CCSU Faculty Senate

Minutes—February 24, 2014

VAC 105   3:05 PM

Present: Anderson, C.; Arena, J.; Bernstein, S.; Bigelow, L.; Bilisoly, R.; Blake, E.; Blitz, D.; Boscarino, N.;  Braverman, S.; Broadus-Garcia, C.; Christensen, S.; Cox, S.; D'Addio, D.; D'Amato, K.; Delventhal, T.; Duquette, J.; Emeagwali, G.; Fallon, M.; Foster, P.; Fothergill, W.; Garcia-Bowen, M.; Hicks, E.; Horowitz, S.; Hou, X.; Jackson, M.; Johnson, D.; Kean, K.; Knopf, K.; Koplowitz, B.; Kovel, J.; Kurkjian, C.; Larsen, K.; Latour, F.; Lee, L.; Leon, J.; Liard-Muriente, C.; Love, K.; Mamed, O.; Marquette, C.; McGuire, M.; Pancsofar, E.; Paolino, J.; Pearson, F.; Phillips, E.; Pozorski, A.; Ragusett, J.; Reasco, A.; Retelle, E.; Santoro, K.; Sarisley, E.; Schlickmann, P.; Shen, X.; Snyder, J.; Solomon, P.; Sweeney, D.; Tellier, A.; Tomoda, S.; Tully, J.; White, C.; Williams, C.

Ex-Officio: Alfano, M.; Fitzgerald, G.; Lovitt, C.; Malhas, F.; Pease, S.; Shojai, S.

Parliamentarian: Dimmick, C.

President of the Senate: Cohen, S.

Guests: Nidal Al-Masoud (Engineering); Mary Pat Bigley (School of Education and Professional Studies); Tom Burkholder (Chemistry and Biochemistry, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Physics); Peter Lemaire (Physics); Cory Manento (Student Government Association); James Mulrooney (Biomolecular Sciences); Mary Anne Nunn (English); Acadia Otlowski (The Recorder); Connie Tait (Counseling and Family Therapy); Barry Westcott (Chemistry and Biochemistry)

1. Approval of Minutes, February 10, 2014

2. Announcements

a.  AAUP President (M. A. Mahony)

AAUP representatives and FAC representatives, including CCSU-AAUP President Mary Ann Mahony, CSU-AAUP President Vijay Nair, FAC Chair Stephen Adair, will testify regarding the Governor's Bill. The system office did ask for some funds for additional full-time faculty lines as part of its request for funds, but the number of lines is not very high, considering that the lines are spread across 17 institutions.

The next chapter meeting will be on Wednesday at 3pm.

Last week, the faculty at University of Illinois at Chicago held a two-day strike for a contract. They have been trying to get a contract for one year, unsuccessfully. One of the major issues is the part-time faculty pay rate. There is also a unionization campaign at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

b.  SUOAF-AFSCME President (E. Hicks)

There will be a luncheon meeting/social on March 17th featuring a talk by House majority leader Joe Arasimoicz, who will discuss the implications of public employee union legislation in Wisconsin. The talk will be followed by a St. Patrick’s day luncheon.

c.  SGA (C. Manento for B. Choplick)

No report.

d.  FAC to the BOR (S. Adair)

The Higher Education Committee of the legislature meets on Thursday. Many faculty members will be testifying, including Stephen Adair.

e.  President of the Faculty Senate (S. Cohen)

The Faculty Senate will be hosting a forum with President Miller at 3:05pm tomorrow, in the Connecticut Room.

CACE will be sponsoring a series of career-oriented events, including Liberal Arts Career Day (March 3) and a Spring Career Fair (March 5).

3. Unfinished Business

a.  Creation of a School of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) FS.13.14.014B

Motion (Kovel/Sarisley): to adopt the resolution creating a School of STEM.


Senator Horowitz said that the department of Psychological Science wanted to be a part of the School of STEM, but has lost this battle. He said that those putting forward this proposal have made themselves the arbiters of what is science and what is not. He urges senators to vote "no" on this proposal, until we have two proposals, one for the School of STEM and one for the disciplines that remain in the School of Arts and Sciences. He wonders what Carol Ammon thinks of having her name attached to the School of "Arts and Leftovers".

Senator Liard-Muriente asked about the meaning of phrase "narrow undergraduate specialization in a single traditional discipline". Provost Lovitt responsed that a "narrow undergraduate specialization in a single traditional discipline" is meant to be contrasted with the interdisciplinary nature of STEM. He also feels that this collection of 10 departments makes the most sense to form the new school, because of the natural synergies that exist among the disciplines, especially between engineering and the other disciplines.

Also, there will be a retreat for the 17 department chairs who are in the school of Arts and Sciences, but are not moving to the School of STEM, to discuss the vision, purpose and identity of the school. There is a commitment from the Administration to support the school of A&S as well as the new school.

Senator Hicks wonders about the implications of the STEM school on the general education program. Previously, the general education program was mostly the responsibility of the school of Arts and Sciences, but that will no longer be the case. She hopes that supporting general education is part of the missing and purpose of the new school. Professor Mulrooney of the Biomolecular Sciences department said that his department has historically contributed to general education, and he does not see how the creation of a new school takes away from this.

Dean Malhas said that the 10 departments will develop a strategic plan, and a vision for the new school will follow.

Senator Fallon pointed out that there are natural synergies between engineering and psychology, and there is no program in Connecticut that explores them. By not including the Department of Psychological Sciences in the new school, we are missing a chance to have something unique in the state.

In response to concerns that, in the future, some might argue that all courses that involve technology would be in the school of STEM, Senator Sarisley said that there should be no concern: faculty members in every school will be allowed to use technology, including computing, in their courses, whether or not they are members of a department in the school of STEM. He spoke in support of the resolution, while acknowledging the validity of the Psychological Science department's concerns.

A motion to call the question (Sarisley/Kovel) was succesful.

Vote on the main motion: Approved, with five senators opposed.

4. Committee Reports

a.  Ad Hoc Committee on Physics (T. Burkholder)

Professor Lemaire, of the Physics group, said that the members of his group were very disappointed in this reports. He said that the Physics group is a minority group within his department, and that Physics deserves to be a department. He said that the part of the report on the space issue does not take into account the fact that Physics requires a lot of equipment; for example, an accelerator might take an entire room. So, he does not agree that a 50-50 split is fair. He mentioned the case of a fellow faculty member who has been building a lab for several years using grants, and was asked to move to a new lab with barely enough space for all the equipment. He also said that it is almost impossible for students to get a physics course because of the lack of faculty.

Senator Barr suggested that the Physics group give something in writing as a response to the report.

Senator Sarisley asked if it is true that, if the lab space issue were to be solved by moving to a new building, the organizational structure issues would also be solved. Professor Lemaire responded in the negative, because solving the lab space issue would solve the problems related to the difficulty of offering enough Physics courses.

Senator Blitz said that a written rebuttal from the Physics group would be a good idea, but that the Senate should refrain from considering a resolution on the issue, since it is not the role of the Senate to adjudicate disputes within departments. He also said that having enough space to conduct research in general is a problem at CCSU.

5. New Business

a.  Reorganization of the School of Education and Professional Studies (M. Alfano)

Dean Alfano presented his Vision and Plan for Teacher Preparation at CCSU, and Senators asked questions.

Senator Broadus-Garcia asked if the plan would help solve the problem of finding enough cooperating teachers. It is difficult to find them nowadays because teachers are too busy with issues related to the Common Core. Dean Alfano responded in the affirmative.

Senator Snyder asked about the timeframe; Dean Alfano said that he was hoping that implementation would begin by Fall 2014.

Senator Phillips talked about the problem of lack of diversity, and about how this plan would help solve that problem. Dean Alfano spoke of the need to partner with diverse schools and to attract and retain diverse educators.

Senator Liard-Muriente asked whether the plan involves moving A&S faculty to SEPS. Dean Alfano said that dual appointments have come to his mind, but we are not ready for this.

Senator White asked if the Teacher Education department was involved in generating these ideas. Dean Alfano said that he would be meeting with that department tomorrow, and that he is seeking out advice from many sources, including the Faculty Senate.

The Department of Teacher Education has serious concerns about the plan, and has voted 10-2 to support a resolution expressing their concerns.

Teacher Education Department resolution

Senate President Cohen talked about the importance of Faculty Senate involvement in implementing such a plan, since the Senate has advisory capacity in university organizational structure.

6. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:34pm.