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Faculty Senate update

Votes on committee-led items, feedback from a high-impact instructional program launch and calls for service.

By Cory Phare

April 23, 2018

Faculty Senate MeetingThe Faculty Senate welcomed guests and voted on several items in the penultimate meeting for the 2017-18 academic term.

Gordon Loui, director of strategic partnerships and community engagement, reminded attendees to register for Roadrunners Give Back Day 2018, the University’s official day of giving, which occurs April 26. Faculty Senate President Matt Makley also encouraged people to take part.

Jeff Loats, director of the Center for Faculty Excellence, provided attendees updates from the Student-Centered Active Learning Environment program launch. SCALE is a pilot program seeking requested submissions to teach courses highlighting high-impact practices to be housed for the fall on the second floor of the Student Success Building. Some of the feedback included perceptions of rushed efforts and concerns about affiliate faculty access; Loats also discussed next steps (re-examining timing, communication and proposal calls) and noted how peer mentors will work with the classes to provide direct access to the support network found in SSB. Those with questions should contact him directly.

“We love to find ways to recognize high-quality teaching, and there’s a lot of it here,” Loats said. “This is a small piece of that acknowledgment.”

Makley then noted that the May 2 Senate meeting will mark the end of the 2017-18 term and the beginning of 2018-19, with elections for executive officer positions (president, vice president and secretary). There will be a call for nominations during the meeting from the floor and beforehand; Makley indicated incumbent position-holders plan to run for re-election, and he encouraged anyone interested to also run. At-large seats will also be voted on at the meeting.

Makley also put out a call for a representative for the Provost’s committee on open educational resources. He acknowledged the work of Emily Ragan to advance OER support at the state level and asked those interested to email him and copy Robyn Sherwood.

“It’s exciting,” Makley said. “We’re primed and well-positioned; this is at the nexus of the conversation going on between higher education and the state (government).”

Items then brought to a vote were:

  • Jessica Weiss and Vincent Piturro presented a second reading on the work of the Academic Policies Committee, General Studies Committee, Curriculum Committee and Multicultural Review Committee; individual departments will determine whether a transfer course carries a multicultural designation (the GS Committee will determine whether there is no apparent home department). The Senate voted in favor with 100 percent approval.
  • Weiss also discussed a third reading of the Academic Policy Committee’s work to provide graduate populations the same tiered-priority registration process as undergraduates, based on special statuses (e.g., Access Center accommodations, veterans) and amount of degree completed. The Senate voted in favor with 100 percent approval.
  • Jean-Francois Duclos noted work on the curriculum-policy manual (the “purple book”) during a second reading, specifically major changes including the notification and letters of support for course creation outside of home departments, dispute processes not resolved at the school or college level, clarification on internship designation and curriculum-manual review process. The Senate voted with 96 percent in favor to approve the proposed changes to the curriculum manual.
  • Chris Harder provided a second reading of the proposed election of affiliate faculty as Category 3 to be codified in the Senate bylaws; Aaron Johnson then prompted departments to encourage affiliate participation before the Senate voted the measure in with 99 percent approval.

Other items of business included:

  • Voting for affiliate Faculty Senate nominees begins April 20 and runs until April 27.
  • Faculty trustee nominations also open April 20 and are due by noon April 27; when the nomination period has ended, the Senate will conduct an all-faculty election. Makley thanked Kenn Bisio for his service in this role.
  • Anne Williams, chair of the Revenue, Tenure and Promotion Committee, thanked her fellow members and encouraged others to consider serving on the committee to fill the anticipated open positions.
  • There will be pizza at the May 2 meeting.
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