I. Approval of the Agenda for the December 6, 2006 Meeting
II. Approval of the Minutes of the November 8, 2006 Meeting
IV. University Curriculum Committee
V. Admissions and Standards Committee
VI. Reports from Information Services & Technology
VII. Report of the Interim Provost
VIII. Report of the President of the University
IX. New Business
PRESENT: Barrow, Bathala, Beasley, Belovich, Berlin Ray, Cagan, Dean, Duffy, Ekelman, Elkins, Gao, Gelman, Gross, Hansman, Hoffman, Hollinger, Jeffres, Kaufman, Loovis, McCahon, McNamara, O’Neill, Rashidi, Ray, Robertson, Rom, Spicer, Steinberg, Weyman, Ziolek.
Boyle, Bufford, Droney, Green, Hanniford, Heinrich, Margolius, Markovic, Mass, Mills, Muscatello, Nuru-Holm, Saunders, Schwartz, Spiker, Tumeo.
ABSENT: Bowen, Doerder, Finer, George, Gorla, Hoke, Keshock, Lehfeldt, Lundstrom, Martins, Mason, Murray, Nelson, Reichert, Sparks, Visocky-O’Grady, Welfel.
Alexander, Barlow, Bonder, Dillard, Humer, McLoughlin, Mearns, Mooney, Reed, Rosentraub, Sadlek, Scherer, Thornton.
ALSO PRESENT:Meiksins, Smith, Sutton.
Senate President Sheldon Gelman called the meeting to order at 3:10 P.M.
Acceptance of the Agenda for December 6, 2006 was moved, seconded, and approved.
Acceptance of the Minutes of the November 8, 2006 meeting was moved, seconded, and approved.
Senate President Gelman noted that Senate needs to elect a faculty representative to serve the unexpired portion of Professor Rodger Govea’s term on the Ohio Faculty Council. For those who are unfamiliar with the Ohio Faculty Council, it is a body convened by the Chancellor. The Council meets roughly every month in Columbus. Its membership includes two representatives from each of the publicly supported institutions of higher learning in Ohio with the exception of community colleges. In general, the Council discusses matters of common concern. This year it is considering more ambitious actions. In any case, a key requirement is that the person be available to attend meetings on Fridays which generally take all day. While the meeting begins at Noon, it is about two and one-half hours from Cleveland and two and one-half hours back so it involves the entire day Friday. The second representative is, by the Chancellor’s decision, the head of the Faculty Senate or similar body and he (Senate President Sheldon Gelman) is the second representative from Cleveland State. He said that he noticed that the Bylaws entrust the Secretary of the Senate with the conduct of elections so he called on the Senate Secretary Barbara Hoffman to conduct the election.
Senate Secretary Barbara Hoffman asked for nominations of faculty to complete Professor Govea’s unexpired term on the Ohio Faculty Council.
Professor Andrew Gross inquired if this election was just for Spring semester or longer. Senate Secretary Barbara Hoffman replied that this election is just for the spring semester. Senate President Gelman added that this election would also include the remainder of Fall semester. He noted that there is actually a meeting this Friday ( December 8, 2006).
Since no candidates were nominated for election to the Ohio Faculty Council to complete the unexpired term of Professor Rodger Govea, Senate President Gelman asked Senate members to approve postponing the election to the February 7, 2007 Senate meeting, which they did.
Proposed Revised Assessment
Plan for New Programs
(Report No. 12, 2006-2007)
Professor Peter Meiksins, chair of the University Curriculum Committee, presented the Committee’s proposed revised Assessment Plan for New Programs. He commented that as most everyone is aware, we are required by all kinds of groups to conduct regular assessment of all academic programs on campus. We have been getting much better at doing that through the offices of Dr. Gitanjali Kaul and Dr. Rosemary Sutton where there is an on-going assessment effort in place. One difficulty that has been encountered, however, is that we regularly create new programs and no requirements exist that indicate how they are going to be assessed. Assessment planning is often done post hoc, with a result that there is often a lag between the creation of a new program and the initiation of the assessment effort. This can get us into trouble with NCA, etc. With that in mind, the Assessment Counsel and Rosemary Sutton’s office suggested that it would be a reasonable thing to ask that, when new programs are proposed to the University Curriculum Committee, part of the submission should be at least a preliminary plan for getting the assessment effort going which might indicate timelines, and basic ideas about how to go about doing it. The UCC would not evaluate the quality of the plan. It would simply monitor the existence of the plan – is there a plan in the proposal or isn’t there. If there is not, the UCC could communicate with the program to get them to add one. If there is, the UCC would simply refer that to the Assessment Office and then the department or program or whatever it is would work with the Assessment Office to fine tune that to get it going and to implement it. The UCC’s function would simply be as a gate-keeper essentially making sure that programs actually think about assessment prior to the actual implementation of the program. One of the benefits of this, of course, is that it would stimulate thought about the goals of the program that is being created in a conscious way. So, this might actually have positive curricular implications as well. The UCC felt that this was a good idea. The Committee discussed it with Professor Sutton and tweaked it in various ways and the proposal being presented is the result. The UCC recommends the proposal to Senate. The UCC doesn’t feel it would produce many problems and it will have many benefits.
There being no discussion, Senate President Gelman asked members to vote. The proposed Revised Assessment Plans in New Programs was adopted unanimously.
Proposed Elimination of the Common Hour (Report No. 13, 2006-2007)
Professor Rosemary Sutton, chair of the Admissions and Standards Committee, stated that on Friday, November 17, 2006, the Committee voted to eliminate the current Common Hour (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M.). The original policy was approved by the Faculty Senate in May of 1997 and then implemented in fall of 1999. The policy was revisited in November 2001 with a motion to eliminate the Common Hour and that motion was defeated.
Professor Sutton noted that the central argument for eliminating the Common Hour is the increased flexibility this will provide for departments and units in their scheduling. The Common Hour makes it difficult to schedule classes in a variety of ways but the concern the Admissions and Standards Committee heard about most is that students who want to have a full-time day-time schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays find it very difficult to do that with the Common Hour in place, and that is particularly problematic for the College of Science for scheduling labs and also for their Graduate programs. She noted that in the left hand column on the second page of the material sent to Senate is a table showing scheduling of the current Common Hour. It shows that we have some problems not just in the fact that we have an hour without classes but the block after that begins at 1:00 P.M. and ends at 2:50 P.M. and the block after that begins at 2:30 P.M. In other words, we have one block that begins before another one ends. This is a huge problem for students trying to take classes. She has a colleague who tells her that periodically students come to her and say, “I’d like to take your class but I will be ten minutes late every day.” She doesn’t think that this is a good idea.
Professor Sutton stated that the supplementary data that members should have received in the meeting packets illustrates some of the problems with the scheduling. The first table on page 2 shows the headcount by hour on Mondays and Tuesdays and Fridays. All of the days of the week were not included because it is redundant. The highest headcount that we have is on Monday from 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M. and we believe that students think taking classes at the lunch time is really convenient but we currently don’t allow that on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Professor Sutton noted that the second table indicates some implications this may have for classroom usage by taking two hours out of the week where we can’t hold classes and that means obviously that we are not using them then but also because of the problems later on in the day. Looking at the figures on page 3, we have on average really low classroom usage rates, lower than the recommended target that we should have. The other two tables show the undergraduate enrollment and retention rates. The Admissions and Standards Committee was asked to look at things like that but it doesn’t seem that the Common Hour has much impact on either of those. From the data, of course, that’s very confusing because there are multiple drivers of such things.
Professor Sutton stated that it seems to the Admissions and Standards Committee that this increased flexibility is really important in light of the lives of our students who tend to lead complex busy lives. Over the years, we have worked really hard to try to accommodate our scheduling so we have not only night classes but we have weekend classes, we have classes off-campus at the East and West Centers, we have classes at work sites, and more recently, we have increased our number of web based classes which are quite popular in a lot of places and this helps with the scheduling. So it didn’t make sense to the Admissions and Standards Committee that during the middle of the day when we have all these students, we are restricting departments and programs from offering classes. Of course, they may choose not to offer classes then, but at the moment they can’t do that. They have to get special dispensation. Virtually, as far as is known, no other universities around have common hours and our major peers in Ohio do not have common hours.
Professor Sutton stated that the Student Government has been passionate in convincing us that the activities that occur during the Common Hour are really important and it is important to understand what the disagreement is between the Admissions and Standards Committee and the Student Government Association. There is no disagreement about the central role of student engagement at Cleveland State University and that the activities sponsored by SGA are one part of that student engagement. The disagreement is on whether scheduling most of these activities on two days from 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M. and not allowing classes at that time is in the best interests of the University as a whole. Because many of these activities are during the Common Hour, the students who are on campus on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays don’t have an opportunity to participate. It also means that multiple activities are being offered at the same time. So in some ways there is a reduction of choice potentially because students might want to be doing two activities but they are both on Thursdays. We understood this better when it was learned that SGA does not hold its own meetings during the Common Hour – they have to hold them on Friday afternoon to find a time that works for their students. So the Admissions and Standards Committee encourages SGA and Student Life to think more flexibly about scheduling these activities and we think it is possible that this may even potentially involve more students.
Professor Sutton went on to say that a recent example illustrates our optimism about this. There was an International Day from 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M. on a Wednesday and not during the Common Hour and the University Center was packed. So we don’t think figuring out a more flexible schedule of activities is simple or easy but just as faculty had to learn to think about student engagement differently if they were involved in web based courses, we think it is important for the student activities on campus also to be thought about in a more flexible way. Because of the importance of this and a whole lot of conversations that many of us have had lately about the Common Hour, President Schwartz has a proposal that he wants to tell us about now.
President Michael Schwartz noted that this is less a proposal than an idea. His own personal view is that he agrees with what the Admissions and Standards Committee is proposing. We really need to be able to provide the best possible scheduling opportunities for classes for our students on the one hand and at the same time provide opportunities for our students to engage with the University in their organizations in as many new and innovative kinds of ways that we can. Therefore, he would propose the establishment of a committee that essentially is comprised of the Student Life Committee, the Registrar, members of the Student Government Association and some administrators whom he would be glad to appoint. The purpose of this group would be to examine the issues of scheduling and most especially what can be done to provide opportunities for students to engage and have unfettered time for the simple purpose of engaging with the University through their student organizations. This is a large problem that has been cast as either/or but it isn’t either/or. It is a question of which one of these is really the more important in a set of two that are both important. That is what makes this all very difficult. He said that he is sure that the student who will speak in just a moment will make it clear to Senate that the need to have some time to engage with each other and the faculty members is profoundly felt by the students and it should be. The question is what’s in the long term best interests of all of the students in an academic institution.
At this point, Professor Sutton introduced Mr. Blake Almaguer, Vice President of Student Government, and said that he had asked to speak to Senate.
Mr. Blake Almaguer stated that he had a whole speech planned out but in light of President Schwartz’s proposal, he would just say that this is something that the students will be very interested in participating in particularly since it includes the Department of Student Life as well as members of the Student Government Association and other faculty members. He began with a little bit of history on the Common Hour. In 1997, the officers of Student Government instituted the request for the Common Hour. This was a student-based initiative and in 1999, it was implemented. That was the same year, he believes, that we changed over from quarters to semesters. In 2001, this issue was brought back up again. His predecessor, Ms. Ruth Ramos, spoke on the issue. He noted that in the packet everyone received today, the previous Executive Board of 2001 submitted several comments about the current proposal to eliminate the Common Hour. He noted that one letter was authored by Mr. Aaron Kuntz who is currently in higher education and works with Oberlin College. One of his comments states: “All members of the community should have a vested interest in developing the whole student; in essence, we must seek to create students who are not simply challenged through academic rigor, but seek to be challenged in ways that round out their experience as a Viking.” This is something that Common Hour allows to take place for members of student organizations and officers. Mr. Kuntz also further states that “the Common Hour is an opportunity to engage fellow students and experience all that the University has to offer.” The students who feel strongly about Common Hour definitely do partake in Common Hour to explore different aspects of the University.
Mr. Almaguer highlighted two more letters submitted by various departments, one of them from Career Services and the other one from the Focus Center. Referring to the letter from Career Services, Mr. Almaguer noted that it states: “Currently we hold 40 to 50 events including career workshops, employer presentations, information sessions and special Career Week sessions during Common Hour each year. Our students lead very busy lives, with seemingly every moment scheduled. The Common Hour gives them a chance to breathe and take notice of other things outside their usual circle of activity and so the Career Services Center depends upon that time for student outreach and career education.” Furthermore, the letter from the Focus Center states: “A large number of Focus Center workshops are offered during the Common Hour on Tuesday and Thursday. Many of our participants can only take advantage of Focus workshops during the Common Hour.” Mr. Almaguer stated that these are just two of several statements Student Government received from various departments who have supported Common Hour.
Mr. Almaguer reported that the Department of Student Life had undertaken a study of student leaders concerning their academic excellence which is the last page included in the packet of materials he distributed. It refers to student leaders and their retention rates and their overall GPAs. In 2004-2005, from 401 Student Organization Officers, 92.5% of organization officers were retained for fall 2005. This relates directly to student retention. The average GPA of student organization officers for 2004-2005 overall was 3.22% so this shows a great bit of information about the academic success of those who are involved here at Cleveland State University. Mr. Almaguer went on to say that he would hope that everyone would consider the effort President Schwartz has put forth in collaborating and figuring out a way to effectively use Common Hour time and/or any other alternatives.
Professor Andrew Gross asked to revisit this issue in a number of brief remarks. He stated that we had this issue on the table in 2001. He had made some remarks at that Senate meeting but he will make different remarks now. When Professor Sutton brought this proposal to Senate, one of the things he would like to have seen revealed was the closeness of the vote in the Admissions and Standards Committee. The second thing he would have liked to see explained is the manner in which this fall headcount was taken, where and how and by whom. Frankly, he is surprised because he believes that parking attests to the fact that on Tuesday at noon it is very hard to park. Maybe the headcount was low because the students couldn’t get inside. Another possibility the Recreation Center tells him is that the busiest time of the week is at the noon hour on Tuesday. Maybe the students are over there doing wellness and fitness which is laudable. So, he would like to see how this was done. More important is to listen to the student groups as well as other constituents and it would have been nice to see other testimony from various Science Department chairs as to the extent to which the Common Hour causes trouble. In the end, trying to hear both sides here, the name of the game is enrollment and he salutes the administration for extending to East and West and corporate centers and that’s what we are dealing with. Professor Gross applauded President Schwartz’s remarks because he senses what Professor Sutton is proposing here could be, should be, and hopefully will be part of a major revision here so we can all go to four or three credit hours and get some sort of standardization that will satisfy various bodies of constituencies.
Professor Sutton commented that because she was trying to save trees, she did not include in the packet of materials the testimony of the summaries from the College Deans about the impact of the Common Hour that was asked for. She had received a long detailed one from the College of Science and she apologized for not bringing that one with her. Professor Sutton stated that she got the data from the IR web site. She asked Dr. Gitanjali Kaul how that headcount data in one of her graphs was collected. Dr. Kaul responded that it comes out of the PeopleSoft system. Professor Sutton noted that it is then straight out of the Registration system. It is on the IR web site if anyone wishes to see it. She simplified it a little bit because it had all of the days in the week there.
Professor Beth Cagan remarked that if it is based on the students who enroll and they can’t enroll on Tuesday at noon, then no wonder the count is low. Professor Sutton agreed with Professor Cagan.
Professor Jeffrey Dean noted that there is a question of admission. If a course actually runs for more than an hour, for example, if it started at 11:00 A.M. and ended at 12:15 P.M., would the heads be counted both in the 11 th hour and in the 12 th hour because he found it a little surprising that the peak is exactly in the Noon hour? He would like to know whether the explanation is that many courses start before the Noon hour but are still going on in the Noon hour and others start towards the end of the Noon hour and they get added up and create a peak that really isn’t there.
Professor Sutton apologized. She intended to check with Mr. Jeff Chen, Director of Institutional Research, Assessment and Analysis, about some of these questions before the meeting but he wasn’t in his office when she made the phone call. She asked Dr. Gitanjali Kaul if she could respond to Professor Dean’s questions. Dr. Kaul replied that she would have to go back and check.
Professor Joanne Belovich stated that last week, President Schwartz and Provost Saunders came to the College of Engineering to talk about retention and engagement. They said that there is a strong correlation between student engagement and retention and that according to this national survey, Cleveland State did very poorly on the student engagement. If our priority is to be retention and if there is a strong correlation, we’ve got to do what we can to get students on campus and involved in the University. She went on to say that eliminating the Common Hour is not going to help that; it’s only going to hurt. She stated that she strongly supports keeping the Common Hour because of that reason. We’ve got to keep the students involved here.
Professor Peter Meiksins said that if the goal is to retain students and engage them in student activities and we are doing a bad job now, why does continuing to do what we do help? Professor Belovich replied that we are definitely going to make it harder for students to be engaged. Now maybe there is a better time, maybe we should look at President’s Schwartz’s proposal to find a better way of doing it, but for the time being, the Common Hour should not be eliminated until we find a better alternative.
Dr. Sutton stated that, as she understands it in the NC report, there are different kinds of student engagement and this concerns one particular kind which was the student activities. The other kind is about students being engaged in our classes in a variety of ways and we also don’t do so well on that and that is another issue with another whole discussion but it is useful to keep those kinds of engagements separate.
Professor Heidi Robertson asked whether there is an alternative time that we already know of when there aren’t very many classes that we could move the Common Hour to. Her follow up question was whether President Schwartz’s proposal to have a committee study this issue and come up with an alternative is one that comes after the elimination of the Common Hour or whether what the Admissions and Standards Committee is proposing is to come up with an alternative proposal before the Common Hour is eliminated.
Professor Sutton responded that President Schwartz said that it doesn’t make any difference. Professor Sutton noted that after the alternative time, the Student Government Association came with an alternative proposal, 1:30 P.M. to 2:30 P.M. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and the Admissions and Standards Committee voted that proposal down. The Committee worked really hard to try to find a compromise. The essential problem is that the times on campus when there are lots of students around, we want to have the flexibility and the Admissions and Standards Committee thinks it is important to be able to schedule classes then. But that is exactly the same time that the students want there to be a Common Hour and have activities because they want to have it when students are around. So the Committee did discuss the possibility of 3:00 P.M. in the afternoon but could not come to an agreement.
Professor Robertson stated that it may be having the Common Hour at a time that is perhaps not the first choice of the students would be a way to draw them to campus. It was mentioned earlier that schools around here don’t do it, but right here on campus, we have a school that does. In the Law School, we don’t have classes from 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. on Thursdays and it is a time when everybody schedules meetings – faculty, student groups, etc. Students don’t otherwise have to be at the Law School on Thursday afternoons but they do stay because that is when everything is happening. So, maybe moving the Common Hour to a less popular time would draw the students to be here when they otherwise might not be here. Dr. Sutton said that the Admissions and Standards Committee had that conversation but couldn’t resolve the issue.
Professor Beth Ekelman asked to clarify the College of Science’s position. Health Sciences has a couple of graduate programs that meet during the day. She did ask the Health Sciences faculty to talk about this issue and they weren’t opposed to the Common Hour at all. They said what would cause them problems is if the Common Hour were moved to the Monday, Wednesday mid-afternoon time because that would really disrupt the professional programming where they have lecture and then lab immediately following.
Ms. Marcia Bufford, Secretary of Student Government and Student Representative to Faculty Senate, said that she wanted to ask a question and then make a comment. First the comment: This year, we have had the highest number of student organizations – 158 – and approximately 85% of them meet during the Common Hour to conduct their business. Also, it is a good point to reiterate what the Vice President of Student Government said. After 1998 when we switched from quarters to semesters, we begin to see the drop in enrollment which has nothing to do with the Common Hour. The question she had was, “When is it foreseen that we will be switching to three credit-hour courses and is the University going to try to make this decision about the Common Hour before switching credit-hour courses when they may be clearly tied together?”
Professor Rosemary Sutton responded that Ms. Bufford had a good question. Regarding the question about when the decision will be made about the Common Hour, the goal is that the decision is made today because it will affect next year’s schedule. As for the three credits, four credits, that is Professor Peter Meiksins’ problem at the moment. Professor Peter Meiksins, chair of the University Curriculum Committee, stated that there is no proposal to switch from four credit hours to three credits. The Task Force that examined the proposal did not recommend it. The Task Force recommended that General Education courses be three credit hours and they recommended that we abolish one-night-a-week four hour courses. Those two recommendations are currently before the University Curriculum Committee. The UCC has actually made a recommendation on one which will come forward to Senate in the spring. The General Education issue will come forward to Senate when the General Education proposal comes forward as well, but there is no proposal to create an all three credit hour system. Professor Meiksins stated that if someone would like to propose that, he is sure that Senate would consider it, but that proposal has not been made.
Professor Barbara Hoffman pointed out that in the Faculty Senate Minutes of the meeting on May 7, 1997, when the Common Hour was initiated, it was noted that already with the conversion to semesters, there are fewer students on campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She said that we haven’t yet determined why that is the case. She said that this is a wise proposal to study the issues before we make a decision.
Professor Crystal Weyman said that she would tend to agree with Professor Hoffman because she is very confused. What she has heard is that a major reason behind eliminating the Common Hour is to accommodate the students and yet all she hears from the students is that they want the Common Hour. If we are supposed to be helping the students by eliminating the Common Hour, why do the students want to keep it?
Professor Sutton stated that the problem in a good academic sense is the definition of the student and that the proposal to eliminate the Common Hour is to allow departments to schedule during that time so the schedules can be more flexible – if departments choose to do it. At the moment you have to get a dispensation as Nursing has in order to schedule courses during the Common Hour. The argument is that we provide more flexibility for the large number of students who are on campus. A small group of our students are involved in SGA, a very important group that we need to pay attention to, but it is a relatively small group compared to the entire institution and that’s what the tension is. Dr. Sutton noted that when she says a small group, she doesn’t mean to diminish in any way and she knows that more students are involved in activities other than SGA, but still as in any university, a lot of students aren’t involved. The other argument, following on President Schwartz’s comment, is that we think actually if we work to a more flexible scheduling of the activities of these 158 organizations, there may be a way that we can schedule those so that we still have lots of student involvement and activities, perhaps even potentially more.
Professor Beth Cagan said that she knows there are 158 student organizations and asked how many students are involved in those organizations. Ms. Marcia Bufford responded that there are over 2,000 students involved in those organizations.
Professor Kathleen McNamara indicated that she had a couple of concerns or perhaps questions. One of them is the data presented in the memo that Professor Sutton had circulated. It infers a relationship between, for example, class utilization and the enrollment and the existence of a Common Hour. So if we look at the graphs, we can see that something is going on. The existence of the Common Hour doesn’t necessarily explain that phenomenon. For example, someone mentioned Tuesday and Thursday enrollments are down relative to Monday and Wednesday and Friday to begin with. So that is one concern that she has. Another concern is, isn’t it possible that eliminating the Common Hour would result in enrollment shifting rather than growing? She asked if we have any reason to believe that more students will be enrolled in courses as opposed to students who would have been in class at 3:00 P.M. that might be in a class at Noon. The last thing Professor McNamara wanted to say is that she is having trouble understanding why this issue is such a problem. It seems to her that yes, it might be easier to schedule classes if we don’t have to work around that Noon hour, but beyond that, she is having a hard time understanding why it is such a problem unless those relationships that are being inferred – classroom utilization, etc. – actually exist and she is not so sure that they do.
Professor Sutton responded that the data don’t imply causal relationships. The Admissions and Standards Committee was asked to bring data that might help illustrate the problem. Varying claims have been made about these data so the Committee brought them to Senate. Dr. Sutton went on to say that the first problem described to the Admissions and Standards Committee was the difficulty of scheduling full-time students on Tuesdays and Thursdays by day. It’s very hard to get the courses in sequentially one after the other but the students who want that schedule only come down on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That was a problem that was described to the Committee. The Committee was also told that this was a problem in Graduate Science because of labs. She said that she has no idea what will happen in terms of enrollment.
Professor Cheryl McCahon wondered how many of those 158 student organizations really meet during the Common Hour because she knows again, Nursing is a little different, but of the five or six organizations that come out of Nursing, none of them ever would meet in the Common Hour because the students aren’t even on campus during the Common Hour. If they are on campus, they are in the lab.
Professor Albert Smith, chair of the Senate Student Life Committee, said that obviously Nursing operates in a way that is different from the way everyone else operates so we wouldn’t expect Nursing organizations to meet during the Common Hour. He stated that he wanted to bring two items to the Senate’s attention. First, Professor Smith reported that the Student Life Committee has not been consulted on this issue and given the relevance of this issue to Student Life it seems that the Student Life Committee should have been consulted. He noted that President Schwartz suggested that the Student Life Committee be part of the committee proposed to look at this issue and he (Professor Smith) is happy to hear that but it seems to him that the Student Life Committee should have been consulted about this issue prior to today. Second, he pointed out that any rational person including whichever student is most rabidly in favor of maintaining the Common Hour would say that under certain circumstances courses should be scheduled during the Common Hour. So, if we have limited laboratory facilities and having the Common Hour means that we can offer one section of the lab rather than two in an afternoon, under certain circumstances we should allow classes to be scheduled during the Common Hour immediately. It was stated that Nursing gets a dispensation, and it seems that establishing a group with some fairly high criteria would permit scheduling during the Common Hour and that would be a reasonable thing to do immediately.
Professor Smith went on to say that Professor Sutton suggested more flexibility but he doesn’t like the word “flexibility” because it sounds like it is opening up the gates for people to rush in and be flexibly scheduling at Noon time. In the labs, for example, where you have a particular kind of facility that has to be used for something, it doesn’t make sense to leave that fallow for two hours of an afternoon when it could be used for four hours. His suggestion would be to move forward adopting President’s Schwartz’s proposal to study this issue and defer eliminating the Common Hour for the time being, and establish someone who will review proposals for scheduling during the Common Hour and invite scheduling for that time in the interim.
Ms. Marcia Bufford, Student Representative to Faculty Senate, indicated that she wanted to clarify that when she said 85% of the student organizations meet between 12:00 P.M. and 1:00 P.M. means there may be a general meeting of the body or they may conduct business. They may get funds from their Treasurer; they may see Dr. Meyers; they may request a room reservation; all those things that the organization has to do on campus must be conducted during University business hours. There is no way that the officers could do these things after their day is finished. She just wanted to make it clear that the student organizations greatly utilize that time whether it be a general meeting or just members of the organizations conducting business with other entities on campus.
Professor Peter Meiksins suggested that the Committee or Task Force that is set up on the Common Hour issue should study the mysterious question of how it is that various campuses comparable to ours which do not have a Common Hour manage to have higher rates of student participation in student organizations and manage to have higher reported rates of involvement in student activities on the National Study of Student Engagement. Professor Meiksins went on to say that perhaps we need to study the matter more, but that’s the fact that has been reported to us repeatedly. Other institutions don’t have the Common Hour and they do better on this thing with which we are concerned. So, how do they do it?
Professor Andrew Gross commented that Professor Dean, others and himself demonstrated that the statistics are rather suspect. Second, he agrees with Professor Heidi Robertson that the Common Hour could be at another hour. Finally, with regard to Professor Weyman’s point, there are always contradictions that will occur like this; the same way with affirmative action and seniority; those two are sometimes in conflict in the work place. He strongly suggested that Senate follow what Professor Albert Smith and others have said and adopt President Schwartz’s proposal to study the Common Hour issue, but for the spring term and at the last meeting of the Faculty Senate, we do bring this issue to a vote. He would also take into account Professor Meiksins’ last point which is very important. Professor Gross would favor not to vote the motion up or down but to delay it for one more semester and take President Schwartz’s suggestion to study it and make a decision at the May 2007 Faculty Senate Meeting.
Professor Beth Cagan agreed with Professor Andrew Gross and suggested that the motion be tabled until the committee that is being set up by President Schwartz comes back and gives Senate some alternatives. She stated that her suggestion to table the motion is not debatable.
Professor David Elkins reported that in the Minutes from 2001, Dr. David Larson, inquired if there had been any systematic survey of the majority of the students themselves. Professor Elkins then inquired if there has been a survey of the majority of the students themselves in 2006, and, if there hasn’t, can this proposed committee in fact engage in such a survey?
Professor Rosemary Sutton reported that the Admissions and Standards Committee chose not to do a survey because as the Committee thought about asking general questions like, “Would you come to campus for a class from 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M.?,” that’s not our experience of how students schedule courses. It is much more particular – if the course is offered and if I have the prerequisites and perhaps if I like the professor and if something else isn’t happening, so the Committee figured that scheduling is much more particular than a survey may be able to get at. Now maybe the Committee didn’t think of the right questions. It was suggested that a focus group might be helpful but the problem with a focus group is that we don’t have this big representative mass to get at so we were sort of caught in this tension. Professor Sutton stated that if a group is formed from President Schwartz’s idea as he called it, not a proposal; she was actually not convinced of the usefulness of it after thinking about it for some time.
Senate President Sheldon Gelman stated that a motion was made to table the Admissions and Standards Committee’s proposal and while he is not sure whether it is debatable, he is sure that this motion takes precedence over the original motion. Unless somebody is certain that the motion to table is not debatable, he would say that what Senate needs to discuss now is whether to table the motion with the instructions and guidance that Professor Andrew Gross and Professor Cagan have suggested. Senate President Gelman noted that it could be a motion to refer to committee which is debatable.
Senate President Gelman asked Professor Andrew Gross if his motion was that the proposal to eliminate the Common Hour be tabled or that it be sent back to committee with instructions to return it to Senate at the last meeting of spring semester. Professor Gross responded that his motion was to table the proposal until the last meeting of spring and hopefully come up with a resolution by that date ( May 2, 2007).
Senate President Gelman asked Professor Beth Cagan if this was the motion that she seconded. Professor Cagan replied that it was. Senate President Gelman then noted that this really was a motion to refer to a committee that doesn’t yet exist but will exist shortly. He noted that he was happy not to have any debate if nobody wanted any. The motion is again: “To table this proposal until the last meeting of the Faculty Senate in the spring at which time it will be brought back to Senate either by the Admissions and Standards Committee or by an ad hoc committee which we appointed.” He then asked if this understanding is correct. Senate members stated that Senate President Gelman was correct.
Senate President Sheldon Gelman asked the Senate to vote on the motion. At this point, an unidentified Senator inquired which motion Senate was to vote on. Senate President Gelman responded that his understanding is that it is left open. Professor Gross or Professor Cagan may care to specify one or the other, but they don’t have to.
Professor Beth Cagan said that she didn’t know if she was debating but the sense of the discussion has been that the Committee, in its deliberations, hasn’t led us to the right conclusion because this is essentially to limit it and the committee that is being proposed represents more constituencies and therefore will have a better conclusion.
Senate President Gelman suggested a clarification: That the Committee described by President Schwartz will be appointed and it will report publicly and that the Admissions and Standards Committee will then consider that report and in turn report back to Senate at the last meeting of spring semester.
Professor Heidi Robertson stated that she was not sure that it matters too much that it be the last meeting of spring semester. What we are really looking for is that the motion is tabled until such time that President Schwartz’s committee comes forth with an alternative and whether that is the last meeting or the second to the last meeting is immaterial so maybe what we want to do is table this motion until such time that the President’s committee comes forward with an alternative.
Senate President Gelman inquired if Professors Gross and Cagan would accept Professor Robertson’s suggestion. Professors Gross and Cagan replied that they would accept Professor Robertson’s suggestion as a friendly amendment.Senate President Gelman stated that the Admissions and Standards Committee will await a report from the committee described by President Schwartz. It will then, no later than the end of spring semester, report back to Senate on the proposal to eliminate the Common Hour. He then asked Senate members to vote. The motion to refer the original proposal to eliminate the Common Hour as amended to a committee described by President Schwartz for review and recommendation was approved unanimously.
A. Faculty Profile Project (Report No. 14, 2006-2007)
Vice President Mike Droney stated that he has two very important topics to discuss that will affect everyone. The first is the Faculty Portfolio project. We have all heard a lot of discussion and concern about enrollment. Several surveys have been done over the last year and several initiatives have been put in place and two clear items came out of the surveys from students. The first is the importance of our faculty and faculty are always perceived as a plus in those surveys. The second is students prefer most of their information either in hard copy or on the web. The web ranked much higher than had been anticipated. Working in conjunction with Provost Saunders in the IT group, Ms. Tommie Barclay, Director of Web and E-Initiatives, is here today to present to Senate a working copy of the Faculty Portfolio project. This presentation and this work have been viewed by a lot of people, but they still have a lot of people to talk to yet. Basically, Ms. Barclay today will review an actual web version of the system. Mr. Droney noted that Ms. Tommie Barclay is responsible for all web initiatives in the IT group.
Ms. Tommie Barclay reported that this application was developed to make it very easy for faculty as well as the college administrators to enter the information for the faculty. It is currently being designed to pull the information from PeopleSoft. Faculty will use the same log-in pass word that is used to get to PeopleSoft or the network. Information like rank, office location, email address, etc., are being put into the system so faculty will not have to enter that information. It will be pulled as soon as members log in. The information that faculty will have to enter will obviously be in the boxes. This information can be filled in or not, as each faculty member prefers. IT will also pull information from PeopleSoft on the courses that faculty have taught at CSU for the past three years. If faculty have a URL for their own home page or web site, that URL can be entered as well. It will be mandatory that at least one degree be entered and up to five degrees can be entered in any order. Optional information to be entered are: the school, the university, the year graduated and the field of discipline. Other information would be a brief biography which is limited to 4,000 characters. As information is being entered, there will be a counter indicating how many characters are left. Categories with a little red asterisk are the required fields. The categories selected are: publications, honors and awards, creative activities, research interests, research key words, teaching areas, professional, etc. Ms. Barclay referred to the “allow” and “not allowed” boxes. In the event that there are professors who don’t want anyone else to update their profile, the “not allowed” box would be clicked on. If “not allowed” is selected, that means no one else would be able to go in and update that person’s profile. This can be changed back and forth by the faculty member. The default is set to “allow” because it was felt that initially to get it populated, the best way to do that would be to have college administrators go in and update the profiles. After all of the information is entered, faculty would then be able to do a preview to see exactly how the profile will appear on the web to visitors and students. Again, if some of the fields are not filled in, they would not appear as blank, but would not appear at all.
Ms. Barclay continued talking about other searches. For example, if you are in the College of Science but you realize where you really want to go is to the College of Business, rather than having to go out and come back in the system, the colleges are listed down at the bottom of the screen. Now you can see the College of Business. You can enter your research keywords – for example, if you were to enter “hp”, if you do a search, you are searching by the College of Business and you notice that nothing returned, that is because no one in the College of Business has “hp” in their research key word. If you were to do that in a search by all colleges, you would see that this is in David Anderson’s profile in the College of Science.
Professor Beth Cagan asked Ms. Barclay how to access the faculty profile internally to update it. Ms. Barclay responded that everyone will be given a URL. You would just go into that URL and the form she just displayed at Senate today would appear and then faculty would be able to update it.
Professor Kaufman asked who would put in the information or is there a list of keywords. Ms. Barclay responded that they don’t have a list. It would be just what ever keywords faculty put in. Professor Kaufman said that the problem would be that people don’t have a set of keywords to create from. Ms. Barclay said that IS&T can do that. All that they would have to know is what they are and delve into the application just like they did with degree. The degrees are in a list. So if faculty were to give those to IS&T across colleges, they can add those and create a list. Ms. Barclay said that they do allow you to put just the first letter in and it is not case sensitive so if you thought it was HQC, it would be everything with H. IS&T can do the list as well.
Student Representative Scott Muscatello inquired if faculty would be allowed to access this URL from off campus. Ms. Barclay responded that faculty would be able to access it from off campus.
An unidentified Senator asked when Ms. Barclay will distribute the URL so that faculty can do this. Mr. Mike Droney noted that there are two questions here: One, when can faculty update their profile, and two, when do we expect to turn this lose for students to see it? Ms. Barclay responded that the time frame to start populating is January. IT would like to turn it on to the outside starting either in February or no later than March.
Mr. Droney stated that he really appreciated all of the faculty help on the Faculty Profile project. This has been a good project and the best part of it is that our students are going to see the entire catalogue in a consistent format and that’s real helpful from an enrollment perspective. Vice President Droney commented in jest that, as a revenue project in IT, everyone has the opportunity to place a photo there for $29.95.
B. PC Operating System and Office Software Transition
(Report No. 15, 2006-2007)
Vice President Droney stated that Mr. Peter Phillips, Director of Operations and Technical Support, who is behind the scenes on most of the desk top PC initiatives and a lot of the PC software initiatives, will update everyone on the PC operating system and the office software transition. Microsoft has a way of creating opportunities for themselves and one of the primary ways of doing that is by upgrading their software. Traditionally those upgrades are mild in nature and maybe a little bit like a speed bump in the road but not disturbing. He noted that Mr. Phillips will explain a pretty significant change that Microsoft is making.
Mr. Peter Phillips noted that this last month in November, Microsoft released Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Vista, and there are some major changes. They have totally changed how it looks. The whole menu structure has been turned upside down. Instead of pull-down menus, you will see ribbons and other things. Everything you used to know to find a function or a feature is no longer there – it is somewhere else. It is a major change in that respect. Microsoft has also changed the final formats for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint which means that anyone creating those files in the new product and saving them in the new format will be saving them in a way that can’t be opened by people with the old product. This happened about six or seven years ago and it created confusion. We had people sending files to other people who couldn’t open them and they had to call the sender up or email the sender back saying, “By the way, I need you to resend the file in an older format so that I can open it.” That is the impact we are seeing with Microsoft Office 2007.
Mr. Peter Phillips reported that the other product change is Vista, the new operating system. Again, Vista has changed but it is more on par with how previous operating systems changes have taken place. He noted that when Microsoft Windows XP was released, it took several years for other software packages to be adapted to it, and it is expected this will be repeated with Vista. If the University were to switch to Vista all at once, we would have to purchase it at about $50 each and we have 4,000 PCs on campus. Computers three or four years old will not be able to run Vista. Vista now requires that you have a gigabyte of RAM not 512MB. The minimum is 512, but it won’t run well. Vista is asking for about a gig in order to run well. It is asking for a Pentium 4 computer. Why do we have to upgrade to these? The number one key is that students are going to push us that way. Even though it is available to us now, it is not available to the outside public. It is only available to people with volume licenses. The University has a volume license with Microsoft. Effective in February 2007, students should be able to purchase both of these products. Since they will be able to purchase these products, they will do that or they are going to purchase a new computer and the vendors may be pretty loaded with Vista at that time. Or, if a student wants Office, they will automatically get Office 2007 instead of what we currently have available which is Office 2003. The students are going to start getting these products so we have to deal with it on campus as well. It has an easier interface, the ability to do new things, and better interoperable ability between the different Microsoft products. The way they are storing the files now is making it a little bit easier for other vendors to work with Microsoft data. They are actually using XML format data now. It is a more open standard allowing people to work with those data files easier. It has an easier interface and they have redesigned the security to make it harder for people to hack into and they have made it less easy for people to create the worms and viruses that take over your machines, etc. Naturally, we have to bring this in because we have to have compliance. Older releases of Windows will start going out of support over time. We have already seen Windows 95 and 98 go out. Now we are on 2000 and XP and 2000 is supposed to go out in 2008 and XP in 2013. That seems like a long time but, when going through the process, it is really not so long.
Mr. Phillips noted that even with Office, there are hardware restrictions. Office 2007 will only run on XP or Vista, not 2000. We currently have about one quarter to one-third of the campus still using Windows 2000. Again, it is not practical for us just to go through and upgrade everyone to XP because a lot of the machines running 2000 will not run XP well. So, we have a lot of attrition to go through on our equipment before we can really move everyone to all of these new products. We have a cost to remediate.
On compatibility with existing software products, Mr. Phillips’ estimation is that our campus uses over 200 different software products; these will have to be looked at before “certifying” Vista for use on campus. There is no point releasing it on campus if people can’t run what they need to do. With the different user-interface, some training will be required for Vista. Again, with the hardware restrictions mentioned earlier, there will be pretty serious cost remediation on this. For example: for Office 2007, if we were to do a complete rollout and say by the middle we want everyone on Office 2007, we would have to purchase 4,000 licenses costing $200,000. We would have to upgrade Windows XP users for about $50,000. We would have $350,000 of hardware upgrades and probably have somewhere in the neighborhood of about $400,000 of training and technical support. The price tag would be about $1 million. Naturally, we are unable to do that; we don’t have the money nor could everyone change that fast.
Mr. Phillips noted that IS&T is suggesting that a managed rollout be done over several years with the new product. One of the neat things that Microsoft did this time was to come up with a Compatibility Pack. The Compatibility Pack allows you to install it on the old versions of Microsoft Office and it will allow those versions to open the new file. But, we have 4,000 PCs on campus on which that Compatibility Pack will have to be installed. We will have to purchase an Upgrade Office where needed and then there is training. The one thing that must happen immediately though is that we have to install the Compatibility Pack on every PC on campus. That is what IS&T will want to do quickly. In order to do that, we are looking at visiting all faculty during spring semester and putting it on their PCs first. Faculty are the people that deal with the students and they will be the ones who need this software. After that, this summer we are looking at putting on the Compatibility Pack, the new version of Microsoft Office, and leaving the old version of Microsoft Office in all of our general purpose labs and encouraging all of the colleges to do the same. This way, the students have transition time where they can use a product that they are familiar with, start getting used to the new one, and not have any problem with any exchanges between the two. Then in the fall, we will catch up with all of the administrators and do the same with them. This makes the most sense in our approach.
Mr. Phillips stated that for a complete rollout on Vista, which would be upgrading the hardware – all of the PCs so that they work well with Vista – we are looking at $3 million. Naturally, we are not going to do that. Again, we are going to do a managed rollout. We will certify Vista with all of the CSU products first. We expect to use the whole first year that Vista is out doing this. After that, we will start making it available to the campus. The assumption is that Microsoft comes out with the first service pack at about that point in time. We may want to delay or move things around depending on when Microsoft does that. We want to introduce Vista with new PCs over four years and not go through and update everyone. No one is really missing too much functionality on XP today. What would happen is, each year we bring in about 1,000 new PCs on campus. Those new 1,000 PCs would come in with Vista and we would provide the new operating system as well at that point. If anyone has justifiable reasons such as research reasons, or if you are in the CIS department for example, you are probably going to want it right away and that will be accommodated. But, it can’t just be because you want it. It has to be for some kind of a reason or we are not going to be able to get the other projects here done like getting Office out to people. If someone has installed Vista and finds out that they can’t run all of their programs on it and then has to have us come back and put their old operating system and programs back on, that is a lot of wasted time. He added that it would be wonderful if everyone would be patient. The overall cost if we manage it and roll it out over four years starting about one year from now, again would be zero. The training is just a sub cost. IS&T does the training today and will develop the new courses and do the training tomorrow so there is no incremental cost there.
Mr. Peter Phillips said that he would be happy to respond to any questions.
Professor Leo Jeffres reported that the State of Ohio has an agreement that students can purchase Microsoft software fairly cheaply. He asked if that is going to continue. Mr. Peter Phillips responded that this is going to continue. Effective probably in April that program’s going to have the software available to the students. It was originally supposed to be February but they are slipping in some more and they are having trouble.
Professor Cheryl McCahon asked if there will be Compatibility Packs available for home computers. Mr. Phillips replied that the Compatibility Pack is free. They don’t normally go together, but in this case, they do. The other question people have been emailing him about today is, “What about Mac users who are using Office 2004 for Mac.” He noted that the Compatibility Pack that has been released doesn’t work for Mac. It only works for the Windows version of Office. He noted that he did some research and found that Microsoft will be releasing the Compatibility Pack probably in the March, April timeframe. When we get toward the end of the faculty installs for the Compatibility Pack, we will then start doing the Apple computers at that point.
Professor David Elkins commented that Mr. Phillips had reported that faculty are going to be first. He noted that in his department, his Administrative Assistant is first. Mr. Phillips stated that they are going to do this by department because the department is a unit that emails each other the most and shares documents the most so the faculty will be done first but they are going to do groupings by departments so that the logical units can continue to work together.
Student Representative Scott Muscatello wondered why the University hasn’t joined many other universities across the country and the world and several governments in not adapting the open standards like Open Office where you can buy a product that is similar to Microsoft’s product and actually will still look like the old Microsoft product and be free. Mr. Phillips responded that if you take a look at what is out in industry today, most people in any business are using Microsoft products. We are in the position at this institution to teach people and educate them and make them ready for their work environment. Student Representative Muscatello suggested that we have Open Office as an option because it is free. It can be saved as a Microsoft document and they have and are issuing their own Compatibility Packet. Mr. Phillips noted that they are a certain percentage effective in saving and doing the same things. He has looked at some of those products and they may or may not have things like tables and other functions in Excel. Yes, there is a certain level of compatibility and that is something IS&T will look at because the amount we spend in one year on Microsoft products is significant and a free option would be good in the future.
Student Representative Muscatello commented that as we are preparing the staff for this with the mindset that the students are going to have this new Microsoft product first, the students representing business units are of the mindset that free is better and are more likely to get the Fire Box, Open Office Box, etc. before they spend money to pay for something. Anything that is out there that students have to pay money for – GIS, Photo Shop – it is out there free already, and just as good. That is what we should be pushing instead of what is perceived that everybody is doing.Professor Barbara Hoffman inquired if the PCs that are going to be replaced this year in our offices are going to be compatible. Mr. Phillips responded that the PCs that are currently our standard will run Vista; however, they will not come in with Vista on them. IS&T will probably purchase the machines with the Vista license but put XP on them this year so that people don’t have to go through any confusion.
Interim Provost Mary Jane Saunders thanked Senate for passing the Template for CSU Syllabi at the last Senate meeting. This will really make a difference to our students so that they understand what the expectations are in the classes for them and see this contract between the faculty and the students for performance in the class. That is going to be extremely helpful.
Interim Provost Saunders thanked everyone for coming to the end of a long semester and for all of their hard work and all of the accomplishments of the faculty this semester. She has been getting lots of emails about publications in prestigious journals and grants received for both research and teaching and community outreach and many new programs that have been proposed. We are making a lot of progress with considered academic programming for the students. On the research grants, she is now getting a report at the end of the month from the Vice Provost for Research, Dr. Mark Tumeo which gives us the grants received and grants applied for and that is really quite impressive. She is sending that out to the Deans and anyone who wants that information can get it as well.
Interim Provost Saunders noted that Ms. Tommie Barclay gave a terrific presentation today and she wanted to thank her for working so hard and the whole IT group working with the faculty team and the administrative team on the Faculty Profile project. It is really going to make a difference if we can see who we all are and we can advertise the accomplishments of the faculty to our students, to each other, and to the world. It is a great step forward and she hopes that everyone embraces it when it comes time to putting their information in and keeping it updated and being willing to sit for a photograph or to put one in.
Interim Provost Saunders updated Senate on classroom construction. The Main Classroom is only about ten percent done at this point and the work is done at night. She also mentioned the fire suppression system that was reported on at the last Senate meeting. The large lecture halls that were going to be done during winter break and the planning is done at this point now.
Interim Provost Saunders commented that one thing we have been talking about is this classroom scheduling profile, knowing what technology is in the classroom, and using this Schedule 25 program that is going to help with scheduling all over. One thing we can think about using this program for as it comes on line is just the kind of student engagement projects we heard about today. Colleges and/or departments are going to be able to carve out time that they say they don’t want to schedule things for department activities to have a common time and our colleges will be able to have times to have a common time. So, as we get students more and more engaged with the departments, with the majors, with the colleges they are in, that’s going to be another opportunity to set aside scheduling time that’s going to be directly related to activities that are related to the academic endeavor related to the majors and that’s going to be a positive part of that program. It’s moving right along and we are going to enter next summer both ways – the old way we used to do it and using Schedule 25 and then by next fall using Schedule 25 only. We are going to do a rollout and a test as we are doing now. Again, our upgrades for the classrooms are continuing. We are spending over $300,000 this year and have committed to do that for three years in a row.
Dr. Saunders noted that at the last Senate meeting Professor Paul Doerder asked about the National Survey of Student Engagement that we participate in and all of that information has been given to the deans along with our sort of internal analysis of trends and changes between the last time we participated in the survey and now. It is available to everyone through college deans and she assumes it will be shared with the chairs. This is something that we can use to improve how we work with students.
Interim Provost Saunders gave enrollment updates. She commented that she is always talking about these things and unfortunately it is never a pretty picture. We ended summer at minus 2,500 student credit hours; the majority of those were graduate student credit hours down five percent in the summer which is part of our fiscal year. This fall, right now, we have 147,000 student credit hours. Last fall our final count was 161,000 student credit hours so we have a 14,000 student credit hour differential. Now we reset the budget as everyone knows, which is a very painful exercise for colleges to reset the permanent budgets lower as we are getting less and less tuition. Even to our projection of a lower student hour generation for fall, we are still down about 9,000 student credit hours from where we need to end. Some of that may come in as re-enrollments but, at this point in time, we are still 9,000 student credit hours shy of meeting our budget target and that is about a 5.9% decrease from projection. Spring right now looks okay. We have about 102,000 student credit hours already enrolled but we need to hit 143,000 and, again, that’s a projected. We set the target lower than the year before and last year was 150,000 student credit hours. We’re setting these targets lower and we cut the budget to match that but we still are below what we need for projection. President Schwartz and Provost Saunders have started going around to the college faculty and college faculty meetings and talking about recruitment and retention. They are trying to make this very transparent to everybody: what are the constraints around here and what we need to do to enlist everyone’s help in this. Engineering and CLASS have been done and both were very enjoyable experiences that provided feedback as well.
Interim Provost Saunders reported that last week we had a wonderful event organized by Mr. Ed Mills, Mr. Mike Droney, and Ms. Jill Oakley-Jeppe which were having the guidance counselors and the principals here from the high schools to reach out to the freshmen class. We probably quintupled the number of participants from 20 to over 100 so it was a great event and there is a lot enthusiasm out there for coming to Cleveland State so that is a positive.Finally, Interim Provost Mary Jane Saunders ended by wishing everyone a great holiday season and hoped that everyone enjoys their break and comes back rejuvenated and refreshed in the spring.
President Michael Schwartz reported on a couple of items that everyone may have seen in the newspaper. The Capital Bill is ready to go and we did a little bit better than expected in it for a change. It was a little bit larger that the Regents thought it would be. We picked up over $10 million as the third installment for the College of Education building and it is still not enough because the first two installments were not as large as they were supposed to be but we are going to go forward with that building in any case with the clear understanding that the State owes us some more money. Also with the Capital Bill, there is an item for $400,000 for a wind spire which is an invention by Professor Majid Rashidi in the College of Engineering which is going to be built on this campus. That is what academic institutions are for – we are going to take some risks and for the first time in thirty years of memory, the State’s taking it with us. He gave congratulations to Professor Rashidi.
President Schwartz stated that as everyone knows we have also been trying to get some legislation having to do with collaborative relationships among the institutions in Northeast Ohio. We have found some institutions (interestingly, not in Northeastern Ohio) that are objecting to this. One has discovered how big it would be if all five of these institutions ever really got together and that institution might find that a little threatening. Another institution just completely misunderstands the whole thing having claimed that this was a profound effort to restructure higher education in Ohio. It is not. It is a commission that asks a question and the question is simple: “What could we achieve by deep collaborations in how many different kinds of ways that would not only save us some money but allow us to take some of that saved money and spend it in a new innovative way on behalf of our students?” It asks the question. President Schwartz said that he is always quite astounded by academic institutions which ought to be in the asking-questions business opposing people who ask questions. Be that as it may, we will see if we can overcome that. If we don’t, we may just go ahead and do it anyway ourselves. He said that he thinks it is best if we had some legislation that told us to do this because if we were going to do it on our own, we would have done it ten years ago. With a little legislative stick and a carrot of a little money, we can get this done.
President Schwartz reported that he believes that the Ohio Core is going to probably pass in this lame duck session and that is a very good thing although there is some issue having to do with the science standard but we will work on that.
Finally, President Schwartz wanted to let everyone know that he had been invited very warmly by the Black Faculty and Staff Association to meet with them recently and he did that. They talked about the President’s Commission on Searches and what they hoped would come from it. That is still ongoing and it is hoped that we will see a report from that Commission at least by mid-semester next year.
Professor Stephen Duffy reported that today in the Akron Beacon Journal on the front page there was an article on the STEM high schools and asked President Schwartz if he would comment on those. President Schwartz responded that what he knows is that Speaker Husted has an interesting idea. He would like to establish a number of high schools all around the State, he believes nine. Professor Duffy said that he thought it was five schools. President Schwartz continued stating that these would be high schools that would focus the curriculum on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and in some cases medically related studies as well. What the Speaker has in mind is that they would be State funded, they would be charter schools, and they would constitute, regardless of their location, collectively their own school district. He has not heard of anything quite like that before but we will see where that goes. He doesn’t think that it is going anywhere this session but it might be very interesting to watch that develop in the next session of the General Assembly. Frankly, he thinks that Speaker Husted has some very bold ideas about things and he is willing to take some risks, but we will wait and see. President Schwartz noted that Husted was told about CSU’s Fenn Academy and Husted said that’s exactly the kind of thing he is interested in. The Ohio Business Roundtable is very interested in this as well so we are getting some play with that in Columbus.Finally, President Michael Schwartz wished everyone a very happy holiday season. He said that he hopes everyone also has a very safe and healthy one and a very healthy New Year. He commented that he doesn’t know where this semester went – it just seems to have flown by. Let’s hope that the next one does too. Have a good break.
Senate President Sheldon Gelman asked if there was any new business. There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:57 P.M.
Faculty Senate Secretary