ACADEMIC SENATE

 

MINUTES

 

September 23, 2004

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


11:30 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.                                                                       ACADEMIC SENATE CHAMBERS

Members Present:  Allen, Alva, Arkenberg, Azima, Bedell, Buck, Burgtorf, Emry, Erickson, Fidalgo, Fitch, Fromson, Gass, Gilbert, Gordon, Guerin, Hagan, Hall, Jewett, Jones, Junn, Kanel, Kantardjieff, Kelly, Klassen, Kreiner, Matz, Meyer, Michalopoulos, Nanjundappa, Parker, Pasternack, Rahmatian, Randall, Reisman, Rhoten, Schroeder, Shapiro, Smith, Vasquez, Vogt, and Walicki

 

Absent:  Cox, Rhodes, and Tavakolian

 

I.              CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 11:32 a.m.  Chair Bedell announced that the review of UPS documents has already begun.  There are approximately 140 UPS documents and currently 79 are out for review and the remainder will go out for review after intersession.  Of the documents out for review is BL 83-9 and President Gordon is very interested in re-implementing this bylaw.  This is not an attempt to be a duplication of the annual convocation but rather an opportunity for President Gordon to address the Senate and offer some directions or priorities for each year. 

 

Time Certain

11:30 a.m.

President Gordon

Subject:  State of the University and BL 83-9

 

President Gordon noted that out of the 79 bylaws the Senate sent out, about 78 also landed on his desk, but found it very interesting to read over many of the documents.  President Gordon stated he was not going to repeat his convocation address, but instead wanted to highlight a number of important issues for the campus. First, he discussed the complicated and cyclical nature of state budgets. Rather than be subject to the unpredictable peaks and valleys in yearly budget cycles, President Gordon said he has conferred with Vice President Smith and Vice President Hagan and the other vice presidents to begin creating a campus budget that would protect us from these sometimes unpredictable state budget swings. For example, he is considering a different kind of faculty hiring process where the campus could possibly move to a two-year hiring cycle.  President Gordon noted that the CSU Board of Trustees is examining the swings in student fees and beginning to consider a “long term student fee policy” that would be tied to some indicator and would not be subject to extreme changes.

 

Second, as he had mentioned in his convocation, one priority for President Gordon will be to examine faculty flow more closely.  He stated that the campus must find a way to look at the total picture and build a process that permits the campus to make wise hiring decisions even under budget pressures.  He also mentioned that his Missions and Goals Initiative has funded a project in the Vice President’s office to examine the entire student evaluation of teaching process.  This initiative will allow travel to other campuses to learn how other campuses structure, administer, and collect student evaluation of teaching information, including examining the role that technology might play in improving the process.

 

A third priority for President Gordon deals with “campus civility.”  At the Senate retreat, campus civility was discussed from multiple perspectives ranging from graduation and student behavior to civility in the classroom.  This topic is also being discussed nationally across university campuses, in The Chronicle of Higher Education, and in other publications.  He hopes that the campus will continue to dialogue about this issue in the coming months in hopes that our campus community continues to serve as a model of civility, especially in tough times when difficult decisions have to be made. 

 

Although President Gordon was not able to stay for the discussion on the textbook issue, he made a few brief comments regarding this matter.  He stated this became an issue when a student with a disability took action with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR).  As a result, the OCR directed the campus to establish a policy and an agreement to resolve the access issue.    He noted Cal State Fullerton is a campus with a reputation of being very accepting and accommodating to students with disabilities and reiterated his commitment to supporting students with disabilities. He acknowledged that this is a complex issue involving federal regulations, the OCR mandates, and even state legislation in the form of AB 422. 

 

Finally, President Gordon stated during the month of July the legislature and the governor came together and did provide additional funding in two areas: enrollment and outreach, both of which had been initially cut in January.  The campuses were instructed to send communications to all eligible students that were redirected to the community colleges. It appears that many of these redirected students are not coming back to campus, but instead went to other 4-year institutions.  In addition, the campus will accept those students that were transferred in the spring.  The campus did receive the funding for the increased enrollment and will be moving forward with new targets for the year and for 2005-06.  President Gordon concluded by announcing his commitment to restoring state-funded YRO beginning summer of 2005.

 

II.            URGENT BUSINESS

None.

 

III.          CHAIR’S REPORT

Chair Bedell reported that the faculty electorate would be receiving election information in a couple of days.  He announced memorial services will be held for Joan Greenwood on Saturday, October 2, 2004 at 1:30 p.m. in the Gerontology Center.

 

Time Certain

12:00 Noon

Paul Miller, et al.

A Conversation:  Textbook Policy—implementing Office of Civil Rights rulings, report on departments providing books lists to the Titan Bookstore and pilot projects this coming January

 

Mr. Miller reported it has been a challenge to provide accurate and timely course materials to our students with disabilities.  The typical time frame is between 3 and 6 weeks and sometimes even longer if the material must be converted into relatively complex formats such as Braille.  Mr. Miller explained the plan submitted to the OCR is to collect textbook information from the faculty through the department office utilizing a relatively simple online database process developed by Mr. Amir Dabirian. This university database (managed in the Vice President’s office) will connect to existing databases primarily with the Library.   The plan is to have information about textbooks and course packs available online with the class schedule by clicking on an icon link for each section of a course.  Beta testing of this process will take place during intersession 2005 and spring 2005. This plan will be implemented in summer 2005 and fall 2005. OCR is pleased with what they view as a model campus plan since we are among the first campuses to enter into a comprehensive agreement with their office. 

 

VP Smith stated that when the university received the complaint with OCR, he involved Information Technology and Mr. Dabirian to develop a system where all students can obtain the course material information at the same time.  He praised Mr. Dabirian for his excellent work in developing the system. Mr. Dabirian explained that the new system is linked to the faculty/staff portals, as well as through the class schedule so that a designated department coordinator can access the database. 

 

Mr. Miller explained that Assembly Bill 422 is a relatively new bill in California and was written by Harold Steinberg with the intention of mandating publishers in the state to provide institutions like ours with an electronic copy of their textbooks.  Unfortunately, there is no way to enforce this law given the fact that the majority of publishers reside outside of the state.  In addition, the issue is further complicated since many publishers utilize a different digital format that is sent via satellite to the Far East for actual publishing. This digital format is not compatible with the adaptive software that is necessary for our students to access the material.  Consequently, there is a national project to discuss standardizing the industry to a single compatible electronic format.  Not surprisingly, publishers remain cautious due to some major potential security issues.  Students can go to the electronic class schedule where there would be a listing of the course materials for every class section.

 

Mr. Miller stated this new system is a work in progress. One important unresolved issue is ascertaining if a given book is going to be available from any given retailer.  One of the ideas VP Smith raised (pending legal counsel) is to provide a variety of different retailer options for students to be able to check prices and availability of books.  This would empower students to be able to get the best price possible and obtain their books in advance as well. The OCR’s primary concern and mandate is for the institution to establish a process to collect instructional material information in order to provide disabled students with appropriate course material in a timely fashion. 

 

VP Smith stated all course material information would come to his office. The information would be posted on the website.  This would be parallel to the current book requisition process that Titan Shops uses with department staff textbook coordinators. The new plan will require the department staff textbook coordinator to send the information to the Vice President’s office. 

 

Tom O’Connor, owner of the Little Professor Bookstore addressed the Senate.  He expressed his concern that this new policy is a much too sweeping way of trying to deal with such a small number (approximately 40) disabled students. He stated that he is interested in assisting the Disabled Student Center in meeting their obligations, but he is extremely concerned that this new policy could potentially force him out of business if all faculty book requisitions went to Titan Shops.

 

Chair Bedell, on behalf of the Senate, thanked Paul Miller for his very informative presentation.

 

IV.         STATEWIDE ACADEMIC SENATE REPORT

No report.

 

V.           CONSENT CALENDAR

It was m/s/p [Fitch/Nanjundappa] to approve the following Consent Calendar:

 

NOMINEES TO GENERAL COMMITTEE

 

Faculty Research Committee

Nominees:             Linda Kroff (ARTS); Gordon Bakken (At-Large); Adrian Fleissig (CBE)

Confirmed 9/9/04:   Maqsood Chaudhry (ECS); Ruth Yopp-Edwards (EDUC); Debbie Rose (HDCS); Kuen-Hee Ju-Pak (COMM); Franz Müller-Gotama (HSS); Lorraine Prinsky (HSS); Stephen Goode (CNSM); Jie Tian (Library)

 

NOMINEES TO STANDING COMMITTEE

 

LIBRARY COMMITTEE

Nominees:             Jerome Arkenberg (HSS); Spyros Courellis (ECS)

Confirmed 8/26:      Betty Chavis (CBE); Nashat Saweris (CNSM); Cynthia King (COMM); Bill Beam (HDCS); Ula Manzo (EDUC); Chris Ruiz-Velasco (HSS); Debra Noble (ARTS

 

NOMINEES TO MISCELLANEOUS COMMITTEES

 

ATHLETICS ADVISORY COUNCIL:

GENDER EQUITY COMMITTEE

Nominee:      Bridget Driscoll (HDCS)

 

TITAN STUDENT UNION GOVERNING BOARD

Nominee:      Dennis Gaschen (COMM)

Continuing:   Debra Lockwood (ARTS)

 

NOMINEES TO AD HOC COMMITTEE

 

AD HOC COMMITTEE:  CBE BUILDING SITE

Nominees:    Leon Gilbert (HSS), William Meyer (ARTS), Fred Zandpour (COMM)

 

VI.         UNFINISHED BUSINESS

None.

 

VII.       NEW BUSINESS

None.

 

The meeting adjourned at 12:56 p.m.