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February 2004

FACULTY SENATE MEETING- February 25, 2004

12:30-1:50
Biology 209

Opening:
The regular meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to order at 12:35.

Excused – Stuart Carroll, Bob McMahan, Beth Paul, Shri Rao

Absent – Jo Carney, Ed Conjura, Rebecca Li, Leslie Rice, Yiqiang Wu

A. Background on “The Ten 10 Big Issues affecting TCNJ (Nov 1998)” , Dan Crofts
By organizing subcommittees to take a fresh look at the ten big issues affecting TCNJ, the Faculty Senate is following the same procedure it used in Fall 1998.  The faculty showed then that it was ready to act responsibly to move the college forward.  The report on the ten big issues has stood the test of time.  The job of the new subcommittees is to assess the progress that has been made and to call attention to any matters that require attention.  We need to keep this spring’s report at the same high level as the previous one: tight and to the point, with emphasis on the big picture rather than petty details and complaints.

B. Issue #1: Decision Making
1. Brief Description
According to John Karsnitz, there has been some progress over the last six years but there is still a substantial amount of work that must be done.   There are concerns that the Provost makes most administrative decisions and gives insufficient attention to the roles and responsibilities of each group in the “new” governance structure.
2. Comments and Questions from the Faculty Senate
Steve Klug commented that leadership and communications are keys to good decision making and that the college has not addressed these adequately.
Rick Kamber said that there is also a problem with getting out information too early.   Nothing should be put into writing until it is finished.
Jean Konzal then asked if there was a specific job description for chairs.  The answer to that question was “no.”  Simona Wright added to this discussion by saying that each department has its own by-laws.
Adam Knobler said that there exists no unified description of chair responsibilities.  The job for chairs in every department depends on the size of the programs offered and the department itself.  There might be a level of discomfort created if a unified job description for every chair was put into effect.  He feels that for now, the qualifications for the chair should be left to the different departments.
Tom Hagedorn noted that the deans are not performing the jobs they were hired to do.

B. Issue #2: Governance
1. Brief Description
Marcia O’Connell began her discussion by reviewing the many structural changes since 1998.   Some matters addressed then have been resolved.  But some issues remain.  It is still unclear how things actually get to become governance issues, and how they are resolved
2. Comments and Questions from the Faculty Senate
John Karsnitz stated that there is a problem with leadership in the steering committee.  The administration is making decisions without sufficient faculty input.
Ralph Edelbach raised a concern that issues had come up through governance that were contractual.
Adam Knobler asked how students fit into the governance system and whether the SGA is a sufficient legislative body to represent student views.
Rick Kamber then asked to what extent does the faculty have a say in how money actually gets spent on campus.  David Venturo answered by saying that reports have been received on what administration has planned to do.  Dan Crofts then asserted that there used to be a budget committee
Maureen Gorman then questioned the roles of ad hoc groups formed outside of governance.   John Karsnitz that everything should go back into governance.

C. Issue #3: Strategic Planning
1. Brief Description
David Venturo provided a brief overview on the issue of strategic planning and offered several recommendations on how some of the issues should be solved.  He said that for the most part, there has been progress since 1998.
2. Comments and Questions from the Faculty Senate
Don Lovett said that the transformation has been successful but there are still very poor communications.
Cindy Curtis then commented on how the Committee on Planning and Priorities is not functioning very well.  Bill Behre said that CPP worked better at a conceptual level than at an implementation level.
Steve Klug agreed with these points and added that the CPP does not function efficiently.  He then asked whether scheduling is a CPP issue or should it be handled by CAP?

D. Issue #4: Learning
1. Brief Description
Cindy Curtis reviewed some of the old issues brought up in 1998 and provided and update on how the issues are being handled currently.  She also noted several new issues that had emerged.
2. Comments and Questions from the Faculty Senate
Bill Behre brought up the issue of plagiarism.  He said that there should be more IT support to nab plagiarists.
Ralph Edelbach then said that teaching impacts learning.  He said there should be a  center for instructional enhancement.  David Venturo said the administration prefers multiple approaches to a single center.
Michael Robertson then suggested that TCNJ have a faculty committee on teaching and learning.
Adam Knobler said that more needs to be done regarding advisement.   He also noted that the faculty needed more input regarding admissions.
Bill Behre added in that the ITAC needs to play a bigger role in supporting teaching.

E. Issue #5: Scholarship
1. Brief Description
Ruth Palmer summarized several issues that the scholarship subcommittee had discussed.  She called attention to a mixed record of progress and room for improvement, and she sought input from the faculty senate.
2. Comments and Questions from the Faculty Senate
Art Hohmuth noted that faculty are so burdened that they do not communicate as much with each other as they used to do.  The lack of time is a major constraint.
Tom Hagedorn pointed out that with the new schedule in place there will be a regular free hour at mid-day on Thursdays and Fridays.

F. Issue #6: Library and Information Technology
1. Brief Description
Bill Behre noted that this subcommittee had just met.  He sought input from the faculty at this important watershed, with the new library soon to rise from the ground.
2. Comments and Questions from the Faculty Senate
Barbara Strassman said that IT decisions may be too standardized (one size fits all) with insufficient faculty input.
Ann Marie Nicolosi asserted that there needs to be a better liaison between IT and the faculty.
Ruane Miller suggested that IT did not seek input from faculty with IT experience.
Tom Hagedorn said that faculty requests for IT equipment take too long to fill.
Georgia Arvanitis said that IT does not deal with instrument interface problems in the instructional laboratory.
Adam Knobler stated that it is important that as we update IT that the library is not forgotten about.  The library needs to be the center of academic life.  He also said that his computer has been switched without any advance notification.  There needs to be a better communication with IT and the individual faculty members.

G. Other Comments
Dan Crofts ended the meeting by saying that time had run out and for everyone in the Senate to review what has been written by the other subcommittees.  The heads of the other subcommittees need to be contacted if anyone has ideas to offer.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 1:55.

The next Faculty Senate meeting will be at 12:30 on March 24th in Biology Building Room 209.

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