CCSU Faculty Senate

Minutes—May 7, 2012

VAC 105   2:00 PM

Present: Alewitz, M., Anderson, C., Best, F., Bigelow, L., Bunce, P., Calvert, J., Cappella, D., Christensen, S., Clark, B., Cohen, S., Diamond, C., Durant, M., Farhat, J., Foster, P., Fried, J., Greenfield, B., Hoopengardner, B., Horan, M., Hou, X., Iglesias, E., Johnson, B., Jones, C., Kean, K., Kershner, B., Latour, F., Mahony, M., Mejia, G., Menoche, C., Mione, T., Mulcahy, C., Mulrooney, J., O'Connor, J., Osoba, B., Pancsofar, E., Poirier, K., Ratansi, S., Sarisley, E., Shell, G., Tellier, A., Vogeler, R., Wlodarska, K., Wood, R.

Ex-Officio: Miller, J., Lovitt, C., Tordenti, L., Lemma, P.

Parliamentarian: Dimmick, C.

President of the Senate: Barrington, C.

Guests: Adair, S., Bergenn, E., Jones, J., Kennedy, R., Meotti, M., Wolff, R.


The Steering Committee recommended the following items for inclusion on the Consent Agenda:

1. Minutes

3b. Writing Across the Curriculum Committee Report

3c. Child Care Task Force Report

3d. Committee on Committees Report

4b. Elections of Senators for Part-Time Faculty


Items accepted on the Consent Agenda will be approved without discussion or vote. Please indicate if you would like to have any item removed from the Consent Agenda for discussion and/or floor vote.


Consent Agenda Passed



1. Approval of Minutes, April 30, 2012  


Passed as consent agenda item



2. Announcements

a. AAUP President (J. Jones)

The final AAUP meeting and social will take place today, at 4pm in the Connecticut Room.

b. SUOAF-AFSCME President (E. Hicks)

No announcements.

c. SGA (E. Bergenn)


No announcements.


d. FAC to Board of Regents (S. Adair)


A major item that was discussed and passed this year by the new Board of Regents was the new transfer and articulation policy. The FAC was instrumental in making significant changes to the policy and insuring faculty input in the implementation of the policy.
State Senator Beth Bye was contacted regarding faculty concerns over bill SB40, which disallows the state universities and community colleges from providing many remedial or developmental educational courses. Community Colleges are particularly concerned about the adverse impact of the bill on populations at risk. It is too early to know what the consequences of the bill are, but we will see.

Recently, the BOR invited McKinsey & Company to present their report, Winning by degrees: the strategies of highly productive higher-education institutions to the Board. The report advances a narrow and instrumental view of higher education. It claims that by 2020, the US will need 23% more people with a college degree, and that the only solution is to increase productivity. The report uses eight colleges as model institutions, and praises many changes that have been made by those institutions, including a higher student-faculty ratio, increased use of part-time faculty, more online courses, fewer grades of D, F, or W, fewer students graduating with more than 130 credits, and disaggregating instruction.


e. President of the Senate (C. Barrington)


Don’t forget about the June Baker Higgins Conference and the Women of Influence Gala:


3. Reports

a. Curriculum Committee (D. Adams) 

FS 11.12.039B

The next chair of the Curriculum Committee is Mark Jackson (Biology)

D. Adams mentions that the CC chair often asks departments to secure additional signatures. This requirement does not automatically mean that those who sign a proposal must approve it, it just allows things to be taken care of early in a friendly way.

The only item that generated discussion was item 9, the deletion of graduate credit for all 400-level History courses, except HIST 495. Senator Best expressed concern over this item. Robert Wolff answered that the change was the will of the History department, and that the proposed change was the culmination of 8 years of discussion between the department, the Graduate Studies Committee, and the Dean of Graduate Studies. Dean Lemma explained that the NEASC report asked the university to clearly differentiate between graduate and undergraduate courses. The question was then called (Jones/Iglesias).

The curriculum committee report was approved, with one senator opposed.


b. Writing Across the Curriculum (R. Wood, S. Cohen)

Passed as consent agenda item

c. Child Care Task Force (L. Glaser)


Passed as consent agenda item


d. Committee on Committees (F. Latour) FS 11.12.040B

Passed as consent agenda item


4. New Business

a. Elections – General Education Implementation Committee FS 11.12.041B

The following slate of nominees for the Implementation Committee was proposed by the Steering Committee:

David Spector (Biology)

Thomas Burkholder (Chemistry and Biochemistry)

Stephen Cohen (English)

Beth Merenstein (Sociology)

Peter Morano (Physical Education and Human Performance)

Bradley Waite (Psychological Science)

Cindy White (Communication)

Four more faculty slots need to be filled; there needs to be one member from Mathematical Sciences, one from the School of Engineering and Technology, and two at-large. Also, there will be two students, and the Chair of the Curriculum Committee.

Senator Tellier asked if any administrative faculty members were included on the committee; President Barrington answered that the Steering Committee discussed that matter, and decided that it was preferable to restrict the committee to teaching faculty and students.

The General Education Implementation Committee was approved, unanimously.

b. Elections of Senators representing Part-Time Faculty

The Elections Committee recommends the following slate (for 3 senators and one alternate):

Kevin Kean (Psychology)        

David Johnson (Geography)        

Thomas Slopnick (History)

Karlene Ball (Modern Languages--ALTERNATE)

Passed as consent agenda item


c. Resolution opposing Indefinite Detention (M. Alewitz, M. A. Mahony) FS. 11.12.007R

The “opposed and” in the sixth “Whereas…” was changed to “opposed”.

Passed, with 16 senators in favor, 3 opposed.

At this point, Senate President Barrington gave her farewell speech, thinking many people for their service, including Vice President Mulrooney, Secretary Barr and former Secretary Donna Sims, Parliamentarian Charles Dimmick, the Steering Committee, the Elections Committee, the Committee on Committees, the Curriculum Committee (especially Don Adams and Paul Karpuk), the Academic Integrity, Academic Standards, Grade Appeals, and Academic Advising Committees, the Ad Hoc Committee on the Sabbatical Leave policy, the Ad Hoc Committee on General Education, and the Child Care task force.

d. Discussion with Robert Kennedy (President) and Michael Meotti (Vice President), ConnSCU Board of Regents

Board of Regents President Robert Kennedy and Executive Vice President Michael Meotti were introduced, and gave opening speeches. The highlights of the opening speeches are the following:

  • Dr. Kennedy mentioned that he was impressed with the CCSU campus.
  • Early progress has been made by the very young BOR, especially with the Transfer and Articulation policy. The BOR is working closely with the Faculty Advisory Committee, especially on that issue.
  • The importance of leveraging the talent across all 17 institutions of ConnSCU.
  • The role of the 17 institutions in meeting the needs of companies, such as Jackson Laboratories, which is coming to Connecticut.
  • The reorganization and the reduction in the number of positions in the central office are attempt ate dealing with the problem of reduced funding for public institutions. 24 or 25 fewer positions in the central office means $4.3-5 million that will go back to the various campuses.
  • SB40 (the “remediation bill”) will have a major impact, especially on the community colleges. It needs to be implemented by 2014.

After the opening speeches, there was a Question and Answer session with the Faculty Senate; the following is a summary of the Q&A.

Senator Foster: Is there a greater goal for the 17 member institutions than “workforce development”?

Dr. Kennedy discusses the importance of saving money and of more effectively leveraging the talent across the 17 institutions in order to impact the economic workforce.

Senator Mahony: We feel that there is a contradiction between, on the one hand, saving money and standardizing curricula, and on the other hand, empowering faculty. On the one hand, the BOR talks about making CSU the flagship of the system and empowering faculty, but on the other hand, BOR actions seem to imply something else.

Dr. Kennedy: There is no contradiction. If a student needs to return to a community college for a 3rd or 4th year because he/she is missing one course, why not take the course online at Charter Oak instead? This is leveraging, making a better use of the resources that we have available. Repeats that the strength of our 17-campus system is in the faculty. Realizing that the wealth of talent is greater than we knew is also leveraging. Discusses the importance of enhancing and fostering the creativity of faculty.

Mr. Meotti: It’s not about standardizing curricula, it’s about defining learning outcomes and standards that are understood across the various institutions.

Senator Best: Under the new Transfer and Articulation policy, would a student who has earned 60 credits to graduate from a Community College and transfers to CCSU have 60 credits at CCSU?

Dr. Kennedy: Explains that the policy specifies that the student would come to CCSU with Junior standing and with General Education completed.

Mr. Meotti: The people who are fleshing out the details are the faculty.

Student Kim Towler: Given that society has an increasing need for college graduates, and in the view of bill SB40, how are we going to address deficiencies of new students, especially non-traditional students?

Mr. Meotti: Explains that SB40 is legislation, not BOR policy. Hardly anyone (1 in 6 or 1 in 7) in the remediation pathway succeeds.

Explains that the law recognizes three remediation models:

1) We can still do a semester of some form of remediation;

2) There can be freshman courses with embedded support;

3) There can be intensive programs in the summer.

Discusses the importance of partnerships with high schools.

Senator Fried: Critical thinking is our most important learning outcome; however, most faculty don’t know how to define “critical thinking”, don’t know how to write a learning outcome. We can’t even define what a learning outcome is, because we don’t know how people learn, we don’t even really know what “learning” is.

Mr. Meotti: Agrees, so let’s address the problem.

Dr. Kennedy: Who could be better to discuss this than the faculty?

Senator Cohen: As Chair of the Department of English, is very concerned about SB40. How do we make it work? Local control and adequate funding are needed to make this work.

Answer: Yes, local control is important. Community colleges spend 6-7 million dollars on remediation. Some of this funding can be redirected.

Senator Greenfield: What is the rationale for bringing in McKinsey & Company? They know nothing about education and learning. She does not see how their recommendations will advance student learning.

Dr. Kennedy: The idea of bringing in McKinsey & Company came from the Board of Regents. Many of the members of the Board had experience with them.

AAUP President Jason Jones: As the Transfer and Articulation meeting, a copy of a report titled Time is the Enemy, by the Complete College America foundation, was distributed. The report echoes many of the same ideas as the McKinsey report. There seems to be a push towards cutting faculty positions as a way to save money. In addition, faculty do not seem very good at talking about what we do and how hard we work. Case in point: the request for a study on the cost of reassigned time for faculty. UConn and the community colleges both gave the correct answer: the cost of reassigned time is $0, because it is given to faculty in compensation for important work performed for the university. But the CSU system incorrectly calculated the cost of reassigned time to be in the millions of dollars.

Dr. Kennedy does agree that there has to be a better way to do this.

Mr. Meotti mentions explaining to Senator Bye that implementing SB40 will require the creation of a mechanism for awarding reassigned time to faculty.

Dr. Kennedy says that we have graduated 260,000 students since 1983, while UConn has graduated that many since 1881.

Senator Mahony pointed out that research reassigned time is competitive (at least in Arts and Sciences), and that reassigned time in general allows faculty to be involved with important projects and duties (such as writing books and the Civil War project, chairing departments, etc.)

Senator Osoba believes that online learning is fascinating, but is wondering how we can make sure that the quality of the online learning is adequate.

Dr. Kennedy says that this can be done by getting faculty to help.


5. Adjournement

The meeting was adjourned at 4:01pm.