Cleveland State University

Faculty Senate

MINUTES OF THE MEETING
OF THE FACULTY SENATE
November 7, 2007

I. Report of Student Government Association
    Attendance at Graduation  (Report No. 10, 2007-2008)

II. Approval of the Agenda for the December 12, 2007 Meeting
III. Approval of the Minutes of the November 7, 2007 Meeting
IV. Report of the Faculty Senate President
V. University Curriculum Committee
VI.
Admissions and Standards Committee
VII. Report of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer
VIII. Report of the President of the University
IX. New Business

PRESENT: C. Alexander, Barrow, Bathala, Bayachou, Beasley, Belovich, Berlin Ray, W. Bowen, Cagan, J. Dean, Doerder, Duffy, Elkins, Gelman, Goodell, Hollinger, Inniss, M. Davis Jones (for S. Kaufman on LOA), Larson, Lundstrom, McCahon, McNamara, Mensforth, Meyer-Emerick (for Spicer on LOA), S. Murray, Rashidi, B. Ray, H. Robertson, Rom, Shukla, Silberger, Sparks, Steinberg, Tebeau, Visocky, Weyman, Zhou, Ziolek, Xu.

Droney, Heinrich, Jeffres, Markovic, L. Mooney, Nuru-Holm,
L. Patterson, Sadlek, M. J. Saunders, Sutton.

ABSENT: Gorla (LOA), Gross, Lehfeldt, O’Neill, Reichert, E. Rogers, Sawicki, Vonderwell, Welfel.

Bonder, Boyle, Emerick, L. Frazier, Ghorashi, B. Green, Hanniford,
E. Hill, Humer, Margolius, McLoughlin, Mearns, Heather Nguyen,
Huong Nguyen, L. E. Reed, Scherer, M. Schwartz, Thornton.

ALSO PRESENT:  M. Smith.

            Senate President Sheldon Gelman called the meeting to order at 3:05 P.M.

            Senate President Gelman reported that two student representatives to the Board of Trustees were listed on the Senate Agenda to report on participation in the Graduation ceremony and the faculty role in it.  At the last minute, it was learned that neither could come.  As a very last minute replacement, Senate President Gelman noted that he was happy to say that we have the Student Government Association Vice President, Peggy Thompson here today.  Ms. Thompson, however, not knowing that she was going to be here as late as 2:30 P.M. has another engagement so, if he might, he would like to begin the meeting with her remarks even before the Agenda is approved and even without a quorum.  Hearing no objection, he noted that Peggy is going to graduate this May 2008; she has a double major in Anthropology and Criminology and she describes herself as a non-traditional student having a very traditional college experience. 

I.           Report of Student Government Association
                 Attendance at Graduation  (Report No. 10, 2007-2008)

            Ms. Peggy Thompson stated that she received the call from Senate President Sheldon Gelman at 2:30 P.M. so she is neither dressed nor as polished as she would usually be.  Furthermore, SGA President Blake is much better then she at speaking and that is why she makes him give all of the speeches.  She noted that when she was asked to do this, she immediately thought about the faculty members who have impacted her life over the past few years.  She has had professors patiently explain things to her for the umpteenth time so she could finally “get it.”  She has had professors understand about outside obligations – they have given her time off to take kids to the doctor or even bring the kids to class so she would have just a few more minutes to spend with them each day.  The professors have been so supportive and wonderful.  Then she thought about the faces she would like to see at graduation as she eventually walks across the stage at commencement.  She realized that some of the faces she would really like to see are those faculty members who have supported her so much over the years.  It’s incredible the amount of support that she has received and that she knows many other students have received from the faculty and staff here at CSU.  Ms. Thompson said, “It’s an amazing group of men and women who are dedicated to seeing that each one of us succeeds and it would be amazing to have the faculty and staff share in the celebration of our success and our accomplishments.”  So, on behalf of the students, Ms. Thompson said that she would like to invite each and every one of the faculty and staff at CSU to share in the students’ success at the commencement ceremonies.

            Senate President Gelman reported that there will be extra tickets for the graduation ceremony available at the President’s Office.  We have been cautioned that there won’t be parking decals so you may not be able to park in the nearest lot.  But since classes are not in session, all of the campus lots are not filled. 

With that and with the understanding that Item VI of the proposed Agenda will be omitted, which was to be the presentation by the student representatives to the Board of Trustees, Senate President Gelman asked for approval of the Agenda.

II.           Approval of the Agenda for the December 12, 2007 Meeting

            Acceptance of the Agenda for the December 12, 2007 meeting was moved, seconded and approved.

            Senate President Gelman stated that everyone should have received the Minutes of the November 7, 2007 meeting by email and asked if there was any discussion of those Minutes.   There was no discussion.

III.       Approval of the Minutes of the November 7, 2007 Meeting

            Acceptance of the Minutes of the November 7, 2007 meeting was moved, seconded and approved.

IV.       Report of the Faculty Senate President

Senate President Sheldon Gelman stated that he would briefly discuss two things both of which have been discussed before – the first is myTime.  Everyone may remember that Vice President Boyle invited the Steering Committee to designate a subcommittee that would work with his office on myTime issues.  That was done at the most recent Steering Committee meeting.  The subcommittee consists of Brian Ray, Mieko Smith, Joyce Mastboom, Jerzy Sawicki, and Sheldon Gelman.  He noted that he had an email exchange with Vice President Boyle and also with Brian Cook, who forwarded to him an update by Miro Humer, senior business analyst in the Information Services and Technology Department and who is the project manager for myTime.  Senate President Gelman quoted the update he received this morning:  “Off campus access is completed and will be announced to the community today,” as it was in two emails.  “Delegation should be functioning within the week.”  Senate President Gelman commented that he has asked for clarification about delegation.  There were two different delegation issues under discussion.  One had been raised by Joyce Mastboom, who, as the History Department chair, would occasionally like to delegate to faculty members who have no regular supervisory responsibilities.  Under current arrangements, that is impossible.  The other delegation issue was broader.  It was proposed that administrative assistants be allowed access to supervisor screens with the privilege of making changes, all subject to final approval of the supervisor.  He suspects but he is not sure that “delegation” here refers to that.  “Delegation,” whatever that is commented Senate President Gelman, “should be functioning within the week.  This required an update to the application that we have been testing prior to installation in the production system.”  Senate President Gelman commented that maybe an engineer could translate that.  “We have processed four pay periods over the past month (two bi-weekly and two semi-monthly) and have been focusing on the accuracy of these pay cycles.  The consequence has been that we have not been evaluating additional requested changes.  We will be scheduling a meeting in mid January with the Senate delegates to discuss the issues raised at the Faculty Senate meeting.  These delegates were not named until after our recent meeting,” and Senate President Gelman added, that’s basically true.  There was a meeting of the project group which took place the morning that we supplied the names of the Steering Subcommittee.

Senate President Gelman reported that he also received an email prior to the one he just mentioned from Vice President Boyle which came last week.  Vice President Boyle said, “We met this morning to discuss the concerns related at the last Faculty Senate meeting.  Some of the problems to upgrades are now in the final testing stage.  Off-site access we should be able to announce them prior to the Senate meeting.”  Senate President Gelman stated that apparently that has happened.  “Others are in the expiration stage as we research what can be done within the system to accommodate concerns and some senior management attention as policy matters.  The issues we discussed included off-campus access, student workers, delegation of some duties to assistants or others, and time stamping for classified employees.”  Senate President Gelman noted that all of those issues are on the table.  A meeting is being planned for the middle of January with the myTime group and we should have a full report at the next Senate meeting.

Senate President Gelman commented that the other subject is one that the President and the Provost can address in a much more informed way from a different perspective.  This concerns the changes that are linked to the master planning process in Columbus.  At the last Ohio Faculty Council meeting in Columbus, we heard from Bruce Johnston, who is the former Lieutenant Governor who is now associated with the Inter-University Council.  Mr. Johnston is a very impressive man and he spoke quite candidly about the thinking behind the changes in Columbus which led to our new system of higher education organization.  Senate President Gelman commented that as everyone now knows, we have a chancellor who is a cabinet member and who has the powers that used to reside in the Board of Regents, and to an extent, he was not sure that it is duplicated in any other State, the universities are now a normal part of the executive branch of the Ohio government.  Mr. Johnston explained the reason why this change was made and why many, maybe everybody in the university community, thought it was desirable.  He pointed out that appropriations for higher education had not been particularly high over the years.  He said that the Board of Regents would prepare a budget each year.  The budget was dead on arrival and never taken seriously because the Board of Regents is not really connected to the political process of putting together a budget.  It was thought, Mr. Johnston said, that if the Governor had responsibility for the universities, the Governor, any Governor, could be persuaded to advocate for universities and it was thought that the legislature would respond favorably as well.  They might applaud what they regarded as enhanced systems of accountability.  In any case, Mr. Johnston said that those who had the interests of public higher education in Ohio at heart decided that it would be a very good thing if the Chancellor took on the responsibilities of the Board of Regents and the Chancellor became an appointee of the Governor.  And, of course, that has happened.  A master planning process is under way.  Senate President Gelman noted that Mr. Johnston said he is afraid that if anyone asked him about the details, he would not be able to provide them.  What we do know is that the Chancellor is putting together a master plan for public higher education in Ohio.  There is a legislative deadline of March 30, 2008 when this plan has to be complete.  If you visit the Chancellor’s web site, you will find updates.  Now there are two goals and measures that are posted.  It is quite interesting but reading it, it looks like ordinary strategic planning kind of stuff.  It’s very clear that more than the normal strategic planning kind of stuff is going on and these are the matters that the President and the Provost certainly know more about than he (Sheldon Gelman) does.  It is understood that each university is to define its mission, its strengths and that these definitions are to have several, maybe a considerable role in future decisions about higher education in Ohio.  The Provost’s Office has already prepared documents.  He has seen a draft and there is a summary statement on the Provost’s web site.  Interestingly, from his (Senate President Gelman) point of view, it points out that we award a higher percentage of graduate degrees than other universities in Ohio do; it points out that we have a large number of professional programs and also a strong biomedical or biotechnology orientation.  This is an interesting piece of self-discovery.  What he doesn’t know is what the self-definition will mean in Columbus.  Will we get a card that says, “Congratulations on being the urban professional university”?  Will there be funding decisions made?  Will there be consolidations?  Will there be eliminations of programs?  Senate President Gelman said that he doesn’t know and at this stage, there is no discussion of that.  He stated that it is very unusual to see any detail.  He did come across a speech that the speaker of the Ohio House John Housted delivered to the study group that was examining possible coordination among Northeast Ohio universities and in the speech John Housted did allude to the possibility of combined departments at universities; that was just one person.  Senate President Gelman stated that he has heard John Housted speak and he is a much more candid speaker than most and he (Sheldon Gelman) doesn’t know what to make of that. 

Finally, Senate President Gelman stated that he doesn’t know what to make of what he heard at the last Board of Trustees meeting.  The chair of the Board of Trustees described developments in Columbus but described them in slightly different terms and if he remembers correctly, the chair of the Board said that we have to formally define ourselves within thirty to sixty days.  At this point, one of the trustees, Mr. Sam Miller, said that it’s impossible for an organization to define itself in sixty days.  He said that he didn’t think that it could be done in eighteen months.  The reply was, “Sam, we’re being steamrolled” at which point, now he is compressing five minutes worth of exchange.  Mr. Miller said, “Why don’t we get into a car and go to see the Governor?”  Nobody wanted to get into a car to go to see the Governor and at that point, the chair of the Board said, “We should be defining ourselves.  We are becoming mature as a university; it is time that we defined ourselves.”  Senate President Gelman said that what he doesn’t know is how much self-definition comes from the Board of Trustees and how much comes from the Board of Trustees as an indirect effect of what’s happening in Columbus.  So, he probably read some novels or some movies in which the same developments are described from the perspectives of different characters.  Senate President Gelman stated that he feels as though this is a story like that except that maybe uniquely in literature, he is one of the characters and he doesn’t have any idea of what’s going on.  You really never see that in “this is my view of this; this is my view of that.”  Senate President Gelman went on to say that this is where we stand.  He may know tomorrow, but probably not.  The chancellor himself was going to be speaking to the Ohio Faculty Council; at least he is scheduled to speak to the Ohio Faculty Council on Friday, December 14, 2007.  Senate President Gelman commented that he would be happy to take questions, but he doesn’t think that he can answer them.

Senate President Gelman noted that Senator Brian Ray was also at the Ohio Faculty Council meeting and asked Brian if he cared to add anything.  Senator Brian Ray said that he felt that Senate President Gelman had captured it.

Senate President Gelman stated that we have a report from the University Curriculum Committee.

V.        University Curriculum Committee

            Professor Mieko Smith, chair of the University Curriculum Committee, stated that UCC brings two recommendations to Senate.  The first one is the name change of the Urban Services Administration degree.

A. Proposed Name Change of Urban Services Administration Degree      (Report No. 11, 2007-2008)

            Professor Mieko Smith stated that the College of Urban Affairs is requesting the Senate’s approval of the name change of the Urban Services Administration major to BA in Nonprofit Administration.  This request has been supported by the Colleges of Science and Business.  The University Curriculum Committee (UCC) has voted unanimously to support the name change which will reflect more explicitly the nature of the program.  If Senators have any questions, Professor Wendy Kellogg, chair and Associate Dean of the Levin College of Urban Affairs is available to respond. 

            There being no questions or discussion, Senate President Gelman asked members to vote.  The proposed name change of the Urban Services Administration degree to BA in Nonprofit Administration was unanimously approved.

B. Proposed Revised Articulation Agreement Approval Process andChecklist     (Report No. 12, 2007-2008)

            Professor Mieko Smith noted that the second proposal of UCC is a revised Articulation Agreement Approval Process and Checklist.  She noted that there was a minor error in the materials that Senators received.  The content is the same.  She noted that the final version is being distributed as she speaks.  This is a revision of the Articulation Agreement Approval procedures and Checklist which were amended and approved on May 24, 1995.  The revision reflects current practice of the significant Faculty Senate’s involvement, namely the Admissions and Standards Committee and the University Curriculum Committee.  The Checklist was developed by the Office of Enrollment Services to help the parties involved in the process.  The UCC recommends approval of the procedures and the Checklist.  Ms. Barbara Fortin, the Director of the Partnership Program Office, is present at Senate today to respond to questions.

            Senate President Gelman asked if Ms. Fortin could briefly explain the difference between the revised version being distributed and the version sent out with the Senate meeting materials.

            Ms. Fortin responded that the significant changes are in the detailed steps provided on the Checklist.  If you are in an academic department and want to start a program, for example, with Lakeland Community College, what are the specific steps to go through to seek approval through your department, through the College, then through the University as well as to make sure that various offices across the campus are aware of the program so that her department can assist in the implementation.  The significant changes are with the Checklist.

            Senate President Gelman asked members if there were any questions.  There being no questions or concerns, Senate President Gelman asked members to vote.  The proposed revised Articulation Agreement Approval Procedures and Checklist were unanimously approved.

            Dr. Mieko Smith wished everyone a good winter break.  She reminded everyone that during the break, the UCC and the volunteers will be reviewing the GenEd courses which amount to 250 submissions. 

            Senate President Gelman wished everyone a happy holiday!

VI.       Admissions and Standards Committee

            Proposed Revision of the Law School Grading System
            (Report No. 13, 2007-2008)

            Professor David Larson, chair of the Admissions and Standards Committee, stated that his committee has one proposal before the Senate.  The Law School has proposed that its grading system be changed.  Currently the grade distribution is:  A, B+, B, C+, C, D+, D, F.  The Law School wishes to add more grades so the proposed grade distribution would be:  A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, F.  When this proposal came to the Admissions and Standards Committee, the committee had only one question about it and that was why the new proposed system was different from either the Graduate College’s system or the Undergraduate system – why they were proposing a unique system.  The Admissions and Standards Committee asked the Law School to respond to its question.  The memo distributed to Senate did not contain the whole packet of about 40 pages of studies as to why the Law School wanted to change the Grading System.  Dr. Larson indicated that he has the information if anyone would like to look at it, but the memo in front of members is the Law School’s response to that and the answer is, they are proposing using a system that most of the law schools in the State use so that’s the reason.  He noted that there are several representatives of the Law School at Senate today to respond to questions about the proposal.

            Senator Cheryl McCahon wondered that since this didn’t come to Senate until today, does she assume that the new Grading System will begin in the spring instead of the fall.  Senator Larson responded that the Law School wants to begin the new Grading System as soon as they can.  It really will be between the Law School and the Registrar as to how soon they can begin.  Senator McCahon noted that she was thinking of the Syllabus and the fact that when something is written in the Syllabus such as the grade scale, it can’t be changed for that semester.

            Senator Brian Ray stated that the exams the students are currently taking will be graded under the existing system.  The new grading will start in the spring.  Senator Larson confirmed that the new grading will start next spring 2008.

            Senate President Gelman added that his understanding is that the new system wouldn’t be implemented until next fall 2008 but he is really not in a position to say that authoritatively, but that is his understanding.  Senator David Larson stated that his understanding was that the Law School wants to try to implement the new grading system this spring 2008 if possible but, because it was sent back, it may not be possible to implement it until next fall 2008.  Senator Larson added that it will be done this spring 2008 if it can be worked out; if not, it will be implemented in fall 2008.  That was the Admissions and Standards Committee’s understanding.
 
            There being no further discussion, Senate President Gelman asked members to vote.  The proposed revision of the Law School Grading System was unanimously approved.

VII.     Report of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer

            Provost Mary Jane Saunders first of all brought regards from President Schwartz to Senate.  He is not able to attend Senate today and he wanted to make sure that everyone has a safe and productive winter break and also that he is looking forward to seeing everyone at commencement on Sunday.  He also wanted to convey his thanks for everyone’s hard work this semester.

            Provost Saunders commented that we have a lot to be proud of this semester.  We have an awful lot of things that have happened to this institution and every semester is that way but this is one where we had some real benchmarks that were reached. 

            Provost Saunders stated that there is a group called Academic Analytics and they do a rating system of university programs in competition with the U.S. News and World Report.  She explained that it is a group of faculty and former faculty and they decided to base rankings of institutions on surprisingly enough data and that they take things like the numbers of publications of faculty, the number of awards of faculty, presentations at meetings, citations of those publications, and interestingly enough, Cleveland State University ranked number ten in the nation in the area of Business, Education and Social Science programs.  So that is a very, very interesting statistic and one that we can all be very proud of because, in fact, it is an independent organization and it is also an organization to set itself up to say, let’s use real information as opposed to information that is just based perhaps on past reputation long after certain faculty may have moved on to other endeavors or other institutions.  So congratulations to everyone in the areas that this covers.  That’s a terrific accomplishment for us.  That comes along again, remember the semester we heard about the Law School pass rate, highest of the public universities in Ohio and number two in Ohio of ninety percent of the first time takers of the bar exam. 

            Provost Saunders noted that everyone had just heard that the GenEd implementation is going along well.  She gives everyone all of her deep and heartfelt thanks for all of the work this has taken.  In her first fall at Cleveland State, President Schwartz convened a group of us on a rainy Saturday and said that we need to look at the General Education Requirements.  We haven’t looked at it in quite a while; is it really addressing our needs and is it what we want.  A few short years later, here we are with the work being done sitting with all of the faculty doing it and she knows especially the department chairs spent a lot of time on covering courses that perhaps are taught by adjuncts or part-timers and didn’t have faculty who were there to write the new syllabus and to answer the questions about it.  So, as everyone has heard, Professor Mieko Smith said that 250 courses have been submitted ready for, let’s hope, approval and she thanked everyone for that.  She added that it’s really a good thing for the institution to do that. 

            Provost Saunders reported that we know that our honors and new scholars programs are continuing to thrive and enroll great students.  She encouraged any one who had not participated in teaching in those programs to look for a way to do that because you will really be inspired by those students.

            Provost Saunders commented that our overall enrollment is above our conservative budget projection and that’s a good thing for the financial health of the institution.  Even better than that is that it is up slightly in real numbers over last fall so we are very, very much hoping that we have turned the corner on our enrollment problems, and, after five years of steady decline of enrollment, that we are now going to look at increasing enrollment every year which you know speaks to our ability to do all of the things we want to do for our students and for our faculty.  We are hopeful that this real push on enrolling new freshmen and enrolling new transfer students will translate into students that stay here and get their degrees and do well here.

            Provost Saunders noted that we are off to a great start with our learning communities.  We have them almost one hundred percent enrolled.  There’s a very inspirational video made through the semester and at the end of the semester of the students talking about their experiences in the learning communities and how much it meant to them to have faculty take a real interest in them and the faculty speaking about their opportunities to work with other faculty in an interdisciplinary nature.  So she is really pleased that those are off to such a good start.  Again, Provost Saunders encouraged everyone to think about next fall if they have not participated in a learning community to think about making that part of their teaching portfolio. 

Provost Saunders stated, of course, many, many faculty have been awarded grants and contracts – some of them significant of which she is really proud of and who have published great papers in well-respected journals and certainly taught our students well so we have a lot to be proud of.

Provost Saunders stated that the last time she spoke in Senate, we talked a lot about a concept for our university of community engagement and engaged scholarship.  She believes that this has really resonated well with the deans, administration, faculty and students.  Students are saying, “Gee that’s really what they want out of an education more than just a classroom experience – the chance to work out in the community, the chance to take advantage of our cultural offerings, the chance to work directly with faculty on research projects.”  So she is very hopeful that we can take next spring and spend some time thinking of how to expand on that and how to utilize the resources that we have to continue to build in that area.  Provost Saunders said that she has been very pleased and she has had emails from faculty, people have stopped her at meetings or in the hall to talk about it, at social events; of people saying, “Did you know that I do A, B, C, and D and I was really happy to hear about that because our department has been trying to do that and what will this mean?  Can we do A, B, C and D?”  Provost Saunders encouraged everyone over the break to continue to think about that concept of engaged research and engaged scholarship and engagement with the community and maybe do a little reading about it and see if things that you read also sort of inspire you to do something differently maybe with your class next spring.  She noted that there will be more formal ways of incorporating that into the curriculum and listening to faculty’s ideas about it and funding faculty projects and looking at how we are going to get that incorporated into everything that we do at the institution.  She noted that there will be more of that in the spring and she encouraged everyone to use their time to think about that over the break.

Finally, Provost Saunders wished everyone a happy and safe holiday season and said that she looks forward to seeing everyone both at graduation and at the start of the spring term.  She thanked everyone for all that they do for our students.

VIII.    Report of the President of the University

            Senate President Gelman noted that as mentioned earlier, President Michael Schwartz was unable to be at Senate today so there will be no report from the President.

IX.       New Business

            There being no further business, Senate President Gelman asked for a motion to adjourn.  The meeting adjourned at 3:40 P.M.

 

                                                            Lolita Buckner Inniss
                                                            Faculty Senate Secretary

/vel

 

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