Academic Council Meeting

December 11, 2003


The meeting was called to order at 10:04 a.m. by Council chair, Jeff Clark.


Members Present: Jim Bissett, Mike Calhoun, Lisa Carloye, Anne Cassebaum, Jeff Clark, David Copeland, Gerry Francis, Leo Lambert, Yoram Lubling, Jana Lynn Patterson, Tim Peeples, Doug Redington, and Barbara Taylor


Guests Present: Jane Romer, Associate Professor-Foreign Languages and Education and Jon Metzger, Assistant Professor of Music.


I. Approval of Minutes: The minutes of the November meeting were approved noting a correction previously made changing soccer to softball in paragraph II, line seven.


II. Faculty Advocacy and Advising Committee: Jane Romer reported to the council that the committee is still meeting and presented a progress report from the committee.

The committee initially favored the use of an ombudsman. After meeting with a committee of senior faculty, however, the committee agreed to look at a three-tiered approach to advocacy. The three-tier plan would include strengthening of the mentoring program – to junior faculty by senior faculty, partnership with Alamance Mediation Board, and legal insurance. She also stated that after the November meeting, the Faculty Advocacy and Advising Committee would review the results of the focus group and decide if they needed more information from faculty and staff. The Faculty Advocacy and Advising Committee also sent a survey to faculty/staff and have about 45 responses to date. Faculty members have until February 1 to respond to the survey. The committee will make a preliminary report in the spring.


III. Faculty Handbook Process: At the September Council meeting, concerns were expressed about the delay in publication of the Faculty Handbook. Barbara Taylor agreed to meet with Dixie Fox and Dr. Gerry Francis to discuss the current process and explore alternatives. The following proposal was presented by Barbara for feedback from Council:

  1. Delete parts of handbook where same information is more accessible and up to date online. The removal of sections would reduce the number of changes made to the handbook and the number of people submitting changes and would thus reduce the time to get the handbook out.
  2. Reduce overlap with staff handbook where items are identical. One option would be to eliminate in the Faculty Handbook information that is the same for all employees. This would allow Human Resources to make updates that affect all employees in a single document and would reduce the delay and frustration for Mary Wise and Dixie Fox because information related to personnel issues must come from Ron Klepcyk before the Faculty Handbook can be updated.
  3. Delete lists at end of handbook at least as part of the printed version since they change annually or more often. Have those maintained on the Web and up to date, perhaps on Council Web site, but not necessarily as part of the handbook itself.
  4. Create a pdf file instead of a Word document that Dixie Fox maintains. This would allow maintenance of a single copy of the document that can be printed and posted online. Even though it would be a single document, it would be fairly easy to print individual pages or page ranges.  The online version could have links and be navigable as the current html version is.


Doug Redington stated that the proposal looked good and that he liked the idea of a streamlined version. He proposed that paper copies be made available to all faculty. Barbara will continue to work with Mary Wise and Dr. Francis on this project.


IV. December Faculty Meeting Feedback: Council discussed comments made at the Faculty Meeting. Dr. Francis thanked Jeff Clark for his suggestion to address the faculty on working together as a community.


A question was asked if there were reactions to having the faculty meeting on reading day. It was reported that there were none.


V. Progress on Priorities: This item was tabled until next meeting.


VI. Faculty Handbook Revision Committee re Revision of References to Contract Status:

Tim Peeples reported on the progress of the faculty handbook revisions. He presented copies of the bylaw changes to the Council for review. After much discussion and some minor revisions to the proposed changes, the Council voted on and approved the bylaw changes to the handbook.


VII. Election Committee Planning for Spring Elections; Election of Committee of Intellectual Climate: Lisa Carloye and Barbara Taylor presented an Elections Timeline to the Council and answered questions concerning elections for the Academic Council, Promotion and Tenure Committee, standing committees and the ad hoc Committee on Intellectual Climate. They reported that the elections committee will be soliciting interest and will be putting together a slate of names for nomination. They will send e-mails to faculty by February 1st soliciting interest. Below are timelines by committee.


Academic Council: Elections for Council membership will be at the March faculty meeting. Four at-large members are needed with the goal of a final slate by the February 20 Council meeting.


Promotion and Tenure Committee: Promotion and Tenure elections will be held at the April Faculty meeting. The proposed by-laws change to alter membership (replace Professional status) will be presented at the February Faculty meeting, and the slate will be finalized by the March 19 Council meeting.


Standing Committees are elected at the May faculty meeting. Committee preference forms soliciting faculty interest will be sent out by March 1. Forms should be returned by March 19. The elections committee will meet to develop a slate of names the week of March 29 to be finalized by the April 16 Council meeting.


Ad Hoc Committee on Intellectual Climate membership will consist of 5 faculty, one each from A&S, Communications, Business, Education, and support staff/administrator with faculty rank. The elections committee recommended that 2 current members serve to provide continuity and that 3 new members be appointed. Current members are Teresa LePors and Richard McBride, (Support Staff/Administrator), Sue Stevens and Carol Smith (Education), and Janet Myers and Betty Morgan (Arts and Sciences). Members will serve on the committee for 2 to 2 1/2 years (Spring 04-Fall 05 or spring 04-Spring 06) depending on decision made in Fall 05 about the permanency of the committee. Council will make this decision no later than the December 2005 council meeting. If it becomes a standing committee, a by-laws change should be presented at the February 2006 faculty meeting. A vote on the change would take place at the March Faculty meeting at the latest to allow the committee preference form to include the new standing committee when it is sent to faculty in early March 2006.


Lisa and Barbara answered questions from Council and asked members to help in generating interest in P&T and Academic Council. Council agreed.


VIII. Excellence Awards: Dr. Francis reported that the University will be recognizing more individuals through new awards. Each school will be presenting awards in the following categories; Excellence in Teaching award, Excellence in Scholarship award, and Excellence in Service-Leadership award. These awards are not related to the end of the year awards and will be relatively consistent from school to school. The dean of each school will appoint a selection committee and present the awards at individual meetings in the spring.


IX. Emeritus Status: Council discussed the memo from Jim Bissett and David Copeland to Dr. Francis outlining the proposal for Faculty Emeritus Status. The proposal outlined the criteria, the procedure, and the prerequisites for granting Emeritus Status to retired faculty. Dr. Francis stated that he is supportive of the proposal and will adopt the recommendations from the committee. He will also inform the Board of Trustees of the program.  All other information will come from the Provost’s office.


X. Law School Feasibility Committee: Tim Peeples reported that the committee continues to look at the feasibility of a Law School at Elon. He stated that the committee is looking closely at mission and niche, the pros and cons of starting a law school, and financing of the Law School. Three sub-committees have been formed and reported their findings at meetings on December 11.


XI. Adjunct Representation on Academic Council: Jon Metzger attended the meeting to present a proposal to the Council from the Sub-Committee on Adjunct and Limited-Term Faculty requesting adjunct representation on Academic Council. Jon talked about the benefits of having an adjunct faculty member on the Council. He presented names of adjunct faculty that could qualify to serve on Council. He explained that adjuncts could bring a knowledge base and a voice that needs to be heard to the Council. After questions to Jon from the Council, the item was voted upon. The motion passed 7 to 4 to take the proposed by-law change to the faculty at the February meeting.  


XII. Evaluation of Teaching; Where to go from here: Council agreed to follow-up with an email discussion on the report from the ad hoc Committee for the Evaluation of Teaching.


XIII. Issues for the Spring: Council agreed to discuss by email issues/concerns to be addressed by Council in the spring semester.


XIV. Old Business-Campus Parking: Dr. Francis stated that he would request that Campus Safety and Police patrol faculty parking lots more in the morning, especially the Koury Center lot. He will also request that restricted time for faculty-staff only parking in faculty lots be increased (from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.) in an effort to ensure spaces for faculty teaching 8 a.m. classes. The time change moves the time that students can legally park in faculty lots back a half hour, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.



The meeting adjourned at 11:53 a.m.


Respectfully Submitted,

Bernice Foust

David Copeland