Academic Council Meeting
November 12, 1999
2:35 p.m.

Meeting convened at 2:35 p.m.

Members Present: Professors R. Anderson (Chair), L. Basirico, B. Hamm, T. Green, L. Helvey, M. Kingston, T. Lee, B. McGregor, D. Thurlow, and Provost G. Francis
          Guests Present: Professors B. Beedle, J. Bissett, W. Boyd, T. Henricks, D. Redington, and C. Keller

          Professor Anderson called the meeting to order and asked if there were any corrections to the October 15 Academic Council Meeting Minutes. Dr. Kingston recommended that two grammatical errors be corrected and that the word "allow" be substituted for the word "require" in recommendation d) on the "Role of Chairs." A motion was made and unanimously approved to accept the October 15 Minutes with these corrections.

          Chair Anderson welcomed the members of the Academic Council Subcommittee on the Role of Faculty in Shared Governance and thanked them for their tremendous effort in producing one of the best written reports he has ever received. The report will be placed on the Academic Council’s web site to share with the entire faculty.
          Dr. Henricks, chair of the Faculty Governance subcommittee, was invited to provide an overview of the sub-committee’s report to the Council. He began by thanking all the members of the subcommittee and recognizing Dr. Bissett for his work on compiling and shaping the final document. Dr. Henricks began the discussion of the report by outlining the charge and procedures of the subcommittee followed by a review of the various interpretations of the term "faculty" at Elon College. The subcommittee’s first 3 recommendations involve a recognition of three levels of faculty status: academic support faculty, teaching faculty, and administrative faculty. Following Dr. Henricks’ remarks, Dr. Helvey inquired about how the procedures for the promotion of academic support faculty mentioned in recommendation 3 would be developed. Dr. Henricks responded that additional procedures would need to be developed by some group other than the Professional Status, Promotion and Tenure (PPT) committee. A discussion of the differences between teaching faculty and academic support faculty ensued which touched on contract lengths, performance expectations, evaluation, and promotion in rank.
          Dr. Bissett provided the overview on recommendations 4-9 that relate to the role of the Academic Council in shared governance. These recommendations include a strengthening of the Council’s role as the coordinating body of all standing committees, a change in term length to 3 years for members of the Academic Council, and a 1 course release per semester for the Chair of the Academic Council. Dr. Basirico began the discussion of these recommendations by suggesting that summer compensation for the Council Chair be considered given the amount of work that is done at that time to organize the Council’s work for the upcoming academic year. Dr. Helvey pointed out that the recommendations may encourage greater participation of senior faculty in Academic Council which would support the subcommittee’s view that "faculty members who feel circumstances will prevent them from speaking or acting freely should refrain from service on the Academic Council." (p. 13 of Report of the Academic Council Subcommittee on the Role of Faculty in Shared Governance). The discussion that followed focused on the composition of council (i.e., the mix of junior and senior faculty), the value of 3 year terms, and changing the institutional culture to bring about the new Academic Council envisioned in the subcommittee’s report. Dr. Bissett concluded his summary of the subcommittee’s report by reviewing recommendation 9 which recommends a change in the agenda of regular faculty meeting to have reports of the Academic Council and Standing Committees be led by the Chair of the Academic Council.
           Dr. Redington provided an overview of recommendations 10-14 which relate to the Curriculum Committee. He stated that the major concerns of the subcommittee relative to the Curriculum Committee involve its representation, size, and communication with the faculty at large. The subcommittee concluded that the Curriculum Committee should be an elected body drawn from the teaching faculty. The subcommittee’s recommendations also recognized that while most curriculum proposals would be developed within departments or divisions, some proposals would come from outside this structure but in these cases the appropriate department(s) or division(s) should be involved as early as possible. Dr. Lee began the discussion of these recommendations by commenting on the radical change in the Committee’s representation and asking why two students are retained as voting members of the proposed new Curriculum Committee when the overall committee size is reduced drastically? Dr. Helvey echoed Dr. Lee’s comments and expressed her concern about equal representation if the committee is reduced to 10 teaching faculty members and 2 student members. An extensive discussion followed about the Curriculum Committee as it currently operates. Topics of discussion included whether a smaller committee could represent the concerns of all departments, whether a more streamlined Curriculum Committee would provide the checks and balances of the current committee structure, the role of students as voting members, and if a smaller committee composed of elected members who are not as busy as chairs of departments might provide more creative ideas about curriculum evaluation and revision.
          The overview of recommendations 15-21 relating to the relationship between the faculty and the Board of Trustees was summarized by Dr. Henricks. These recommendations include biannual meetings between the Academic Council and the Educational Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, inclusion of the Chair of Academic Council as an ex officio member of the Board, inclusion of faculty members from other colleges or national organizations that address higher education issues, and other ways of increasing communication between the faculty and the Board of Trustees. Dr. Henricks’ also summarized recommendations 22-23 relating to the relationship between the President and the faculty. It was noted that President Lambert has already instituted practices that fulfill recommendations 22 and 23 by establishing a continuing dialogue with the Chair of Academic Council and regularly participating in Academic Council meetings. Dr. Henricks noted that President Lambert’s inclusion of an Academic Council representative, Dr. Hamm, on the Budget Committee is an example of his efforts to keep the Council informed. Recommendation 24 recommends that the new pattern of membership on the Budget Committee be evaluated during the 2001-2002 academic year.
          Dr. Thurlow provided the overview of the section of the report dealing with the Research and Development (R&D) committee and the PPT Committee. The recommended changes include changing the role of the R&D Committee from an advisory body to a decision-making body in which the Academic Vice President serves as a voting member. The subcommittee thought it prudent to make no recommendations concerning the PPT Committee until the current academic restructuring effort is completed.
          Dr. Redington provided an overview of recommendations 26-28 regarding committees that deviate from the general criteria of standing committees. The general criteria used for status as a standing committee is that the committee membership be elected by the faculty, the committee consider the academic program as a whole, and that the committee reports to the Academic Council or the faculty as a whole. Recommendation 26 is that the faculty members of the Committee on Athletics be elected rather than appointed to bring it into alignment with the pattern of other standing committees at the college. Recommendation 27 recommends that the Teacher Education Committee and the Academic Appeals Committee be removed from the category of Standing Committees and be established as Advisory Committees since they do not fit the general criteria for standing committees. A brief discussion of the Committee on Athletics and the role of the Faculty Athletics Representative followed Dr. Redington’s remarks.
          The last 3 recommendations which concern the status of academic support faculty were reviewed by Assistant Librarian Keller. She began her remarks by noting that there are 57 academic support faculty who are eligible to serve on Advisory and Standing Committees who typically are not nominated or elected. Academic Support faculty are also not promoted in rank. The recommendations include nominating academic support faculty to standing committees when appropriate, re-evaluating the role of academic support on advisory committees, and establishing a professional development and evaluation system for academic support faculty. Council’s discussion of these recommendations touched on whether professional development should be expected of all academic support faculty and how academic support faculty would be evaluated.
          Dr. Henricks concluded the report of the Subcommittee on the Role of Faculty in Shared Governance by recommending that the Council consider this report and decide how best to bring their findings before the faculty at large. He suggested that the Council could publish the report as written or publish a list of the recommendations supported by Council. Dr. Henricks suggested that a variety of venues to collect faculty responses including a public meeting, private conversations between faculty and Council members, and solicitation of comments via e-mail would be advisable. Prof. Anderson requested that the members of the subcommittee be present at the meeting in which the faculty gather to consider the subcommittee’s report. Since the subcommittee had completed its report to Council, Prof. Anderson recommended a short break and invited the Council’s guests to leave, or to stay for the remainder of the meeting if they wished.
          Following the break, the Council reconvened to consider the best way to bring the subcommittee’s report to the faculty. Prof. Anderson suggested that the report be posted on the Academic Council’s web site and that the faculty be invited to review it prior to the December faculty meeting. At that meeting members of Council will be present to take notes and gather faculty input for discussion in the December 10th meeting of the Academic Council. This timeline would permit Council to discuss faculty response, develop revised recommendations on some items, and bring our recommendations before a faculty vote during the faculty meeting in February. The revised recommendations concerning faculty governance could then be presented to the Board of Trustees at their March meeting. Prof. Anderson remarked that the Board has called a special meeting in June which would provide an additional opportunity if the March deadline cannot be met. A 2-3 page list of recommendations would be attached to the December faculty meeting agenda. The Council agreed to follow this plan as outlined by Chair Anderson.

          Prof. Anderson called upon Dr. Green to discuss the latest draft of the Fall Report. Dr. Green, who acknowledged the aid of Linda Martindale and the AVP’s office, noted that several changes had been added to the Fall Report such as the addition of the category of professional track for the 1999-2000 academic year. Additional improvements to the Report include a break-down of faculty rank by gender and the addition of a third category to the "Number of Courses Taught" list (p. 10 of Fall Report) which now has the number of courses taught by administrative/staff personnel in addition to the number of courses taught by full-time and part-time faculty. The standard deviation was added for the 1999-2000 year in the summary of faculty salaries by rank, by gender, and by rank and gender. An additional table listing average salaries by division with the headcount in each division was added to this year’s report. Prof. Anderson complimented Dr. Green for his work on the Fall Report and stated that it would be distributed to the faculty next week.

          Dr. McGregor reported on the latest meeting of the Health Care Committee. The committee recommended that there be 3 elected faculty representatives on the new Health Care Committee, one of whom would be a member of Academic Council. The method of choosing representation of college personnel who are not faculty will be left to the President. Dr. McGregor also recommended 3 year terms for the members of the new Health Care Community since the issues on this subject are quite complicated. Although, the current committee sees health insurance coverage as their main concern, this committee could also serve in an advisory capacity on other matters.

          Provost Francis provided the Council with a copy of the guidelines used in developing salary projection increases and briefly reviewed them. Dr. Basirico asked if inequity corrections will be part next year's pool and Dr. Francis responded that they are not; they come from a separate pool of money. Dr. Helvey noted that there are many ways to "operationalize" these guidelines and a discussion ensued regarding how individual salary increases are determined in different divisions. Provost Francis reiterated that all Deans are provided with a copy of the guidelines used in developing salary projection increases which are to be used along with the Criteria for Evaluation as described in the Faculty Handbook in deciding on individual salary increases.

          The Academic Council discussed the budget priorities for the 2000-2001 academic year.

The meeting adjourned at 6:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Michael Kingston

Return to Academic Council 1999-2000 Minutes

Return to Academic Council Home Page