PRESENT: Atherton, W. Bowen, J. Dean, Doerder, Dougherty, Duffy, Ekelman, Falk, Gao, Gelman, V. George, Govea, Hansman, B. Hoffman, Jeffres, S. Kaufman, LaGrange, Lehfeldt, Loovis, K. Mason, McCahon, O'Neill, Poznanski, Rom, Sawicki, Slane, M. K. Smith, Sparks, Steinberg, Visocky-O'Grady, Weyman, Ziolek.
Bufford, Dillard, Droney, Hanniford, Heinrich, McLoughlin, Mills, L. Patterson, Sadlek, M. Schwartz, Spiker, Thornton, Tumeo.
ABSENT: Bauer, A. Benander, Berlin Ray, Dobda, Forte, Gorla, M. Kaufman, L. Keller, Martins, McClain, J. Moore, N. Nelson, D. Shah, Spicer, J. Webb.
C. AlexandBarlow, Boyle, Humer, Kuo, Lopresti, Margolius, Mearns, L. Mooney, Nuru-Holm, Pereces, L. E. Reed, Rosentraub, M. Saunders, Scherer,
ALSO PRESENT: Marty, Sutton.
Senate President Sheldon Gelman called the meeting to order at 3:08 P.M. He thanked those faculty and administrators who accepted the Senate's invitation to hear President Michael Schwartz's report today.
Senate President Gelman stated that Professor Frederic Hampton will give a Eulogy for our colleague Dr. Daniel D. Drake.
Professor Frederic Hampton delivered the Eulogy for the late Professor Daniel D. Drake. His remarks follow.
“Even though I've had a couple of months to think about it, and I've had a previous opportunity to speak publicly about Dan Drake, my purpose for being here still doesn't seem quite real to me. I can see the words printed on today's Agenda, ‘Eulogy for Dan Drake', but I still haven't been able to accept the finality of what the words imply or to internalize what they really mean.
“Still on this sad occasion, I'm happy to have a few minutes to remind you of Dan Drake our colleague, and Dan Drake our friend. Dan and I both came to Cleveland State University in the fall of 1991. Over that period of time, he and I worked together on a number of projects, on a lot of committees, and every Wednesday, we taught a class together. One of the things that always fascinated me about Dan was the way in which he approached his work, and the attitude he had about his colleagues. I can't imagine that anyone loved his work, this university, its faculty, and its students more than Dan. It's hard to find a person who doesn't get fed up with his job sometimes, or who doesn't succumb to the politics of an organization, or who doesn't feel that he is pulling more than his share of the work load. But, Dan never expressed any of those feelings. As a matter of fact, I always thought of Dan as ‘Dirty Work Dan.' That's because he was willing to take on the jobs and responsibilities that most people would not, and he always seemed happy to do so.
“Often throughout the time that Dan spent here, especially in department meetings, times would arise when the questions would be asked, ‘Who would be willing to serve on another committee' or ‘who would be willing to write another report' or ‘who would be willing to attend another meeting in Columbus ?'
“Now, if you want to see something funny, watch how people react in a meeting when those questions are asked. Suddenly everyone will remember that they need to write something down on their note pads… and they will continue to write until someone else has volunteered to take the extra work. Often, that someone else was Dan.
“Most people knew that Dan and I were close buddies. I always enjoyed spending time with him and although I didn't realize it, Dan exerted a rather unusual influence over me. In part, it was again the way in which he approached his work. Whenever Dan would take on some of the additional jobs that no one else wanted, he somehow could tell me about it as if he had the most amazing experiences, or as if he had met the most interesting people, or as if he had been on the most wonderful adventures. I'd find myself thinking, ‘man, next time I want to go to that meeting, or next time, I want to be on that committee.' Now that I think back about it, that's how I ended up volunteering for most of my committees. Dan would come by and say something like, ‘You know Fred, you'd enjoy being on the Technology Committee' and I'd think, yeah… I would enjoy that. Or he would say, ‘you know Fred, you'd enjoy being the chairman of that search committee,' and I would think, yeah…, I would enjoy that. It was like Dan could pull this ‘Jedi Mind Trick' on me.
“I guess Dan finally realized his influence over me a few months ago when he decided to sell his house. One day, he said, ‘you know Fred, you'd enjoy buying my house', and I said, yeah… wait a minute, I don't have any money.
“Beyond that, Dan normally had two types of relationships with the people who knew him well. He might have been your colleague and your friend, or he was your colleague and your brother, or he was your colleague and your dad. Most importantly, Dan was a teacher. I think that was the source of his greatest professional pride. Dan was a great teacher. He taught us some important things, and he would take the time to teach us some silly things. One of the silly things he taught me was this stupid, convoluted and complex handshake he and I would do every time we encountered each other over the past 15 years. Some of you had the opportunity to witness this atrocious act because I'd see you standing there watching with a perplexed expression on your face… We never tried to teach anyone else the handshake… primarily because we could never get it right two times in a row. However, getting the handshake right didn't matter so much because all we were really saying was that ‘hey buddy, you are special to me.'
“Dan also taught us some important lessons that he became rather well known for around campus. Some of you may remember Dan's lesson about the five P's: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. If you knew Dan well, you also knew that he was the epitome of preparedness. Another lesson some of you may recall from Dan was about being direct and getting your point across to a class. Dan would say, ‘Tell'em what you're going to teach'em, teach'em, then tell'em what you taught'em.' There was no mistaking what Dan wanted you to learn.
“Finally, Dan taught us some things that are simply important about life. As is evidenced by the tributes to him paid by this university, Dan taught us to have a kind heart, to have patience with people, to have a kind word and a pleasant smile for everyone you encounter, to love life, and to love those around you.
“Dan's presence will always be missed from this university but the impression that he made on many of our lives, will forever be remembered.
“My persistence in hanging around Dan had a greater purpose than I could have imagined, because I'll forever remember the very last words Dan and I ever spoke… I said, ‘I love you buddy' and he replied, ‘I love you too buddy'.
Senate President Gelman asked the Senate to please observe a moment of silence in memory of Professor Dan Drake.
Acceptance of the Agenda for February 8, 2006 was moved, seconded, and approved.
Acceptance of the Minutes of the December 7, 2005 meeting was moved, seconded, and unanimously approved.
President Michael Schwartz said that he wanted to give Senate an update on some things that are currently being discussed in Columbus and some other places as well.
President Schwartz noted that the Speaker of the House, Representative Jon Husted, has made it pretty clear that he wants to have some manner of reform in higher education during the current session. There has been no definition or clear and concise statement of what reform means in this regard and what the expected outcome might be, but there seems to be a determination that something called reform ought to happen. So without a definition or some definition of outcome, the potential for mischief is pretty substantial. More than once, public higher education institutions have been told that they should come up with ideas for the reform and that if they don't, members of the General Assembly will and we are less likely to be happy with theirs than we would be with our own so we better come up with ideas right away.
President Schwartz said that in the course of all of this, a new organization known as HELC or the Higher Education Leadership Council has formed. It is comprised of some members from the public four-year institutions, some are from the public two-year institutions, some from the private institutions, and some members from the Board of Regents. The purpose is to present a single and united face and voice to the General Assembly – a face and voice for general education in Ohio . The General Assembly, meanwhile, has formed something called the HEFSC or the Higher Education Funding Study Council. The HEFSC is charged with reforming the funding of higher education in the State. President Schwartz noted that he didn't say increasing it – just reforming it. Representative Shawn Webster who heads this council was appointed by the speaker. He is a veteran from Southwest Ohio . So far this year, the Council has spent a great deal of time getting up to speed on the formula and how it works. Our Vice President for Finance, Jack Boyle, testified before it, as have representatives from HELC. Representative Webster is likely to focus, among other things, on what to do with the many line items in the higher education budget. That budget is an endless string of line items. The first one is the State share of instruction and that is the biggest one, but there are other very large line items in there one of which is called The Student Choice Grants that is public aid to private higher education in the State that amounts to about $51 or $52 million per year. One can only guess about this, but given the rather Jeffersonian tilt to the General Assembly, line items that pertain to urban programs are in real jeopardy while those pertaining to medicine and agriculture are not. We have urban programs.
President Schwartz reported that Representative Webster has also requested ideas from the two and four-year organizations – the IUC (Inter-University Council) and the OACC (Ohio Association of Community Colleges). The IUC sent a position paper statement saying that it wanted more money in the State share of instruction line and the OACC sent a very long statement essentially saying that it wanted all of the new money available. President Schwartz commented, “So much for the united front from the HELC.”
President Schwartz reported that there is some good news. State Senators Randy Gardner and Joy Padgett have written a brief paper which is essentially a call to arms on behalf of higher education in this State. They recognize the great damage that has been done over the last several years of budget cutting and they know it can't go on. They know that Ohio 's economy will depend on the higher education of its citizens as well as on the research that is produced in its laboratories.
President Schwartz continued stating that out of all of this, there are a few ideas floating around that are of some importance to us. As you probably know, we are currently funded based upon our full-time equivalent student enrollment as it is counted on the 15 th day of classes. There is more than a little concern that this should change away from a course enrollment basis to a courses completed basis. President Schwartz referred to two documents he distributed earlier to members from the Governor's office. The first brief document talks about high school core curriculum. The second document, however, contains within it the Governor's endorsement of funding based upon courses completed, not courses enrolled. It is a very different view of what we've had for many years. There is some feeling that the State doesn't get a whole lot of bang for the buck unless courses are completed. President Schwartz said that this is probably quite true. This is an open invitation, however, to grade inflation on a grand scale. If all students are promised A's for completing courses – just stick in here kids, just don't drop it – and you will get an A at the end of it, he guarantees that they will complete those courses. Some quite possibly without ever having attended the classes, but don't let that get in the way. At the same time, there is enormous pressure on graduation rates as a funding measure as well. By the way, this is not just in the State, this is also a federal issue. The concern here is with producing more graduates with baccalaureate degrees and producing them now. President Schwartz quoted the newspaper that quoted Chancellor Rodrick Chu. The Chancellor was moved to say, “The days of graduating the best and brightest are over but we need to graduate more people.” President Schwartz stated that his proposal is that we give to every child born in Ohio a birth certificate and a Bachelor of Science degree and that should solve the numbers problem and then if later the student wants to learn some things, he or she can enroll and study with us. But let there be no mistake about this. Our six-year graduation rate at Cleveland State University is calculated as 27% which is to say 27% of the first time full-time freshmen graduated within six years. That is a bad record. It also doesn't take into account all of the community college transfers who graduate from CSU because they weren't first time full-times here. And those commencements take too long for a 27% graduation rate. Even so, that rate compared to other Ohio institutions, is not good and we are next to the worst. We are going to be injured if we don't show some improvement in this.
President Schwartz noted that some steps have already been taken with regard to our new admissions standards, etc. The federal government takes the same rate very seriously and threatens from time to time to become quite punitive about places like CSU. Nobody really cares about how many of our students are on an eight-year plan and there are plenty of those and a lot of our students enrolled as first time full-time freshmen don't stay as full-time students. They drop out and come back and everyone knows the drill. President Schwartz stated that he wants everyone to understand that if we were to calculate somehow the actual cost of a degree produced here, it would be high and it would be high because of our attrition rate. We have to calculate the cost of all those students who do not finish degrees at this institution into the total cost of a degree completed. We wouldn't look good on that measure.
President Michael Schwartz noted that at the same time these proposals are knocking around, there are a number of others. His colleague, President Proenza has proposed a tiered mechanism for the funding of higher education institutions. A lot of money under this proposal would go to the research institutions – Ohio State , Cincinnati , and Akron – and after that, there would be funding for mixed mission institutions and then funding for the primarily teaching institutions. President Garland at Miami has proposed what amounts to a higher education voucher program where the State's dollars would flow directly to students who could take them to any Ohio institution, public or private, and that proposal has at least some modest support in the General Assembly as well. At the same time, there is a new governance proposal floating around. It would regionalize the universities and govern them with a chancellor and a regional board of regents and there might be five of these. For example, in Northeast Ohio we might have a chancellor and a governing board for Kent , Akron , Cleveland State , NEOUCOM and maybe Youngstown . Then over on the West side you might have one for the Medical University of Ohio, the University of Toledo and Bowling Green . The Medical University of Ohio and Toledo are already in the process of merging anyway. You might have another one that would consist of Wright State , Central State , Cincinnati and Miami . You might have one consisting of Ohio University and Shawnee State and maybe coming up the other side, Ohio State University would be free standing. The idea is to more closely coordinate programming, reduce administrative costs, perhaps create virtual departments across these multiple institutions, reduce expensive and unnecessary competition in the regions, etc. This is getting the attention of a number of groups of trustees who like it. By the way, none of this has happened – it is sitting out there.
President Schwartz stated that there is a lot of pressure on us to recruit and retain more students in the so-called STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). Speaker Husted said that he would like to take the $30 million that will come into the 07 fiscal year for higher education and use it to attract more students into those disciplines. He has said nothing about using any of it to train teachers in those fields, however. President Schwartz added that there is a lot going on down there that will keep the stomach acid flowing for a very long time and in our own environment here, we are facing the increasing competition not only from other public institutions who have their billboards up and down I-76 and I-71, but from private and proprietary and two-year institutions as well. Add to that the fact that in another two years, the number of high school graduates in the State will begin to fall off sharply. That will make the competition more severe than it is now. In that regard, it is our intention here at Cleveland State to realign our marketing, advertising and admissions processes using financial aid and housing in different ways in order to better advantage ourselves than we have in the past because we've got to become a lot more competitive.
President Schwartz reported that the Governor has proposed that a rigorous college preparatory program become the default high school curriculum. By the way, as we speak, the Governor is on the telephone and Provost Kuo is representing President Schwartz on that call to talk just about this item and he has all of the Presidents or chief academic officers on the phone today, right now. Successful completion of that more rigorous high school program the Governor is proposing will be required for admission to four-year institutions. That proposal is more stringent than what the Faculty Senate and Trustees have approved as our admissions standards for Cleveland State . The Governor has also proposed the elimination of remedial or developmental courses on all of the four-year campuses and he wants to funnel all of that work off to the community colleges which have a very mixed reaction to that proposal because on the one hand, they want the money, but on the other hand, they don't want to be known as the place that takes less-well educated students. All of these proposals have potentially quite serious consequences for us. In order to see to it that the stomach acid now mixes well with sleeplessness, there is Mr. Blackwell's ballot issue sometimes called TABOR-TEL (tax expenditure limitation) which would limit spending increases in the State three and one half percent per year or some combination of population growth and inflation, whichever is larger. Colorado has tried this and it failed so miserably they had to vote it away for a certain period of time just so that they could fund their institutions of higher education. This proposal will be on the ballot. The one that has been proposed by Mr. Blackwell promises to return money to taxpayers. So this not only is billed as controlling government spending, it's also a tax cut. It can be construed as being able to sweep our reserves. We've spent several years building up adequate reserves. We would be prohibited from spending those funds and those funds could be swept and used for tax payer relief. There is a great outcry that this would do serious damage to Ohio State football and that might be enough to kill it off. But this is a very serious threat to our very survival, Mr. Blackwell's protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. That thing could really hurt us in ways we can't imagine.
President Schwartz stated, as everyone can see, there are some threats to our well being on the horizon and there are at the same time also some substantial opportunities for us. We have to be a lot more creative in our use of our own internal strengths. We need to understand our markets, we need to attract people in new and novel ways that appeal to their real needs, and we need to think very carefully about our state of technology and our current and anticipated needs with regard to the uses of technology. There is a great deal on our plate. It is imperative that we recognize that we serve four different categories of students, some of them better than others. And all of those categories prize pretty much the same kinds of things. They prize convenience very highly and they prize speed, they prize quality, and they prize cost control all at the same time. The four categories are these: our full-time undergraduates and we have a cadre of those (18 to 22 year-old students) who come here for this college experience; we have our part-time undergraduates, quite a few of those; we have a fairly large cadre of graduate students; and then there is a category of students we haven't paid much attention to and that is about 230,000 adults in Northeast Ohio who have some college and no degree as of the last census. Also, our competitors are paying a lot of attention to this group and that is especially true for our for-profit competitors. There is in that latter group a serious demand for flexibility in scheduling and for courses on-line. We already know that there is a market for evening degree programs. Our classroom utilization on this campus is much better at night than it is during the day. President Schwartz stated that he suspects that there is a market for a weekend college experience as well. We need to think about that idea and we need to think about the idea that many but obviously not all courses can be offered in a five or six week period. We do it every summer. Somehow as summer ends, we behave as if it is no longer possible or advisable to offer courses in six weeks. That is, however, exactly what people in this market seem to prefer. If he were offered the chance to teach two intensive six week sessions and keep the remaining month for his own research, he would jump at the chance. We need to give some very serious consideration to installing that kind of flexibility on a regular basis. At the same time, we need to begin to take e-learning very seriously. The demand is high. We receive phone calls about the availability of certain courses on-line virtually every day. “We don't have that.” is getting to be an unsatisfactory answer. President Schwartz stated that he wanted to be as clear about this as he can. The content of on-line and web-assisted courses must and will remain in the control of the folks who know what they are doing and that is the faculty. President Schwartz said that he believes it will be in our best interest if we begin to think about a whole degree and certificate programs being available on-line, not just one course here and two courses there which is pretty much the way it is now. We only offer one degree program on-line. But there has to be one service organization that can help us put courses together so that they can go on-line. President Schwartz noted that having weighed a lot of different ideas about this, he has asked Vice President Mike Droney to organize such a service unit to work with those of us as content providers for the e-learning strategy. President Schwartz noted that Mr. Droney spoke to the Senate about this before. There is no doubt about the need for faculty members, by the way, to advise the service organization. We have had this before us for quite a while.
President Schwartz commented that while he is talking about e-learning and technology and teaching more generally, he is very concerned and really alarmed about the state of technology in our classrooms. We have technology fee money available to amortize these problems and he is asking Vice President Mike Droney to make an assessment of our needs at the earliest possible time and to put a price-tag on them. With the help of Vice President Jack Boyle, we'll make recommendations on how we go about paying for all of that good stuff, but we have to do it. We are technologically primitive in our instruction and it must end. We have to control our costs wherever we can in order to keep our tuition reasonable and relatively affordable, that's for sure. We need to be much more convenient, we need to be flexible, and we need above all else to understand that there is a real urgency about this. This is not something we can talk to death. These are things we have to get done. We have a neighbor up the street that is doing some pod casting of their courses. You may have read about that in yesterday's newspaper. President Schwartz commented that he is still of the old school; he still likes getting chalk on the back of his coat but that's not the world we live in. Our competitors are wasting no time at all in using technology to their benefit and if we lag behind, they'll beat our brains out. So it is clear that resistance to change is going to severely injure this institution. We have to be all about new ideas and new attitudes and new ways of doing things. We can't build a great university for the 1990s. We have to build a pretty good university with our limited resources that looks to the next 20 years. Our only way out of this current state of poverty is to grow our way out – only we are going to make it. So, we need to become a very nimble, flexible institution that is well-attuned to the needs of its student markets. President Schwartz added that we are doing all the right things here for undergraduate students. Housing is an enormous advantage that we will reap from Fenn Tower and what follows from Fenn Tower . We can use our financial aid money here, especially the money that we have raised, and the money we use for scholarships, we can use it much more intelligently and align housing and financial aid to recruit the students we want to have here. Campus culture generally, as we know it, is built by the undergrads – the 18 to 22 year olds. We need to get them on our campus and we need to keep them here. We need to see to it that they finish here. But, we can't ignore those students who come to us on a part-time basis because of all kinds of needs and problems that they have. In that regard, that is where we tend to suffer the most in terms of attrition. The National Survey of Student Engagement's last report to us pointed to this in a very interesting way. It said that our undergraduate students report less contact with their professors out of class than did their counterparts at similar institutions. They reported less contact with each other out of class than their counterparts at similar institutions. President Schwartz stated that he gets in trouble for saying this all of the time, but he is going to say it again anyway. At most institutions and especially ones that are heavily commuter institutions, it is the faculty who are the chief student affairs officers. Being in the student affairs business at places like this is brutally difficult because what those poor folks are trying to do is keep the students somehow attached and engaged to the institution. It is a tough environment for doing that. But if they are attached and engaged, they persist to the degree better than students who aren't so attached and engaged. For the students who drive in, go to class and drive out, the only real representative of this institution that they are in contact with is the faculty. Faculty are CSU to them. So we've got to invent some ways to stay in touch with them out of class. President Schwartz stated that one of the best tools we have for that is technology. Most certainly it isn't the only tool. He would suggest to faculty that decent coffee sometimes helps. A beer helps a lot. The fact of the matter is that we've got to find some very new ways of maybe using some old tools for engaging our students with us more than we do. That will, he is absolutely certain, go a long way toward helping us with the battle we are having reducing our attrition rate and improving our graduation rate.
President Schwartz said, “I think it works like this: ‘Gee somebody really does care'.” President Schwartz noted that he received a letter the other day from a young fellow who said, “You know I didn't do very well in high school – I didn't do well at all. So I went to Tri-C and I worked very hard and I got very good grades there and I transferred to CSU. Since I have come to CSU, I have no grade less than ‘A'.” So President Schwartz said that he quickly looked up the student and that is exactly the truth – no grade less than “A.” The student said, “I wondered if anybody cared. When I go looking for a job, will anybody care that my grade point average is 3.5 rather than a 4.0? Will anybody care or will that matter? I'm giving up a lot for this 4.0 – social life, sleep…” President Schwartz said that the reason the student wrote to him was because he just had received a letter from us saying that he was awarded an $800 book scholarship from the Moses Cleaveland Scholarship Fund because we happened to notice how hard he was working and how well he was doing as a student. Somebody noticed, somebody cared and somebody sent him a check for $800, and he was moved to write about it. President Schwartz commented that he is not asking anyone to write a check for $800 to their students but he is asking faculty to think hard within their departments. Think long and hard about the ways in which we can attach our students to us in new and better ways. President Schwartz added that this is what he came to Senate to talk about today.
President Schwartz said that there is a lot going on and the feds are doing some interesting things to us as well. Student loans are going to be more expensive as a result of some federal actions. This is just what our students do not need. The argument in Washington is that more students will be eligible but the ones that are eligible and take the loans will have to pay a lot more for them. It's getting to be a problem to be a university student in America these days and if you are economically challenged, as a whole bunch of our students are, those kinds of problems easily lead you to stop going to school. He said that he didn't notice that this was a society that had talent to waste.
Professor Leo Jeffres noted that CSU formerly had an evening and weekend studies program.
Professor Catherine Hansman stated that she teaches primarily in the evening and one thing she noticed around here is that there are no amenities for students in the evening. There is nothing open food-wise. If you want your students to be able to get a meal in the cafeteria you have to give them a break to get food. Those kinds of things can make a real difference. President Schwartz responded that Professor Hansman is correct. We have reissued our food provider contract and we will have conversations with whoever these vendors are about that kind of thing. We are doing the same thing with regard to the Bookstore.
Professor Candice Hoke noted that she was almost fearful to ask her question but as President Schwartz had just mentioned, one of the reasons that students here have not been able to continue in the system is because of their economic circumstances. She wondered if any of the proposed new funding models are taking into account the economic stratification differences of some of the universities. President Schwartz replied that President Garland's proposal, he thinks, has taken that into account. President Schwartz said that his hunch is that it's not being taken into account in any very serious way. He hopes he is wrong about that but he hasn't seen anybody seriously say, “Oh we need to take into account the different student bodies and the different missions of these 13 institutions.” President Schwartz said that he hasn't seen much of that.
President Schwartz commented that there is generally a kind of “one size fits all cookie cutter approach” to most of these kinds of proposals. If you sit on our end of the spectrum and stare down the street at Miami , what's going to fit us both? The answer is, not much.
Professor Sanda Kaufman inquired, “What are other states doing and are there any good ideas?” President Schwartz replied that he doesn't keep up that much with the other states, but from some of the things he has seen, other states more quickly than this one have discovered that they have gone much too far in terms of budget cutting and have begun to hurt themselves and they have gotten back into heavy support for their public institutions. This State is starting to wake up to that. When he mentioned Senator Gardner and Senator Padgett having written their document, that's a real alarm bell down in Columbus and Senators Gardner and Padgett have become important advocates for us. House Speaker Husted has similar instincts but he's just not quite sure what to do. President Schwartz said that Husted is very serious when he says, “Give me some ideas.” President Schwartz said that Husted didn't think that we provided him with any ideas except that we just want more, and he doesn't think more is an idea.
Professor Barbara Hoffman stated that she supports the idea of increasing our evening and weekend offerings. She was wondering, though, if anyone has started a conversation with either the faculty or the students about the state of our security on this campus during that time. That is a very important factor that needs to be addressed.
President Schwartz noted that he reads all of the police reports. The actual state of affairs here at CSU is really quite good and the police are out. Just to be sure of some things, we have engaged a private security firm to help us with some policing matters around Viking Hall especially on the weekends. We keep our own police deployed in pretty interesting kinds of ways. But, the real issue here is the perception of safety, not the reality of it. We may be confronted also with some of the reality of it. There is this business improvement district that has been approved by the City Council for downtown. Downtown comes all the way up to East 18 th Street and stops. And part of the business improvement district's plan is to move people along – homeless, panhandling, and all that sort of thing. Well, to move them along only gives them one place to go folks and that is over here and we've begun to see some of it, not much, but it hasn't been nasty. President Schwartz said that he is not sure how we deal with those perceptions but one suggestion he has is that we try to cut a deal with RTA to put some of these circulator buses in here that could pick up our students in the evenings and take them to the parking lots and just run back and forth in that kind of way. If they (RTA) are not going to buy in, we may have to purchase some of our own buses and run them including maybe a run down to Tower City every hour or every half hour or whatever it takes. We've been talking about that. Vice President Boyle and he have both been quite concerned.
Professor Barbara Hoffman reported that one concern she has heard voiced frequently is the open access to our buildings. That the police cannot control. President Schwartz answered that Professor Hoffman was absolutely right. When the police get called, they come right away. We haven't had too much trouble with that but open access to the buildings is an issue and the connector is a mixed blessing in that regard because once you are in, you are in. It is nice in the winter. Everybody says, “Oh what a great idea,” but it does have a downside.
Professor Frederick Hampton noted that President Schwartz talked about students not having access to faculty outside of the class. Other than supervising internships or field experiences or the occasional student who needs to reach faculty at home, he wondered what else President Schwartz might he be talking about.
President Schwartz replied that there are all kinds of things faculty might want to do but he (President Schwartz) used to know pretty well which of his students was in trouble and a lot of faculty members do too. Maybe they need to know that the coffee is not so bad. He is not talking about much; he is not talking about overnight camp. Just that cup of coffee might be enough to make a difference. Somebody there cared. I was in trouble and I needed that cup of coffee. Or, and this is where we underestimate ourselves, many of us don't like getting mixed up in the student's personal lives. It's also the case that for many, they don't have anywhere else to go. If you've got five minutes for somebody who is hurting, that counts.
Professor Elizabeth Lehfeldt commented that in terms of enhancing faculty contact with students, we should also look at some of the ways in which we have institutionalized disincentives to do that. Degree auditing allows students to do a lot of self-advising which makes it really difficult for us to get to them. Sure, she would rather advise herself on line than make a trip up to the 19 th floor to meet with the instructor. She hopes that conversation will include some ways of thinking about how we can enhance the advising experience rather than kind of work across purposes to it.
President Michael Schwartz stated that the degree audit system is a good idea for the check-list kind of thing. Maybe they don't need faculty for that but they need faculty for something very different and that might be a better reason for coming to see us. Yes, there are some ups and downs to faculty but we really need to have some conversations in this kind of environment about how we connect them to us so we don't lose them. He hears parents say, “I know that Cleveland State is a fine place, but I want my daughter to have the full college experience.” That means several things. The mother and the dad are hoping that the kid will go away to school and grow up and they don't want to watch. But, it also means the full college experience is someplace where there are a bunch of people who will engage their son or daughter and they get to watch and they know how. Maybe we need to find a way to have this conversation.
An unidentified person noted that President Schwartz had shared with Senate that there were 230,000 students in the area that have some college experience but no degree. She wanted to share with President Schwartz that this is the population that is targeted in the Outreach Re-entry Program within the Women's Comprehensive Program. The biggest drawback she finds, since she is responsible to help coordinate that program under Dr. Mareyjoyce Green, is the limited funding. She has never worked so hard with so little and been able to accomplish so much. She commented that if President Schwartz has the opportunity, she would love to extend an invitation to him to come and see one of their re-entry programs and also give them some discretionary funds so that she can expand on that program and do the excellent job that she knows she is capable of doing.
Professor Beth Ekelman sated that she would like to explore the six week option. She feels that this is an excellent idea. President Schwartz said that he will sit down with Professor Gelman and maybe some way can be worked out to organize these kinds of conversations and explorations, but we have to be able to do it. Announce them for the common hour and just go at it and talk about some other things. There are ways to do good things for the students and for us.
Professor Sanda Kaufman noted that she supports the six week option. She teaches during the six week summer as her norm for certain courses so that would be a good idea but she keeps hearing talk of moving to three credit courses and she can see the pluses for the students but on the other hand it sort of goes against what we are trying to accomplish. If we are trying to make it not so expensive for them and we are trying to give them more exposure and we are trying to go to six-week courses, it sort of becomes counter… that we would be proliferating classes that we can't fill with more opportunities for them to drop out on the way. They would have to come every day and that would be really hard for many of them. They are trying to minimize the amount of time that they must travel and park, etc.
President Schwartz agreed that there are ups and downs to all of this and it is all on the table and all in front of us and we've got to sort it out. This institution will spend $3.6 million including fringes for just summer and fall terms for its part-time instructional budget. Much of that could be eliminated if the numbers of courses we teach were to go up and then we would have money to do a lot of other kinds of things. He was just trying to explain that we are not going to get any new money coming in here except what our students give us in their tuition. So, we start looking around inside for money. He has two or three other ideas as well.
Professor Sanda Kaufman asked if this is in response to the two or three-credit thing. President Schwartz replied that there is the question here of teaching two or three courses in a semester. Some people tell him that three is not good. You can't recruit people to teach three. Well, they are doing it at Akron , they are doing it at Kent and they are doing it at a lot of schools. He finds this all very difficult. He has productivity stuff on his desk now in terms of our student credit hours to faculty FTE, department by department, compared to other reporting institutions – 20 and 30 of them at a time – and we don't look very good. We have other places and other times to discuss these issues and we will.
Professor Bill Bowen inquired if President Schwartz was getting to Shawn Webster in some way and having a conversation with him, and asked if we are doing something as a university to get with the political representation locally that means having a conversation with these people that would make changes that might do us harm.
President Schwartz replied that Bill Napier and Lori Day are down in Columbus just about every day sitting through these meetings patiently he might add. He asked Bill Napier if there was any way into this.
Mr. Bill Napier responded that he and Lori Day talk to Representative Shawn Webster directly every week and he was up here on our campus earlier this year. More and more members of the legislature are starting to understand that higher education has been under-funded during the last decade and it is our time to get an investment. The only problem is that the State economy still isn't where we would like to see it. If we get to the point that the economy turns around a little bit, we will get more funding. He noted that President Schwartz referred to the paper that Senators Gardner and Padgett released which is very significant. He would like the paper distributed to everyone on Senate. He noted that when these visitors come to campus, it would also be a good idea if the Senate or a committee of the Senate could sit down and talk with them while they are here. It would also really help them down in Columbus if there could be some faculty voices. A lot of government officials are meeting with our staff and administration. The State Treasurer was here earlier today and these people would be glad to meet with the faculty. He noted that he would be glad to arrange meetings if faculty are interested.
Senate President Sheldon Gelman thanked President Michael Schwartz for his report. He said that he looks forward to discussing the challenges that have been raised today.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4: 10 P.M.
Faculty Senate Secretary
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