Academic Council Meeting

February 20, 2004


The meeting was called to order at 2:48 p.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: Tony Crider, Assistant Professor-Physics and Dr. Steven House, Dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences.


I. Approval of Minutes: A typographical error was corrected and the minutes of the December meeting were approved. 


II. Workload and Teaching Load Committee: Tony Crider reported to council that his committee has been working to fulfill the charges from Council last year.  The committee was asked to examine a reduction in teaching load, define class size and look at any inconsistencies.  Crider stated that the committee focused on reassigning faculty time.  He discussed the purpose of the committee and faculty expectations.  While a plan has not been finalized, the committee was guided by 4 overarching principles: Look at all duties of faculty (scholarship, service, teaching and advising); do not increase any faculty member’s load; let individual faculty members decide how to participate; and be flexible in terms of funding. Questions from Council centered around coverage and tracks (lecture track will be included), expansion beyond the College of Arts and Sciences, funding (‘05/’06 funding has been proposed) and timing (intermediate steps can be taken in ‘04/’05). Any proposal will allow faculty to do what they are currently expected to do. The committee will be obtaining more feedback from Chairs and other faculty and will have a numen-lumen session before the March faculty meeting. After answering questions from Council, it was decided to have Crider and House back at the March meeting.  


III. February Faculty Meeting Feedback:


a.              Concerning distribution of the Fall Report.  It was decided at a previous meeting that the Fall Report be posted on Council’s web page and also a copy of the report supplied to all departments.  Discussion revolved around the report from a faculty member who felt that it would be worth the cost of paper to insure all faculty received a hard copy of the fall report.  Council discussed options including streamlining the report by printing only the most important part of the report and posting the rest on Council’s web page, or having the raw data online and providing graphs and tables in hard copy.  It was decided to go back to distributing both the Fall and Spring Reports in print to all faculty members.  Council will continue to discuss what is included in the Spring Report.

b.              ByLaws changes.  Jeff Clark asked for discussion from Council concerning the proposed Bylaws change to add adjunct faculty as a nonvoting member to Council. Four areas of concern were raised by faculty: clarify the reasons for an adjunct representative, why not continue addressing the issues through a subcommittee of Council, the implication in the proposal of continued employment and a question of when adjuncts find out whether they will be employed or not. Lambert and Francis will address the question of timing of a vote of the faculty and the Board meeting (for this and the other Bylaws changes), but did not foresee any problems.


IV. Progress on Priorities:


Diversity – Barbara Taylor reported that the committee received good feedback at the numen-lumen session.  Taylor handed out a draft recommendation from the committee that explained the statement of purpose, objectives and recommended strategies. (See the attached document). She will report back in March.

Definition of Service – Tim Peeples presented the results of a survey sent out to faculty asking how service is defined.  The survey was sent out to senior academic affairs administrators, deans, chairs and department faculty.  (See the attached document). Discussion focused on the lore vs. handbook issue and the problem of using the “star” as a role model. Lambert and Redington were concerned about the quality of service, not just the quantity. Peeples indicated this issue will be addressed as the committee continues its work.

Work/Family Issues – Lisa Carloye stated that she posted a need/assessment survey on Monday and will make a report at the April meeting.

Part-time faculty issues – Anne Cassebaum reported the work is ongoing, looking at increased communications, conversation, and workload as part-time faculty issues.


V.  Proposed Budget – Dr. Gerry Francis reported on the proposed budget.  He stated that he used the Academic Council budget priorities while preparing the budget.  The number one budget concern was health insurance ($400,000 to keep coverage at the present level).  The number two concern was teaching load reduction (see the discussion above on the Crider committee report).  He said that a lot of work has been done by the committee on these issues. Any comments or concerns about the new health provider should be addressed to Ron Klepcyk or Stephanie Page.  Other items included in the budget discussion: a proposed addition of 2 more sabbaticals, granting additional release time for deans to give to faculty, reducing the class cap in freshman/sophomore classes from 37 to 33, library plans, research mentoring, $240,000 for Honors scholarships, establishing a $100,000 minority scholarship and an increase in the number of clerical/support staff. There is also $500,000 proposed for a NewCentury@Elon initiative, a new budget item on a tuition remission/exchange program, no plans to increase the travel budget and a proposed 3% faculty salary increase. Francis also agreed to share the slides from the budget forums on the Provost’s website for those faculty who could not attend the forums.


VI. Elections Committee: 

Nominees for Council and Promotions and Tenure –

            a.   Elections for Council membership will be at the March faculty meeting. Four at-large members are needed. Membership criteria for the P&T committee will change in April.  Discussion revolved around the number of nominees and criteria used for each opening. Past practice and the faculty handbook suggest keeping the number at one nominee per opening for now.

b.      Adjunct faculty election – Academic Council discussed the guidelines for electing an adjunct faculty member to council.  (see also the discussion on Part III b. above) After much discussion the group decided by voice vote to amend the ByLaws to show that (1) elections of adjunct faculty to Council will be held annually in August and (2) an adjuncts faculty would have to be currently employed at the institution at the time of elections, and during his/her term to serve.

c.       Intellectual Climate Committee – The slate of nominees was finalized and Jeff Clark planned to meet with the committee to present it with its charge.  


VII. Discussion of Phase II of the Law Report:  Dr. Francis discussed Phase II of the Law School report.  Discussion centered on funding, ties to the undergraduate programs and integration of a law school into the Elon community.  Francis has presented the Phase II report to Graduate Council and the Curriculum Committee for discussion and a recommendation for program approval or non-approval as set forth in the faculty handbook. The report will be presented at the March faculty meeting.  Lambert would like to see a verbal narrative from the faculty regarding their hopes and concerns of the proposed law school in addition to a recommendation.


VIII. Evaluation of Teaching Report:

The Ad Hoc Committee for the Evaluation of Teaching provided an amended report to Council in October. The question has been raised of where to go next with the recommendations.  A new committee will be formed with a revised charge and suggested membership to be developed by Bissett, Copeland and Redington. The idea is for this new committee to look at implementation of the recommendations, integration of comments from the faculty regarding the report and to more fully develop those evaluation recommendations that go beyond the student SET forms.


IX. Handbook Process: Council received a report from Barbara Taylor asking for support from Council regarding the work of her committee.  Taylor provided Council with a Table of Contents reflecting possible division between faculty and staff issues handled by Human Resources and those solely involving the faculty to be kept in the faculty handbook.  Council unanimously supported her endeavors to streamline the faculty handbook.


X.  Question concerning tests given in week prior to Final Exams:  Clark indicated this question will be taken up at a discussion during a future faculty meeting.. 


XI. Planning for March faculty meeting: Any input for consideration regarding the March faculty meeting was needed by Monday, February 23.


At 5:15 Lambert and Francis were excused and the elected members of Council discussed nominee slates and the process to fill openings on the Promotions and Tenure Committee and the Academic Council.  The meeting adjourned at 5:53pm. .


Respectfully Submitted,

Bernice Foust

Doug Redington