Faculty Senate Executive Council
December 19, 2007 – 3:00-5:00
Newcomb Hall Board Room
Guest: Leonard Sandridge, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Ricardo Padron, Chair of the Faculty Senate, called the meeting to order.
Topics of Discussion:
Leonard Sandridge discussed the areas of the motion proposed by the Senate membership that he felt were impractical. It was suggested that a meeting be set up between Mr. Sandridge’s office and Malcolm Bell and William Keene to discuss the recommendations and the ways the University could respond. There is a Sustainability report that has been prepared by Mr. Sandridge’s office, and it would seem that the Senate should help publicize the University’s efforts in these areas. The Executive Council will plan on making a presentation at a Faculty Senate meeting in the spring, as well as publication of the Sustainability report.
Provost’s Report – Arthur T. Garson, Executive Vice President and Provost
A common course (a cross-disciplinary course for 1st year students) has been put together by Mark Wisemanon the environment. This has a cost estimate of $278K per year. Tim has said he would try to find the funds for it. Tim will provide a copy of the proposal to us as it is not clear the extent, enrollment, or budget. Concern was expressed by the committee over this proposal as there has been little public discussion of the proposal and there is little known about the “common course” program.
The Enivironment Thing. The Provost discussed proposals for a School of the Environment with the Executive Council, outlining what an Institute would look like, as well as a school. Tim would love for us to form a task force on the creation of a School of the Environment.
We identified that we need a committee to consider this, A task force should be created to talk about how we could move forward on an entity such as this---a school which looks more like an institute. After the first of the year Ricardo will appoint a task force to investigate the creation of a School of the Environment and this will be a test case for how the senate should go about approval of such an entity. This could be the new model for a cross-disciplinary school or it could be an institute---lets think creatively about it.
Update on Searches:
The various search committees are continuing their efforts to ensure diversity in all the candidate pools.
Report on the Planning and Development Committee, Elizabeth Powell, Committee Chair -- Ricardo Padron reported in Ms. Powell’s absence.
The Commission on the Future of the University has been hugely responsive to input from the Senate and has adopted many of the recommendations brought forth at the October 3, 2007, working meeting of the Faculty Senate. The Committee is looking at planning small-scale, by invitation only, meetings on the Sciences next semester. There is interest in fundraising weekend events focused on specific areas. Robert Sweeney, Vice President for Development, is very interested in getting faculty in front of donors. They will be creating a process for generating “big ideas.” They are also interested in forming small working groups focused on different areas, such as graduate students, etc.
Report on the Research and Scholarship Committee – Amy Bouton, Committee Chair
The Committee has started the review process for 80 Harrison Awards applications. Ms. Bouton reported that this is the second year that the total number of applications is down, but last year the quality of the applications was way up! The Harrison Awards will fund approximately 40 applicants this year.
Report on the Academic Affairs Committee – Ann Hamric, Committee Chair
The Academic Affairs Committee is focusing on the procedure for approving new schools. The Committee is creating a template for criteria they need in order to consider a proposal for a new school. In addition, the group is working on approving the 2007 version of the Faculty Handbook.
Gweneth West, a Council member, suggested that a task force should be formed to look at programmatic initiatives.
Report on the Faculty Recruitment, Retention, and Welfare Committee – Jennifer Harvey, Committee Chair
Jennifer Harvey submitted a written update on the Committee’s work. The FRRW Committee is making slow and steady progress analyzing data collected from the Faculty Survey. The group is beginning to set priorities for their final report.
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
Submitted by Pamela Norris, Secretary of the Faculty Senate