CCSU Faculty Senate

Minutes—May 6, 2013 

VAC 105   3:05 PM

Present: Anderson, C.; Ayalon, A.; Ball, K.; Best, F.; Bilisoly, R.; Braverman, S.; Cappella, D.; Cohen, S.; Cox, S.; Delventhal, T.; Diamond, C.; Foster, P.; Fothergill, W.; Garcia-Bowen, M.; Greenfield, B.; Hicks, E.; Hoopengardner, B.; Horowitz, S.; Hou, X.; Jackson, M.; Johnson, D.; Jones, C.; Karpuk, P.; Kean, K.; Kershner, B.; Kideckel, D.; Kovel, J.; Kullgren, A.; Latour, F.; Mamed, O.; McGuire, M.; O'Connor, J.; Pancsofar, E.; Paolino, J.; Perdue, L.; Poirier, K.; Reska, J.; Sadanand, N.; Santoro, K.; Sarisley, E.; Shen, X.; Slaga, S.; Snyder, J.; Sweeney, D.; Tafrate, R.; Tellier, A.; Tully, J.; Walsh, S.; Wang, W.; Williams, C.

Ex-Officio: Lemma, P.; Lovitt, C.; Miller, J.; Pease, S.

Parliamentarian: Dimmick, C.

President of the Senate: Mulrooney, J.

Guests: Stephen Adair (FAC to the BOR); David Blitz (Philosophy); Thomas Burkholder (Chemistry, Information Technology Committee, Ad Hoc Committee on Online Learning); Charlene Casamento (CFO); Kristine Larsen (Physics and Earth Sciences, UPBC); Mary Ann Mahony (CCSU-AAUP)

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

2. Minutes

4h-l. Reports from Distinguished Service Award Committee, Information Technology Committee, Committee on Committees, Excellence in Teaching Committee, Academic Integrity Committee

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 approved unanimously

1. New Business

a.  Approval of May and August 2013 candidates for graduation (Deans of the four undergraduate Schools and the School of Graduate Studies) FS 12.13.025B, FS 12.13.026B

Approved unanimously

2. Approval of Minutes, April 29, 2013

Included on Consent Agenda

3. Announcements

a.  AAUP President (M. Mahony)

Congratulations to the new CCSU-AAUP officers and council members!

The Connecticut State Conference-AAUP will have its annual Spring meeting in New Haven on May 17. The meeting will feature a speaker, Jonathan Rees, Professor of History at Colorado State University-Pueblo, and Vice President of the AAUP Colorado Conference. His talked will be titled: "Should Professors Be Afraid of MOOCs?" (MOOCs = Massive open online courses.) There is no charge for attending the meeting and dinner, but advance registration with the AAUP office is needed.

b.  SUOAF-AFSCME President (E. Hicks)

There will be a Lobby Day on May 8. Go to the State Capitol to promote the interests of state employees.

The annual meeting will be on June 7, at noon, at the Farmington Club.

c.  SGA (E. Bergenn)

No announcements.

d.  FAC to the BOR (S. Adair)

No announcements.

e.  President of the Senate (J. Mulrooney)

Final grades are due on May 16, at 11:59pm. Faculty members are urged to submit their grades on time, as it is important for students.

Faculty-wide committee elections are open until 2pm tomorrow.

The General Education Implementation committee will begin its work soon. Its task is to take the General Education proposal that was approved last year, and align it with the Transfer and Articulation Policy.

In addition, a new committee, called the General Education Implementation and Assessment Committee, will be created, to look at how to assess the General Education program. The committee will consist of Don Adams, Mark Jackson, Shelly Jones, Beth Merenstein, Jim Mulrooney, and Yvonne Kirby.

The Senate President thanks all committees for their valuable service to the Faculty Senate.

4. Committee Reports

a.  Elections Committee (S. Bernstein)

Three of the committees whose elections were held last week had ties for the last available spot. Therefore, runoffs were necessary for the three committees. The runoffs were conducted.

Grade Appeals Committee: runoff between Nara Mijid and Krishna Saha. The winner was Krishna Saha.

Library Committee: runoff between Marian Anton and Ravi Shankar. The winner was Marian Anton.

University Athletics Board: runoff between Diana Cohen, Susan Koski, and Sean Walsh. The winner was Susan Koski, with Sean Walsh coming in second place.

b.  University Planning and Budget Committee Update (K. Larsen, C. Casamento (CFO))

Original report, addendum, additional document

Professor Larsen, chair of the UPBC, believes that there was a misunderstanding about what the UPBC meant in item 3a of its report (about the STEM school discussion). The addendum clarifies what the committee meant.

There is a typo in the addendum: on the last line, 2012-2014 should be 2013-2014.

Senator Ayalon asked if there was a connection between this STEM school discussion (item 3a) and the Downtown New Britain expansion discussion (item 3b); Senate President Mulrooney said that there was no connection.

Charlene Casamento, Chief Financial Officer, was asked to talk about item 8 and the "additional document", which are about the determination of the "true costs" of offering Summer and Winter session courses versus the revenue generated.

She said that she was asked by Provost Lovitt to look at how much it costs to offer a summer class, in terms of dollars per load hour.

The calculation includes 25% of the instructor's base pay for "fringe benefits", and 62% of the instructor's base pay plus fringe benefits for "indirect costs". The 25% figure is not a concrete number, but rather an estimate that is based on a couple of pay periods from last summer.

Senator Cohen pointed out that part-time faculty members don't get as many fringe benefits as full-time faculty, but yet the same 25% figure is used for both.

Senators Williams and Horowitz asked why the indirect costs are a function of the rank of the instructor; is there an implication that full Professors use more air conditioning, for example?

Professor Blitz pointed out that indirect costs need to be paid independently of whether or not summer courses are offered; bursars, custodians, etc. would still be working even if there were no summer classes. Therefore, the 62% does not correspond to an actual cost; it is just a number that is there to make courses more expensive to offer that they really are. He also said that, regardless of any kind of calculation of the costs of offering summer courses, the fact remains that these courses create a profit of $2.2 million per year for the university.

Professor Blitz asked whether or not the calculation of the cost of offering summer courses would be used to determine the minimum number of students who need to be registered for a course in order for it to run. Will courses that do not have at least nine students registered be canceled? Provost Lovitt answered in the negative. He said that a number of questions were asked about the budget for part-time lecturers, because in the past we have exceeded our part-time budget, and that it is all about being more efficient. For example, instead of offering multiple sections of the same course, could we offer fewer sections that each contain a larger number of students? That might help us avoid canceling so many courses. He added that "we did not say that we would not offer sections with fewer than 9 students".

Senator Pancsofar suggested that, if there is an instructor who is teaching two classes, one with fewer than 9 students and another with 25 students, then both should be allowed to run, because overall the two classes will clearly make a profit for the university.

The calculations do not take into account direct costs such as chemistry supplies; however, Professor Burkholder of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry pointed out that the university does not provide his department with extra money to purchase these; the money for such supplies comes out of the department's operating expenses.

Senator Cohen said out that these calculations seem to be just informational, that there is no policy connected to them. He said that if a policy decision is made based on them, it should be brought to the Senate.

Professor Blitz suggested that the university should have separate budgets for Fall/Spring and Winter/Summer. With the current setup, it is tempting to reduce the number of summer classes to allow for more Fall/Spring classes taught by part-timers. Having separate budgets would allow winter/summer classes to be run on an independent and entrepreneurial basis, and avoid sacrificing extra revenues that could be earned.

c.  Curriculum Committee (M. Jackson) FS.12.13.027B

Item 11.4: Professor Cohen asked if there still exist departments that want ENG 403. The answer is that there is one program that still has it, but it will be phased out, and there is an alternate course that the students can take.

Item 17: It was mentioned that the timing for reinstating the Early Childhood Education program is good, as the State of Connecticut is investing in this area.

Curriculum Committee report approved unanimously

d.  Ad Hoc Committee on Online Learning (T. Burkholder) FS.12.13.028B

Professor Burkholder presented the report, which is based on the philosophy that pedagogy should drive the use of technology, not the other way around.

Senator Cohen pointed out that in the summer session, online courses in English tend to fill up faster than traditional ones.

Report approved unanimously

e.  Committee on Academic Freedom (J. Tully)

Senator Tully stated that the bill that was presented by the committee and approved by the Senate this academic year was the only one that President Miller disapproved. In his disapproval statement, President Miller said that he believes that the committee's statement represents a misstatement of the intent of the Board of Regents. The Committee on Academic Freedom believes that the issue is the policy itself, not the intent behind that policy.

f.  Visionaries of CCSU (B. Greenfield) FS.12.13.005R

Open letter to the BOR, UCONN's letter

The Visionaries of CCSU wrote this open letter because of faculty frustration about the lack of a BOR response to the increase in UCONN's funding and to UCONN's expansion, and about the events that led to the resignation of Dr. Kennedy and Mr. Meotti.

The letter will be sent to President Miller, the Faculty Advisory Committee, and the CSU Faculty Leadership Group.

It was suggested that the Senate should sent this letter to the press.

Senator Best congratulated the Visionaries on their letter.

Much of the discussion focused on the sixth paragraph, which includes the sentence: "These discussions must include questioning the growing inequality of wealth, failure to tax the super-rich and failure to challenge national policies that favor foreign wars, bank bail-outs, and cash-rich corporations over working families."

Senator Anderson said that the sixth paragraph of the letter divides us rather than unites us. The committee's response is that they wanted to frame this issue within a broader political context. Senator Alewitz added that we cannot have a discussion about the future of our state without a discussion of where the resources of the state go. Senator Kovel said that yes, we can have a discussion about the future of the state, but the inclusion of the sixth paragraph does not help us, and thus he agrees with Senator Anderson. Professor Blitz likes the sixth paragraph, and says that people of all political persuasions agree that there is growing inequality in our society. He would add a mention of the "ever-growing student debt".

A motion to call the question was successful.

Open letter approved; 30 senators in favor, 6 opposed.

g.  International and Area Studies Committee (D. Kideckel)

No report available yet.

h.  Distinguished Service Award Committee (C. Lovitt)

Included on Consent Agenda

i.  Information Techonology Committee (T. Burkholder)

Included on Consent Agenda

j.  Committee on Committees (B. Hoopengardner)

j1. Information Techonolgy Committee by-laws FS.12.13.029B

j2. Sabbatical Leave Committee (AAUP) by-laws FS.12.13.030B

Included on Consent Agenda

k.  Excellence in Teaching Committee (D. Cappella)

Included on Consent Agenda

l.  Academic Integrity Committee (J. Snyder)

Included on Consent Agenda

5. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:28pm.