DAFVM Faculty Senate
Bost Extension Building 205
Video links to Delta R&E, Coastal R&E, Central R&E
March 8, 2012
Members attending included Hart Bailey, Ned Browning, Linda Breazeale, Wayne Ebelhar, Sherrill Fleming, Harvey Gordon, Anna Hood, David Ingram, Matt Interis, Fred Musser, and Barry Stewart.
Additional guests: Gary Jackson and David Nagel
Absent: Gary Bachman, Andrew Claude, Cody Coyne, Carol Ellington, Laurie Grace, Carla Huston, Danny Magee, Zhoahua Peng, Amy Schmidt, Ty Schmidt, and Jessica Wells.
- Barry Stewart called the meeting to order, and introduced the guest speaker, Gary Jackson, MSU Extension director.
- Gary Jackson provided an Extension update.
- Jackson has been meeting with Extension stakeholder groups (associations) since the first of the year and providing them with an overview of our financial situation. They express appreciation for Extension’s efforts. He has also met with legislative committees and subcommittees. Extension has a good relationship with the speaker of the house, the lieutenant governor, committee chairs and the supervisors association.
- His message to them has been one of our stewardship of the state funding. He said for every dollar the state gives Extension, we return 67 cents in services to Mississippians.
- When meeting with officials, he expresses a desire for more access to technology. They have an understanding of our technological needs. One Legislative bill that died in committee this year and pertained to cell phones has opened a conversation that will be continued next year. Hope to change the terminology from cell phones to wireless devices. Jackson said the medical center is exempt from the cell phone law and Extension should be too.
- Revenues have been on the positive side with $175 million in new revenue, but no stimulus funds. Our budget is solid. We are still filling positions and have plenty of young and qualified applicants. We are working to place the right degree backgrounds in communities around the state.
- Restructuring? Area agent positions were hit hard by the retirement incentive. People still use the term “specialist” when they are looking for Extension help. We are looking into regional specialists, which was influenced by the consideration for a sweet potato specialist. He commended the forestry model of regional specialists. These would be nonfaculty postions requiring a doctorate. Fred Musser asked if a Ph.D. should be a priority since some of the best candidate with doctorates would likely prefer professorial positions. He said good master’s graduates could be better than a possibly weak Ph.D. graduate. Jackson said it would be considered.
- Jackson said they are trying to address the issue of who area/regional agents answer to, i.e. for the evaluation process. Currently, they answer to department heads or Research and Extension Center heads, or both.
- Extension has 704 employees and most work off campus.
- Jackson offered to attend DAFVM faculty senate meetings on a recurring basis.
- Future topics to consider include the potential for nine-month contracts for Extension faculty.
- Ned Browning moved that the February 9, 2012, minutes be approved. Hart Bailey seconded. The motion carried.
- President’s report:
- Barry Stewart encourage senators to check MSU website links to see the new operating procedures (http://www.msstate.edu/dept/audit/Policy%20Changes.htm) and staff compensation program (http://www.msstate.edu/dept/audit/60323.html), a newly developed policy that was discussed at the recent department heads meeting. They are still discussing how to implement. One change is that the Dean will not have to sign off on every exception to salary.
- Budget situation: Although revenues are running ahead of predictions, we could be facing a $500 million shortfall in the state’s budget. Universities may face a 5 percent budget reduction.
- Stewart reviewed activities from the Robert Holland Faculty Senate.
- The provost reported on the SAC listening sessions, plans for a new classroom building, Aiken Village construction is on hold, efforts to coordinate custodial staff, and Information Technology efforts to develop a single campuswide mail system.
- Additional items included HRM’s Faculty Compensation Plan, parking decals for motorcycles, and golf cart usage on campus.
- Unfinished business: David Ingram from the Faculty Affairs Committee said DAFVM guidelines are in place regarding evaluation of off-campus personnel, off of the DAFVM website.
- The URL is http://www.dafvm.msstate.edu/resources/forms/evaluation-guidelines.pdf. It reads: [Special note for off-campus Faculty: Performance evaluation will originate with the head with administrative responsibility. Evaluation input will be solicited by the REC head from the department head of the discipline where the REC faculty holds appointment. Likewise, a department head will solicit evaluation input from REC(s) concerning activity and performance of on-campus faculty who do work on a REC facility or in the area. Final decisions on performance evaluation will be the prerogative of the head with administrative responsibility. Department Heads may request input or review by their Extension Leaders. The evaluation forms for all faculty with Extension appointments will be forwarded to the appropriate State Program Leader for review.]
- Barry Stewart asked if reminder letters should be sent to R&E heads and department heads, especially around November, or possibly just Dr. Bohach.
- Wayne Ebelhar moved that Barry draft a letter to remind administrators of the guidelines for off-campus evaluations. Fred Musser seconded. The motion carried. Barry said he would work with the Faculty Affairs Committee
- New business: None.
Meeting adjourned until the next meeting on April 12, 2012.
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