Faculty Senate Executive Committee
March 24, 2003
Members present: F. Michael Combs, Beauvais Lyons, Sam Jordan,
Otis Stephens, Glenn Graber, Peggy Pierce, Louis Gross, Ann Fairhurst,
Fred Weber, Salvatore DiMaria, Jim Gehlhar, Wesley Morgan, Carolyn
Hodges, Sara Williams, Doug Birdwell, Candace White, Loren Crabtree,
Jon Coddington, Olga Welch, Barbara Dewey, Katherine Greenberg
Combs called the meeting to order at 3:32 p.m.
President’s Report (M. Combs)
Combs noted that the meeting with the chancellor transition committee
has been postponed from today. He then reminded everyone that there
is a lunch meeting with Provost Crabtree tomorrow and reported that
the minutes of the last meeting now are officially approved and
are on file.
Combs then reported that there seems to be general approval of
his increased use of electronic communication and that there is
support among Executive Committee members for an electronic Faculty
Senate Newsletter. He expressed his hope that faculty participation
and involvement with the Faculty Senate and its activities will
continue in an effective way. He next asked for and received approval
to have the last two Faculty Senate meetings web cast.
Recommendations concerning Faculty Senate structure and effectiveness
will be presented to the full Senate along with the necessary bylaws
changes. Combs also announced that F. Weber will work directly with
the people developing the student information system.
Combs turned next to the policy on information technology. L. Gross
and D. Birdwell raised questions about the encryption aspect of
the policy. That matter is being returned to the committee. Birdwell
also asked about having control of wireless activities in the Office
of Information Technology. He is concerned that, since wireless
technology is still evolving, we may be tying our hands. This topic,
too, will be pursued outside the Executive Committee.
Combs next asked whether the announced modification of Fiscal Policy
135 was satisfactory. No one objected. Weber said the change is
the first example of genuine shared governance he has witnessed.
Combs then asked F. Weber to report for the Educational Policy
Committee. Weber said the committee has approved Undergraduate Council
minutes of March 11, 2003, and Graduate Council minutes of March
Information Technology Advisory Committee (M.
Combs for G. Whitney)
Combs read a statement from Whitney that indicates the committee
is being constituted carefully and a report should be available
by the end of April.
Teaching Council (M. Combs for R. Strange)
Combs said that the Council has some concerns about the plan to
halt the paper version of student evaluations by fall term 2004.
Several speakers expressed concern about getting balanced student
responses. P. Pierce expressed concern about special team-taught
Nominating Committee (C. Hodges)
Hodges reported that the two candidates for president-elect or vice
president are C. White and F. Weber, both of whom will be available
at the next Faculty Senate meeting.
Parking and Campus Security (L. Gross)
Gross reported on a meeting of P. Scheurer, J. Maples, M. Combs,
Gross and S. Jordan. There will be parking on the hill only for
handicapped individuals and for temporary loading and unloading.
Dealing with congestion around the new parking garage is still a
work in progress.
Departmental Leadership Task Force (M. Combs)
Combs briefly described the recent special meeting on departmental
leadership. The task force’s report raises some matters, which
need to be considered by the Faculty Handbook Committee. B. Lyons
suggested that the Executive Committee needs to study documents
from both groups and then discuss them. The report will be presented
to the Faculty Senate with an explanation of how it will be used
by other groups.
Summer School Task Force (K. Greenberg)
Greenberg reported that data has been gathered and a report will
be created and provided before the end of April.
Combs next encouraged committee chairs to provide written reports
for distribution with the Faculty Senate meeting agenda packet.
He then received approval for the following Senate Executive Council
for summer: B. Lyons, K. Greenberg, G. Graber, S. Jordan, M. Anderson,
S. DiMaria, C. Hodges, P. Phillips, and the newly elected president-elect
or vice president.
Provost’s Report (L. Crabtree)
Crabtree said it appears the university is on track to enroll 3,800
new freshmen next fall; the average ACT may be 24.3, up 0.1. He
then discussed a recent Knoxville News-Sentinel article, which identified
some programs to be eliminated as part of the 9% budget reduction
for next year. The article’s claims were incorrect, as was
its attribution of the information to M. Combs.
Crabtree next reported that cuts for next year will not be across-the-board;
they range from 0% to 30%. Administrative cuts average 4%. Academic
programs are being protected. Tuition increases have not been discussed
yet, but Crabtree believes a 7% to 9% increase is needed. Salary
increases are not anticipated. There may be “cosmetic”
program reductions unrelated to the 9% reduction; such eliminations
are made on a regular basis.
An offer for the deanship in Arts and Sciences is being worked
out. The search for a new dean in the College of Engineering is
In response to a question from Gross, Crabtree said he does not
know whether there will be more budget hearings. There were budget-reduction
hearings during spring break, but faculty were told not to attend.
Crabtree said that they were system-level hearings, but they have
a significant impact on this campus. J. Coddington asked whether
THEC will reconsider program redundancy across the state. Crabtree
did not know, but said the funding formula is being reviewed.
Combs next asked that Gross be available at the next Faculty Senate
meeting to answer questions about the recently distributed salary
report. Gross agreed.
The meeting adjourned at 4:47 p.m.
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