty, including the academic department head, is during annual evaluation and promotion review. We have had several instances where the academic department head has had no knowledge of academic and staffing of statewide position decisions by AREC heads until after the fact. We have one instance where an AREC head overruled an academic decision by faculty in an area outside the AREC head’s expertise. We now have academic and AREC heads competing for professorial oversight back to academic units.

Barry Stewart referred Nagel’s concerns to the Faculty Affairs Committee, with input from David Ingram and Wayne Ebelhar.

With the business for the day concluded, the meeting was adjourned until 1:30 p.m. on December 8.

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