I. Minutes of the October 4, 2005 Meeting
II. Report of the Faculty Senate Chairperson
IV. Report of the Graduate Student Organization
V. Report of the Administrative Officers
President McNairy commended the faculty and students who participated in the Pennsylvania Association of Trustee Councils (PACT) Conference hosted at Millersville in October. The feedback was very positive regarding the quality of our academic programs and facilities, the excellent presentations from our students and faculty, our attractive campus and the fantastic food. She thanked the faculty, staff and students who represented the University in an outstanding manner.
President McNairy then shared the budget forecast for System Universities. She stated that while the Board of Governors for the State System will submit a budget request to the Governor seeking a 6% appropriation increase and possibly a 3.5% tuition increase, it is not likely that this amount will be approved. From the senior administration's perspective at Millersville, our most optimistic expectation is 2.75% appropriation increase and a 2% tuition increase.
The President also warned that the increase could be even less, thus placing the 14 Universities in critical fiscal danger for the 2006/07 and 2007/08 academic years. If the 2.75/2% scenario is granted, Millersville University faces a $2,742,881 shortfall for 2006/07. Furthermore, even if we receive a 3/3% increase the following year (2007/08), we anticipate a $5,661,461 shortfall.
The administration is forming an ad hoc committee comprised of faculty and staff to propose cost cutting and revenue generating strategies. For several years, the State System has experienced budget cuts. While the University has not had to reduce personnel positions during this time, departments have been limited in their ability to obtain permanent, new resources. The President has asked the Provost to conduct informational meetings with faculty and staff within Academic Affairs to explain the budget picture and to obtain suggestions for addressing the anticipated shortfalls.
The President will keep the Senate informed as more information is provided. She also urged that we continue to examine how we utilize our resources and to be appropriately creative as we think about how we envision the future for Millersville University. She concluded by stating that we have time to be proactive and to use our collective energy to move forward. We are not victims and therefore, should not function under the "sky is falling" attitude. Instead, she emphasized the need for us to work together to direct our own destiny.
Provost Prabhu commented that forward thinking regarding planning and goals has kept Millersville from falling behind fiscally in the past. He noted that Graduate Dean DeSantis has assessed graduate programs in detail and will be bringing information and ideas for development to the faculty. Currently, there are fewer graduate offerings on the schedule for Summer 2006. Dr. Prabhu emphasized that these courses and enrollments need to be maintained or increased in order to support other initiatives like keeping down freshman enrollment and student-faculty ratios.
Dr. Prabhu also noted that current efforts to address the needs of sophomores is an example of how responding to students should have positive effects on retention and future enrollment. He reminded Senate that competing academic opportunities make it critical for Millersville to increase our attractiveness in the market in more ways than just providing a high quality education.
It was noted that the extra approval processes needed for distance and blended courses make it difficult to offer these courses. Dr. Phillips responded that these policies are stipulated by the CBA. Dr. McNairy noted that, while the CBA itself may need some reconsideration, we also need to find ways to internally streamline our program development process.
Executive Assistant to the President Phillips
Executive Assistant to the President Phillips reminded Senators that seats in General Education offerings are being reserved for sophomores. On November 17 & 18 only sophomores will have access to the registration system. Dr. Phillips requested that faculty not sign overrides for other students during that time period. Instead, students should add their names to the wait list to be notified when open seats are made generally available again.
Interime Assistant Provost Redmond
Interim Assistant Provost Redmond from the Division of Academic Support Programs and Learning Services reported that tutoring is now being offered in Hull, Harbold and Gaige Halls in addition to centralized tutoring in Lyle. He noted that these dorm tutoring sessions are generally open Monday through Thursday from 5-9 pm.
VI. Faculty Emeritus
VII. Reports of the Faculty Senate Standing Committees
VIII. Reports of the Faculty Senate Special Committees
IX. Proposed Courses and Programs
(1) NEW UNDERGRADUATE COURSE ESCI 322: Environmental Hydrology, 3 credits.
(2) CHANGE IN COURSES/CURRICULA CHEM 375: Environmental Chemistry, 3 or 4 credits to 4 credits. Proposal to make the laboratory component of this course required rather than optional.
X. Report from ACE Task Force
Dr. Ron Umble distributed and presented the summary of findings assembled by the Task Force. [see Attachment #1] He clarified that the ACE program was originally intended to provide access to degree programs for non-traditional students.
It was noted that the MBA program currently operates outside of the Business Department and does not, therefore, represent a workable model for programs across campus. Task Force members indicated that specifically the planning model used by the MBA program for budgeting and marketing would be especially useful in development of new program directions.
Comments were made regarding the fact that shifting more classes to evenings might make it difficult to recruit faculty. However, the Foreign Languages department noted they already offer sections of their advanced courses during evening hours.
An issue raised questioned whether the recommendations of the ACE Task Force are intended to address undergraduate or graduate programming. A major issue noted was that faculty cannot be hired to teach only graduate courses and yet faculty teaching at both levels feel fragmented in terms of program implementation. Task Force members responded that non-traditional programming is mostly in graduate offerings. The ability to effectively meet graduate student needs should also help to address similar issues encountered by non-traditional undergraduates. It was also noted that a number of the recommendations would help to shift all program content back to departments, allowing PTE to provide structure and resources instead. The proposal of using cohort models to build non-traditional programming should also further aid students from also sensing a similar fragmentation.
Dr. Ron Umble indicated that the document was available online and encouraged departments to review it and discuss their ideas. He will return to Senate at the November 15 meeting to further discuss departmental responses to the recommendations.
XI. Teaching Excellence Award
XII. General Education Task Force
XIII. Other/New Business
A proposal for extending the pilot-testing of First-Year Seminars was distributed. [see Attachment #2]
XIV. Committee Elections
Aimee L. Miller
Faculty Senate Secretary