August 25, 1997
September 29, 1997
November 3, 1997
February 16, 1998
March 16, 1998
April 20, 1998
Blass welcomed the committee members and announced that he hoped to get faculty, and especially the Faculty Senators, more engaged in faculty governance than has been the case in the past. He expressed hope that the administration would welcome a more proactive faculty. Blass also thanked committee members for being willing to serve on the committee.II. Senate Meeting Format Discussion (B. Blass)
Blass reiterated his hope that Faculty Senators could be heard from more in the Faculty Senate meetings. He asked for suggestions. A. Burstein proposed having (1) an informational agenda distributed before the meeting and normally not discussed at the meeting, (2) a consent agenda consisting of routine items and (3) a discussion/action agenda of matters for debate. M. Miller agreed that there is a need for some such change. K. Misra asked whether Blass already has a plan for increasing the engagement of Faculty Senators. Blass responded negatively and added that he did not think any Faculty Senators who wanted to speak last year were unable to do so. He really hopes to increase the flow of information and comments from the Faculty Senators to the Senate officers and campus community. D. Dobbs noted that Faculty Senators usually are well informed and expressed concern that having informational and consent agendas would put considerable pressure on the Faculty Senate president and also place too much power in that person's hands. Burstein noted that he believes there always should be an opportunity for Faculty Senators to add items to the agenda and to speak. M. Peterson commented that perhaps the Faculty Senate Executive Committee should encourage Faculty Senators to bring comments to its meetings. M. Alligood noted that last year the reports of administrators were moved to near the end of Faculty Senate meetings to increase the opportunities for Faculty Senators to speak. Blass suggested that the committee's discussion continue by E-mail.III. Solicitation of Brief Comments (B. Blass)
Blass asked the committee members whether they had comments. K. Misra reported that his colleagues are very interested in when the APEC report will be available. T. Hipple asked whether anyone was bothered by the failure of UTK to appear in the list of "the top 150" higher education institutions published by "Money Magazine." J. Peters and B. Snyder noted that parents at orientation have not been concerned about the technology fee or the 8% increase in tuition. Matters dealing with quality have been the main concerns. M. Miller expressed his interest in having the faculty comment on newspaper reports that system-level administrators have said that nothing that has happened in the men's athletic program concerning sexual harassment is unique to that unit. In response to a question from M. Peterson, B. Snyder reported that, although DRES reports to the Chancellor, it also provides services to the system-level administration; as in the recent case involving the men's athletics program. In part, this arrangement is appropriate since UTK students are involved. Blass expressed the opinion that a positive approach to the matter might be useful. Miller was asked to prepare a statement and distribute it to the committee for comment.IV. New Student Information System (S. Mettlen)
Mettlen reported that her staff has estimated the scale and cost of the "year 2000 problem" and has assessed the current system. It was found that dealing with the "2000 problem" would be roughly as costly as obtaining a new system. The SCT Banner 2000 Student System product was selected. She distributed a report providing benefits and functional highlights of the product. L. Stiles will lead implementation of the system. Mettlen noted that a 386 computer is all one will need in order to access the system. The software will cost about $800,000 and the hardware, $300,000-500,000. The state will provide about $600,000 and the remainder will come from Mettlen's budget over several years. There may be some price breaks from the vendors.V. State of UTK (B. Snyder)
Snyder distributed a summary of the current fiscal year and then briefly discussed it. He noted that almost $3.5 million "relief" (relative to the anticipated budget) has been received. He noted that the actual funding is roughly 10% under the full formula-funding amount. Snyder also distributed a Summary of Unrestricted Current Funds, Revenues, Expenditures and Transfers. He noted a trend from 1988 to 1998 for the percent of revenue due to tuition and fees to increase and that due to state support to decrease. He next distributed a comparison of annual tuition and fees at UTK and at its peer institutions. At the undergraduate level, in-state tuition is near the middle and out-of-state tuition near the bottom. He reported that ACPB will work on revising the five-year plan. Snyder then distributed lists of the APEC and NAPEC members. He plans to ask the NAPEC to review first the budget of his office. He reported that the APEC has suggested having a campus discussion on what the institution wants to become. A position paper should be available about the middle of fall term.VI. State of the Academy (J. Peters)
Peters distributed copies of the next issue of "Notes from Academic Affairs." He reported that he and the deans are optimistic that budget matters will not consume the year. He noted that there is a spirit of cooperation among the deans. He expressed his regret that L. Maxson left. Her departure has lead to Clif Woods being appointed to his staff and some reorganization of his office. In response to some comments by Peters about restructuring, Blass noted that he had distributed copies of two recent editorials, titled "Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence" and "Evolution of Higher Education." Snyder then commented that there are good reasons to be hopeful about the coming year and for morale to improve.There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:30.
Blass distributed copies of material from The Chronicle of Higher Education on the topic of rethinking the role of the professor in an age of high-tech tools. He encouraged members to visit the Chronicle's web site and also to read the current edition of the AAUP publication Academe which has articles on shared governance and on post-tenure review.2. Chancellor's Comments (B. Snyder)
Snyder distributed copies of the list of members of NAPEC (Non-Academic Program Evaluation Committee). The committee has five faculty members and seven non-faculty members. It will look first at the Chancellor's office.3. Vice Chancellor's Comments (J. Peters)
Peters distributed copies of a simplified spreadsheet on enrollment. The total headcount for fall term, 1997, is down 0.18% from fall term, 1996, but the total FTE is up 1.7%. Graduate enrollment by headcount is down 4.52% and graduate FTE is down 0.98%. Freshman enrollment by headcount is up 5.3% and freshman FTE is up 5.6%. Out-of-state enrollment is up, possibly more than is desirable. African American undergraduates now account for over 5% of the total undergraduate enrollment. Peters believes resources will be required to increase graduate enrollment to 6,500 from the current 5,978. He also believes funding should be used to increase the quality of graduate programs and to invest in different ways in different programs. Funding will be guided in part by what can be delivered by the programs.4. Issue: Increasing Minority Faculty Presence at UTK (B. Snyder)
Snyder expressed his frustration concerning the level of minority faculty presence at UTK. He distributed copies of a memo to Blass and noted two questions in it: (1) can we escalate the commitment to hiring and retaining African American faculty members to the highest of priorities at UTK; and (2) to what extent are we committed to increasing the number of African American faculty members at UTK? He noted that UTK African American faculty at UTK now total 41; this number is down from a peak of 55 or 56 within the last decade. A. Burstein noted that there is a retention problem as well as a recruitment problem. S. Dimmick asked what a unit should do when an African American candidate is identified. Peters responded that the deans know that the central administration wants to know about such situations and wants to eliminate roadblocks, provided there is a good match between UTK and the candidate and the recruiting rules are obeyed. L. Lester cautioned that spending funds to attract a candidate when current faculty are being denied similar funding is dangerous.5. Athletics Committee (S. Dimmick)
Dimmick distributed copies of a handout provided to members of the Athletics Committee. That committee has created three subcommittees to mirror the three standing committees of the UTK Athletics Board.6. Budget Committee (M. Miller)
M. Miller reported on behalf of M. Peterson, who had to leave early. He reported that Peters had met with the committee and had said that the administration is aware of faculty concerns about benefits. Graduate enrollments and their effects also were discussed by the Budget Committee. No actions were taken.7. Research Council (B. Blass)
Blass distributed copies of a report and briefly reviewed it. Vice chairs G. Baker and K. Jensen will serve as co-chairs protem when Blass cannot preside. The Research Office biennial review will be available soon. A Joint Research Office/Research Council Committee will be appointed by Blass and M. Devine to make recommendations regarding research activities and, in particular, the UTK Five-Year Plan. Blass also noted that the Research Council has a "Research Discussion Page" on the web at http://www.ra.utk.edu/rc/. Snyder noted that he wants to boost funding for research activity.8. Brief Update on APEC (A. Burstein)
Burstein reported that APEC will have a draft statement of a vision for UTK for the 21st century to the chancellor by October 15. The report also addresses implications of that vision and the role APEC might play in assisting UTK to meet the challenges of change. Miller noted that Prados or Burstein should report at the next Faculty Senate meeting.9. Resolution on the Workplace (M. Miller)
Miller distributed copies of e-mail messages relating to the previously considered resolution on the workplace. These items included drafts of resolutions, a letter to the Commission on Women from Wylene Vrba, and a message from A. Burstein concerning "the atmosphere of silence and evasion that arises in such cases, such that the specifics are objects of innuendo and rumor rather than open and frank discussion." After much discussion L. Lester moved use of the Frank Davis draft. D. Dobbs seconded the motion. After further discussion, several grammatical changes were made to the draft and a reference to the university's existing policy was added. Miller will prepare a new draft incorporating the suggestions and circulate it by e-mail to the Executive Committee for further consideration. Copies of the DRES document "Sexual Harassment is Illegal" will be distributed at the next Faculty Senate meeting, if they are available. Miller read what he understands to be the new resolution and it received unanimous support of the present.10. New Business
Burstein noted that the Board of Trustees has appointed a Tenure Review Committee. It will have a faculty advisory committee. Its first meeting will occur in October.There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:21 p.m.
Blass noted that he is a member of the Academic Committee of the Board of Trustees and invited comments to be conveyed to the Board.
Blass reported that he would have some comments during discussions of the APEC report and of the Five-Year Plan.2. Chancellor's Comments
Snyder reviewed the history of the Academic Program Evaluation Committee (APEC). The committee initially was to review all academic programs, but since the number of programs is almost four hundred, it was decided that the committee should develop a proposal about the long-term future of UTK and review only those programs it might be asked to evaluate. Copies of the APEC report "An Agenda for Renewal: UTK in the 21st Century" and of the charge to APEC from Snyder were distributed by Blass.3. Vice Chancellor's Comments
Peters noted that the deans are meeting to discuss evaluation of programs in a broad way. He noted that everyone is interested in action, not simply discussion. Peters next reported that a 1.5% to 2.0% salary increase is possible. He also noted that the recent contribution of $1 million from the Athletic Department already was committed to the undergraduate instructional budget. There is the possibility of a one-time payment of $1.6 million from the state budget; there are, of course, many ways to use such funding. It may be wise to hold such funds until the year's budget situation is clearer.4. Report of Academic Policies
Mary Papke provided a statement of actions taken by the committee. These include approvals of the Graduate Council minutes of 26 June 1997 and of 11 September 1997, and of the Undergraduate Council minutes of 25 September 1997.5. Report from the Research Council
Bill Blass reported that the Research Self-Study Committee has been formed; he distributed a list of the names of the committee members. A preliminary report from the committee is to be provided by March, 1998. In part, the committee is to make suggestions for the research portion of the Five-Year Plan. M. Peterson observed that the matter of faculty working in various ways during the summer for no pay should be given attention by the RS-SC. K. Misra noted that there needs to be a balance between graduate and undergraduate programs. M. Peterson asked for data on graduate and undergraduate enrollment in the summer versus fall and spring. In response to a question from Snyder, Blass said that the RS-SC would report to M. Devine and Blass and a report ultimately would be presented to Snyder. Peters commented that the RS-SC committee does not include anyone from the fine arts.6. APEC Report and the Senate
Blass praised the report and also noted some shortcomings, such as neglecting the role of research and not explicitly proposing goals for UTK for the 21st century. He also expressed his desire that the document address in general terms the need to an adequate infrastructure to support the faculty's creative and scholarly efforts. Snyder and Peters noted that various documents already have identified the need to determine the best programs and to adequately support them. M. Papke noted that the APEC report presents faculty as resisting change. Burstein expressed his hope that the Faculty Senate would articulate its view of what the institution should be and, in particular, identify and correct any errors in the APEC report. He also noted that change in the university occurs all the time and APEC is only part of the process of change. M. Alligood expressed concern that not all programs will be evaluated in the same way and that, according to the APEC report, now administrators rather than faculty will be reviewing programs and asking APEC to review only selected programs. Burstein noted that the report does recommend a stronger relation between evaluation and allocation.There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:17 p.m.
Blass asked what, if anything, the Faculty Senate should do in response to the APEC report. Burstein encouraged the Faculty Senate to identify some particular concerns and begin to work on them. Snyder noted that the joint meeting of the deans and APEC on November 20, 1997, would provide some specificity. L. Lester noted that the Council of Deans picked up the evaluation task which APEC was unable to do. The council is trying to identify the areas of strength of the university and to find ways to support them adequately. The emphasis is on areas or thrusts, not particular departments or programs. Burstein noted that APEC recommendations will go to the Faculty Senate.
Blass asked members of the Executive Committee to consider the APEC report from assumptions to conclusions and send him their ideas and comments in the next week to ten days.
Blass distributed copies of a memorandum from Bill Snyder to APEC on the subject "Next Steps for APEC." Snyder asks that APEC study carefully the report from Academic Affairs and comment on it, provide advice on academic changes and restructuring, focus on the process of program reviews, and provide advice on the process for considering restructuring.2. Chancellor's Report
Blass next distributed a list of administrative committees and chairs. He asked for suggestions of people to recommend for membership on these committees.
Snyder reported that the next budget year should be good for capital projects, but not so good for operating budgets. There also will be funding of capital maintenance. He also reported briefly on the recent trustees meeting in Chattanooga and noted that there is a need to educate some trustees about the continuing need for the technology fee. Finally, Snyder reported that reports from the task forces working on parts of the long-range planning document are due by the end of February, and he expects them to be distributed as they arrive.3. Academic Affairs
Peters noted that a trustee reported at the trustees meeting that work of the committee on tenure is progressing and that a meeting with the faculty advisory group had been useful. It appears that a policy for post-tenure review with summative reports on individual faculty every five years is likely. Another matter of discussion at the trustees meeting was the length of time for undergraduate students to graduate. The vexing nature of the problem seems to be understood. In response to a question from Dobbs, Peters indicated that the UTK rate to graduation is somewhat similar to the rates at peer institutions. Peters then interrupted his report for another report.4. Budget Committee Report (M. Peterson)
Peterson reported that a formal response to the Academic Affairs Report to APEC is being prepared. She briefly noted some of the points expected to be made in the response. The committee is prepared to share its information and ideas. Identifying areas essential for a land-grant institution but not included in the list of outstanding areas is believed by the Budget Committee to need immediate attention. There was general agreement. Lester noted that the preamble to the AA report probably should emphasize that the report considers existing programs. Blass commented that he understood that the list of areas was not exclusionary. Peters noted that since he and the deans will allocate resources on the basis of the report, it must be taken apart and revised by the campus community and then validated.
Peters next resumed his report by noting that the Dean of Admissions and Records has resigned. He also reported on progress in various searches and noted that there would be a search for a Dean of University Outreach.5. Nominations for Committee on Committee
Blass will distribute an e-mail ballot to be completed before the next Senate meeting.6. Educational Policy Committee Report (M. Papke)
Papke distributed a report and briefly reviewed it.7. Senate Elections (B. Blass)
Blass noted that there had been some confusion about whether the Faculty Senate had codified caucuses. It turns out the codification has happened, but the appropriate term is "nominating committees."8. Faculty Affairs Committee (R. Mundy)
Mundy distributed a report and briefly reviewed it. Miller noted that the Faculty Senate Bylaws authorize the Faculty Affairs committee to consider matters such as the proposed restructuring and its impact on faculty. Mundy commented that there has been no formal request to the committee from a faculty member. Peters suggested that there are routes other than the grievance route for dealing with concerns. Peters then distributed copies of recent memoranda to four groups of faculty which asks each group to serve as a task force to consider a possible merger of certain units. He said he expects most proposed mergers to be handled in a similar way. Miller noted that such a process has worked previously. Mundy commented that the Faculty Affairs Committee should be available for anyone who continues to have a problem after discussions are held and decisions are made.There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:25 p.m.
Blass distributed copies of e-mails and other materials concerning the Faculty Handbook. The latest edition approved by the Board of Trustees is dated September, 1996. There has been some confusion about whether the Faculty Senate approved changes which appear in the 1996 version. Peters and Alligood asserted that Faculty Senate approval was given. Peters distributed copies of extracts from various documents related to the matter. The conclusion of the discussion was that the 1996 version was approved by the Faculty Senate as well as the Board of Trustees. Peters noted that there will be consideration of changes to the Faculty Handbook next year and any necessary corrections can be discussed then. In response to a question from Lester, Blass noted that there are two grievance routes; one administrative and the other through the Faculty Affairs Committee.2. Report from Academic Affairs
Blass next reported that he asked B. Dunne and S. Jordan to "kick start" the Teaching Council. Dunne and M. Katz will serve as co-chairs next year. One project for the Council will be to determine its mission and to present wording for the bylaws to reflect that mission; another will be to review CTEP.
Blass next reported on his meeting with the Governor's Council for Excellence in Higher Education. The Council met with many individuals on campus. There were hints that reorganizations might be suggested, but no details were given. Finally, Blass reported that the Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station has announced that there will be no more tenure-track appointments. Since members of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources normally hold positions partially supported by the Agricultural Experiment Station, there are serious implications for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. H. Fisher is looking into the matter.
Peters reported that dean searches are progressing.3. Report from APEC
Burstein reported that APEC has asked for background materials related to proposed mergers.4. Proposal for Council of Past Presidents
Blass called attention to the written proposal distributed at the meeting. He briefly described the value he sees in having a Council of Past Presidents to provide guidance to sitting presidents and to provide support and advice to the Faculty Affairs Committee. Miller noted that the Bylaws Committee was divided over the proposal and suggested that Blass take the proposal to the Executive Committee. Burstein noted that the Bylaws Committee favored convening past presidents on an ad hoc basis. This approach gives more impact to any position taken by past presidents as a group on a specific matter. Alligood spoke about the need for continuity as presidents change. Papke noted that the proposal does not appear to state that the Council of Past Presidents is only advisory to the president. Dobbs noted that having the convening of past presidents be an unusual event probably would lead to their taking more seriously the matter prompting the meeting. Peters reported his experience that past presidents have widely differing views on questions. The matter was dropped.5. Proposal for CTEP
Blass reported that he has asked the Educational Policy Committee and the Faculty Development Committee to comment on the recent report on CTEP, if there is any item requiring comment. The Teaching Council will take the lead in reviewing CTEP next year. Blass suggested that CTEP be continued, as is, for one or two years. The Educational Policy Committee has talked about the matter and supports the idea of the Teaching Council doing an in-depth review. Dobbs suggested a two-year extension to allow adequate review. Peters noted that the budget problems of recent years have limited attention to teaching. Alligood suggested that the Student Council be consulted for student views on CTEP. Papke noted that the Teaching Council should be the only focus for comments regarding CTEP. A motion by Alligood, seconded by Dobbs, that CTEP be extended two years was approved unanimously.6. Report of Bylaws Committee
Miller distributed copies of the report of the committee and noted that it is self-explanatory.There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.
Blass asked that committee chairpersons provide written reports by Wednesday, April 22, to be distributed with the next agenda. He next congratulated Mary Papke for her election as President-elect and then noted the composition of the Executive Council for summer 1998 and asked that he be informed of everyone's availability during the summer.2. Chancellor's Report
Blass next reported on the recent meeting of Faculty Counselors to the President. President Johnson reported that issues regarding the College of Agriculture and tenure are being addressed. The need for more and better choices for dealing with one's retirement funds was communicated and Blass expressed his hopes that the Benefits Committee would look into the matter. In the matter of the review of tenure by the Board of Trustees, several counselors expressed the belief that the Board should deal with policy and leave process to each campus. Johnson responded that the study seems to be evolving in that direction.
Finally, Blass reported that Internet 2 is developing steadily and that there will be a presentation on it later in the week and anyone interested could contact him for further details.
Snyder reported that he found the recent Honors Banquet to be very uplifting. He next noted that the draft reports on the five-year plan have come in and a meeting with APBC is scheduled for April 23 to work on the document.3. Vice Chancellor's Report
Peters expressed concern about the academic atmosphere in the classrooms. He noted that the physical status of many rooms needs improvement and questioned whether the Faculty Senate should consider proposing a policy on food and drink in classrooms. He observed that faculty would have to enforce any policy. Lester suggested that it is the vending machines in buildings that are the problem. Peters responded that some students have a genuine need for vending machines. Burstein and others suggested that central areas for eating might be useful. Papke and Peterson noted that the fact the custodial staff no longer have any sense of ownership in the buildings also plays a role in the problem. Dobbs suggested that faculty should be surveyed on the matter. Peters indicated that the administration would leave the matter to the Student Government Association and to the faculty.4. APEC Status
Burstein reported that APEC is ready whenever reports on reorganization from the deans are available.5. NEW BUSINESS
AAUP Activities6. COMMITTEE REPORTSBurstein reported that the UTK chapter of AAUP is looking at several matters. He distributed copies of a draft statement which responds to a statement by the governor that he wants to "shift the terms of our higher education debate away from the tactical and political concerns of who governs our system of higher education and focus instead on what kind of system we have and how it functions and what it provides to our citizens, students and taxpayers." Burstein asked that the draft version not be distributed further; the final version is expected to be widely available soon. Burstein and Coddington wanted the Faculty Senate to be aware of the documents and to have the opportunity to consider endorsing it. Peters observed that having the uniqueness of UTK acknowledged is his primary concern because of the consequences which will follow from that recognition. Snyder noted that the flagship institution deserves autonomy. Blass asked that the AAUP chapter provide a cover letter to the Faculty Senate with a copy for the final version of the document.
Educational PolicyThere being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:35 p.m.Papke distributed a report and indicated it would be updated for the next Faculty Senate meeting.Research CouncilBlass reported that various funding programs and other activities are on track.Athletics CommitteeDimmick distributed a report with appendices. She noted several items including the fact that the athletic directors have agreed that athletes' majors will be provided with all communication efforts about them. Undecided majors will be listed as having liberal arts majors.Faculty and Staff BenefitsThompson reported the committee concentrated on the salary-compression problem at the professor level. The shortfall in comparison to other southeastern universities is about $10,000. He also reported that the "best" dental plan might be for each employee to establish his/her own dental fund by setting aside a fixed amount each month.Faculty AffairsMundy reported that the committee feels there should be a signature block on tenure and promotion documents for faculty to attest that a vote was taken. In another matter, Peters reported that a problem with the current Faculty Handbook will have to be dealt with next year when revisions are made after the Board of Trustees establishes a new policy on tenure.Committee on CommitteesMiller reported that the committee will meet a week from today.