April 8, 2002
Present: Robert Grainger, Michael Smith, Kathryn Neeley, Robert O'Connell, Rebecca Kneedler, Houston G. Wood, III, Michael H. Levenson, Julian Connolly, David Brautigan, Susan Perry, Robert Davis
Robert M. Grainger, Chair of the Faculty Senate, called the meeting to order. Mr. Grainger reported that he had attended the Board of Visitor's meeting on April 5. He spoke on behalf of the faculty regarding concerns related to the recent State budget cuts. These concerns range from hiring and retention to faculty salaries. It was suggested that the University create a faculty advisory committee that would work directly with Gene Block, Vice President and Provost, to address faculty concerns. It should be an on-going, sustained goal of the administration to restore a condition of funding that is appropriate for schools to recover from past year's losses.
Robert E. Davis, Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, reported on the Dissertation-Year Fellowships. The Subcommittee, chaired by Robert J. Davis, was charged with overseeing the Dissertation-Year Fellowships. Mr. Davis gave a review of the application review and selection process. There were 60 Fellowship applications that competed for one of the 11 Fellowships of $20,000 each. Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Office of the Provost, and the Jefferson Scholars Foundation contributed to the funding of the Fellowships. Robert Grainger requested that Robert J. Davis write a statement that summarizes the process and the Subcommittee's enthusiastic impressions of the program.
Robert O'Connell, Chair of the Subcommittee on Graduate Student Support, funding issues, gave an overview of his report. He gave a brief history of the funding issues unique to graduate students. The University just recently offered health insurance to employed graduate students. Mr. O'Connell said this initiative has been two years in the making. Aaron Mills, Professor of Environmental Sciences, chaired an ad hoc committee of the Faculty Senate to study and report on graduate student funding issues at the University. Mr. O'Connell said his Subcommittee conducted further studies and build on Professor Mills' report to produce a final report on graduate student funding at the University. Mr. O'Connell said 65% of the University's graduate students are out-of-State, and departments are paying tuition differentials in many of the schools. For the purpose of this report, graduate students are defined as non-professional post baccalaureate Ph.D. students. The Council members discussed the Executive Summary and the report, and they made suggestions for edits. In addition, Michael Smith, Kathryn Neeley, David Brautigan, Houston Wood, and Rob Grainger agreed to email their comments to Mr. O'Connell so that he can incorporate the information into the final report. After Mr. O'Connell edits the report, it will be distributed to the Executive Council for final approval. The report will be distributed to the full Senate in advance of the April 23 meeting. Additionally, the report will be distributed to department chairs, deans, Graduate Student Council, the Provost, and vice presidents. A final report will be available to the University community sometime in September.
Robert E. Davis reported on the work, and subsequent report, of the Subcommittee on Graduate Student Support, non-funding issues, chaired by Richard Warner. One of the most important concerns for graduate students, aside from funding issues, is the need for designated space specifically for graduate students. Graduate students express a need for space of their own that is centrally located and will fill both their academic and social needs. Mr. Davis reported that some space at Garrett Hall has already been identified for the Graduate Student Council. The Subcommittee's report also surveyed peer institutions to see what they offer their graduate students in terms of support and space. The report was discussed, and suggestions were made for changes. Michael Smith, David Brautigan, and Kay Neeley agreed to send Robert Davis written comments, and he will forward them to Richard Warner to incorporate into the final document. The report will be sent to the Faculty Senate in advance of the April 23 meeting. The report will also be circulated in late April to Graduate Student Council, deans, and department chairs.
Michael Smith, Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate, reported on the progress being made on drafting a formal document on faculty discipline procedures. A redraft that speaks to the concerns of the first draft has been written. Mr. Smith will forward the redraft to Rob Grainger for review. David Brautigan and James Clawson will also review the changes, and it will be sent to the full Senate for comments. It was suggested that an explanation of the faculty discipline process and the need for a formal document be sent to the Faculty Senate in advance of the upcoming meeting.
Nominations for Chair-Elect, Secretary, and members of the Executive Council need to be made at the upcoming Senate meeting. Elections will be held by mail ballot. The Executive needs to elect four members to the Executive Council, and at least eight nominations need to be made. The Constitution and By Laws states that there shall be at least twice as many nominations as there are seats to be filled.
Julian Connolly reported on his work to advance an on-line keyword search for the Course Offering Directory. Mr. Connolly said an on-line keyword search is now in place. He will report on this at the upcoming Senate meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
Submitted by Kathryn A. Neeley, Secretary of the Faculty Senate.