CCSU Faculty Senate

Minutes—November 11, 2013

VAC 105   3:05 PM

Present: Abed, F.; Anderson, C.; Antonucci, C.; Arena, J.; Barr, B.; Bernstein, S.; Best, F.; Bigelow, L.; Blake, E.; Boscarino, N.; Cox, S.; D'Addio, D.; D'Amato, K.; Dharavath, N.; Diamond, C.; Fallon, M.; Fothergill, W.; Garcia-Bowen, M.; Hazan, S.; He, F.; Horowitz, S.; Jackson, M.; Johnson, D.; Kean, K.; Kim, Y.; Koplowitz, B.; Kurkjian, C.; Larsen, K.; Latour, F.; Leon, J.; Liard-Muriente, C.; Lim, K.; Love, K.; Mamed, O.; Martin-Troy, K.; McGuire, M.; Melnyk, J.; Pancsofar, E.; Paolino, J.; Passaro, M.; Pearson, F.; Phillips, E.; Pozorski, A.; Ragusett, J.; Retelle, E.; Rosenberg, J.; Santoro, K.; Sarisley, E.; Shen, X.; Snyder, J.; Sweeney, D.; Tellier, A.; Tully, J.; Vogeler, R.; White, C.; Williams, C.; Zummer, T.

Ex-Officio: Fitzgerald, G.; Lovitt, C.; Shojai, S.

Parliamentarian: Dimmick, C.

President of the Senate: Cohen, S.

Guests: Mary Ann Mahony (AAUP President)

1. Approval of Minutes, October 28, 2013

Approved Unanimously

2. Announcements

a.  AAUP President (M. A. Mahony)

The last day to vote in the election for Council representative is Monday, November 18. Remember to vote. The three candidates are Katherine Harris, Kevin Kean and Jesse Turner.

There will be a chapter meeting tomorrow, in the Marcus White Living Room at 3:05pm.

There will be a department chairs' meeting on Friday, November 15, in the Connecticut Room, at 11:30am.

New copies of the contract (the current one, 2007-11, which has been extended to 2016) are being printed. The copies will include information about changes that were made in the last two rounds of concessions.

b.  SUOAF-AFSCME President

No announcements.

c.  SGA (B. Choplick)

SGA President Choplick was absent, but he sent the following announcement to the President of the Senate:

The events of November 4th were incredibly challenging for each and every member of our great institution. While the outcome of the day was not as terrifying as most had initially anticipated, the actions taken by CCSU faculty members were necessary and appropriate. While I most certainly hope that this university never encounters another situation similar to that of last Monday, I have been assured that the members of the faculty are not only prepared, but also willing and able to execute proper emergency procedures for the safety of themselves and the students of CCSU. I admire the bravery shown and the ability to keep students calm in such a trying time. I send this letter to thank you for your dedication to the university and efforts to do your part in a situation that nobody could truly ever be fully prepared for.

d.  FAC to the BOR (S. Adair)

No announcements.

e.  Department of Journalism (D. Sweeney)

Senator Sweeney invites members of the Senate to attend an event hosted by the Department of Journalism. The event is called #CCSULockdown: A Panel Discussion About Social Media Usage and Breaking News. It wil be on Wednesday, November 13, from 5:00 to 6:15pm, in Founders Hall. A reporter from the Hartford Courant, NBC CONNECTICUT, Central Recorder as well as a member of the CCSU Communications team will be on the panel.

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

1.    On the Lockdown:

a.    In response to the campus-wide emergency on November 4, the University will be holding an Open Forum on November 19, at 3:05 pm, in Torp Theatre, Davidson Hall. The forum is open to all faculty, staff, and students.

b.    Senate’s ad hoc committee on Public Safety is meeting today and will have a report for the Senate at our next meeting.

2.    The President of the Faculty Senate is in the process of putting together four ad hoc committees: one Senate committee and three joint faculty-administration committees.  He is seeking members for all:

a.     Ad hoc Senate committee on the Academic Calendar

b.     Joint ad hoc committee on Online Learning

c.     Joint ad hoc committee on Minority Student Success

d.     Joint ad hoc committee on Preparing Students for Employment

3.    The President of the Faculty Senate would like to devote some time in today’s meeting to a discussion of the ConnSCU Strategic Plan, and will say a few words about it then.

3. Election

a.  TAP Framework Implementation and Review Committee Election (S. Bernstein)

There were three candidates in this election: Jan Bishop (Physical Education and Human Performance), Myrna Garcia-Bowen (Office of Transfer and Academic Articulations) and Mark Jackson (Biology). The election was held, and Myrna Garcia-Bowen was elected.

4. Committee Reports

a.  Ad Hoc Committee on the Vance Lecture (B. Greenfield)

A shortlist of seven proposed speakers has been sent to the Office of Institutional Advancement, which will forward the list to the Vance Foundation. The committee will take it up with the Vance Foundation in none of the seven nominees is selected.

Senator Martin-Troy asked if Rachel Maddow was excluded from the list for being too expensive for the lecture's budget. Answer: Yes.

b.  Curriculum Committee (M. Jackson) FS.13.14.007B

Senator Bigelow asked about IS 490; is it different from IS 360? Senator Shen answered that the intent is to keep both in the catalog as distinct courses.

Approved unanimously

5. New Business

a.  Discussion of the ConnSCU plan

CCSU Suggestions for ConnSCU Strategic Plan

ConnSCU Strategic Plan

Motion (Martin-Troy/Diamond): To go into a committee of the whole, for the purposes of discussing the ConnSCU plan.

Approved unanimously

On Saturday, the CSU Leadership group met, and is in the process of drafting a response to the ConnSCU plan. Concerns include the lack of consultation with faculty, the lack of adequate time to discuss the plan and draft a faculty response, the "areas of emphasis" (STEM for CCSU, liberal arts for ECSU, performing arts for WCSU and allied health for SCSU), the proposed consolidations (common application, online learning,...).

Senator Best said that the CSU Professors met with BOR President Gray, who said that we there is no plan to consolidate academic programs. He asked about the rationale for the "areas of emphasis". If CCSU emphasizes, for instance, Criminal Justice, does that mean that money is being put there at the expense of liberal arts?

Senate President Cohen: We don't know; however, President Miller said that the money that the state commits in support of the plan will trickle down to the whole university.

Senator Best isn't sure he likes the "trickle-down" philosophy. He is also concerned about the process; it seems like the Senate, the UPBC, etc., is looking at the ConnSCU plan after it has been drafted, instead of participating in its creation. In particular: how was the CCSU emphasis chosen for us? The process seemed to include no substantial faculty input.

Senate President Cohen said that, even though BOR President Gray wanted CCSU to emphasize engineering, President Miller insisted on a broader emphasis on STEM.

Senator Anderson reminded the Senate that, less than a year ago, the Governor decided to invest large sums of money in STEM at UCONN, and the legislature backed him up on that issue. But UCONN should not be the only institution involved in this initiative that is important to Connecticut's future; we are also part of this picture, and we need to sound our horn. We have unique programs, and so do the other CSUs and the community colleges. Are we participants, or are we mere observers?

Senator White asked about the implications of being the "STEM" school. That is OK in theory, but not if that means that the only place to go in the CSU system for liberal arts is ECSU, and not if supporting STEM means sacrificing other deparments. The answers are missing.

Senator Tully asked why education was not included in the plan.

Also, the emphasis on "applied research" is troubling.

CCSU-AAUP President Mahony said that she and Stephen Adair have met with BOR President Gray, who said that the goal was not to exclude business and teacher education. In fact, he is aware that our teacher education programs are highly rated by accrediting agencies. Rather, the goal is to present a plan that will attract an investment from the state. Last year, UCONN got a large investment. This year, it is our turn. There is concern, however, that there is no emphasis on the CSUs' role as regional comprehensive institutions in the plan.

Senator Diamond is concerned that proposed consolidations would reduce the individuality of the various institutions in the system. We need to protect our individuality and autonomy (for example, our ability to make our decisions about admissions).

Senator Retelle asked about the consequences of the actions of the BOR. Has something like this been done elsewhere? If so, what were the consequences?

Senate President Cohen: SUNY has a common application form and website.

Senator Cox: What is the goal of all this? Money? Making us more similar to SUNY? Making us 4 well established regional comprehensive universities that work with the community colleges? Answer: It is hard to say.

Senator Pozorski said that the plan should mention the importance of liberal arts education and general education should be emphasized more in the plan, not just as an afterthought.

Senate President Cohen: it might be OK to emphasize STEM as long as we keep doing all the other things that we are doing as an institution.

Senator White is concerned that, if we go forward with these emphases, then all extra money received from the state would have to be justified through these emphases.

Senator Best is concerned that the plan could be seen as a way to redefine (from the outside) who we are as an institution, as a system.

CCSU-AAUP President Mahony said that, according to BOR President Gray, this plan is about building a world-class system. But he doesn't go into further detail. He is new, however; there are many things that he doesn't know about higher education in Connecticut.

Senator Hazan asked whether there was a Plan B if the legislature doesn't like our plan.

Senator Shen said that international education should be an important emphasis our the plan.

Senator Bigelow asked if this was a plan, or just a set of ideas?

Senator Best requested a round of applause for the School of Business for earning AACSB accreditation.

Provost Lovitt said that the plan is not about money, but about developing a vision for us as a system. This vision is in its early formative stage, but Governor Malloy would very much like our system to come up with one, to make good of the relationship between Charter Oak, the community colleges and the CSUs.

Senate President Cohen said that, if we want to develop a vision for the system, it should be a vision that we as the faculty can get behind.

Senator White asked about the February deadline for the plan, and is concerned that this would "lock in" our identity for the future. Senate President Cohen said that this was because we need to be in time for the next budget cycle. Provost Lovitt said that this would not "lock in" our identity.

Senator Hazan asked if Gray has been in talks with the Governor about this. Answer: The Governor has urged him to have a plan by February.

The Senate emerged from the Committee of the Whole by unanimous consent.

Motion (Best/Bigelow): There shall be an open forum on the ConnSCU plan, conducted under the auspices of the University Planning and Budget Committee.

Approved unanimously

6. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:32pm.