CCSU Faculty Senate

Minutes—October 14, 2013

VAC 105   3:05 PM

Present: Abed, F.; Anderson, C.; Arena, J.; Barr, B.; Bernstein, S.; Bilisoly, R.; Braverman, S.; Cannella, T.; Christensen, S.; Cox, S.; D'Amato, K.; Dharavath, N.; Diamond, C.; Fallon, M.; Garcia-Bowen, M.; Hermes, K.; Horowitz, S.; Jackson, M.; Johnson, D.; Kean, K.; Kim, Y.; Koplowitz, B.; Kovel, J.; Kyem, P.; Larsen, K.; Latour, F.; Lee, S.; Leon, J.; Liard-Muriente, C.; Lim, K.; Mamed, O.; Martin-Troy, K.; Melnyk, J.; Pancsofar, E.; Passaro, M.; Perlstein, J.; Phillips, E.; Pozorski, A.; Ragusett, J.; Retelle, E.; Ribchinsky, J.; Santoro, K.; Sarisley, E.; Shaw, L.; Snyder, J.; Tellier, A.; Tully, J.; Wang, W.; Williams, C.


Ex-Officio: Fitzgerald, G.; Pease, S.; Shojai, S.


Parliamentarian: Dimmick, C.

President of the Senate: Cohen, S.

Guests: Stephen Adair (FAC to the BOR); Yvonne Kirby (OIRA); Mary Ann Mahony (AAUP President); Rachel Schwell (Academic Standards Committee Chair)

1. Approval of Minutes, September 23, 2013

Approved unanimously

2. Announcements

a.  AAUP President (M. A. Mahony)

Nominations for the council representative election to fill the seat that was occupied by Jason Jones are due at 3pm on Friday, October 18. Nominations should be sent to the AAUP office, to Evelyn Phillips, or to Mary Ann Mahony. The election itself will begin on November 1.

There will be a chapter meeting and sushi social on Wednesday, October 16, from 3 to 7pm.

The "Host a Legislator" program will return to campus; this is a program where faculty members host a legislator who shadows them for one day.

The lobbying conference is on October 24, at the legislative office building. Registration deadline is October 18 (contact Ellen Benson or Steve Greatorex for more information).

The Collective Bargaining Congress of AAUP quarterly meeting will be at the University of New Hampshire; 3 delegates from CCSU-AAUP will attend.

b.  SUOAF-AFSCME President (O. Mamed, for E. Hicks)

The chapter meeting will be on October 28, at 11:45am in the Constitution Room.

Some member job descriptions have not been updated in 20+ years, and are due for an update.

The revival of the evaluation forms and process that was started about 2 years ago, but stopped due to the tumult caused by the reorganization and the creation of ConnSCU, will resume.

The matter of salary of temps who become full-time employees has been discussed with HR.

c.  SGA

No announcements.

d.  FAC to the BOR (S. Adair)

The FAC has not met since our last Senate meeting.

The FAC now has an advisory role to the BOR's Provost search committee. This is in addition to 3 out of 8 members of the committee being faculty.

Next Friday, ConnSCU faculty governance leaders will meet in Vance 106.

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

The first Presidential Open Forum of the academic year will be on October 31. This is the only open forum for this Fall. There will be 2 in the Spring.

AAUP leaders and Senate Presidents from the CSUs will meet with BOR President Gray on October 25.

The Senate has 2 seats on the Facilities Planning Committee. The seats will be filled by UPBC Chair Chad Valk and the Senate President.

The University Student Success Team has been looking at an Academic Content Management System, which is software that keeps track of curriculum changes. Decisions about implementation of such a system should involve faculty. Senator Diamond asked about the nature of the Student Success Team; it is a committee that derives from the Provost's Retention and Graduation Council. It has about 17-18 people, including teaching faculty from all 4 schools, as well as administrative faculty and students. Registrar Patrick Tucker will have more to say about this system in the future.

The Senate has a lot on its plate for this academic years. The President of the Senate will draw upon the expertise of the various committees of the Faculty to accomplish various things. The General Education Implementation Committee should be ready to report by the end of the Spring. The President of the Senate hopes to revivify the Ad Hoc Committee on Online Learning.

3. Committee Reports

a.  Elections Committee (S. Bernstein)

The Promotion and Tenure Committee election is under way. Ballots will close on October 15, at 11:59pm.

b.  Committee on Appointments and Personnel (J. Kovel)

The committee has been looking into a situation where vocational-technical education courses, which are under continuing education but not under any department (they were under Technology and Engineering Education until about 6-7 years ago), are being offered for credit without supervision by AAUP faculty. We need to address that.

c.  Ad Hoc Committee on Vance Lecture (E. Pancsofar)

The list of 57 nominees has been sent to Chris Galligan to check which ones are within the acceptable price range for the Vance Lecture. Some of the nominees on the list (such as Hillary Clinton) are too expensive, considering that the budget is around $70,000. The trustees of the Vance Foundation have said that they would accept nominations from the Faculty and/or the Faculty Senate.

d.  Curriculum Committee (M. Jackson) FS.13.14.003B

Approved unanimously

4. Unfinished Business

a.  Approval of Steering Committee (S. Cohen)

The Senate Steering Committee for this academic year will consist of the Senate President, Vice President and Secretary, as well as Senators Hicks (Administrative Faculty), Kean (Part-time Faculty), Martin-Troy (School of Engineering and Technology), Pancsofar (School of Education and Professional Studies), and Snyder (School of Business). AAUP President Mary Ann Mahony and FAC member Stephen Adair will be invited to attend the meetings as guests.

Approved unanimously

5. New Business

a.  Department Name ChangeEducational Leadership and Instructional Technology (F. Abed, E. Retelle) FS.13.14.004B

Approved unanimously

b.  Academic StandardsPlacement Standards into Remedial English (R. Schwell) FS.13.14.005B

Proposal for New Writing Placement Test

Sample Essay Prompt

Demographic Self-Assessment Data, Writing Course Descriptions

Academic Standards Committee Chair Rachel Schwell presented the proposed policy, and Senate President and English Department Chair Stephen Cohen answered questions about it.

Senator Fallon asked about the path followed by students taking the "remedial" courses ESL 108/109, ENG 099 and ENG 105; what course would they normally take next? Answer: After ESL 109 or ENG 099 (with a C- or better), a student takes ENG 110. After ENG 105, a student has completed the first-year writing requirement (and thus does not need to take ENG 110).

Senator Martin-Troy asked about how the SAT and ACT would be used to determine which students take the placement test. Answer: The English department will set a "ceiling" score and a "floor" score. Students who score above the ceiling on the SAT (perhaps 550) will be placed in ENG 110. Students who score below the floor on the SAT (perhaps 400) will be placed in ENG 099. Students who score between those scores will take the placement test.

Senator Koplowitz asked about the number of readers per essay. Answer: While the "industry standard" is two readers, the funding from Academic Affairs is sufficient for one.

Senator Tully asked about the funding/compensation for readers; is there a permanent funding base for this? Answer: There is an ongoing committment from the Provost's office to fund this.

Senator Hermes asked about the problem of cheating on a test that students can take on their computer without supervision. Answer: Research shows that cheating is not an issue on a test like this.

Senator Liard-Muriente asked whether the on-campus computer labs would be available to students for purposes of taking this test. Answer. Yes.

Senator Martin-Troy asked whether the SAT writing test could be used for these purposes - or is the writing test so badly scored that it cannot be used for this? Answer: The SAT writing test is not an appropriate measure for this. This placement test is much more accurate.

Senator Garcia-Bowen asked about transfer students from community colleges. Is there a course equivalent to ENG 105 at the colleges? Answer: Since Public Act 12-40 applied to community colleges as well as CSUs, they will all have to develop similar courses.

Senator Braverman asked about the timeline for students to take the test. Answer: The plan is that once students have confirmed their intention to attend CCSU, they will receive an e-mail containing instructions about the test and a deadline.

Senator Santoro asked about students who choose not to take the placement test even though their SAT score puts them in the range where they should take it. Answer: They will then be put into ENG 099 by default.

Senator Tellier asked about privacy for students taking ENG 105P; what if the courses (ENG 105/110 and ENG 105P) are back to back, and the students do not want others to know that they are taking ENG 105P? Answer: We have not thought about that, but we do not think it is an issue.

Senator Liard-Muriente asked how many students will take the exam, based on the proposed range of 400-550? Answer: The English department believes there would be about 400-500 students taking the exam.

Senator Phillips asked whether the content of the essay prompts will be multicultural. Answer: The sample essay prompt is, and we hope that others will be too.

Senator Retelle asked whether anchor papers would be used in training readers, and whether experts in multicultural content would look at the essay prompts. Answer: There will be anchor papers after the first round of testing. The English department has specialists in multicultural content as well as ESL experts, so this can be done by the department. The English department's composition specialist is paying close attention to the issue of bias, to make sure that the essay prompts are not culturally biased.

Senator Latour asked about the level of difficulty of the essay prompts; it seems like they are more at the level of something that would be asked of juniors or seniors. Answer: The sample prompt is similar to ones that have been used at other schools for similar purposes, has been designed by the English department and the English composition expert, Lee Einhorn, and is supported by research. Also, it is possible to adjust the test and the scoring in the future, if the department feels it is appropriate to do so.

Senator Fallon said that, given that the English department wants to use the Spring 2014 entering class as a pilot for this test, it might be a good idea to give the test to everyone in that relatively small entering class, including students who would normally be placed in ENG 110. This would give us a better sense of how good the test is at predicting student success, and help the English department determine who should be exempted from the test in the future. While the costs would be higher for this semester, the costs for the future would be reduced, so overall this would result in savings.

Will there be pressure to eliminate ENG 099 in the future? Is the future deletion of ENG 099 anticipated? Answer: In principle it would be nice if no students needed to take ENG 099 and it could therefore be eliminated, but that does not seem realistic, based on projections.

Is ENG 105P "remedial"? Answer: It depends on the definition of "remediation". In any case, the term "developmental" is preferred over "remedial".

Motion (Martin-Troy/Jackson): To approve the New Writing Placement Test.

Approved unanimously

6. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:14pm.