Revised Minutes for March 3, 2003
Present: Mark Siders (Bus.), Diana Maltz (English; Senate Secretary), George Converse (Comp. Sci.), John Sollinger (Bio.), Barbara Scott (ECP; At-Large), Linda Wilcox Young (Econ.), Marc Levy (Psych.), Garth Pittman (Comm.; Senate Chair), Michael Naumes (Psychology), Jon Harbaugh (Bus.), Gudrun Gill (Foreign Lang.), Jonathan Bilden (Student Sen. Pro-Tem), Dale Vidmar (Library), John Fitton (Success at Southern), Connie Anderson (Library), Bill Danley (Special Ed.), Etsuko Fujimoto (Comm.), Kevin Talbert (Info. Tech. Svcs.), Lee Ayers (Criminology; Senate Vice Chair), John Whitesitt (Math.), Katy Bazylewicz (Mktg./Pub. Rel.), Charles Lane (Geol.; Interim Provost; Senate Ad Hoc), Terry Longshore (Music), Wayne Schumacher (Housing), Sib Farrell (Access Center/Career Svcs.), Laura O'Bryon (Associate Director, Medford Campus).
Visitors: Judith Ginsberg, Sue Burkholder, Ed Battistella, Mary Ellen Fleeger, Mara Affre, Diane Brimmer, Danielle McNeill, Todd F. Carney, Mike Corcoran
Library groundbreaking this Friday at 3 PM.
Senate meeting finals week.
Converse approved, Danley seconded.
Remarks from the President (Elizabeth Zinser)
Presentation and explanation of document (attached):
"Education and General Funds 2003-05 Biennial Budget Projection as of 3/3/03."
Remarks from the Provost (Charles Lane)
Did have phone conversation with provost at Ashville, N. Carolina, Thomas Cochlan will be here 21-22 April for COPLAC visitation.
Q: What is the goal of visit?
A: To acquaint themselves with SOU. Judith Ginsberg will line up their itinerary. Decision making process in June in NJ.
Remarks from the Student Senate (Jonathan Bilden)
Hearing process of student fee process. How much to cut.
Girls' Basketball Game at 7:30 PM.
Next term campaign for more student feedback on educational issues.
Walkout Wednesday at 12: converging with Ashland High students downtown for music and peaceful rally.
Voting on Academic Policies Proposal: Change in Transfer Credits
John Whitesitt moves to table until we know what gen ed will be next fall. Seconded for discussion by Marc Levy.
Sense of urgency for proposal since we are recruiting students coming in from California. To table this puts a damper on ability to recruit students.
Is gen ed a hoop to be jumped through or integral part of education?
Vast majority of transfer students still have to satisfy some or all of our gen ed.
In favor of tabling, 1
Mark Levy, Motion to approve, Vidmar seconded.
Textual changes to proposal suggested by Whitsitt.
This change is meant to honor gen ed at other universities, not to replace gen ed requirements at our university.
Talbert: suggestion for voting on substance and asking for better wording.
Vote to approve the ideas of the proposal with caveat that there is room for some of the language.
22 in favor, but one opposed and one abstaining.
Voting on Curriculum Changes
Motion by Wilcox-Young, seconded by O'Bryon.
All in favor.
New courses, new option in major, new minor. We will vote on this next time.
Central Topic: Budget and Planning
Pres. Zinser: Thank you for ongoing work in this area.
Am also willing to discuss criteria for promotion and tenure.
Working from budget background, Michael Parker is here from AAAC as well as AAAC reps here on the senate.
Q: If we increase our national recognition, how to reconcile that drive with the lack of financial support to get to those places. Getting there seems to be a challenge (need for release time, for instance).
A: What does the institution want to be in the future and how does build on what we are now, and what is feasible? Good questions. We are a regional institution and also aim to gain national recognition for our special qualities. These aspects of what we are do not conflict, but rather they scaffold on one another. We will bring greater value to our region by earning appropriate recognition nationally, in large measure for the way we connect student learning, faculty scholarship, and service unique to our region. All public institutions are struggling to adapt to new realities with respect to state funding - some with greater challenges than others. We need to plan our way into better alignment between resources and priority expenditures to better support what we can do best, including support for faculty success. In part we will do this by becoming more diversified in the sources of our funding. We need to think beyond state support, while also raising expectations and hopes for public investments in SOU as we enter economic recovery.
Q: These changes take a lot of time, personal resources - it can seem insurmountable to the individual.
A: We need to be willing and able to evaluate colleagues in the context of what they are called upon to do for their departments, schools, and university, and the special circumstances that enable and constrain their capacities, while also expecting professionals/scholar-teachers to find ways to advance their work as teachers, as scholars, and as agents of institutional and community service. It can be very helpful to include in a promotion and tenure dossier, a "meaningful contextual statement" regarding the special expectations and conditions under which the candidate has been working, as well as the nature and value of the candidate's scholarship of teaching, application, integration, and/or discovery. When resources are very limited, one would hope that faculty development funds might be channeled largely to help younger faculty who are working toward their milestones in promotion and tenure.
Q: Individual contextual statements per dept and school didn't meet with approval in first go. Is it the time to revisit that idea now?
A: It could be helpful for those reading applications and dossiers. Getting faculty across disciplines to discuss what their understanding of scholarship is can be very rich. We all need to develop better and better understanding the types of scholarship that fit that field and the circumstances and expectations of particular positions and departments.
Q: Many OUS schools have raised their GPA - what is their effect on SOU? Eastern is being touted on OUS webpage as premier public liberal arts university of Oregon.
A: The increased GPA levels set for admission to some of OUS schools is not surprising. Increasing the appearance of standards can be as much about marketing one's institution as it is a real reflection of practice. The average GPA of entering freshmen at SOU is actually higher than that for some other schools publishing a 3.0 GPA as an entrance requirement. These institutions still take students at GPAs lower than the 3.0 GPA, following special review of the student's capacity to succeed in that institution. We should evaluate our published "standard" GPA level for admission, while also signaling that students with slightly lower GPAs may apply for special review and may be admitted on other evidence of capacity to succeed at SOU.
The quoted "mission" on EOU's website is not a board approved mission statement, but EOU can put anything they like on its website. This is how Eastern is presenting itself. It is time for a new look at the OUS institutional missions. The institutions and system can be stronger if we differentiate ourselves in appropriate ways, rather than allowing the public to view some of the institutions as "cookie cutters" of one another. COPLAC visitors will visit SOU this April as part of the organization's review of SOU for possible membership in that organization. SOU is distinguishing itself as an outstanding public liberal arts and sciences university, and joining COPLAC is just one step in gaining recognition of that special quality and mission.
Q: Are some OUS universities looking to cap their enrollment for a while, to slow down their growth.
A: Some are doing so, especially UO, but they have been growing in recent years. Given its mission and opportunities, this may be a sound strategy.
Q: Would we benefit from this?
A: We are making decisions to respond to our region's needs, to be sensitive to the financial capacities of our student populations, and to enhance our competitive position in Oregon and also out of state. We've not grown much in recent years, and it would be wise for us to grow some. Hence, a cap for SOU would not serve us well, but we should be cautious to maintain and enhance our academic standards for admission and progression at SOU.
Q: Following up on COPLAC: Originally I got a sense of it as a "practical" university with focus on students, and now it seems that we're saying that we COPLAC is a "code word" for raising standards for students and faculty, and perhaps becoming less of a teaching university.
A: COPLAC is not about becoming "elite." Serving a wide variety of students, including and in particular first generation students, is a very important part of being an exceptional public liberal arts and sciences university. We are about access to quality, exceptional teaching, emphasis on undergraduate education, articulation between liberal learning and professional study, and practical learning in the classroom and in community engagement.
Q: Will COPLAC drive the new demands for scholarship and tenure?
A: COPLAC is more about providing a high quality environment for practical liberal learning across fields of study needed by the populations we serve. Joining COPLAC is a means to gain recognition for doing what we already do well, and also challenging ourselves, along with other COPLAC schools, to help one another get better and better. The point is how well we teach the liberal arts and sciences in practical ways, drawing upon the good practices of teaching and learning in the professional programs, and how well the professional programs integrate continuing learning from the liberal arts and sciences.
We want to get better at what we already do well. It does mean we push ourselves, but it doesn't mean that the scholarship of teaching no longer matters. Quite the contrary, the scholarship of teaching is central to this mission and vision. No one-size-fits-all scholarship; we embrace a broader definition of scholarship in accordance with the needs of our students, faculty, and communities. We want strong teaching from all teaching faculty, of course, and we want faculty members to contribute to various forms of scholarship about teaching and learning, about discovery and innovation in their disciplines, about integration of established knowledge in new ways, and about novel and valuable applications of knowledge. Individual faculty members will do different things with scholarship, and the collective and intentional work of faculty should fit together to advance the departments, schools, and universities, with strong focus on how that scholarly activity engages students while also contributing to the fields of study and the scholarship of teaching and learning that has value beyond SOU as well as in SOU.
Q: Our standards include having faculty work accepted and recognized beyond state level, and yet we have a ceiling on travel funds.
A: In these times, we do set stringent guidelines on how we allot resources, and we need to use our planning process to create better alignments between faculty support resources and expectations of faculty. Today's limits on out-of-state travel is a temporary policy in these times when Governmental agencies of all kinds need to demonstrate special sensitivities when many in our communities are out of work. These restraints are partly driven by our budget cuts in a short period of time, knowing we must reallocate funds as we stabilize in order to do less but fund appropriately what we aim to do. They are also driven by sensitivity toward our publics when so many are hurting in this economy.
Q: Chancellor Jarvis visited us in the fall and reviewed the DEAL. What has become of it?
A: Good question. The "Deal" is alive and well in the work of the Chancellor, Board, and seven presidents. It is not called the "Deal" at this time, and it has been modified to deal with realities of sever budget reductions in the recession. However, the principles and ideas in it have shaped special legislation that we are encouraging in this Legislative Session. There is no money in Salem at this time, obviously. So, we are working to establish a new "social contract" between higher education and the public (through policy leaders) such that the OUS and institutions gain more autonomy and flexibility, and set the stage for more effectively garnering support from all sources of funds for charging their futures. The parts of the "Deal" related to greater flexibility and autonomy are built into the Efficiency Act. In addition, we are working on a piece of legislation that would attain bonding authority for $500M over 10 years to repair worn out facilities on our campuses. SOU would stand to gain $25M over 10 years. This legislation is driven by the goal to address "Deferred Maintenance".
Updated Friday, October 1, 2004, 21:10:11