Faculty Senate Meeting – September 10, 2003
Excused: Conjura, Edelbach, Lieb, Ochoa, Strassman
-Provost Steve Briggs was introduced. He noted that this was the first time he had met with the full Senate. He expressed enthusiasm about TCNJ as the top public undergraduate college in the country, with the best students, facilities, and faculty. He then invited questions.
Knobler: How can you have the strongest public undergraduate college if almost all students reside in a single state?
Briggs: A public college, funded in part by the state, has a responsibility to that particular state. Some members of the Board of Trustees prefer that TCNJ remain 95% in state; others are willing to go a bit lower. Some Admissions efforts to attract out of state students have proven successful (Long Island) but others have not.
Karsnitz: What costs are involved in out of state recruitment?
Briggs: Merit scholarships to out of state students are three times as expensive, because there is no OSRP, through which the state absorbs 70% of the costs of in-state merit scholarships.
S. Wright: How can the college become more diverse, especially as regards international students?
Briggs: Approximately 80% of students are admitted in the regular track. The remaining 20% are recruited in ways that promote diversity. A new category of students with leadership potential was admitted this year. Unlike some colleges, however, we do not need to recruit international students to make ends meet.
Robertson: Can we do more for “underserved” populations in New Jersey?
Briggs: We are doing this, but we are having trouble getting the students we want. Some competing schools, notably Rutgers, are offering full scholarships.
Fradella: Does the “Opening Letter to All Faculty” accept the CAP and CFA reports?
Briggs: Quoted the last sentence of paragraph four: (“I am pleased to recommend the CAP and CFA reports and the Deans’ responses to the President, and I endorse the principles and overall direction they propose.”). A council or “conference committee” with perhaps three faculty and three deans will work out the final details this semester. The deans might prefer to study these matters longer, but he wants to get them done.
Lovett: Do you accept or reject the CAP and CFA reports?
Briggs: He accepts the principles as specified on page 7 of the CFA report. He hopes the Senate and AFT will support appointment to the conference committee of three faculty already familiar with the issues involved.
Course weighting falls outside of governance, and also involves the Union. If we are to diminish reliance on part-time faculty, keep SOSA, and maintain some administrative reassignment for faculty, there has to be some discipline on course weighting.
Hagedorn: Does all this go back to CFA?
Briggs: It can go back to CFA if CFA so wishes, but the outstanding issues are administrative and contractual.
Klug: CFA does not want to resume its labors.
O’Connell: Urges appointment of CFA members to the council or “conference committee.”
Crofts: Can all First Seminar sections be taught in the fall semester?
Briggs: His strong preference is to do it in the fall semester. It will not have the same benefit if students do not take it until the second semester. This here issue is one he cares about deeply. Teaching this sort of course eight years ago was a great experience. He is enthusiastic about First Seminar as the centerpiece of the new curriculum. He will allocate resources among Deans to build support for First Seminar, and to get the best faculty involved in teaching it.
80% of Athens and SET sections had become taught by part time and adjunct faculty, and a new departure is essential.
Crofts: How would he promote First Seminar, given the rather decentralized way in which course staffing decisions are usually made?
Briggs: We have freed up many related teaching obligations (Rhetoric, Athens, SET). We have a model that works well elsewhere. We will draw on the experiences of those now teaching the course. We hope to locate students in residences according to First Seminar choices. We need to enlist someone from the faculty to direct First Seminar and sell it to students and faculty. We also need more systematic scheduling projections from departments so as to identify ways they may better support Liberal Learning.
Behre: How will we define options A and B in Liberal Learning Distribution?
Briggs: We need a self-design (option B) that has plenty of rigor. It has to attract the best students. A case in point: a student at Rollins who designed a program of 18th Century studies. Option A needs to build on some successful examples to provide models.
Robertson: First Seminar comment. He’s a big supporter, but there is not yet enough muscle at the top to get it where it should be. There is very little time left to get it on track.
Briggs: He accepts responsibility, and will appoint someone soon with support to make it happen.
Vandegrift: What about Schools that have more than enough to do already? Can they make an end run around the Dean?
Briggs: Have to go through Deans. Cannot expand the overall resources pie. But contributions to First Seminar should be widespread and varied.
Carney: Will departments be assigned a quota or target for First Seminar?
Briggs: If this is to be a signature program, he will throw his weight behind it. He wants to teach a section next year. He is still in touch with some of the students he taught eight years ago.
Klug: We need better internal communications but things are getting more clogged. With First Seminar as a case in point, how do you get the word out?
Briggs: Admits electronic overload; e-mails reach a point of diminishing returns. A new task force is to address internal communications.
Hagedorn: Taught at school that had faculty meeting of 200 once a month.
Briggs: He and President welcome chances to meet faculty at School level.
San Pedro: What about Fourth Hour? Spanish needs 20 extra sections. How to do it?
Briggs: Adjuncts in collaboration with full-time faculty has potential. If we can use them more selectively we can pay them better. Top schools do this. Caroline Miller has ideas for “conference time” to enable student working groups to meet, but this would require that we rethink the existing schedule.
Karsnitz: To which students will the new standards apply? Just those in their first two years of college?
Briggs: Only the first two years are prescribed, but as soon as you can get more students under the new ground rules, so much the better.
S. Wright: How to run Fourth Hour in language study: conversation hour? Use of other students?
Briggs: Open to this sort of thing. We are not reducing lines; we have added 12-15. But we do not have much more to add.
Behre: How can Chairs give First Seminar greater priority? How many sections do we now have and how many do we need?
Briggs: We have 30 and we need 80. We have to communicate that we need 80.
Behre: It will be tough to do 80 in a single semester.
Faculty Senate Meeting – September 24
Excused: Karsnitz, Klug, Ruane Miller, Palmer, Paul, Preti, San Pedro.
Absent: McMahan, Tebbe, Vincelette
-The minutes for the meeting of September 10 were approved, with amendment.
-The Senate adopted rules for the conduct of elections at this meeting (see attached).
-Marcia O’Connell was elected Vice-President of the Faculty Senate for 2003-04 by acclamation.
-Following presentations by the five candidates and/or one of their supporters for three positions on the Exec Board, the Senate voted as follows:
-34 ballots were cast.
-The top three candidates were thereby elected.
-The Senate by acclamation filled vacancies on Committees and Advisory Councils as follows:
CPP — David Venturo, English, and Rick Kamber, Philosophy and Religion (three year terms).
GEAC — Daryl Fair, Political Science. One year term to replace Bill Ball.
HRAC — Sunita Ahlawat, School of Business (Accounting). One year term to replace Luis Gabriel-Stheeman.
SSAC — Nabil Al-Omaishi, Engineering. One year term to replace Leslie Rice.
-The Senate first discussed having the Provost visit on a more regular basis. It was agreed informally that he might be invited once each semester to a meeting sponsored by the Senate and the AFT, to which all faculty would be invited.
-Edelbach inquired about First Seminars and the Provost’s mention of reallocating resources to support First Seminar. O’Connell, Venturo, and Robertson suggested that departments supporting first seminar would be supported, for instance in not having to count First Seminar sections in measuring overall efficiency.
-The discussion about First Seminars led to concerns about adjuncts teaching more upper level courses, and questions were raised about whether adjuncts would continue to teach as many course as they currently do. Conjura believed that adjuncts might teach fewer courses overall, but proportionately as many as they now do.
-Lovett wanted a guarantee on the 18 FWH teaching load.
-Rice noted a growth in School of Nursing enrollments and wanted more faculty.
-Behre discussed pressures to meet efficiency standards.
-Lieb stated that School of Business faculty taught very heavy loads.
-A discussion involving a number of faculty developed with regard to “extra” 6 FWH in the new curriculum. A number of Senators indicated their distress at having to account for use of the 6 FWH. Doubts were expressed about faculty in fact having extra time to account for, in that they would be working harder in their enhanced courses. It was also suggested that the great majority of faculty would be upholding their end of the bargain, that accounting was targeted principally at a few faculty, and that accounting was an unfair burden on most faculty.