Minutes - September 9, 2013 - 3:05pm
CCSU FACULTY SENATE MEETING
Present: Abed, F.; Alewitz, M.; Anderson, C.; Antonucci, C.; Arena, J.; Ball, K.; Barr, B.; Bernstein, S.; Bigelow, L.; Bilisoly, R.; Blake, E.; Blitz, D.; Boscarino, N.; Braverman, S.; Cohen, S.; Cox, S.; D'Addio, D.; D'Amato, K.; Diamond, C.; Duquette, J.; Fallon, M.; Foster, P.; Fothergill, W.; Gamache, J.; Garcia-Bowen, M.; Greenfield, B.; He, F.; Hicks, E.; Horowitz, S.; Jackson, M.; Kean, K.; Kim, Y.; Knopf, K.; Koplowitz, B.; Kovel, J.; Larsen, K.; Latour, F.; Lee, L.; Leon, J.; Love, K.; Mamed, O.; Martin-Troy, K.; McGuire, M.; Melnyk, J.; O'Connor, J.; Pancsofar, E.; Paolino, J.; Passaro, M.; Perlstein, J.; Phillips, E.; Pozorski, A.; Ragusett, J.; Reasco, A.; Retelle, E.; Rosenberg, J.; Santoro, K.; Sarisley, E.; Shen, X.; Snyder, J.; Solomon, P.; Stookey, S.; Sweeney, D.; White, C.; Williams, C.
Ex-Officio: Fitzgerald, G; Lovitt, C.; Malhas, F.; Shojai, S.
Parliamentarian: Dimmick, C.
President of the Senate: Mulrooney, J.
Guests: Stephen Adair (FAC to the BOR); Brian Choplick (SGA President); Erin O'Donnell (Photo Editor, The Recorder); Mary Ann Mahony (CCSU-AAUP President); Rachel Schwell (Academic Standards Committee Chair); Amanda Webster (Editor in Chief, The Recorder)
2. Introduction of Senators
a. AAUP President (M. A. Mahony)
The CSU Leadership Group, which includes CSU-AAUP officers, the chapter presidents from each CSU, and the Senate Presidents from each CSU, met twice since the end of last semester, will continue to meet in the future, and will meet with BOR President Gray next month.
The AAUP is pleased that BOR Chair Robinson has stepped down, and hopes for a new BOR President who has extensive experience in higher education.
The CCSU-AAUP Executive Committee will meet on September 11, there will be a chapter meeting on September 16, and the council meetings will be in the evenings, on the third Thursday of each month.
The CCSU-AAUP will continue its program of department liaisons; if your department has not selected its liaison, please remind your department chair.
There will be a meeting of all AAUP department chairs on Friday, September 27. Please encourage your chair to attend.
There will be a special election to replace Jason Jones on the council. He has left the university. Candidates and election committee members are needed.
b. SUOAF-AFSCME President (E. Hicks)
It has been a busy summer for SUOAF-AFSCME.
The separation of the SUOAF-AFSCME members at CCSU and the BOR into separate chapters is still in progress.
The chapter presidents from around the state have met with the BOR to discuss many issues of interest, such as: hiring of temporary workers, outdated job descriptions, automatic nonrenewals of an entire class of employees, salary calculator being inconsistently applied with new hires, internal promotions, SUOAF-AFSCME work being done by university assistants, AAUP faculty on reassigned time, and management employees, need for training in progressive discipline and evaluation, one-person offices (Special Needs, Veterans Affairs, Transfer and Articulation).
SUOAF-AFSCME is concerned about BOR President Gray's reference to "backroom consolidations".
There is a need to reconvene negotiations on an approved evaluation instrument.
The presidents of the unions plan to meet soon, and plan to meet with BOR President Gray next week.
There are plans for monthly Chapter Meetings in the coming year.
Raises will be included in the next paycheck.
c. SGA (B. Choplick)
The SGA meetings will be held weekly, in Bellin Hall, at 3:05 on Wednesdays.
d. FAC to the Board of Regents (S. Adair)
In June, the FAC met with Vice Provost Sally Reis of UCONN, regarding the UCONN Board of Trustees' approval of 17 new majors at the UCONN regional campuses. We expected that these new majors would need to be approved by the BOR, but subsequent legislation took that power away from them. The Vice Provost was reassuring, saying that there is nothing going on at UCONN, that there are no current plans to increase enrollment at UCONN.
The FAC met with BOR President Gray 2 or 3 weeks ago. He was sensitive to this UCONN expansion issue, and said that there may be efforts to poach on our enrollments, but their extent has yet to be determined.
BOR President Gray is coming up with a new strategic plan. He had a meeting with the BOR to review some pieces of it, but it is still in draft form. There is anxiety about references to "backroom consolidation", especially at the community colleges - will there be an attempt to eliminate some of the presidents' positions?
President Gray discussed the possibility of creating "centers of excellence" at each CSU, with CCSU (perhaps) as an engineering center of excellence. It is not clear how each institution's so-called "specialty" was identified.
There is a lot of hiring at the system office, including a "chief academic officer", which is a new position. The FAC requested faculty membership on the search committee for that one.
Since the TAP steering committee was disbanded, there is a need for a new faculty committee to be created to oversee the TAP. Most likely, such a committee would have 17 members (one per institution).
Senator White asked if the "centers of excellence" proposal is part of the BOR strategic plan, or is it separate? Answer: It is separate. It is not clear how this new plan with the "centers of excellence" fits with the old strategic plan, since the two are on completely different conceptual levels and reflect different ways of thinking.
e. Visionaries of CCSU (B. Greenfield)
There will be a student empowerment summit on September 28 and 29. The students would welcome interested faculty and staff.
f. President of the Senate (J. Mulrooney)
4. Election of Elections Committee
Senators Bernstein, Bigelow, Foster, Koplowitz, Melnyk and Williams were nominated.
All 6 Senators elected to the Elections Committee
5. Committee Reports
a. Ad Hoc Committee on Campus Safety (D. Blitz)
Senator Blitz presented the information pamphlet to the Senate. In case of emergency, call 911. The CCSU Police phone number, for non-emergencies, is 860-832-2375. "2375" is easy to remember because it consists of the first four prime numbers (not in order). We should have these numbers programmed into our cell phones. Suggestions for improvements to the pamphlet should be sent to David Blitz, Mary Anne Nunn, Mark McLaughlin, and Lt. Chris Cervoni of CCSU Police. Senator Blitz thanked Chief of Police Jason Powell for his work.
Senator Alewitz said that it would be a mistake for the Faculty Senate to approve this pamphlet. He said that the chances of being shot by a campus shooter are much lower than those of being shot by a police officer. He added that this pamphlet provides no protection; real protection is the establishment of a climate where campus shootings do not happen.
Senator Blitz replied that this pamphlet is not presented to the Senate for approval. The Senate already approved the production of a pamphlet in April 2013.
Senator Hicks thanked the committee for producing the pamphlet.
6. Unfinished Business
a. Academic Standards — Dean's Recognition proposal (R. Schwell)
• Senators shall ask their departments for feedback on this proposal. This may include support, opposition, or suggestions for amendments. All feedback should be sent to the Chair of the Academic Standards Committee, Rachel Schwell, by October 14.
• The proposal shall be sent back to the Academic Standards Committee, for further review, based in part on feedback received from departments.
7. New Business:
Postponed to the third meeting of the semester, because no steering committee has been formed yet.
8. President’s Report (J. Mulrooney)
Change is inevitable and this past year, we have proved that we can handle change. More importantly, I think we have demonstrated that we want to be part of the discussion and agents of change rather than just accepting the change. This past year, actually the past two years, we have been faced with so many changes, especially those associated with the creation of ConnSCU and the BOR, as well as changes from the legislature that impacted higher education. In each case I think we proved that we are able to work collaboratively with faculty across seventeen institutions, the administration and the BOR. I believe last year was just a preview of what is to come this year. With a new president of the BOR, who has already expressed very different plans and visions for the CSUs and the community colleges, charter oak and even the name of our system, I suspect we will be seeing many more changes. In addition, the pressures from the federal government and organizations such as the Lumina foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, with their big dollars to influence Washington, it is ever more important that we continue to collaborate and communicate and prove that we can play an active role in change. We should continue to voice our concerns, stand up against unfair practices, and ensure that we have some say in the very process that we are intergral in day in and day out.
Our work with the TAP proved that faculty can work in collaboration across the whole system to meet challenges from the state and the BOR. The completion of the TAP has now opened the door for us to start moving forward with the implementation of our general education plans. The General Education Implementation Committee has been meeting over the summer and making great progress. Beth Merenstein has been doing an outstanding job as chair of the committee.
The CSU Leadership committee, with representatives from each of the CSUs, continued to meet and discuss the issues associated with the merger of the Community Colleges, CSUs and Charter Oak, that specifically affect the CSUs. This group campaigned, along with the FAC, to revise the mission statement and protect the identity of each institution within the system. I am happy to report that President Gray has expressed an interest in continuing the meetings with the CSU leadership each semester.
We defined ourselves and our beliefs in terms of education in the document, "A vision of Higher Education for Connecticut and the Nation".
We joined with our students in protest or support of their protest of tuition hikes.
We now have an enhanced awareness of safety protocols on campus, thanks to the Ad Hoc Committee on Campus Safety.
I would like to thank all of those on committees that did a superb job last year.
Now one more change, as you many of you are aware. Dr. Segun Odesina, after 16 years of superb leadership as Associate Dean for the school of Engineering and Technology, has decided to step down and return to the faculty. I have been asked to fill those huge shoes. As such, I will be serving on several committees, representing the Dean’s office. I feel it is inappropriate and perhaps even unethical for me to accept this position and responsibilities and remain as the Faculty Senate President. Therefore I have made the decision to resign as the Faculty Senate President. I have enjoyed this past year and look forward to working with many of you on the committees. Although I am stepping down, I will be here to support both the Senate and the new Senate President to ensure a smooth transition. Once again I thank all of you for your support his past year.
Vice President Barr has stated that he does not wish to serve as President of the Senate, and he believes that the new President should be elected by the Senate.
Nominations for the president of the senate should be sent to Vice President Burlin Barr. You should confirm, when sending a nomination, that the candidate has accepted the nomination.
This will be an open process. There will be a link from the home page of the Faculty Senate Website that will show the names of the nominees and any written statement they provide.
Nominations will close at 5:00pm on Friday Sept. 20.
However nominations will be accepted from the floor during the senate meeting on Monday Sept. 23.
Each candidate will be given the floor to have the opportunity to speak to the assembled senate. After this time, the Elections Committee will oversee the selection of the President using either paper or electronic ballots.
In accordance with the Constitution of the Faculty Senate, all nominees must be members of the Senate.
The meeting adjourned at 4:06pm.