I. Minutes of previous meeting
The minutes of the October 21, 2008 meeting of the Faculty Senate were approved as written.
The minutes of the October 28, 2008 meeting of the Faculty Senate were approved as written.
Student Senate President Farrelly commented on activities including university offices visiting Student Senate, a review of their constitution, initiation of a campus watch program called Marauder Watch, and Vision 2020. She also noted that the allocation process begins soon and that requests are due January 22, 2009.
IV. Report of the Graduate Student Association
Graduate Student Association Representative Randolph shared about GSA activities including their petition to Student Senate to be a recognized organization, traveling socials, T-shirts with the graduate logo, and participation in the Miss Millersville program. She also announced the availability of graduate research grants and planning for a graduate research symposium with sister institutions.
V. Report of the Administrative Officers
President McNairy noted that the Chancellor serves as an ex-officio member on the boards of each PASSHE campus and will be attending the Millersville Council of Trustees meeting on December 3. She indicated that Dr. Cavanaugh also intends to visit the campus to interact with faculty. Dr. McNairy reported that the Board of Governors has approved plans to combine administrative programs from PASSHE schools rather than continue to pursue the SAP plans. She noted that the escalating cost for SAP, from $70M to $187M, garnered unanimous disapproval from all 14 PASSHE presidents and APSCUF and stimulated an effort to consider alternatives.
Dr. McNairy outlined a number of federal laws and their impact on Millersville. The Right to Know policy in PA opens access to any information sent by e-mail. Dr. Prabhu reminded faculty that there are guidelines for any communication about University business. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that reasonable efforts be made to accommodate challenges. Recent broadening to include mental and emotional challenges may have implications for teaching and employment at Millersville. All new PASSHE employees will now need to submit to a criminal background check. The BOG is working on implementation of this and then Millersville will move forward accordingly. A question was raised about the cost of background checks. Dr. McNairy indicated that the fee for in-state review is nominal. In light of the new Clean Air Act, everyone is encouraged to make Millersville a smoke-free campus. Ashtrays will be moved to the campus periphery and resources will be made available for persons wanting to quit smoking.
Provost Prabhu reminded faculty that there will be no inclement weather days in the spring schedule although the policy has been changed to clarify that students should report to classes at time that the school is opened. Concern was expressed about the lack of snow days. Dr. Prabhu responded that faculty may make up missed work as it can be accommodated within the schedule. Dr. Prabhu also highlighted the need for faculty to participate in the December 14 commencement ceremony.
Vice President of Student Affairs
Vice President Breaux highlighted several of the positive impacts our students are having. The menís soccer team are PSAC champions and moving on the NCAA quarterfinals. She also commended students for their active involvement in events related to the election and respectful celebration and rally held on campus. The lack of a polling station on campus was questioned. Dr. McNairy indicated that the University has encouraged the addition but that voting site locations are decided on by the Election Bureau. Senator Saunders shared that there is a polling site on the F&M campus. Dr. BŲrger-Greco expressed gratitude for the many students participating as volunteers.
Dr. Breaux announced the resignation of Dr. Phil Riordan, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, noted that the search for a replacement will be underway soon, and assured the campus that coverage will be arranged for his service on committees across campus. Dr. Breaux commented on the SMC renovation plans and a task force reviewing feedback about the reduced health services available this semester. Ms. Randolph expressed concern that the GSA was not made aware of when these forums were held. Dr. Breaux indicated that input from graduate students is important.
Interim Assistant Provost
Assistant Provost Redmond reminded faculty of training sessions related to the Early Intervention System.
VI. Reports of the Faculty Senate Standing Committees
Senator Mowrey reported on the compiled list of graduate faculty at Millersville for 2008-2009. She noted that it will be available on the Faculty Senate Blackboard site and that several departments are incomplete.
Senator Hardy distributed a proposed revision to the MU Policy/Practices on Athletic Eligibility and Eligibility Appeals from Dr. Richard Glenn, Faculty Athletic Representative. [see Attachment #1] Dr. Hardy also reminded faculty that Associate Athletic Director Anthony Grant is working to keep informed of academic performance of our student athletes.
Senator Mowrey noted that Joint Senate Conference is convening the Educator of the Year Selection Committee to begin work on selecting an awardee. She also commented that the JSC would bring forward a bylaws document on behalf of this committee.
VII. Reports of the Faculty Senate Special Committees
VIII. Proposed Courses and Programs
Senator Sikora distributed a document outlining the process and timeline relevant to the proposal from ASC to make students advisory members who would not attend academic hearings. [see Attachment #2] A discussion was held regarding this topic. Dr. Sikora shared written statements from Dr. Joel Piperberg and Dr. Susan DiBartolomeis expressing concerns about the proposed change and affirming the valuable perspective offered by students. He also read comments from Dr. Claudia Haferkamp indicating the need to maintain confidentiality for students under review. A statement from Student Senate indicated that continuing to allow students to serve as full members reflects the open nature of interactions on the Millersville campus but that providing more training and guidance for students serving in this way. The GSA representative expressed support of the role of student as part of the collegial environment at MU. Dr. Prabhu affirmed that the student perspective is extremely valued. He indicated that if the issue is related to credentials of student members, other committees could be impacted as well but that if this is based on problems with one student memberís behavior, the broad action is not warranted. Dr. Breaux indicated that these types of roles are important for teaching students about their responsibilities and accountabilities.
Dr. Lynn Marquez and Dr. Angela Cuthbert shared concerns about creating a safe place where these students can share openly about issues that are sometimes very painful and private. Dr. McNairy noted that while protecting students is very important, training them to serve in a positive way in such environments is also critical. She suggested that students submitting an appeal request be given the option to opt out of having a student on their subcommittee. Dr. Dan Anna commented that students should be bringing this issue forward if there is a problem with the peer-to-peer interaction and expressed confidence in the ability of Student Senate to respond appropriately to any concerns brought up by students.
It was noted that both sides of this issue are supported by admirable and valid arguments. The discussion was ended due to the time and will be continued at the next meeting.
IX. Update on the MU faculty emeritus page
XI. Other/New Business
Aimee L. Miller
Secretary of the Senate