CCSU Faculty Senate

Minutes—December 10, 2012  

VAC 105   3:05 PM  

Present: Alewitz, M.; Anderson, C.; Arena, J.; Ayalon, A.; Ball, K.; Battle, S.; Beck, M.; Bernstein, S.; Best, F.; Bilisoly, R.; Blake, E.; Boscarino, N.; Braverman, S.; Cappella, D.; Cohen, S.; Cox, S.; Durant, M.; Espelin, J.; Farhat, J.; Fothergill, W.; Garcia-Bowen, M.; Greenfield, B.; Hoopengardner, B.; Hou, X.; Jackson, M.; Johnson, D.; Kean, K.; Kovel, J.; Kullgren, A.; Larsen, K.; Latour, F.; McGuire, M.; Mejia, G.; Pancsofar, E.; Paolino, J.; Pearson, F.; Ragusett, J.; Santoro, K.; Sarisley, E.; Shen, X.; Slaga, S.; Snyder, J.; Tafrate, R.; Tully, J.; Walsh, S.; Williams, C.


Ex-Officio: Lovitt, C.; Lemma, P.

Parliamentarian: Dimmick, C.

President of the Senate: Mulrooney, J.

Guests: Stephen Adair (FAC to the BOR), Paramita Dhar (Economics), Susan Seider (Graduate Studies Committee)

1. Approval of Minutes, December 3, 2012

Approved unanimously

2. Announcements

a.  AAUP President (J. Jones)

No announcements.

b.  SUOAF-AFSCME President (E. Hicks)

No announcements.

c.  SGA (E. Bergenn)

No announcements.

d.  FAC to the BOR (S. Adair)

The BOR was sending the FAC mixed messages regarding whether or not they believe that there should be a faculty vote to ratify the Transfer and Articulation Policy; some members of the BOR hold the opinion that because the TAP was created by a faculty TAP Steering Committee, there is no need faculty governance bodies to ratify the TAP. On November 15, the FAC explained the need for a ratification vote to the BOR. As a result, a meeting was scheduled on December 7 between the FAC and the BOR's Academic and Student Affairs Committee of 6 members. The meeting lasted 90 minutes and resulted in a resolution that adopted the TAP as policy. The discussion focused on the addition of a new "Whereas..." clause, acknowledging that "N out of 17 institutions have voted to ratify the TAP". The committee was divided; it is clear that some members do not want BOR policy to be contingent upon a faculty vote, and there is a concern about what would happen if fewer than half of the 17 institutions approve the TAP. The new "Whereas..." clause acknowledging the faculty's role in the development of the TAP has not been written; we will see what it looks like in January, when the full BOR votes to ratify the TAP.

Board of Regents Academic and Student Affairs Committee Minutes, December 7, 2012

e.  President of the Senate (J. Mulrooney)

No announcements.

3. Committee Reports

a.  Graduate Studies Committee (S. Seider) FS 12.13.011B

Approved unanimously

b.  Committee on Academic Freedom (J. Tully) FS 12.13.012B

BOR policies: IT-001, IT-002

Senator Tully presented the report of the Committee on Academic Freedom.

Senator Durant pointed out that the policies are similar to IT policies that can be found in other workplaces.

Senator Tully responded that universities are different from other workplaces because faculty members have academic freedom, which is a special form of free speech, and that the proposed policies may invite selective retribution towards some members of the academic community for exerting that free speech.

Provost Lovitt argued that there is no need to infer that there is a desire on part of the BOR to infringe upon academic freedom, and that there is no secret committee monitoring the activities of faculty.

Senator Greenfield said we should not try to discern the intent of the policy, that it does not matter if the intent is good when the policy is bad.

Senator Tully said that even if there is no monitoring currently taking place, the fact that the BOR is claiming the right to monitor is a violation of academic freedom.

Senator Cappella pointed out that claiming a "right" is often followed by an attempt to use that "right".

Senator Cohen said that even though nothing has changed in practical terms, the BOR has asserted a right to monitor without making a statement of respect for academic freedom.

Senator Alewitz said that the policies are based on the corporate model - in a private industry, employees do not have an expectation of privacy. The goal of these policies in industry is to block attempts at unionizing and organizing to create change. But the fact that those policies are common in industry does not make them right.

Senator Shen said that what is true in industry and in a "work-for-hire" environment is not always true at a university.

Senator Snyder pointed out the need to insure that our research subjects' confidentiality will be maintained.

Senator Best mentioned the need to consult with departments and unions on this issue.

Motion (Best/Arena): 1) The Faculty Senate approves the report of the Committee on Academic Freedom; 2) The Faculty Senate postpones the discussion of a possible course of action to the next meeting.

Approved unanimously

c.  Curriculum Committee (M. Jackson) FS 12.13.013B

Motion (Cox/Greenfield): To divide the report into four parts: (a) All items other than 2, 3 and 6; (b) item 2; (c) item 3; (d) item 6.

Approved (2 senators opposed)

(a) Motion (Cox/Greenfield): To approve all items other than 2, 3 and 6.

Approved (2 senators opposed)

(b) Motion (Kovel/Best): To approve item 2.

Approved unanimously

Item 3 is a major revision to the Chemistry program. It will require modifications to 26 majors and minors. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has done a good job contacting the affected departments.

(c) Motion (Best/Kovel): To approve item 3.

Approved unanimously

Item 6.32 creates the first minor in Astrobiology in Connecticut.

(d) Motion (Best/Fothergill): To approve item 6, with a correction to item 6.10: the former title of the course ESCI 121 should be "Physical Geology".

Approved unanimously

4. New Business

a.  Transfer and Articulation Policy (M. Jackson) FS 12.13.014B

The discussion focused on two things: the meaning (or lack thereof) of the vote, and the merits of the policy.

Senator Mejia praised the work of the TAP Steering Committee, stating that they were given an "impossible charge", and that what is currently happening is a travesty of shared governance.

Senators Alewitz, Arena, Greenfield and Shen voiced their disapproval of the fact that the BOR wants to impose the TAP on the 17 ConnSCU institutions and does not seem to care about the outcome of the faculty ratification vote (thus making the vote meaningless).

Senators Jackson, Cohen, and Durant, and Senate President Mulrooney, said that they would like to see Senators vote on the TAP based on its merits, not based on a desire to make a statement towards the BOR. Senator Cohen said that he will vote in favor of the TAP, but is nevertheless appalled that the BOR doesn't seem to think that having a faculty vote is important; he was on one of the TAP committees and was under the impression that there would be such a vote.

Senator Shen said that she will vote against the policy because her department does not approve it; they would like an additional requirement to be added. In response, it was stated that CCSU can mandate additional general education requirements on top of the TAP-mandated ones (15 credits).

Senator Kovel said that many programs in the School of Engineering and Technology cannot use the TAP because of accreditation reasons; Senate President Mulrooney answered that the TAP is not an issue for these programs, only for a small number of other programs. Senator Larsen stated that it has been known since the beginning that the TAP will not work for every program; if it can't be done, then it can't be done, and programs will not be forced to do something impossible.

Senator Jackson said that programs that already have well-defined articulation agreements do not have to worry about the TAP. Also, some programs (biology, nursing,...) have already started creating their major pathways, and it does not look like it will be a difficult process.

Motion (Jackson/Cohen): The CCSU Faculty Senate ratifies the Transfer and Articulation Policy.

Approved --- 36 senators in favor, 6 opposed

b.  Mid-semester Grades catalog language (F. Latour) FS 12.13.015B

Approved unanimously

5. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:40pm.