MINUTES OF ACADEMIC COUNCIL
APRIL 18, 2003

Meeting was called to order at 2:50 P. M.

Present:   Dr. Jim Bissett, Dr. Lisa Carloye, Prof. Anne Cassebaum, Dr. Gerry Francis, Dr. Charity Johansson, Dr. Leo Lambert, Prof. Becky Olive-Taylor, Dr. Tim Peeples, Dr. Doug Redington, Prof. Barbara Taylor
Guests:  Dr. Jane Romer
 

I. Review of the March Minutes

The minutes were approved with the correction of a typographical error.
II. Report from the Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Advocacy and Advising
Dr Romer reported that Mary Wise had joined her committee and Karen Holt had spoken with them about the faculty advocate position at the University of Virginia.  The committee is debating whether the faculty advocate should offer legal counsel or be an impartial ombudsman.

The ad-hoc committee will sponsor a brown bag luncheon discussion next week.  They will present three models seeking a general reaction.  Presently, the ad-hoc committee does not want to make a recommendation but investigate the issue more fully.

III. Report on the 2003-2004 Budget in Regards to Council’s Priorities
Dr. Francis first reported on health insurance; the university has added $400,000 to maintain the current level of benefits, added a second level of insurance options, and coverage of same sex partners.  In regards to insurance for retirees, the university needed 12 to obtain coverage and did not have enough interested people.

On the second budget priority—teaching load, it was reported that   in the past year, 10 release times had been allocated to the Deans with four going to arts/sciences, 2 to communications, 2 to business and 2 to education.  For the coming academic year, 5 additional slots have been allocated in the same order (2, 1, 1, 1) making 15 overall.  Dr. Francis made clear that these course releases will be allocated by the deans and not the R&D Committee.

In regard to class size, Dr. Francis stated that next year’s budget will include a $40,000 allocation to cap senior seminars at 15 campus wide.  While this may not impact small departments, it will have an impact on larger ones.  In reply to a question asking at what point classes would be split, Dr. Francis stated that this will be left to the deans and Dr. Midgette.

In regard to research and development, an additional $10,000 has been allocated for summer research.  Dr. Francis stated that last year’s committee did not use all the sabbatical money.

Student scholarships will also be increased.  An additional $100,000 has been added to need/minority based awards and an additional $400,000 for honors scholarships.

Dr. Francis stated that no further funds were added for clerical support because of a lack of need.  Dr. Redington stated in his area faculty have been doing their work for so long that they no longer give it to a secretary.   Prof. Cassebaum asked how the determination was made that some secretaries did not have enough work.  Dr Francis stated it was by observation.

IV. Establishment of Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity
Dr. Bissett discussed the charge of the Student Life Committee to establish an Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity and called for comments.  Discussion centered on several issues:  membership, the possible need for a Standing Committee on Diversity, ways to increase diversity.    There was considerable discussion about the charge of the committee and whether their concern should be campus-wide, faculty and students, or faculty only.  Dr. Bissett agreed to look at the charge and clarify what areas of campus will come under the purview of the committee.  It was moved that it cover the faculty/student population and this passed.
V.  Ad Hoc Committee on Review Tenure and Promotion Criteria
Dr. Bissett asked for Council’s response to the feedback at faculty meeting regarding the statement of professional standards.  It was decided that this significant issue needs to be dealt with next year.   Dr.  Bissett reminded the group that E.6. should read: “To avoid when making public statements the claim that the person is representing Elon University unless they are authorize to do so.”

Dr.  Redington asked if these would be in the Faculty Handbook since it was voted to amend.  After discussion about the status of the document, Dr. Bissett stated that the Faculty Handbook will include the present statement since there has never been a vote on the full package and that approving amendments does not mean the change has been approved.

Concerns on the implementation of peer review were then discussed:  What happens if Deans and Departments have different standards for peer review?  What happens if Deans quantify the number of publications needed yearly?  Dr.  Bissett stated that a Dean telling a faculty person that it takes a specific number of publications for tenure or promotion goes against the spirit of the document.  Dr.  Francis agreed, saying the request for quantification was not coming from his office.  He affirmed that scholarship at Elon is carried out in service of teaching and that Elon remains a teaching institution.

Dr. Bissett agreed to work with other Council Members on a proposal for dealing with any difference between a Dean and Faculty on the criteria for peer review so this issue can be resolved.

VI. Spring Report
Dr. Bissett passed out an updated version of the Spring Report and asked for comments.
The problem of Standing Committees failing to issue reports was discussed and various remedies were suggested.  It was recommended that the Spring Report be incorporated in the Fall Report.  Council will review this; the Spring Report could then be Standing Committee reports.
VII. Student Grade Appeal
Dr. Bissett reported that he had spoken with Dr. Nemcik regarding the Grade Appeal and that she had agreed to retain the language used in the previous document on the three categories for Grade Appeal.  Several other revisions for clarity were made.  Dr. Bissett considered a motion to place an amended copy in the faculty meeting package for review.  The motion passed.
VIII. Cultural and Intellectual Programs Committee
Dr. Bissett stated that he and Dr. Clark had met with Prof. LePors and asked that her committee continue to work on the issue of the new committee next fall to tighten up the proposal and define the mission of a new committee.  If the committee agrees, they will work as an ad-hoc committee to come up with a proposal for bylaw approval.
IX.   Request from Dr. Pranab Das
Academic Council addressed the issue raised in a letter by Dr. Pranab Das concerning compensation for faculty who have been held up for promotion by the changing faculty track system.  There was agreement that faculty members who spent more than six years as assistant professors because of Elon’s system should be able to stand for promotion to full professor once they had 12 years’ combined service at the assistant and associate levels.  Dr. Francis said he agreed and just wanted time to consult with Mr. Rob Springer before reporting back at the next meeting.
X.  Work and Family Policies Subcommittee
Dr. Carloye reported on the work of the subcommittee on work and family policies which has looked at issues such as adoption, maternity leave, ill relatives, bereavement, health care, tuition remission and exchange program, and day care options.  Her committee plans to host a Numen/Lumen for information gathering and to relay information garnered this year on what other institutions have done in this area.  Dr. Francis noted the benefits and flexibility of an unwritten policy.  Dr. Carloye said her Sub-committee discussed this and generally felt that it was important to have a written policy for clarity and for recruitment purposes.  Discussion on this matter ensued.
XI. Unfinished Business
Dr. Redington addressed the Datatel social security issue.  Prof. Olive-Taylor reported that now only the last four digits can be seen.  In Admissions and Development, students entering data must sign a form guaranteeing confidentiality.

Dr. Redington then mentioned the coursepak situation.  Dr. Bissett stated that these are ordered at 100%.  Dr. Carloye stated that they were too costly as subcontractors add a percent as does Barnes and Noble.  Dr. Bissett will have further discussions in this regard with the Campus Shop and Mr. Whittington.

Dr. Bissett updated Council on the email policy.  Rather than create a public folder for discussion of current events, he recommended that Council take no action at this time since everything is presently running smoothly.

XII. Standing Committee Elections
Dr. Taylor presented to Council the nominations for Standing Committees for next year. She explained that the list of people who did not receive a committee appointment will be kept and given priority next year.  With the need for gender and departmental and divisional balance, it was difficult to make assignments.

Prof. Cassebaum reported on the Part-Time and Limited-Term Faculty Committee.  A survey has been completed, and the committee will continue to work next year and make recommendations in the fall.


The Meeting adjourned at 5:05 P. M.

Return to 2002-2003 Minutes