ACADEMIC SENATE

 

MINUTES

 

November 6, 2008

 

 

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

Members Present: Arnold, Au, Bedell, Bhattacharya, Bruschke, Buck, Bullock, Burgtorf, Carroll, Carvin, Dabirian, Dalley, Drezner, Gass, Gordon, Gradilla, Grewal, Guerin, Hagan, Hernandez, Hewitt, Hickok, Jarvis, Kanel, Klassen, Liverpool, McLain, McMahan, Mead, Pasternack, Rhodes, Rhoten, Shapiro, Shoar, Smith, Stang, Walicki, Williams

Absent: Fidalgo, Green, McConnell, Nyaggah, Randall, Taylor, Walk

 

 

I.          CALL TO ORDER

Chair Hewitt called the meeting to order at 11:34 a.m.

 

II.        URGENT BUSINESS

2.1 Senator Buck expressed concerns about the new procedures for grad checks. He stated that the process is moving forward; however, no advisers and few students that he knew of had been informed about it last semester. After learning of the new procedure from a student last week, he called to inquire about the process and was told that it would be based on the TDAs, which historically, he stated, have been problematic in his department due to inaccuracy. Senator Buck noted that the problems his department has encountered with TDAs were partly internal and that a representative from Admissions and Records did meet with him and his department chair, and was very helpful. However, Senator Buck indicated, there was no consultation on this new process, it is not set up well, and no training has been planned or offered. Lengthy discussion ensued.


Kevin Meehan, faculty member in Criminal Justice, stated that while he is not currently an adviser, he had served as one for six years, and continues, voluntarily, to see students since his department has very limited resources for advisement for its 400-500 majors. In the last couple of weeks, he has spent on average, a half hour on each student case. Faculty members providing advisement are now expected to review and make corrections via email and forms. The paperwork involved just in advisement is time-consuming and the amount of it will increase when grad checks have to be completed. Dr. Meehan suggested that departments receive additional administrative and financial support for the completion of grad checks.

 

Senator Guerin added that she sent an inquiry to her department via email asking if this was an issue and was informed that it is indeed an issue because the new process has doubled the work. Faculty members have to review TDAs and figure out why they are not consistent with what the students think they have completed. Dr. Guerin stated that two graduating students reported that they plan to register for the classes that the TDA indicates they need (even though they think they do not need the classes) and then drop the classes once they receive notice that they can do so. This may impact enrollment and schedule planning for department chairs. Student registration will probably occur before this issue is resolved.

 

Dean Pullen commented that the Department of Communications, which has 2,600 majors, signed on as a pilot TDA program in 2005. The first activity occurred in summer 2006. There were problems initially, especially in areas where there was an elective also that counted as collateral in the major. The Communications major is somewhat complex because of accreditation requirements. Over the past few semesters, adjustments have had to be made in order for the TDA to work. For the most part, the problems have been resolved. When asked about it, an adviser in the Department of Communications conveyed to him that TDA training is definitely necessary because knowledge of various coding is needed to complete some of the tasks.

 

Senator Carroll suggested that we focus on ways to bring others up to speed. Senator Rhodes emphasized the need for training and suggested that the Academic Senate create a resolution asking the Administration to postpone implementation until training is provided. Chair Hewitt interjected, explaining that he had heard that we do not have the staff to complete the forms by hand now. Therefore, we are unable to go back to the former method of completing grad checks.

 

Melissa Whatley, University Registrar, explained that this new process has been in the works for 11 years; putting the structure in place has been a long process. A pilot program was started about two years ago. Past AVP Sylvia Alva was very much in support of the move toward the new process, as was Ms. Whatley. Though there were some growing pains associated with the changeover, the process has become a time saver for both Admissions and Records and departments. Five colleges remain to come on board. (The College of Education will not, since it does not offer undergraduate programs.) We have 4,500 applicants for spring and summer 2009 in the pipeline. If these were being done by hand, we would have started processing them on October 1st.  With our full, trained staff (six evaluators), we could do roughly 75 per day/about 360 grad checks per week(maximum) by hand. This new process will allow for the 4,500 grad checks to be completed essentially over night, so there is a savings.

 

Notification that this change was going to take place was communicated through the pilot programs and conversations with deans, directors, and a chairs’ committee. In July of this past year, a document was sent to all department chairs, faculty, and advisers indicating that we were moving to the TDA as a grad check process instrument for spring 2009. The document asked them to review majors and determine if the requirements on it were correct. If they were incorrect, they were asked to work with Admissions and Records to make the appropriate adjustments. Three reminders were sent to departments that did not respond in effort to make the information in the system reflective of degree requirements for the various majors as they are approved by Undergraduate Programs. If the degree requirements have not been approved by Undergraduate Programs office, we cannot put them in the TDA. This decision was made by Undergraduate Programs. If a department needs exceptions put in the TDA, an online exception form is available; we will also accept copies of advisement sheets that are being used, and/or email messages with any additional information on exceptions.

 

Ms. Whatley indicated that students whose grad checks originated in paper form remain in hard copy. This new system will only impact students who submitted a spring 2009 grad check application.

 

TDAs have been available for nine years. They are accessible. A web tutorial on how to read a TDA is being created. A web tutorial on how to access the TDA is already available online.

 

Grad check reviewers will be given access to a query they can run so that at any point they can pull up a list of students who are ready for departmental review. The lists can be downloaded onto a spreadsheet and sorted. No paperwork will be “signed off” on. Reviewers will go into the system and indicate that they “approve” the student’s degree. Approval in the system should not be indicated until the department has finalized the TDA.

 

Training sessions will be offered, but not required. Names and IDs are being collected for  all of the reviewers so that they can be given appropriate security. During training, reviewers will be asked if there is other staff in their departments that need access to queries.

 

Students will be kept informed with the use of checklist items and email. They will be given opportunity to apply early for the grad check and not have to pay the grad check fee in advance, through an online application.

 

Senator Bhattacharya commented that she has attended many TDA workshops and they have been very helpful. However, the issue of how to address double majors has been complicated. Ms. Whatley responded that work is still being done to address double majors. A specific consultant is interfacing the Darwin product (which supports the TDA); however, it remains an issue.

 

Senator Hernandez indicated that she appreciates a faster grad check process. However, she paid the $115 fee with the belief that she would receive her grad check in paper form. She had no idea that the process was going to be transitioned to an electronic one, and thinks that other students may not have been aware, as well. Since the process is now automated, she asked if the $115 fee still covered the same service. Ms. Whatley explained that the $115 fee covers not only the grad check, but the commencement ceremony and other things involved in being a candidate for graduation. Though it costs to complete work manually, consultants and computer programs are quite costly, as well. The TDA will allow students to track their progress from start to finish. This is a major service to students and staff.

 

Senator Buck asked if there is anything that requires faculty reviewers to look at student TDAs. Ms. Whatley stated that if the student is not approved in the system (and has not paid the grad fee), he or she will not be moved to candidacy status.

 

Senator Bruschke asked what to tell students to do who submitted grad checks for spring 2009. Ms. Whatley suggested telling them to run their TDA, review it, and pinpoint any items that they might have questions about. Questions can be directed to the departments, once faculty reviewers are trained and feel comfortable fielding them. Admissions and Records can answer questions in the meantime.

 

Senator Bruschke also asked how quickly the TDA can be updated. Ms. Whatley indicated that if it is not a transfer course in question, and if an exception is needed, an encoder is asked to input the exception. This is not a long process; turnaround has been pretty quick. However, the turnaround time for exceptions when the five other colleges join in on the process is unknown at this point.

 

Senator Kanel asked how department reviewers are to know when students are awaiting grad checks. Ms. Whatley replied that all reviewers or department representatives will be given the ability to run queries that will produce a list of students who are in department review status.

 

Senator Bhattacharya asked if an evaluator should take what the TDAs say as face value. Ms. Whatley explained that the TDA process is less likely to generate errors. She thinks that as reviewers become more comfortable with the TDA and what it can do, their level of confidence in the TDA will improve.

 

Senator Mead yielded to Robert Miyake, Assistant Dean of Academic Services, who mentioned that the MCBE Business Advisement Center has been processing grad checks through the TDA process for two years; over 2,600 grad checks have been completed. The process is more efficient for staff and students. There is a learning curve that will vary from department to department.

 

Though supportive of the TDA process, Mr. Miyake expressed concern that it takes from thirty seconds to five minutes to access the TDA through the CMS process. This could cause major problems when the entire University is asked to access TDAs. This problem has been identified, but there has been no response as of yet.

 

Senator Klassen stated that the Department of Mathematics requires a grade of “C” (or better) in some classes. He asked if the TDA makes a distinction between a “C-” and a “C”. Ms. Whatley responded that the TDA is programmed to match what is indicated in the catalog. If a department finds that the distinction is not being made in the TDA, then it should contact her immediately and ask that the correction be made.

 

Senator Klassen also explained that some courses have prerequisites of courses that are not offered in the department, so exceptions have to be made in some cases. He asked how the TDA would reflect the exception. Ms. Whatley explained that the department can submit course substitutions and course waivers to the TDA unit to be inputted as exceptions into the TDA.

 

Ed Trotter, Acting Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Programs, stated that there is a WASC taskforce studying the TDA. All colleges and various units are represented on the taskforce. He asked that anyone with concerns about the process forward them to the taskforce. He will furnish the list of members to Chair Hewitt. The taskforce is meeting tomorrow.

 

As a professor and senior adviser in the Department of Communications, Ed Trotter explained, he has advised the largest proportion of the 2,500 Communications majors. He thinks that the TDA process has reduced workload because his department only sees students whose grad checks need exceptions. If students have completed all of the requirements for graduation, they do not have to be seen during office hours.

 

Senator Dabirian stated that DARWIN, the system that we are using to support the TDA, is one of the best products on the market. Used by many universities, it is a proven system, and he thinks that this is a step forward for CSUF.  He suggested setting up an online “Frequently Asked Questions” section, one for students and one for advisers, to address all of the questions that were brought up at this meeting.

 

Senator Dabirian also explained that DARS has two prongs. We did not go with the CMS academic advising tool, we went with DARS, which has components that run locally and components that run through CMS. We have control of the components that run locally. The components that run through CMS are controlled by the Data Center Facility in Salt Lake City (the Chancellor’s Office oversees this).

 

Questions regarding this process can be directed to Melissa Whatley and Nancy Dority.

 

2.2 Senator Dabirian urged the body to review the CSU Information Security Program, which was sent to them via email, paying close attention to the Responsible Use Policy. CSUF has the opportunity to send input and recommendations. Response forms from all campuses are due by December 10th.  Please send any input to Kerry Boyer, ISO, who is collecting input for our campus.

 

III.       ANNOUNCEMENTS

Senator Shapiro announced the passing of Mary A. Koehler, Assistant Professor of Communications, Emeritus and Executive Assistant to the President. A moment of silence was observed in her memory.

 

Senator Buck thanked Senator Guerin for hosting the University Club’s Election Night party at her home.

 

Senator Buck also announced that Senator McLain will lecture on the home front during World War II at the Fullerton Public Library’s Town and Gown event on Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 1:30 p.m.  NPR’s Robert Sheer will be guest speaker tonight at 6:30 p.m.

 

Senator Guerin, on behalf of Senator Nyaggah, announced that bargaining will begin on November 17th. The CSU administration exercised its option to reopen bargaining after the Higher Education Compact was not fully funded. This bargaining session will pertain to the 3% General Salary Increase (GSI) that faculty should have received earlier this year and the 2.65% Service Salary Increase (SSI) for junior faculty. The CFA is looking for people to attend the “Cuts Have Consequences” organizing events on November 18th and the 19th at the Chancellor’s Office.

 

Senator Hernandez announced that Camp Titan, ASI’s philanthropic organization is in its 40th year. Established and operated by students with the help of Administrator Tony Ragazzo, it is funded mostly by donations and ASI. Applications are being currently accepted for Camp Titan Counselor. Senator Hernandez is entering her second year on staff and is helping to recruit other students to become counselors. She asked that faculty encourage students who are compassionate and willing to get involved to apply for the positions. Students may contact her directly, visit the ASI web site, or go to TSU-269 for more information.

 

Senator Hagan stated that the legislature is meeting with the Governor and it looks as though the Governor is going to announce an $11 billion shortfall for the rest of this fiscal year and a projected $13 billion shortfall for next fiscal year. Although we just completed a very difficult set of reductions in the last couple of weeks, there is a good chance that we will have to revisit budget reductions on this campus. Letters will be sent to all division heads reminding them that we should continue planning for what looks like a continued decline in the fiscal situation in the state, CSU, and the University. A number of tax proposals are being placed back on the table (notably, the auto and sales tax). If these increases are approved, the funds generated will mitigate the impact we might face. He suspects that the issue of student fees will be brought up again during the Trustees’ meetings. The bottom line is that the difficulties we have faced are not over; we will hear more about this in the future.

 

IV.      CONSENT CALENDAR

The consent calendar was approved without dissent.

         4.1 Nominees to Standing Committees

CAMPUS FACILITIES and BEAUTIFICATION (8 faculty)

Nominee:         Daniel Soper (MCBE)

Continuing:      Jidong Huang (ECS); Bill Beam (HHD); Laura Lohman (ARTS); Brady Rhodes (CNSM); Maria Grant (EDUC); Jason Teven (COMM); Carl Wendt (SOC SCI)

 

LIBRARY (9 faculty)

Nominee:         Tara Barnhart (EDUC)

Continuing:      Dennis Siebenaler (ARTS); Jing Yang (MCBE); Fleur Tehrani (ECS);Franz Mueller (HUM); Alexandro Gradilla (SOC SCI); Robert Wheeler (COMM); Mary Wickman (HHD); Vuryl Klassen (CNSM)

 

4.2 Nominees to Ad Hoc Committees

AD HOC COM:  TEXTBOOK AFFORDABILITY

Nominee:                Rob Sage (Library)

Confirmed 9/18:        Scott Hewitt (CNSM); Barry Pasternack (MCBE); Lynda Randall (EDUC)

 

V.       CHAIR’S REPORT

Chair Hewitt reported the following:

·         PPI Appeals process:

o    The drafted rules state that we have to hold a campus-wide election to determine who will serve on the university-wide appeals committee. (Five full professors are needed.)

o   All full professors who are not eligible for a PPI and not on leave in the spring are eligible to serve on the committee. FERP faculty who are teaching in the spring are also eligible to serve on the committee.

o   The elections will be run similarly to the elections for general committees. The Senate Executive Committee will recommend one faculty member from each college, two from the College of Humanities and Social Studies. Those nominees will be brought to the Senate for approval. Anyone else who is interested in serving will be asked to follow the standard Academic Senate nominee petition process.

o   The electorate will consist of all Unit 3 employees.

o   The top five candidates with the most votes will be placed on the committee. The sixth candidate will serve as the alternate. The alternate will be used if one of the five elected committee members also happens to be serving on his or her department PPI review committee.

o   Please provide Chair Hewitt with any feedback on this process.

·         The Great Shakeout rally will be held in the quad on Monday, November 10th, and an earthquake drill will occur on Thursday, November 13th between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

·         The new faculty orientation series will feature a presentation by Academic Senators on university service and collegial governance.

·         President Gordon has approved the budget recommendations made by the PRBC, including the 100 faculty searches. We have $2 million that needs to be given back; $1.7 million of this amount will come from deferred maintenance.

·         VP Hagan will look into other areas to reduce expenditures and cost savings. He will put out a call to the campus community to suggest ideas for saving money.

·         VP Smith and Chair Hewitt will look into ways to improve the amount of external funds received by the campus. Committees will be created to study this and the Faculty Research Committee will be utilized.

 

VI.      STATEWIDE ACADEMIC SENATE REPORT

Senator Pasternack announced the following:

·         The ASCSU Executive Director announced that she will retire next month.

·         ASCSU will be addressing its budget cuts.

·         ASCSU will meet next week.

 

VII.     TIME CERTAIN

Time Certain

11:45 a.m.

Subject: $7.9 million Federal Grant to CSUF for GEAR UP Program - Recognition of Mr. Mark Kamimura-Jimenez, Director of Educational Partnership Programs/Co-Principal Investigator, GEAR UP; Dr. David L. Pagni, Professor of Mathematics/Math Coordinator, GEAR UP; Dr. Silas H. Abrego, AVP for Student Affairs

Dr. Abrego, Dr. Pagni, and Mr. Kamimura-Jimenez were honored before the body for breaking a record in securing external grant funding for CSUF. The $7.9 million grant will be used for the GEAR UP program (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Preparation), a six-year program to guide seventh grade students at two Anaheim schools on a pathway towards higher education. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and helps a large number of disadvantaged students prepare for pursuing a college education. All three were congratulated and presented with the traditional Academic Senate keychain. President Gordon added that this grant came through Congressman and CSUF alum, Ed Royce.

 

VIII.   UNFINISHED BUSINESS

8.1 Update on the Administration of Student Opinion Questionnaires (SOQs) [Randall, Guerin] 

 

[Senator Guerin (Secretary, CFA Fullerton Chapter) spoke on behalf of Senator Nyaggah (CFA President).]:

·         The CFA has two grievances regarding student evaluations and an unfair labor practice regarding the online student evaluation pilot project. The CSU and CFA met on September 16th. CFA has made proposals to the CSU to resolve these issues, but the CSU has not yet responded.

·         The CFA Fullerton Chapter Board’s position is that there should be no expansion of the online student opinion questionnaire process until the issue has been resolved. The Board passed a resolution of concern regarding the implementation of UPS 220.000 Administration of Student Opinion Questionnaire (SOQ) Forms last semester. This issue pertains to the CFA because student opinion forms are a central part of many departments’ evaluation of full and part-time faculty members. Evaluation is a part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

·         Some of the issues that are awaiting resolution include (1) the response rate and (2) potentially biased student responses.

§  Jim Dietz (Acting) AVP Academic Affairs made the following comments:

o   Overall, there is no difference between what faculty members want and what administration wants.

o   CFA filed an unfair labor practice that was answered by a University council in April 2008. CFA provided a response on May 12, 2008; PRBC has not responded.

o   There is no policy on the administration of online evaluations in all courses. Section II.H of UPS 220.000 indicates that the use of online or paper evaluations is a choice that the departments can make.

o   On September 16, 2008, representatives from the Chancellor’s Office, CFA, and AVP Dietz met to attempt to resolve a number of outstanding grievances on the CSUF campus. Two CFA Fullerton Chapter grievances were discussed, including (1) the recommendation to halt the online evaluation pilot program and (2) the objection to evaluating all classes. UPS 220.000 says that students complete evaluation forms for each of their academic credit bearing courses at CSUF; the CBA says that they must complete evaluations for at least two classes per year. This means that faculty and department chairs must decide which courses will be evaluated. The CSUF policy is that all courses are to be evaluated. There was no agreement between AVP Dietz and the Chancellor’s Office that we would agree to comply with Article 1515 of the CBA. He emphasized that UPS 220.000 was created by the Academic Senate.

o   There is a CFA, CSU, CSU Academic Senate joint committee report on student evaluation of teaching dated March 12, 2008 which states that “while the group remains somewhat divided on this issue, we are in consensus that any campus that adopts online evaluations must be attentive to the issues identified below”. This statement is followed by a list of issues that Amir Dabirian/IT and others are addressing.

o   The CFA has agreed to move forward with online evaluations, but the CFA Fullerton Chapter Board disagrees with moving forward.

§  Mahamood Hassan, Faculty Rights Representative, CFA Fullerton Chapter made the following comments:

o   Regarding the evaluation of all courses: UPS 220.000 is in violation of the contract. If the UPS is in violation of the contract, the contract takes precedence over it. The contact requires that each department will choose whether to have evaluations for all classes or not. If the department chooses not to do evaluations for all classes, then a minimum of two per academic year must be done. But a faculty member can choose arbitrarily to do all classes. The decision cannot be made by the Academic Senate.

o   Online evaluation is a gray area because the contract does not deal with it. The CFA Fullerton Chapter would like to negotiate with the administration on the guidelines. Our two major concerns include: (1) Online evaluation creates a major opportunity for collusion among students and (2) is there a paper trail in place for verification purposes.

 

AVP Dietz asked for the sense of the Academic Senate on what should be done. Discussion followed, but there was no resolution. Chair Hewitt indicated that the Senate Executive Committee will take up this issue at its next meeting.

 

IX.      NEW BUSINESS

Items 9.1 to 9.3 were not discussed due to lack of time.

9.1 ASD 08-147 Revised UPS 100.000 Academic Senate Constitution – Article VII, Section 14 [PRBC]

(ASD 08-147 is the 2nd version of this document – minor grammatical changes were made; ASD 08-139, which appeared on the 10-2-08 agenda, is the  1st version)

9.2 ASD 08-148 Revised UPS 100.000 Academic Senate Constitution – Article IV, Section 3 [AS Executive Committee]

(ASD 08-148 is the 2nd version of this document – minor changes were made; ASD 08-140, which appeared on the 10-2-08 agenda, is the 1st version)

9.3 ASD 08-141 Revised UPS 100.001 Academic Senate Bylaw 07-03 “Fiscal State of the University” Report by the Chief Financial Officer [AS Executive Committee]

 

X.       ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 1:03 p.m.