I. Approval of the Agenda for the April 4, 2007 Meeting
II. Approval of the Minutes of the December 6, 2007 Meeting
III. Approval of the Minutes of the February 7, 2007 Meeting
IV. Report of the Faculty Senate President
V. Admissions and Standards Committee
VI. Committee on Athletics
VII. Report/Demonstration on E-Learning (Report No. 25, 2006-2007)
VIII. Report of the Provost
IX. Report of the President of the University
X. New Business
PRESENT: Barrow, Beasley, Belovich, W. Bowen, Cagan, J. Dean, Doerder, Duffy, Ekelman, Elkins, Gao, Gelman, V. George, Gross, Hoffman, Hollinger, Keshock, Lehfeldt, Loovis, Lundstrom, K. Mason, McNamara, S. Murray, O’Neill, Rashidi, B. Ray, G. Ray, Reichert, Spicer, Visocky-O’Grady, Welfel, Ziolek.
Barlow, Hanniford, Heinrich, Humer, Jeffres, Margolius, Mills, Sadlek, M. J. Saunders, M. Schwartz, Spiker, Thornton.
ABSENT: Bathala, Berlin Ray, Finer, Gorla, Hansman, Hoke, T. Humphrey, S. Kaufman, Martins, McCahon, Nelson, Robertson, Rom, Sparks, Steinberg, Weyman.
Bonder, Boyle, Bufford, Dillard, Droney, Ghorashi, B. Green, Markovic, Mass, McLoughlin, Mearns, L. Mooney, Muscatello, Nuru-Holm, L. E. Reed, Rosentraub, Scherer.
ALSO PRESENT: Phillips Bey, Sutton
Senate President Sheldon Gelman noted that because the Minutes of the February 7, 2007 meeting were not sent out to members until yesterday, it would be reasonable if somebody thought that there wasn’t enough time to examine them, that this item would be removed from the Agenda for today and we would postpone approving those Minutes until the next Senate meeting. There were no objections to keeping this item on the Agenda.
Acceptance of the Agenda for the April 4, 2007 meeting was moved, seconded, and approved.
Senate President Sheldon Gelman reported that in connection with the December 6, 2006 meeting Minutes, we have one comment which seemed inappropriate on page 16 in the third full paragraph. The last sentence of that paragraph reads, “Mr. Droney commented that as a revenue project in IT, everyone has the opportunity to place a photo there for $29.95.” Vice President Droney was joking so we propose adding the words, “in jest” after the word “commented.” Senate President Gelman then asked for approval of the December 6, 2006 Minutes as amended. Acceptance of the Minutes of the December 6, 2007 meeting was moved, seconded, and approved.
Acceptance of the Minutes of the February 7, 2007 meeting was moved, seconded, and approved.
Senate President Gelman noted that until this meeting, we haven’t had a report by the Faculty Senate President but he thought, for a number of reasons, there should be a brief report. One reason is that he became aware of something that he should have known all along which is that college caucuses generally don’t meet. Since there are sometimes difficulties getting information to all faculty from the Senate, it seemed to him that it would be more efficient to report on these matters to Senate as well as to Steering.
Perhaps more importantly, there have been developments of the Ohio Faculty Council and of the Cleveland State University Board of Trustees which seem to him to make reporting more appropriate now than perhaps it has been in the past. The Ohio Faculty Council is a body that consists of two representatives of each of the public institutions of higher learning in the State of Ohio. The Council is created by the Chancellor and meets approximately once per month in the Chancellor’s office which is in Columbus overlooking the river. Until the last meeting, a free lunch was provided but the Governor has ended free lunches, at least in the category of the Ohio Faculty Council. Until this year, the Ohio Faculty Council was a very useful body he thought, and they generally discuss, in an informal way, events on everyone’s campuses, but things are changing. The chair of the Ohio Faculty Council regards it as a body that represents all public university faculty in Ohio and as our recently elected co-OFC representative from Cleveland State, Brian Ray, pointed out to him, if we are going to think of ourselves as a representative body, it is important that those we represent know what we are doing. He is not particularly sympathetic to the Ohio Faculty Council becoming a representative body, and he is not sure that it really can, but that’s the direction in which they are moving.
Senate President Gelman said that he had two things to report. One is that the Ohio Faculty Council has succeeded in landing some dynamite speakers and the meetings are really interesting. They have had the speaker of the House, John Husted, as well as Chris Redford, who was talking to Governor Strickland before the Governor’s address, and they are about to have the new Chancellor of Higher Education at the next meeting. There is nothing in particular to report from those presentations because events have passed on buy. We now know what the Governor’s budget is. Of course that was speculated about at the meeting. Speaker Husted spoke to the Ohio Faculty Council about the plan to make the Chancellor an appointee of the Governor but more is known about that now than at the time the Speaker appeared. Senate President Gelman reported that Speaker Husted singled out our President Michael Schwartz for praise. He spoke to the OFC very candidly and said that President Schwartz was the only President who either “got it” or “could talk to legislators.” That gives you a flavor of how candid the discussions are.
Senate President Gelman stated, more substantively, that the Council heard from a representative of the State Teachers Retirement System. There is going to be or there already is a legislative proposal to increase the employee and employer contributions to STRS by 2.5% each. Over time, when this is completely phased in and the legislation is enacted, the retirement system would have an additional five percent. This money would go to shoring up health care benefits. There would be no absolute guarantee of health care benefits over a life time but the actuaries think this additional five percent would make it very likely that a substantial level of benefits could be provided. Now, five percent is a substantial amount of money. He said that he doesn’t know what the political pluses are for this proposal. He did learn in response to his questions that two-thirds of health care expenditures now go to retired faculty who are not yet Medicare eligible. When Medicare kicks in, STRS takes care of your part B premium. In less technical terms, most of the health care money goes to very early retirees. It’s also worth noting that most very early retirees are K through 12 teachers, not university faculty simply because K through 12 teachers generally start before they receive a Ph.D. and it takes five, six, seven, eight years, in his case it was fourteen years, to get a Ph.D. which means we start our careers later. So, one question which might be a pressing question is how the university faculty will fare in this arrangement. It is not obvious that Faculty Senates are the best bodies to keep track of this. It is possible that the AAUP or the University Presidents will do a better job than Senates could do but it is an issue worth keeping one’s eye on.
Senate President Gelman reported on the Board of Trustees. Two things happened that he felt were worth noting. One, the Board, at its March 16, 2007 meeting, adopted a resolution concerning the College of Engineering. In general, the resolution calls for the President to appoint a task force to inquire into the circumstances of the College of Engineering relative to the new budget model and to propose means for the College of Engineering to improve recruitment, eliminate its deficit, etc. He read part of the resolution. “The measures to be considered and elements of the plan are increasing enrollment and quality of entering students, enhancing recruitment efforts, evaluating the faculty composition in light of declining enrollment, exploring novel organizational structures, developing relevant curricula, and balancing the budget”, etc. It was reported that this resolution was modeled on a resolution adopted a few years ago after the College of Law’s Bar passage results were recognized as unacceptable. He noted that everyone on the Board, and he knows that everyone in the College of Law, is gratified by the results of that and the hope is obviously that everything will be gratified as a result of these efforts. Nonetheless, it’s an unusual step by the Board.
Senate President Gelman reported that the Board also adopted a resolution on E-Learning which perhaps we will learn more about later. As far as he could tell, this was almost off the cuff. A committee of the Board heard a very interesting presentation and demonstration on E-Learning. Senate is going to basically have the same presentation and demonstration today and the committee of the Board said, “Well, we should get reports on how E-Learning is being implemented” and instantaneously decided that a resolution would be adopted. It is not his place to discuss the merits of either of these measures but it does suggest that the Board of Trustees is taking a much more active role in what might be considered academic matters. The College of Engineering issue is certainly framed as a financial one. He does know that before he began service as a Board observer, the Board reorganized its committee structure to focus the Board on strategic issues that were more appropriate to a Board. One might wonder and he personally finds it interesting that the Board is becoming involved in particular issues that maybe wouldn’t have attracted the Board’s attention earlier.
At this point, Senate President Gelman noted that the Senate Secretary has a proposal to discuss.
Senate Secretary Barbara Hoffman thanked members for agreeing not to postpone approval of the last Senate meeting Minutes of February 7, 2007 that were sent to everyone by email. She remarked that she has noticed in her brief tenure as Faculty Senate Secretary that we are going through unusually large quantities of trees while carrying out the business of this body. She thought that perhaps Senate might consider moving to an electronic format rather than printing out 25 to 30 pages of Minutes after every meeting particularly when we have very lengthy discussions as we did at our last meeting. Her proposal is that henceforth the Minutes be sent to everyone via email so that people have time to look through them and let us know if anything needs to be changed before the meeting at which approval of them will be asked. After that, the Minutes will be posted to the Faculty Senate web site rather than sending out 105 copies in the meeting packets. Some of those materials will be needed in hard copy but she is guessing that the Minutes might not necessarily be one of those things. She asked if anyone had an objection to switching to a purely electronic format for distributing the Faculty Senate Minutes. There were no objections. Senate Secretary Hoffman stated that the records will show that there were no objections to emailing the Senate Minutes.
Senate President Gelman added that the reason the February 7, 2007 Senate Minutes were late had nothing to do with the Senate Secretary. He was the Secretary pro tem. In fact the Senate Secretary agreed to do the Minutes when he was late. However, if that experience results in this improvement in our procedures, he will take full credit for that.
A. Proposed Quality Points for WAC Courses taken as S/U
(Report No. 22, 2006-2007)
Professor Rosemary Sutton, chair of the Admissions and Standards Committee, noted that she had two items. The first item is about Quality Points for WAC Courses taken as S/U. This is one of those rather minor technical issues that Admissions and Standards is probably known for. The request originally actually came informally from the University Curriculum Committee and that is that we require that students get a C or better in Writing Across the Curriculum courses, but in order to fulfill program requirements, sometimes students take those courses as S/U. Being that we don’t technically have a way of admitting that they have fulfilled the program requirements, it turns out that you are not supposed to get an S/U course unless you get a C or better so it seems rather obvious that we would allow WAC courses to be accepted for the purposes of fulfilling the program requirements as a C or better.
Senate President Gelman noted that the Admissions and Standards Committee has given us a proposal regarding quality points for WAC courses taken as S/U. He then asked for a vote. The Admissions and Standards Committee’s proposed policy on Quality Points for WAC Courses taken as S/U was approved unanimously.
B.Proposed Provisional Admission of PSEOP/Viking Bridge
(Report No. 23, 2006-2007)
Professor Sutton reported that currently offered at CSU and in Ohio is a program called the Post Secondary Enrollment Options Program which is a State program that allows high school students to enroll in college classes. We also have a parallel program at Cleveland State that was formally called the Senior Year Acceleration Program that was just re-named the Viking Bridge Program. It basically does the same thing as PSEOP except there are some restrictions that PSEOP has to be in the academic year so students come here in the summer and we have some other parallel program. The PSEOP program was established in Ohio in 1989 and we have participated in it at Cleveland State for some time. In 2005 and 2006, some new admissions standards were instituted because people were concerned that our admissions standards were not high enough. Dr. Sutton stated that our current admissions standards exceed those of the State. The admissions standards are noted in the main proposal of her memo – a 3.4 GPA – the State only requires a 3.0 plus some minimum scores on standardized tests. The State doesn’t have minimum scores. On page 4 of the proposal is the summary after the admissions standards were raised in Fall of 2006 and the number of students we have participating in these programs. First of all, some of the students just come into our classes – some of you may have had these students in your classes, some of your children may have been in these classes, and also we offer some of these courses at high schools and that is why the first two lines of the table are different. We have about 80 kids who come on campus and about 60 odd kids presumably who go somewhere else and we have a list of those schools.
Professor Sutton noted that PESOP is now housed in the Honors Program. The director of the PSEOP Program and the director of the Honors Program asked Admissions and Standards to consider some flexibility in the admission of these students. Admissions and Standards said yes, it makes sense to have a little flexibility because we know that it can be important to go beyond the numbers of the straight GPA or the ACT or SAT and so two things were proposed. The Committee negotiated with the director of PSEOP and the director of the Honors Program and is proposing that some flexibility be allowed. One, students who are admitted under this more flexible program are provisionally admitted and this is parallel to what undergraduate students have now at Cleveland State and, second, an Admissions Review Committee would look at these files. Some Senators may not know what the Admissions Review Committee does. Dr. Sutton noted that there should be an extra page in today’s meeting packet that has a summary of what the Admissions Review Committee does. It may be news to some Senators that we have this committee here on campus. Currently, for our regular CSU students who don’t meet the criteria, their files are reviewed and if they are close to the criteria, the Admissions Review Committee along with people from the Registrar’s Office and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, review the student’s files. If a student is just below the GPA, the Review Committee would look to see whether this perhaps is a student that we might be likely to accept, that would be someone who had done really well in math and English but perhaps didn’t do so well in PE, and we might say that this student could do well in one of the academic courses. If the student has done really well in PE and not so well in math and English, we might not be so excited about him/her coming to our academic classes. So the Admissions and Standards Committee felt that it makes sense that the same committee that looks at high school transcripts makes these assessments. The proposal is that we have some flexibility and that we use the same kind of committee that is used now on the regular Cleveland State student side and not just the students who are high school students.
There being no questions or discussion, Senate President Sheldon Gelman called for a vote. The Admissions and Standards Committee’s proposed Provisional Admission of PSEOP/Viking Bridge Students was approved unanimously.
Proposed Policy: Flexibility in Course Start and End Dates
(Report No. 24, 2006-2007)
Senate President Gelman asked to clarify one thing before the Committee chair presented the Committee’s proposal because a question arose at the last Steering Committee meeting. Two years ago, Senate adopted a Missed Class Policy which some Senators may remember. The Missed Class Policy imposes various obligations on faculty members when a student is going to be absent for reasons described in the policy, one of which could be participation in an athletic event. Under that policy, faculty obligations include making a reasonable effort to provide students with appropriate class materials, assistance and counsel, faculty are obliged to provide a reasonable opportunity for make-up examinations, faculty are also required to resolve conflicts arising from legitimate absences provided in this policy through appropriate administrative channels and an academic appeal process is described. That policy has already been adopted. Many of the questions we have received are perfectly legitimate but they go to the policy that we already have and not the proposed policy. The proposed policy deals with changes in the start or stopping time of a course. Somebody might want to start the course early or complete it late. It is certainly possible there could be a case in which it wouldn’t be clear which of the two policies applied – the proposed policy or the Missed Class Policy. That would have to be worked out when questions arose. The difference between the proposed policy and the Missed Class Policy, aside from subject matter, is that under the proposed policy, adjustments must be supported by the faculty member and also by the chair or if a chair is unavailable, by the dean. Unlike the Missed Class Policy, this policy says nothing about obligations of faculty members to make reasonable accommodations. This policy seems to give the faculty member complete control. For the rest, Professor Carol Phillips Bey, chair of the Committee on Athletics, will explain the reason why the policy has been proposed.
Professor Carol Phillips Bey, chair of the Committee on Athletics, stated that the committee wanted to deal with this issue. Basically, Cleveland State does a lot to accommodate students with reasonable requests. There are two examples on page one of the proposal that happened to students where accommodations have been made. The first one talks about needing to start student teaching late due to illness. So you start student teaching late and you are allowed to extend your student teaching beyond the time period that the course actually ends. She noted that this has been for students here on campus for quite a while with absolutely legitimate reasons to shift when the student starts and ends. The NCAA said that unless we have a written policy saying that this is what we do for students, athletes cannot take advantage of that opportunity to have flexibility in their starting and ending dates. So things that we are doing for non athletes, athletes are ineligible for unless we have a written policy. The Committee on Athletics is proposing putting a written policy in place for something that we have been doing on campus for quite a while now.
Senator William Bowen referred to the proposed language on page two, second sentence of the proposal: “Such adjustments must be proposed in writing by the student, supported by the faculty member or course supervisor and approved in writing by the chairperson or in the absence of a chairperson, dean of the college.” His understanding is that such adjustments must be supported by the faculty member as if somehow as a faculty member, he doesn’t have the right to say no if a student comes and asks for a request. He stated that it would be better written if it said, “Such adjustments must be proposed in writing by the student and may be supported by the faculty member or course supervisor and approved by the dean of the college…”
Professor Phillips Bey stated that the committee didn’t want to take away the freedom of the faculty person to input on that because we are talking about a reason that is legitimate for the students so she supposed a student could come with a reason that is not legitimate and this gives the faculty person the option of saying, no, that is not a legitimate reason for shifting.
Senator Bowen noted that his proposed change makes that perfectly clear and that is why he wants to make that change.
Senator Jeffrey Dean commented that what Senator Bowen means is something on the order of, “Such adjustments may be granted if proposed in writing, if supported by the faculty member and if approved in writing by the dean or chair…” Professor Phillips Bey stated that Senator Dean’s suggestion was clear to her and asked Senator Bowen if he was comfortable with it. Senator Bowen stated that he was comfortable with Professor Dean’s suggested language.
The friendly amendment proposed by Senator Dean reads as follows: “Such adjustments will be granted if proposed in writing by the student, if supported by the faculty or course supervisor and if approved in writing by the chairperson or in the absence of a chairperson, dean of the college.”
There being no further discussion, Senate President Gelman stated that with the friendly amendment proposed by Senator Dean, the Committee on Athletics has proposed a policy on Flexibility in Course Start and End Dates. He asked members to vote on the proposal. The Committee on Athletics’ proposed policy on Flexibility in Course Start and End Dates was approved unanimously.
Dean Barbara Hanniford said that she was glad to be at Senate this afternoon and she appreciated Senate President Gelman’s willingness and the Steering Committee’s approval to get this presentation scheduled. She stated that there is a lot of building taking place on campus physically and there is also a lot going on virtually. She wanted to bring everyone up to date on some of the efforts that pertain to eLearning. She noted that her presentation is actually three-parts. She is going to talk about some background, some trends, and the current status of eLearning efforts at Cleveland State. Then Mr. Paul Bowers, who is our new director of eLearning, will talk about plans and priorities looking ahead. Then Pete Rottier, a staff member with the Center for eLearning as well as an adjunct Professor of History – he is teaching an on-line history course – is going to do a brief demo that will give everyone a feel for how one on-line course at Cleveland State is structured.
Dean Hanniford showed a slide of the Mission of Cleveland State which is to provide an accessible and a contemporary education to all individuals. She noted that when one thinks about eLearning, clearly it fits with the mission of providing an accessible and contemporary education.
Dean Hanniford said that in terms of some background, faculty might recall, if they have been active in Senate or attended Senate meetings for a while, that Vice President Mike Droney has spoken once, maybe twice, to Senate reporting on a Task Force or a Committee about three or four years ago, the For Profit Committee, and out of that Committee came the eLearning Committee. That group was charged with making some recommendations on how to advance eLearning at Cleveland State. One of the recommendations was that we really needed an Office of eLearning that could advance eLearning through coordinating existing efforts and growing efforts focusing more attention on eLearning. That recommendation was implemented in Summer 2006. Last Summer the Center for eLearning was formed. It is staffed partly by people who were in the University Center for Teaching and Learning, now the Center for Teaching Excellence. So there was a split in staffing and Pete is one of those individuals who are now part of the Center for eLearning. The Center reports to the Provost so there is a very strong tie to the academic sector. It reports to the Provost through the Dean of Continuing Education. We have had a search under way for a few months and as of the end of February, we have Paul Bowers on board as the Director for the Center. He comes with great experience both as a faculty member and as Director of on-line programs and teaching and learning with technology at Buena Vista University in Iowa. Everyone will have a chance to hear from him. Major goals are very much in line with the University Strategic Plan, “Vision Unlimited.” Two strategies that have been approved by Faculty Senate among other groups are, 1) to develop an engaged CSU eLearning community that enhances the academic offerings of the University and 2) increasing enrollments. Those really describe the Center’s major goals. Those are some of the priorities and every effort we are making falls within those goals.
Dean Barbara Hanniford noted that there are several major goals for the Center. Many times people think of eLearning and the Center for eLearning as, “Oh it is the Web CT place.” “That’s the Blackboard place.” “Those are the people who will help you with your Web CT and Blackboard.” Yes, that’s true and yes, we’ve spent a lot of time this fall as we are making a transition from Web CT 4 to Blackboard CE 6 which is the upgraded version. The Center has been sending out a lot of communications and they are doing a lot of training on that upgrade. That’s an important message to get out. Yes, it is true that we are responsible for the course management system and for training but that is just a piece of what we are really about. We have a major leadership role with eLearning with working with academic units, with supporting faculty members, training faculty members, working with them on rethinking courses as they might be putting them into a Web-hybrid, a blended, or totally on-line type of environment. She noted that they are working with academic units thinking about programs, thinking of courses that would support programs such as degree completion or whole on-line programs and working with marketing on how we get the word out about that. We are looking at new technologies that will be put to use in eLearning. We have a major role as well in making sure that students are well served and that they know what we are doing with eLearning and what kinds of on-line courses and programs are available so they are not surprised that it’s really a web course and they didn’t know that. We want that information to be clear. We want to make sure that student services are available to students at a distance who are not necessarily all on campus. So we have some major service and leadership goals that fall under our auspices.
Dean Hanniford talked a little bit about some trends in Ohio so that everyone had a sense of how Cleveland State fits within a bigger picture both in Ohio and nationally. The Ohio Learning Network, which is part of the Ohio Board of Regents, uses the public institutions’ existing data reporting systems to try to get a feel and count of the use of eLearning across the State. They are defining eLearning very broadly. Most of it is web based but not entirely so it could also be IVDL for example or email correspondence. In 2005, in public and private institutions, the estimate is that at least 60,000 students took at least one eLearning course. About 25,000 of those students were in the public community colleges but that gives us a very good opportunity as we look at students who may be going on from community colleges and are ready to move into some of the programs we have to offer. There is real growth in the public universities. E-Learning enrollments rose 9% just within one year alone to about 15,000 students taking an eLearning course. About one half of the students are adult students. That’s another opportunity. We have been talking a lot about adult degree completion programs serving the adult audience and eLearning is a very good way to do that. It fits peoples’ schedules very well. Dr. Hanniford noted that in the OLN’s OhioLearns Catalog, institutions can include any distance learning courses that they are offering through this Catalog so it is a one stop shop for students who are looking. There are almost 200 degrees and certificates listed in the OhioLearns Catalog. Then nationally, using information from Sloan Consortium, again, recent information in Fall 2005 there were over 3.2 million students taking at least one on-line course. That was an increase of 800,000 from the previous year so if there was a similar increase to Fall 2006, we could be up to 4 million by now. That is assuming this is all reported accurately. She believes that there is actually some underreporting when she looks at Ohio figures so it’s not education of the future, its education of the present.
In terms of Ohio public universities, again, this is using Ohio Network data, the chart gives some information. Referring to the presentation on the screen, Dr. Hanniford pointed to the big bar which is the University of Toledo. They have really invested in learning efforts and on-line programming so in Fall 2005, they had 4,000 unduplicated count of students. We had in Fall 2005 some 800 and that is an unduplicated count. There are a couple of universities – Ohio University and Bowling Green – that have more students than showing on the slide presentation. So it’s not totally accurate but it does give everyone some comparison. We are in the ball game but we’re certainly not one of the leaders.
Dr. Hanniford referred to the next slide which everyone might have seen before in Mike Droney’s presentation because he has used this slide which shows some locally non-traditional education providers who we are competing with, whether we think we are or not, especially with non-traditional students and adult students. These are schools, not necessarily all on-line, but these are some competitors. We might not want to be like them or look like them but we do need to recognize that we are all in this competitive higher education market and it’s the environment these days.
Dean Hanniford commented that the Board of Trustees know a lot of this information. They look around and see the competitive arena in which we exist and at the last Board meeting in the middle of March, they passed a resolution. What they are asking the Center is that we publish a formal eLearning Strategy with one to five-year enrollment targets, a description of the programs and types of web-based offerings planned, an organization plan that describes the faculty/administration relationship, a market analysis with Cleveland State’s competition, and a financial model and timeline of major eLearning milestones. So the pressure is on. A plan is being developed and the Board is not saying what to do but they are saying that we need to plan and we will of course be working with academic units because this is a partnership and we can’t do it well without that kind of relationship.
In terms of where CSU is, Dean Hanniford reported that we have definitely had growth. The slide showed course enrollments projected through next year. We’ll see if we hit the projection but we are assuming or projecting that next year we will exceed 5,000 in terms of course enrollments given the growth that we’ve had. Again, that is not unduplicated, but there is definite growth with a lot of potential to grow more. We have a few on-line programs. We have a M.S. in Health Sciences that has been an on-line program for several years. More recently, we have the M.S.N. in Nursing, we have a Master in Education in Curriculum and Instruction, and Educational Technology. Those are the three programs that we have on-line. Then we have a couple of certificate programs – Bioethics and Research Administration. In development is a M.A. in Philosophy with the Bioethics emphasis that is building on the Graduate certificate program.
Dean Hanniford then turned the microphone over to Mr. Paul Bowers to talk about plans and priorities.
Mr. Bowers first said that he is really thrilled to be here. He grew up in Northeast Ohio going to high school and college here and then he migrated Westward to Iowa for about 27 years, but he is excited about being back in Northeast Ohio and he is really honored to be part of the team here at CSU. He noted that in the four and one half weeks he has been here, he has talked with a lot of folks and he senses the enormous amount of dedication to admission in the institution and to serving students and really doing very well. He loves the progressive streak that runs through this institution. Those are all of the ingredients that speak very well for being successful with eLearning. To be successful with eLearning, you really need to pay attention to three things. It is not any of these things alone, but all three of them together that are very important. One concerns enhancing access. It really is about reaching out to students who aren’t being served or making it easier for students to come to campus and be served and enhancing the access of the institution. We tend to talk about enrollments but we want to think in terms of enhancing and increasing access.
Mr. Bowers stated that another is either controlling or reducing costs. Those who have been part of eLearning efforts probably know this. A lot of folks seem to think that eLearning would be cheaper than traditional ways of delivering instruction. In general, it’s not. It is very time consuming and requires a lot of resources and effort so we have to work to find deficiencies so that we can increase access, but to do it in a way that means our fiscal responsibility. Last is enhancing quality. He has been involved in eLearning and distance learning and technology throughout his career not because he is in love with technology but because he is really interested in ways that we might move the enterprise of teaching and learning forward and enhancing it. All three of those things together are like legs of a tripod. You take any one away and the whole thing crashes so he hopes that the work of eLearning is trying to care for those three things and particularly to work with faculty in ways to enhance access and to increase quality.
Mr. Bowers commented on some of the short-term plans for next year. One is to expand the program. An RFP has just been put out to provide resources for folks developing courses. Developing on-line courses and hybrid courses takes time. They want to find ways to continue to support that in meaningful ways. They also want to add on-line courses to support adult degree completion programs. They hope to add more on-line graduate programs.
Mr. Bowers reported that they are in the process of forming an eLearning Strategy Steering Committee. This is sort of a re-casting of the Task Force that Dean Hanniford talked about earlier to help guide the sort of general direction of where we go. It is his sense that there is a lot of interest in eLearning, that there is certainly a very well formulated institutional strategy in strategic planning generally, and we have a clearly articulated vision for eLearning. They want this committee to help articulate that vision and then to begin to work the elements of a comprehensive plan. They are also forming a Faculty Advisory Committee of leaders who are doing eLearning that can advise the Center on the kinds of programs and activities to engage in and become a review board so as new things are developed, they can take a look at them and say, “You know that works really well, but we can use this, or what if we did that”, and so they want the faculty to help dream with them. They are working with a nationally recognized course guideline. How do we define quality in on-line and hybrid learning? What does that mean specifically? There are a number of national initiatives that are actually doing that. One is Quality Matters. They want to begin working these national guidelines and standards into the processes they use. They also want to begin marketing on-line programs. They want to expand web-enhanced courses – the use of Blackboard and other technologies used to support traditional learning because again, that is something that’s very much on the rise nationally.
Mr. Bowers stated that one of the really important things is to pay attention to enhancing services. If we don’t do service well, and that is service in a broad sense, students are not going to find their courses, they are not going to know where they are, and they are going to be turned off by them because of not having strong experiences. Number one is to identify courses and the expectation for courses in Campus Net at the point of registration. When a student signs up for a course, he/she should know if it is on-line, if it is hybrid and what that means. If it is a hybrid course, what are the expectations to me, how much do I have to show up or not show up and that’s important for the advising process and for students to know. Right now, that’s not very clear – it’s fuzzy and students are getting into courses and discovering, “Oh, this isn’t really what I thought it was; it wasn’t really meeting my needs” and then they are dropping out and moving on or they are not being successful. So we have to really care for that. We want to build a cross functional support team and a system for supporting eLearning services. A Services Coordination Team is being created and it involves folks from the Library and IMS and eLearning, from Admissions and Enrollment, from all of the elements that would support students in a learning environment so that we can coordinate those services and make sure that we present a united front to students. Also, they want to begin auditing our existing on-line services. How well are we or are we not doing and how can we strengthen and make things more seamless? They hope to begin this process later this year. They want to create easier materials for eLearning orientation and eLearning support. A lot of faculty are doing their own things. They want to create those materials so that you can drop them in your courses or use them and you don’t have to spend a lot of time re-inventing the wheel and students have a fairly consistent experience. That is being worked on right now. We are looking to redesign the eLearning web site to strengthen resources and we will expand the kinds of materials that help both faculty and students and we are also working on a number of strategies that they can work with faculty so that you are not doing everything by yourself. They want to work in partnership with the faculty.
Mr. Bowers noted some of the outcomes they are looking for. They want to increase enrollments in Web hybrid and totally online courses about 15% next year and move up to about a 20% increase by 2010. They want to increase the number of completely online programs. They are hoping to get one of the graduate programs online next year. They really want to focus on new adult online degree completion programs. They think there is tremendous opportunity there for two-year completion programs to work with community colleges and they want to begin bringing in new student enrollments, new to CSU on the order of something from 400 to 500 per year by the year 2010.
In conclusion, Mr. Bowers stated that eLearning holds great potential for CSU to compete and educate successfully. We are in a wonderful situation and huge market, there is a lot of need, there is a lot of competition out there because there are a lot of learners demanding eLearning, and they think that is good news for us. While CSU has been active with eLearning, we are further behind some of our competitors and some of our sister institutions, particularly here in the State of Ohio. So there is some catching-up to play, but the opportunities ought to propel us forward in a way that allows us to do that. The key to success is a partnership between the Center for eLearning and with the academic units. They do want to be partners with the faculty in moving forward in more strategic potential ways that lower barriers for faculty and really increase the results of what we are trying to do. That’s what they are hoping for and he hopes to come back next year some time and report on the progress of these things obviously to the Board of Trustees and to the Senate as well.
Mr. Bowers turned the microphone over to Dr. Peter Rottier, a member of his team who actually took everyone on a short tour through what an eLearning course looks like. He said he realizes that a lot of people really don’t know exactly what is meant when talking about on-line learning. Pete has been teaching on-line for quite a while and actually has a very well developed instruction course.
Dr. Pete Rottier noted that he recently received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in History and went out in the job market and had a few interviews. In one interview, he was talking to the chairman of a history department and he asked him what he thought about eLearning. He thought they could increase enrollment and make some courses more available to the local community and he kind of chuckled and looked at Pete and said, “You are talking about on-line learning. That is a glorified correspondence class. We don’t need those at this university.” Dr. Rottier noted that this is a common perception that there is something different about eLearning and that eLearning is, you throw some materials up there and students read it and take a test and they are done. But eLearning has evolved quite a bit especially in the last ten to 15 years. Right now, if you have a well-designed and well-organized course, you could replicate the success and quality of a well-organized traditional course. The key is the instructor and behind that is proper training. He was not saying that the course he was about to show everyone was the best course. This was the first time he taught this course; he put it up this year but it has some of the characteristics that we are looking for in a well-defined course. He noted that as everyone can see from the Home Page, it’s organized basically by units and important things. If they want to find out more about assignment #2 or assignment #1, students could go on the side and click #2. All of the weekly units are contained within so he broke the course down by weeks all the way up to the current week and he won’t add the next week so that students don’t really try to get ahead but they actually engage in the material that is out there. We take a look at a unit and it will start off with a brief introduction of what he expects students to do during that week – read chapter two, read the pages in the source book, listen to the two short lectures that are on line. He also posted a video and students need to watch for this. Quiz two which is on this material is due by Friday. So students can go through this and know exactly what they need to do. If they clicked on lecture one of unit three, he presents this lecture in three different formats and this is because not all students at Cleveland State are going to have a high speed internet connection. He recommends that they view an area of PowerPoint which most people can still do with a dial-up, but if there is some interference, they may have problems. What they would get if they clicked on here is basically a PowerPoint presentation that he created with another program. Basically, they are going to get his lecture. This isn’t a full lecture that he would give in a classroom. When he designed his class, the first thing he did while he was still teaching in a classroom was to tape record all of his lectures. He would constantly stop and ask his students questions to make sure they understood the content. He would then take parts out and find different ways to get at the same idea. So he would take a 65 minute lecture and turn it into a 35 minute lecture and then add that other interactive content in other ways and other forms. Now if the student was having trouble with an area in PowerPoint, he/she could download a simple MP3 player file. Students could actually upload this onto their I-pods. He also has a podcast site where they can just subscribe to all of his lectures which will automatically download onto their podcast and then if they are taking the bus to school or the rapid, they can listen to his lectures on the way in. He also posts just the PowerPoint handout in case they do just listen to the audio and they can page through a PowerPoint handout. Those are the lecture parts. Students can watch the short film. He usually tries to post this in many different formats to make sure that the students can do it. He said that he is not sure if the proper plug-in is on the page being displayed to Senate and he is not going to really look because Microsoft is blocking from downloading it anyway. He tends to post short films that he would have shown in class or made available or had students do as an assignment in class. Students then can go to a discussion where they will discuss this. Demonstrating, Mr. Rottier noted that people can see that his class is pretty active in the discussion. In one discussion room, there are 107 messages just from the students. He also breaks them up into small groups so he has one general class discussion and then he breaks them into groups of between 10 and 15 so that they can concentrate on certain discussion questions in small groups not being drowned out by having so many different responses to it. In this way, he is getting the students to talk to each other, he is getting them to talk to him because he can respond to the discussions himself and he is interacting with them as well. He pulled up study activities and in this case he took all of the important terms that he wanted the students to know from this unit and created a series of six different games using another software program. They can play crossword puzzles with this. This gives them numerous ways to interact with the material. They can play fill in the blank, etc. Then they can take a short quiz on it. He also includes several assignments throughout so that students can tie the units together. In the whole time that students are doing this, they are also interacting with each other and with the instructor. The assignments are group assignments. He makes the students work together in small groups of five to six students where they have to actually write papers, read primary sources, integrate the materials that they have learned in the lecture and in the book, and be able to apply those to those primary source materials and come up with a good essay. This is the first year that he has ever tried the group projects. Some of them were amazing. When he went through and looked, he created discussion rooms for them to discuss; they didn’t have to physically get together. They had both discussion rooms and chat rooms. When he went through and actually looked at the discussion rooms he created, for one assignment the five people in it had 93 messages. They were talking back and forth; they were sending their papers back and forth; they were editing them together. They also had chat rooms where they could agree to meet at a certain time and they could talk live throughout this in addition to email although he urged them to do it in the discussion so he could see what the students themselves were doing. These were probably the best papers that he has received since he began teaching here because the stronger students would help the weaker students but they pushed them in such a way without giving them the answers. You can see through the discussions how they went about doing that and how they broke down the different assignments. This is just one example of an introductory level on-line class but there are a lot of different models that can be used in setting up an on-line class and higher level on-line classes. Seminars in particular are very well suited for on-line learning because of the different forms of the interaction that you can have with the instructor and between the students themselves.
Dean Barbara Hanniford noted that this concludes the presentation. She said that she wanted to give everyone a feel for a course and to also view what is being done with eLearning here. She noted that she recognized some people here who have been involved in teaching on-line and others she doesn’t know who are also involved in it. She thanked everyone for their efforts and support and looks forward to working with everyone in one capacity or another.
Senate President Gelman noted that although he obtained Senate’s agreement to consider the Minutes of the February 7, 2007 meeting, they were never actually approved. He then asked for a motion to approve the Minutes. It was moved, seconded and the February 7, 2007 Minutes were approved.
Provost Mary Jane Saunders noted that she will keep her comments short so everyone can get home before the predicted snow and she wants this in the Minutes so we can look back on this day and remember that we were still wearing wool in April. Provost Saunders thanked Dean Barbara Hanniford for the terrific presentation on eLearning. She recalled that in one of the discussions last year, a question was raised about where we should situate eLearning. As everyone recalls, the academic sector made a strong cry and plea that it remain on the academic side of the house as opposed to being situated within IS&T and run as a separate profit center. So we are well on our way to imbedding this in the fabric of our academic offerings. That needs the participation of the faculty and she appreciates past and future efforts on that. Provost Saunders congratulated all of the faculty who have gotten tenure and promotion this year. It was an extraordinary group of people. She noted that she read all of the files and is continually impressed by the quality of our faculty. It’s just overwhelming when you sit and look at all of their accomplishments in teaching, research and service so she wanted to extend her congratulations to them. Provost Saunders noted that she wanted everyone to know that as she is becoming a more and more popular speaker, apparently going from interim to regular Provost, that has increased her standing in the Speakers Bureau around here and as she talks to various groups, one of the things she does bring out and tries to embed in all the speeches that she gives is really the quality of our faculty and the accomplishments of our faculty and it is an ever growing list of accomplishments. She said that she appreciates everyone’s efforts. Provost Saunders reported that she is in the midst of program review now. She is very impressed by the self-studies coming out of the units, their analysis of both their strengths and weaknesses, and their data presentation for resources. The folks identified as the external reviewers have without exception done a terrific job of helping us to really do a good job. What we get are the undergraduate and the graduate profiles, the staffing needs, the future look at the department, anticipation of where the field is going and we want to add people strategically academically, and look to our community and how to serve it. She wanted everyone to know that she is taking this very seriously. Anyone who has participated in it knows that when they would come to the end of what seems like a long road, we really do have a document that we are all signing on and really being committed to the future of those particular programs. She wanted everyone to know that she is very pleased and appreciates everyone’s efforts on the program review and it is being turned into a very good thing for this institution. Provost Saunders commented that one of our Trustees is Dr. Peter Cavanagh who is the chair of the Biomedical Engineering Department at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation at the Learner Research Institute. One of the things that our Trustees have been interested in is our affiliations with external organizations and one of the places we have very deep and strong relationships with is the Cleveland Clinic. We really were, for many years, the academic arm of the Cleveland Clinic. Recently, other institutions have started partnership agreements but we have some very long-standing agreements with the Cleveland Clinic. So, Peter Cavanagh wanted to also increase the awareness over at the Clinic of these partnerships and on April 12, 2007, we are going to have a meeting of some of the partners from both sides at Mather Mansion. She sent a request to all the Deans to identify all of the programs that are joint between CSU and CCF and she also extended an open invitation to Senate to also attend the meeting and/or to identify additional relationships that may not be known about at the administrative end. She asked everyone to mark their calendars for April 12, 2007 and they may contact Ms. Nancy Joyner in the Provost’s Office, who will have the details about that so she welcomed everyone to come to that meeting and help to celebrate and think about how we can continue to work with this partner down the street. Provost Saunders reported that an internal search has begun for a College of Science Dean. The committee has been formed and the ad will be out within a day or so and that will be an internal search. Provost Saunders noted that one thing coming forward, which she thanked everyone for, is the transition to perhaps a five-year seamless master’s partnership between the undergraduate and the graduate programs and many have taken that challenge and worked with it and are presenting things that are sitting either at the University Curriculum Committee or sitting with the Graduate Council. We are doing a little bit of homework behind the scenes to work on some of the ways to administrate those programs. We have to decide as an institution how many credits we are going to count toward undergrad and graduate, are we going to allow any dual counting of credits, how are we going to charge the students undergraduate or graduate rate, the admissions process; so they are trying to set up a template via the Graduate School, the Registrar, and Undergraduate Admissions to make this work for every program that is being proposed. Provost Saunders thanked everyone for working on the academic part of it and said that she will work on the behind the scenes part of it. Provost Saunders commented on another item of news that is going on from the Office of Research here. We are doing an analysis of our indirect cost rate. Our indirect cost rate has been set as a percentage of salaries. Most research institutions set it as a percentage of something called modified total direct costs which includes just about everything but equipment. So, we have paid for an analysis of what would be the most beneficial to us as an institution to our researchers of setting that indirect cost rate. It’s a rate negotiated with the federal government and there are two main ways of setting it. So we are going to make a decision soon as to whether we continue to set it just on salaries or as a total modified direct cost which would be on everything except equipment. She will keep everyone posted with that. Lastly, Provost Saunders reported that the Faculty Profile is up and running. She hopes that everyone is clicking on it and learning about their colleagues as much as she is. She is thrilled about the response rate; over 85% of the faculty have filled in information about themselves. Additional information is being loaded on from the PeopleSoft system and she has had many requests for people to be included in that who didn’t make the first pass. One of the things that happened is that we used the PeopleSoft coding of who was faculty so some people who are adjunct or administrators and their primary appointment is administration were not listed as faculty in the Faculty Profile and that will be picked up and cleaned up as part of the system in the next pass. She commented that the information is terrific and so she asked everyone to go back and click through their own department and click through their own profile. Those who have not yet submitted a photo might want to do so and they might want to look at what some other people have put up and think about how they are presenting themselves and their accomplishments to our students and our community. She will continue to ask everyone to upgrade that information and to continue to submit information. Everyone will see that it’s going to be a very powerful tool for us in recruiting and promoting our institution.
President Michael Schwartz commented that having been threatened with snow, he will keep his comments brief.
President Schwartz noted that he wanted to talk about the Governor’s proposal and for people to understand what that is and what it isn’t. It is not the budget; it is a proposal that the Governor has made about the budget. What he proposes is an increase in the line called the “State Investment and Instruction” of five percent. When somebody says five percent in that line, that doesn’t mean that any of the individual institutions would get five percent because that money would immediately go into the Board of Regents’ formula. When we saw the numbers that the Board of Regents formula produced, branch campuses, community colleges, and technical colleges got a lot more than five percent and the university main campus got less. That kind of mal-distribution was caused because the formula distributes that money on the basis of growth. So, we can grow in this system but if we don’t grow as fast as other institutions, they are going to get the money and we can grow and lose money and that has happened. So, when we look at what would have happened to individual institutions, Cleveland State wouldn’t have gotten five percent; Cleveland State would have gotten approximately three and one half percent. The average for the universities was about four percent and a number of institutions sent strong letters upon seeing that to the Chancellor and to the Governor and, in his case, also to the Speaker of the House. In any case, the Chancellor testified today before the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and in his written testimony, he said the five percent would not be distributed on the basis of the formula so we have had some good effect trying to protect that but it also requires no tuition increase in 2008 and a limited tuition increase of three percent in 2009, and it calls for what amounts to budget reductions or savings from efficiencies that you are creating. What it calls for is a budget cut of about three percent in 2008 and 2009. We are all very much aware of the fact that for this year, we cut $6 million out of our budget. President Schwartz stated that he wants some credit for what we have been doing and so do all of the other institutions. He stated that this is a very difficult proposal the Governor has made. The Governor calls it a compact and he sees this five percent increase as a reward and some of us who have to manage that don’t see it quite that way. In any case, the aims of this are quite correct. Tuitions are out of control at public institutions in Ohio because the level of State support is also out of control in Ohio which is to say State support is terribly low and if we look at the combination of State support, which is high tuitions combined, we spend approximately the national average per FTE in educating a student in this State. Those big tuitions are getting us just to the national average for expenditures per FTE student and that is not very good. It is not a good buy from a student’s point of view when the average tuition in Ohio is about 45% higher than the national average. So you can see that we are going to have our hands full financially in the next biennium but that’s the Governor’s proposal. Now the budget process goes to the House and the House version, of course, is unknown because they are having hearings and the hearings just began today. By the way, the Vice Chairman of our Board of Trustees testified this afternoon with regard to these budget hearings. The Chancellor testified this morning. We don’t know what the outcome of any of this will be in the House except that Speaker Husted has been talking about vouchers in higher education. President Schwartz indicated that he was not quite sure what Speaker Husted has in mind but when he meets and what he has said in more than one occasion is that he would prefer not to fund institutions. He wants the money to go directly to students. President Schwartz commented that he has a feeling that there is a misunderstanding perhaps on his part of how the distribution system works through the formula, but we’ll see. So the House version of the budget will inevitably come out different from the Governor’s but in what way, President Schwartz doesn’t know. Everyone can understand that politically, nobody in that business is going to commit suicide by saying, we’re going to let the universities increase their tuitions when the Governor has made himself everybody’s friend by saying tuitions, no go next year. We don’t know what the House version is going to look like but the Governor has put a lot of constraints on what can be done in formulating the House version of the higher education budget. Then of course, after that, there is going to be the Senate version and then the Conference Committee will meet and we’ll see what the budget is around June 30, 2007 although he suspects it could go a lot longer than that this year. President Schwartz added that he will keep everyone posted on how this is progressing. To be candid, it’s a little early to be getting too worked up about this but because of the constraints that the Governor has handed to the House, the real reduction of degree is the freedom of action here. He does agree that we are going to have a rough biennium time.
President Schwartz noted that in the last session of the General Assembly in the consideration of the Capital Bill, a Commission on Collaborations and Innovations in higher education, among the five public institutions in Northeastern Ohio, which are Youngstown State, University of Akron, Kent State, Cleveland State and Northeast Ohio University’s College of Medicine, were told to get together and examine ways in which they could collaborate and innovate in two ways on the academic side and then on the business side of their operations and we have had two meetings. There are fifteen members of this commission and it’s a little unwieldy but he will say that there is no eagerness on the part of a couple of the institutions to be involved in this at all, and there is a great deal of pressure on those institutions to get something important done. The pressure is coming from the Chancellor, it’s coming from the General Assembly and it’s coming from the Governor. So, he suspects that foot dragging in this is going to be a bad idea. He said he will keep everyone informed as this goes along.
Finally, President Schwartz reported that we are running a little ahead in applications from new freshmen and transfer students for fall and it looks really quite good. We have a goal of increasing new students in the university by fifteen percent over the number of new students we had a year ago. President Schwartz thinks that we are going to make that.
Senator William Bowen noted that we are building lots of things around here and the physical environment is looking wonderful and he understands it’s going to look even more wonderful, but some how, somebody’s got to pay for that. The amount of money that we charge students stays flat and the subsidy goes down – he understands we are talking Operation Budget here and not Capital Budget, but some of the charges for the buildings goes into student fees and his concern is, are all of these buildings that we are building around here in any way going to take money out of the academic part? Senator Bowen then asked if the buildings are going to be paid for by fees. President Schwartz said let’s take it one step at a time. For example, we will start building in this summer a College of Education and Human Services building which will be just to the East of Fenn Tower and in front of the Health Sciences building. That’s all paid for with State money out of the Capital Bill – actually out of four Capital Bills – we’ve had to save it up in order to build that building. We are doing some buildings by borrowing money and incurring debt that we will pay back out of future Capital Bills yet to come. Then we have some buildings that are being built and the revenue stream is the student fee and that will be the building that replaces University Center and the Recreation Center for example. Part of the building that replaces University Center built into that is all that space that is being reclaimed under the Main Classroom building. So some of it is supported by student fees, some of it is all capital dollars, some of it is borrowed against future capital bills, but we had to sell bonds in order to get things underway. So Senator Bowen’s question really is, how much of that is coming out of the academic side and as far as he can tell, it is not. The problem is, the money that should be going into the academic side of things here, we’ve just been cut off at the knees not being able to get that.
Senator David Elkins commented that President Schwartz had said that tuition would not be increased. Does that mean that the university could adopt new fees or increase the size of existing fees or is that frozen too? President Schwartz replied that as far as he knows right now, the language which has been very carefully crafted says tuition. That is the limitation so he would suspect that we could increase the general fees and course fees of all kinds probably without too much trouble and we are going to do that, but the tuition dollars will stay the same. He commented that Senator Elkins’ question was a good question.
President Schwartz noted that he appreciated Senator Bowen’s comment – the university is looking better and if we can get Euclid Avenue done, it would be just wonderful. The East parking deck is up. A year ago he would tell people that they can get to the campus but they can’t park and now he tells them that when they get here they can park but they can’t get here. That is a serious problem.
There being no new business, Senate President Gelman asked for a motion to adjourn. It was moved, seconded and the meeting adjourned at 4:37 P.M.
Faculty Senate Secretary