Academic Council

 

Minutes for November 16, 2001

 

Present:  Lisa Carloye, Jeff Clark, Joyce Davis, Gerry Francis, Don Grady, Pam Kiser, Leo Lambert, Todd Lee, Buck McGregor, Becky Olive-Taylor, Jean Schwind (chair)

 

Guest:  Maurice Levesque

 

I.          The meeting of elected members was convened at 2:30 PM.  The meeting of all

members was called to order at 2:55 PM.

 

            II.         Minutes from the October 29th meeting were approved.

 

III.       Council discussed a draft recommendation for undergraduate research mentoring

            compensation with Dr. Levesque. The policy includes guidelines

for the 499 research course, a basic form for registration, and compensation guidelines. The draft policy recommends that faculty be allowed to choose between compensation by course release or overload pay.  Summer 499

course compensation would be based on the current summer pay formula.

 

            IV.       Professor Olive-Taylor reported on the work of the Student Evaluation Instrument

Subcommittee.  The subcommittee is in the process of drafting questions for an academic advising instrument.  They are also examining the frequency of required administration of student evaluations of instruction.

 

Council expressed concern about the emphasis placed on student evaluations of teaching in the past, and discussion centered on the need to use additional methods to assess teaching.  The frequency of administering teaching evaluations also was discussed. Council considered the need for flexibility in course evaluation, but acknowledged that accreditation requirements compel particular academic programs to require consistent evaluation of some courses.  One option suggested was to evaluate all courses, but allow faculty to select evaluations from three courses in each academic year to be submitted for administrative review and inclusion in their files.

                       

                        Council requested that the subcommittee examine the broader issues related to

student evaluation of instruction after concluding its work on the advisor evaluation instrument.

 

            V.        Dr. Grady presented a draft report on budget priorities from the Salary, Benefits,

                        and Development Committee.  The committed offered five priorities based on a            

                        survey of faculty: faculty salaries, staffing, scholarships, health insurance, and

                        technology.

 

                        The committee report supports the Budget Planning Committee's work to place

                        Elon salaries in the top one-third of ANAC schools.  In addition, the report

                        recommends a 5% salary increase for 2002-2003. The report recognizes three

interrelated issues regarding staffing: teaching load, class size, and the number of full-time faculty positions.  The report recommends a reduction in the standard teaching load to five courses annually and urges that progress be made toward increasing the number of full-time faculty and reducing class size.  The report also recommends progress be made toward increasing the number need-based and academic scholarships.  The report acknowledges the work of the Health Benefits Committee and encourages the administration to maintain the current level of

health benefits, increase the university's portion of employee health insurance costs, and provide partner benefits.

 

The Council accepted the budget priorities proposal with corrections for

 submission to the Budget Committee.

 

VI.       Dr. Clark and Dr. Schwind submitted the Fall Report for review.  There was

discussion concerning the use of mean or median to report faculty salaries.  Council will attempt to include median salaries in the Fall Report.

 

            VII.      Dr. Schwind submitted a memo from Dr. James Bissett, Council's representative

to the Calendar Committee.  Dr. Bissett recommended “guiding

principles” regarding the length of fall and spring semesters and starting

and ending dates. The proposed guidelines are designed to provide sufficient class time to satisfy academic requirements and to ensure that faculty have time to complete other professional and scholarly responsibilities.

                       

                        Council discussed the desirability of adding a second faculty representative to

the Calendar Committee and the advantages of long-term (three-year) appointments for faculty representatives to this committee.  Council will consider a formal proposal on this matter and Dr. Bissett’s recommendations at a future meeting.

 

            VIII.     Dr. Francis reported that the University plans to conduct workshops on

sexual harassment in the spring semester.  All faculty and staff will be                 expected to attend.

 

IX.              At the request of a faculty colleague, Professor Kiser raised the question as to whether  "Professional Activity" as defined by the Faculty Handbook is in need of review and clarification vis-à-vis the criteria currently used for promotion, tenure, and professionalization.  Council considers this an appropriate question to refer to the Promotion, Tenure, and Professional Status Committee in the spring semester after that committee has completed its current work.

 

X.                 Council reviewed the Professional Boundaries Statement, which was

amended and approved by the faculty for inclusion in the Statement of Professional Standards (Handbook, II-5) at the last faculty meeting. Council voted to recommend to President Lambert revisions to section III of the Handbook to incorporate the professional boundaries policy into the University’s personnel policies.  Council recommended that Dr. Francis discuss with Dean Smith Jackson how this policy might be best presented to students.

 

XI.              Dr. Lambert gave an update on the Distinguished Professorship proposal.  He

reported that full professors responded favorably to the proposal at

a recent meeting and in messages that he has received.  Dr. Lambert will revise the proposal and distribute it for discussion at the December faculty meeting.  Dr. Lambert indicated that the first distinguished professor will most likely be named by next fall.

 

                       

The meeting adjourned at 6:00 PM.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Don A. Grady