Academic Council Meeting Minutes
October 18, 2002

Members Present:  Jim Bissett, Lisa Carloye, Anne Cassebaum, Jeffrey Clark, David Copeland, Gerry Francis, Charity Johansson, Leo Lambert, Yoram Lubling, Becky Olive-Taylor, Tim Peeples, Doug Redington, and Barbara Taylor.

Visitors: Jim Beuerle, Janie Brown, Chris Fulkerson, and Maurice Levesque.

The meeting was called to order at 2:45 P. M. and the minutes from September were approved.

Reports and Discussion by Faculty Members who Attended the Fall Meeting of the Board of Trustees

At Academic Council’s invitation, Dr. Janie Brown, Dr. Maurice Levesque, and Dr. Jim Beuerle reported on their attendance at the Board of Trustees Meeting.  Dr. Brown, who attended the Development Subcommittee of the Trustees Meeting due to her work as chair of the faculty/staff campaign, discussed the Board’s fundraising plans and goals.  Dr. Levesque attended the Trustees’ Academic Affairs subcommittee in his role as chair of the Curriculum Committee.  He reported that this subcommittee received updates on enrollment, faculty salaries, the retention rate, and the activities of the Curriculum Committee.  Dr. Jim Beuerle, who attended as chair of the Student Life Committee, reported that his meeting centered on Campus Recreation and included a tour of Koury center tour to see the Fitness center and new dance studio.

In response to questions from Council members, Dr. Brown, Dr. Levesque, and Dr. Beuerle described the Board’s discussions of such issues as the new faculty track system and the question of establishing a new law school.

Discussion of the Use of the Facstaff E-mail List

Dr. Bissett reported that a faculty member asked that Council address problems related to the use of the facstaff distribution list.  Specifically, some faculty are concerned with using the list for sales or other personal issues and using it to discuss and debate current news issues.

In discussion, Council members drew a distinction between these concerns.  The first, use of the facstaff list to advertise items for sale or other personal business, seemed more serious than the use of the distribution list for debate of current issues.  Members of Council further agreed that this was more a matter of etiquette than of policy.  The decision was made to refer the issue to Academic Technology and Computing Committee with the committee to report back to Council with their recommendation.

Discussion of the Use of Elon’s Name in Public Statements

Also in response to concerns expressed by some faculty members, the Council discussed the issue of the use of Elon University’s name in personal or political statements made by faculty members.  The discussion began by noting that University policy on this issue is articulated in the Faculty Handbook’s Statement of Professional Standards (Section II-5 E 7).  After discussion, Council concluded that it would be appropriate for Dr. Bissett, as chair of Academic Council, to remind faculty members of the University’s policy on this issue at the next faculty meeting

Report of the Academic Council Subcommittee on Shared Governance

This discussion centered on two documents created by the Academic Council subcommittee on shared governance. Discussion on the first document, led by Dr. Redington, concentrated largely on how to make the faculty meeting a more effective forum for discussion.  Council discussed with Dr. Lambert and Dr. Francis the possibility of periodically changing the order of business to move the Academic Council part of the agenda ahead of administrative reports.  Dr. Lambert pointed out that he, Dr. Francis, and Dr. Bissett meet monthly to plan the agenda for the faculty meeting, and expressed a willingness use those meetings to make the faculty meeting agenda responsive to current needs.  Other issues raised by the subcommittee or members of Academic Council were problems with acoustics, the need for better understanding of parliamentary procedure, and idea of having some faculty meetings led by the Academic Council.  Council agreed to revisit this issue in December to assess the fall faculty meetings.

The subcommittee also introduced and discussed the issue of the Chair of Academic Council receiving two course releases per year.

Dr. Clark led a discussion on the second document, which addressed the issue of the need for a faculty advocate/advisor.  Academic Council concluded that Dr. Clark should begin the process of forming an ad hoc committee to investigate the need for creating such a position.

Fall Report

Academic Council continued its discussion with Dr. Lambert and Dr. Francis about its request for median and mean salary data for administrators with faculty rank and academic support staff with faculty rank.  Dr. Francis requested that a smaller group meet with him to continue discussing Academic Council’s request.  Council agreed that Dr. Bissett, Dr. Clark, and Dr. Carloye would do so.

Proposal to Make the Study Abroad Advisory Committee an Elected Standing Committee.

Academic Council considered a proposal by Dr. Paul Fromson on behalf of the Study Abroad Advisory Committee to make that body an elected standing committee.  Consistent with Dr. Fromson’s request, the Academic Council agreed to forward the proposal to the Curriculum Committee and the General Studies Council for their comments.

Report from the Health Care Advisory Committee

Professor Taylor reported that the committee is working on a lower cost alternate health insurance alternative for employees who find the cost of the present policy to be prohibitive.  She also reported that the university is aware of and working on the disagreement between Cigna and Alamance Regional Hospital.

Miscellaneous Business

Dr. Francis reported that the Board of Trustees has asked him to study the feasibility of establishing a law school and report back at the next board meeting.  Dr. Francis will form a committee to do this work.  He will work with the Academic Council, Curriculum Committee, and Graduate Council to appoint faculty members of this committee.

The discussion on Dr. Lubling’s replacement was tabled until next month’s meeting.

Council adjourned at 5:15 P. M.

Submitted by Linda Martindale

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